Category Archives: authenticity

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Leadership moments in the events of everyday life

authenticity, leadership, Leadership in the news, Leadership training, Storytelling Leave a comment

In my teaching and coaching for the past two decades, I have often emphasized the concept that leadership begins with a willingness to stand for what one believes. And, leadership is not only about the “big” moments we study in history classes and in business schools. In fact, we all have opportunities to take a stand about the things that matter to us in the course of everyday events. Leadership begins with self-knowledge. Effective leaders influence their worlds by being in close touch with their most important values and convictions. What is important enough to me that I will be willing to speak out for what I believe? Each of … Continue reading

The recent Swiss immigration referendum as a study in storytelling

authenticity, leadership Leave a comment

Though discussion of political issues has often left me cold and bored in recent times, I watched the latest debate about immigration in Switzerland with considerable interest. As a foreigner and property owner living in this country, it is a matter that could potentially have a direct impact on me and some of the people close to me. Beyond my personal situation, though, I found this incident to be a fascinating case study in storytelling. As I often tell my audiences, I am somewhat dismayed by the uses of storytelling I see in modern politics. Far too often, the narratives crafted by candidates and public officials, aided by their consultants … Continue reading

Creating a group culture

authenticity, John's events, John's reflections, leadership, Leadership training, Leading by autobiography 1 Comment

This week, I am teaching a two day seminar to MBA students in Grenoble. As I am working far less in business schools now than in previous years, coming here got me thinking again about how I like to run my classroom and interact with students. Almost exactly one year ago, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD.org) invited me to speak at their 2013 MBA conference, on the subject of “creating positive group dynamics” in an MBA classroom. At that time, one of the first words that came to my mind was culture. In all the varied situations where I work, be it in business, in teaching or elsewhere, I always try … Continue reading

Reflecting on boredom

authenticity, leadership, Leadership in the news, Leading by autobiography, Storytelling Leave a comment

A funny thing happened to me this week on a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam. We were all set to go, the cabin door had been closed, all electronic devices were turned off for takeoff, and then the captain announced a “small technical delay” of 15-20 minutes. Perhaps because of considerable prior experience with such events, I tend to get a bit concerned that one delay might lead to another, and that each one will take a bit more time than anticipated.    In this particular case, our 30 minute wait for the technical repair engendered the need to de-ice the aircraft a second time. We waited for the de-icing … Continue reading

Reflecting on reflection, and creativity

authenticity, John's reflections, Uncategorized Leave a comment

These past 10 days, I have been on the road in Miami and Boston, a bit too busy to write a blog, but I wanted to post something short nonetheless. In fact, I have been thinking a lot recently about two of my favorite topics: creativity and reflection. And, I am more and more convinced that the two are connected. When I read about the most creative, inventive and productive people throughout history, I note an interesting phenomenon: Many of them have unique and unusual routines or practices, but they all seem to need significant blocks of undistracted, reflective time.  Here are some examples: Inventor Thomas Edison used to sit in … Continue reading

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