The Problem with Being Authentic

It has become the most overused leadership cliché of the past decade or so. Mind you, I am in favor of not being inauthentic. But you and I can authentically be many things. Which authentic self will you bring?… Read More»

What Ursula Andress Taught Me About Presence

My first memory of being in the presence of someone with presence.

I am 21 years old and hanging out in Rome. Like many first-time visitors to this intoxicating city, I am entranced by its history. It seems to seep out of the pores of every building I pass. The moment I am about to describe is like a cliché from a Fellini movie – except that it really happened. As I am strolling up the Via Veneto, Ursula Andress, the original and archetypal James Bond girl, is descending toward me…. Read More»

Leadership Lessons From The Deli Counter

I used to work for a guy named Larry. When Larry went on a business trip or took a vacation, we missed him. We were happy when Larry came back. I want to be the guy they miss. I want to be the guy they are happy to see back.

That’s a fine personal benchmark. I don’t know Larry, but I am pretty darn sure that this benchmark has little to do with Larry’s skill or competence. This benchmark is about Larry’s personal energy.

Are you the Gilda or Frank or Larry they miss?

Consider these simple guidelines for fueling your miss-me personal energy…… Read More»

Communicating The Universal Leadership Language

I spent 9 days in Cuba last month.

Many stories to tell.

Yes, I engaged in some of the expected activities. Strolled through Havana Vieja, retracing Ernest Hemingway’s steps. Listened to infectious live music every day. Indulged in a slew of sumptuous meals prepared in the home-grown paladares, beacons of a nascent Cuban entrepreneurialism.

But the unexpected stirred me most…. Read More»

An Overture on Connection

There’s connection. And then there’s CONNECTION. Deep, stirring, spine-tingling connection. When I listen to you speak, and I feel so profoundly invigorated by your personal energy. When I am suddenly eager to move mountains to support your ideals. When I don’t want the encounter with you to end. That’s CONNECTION. No, this is not an essay on love. […] Read moreRead More»

Ignore Psychological Profiles and “Act Like” the Leader You Envision

My European colleagues think we’re a little nuts. You Americans are obsessed with psychological profiling. You put your leaders through psychological assessment after assessment. And with every new self-assessment you stick them into another little psychological box. Yes. I know what they mean. We do it in the spirit of hiring for competencies (translate: a […] Read moreRead More»

Outsiders’ Perspectives Should Be Encouraged Inside the Corporation

I didn’t start out in corporate life. By the time I got my first gig as a corporate trainer for a large train-the-trainer firm, I had worked as a theatre director/performer/acting coach/mediation trainer/ university professor/diversity specialist/community storyteller/AIDS activist/Middle East peace dialoguer. And I had spent a year on a remote Caribbean island, becoming a windsurfer […] Read moreRead More»

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