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LeadershipNow 140: February 2023 Compilation


twitter Here are a selection of tweets from February 2023 that you will want to check out:

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$ podcasts When Everyone Leads

Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:42 AM
| Comments (0) | LeadershipNow 140


Upshift: How to Turn Pressure into Performance and Crisis into Creativity


PROBLEMS come our way. They always do. And too little of the associated stress is not good. We become disengaged, demotivated, and unfulfilled. But with too much stress we become overloaded, and we just feel like shutting down. But in between is the Challenge Zone.

International crisis management specialist Ben Ramalingam writes in Upshift: Turning Pressure into Performance and Crisis into Creativity, that between the two extremes is the “sweet spot” where we experience a healthy level of stress.

We start to move toward this sweet spot when we switch from perceiving a stressful situation as a challenge rather than a threat. This is where we start to move from the left- or right-hand below-par-performance sides into the peak-performance zone. We click into being at the top of our game: into Upshifting.

Stress Zones

Necessity is necessarily the mother of invention. “Evidence and experience suggests that most of the time, the pressure of necessity actually leads us to convention, not invention. When we are under pressure, most of us gravitate towards the safe, the tied and tested.” We actually need three ingredients to capitalize on necessity and turn it into peak performance: Mentality, Originality, and Purpose. When all three are present, we have Upshift.

The Upshifting Mentality

The upshifting mentality is the switching process. We have all formed over time how we deal with stress. “A threat is a stress that we feel we can not handle, because we do not feel we have the resources to meet the demands of the situation.” How we see a circumstance in our mind determines how we react to it. We have mindsets anchored in beliefs that cause us to see stress as enhancing or debilitating. It is a mental game. It is something that we deliberately learn, practice, and improve on.

Exposure to adversity in moderation can develop the mindset we need to cope with future pressure situations and give us an enhanced stress inoculation. We develop this naturally from early on through play-fighting.

Original Thinking Under Pressure

What we’re looking for here is divergent thinking—the ability to explore multiple possible solutions in order to generate creative ideas. This is opposed to convergent thinking, which is the process of figuring out the most effective answer to a problem.

Divergent thinking is more likely “when we appraise a situation as a challenge. Being in a challenge state means we are more willing to explore possibilities.”


A purpose in our lives creates meaning in our circumstances. What we all need is not a tensionless state but, as Viktor Frankl stated, “the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by us.”

Harvard professor Teresa Amabile “found that in situations where pressure can’t be avoided, you can get people to be creative by instilling a meaningful purpose, where they have a sense that there is an important, urgent need for the work they do. As Amabile puts it, ‘Often we have no choice about being under the gun. But if we want to be creative, we have to learn to dodge the bullets.’”

Upshifting is not a given. It is a repeatable set of behaviors that, over time, become engrained habits, ways of thinking and relating, and, ultimately, a way of being.

Ingredients of Upshifting

Six Upshift Archetypes

As Ramalingam points out, “Upshifting builds on our individual and distinctive problem-solving skills and styles.” He has identified six Upshift archetypes, which he discusses in detail, sharing examples of individuals who share those characteristics.

They are:

Challengers—preferred by those of us who are skilled in constructively disrupting the status quo around us. Social activist Rosa Parks.
Crafters—understand and experiment with social, physical, and technological processes. Inventor Thomas Edison.
Combiners—those who fuse ideas from disparate fields and endeavors. Inventors the Wright brothers.
Connectors—create bridges and networks between different kinds of people with no sense of social hierarchy. Revolutionary Paul Revere.
Corroborators—push for logical and critical thinking to prove that new ideas work—or don’t. NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.
Conductors—orchestrate different minds to bring about change. President Abraham Lincoln.

Which approach do you habitually turn to?

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How We Can Learn to Bounce Forward Upside of Uncertainty

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:06 AM
| Comments (0) | Personal Development


Intrinsic Motivation: How to Be Motivated by Doing What You Do

Intrinsic Motivation

NO MATTER WHAT you are doing, you can be motivated by the work you do. Even if you hate your job, you can learn to love any activity. The key is to create excitement around the experience of doing what you do – intrinsically. It is an inside job.

Performance coach Stefan Falk has written Intrinsic Motivation: Learn to Love Your Work and Succeed as Never Before to help you do just that. We can learn to love any activity by rewiring our brains to Focus on Exciting Outcomes or FEOs.

