Five Francis-Catalyzed Leadership Reflections

Visiting a dear friend in Omaha recently, she shared something one of her Catholic priests mentioned to her, "He said that he was walking out of a restaurant one night, wearing his collar, and an apparently homeless woman stopped him and said, hey, I like your Pope." Once I got past the sense that this might have the makings of a great joke, and consternated about whether the priest had done something immediately to assist the woman (he didn't, at least according to the second-hand story), I realized that I was in radical agreement with the homeless woman:  I like Pope Francis' leadership thus far too. I'm not Catholic but I do recognize that popes are incredibly important global CEOs. Because how they lead matters to so many, it also matters to me. According to the Vatican, there are 1.2 Billion Catholics in the world today. In the U.S., 72.8 people self-identify as Catholics. His Holiness Pope Francis consistently speaks and acts as a leader. He’s called on Catholics (and us all) to battle the “globalization of indifference” and to be more compassionate, to champion the poor, and work to achieve social justice. Five Francis-Catalyzed Leadership Reflections 1. As CEOs, … [Read more...]

Lead With Kindness: You’ll Get Better Results

What happens when we put kindness at the center of our leadership? There's plenty of hard evidence that kind leaders get better results. Emma Seppala, Ph.D, a Research Scientist at Stanford University and the Associate Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, details several studies in Being a Kind Boss Pays Off: A kind leader may actually be good for "followers" hearts. In fact, a study out of the Karolinska Institute conducted on over 3,000 employees found that a leader’s qualities were associated with incidence of heart disease in their employees. Employees feel greater trust with someone who is kind. Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy and her research partners have also shown that leaders who project warmth—even before establishing their competence—are more effective than those who lead with their toughness and skill. Why? One reason is trust. Employees are inspired by kindness. Jonathan Haidt at New York University Stern School of Business shows in his research that when leaders are self-sacrificing, their employees experience being moved and inspired. As a consequence, the employees feel more loyal and … [Read more...]

New Year’s Intentions

Happy New Year 2018! May you meet every intention you set. May you cease being busy and instead breathe and be in the moment. May you let negative thoughts float like a leaf down a bubbling stream. May you spend more time with others who calm your fears and fuel your passions. May you speak your truth, including when its scary to do so. May you share your love more and fully. May you be safe. May you be well. May you live your life with ease. Sending you my best wishes for 2018! … [Read more...]

5 Gentle Happiness Reminders

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that “the purpose of our lives is to be happy.” Martin Seligman, considered the father of positive psychology, theorizes that 40% of happiness is really up to us – 60% is determined by genetics and our environment. So what do we do with our 40%? How do we live in state of more purposeful happiness? Here are five gentle reminders, happiness tips drawn from research and life... Get your Zzzzzs Earlier this week on a work call, I heard my colleague’s 3-year old daughter saying, “Don’t be talking on the phone, Mommy, you need to be coloring.” Funnily, within a couple of minutes I could no longer hear her fevered “let’s color” pleas. She’d fallen asleep. Her Mom explained that typically, her daughter gets pretty loud and wound-up just before crashing. I had to admit—sometimes so do I! The director of sleep medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Dr. Raymonde Jean, says that a good night's sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. That’s not just true for 3-year olds, it is definitely true for me too. Let’s allow ourselves more pillow time so that in our waking hours, the choice is be happy is an easy one. Use … [Read more...]

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