Author: achim

I just spent 12 days in Bhutan. Did the sort of stuff most first-time visitors to Bhutan are wont to do. Hiked up to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Visited the massive Punakha Dzong Monastery in Punakha Valley. Marveled at Buddha Dordenna, the largest Buddha statue in the world.

Awe-inspiring. But my richest insights came from my encounters with the Bhutanese people. Insights about Presence. (more…)

You know who they are, right?

They hurtle toward you at a party, corner you in the hall. Ramble on about something or other, whining complaining joyless stressed. Their self-preoccupation is in extravagant bloom, venom raging under their veneer of social grace. On and on and on they go.

Yep. They’re the energy vampires, sucking you dry. (more…)

Personal Influence. Most folks like the notion of having some. My professional practice is predicated on the benefits of getting it.

The right position in the right firm gets us a modicum of influence. Knowing other influential people gets us some more. Presenting innovative ideas – huh, now we’re getting somewhere. The most disarming way of being influential? (more…)

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…)