Month: March 2019

Rolling Tire Change: Safety Attitudes & Culture

When expatriate supervisors or advisors are working in foreign cultures, they need to understand & appreciate the local environment.  Attitudes toward what risks are acceptable can be diverse. We need to implement & enforce standards, but should also be patient in not blaming people who have been immersed in high risk-tolerant cultures.  Working on fail-safe

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Circe’s Transformations: Art Images of the Greek Sorceress Through The Ages

Before Madeline Miller’s hit book Circe intrigued me , I was unfamiliar with this Greek goddess. It turns out that she’s been an inspirational muse for artists through 2,500 years! In fact, browsing the evolution of her representations makes an excellent study in culture and art. It seems her beauty and power over nature and men

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Leadership Isn’t Built on Good Intentions

Historian Jacques Barzun’s observation about the last 500 years of Western civilization applies to more than just general society & culture. “The point at which good intentions exceeded the power to fulfill them marked for the culture the onset of decadence.”  At the individual leader level, we can’t get by with merely good intentions. We

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We Are The Stories We Tell Ourselves

We are the stories that we tell ourselves,  but we have the power to edit our stories and take steps in a new direction, according to psychologist Timothy Wilson (author of Redirect: A New Way to Think About Psychological Change). For example, in a group of poorly performing first-year college students, a common self-narrative would

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Don’t Cry Over Things That Can’t Cry Over You

Over 25 years of moves & broken things in the Air Force, one of the best pieces of advice I got was to never cry over things that can’t cry over me. It’s now number 13 of my 19 Life Principles. Two mental biases help explain why it’s hard for us to do this: Endowment

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Life Lessons From Thai Fishermen

I am blessed to live near the Andaman Sea, where the local Thai fishing families toil each day to make a living. These men are on their way to place traps for squid, which is a common food source in Asia.  I admire the beauty of their boats, their knowledge of nature & their craft,

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Seeing Red: Overcome Confirmation Bias

Once we set our minds on an idea, our brain works hard to uphold that belief. Like in this video, if we think that drivers of red sports cars are jerks, we’ll easily gather evidence to support that.  One solution to counter this confirmation bias is to practice a scientific method mindset.  Focus on evidence that

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Leader Legacy

The measure of great leaders lies not in just their accomplishments, but in the leaders that they develop as their legacy.  If we’re concerned about establishing something lasting and bigger than ourselves, it’s not enough to be personally excellent. Truly great leaders don’t fear their replacement, they grow them. A chain of leadership exists in

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Taking the Bitter With the Sweet

If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet.       — James E. Faust, American religious leader Taking an attitude that anticipates dark periods of failure, while remaining hopeful of the bright seasons

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