The foundation for doing that is found in five success principles that have worked for Falk and others he has shared them with:

  1. Never go to work or school, or anywhere important) running on autopilot. For every task you undertake, have an explicit goal for an outcome and a set of tactics to achieve it.
  2. Never stop challenging and competing with yourself. You are the best measure of how much you have learned, improved, and grown.
  3. Consciously create emotional expectations for your experience of work and psych yourself up to meet or beat them. This is another way of saying that the attitude or mindset with which you approach your work is crucial.
  4. Review your work every day to make sure you make tangible progress that you can rack and celebrate.
  5. Seek out and cultivate peers who share your excitement and positivity about work and from whom you can learn.

The end goal of all of these principles is to cultivate excitement which enables you to love what you do. We sabotage ourselves when we make excuses for not loving our work. The most common excuses are too much to do, too stressed, poor relationships, and unfair performance assessments. There are toxic work environments that reflect on where you work and not why you hate your work. Falk says, “unless you are in an exceptionally bad working environment, in which case you should leave, your excuses are obstacles of your own creation.”

So, what’s the answer to this conundrum? The answer is in learning to master your mind. Falk offers “proven step-by-step tools and approaches that will make it easier and less energy-consuming for you to master your mind and to think and act deliberately in your professional life.”

To get your head around how to make Exciting Outcome-Focused Behavior or FEOs part of your normal way of operating at work, you need to understand that your work tasks have nothing to do with whether you love them. What makes a work task or activity lovable is how you think about the result you want to achieve. The more exciting that result is to you, the more time you’ll spend thinking about how to best perform that activity.

What makes this so difficult to do is that we too often think of work as work and not something we are to enjoy. And we (and our organizations) are activity focused.

Organizations thrive on activity-based goals such as “Develop the process for customer complaints,” “Move our data to the cloud,” or “Execute our digital transformation.” The common denominator among almost all company goals is their lack of clear and exciting outcomes. Most professionals are evaluated and rewarded based on whether they have executed an activity and not on what they achieved by doing so.

We have the power to think about our work in ways that make it lovable. Every task can be made interesting because every task has endless complexity and can be performed with endless variations. That, of course, requires that we overcome our reluctance to expend energy on deliberate thinking. For example, Falk considers the simple task of asking a colleague for information. We might ask ourselves:

• What exactly do I need to know, and how do I express it?
• Why is it important for me to know this, and is this the right time?
• Is my colleague the right person to ask, or are there others who are more suitable?
• Is there anything I need to know that is available in ways other than talking to this colleague?
• If talking to this colleague is the best and most efficient way to find out what I need to know, how do I organize the conversation so that I minimize use of my colleague’s time?
• Is there anything I can do that will make my colleague feel that he or she has gained something from the conversation?

That is certainly intentional thinking.

Falk then offers chapters discussing approaches to our work arranged from easy, moderate, and demanding to implement. These include:

• Set expectations every day and bring home something exciting and interesting to tell your kids
• Pursue a daily theme that excites you
• Create a time budget and track your time every Define your most important goals for every workday
• Set weekly or monthly stretch goals for skill development and effectiveness
• Don’t participate in negative talk
• Develop aspirations for how you want to be perceived
• Make a habit of asking for feedback
• Don’t avoid difficult people; embrace them
• Develop your people into stars

And many more.

Intrinsic motivation happens when you feel challenged. You will need to constantly increase the complexity and challenge of your work. The way you perform your tasks can always be improved, even if you perform them well. To be an intrinsically motivated person, you will need to look for moments when you should be challenging yourself rather than performing on autopilot.

No workplace, good or bad, will matter if you haven’t mastered your mind. That said, a good workplace will make it easier to engross yourself in your work. More importantly, you should look for an organization that is “designed to enable its people to experience a sense of autonomy.”

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McGarvey Motivation Drive

Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:11 AM
| Comments (0) | Motivation , Personal Development


Leading Thoughts for February 23, 2023

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


Matt Mayberry on avoiding slogans and no action when transforming your culture:

“Culture is not just about turning values into behaviors. It’s about turning values into repeatable behaviors, into actions that become daily habits that are shared across the organization.

Doing something most of the time, especially in the context of exchanging a negative behavior for a new and more positive behavior, is a good first step in the right direction, but it’s still just a step. Doing something repeatedly, to the point where it becomes ingrained into what an organization does daily and becomes common practice, is where cultural excellence lies.”

