Overworked and Overwhelmed? Try The Mindfulness Alternative

Scott Eblin, author Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative

I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Eblin, one of my favorite leadership experts, about mindfulness – the focus of his excellent new book Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative.

Mindfulness is getting a lot of attention these days. A number of Fortune 500 companies, including Google, AOL, Apple and Aetna, now offer mindfulness classes for employees. In a recent blog post, I discussed mindfulness in the workplace.

Delving deeper into this topic, Scott explains what mindfulness is, how the practice of mindfulness helps with the very real challenges we face today, and some simple and easy things you can do to begin practicing it right now.

This 15 minute podcast, the length of a TED talk, is packed with helpful information. . . . → Read More: Overworked and Overwhelmed? Try The Mindfulness Alternative

Why Your Company Values Might Not Matter

Company Values Blocked

Why are so few companies values-driven? Even when they start down that path, why do they wind up dead-ended?

A 2012 study shows “employees want their organizations to display honesty and integrity in business activities,” and “when leaders behave consistently with the core values, they earn employees’ trust and confidence.”

More so, it makes good business sense – research shows high-trust companies significantly outperform those that aren’t in the marketplace.

So why do so many companies fail in their effort? Here’s a true story and the 5 common errors they made that will derail any effort, including yours.

A True and Typical Story

This is a true story, but the name has been withheld to protect… well, frankly, me. It is an organization I am . . . → Read More: Why Your Company Values Might Not Matter

Strive for Greatness

 

 

The secret to greatness lies in the small actions we each take every day.

Although we won’t all be recognized by history, each of us is capable of achieving greatness through our everyday actions.

Most of the good in the world is built on the accumulated efforts of ordinary people doing small things in a great way.

 

7 Keys to Greatness

Be clear that your actions serve a higher purpose, and are not simply self-serving. Know what an excellent job looks like. Start with the end in mind. Make a full effort. Give it your full attention. Be willing to make mistakes; use them as learning opportunities. See it through to the end. Don’t settle for less than you are . . . → Read More: Strive For Greatness

4 Steps Toward Collaborative Leadership

Ferguson Protest

If you are tired of “us vs. them” attitudes… if you are feeling frustrated or hopeless about those who don’t agree with your views… if you are concerned about the polarization in this world today… if you are waiting for leadership that unites instead of divides…

… the best place to start is by taking responsibility for yourself.

Polarization is Self-Reinforcing

If you only talk with people who agree with you and only read and listen to news sources that hold your own viewpoint, you will get distorted, filtered information that simply reinforces your viewpoint.

Unless we let go of foregone conclusions, only looking for proof of what we already believe, we are doomed to be stuck at deeply opposing, unresolvable poles.

Set your viewpoint . . . → Read More: 4 Steps Toward Collaborative Leadership

The Two Faces of Leadership

Two Faces of Leadership

There are two faces of leadership.

One face looks forward – because leadership is about going somewhere.

That face of leadership focuses on questions like:

1. Where are we going?

2. Why? What is the purpose?

3. How will we get there? What are our key strategies?

4. What will guide our journey? What values will guide behavior and decision-making?

The other face of leadership looks back at who’s following – at building organizational capacity and ensuring people have what they need to move forward easily.

That face of leadership focuses on questions like:

1. What skills do people need and how can we support development?

2. What resources do people need? (e.g. . . . → Read More: The Two Faces of Leadership

Let Go of Control But Keep Responsibility

Connection and Reflection

 

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of co-chairing the Berrett-Koehler Authors Cooperative annual retreat, attended by over 70 people – ranging in age from 25 to 83, and enriched with authors from Slovenia, Singapore and Australia.

Each year I look forward to this retreat where I gather with fellow authors and community members to exchange ideas, connect around issues, and deepen friendships.

Although we focus on many different topics and approaches, we are joined by a shared commitment to the mission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers – to create a world that works for all.

I had assumed I would be working instead of participating in this year’s retreat. Although I frequently design and facilitate these kinds of large-group, interactive meetings, there’s more . . . → Read More: Let Go of Control But Keep Responsibility

5 Questions That Will Help You Be a Better Leader

Iceberg

Do you think you’re an effective leader? Feedback is one good way to find out, especially through “360 feedback.”

But there’s another, equally powerful way. Take a serious look at your beliefs – your “assumed truths” about yourself, others and how the world works.

Your beliefs dictate your behavior. And unexamined beliefs are like icebergs. Unseen below the surface, they can undermine your good intentions without your awareness.

Instead of believing everything you think, think about what you really believe.

Taking some time to reflect on these questions will help uncover some assumptions that might be interfering with your ability to align your behavior with your intentions to be a better leader.

1. What are you are willing to take a stand for?

When . . . → Read More: 5 Questions That Will Help You Be a Better Leader

3 Tips to Quickly Onboard New Employees

Onboarding fail

Mark was upbeat at the end of his first day at his new job as a programmer for a small tech company. He was shown around, introduced to his coworkers, and given a desk and a computer. He had spent most of the day alone and settling in, which was fine with him.

A few days later, he wasn’t so upbeat. He had been given an interesting assignment, but he wasn’t sure how it fit with the overall project, and he wasn’t sure how to do some of the work. He was concerned about asking too many questions because he wanted to look like he knew what he was doing.

By the end of the week, Mark was seriously wondering whether he had taken the . . . → Read More: 3 Tips to Quickly Onboard New Employees

5 Ways to Use Discomfort to Be More Effective as a Leader

Win a free book 2

I am honored to host this guest post by Marcia Reynolds, author of the new bestseller The Discomfort Zone: Mastering the Art of Turning Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs, and to offer the opportunity to win a free copy of her book. Leave a comment and winners will be randomly drawn on October 27th.

As a leader, there will be times when the people you lead or coach get stuck when dealing with difficult decisions and relationship issues. They know they have to resolve their issue but can’t see new solutions. You want to help, but these conversations can stir up emotions, and you might get flustered when a person gets angry, tears up, or feels embarrassed.

Yet it . . . → Read More: 5 Ways to Use Discomfort to Be More Effective as a Leader