The Definition of Grace

My favorite competency of character is grace, which I define as the ability to choose our response to even the most debilitating crises.  Since the term grace is often used in religious contexts, let me reinforce that I’m using the term in a non-religious way to refer to the ability to stay calm and centered

Do You Feel Psychologically Safe at Work?

The best business leaders create environments that are psychologically safe for their team members. Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmonson defines psychological safety as “a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up.” Edmonson’s research confirms that many of us choose to stay silent rather than risking

The Price of Integrity: A True Story

The problem with integrity is that sometimes it’s so damn hard to make the right choice in the heat of the moment. However, living with the consequences of the right choice can be even harder. The good news is we can increase our chances of making the right choice and minimizing its burden if we

Empathy: Why Should You Care?

Empathy has the power to release us from the debilitating emotions of anger and distrust. Virtually every business professional I know has felt these emotions in the face of thoughtless, rude, or downright malicious behavior by their colleagues. Here are some examples of what I’ve heard over the years: “Sophia has been negotiating backroom deals

Wisdom: How To Be Open-Minded

One of the most critical elements of wisdom is the ability to make decisions in an open-minded way. The secret to being open-minded is to consciously neutralize our confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is one of the most well-documented tendencies in human reasoning. We notice and seek out information that supports our existing belief without realizing

Courage: How to Face the Fear of Being Judged

The key to overcoming your fear of being judged is observing the fear and then going eye-to-eye with the source of your fear. I was eighteen years into my professional career before I acknowledged the underlying source of my own fear. I finally found enough courage to turn around and look at what was chasing

The Resurgence of Character Strength

Three shifts in the last few years suggest that character strength will become highly valued in the business world once again. As recently as a hundred years ago, the one asset that business leaders would defend at all costs was their own character. Their sense of self-worth depended on behaving with integrity and courage. Their

Pursuing a Purpose

To achieve enduring happiness, we must pursue a purpose greater than our own pleasure or prestige. “The most deeply motivated people—not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied—hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves,” says Dan Pink in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. “[T]he richest experiences in our

How To Experience Exhilaration at Work

One of the most significant determinants of our happiness is whether we are fulfilled by our work. My happiest moments at the office are when my desk is covered with scribbled-on pages as I attempt to translate a set of complex thoughts into a simple case for change. In these moments, I am completely absorbed

Trust: The New Way To Keep Score

Many of us measure the success of each day based on the number of tasks we complete or the goals we achieve. This is the wrong way to keep score. Achieving goals brings an ephemeral sense of gratification that dissipates almost as soon as it arrives. A better way to measure success is to count