Improve Your Sense of the “Field” That’s Surrounding You

My reading of Daniel Goleman’s fascinating book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence has coincided this week with a powerful experience of “a field” of energy in a group.  Goleman writes persuasively about how important it is to be able to change our focus, and to focus upon things that our conscious minds have never known they … Continued

October 1 Ain’t Just Any Day — Especially if you lead young people

Friends, I love teaching at a great public university — the Michigan of the West, because my daughters went to a great public university, the Berkeley of the East. My undergraduate students seem so familiar, like my kids’ friends who’d chat with us across the kitchen counter, rummage through the fridge at 1:00 AM, and … Continued

Go Back to School at the School of Leadership

Friends, Let’s start quickly with TV, then to school, and on to work. Tell me why these were GREAT shows?  M.A.S.H., All in the Family, Happy Days, Mary Tyler Moore.  If I’m dating myself terribly, throw in The Office, How I Met Your Mother, and Modern Family.  Why so good? What do they have in … Continued

Hidden Sources of Power

Friends, Maybe because all four of my  grandparents came to this country as young adults, I have always had a bias in favor of the gifts that newcomers bring to a culture. I am stoked at the experience I have begun in this regard. Might it have relevance for you? I have 30-some students in … Continued

Today’s Oxymoron Is: Everyday Charisma

If I were to ask a crowd “what do great leaders have that others don’t seem to,” it surely wouldn’t be very long before someone would say “charisma.” And someone else would say “presence.” You might wonder:  Who has it? Do I have it? Do you have it? And, what the heck is “it,” anyway? … Continued

Jack Welch and My Mom – two E’s for Leadership

Friends, Is it purely a metaphor when we say someone is “beaming?” Or is there something there – something real – even if we don’t have the tools to measure it? I ask this question, because my mom — stunned to see a room full of people secretly assembled to celebrate her 80th birthday — … Continued

Tap the Power – Oil and the Crow

Tap the Power – Oil and the Crow Friends, I was running up on Mackinac and thinking of my wife/governor’s recent successes landing a bunch of cutting-edge green energy companies in Michigan. Some people get fired up talking about sports, shoes, or sex. She gets passionate talking about things like “net metering,” through which a … Continued

Lower the Bar

Lower the Bar I’d never met a composer before, but had the pleasure on Sunday of meeting David Winkler.  David’s composition “Winds of Time,” was premiered at Michigan State University with violinist Dmitri Berlinksy conducting the chamber orchestra.  David is the husband of my friend Kathi Elster, who is co-author of the acclaimed book Working … Continued

The Power of Belonging

A reminder that this e-column is about “everyday leaders,” therefore you don’t need to be authorized to lead, or to heed.  Today’s message:  Leaders always see, and tend to the importance of culture.  Culture is what unleashes or traps energy, creates meaning or meanness, offers focus or fuzz.  Here’s a way to think of unleashing … Continued