Working with Change

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I was awakened very early this morning by a distinct chill in the air. Fall’s cooler temperatures had tapped me on the shoulder. Another reminder of the fact that everything changes, I thought, as I sleepily reached for another blanket. Summer had slipped away. It was time to meet a new season.

Of course, it is easy to see and feel the season’s changes. If we live in a climate with deciduous trees, for example, we notice the green leaves give way to beautiful colors, and then we get out the rakes! And we know that different seasons require us to meet them in ways that are unique to that time of the year. As fall approaches, we find the sweatshirts and sweaters, and we put away the shorts and flipflops.

We have come to expect these changes, and we prepare to meet them as they unfold. Read More

Leadership Excellence: Ride the Wave

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Leadership shortcuts don’t end well…for you or for those around you.

In my work here at the Institute, I am regularly engaging in conversations with successful professionals at every level of an organization. Although each person has a unique set of circumstances, there are common threads that show up time and time again. One of those threads is a sense of being overwhelmed, juggling the demands of work and home, and trying to find time for self-care. There simply isn’t enough time or space in the day. And so, the responsibilities spill over- into the night, throughout the weekend, and even your vacation (if you take one). Sound familiar?

With our list of to-dos’ ever increasing, it is no wonder that we are constantly looking for shortcuts. We find ourselves multitasking, skipping or working through meals, lessening sleep and being connected to our laptop and our phones 24/7. Of course, none of these ‘shortcuts’ work in the long term, and none are sustainable over the long haul. And as leaders programmed to “get it done”, sometimes this is the best we can do at the time, and it feels a little better in the short term to ‘check the box’.

There is, however, no shortcut to developing leadership excellence. Read More

Freedom of Choice: A Leader’s Perspective

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There is so much about summer to be grateful for. Fresh vegetables from the farm, blooms in the garden and lazy afternoons spent with family and friends. The season feels ripe with opportunity to reflect on who we are as individuals, as community members and as citizens of the world. A quick google search of national holidays illuminates an interesting parallel. In the first two weeks of July alone, several countries around the world will celebrate their independence- Burundi, Cape Verde, the Bahamas, Canada and the United States. Regardless of where you sit, these holidays present a reminder of our struggles, achievements and continued progress in assuring one of our core rights as human beings- the freedom to choose.

Freedom of choice can be as simple as hopping in your car and going wherever you want, when you want to. Or complex- how do you deal with a shortfall in revenue, a marriage that isn’t working or the deepening sense that work, life and the world are out of sync? My experience has taught me that leaders feel these imbalances deeply and their ability- or freedom- to choose is critical to their own wellbeing and to those around them- at home, at work and in their community. How do we choose? Who will be impacted by our decision? Who will celebrate this choice? Who may be hurt by a new direction we may choose to take? Read More

Need a Fresh Perspective? 3 Steps to Get You There

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I am grateful for…

With these few words, we are invited to pause, to place our hurrying on hold for a few moments. And we are invited to remember all that we have to be thankful for today. While this is a simple practice that the youngest child can easily do, its effects are profoundly powerful at every age. Read More