August 6, 2013

Taking Sojo’s Lead 


As soon as the autumn sun fell behind the mountain, the air turned cold, and I knew I was in trouble. My dog Sojo and I had left Boston later than planned, and we hit Vermont’s Jamaica State Park in the fading light. Continue reading Taking Sojo’s Lead...

July 17, 2013

Meetings, Bloody Meetings 

Meetings, Bloody Meetings

Most advice on how to run meetings is woefully routine: plan meetings in advance, prepare a detailed agenda, pre-notify attendees, control the discussion, and summarize and record decisions. It seldom solves the biggest problems of all: the boorish behavior that puts your teeth on edge, like nails down a blackboard, inviting you to act equally boorishly—by coming late, or taking the bait, or checking your emails, or just checking out altogether—anything to escape that bloody meeting! Continue reading Meetings, Bloody Meetings...

March 25, 2013

Guest Blog: Michael Sales on Defensive Routines 

Photo of Chris Argyris

Michael Sales is an organizational-change coach and facilitator who, like me, had the good fortune to study with Chris Argyris and Donald Schön in graduate school. At his website “Art of the Future,” Michael recently published a fitting tribute to these two men, including his reflections on how their ideas have influenced him over time. Continue reading Guest Blog: Michael Sales on Defensive Routines...

December 7, 2012

Guest Blog: Vicky Schubert on The Elephant 

Vicky Schubert

When you write a book, you never know what people will make of it—what questions it will raise, what insights it might trigger, what help it might offer. So it’s always instructive when a careful reader shares his or her impressions of a work. In my case, I was fortunate that that reader was Vicky Schubert, the principal of Inspired Alliance. Vicky has been coaching executives, managers, and teams for many years, helping them amplify their professional impact. In a recent blog, she offered her impressions of my most recent book. I found them so insightful that I thought I’d share them with you. Continue reading Guest Blog: Vicky Schubert on The Elephant...

December 3, 2012

Finding the sense in nonsense 

Cartoon by Leo Cullum. Carrot, stick, .357 magnum.

Imagine the scene. You’re midway through a meeting. Someone—the person who rankles you most—argues a point that to him is totally obvious but to you is sheer idiocy. What happens next? Most likely you tune out what he’s saying and tune into your own internal dialogue—a dialogue that goes something like this: “Here we go again. I can’t believe it. This guy just doesn’t get it. He’s utterly hopeless. There’s no point in trying to reason with him. I’ll just have to . . . .” Have to do what? Well, use the stick, the carrot, or the .357 magnum—that is, fight back, humor him, or give up on the relationship, basically killing it. Continue reading Finding the sense in nonsense...

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