Untangling the Johari Window: Part 1/2

The Johari Window, a graphic model for interpersonal awareness, is a big title for a simple, yet powerful idea.

It was first published by the UCLA Extension Office in the Proceedings of the...

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Untangling the Cynefin Framework, Part 3/3

Last week, in Part Two of this series on the Cynefin Framework, we explored the unordered world of Complex and Chaotic Systems, and how they require a drastically different approach...

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Untangling the Cynefin Framework: Part 2/3

Last week we introduced the Cynefin Framework, a powerful tool for making sense of the very different domains in which we all must solve problems.

If you missed it, you can catch up here....

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Untangling the Cynefin Framework: Part 1/3

We cannot effectively solve problems or lead teams, let alone entire organizations, without understanding the Cynefin Framework.

A bold statement, yes, but I believe it to be true.

For all...

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Why I Prioritize Mental Health Over Everything Else

Last week I wrote about physical health. I argued that your mind is the tool you use to do your work, to engage with your friends and family, to lead your team or organization, and to...

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Better Leadership Through Better Health

I almost talked myself out of writing about physical health, but I decided to proceed because this topic is just too important to shy away from.

Physical health is directly connected to our...

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2024 Goal: Change the World (Just a Little Bit)

Welcome to a new year!

We enter 2024 with significant uncertainty in the world. The new year begins with two wars of global significance in Gaza and Ukraine.

Assuming you do not live in a...

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What is the Main Thing for 2024?

We're taking it easy this week, and we hope you are, too. These last few days of 2023 are the perfect time for some rest and reflection, and also for looking forward to the year ahead.

Here's an...

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Why Conversations Break Down: Episode 3, Zero-Sum Dialogue

Last week, we introduced Time Travel as a source of conversation breakdown, our habit of traveling back in time and responding to what happened in the past, as opposed to what is ...

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Why Conversations Break Down: Episode 2, Time Travel

We are each not merely traveling our unique life’s path; in many ways, we are the path itself.

Throughout our lives, we blaze a uniquely individual trail. It is sometimes a smooth...

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Why Conversations Break Down: Episode 1, “Impliference”

Impliference is not a real word. I made it up, but it’s a real thing, and it's dangerous.

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult conversation and wondered, wow, how’d we...

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Throwing Starfish

Perhaps you've heard this story before. I’ll tell it in my own words, but it is by no means mine.

One day after a storm, a man walked along a beach. He stepped lightly around the thousands of...

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Don't Just Do Something; Stand There!

We are an impatient lot. Our minds buzz with endless high-frequency scanning of ourselves and our environment for what’s wrong.

There are so many problems to be fixed, and not...

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The Myth of Simple Plumbing Projects and a Static Self

As I stepped out of my car, two maple trees in peak fall splendor glowed with almost palpable warmth in the rose-colored early morning sunlight. Shadows stretched long and dramatic against...

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Current Location: 47.5 Miles Off Course and Livid

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

Those are the words of Carl Rogers, who, along with other giants of psychology like Abraham Maslow...

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Are You the Reason People Never Change?

You know the classic Peanuts cartoon: Lucy pulls the football away just as Charlie Brown is about to kick it, sending him flying head over heels. AAUGH!

Every. Single. Time.

Charlie Brown...

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Culture Is an Invisible Fence culture

Culture is critical to your organization. As a leader creating a healthy culture should be your top priority. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That last one is Peter...

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Self-Transforming Mind: Paradoxes and Lots of Gray adult development

Our final and most complex constructive-developmental stage is the Self-Transforming Mind. As we approach this lofty summit of our developmental mountain it is worth looking back to notice...

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Self-Authored Mind: Making Sense of a Messy Reality adult development

In our journey through the stages of adult development, we've explored the Impulsive Mind, the Self-Sovereign Mind, and the Socialized Mind. Each stage has been a stepping stone...

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Socialized Mind: Moving the Goalposts adult development

We humans take socialization seriously, and for good reason. In the wild, humans cannot survive outside our social groups. Socialization is the process of learning to live with other humans,...

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Impulsive Mind: Understanding Our Little Egomaniacs adult development

Presumably, you have no six-year-olds on your project team (although you might have colleagues who lead you to believe otherwise on occasion). So, as a leader in an organization, what value is...

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What We Know Vs. How We Know It adult development

Jean Piaget characterized discrete stages of childhood cognitive development. Robert Kegan studies adult development, and has identified ongoing stages that can emerge throughout life (more on that...

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Glitches in The Matrix: A Demand for Lifelong Development adult development

When you were 18 months old, you had the world all figured out. You could see, hear, feel, touch, and taste things. You could walk. You could make sounds that caused things to happen. The world was...

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Practicing the Fundamentals: The Subject-Object Shift adult development

What do streamline, color theory, anatomy, and arpeggios have in common?

If you guessed “fundamentals,” you get a gold star. Streamline is fundamental to competitive swimming. Color...

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