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Change Conversations Dialogue Leadership Reflection

Old School

What do you do with milk that has expired? 

What do you do with clothes that are no longer in fashion? 

What do you do with beliefs that no longer fit in modern times?

Recently I heard the term ‘old school’ again from two different sources within two days.

It had been a while since I heard the term, so it triggered a reaction. … Read the rest

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Change Choices Leadership Mindset Vision

Causing pain

Sometimes you must create deliberate pain to get something you want to do in motion.

I remember vividly a conversation with my mentor Joyce who often talked about CEOs having to create organizational pain once in a while to shake things up.

When things are becoming complacent, and they often do, you need to create pain.… Read the rest

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Change Choices Helping others Purpose Self awareness

Climbing down the ladder

The only way is up.

Until it’s not.

From the moment we’re born, our eyes are focused upwards unless we’re lying on our belly.

Our age goes up. Our length goes up. Our weight goes up. At school, grades our counting upward (in most countries).

With our first job, our income goes up.… Read the rest

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Change Communication Culture Leadership Self awareness

Fishy smell

“A fish stinks from the head.”

Rumi

Rumi, a Turkish poet who lived towards the end of the 13th century, wrote “The Third Book of Masnavi,” where the phrase appears as follows: “Fish begins to stink at the head, not the tail.”

We often hear this quote in a business environment.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and it basically means that when problems arise in a business, it makes sense to look at the top of the company first.… Read the rest

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Change Culture Transformation Values

Culture Transformation? Yeah right!

Most leaders have no clue about culture.

No clue. Nada. Nic (Czech). Nothing.

Oh yes, they talk about culture. They convey a belief that they actually don’t understand, but they don’t.

In fact,

Those leaders that talk most about culture probably understand the least.

It’s all talking but no action.

The leaders I know who are good at culture transformation do quietly what needs to get done.… Read the rest

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Change Choices Courage Freedom Purpose

Listen carefully! Don’t respond!

“Listen carefully!” 

“Just like in communism, I can only talk to you and give you commands and information. You can’t reply or talk back. The good old times.”

Berlin tour guide

I think it still works in many companies precisely that way (remember Elon Musk), which is another sad story in itself.… Read the rest

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Change Discipline Growth Mindset Performance

You’re not a tree

“If you don’t like how things are, change it. You are not a tree.”

Jim Rohn

I took a liking recently to the quotes from Jim Rohn. At the risk of offending someone, I had never heard of Jim until a few months ago.

Thanks to the algorithm of Instagram, one of his quotes showed up, which was enough reason to do a little more research.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Change Coaching Dialogue Learning

Change starts with a conversation

I’m a certified facilitator in Fierce Conversations.

That’s not a joke.

If you thought it was, you’re probably wondering why something like training in conversations exists in the first place.

Well …

Because many of us do not know how to have a skillful conversation.

We don’t listen well.

We don’t articulate well.… Read the rest

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Change Learning Mindset Self awareness

Why change always comes from within

Steve Jobs ended his famous Stanford Commencement speech with this tip for the graduating students:

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Steve Jobs

My interpretation:

Always look for opportunities to make ‘things’ better, starting with yourself. Always be curious about yourself and the world around you.

Curiosity and change are the fun parts of being alive and growing as a human being and leader.… Read the rest

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Change Courage Growth Self awareness Trust

Vulnerability is a differentiator.

What’s your first reaction when you see this headline?

When I read this quote last week, my brain went into a pirouette that would have won gold at the most recent Olympic Games.

Meaning that for me there are different twists to this quote with both positive and negative implications.

While the author’s intentions were positive, it’s easy to point at the downsides of demonstrating vulnerability as well.… Read the rest

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Change Freedom Reflection Vision

Musings from a little coffee place

We have a little coffee place in the next village over that we like to go to. It’s small, authentic, has excellent coffee, the best cakes, and started selling fresh bread last year as well.

There’s only one of it. It serves its unique purpose to people in the village and those who like to walk or bike in the forest nearby.… Read the rest

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Change Conflict Freedom Purpose

What the president of Ukraine is teaching us about purpose

Personally, I find it hard to write about general business and leadership topics while the world is up in arms.

I’m doing a pretty good job of remaining focused on what I need to be focused on, while it’s clear that many others are continuously following the news and the latest developments.… Read the rest

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Change Courage Dreams Fear

Life is not a to-do list

I started writing this insight when the world still seemed to be sort of normal.

I have a folder with topics and draft posts that I regularly update when I get inspired by an interesting topic.

After I write my first sentences down, I continue if the words flow immediately or pause if I want the topic to evolve a little.… Read the rest

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Change Curiosity Fear Habits Mindset

Seven practical tips for dealing with change

Too much change makes us uncomfortable. We have a natural tendency to resist when change happens to us.

If you thought things would calm down, now that Covid seems to be more or less under control, you were in for a surprise last week. The word war has actively entered our vocabulary again.… Read the rest

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Change Culture Leadership Trust

Why the great resignation starts with you!

People leave managers, not companies.

Read that again.

People leave managers, not companies.

NB. The quote does not say: people leave leaders, not companies.

Leaders vs. Managers. A subtle difference with significant consequences.

People don’t leave true leaders.

This week, I was personally confronted with a few stories of people leaving companies because of their managers.… Read the rest

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Care Change Growth Kindness

What the world needs RIGHT now

Yesterday I read a message online from an old friend about the first few coaching conversations she had this year.

She painted a picture of people looking for direction, being frustrated, overwhelmed, stuck, simply not in a good place.

Obviously, this is not a representative picture, but I also believe we have a problem on our hands.… Read the rest

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Change COVID-19 Human Resources Leadership Self awareness

Summer promotion! Back to the Office, or Else.

Let me start with a bit of a disclaimer. I only do this when I believe it’s necessary to warn you that you may be exposed to some opinions that may provoke you.

Overall, I think my insight today is a balanced rant.

You may think that a rant, by definition, is not balanced, but I disagree.… Read the rest

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Change Experimentation Learning Self awareness

That’s JUST the way we do things around here

When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone?

I’m aware I may have asked this question before, but I got reminded last week while participating in a webinar.

One of the speakers shared with the audience that when he woke up every morning, he planned one activity for that day to get out of his comfort zone.… Read the rest

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Change Self awareness Transformation Vision

No pain. No gain. Also for a Tiger

Tiger Woods played the last six holes of his Masters tournament on Sunday five below par. That means he was five shots better than he should have been according to the course standards (par).

That’s not the story, though.

The story is that he posted his worst score ever on the hole before.… Read the rest

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Change COVID-19 Dreams Execution Growth

4 simple strategies to start turning your dreams into reality

I’m in full lockdown again. From being the best student in class, Prague and the Czech Republic are now the worst student. As I write this story, the numbers continue to rise, and it seems like we’re only days away from a full, second lockdown.

This time feels different.

The weather has turned colder, the days have become shorter, and it’s clear that this pandemic is not just going away.… Read the rest