Stories, insights, and strategies for closing the gap between potential and results in your business or organization.

Episode 8: Catalyst

https://open.spotify.com/episode/27MSeruxSX0kyNilmxMExf?si=9f18efa773474847 In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of being a catalyst. Leadership often requires that change must be initiated, sometimes even transformative change to accomplish the business goals. To initiate such change, it is useful if the leader … Read More

Episode 7: Capacity Development

https://open.spotify.com/episode/3NC8BKjUrtGBRUPPubn2QM?si=C78puQdWToe4Nw2gw6qgpA In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of capacity development. As humans, we can choose to continuously develop our capacity…or not. We’re exploring simple ways to focus on building your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual capacity in … Read More

Are Leaders Ready to Lead So People Will Lead?

I am an advocate of a leadership culture in which leadership is carried out in such a way that it supports people throughout the organization, regardless of title, to develop their leadership. In supporting people to develop their leadership, these leaders create a leadership culture where people will lead, rather than follow. It creates unique conditions for the people in … Read More

Episode 6: Balance

https://open.spotify.com/episode/7viDBmN06U7NstdEiuQtIm?si=-3O5sEQDQAuO1meAGAh5SQ In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of balance. Being aware of whether you are in a state of balance or out of your state of balance is critical to being able to being productive, content, and … Read More

Leaving Behind Destructive and Limiting Patterns and Beliefs

In the course of leading my life, I have made it a practice to leave behind destructive and limiting patterns and beliefs. I can only leave these behind when I am aware that I am in a destructive and limiting pattern or belief. Coming across one of these can be distressing or even shocking. Watching how something has played out … Read More

Episode 5: Authenticity

In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of authenticity. Authenticity requires leaders to be in their personal integrity, consistently, in dealing with others. This builds trust and respect. If you are not authentically in your personal integrity, people … Read More

Each of Us Is an Influencer of Wellbeing

Each of us has work as leaders, coaches, consultants, and facilitators that influences wellbeing. If we so choose, we can, each and every one of us, be an influencer of wellbeing. To be an influencer of wellbeing is a choice. We all have the capacity and the power to do so! As an influencer of well being, you can help … Read More

Episode 4: Assumptions

In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of abundance and how cultivating a belief in an abundant universe can impact your leadership and the results you experience in your organization. https://open.spotify.com/episode/385wD66mPjWo7te5oNLRwf?si=BoJYlGwHTK2EZ9DmQh7-yw

Working with Nature – A Leadership Capacity

I felt that this conversation in a recent peer with peer mentoring circle was valuable to share with you, worthy of consideration for your life, and for your work. The topic that came up was about developing our leadership to work with nature rather than against artificially working against nature. We used the four seasons as an example to stimulate … Read More

Episode 3: Allowing

In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of abundance and how cultivating a belief in an abundant universe can impact your leadership and the results you experience in your organization. https://open.spotify.com/episode/2UNC0kSeBry38NPbk6BbNt

The Pause…Important in Conflict Prevention

Learning about conflict and strategies and techniques for helping people resolve conflict in organizations also meant that I would benefit from being better equipped for resolving conflict in my own life. What I didn’t anticipate, and has been of exceptional value to me, is that my learning about conflict resolution has resulted in conflict prevention too. When I integrated the … Read More

Episode 2: Alchemy

In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of abundance and how cultivating a belief in an abundant universe can impact your leadership and the results you experience in your organization. https://open.spotify.com/episode/5jcNQVbudOfqwq4YG694M3

The Paradox of Leading After Shock…When You Feel You Are Scattered into Pieces

In life, there are periods when things seem to go well. There are periods where things don’t seem to go so well. Sometimes, there are events that feel completely devastating. A death, a divorce, a child overdosing, some event that results in shock, something traumatic. Within this reality, the task of leadership doesn’t stop, the responsibilities, accountability and authority of … Read More

Episode 1: Abundance

In this series, we’re focusing on nourishing a culture of leadership by applying timeless principles of life to the art of leadership. In this episode, we’re exploring the principle of abundance and how cultivating a belief in an abundant universe can impact your leadership and the results you experience in your organization. https://open.spotify.com/episode/3KNmDyv6FyGtMvB7DB1KoR

Scope of Work? Is it right for what you really want to accomplish?

A consultant I am mentoring begins a recent session wanting help in sorting out a proposal she is working on. She received a Request for Proposal (RFP) and is having to make sense of what it is asking for. I have reviewed the RFP and her draft outline for her proposal. Our conversation begins. This is the discernment time that … Read More

Developing Your Leadership Requires Self Love, Self Worth, Self Confidence

Our intention is to support you in developing your leadership. One of the many gifts you have in life is the gift of leadership, applying leadership to your life, and offering leadership out into your world. You, like everyone, have more leadership potential in you to develop. The choice is yours. Leadership in Challenging Times Despite the challenges of these … Read More

Organizational Wellness and Optimal Performance

Do you know how to figure out if your team is in a state of health and balance? Or whether it is out of health and balance? Would it matter if you did? There is a direct relationship between organizational wellness and optimal performance. Yet, a quick google search of “organizational wellness and optimal performance” yields results that focus almost … Read More

Getting Beyond Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance! What is it? Why does it matter in the success of teams, families, communities and organizations? One of the biggest barriers to organizational health and balance (organizational well being) is cognitive dissonance. It is valuable to develop awareness about it and how to work to get beyond the effects of it. Especially if you are engaged in leadership … Read More

Law of Two Feet (Law of Mobility)

Within a meeting format called Open Space Technology, there is something referenced as the one law that needs to be followed by the participants – the Law of Two Feet. Within the simple and effective structure of the Open Space Technology meeting, there is no pre-determined agenda. Rather, the participants are given the opportunity to post topics for which they … Read More