Source: Culture Is the Way: How Leaders at Every Level Build an Organization for Speed, Impact, and Excellence


Abraham Lincoln on the requirements for facing new challenges:

“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country”

Source: Annual Message to Congress – Concluding Remarks, December 1, 1862

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:29 AM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts


70 Thoughtful Quotes from 30 Presidents

30 Presidents Quotes

HERE are 70 quotes from 30 U.S. presidents to think about. Whether you liked their administration or not, each thought will help to broaden our perspective.

George Washington, 1789-1797

“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

“A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.”

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence; true friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

“When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly.”

John Adams, 1797-1801

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.”

“Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

“The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes, should be one of the principal studies and endeavours of our lives.”

“There is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive.”

James Monroe, 1817-1825

“In a representative republic, the education of our children must be of the utmost importance!”

“It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty.”

Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837

“One man with courage makes a majority.”

“When you get in debt, you become a slave.”

“Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.”

Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841

“It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.”

“The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity.”

“Most men are not scolded out of their opinion.”

Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853

“May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.”

“The man who can look upon a crisis without being willing to offer himself upon the altar of his country is not for public trust.”

Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857

“If your past is limited, your future is boundless.”

“Frequently, the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.”

Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“A day spent helping no one but yourself is a day wasted.”

“The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it.”

Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.”

“The most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized.”

Rutherford Hayes, 1877-1881

“Every expert was once a beginner.”

“The President of the United States should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves his country best.”

“The bold enterprises are the successful ones. Take counsel of hopes rather than of fears to win in this business.”

James Abram Garfield, 1881

“A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a Devil.”

“The truth will set you free, but first, it will make you miserable.”

William McKinley, 1897-1901

“That’s all a man can hope for during his lifetime - to set an example - and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909

“I put myself in the way of things happening, and they happened.”

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

William Howard Taft, 1909-1913

“No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.”

Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921

“I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.”

“The object of love is to serve, not to win.”

Warren Harding, 1921-1923

“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.”

“Treat your friend as if he will one day be your enemy, and your enemy as if he will one day be your friend.”

Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929

“I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can’t be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.”

“One of the first lessons a president has to learn is that every word he says weighs a ton.”

Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933

“It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power, each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own.”

“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945

“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”

“Go for the moon. If you don’t get it, you’ll still be heading for a star. Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of the creative effort.”

Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953

“The buck stops here.”

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961

“Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”

“There are three stages of life: youth, maturity, and ‘My, you’re looking good!’”

“Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963

“No matter how big the lie, repeat it often enough, and the masses will regard it as the truth.”

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969

“You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is right.”

“There are no problems we cannot solve together and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”

Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974

“Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

“Defeat doesn’t finish a man. Quit does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.”

“Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”

“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic.”

“What kind of nation we will be, what kind of world we will live in, whether we shape the future in the image of our hopes, is ours to determine by our actions and our choices.’

“The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. This honor now beckons America — the chance to help lead the world at last out of the valley of turmoil, and onto that high ground of peace that man has dreamed of since the dawn of civilization.”

Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977

“If compassion and mercy are not compatible with politics, then something is the matter with politics.”

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993

“The American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. And then I’d add to that, giving something back. No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.”

William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001

“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”

George Walker Bush, 2001-2009

“Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.”

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Lincoln Listen Washington Early Lead

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:01 AM
| Comments (0) | Leaders


Me vs. We: 3 Strategies for Negotiating in Relationships

Me vs We

NEGOTIATIONS can take on a life of their own. That’s because you plan how you’ll negotiate in isolation, yet you negotiate within a relationship—whether that relationship is professional or personal. Consciously deciding how you’ll approach the negotiation is a crucial part of your preparation. This might sound silly or unnecessary, but clearly stating your intentions to yourself will influence how successful the negotiation will be.

Depending on your tone, the negotiation’s context, and how you frame it, the interaction will either be competitive or collaborative.

Is your stance competitive or collaborative?

If you go into a negotiation with the intention of winning without regard for the other party, you’ll be negotiating competitively. Your communication will be limited because you don’t want to give an advantage to the other side by providing information; your actions will continuously favor your side, your flexibility in being able to shift from your positions to needs will diminish, and you won’t be building trust. All of this will be influenced by your competitive orientation. You’ll win, and the other party will lose.

On the other hand, if you have the intention of winning with the other party, you’ll have a collaborative framing of the negotiation. You’ll encourage open communication, share information to strengthen the other party, work on building trust, and take actions that will bring you closer to arriving at mutually beneficial outcomes. This approach will set the foundation for a healthy, long-term negotiating relationship.

