Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Leadership Development Piece Published in International Journal for Transformative Research

The International Journal of Transformative Research (a peer-reviewed journal) has published my article about leadership development in its December 2016 issue. Go here to download and read it. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

17 Small New Year’s Resolutions to Build a More Courteous and Considerate World in 2017

The quickening pace of modern life seems to have brought out the worst in some of us. Political divisions have stoked this fire of unpleasantness and toxicity.  
Regardless of what’s going on in the world, the responsibility rests with each of us to righten the ship. To that end I believe that small gestures made every day can help to make things better (if not at least more civil). I ask you to consider including these 17 actions into your set of resolutions for the new year. They can foster a more compassionate, courteous, and considerate world for all. 
  1. Use your cellphone only where and when it’s permitted. Strive to keep your conversations private. That means you may have to excuse yourself in social situations. 
  2. Use your car's horn sparingly. You want to avoid potential accidents with drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.  
  3. Say excuse me when you brush up against a person or when you need them to move so you can pass through.
  4. Observe the right of way on the road (i.e., first to arrive, first to proceed). That's regardless of whether you're driving, cycling, or walking. 
  5. Maintain some distance between you and others in a crowd, whenever possible and practical.
  6. Look up while you’re walking.
  7. Acknowledge others you encounter. Nod your head or even say hello, when appropriate.  
  8. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
  9. Hold onto your garbage until you come across the nearest trash can.
  10. Smile for no particular reason.
  11. Call someone you haven't spoken to in awhile just to say hello.
  12. Say please.
  13. Say thank you.
  14. Say you're welcome.
  15. Admit when you're wrong and apologize unconditionally. 
  16. RSVP for parties or events you've been invited to attend. 
  17. Focus your energies on solutions to life's difficulties, not the difficulties themselves.
May this list offer you a starting point for your own actions. There's more than enough for each of us to address on our own. We don't need to focus on what other people do (or might do, or don’t do). Let's together make it a great 2017. Happy New Year.

Monday, November 28, 2016

16 Pieces of Advice for the 50+ Job Seeker (Courtesy of Dan Weisberg)

I’ve learned that looking for a job in your 50s is very different than doing so in your 20s, 30s, and even 40s. Questions about age, relevance, and productivity, among others, loom large during interviews. Whether spoken or unspoken, and real or not, these concerns make the job search much more challenging. 

Some baby boomers have taken this challenge as an opportunity to reinvent themselves while they skillfully move to find meaningful employment. Dan Weisberg is one such person. Recently laid off from a long-term position at Cisco, Dan remains positive and full of energy as he seeks his next great job. 

The fact is that Dan’s attitude is nothing new. He’s called on it repeatedly throughout his career. He recognizes—and even embraces—the fact that layoffs and other job market vagaries are inevitable in our times. Here are 16 ways he makes himself ready to pursue new professional opportunities: 

  1. Dan is always reaching out to his network to keep them updated on his professional activities. Then, when he’s in the market for a new position, the lines of communication have been established. In Dan’s words, “It’s far better to start from somewhere rather than from scratch.”
  2. Dan seeks opportunities to help others. He’s “building a bank of favors” that he’ll undoubtedly tap into when pursuing his next professional opportunity.  
  3. Dan is reflective. He ruminates on his work and career regularly, so he avoids going on automatic pilot—and remains nimble in the face of sudden job changes. 
  4. Dan is clear about his weaknesses and strengths. He works to address the former and knows how to tout the latter. 
  5. Dan takes advantage of any and all resources available, whether that’s a workshop, introduction to a person, or any other tidbit that might help him land his next position.   
  6. Dan engages in micro networking. He focuses his efforts on connecting with a small group of people. That effort alone has reaped ongoing dividends for his job search efforts.
  7. Dan gets personal. He engages others about the entirety of their lives, not just their job. Dan starts every conversation with “how are you doing?” And he truly means it! 
  8. Dan uses LinkedIn to stay current on what others are doing. He uses this information to initiate conversations with people in his network. 
  9. Dan meets regularly with people in person. This contact is critical; he doesn’t rely on social media alone. 
  10. Dan works with accountability partners. These people also are seeking full-time jobs. They understand and support his process and often provide invaluable insight. 
  11. Dan embraces, and doesn’t apologize for, his age and experience.
  12. Dan demonstrates energy and candor when engaging prospective employers. 
  13. Dan keeps learning to fill in the gaps in his knowledge.
  14. Dan cultivates strong in-person interview skills, during which he highlights the three aforementioned commitments.
  15. Dan takes nothing personally.
  16. Dan recognizes you only need one yes to land your next job or contract. 

In short, Dan displays the kind of attitude and energy every baby boomer needs to succeed in today’s turbulent job market. I’ll continue to look to his example for nourishment as I help others in this arena—and continue to explore opportunities of my own. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

New Academic Role at Naval Postgraduate School

This week I began a new professional adventure. It’s a one-year appointment as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. I will be spending 2-3 nights a week in that area to teach a class entitled "Communicating for Managers" and to tend to other academic responsibilities. Plus, I’ll avoid a daily 4 hour commute from my home in San Francisco. 

I'll concurrently continue my work on a variety of projects, which you can read about here

Friday, October 14, 2016

Peak Performance in Teams: Pike Place Fish Market Case Study

Pike Place Fish Market, located in Seattle, WA, highlights the intersection of concepts of collaboration and peak performance in spectacular fashion. Throughout coverage in television and print media, books, videos, and in corporate training programs, the business has been celebrated as an unlikely melding of a seemingly mundane business—selling fish and other seafood—with a committed, productive workforce inspired by a higher purpose. 

I developed a case study on Pike Place Fish Market that addressed the key elements in this success story: a culture based on personal responsibility, an individual commitment to be agents of change; and team work; the skillful reliance on coaching and self-directed teams; and a management style that truly empowered employees and engaged them in all aspects of a profitable business. 

The case study was published in 2013 in the book Collaboration and Peak Performance, which you can buy here