Is Your Glass Half Full?


Do you tend to be optimistic or pessimistic? Plenty of each philosophy are out there, so you’re in good company either way. Taking a deeper look, though, have you thought about the benefit of having an optimistic outlook as a leader?

One of the key benefits to optimism is feeling confident that you can accomplish whatever crosses your path. If it’s something totally new, you know that you have the resources to figure out the path. You look at life from a positive perspective and it takes more than a few jabs to knock you off your game.

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Banging the Walls

Have you ever felt overwhelmed to the point that you just wanted to bang the walls in frustration? Whether metaphor or real, everyone reaches the end of their rope at some point. How you handle the situation makes a big difference in your outcome.

One common example is spending hours trying to solve a complex problem and feeling stuck. If you become extremely frustrated, it may bring to mind one definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

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Do You Feel Independent?

Next week is Independence Day, July 4, in the U.S. Undoubtedly, there will be lots of historical reflection and other reminders about the importance of this day in U.S. history.

I’d like you to consider a variation on this theme, which is how independent you feel about yourself. Do you feel in charge of yourself, for example, your professional direction, your ability to speak up as a leader, or how you influence others?

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Pause for the Summer Solstice

Today marks the beginning of summer (and if you didn’t know this, you need to take a day off). By the time you read this, the actual summer solstice will have passed (6:07 am EDT), and we’ll be well into the longest day of daylight (in the northern hemisphere) this year.

This is the time of the year when I “gently remind” leaders to make sure that they embrace and enjoy the season, and don’t let it zoom by without taking time to enjoy it. For years, clients have resolved to lighten their schedule to enjoy the summer only to reach September and wonder what happened to those plans.

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Discovering Your People

How well do you really know your staff? Of course, you know the work they do and perhaps some of their interests. But how deep does your knowledge or insight really go?

One of my clients recently discovered that one of her employees is a regular marathon runner. He had competed in races for years and the only reason it came up was because another employee mentioned something about him raising money for a charity race.

Another client learned that one of her staff members was an enthusiastic traveler who successfully spreads out 2 weeks of vacation over long weekends and company holidays so that she takes 3-4 trips abroad each year. She had no clue.

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“But I Didn’t Say That…”

One of the perennial problems in the workplace is the ongoing gap in communication. It is the root of many problems and unfortunately, perpetuated by too many leaders.

Communication takes work. It takes energy to make sure that your message, whether oral or written, has the language, tone, and substance that will be clear and understandable to the person receiving the message. And in our time compressed world, people don’t take the time to pause to ensure that clarity.

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Relationships in a Time Compressed World

“One of the greatest gifts you can give anyone
is the gift of attention.”

– Jim Rohn

Relationships are so important, and yet in many cases, they are casualties of our time compressed world. Attention is one of our key currencies today, rendering Jim Rohn’s quote above more relevant than ever.

But increasingly, people have less time for relationships. Over time this is damaging and hard to reverse when the damage is done. The Catch-22 is that we unknowingly neglect our closest relationships because we feel that those who know us the best will understand what we’re going through.

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To Be Amazing…

Sheku Kanneh-Mason dazzled us with his beautiful cello solo at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last weekend. It’s always inspiring to experience such talent! Sheku delivered his performance beautifully, with confidence and poise.

It turns out that he is one of seven talented classical music siblings. CBS Sunday Morning featured the family in its most recent broadcast and encourage you to see the replay here.

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Change Your Perspective

It’s always good to get away to have a change in perspective. This doesn’t need to be a vacation; it can simply be a venue or environment that is different from your usual ones. By being in a different place, you’ll be able to experience things a little differently when you return to your routine.

Why is this important? We become increasingly insular with the day in, day out sameness. That’s why something as seemingly mundane as taking a brief walk can remove you from the sameness and expose you to something fresh.

The good news is that anything that is a shift from your regular routine can accomplish this. It may be driving a different route to or from work. If you ride public transportation, you can get off one stop earlier and observe what those extra blocks have to offer. You can even meander into a store that you’ve never walked into before.

These simple activities interrupt the patterns that are locked in your brain and open you up to new thinking and perspective. Even a small movement can make this happen: just getting up from your desk and moving around can be beneficial.

In fact, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Sitting is the new smoking,” When we’re out of our chairs, it improves our health!

Even better, take a short walk in nature. This is especially important if you’re a city dweller and concrete sidewalks are your idea of the great outdoors. Nature has the benefit of soothing your mind, so it’s a wonderful way to take care of yourself. You may not be able to do this every day, but try to fit in some nature time during your week.

Engage in these small changes to benefit from fresh perspective, which ultimately helps your mood and productivity. Share this with your staff, by the way, especially if they’re glued to their desks, day in and day out.

Have a great day!​​​​​​