A USER'S GUIDE TO POWER

Leadership, Learning & Change

Don’t Worry. It’s Nothing

“Don’t worry. It’s nothing.” Someone very close to me just had one of those unhappy medical discoveries that may or may not be something bad. I’m amazed at how many people have said to her, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” I want to say it too. Not just to her, but to...

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Learning to the beat of your own drum

I’m just wrapping up a 2+ week trip to Zurich and Prague. A few more things to do, and then I fly home. It’s been a great privilege to teach – as it always is – and especially to teach people from so many different cultures, countries, and contexts. Here in Prague, in...

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How Deadlines Change My Thinking

I’m Day 3 into a big writing project, trying to finish my book on power which seems to have been taking an eternity. I awoke on Day 1, and noticed I was nervous. I've got a deadline, and it's a tight one. As I was waiting for my computer to boot, I started writing...

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Paint a Starry Night Again, Man

As a teenager, I spent a ridiculous amount of time listening to Joni Mitchell’s live album, Miles of Aisles. As she’s preparing to play a song, the audience begins shouting out favorites, in hopes she’ll play one of them. She pauses, and says (as a testament to how I...

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Do you know the impact you’re making?

For those who may not have heard, Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber recently resigned due to ethics concerns, and today, former Oregon Secretary of State, Kate Brown, was sworn in as the new Governor. In his resignation speech, Kitzhaber said: "I must also say that it...

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Do We Need a Power Intelligence?

Last week I published a video on The New Rules of Power, and spoke about what a concept of "power intelligence" would look like. For those interested, here is a more in-depth exploration of the topic.  This May I will be in Prague participating in a conference,...

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The New Rules of Power

The more I study power and leadership, the more I'm convinced that using power well is - or should be - a core competency for anyone in a position of leadership. As we've defined core competencies for managing our emotional states and getting along with others as...

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The Other Side of the Generation Gap

I was in Toronto last week. There, among several other engagements, I had the pleasure to work with a group of engineering students who are part of the Institute for Leadership Education at the University of Toronto. This year they’re participating in “The Game,”...

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How to be in the struggle

In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus, as punishment for his evils, was forced to push an enormous boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down just before it reached the top. Here’s my boulder: no matter how much I do, there’s more to be done. OK, that’s not really...

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My Top Ten Posts from 2014

Oh heck. I can't resist the end of year temptation to offer my own Top 10 list. I'm not sure whether it's the pull of nostalgia or just plain narcissism but I've enjoyed looking over my writing from the past year. I can see it's been a year of turmoil, a big year of...

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Talking Your Anger

I’ve sat down every day for the last two weeks to write a post, and gave up after a few minutes. I have plenty to say, but I’m stuck. Everything I start to say turns into an angry rant. It’s not an easy time right now. It’s disheartening and frustrating. I’m angry...

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Giving Thanks + 1

The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why – Mark Twain. It’s the traditional time of giving thanks and feeling gratitude here in the United States, and for me gratitude means being aware of my privileges and the...

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A Little Primer on Change

The older I get the more I realize that many of the things I found insurmountable when I was younger changed when I wasn’t looking. In my early twenties I struggled with intense jealousy. It was crazy. If two of my friends even just talked on the phone I would feel...

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Do leaders get to be learners?

I was talking my client, Larry, the other day, who was struggling with how to communicate with his manager. No matter how hard he tried, he always felt that he and his boss were out of step. And according to Larry, it was because of his boss’ abrupt style. In the next...

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The One Conflict Skill You’ll Ever Need

Hint: it’s not a skill I was talking to my friend Shakil over at Anima leadership the other day, about the book he’s working on, Deep Diversity: Overcoming the Unconscious Power of Bias, Tribes and Emotions (forthcoming, Between The Lines Press, Toronto). We were...

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Leading Out Loud

Find out who you are and do it on purpose As I turned on the radio, on my way home from the airport yesterday, having just arrived back from Toronto, I was delighted to catch the last 5 minutes of Radio Q, and hear those words from Tracey Davis, daughter of Sammy...

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Raising your voice

Kirsten Gillebrand, D-Senator from New York, caused a stir earlier this year when she published her memoirs, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World. In it, she described in detail, including specific comments made by members of Congress, the sexist...

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