Achim’s Energy Boost

30Jul2018
leadership

I was dazzled.

A couple of years ago, sitting in the glorious Berlin Philharmonie on a Sunday night, listening to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra tear into Faure, Schoenberg, Ravel.

Dazzled most by rising-star-composer Matthias Pintscher who was conducting. Whew, this guy embodies music, I thought to myself.

Pintscher conducts with his entire body. The fire of his grand gestures. The grace of his gentle coaxing. The effortless dynamic between the two. The generous way Pintscher acknowledges his musicians during the ovation. The way he bows to the audience, hand on his heart. The vigor with which he enters from the wings.

Always from the core, as my trainer would say.

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23Jul2018

The pressure is brutal. To know, to have answers, to offer fresh ideas.

Chances are, you have been hired for your job because you will offer insight and solutions. I love the moment when I know. When I have no doubt, when the next right action is crystal-clear. The moment when I don’t know, however, tends to yield the richer crop.

Because I want you to think I’m smart and knowledgeable, it is tempting to tell you I know even when I clearly don’t.

The pressure is tremendous.

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16Jul2018
Zen

Cool when science catches up with what we already know.

My thought as I peruse an article by Sue Shellenbarger, my favorite Wall Street Journal columnist (It’s Not Copying, It’s Connecting, We’re Networking. WSJ 9/21/2016). Shellenbarger quotes one of my favorite neuroscientists, Uri Hasson of Princeton. Using MRIs to study how brains react to the signals exchanged between a speaker and listener, Hasson describes the process of neural coupling that occurs in such moments. Think of neural coupling as a powerful Bluetooth connection. Instant brain synching. And nonverbal cues measurably enhance the rate and quality of this coupling.

Wanna connect better, faster, more deeply? Get in sync.

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9Jul2018
Business Greeting
2Jul2018
LQ

I spent an electrifying day at the Future of Leadership Salon in Duesseldorf last week. 60 visionary corporate leaders and change agents, eager to create more human workplaces. 6 invited thought-leaders. I was one of the 6. We co-generated some sweet conversation.

Think future, and it’s tempting to fixate on AI and robots and a digitalized world. I spoke of love. Yes, love.

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24Jun2018

Tis the week after the political blow-up about the separation of families at the US/Mexican border. Public discourse got more heated than it had already been. Even if you tried to avoid the coverage, chances are you watched. And, pardon the gun metaphor – you got triggered. I got triggered. You bet I did. 

There’s having a reaction. There’s being triggered. 

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18Jun2018
World Cup 2018 Iceland
11Jun2018
Rest in Peace

Yes, me too. The news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide stopped me cold in my tracks. And it keeps reverberating.

Bourdain’s means of departure has deeply personal echoes for me. Thomas, my younger brother, also left this world by hanging himself. And I keep thinking of the impact Bourdain had on so many of us, via his writing and his tv series. Bourdain seemed to live the life many of us aspire to but don’t have the courage to “go for.” He seemed just a little bolder, a little more honest, a little more adventurous, a little more in the moment than the rest of us. He seemed to happily navigate on the edge.

We’ll never know what demons drove him to depart last week.

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4Jun2018
Shattering Change

We’ve been there. Many of us too often.

Our employer announces a major organizational change. Seeking more efficiencies. Slashing resources. Merging business functions. Eliminating others. Right-sizing.

Sure, you believe in continuous improvement. But your first reaction is This sucksBig time. And it’s not just a thought. You get this steady pinch in the pit of your stomach. Your chest and shoulders feel tight and tense. Headaches at night. It doesn’t feel good.

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28May2018
Starbucks Corporate Training

On Tuesday afternoon Starbucks will close its 8000 stores in the US to conduct a 4-hour unconscious bias training for its employees.

Hooray hooray.

I have watched the public discourse in response to this training with a sort of incredulous amazement. On social media. In major news publications like The Atlantic and The Washington Post. I am startled by the undercurrent of cynicism. 4 hours won’t make a difference. It’s corporate damage control. You don’t change anyone or anything in 4 hours. What if they don’t get it right?

Come on, people. Really? Any conversation that starts to move the unconscious into consciousness is worth having. Period. No matter how quick or how long it is.

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