The Change Agents’ Prayer

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. The Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) is the real title… Being frustrated with bureaucracy is part of the deal we make in working for a large, complex organizations. Even with the best … Read moreThe Change Agents’ Prayer

The First Step in Turning Around Organizational Culture

The purpose of the Center for Positive Organizations is very inclusive. I do not know anyone who doesn’t want to have a high-performing workplace with thriving people! Sadly, many people experience workplaces that are anything but positive. Indeed, a meta study by Christine Porath found that 98% of us have experienced incivility in the workplace. … Read moreThe First Step in Turning Around Organizational Culture

How to Run a Leadership Team Retreat

Team Building gets a bad rap. I have never been a fan of “fun” team building activities. Cooking a meal together or playing whirlyball are enjoyable activities, but I rarely leave feeling that I know the values or principles or characters of my teammates any better. We have fun but we don’t bond at any … Read moreHow to Run a Leadership Team Retreat

Three Daily Habits for Positive Leaders

Sometimes culture change can seem overwhelming. It is so big and complex that we can be feel paralyzed, unable to take the first step. But small steps can make a big difference. Here are three ways to contribute toward flourishing in the workplace today. Begin meetings on a good note. Before jumping into the agenda, … Read moreThree Daily Habits for Positive Leaders

Leadership in Turbulent Times

Picture a fast flowing, deep river winding through a steep bank in a forest. There are many twists and turns. The water is raging and churning, yet it stays within the confines of the river banks. How do you get the water to flow where you want it to go? Think about the behavioral dynamics … Read moreLeadership in Turbulent Times

Don’t Give Feedback Until You Read This

It’s time for a difficult conversation with a colleague or employee. A project just finished and didn’t go as anyone had hoped. You are dreading raising it directly. You are worried about how he or she will respond.  So you are procrastinating and reading this article. Good timing. I estimate that at least 80% of … Read moreDon’t Give Feedback Until You Read This

Three Steps for a Feedback Culture

Many things stand in the way of creating a culture conducive to giving and receiving feedback. Sometimes, these challenges seem so insurmountable that we stop trying. We simply opt not to take the psychological and relational risk involved with these difficult conversations. We just say nothing. Or, even worse, we default to destructive, passive-aggressive communication. … Read moreThree Steps for a Feedback Culture

How to Avoid Being a Fake Positive Leader

There are sessions taught in some companies these days on “Executive Presence.” Such courses help high-potential employees to walk, talk, and look like a leader is meant to look. Whatever that is. Ugh. All too often, programs like these emphasize techniques people can employ to create a certain impression, rather than their underlying leadership principles … Read moreHow to Avoid Being a Fake Positive Leader

Healing Spaces: Values and Politics at Work

This is a time of strong emotions and opinions in the United States. Most likely this is true around the world. How do we create workspaces where people can express and have dialogue about how they are feeling, without alienating others who may not feel the same way? This is a different kind of column … Read moreHealing Spaces: Values and Politics at Work