November 29, 2011

Psychology, Leadership & the Big Ideas

I recently attended a seminar through the New England Society for Applied Psychology in which Sarah Cliff, Executive Editor of the Harvard Business Review spoke. Her presentation was entitled, "On the Psychology of Leadership and Managing People"-- a topic which is indeed near and dear to my heart.

Ms. Cliff described leadership and management trends evident throughout the history of the journal, some of the noteworthy ones being: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Ed Schein's organizational culture, career anchors, OD; Dan Goleman on Emotional Intelligence, Martin Seligman on Resilience, Chris Argyris, Peter Drucker, John Kotter, and many more.

Recent trends noted include: technology, globalization, the increasing pace of change and lack of job security--all of which we know have a big impact on leadership today.

One comment really stood out for me:
"Truth: We have not been overwhelmed by BIG, EARTH-SHATTERING management ideas in the past 12 or 13 years."     

November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: a time to pause and reflect

Betty and Curtis in Granada, Spain.
I love my work. What's not to like? I have a great boss (that would be me), I get to use my talents, and I help people and companies get better at what they do.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and in honor of our national tradition, we use this day to give thanks.  Despite the fact that I love my work, I am most thankful for those "other things".  I guess rather than be a person who lives to work, I work to live.

I am most thankful for my family--my husband,  kids, parents, siblings, in-laws, uncles and aunts who are still around, cousins, nephews and nieces.  I am not yet a grandparent, but I am already thankful for the grandchildren I hope to have someday (I am an optimist).

I am also thankful for friends--both old and new. Like many baby boomers, I have recently reconnected with friends who I had lost touch with--I am enjoying these re-connections quite a bit.

I am particularly thankful for my health and the health of my family and friends.  I know that illness and death are a part of life; and like most people, I do not enjoy this aspect of life. But I also know there are people around me to help with these more difficult times, and for that I am thankful.

I  recently visited Spain with my husband. I am thankful I have the opportunity to travel and also a spouse who enjoys traveling with me.

As corny as it sounds, it can be quite a useful exercise to sit and count your blessings.  It is easy to get caught up in the stresses of our busy lives, making it that more important to pause, reflect, and remember those things most important to us.

November 12, 2011

Why INTEGRITY trumps everything

Joe Paterno was obviously a well-loved and respected coach by the Penn State community as well as throughout athletic circles. Yet Joe Paterno is out. History has become irrelevant; an integrity issue has reared its ugly head.

July 13, 2011

Psychology and Leadership Development

Executive coaching is now a key learning strategy implemented by companies who understand the difficult challenges facing leaders today.  Given the rate of change and complexity associated with most industries, it is difficult for managers to move into senior leadership roles without honing their skills;  executive coaching is only one way to do this but it appears to be more effective than many of the alternatives.

As a Psychologist and Executive Coach, I am sometimes asked, "What does psychology have to do with executive development?" This is an understandable question. Most people associate psychology with mental health clinics or therapy; however, psychology is not just about fixing problems, it is also about making good things better.

February 9, 2011

Life is Good

Today I met with a colleague who is also an independent consultant. We tend to get together a couple of times a year to network and provide support and ideas for our respective businesses.  We also chat about family, leisure and other personal happenings.

We seem to be in similar places in our lives---children out of the house, who are moving forward in their careers & relationships which take them to various parts of the world; dealing with issues related to aging parents--assisted living, concerns about their health and financial security; and our own lives moving toward that "third phase" as baby boomers who are wondering what the future will bring--when do we retire, or do we ever? How much time should we spend in warm tropical places?  How to mesh our personal and family commitments with our career goals?  These seem to be many of the questions facing our generation of folks today and there is  comfort in speaking with others who are grappling with the same issues.

As we were winding down from our networking meeting, my colleague said something I find myself saying frequently:  "Life is good". I left feeling really uplifted.

Have you ever noticed how some people lift your spirits, cause you to feel energized and better about yourself while there are others who seem to overwhelm you with negativity and suck the life right out of you? Good thing to take notice of and I suggest, whenever possible, surrounding yourself with the former and minimizing contact with the latter.         (Thanks Steve!!!)

January 26, 2011

What are your money scripts?

I recently finished an interesting book by Brad Klontz, Rick Kahler and Ted Klontz called Facilitating Financial Health.There were many words of wisdom in this book, but what I found most intriquing was the list of the most common "Money Scripts". Money scripts are in essence the underlying beliefs we hold about money.  We all have them and they effect our lives:  How we save, or don't; the occupations we choose; how we interact with others in finanical situations; our investment strategies and estate planning; and more.

Not all money scripts are dysfunctional, but taking an honest look at your own attitudes about money will help you take a more reasoned and rational approach to living your life, thus increasing the likelihood of "Financial Health".

The Klontz Kahler's Top Ten list of money scripts are: