Showing Up

… How are you seen?

“All the world’s a stage …  And, one man [or woman] in his [or her] time plays many parts.”                                                                                     William Shakespeare (1623)
If, indeed, all the world’s a stage, as Shakespeare asserts, then each person, including ourselves and especially those we see as leaders, are certainly visible both at expected, and unexpected, times by expected, and unexpected others as they are on their particular stage.

Mistakes, We All Make Them

… Own them, learn from them, don’t repeat them

mis•take  noun  an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.
The only man [or woman] who never makes a mistake is the man [or woman] who never does anything.”
                                    – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States


Learning How to Learn

It’s hard to believe, but after 18 years of formal study, from first grade in a small East Texas school through doctoral study at MIT, I cannot remember ever having a class or having a teacher talk about learning how to learn. Perhaps that’s why Coursera’s MOOC “Learning How to Learn” has been taken by more than 1.8 million students from some 200 countries.1, 2 It’s appears clear that my experience is not unique.

Watch Your Body Language

… Others Most Certainly Are


Some 150 years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”  
What Emerson was saying is that the way you show up, your presence, can so over power what you say that your words have little or no impact or perhaps even a negative impact. That’s not a very pretty picture.

Teams and Teaming

Today, most organizations, including a university’s IT organization, structure their work through a set of teams. Other examples include professional sports teams with their structure, their practice day-after-day of plays they may execute in the game, and a surgical team that performs the same procedure, for example, hip replacement, under tightly controlled conditions, perhaps multiple times, day after day.

I Just Received a Compliment

… How do I respond?


Compliments are a good thing, right? Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. Especially from someone whose work you admire. They are a special form of positive feedback. However, many of us find accepting a compliment with grace to be a major challenge. Too often, our first instinct is to dismiss the compliment. For example, the recipient: