How might you describe the organizational cultures you’ve worked in? For me, I’ve worked in independent-detached cultures, toxic-politics cultures, unhealthy-anxiety cultures, and high-trust cultures. The one constant across all of these is that the organization’s culture—the way people think, behave, and interact—has influenced my own thinking, behavior, and interactions. You’ve probably experienced something similar. It’s
I’m speed-walking through the airport, on the phone with my Dad, when he suggests I look up one of his friends in my destination city. That’s awkward. I’ve never heard of this guy and he’s not my contemporary. But I went ahead and googled the guy and invited him to lunch. I drove my rental
After my post last week about a difficult conversation I’d had with a colleague, several people reached out to me to share their own experiences. They told me things like: We have tense dynamics like that in our partner group. I’m struggling to have a hard conversation about performance with an employee. I’ve been there.
I was confidently rolling through my day when I got an email intended for someone else. It was a strongly worded message criticizing my leadership, sent by a colleague who felt they’d been poorly treated. Seeing that felt like a punch in the stomach. And the discussion that followed was really hard. But, like many
Each week I allocate 90 minutes to write these posts. Last week, like many others, I wasn’t totally satisfied with my work when I hit the 90-minute mark. It could be better, I thought. Nonetheless, I’d reached my time limit, so I published something that wasn’t ideal in my mind. It was simply the best
It annoys my wife that I always ask the server at a restaurant for a food recommendation. You see, it’s more than a request for guidance. It also may reveal the server’s authenticity. A couple of tell-tale signs that they’re not being authentic: They recommend the most expensive items on the menu. They say something
The same woman has been cutting my hair for the past 20 years. Over the course of that time, I’ve come to know her as an emotionally resilient single mother. So I was surprised when she told me that she recently left a work-related meeting “feeling empty inside.” It also piqued my interest, because I
The other day, my son burst through the door from a baseball game. Sweaty and breathing hard, he went straight for food. He flung open the cupboard, swiveled his arms around with the food, and knocked my full glass of water onto the floor. The glass (one of my favorites) shattered, and water splashed everywhere.
Collaboration can make 1 + 1 = 3. But in order to reach that shared gain, there will be trade-offs. Whether it’s at work, at home or in the community, collaboration can sometimes feel like a painful tug-of-war between your needs and the needs of others. Consider the case of John. John is a member
For me, each season brings a different focus. Fall is about starting. Winter is about persisting. Spring is recommitting. And summer is reflecting. This summer, I’ve been reflecting on wins and losses. On the business side of things, there have been heartbreaking losses this year. Just as it is with the defeats themselves, the reflection