posted by Kim Benedict on Monday, 23 February 2015
posted by Kim Benedict on Sunday, 15 February 2015


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Relevant Musings

Current thoughts on leadership.

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For the Interim Time

I shared this poem with a colleague group this morning, and received a myriad of reactions.  Here it is for your thoughts. Think about night and day as a metaphor for change.  In terms of leadership, I think about increasing self-awareness, and the changes we want to make in ourselves as a result of that increased self-awareness. I'd love YOUR thoughts on this poem and what it means to you!


For the Interim Time, by John O'Donohue

When near the end of the day, life has drained

Out of light, and it is too soon

For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline

Makes everything look strangely in-between,

Unsure of what has been or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.

In a while it will be night, but nothing

Here seems to believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim

Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;

The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;

The new is still too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything;

In this place of dusk,

Your eyes are blurred;

And there is no mirror.

Everyone has lost sight of your heart

And you can see nowhere to put your trust;

You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.

Do not allow your confusion to squander

This call which is loosening

Your roots in false ground,

That you might come free

From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,

And it is difficult and slow to become new.

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become

For your arrival in the new dawn.

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Generation C

It's been a while since I thought about "generations in the workplace." Then I saw this brief article referring to "generation C" and I thought, who is that? Generation C is the group of young adults just turning 21 years old, they were born around 1990. By the time they are 30 years old, they will make up 40% of our USA workforce. What does that say to you, in terms of your own workplace experience? For more on the article check out this link:

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The Right Thing and The Easy Thing

The right thing and the easy thing are seldom the same thing…  in parenting, in relationships, in leadership.  The easy thing is a short term gain, like maintaining shareholder value. The right thing is a long term gain, like investing in an expensive product for the long term market share it can provide.  There’s a potentially tough conversation that needs to be had.  The easy thing would be to ignore it (avoiding a potential conflict)… the right thing is to have it.  The obvious upside is the positive outcome of the conversation; the intangible outcome is the effect I have on the other by modeling strong authentic leadership. And THAT leaves a legacy.

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A Simple Question

How many times has someone come into your office to complain to you about the behavior of a teammate.  Together we can make a long list of reasons why this is just not helpful, yet we find ourselves here, and we don't know what to do.  A blog I follow offered a solution to this.  Ask the following question:  "Are you gonna tell 'em or am I? Cuz someone needs to tell 'em."  I bet if you ask this question with consistency, the culture of complaining would change... 


I've shared this idea with a couple clients - they've reported they are already using this simple question.  Brilliant!

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Reasons to Quit

In their book, Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, ask questions related to ensuring that you are doing work that actuallymatters. Perhaps it's time for more of us to ask these questions of ourselves?  What do you think?

Q1 - Why Are You Doing This - what is this work for? Who benefits? What's my motivation behind it?

Q2 - What Problem Are You Solving - What, exactly is the problem? Who is confused about this work you do? Was something not possible before and now, as a result of your work, something is possible? Are you solving a problem that only exists in your head?

Q3 - Is This Work Actually Useful - It's easy to confuse enthusiasm with usefulness. Cool wears off, useful never does.

Q4 - Are You Adding Value - Seriously, can your customer truly get more out of your product or service than they did before? Sometimes we think we're adding value when that is not the case. As the authors say, "too much ketchup ruins the fries."

Will This Change Behavior - Don't add something unless it has real impact on how people use your product.

Is There An Easier Way - The easier way is often more than good enough. And, good enough, is likely just as jmpactful for less cost.

What Could You Be Doing Instead - What are you NOT doing because you are doing this? With resources being stretched, prioritization is more important than ever.


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Why Ethics Training Doesn't Work

Just one day past our Monday learning leader study group, I bumped into this article. Check it out - makes one think ... and, I don't know about you, but my brain could always use the exercise!

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Can Ethics Be Taught?

Barb, Dave, and I co-lead a "learning leader roundtable" of like-minded leaders.  As we worked through our material on Monday, Dave asked the question, "Can ethics be taught?"   What a stimulating conversation that turned out to be.  In the end, we all agreed that until your ethics and values are put to the test through life experiences, that perhaps you haven't really learned and owned them for yourself. 


In the end, our conclusion was that perhaps ethics can be learned, but not taught.  What do you think?

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