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Fear—the F Word

According to much of the literature written by those who are a part of the human potential movement, fear is a big fat no, no. We are simply not supposed to have fear—because, as we’ve learned, fear is the opposite of love. You can’t have fear and love in the same place at the same time. But we speak double-speak when we say this and simultaneously say that the divine is one with all. If all is divine, as we say, than there must be a divine energy behind fear as well. And on this All Hallows Eve, this scary Halloween, we are going to discover how it is that fear can also participate in the divine. So, for those of you who are trying desperately to avoid fear at all costs, to repress it, to deny it, to outwit it; and for those of you who are fairly consistently and unwittingly obeying fear—this show is for you. Happy Halloween!

Posted on

Fear—the F Word

According to much of the literature written by those who are a part of the human potential movement, fear is a big fat no, no. We are simply not supposed to have fear—because, as we’ve learned, fear is the opposite of love. You can’t have fear and love in the same place at the same time. But we speak double-speak when we say this and simultaneously say that the divine is one with all. If all is divine, as we say, than there must be a divine energy behind fear as well. And on this All Hallows Eve, this scary Halloween, we are going to discover how it is that fear can also participate in the divine. So, for those of you who are trying desperately to avoid fear at all costs, to repress it, to deny it, to outwit it; and for those of you who are fairly consistently and unwittingly obeying fear—this show is for you. Happy Halloween!

Posted on

Fear—the F Word

According to much of the literature written by those who are a part of the human potential movement, fear is a big fat no, no. We are simply not supposed to have fear—because, as we’ve learned, fear is the opposite of love. You can’t have fear and love in the same place at the same time. But we speak double-speak when we say this and simultaneously say that the divine is one with all. If all is divine, as we say, than there must be a divine energy behind fear as well. And on this All Hallows Eve, this scary Halloween, we are going to discover how it is that fear can also participate in the divine. So, for those of you who are trying desperately to avoid fear at all costs, to repress it, to deny it, to outwit it; and for those of you who are fairly consistently and unwittingly obeying fear—this show is for you. Happy Halloween!

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Lessons For Your Personal Career From Great Big Business Decisions

I recently read The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time by Verne Harnish and the Editors of Fortune Magazine, an entertaining read of 18 stories (1 per chapter) of how an unexpected decision or innovation positively impacted a big company. If you love business books, the appeal is clear. But even for your own personal improvement, there are key lessons to be gleaned from what these companies did, and it helps you stretch your imagination and creativity to see the wisdom in situations very different from your own:

  • Listen to your stakeholders and deliver what they want

Samsung allows their star employees to take a sabbatical where they move to an international location for a year.  One of Lou Gerstner’s first moves when he took over IBM was to spend his first 100 days immersed in his key clients’ environments. In both cases, the companies benefited from learning about their customers. Even if you are not in a client-facing role, you always have stakeholders, and you might assume you know what they want. But do you? Or even if you did before, might this have changed over time? You might want to take a cue from Samsung and IBM and invest some time for in-depth meetings with your boss, your clients, your colleagues, your vendors, and others whose objectives and preferences you might take for granted.

 

  • Look beyond the obvious solution

Tata offers a severance package guaranteeing salary for the rest of the workers’ lives, and it actually saved the company money. Nordstrom offers to accept returns even on products it didn’t sell, and it still improves the bottom line in increased sales. Sometimes the best solution isn’t obvious and is downright counter-intuitive. The Tata example is particularly creative! You might not have something as dramatic as impending company bankruptcy to solve but even your daily routine or a boilerplate presentation can use an injection of creativity. Is there something that can be done differently? If you were to change something at your company, what would it be? Is there a business opportunity or a promotion possibility in your idea?

 

  • Manage your brand

Johnson & Johnson’s handling of the Tylenol tampering scare showed that it immediately took responsibility at great financial cost to the company, but saving its reputation. Intel’s decision to focus on marketing its chips caused customers to value them, differentiating Intel in a commodity market. Some of the best business decisions show how companies are finely attuned to how they are perceived. In your personal career, you also need to pay attention to how you’re perceived. How strong is your reputation? What are you known for? Are you just like any other colleague or differentiated in some way?

