Author: achim

I am happy for you. Powerful words, right?

And my two favorite variations:

I am so pleased for you (a bit more cautious).

I am thrilled for you (yes, over the top).

When something good happens to a colleague or a friend, we tend to say Congratulations(more…)

I tire of the athlete-success-story. I feel like I know the script too well.

Innate talent. Hard work and training. Motivational coach who challenges just right. Sports psychologist who creates the optimal mind space.

Nice. But how does this relate to how you and I maneuver in the world?

Then there’s Roger Federer. (more…)

I stand on the sidewalk in front of my house, chat with Sylvie, my gardener from Quebec. Sylvie tells me of the life challenges her teenage grand-daughter Jordana is facing. Sylvie ends with a sigh.

There’s a story behind every door, she says. Another sigh.

The slogan in the television ad for ancestry.com, the discover-your-roots  (more…)

It’s really so very simple.

You want to advance the discourse in a conversation? OFFER OPTIONS. Yes, simple. OFFERING OPTIONS works in every context, every relationship, over every hurdle.

If it is so simple, why don’t we do it all the time? (more…)

When I look at public leadership, the view is dismal.

I’m reminded of it as I flip through an old essay by Jay Cost in the Wall Street Journal, The Politics of Distrust (10/17/15). I am reminded of it as I watch political leaders pontificate in front of a camera. I listen, and I do a gut check. Can I trust you? (more…)

You know THAT person. We all do.

The smugness in his voice, the rock-arrogance in the way she stands, the smirk of condescension as they seem to lecture you, the fake niceness of their smile that you don’t buy for a second.

You feel yourself boil and rebel inside. Yes, THAT person. (more…)

I have an open-door policy.

You heard a General Manager say it at a Town Hall meeting. You may have spoken those words yourself to a member of your team.

Come talk to me anytime.

Really? Like really? What does the GM actually mean when s/he says it?  (more…)

Consider the following exchange. I found it as I flipped through a back issue of Vanity Fair. A recorded chat between the great film director Mike Nichols and the actress Julia Roberts.

They are speaking with Vanity Fair about, among other things, curiosity. In this snippet Nichols and Roberts refer to their respective spouses, the television journalist Diane Sawyer and  (more…)

Friday at the counter of my favorite sushi bar in Ft. Lauderdale. Andy, the fellow sitting to my right, turns out to be the just-retired CEO of a well-known Fortune 500 recruitment firm.

Do you miss your work? I ask Andy

I hated the politics of my job. Andy answers circuitously. (more…)

Chances are, you know about “managing UP.” The art of influencing your mercurial, distracted, and perhaps occasionally unpredictable boss. If you have worked in the business world long enough, you have likely taken a class on this essential skill.

Hint: Know her priorities. Speak his language. Anticipate their needs. Be truthful and don’t BS them. Contract (more…)