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Archive for November, 2015

Thank You

Great Middle Way

1143Gratitude is the realization that we are neither independent nor self-sufficient, but part of an extraordinary continuum of events and beings, and the celebration of our mutually supportive connections.

The understanding of dependent origination explains that everything in this world arises from and is supported by its environment. Everything and everyone is connected. There is no one, therefore, who does not owe a debt of gratitude to others. In this sense, gratitude may be described as our awareness that our lives are supported by our environment, which includes all sentient beings, and our desire to respond in kind to such support.

Those who are ungrateful or feel burdened by others’ kindness fail to see the interconnectedness of all lives. They build walls of ignorance and selfishness around them to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. The causes of ungratefulness are four: (1) failure to recognize a benefit, (2)…

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You Are Not Bad

Great Middle Way

good-and-evilYou want to be happy, and you try as best you can to achieve happiness. You just do not know how. You make mistakes. You have made some unwholesome choices —perhaps many. You have harbored ill will. You have hurt others.

You think you cannot change, that your ways are set. But sooner or later, you realize that your approach has not worked as desired, that it is not working, that it will never work.

And when you recognize this truth, change is inevitable. This is the dawn of wisdom. It is your nature.

The very same compulsion that led you to act in unwholesome ways will lead you to try a different approach. This is compassion —for yourself and for all.

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Three Traits of Leaders Who Finish Strong

Doug Dickerson on Leadership

finishLife’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But soon or late the man who wins

Is the one who thinks he can.

  • From, The Man Who Thinks He Can, by Walter D. Wintle

The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit.

As we move down the stretch toward the end of 2015 now might be a good time to think about how you are finishing the year. As it was with the Greeks, it’s the one who finishes the race with his torch still lit that wins.

At this juncture in the year you may be tired and weary. You may be more than ready to turn to turn the page on 2015 and welcome a clean slate that awaits you…

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Essentialism

Is this personality trait holding you back as a leader?

Blanchard LeaderChat

In a new online article for Fast Company, Scott and Ken Blanchard identify one of the biggest barriers to people working together effectively.

The culprit?  The human ego.

As they explain, “When people get caught up in their egos, it erodes their effectiveness. That’s because the combination of false pride and self-doubt created by an overactive ego gives people a distorted image of their own importance. When that happens, people see themselves as the center of the universe and they begin to put their own agenda, safety, status, and gratification ahead of those affected by their thoughts and actions.”

Fortunately, the two Blanchards share a four-step process that can help keep an overactive ego in place.

Name it and claim it—takinga page from popular 12-step programs, the Blanchards describe a well-known opening they use when they conduct “Egos Anonymous” meetings for senior executive groups.  They have the…

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How are you doing as a leader? 3 beliefs that might be holding you back

Blanchard LeaderChat

No one thinks they are bad at listening, receiving feedback, or any other common leadership mistake. That’s why self-awareness is so important for a leader explains Madeleine Blanchard, a master certified coach and co-founder of Coaching Services at The Ken Blanchard Companies.

In Blanchard’s experience, all leaders can benefit from examining some of the mindsets that might be operating just below the surface of their consciousness.  It can be as complex as a formal 360-degree assessment, but it can also be accomplished through less formal methods.  As Blanchard explains, “Sometimes all a person needs to do is get on the phone with a completely objective person who has their best interest at heart. Someone who is going to say, ‘Hey, what’s up with that? What’s going on?’”

“And they learn about themselves by talking. It is like cleaning out your closet and getting rid of all the old stuff that doesn’t fit…

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Is it time to join “Egos Anonymous”? Two ways to tell

Blanchard LeaderChat

Egotistical executiveBest-selling business author Ken Blanchard believes that there are two personality issues that prevent executives from becoming their best selves.

“One is false pride—when you think more of yourself than you should. When this occurs, leaders spend most of their time looking for ways to promote themselves.

“The other is fear and self-doubt—when you think less of yourself than you should. These leaders spend their time constantly trying to protect themselves.”

Surprisingly, the root cause of both behaviors is the same, explains Blanchard in the July issue of his Ignite newsletter.  The culprit?  The human ego.

Egos Anonymous

To help executives identify the ways that ego may be impacting their effectiveness as a leader, Blanchard often incorporates an “Egos Anonymous” session into his workshops and two-day intensives.

“The Egos Anonymous session begins with each person standing up and saying, ‘Hi, I’m Ken, and I’m an egomaniac. The last time…

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