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...]

Reclaiming The One Thing We Can’t Live Without

Connection is the one thing we cannot live without. We crave it. We thrive when we have it and suffer when we don’t. That’s what I believe. Scientists, philosophers, and even prophets tend to agree. Last year, I got a surprise when a colleague asked me to pay her for a connection she’d made for me. Of course I realize that many business models rely on “referrals” for revenue-generation. But this request for a percentage of the business I completed took me off-guard, especially since I’d freely shared ideas, strategies, and work assistance with her for several years. After that surprise, I started paying closer attention to how the word connection is being used. (And yes, I now get clear about connection/referral fees expectations upfront.) Questions around the word connection keep cropping up for me in New Year conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends too. I use the word connection, connect, and  connections so much, it dawned on me that I may have lost sight of what connection means. In today’s supposedly hyper-connected world, what does connection mean? Let’s look at some great thinkers' quotes and see if we can remove some of the fuzziness around the … [Read more...]

Want to Change? Shake Up Your Perceptions

Conceptual artist Leandro Erlich's work is brilliant and tricky. Like an optical illusion, Erlich's work creates perceptions that fool our eyes and our minds. Above in Batiment, Erlich forces us to fill in the details of something we don’t quite understand with things that we believe we already know. That's the funny thing about perceptions. We blink and assume, we fill in gaps to quickly make sense of life. Why is it so darn hard to change? Because our perceptions are our reality. Your Perceptions are Your  Reality In the 18th century, philosopher Immanual Kant proposed that reality is not an ordered universe waiting to be perceived by the human mind. Instead, Kant theorized that the human mind takes the chaos out there and orders, frames, and structures it into the reality that we perceive. In short, “perception is reality.” As leadership guru Stephen R. Covey points out,“To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.” Let that sink in. To change ourselves, we have to change our perceptions first. This is BIG! This requires preparation. 5 Gentle Shake-Up-Your-Reality Tips To get those change-juices flowing, here are my favorite quotes … [Read more...]

Advice is Like Kissing: 7 Muahs

“Advice is like kissing, it costs nothing and it’s a pleasant thing to do.” -George Bernard Shaw There's no shortage of internet advice. Look up any issue you might have, and tens of millions you don't, you can find more lip-smacking than you could ever read or need within a couple of clicks. Who are all these advice-givers? What's behind their advice? Often its hard to tell. I trust George Bernard Shaw's advice, something I feel certain he'd find incredibly amusing. Shaw is unique, extraordinary, and hilarious. An Irish playwright, essayist, novelist, short story writer, he's the only person to receive both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925), and an Oscar for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for his play, Pygmalion (1938). Co-founder of the London School of Economics on his resume too, Shaw's words serve as today's catalytic kisses for reflection.  Big muahs out to you—seven Shaw quotes—that are sure to make you think and hopefully smile. The best part? They're wise and free:       “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” It can be oh so tempting to get involved with your critics, those "haters" at the ready to tear down anyone and anything to … [Read more...]

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