Tag Archives: executives

Excuses Begone: Encouragement for Leaders

This is a photograph I personally took when Wa...

Dr. Wayne Dyer, author of "Excuses Begone" and other motivational books

How many excuses do we use on a daily basis without thinking about them? 

How do these excuses limit our (personal and) professional growth and that of our organizations?

As I was getting in a few minutes of exercise on the elliptical machine on a a recent  Saturday morning**, the tv in the gym happened to be tuned to a PBS pledge drive special featuring motivational speaker / self-help guru, Dr. Wayne Dyer.  Being an admirer of Dr. Dyer’s “positive thinking” philosophy, I quickly became engrossed in the program — a lecture where he was expounding on his latest work, “Excuses Begone!”

** Confession: I was trying to work off a little of the weight I was sure to be putting on the following day during a Super Bowl eating fest!

A centerpiece of the talk was Dr. Dyer’s list of 18 common excuses that people use to rationalize not taking action or striving to improve their lives.  As with most people listening to his talk, Continue reading

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Hope Springs Eternal in (and for) Encouraging Leaders

Spring Training, Vero Beach, Florida, 1994, by...

The opening of Spring Training brings with it an annual revival of hope and encouragement

They say that “hope springs eternal.” Given that much of the country is burried under mountains of snow and/or bracing against freezing temperatures in what has been a challenging winter all around, I thought, “What better time for a few hopeful and encouraging thoughts?”

As a fanatical baseball fan, there’s nothing better — or more hopeful — than the Continue reading

Managing By Cliches, Part 2: Let the System Work for You (not vice versa)

Michael Dorn and Robert O'Reilly as Worf and G...

Naming an HR database after Star Trek villains wasn't a good omen

This is the second in our series of posts around the idea of “managing by cliches.”

During the past few weeks, I’ve been involved in a number of on-line and real-life discussions about the merits of various performance evaluation systems.  One colleague described a particular system as being powerful but “difficult to learn and implement.”  This brought mind past experiences implementing unwieldy systems — times when it seemed that rather than the system working for us, we were working for the system (never a desirable state of affairs).

The Klingon System

Once about a time, I worked for a Fortune-500 company that chose to implement “Klingon” as its HRIS database.  OK — that wasn’t really its name Continue reading

An Unexpected Lesson (or two) from “Lombardi”

The other day, I had the good fortune to take in the Broadway play, Lombardi, about the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi.

The legendary coach, Vince Lombardi

Told with humor and emotion, the show was terrific, the cast was uniformly outstanding, and the production (as theatre in the round), was intimate and engaging.  (Note: It is only running through March — so if you’re a fan of the NFL, or of great leaders, definitely make plans to see the show, if you’re anywhere near New York).

Growing up as a sports fan, I had read a number of books about Lombardi and the great Packer teams of the 1960’s.  My brother, who accompanied me, played football for four years in high school — so we were both looking forward to the show and even got in a football-and-red-meat frame of mind with a steak dinner at Ben Benson’s Steakhouse in the Theatre District before the show. Continue reading

Managing By Cliches, Part 1: Knowing When To Cut Your Losses

Picture of hole cards in a game of texas hold 'em

Knowing "when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em" makes all the difference in "not throwing good money after bad"

I came to the realization not long ago that managing my work by cliches wouldn’t be a bad idea.  I mean, cliches might be considered trite, boring, and unexceptional — but they became cliches because there is truth in them, right?  I mean, as odd a saying as it might be, can any mature adult really disagree with the notion that “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too”?

With this in mind, I thought that I’d begin a short series of posts exploring the work-related implications of a number of cliches.  Today’s post focuses on the notion of knowing when to cut your losses (or not “throwing good money after bad,” or, in the words of the Kenny Rogers song, “knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em”).

Cutting Your Losses: Backstory

As with most people, I have a wealth of answers to the standard job interview question, “Tell me about a failure you experienced — and what did you learn from it.” (LOL – or “laughing out loud,” as they say in the texting world).  This particular case involved building a database to manage the HR side of my former company’s frequent acquisition activity.

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In Thanksgiving of Mentors

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been reflecting on people from my past professional lives for whom I am deeply grateful, mentors all.  As is the nature of relationships, some I had the good fortune of knowing and working with for many years, while others I knew closely for only a short time.  Whether our time together was long or short, each has had a lasting impact on me personally and professionally.

What Is A Mentor — and Where Do They Come From

The dictionary defines “mentor” as: Continue reading

Halloween Special: Cast of Characters That I’ve Known

In honor of Halloween, I thought I might keep things on the lighter side and walk down “memory lane” a bit, recalling notable “characters” from my years in the working world — or at least situations in which our “best and brightest” thinking didn’t exactly shine through.  Have you known characters or situations like these?  Please share your stories … and we’ll enjoy a (kind-hearted) laugh or two together (all in good fun, of course)!

Characters

. . . Mr. Plant, I Presume: the sales executive who spotted his boss airport and, because he owed him some data that he didn’t have, decided to “hide” … behind a potted plant (yes, this is almost too cliched to be true — but it is)

. . . Just Doing My Nails: the HR person who was so relaxed, she regularly did her nails in team meetings — complete with bag of manicure supplies spread on the table, cotton balls between each finger, etc., etc., etc.

Continue reading