Differences of opinion matter. Some years ago, the late noble prize winning Doctor Albert Schweitzer was being interviewed in London and a reporter asked him, “Doctor, what’s wrong with men today?” The great doctor was silent a moment and then he said, “Men simply don’t think!” (excerpt from “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale). Many years later, a news talk show host who is known for his strong political beliefs was asked “Why do you want people to think like you so much?” The talk show host quickly responded that he did not want people to think like him! Far from it! He just wants people to think. He concluded his answer with the sentence “Without differences of opinion, there can be no intelligent debate.” Oh how Read more
The Scottish writer and historian Thomas Carlyle once said, “Every man I meet is my superior in that I may learn from him.” This has always been a thought-provoking quote for me because every day I make it a point to keep an open mind and to learn as much as I can. Having been in so many roles and leadership positions throughout my life, I can’t help but be amazed at how much I’ve yet to learn and how much I’m still learning every single day. Do you ever find times when you realize you have a lot to learn?
Here are some maxims, messages and quotes that I’ve heard over the years that have helped me to grow as a leader, as a friend and as a person. They are not my sayings but words that I’ve come to appreciate and take to heart. Many of them are by that infamous author known only by the name “anonymous”. These have helped me to better understand and enjoy life, as well as enjoy the company of others more fully. My hope here is that you find some of these helpful to you: Read more
You know what’s amazing? It’s the ability we all have to change our environment based upon our view of it. I’m not talking about any mysticism or hocus pocus, but a proven psychological ability that we as human beings have. This ability is known as the “Chameleon Effect”, also known as the “Pygmalion Effect” in some circles, it has to do with our natural sense of value attribution and how it changes life around us. Value attribution or the inclination for people to superimpose or imbue a thing with certain characteristics or qualities based upon our initial perception. The initial impression we have of something or someone will cause us to view that very same thing in such a way that’s consistent with our initial impression. When Joshua Bell (a Grammy Award-winning violinist who plays to sold-out crowds in symphony halls around the world) dressed in jeans, a baseball cap and sneakers pulled out his $3.5 million dollar Stradivarius violin on a crowded subway platform in Washington D.C. during morning rush hour and Read more
Depending upon where you’re from, or what generation you are part of, your view of what a leader should and should not be will vary. There are those who say changing times call for changes in leadership styles. While that may be true for some areas of leadership, many basic characteristics of leadership still hold true today as they did back with previous generations.
A crucial area that has not changed is the ability to communicate. Communication has added new tools to its repertoire over the last couple of decades (such as email and instant messaging), but time tested communication methods are still needed today. To substitute these time tested communication methods with email and/or instant messaging would be to ask your team and peers to begin alienating themselves from you. Why Read more
It’s interesting how many people out there want to rewrite the rules in life. They want to rewrite them so that it fits their chosen lifestyle. Some even say, “I play by my rules”. Have you ever heard anyone say that? One can say that’s a courageous attitude to take. Others may say that’s a very unrealistic, even childish attitude to take. It’s OK to make your own rules, just be prepared for when the rest of the world confronts you about them (and doesn’t agree). Some rules of life are rules that cannot be changed or altered. Why? Because people are people!
One of my favorite books is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. It’s probably one of the most read books when it comes to the art of relationship building. If you’re a person who truly wants to learn about understanding people (as well as yourself) better, then this is a book that I highly recommend. I periodically re-read this book in order to not become rusty on the teachings it provides. Here are a few golden nuggets Read more