Creating healthier negotiations

You may be wondering: Whose responsibility is it to create these healthier and mutually beneficial negotiations? The short answer is that we all hold some responsibility, but we may not know it.

For example, let’s say you’re negotiating with a senior work colleague about an upcoming deadline. You may believe you don’t have sufficient power in the relationship to do anything but accommodate your colleague’s request. But I would counter that notion; while you may not hold all the power to make the final decision, there are ways you can influence it.

Regardless of your initial intentions and whether the negotiation is going the way you planned, you can still influence the next steps and the direction you’d like the negotiation to take.

For instance, if your colleague demands, “I need this on my desk by week’s end,” you can still respond with a question to find out more information. You might say, “I hear what you’re saying about wanting the results by the end of the week. I’d like to know more about what’s driving the quick turnaround and how I can make the necessary adjustments to accommodate you.”

This technique slows down the negotiation’s pace and keeps you feeling confident that you still have some control over the process and outcomes.

If you’re feeling pressured to produce results before you can comfortably deliver them, you’ll want to know more about the urgency of the deadline. It could be that some of the results are needed before others, so you can split up the work and focus on the more immediate needs first and deliver the remainder afterward.

These actions allow you to be an active participant in the negotiation and parse out the critical information from the rest. Your willingness to hear the other party, understand their needs and make adjustments make you their negotiation partner, not an adversary.

Try these three negotiation strategies

Here are three tips to consider when emphasizing the “we” in your negotiating partnership:

  1. Identify the relationship you want to have with your negotiating partner, both for this negotiation and going forward. Too often, we focus on our immediate needs and what we want from a specific negotiation without considering the long-term impact. Taking “the long view” allows you to build better relationships while generating mutually beneficial outcomes.
  2. Listen to your negotiating partner—and watch for nonverbal cues. Listen for the expressed thoughts and watch for matching nonverbal gestures, including facial expressions, bodily gestures, and tone of voice. Check that everything is in alignment. If not, probe further to determine the real needs that may not have been expressed verbally.
  3. Take the initiative. Make offers in response to overtly and covertly expressed needs. These offers (or modifications of previous offers) should directly satisfy the other party’s needs, and your generous gesture will be seen in that light.

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Leading Forum
Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Ph.D., CCS, is a global expert and educator in negotiation and communication. She’s the program director of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, a negotiation consultant for the United Nations, and the CEO of the consulting agency Fisher Yoshida International. Her new book, New Story, New Power: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiation, helps women of all ages make successful negotiations a reality. Learn more at bethfisheryoshida.com.

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Reframing Conflict Outward Mindset

Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:27 AM
| Comments (0) | General Business


Leading Thoughts for February 16, 2023

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


Nine-time Grammy-winning producer Rick Rubin on awareness:

“Awareness is not a state you force. There is little effort involved, though persistence is key. It’s something you actively allow to happen. It is a presence with, and acceptance of, what is happening in the eternal now.

As soon as you label an aspect of Source, you’re no longer noticing, you’re studying. This holds true of any thought that takes you out of presence with the object of your awareness, whether analysis or simply becoming aware that you’re aware. Analysis is a secondary function. The awareness happens first as a pure connection with the object of your attention. If something strikes me as interesting or beautiful, first I live that experience. Only afterward might I attempt to understand it.”

Source: The Creative Act: A Way of Being


Professor Robert Mayerovitch on teachability:

“Curiosity doesn’t negate what you know and treasure. Instead, it offers the promise of even more: more richness, more depth, and breadth, more opportunities to be amazed and troubled and challenged and stimulated and ultimately uplifted by what you find.”

Source: Speech, The Challenge of Otherness, May 7, 2006

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:46 AM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts


How Our Current Office Shock Can Lead to a Climate-Positive “Officeverse”

Office Shock

MANY OFFICES that were shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic had inherent problems even before the crisis. Traditional offices were often unfair, uncomfortable, uncreative, and unproductive. COVID-19 forced millions of people to work and live in ways they’d never attempted before, leading to a state of “office shock.” Fixed became fluid. Unexamined assumptions about offices and office work opened into probing questions that demanded careful thought. It took a global pandemic to shake open executive minds to the possibility of better ways of doing office work.

Further, many traditional offices were climate-negative, while some were climate hostile. But overall, climate impacts improved during the shake-up with the promise of much more to come.

