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Recent Post

How to Turn a Reorganization Into a Leadership Disaster

Today’s guest post is by Mike Figliuolo, co-author of Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results (you can get your copy by clicking here). You can learn more about Mike and the book

“Papers please.” A John Ray birthday lesson worth remembering

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho once said, Everything will be okay in the end. If it isn’t okay, it isn’t the end. It’s become one of my favorite inspirational quotes, for a number of reasons. I’m enamored with the


Lead With A Story

Monkeying around with corporate policy

IMAGINE CONDUCTING this experiment. Put five monkeys in a cage with a bunch of bananas hanging from the ceiling. Underneath the bananas, place a ladder just tall enough to reach them. Then any time one of the monkeys tries to climb the ladder, spray the entire cage with cold water. Pretty soon, the monkeys learn to avoid the ladder and they just give up on the bananas. Then take one of the monkeys out of the cage and replace it with another monkey—monkey number six—and put down your sprayer. [read more]

The Bamboo Years: Courage to invest in hard times

Our natural inclination in hard economic times is to curtail all spending. Unfortunately, that short-term view sometimes means we forgo investments in people and technology that we'll wish we had made when the good times return. It's times like that a good "permission story" comes in handy. It helps provide both wisdom and the courage to make the tough decision to invest anyway. Here's my favorite such permission story: The bamboo years Early in her career at Eastman Kodak, Katherine [read more]

Parenting with a Story

How NOT to treat your mother-in-law this Thanksgiving

To understand humility, it’s often easiest to start with its opposite: pride. In his book The Seven Deadly Sins, Reverend James Stalker defines pride as “the inordinate assertion of self.” In other words, pride is an inflated sense of our own importance or status or accomplishments. When we’re prideful, we hold ourselves in such high esteem it’s difficult to recognize the value and importance of the people around us. “It’s all about me!” we think. Letting go of that self-focus and adopting a [read more]

Eating the quiche: how to stand up to peer pressure

I think the most memorable lesson I ever learned about becoming an adult occurred at the most unexpected place and time: in a crowded restaurant on Secretary’s Day, April 1986. Still a teenager and a freshman in college, I had a part-time job at a local furniture manufacturing company. My dad was an executive there, and had helped me get a job as a file clerk in the personnel office. I remember being excited to find out that each year on that day, all the bosses took their clerical staff out to [read more]