Failing at Leadership Can Make You a Stronger Leader

Failing at Leadership Can Make You a Stronger Leader
You have been told by colleagues and mentors that you have leadership potential. You realize that leaders are made, not born, and for the past year or two you have been honing your leadership skill set. You’ve done a lot of reading and observing. You have taken leadership seminars and inventories. You can’t wait to put what you have learned to work. Finally, the opportunity arises. You are assigned the job of project leader. You are given a great deal of flexibility, but there ... Read more
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Can Decluttering Lead to Happiness and Success?

Can Decluttering Lead to Happiness and Success?
The concept of decluttering has caught national fire. Two recent best-selling books describe how your life will change and be filled with joy if only you “tidy up.” Compared to other countries, Americans do have too much stuff.  We are a consumer society, and most of us want the latest trends and newest gadgets (think iPhones). We have attics, basements, and garages crammed with stuff. Since our apartments and houses are full, we purchase storage sheds and pay costly rental fees ... Read more
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Self-talk vs. Self-deception

Self-talk vs. Self-deception
Positive self-talk is a bit like being a personal cheerleader. By using a strengths perspective (based on your own strengths) you focus on what you have to offer, not on what you lack. You stop emphasizing  the negatives and your deficits, and, instead, acknowledge and grow the talents you possess. Self-talk is an important psychological concept. It is a powerful influence, and it can be a partial antidote to insecurity and perceived vulnerability. When used appropriately, self-talk can ... Read more
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Memories are Made of This

Memories are Made of This
Did you get up this morning and groan at the thought of another day in the office? Is your day packed with the usual interminable meetings, the predictable lunch choices, the frequent equipment problems, and the same petty squabbles between your co-workers? Despite being good at your job, does it often seem like you are sleep walking, perhaps even sleep working, through your day? In a long career, there may be a rather small number of memorable work days. These probably include days when ... Read more
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Meet Hope Halfway

Meet Hope Halfway
Watching the results of the Presidential primary in Nevada, I was struck by the positive spin many of the candidates put on their performance. Despite slim wins, or even losses, each contender expressed optimism about future success. It made me question if their views had any basis in reality or if they were simply channeling Pollyanna, the little girl who found something positive in every negative situation, and who was persistently optimistic—sometimes to her detriment. Are the candidates ... Read more
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Broadening Your Perspective Can Be Life Enhancing

Broadening Your Perspective Can Be Life Enhancing
None of us want others to think we are shallow or “stuck in our ways.” If asked, people generally claim they are broad minded and open to new ideas. Most people, though, are creatures of habit. They have a comfort zone and don’t move out of it easily. If this describes your life, what can you do to cultivate more curiosity and expand experience? Will doing so have a positive impact on your life? Can it help you in the workplace? On a personal level, trying new things can ... Read more
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Don’t Stop Investing in Your Future

Don’t Stop Investing in Your Future
The Flint, Michigan lead poisoning crisis has been heartbreaking to watch. It is difficult to imagine how the parents are managing the uncertainty of possible harm to their children. In response to this critical issue, many news commentators have been interviewing civic engineers and other experts about similar problems. The consensus opinion seems to be that 30 years or so ago, the United States stopped investing in infrastructure improvements for bridges, roads, dams, and similar ... Read more
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Optics and Alcohol

Optics and Alcohol
Recently, a local newspaper had a special section on charity events. The majority of the events reported were fund raising galas. Looking at the newspaper page as a whole, several things jumped out. First, was that most of the pictures had attractive young women in them. Often there was a man in the center of the photograph with his arms around young women pulled close to his body. The caption for each picture could have been “Senator So-and-So and his girls,” or “Big Boss ... Read more
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Belief Bending

Belief Bending
We all arrive at adulthood with some things we believe as absolute truths and firm rules.  Some of these we learned from our families. Perhaps some were learned in religious training or in educational programs. For example, you may believe all people are basically good, and that forgiveness is a virtue. You may believe that everyone deserves a second chance, or you may think some actions are so egregious that there is no recovery from them. Similarly, you may or may not believe people can ... Read more
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Smarter Than Hell

Smarter Than Hell
The other night, while stumping for Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made an unfortunate comment when she paraphrased Dante: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” I felt myself recoil when she said it because it’s the type of rhetoric that pushes women away. It sounds like she is requesting “blind faith,” or that she believes a women should win on the basis of her gender. If that were the ... Read more
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