August 14, 2013
Lisa Earle McLeod
Stories this photo appears in:
Last year I was working with the CEO of a pharmaceutical firm that specialized in allergy medicine.
I confess. I’m an optimist.
I was in China a few years ago with my oldest daughter. We were slightly off the beaten path walking through a village situated amongst several canals.
There’s a moment on every airplane when you make a decision.
Ten years ago, I had an ‘aha’ that helped me become happier, and more effective at work.
Fifty-five percent of employees are disengaged. Eight years ago, I got a glimpse of how to solve this problem. It happened by accident.
When I was kid growing up, I saw work in a very particular way. A lot of it stems from visiting my Dad at work, when I was six or seven.
Have you ever listened to a boring accountant?
When my friend Diana told me about her family legacy, I was stunned. But no more stunned than when she discovered it herself. Here, in her own words, is Diana Roman’s story.
Are you a guilty volunteer?
Cut to the evil businessman cackling as he counts his coins while his workers slave away in the salt mines, giving their lifeblood for his riches.
If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately leap out.
Leaders aren’t ruined by their mistakes.
I was recently in Vegas, where a walk down the Strip is a marketing juggernaut.
A colleague and friend of mine was staying at a high-end casino hotel recently for a conference.
How do you motivate people?
Do you consider your work a calling? Or is it just a job?
Does your organization talk about internal customers?
What’s the culture of your organization?
If you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying anything new. Yet in many organizations, there’s a greater penalty for errors than for inaction.
The human mind loves certainty.
Do you remember career counseling when you were in school?
We all want the safe space, the space where you won’t be rejected, where you won’t look silly, where there’s no risk and where you know that things will work.
We’ve all heard it, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
Does life ever sometimes seem like one big, long to-do list?
CVS kicked their cigarette habit in October of 2014. They were generating $2 billion in revenue annually selling tobacco.
Sometimes it seems like the world is falling apart.
When someone asks you what you do for a living, how do you answer? And equally, or perhaps even more important, what does your face look like?
Where do you start a painting project? Or any type of project?
Do you remember the first time you flew on an airplane?
We’ll all been there. Things are running smoothly, then whack, seemingly out of nowhere you get hit over the head.
When I was in college I signed up to attend a “meeting” to learn about summer jobs that supposedly paid the big bucks.
When was the last time you looked for a job or an employee on Monster.com?
I was sitting at an upscale burger place in Atlanta a few months back with my daughter. An African-American family sat down at the table beside us - a mom, a dad, two college-age boys and a grandmother. The tables were big pine farm style tables. We were all sitting within inches of each other.
A teacher friend of mine recently expressed frustration that she doesn’t get the respect that she feels she deserves from parents and students.
Most people do what their boss asks, but only a select few figure out what their boss really needs.
I knew it. How many times have you found yourself saying that, after the fact?
One of my clients is remodeling their offices. Employees have to walk through construction every day, and it’s having a chilling effect on morale.
There’s a human tendency to feel like you’re pulling more than your fair share of the weight.
I knew it. How many times have you found yourself saying those three words, after the fact?
A friend of mine owns a bakery and café.
Do you remember your most horrible teacher?
How often have you tried to figure out what your boss wants?
I frequently hear leaders complain that their employees just don’t care anymore.
Does innovation come from within, or is it driven by outside forces?
I’m willing to do it, but I’m not sure he is.
No ma’am, you cannot speak to my supervisor.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Science defines culture as “…the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc., in an artificial medium containing nutrients.”
They’re the subtle skeptics.
Giving away meaningless trophies doesn’t inspire anyone to new heights of improved performance. Nor does it build self-esteem.
Do you have a “Noble Purpose?” Or do you just sell stuff?
Work-life balance is a flawed concept. I don’t know a single successful person who feels like they have mastered the equation.
For many years I worked for a crazy person.
Some people are born storytellers.
We’ve all been there, or at least many of us have.
People love to judge a cheater.
My friend who is a divorce lawyer says, “Most marriage failures are not the result of infidelity, substance abuse or in-laws.
It’s the key question every leader needs to ask: do you have a “Noble Purpose?”
The human mind hates complexity.
When is it OK to interrupt someone who is sharing information that you don’t need?
Both of my daughters got a passport when they graduated from the fifth grade.
Humans are trusting creatures, sort of.
What’s keeping you from happiness?
Wouldn’t it be great if your boss had to spend a week doing your job? Or your spouse had to take care of your jobs?
Janet Reno runs a great funeral.
We were selling our house. The buyers wanted to play hardball negotiation.
We all have a lens.
If you ask people what they want for their children, most will tell you that they just want their kids to grow up to be happy.
Do you have “Ultimate Influence?”
I love my family.
Why are we always so surprised when people are nice?
Is your husband’s boss ruining your marriage?
Does your boss ever remind you of an ape?
This is the point when it all starts to slide. It’s that wicked time of year when good intentions hit real life.
This is a story about how I ended up in a McDonald’s, in a bad part of LA eating a Happy Meal for Christmas lunch.
Everyone has bad days at work.
We’ve all got that friend.
I confess; I crowbar things.
How many times have you been in a situation, where you knew things were going to go badly, yet no one had the guts to tell the person in charge?
It’s funny…you can observe what happens to your parents and relatives. But for some reason, you just don’t believe those circumstances will ever apply to you.
I like to talk…a lot.
Do you take risks?
There’s a great scene in the 1980’s movie When Peggy Sue Got Married. Kathleen Turner’s time travels go back to high school.
What if everything we’ve been told about compromise is wrong?
What dictates your spending?
We have a gap. A gap between what makes organizations successful and the way leaders traditionally manage business.
How many forms did you have to fill out the last time you went to the doctor?
There’s little talk about the phenomenon that may be affecting our country more than we realize.
I’ve issued an edict, for myself: I’m going to stop wasting time on Facebook and start wasting time on Pinterest.
What if you had a team of people whose sole job was to find fault with your thinking? It’s called a red team. Used by the CIA, IBM, the Army, news organizations and other businesses, a red team is a group designed to penetrate your defenses.
Do you want to be liked? Most of us do. But wanting to be liked by everyone can have a chilling effect on your happiness and success.
We talk about you at dinner. Almost every night, our spouse or child gives us a recap of your day. We hear about your moods, what you said or did, sometimes, we even hear about your wardrobe and facial expressions.
A client of mine recently told me, “All my boss cares about is money.”