Customers Want Solutions Not Sympathy

Not too long ago I was really, really mad at Southwest Airlines and I must tell you why, but I am really, really sorry if this bores you. Patti and I were flying home on Southwest Airlines from Orlando with a connecting flight in Baltimore. The plane in Orlando had mechanical problems and we got started 90 minutes late. (When planning we knew connecting flights were problematic so we allowed over two hours for the connection.) On our flight from Orlando there were about 20 passengers who were trying to make the same connecting flight in Baltimore to Boston. We [...]

By | 2018-01-18T08:45:41+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Change Leadership|

Four Tips for Becoming a Learning Leader in 2018

It is a new year and I wonder if you want to grow this year? By “grow” I mean learn new things or do old things better. Photo by Patricia Maxwell Wood Successful people and leaders resist the inertia to just keep doing the same thing. They seek opportunities to learn even when it requires them to become a novice again and embrace the failure that may accompany new learning. In a moment I will share four attributes researchers have connected to this group of successful learners. Patti Wood, Bird Photographer. My wife, Patti, is a Registered Dietician [...]

By | 2018-01-04T14:55:33+00:00 January 4th, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

I Am Grateful for Thanksgiving Laughter

Photo by Toa Heftiba Yesterday in Church our Pastor gave a children’s message focused on gratitude. After asking the children what they were grateful for, she passed around a clipboard asking each of us to share something we were grateful for. I wrote down “meaningful work”, which I am grateful for every day. Since yesterday as I thought about all the stress in the world these days, I have reminded myself how really grateful I am for good laughs – something we have always had around our family’s Thanksgiving table over the decades. So this week I thought [...]

By | 2017-11-20T15:03:05+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration, Team Leadership / Teamwork|

Two Russians Who Saved America

I worry sometimes what would happen if one of our world leaders, one without critical thinking skills, ordered the use of an atomic weapon. Hopefully, someone would step in and stop it. If you want to feel encouraged (or really scared) here are two stories about two Russians who saved America. Vasili Arkhipov. In October 1962 at the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis Arkhipov was on a Russian submarine B-59 with nuclear torpedoes ready to launch. He was one of three superior officers on that submarine. On October 27th their submarine was submerged near Cuba when the U.S  aircraft [...]

By | 2018-01-02T20:14:55+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Core Values, Credibility & Inspiration|

Step Out Into the Darkness

When I was 15 years old I had to really step out into the darkness. As faithful readers know I was Boy Scout and in 1968 I was “tapped” to enter the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout honor society. At a campfire at Goshen Scout Camps in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia someone tapped my shoulder. I was told to go get my sleeping bag and return. When I returned I was blindfolded and my hand put on the shoulder of another Scout. Then we were led out into the dark George Washington National forest. For about [...]

By | 2017-09-28T09:24:53+00:00 September 28th, 2017|Change Leadership, Leadership|

When Do We Get Small?

When do you admit to yourself you have the wrong perspective? I heard a very cute story on a podcast recently that helps make this point.  A woman was sitting in the middle seat on a plane and a cute little girl about five years old sat next to her in the aisle seat. Her family was sitting in the three seats across the aisle. This was the girl’s first plane ride and she was very excited. After takeoff when the plane was airborne the girl looked-up at the woman and asked, “When do we get small?” Kind of a [...]

By | 2018-01-02T20:16:10+00:00 August 10th, 2017|Change Leadership, Leadership|

Five Tips for Writing Short Stories

I only know one Bart Simpson line, “I like Stories.” And I use this line often when someone says to me, “Do you want to hear a good story?” I bet you like good stories, too. Storytelling seems to be hot right now. Why? Because it is one communication strategy that really engages people when done effectively. Storytelling, whether spoken or written, is a skill. And it is a skill that effective leaders need to develop and continuously practice. This week I have done some reading about how to write effective stories. Here are my five tips for constructing an [...]

By | 2017-06-01T11:27:44+00:00 June 1st, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Getting to the Point, Do You BLUF or BLAB?

Effective leaders know how to get to the point. Have you ever read a long email that never seems to get to the point? I know I have so I work very hard not to be one of those writers. Recently I read that military leaders train people to practice “BLUF” when speaking or writing. BLUF stands for “Bottom line up front”. My first reaction was that since this acronym did not fit the purpose, it would be easily forgotten. I was wrong. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I shared this concept with someone I [...]

By | 2018-01-02T20:15:52+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Wait a Minute, What Did You Say?

One of the most common leadership weaknesses is hearing without listening, to steal a phrase from Simon and Garfunkel’s powerful song Sounds of Silence. As I meet with teams and leaders every week it is interesting how many times I watch people display poor listening skills. I actually find it very helpful to observe others because it helps me improve my own listening skills. Two of the most important times leaders need to practice good listening skills are in team meetings and when meeting one-on-one with team members. So enhancing our listening skills is an area of continuous improvement. Symptoms [...]

By | 2018-01-02T20:15:36+00:00 February 23rd, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Tom Brady – Two Tips for Success in the Clutch

Even some of Tom Brady's biggest critics are in awe of his performance in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Like most of us, they admire two things: His ability to execute at the highest level and stay calm and focused at the end of the game; and to do all this when he is 39 years old. Brady is a great example of a credible leader and I could write pages on why I think this is true, but I will spare you – you saw that yourself. We also know that he keeps himself in incredible physical condition, working-out often longer [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:46+00:00 February 9th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration|

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