"What Color is Your Parachute" Book Review
As a new year begins, many of us engage in the long-standing tradition of making a New Year’s resolution. We typically establish these to improve our self or some aspect of our life, including our careers. Resolutions often involve improving roles in our current organization, finding a new place of employment or launching our careers. If any of these rings familiar for you, then I would invite you to join me for a brief exploration of “What Color is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers” by Richard N. Bolles.

Let me preface this review with an important clarification that we will not just be reviewing the 2019 edition. It is the 46th edition since it was originally published in 1970. Not just 46th printing, but the 45th update, renewal, revision, refinement, etc. to keep this tremendously helpful tool current with the ever-evolving world of employment.

While the tools to secure and accomplish our wor…
Strengths-Based DevelopmentOver the years, I’ve worked closely with individuals who feel stalled in their development and the value they provide. One common theme among them was that they and their leaders had focused on overcoming their weaknesses. In the end, however, this approach seemed to have a paralyzing effect on the individual and a biasing effect on their leader. It was almost as if everyone had forgotten why the individual had been hired in the first place—their experience and strengths, including their knowledge, skills and abilities. So in each case we decided to try a different tactic and change our paradigm to focus first on the individual’s strengths—strengths-based development. 
Strengths-based development doesn’t mean we neglect the individual’s weaknesses. Rather it means we begin with what makes the person valuable and build from there. While there are a variety of ways to engage strengths-based development, we will begin our approach with a personal SWOTH analysis.…
Servant LeadershipThe idea of a servant leader may seem odd at first. A leader is defined as an individual who goes before or with to show the way. On the other hand, a servant is an individual in the service of another. Can these two characteristics, leader and servant, be brought together? Even if they can, should they? Doesn’t a strong organization call for strong leadership? With the two definitions so contradictory to one another, it may seem impossible to have a strong leader that is also a servant. However, servant leadership has proven to be an effective management style.
According to our definition, a leader requires at least one follower for them to guide and influence. Further, being a follower is a matter of choice; a conscious decision requiring action. This would mean that leaders need to earn their followers. 
Interestingly, many of the greatest leaders of all time had no position of authority or power bestowed upon them by a governing body such as Dr. Martin Luther King,…
"Mindful Leadership: The 9 Ways to Self Awareness, Transforming Yourself, and Inspiring Others" Book Review 
In simple terms, WOW! Let me step back a few months to set the stage for this book review. An admired colleague of mine told me about "Mindful Leadership" by Maria Gonzalez. I must admit, I was quite cynical at first. I’ve been engaged in leadership development for decades, including continuous work on my own effectiveness. I have also dabbled in meditation and been introduced to mindfulness. But Mindful Leadership? Yes! 

After digesting the book and testing the very practical principles and practices Ms. Gonzalez shares, I can and do recommend this book to anyone who is looking to grow as a leader of self and/or others. Please permit me to share a few details as to why I so strongly challenge you to consume this book for yourself and those who look to you for leadership.
Leadership and Mindfulness Right from the start, Ms. Gonzalez clarifies her beliefs regard…
Generation vs. IndividualSome months ago, I shared a post on LinkedIn regarding the continued emphasis on targeting the needs of different generations, with a particular emphasis on the rising millennial generation. This discussion concerned me then and continues to do so now.
Long before the focus on generational differences, there was a lot of energy and resources used to erase boundaries created by stereotyping and labeling. Yet, here we go doing it all over again, but now with generations. This leads me to ponder why we feel such a need to put people in boxes. In turn, this leads me to ask the question, “Which is more important, knowing an individual’s generation or knowing the individual as a person?”
While I do acknowledge that there can be benefits to recognizing and responding to trends and patterns as they appear, I have come to believe that the key to engaging and retaining quality team members is to value the individual person for what they bring to the team and the organizat…