When the Rules Get In the Way of Meeting Expectations

Attending a family welcome night at my daughter’s new school last night, I had an experience that I’ve had countless times in my life and my work. In the gym, filled with nervous and excited new students and their families, part of the presentation on “what to expect in middle school” included advice to get a planner to help track … Read More

Why we promise engagement…but never safety or comfort

It’s a common message we hear from leaders we work with. You want safety and your comfort zone maintained in a meeting, all while insisting you want something to change! We facilitate a lot of meetings designed for highly engaged participation. One trap that we do not fall into is promising the participants that we look after ensuring their safety … Read More

A Formula for Change: D x V x F >R

One of the most valuable formulas to use as a framework for change was developed by the late Kathleen Dannemiller. It provides guidance for all of us who work with whole system change including the most challenging task: organizational transformation. I share this formula with you and I ask you to use your imagination to take into account one simple … Read More

How You Define Yourself Affects Successful Change

How do you define yourself? Have you ever stopped to think about it? The Story You Tell Yourself Pay attention to the narrative you tell yourself about yourself. That voice in your head tells you a lot of stories about yourself throughout the day.  All day, every day. As you pay attention to these stories, you may be surprised. You … Read More

When Positive Change Doesn’t Always Feel Good

Change for the better, for something positive, for something you have been wanting…still brings about the dynamics associated with change. Dynamics like a sense of loss, resistance, or fear are common when it comes to facing change – whether it’s a desired positive change or not. Commitment to Change Individuals working on personal development and life improvements believe that they … Read More

From Project Management to Change Facilitation

Some years ago I was contracted to do an assessment of a multi-million dollar bi-country project that was falling behind on its targets. The project was designed to bring about a significant improvement in health practices and health standards for newborn, child, and maternal health and survival. The United Nations had set the acceptable standards, the two countries who funded … Read More

It’s All About the People!

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” — Lady Bird Johnson I have always been fascinated by kitchen table wisdom. What I noticed, even as a young child, is that people come home and talk about work at the kitchen table with their families and friends. Frequently, the talk is prefaced by ‘if they would only listen to me’ and finishes … Read More

Supporting People Beyond the “Click Off” That Occurs When Faced With Change

Imagine, if you will, that you are in a conversation about something that requires change. The conversation may be at work, at home, in the community. The change may be big or little. It is out of the comfort zone of the person you are in conversation with. The conversation may occur as a result of something being learned in … Read More

Boundaries at Work

Last week we wrote about the importance of personal boundaries in team development. If you agree that personal boundaries at work are important, you might find yourself wondering “but what do those boundaries look like?”Your boundaries are a container.  Everything that is inside the container is what you are available for.  Everything that is outside of the container is what … Read More

Working Cooperatively Requires Boundaries

On elementary school report cards, there is a grade for ‘working well with others’. In organizations, people are expected to develop (or already have) the skillfulness of working well with others, in teams. In these times, people are expected to be able to transfer their skills and capacity for working cooperatively into cross-functional teams and task groups. As a child, … Read More

From ‘Coping with Change’ to ‘Thriving in Change’

One of the few constants in life is, ironically, change. Assuming this belief is true, then the choice becomes about whether you wish to spend your life coping with change or thriving in change. Your life and work will benefit from deepening your understanding of what it takes to thrive in change. If you believe it’s true that change is … Read More

Leadership, Hurricanes, the Known and the Unknown

Leadership into the unknown and weathering hurricanes has a lot in common. I am not saying that leaders experience hurricanes all of the time. For periods, leadership can feel as though it is in familiar territory with known patterns and outcomes. During other periods, sometimes in relation to the same event or situation, the experience is one of leading into … Read More

Monitoring and Adjustment

One of my less stellar moments as a five-year-old was the end of year report card. The subject was music. My rating was a D and the teacher’s comment was ‘she loves to sing but unfortunately is always out of tune’. At first I thought I was being praised until the full meaning of the sentence sunk in. Yes indeed, … Read More

I am not Available for This…Story

I have been fascinated with the effects on a culture of the stories that get told over time. People want to work and live in a life nurturing culture, and yet their own frequently told stories add to the life-depleting culture…just what they say that they don’t want. When friends get together, they don’t talk about all that is going … Read More

An Incredible Leadership Advantage…Benefiting From the Stories People Tell

The people in an organization know a lot about what is going right and what is not. This information often doesn’t benefit the organization as it is shared at the water cooler, the parking lot or at home…but not in the organization itself. You might be thinking that you are accessing this information via interviews, surveys, or focus groups. Surprisingly, … Read More

The Backstory….Are you getting it? And does it matter if you do?

Superheros always have a backstory that compels them forward in their hero’s journey. Whether it’s the violent loss of loved ones, a science experiment (or science accident) with unexpected outcomes, or a benevolent being gifting them with a powerful talisman, each superhero’s backstory helps to shape their future story. As we watch their bravery unfold on the big screen, knowing that … Read More

Harvesting the Best Ideas

People want to be successful. They want their workplace, their non-profit organization, their neighborhood association, their congregation and their family to be successful. Wanting success is the nature of people. As well, people like to give input to do their part to achieve that success. The best ideas of the workforce in most organizations are never heard in the organization … Read More

How my love for well done meetings began!