Offices and officing could be an important catalyst for positive climate choices. Buildings and their construction are among the largest contributors to global resource use. In considering the opportunity offices can play in changing the narrative for a better future, legendary architect Frank Duffy offered a stark indictment of traditional offices:

The Taylorist office building has been a perfect machine for delivering environmental degradation because it’s so completely the product of supply-side thinking, which overrides user interests, ignores the public good and takes no account of collateral damage.

Why do we work in offices at all? During COVID-19 shutdowns a lot of productive office work got done without offices. Hybrid work and flexibility are now normalized, but the future of work is up for grabs. Office shock will continue for many years to come. And that can be an opportunity for climate-positive officing.

COVID-19, along with the internet, were catalysts for office shock, which has revealed impossible futures for offices and officing that are now possible. An emerging “officeverse” is shaping new models in an ever-changing mix of work, place, and time options for living and working.

Climate-Positive Offices

In the corporate real estate industry, Duffy argued that the root cause of climate abuse by offices is the office supply chain and its incentives. Facility managers should be rewarded for maintaining highly sustainable environments, not merely reducing costs. Design and construction professionals should be rewarded for making the most imaginative and efficient use of existing spaces, rather than for new building. Finance and development providers should be rewarded for sustainably managing what exists already, rather than pursuing new ventures.

We can all do much to improve the regenerative capabilities of offices. Critical choices must be made to change consumption, produce with circularity, and regenerate the planet. Our current state of office shock could be a much-needed spark for the choices about our future that could rein in impending disasters. Office shock provides an opportunity to reverse the many unsuccessful attempts at doing the right thing. At the same time, the window of opportunity is closing quickly.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, reacted to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report published on April 4, 2022, saying the report reveals “a litany of broken climate promises” by governments and businesses. He even accused many of lying when claiming to be on track to limiting future heating to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. In a strongly worded rebuke, Guterres said: “It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world.”

While technical solutions are necessary, they are insufficient to bring about a change in behavior. To have an effect, we will need to change minds and systems. A climate-positive future will need to incorporate social, economic, political, and cultural changes to address this urgent need and provide a way to examine the span of choices from net-zero, where people and offices don’t contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases, to Regenerative, where active steps can be taken to cultivate and renew the resources of our planet. Finding the harmony of choices that will enable us to fight in this battle for survival is critical to a better future.

A sustainable future requires making choices today to make a climate-positive impact. The office can be the place where organizations converge on a shared purpose of sustainability.

Here are some ideas to adopt for a climate-positive officeverse:

  1. Employ a new approach to product acquisition. To take advantage of the opportunity of office shock, begin to view product acquisition like pets — something you own for its lifetime. Just as any person should carefully consider the act of acquiring a pet and its long-term consequences, we will need to start thinking the same way for every product we acquire. Transferring ownership of goods must include a responsibility to resell, recycle, or even repurpose.
  2. Think of “office” as more a verb than a noun. As a noun, office denotes office places, or buildings. As a verb, it describes work processes and social interactions to get work done. Changing the meaning of office to a verb aligns with the officeverse — the future anytime/anyplace world of work that better satisfies its individual, organizational, and community purpose.
  3. Prototype ways to improve the climate impact of officing. We can now do most office work without offices. Ask yourself where, when, how, and even why you work as you imagine climate-positive officing. Can you make more climate-positive choices for working and living?
  4. Move to a more circular business model. In working toward a sustainable future, we need to make a strategic choice: control the linearity of the value chain or move toward a more circular business model. The latter contains a business model choice: produce only when necessary, and offer to repair, recover, recycle, or — even better — reuse the basic materials.

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Leading Forum
Bob Johansen is a sociologist focused on top leadership in shape-shifting organizations. Joseph Press is a workplace architect, experienced digital transformation advisor and design futurist dedicated to designing better futures. Christine Bullen is an information systems professor who pioneered the critical success factor method and the strategic application of IT to business management. All of the authors are associated with the Institute for the Future. Their new book, Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and Living (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Jan. 17, 2023), shares how to prepare for the emerging officeverse. Learn more at http://officeshock.org.

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Build for Tomorrow Grassroots Change

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:22 AM
| Comments (0) | General Business


The Ecosystem Economy

Ecosystem Economy

IN THE BEGINNING, as civilizations grew and became more advanced, work was organized around specialized lines of work. These sectors of work, like the mining, textile, or glassmaking industries, thrived with their own supply chains, expertise, and proprietary distribution. And this is basically how we think of business today. But that is changing.

