What are you going to do about it?

A few years ago, I added my birthday to my calendar with a highly specific and presumptuous question attached. Each year, on the day before, I get a little nudge to consider what kind of contribution, what kind of person, what kind of learning I intend to make/be/take on in the year ahead. I loveContinue reading “What are you going to do about it?”

You do not have to be good

So says Mary Oliver. And releasing the demands of being “good” may provide the freedom you need to be yourself. To know how you are made, To know who you can turn to, To know what you need – what you want – to learn; This is how to live and how to lead a moreContinue reading “You do not have to be good”

Someone Else Will

If you don’t give them a chance to show what they can do, someone else will. If you don’t give them clear and comprehensive feedback about their performance, someone else will. If you don’t paint a compelling picture of the future, someone else will. If you don’t speak candidly about your own goals and challenges,Continue reading “Someone Else Will”

Don’t Act Your Age

If you’re trying to learn something new, do it like someone more experienced, more mature, more qualified would do it. My daughter, a middle schooler, is taking voice lessons. Her teacher challenged her to sing like a high school student. She wants her to get a mental image of a more mature sound that sheContinue reading “Don’t Act Your Age”


On May 14, 2007 I uploaded my first blog post. It was this poem – The Journey – by Mary Oliver: One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice– though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the oldContinue reading “#500”

A Midweek Thought Experiment

Imagine that it’s five years ago. If you could meet yourself on October 10, 2013 what advice would you give yourself for the coming five years? Five years ago, my advice would have been (1) trust yourself, (2) open yourself, (3) express more, more often. Imagine it’s five years from now. What advice can youContinue reading “A Midweek Thought Experiment”

Predisposed to Lead

It is widely believed that leadership can be taught and there is a thriving multi-billion dollar industry to prove it. I agree that anyone can become at least incrementally, perhaps even demonstrably better at skills like listening, presenting, planning, goal setting, feedback and decision-making. Each of these core leadership competencies comes with models and frameworksContinue reading “Predisposed to Lead”

Put Out Into Deep Water

Each one of us has a net in which we capture an understanding of ourselves. That net is strong, it can hold a lot. And testing that strength scares us so we don’t do it very often, if ever. Instead, we keep tossing our net in the shallow end of our experience, catching and re-catchingContinue reading “Put Out Into Deep Water”

More Human Than Otherwise

“We are all much more simply human than otherwise.” – Harry Stack Sullivan – Human beings deserve a human experience in the workplace. That is possible…that actually happens…when leaders decide to be more human themselves; when they decide to make what is common between us the foundation of their leadership. In the face of complexityContinue reading “More Human Than Otherwise”

Lost With a Map

Seth Godin published a brief, excellent piece this morning called The Thing About Maps: “Sometimes, when we’re lost, we refuse a map, even when offered.  Because the map reminds us that we made a mistake. That we were wrong. But without a map, we’re not just wrong, but we’re also still lost. A map doesn’t automaticallyContinue reading “Lost With a Map”