I am thinking about how my love of well done meetings started and then carried out as a theme through over four decades. My first awareness of the importance of a meeting was when I was twenty and in the employ of a non-profit, that was mandated to assist people in prisons. My job was with the wives/partners of men … Read More

Grandma, if it moves, don’t pick it up! (or, Making Informed Choice)

Great granddaughter Scarlett, age three, invited me to go for a walk into the woods. She was clear on what she was inviting me to. “Grandma, we need a basket to collect things. We need a flashlight to find our way. And we have a rule. The rule that daddy says is ‘if it moves, don’t pick it up!’.” Knowing … Read More

Benefits from The Power of Imagination

Using Participatory Meetings as a Catalyst to Soar I have a great privilege in life as a result of working internationally as a meeting facilitator and trainer. The meetings and the training are both designed for engaged participation. In fact, they invite creativity, innovation, insights, and are solution focused. So, here is the privilege. Everywhere I work, I find the … Read More

Getting Comfortable in Talking About Personal Power

How comfortable are you with your own power? The power you have for living, doing your part in your family, in your team, your organization, your community? For those who are determined to lead their lives in positive ways, it is imperative to be comfortable and confident with your own power. I am mentoring a female manager. The topic of … Read More

It is Possible to Turn a Toxic Organization Around

First, the good news. It is possible to turn a toxic organization around. It can become a healthy, vibrant organization. You will notice measurable greater employee engagement. See a measurable narrowing of the gap between potential and results. You will notice a reduction in sick leave and other factors that plague a toxic organization. The turnaround to a healthy, vibrant organization … Read More

Be In Your Power – What does it mean?

To be in your power. What picture does it bring up? Speaking up for yourself. Standing firmly for what you believe. Being clear about who you are. Speaking your truth.  Or maybe something else.  Maybe it sounds like personal development buzzwords that don’t really mean much to you. How about to be in your power as a leader? What does … Read More

Emotional Pain as an Unavoidable Consequence of Doing Business

In his book Toxic Emotions at Work (2003, Harvard Business School Press), the late Dr. Peter Frost wrote about emotional pain as an unavoidable consequence of doing business. He said that while the sources for the pain varies, the results are the same. According to Frost, the results of emotional pain in the workplace include: disconnecting from work, lowering of … Read More

Something is Wrong but I Can’t Put My Finger On It

As a leader, you sometimes find yourself knowing that something isn’t quite right. There aren’t any obvious problems.  Just a sense that there is something out of alignment in your organization. Maybe performance or morale aren’t what they used to be. Conflicts are cropping up a little more frequently. Or something just feels a little off.  Your experience says that … Read More

Is Borrowed Anger Affecting You or Your Organization?

It is a very simple question: “Are You Borrowing Someone Else’s Anger?”. These days, I am noticing a lot of people expressing a lot of anger. I notice this in the media, social media, and in the organizations for whom I am a consultant. As I pay attention to the anger, I notice that a great deal of the anger … Read More

Creating an Operating Matrix to become Strategy Focused

When we teach about the operating system, or operating matrix, for an organization, we use the metaphor of a computer’s operating system. We ask “when was the last time you updated the operating system of your computer?”. The answer is sometime recently. People know that if the operating system of a computer is out of date, the apps that they … Read More

Mentoring with ‘Out of the Box’ Strategies

This morning, sitting on our front porch, listening to the wind chimes, sipping a cup of coffee, I was engaged in one of my favorite daily activities. I love reading science fiction fantasy and I was again savoring the work of Robert Jordan in his epic undertaking of the Wheel of Time. And then it happened. When I read, a … Read More

Is a Focus on Learning Organization as Useful as a Focus on Mentoring Circles?

An Executive Director of a local Non-Profit organization asked if I could mentor his leadership team to become a learning organization. For clarity, I asked him whether he was intending the Learning Organization as per Peter Senge’s work. He said “no”. He had read that it was important to learn from ‘mistakes’ rather than to perceive the mistakes as failures … Read More

Mastermind Groups and Mentoring Circles

  The “Master Mind” may be defined as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” ~ Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill was one of the first to write about the “master mind alliance”. He is often accredited with the idea, but he … Read More

Organizational Compass or Medicine Wheel Tool?

The beauty of this simple tool is that by learning one tool, it will work for you in so many team, organization, community, family and leadership situations. Keeping it simple is one of our guiding beliefs. This goes right along with ‘if we use a simple to understand tool, we can handle complexity…the more complex the tools, the less effective … Read More

Measuring Leadership Capacity via Units of Energy

Every morning when I wake up, I ask myself 3 simple questions. These questions help me to look after my energy management, so I have what it takes to get through a busy day.  The 3 questions that I ask myself are: Am I leaking energy? If so, what is this about? What can I do in this moment as … Read More

Are You Willing to Take the First Step Needed Now to Achieve Organizational Health and Balance?

Organizational health and balance is an important foundation for organizational success. It is the pre-condition necessary for all parts of the organization to function at peak performance. Achieving healthy balanced organizations that operate at peak performance requires the co-operation and investment of two parties: leadership and the individuals within the organization. The first party is leadership. When leadership attends to … Read More

Future Leaders At Play

Stopped at a red light, I noticed a YMCA bus going through the intersection. Written boldly along the side of the bus was ‘Future Leaders at Play’. It reminded me of a favorite task of my granddaughter at her elementary school–to have her turn as the line leader. You might think ‘how fantastic’. I do get excited when young people are … Read More

Medicine Wheel Tool: A Simple Yet Powerful Tool for Organizational Development

The Medicine Wheel Tool is one of the most simple yet most powerful tools we work with in our organizational change and transformation work.  Indeed, this model is used as a foundation for nearly all of our work with clients around the world. It is one of the eleven key component of the Genuine Contact™ program. Our Dalar team created … Read More

Consider the Importance of a Healthy Terrain for Your Organization

You might ask, “what does a terrain have to do with an organization?” I am not sure about other words to use as a terrain is greater than a system, greater than a culture, greater than a structure, greater than a strategic plan, and yet it encompasses all of these and more. A phrase attributed to the late Louis Pasteur … Read More

