Leadership, sewing, and clowns

Leadership, sewing, and clowns

My 2nd Occasional, Not-Scientific-but-Definitely-True List of Inspiring, Courageous and/or Thought-Provoking Awesomeness.  As I said in a recent post, sometimes, the medicine we need is just a gentle reminder about the kindness and courage that exists in the world. About regular people doing what they can–in their corners of the world–to contribute to a more just and humane world. So I sat down and started a list of some of the people, […]

Research on outcomes: Gauge Leadership Lab

Research on outcomes: Gauge Leadership Lab

My colleagues did some research on program outcomes* for Gauge Leadership Lab, and I’m excited about what we are seeing: 79% of previous participants believed they learned to capitalize on their strengths in the workplace. 98% of previous participants felt they had resolved work conflict more effectively. 35% of participants got promoted after completing Gauge. 100% of participants felt they had been more authentic after completing Gauge. Sound intriguing? I’d […]

A Cascade of Goodwill

A Cascade of Goodwill

The Origins of My First-Occasional, Not-Scientific-but-Definitely-True List of Inspiring, Courageous and/or Thought-Provoking Awesomeness.  I love collective nouns. A flock of geese. A quarrel of sparrows. A charm of finches. A parliament of owls. One morning a couple weeks back, I experienced a series of events that needs a collective noun. A [     ] of [            ]. A magnificence of inspiration. A serendipity of kindness. A cascade of goodwill. I can’t remember exactly what was […]

Working with a Bad Listener

Working with a Bad Listener

Before you give up on the bad listener on your team (which, of course, might be your boss… or, um… you?!), have you considered what you could do to improve communications? This article by Rebecca Knight offers some great tips and reminders, along with two brief case studies that illustrate some practical strategies. Like so many things, we don’t get to control the outcome of a conversation. But we do […]

I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool: Part 2

I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool: Part 2

Practices to strengthen your capacity to navigate conflict In my last post, I wrote about the challenges of navigating conflict, especially where people have long-standing reasons for distrust and disagreement. I outlined three ideas for strengthening your capacity to navigate complex challenges by: (1) reframing collaboration, (2) deepening your self-awareness, and (3) refining how you listen and communicate [ii]. Continuing the conversation, this is focused on practices that can help […]

I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool [i]

I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool [i]

Thoughts on strengthening your capacity to navigate conflict (while also seeing each other as human) In Collaborating with the Enemy, author and facilitator Adam Kahane shares a meaningful anecdote about the challenges of navigating conflict, especially where people have long-standing reasons for distrust and disagreement. In the early 1990’s, as South Africa started negotiating a transition from apartheid toward democracy, one of Kahane’s South African colleagues shared an idea that […]

5 myths that perpetuate burnout in nonprofit organizations

5 myths that perpetuate burnout in nonprofit organizations

Some interesting nuggets about burnout in this article by Anne-Sophie Morrissette. These myths reflect a couple of patterns that sometimes show up among my coaching clients and client organizations. I’m particularly struck by Myth #5 about the influence of nonprofit leaders on organizational culture: “Nonprofit leaders can underestimate and underplay the influence they have on junior staff. Whether it’s never taking a sick day or dashing off emails at 10pm, […]

The highest performing teams have ‘psychological safety’

The highest performing teams have ‘psychological safety’

Google’s two-year study on team performance revealed that “The highest performing teams have one thing in common: psychological safety, the belief that you won’t be punished when you make a mistake.” Psychological safety isn’t about coddling, it’s about creating the conditions for people to engage effectively in analytical reasoning, creative problem-solving, and open-minded collaboration. Many workplaces default to blaming and defensiveness rather than thoughtful analysis and solution-oriented curiosity. How’s the […]

Questioning and defining leadership

Questioning and defining leadership

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what leadership means, and why it matters. In the context of current events, an idea that I picked up from the Jesuits strikes a chord: loosely, ‘we are all leaders, leading all the time, either poorly or well’. If that’s true, what does that mean for how we show up: in the public sphere and in our private lives? What’s the impact we’re having within […]

Leadership, lizards, and a joyful invitation

Leadership, lizards, and a joyful invitation

This is a different kind of post. I love my work. I love the in-the-room, eye-to-eye, light-bulbs-going-on, courage-wings-flapping part of facilitating programs for leaders, entrepreneurs, and instigators. I get to bring together, challenge, and support AMAZING people who are committed to some big ideas in the world. Together, we create an experience that fosters authentic connections, deep learning, heightened clarity, and inspired action. I am so lucky that I get to do this work. I […]