Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog! If your year didn't quite get off to the start you wanted, think about using Chinese New Year – this Friday, February 16th – as a reboot!
My late grandfather once told me that if I was going to seek advice from someone who has been where I'm headed, to make sure I only ask people who have a smile on their face. This advice has led me to ask older men and women that are smiling or radiant – what's the secret to life?
Last year, I had the honor and privilege of presenting and keynoting at a number of amazing conferences and organizations. The highlight for me was giving the commencement keynote address at my alma mater, University of Oregon. For bamboo insight and inspiration, watch my 15-minute talk, even if you are not a Duck!
Over the holidays I played lots of board games with my friends and family including one of my favorites, Yahtzee.
Imagine after years of planting, tending and weeding, the bamboo is only a few inches away from breaking the surface of the soil, soon sprouting 90 feet in 60 days. The impatient farmer walks away while the Bamboo Farmer faithfully waters one more day.
No matter how skilled an individual or team is, having the self-discipline to execute on projects and ideas is the single most important skill needed in today's business environment. An individual or team with average talent and skill can outcompete a more talented team if they have mastered the art of discipline.
Everyone has "one of those days" occasionally. Since this is a normal, acceptable part of work, it's important to strategize how you manage after a challenging day at work because it can have impact on a multitude of levels both at work and at home.
In Water The Bamboo, my book on leadership and teamwork, I encourage Bamboo Farmers to create a Bamboo Circle. A Bamboo Circle is made up of interconnected relationships that help a Bamboo Farmer reach their goals.
In my book Water The Bamboo®: Unleashing Teams and Individuals I encourage both individuals and teams to identify and water their bamboo (vision). It takes four to five years of watering for Giant Timber Bamboo to grow over 90 feet in 60 days.
Conflict is normal and sometimes necessary to progress. Many people view conflict as negative but, in reality, it’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it has the potential to bring mission-critical issues to light. After all, conflict is often the result of misaligned expectations, so dealing with conflict the right way can strengthen team communication and improve culture.
For leaders to be effective, they must work well with all types of people; it is essential to managing a successful team. To improve your relationship skills, here are 5 important principles for getting along with others.
It is true that in some instances "fake it 'til you make it" makes sense but most of the time this is a losing strategy for a leader. Fake leaders can be found everywhere and are easy to identify. They give us an uneasy feeling that they shouldn't be trusted. Fake leaders end up losing respect, struggling to gain trust, and failing to create meaningful, lasting relationships.
Whether it's a failed project, a co-worker conflict, or an unexpected layoff, everyone faces a setback at some point in their career. These unfortunate events can derail your plans and hinder your morale and productivity—but only if you let them.
In the French language, courage translates to "heart and spirit." If you brought your heart and spirit to your work, what would you be able to accomplish? One of the biggest obstacles holding people back from achieving their dreams is fear. The antidote to fear is courage—attack your fears with your "heart and spirit."
I’ve had the good fortune of planning and facilitating numerous transformational leadership retreats across a wide range of industries. And while many leaders mistakenly believe there's no value in stopping and retreating, my experience has shown otherwise.
A lot of my work with leaders and teams is centered around how to increase and sustain employee engagement. When people first begin their jobs, they are typically fully engaged, but this initial enthusiasm eventually fades into "what's next?" or thinking the bamboo grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
In a world asking us to move faster and do everything instantly—dominated by fast food, instant credit, and constant communication—many of us have lost touch with what it means to be patient. But as Harvard professor Dr. Edward Banfield concluded after 50 years of research, patience is the key to success.
Thanks to constant distractions from email, social media, and other technologies, the average human attention span according to a recent study has dwindled to just 8 seconds, not much more than a guppy. In addition, there's increasing pressure to get more done at work and work longer hours—these productivity hindrances can be especially detrimental to engagement and team growth.
In my work as a professional speaker and leadership trainer, I've learned a great deal about how strong organizational cultures are created and maintained. One of the biggest roadblocks to an effective organizational culture I see again and again is the mission and values of the organization are misaligned with how decisions are made. Whether it comes in the form of miscommunication or power imbalances, misaligned purpose begets a sub-par organizational culture.
I spent part of my early childhood with my late grandfather on a farm in rural east Texas. And while I left that farm many years ago, I still live by the lessons I learned there. These 9 principles of the farm can help everyone make improvements in their personal and professional lives.