“Optimism is what fuels the discovery of solutions to problems.” Anonymous Optimism is such a misunderstood concept. Often, when I mention its value in my work, I can see, in my peripheral vision, the rolling of eyes and the nodding of heads in that “Not again!” way. That’s when I smile and say something like, “Optimism in the 21st century may not be what you’re thinking of.” Why? What’s different about optimism today?” Being optimistic doesn’t mean you walk around smiling at people all day or greet every problem with a cheery attitude and sing-song voice. It all begins with accepting reality. In order to be genuinely, credibly optimistic, one has to appreciate the reality of whatever issue is being
“Money often costs too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson This is one of those quotes that plays with words in a way that causes one to think. His Holiness The Dalai Lama, once said the true measure of success was not what you accomplished, but what you gave up to accomplish it. All of which reminds me of something that happened many years ago. I was interviewing a young man for a position that would have a big move up the corporate ladder for him. In the course of our conversation he learned that the job would involve a relocation to the West Coast from where he lived in New York, and I learned that he was engaged. I asked him
“Prejudice is an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” Dictionary.com One would have to have been living in a cave this past week not to have heard the terrible news about the death of George Floyd at the hands of four rogue policemen in Minneapolis. Seeing the video, hearing the commentary, and experiencing the feelings of disgust and compassion, brought back so many memories to me of the 1960s in the United States when I was in university. At that time, prejudice was so pervasive that it just seemed like part of the DNA of America—an unalienable right of “privilege”. I use quotes around the word privilege to indicate the extremely contextual nature of
I have spent the last two weeks communicating with leaders around the world and one thing is clear: we are in totally uncharted waters without radar, sonar, or anything else that will help us chart a clear course. I can’t help but be reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Warren Buffet—one that I have used for years in my work: “In times of turbulence, it’s not the turbulence that is the danger. The danger is addressing the turbulence with old thinking.” Aside from the obvious economic implications we all face—emphasis on all—there is great concern about the social fabric of companies, the welfare of the workforce, the wonderful cultures we have worked so hard to create over the
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Proverb What a wonderful reminder of one of the most important skills a leader, or for that matter followers, too, need to master in order to achieve lasting, sustainable results. It’s a skill that is finally being given the importance it deserves. Without it, there can be no cohesion for a team, no trust, no drive to achieve more than was thought possible. The skill this proverb speaks to is building lasting relationships based on respect, caring, and trust. Mastering this skill (and it can be learned) is what will differentiate you as a leader, as well as a follower. It is one of
“His problem is that he is a checkers player in a chess world.” Anonymous Isn’t the imagery wonderful in this quote? Can’t you just imagine the consequences brought about by this situation? The intricacies of the game of checkers notwithstanding, one gets an immediate sense of this quote’s meaning. And yet, it would be difficult for me to count the number of times I witness this mentality in working with leaders who are very transactional in their approach to business and relationships. They miss completely the long-term perspective required of leaders today. The era of simple, straight-forward transactions has long since passed and the future belongs to those who invest the time, energy, and thought into appreciating, and mastering, the
It is emotional awareness a leader needs in order to bring together a cohesive team that together can successfully deal with the disruption Disraeli describes, because good leaders know that they can’t do it alone. This is what leadership looks like in the 21st century.
What an elegantly simple way to describe the self-fulfilling prophesies we create in our own lives every day. Stop for a moment and think about the stories you are telling yourself.
I can think of no other more elegant or succinct way to describe who we become in life than this quote from Jeff Bezos.