Evergreen Leadership Blog

Innovation

Why Embracing Failure is the Wrong Message

Face it: Failure stinks. No one I know likes it. And even the most successful and creative people I know, don’t celebrate things that turned out poorly.

Yet a mantra that has emerged in the last five years is to “celebrate” failure. Really? Celebrate?

While I get, on some level, the reasoning to encourage people to take a risk and actually “do something” – the notion of celebrating failure is not, what I believe, is in anyone’s best interest.

Learn about other behaviors that are detrimental to organizations, and discover what healthy behaviors your organization should consider adding.

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Leadership

How to Tend Your Team’s Fire and Not Get Burned

Leaders are always responsible for generating energy (or heat) as they engage the hearts and efforts of others in moving toward a common, shared and worthwhile goal.

In thinking about that energy and momentum as “heat” generated by a “fire”, I recalled that fire takes three elements: Fuel, Oxygen and a source of Heat.

In this article, learn what your team’s Fuel, Oxygen, and source of Heat are, and discover why you should keep your team burning – but not too hot.”

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Leadership

Ten Gifts Great Leaders Give

I’ve worked with great leaders, mediocre leaders and one or two really poor leaders. In reflecting back, I realized the really great leaders gave me many great gifts.

 

These are gifts that last over time. They aren’t very tangible but are always present. They are gifts that altered the way I saw myself, or my situation, or the world around me. I am eternally blessed by and grateful for these gifts.

Want to know what these gifts are? Read my latest blog post, and see my challenge for you.

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Uncategorized

Need a New Planning System for 2018? Mine Might Inspire You to Create Your Own.

In the past two days, I’ve had two separate requests to share my planning system. So here goes. Warning: This is not for the faint of heart!

I believe many of us are searching for some “magic” – the one system that provides us focus, keeps us organized and helps us achieve all that we set out to do. And there are more than enough people who will claim they have the system for you. Many times they are expensive and complicated.

My system has evolved over time and is a bit non-traditional. Yet, it works for me and it has enabled me to get and stay focused on the most important things, to track progress and to guide my activities over time.

I truly believe that no one size fits all. I’ve seen others do really well with other systems that when I tried them, left me uninspired, overwhelmed and doomed to fail.  I’m not suggesting this will work for everyone. But I do suspect that you might do as I did, experiment with one of two of the elements and see if they work for you. If they do, great. If not, it was only an experiment.

Keep reading to learn more about my planning system for 2018 and how you can adapt and experiment with it to have a focused and fulfilling year!

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Gratitude

A Simple Daily Practice That Can Change Your Life

In this week of Thanksgiving, I want to share a practice that I began long ago. It has dramatically improved my mood, my well-being and my life and takes less than 10 minutes a day and requires less than $10 in materials. The most challenging part of the practice is that it requires practice. You must work at having the discipline to do it day in and day out, regardless of your state of mind, your fatigue, or your busyness.

Keep reading to learn about what this practice is and the scientific benefits that come with cultivating the mindset associated with it.

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Development

Self-Care or Self-Obsession? How to know when you’ve stepped over the line.

It’s taken me an entire lifetime to internalize and act on the notion that taking care of myself was not as selfish at it appeared on the surface. I’ve had to experience, both personally and vicariously, the detrimental effect of self-neglect – when energy was sapped, spirit was wounded, and health was jeopardized.

Keep reading to learn about why self-care is so important and how I differentiate self-care from self-obsession.

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Creativity

Creative Organizations Do These 3 Things Well

Creativity does not just “happen” in innovative organizations. Creative organizations have a very different culture than their less creative peers. In these organizations, creative teams focus on different things than their non-creative counterparts. And on those teams, creative people cultivate and practice the skill of innovation and creativity.

Creative organizations are a culmination of the right actions at these three levels:

– A creativity nurturing culture
– Leaders who encourage creativity
– Individuals with the skill and the will to create.

In today’s post, I’m going to share some actions you can take at all three levels to encourage, support and reap the rewards of creativity in their organizations.

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Creativity

The Creative Process in Organizations

The creative process is truly a process. Whether creating a symphony, a piece of art, a new product or service or an organizational initiative; both the artist, the entrepreneur and the corporate leader take the same steps. That path from idea to implementation is a long and arduous one. A journey worth taking, but one that Is not for the faint of heart.

I’ve articulated six steps in the creative process – and this process is the same if you are creating art or creating a new business. In this post, I’ll articulate those steps followed by a simple explanation. A very simple explanation! The goal today is to provide an overview of the process – in later posts we’ll do deeper dives.

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Creativity

Leaders as Creators

In this series on creativity within organizations, I am reposting this blog post from 2015. In it, I describe the role of leaders as creators.

An artist looks at their work in a totally different frame of mind than a mechanic does. The artist sees infinite possibility. The mechanic sees a problem to be solved.

As a leader, you are often in the “mechanic mode”. People bring to you problems to be solved, work to be done, decisions to be made, dilemmas to be fixed, and that is a valuable and ever-present part of the role you play.

But how often do you play the role of creator? Of someone who can envision a better future and then find a way to make that vision a reality?

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Innovation

Five Mistaken Assumptions Business People Have about Creativity and Innovation

Continuing on with my exploration of innovation and creativity in the “workplace”, let me share some common myths I encounter as I talk about creativity in the business world and the role of leaders as creators. The notion clearly is dissonant to many who hold the prevailing belief that work is work and creativity is play or at best only for the arts. As I peel back what underlies this notion that creativity and business are integrated rather than disparate.

Here are some of the common beliefs that block creativity from business that are well worth a critical examination.

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