Integrity

Adventures in Boundaryland!

You know how sometimes you look around your house and realize that your house is full of homeless orphaned drug addicts and you’ve gone broke paying for your brother-in-law’s best friend’s new car and you’re still feeling sore from donating your kidney to someone you saw on the news? Don’t you hate it when that happens?

DON’T WORRY, I’M JOKING!!! The paragraph above is a huge exaggeration of something that really does happen to compassionate people. Sometimes, we want so much to help everyone that we drop our personal boundaries very low—so low that our efforts to care for others [...]

The Four Levels of Listening

Here’s the single best word of advice I’ve ever learned: Listen.

When I was young and confused, trying to figure out how the world works, I had to listen. When I traveled the world and encountered new cultures, it was even more crucial to listen. Learning sociology meant learning more deeply how to listen. In the wilderness, trackers showed me how to listen. As a coach intent on helping people, my first task is to listen. As I train coaches, I find myself saying it over and over again: listen.

Right now the world seems to consist entirely of huge changes [...]

When You Trust Yourself, You Live Your Best Life

I’ll tell you this for free: Not all resolutions are created equal. As a new year begins, many of us write lists of noble promises—and break them before the ink dries. Why do most resolutions have so little sticking power? Because they’re what I call “outside-in” goals. They aren’t based on our real, intrinsic desires. We set them because we’ve learned from the culture around us—family culture, religious culture, media culture—that they are Good Things To Do.

By contrast, the kind of new year’s resolution that genuinely improve our lives come from the inside: our hearts, our guts, our cores. [...]

When People Are Mean

The first time I saw a T-shirt that said “mean people suck,” I thought, Now, there is a heartfelt sentiment, succinctly expressed. I only wished I’d been the author. I mention this because recently I’ve encountered several mean people, and I’ve had to remind myself that the concept of authorship is key to surviving these experiences.

I don’t know about you, but my favorite ways of reacting to mean people are (1) getting mean right back or (2) lying down quietly to display the word welcome! written where my spine used to be. Annoyingly, my job constantly reminds me that there’s [...]

Cry Freedom!

This month, perhaps through a series of coincidences, or perhaps through something else, I’ve seen dozens of different people being set free in dozens of different ways.  Oh what the hell, I don’t believe for a minute that it’s a coincidence.  Something is changing in the collective Zeitgeist, or the “Spirit of the Times.”  We are moving into a time when transparency, authenticity and openness (what my coaches call “TAO” or Chinese for “The Way”) is critical.  Being transparent, authentic and open is not fool hearty social behavior, but the only safe way to success.

I am beginning to believe that radical openness is [...]

Taking the Blame

It’s a scene we’ve watched a hundred times: A public figure glares into the camera with an expression of outraged innocence and declares, “I am not a crook!” or “It was dehydration, not a drug overdose!” or “I have never had an affair!” Most of us in the viewing audience used to give these folks the benefit of the doubt, but not anymore. We’ve grown jaded watching a succession of well-known people make bold disclaimers that later proved to be flat-out falsehoods.

Of course, this always makes me conscious of my own weasel-ish tendencies. It’s so easy to commit the [...]

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