Archive for March, 2007

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Spring is a time of renewal. I plan to use this spring season as a motivator for progress. Metaphorically, I am going to plant some seeds to grow my business. The seeds I will plant will relate to widening my circle of clients and readers, creating new perspectives, and increasing my productivity while maintaining balance. I am awakening from a productive winter. However, my winter did not offer many new things; it offered progress on what I had already started and time to go within. In some ways, I feel stuck and want to use the energy and promise of spring to get going again. I have no regrets about winter. I just want to move forward and bloom. What does it mean to use the energy and promise of spring? I will lighten my energy and believe anything is possible. I will find inspiration in the beauty of spring. And I will get busy planting seeds.

Apprentice Blog: Be Decisive

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Early in the show, James received a call from Trump directing him to send a team member to Kinetic. He hesitated, asked for a volunteer and was met by silence. Trump said take care of it. It should have been a decisive moment, but wasn’t. James actually got off the phone, when it was clear Trump wanted an answer now. He then made his decision to send Nicole and stood by it. But, he did not fully own it. It was difficult for the team. James followed Nicole out and tried to explain. There was only room for a decision here. Nothing he said would make it better. James was in the hot seat to be decisive.

As Angela faced firing by Trump, he begged her to give him a reason not to fire her. She couldn’t. Decisiveness is involved here as well — of a different kind. Angela could not be decisive in her own defense. I wonder if the reason is that she is a team player. Good teamwork got her an Olympic Gold Medal. Perhaps being decisive is not as valuable in working as a team.

Apprentice Blog: Hints or Billboards?

Monday, March 19th, 2007

In last night’s episode, Trump made his preference clear. On two occasions he complimented Kinetic and dissed Arrow. First, after the executives commented on the webisodes, Trump said Kinetic was a very good team and Arrow was spending a lot of nights in tents. Second, when Arrow won, Trump said “whoa, whoa, really amazing.” In the Boardroom he made it very clear he respected each member of Kinetic and firing one of them would be tough. Should the teams have looked at these comments as hints or billboards? That discernment is important. You can read too much into comments or too little.

Now, two asides, why was Kristine criticizing Muna’s faith in God? Puzzling. And did Trump jump to conclusions in the Boardroom? I think Muna, Heidi and Kristine deserved a bit more time to explain themselves.

Differences

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Today’s NY Times Sunday Magazine has an article on Women at War. In the article, they say that women who suffer abuse in childhood are more likely to lose their self-protective instincts. Men who have experienced abuse are more likely to act aggressively and angrily. A Veterans Administration psychiatrist when asked what happens when these men and women are placed together in the military said “The men do the damage, and the women get damaged.”

This quote set me back and I found it revealing. Although leadership styles vary by individual, I have seen aggression and retreat play itself out among men and women in business many times. It is often misunderstood and as a result, generalities are made about male and female leaders. A person can respond to aggression with anger or more aggression and be seen as unstable. In my own experience as a leader, my self protection has been viewed as weakness. In the face of aggression I sometimes retreat to regroup and strategize. By not acting in the moment, I can be viewed as not protecting my interests. I have worked hard to find powerful ways to deal effectively with aggression and practice them.

It would greatly improve our interactions at work if these responses were better understood and leaders examined their effective and ineffective uses. The next time I see a response from someone to stress, aggression, or challenge, I will think of these differences and do my best to understand what is happening.

Thunder and Lightning

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

There is thunder and lightning in my world. The storm is not easy to navigate. My work is rocked by personalities, pressures, reactions, uncertainties and clashes. There is a sound to it. It is asking what I can take; what I am made of. The storm has power and I must be able to stand in it. I am uncertain of what is happening. Co-workers are acting in ways that press my buttons. All of us are under pressure and facing uncertainties. It is not clear if we can come together and deal with the storm effectively. People are taking refuge in their own response mechanisms-silence, anger, sarcasm, aggression, game-playing and self-protection. I realize that this storm, though unpleasant, is strengthening me — my resolve, my confidence, my sense of self, my intuitive and analytical abilities and my ability to declare boundaries. The power of the storm is confronting and its force could knock me over. However, I am seizing the energy of the storm and using it to elevate my personal power.