The Benefits of Pattern Disruption

As I was getting ready to write this post about the benefits of pattern disruption, I lost my favorite necklace. Now, I know better than to be attached to an object. Life including leadership of our lives  requires us to get better and better at skillfulness at letting go. And yet my shock at discovering when I  lost my precious necklace … Read More

Death By Email…Of Performance, That Is

Death by email is becoming increasingly common. The average business person sends or receives 120 emails per day. Per day! And that number is only going to grow.  The challenge with this volume of email every day is commonly referred to as death by email.  Specifically, death of performance by email. In a mentoring situation, my partner Ward was listening … Read More

Organizational Change Barriers

Formal leaders and the individuals in organizations can usually get into quite a story of what is wrong in their organizations. They may have different opinions about the cause. There are usually many opinions on the best solution too. But talking about problems is a common occurrence. When the story gets too big or too loud, that’s often when formal leaders … Read More

Getting Started in Creating a Culture of Leadership using Open Space Technology

One of the best ways to create and nourish a culture of leadership is to use meetings as a catalyst. A fantastic method for carrying out interactive, highly participative meetings in which people experience their own leadership is Open Space Technology. I have favored the use of this meeting method since 1992 when I was an early pioneer with this … Read More

Using Whole Person Process Facilitation as an Operating Matrix

The method for facilitating interactive, participatory, engaging meetings that we developed has an additional purpose beyond meeting facilitation. It can be difficult to grasp that using the exact same skills and knowledge, Whole Person Process Facilitation can be used as an Operating Matrix for a multi-day meeting. Imagine having a corporate retreat of two or three days. The purpose is to … Read More

Using Whole System Meetings to Achieve Change That Works

Organizations need to change in order to meet the challenges of these times, meeting new requirements created by global markets, changing economics, expectations for quality and customer satisfaction. Top leaders, managers, and consultants are undertaking large-scale change efforts in order to position their organizations where they need to be for success now and into the future. Successful organizations struggle for … Read More

Effective Change Efforts – Our Experience

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing with you key elements for consideration whenever an organization is about to begin intentional change process. Wrapping up this series on change, today we’re sharing 11 critical factors for effective change efforts.  After 3 decades of experience, we can say with confidence that the more of these factors that are present, the … Read More

Engagement: A Key Ingredient for Successful Organizational Change

Engagement by the senior leader and the leadership team is a key ingredient in successful intentional change work. When we work with clients in an intentional change process (sometimes called change management process), one of our first steps is making sure the senior leader and leadership team have an understanding of what it means to commit to intentional change work. … Read More

Mentoring Circles for Professional Development

Mentoring is defined as professional development support provided by experienced colleagues.  While this sharing of wisdom and experience is generally focused on the needs of the mentee, the mentor is also learning from the experience, creating a circular process.  Within the Genuine Contact way of working, this traditional 1:1 relationship is broadened into a group of people or a mentoring … Read More

Understanding Intentional Change

In order to embed the standard business practices into an intentional change process, it is helpful to understand a little more about change. What is it? Lawler and Worley, in their book Built to Change give the definition of change that we find most useful in assisting our clients to be successful with their intentional change work. They define three … Read More

Accomplishing Strategic Goals Execution

I was recently mentoring an organizational consultant that I have great respect for and the topic of conversation was how to help her client put strategic goals into action. The client was developing some operating plans and realized that something wasn’t working to get the teams moving towards success with the plans. As consultants, when we do strategic planning, we include … Read More

3 Focuses to Thrive in Change and Leave a Lasting Legacy

As a leader, you want to leave a lasting legacy behind you when your leadership of an organization comes to an end.  A legacy of having led a great (not just good) organization.  One of the factors that is critical for this kind of success, in any industry, in the for-profit or not-for-profit sectors, in any country in the world, … Read More

Paying Attention to Consensus Reality in Organizations

You are probably familiar with the ‘hundredth monkey’ story, which is a foundational story about critical mass thinking. In this story, the monkeys on an island had never washed their food, nor did it appear that it was genetically encoded for them to wash their food. Some of the monkey were taught to wash their food, and they in turn taught … Read More

Resolve Conflict with this 2 Step Approach to Real Resolution

All organizations have within them situations of conflict. The energy used for the conflict is energy that is not available for getting the work of the organization done. There are many reasons for conflict. People engaged in conflict are usually so fixed on one perspective, that they rarely ask each other genuine questions, nor are they prepared to really listen … Read More

What is Open Space Technology

One of our preferred methods when we are asked to facilitate a group  is Open Space Technology (OST). Our clients, whether in the private or public sector, get results from an OST meeting greater in both quantity and quality than they initially thought possible. After a simple planning process, the facilitators structure the meeting and then for most of the meeting … Read More

Mentoring – Not Just Another New Buzzword

I was sitting with a group of millennials at a social gathering recently.  They were all university educated and within the first 5 years of their career.  They were talking excitedly about their experiences and their career paths so far.  My ears perked up when I heard the word ‘mentoring’ enter the conversation. What they were hungering for was mentoring … Read More

Conflict Prevention Through Capacity Development

Conflict in any organization is expensive.Conflict resolution can be a long and expensive process too. Therefore, the best solution to unhealthy conflict is a conflict prevention strategy. Do you have conflict prevention strategies in your workplace? The kind of conflict I’m referring to here is unhealthy conflict, not the healthy conflict that is normal and needed for innovation and growth … Read More

Leader Development vs Leadership Development

It is helpful to consider what is commonly called ‘leadership training’ as actually being ‘leader training’.There is a difference, especially regarding application of leadership, and it matters. Recently I met with a well seasoned ‘Leadership Development’ trainer. She is deeply dedicated to the development of people, and has devoted her career to Leadership Development. This trainer said she noticed me being quoted … Read More

Annual Organizational Health Checkup

If you are like most people, you probably go to your doctor for an annual checkup. You want to know if something is wrong. You want to know if you are in good health. If something needs improvement to get your back to your optimal health, you want some kind of plan. The annual checkup helps you to know that … Read More

Attracting and Retaining Millennials – A Different Perspective

Millennials are a generation much talked about as they are coming of age and entering the workforce. Attracting and retaining millennials is a well researched and discussed topic. I want to offer a different perspective about what to do in attracting and retaining millennials in your company. When done well, you can benefit from the powerhouse that they are while … Read More

What is Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution?

