Dealing with vs. Celebrating failure

There’s a meme that has been making the rounds through leadership circles for some time around celebrating failure. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t pushing the boundaries. The original premise of this line of thinking is that failure is not something to be feared. But there is a difference between using failure to learn well-earned lessons […]

The power of Clustering Illusion when managing image

As humans, we are predisposed to finding order out of otherwise random data. When we look at clouds or even a mountain ridge, we find shapes that are familiar to us. When we see data, we instinctively search for patterns to help make sense of what might appear to be random information. It might be […]

Conformity as an inhibitor to strategy

Early in life, we are all made acutely aware of the power of peer pressure. Most of us probably attribute it to a deep need for belonging. But what if that deep sense of belonging is less about social acceptance and more about how we are psychologically wired? In fact, the pursuit of conformity goes […]

Outcome bias and the psychology that prevents sustained success

In psychology, there is a phenomenon called Outcome Bias, which basically means that we tend to judge the efficacy of a decision based primarily on how things turn out. After a decision is made, we rarely examine the conditions that existed at the time of the decision, choosing instead to evaluate performance based solely (or […]

On choice-supportive bias and the need for paranoid optimism

In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias is the tendency to view decisions you have made in the most favorable light. Essentially, we are all hardwired to subconsciously reinforce decisions we have made. We tend to retroactively ascribe positive characteristics to our selections, allowing us to actually strengthen our conviction after the point of decision. This is […]

Using frameworks for effective sales presos

Anyone who has ever delivered a presentation or even listened to one knows that the key to an effective presentation is telling a story. If you peruse even a few pages of any of the books about how to deliver a solid presentation, you will find references to storytelling and its role in passing along […]

The dangerous practice of behavior attribution

The age-old debate of nature vs. nurture is all about whether our psychological makeup is impacted more by heredity or environment. More simply, is who we are more dependent on our genes or our experiences? The psychological discussion here is interesting in pinning down what influences us, but lost in all of the dialogue about […]

At the office, are you a doctor or a patient?

Everyone experiences challenges at work. Whether it’s an individual contributor or the CEO, everyone has to go through the same basic set of issues that plague virtually all workers everywhere. But not everyone handles those problems the same way. Conversation is the usual outlet for most people. But how you conduct those conversations says a […]

The Bystander Effect: Why companies fail to change

Almost all of us have worked for a company at some point in our careers that just couldn’t seem to get out of its own way. The ideas were right, the talent was strong, but the execution just wasn’t there. From our positions somewhere in the engine room of the company, even we could see […]

You don’t have to be Tiger Woods…

Stop me if you have had this type of exchange before. You offer up some feedback to someone on a project or some activity. The person nods their head to placate you, but clearly they don’t really value the feedback. And then they say something along the lines of: You don’t know anything about my […]

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