Friday, May 22, 2015

Are You More Like A Potato or Egg? What You're Made of DOES Make a Difference!

My wife will tell you that I’m an observer. Sometimes I see the most obscure things imaginable, other times I reflect on things we all see on a daily basis. I heard something today on the radio as I was traveling to the office which falls under the latter category.

There was a heated discussion brewing with a local “talking head” revolving around how circumstances dictate the behaviors of those involved. To me, it appeared that the argument was being made for those looking for excuses; that no matter the leadership or resources, it was circumstances which many times trumped any possible solution. What was being proposed was “cutting bait” and moving on.

While I do see the necessity to “cut bait” and move on in rare occasions, I can’t help but to hear my dad from many years ago ask the burning question over and over again…”What are you made of son?” You see, he would insist that if he knew what a man was made of, he could predict what they would do in tough situations. As a WWII veteran he’d refer to it as “a guy I’d want next to me in a foxhole.”

I haven’t thought of that phrase for many years, until today…Tough circumstances WILL show us what people are made of. Think of a boiling pot of water…let a potato sit in it for a few hours. It loses it firmness and turns to mush. An egg? Let it sit in the same churning, bubbling heated water and it becomes firmer, hard, resistant to the situation.

So my friends…what are YOU made of? It DOES make a difference as circumstances will only help define what it is you are made of… For me, I’d rather an egg over a potato in my foxhole any day of the week…

Be good to yourself...

Friday, May 15, 2015

It's Time to End the Glorification of Being Busy!

How many times have you caught yourself thinking or even saying out loud, “I’m too busy to…” I find it curious that we all have the same amount of hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a month, and months in a year, but yet, some of us are more “busy” then others. It appears, that for many, busy can become a way of life, a way of filling our time, of making us feel important somehow…to someone. At times, it appears that we fall into our own “ego trap” as we’re seduced by the number of emails or texts we must respond to, the number of friends we have on Facebook, or the connections we have on Linkedin. Are we keeping ourselves busy at busywork to avoid what needs to get done?

When you think of really GREAT leaders, can you ever, in your wildest imagination, ever hear them say, “WOW am I BUSY!!!!”? I read recently that great leaders project an image that everything is under control and indeed, everything IS under control as they trust the people they have hired to accomplish what needs to get done using the processes that are in place to do a job well.

It’s time to end the glorification of busy as being busy should be a confession…not a boast! 

Be good to yourself....

Friday, May 8, 2015

When The Pupil is Ready...the Master Appears...Was Buddha Misquoted?

One of the great joys of being a parent of adult children are those occasions when you’re able to have adult discussions with them about life, values, and beliefs. I had such an occasion recently with my son as we sat at a local restaurant debriefing over an interview he had earlier in the day.

Somehow the discussion evolved into the importance of leadership in an organization. I was on my soapbox, pontificating rather eloquently, spouting my beliefs that the talents of an organization are based on what the leader can extract from them.

Rather than sitting there and nodding, as he had done in years past, my son told me in no uncertain terms that he disagreed! And then taking a play from my playbook, he looked me in the eye and quoted Buddha, “When the PUPIL is ready…the Master appears!”

I have to admit…he stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to rethink, regroup, and regain my train of thought. Was he right? Can an organization only move forward when they are ready to do so? Isn't it the job of the leader to communicate the vision and prepare the organization to produce beyond their perceived capabilities? What about that organization that is ready to move but simply lacks the leadership to do so?

Perhaps when it’s all said and done Buddha was misquoted. Perhaps what was said has been diluted over the centuries. Perhaps something got confused in the translation. Perhaps what was said was really, “It is the Master who inspires the readiness of the Pupil.” Yeah…that’s the ticket!

Be good to yourself…

Friday, May 1, 2015

Are you Wise or Intelligent and Does it REALLY Matter?

Are you intelligent or wise?

As leaders, we all hope to have an equal balance between intelligence and wisdom, but invariably our followers seem to categorize us. Personally, I never recall being accused of one, but am, rather consistently referred to as the other.

On occasion, I have given some thought as to why this occurs and my disposition on where my followers have placed me on their spectrum. Am I insulted? Honored? Bewildered? Which side of the scale do I believe I should be judged? If I had to choose between the two, where is it I’d like to be aligned? defines intelligence as:


1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.

2. manifestation of a high mental capacity:

3. the faculty of understanding.

Sounds like a good place for a leader to be associated…and yet, wisdom is defined as:


1. the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

2. the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment

3. the body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period.

So does this imply one must be old to be wise?

I find it curious that both words are nouns, as a result, perhaps it really makes no difference if we’re viewed as either, for without any action each is only self-serving.

So…are you wise or intelligent? Perhaps the REAL question is now that you've decided what will you DO? Just askin…

Be good to yourself…