Our clients who contact us for help in resolving a conflict in their organization agree that different cultures are involved in the conflict. One leader quickly pointed out the different cultural backgrounds of the people on the team. Another leader pointed out that the cultural difference that was making it difficult to resolve the conflict was that the people from the different … Read More

Are You Solving the Right Problem?

In our experience, the problem a prospective client thinks they have is often different from the actual problem that needs solving. In some cases, the symptoms can have persisted for years with several interventions, hours of time and thousands of dollars invested to solve the problem they think they have without the hoped for results. Today’s tip is an invitation … Read More

What is Whole Person Process Facilitation?

Organizations of all kinds have meetings, retreats, and development sessions. Meeting facilitation processes designed to get the most out of a meeting are invaluable, and much better than simply rolling through an agenda. In meetings of all kinds, it is essential for the people involved to have learned something sufficiently that it can be retained and retrieved post-meeting. You want … Read More

Improving Strategy Execution

In both private and public sector enterprises, the rate of failure in executing strategies into results remains high. There is considerable effort going into developing new strategies for increasing success rates. One of the current trends to drive completion of strategic goals by using human capital analytics to identify which ‘talent’ (meaning people) had the profiles to drive to goal completion. While … Read More

With You I Look Deeper Into Myself Than I Usually Do!

“With you I look deeper into myself than I usually do!” I heard this twice yesterday from two different people that I a guiding through some leadership development. I probed a little when I heard this, as I do. Was this evaluative comment spoken in gratitude or in some form of frustration? The answer didn’t surprise me as this is … Read More

A Second Rule of Engagement – About Choices and Decisions

Rules of engagement have to do with what your energy is available for and what it is not available for. They are about what you are willing to engage your energy in. Have you given thought to a foundational rule of engagement that you have for your private and work life?  You probably have one that overlights the choices and decisions … Read More

Benefiting from Co-operation Partners: The Role and Responsibility of the Board of Directors

One way for Non-Profit organizations and agencies to make a bigger impact for their clients, patients and customers is to have successful Co-operation Partnerships. Benefiting from co-operation partners means that together with other organizations and agencies you can leverage each other’s skills, capacities and strengths to achieve your goals and be of greater impact to the people you serve. Co-operation … Read More

One Rule of Engagement–The Three Times and You are Out Rule

We all have personal rules for engagement with other people. We may be consciously aware of those rules, we may make them explicit, or they may be unconsciously conducted and definitely implicit instead of explicit. I made a point some years ago of studying my personal rules for engagement, making choices about the ones I wanted to keep for a … Read More

Leading Life and Business from a Sense of Deep Integrity

This morning, like most mornings, I went for a short drive to the local forest  to do my walking meditation. There is something about what is now becoming common in ‘forest bathing’ this revives me. I take a question into my walking meditation, with the anticipation that I will come out of the experience with clarity. Often the question is … Read More

Choosing the Right Decision Making Model is Key for Non-Profit Board’s of Directors

Non-Profit Board’s of Directors (BOD), like leaders in other types of organizations, have models for decision making. A common one in North America is following ‘Robert’s Rules of Order’ . The voting process includes a proposal, another person seconding the proposal, some opportunity for discussion, and finally the call for a vote, usually by a show of hands of ‘for’ … Read More

Is your Policy being Implemented?

You are a member of a Board of Directors (BOD) of a Non-Profit organization. Over time, you participated in the development and voting process to put new Board policies in place. Some of those policies probably cover important areas of risk management.  How aware are you of what happens next, after the policy is approved? I have two questions for you … Read More

3 Critical Questions Non-Profits Should Be Asking

For the greatest chances of success in the organization, a Non-Profit Board of Directors (BOD) needs to be able to clearly answer these 3 critical questions: What outcomes is the BOD directing the non-profit organization towards? By what means is the organization to achieve these outcomes? At what cost? The answers to these questions are critical because they set the tone for … Read More

Team Leader Skillfulness with Group Dynamics for Human Performance Improvement

Because people need to work together more, group dynamics plays an important role in human performance. if the group dynamics are inadequate, out of alignment with the well being of the people, and even destructive, the effect of other human performance initiatives is negatively affected. If the group dynamics foster collaboration, cooperation and are in alignment with the well-being of … Read More

Detachment from Outcome While Leading into the Unknown

Over the last few weeks, I have been involved in businesses in which the leader, faced with an exciting new opportunity, first embraced the opportunity and then let it go. It has been interesting proof in the world of successful business leadership of a life principle that I believe in and that is considered an important step on the spiritual … Read More

Primary Causes of Present Moment Conflict

If you are aware of that you are in a situation where conflict is being caused…the moment when it seems to begin, you might wish to put that brakes on that conflict before it goes further and becomes disruptive…even for generations and even with people who are not present with you right now. Find a way to signal to the … Read More

The Theme of Abandonment in Life, Work, and Leadership

As a coach and mentor, a frequent theme that emerges in discussions with clients is the theme of abandonment. As adults, as people in leadership positions, many people have their buttons pushed if they feel abandoned. Imagine how this plays out in the workplace in even simple ways. Someone is expecting a communication back from a peer. The email or … Read More

