“That’s How I Was Raised” or Do You Have the Keys to the House?

She was the office manager in an engineering firm. Every time something would break – whether a toilet or a fax machine – they would call out to her. “Betsy, the ____ is broken!” No request, just a statement. Quickly, she would arrive at the scene of the malfunction, ponder and repair the offending apparatus.   […]

The Pot Roast Story – A Leadership Tale

Why do we do things the way that we do?  What was the initial source of those habits and methods?  And are they relevant today?  And why ask this question in the context of leadership? A brief story may help to explain this: A young woman is preparing a pot roast while her friend looks on.  […]

Compelling Quote: Warren Bennis on Family Influences on Leadership

One of the greatest inspirations for the self-defined leadership work came from  Bennis and Goldsmith in Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader. This assertion compels us, as responsible leaders, to review and explore the impact of our family of origin.   And then to “update”  assumptions, rules and roles as we would modify […]

Filling Big Shoes

I was lucky to be “just like” my grandmother. Now, many of us don’t think of grandmothers as role models for leadership.  They bake cookies and take us to the zoo.  But my grandmother was a family legend.   She could play a concerto on the piano after the concert – without music.  She took two […]