 

Client service, innovation and creativity, and strong branding are not just advantages to companies. In your personal career, you can learn from the best business moves and apply their lessons to your role and responsibilities. At the very least, you will be more proactive and decisive about how you manage your career – seeking out your success, rather than settling for what happens to you.

This post originally appears in my Work In Progress blog for Forbes.com.

 

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Inhabiting Heaven Now

You know there’s lots of people out there telling us all kinds of things about heaven—where, what, who and how it is. Mostly it’s a place we go after we die—IF that is, we are among the chosen ones. And when it’s spoken of in terms of any kind of earthly existence it has to do, these days, mostly with what is termed “abundance”—which to many, if not most, means loads of money and time off to do whatever we want. So, what is heaven? And is it at all possible that we can experience it, here, on planet earth? What would Jesus say? Or Buddha, or the mystical texts and literature from Taoism or Sufism? This episode of the Authentic Living show is going to offer a concept of heaven that might just blow your mind. Don’t miss it.

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Inhabiting Heaven Now

You know there’s lots of people out there telling us all kinds of things about heaven—where, what, who and how it is. Mostly it’s a place we go after we die—IF that is, we are among the chosen ones. And when it’s spoken of in terms of any kind of earthly existence it has to do, these days, mostly with what is termed “abundance”—which to many, if not most, means loads of money and time off to do whatever we want. So, what is heaven? And is it at all possible that we can experience it, here, on planet earth? What would Jesus say? Or Buddha, or the mystical texts and literature from Taoism or Sufism? This episode of the Authentic Living show is going to offer a concept of heaven that might just blow your mind. Don’t miss it.

Posted on

Inhabiting Heaven Now

You know there’s lots of people out there telling us all kinds of things about heaven—where, what, who and how it is. Mostly it’s a place we go after we die—IF that is, we are among the chosen ones. And when it’s spoken of in terms of any kind of earthly existence it has to do, these days, mostly with what is termed “abundance”—which to many, if not most, means loads of money and time off to do whatever we want. So, what is heaven? And is it at all possible that we can experience it, here, on planet earth? What would Jesus say? Or Buddha, or the mystical texts and literature from Taoism or Sufism? This episode of the Authentic Living show is going to offer a concept of heaven that might just blow your mind. Don’t miss it.

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How To Interview With A Younger Boss

In my latest job search column for Work Reimagined, I tackle a situation more mid-career, experienced professionals will find themselves in, as we now have four generations working side-by-side in the workplace: How To Interview With A Younger Boss:

A recent Forbes article highlighted some real differences between workers of various ages in the way they approach a job. Some probably sound familiar: For example, more workers age 55+ favored face-to-face and phone communication than workers under 35. More workers age 25-34 believed you should be promoted every two or three years if you’re doing a good job. More workers over 55 arrive at work before 8 a.m.; more younger workers stay past 5 p.m. If these differences in communication and work style exist on the job, then they’ll also impact who gets the job. Here’s how to handle job interviews with a prospective boss who is younger than you are:

Tame the elephant in the room

A young CEO (he’d just turned 30) recently told me that he just assumes an older worker will have difficulty taking direction from him, which makes him uneasy about hiring people much older than himself. Your interviewer may not be like this CEO, so I don’t suggest pointing to this elephant in the room. However, I would directly address the possible negative assumptions  younger managers might have – that you won’t take their direction, that you’re set in your ways, or that you are not up-to-date. Talk about situations when you have successfully worked for a younger manager or at least with a generationally diverse team. Offer specific examples of how you have innovated during your career. Mention the strategies and even specific software or social media that you know (even if this is not a technology-focused job) so that there can be no negative assumptions about how you work.

 

Read my other tips on acing a job interview with a younger boss in my latest column for Work Reimagined.

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The Trap of Enlightenment

The word “enlightenment” has taken on commercial overtones. It’s a keyword for SEO experts, it’s used in TV sitcoms and commercials and it’s the goal of most of those who are participants in the human potential movement. So, what is it? And is it really something we pursue? Or is it possible that it is pursuing us? Are their degrees of enlightenment? Can we know when we are enlightened? Can we be certain as to how a person attains such a state? Is it a state of being that we can claim, like we would a diploma for a Master’s Degree? When someone tells us that he is enlightened, should we believe him? These are the questions we are going to ask and answer as we discuss the trap of enlightenment today. You are going to want to be there for this.