Approaching the Point of No Return at Work

Approaching the Point of No Return at Work
Today the phrase “Crossing the Rubicon'” is used in a variety of ways (think Jeep Rubicon, a popular car choice.) In case you have forgotten the historical origin, it refers to a choice made by Julius Caesar in 49 BC when he crossed the Rubicon River, a geographic boundary that he was forbidden by Roman law from bridging. Today we use the phrase to mean “a point of no return.” There are rubicons in our lives are formed by laws, rules, oaths, and promises. Our ... Read more
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Who is Managing Your Talent?

Who is Managing Your Talent?
“Talent management” entered the common organizational lexicon about 2001. It’s a human resource concept that includes everything done “to recruit, retain, develop, reward, and make people perform” so that an organization can reach its business goals. Talent management focuses on an employee’s potential and how that can be developed to ensure a return on investment for the employer. The term may sound impersonal, but organizations spend significant dollars ... Read more
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Being a Positive Part of Organizational Change (Part 2)

Being a Positive Part of Organizational Change (Part 2)
We all know how hard it can be to be part of a change effort at work. Even when we believe the proposed change is desirable, we may feel uncertain and suspicious. Most of us do not immediately think in terms of the “greater good” for our organizations such as a streamlined corporation with fewer staff, reduced benefits, or a better bottom line for stockholders. As soon as change is suggested, our thoughts go to, “What does it mean for me personally?” The first thing ... Read more
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Change, Even Positive Change, is Hard (Part 1)

Change, Even Positive Change, is Hard (Part 1)
There are different levels of change. There is the micro level (I must change.) There is the organizational level (we must change.) And there is the macro level (everyone must change). You have almost total control over your personal life, yet think how difficult it is to change a habit, to eat better, to exercise more, or to be kinder. At the other end of the spectrum, macro change is external. Global warming, for example, mandates change for all of us. In between the micro and the macro ... Read more
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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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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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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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Accomplishment is Temporary

Accomplishment is Temporary
We all know someone who constantly brings up their past, especially the achievements from their youth. There is the high school sports star who mentions that championship soccer game every chance she gets. Or the friend who had the starring role in a college production and tells you about it every time you attend a concert or movie. And there is the colleague who had a piece of poetry published, or the one who won the debate contest. You’ve heard all of the stories many times, and you ... Read more
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