McKinsey partners Venkat Atluri and Miklós Dietz illuminate that change in The Ecosystem Economy. The borders between sectors are dissolving. Sectors like construction, real estate, automotive manufacturing, financial services, and health care have been thought of as distinct categories, each operating in its own spheres. Today we see businesses organizing “into new, more dynamic configurations, centered not on the way things have always been done, but on people’s needs.”

Businesses form ecosystems by collaborating with one another—by sharing assets, information, and resources—and ultimately creating value beyond what would have been possible for each of them to achieve individually.

The term business ecosystem has been used in the past generally to refer to relationships between one organization and its clients. The ecosystem economy that the authors refer to here goes much deeper than that. More like alliances between organizations that pull together the steps in a customer’s journey.

Even if each step in that journey is fulfilled or managed by a different company, the ecosystem integrates them into a single platform, so that from the customer’s perspective, it’s all one experience, one journey. In other words, if an ecosystem can help consumers through the most arduous step on their journey, they will be more likely to trust the broader ecosystem with the rest of their needs.

Tencent, Apple, and Google are all examples of economic ecosystems.

Ecosystems are reshaping the world around us. The question is, how do we adapt and participate in this ecosystem economy?

The two questions we need to be asking first are: Where will you compete now? And what should you do to evolve your value proposition? To answer these questions, the authors say, “you will need to vastly expand your scope—and shift the nature of your planning. You need to fundamentally rethink how you define your customers’ needs, your customer base, your industry, your proposition, and the competitive landscape.” The book provides examples of how to begin to work through this. As you do this, other questions begin to take shape, like, will you build the new ecosystem yourself? Will you participate in someone else’s ecosystem? Or a little of both?

Then you need to transform your organization from within. You will need to rethink your approach to your organizing and operating model, talent, performance management, the underlying culture, and supporting infrastructure.

They boil the lessons of their ecosystem playbook processes and recommendations down to ten principles which I’ll just list here:

  1. Start with the customer and end with the customer
  2. Choose your role wisely
  3. Think and act in platforms, both physical and digital
  4. Go all in—set up right and make ecosystems a top priority for you and your leadership team
  5. Identify and leverage control points
  6. Don’t confuse vendor-customer relationships with ecosystems
  7. Be clear-eyed about where you need vertical integration and where you need ecosystems
  8. Constantly reevaluate your position
  9. Avoid incrementalism
  10. Put value creation over profits

12 Distinct Ecosystems

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How Companies Win Ecosystem Putsis

Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:39 AM
| Comments (0) | General Business , Marketing


Leading Thoughts for February 9, 2023

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


Robin Sharma on leadership roles:

“Know your role. Everyone needs to behave like a leader—no matter what they do. Everyone needs to demonstrate leadership traits—regardless of their position. That means everyone needs to take responsibility for getting results that they generate. Everyone needs to do their part to shape culture. Everyone needs to be positive and inspirational. Everyone needs to keep customers happy and protect the brand. Everyone is a leader. But not everyone is the same.”

Source: The Greatness Guide: Powerful Secrets for Getting to World Class


Rose Patten on true collaboration:

Spirited collaboration – enabling and encouraging dissent, with the ultimate objective of arriving at a better outcome. A harmonious group of like minds becomes an echo chamber of agreement. A leader who doesn’t allow diverse opinions and ideas for improvement will perform suboptimally. Today’s leadership challenges – a more complex and diverse workplace, digitalization, far-reaching stakeholder expectations – will push the need for inclusive and dissenting (“spirited”) collaboration.”

Source: Intentional Leadership: The Big 8 Capabilities Setting Leaders Apart

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:13 AM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts


How to Bounce Forward When Life Throws You a Curve

How to Bounce Forward

THE SCOTTISH POET Robert Burns wrote, “The best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry,” in a poem to a mouse whose nest was disrupted by the plow. The implication is that things rarely go just the way we want.

Disruptions fall all along the spectrum from “the whatever” to “the paralyzing.” From my-coffee-is-too-hot to the death of a loved one; from the game was canceled to a divorce. Some we quickly move past, and some stop us dead in our tracks. Some disruptions are predictable and some we never saw coming. But they all make us uncomfortable because something is not going the way we planned it. And it seems no matter what we do, we are frustrated by our inability to control it. The world doesn’t always bend to our wishes. Things don’t always go the way we planned them to go for absolutely no good reason. Events happen for which we have no good explanation.

King Solomon also reflected on the same thought in his book Ecclesiastes. He wrote:

I returned and saw under the sun that—The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.

