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On Commitment: #KeepTheStreakAlive

On Commitment: #KeepTheStreakAlive

Have you begun today what you want to be tomorrow? Anonymous 490 days ago, Dorrier Underwood consultant Gary Davis spoke a commitment out loud that most of us wouldn’t have even entertained getting out of our mouths. He didn’t have it all planned out or even know if...

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Leading in Challenging Moments: Creating My Field Guide

Leading in Challenging Moments: Creating My Field Guide

I started meditating again a few weeks ago, on a Monday. Just five minutes each morning, as a start, and now I’m up to 10. I’m beginning again at meditation because I don’t see how I can say I’m firmly on the path of being a calm, steady presence of a leader without...

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What is Leadership?

What is Leadership?

At Dorrier Underwood, our whole staff is studying A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman. Each of us is writing what we are seeing and sharing those writings to bolster one another's learning. This is one of those essays, by...

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Getting Real about Success and Failure

Getting Real about Success and Failure

There is no success or failure, just what works and what doesn’t work. Werner Erhard For me, that is almost not gettable. I know I have success and failure--just ask me, or ask my reaction. When the big deal comes through or falls through, when the client says “You...

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TEST – Finding the still small voice

Light shines on the keyboard, stroking each key with a bar of white, faint in comparison to the letters and symbols printed on the small, black squares. Writing gives me a chance to be alone with my thoughts, and in the process, discover hidden gifts mixed in the...

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Giving Generously

Giving Generously

The most joy-full moment of my day (so far) depended on staying up until 12:30 last night, a big, 17-year old, beat-up cooler that I can still rely on to keep food cold for lengthy periods of time, and outstretched arms attached to bodies with smiling faces, glad and...

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An Act of Love

An Act of Love

I have been walking around for the past few days smiling at nothing, smiling at everything. Our kitchen now has a sink and running water, and nearly finished floors, and as of this evening walls that are smooth enough for me to paint. And I love the look of how it’s...

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It’s the Simple Things

It’s the Simple Things

On Thanksgiving Day I had much to be thankful for. Liz and I had gone up to Amicalola Falls State Parklodge for the holiday.  Wednesday night at the lodge was quiet, with a breathtaking winter sunset over the North Georgia mountains, followed by a very full orange...

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What else?

What else?

Gratitude does not automatically spring to mind when things don’t go my way. I can be willing, however, to look, to appraise the situation and at least inquire into “the full worth of” something. If it all looks horrible, I find it useful to take the case that maybe...

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Got Mistakes? Clean Up Matters.

Got Mistakes? Clean Up Matters.

Standing before the computer screen that serves as a cash register in the self-service lane at my local Kroger.  Modern tills are more data managers than anything else. The idea of a cash box long pushed aside by a card-carrying society that doesn't really know how to...

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Absolutely, Positively Right…and Stuck

Absolutely, Positively Right…and Stuck

As I was riding in my car, I had the thought, "I don’t even know how I see things." I see things some way, and I see what I see, but what if my seeing is like being in a projector room, and I’m the projector?   I talked to Danny for an hour yesterday after he got back...

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Power Tools:  Who’s in Charge Here?

Power Tools: Who’s in Charge Here?

There’s a line in the Being a Leader course: “What remains undistinguished runs you.” That leads to a loss of power, so I have an intense interest in distinguishing those things that run me, like a computer virus humming in the background. In my own quest toward...

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Discovery

Discovery

Am I the only one who keeps thinking that I need more apps on my phone?  It’s not that I want more, it just seems that I need more. Does anyone else think 24/7 is something we maybe were not really ready for as a race, meaning the human race? Did we get a vote on this...

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Who Am I, REALLY? A Sniffly Professional Inquires Within

Who Am I, REALLY? A Sniffly Professional Inquires Within

Most of the time, I walk around fully and unconsciously associated with my thoughts, emotions, memories, and whatever my body is doing. If I have a cold, “I am sick.” If I get upset, “I am annoyed,” or if good things are happening, “I am happy.” If I have fear-based...

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The Magic of Mastery

The Magic of Mastery

Ryan Rodgers (l) and Jamie Dawon (r) of Aspire Homes The science of transformation is rooted in discovering for yourself what you are deeply committed to and being willing to examine deeply held beliefs that shape who you wound up being. A participant in one of our...

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Being Right vs. Taking a Stand

Being Right vs. Taking a Stand

…I struggle with being right (a position being against something) about guns vs. taking a stand (a declaration being for something). My stand is that human life is sacred and worth caring for. My liking target practice and my stand do not seem inconsistent…

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Listening Generously

Listening Generously

I was committed to listening generously going into the meeting with the Senior Human Resources team for a large retail company. They were so glad to see us and had their chairs arranged just so, crescent-shaped so everyone could see. I was...

