Category Archives: Our Emotional Intelligence Series

A Dancer’s Tale…

When Gillian Lynne was asked how she became a dancer, a charming and quite delightful tale emerged. Indeed, her answer entranced me. This is her tale.

Gillian Lynne
Dame Gillian Lynne

I also saw the tale as offering yet another example of the ever-present need to challenge conventional wisdom. I saw it as a wonderful example of how challenging conventional wisdom can sometimes help us bring dreams to life…

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A Father’s Gift…

When I first heard this story about a father’s gift to his son, I experienced one of those rare “Ah-Ha!” moments. I hope it’ll have the same effect on you.

This isn’t my story. It’s Richard Feynman’s story. Its about something his father had shared with him when he was very young. Its about something that I’m convinced can help us all realize our dreams…

For those who have never heard of Richard Feynman, we should really talk.

Until we do, I hope that, after reading this, you’ll know just a little more about him…

rockstars

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An Intelligence Test I Failed – Or Did I?

Prologue

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold “two opposed ideas” at the same time—and remain sane… Is this an intelligence test?

I think we’ve all been there, although some of us have found retaining our sanity in this situation a lot more difficult than others!

Fitzgerald – test of intelligence

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My Gift To The NFL – And There’s No Need To Thank Me!

An open letter to Commissioner Goodell…

Dear Commissioner,

I’d like to to help you and the NFL out of a fix you’re in… Please consider this as our gift to you…

The gift is about a standard that the rest of the sporting world has set for winners and losers alike. It is about what you say—and what you don’t say—when presenting or receiving your most prestigious trophies and awards.

It is about a standard, incidentally, that applies equally to small children, to Fortune 500 companies and to the NFL—and to everyone in between.

It is about graciousness, respect, sportsmanship and humility…

self-praise

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Decision-Making: A Story About Bushmen, Gorillas, Pumpkins And Architects

heart

 Prologue …

This is a story about bushmen, pumpkins and architects—and gorillas.

Incidentally, did you know that a pumpkin is a fruit? I’ve always thought it was a vegetable, but it seems I was wrong. And what, you might reasonably ask, does a pumpkin being fruit have to do with this story? Absolutely nothing!

This is about the power of making a point through a story. It’s about the importance of understanding how people view you as you tell them your story. It’s also about how you view them…

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Thoughts About Knowing What You Are Talking About…

Knowing what you are talking about: Donald Trump and the Pyramids…

So, here’s my question de jour: Is knowing what you are talking about even important? Does it matter?

confuse them

After publishing a recent blog entitled “Thanks, Donald—For The Gift That Keeps Giving,” I was struck by the passion of some of those commenting—particularly when they were complaining about things that weren’t even in my blog!   :-). Perhaps this passion was because of the reference to Donald Trump… (This, incidentally, inspired me to write my latest blog entitled “Another Holiday Gift From Donald And His Mates”…)

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Another Holiday Gift From Donald And His Mates…

Prologue to Another Holiday Gift from Donald…

Gotta admit that this blog about another holiday gift from Donald was inspired by some comments I received to my last blog about Donald Trump

So, if you like this latest blog, you should definitely thank those who commented on my last blog. And if you don’t like it, you should definitely blame them. Whatever you do, please don’t blame me! I’m the totally innocent party here—kind of…  🙂

It seems that, by comparing Donald’s approach to life and leadership with that of the iconic Nelson Mandela, I’ve needlessly irritated and upset some of Donald’s most ardent fans. Sorry about that!

daffy_vs_donald copy
Daffy and Donald…

If that’s the bad news, though, the good news is that my blog has also brought out of the shadows some colorful comments from the likes of “Donald Duck,” “Daffy Duck,” “Road Runner” and “Sarah Palin”…  Welcome to my cult, guys…  The Kool-Aid’s on ice…

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Leadership and Ethics: Is Doing Business In Los Angeles Really That Different?

My two questions…

Firstly, do my 1979 answers about doing business in Los Angeles stand the test of time? And, secondly, is doing business in Los Angeles really any different from doing business where you happen to live?

broken-liars-lies-live-picture-quotes-favim-com-142034

Some background…

It was mid-1979. After spending some brief time living, working and studying in London, Zurich, Paris and Montreal, I’d just arrived in Los Angeles. If you think this sounds mildly glamorous and interesting, I’m cool with that. The truth is sadly that it was neither…

Soon after I’d joined a fancy Century City law firm, an old English client called me. He was the leader of a large international business with offices all around the world. He said he was thinking of setting up an office here in Los Angeles and that he had a question or two for me. We met and I did my best to answer his questions…

 

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“Hey, You Talking To ME?” — A Negotiating Test And An Ethics Lesson…

A prologue to this story…

The story I’m telling here is a sequel to a story I told a few weeks ago. I called that story: “Hey, I’m talking to YOU!”… It was about a difficult ethical choice a client had to make.

What has always intrigued me about that story was how the client used the choice he made. He used it to make an unspoken statement about ethics—a statement about what he expected of them.  

The gift of that story was about choices. It was also about unspoken statements…

Now, the same factual backdrop offers me the opportunity to tell another story that will offer others gifts—gifts that I’ve found invaluable to this very day…

choices have consequences

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“Hey, I’m Talking To YOU!” — Choice And An Unspoken Communication About Ethics…

A prologue to my story…

About twenty years ago, a client had a difficult choice to make. This story is about leadership and ethics…

It is about how he made that choice and how, in the process, he won the trust of his team—a group of quite prestigious companies from all around the world…

That he had won them over with an unspoken communication fascinated me—and I suspect it might fascinate you too. At least, I hope so!

I was intrigued how the gift of this story extends beyond the leaders of the business world and beyond those who are responsible for creating an ethical culture in their business and professional lives. It extends to every part of our personal lives too…

While you may not ultimately agree with the particular choice my client made in this story, this doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you can sometimes communicate quite effectively with people without yelling this at them:

“Hey, I’m talking to YOU!”

Anyway, let’s get going…

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The Gift Of Time…

Over the years, both in my work as an engineer in designing and creating buildings and as an aspiring comic and poet, I’ve come to realize how time is one of the most undervalued and under-appreciated commodities.

I still remember an example of this from a 2003 engineering project…

My Story…

I had heard that my client was unhappy with the cost of an engineering design I had led. He was apparently so unhappy that he was even considering changing to another firm. This had never happened to me before and I therefore knew I had to do my very best to remedy the situation. I also knew that I had to repair our relationship because there was clearly a breakdown in communication between us.

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