“Slow Down, You Move Too Fast …”

I suppose it’s a sign of the times …

Many people have been and are writing around the concept of mindfulness these days.  With economic, social, and political turmoil, an increasingly rapid pace of technology change, and deep uncertainty about the future, we human beings naturally find ourselves looking inward for help.

Mindfulness is being touted of late as an overlooked and essential part of our daily mental routine.  My thinking about it has to do with leadership and management.  Generally, mindfulness has one essential characteristic:

Attention to the now ~ not looking ahead or behind, but focusing on now

To do this in our busy, busy world, we need to carry out two sub-tasks:

Consider without judgment or filters ~ most problematic for our judgment-oriented selves

We learn to make judgments and evaluate situations.  As a young military leader, I was hammered with the concept of “decisiveness”, closely linked to “action”.  In other words, decide quickly and then act.

Useful in some situations, really harmful in others.

Consider without distractions ~ being fully present in the moment without allowing anything else to intrude

Have you ever had the full attention of someone?  I mean, their complete attention ~ total concentration on you without anything else getting in the way.

The interaction has a definite beginning and end.  It’s an event.  The power of this in terms of authentic leadership and motivation cannot be understated.

Mindfulness is powerful stuff and too often only experienced with a professional therapist  or counselor.  This is how you should be with those whom you lead and manage and how you should experience those who lead and manage you.

About the leading quote:  Michael Carroll writes about being “Awake at Work” and is one of the more helpful sources for mindfulness in the work environment.   I suggest you get to know him and his work … soon:)

Being mindful of myself in the Heartland …


O, Wad I Wouldn’t Give for This Power …

“O wad some Power the giftie gie

To see oursels as ithers see us!”

Well, this is the crux, isn’t it?

If we could really know how we come across to others, how we appear, the effects of our words and our actions … well, I am guessing most of us would clean up our acts:).

How to do this?  Not that difficult:

Caveat:  If you are not really ready to hear and use the truth about yourself, take some more time to prepare or just forget about it.  This is not for sissies or those who hold unjustified grudges.


Identify someone with whom you have a relatively good relationship.  Ask them for an honest appraisal of how you come across to them.  Stress that they face neither ulterior motives or chances of retaliatory action.

Encourage them to share openly and completely.


Do You Hear What I Hear . . . ?

I am formalizing a list of Trusted Others . . . people who I respect and who I see as trustworthy and honest.

I plan to ask them to critically consider these blog posts and my other social media activities.  What I want is direct and specific feedback about what I am doing good, what I am doing poorly, what I should stop doing, and what I am not doing that I should be doing.

At least that’s what I am telling people as I recruit them for this little venture.  Of course, I already know what I want to hear:

Your posts are golden drops of sunshine and clear thinking.” Continue reading

Designing Water Use . . .

I sometimes sing in the shower . . .

Okay, maybe you do not need that visual.  Let go of it.

I recently read about the Shower Calendar, a “persuasive device” that allows us to visually record and consider our water consumption while taking a shower.

The Shower Calendar is one of several projects reflecting the creative work of Matthias Laschke, who runs an interesting design company focusing on “transformationale products”.  He is into some fun stuff.

Behavior change is the goal behind this product. As I read details about this product, I recognized several basic components of effective change that also show up in Lean Six Sigma techniques and online games like Empire Avenue (which is teaching me a lot more than I anticipated).

Based on my experiences with behavior change over the years, I see five primary elements that make this a very creative and useful idea: Continue reading

The Real Goal . . .

“It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.” ` Harvey S. Firestone

Face it . . . none of us will live forever.

Whatever we build will ultimately fall, fade away, or simply become irrelevant. Continue reading