listen with intent

Three Tips For Becoming A Great Listener

Over the years, I’ve learned the value and power of being an intentional listener – it can literally change lives and businesses. Below, I’ll outline three pointers about the art of listening. Listen more, talk less Count to three when someone is finished speaking Parrot it back Listen more, talk less. This sounds silly, but this is one of the primary areas where we get in our own way. We

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lazy dog

Sometimes Great Managers Should Act Lazy

Oftentimes, the individuals involved have worked their way up the ladder and are now in a place where they need to focus their time on the bigger picture: leading their teams and coaching their managers. This pivot of attention involves more responsibility and awareness, doesn’t provide the immediate gratification of solving a problem, and requires a different skillset than previous positions. Frequently, when direct reports approach their manager with a

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Teams

How Teams Set “Rocks” Says A Lot

Lately, I’ve observed an extremely clear sign: one that indicates a transitional point for the leadership teams with which I work. The maturity, health, and cohesiveness (or lack thereof) of the whole team can be observed when it creates its new quarterly priorities, or as Dr. Stephen Covey calls them, “Rocks”. During these sessions, we review their previous quarter, victories, and failures, and take stock in what they achieved and

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customer

The Loyal and Lifelong Customer: Why Each One Counts

Scrambling on all fours, I climbed the final pitch to the summit. I twisted my body to reach the next handhold, causing my elbow to bump the new (and expensive) Sony camera out of my backpack’s side pocket. I watched as the camera fell down the steep cliff, bouncing and spinning off rocks until disappearing out of sight. I finished the pitch, dropped my pack, sat down, and used some

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insecureties

The Emperor’s New Clothes: How Speaking Your Truth Develops “Culture”

“Culture does not make people. People make culture.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Maybe it’s because I’m now in my 50s that I can finally start admitting some of my insecurities. I like being able to say that I’m the luckiest cat in the world. And I believe it! I get to live my life on my terms. I’m also helping people and contributing in a way that leaves a positive

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cheesemaker

What’s Your Passion? Lessons from a Roman Cheesemaker (Part Two)

We arrived at 7:30 am, as planned, and things were just getting started. We found Deborah and she walked us down the hill to the big barn where the cows were still in their stalls.. Alex greeted us as he put away the portable milking device. We then turned our heads to see the small calf in the corner stall. This barn was a steel building with concrete floors –

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passion

What’s Your Passion? Lessons from a Roman Cheesemaker (Part One)

Deborah raced the tiny truck down the hair-pinned, rocky switchbacks with total confidence and passion. We’re on a mountainside that’s heavily treed and it’s raining. Deborah, our young, cute, tattooed driver is purposely hitting the bigger puddles so that we experience more of a water rollercoaster ride, each time loudly saying, “Scusami!” – Italian for “Excuse me” – and laughing. Reka and I are squeezed into the back, the Italian

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linking thinking

Linking Our Thinking: How Shifting Our Thoughts Connects Us with Others

On our hut-to-hut trip through the Dolomites of Italy, Reka and I befriended a couple from Scotland. Jasmine is a teacher and her husband, Ioan, is a professor. Ioan is a Welsh name for John and one that I struggled with pronouncing correctly. The primary reason I enjoyed his company so much wasn’t because we thought alike, but because we thought differently. We shared both the trail and a table

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history

History: Why Uncovering Your Company’s Past Helps You Stay on Course

Socialism versus capitalism…don’t like it? You’re a fascist. On our recent sabbatical to northern Italy, Reka and I began finding the crowds and heat unbearable, so we chose to head to Croatia and the Adriatic coast. Knowing little of the military history of Croatia, we decided to go to the museum located on a high point in the small seaport town of Pula. As we entered the old stone fortress,

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inclusion

Inclusion: How Engaging with the Unengaged Elevates Your Success

While resting at a beautiful hut perched high in the Dolomite Mountains, Reka and I shared a table with an older Italian couple that spoke no English and a German mom (about our age) with her 30-year-old deaf daughter. I know a handful (no pun intended) of American Sign Language from my sister, who teaches it, but I didn’t realize that sign language isn’t universal and actually differs based on

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