Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Leadership”

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  • July 1, 2022

    Free Will or Free Won't? The Mystery of Centered Presence

    Free Will or Free Won't? The Mystery of Centered Presence

    As I ponder the upcoming month, July 4--Independence Day--comes to mind. While I've written hundreds of posts over the years, my July posts suggest a similar theme--the freedoms we take for granted and how to remember these gifts every day. 

    Today I'm thinking about how we sometimes exercise our freedoms in ways that limit or harm, and what to do about that. In the spirit of free will and the constitutional freedoms we enjoy in the U.S., am I too impulsive? Am I jeopardizing the very freedoms I cherish and that hold our communities together?

    • I have the freedom to be unkind, for example, but should I be? What purpose will it serve?
    • I'm free to speak whatever is on my mind, but who will benefit from my adrenalized rush (besides me)?
    • I can post what I want on the Web, but what effect will it have on the person, the community, humanity, on my future self?

    Are these fair questions?....

  • May 18, 2021

    Thinking Again: Why "What We Don't Know" Is Important

    Thinking Again: Why

    The more you think you know about something, the less you actually do. I just finished reading Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, by organizational psychologist Adam Grant. 

    The book's full of great stories and interesting facts (and great cartoons!). For example, here's an exercise directly from the book:

    Compared to most people, how much do you think you know about each of the following topics--more, less, or the same?

    • Why English became the official language of the United States
    • Why women were burned at the stake in Salem
    • What job Walt Disney had before he drew Mickey Mouse
    • On which spaceflight humans first laid eyes on the Great Wall of China
    • Why eating candy affects how kids behave

    You might be surprised by the answers, I know I was...

  • January 26, 2021

    The Power of Noticing

    The Power of Noticing

    I'm very fortunate to meet many wonderful coaches, trainers, and consultants in my day to day work. Janice Cohen is one of those people. Specializing in healthcare leadership, Janice supports those who support us. I've worked with Janice and watched her courageously coach leaders to discover their personal strengths and values, and the behaviors and experiences necessary to meet these challenging times.

    I loved her recent post, which struck a chord that is near and dear to my heart--the power of noticing. I think you'll enjoy and learn from it, as I did.....

  • January 12, 2021

    What is Leadership Presence? -- Finding Center, Accomplishing Purpose

    What is Leadership Presence? -- Finding Center, Accomplishing Purpose

    Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose...."

    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., "Where Do We Go From Here"

    "Presence" can be tricky to define, and "leadership presence" trickier. Google searches produce thousands of pages and hundreds of thousands of hits. We're interested, it seems, in knowing what they mean, whether we have them, and how to acquire them.

    Fact is, we all have presence--a quality of mind, body and spirit that is us. Sometimes our presence is more evident to others, sometimes less. Sometimes we feel big, sometimes small and contracted.

    When we walk into a room, we influence the people and the environment in that room by our presence in it. It has changed because of us. And we are changed by our experience of what is already there.

    If you're aware of energy flow, you'll observe these changes when people enter and leave, and you'll gain awareness of how you can be more intentional about the influence you have.

    How would you describe your unique presence? ...

  • September 22, 2020

    Batter Up!

    Batter Up!

    I'm delighted to share a new post from my friend and fellow blogger and coach, Carrol Suzuki. As Carrol says:

    Listening is an endangered skill in today's quick-bytes, hurry-up world. Although listening is one of the most neglected business skills, it's possibly the most vital. The good news is listening intention and capacity can be learned.

    And that's what Carrol does--helps us become attentive and authentic listeners. She's also a great blogger. Enjoy!  ....

  • July 28, 2020

    Beyond words

    Beyond words

    My friend and colleague Amanda Ridings recently wrote a new book, Weekly Leadership Contemplations. I'm really enjoying it and wanted to share one of her pieces with you called "Beyond words".

    As the book title suggests, Weekly Leadership Contemplations offers 52 short pieces, each one ending with questions for contemplation. The book is designed for leaders, and I find it can work its wonders on anyone. I appreciate that Amanda understands the tight schedule most leaders have, and so gives us short pieces with thoughtful questions to reflect on each week.

  • July 14, 2020

    That Is Their Story. This Is Mine.

    That Is Their Story. This Is Mine.

    Perhaps others who shared these events with me, whose lives crossed mine, would recount the events differently, But that is their story. This is mine, my life as I recall having lived it, my life as I recall having loved it. --Michael C. Metskas

    My grandfather, Mike Metskas, was a brave young man when he left his native Macedonia as a 16-year-old to come to America and find his way in the world. In short order “Gramps” found work, founded a business and in time returned to Greece to marry my grandmother and bring her back to raise a family of five in Oak Park, Illinois.

    With a third grade education, Gramps eventually wrote and published his autobiography, Journey to Eternity, an amazing story, and a treasure for our family. I began reading it again recently, knowing it is my story, too....

  • June 30, 2020

    Making Assumptions: Why Should You Catch Yourself?

    Making Assumptions: Why Should You Catch Yourself?

    In my last post, I posed a question about whether you can catch yourself when you're about to make an assumption about another person's thoughts or actions, and whether you can choose to move toward curiosity instead of judgment--a crucial awareness if you want to have more skilled conversations.

    I think now a more important question than "whether" you can catch yourself is "why you might want to".

    As I read and re-read the post, I came to see it as naive. Those of us who want to catch ourselves making assumptions will do it and get better at it. And there are some who don't want to get better and maybe don't care. If you just want to be right--or know someone who does--read on....

  • May 19, 2020

    The Tao of Tea

    The Tao of Tea

    My Ki Moments post today, The Tao of Tea, is by Jonathan Blakeslee, who writes about someone from his past, a role model who used aikido principles to disarm and redirect a difficult customer. As Jonathan puts it, I learned a lot from Veerinder, who in many ways inspired me to walk the path I am on now work-wise.

    If you live anywhere in or near the seacoast of New Hampshire, you probably know Jonathan and his work. He and his restaurant--White Heron Tea--are a wonderful feature of life here. Even in the shutdown, White Heron Tea continues to offer healthy and organic signature teas (and delicious muffins, cookies, and sandwiches). Knowing this, I think you'll appreciate Jonathan's essay even more.

    Whether Veerinder knew of aikido, he certaily understood how to turn an enemy into an ally, and how to advocate without attacking. Thank you, Jonathan, for the wonderful story....

  • December 3, 2019

    In the Spirit of Giving: Respect, Presence, and Pausing for Breath

    In the Spirit of Giving: Respect, Presence, and Pausing for Breath

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    -- attributed to Ian Maclaren (1850-1907)

    In this month of sharing gifts, I'd like to share four brief stories from Ki Moments subscribers like yourself. Over the years, stories like these from generous readers demonstrate how big a difference it makes when we pause, take a moment to find our presence, and offer respect, sometimes when it is least expected. 

    These writers' experiences highlight real-world applications of aikido principles, such as respect, moving with instead of against, and that the only real enemy is the one within. When we practice inner self defense, we can manage whatever comes our way from outside...

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