What Harry Potter Can Teach Us About Us

J.K. Rowling Photo by Daniel Ogren Sometimes our search for who we are is just plain entertaining. Because of my vintage, I’m sure it won’t surprise you that until recently I knew nothing about Harry Potter. I knew the author J.K. Rowling was a billionaire and that her Harry Potter franchise was huge. But that was it. Then I listened to a Hidden Brain podcast with Shankar Vedantam about sorting hats and personality tests, and I got sucked into the Harry Potter vacuum. A few days after I heard this podcast I actually watched Harry Potter and the [...]

By |2020-05-14T15:38:51-04:00May 14th, 2020|Hiring & Team Composition, Learning Styles & Skills|

Job Quitting is a Symptom of Low Resiliency

One of the problems with low-unemployment is that young workers find it too easy to quit and find another job. What they do not understand is that quality employers recognize this pattern as a symptom of low resiliency and often pass on hiring them. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder At least that used to be the case. Many employers are getting so desperate today they ignore this symptom and hire candidates knowing they might be short-term solutions. And, of course, all this does is enable the low-resiliency job jumpers unless you add resiliency-building to your work culture. What Can [...]

By |2018-11-30T11:12:24-05:00November 30th, 2018|Human Behavior, Leadership Lessons, Learning Styles & Skills|

Leaders Beware – Google Done Taught Me Everything I Know

I have been a defendant in only one court case. Sadly, that case contributed to my loss of interest in teaching college and is directly related to today’s topic. I’ll tell you that story later. When our founding leaders formed the United States, they wrestled with this paradox – How to protect individual rights and protect individuals from themselves. Well-educated in the history of mankind, these founders knew that humans are naturally social beings and very susceptible to going along with the crowd. They worried how misguided crowds could destroy the great country they envisioned. One social trend that really [...]

By |2018-10-19T09:43:05-04:00October 18th, 2018|Just Plain Interesting, Learning Styles & Skills, Uncategorized|

Lessons Learned from a Motorcycle Skills Test

Owning and riding a motorcycle has been on my bucket list for several years. I had been hesitant to move forward because of the obvious safety hazards. No doubt this hesitancy was helped along by both my cousin, an emergency room physician in Boston, who calls them “donorcycles,” and Patti, who reminded me of my family responsibilities. Last month with the encouragement of Patti, who apparently is now less worried about family responsibilities and more worried about me sitting around the house after I retire in a few years, I bought a Honda PCX 150. Okay, technically it is a [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:49-04:00June 8th, 2016|Learning Styles & Skills|

Does the Tree Know It’s Feeding the Squirrels?

There is one thing I know for certain - people always try to reduce uncertainty. Effective leaders help their teams deal with uncertainty while effective managers help their teams deal with certainty. I was visiting a car service facility the other day and a lady said to me, “I think we’re going to have a snowy winter. There are a million acorns on the ground and the squirrels are storing them away. I think this is the most acorns we’ve had in years because the squirrels need them to survive the winter.” And I said, “Do you think the oak [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:55:39-04:00October 29th, 2012|Human Behavior, Learning Styles & Skills|

Why Should You Care About Paradigms? (Part 2)

It seems only logical to start with Captain Ahab, but I’ll get to him in a moment. Last week I wrote about personal paradigms and how they impact our personal beliefs and actions. This week I will briefly tackle two types of leadership paradigms that I think affect organizational outcomes significantly – what I call the flawed leader paradigm and the entrenched bureaucracy paradigm. (Paradigms in individuals are the mental models we have developed over the years to help us make judgments and take action. In organizations, paradigms are the procedures and practices people have developed over time to achieve [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:55:39-04:00October 23rd, 2012|Human Behavior, Learning Styles & Skills|

Why Should You Care About Paradigms? (Part 1)

Last week my aunt sent out one of those cute e-mails that I have to admit I don’t usually read, but the title snagged me. You know the one – “what love means to 4-8 year olds.” The first few were cute and then one caught my eye. A four year old named Lauren said, “I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.” Life is so wonderful and innocent when you are four - Lauren hasn’t developed a paradigm for judging actions, yet. Paradigms. [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:55:39-04:00October 15th, 2012|Human Behavior, Learning Styles & Skills|