What Inspires You Can Inhibit You: Adopting a Transformational Mindset

In order to really become a great leader and to become fully actualized, we must always consider and acknowledge that which sustains us and that which controls us. In essence, we must be aware of the narratives – unspoken and spoken – that dictate how we live our lives. Some of those narratives may be sustaining. For example, a foreign exchange trip during college may reinforce the value of cultural humility and its role in intercultural dialogue and engagement. Watching a grandparent work tirelessly can indoctrinate us with a strong and sturdy work ethic that seemingly knows no bounds. However,
Read More

The Late-Day Wisdom of Kobe Bryant

Unless you find NBA basketball to be the bane of your existence, then you probably know that last night was the final game in Kobe Bryant’s storied basketball career. Although Bryant was a polarizing figure for most of his career, many people are now unabashedly celebrating him for the example he set: a genius who mastered his craft no matter what the costs. However, Bryant’s career is a cautionary tale that professional genius does not necessarily equal strong leadership. Whispering minds would argue that Bryant’s ruthless pursuit of greatness is what made him an impeccable leader. As some pundits have
Read More

Sustaining Growth in a Troubled Economy

  No matter where you are in the world, it’s no secret that the economy has been ailing over the past decade. However, as we survey the global marketplace, it is equally apparent that despite the economic downturn, many companies are prospering. This begs the question: How are those companies succeeding? What makes those companies distinct from organizations and companies that are barely treading water? The answer is simple: growth strategy. The traditional thinking in business is to identify core business values and build upon those values for the long haul. However, in today’s market, companies must constantly re-tool and
Read More

The Fetish of Generational Diversity

In the last decade, “generational diversity” has become the new “darling” of diversity practitioners, theorists, and advocates alike. As has been acknowledged, the modern era is the first time in our country’s history when four different generations have worked together in the American workplace.[1]   As a result, much has been made of how to appeal to the exuberant and techno-savvy sensibilities of Generation X and Generation Y (“Gen X” and “Gen Y”). At first blush, the adulation is flattering; “youth” has always seemed to implicate energy, innovation, and creativity, and by extension, generational diversity is seen as being “sexy.” However,
Read More

Leaders Behaving Badly

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of facilitating a strategic planning session for senior leaders of a national non-profit.  The leaders who were assembled came from all across the country; they were some of the most brilliant minds in their respective fields. Each person had extensive experience in grassroots organizing, public policy analysis, and fundraising. Our session lasted for four hours, and in that time, a lot of wonderful suggestions and feedback were generated. However, despite the collective wisdom that was in the room, a curious thing happened: on multiple occasions, the executive team dismissed the feedback from the
Read More