Would You Dance?

Posted on 12. Jan, 2011 by in Blog, Leadership and Development, Servant Leadership

Perhaps Kenny’s leadership approach of  “give them candy”  works for 10 year olds;

O.K.,  us older ones as well.  But let’s take another look at how leadership – happens,

as demonstrated in the following clip by Derek Silvers.

This clip illustrates a key principle of Servant Leadership.

As a leader, from the very beginning –

It’s not about you.

Also, a great reminder that leadership takes courage, simplicity, and a willingness to be authentic.

If you were captured dancing in this video, where would you be?

The first follower?                 The leader?               Later in the pack?

Kenny for President

Posted on 10. Nov, 2010 by in Blog, Leadership and Development

Kenny, age 10, provides insights into some early definitions of leadership.

His poster makes me chuckle.  As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Take a look.

He pretty accurately captures what so many do when setting  out on a leadership path.

Promise enticements.  Follow me and you get…..

Notice he is the one with the key to the treasure.  Interesting.  Kenny has figured out how to entice with the  lure of “stuff.”  ( in this case, free candy).

Are we lured by those promising “stuff?”  As leaders, do we promise to deliver “stuff?”

You’ve seen the adds.  People promising: financial freedom, inner peace, less work, less fat,  no taxes, more time, a better life, more money etc. etc.

Is this leadership?

Student Council – vote for Kenny!

Leadership! What, When, and Why

Posted on 07. Nov, 2010 by in Blog, Leadership and Development

Elections are over, What did we learn?

Did we find new leaders? Affirm those we already had ?

Last week, elections on the state, local, and school student council stages rekindled questions for me  about leadership.  How about you? Do you wonder about this topic?

Who are the people that we choose to follow?

What is so special about them?

Leadership.  What is it?  What constitutes a leader?  Which models make sense?  When are they best used  and why?

If you are like  me and have more questions than answers, I invite you to join me  explore leadership in sometimes deep and sometimes humorous ways over the next few weeks.

After all , we all lead something or someone. Even if we – or they, don’t know it. 🙂


Posted on 24. Aug, 2010 by in Blog, Coaching, Transitions

Transitions are just plain challenging.

Change is:

Going to Happen


Hoped For






“E.”….. ALL  the ABOVE!

What to do?

Many focus on the CHANGE and neglect the TRANSITION that has to occur to make the change happen.

The first steps?

  1. Realize that transition is needed.  It’s a process to incorporate the change into where you are now to create where you want to be.
  2. Create a mental link from what you want to happen to what you are doing now.   ‘Gotta know why before you try.’
  3. Map out the “Baby Steps” you need each day to support your change.
  4. Connect with a partner. Tell that person what you want to focus on – create self accountability to propel yourself forward.

It’s not easy, but you can do it.

Join Mary DeMuth, Lauraine Snelling and Holley Gerth as they talk about transitions from their perspectives. Gain  new insights and energy to address your own.



Posted on 21. Jun, 2010 by in Blog, Coaching

Ever Feel Like This??

Ever wonder how you got so twisted up, paralyzed in your current role, position, or profession that it seems like no moves are possible?

Trapped.  No where to go. Wanting to run away, but knowing you can’t.

It happens.   But what to do about it?


Recognize that  it’s temporary. No need to panic. If you were able to get ” into the box” you can get out.


Reach out to someone that can provide a new and fresh perspective. Trusted adviser, mentor, professional coach.


You don’t have to catapult out in one giant, exhausting leap. It takes several moves to tangle-up in a box, usually several to get out.

People are  increasingly declaring a desire to change: jobs, industries, migrate from high tech to non-profit.  They want their contributions to matter, to make a difference.

Then, anxiety descends. Fear grips. Dark nagging voices start with a whisper and increase in volume and frequency.

Under the guise of being practical and logical, nasty, subtle, fear-induced phrases continue to swell and twist each contortion into another compressing, mind numbing stance. The sensible, reasonable “Buts”…


“I’m too old to switch. It’s too late.”

“I don’t have the right degree.”

“The economy is still too weak.”

Don’t listen to the” Buts”.

Review and update your resume  for where you want to go.

Re-kindle your network.

Trust your heart .

Focus on what you can do  –  it will shift your perspective.

Create a step-by-step plan that is doable and not overwhelming.

Share your plan with someone you trust to gain feedback and confidence.

Let go of the fear – take the first step out.

You can do it.

Servant-Leadership – not an Oxymoron

Posted on 14. Jun, 2010 by in Blog, Servant Leadership

This question came to me last week.

What is Servant-Leadership? Really, isn’t that an oxymoron?


Isn’t leadership – well, just leadership?

Not that I’ve seen. There are many different styles, methods, and concepts associated with the term leader.

There are plenty of folks in leadership positions. Unfortunately, not very many of them are servant-leaders.  Robert K. Greenleaf is credited as the modern day creator of the of Servant-Leadership concept.  Also, James C. Hunter has excellent reading on the topic.  You can check out the BridgeLite resources page for links to some of their books for further exploration.

The following is a quick explanation of what makes servant-leaders different and why it matters.


Focus on the people they serve more than on themselves.

It’s about the team, organization, company – not the leader. A servant-leader wants to serve the people as the primary motivation for what he or she does in leading them.  The servant-leader provides the service (not to be confused with servitude) of leadership.

They love the people they lead.

As John Wooden said, “You don’t have to like them, but you do have to love them.”  Servant-leaders want the people they lead to be their best; do their best, because it’s the best for them, individually and collectively. As a servant-leader, you may not like their behavior or choices. You may want them to do things differently, but you love them anyway.  This concept is probably the best understood by parents and pet owners.

The opposite of a servant-leader is a leader primarily motivated by wanting to be the top dog, big boss, the one in front. This leader primarily wants to lead people because of their own aspirations or ego.