The Willingness to ‘Not Know’ Together

How willing are you, in your team, department, organization, family, and community…to not know together? Please imagine with me how much more open the conversations would be if we paused to say ‘At this moment, together we are in a state of ‘we don’t know’. In my experience, pausing and acknowledging ‘together, we don’t know’ or ‘we don’t know…together’ has … Read More

Project Turnaround

What might you do if you have a project and despite your best efforts, despite excellent leadership and terrific people on the team, the project is in trouble? Project management is a science unto itself. Within this science, there are ways to bring a project back into line if it is running into difficulty. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes it … Read More

The Work of Grief

Finding yourself in grief is inevitable. You may have had a loss in your private life. You, your colleagues and friends may have had an event in your work or community life that triggers a grief response. Change is constant and loss accompanies change. None of us is immune, none of us can avoid loss either individually or collectively. Most … Read More

Engagement and Leadership

A senior leader sought out our services telling us that he was in a struggle to achieve employee engagement. The initial pass in our investigative first discussion, identified ‘achieve employee engagement’ as the business goal for which the help of a consultant was being considered. Over the years, I have learned that the first pass at identifying the business goal … Read More

What is Your Level of Trust in Your Organization?

I meet with a CEO. She says “I have figured out that people here don’t trust me. I can even see how this lack of trust is affecting our business. I have been watching people talk out in the parking lot. I am aware that they are talking about me, about our leadership team, and about how they don’t trust … Read More

Can’t We Just Keep It Simple?

One of the five beliefs that govern our work with Genuine Contact is the belief in ‘keeping it simple’. Leadership today requires success in complex situations and complex systems. ‘Keeping it simple’ does not ignore this complexity. Ignoring the complexity could be fatal. Rather, for me ‘keeping it simple’ has other meanings. Keeping it simple means that when figuring out how to handle … Read More

Do You Experience Yourself or Another as a Victim?

Years ago working in Abuja, Nigeria, the organization we were working with Management Strategies for Africa, provided us with the services of a driver. His name is Monday and he left a lasting impression on our lives. Monday grew up in a village, oldest son of eight children. Growing up in a village meant very little income and thus a … Read More

Approaching Life and Leadership Development Learning as an Adventure

Do you have the courage to think about embracing the new leadership paradigm of ‘Leading So People Will Lead’? Do you have the courage to embrace something radically different? When my children were young and I took them on trips and couldn’t find our destination, they had learned not to ask ‘are we lost’ but rather to ask ‘are we having an … Read More

Why is Leadership Important?

Recently in a workshop, someone asked me the question “why is leadership important?” I had been completely immersed in the need to shift ourselves towards the new leadership paradigm of leading so people can lead. I had forgotten to give the space and time to the participants to come to their own idea of why leadership is important. The importance of … Read More

From Inconsequential to Important…Leading So People Will Lead

I am thinking of how critical it is to personal well being to feel important to others and how destructive it is to feel inconsequential. Every life matters. People are precious. As we evolve towards the new leadership paradigm of ‘leading so people will lead’, it is essential to identify systems and patterns of behavior in which people end up … Read More

The Power of Limits as both a Strength and Paradox for Leadership

One of the greatest breakthroughs that our clients experience is through developing the capacity of handling paradoxical concepts simultaneously. One example of this that we teach in our Extraordinary Leadership development workshops is the paradox of embracing order as a condition necessary for growth, while simultaneously embracing chaos as a condition necessary for innovation. Imagine right now how you feel about … Read More

Acknowledging With Gratitude the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell

A man who influenced my thinking was the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell who was probably best known as an Apollo 14th astronaut and the 6th person to walk on the moon. He is less well known for his work since that time in supporting the importance of our inner work, of the personal quest to expand personal awareness and consciousness, … Read More

Getting More From Your Change Management Project

Lots of people are involved in change management projects at this time of rapid change in our world. There are a variety of approaches to change management. All of them will benefit from this one simple additional component. Your people need to learn to thrive in change in their private and in their work lives. What better way to help … Read More

Taking a Personal Journey to Live Truth

When I started writing about truth in our Feb 4th blog, I didn’t realize that I was starting a three part series. Yet, here I am in the third part of what has become a series. I feel the topic of truth is extremely important for individuals and organizations, and for humanity as a whole. In my opinion, living truth … Read More

Examining Our Relationship with Truth

All around us, in any type of media, there is ample evidence of public opinion being bent in particular directions, required by some entity be it government, corporations, or other interest groups. This reality of having at best a contradictory relationship with truth, affects us as individuals and affects the culture of our organizations. In general, people do not like … Read More

Save Energy…Keep it Simple: A Strategic Plan Refresh

Increasingly, we are hearing and seeing signs of ‘strategic planning fatigue’ in all sorts of the organizations that we are approached by. This is what I heard from a member of a leadership team just this morning. “We just cannot afford to do another strategic planning process. It is not the money so much as it is the time and … Read More

Working With Truth?

I have found that in living and working the Genuine Contact way, people experience times and situations of discomfort. In my observations, the discomfort seems to be related to truth. Discomfort #1: There is a challenge to be truthful with oneself about oneself to the extent possible. I say, to the extent possible because being able to be truthful with … Read More

The Whole is Other Than the Sum of the Parts

Recently, I researched the topic of alchemy. You might wonder what alchemy has to do with leadership and why this topic was worthy of research. Alchemy is the first topic we are covering in our Leadership Development in a Coffee Break series in the Extraordinary Leadership Network. From my perspectives, leadership must include alchemy as a key to successful leadership. … Read More

Leadership Capacity for Paradox

It might be useful to you as a leader to grow your  capacity for handling paradox. We all face paradoxical situations, people, or things with some frequency. Groups and organizations of people similarly experience paradox yet the topic of developing the capacity to handle paradox is seldom a topic of either conversation or in leadership development programs. If you pause right … Read More

