Shortly after Barack Obama became President, I saw an interview he gave about his early days in the job.
Most of us will remember that American was in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression — first among countless, immediate issues on the President’s desk at the time.
The interviewer asked him where he entertained the most doubt. He didn’t hesitate in his answer: parenting.
I thought the comment rather flippant at the time. After all, how could someone navigating such complexity say that being a parent was honestly where he entertained the most doubt?
That was before we had children.
Five years into parenting, the comment makes strikes me as more authentic than ever — and almost always the area of life where I also entertain the most doubts about my leadership abilities.
When I came across No Drama Discipline* for the first time, it changed my view of how to handle discipline with our kids. Tina Payne Bryson joined me on the podcast this week to teach us how we can be better leaders and teachers for our children.
In the spirit of leading kids well, the resources in this week’s guide will help you gain more confidence (and heart) with all our children.Read More
I often find myself in a state of regret after airing the monthly Q&A show. When listening back to my responses, I can’t help but often think, “Why didn’t I say [INSERT WISE THOUGHT HERE]?”
This month’s moment of regret came when listening back to my answer to Michael’s question about what to do when someone is hesitant to step into a leadership role. I gave what may have been a helpful response, but in retrospect, completely missed the bigger point.
We all have a chance to lead — regardless of title or position. With very few exceptions, we should be working hard — all of us — to develop the leadership skills of the people around us. This is true regardless of position, role, or long-term career trajectory of the person in question.
If you wish to take up this challenge, I’d encourage you to start by listening to episode #241 with David Marquet. David did a masterful job of teaching us how to use language into order to turn followers into leaders. It’s the place to start if you want to empower the people you lead to start leading more themselves.Read More
There’s the temptation to listen to this week’s episode with Mike Erwin, co-author of Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude*, and hike off into the wilderness for several days. While I’m a big fan of nature (and got deep into it a few times this summer) it’s not the place for most of us to start with solitude.
More likely we’ll all benefit from solitude as a more regular practice in the typical weeks and months of our lives — when we’re attempting to do the best work for our organizations and families.
In that spirit, I encourage you to make a time for a small moment of solitude this week. Perhaps it’s a short bit of writing you do just for yourself. Perhaps, like me, it’s locking up the iPhone somewhere else for an hour or two each day.
Solitude is less about where you are and more about what you stop doing. This week’s guide below provides even more ideas.Read More
Almost every organization I connect with has the espoused value of supporting an inclusive workplace. Many organizations also take action on this value through employee resource groups, diversity training, and tons of other activities.
Yet, it’s also the case that these efforts, genuine as they are, often are perceived as lacking. This is further complicated by the complexity of inclusiveness — a value that even if we hold dearly, most of us have made mistakes with in the past.
That’s why I was intrigued with what Deloitte is doing on inclusion, after noticing that the needs of their employees were changing. Deepa Purushothaman, National Managing Principal of Inclusion at Deloitte, joined me this week to discuss their strategy — and help us learn how to take better action, too.Read More
Years ago, I had a difference of opinion with a client on the use of the word “autonomy” in relation to leadership.
We were creating a training program for managers and the client was concerned that featuring the word “autonomy” in the curriculum might cause managers to think they could let employees do whatever they wanted. I thought this unlikely, but agreed to revise the language to “appropriate autonomy.”
Looking back, perhaps the client was wiser than I gave them credit for at the time. While I still doubt our particular wording was significant either way, I’ve certainly see lots of leaders forego their responsibility to provide accountability.
A lot of us fear being the mircomanager we worked for at some point in the past — and even more of us want to provide good accountability, but don’t know exactly where to begin.
That’s why I was glad to welcome Jonathan Raymond to the show this week, author of Good Authority: How to Become the Leader Your Team Is Waiting For*. Jonathan taught us five, practical steps to hold people accountable, while still maintaining (and growing) our relationship with those we influence.Read More