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.
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…
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…
You may not have X-ray vision or control over the elements, but you do have a superpower. Maybe more than one. Your superpower is the thing you provide that’s incredibly valuable and also just who you are — you don’t have to remind yourself to be this thing.
You might be the one who listens and listens and then neatly summarizes the big idea of the conversation. Or perhaps you’re the one who picks up on what no one is saying but everyone is thinking and feeling. Or maybe you take really complex information and make it digestible for everyone.
We don’t necessarily come into the world with compassion. It’s often learned as we watch the important adults in our lives confront difficulties and engage with others. We learn by their example, or the lack thereof.
What is compassion? It is the sympathetic awareness of others’ suffering with a desire to alleviate that suffering.
Many of us have been called into higher levels of compassion for Black people this past year, as we witnessed the abuse they face in the hands of police and from systemic racism. The pandemic has also raised our awareness of suffering, with the loss of…
Who said it takes years to change habits? In this past year, people have learned plenty of new habits — wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing (a term none of us had even heard of before March of 2020). For those of us who are white collar workers, we abruptly and instantly shifted to work-from-home offices: spare bedrooms and dining room tables with a laptop and maybe a printer.
It’s breathtaking, really.
I’m encouraged by this rapid rate of adaptation. We can do this! We are flexible, agile. Our brains are malleable and changeable. This is good news.
The blur between work and family has never been, well … more blurry. Family members are all up in your business. They walk in the room while you are in the midst of an important conversation with your boss, your coach, or the media, as we witnessed in the BBC interview with Professor Robert Kelly. The embarrassing footage went viral. What we didn’t know was that it was a portender of what we would all face sooner than we really wanted to.
Many of us have been tortured trying to appear professional with our toddlers doing what they do best…
Are you worn out after a day in front of your computer screen? You aren’t alone.
Thanks to the global pandemic, we have done all of our coaching, training and facilitation via Zoom or Microsoft Teams for these past ten months. Don’t get me wrong. I’m super grateful for how user-friendly these robust platforms are as millions of workers, leaders, students, teachers and far-flung families have suddenly had to rely on them. We’re power users now.
And it’s exhausting.
On Mother’s Day, my two adult children dreamed up a virtual family get-together where we would all log onto Zoom and…
What can you count on coming your way in 2021? More ambiguity, uncertainty and change!
As a leader, your challenge is to increase your capacity in the face of it all, because traditional approaches to leadership development aren’t keeping pace with the kinds of complexity we now face.
Currently, fewer than 18% of leaders have the qualities of mind to optimally lead in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments (Hall & Rowland, 2016). Fortunately, many bright people have been working on this very agenda over the past decade or so. What are they cooking up for us for 2021?
American women are the losers in the pandemic: losing their jobs, their confidence, and their financial security. According to data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently, employers cut 140,000 jobs in December — a staggering number that was much worse than predicted.
But that’s only part of the story. A deeper dive into the data exposes a shocking gender gap: All of the job losses happened to women.
The news for women of color is worse.
Founder of Henley Leadership Group. Developing leaders who create happy, productive workplaces. Thought Leader | Executive Coach | Forbes Contributor | Speaker