The Owl's Perch

Leaders Could Learn a Few Things from Great Moms

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sitting down into my coveted aisle seat after a very full week, I looked forward to the 4 1/2 hour flight to the West coast to catch up on my reading, relaxing and resting... until a family of 7 descended into the seats behind and next to me. As my seat back began to rumble back and forth, my heart sank. One of the kids had special needs and talked very loudly just as the grandfather in front of him launched into his political views to everyone who glanced his way. The dad chose the corner seat and quickly plugged in his earphones. Ugh... so much for MY sense or peace! Read More >

Sometimes You Have to Throw Away the Script

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Recently, I was co-leading the final workshop of a six-month project for the managing board of a local company. The curriculum had taken weeks of hard work to refine and the result was a brilliant design. During a break, the CEO quietly talked with us about where we were headed for the afternoon. We all looked at each other and knew what we needed to do... we had to toss our script and dance in the moment with where the team really needed to go. Read More >

We All Have an Agenda!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

It sounds great not to have an agenda, especially a hidden one, when in conversation with others, right? Recently, I recalled the coach training I received from the Coaches Training Institute many years ago about holding a "Big A" and a "Little a" agenda for our clients and wondered how it factored into the way I converse with others, especially in sticky situations.  Read More >

The Power of Giving and Receiving Acknowledgement

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Ever notice how awkward it is for some people to receive a compliment, either because it’s given somewhat backhandedly or because it feels like they are being singled out? I felt the same way until several years ago when two events took place in close proximity to each other.  Read More >

Making Decisions Out of Fear - How Fascinating!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

In the midst of a difficult conversation or conflict, and even sometimes when I’m simply pressed for time, I often make a snap decision that is often a result of some latent fear. Were I more conscious of that fear, I’d likely be less reactive and may even make a different decision, but that’s seldom the case. Read More >

Challenging the Status Quo

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Someone once told me that the best way not to get into big ruts was not to get into small ones. I took this to heart when, for nearly two decades, I walked from the train station to my office 8 blocks away, using a different route every day. It was fun and challenging to find new alleys, watch stores come and go, walk through different office buildings and try dodging the raindrops by seeing how many underground routes I could find. The commute never got old and I always got to work happy having mastered the challenge. Read More >

Big Rocks in Difficult Conversations - Part II

Monday, April 08, 2013

Starting with the “big rocks” is a method of prioritization. It makes sense when you have a long list of things to do… but does it apply to difficult conversations? I submit that there are 3 essential elements that must be a part of that next performance review, talk with your teenage daughter or family dinner conversation about cutting back on expenses. Think of it as a formula – “L-P-3.” Read More >

Start with the Big Rocks - Part I

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Perhaps you’ve seen the “Big Rocks” demonstration Stephen Covey taught many years ago… you know, the one where you have a jar filled with little rocks and another filled with 3 or 4 big ones and you need to get them all into a small container? No surprise, the key is putting the big rocks in first and then all the little ones fit in around them. Done the other way around, everything spills out and doesn’t fit. Read More >

Creating a Powerful Vision - a Prescription for Success!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Last night I saw the movie “Side Effects” – a provocative thriller that focuses on the subject of depression and the consequences of prescription drugs. Depression is defined in the movie as “an inability to create a future.” That line got me thinking deeply about suffering, pain and anguish which all share that tightening field of vision into only what is right in front of us at the moment. Read More >

The Power of Context

Sunday, January 06, 2013

In conversations outside the ones we have with ourselves, setting appropriate context always has a positive impact on the outcome of the discussion. I’m especially prone to naively thinking that everyone around me is up to speed on what I’ve been thinking before I speak it out loud. Several years ago one of my mentors noticed this and counseled me to consider the power of setting more context. I still fall flat on my face quite often by jumping into a new topic without any background, only later realizing that I’ve just set in motion a series of misunderstandings. But I’m learning how to set the stage more frequently. Read More >


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