It’s a good description of the world we live in. It’s not very logical. It’s not very hopeful. It doesn’t always make sense. Sooner or later, bad luck hits us all. It doesn’t matter who (or what) you are—man or mouse—disruption is a way of life. From the disruption of birth to the disruption of death, life is full of change. Wanting things to go our way, we fight against these disruptions. We get angry, we blame, and we get depressed, and we ask, “Why is this happening to me?” We fight against whatever is making us uncomfortable. We want it to end so we can get back to the way we were.

But we can’t go back. Disruptions either change us or they leave us stuck going nowhere. If our emphasis in life is to hang on to what we have, what we are, then one day we will find ourselves running on empty, living meaningless lives.

For some disruptions, it is fair to say, “Get over it,” and move on. For others, something much deeper needs to happen, more akin to healing. But whether the disruption is big or small, there is a quality that is critical to our success that connects them all. Our ability to deal effectively with any disruption is determined by how resilient we are.

A good definition of resilience is our capacity to maintain our core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.

Resilience is our ability to roll with the punches and deal with these disruptions in a more positive and creative way. I remember my parents telling me, from early on, to roll with the punches—don’t let situations knock you off course. It’s the idea that your circumstances don’t determine your future. Resilience is our ability to bounce forward no matter what life throws at us. And I say bounce forward because, as we all know, most disruptions leave us nothing to bounce back to. Who and what we were has been forever changed.

Resilience means learning to deal with the uncertainty of life as a given. We should anticipate our plans going awry and prepare for it, but most of us are not remotely prepared to deal with real disruptions. Sidestepping a disruption in our life makes us more vulnerable to the next one.

The mistaken impression that life should always be happy does not prepare us for the tragedy and danger of this world. When something goes wrong, we want someone to fix it. We lack resilience.

A bubble-wrapped life is a fragile life. The most comfortable life is the most fragile and the most likely to collapse under stress. In our comfort, we don’t build the resilience we need to deal with life. So, when someone or something suddenly messes with our plans, we are hit harder by them because we lack the skills and mindset to deal with them. The Roman statesman Cato thought that almost any form of comfort as a road to waste—a road taking us nowhere.

A resilient person is not fragile. A resilient person leans into the problem. As a result, the resilient person actually lessens the time they spend learning and healing. They move through the stages of grief more quickly.

Resilience doesn’t come easy, and it is built over time— difficulty by difficulty—but it requires a shift in our thinking. We must see difficulties differently if we are to build resilience and the capacity to grow from them. The suggestion here is that when you are faced with a problem, there is something of value going on.

We need to shift our thinking about problems and disruptions for a good reason. It builds perseverance and resilience. Problems are tests. And like any test, it is designed to help you see where you stand. The way we think about a problem—our attitude about a problem—will determine how we handle the problem.

Resilience is rooted in our belief system. How we come out on the other side is determined by our attitude. For most of us, that is a huge shift in our thinking because what we want to do is to fight against any disruption and any uncomfortableness to make it go away.

This shift requires that we get out of our own heads and see our life from another perspective. It doesn’t mean that we are happy about the problem, but that we can be happy in the problem.

It means that we own the problem. We meet it head-on, and we use it to our benefit. It changes not only our perspective on problems but our perspective on life. We will face adversity and challenges of all kinds. Our future depends on our ability to bounce forward.

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Bounce Forward LeadingViews Resilience

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:31 AM
| Comments (0) | Personal Development


Leading Thoughts for February 2, 2023

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


Robert Kaplan on learning to ask the right questions:

“Fortunately, the key to managing and leading your organization and your career does not lie in ‘having all the answers.’ The key lies in making a conscious effort to regularly step back to reflect, and then identify and frame the issues that are central to leading your organization effectively into the future.”

Source: What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential


Jeremy Utley and Perry Klebahn on creativity:

“Regardless of exactly how you define creativity, the key thing is that we never create out of whole cloth. Instead, we connect what we have, bringing together two or more elements in a new way. Abundant ideaflow requires enormous amounts of raw material to make more of these unexpected combinations.”

Source: Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:54 AM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts


First Look: Leadership Books for February 2023

First Look Books

HERE'S A LOOK at some of the best leadership books to be released in February 2023 curated just for you. Be sure to check out the other great titles being offered this month.


