Category: Coaching

Are you a Decathlete or Specialist at Work?

At work, do you do one thing really well or have you developed the ability to do many things with a high level of proficiency?

I look forward to watching the Olympics every four years – not only to watch the amazing athletes who have trained so hard to get to this point – but to also observe how the athletes manage the pressures and intensity of the competition. How they express “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”. While locked in battle, how well do they work together and demonstrate respect?

This past week I was glued to the track contests and noticed the difference between what I would call the specialists (athletes who train solely in one sport) and the decathletes (who are required to master 10 different sports).

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Leadership Lessons from the Boy Scout Handbook

Sometimes what is old is new again. The Boy Scout Handbook was first published in 1910 and it has recently been used to turn around a troubled school and transform boys into men.

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In a recent episode of 60 Minutes that aired on March 20th, St. Benedicts Prep School in Newark, New Jersey was featured. The school, once a mostly white, prestigious prep school had fallen on hard times. Today the all-boys school is 50% African American and a third Hispanic – with the remainder white. The majority of the student population live in poverty and gangs, violence and drugs rule their neighborhoods. The odds are against these kids.

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One thing all leaders can do to drive culture

Talk about it.

organizational culture, analysis and development concept

Leaders want to integrate core values, mission-critical goals and culture into the DNA of their companies. Internal marketing and communication teams align to that goal by promoting culture through internal campaigns. Human resource groups survey employees to see if it is happening.

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Bryan Cranston on How to Fake It

You’ve all heard the expression, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” In essence it’s a technique to avoid the trap of a self-fulfilling prophecy related to a lack of confidence. For example, you are getting ready to deliver a big speech at your company’s conference. You are nervous but that won’t help you. Instead, you “pretend” to be confident. You “act as if” you’ve got this one nailed! To accomplish this you might reach out to a mentor or coach to get some last minute advice.

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Is it time for a Communication Face-lift?

Are you experiencing wrinkles of confusion? Have you witnessed sagging relationships? Don’t panic, this may be occurring because your face has fallen into your phone.
Recently, I conducted my own informal research using Chicago’s Loop as my field of study and observation. I was in and out of meetings downtown and observed people at work, at lunch and traveling on the L. I would guesstimate that 80% of people did not go for more than a few minutes (at the most) without interacting with a cell phone or mobile device. Their faces mostly fell into their technology. I can’t remember making eye contact with anyone – I did get very familiar, however, with the tops of people’s heads.
What do we lose when our face falls?

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Resuscitate your interpersonal acumen in the digtal age

Over this past weekend, visiting with family friends, I noticed my friend David’s 10-year old son, Carter, immersed in his iPad during the entire afternoon’s get-together. Carter sat in the living room surrounded by guests but in his own separate world playing games on his device, never really interacting with the group. In an attempt to engage him, I presented him with a good-natured challenge – for every thirty minutes he did not engage with his technology, I’d give him a dollar. Excited to earn some money, Carter took the challenge and by the end of the afternoon, devoid of the temptation of technology, he was interacting with guests, played outside with friends and even managed to do some homework. He earned five dollars and remarked that it was “more fun than I thought it would be.”

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