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Collaboration Lessons From A Jazz Band.

In seventh grade, I played piano in my junior high Jazz Band.  It was six or seven budding musicians – a sax, a couple horns, a clarinet, a bass, a piano and a drum set – and the band leader was our teacher. Our sound probably fell short of New Orleans quality jazz, but looking […]

Negotiating the Challenges of Mentoring

Guest post by Chip R. Bell The word “mentor” comes from The Odyssey, written by the Greek poet Homer. As Odysseus is preparing to go fight the Trojan War, he realizes he is leaving behind his only heir, Telemachus. Since “Telie” (as he was probably known to his buddies) is in junior high, and since […]

Focused or Flailing?

Apparently our human minds can only remember three or four things at once. Psychologists at the University of Missouri published a paper in 2008 entitled “An assessment of fixed-capacity models of visual working memory.”* Up until this study, most researchers thought we could remember seven things at once – like the seven digits in our phone […]

Boldly Prepared

Have you heard about the extreme sport called expedition mountaineering? It is one of the most dangerous activities you can do – attempting to reach the summits of mountains like Mt. Rainier in Washington or Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. Most extreme sports are done alone, like cliff diving and BASE jumping. But this one […]

Ambition Or Aspiration

In our family, words are a constant source of debate. “When you said that you hated the Caesar salad, what did you mean by that?” Really? Do we need to discuss this? But the conversation will continue: “Did you really mean hate, or did you dislike one of the elements of the salad?” “Would it […]

The Purpose Of Power

A few years ago, I was with a group of Popeyes assistant restaurant managers and I asked them, “what happens when one of your friends gets promoted to restaurant manager? Does anything change?” Laughter. Of course it does! “They become ‘the boss.’ It’s different.” “Suddenly act like they own the place.” “Some act like they’re […]

Your Piece Of The Puzzle

Anyone working on a jigsaw puzzle this summer? Have you ever worked for hours and hours on a jigsaw puzzle – only to find one piece missing? The frustration of not being able to complete the masterpiece intensifies. The satisfaction and joy of seeing the complete picture evaporates. We walk away disappointed and annoyed. Similarly, […]

People, Process, & Potential

I get tired of hearing people refer to people practices as “the soft stuff.” Accessing the full potential of your team? That is the hardest thing you will do as a leader. I love to watch sailboat races. It is thrilling to see the boat tilt to the wind, lean on its side, and gain […]

Pursuing Personal Purpose

Lately it seems that everyone on the planet is in search of their personal purpose. It’s “trending.” Simon Sinek says Start with Why Jon Gordon offers The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Your Life and Work There is The Purpose of Your Life: Finding Your Place in the World by Carol Adrienne Oprah recommends […]

Two Truths And A Lie

Several times in my career, I’ve been asked to play a “get-to-know-you” game at a business dinner. The game is called Two Truths and a Lie. The way it works? Each person states three things about their life that the rest of the people would not know. Two of them must be true. One must […]

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