Who’s Got Your Back?

Literally means literally. Okay? And Cliff had my back literally. Since he was 7 years old my son Jack has told me — not asked — that on his 16 birthday we would jump out of a plane together.  My rather significant acrophobia told him in response: that would not be happening. He smiled, sure … Continued

How Parents and Bosses Need the Same Lesson.

On Sunday, Jennifer and I watched the last of our three children cross the high school stage. Being a parent is the quintessential form of hierachical leadership. No new employee comes to work, no student enters a classroom,  as full of promise and as completely dependent as a baby enters a family. In a world that … Continued

Would You Handle Your Screw-Ups As I Have Mine?

Trust is the KILLER APP. A new client retained me last week. I told him I’d write up the agreement and pricing if he wanted it, but I didn’t need it. He could dump me at any time, and I’d fix to his liking any issue regarding payments.  He was fine with that and said … Continued

What you can do when you just HOPE things will get better

Sometimes your team has looked at a problem that’s been festering, agreed to work on it, and you really hope things will get better. (Or maybe the problem’s been in your church, your marriage, or with your kids.) You hope things will improve. In my consulting an a-ha reveals itself, as clients say: “Wow. We … Continued

Great Leaders Use Influence, Not Power

Special 12th Anniversary Guest Column JOEL GARFINKLE: Great Leaders Use Influence, Not Power Many leaders confuse influence with power. However, there is a vast difference between the two and the simple act of learning that difference and how to use it can move your career ahead in unexpected ways. To illustrate–a story. Jody was a senior VP at a … Continued

The Rope Trick – How to avoid getting let down

  Friends, I recommend you watch today’s RFL, which I shared on Maria Shriver’s website last week.*   I realize that many read RFL at work and may not be able to watch video, so below is a written piece which parallels the points in the video.  As always I’d love your comments.   It’s a three-headed … Continued

Testing Your Leadership Power

Testing Your Leadership Power Friends, I think I was wrong last week when I called Fr. Mark’s wonderfully crazy move an act of trust.  If you missed last week’s RFL, I told how our pastor at St. Augustine’s in Oakland, California flipped the service – and all cautious rationality – on its head by randomly distributing … Continued

Best Story Ever on Leading with Trust

Friends, I’ve got three things for you  today – an unbelievably crazy story, a lesson in leadership from Kouzes and Posner, and a question or two for you.  Here’s the story: We go to church and Fr. Mark says that he has been to Kenya and he wants us to help.  There’s an orphanage in … Continued

Trust Matters – Be Careful What They Trust You For

Trust Matters – Be Careful What They Trust You For Friends, One of my two partners asked me, “How did your program go?” She was inquiring about the year-long leadership course I had kicked off the day before with thirty school principals. Her tone was unusually serious. “Great,” I said. “They’re a super group, and the … Continued

Why Are Some Leaders Better Weight Lifters?

Friends, I strongly recommend you view the video version of today’s Reading for Leading, but if you’d prefer to read, I’ve included the text below the video, as some requested. I don’t recommend a lot of books on leadership but when I do it’s because they have three things: clear ideas, usable ideas, and research-backed … Continued