Fix-Em, Don’t Fire-Em

Ever hear (or say) something like “Diane is THE PROBLEM. Everything will be solved if we just get rid of her.”

How often does this type of response show up when things aren’t working at work?

Look, maybe Diane is THE PROBLEM and she must go. However, then again, maybe there’s a deeper issue lurking under the radar.

Our natural tendency is to point the finger at her, him or them and step back from looking at the whole enchilada.

3 Fundamental Needs For Happiness To Start The New Year

There are three fundamental needs we all have that seem to sparkle more during the holidays and end of year, than at any other time. Check over the list and see where you will want to put your energies to grow and learn in the next year, which is right around the corner.

The first is the need for love and belonging. Love and belonging show up in many different shapes and colors. However, the theme is one of social interaction with family and friends. And yes, pets too.

Then, there is an area of belonging that comes from time in nature. Mother Nature and Father Sky are an important part of the Native American culture that we are hearing more about since Standing Rock and the pipeline dilemma that is making news.

Standing Rock is Rocking Our World

The growing focus on Standing Rock Reservation and the issues surrounding water, oil, human rights, and earth rights brought up a memory from several years ago.

The morning after the sweat lodge we sat in a circle for our farewell ceremony. Bleary eyed in the predawn cold, something looked and felt different.

Was it just me?

I asked others who had joined our Leadership in Action program. The program was designed as a “pattern interrupt,” to leave, even briefly, from our daily ways of living and experience another cultural perspective.

The idea behind this type of adventure is to continue to move from the information age to the knowledge era. The more you know and understand systems thinking, how everything is connected, the better you can guide the direction of your life and make positive impact on those you lead. This trip was to learn new skills from Native American teachers and bring the indigenous wisdom back to the workplace.

When Is Enough…Enough

This time of year, prepares us to ask “What really matters?”

It’s a tradition to give gratitude as we sit around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Often what we say slips off our tongues without thinking about it. Yes, we’re thankful for our families, our health, a meal to fill our bellies, the team we root for winning the big game.

We stuff the disappointments for this one day.

We leave the “not enough” thoughts on the sidelines.

Yet, they’re there only to be picked up a few days later as we head back to work and school, and start the dash to buying holiday presents and prepare for the parties ahead.

Preparing for anything takes some deep, quiet thinking. When we’re prepared, the peaks and valleys of our daily journey are easier to predict and can be handled with more grace.

How do leaders prepare? How do you prepare for what’s ahead? Here’s a suggestion.

What Do Elections, Families And Frankenstein Have In Common?

history.com

“Whoever goes to the White House will bring along many others with their personal baggage.” This was a recent post on Twitter.

There was no claim to who would win the election or who they would bring with them. Just a less than 140-characters of information, to think about.

I thought about how this most vital job, of President of the United States, is a great place to analyze the model of how businesses, small and large are so similar. Also, the fact that we all bring baggage from our own history into the work place.

The whole concept of “office politics” is about positioning yourself to be in the right place, at the right time. It’s about favoritism and gossip, to act out back biting and betrayal, to create hurt, fear, or hopes and possibilities.

It’s about the baggage from the past and how it plays into the present time.

So, Twitter person was correct.

Everyone will bring some old baggage into the White House. The question is, how much baggage? And what will they do with it?

Spotting The Big Difference Between Charming and Sincere

  • Sylvia Lafair
  • October 2, 2016

We live in a time of sizzle and dazzle, quips and giggles. It’s not a time to do deep dives into any subject.

How do I know?

I’ve fool-hardheartedly been following the Presidential election soaps on television and twitter.

I’ve been wondering why and when we turned from substance to slander and superficiality.

I want someone to blame. I want something to blame.

Ah, technology did it. Or maybe it’s because we have free reign to get guns and shoot them whenever we want. I know, it’s because we did not build enough walls to keep “them out” or to keep “those in.”

I got it!

It’s my parents fault. They were too busy making a living to really live. Busy, busy, busy all the time. Ah, that’s how I learned that life is about stuffing ourselves with stuff.

And that leads me to the social narcissism I see that is clogging our relationship system today.

I have a warning: STOP and listen. STOP and question. STOP and say NO.

How Todays Trinity of Extremes Affects Us All

Yes, we live in a fast paced world. Yes, we are often at tipping points of stress. Yes, we can do better.

“We are all in it together and no one wins unless we all do.” This mantra sounds good, however, for most of us it sounds naïve. Sometimes the world seems to be spinning out of control and the issues are too big and a single individual, a mere speck in the universe, is too small to make a dent in the issues.

The trinity of today’s extremes are:

Poverty
Climate
Violence
As I listened to the speakers at the Clinton Global initiative I was bouncing between hope, anger and depression.

Hope won.

Magic Moments Best When Unexpected

Got on the bus. Waited. Got on another bus. Waited even longer.

Had a bad feeling this paid in advance tour was going to disappoint.

And it did.

Almost.

Tours to that revered site in Rome, the Vatican are expensive and seemingly necessary. Otherwise the lines can be hours long.

The Vatican is a must see in Rome. Regardless of religious background or preference there is a majesty to being in the presence of some of the most amazing art and sculpture the world has to offer. And looking up at the Blessing Window where the Pope stands and then pivoting around to observe what it must be like to look out at huge numbers of appreciative and reverent individuals is a stunning moment.

However, that is not where the memorable magic happened for me.

Big Decisions, Little Decisions: Which Are More Important?

The quality of your life, personally and professionally, is based on how you make decisions.

There is the old way and the new way: hint, the new way is actually older than the old way. The indigenous cultures all knew and still know that everything is connected. Somewhere along the way as we became “sophisticated intellectuals” and “rugged individualists” the idea of inter-connection became old-fashioned.

Take business decisions.

Most companies use a variation of the Gap Analysis. First you are supposed to look at where you are; then where you envision you want to be; and finally create a plan to get from here to there. Simple. It’s like: think, vision, execute.

However, there is a missing piece.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I hear this plaintive cry from executives and middle managers all the time. I hear it from superintendents to elementary school teachers for at least ten months out of the year.

Getting along is what we all want. Right? So, why does it seem almost impossible to get through even a few days without feeling that blood boiling moment of “Not THAT again!” or “Can’t they just zip it?”

I would like to boil this down to some basics for you to think about.

Relationships are hard work.

You can’t learn how to be your best you by reading something that gives you 5 quick tips for happiness.

It’s just not that simple.

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