How Yoga Principles Bring Sanity to Your Work Life

Did you know that yoga is about more than just stretching and putting your body in poses? In fact, physical activity is just one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Maren and Jamie Showkeir, authors of the fascinating new book Yoga Wisdom at Work: Finding Sanity Off the Mat and On the Job. Their book explains how all eight limbs apply to the workplace.

In our 15 minute discussion, we focused on two of the limbs: Universal Morality and Focus. You can hear their views and practical advice on:

How we limit our potential by listening to our inner critic. How small acts of unkindness and disrespect in the workplace erode our power, creativity and productivity. What you . . . → Read More: How Yoga Principles Bring Sanity to Your Work Life

Let's Stop Confusing Cooperation and Teamwork with Collaboration

Collaboration Coordination and Teamwork

Often the words collaboration, coordination, and cooperation are used to describe effective teamwork. But they are not the same, and when we use these words interchangeably, we dilute their meaning and diminish the potential for creating powerful, collaborative workplaces.

Collaboration has been a big word in the news lately, most recently due to Marissa Mayer’s explanation of her decision to bring Yahoo employees back to the office: “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.”

Mayer’s belief that we work together better when we have real relationships, and that it is easier to build relationships when you have face-to-face contact is not unfounded. Coordination and cooperation is essential for effective and efficient . . . → Read More: Let’s Stop Confusing Cooperation and Teamwork with Collaboration

The Process is as Important as the Product: 7 Tips to Manage Both

Before You Charge Into Battle, Make Sure the Troops Are Behind You

Imagine leading the charge into battle and at the crest of the hill, turning around and discovering there are no troops behind you. This was the situation the leaders of Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET) faced in 1994 when Connecticut deregulated the local market.

SNET had been thrown into uncharted waters as Connecticut was the first state to open its telecommunications markets to competition, more than a year and a half before the United States Congress passed the federal Telecommunications Act (1996).

Having had advance notice, the leaders had worked diligently with a top consulting firm to create a comprehensive strategic plan that would make them competitive. It involved restructuring into wholesale and retail operations and providing an array of new retail services. . . . → Read More: The Process is as Important as the Product: 7 Tips to Manage Both

How to Influence Without Authority

How to Influence Without Authority

Back in the good old days, if you were in a position of authority, you could just announce what needed to be done and assume it would be carried out. But times have changed.

As companies expand and become more complex, no matter what organizational structure is in place, people must work with each other across reporting lines. It doesn’t work to say, “Do it because I told you so.”

But were the good old days really so good? Hierarchical systems replicate parent–child relationships and create dependency. Worse yet, authority-based systems are a breeding ground for abuse of power and are prone to creating oppressive work environments.

Leading without relying on authority is a higher evolutionary skill. It supports developing adult relationships based on mutual . . . → Read More: How to Influence Without Authority

5 Important Leadership Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten

Leadership is about going somewhere. Whether you are facing challenges as a result of changes in the economy, new opportunities because of advances in technology, or already have a good idea you want to implement, these five lessons can make the difference between a successful outcome and a false start. The good news is: you already learned them in kindergarten. All you need to do is remember to use them.

The lesson of Alice and the Cheshire Cat: If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter what path you take.

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to Alice: I don’t much . . . → Read More: 5 Important Leadership Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten

Lessons from the Costa Concordia: A Case For Company Values

The events before, during and after the January 13 tragedy aboard the Costa Concordia point to a true failure of leadership at every level, from the captain who ran the luxury liner aground during a drive by “salute” off the island of Isola del Giglio to the chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi who denies any responsibility. Two days ago Foschi told a newspaper they were unaware of this practice.

Why didn’t they know?

What was operating in the culture of the company that would give rise to these dangerous practices and where senior leaders were disconnected? Curious what company values were driving these behaviors, I searched the Costa Cruises website.

The week of the accident, these values were listed on their website:

Passion for our . . . → Read More: Lessons from the Costa Concordia: A Case For Company Values

Five Easy Ways To Tell If An Organization Is Really Values-Driven

What do Zappos, Ben and Jerry’s, and Southwest Airlines have in common? They are all financially successful, values-driven companies.

A lot of companies claim to be values-driven. They publish their values and use them in marketing messages. However, this does not necessarily mean their values guide decision-making and behaviors company-wide on a day-by-day basis.

To know for sure, you can investigate whether leadership practices and company policies are aligned with their published vision and values. But there’s a simpler and quicker way to tell: pay attention to your own experience as a customer.

Here are five quick ways you can tell if an organization is really values-driven.

1. Employees remember what the company’s values are.

Ask three employees what the values of the company are.

. . . → Read More: Five Easy Ways To Tell If An Organization Is Really Values-Driven

Simple Communication Tips to Set Up Respectful Global Relationships

If you haven’t communicated with a client or colleague in another country recently, chances are you will do so soon. Technology and our global economy have shrunk our geographical boundaries.

Developing a global customer-centered approach to communication is essential for establishing respectful and productive working relationships.

This can be particularly challenging for those in the United States, where we are so used to seeing ourselves as the center of the world that we don’t even realize we have that attitude.

If you are from the United States (or any country), here are eight simple things you can do in your initial communications with clients and colleagues in other countries to demonstrate you have a customer-centered viewpoint.

Spell words the way your client does. You . . . → Read More: Simple Communication Tips to Set Up Respectful Global Relationships

Vision: How It's Created Is As Important As What It Says

If you want to create a vision that engages the hearts and spirits of everyone in your organization, remember what’s important is not only “what it says” but also how it’s created.

In 1994, Connecticut became the first state to open telecommunications to the competition. The local telephone company, Southern New England Telephone (SNET), was the smallest of the “Baby Bells” with a typical monopoly culture.

In anticipation of deregulation, the officers of SNET had created a new vision for the company and a competitive business plan. But when they looked at the culture of their company, they realized their sleepy monopoly culture was not going to be able to implement their new competitive strategies.

In other words, the only people who understood and bought . . . → Read More: Vision: How It’s Created Is as Important as What It Says