Flickers of Integrity

I lost my phone in a taxi going home from JFK.

As you read these words, I imagine that even cynical people may have a twinge of empathy before being relieved that it happened to someone else, not them.

The good news is that the story has a happy ending. I tracked down the driver, Rony. It took 2 days to make it happen, but he returned it, safe and sound.

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Demystifying the Accountability Conundrum

When you think of someone who is accountable, what are some of the words that come to mind? Dependable? Committed? Responsible? Punctual?

People use when describing accountability. While they are good adjectives, there really isn’t one good synonym.

Accountability is a person’s willingness to accept responsibility for his or her actions. Although a concise definition, I think that accountability encompasses several habits that, when practiced proactively, result in a person who embodies the definition.

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Your Theme for 2018

Welcome to the new year! How does it feel so far? Are you pumped up or just ambling along? Do you have fresh perspective or is it more “same old, same old”? Are you energized by diving into your work or are you doing anything to avoid it?

Sounds like a classic half full, half empty scenario. If you’re in the “half full” camp, good for you! I’d speculate that you have a specific aim for the year ahead. This doesn’t have to come in the form of resolutions, but it does imply focus.

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The Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest day – and the longest night – of the year in the northern hemisphere. For many, it simply marks the first day of winter, but the winter solstice is celebrated across cultures.

Many people believe that the winter solstice is time to slow down and reflect on the year that’s ending and to imagine the new year ahead. Reflection implies looking inward….allowing yourself time to think….letting your mind wander.

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Holiday Mania

It’s a mere two weeks until the end of the year and companies are scrambling to complete dozens of projects before 2017 draws to a close. Leaders are challenged to help their teams stay focused and motivated while myriad distractions compete for attention.

And that’s just at work! Outside the office, December mania is in full force: holiday parties, shopping for gifts, traffic jams, impossible crowds of people. When you layer on all of this, life can be crazy and distracting.

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Turning Defeat into Victory

Leaders can turn around the worst situations with a little alchemy. No, it isn’t always easy to do. But when circumstances are challenging and you feel tugged into the abyss of negativity, you have a choice. You can either go towards the abyss or reverse the direction.

Effective leaders know how to course-correct, that is, to turn troublesome situations into productive and satisfying scenarios. Not only do they avoid the defeatist mentality; they consciously reverse the situation and make it as successful as possible.

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Are Your People Invisible?

I’ve observed leaders who walk by everyone from the receptionist to junior level staff to other leaders without acknowledging them. I’m not talking about engaging in conversation, but what about “good morning” or a smile and a nod?

When I’ve raised this issue, I’ve received some astonishing responses. One client was baffled about why he needed to greet one of his direct reports with “Good morning” (or, better still, “Good morning, how was your weekend?”) on Monday.

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A Day of Gratitude

Today is the day when friends and family gather with no agenda other than (over)eating, catching up on each other’s lives, and watching football in a tryptophan stupor. We create our signature holiday foods and even learn about what different cultures bring to the Thanksgiving table.

I always think of Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude. It’s a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the things that mean the most to you.

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What Happened to Work Ethic?

One of the common complaints I hear from clients is how their employees don’t approach their work with the same commitment and resolve that they have. The essence of what is missing is a demonstrable level of work ethic.

Can you teach this? Many think no, but I think it depends. Work ethic is not taught in the academic environment, so we can’t expect someone entering the workplace to understand what this is. Some employees may glean elements of it from observing or learning from family members, but that isn’t consistent either.

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