Leadership Development in Relation to System Change

Years ago in the late 80’s and early 90’s a small group of us in the Urban Core Support Network (UCSN) in Canada were committed to understanding and engaging in transforming organizations and communities. USCN, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario Canada was made up of CEO’s, Executive Directors, residents, Business Owners, Government representatives, and frontline social, health and community development professionals. … Read More

Steps for improving your leadership by working with your fear

Blog posts in the spring of this year had a focus on fear and the disservice we do to leaders and leadership when we want and promote the ‘fearless leader’. Fear is real in all of us as part of the human species, maybe even more so sometimes in the leader as the leader must, by necessity of leadership, lead … Read More

Why Leadership Must Change

In January, as part of the Genuine Contact Way tour, Birgitt Williams had the opportunity to be interviewed by managerSeminare magazine. The interview appeared in both their magazine and as a video on their website.  The focus of the interview was about the need for a shift to nourishing a culture of leadership that creates the conditions for leading so … Read More

Are you self-employed or a business owner?

You’re out at a party or function at your kid’s school.  You meet someone new and invariably the question comes up ‘So, what do you do?” If you’ve just recently started working for yourself, odds are your reply is “Oh, I’m self-employed” or “I’m a freelancer.” And you leave it at that. If that’s your go-to answer, you’re doing yourself … Read More

How Leadership Archetypes are Affecting Results

When you think of leadership, what archetype comes into your mind? Pause for a moment and consider what comes up for you. An archetype might be represented by a person, an animal, or a symbol.  When you think of leadership, what archetype comes into your mind? You may wish to make a few notes for yourself about what this archetype … Read More

Why I Grit My Teeth About The Goose Story

Someone in a workshop was citing the infamous goose story that is so often told in leadership circles. I will keep it short as most people are now familiar with it as the new archetypal story for good leadership. Imagine a flock of wild geese flying in their natural V formation. This archetypal story includes the geese all honking to … Read More

Is Micromanaging Sabotaging Your Small Business?

One of the big leaps when you are growing a small business is the move from doing everything yourself to hiring people to do some of the work for you.  It might be work that you really don’t like doing (like bookkeeping or filing).  It might be work that you don’t know how to do or don’t do very well … Read More

The Project Management Problem for Small Business Owners

As an entrepreneur, I’m familiar with just how many great ideas you have for your small business.  The ideas that pop into your head in the shower…during meditation…on a long walk…while having dinner with the family. The next great idea for a product or service that’s going to make you successful. Put your business on the map. Make you a … Read More

Leading So People Will Lead | managerSeminare Interview

In interviews, I have been asked ‘are leaders ready to lead so that people will lead’?  And that’s exactly what I was asked in a short 7 minute video last month.  This interview, about leadership, was for managerSeminare magazine, a leading management magazine in Germany. The interview clip is a good one about leadership in the new paradigm of Leading So … Read More

Is it the fear of our ‘light’ that is getting in the way of leadership?

Marianne Williamson’s poem (best known as quoted by Nelson Mandela in his inaugural speech) notes that we are most afraid of our ‘light’ even though in the world, people have a greater tendency to think that they are most afraid of defeat, or ruin, or harm. This poem has given a lot of people the challenge to consider accepting their … Read More

Beauty and the beast mythology helpful in leadership development

A common story or mythology in many cultures is a theme of ‘beauty and the beast‘. Beauty is often represented in the feminine form, but does not need to be so. At first, she is afraid of what is portrayed as the ‘beast‘, often portrayed as some form of mythical monster, usually male, but this does not need to be … Read More

How to (Finally) Take Action

  One of the biggest struggles of being a small business owner is actioning all of your great ideas.  They come to you in the shower…or while you’re driving…or you’re suddenly awake at 3am.  It’s a brilliant idea that you know is going to help move your business towards success. But day, weeks or months go by and it continues … Read More

The topic of leadership is an emotional one

I am finding that the topic of leadership is an emotional one for people. I hear people telling stories about leadership that they have experienced or been subjected to that felt harmful, dictatorial, and basically life depleting. Some people have experienced leadership that was life changing for them…in positive, life affirming ways. As the stories are told, the emotions that … Read More

What’s Your Inspiration?

As a solo-entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s critical to have inspiration.  Inspiration that you can draw upon when the going gets tough. And there are always tough moments when you have a small business, especially in the early days. You need inspiration to draw upon to rally your energy and finish out that project late in the night.  You … Read More

Using Beliefs to Guide Choices

In a few days I have the opportunity to address a large audience on the topic of Now is the Time to Declare a New Leadership Paradigm: Leading So People Will Lead.  I thought a lot about how best to use the almost three hours available to me. I am passionate about this topic and want to do a good job. … Read More

The Impact of Beliefs on Leadership

This autumn I am again providing some services as a coach for university students who have been selected for a special leadership development program. These young people will be among tomorrow’s leaders. They are brilliant, thoughtful, and have  already demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills. They receive three core assignments in their program. The first is to define a personal statement of … Read More

The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership

It is with great excitement that I am writing today’s post.  The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership is officially available in both printed and ebook format (you’ll find handy links to order from your favorite book seller here)! I firmly believe that there is leadership capacity within everyone and that it is time for people to awaken their … Read More

If leadership is in everyone, how do they access this leadership?

In last week’s blog, I asked you to reflect about whether you think it is true that leadership is in everyone and I invited you to share your thoughts with me. Today, I go a little further on this topic. If you have been reading The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership, you know that I firmly and … Read More

Why You Don’t Need a Business Plan

I was at a networking lunch recently, listening to someone teach about business planning. “every business needs a business plan” they said and then went on to explain what a business plan includes. It was the typical stuff: mission vision market analysis financials etc. I was looking around the room at these women, most of whom were network marketers or … Read More

What do you understand about leadership in everyone?

