An uncommon alternative, when current events make you angry and fearful

Conversation Safari

On November 15th, twenty-eight women from a variety of races, nations and religions gathered together for a Conversation Safari.  The plan was to dive into divisive current events and the fears that drive our emotions, our behaviors and our results.

Our topic had been planned for months based on several private conversations:

  • I’d had with a Muslim neighbor
  • And several different conversations I’d had with ladies that will always have a better tan than I do

In each of those private conversations we shared fears, we felt each other’s pain, and considered new perspectives.

(The date of our event had been chosen because of some scheduling conflicts, not because of a master strategy.  But when November 9th rolled around and the election results from the U.S. hit the airwaves – fear in across the world and in the expat sandbox grew.  Our topic could not have been more perfectly timed.)

  • One of the women I had met with during the summer shared what was happening at the University that her son attends in the U.S.
  • Other neighbors were posting deep concern for their safety in the world
  • While other friends in the U.S. were sharing deep concerns about racism and bigotry

Overcoming dread: When your opinionated peer becomes your boss

A true story: About listening, teamwork and growth

Dreading that opinionated new boss?

ExpectationsImagine learning that a very obstinate peer is going to become your new boss. Yes – the opinionated one that is like a dog with a bone and just won’t drop a subject, and almost always opposes your point of view.

To say you are concerned is an understatement! That overwhelming dread you are feeling is fueled by RAW FEAR.


Strategically NOT THINKING – Is it really safer and easier?

"Unsuccessful people focus their thinking on survival. Average people focus their thinking on maintenance. Successful people focus their thining on progress." -John MaxwellUnsuccessful people focus their thinking on survival.Average people focus their thinking on maintenance.Successful people focus their thining on progress.--John Maxwell

Have you ever worked in a place that is caught in a cycle that is NOT working?

  • But instead of digging for the root cause, titled leaders wave “magic wands” that cause some people to disappear and others to appear?

Have you ever wondered if anyone recognizes that new faces are just another Band-Aid that is being used to cover a growing cancer instead of treating it?

Once upon a time, I had a conversation with someone about a problem that needed to be solved.

We’d faced this problem before.

  • The first solution had been to replace a person.
  • A few months later we were having a very similar problem with a different person.

We both agreed that the problem was not only unresolved, it had gotten worse.  And we agreed that we needed a solution.

  • But we disagreed about what that looked like.
  • I wanted to know why a second person was struggling in the same position that someone else had failed in.
  • He didn’t want to waste time flipping rocks trying to understand why, he simply wanted the new person replaced, as quickly as possible.

When problems surface, it is so tempting to rush for the magic wand.

It may appear to be faster, easier or even the “safest” way to appease the investors or the CEO.

  • However, waving magic wands that make some faces disappear while new faces appear, doesn’t solve deeper issues.
  • And titled leaders that prefer magic wands to real solutions  – won’t be around very long.

Below are two true stories:

 1.  A high-potential employee is constantly promoted within a company for more than a decade. 

When he is promoted again he can’t get the tools and support he needs and begins to struggle. He’s not a quitter and doesn’t know how to fail, so he sacrifices all of his vacation and family time and works instead.  But no matter how many hours he puts in, he is treated as if he is the problem and eventually fired.

Then another high potential/long-term employee is relocated to take the same role, in the same place, with the same leader, in the same environment.

And the cycle begins again…

What if:

  • The employees that are continually recruited for this role are not the problem?
  • The training and support needs to be improved?
  • The culture in that department is causing people to fail?
  • The titled leader in that department is the source of the problem?

*What is it costing the organization to continually lose long-term, high performing employees in this one black hole?  

2.  An owner of a couple of small businesses is frustrated with dwindling profits. 

He blames his staff, treats them badly, moves them to different locations, stalls their vacations and refuses to listen to their feedback.

What if:

  • The employees need more training and more support?
  • The declining business is caused by the owner’s lack of presence and engagement with his customers?
  • His customer are leaving because competitors have better service, pricing, equipment and facilities?

*What is is costing that business owner to continue to operate in this way?  


Please share:  

  • Have you ever worked in a culture that discourages thinking?

Want more on this topic?  

Learn to Win Well with Intelligence, Integrity and Fun!

Karin Hurt & David Dye

Have you ever worked for someone that could drive a number but didn’t care what it took to make that happen?

  • Lying
  • Bullying
  • Dividing

People, processes and rules were not important. Winning AT ALL COSTS was.

When titled leaders are under pressure for results, it can be tempting to focus only on the win and to forget about:

  • The lives of the employees
  • The loyalty of the customers
  • The perception of the public
  • Or the future of the company

10 Things Great Managers Know (& Do)

I was recently visiting with someone about the goals of young professionals in a specific location. She said that everyone wants to be a manager.

So I asked why:

  • Was it about the title?
  • The perceived power?
  • The paycheck?
  • The perception that it is an easier job?

She said they want to sit behind a big desk and sign things.

Instantly I visualized a “manager” sitting behind a big desk with their feet resting on the desk reading a newspaper. A clap of his hands and someone comes running with a hot beverage. A loud shout results in several people running into his office – varying ages, heights, and ethnicities – all cowering in fear. “Yes Boss…”  (True story!)