“In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices.” George Will If the term “wake-up call” were ever tied to a quote, this would be it. The trouble for many people is not that they don’t hear the wake-up call, it’s that they hit the “snooze” button. George Will’s mention of arithmetic isn’t random. Life, just like arithmetic, has its rules and can be very predictable. Believing in yourself, doing your best to become the very best version of you, is just like two plus two—the outcome is predictable. Think about this the next time you are feeling down and may be questioning yourself. In your heart you know what you need to do. All you need isContinue Reading

Things To Think AboutBy Pepper de Callier “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.” Anonymous If you are smiling and nodding your head right now, you have just cracked the code for understanding the power of perspective. Think about it. What is one of the most difficult things for people to deal with today? If you are saying, “Change” to yourself move right to the head of the class. This quote is one of the most powerful metaphors for the dynamic of change I have found. First, there is the fear of the change—the “end of the world”. Then, there is the realization that change can be a wonderful thing. Are you dealingContinue Reading

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli I am often asked what an executive leadership coach really does and, I would have to say, that this quote from the 19th century British politician and twice serving Prime Minister goes a long way to defining it. When you stop and think about the wisdom in this quote, you can begin to see the impact this could have if a leader used this approach in how she dealt with those who look to her for leadership. If you can help someone discover, what Disraeli calls their “riches”, and help them understand how to apply thoseContinue Reading

“…there was little in the way of precedent…” From Leadership: Lessons from the Presidents for Turbulent Times by Doris Kerns Goodwin This little snippet of a quote from one of today’s premier American Presidential historians goes straight to the heart of what leaders face today, every day—being called upon to make decisions regarding situations they have never encountered before. And therein lies one of the most essential abilities of a leader today—getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Fluid and dynamic are words on the verge of becoming cliché in describing today’s business environment. So, what’s the message here? It’s simple. It has never been more important for leaders to be curators of talent, rather than taking the lead in every situation thatContinue Reading

“To adapt a Margaret Thatcher-ism: Being smart is like being a lady; if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” Meghan Kruger This wonderful quote comes from Meghan Kruger’s Washington Post column on 17 July 2019, titled, “Who’s the smartest of them all? Trump and Biden both say ‘me.’” In a wonderfully written piece, Kruger goes on to point out that wisdom not I.Q. is what makes the difference in a good leader. I would take it a step further when discussing desirable leadership traits. It’s knowing how to apply what you know in context–knowing what is needed, how much of it is needed, when it’s needed, with whom it’s needed, and how it’s needed to be deliveredContinue Reading

“The days are long, but the years are short.” Anonymous What a wonderful reminder of so many important things in life, from raising a child to managing a career. Let’s focus on the latter for a moment. Think about those days when you are really dragging. Too much to do, in too little time, but it must get done. Too many people pulling on you for attention, but if you don’t give them some, you’ll be thought of as a poor leader. Too much disruption from too many directions makes for a very long day, without question. Keeping this quote in mind on those days, may help bring into focus one of the things caring, dedicated professionals care most about:Continue Reading

“Recognizing that inflection point — the point at which our continuing to rework our work reaches a law of diminishing returns — is one of the hardest skills to learn, but also one of the most necessary.” Dr. Alex Lickerman on the topic of just getting things done, writing in Psychology Today Someone once said not to let perfection stand in the way of progress. At the pace of today’s world, striving for perfection, holding still until all the pieces are perfectly in place, is similar to a deer being caught in the headlights—the possibility of a bad outcome is greatly increased by not moving. Think about it for a moment, there comes a time when piling on more data,Continue Reading

“We have been taught how to learn from experience, but what is needed today is the ability to learn without experience. What’s needed today is conceptual reasoning skills that connect new ideas and work across contexts.” David Epstein “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” For those of you with whom this quote resonates, I can say without hesitation, that you will enjoy Epstein’s book, Range. This book is the repository of many scientific studies and a lot of common sense. Malcolm Gladwell offers a front cover quote, “Makes me thoroughly enjoy the experience of being told that everything I thought about something was wrong. I loved Range.” Epstein’s take on breadth versus depth in the 21st century isContinue Reading

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “Don’t confuse what people in Washington are saying for what people in the country are feeling.” The 32nd president of the United States, Roosevelt was also one of the most loved by the people for his common sense and caring. This quote came as the result of a caution he issued to his cabinet and his aides. He realized how easy it was to live in a bubble of power and authority and be disconnected from reality. I see this frequently in business when leaders create an atmosphere of quiet acceptance in which people are intimidated and do not speak out, other than to agree. The shame of it is that people shut down and do notContinue Reading

“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Many years ago, when my wife, Priscilla and I first moved to the Czech Republic and I met the former President, Vaclav Havel, and later advised his foundation, I took a great interest in his writing and philosophy. Havel was not a fan of enthusiastic people because, he said, their enthusiasm very easily finds a new thing to be enthusiastic about and they accomplish little. When I read Goethe’s quote, it not only reminds me of Havel’s determined, disciplined approach, but also how often I have seen very bright, talented, enthusiastic people, earn the reputation of never actually accomplishingContinue Reading