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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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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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Leading Differently—Showing the Way in a Diverse and Changing World

Blanchard LeaderChat

2013 Blanchard Summit Leading DifferentlyThe world is in desperate need of a new leadership model.  That’s the message Ken Blanchard will be sharing as he brings together a diverse group of thought leaders for his company’s Leading Differently conference in San Diego next month.  Over 150 executives from around the world will join Blanchard to explore leading differently in a world that is more diverse, dispersed, and being asked to do more with less.

Executives from leading companies in the US, Canada, and Europe will be sharing stories of how they have successfully met these challenges through development programs that teach leaders how to co-create, co-design, and collaborate more effectively.

That’s the type of leader Blanchard believes is needed to effectively turn the organizational pyramid upside down.  As he explains, “We’ve seen the negative result of self-serving leadership where all the money, power, and recognition moves up the hierarchy.  Self-serving leaders think that leadership…

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Work Smarter, Not Harder: 3 Ways to Get Started

Blanchard LeaderChat

At times do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in your workday? Like you’re running after your work instead of being firmly in the driver’s seat? If you do, you’re not alone—not by a long shot. This is exactly what life was like for one of my coaching clients, a young, bright manager clearly on the fast track. Although he loved his work, it seemed no matter how many hours he put in, he never felt caught up.

During our coaching, my client and I spent much of our time uncovering what was going on and what he might be able to do differently. He narrowed in on some actions he could take and he set to work. Here’s what he did:

  • Identified top priorities. My client made a commitment to himself that every morning he would schedule an hour alone to identify his top five priorities. He…

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Thanksgiving Special: 10 Easy Ways to Thank Your Team

Blanchard LeaderChat

Give ThanksIn the spirit of today’s Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, I thought I’d share ten simple and easy ways to tell your employees “thank you.” Telling an employee “thank you” is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to build trust, yet it doesn’t happen near enough in the workplace.

Whenever I conduct trust workshops with clients and discuss the role that rewards and recognition play in building trust, I will ask participants to raise their hands if they feel like they receive too much praise or recognition on the job. No one has ever raised a hand.

So on this day of giving thanks, take a few minutes to review this list and commit to using one of these methods to tell your employees “thank you.” I’ve used many of these strategies myself and can attest to their effectiveness.

1. Let them leave work early – This may…

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