One of the key challenges we face today is the need for leaders who understand how to engage across cultural and political boundaries. One thing is very clear to anyone who has done this work. The bigger implications of global leadership lie in the cross-cultural nature of the work. We deal with people who have significantly different filters of the world.
I've been flying general aviation airplanes much of my adult life. Although no longer active, I still maintain my flight instructor certificate as one of those treasured accomplishments that has tremendous meaning for me. You learn things flying that are hard lessons to duplicate in other places. One of these has to do with flying in the clouds, or solely by reference to your instruments. You wind up in the clouds usually as a result of flying through weather systems, and sometimes they can be fairly peaceful, but at other times the clouds can be just downright ugly on the inside.
Letting Go Email has been an increasingly large part of my life in the past 20 years. It has changed the entire face of business and how many of us spend our time. I sometimes remember what work life was like prior to having this amazing technology. My inbox has been fairly active, so I have spent a great deal of time learning to manage it.
The result has been a number of automated processes that move and group my emails to allow me to only see the items that are most important first, and the other items can be dealt with on a different schedule.
What an historic occasion! Through the electoral process, we have elected the first person of color to the highest office in the United States. That, however, is only part of the story. While I am truly ecstatic about this, I am also excited for some other reasons. These relate to the possibilities that I see on the horizon. Barack is, above all else, an outstanding inspirational leader. He has tremendous presence, clarity, conviction, and superb skills.
Prioritization for the Ultra Successful Once again California has been ravaged by wildfires, driven by the intense winds that come in this time of year. What a combination, hot dry weather, high winds, and tinderbox dry countryside. It has added up to some fairly devastating fires. We were close on the last Santa Barbara/Montecito fires. It was so fast.
It is early January, and most western businesses are returning to activity after the lull of the holiday times. This marks a fresh start for many, with all of the typical new year's resolutions as well as fresh budgets, new business plans, and a set of year ending or year starting activities to handle. This is a good time to look at the support you will need for the first quarter, and a time to get your goals moving.
One of my friends recently asked me why anyone would want to hire someone to create change in their organization. His perspective was that a business would want to be stable and reliable, not in transition and change. There are the old adages of "why upset the apple cart" or "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". So, his question is quite valid. Why support change? Here's what I have learned about this.
Change, in itself, is just a process, and a natural one. When you think about larger systems, it is clear that change is actually a constant, and happens whether we want it or not.
In today's world, there is a lot going on to which you can have all sorts of responses. Ideally, we will live our lives from a place of confidence, trust, and commitment to create our own path and destiny. However, sometimes each of us can "forget" what we are truly capable of accomplishing and give our power up to circumstances around us which can be totally outside our control. In my work, I often hear people describe their responses or strategies in physical terms.
Last weekend found my wife Justina and me at Comic Con in San Diego. What an experience that was! It started out with our good friend Matthew inviting us to go to the conference to see his sons' business Radical Publishing and their booth at the convention. Now, I have not been much of a comic book fan, but I am a fan of family and seeing people succeed. I am also a great fan of creativity, and was this ever a place to see that! Top it off with a party on Saturday night, and we were good to go. Now, what does Gene Simmons (yes, the one from Kiss) have to do with this?
Most of us have now seen the news covering Sarah Palin and her decision to step down as Governor of Alaska. While we can question her motive, agree or disagree, what I would like to talk about today is simply the leadership action involved. First of all, as anyone who has listened to me for very long will know, I am a huge advocate of stepping into a desired state of change.