One of the basic truths that I share in The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership is that there is leadership capacity in everyone and that it is time for people to awaken to their leadership potential. What do you understand about leadership in everyone? Do you believe this to be true? I invite you to take some time … Read More

It Doesn’t Sit Well With Me

In the English language, a common phrase used to be ‘it doesn’t sit well with me’. It’s fallen out of common usage and I rarely hear leaders use this phrase during our coaching sessions.  I wish it would come into common usage again. In my leadership roles, long before I review facts, figures, and tangible evidence related to a situation, I … Read More

What if the myth that ‘leadership must be hard’ is replaced with ‘leadership is joyful’?

Following up to last week’s post, I want to say a little bit more on the topic of ‘being in joy’ as an important factor in the leadership that is required for nourishing a culture of leadership. Some of you have written that you are struggling with this topic and having difficulty with answering the questions that I suggested to … Read More

Genuine Contact for Small Business

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * This blog post is the first in our new bi-weekly small business column by Rachel … Read More

What do you understand about being in joy?

People in leadership who come to me to learn have an interest in figuring out how to nourish a culture of leadership in their organizations. The first exploratory question that I ask the leaders I am mentoring is ‘what do you understand about being in joy?’ This can lead to consternation in the reply ‘what does my joy have to do with business? … Read More

What is a paradigm shift?

After my last blog post,  I have had questions asking me to define what a ‘paradigm’ is, and what a ‘shift in paradigm is’. I wish to answer those inquiries with a bit of a story that illustrates a shift in a leadership paradigm in an organization. Almost twenty years ago, I was hired by a CEO and her management … Read More

Might You Have Underestimated the Value of Your Leadership Paradigm?

Do you have a leadership paradigm in your organization that creates a culture conducive to thriving in constant change? We invite you to consider that you might have underestimated the value of your leadership paradigm. The leadership paradigm in your organization defines whether you do or do not have a culture that is conducive to agility, flexibility, gender equality, innovation, solution … Read More

Leadership Competencies for Nourishing a Culture of Leadership

Full Day Leadership Development Workshop On Our Upcoming Book Tour As promised in my blog of September 25th when I announced the upcoming book tour, I would let you know more details about the events of this book tour. Most of the venues for the book tour will include a three hour interactive workshop on day one, and a full … Read More

Beliefs for Nourishing a Culture of Leadership

Successful Change Is Dependent On A Change In Beliefs In our upcoming book tour, we are promoting a change in the current commonly held leadership paradigm, expanding the work of leaders from ‘leading so people will follow’ to ‘leading so people will lead’. This is an invitation to different actions and behaviors by formal leaders and by the people they lead. … Read More

A Journey Nearing Completion

The second edition of The Genuine Contact Way is nearing completion. Editing is done, the designer has carefully placed all of the words and images into the book and the final proof is happening before the book is sent to the publisher. This has truly been a labor of love, with so many people playing vital roles. And, as is … Read More

A Journey Nearing Completion

The second edition of The Genuine Contact Way is nearing completion. Editing is done, the designer has carefully placed all of the words and images into the book and the final proof is happening before the book is sent to

Collective Intelligence: Part 6

The advent of positive psychology Judging by the focus of people’s thoughts and conversations, knowing what works seems to be harder to know than what doesn’t work. The newly emerging field of positive psychology was formally birthed in the 1990’s, highlighting that more than 90 percent of published articles in psychology were of something not working, with only a small … Read More

Collective Intelligence: Part 5

Use of participatory meetings to access collective intelligence Immediately upon this gift of the Medicine Wheel being released and my awareness of it, in rapid succession, I met Harrison Owen and learned about facilitating a meeting using his method of Open Space Technology (Owen, Harrison. Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 1997); I met Angeles Arrien and … Read More

Collective Intelligence: Part Four

A gift to the human race I was also grateful to receive news in 1991 that it was time for the Medicine Wheel to be given by the red race of the native people to be used by the full human race. The red race had so carefully preserved this knowledge for the human race for millennia so that it … Read More

Collective Intelligence: Part Three

Learning from the Elders During the 1980’s, I also expanded my career from responsibility for public relations in one organization, to achieving a life dream of becoming CEO of another organization. Both organizations were in the non-profit health and social services sector. In my opinion, this is the most difficult sector to work in as a manager or CEO; because … Read More

Collective Intelligence: Part Two

Working with archetypes My exploration has taken me through an interesting journey that often challenged my previously held perspectives, causing me to discard patterns of thought and behavior that no longer fit for me and my previous perspective of reality. I have met fascinating people around the world, and no matter what country I am in, I meet people who … Read More

Accessing Collective Intelligence in Organizations: Part One

Moving from fragmentation to connectedness In alignment with one of my favorite Albert Einstein quotations,”The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking (consciousness) we were at when we created them”  I believe that we must shift our thinking, our consciousness to a different level than we were at when we got into our problems. For … Read More

Grandfather Energy

Annually we participate in the Genuine Contact Summer Academy in Europe. The Summer Academy includes an international mentoring circle, a peer to peer learning opportunity. One of the highlights for me this year was a grouping of the men in our circle who came together and concluded that their gift to the continued growth of our Genuine Contact organization was … Read More

Anchoring Energy

The leaders who work with us who seek to develop their abilities in working with the unseen world learn about anchoring energy. Put another way, they learn about the importance for people to experience a sense of feeling anchored in a constantly changing world. This assists people in orienting themselves in their lives and in their work, providing a sense … Read More

Genuine Contact Way Project Update

I am sitting here listening to the music cd that Ani Williams has created to express her understanding of The Genuine Contact Way. It begins with a song that has the energy for anchoring a person, works its way through songs which take me into an altered state of expanded consciousness, and then works its way back to re-anchoring, except … Read More