Category: Leadership

The Honor of Public Service and the Need For Civility

As federal workers struggle with the aftereffects of the shutdown, challenges to their organizations’ budgets – let alone existence, pay freezes, hiring freezes, and potential staff cutbacks – it’s a good time to recall what President John F. Kennedy said about government employment more than 50 years ago. Let the

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Jocks, Profs and Docs

There’s a locker room full of facts yet to surface surrounding Jonathan Martin’s departure from the Miami Dolphins. The second-year lineman claims to have been bullied, threatened, and harassed by Richie Incognito, a veteran teammate who played next to him on the offensive line. Martin is 320 pounds, a powerful

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When Leaders Mean It

How do you know when an organization is really committed to a culture change initiative?  I believe the lodestar boils down to this: whether it’s being led by or simply given token support by senior leaders. There’s no great wisdom in this observation. The real question is: “How do you

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Restoring Workplace Trust

We’ve been spending time with senior executives and other business leaders talking to and surveying them about issues in their workplaces.  Others have identified and analyzed this same issue.  A common concern is that distrust of organizations and leadership is high. Many point to the turbulence of the past several years

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Knit Picking in Amsterdam

Scandal, turf wars, political intrigue.  Those were the subjects of the conversation two weeks ago between me and two American colleagues now living in Amsterdam.  The presidential elections recently over, the Petraeus scandal now breaking, the BBC reeling from a scandal of its own, the US peering over the edge of

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Fly Fishing and Workplace Learning

I’m standing in thigh-deep water. My wife is to my right, a guide, a few years older than I am, is between us. I’m wearing waders, have a fly rod in my hand, the water is rushing by, and this is all unfamiliar. I bike, I hike, I exercise a

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My German Shepherd, Memphis, and Sustaining What We Learn

As I sit here writing this blog, it’s occurred to me that everything I need to know about creating sustained learning I can learn from Memphis. That’s my five-year-old German Shepherd, who is resting by my chair as she does every morning. Our morning routine is well-established now. Every morning,

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You Can't Win with "Air in the Chair"

I spoke recently with a senior executive at a major company whose innovative products and services are known around the globe.  Since she is responsible for talent management, we were discussing the issues of diversity and inclusion. She asked me something I hear all the time. “The real issue for

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