I am so overwhelmed with data on a daily basis that I find it extremely difficult to pull back and see the forest from all the trees, branches, limbs, and stumps. Trend watchers help me to pull back, to knit together what seem to be disparate events and to see a bit better what is coming.
Over the years I have worked with countless business leaders, helping them navigate the murky waters of leadership. During those same years, I’ve read volumes of books and articles claiming to have the definitive answer on how to transform an individual contributor into a great leader.
Clearly, if there was a formula, a series of prescribed actions and activities that would result in the worker to leader transformation, I would have discovered it by now. What I firmly believe is that there is no one path, no single journey that results in this transformation. Every person who aspires to be a successful organizational leader has their own unique path to discover and follow. (more…)
August in the metro DC area where I live is the best month of all. Congress is in recess as our elected officials return home for their annual R&R. All of the government support businesses are virtually shut down. Vacations abound (more…)
When not in classes and workshops we all revel in the restorative effects of a week away from our regular, regulated lives. This summer I attended the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and tried my hand at creating a story quilt. (more…)
In 1997, the vast majority of working professionals worked for others on a company salary that was safe, predictable and regular. We freelancers were considered the renegades who rejected this good life, replacing job security with employment independence. Our counterparts on the payroll questioned our sanity and often queried when we were going to get a “real job.”
I truly enjoy reading prognostications about the next big thing, then watching to see if the crystal-ball predictions become fact or fizzle out. I follow a very scientific formula to determine which trends to watch: if the prediction occurs once, ignore it. If it appears twice on my radar, keep an eye on it. If more than three writers cite an important fact to watch, I run it through my mental probability filter and watch for it to appear again in my favorite blogs and print sources. (more…)
Media journalists present us with succinct assessments of the year’s books, movies, headlines and other popular categories that we can use to quickly catch up on the best and brightest output of the year. As much as the look in the rear view mirror is fun, I like to balance it with some forward looking predictions. One of my favorite is the 10 Workplace Trends article written annually by Dan Schwabel for Forbes magazine. (more…)
Ah, if only. These days we are barraged with negative messages: endless wars and killing in the Middle East, the Ebola nightmare in Africa and domestically, the numerous peccadillos of our elected officials. I find it a real challenge to keep positive and upbeat. (more…)
Days feel cooler and I notice that the sun rises a bit later every morning. I face this time of year with mixed emotions. Part of me longs to extend the easy days of summer with its light traffic and slow pace. Yet part of me longs for the return of structure the fall brings. (more…)
For the past few years, I’ve committed to one vacation a year to go off into the woods and paint. (Read about my past adventures in this newsletter and this blog post.)
I remove myself from my familiar environs, shut down my business and go off to exercise the right side of my brain. This one week is truly a high point of my year.