Who are some examples of servant-leaders?

Although not necessarily classified as servant-leaders, the concept of this type of leadership style has deep roots in history.  Some of the more famous ones are:

Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Gandhi.

And this matters so much because?

When leading, coaching, or mobilizing people to do anything… the heart matters.

If you want to initiate a new strategic direction, influence a change in the organization, or correct a situation that has gone awry, when people are connect via heart, heads follow.  People perceive attitudes whether unspoken or spoken. They will know if the leader is primarily interested in their well being – or not.

Have you worked with a servant-leader? If so, how did it make a difference?


Posted on 07. May, 2010 by in Blog, Change Management, Leadership and Development

Four walls (room) – to protect what’s in and keep out – well, what’s out.

Break Through!

Break Through!

Wailing Wall – a place to seek, mourn, and pray.

Great wall of China – way to define large borders.

THE WALL – of Fenway Park – a place to target when batting it up with the

Boston Red Soxs

We are good at walls. We are even better using terms involving walls for organizational analogies: Building walls, scaling walls, climbing walls.

“Tear down that wall Mr. Gorbachev.” -Ronald Reagan

For change-leaders creating momentum, reinventing, moving people to new places – challenging and frustrating moments encountered can be when you……..


When something  smacks you to a dead stop. An obstacle seems insurmountable. Difficult.  Walking away seems better than moving forward.

What is a Change leader to do?

1. Acknowledge.

The wall is a temporary derailment. Hitting a wall doesn’t change anything.  The original challenge is still in play, has to be dealt with, and you are still the one to make it happen.

In order to tame it, you have to name it. It’s just a wall.

2. Personal Choice Moment

You have to decide it you’d prefer to:

A. Jump over it

B. Climb it

C. Walk around it

All methods work. After all, while potentially large, it’s just a wall.

3. Setbacks ≠ Stop

Setbacks or new obstacles don’t indicate that the original change is no longer needed. Newly discovered impediments are just incremental obstacles that were not originally uncovered in the analysis. Once removed, better for all in the long term. Include the setback into the plan and keep moving forward. If a personal setback, what did you learn, how can you use it as growth experience?

Don’t give up – keep going!!

Good Luck!

Blind Spots – Who Me?

Posted on 07. Apr, 2010 by in Blog, Change Management, Transitions

I can see it, I can see it!

I can see it, I can see it!

It happened again.

I was deep into a conversation discussing a transition challenge with a client over the phone.  The issue was complex and paying attention was definitely required.  We decided to sync calendars and find a time to meet. I thought viewing the calendar on my cell phone would be the fastest and least distracting method to set up the appointment, so I began to look for the phone as we continued to talk.

I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Where had I put it? Did I lose it?  I checked all around me.  Purse, desk – even the trash can. Now I was mentally multi-tasking and not laser focused as I needed to be. I finally gave up looking and set the meeting time up via computer. As we said our goodbyes, I found the cell phone.

I was talking on it!

As I leaned over in the chair laughing at myself, the expression, “as plain as the nose on your face” popped into mind. I was so focused on the conversation; I missed the critical data right in front of me – that I was holding the phone. This happens more than we might realize – or admit… [C’mon, I’ve heard some of your stories and know I’m not the only one…]

Psychologists call this phenomenon:

scotoma [skɒˈtəʊmə]

A mental blind spot; inability to understand or perceive certain matters

When working through a change process or mapping out a transition plan for people, sometimes mental blind spots or hidden bias are the worst enemies.  Blind spots are a partiality (point of view, not prejudice) that can be apparent to others but are mostly hidden from our vantage point. These areas are generated from predisposition (bias) about what we expect to occur or see.

When change has to happen quickly, efficiently, and stick the first time – blind spots can derail the process if unaddressed.  Steps or vital communication can be left out.  People may not be included that need to be.  As the end goal is reached, you might have to play catch-up and go back into the process to deal with the areas affected by the blind spot.

If time is of the essence, one way to deal with blind spots is to partner with a trusted adviser that can see areas you cannot.  A Complementary Opposite. Someone who can be back-to-back with you; providing data and insights in areas you cannot see for the betterment of the change project and end result.  Once you find this person, ask questions and listen to what is shared.

Over time, as your complementary opposite sheds light on blind spots, they become easier to recognize. In the meantime, your change initiative has a better chance to stick the first time.

Have you ever had a complementary opposite help you succeed where you might have failed otherwise?

Was it difficult to just listen to the feedback and not argue about how right you really were?

Booger Flick’n Time

Posted on 02. Mar, 2010 by in Blog, Leadership and Development

The following is rated PG, for ‘Potentially Gross’.

Reader discretion advised.

Dominick, age 3, lined up with the other children for pre-school, morning recess. A teacher supervising the process noticed that Dominick seemed to be putting some kind of foreign object into his nose. Not good. The teacher quickly went to Dominick to thwart the activity. As she reached him, she disgustingly realized what the object was. A booger.

Yep, that’s right. Booger.

Dominick was attempting to put the gooey, glob back into his nose. He told the teacher that he didn’t know what to do with it, so was putting it back where it came from.


How many times as leaders are we like Dominick? Trying to stuff things that really should come out – back in because we don’t know what to do with them? As we move into spring cleaning season, perhaps it’s time to get rid of some ‘boogie’ behavior that can negatively impact leaders and teams. Three sticky globs instantly come to mind. (more…)

BridgeLite Blog – Time to Jump In

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by in Blog

The time has come!

The time has come!

It’s Time.

I tried the other ways and it feels like the business version of Goldilocks.

LinkedIn is confining,

Facebook too loose

Twitter is tight –

Blogging,  just right!

Well, I think. Time will tell. I’m doing the other venues as well. Let me know what you think!