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Leadership and Change: Ready on a Moment’s Notice

I must really be getting old! I remember when tornadoes were only meant to happen in Kansas. In past years most of us watched “The Wizard of Oz” and went along with Dorothy on her journey, yet it was just a story, right? While tornadoes indicate sudden change and danger they were “out there” in pockets of the country. They were meant to be in Kansas, not Connecticut. Well, not until this week anyway. The weather patterns of the world have changed, the world has changed, and we all need to be more adept at adaptation. Change in the blink of an eye is required by all of us, and leaders need to have the tools of change in their back pockets. Here is an example: Yesterday we finished the second session of Total Leadership Connections and sent the group on its way. Lots of stops and blocks happened once this group left the “Magic Kingdom” of The Country Place. Someone called to tell me about a tire that blew while he was driving, fortunately on a back road just off the highway. There were plane delays, sitting on a runway for hours without even water, even a tree from a quick yet busy thunder storm blocking a road to his house. What impressed me was the balanced manner in which these momentary unplanned changes were handled. NO victims in this group. No crabbing and blaming, no anger and upset. Well, maybe some upset; after all it is okay to be human. However, whether it was nature showing its strength, or a people problem, there was calm behind the...

Workplace Conflict, Men, Women, and the Family

  Yesterday I talked about the tension at work where men are searching for ways to navigate that tough middle road between being a great employee or business owner and a father who is present for his children.   I saw this dilemma first hand at an off-site with a national sales group. Picture the scene: the team of 22 from a sales organization was at The Country Place Retreat Center to have some fun on our outdoors team challenge course and to take advantage of our new program called “Build and Give” where they would put some two wheeler bikes together that would then be donated to charity.   In the process they would learn about themselves, how the program “Ouch! Handling Conflict at Work” would help them talk together differently.   The women in the group came to me and requested time to put together a surprise skit for their male colleagues. They asked if I could “keep the guys busy” for about an hour while they pulled together their material.   I asked the men to gather to discuss their special issues with workplace conflict. They wanted to know why the gals were not included. Earlier, one of the men had said “NO one really understands our work-life balance issues” so, this was to give them time to think, feel and say whatever they wanted.   Off we went to the great room to sit in a circle and have time to “just talk“. Was I in for a surprise!   After just a few minutes they felt safe enough to dig deep. Here is the...