Intentional Leadership

In the United States of America, September 17, 1787 is etched in the memory of its citizens as the day that 38 delegates signed a new ‘Constitution’ that would bring into existence the United States of America with a central, federal government. Through the echoes of history, such an event stands as a great achievement and the words of Stephen. R. Covey ring true. If the founding fathers were not focused, consciously committed to the task of creating a new ‘Constitution’, they would have, according to Covey, been committed to something else less important and thus history may well have taken a different course.

12 Don’ts for Holding Difficult Conversations

After a recent presentation, someone approached me and asked, “I noticed that when you share your learning with us, you often give us things to do rather than telling us what not to do. Why do you do that?” I responded by stating that when someone tells you what not to do, your brain focuses on that, often leading you to do what you are told specifically not to do. For example, if you were teaching someone to ski, you would not tell them, “If you lose control, don’t look at the trees!” Making this statement would lead people to look at the trees. Rather you would say, “If you lose control, remember to look down the hill in the direction you want to go.”

Two Traits on Which to Build A Workforce

Individuals, governments, and private businesses all share one absolute truth: Reputation is everything. If an individual has a bad reputation, no one wants to take a chance on them. When a company has a bad reputation, no one wants to do business with them, so much so, that others can simply avoid these less-desirable services and take their business elsewhere. However, people often can’t easily avoid or seek out another local government as easily. Therefore, in many ways, it is even more critical that local governments guard their reputation.

How to Tailor Your Cover Letter to a Government Job

Applying for a government position is a lot different from applying for a private-sector job. Unlike the latter, government or public-sector applications often require a cover letter or personal statement. Landing a job in a government agency takes a special approach and the cover letter is the hiring manager’s first glimpse at your skills and qualifications. At the same time, it serves as an introduction to your personality and interests.

Information Governance Insights: Repeat After Me – Cyber Security is Everyone’s Business

“Hacks” and Identity Theft have been around for a very long time, but over the past few years, the hackers have changed tactics and are targeting whole systems for attack. Ransomware is the latest incarnation of this where clicking on a single email can launch an attack that will lock down an entire organization and render their computer inaccessible until a “ransom” is paid to the hacker for the promise of an access code to unlock the system.

Selfless Service, Strong Values, and Personal Connection

There are several insights anyone can gain from an effective, genuine leader. As a genuine leader, you should be bold about your values and about the behaviors you must demonstrate to live your values. Share them. Ask your staff to help you live them. Connect to each of your team members. Learn and support their plans, hopes, and dreams. Let people know you care – and they will care right back. Demonstrate your skills in the workplace and help others build their skills. Be bold about the skills you DON’T have, yet, and ask for coaching from players who do have those skills. Commit time, talent, and treasure to personal and company philanthropy. Share what you have with those less fortunate, not just during the holidays, but all year long.

How to Address Resistance to Change

Often whenever a change is introduced, especially when there is a strong following involved, there is going to be resistance. A recent study revealed that the well-known target of 10,000 steps a day will boost our health is a complete fallacy. Science wasn’t the foundation for that daily target. Lead researcher and Harvard professor I-Min Lee noted, “It likely derives from the trade name of a pedometer sold in 1965 by Yamasa Clock and Instrument Company in Japan called Manpo-kei, which translates to ’10 000 steps meter’ in Japanese.”

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How to Shut Down Over-thinking

Learn to take back control of your decision-making! Do you often feel that something just isn’t right, but you aren’t sure what’s bothering you about a particular situation? Do you fear your productivity has taken a hit because of the time and energy spent ruminating on decisions? You may be guilty of over-thinking!

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Strategy and Culture

July in the United States of America is best thought of as the month in which Independence Day is celebrated. Independence for the United States of America was born out of conflict. By its very nature, that conflict was won and independence declared because of a strategy based on solid information and knowledge of the area in which the conflict was being fought and an equally good working knowledge of the capacity and capabilities of the soldiers involved. However, George Washington would not have proven himself to be the great military leader and indeed the great President of the United States that he was, if he were not also ‘attuned’ to the culture within the military he led and as President, within the newly formed union of the United States of America.

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Becoming a Better Leader

If you have been in one of my audiences as I spoke, read one of my books, or watched one of my videos, you may have heard one of my leadership philosophies: “We don’t lead out of our position; we lead out of our lives…”

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Climate Change Imperatives Will Drive the Future of Transportation

Climate change demands lower carbon dependency in electricity generation and transportation, by far the two largest global economic sectors in terms of energy use. Clean power solutions already exist: Today 40% of U.S. power generation comes from non-fossil sources, and the electric power sector consumption of fossil fuels is at its lowest level since 1994—25 years of continuous progress. However, 95% of transportation energy comes from fossil fuels.

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Information Governance Insights: Moving On Up!

It seems that everyone is moving to the cloud these days. A recent Gartner report stated that 75 percent of all databases will be deployed or migrated to the cloud by 2022, with just 5 percent ever considered for return to on-premise servers. Gartner goes on to say that this trend is mainly around analytics databases and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. That’s a lot of vital data moving out of on-premise server rooms and being handed over to third party vendors!

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Removing a stain on our healthcare system

On Thursday last week, May 9, I was watching one of the business TV channels to learn about the status of our trade war with China, and the anchor announced that President Trump was about to speak. I stayed on the channel to listen, and, surprise! The first sentences Trump pronounced had nothing to do with China, and everything to do with surprise medical bills: “This must end. We’re going to hold insurance companies and hospitals accountable…this will be something that will have a big impact…” the president said.

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Wishing Upon Your Stars?

It makes sense that when an organization such as a Government agency is looking to create a ‘wonderful’ workplace, it needs more than just a ‘political’ restructure to make it happen. Some may even suggest that the notion of a Government agency being the most ‘wonderful’ place on earth to work, is the antithesis of the reality of working in a Government organization.

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Six Questions You Should Never Ask

These questions are usually asked out of frustration, and they will not help you get the answers you seek. Such questions tend to be disrespectful and demeaning, especially as they are usually accompanied by a negative tone and motivation. Unfortunately, all of us have likely either asked or been asked these types of questions.

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The City of Champions: The Power of Local Government Branding

When Inglewood dubbed itself “The City of Champions” the proclamation produced enormous civic pride and instilled a great deal of inspiration throughout the community. Few mottos have the power to touch the hearts and souls of those tied to a City as much as one that speaks directly to the human spirit. A human spirit that combines character with grit and determination to succeed at a championship level, regardless of the endeavor.

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Information Governance Insights: Planning for Digital Transformation – The Strategic Storage Plan

So what did your organization do to observe Earth Day this year? Have a big awareness campaign for their recycling program? Turn off half the lights in the building to conserve energy? I’ve experienced all of these and they are all very admirable, but I’ve got a suggestion that will really make a difference for the long-term plan that every organization has as a strategic goal for this year: create a strategic storage plan!

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7 Tips for Managing “Whitewater” Conversations

For 13 summers, I worked in the Grand Canyon as a whitewater guide to pay for my college education. Running the river was the highlight of my young life to that point in time. I loved the beauty of the canyon and river, as well as the excitement and changing nature of our experiences. In order to keep my passengers and me safe, I learned very quickly to be focused not only on what was happening right then, but to look ahead, have a plan, consider what could happen, and have a plan for managing those contingencies.

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