9781119913658Culture Is the Way: How Leaders at Every Level Build an Organization for Speed, Impact, and Excellence by Matt Mayberry

Former NFL Pro, world-renowned keynote speaker, and management consultant Matt Mayberry delivers an incisive and hands-on blueprint to employee engagement and peak productivity. In the book, you'll explore how leaders, at every level, can build a workplace culture that drives organizational excellence and unleashes the full potential of every employee. You’ll also learn: how to build a culture where people can become the best version of themselves and transform organizational performance, five common roadblocks that prevent leaders from using culture to get the best from their people and how to overcome them, and how to implement your playbook for cultural excellence across your entire organization.

9781250792952Upshift: Turning Pressure into Performance and Crisis into Creativity by Ben Ramalingam

With over two decades’ experience both observing and interpreting how people channel disaster into opportunity in the most extreme circumstances and environments on Earth, Ben Ramalingam has a unique vantage point from which to identify the key principles that can enable anyone to use stress as an opportunity for change. In Upshift, Ramalingam distils this expertise into an insightful, powerful, and engaging book that will show you how to reframe your set responses to stress and pressure and instead use them to harness the potential they hold not just for improving your work, your relationships, and your mindset, but for transforming them.

9781400236725Come Up for Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work by Nick Sonnenberg

“There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done!” Sound familiar? Forget the old concepts of time management and the hustle culture of working until you burn out. You and your entire team can get more done, in far fewer hours, with the right blueprint. Come Up for Air is that blueprint. Through years of building a leading efficiency consulting business, Nick Sonnenberg has discovered the primary reason why so many teams are overwhelmed. It’s not because they don’t have enough time, managers expect too much of their employees, or there aren’t enough people. The problem is that everyone is drowning in unnecessary work and inefficiencies that prevent them from focusing on the work that drives results. In Come Up for Air, you’ll discover the CPR® Business Efficiency Framework, a proven system for leaders, managers, and teams to maximize their performance and reduce overwhelm by using the right tools in the right way, at the right time.

9780063088863Burn the Boats: Toss Plan B Overboard and Unleash Your Full Potential by Matt Higgins

Executive fellow at Harvard Business School, Guest Shark on Shark Tank, and famed angel investor Matt Higgins reveals the counterintuitive formula for a life of perpetual growth that has been practiced for thousands of years by military leaders and serial entrepreneurs alike—forget the Plan B and burn the boats. From Sun Tzu to Julius Caesar, the ancient Israelites to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, there’s a bold and highly effective tactic seen throughout history—when leaders want to motivate their troops for success, they destroy all opportunities for retreat, and go all-in on the mission. They burn their boats; it’s win or perish, and the clarity of sheer desperation propels them to victory.

9781647823931Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High by David Noble and Carol Kauffman

The best leaders, in the biggest moments, know how to read the situation, respond in the most effective way possible, and move forward. You can, too. Leadership coaching legends David Noble and Carol Kauffman show you how with their innovative new framework—MOVE—which equips you with the tactics you need to slow down high-stakes situations before they speed you up. You'll learn to master the moment, generate response options, and quickly evaluate those options before acting. As you get better and better at using the framework, you'll find you can recognize these moments as they arrive, like a great athlete who can read the field as a play unfolds or a great conductor who anticipates what's needed to deliver a great performance..

9781250277695Intrinsic Motivation: Learn to Love Your Work and Succeed as Never Before by Stefan Falk

Intrinsic motivation―doing a thing for its inherent satisfaction rather than external rewards―is the key to success and satisfaction in any endeavor. A legendary performance coach shares his simple, proven, and fun methods for cultivating and keeping it. As more of us work remotely and the frequency of our in-person contact decreases, this desire for connection and trust has only become more important; the social drive is so strong that our body temperature drops when we feel excluded. To satisfy our psychological needs in today’s professional world, we must pursue them consciously and purposefully―but unfortunately, most of us don't know how to do so effectively. Instead, we waste our time on ineffective coping strategies that often make us feel even worse. The true solution to becoming happier, healthier, and more productive is to become intrinsically motivated.

More Titles

9781523003419 9781394171385 9781647820558 9780593239513

For bulk orders call 1-626-441-2024

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“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”
— Henry Ward Beecher

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Whats New in Leadership Books Best Books of 2022

Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:53 AM
| Comments (0) | Books



Books to Read

Best Books of 2022


Leadership Books
How to Do Your Start-Up Right

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Leadership Books
Grow Your Leadership Skills

Leadership Minute
Leadership Minute

Leadership Classics
Classic Leadership Books

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