Did Your Friendship Fall Apart During Covid?

Previously published in Thrive Global

Sarah and I had been friends for over 15 years. We consulted one another about cutting carbs and remodel projects that took too long and how to get our husbands to stop or start doing whatever we thought they should. We gossiped about neighbors, in-laws, politicians. We speculated who was drinking more and more, who had gotten a facelift, who was done being married.

We threw birthday parties for one another and mopped up messes on one another’s kitchen counters. We danced to music we loved at beach parties as the summer sun turned towards fall. We traveled together. We…

Being a leader wasn’t easy before the pandemic, and it’s only gotten more challenging.

Previously published on Forbes

Research shows that 41% of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year, with 46% planning to make a major pivot or career transition. What can you do to keep your team and your talent?

Here are 3 tips to ensure you keep your talent on your side.

Tip #1 — Communicate Your Future Plans

First and foremost, communicate your plans — and soon! Most executives seem to be holding off on announcing sweeping plans and detailed timelines to bring people back. …

For many employees, being forced back into the office is now a dealbreaker

Photo: Unsplash

Thanks to the pandemic, we have a once-in-a-lifetime reset on the way we work. After a forced evacuation from workplaces in March of 2020, 50% of employees now say they don’t want to go back to the office full time. The bird is out of the cage. We have tasted freedom — freedom from commutes, freedom from mandated “face time” at the office and too much air travel for work.

We now know what’s possible. We can work and get our jobs done more efficiently working remotely than we ever imagined possible. For many employees, being forced to go into…

Pace, distance, stand goals — all my stats all down. And I’m discouraged.

Originally published in Thrive Global

My smartwatch keeps telling me what a disappointment I am. Pace, distance, move, stand goals — all my stats all down. And I’m discouraged.

But, hey, I’m at the tail end of a global pandemic! I sit all day at my computer, in front of a Zoom screen with my team members and clients staring back at me from their home offices in front of their Zoom screens. It’s exhausting.

Meanwhile, my smartwatch shouts at me, “Get up! Move! Reach your workout goal!”

I feel like an insolent teenager trying to dodge my mother’s nagging. Some days, when I’m tired…

If you treat employees as interchangeable cogs in a machine, you are guaranteed to cause burnout.

Previously published in Forbes

Many leaders still hold on to the increasingly outdated habit and idea that, above all else, work is the most important thing — that they and their team members should sacrifice their time, energy, and well-being to deliver on the organization’s goals.

If you are a leader, it’s important that you recognize and re-calibrate this habitual way of thinking and being. Because more than just the work, you need to be paying attention to your own fulfillment as well as the fulfillment of your team. …

What often holds us back from taking action is fear — fear that it will be the “wrong” decision, fear of repercussions if you screw it up.

Previously published on Forbes

Most of us are intrigued by the idea of innovation, which is the art of thinking, listening, and learning through experimentation. But most of us have no formal training in it. Odds are, you also didn’t learn how to embrace mistakes as “opportunities to learn.”

“Innovation is all about learning from doing,” says Tim Brown, Chair of famed design consultancy IDEO. “That’s how we evolve to the best solution.”

Of course, that means you have to actually do something in order to get to there. What often holds us back from taking action is fear — fear that it will…

Ask yourself, “Who on my team may be thinking totally differently about this issue than I am?”

Previously published on Forbes

Minds, like parachutes, work best when they are open. And this is even more true today in the era of learning and unlearning about racism, sexism, diversity, and inclusion, not to mention our ever-expanding global marketplace. Leaders are being pressed to challenge most things they have been so sure about.

Open-mindedness is a combination of intellectual humility and openness to experience, that is, being willing to seek out different viewpoints. It’s also the ability to let those viewpoints change your beliefs.

In 2016, professors Elizabeth J. …

Master the art of making other people feel brilliant, respected, and important.

Previously published in Forbes

Queen Victoria had two great prime ministers, William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. Both men dined with Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill’s mother. When a journalist asked Jerome about her impression of the two men, she offered, “With Gladstone, I came away thinking he was the wittiest, most intelligent, most charming person I had ever met. With Disraeli, on the other hand, I was sure I was the wittiest, most intelligent, most charming person ever.”

It wasn’t that Disraeli wasn’t as brilliant as Gladstone. He was. However, Disraeli had mastered the art of making other people feel brilliant, respected, and important.


You may be experiencing deep fatigue, exhaustion, a loss of connection with meaning and soul.

Previously published on Thrive Global

I am dedicated to creating workplaces where all people thrive. And most certainly, there are things that a leader can do to enable this — engage strong communication, encourage belonging, be skilled when navigating conflict, develop the ability to build and maintain a cohesive team, demonstrate true caring about people and their lives. These are the things that can be learned.

Then there is a deeper dimension of leadership to consider: nurturing your own soul. Bringing heart and meaning into your work. What I call the sacred.

Without this, you may end up feeling dried up, brittle and exhausted. To…

Three strategies when you feel like you are failing at work.

Photo: Getty Previously published on Forbes

First and foremost, here’s what you need to know: When you feel like you are failing at work, it doesn’t mean YOU are a failure. And this is important to remember. In their book Humility is the New Smart, Edward Hess and Katherine Ludwig point out that as humans, “we tend to ‘defend, deny and deflect’ when confronted with failure.

Our evolutionary fight-flee-or freeze response is triggered by fear of failure and embarrassment that interferes with our ability to engage in creativity, critical and innovative thinking, and emotional engagement with others.”

In other words, if you tell yourself that you…

Dede Henley

Founder of Henley Leadership Group. Developing leaders who create happy, productive workplaces. Thought Leader | Executive Coach | Forbes Contributor | Speaker

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