Build any Bridges Lately?

What could happen if we chose…

photo courtesy of jk1991 @freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

What could happen if we chose…

…civility over acidity?

…patriotism over polarization?

…kindness over maliciousness?

We’d build formidable bridges that would unite communities and withstand the winds of change.  And the walk to the other side just might be enlightening!

How’s Your Vision?

As we begin the promise of a New Year, we might benefit from a vision test.  No, I’m not talking about reading an eyechart of sorts.  This is a much more challenging test. 

As we begin the promise of a New Year, we might benefit from a vision test.  No, I’m not talking about reading an eyechart of sorts. This is a much more challenging test.  Why not make it a point this year to assume positive intentions regardless of one’s behavior.

In the book, Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey states that we judge ourselves according to our intentions, but we judge others by their behavior or actions. Hmm….I think we just found the answer to world peace! Think about it.  What would happen if you spent an entire day assuming positive intentions of others, even if they acted badly? Here a are opportunities that I bet will resonate with you:

  1.       The next time someone cuts you off, don’t launch into road rage.  Maybe they just received devastating news about a loved one and they are upset or on their way to the hospital (granted, they probably shouldn’t be driving).  Show a little compassion and keep your middle finger on the steering wheel.
  2.      When someone speaks to you from a domineering parent state or a childish state, take a deep breath and respond to them from an adult ego state.  Okay, maybe you’ll need an oxygen tank for that really, really deep breath, but responding in a controlled, adult manner  can change the course of a conversation.
  3.      When someone posts something on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn that you don’t agree with, before launching into a vindictive diatribe, consider these approaches instead:  “I read your post.  I’d like to better understand your position.  Have you thought about X, Y or Z?” Or maybe something like, “I appreciate your opinion.  Mine is a bit different, but isn’t that what makes our country so great?  We’re free to engage in debate and dialog.”

 

If these suggestions sound impossible to you, then consider a coach.  We coaches are skilled at asking questions that can help you reframe your thinking. It’s not that your thinking is wrong, it may be causing you to be rigid and unable to adapt to other situations. Rigid thinking may keep you from truly understanding others’ intentions and fro  Rigid thinking may keep you from truly understanding others intentions and from experiencing true happiness.  Give yourself (and others) the gift of a vision check!  You might fall in love with some new lenses!

Resisting Regifting

Okay, we’ve probably all re-gifted from time to time. There are some gifts, however, that should never be re-cycled or reconditioned. To do so, would be a grave misuse. Check yourself every now and then to be sure you aren’t throwing away your gifts…


photo courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

Okay, we’ve probably all re-gifted from time to time. There are some gifts, however, that should never be re-cycled or reconditioned. To do so, would be a grave misuse. Check yourself every now and then to be sure you aren’t throwing away your gifts…
-Be mindful that wisdom doesn’t not become arrogance.
-Allow yourself to embrace discipline and choose not to morph into rigidity.
-Humility is admirable, martyrdom is not.
-If you are a strong leader, be inspirational, not a bully!
And finally, if you are kind, compassionate and caring, please don’t ever re-gift these!! They are rare indeed.
Here’s to using your gifts in the way they were intended – when they were first gifted to you!

Manipulation or Inspiration – It’s Your Choice!

If you believe as John Maxwell proposes, that leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less, then we’d have to say that there have been some pretty successful leaders in our day, some of whom have done some pretty horrific things.

shouting-manager-pointing-forward-10089867
If you believe as John Maxwell proposes, that leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less, then we’d have to say that there have been some pretty successful leaders in our day, some of whom have done some pretty horrific things. I agree that leadership is largely indicative of how we choose to influence.
Simon Sinek tells us that we influence either through manipulation or inspiration. Manipulation sounds bad, doesn’t it? Manipulation can run the gamut from direct force and threats, to even collaboration. And there’s a lot of in-between.
The leaders that I’ve admired passed one major litmus test. I would choose to follow them by choice. Not because I needed a paycheck and not because I needed benefits. I would follow them because they had a vision that they clearly articulated and they were passionate about it. They were also people of integrity so I wanted to follow them, to be part of their team. There were truly inspirational. And I can count the number of these highly inspirational leaders using just one hand.
Manipulative leaders often get great results, but at what cost? Do we need to be reminded of the dismal engagement numbers reported by the Gallup organization? I feel like I’ve relieved the fairytale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” dozens of times in my life. Just recently, I saw a leader who was lauded for all the great things that he/she said. Yet speak to some who’ve left this organization. It’s a grueling “my way or the highway” culture that really doesn’t value people. They value results. If you don’t get results – you’re gone, that simple. Manipulation is the chosen method of influence.
I grew up in operations and held line leadership positions. I understand the importance of the top and bottom lines on a P&L and the accountability that accompanies that responsibility. However, I spent a number of years in HR leadership positions and believe me when I tell you that people should be the main thing in your business. If you treat them well and invest in them, the top line and bottom line will fall in line! And that’s inspirational!
Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic@freedigitalphotos.net

Where Were You?

It’s almost unfathomable to me that in less than a month we will memorialize 15 years since the attack on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

aerial-view-of-new-york-at-dusk-10050423

It’s almost unfathomable to me that in less than a month we will memorialize 15 years since the attack on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Like me, I’m sure you remember where you were when the first plane crashed into the first tower; then the second. As the horror unfolded, one thing became quite clear; we were there for each other and our patriotism was unwavering. Our pride for the red, white and blue was not deterred by the horrific actions of a few.

I remember courtesy, compassion and kindness manifesting itself on the road, in the grocery stores and generally any opportunity we had to reach out to others to lend a hand. I also remember tears falling down my face the first time I heard Alan Jackson’s song, “Where Were You” (when the world stopped turning).

We need that same sense of unity, pride and purpose now and it comes from leadership. You’ve heard me say a million times that anyone can lead from where they stand. It’s time for Hillary and Donald to take off the boxing gloves and stop the vitriolic jibes at each other. It’s time for each of them to tell us exactly what they will do to bring us together as the potential leader of the free world and not drive a wedge between us.

We shouldn’t need horrific acts like 911 to remind us that we live in the greatest country in the world. Maybe we do need to be reminded that we have brave men and women who serve, who have served and who’ve lost their lives to fight for our freedom and the rights we often take for granted.

Maybe we need to be reminded that first responders put their lives on the line as part of their job responsibilities and thousands of them are struggling with disease as a result of their heroic efforts on September 11, 2001.

And we definitely need to be reminded on the chance that Donald and Hillary are incapable of getting their proverbial acts together, we can reach out to those who are different from us; listen more than we speak; and make comments like, “tell me more”. When we seek first to understand, I’ll bet we’ll see that what we have in common far outweighs our differences. That’s a cornerstone of a great leader.

Where will you be this September 11 and how will you choose to lead?

 

Photo courtesy of puttsk@freedigitalphotos.net