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Speaking to the Listening

Speaking to the Listening

I am in the research and gathering information process for several home projects. There are some things I wish I could do – take up the carpet in the living room and bedroom and replace it with hardwoods that would match the wood that is already in parts of the...

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A Valentine’s (or anytime) Conversation Suggestion

A Valentine’s (or anytime) Conversation Suggestion

A note from Stan Went Fishing co-author and photographer, Paul Fetters With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, let’s get creative. If there is one night your dinner should not be ordered and delivered through your car window, and there is one friend, partner, or...

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Write Today

Write Today

The following story appears in Nancy Dorrier's and Paul Fetters' new book, Stan Went Fishing. The 45 stories in the book, paired with Paul's photography, stem from a writing practice Nancy and Dorrier Underwood share with executives to deal with their goals and...

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The Power to Declare

The Power to Declare

Declarations come from nothing, from a future that hasn’t happened yet, It’s a future that doesn’t exist until there is someone to say it. The declaration is the source of what’s next and inspires the actions to be taken that match it. At Thanksgiving, I declared to...

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Walking in the morning

Walking in the morning

I walked today. My habit, when weather and work permits, is to walk outside. Out the door at 6:00 AM. I walk on the sidewalk, winding like a ribbon through my neighborhood, and pass each neighbor's house at a brisk pace. Watching out for cracks and uneven places in...

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Is Optimism Enough?

Is Optimism Enough?

Leaders often confuse optimism with creating. The other day, a client asked me, “What’s the difference between the two? People tell me I am an optimist.” I said something like this: Optimism is a state of mind, a way of being that some people...

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Give and Take in Communication

Give and Take in Communication

I’m inquiring into a culture of give-and-take, especially as it relates to giving and receiving feedback. At Dorrier Underwood, we intentionally generate a culture of feedback out of a commitment to our big goals. After all, high performance teams need feedback in...

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Managing Time and the Power of Choice

Managing Time and the Power of Choice

When I was a young mother, I learned that if my son wanted attention, I could try to ignore him and spend the next hour with him talking, pulling on me, crying, and getting into things he shouldn’t, or I could give him my undivided attention for five or 10 minutes,...

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Teenage grandson: leadership guru, by Nancy Dorrier

My grandson, Phillip, 16, and I just returned from a vacation in California.      He was the last of the grandchildren to go on “a Nana trip,” and we planned the trip with the redwoods in mind. I was happy he hadn't aged out of spending time with his grandmother.    ...

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Existence, by Jane Smith

Existence, by Jane Smith

It was Saturday, my typical run-errands day. My list included groceries, a bolt, and a tube of caulk that Phil needed to move the towel holder, which is turning into quite a project. And, oh yeah, a new hair brush from Sally’s Beauty Supply, not on the list but...

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Bats in the Bedroom, by Laura Neff

Bats in the Bedroom, by Laura Neff

It was about 11:00 p.m. when I heard my husband Robert hollar, “WOAH!!!” from the bedroom. I could tell this was a hollar that signaled, “HELP NEEDED, NOW,” versus an exclamation produced by seeing something cool on his iPad. Sure enough, as I leapt down the stairs...

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How Transformation Lasts, by Nancy Dorrier

Making transformation last or letting it go and then starting over An opening for love was present in Congress after the shooting at the baseball field where Republican Congress people and staff were practicing for their game against the Democrats.  At the Capitol and...

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Transparency, by Carol Orndorff

I often hear from people on the leadership team of one client that their boss (call him “Fred”) is not very “transparent” with them.  Lack of transparency is easy to complain about when people feel like they don’t know what’s going on or they’re concerned that they...

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Raising the Bar, by Ginny Brien

Raising the Bar, by Ginny Brien

Having a big vision is a mixed blessing. For one thing, the bigger the vision, the more likely Integrity is on its way out. Growing up, I heard a lot about "doing business on a handshake," which meant honorable people kept their word to each other even without a...

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Caring as a Business Strategy, by Nancy Dorrier

Caring as a Business Strategy, by Nancy Dorrier

Doug came out in the hall from the lunch buffet at the fancy hotel where we were leading a program and said, “I have to tell you something.”  He had tears in his eyes.  He had been tearing up already while leading this program for “Acme Manufacturing” executives. ...

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How to Move Things Forward, by Doug McVadon

How to Move Things Forward, by Doug McVadon

Forwarding the Action means empowering others to succinctly address the matter at hand so the next thing can happen. Fundamentally, forwarding the action often means knowing when to shut up. That is a “big ask” of the average human being! I was going over a Vision...

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