Perspectives

  • Mirror, Mirror

    As my client appeared on Zoom, I was happy she looked relaxed and upbeat. My shoulders softened, and my mood lightened. She has a challenging role that often leaves her stressed and overwhelmed – the familiar dance of more #1 priorities than she and her team have the capacity to address. She began to update…

    Read More

  • Thus Spoke Taylor

    Last week, a friend described Taylor Swift as “A Force for Light.” I could not agree more. In honor of Taylor’s new album, I am bringing some lightness to the blog this week. My love of words has grown over the years. One of my favorites is the term fortnightly. It is such an elegant,…

    Read More

  • Your Future Self

    Shifting Perspectives is one of my most popular articles. In that post, I walk through a favorite exercise, enabling you to view a situation from several different perspectives leveraging your physical space to support the shift. Over the past month, I’ve engaged in a daily practice similar to this one, where I seek the perspective of…

    Read More

  • You’re Not The Leader You Think You Are

    In 1993 I was a software developer fresh out of school. I was determined to be a “Renaissance Programmer.” Someone who could do every aspect of development, not unlike the “Full-Stack Developer” of the current era. I was sure I would have nothing to do with management and “climbing the corporate ladder.” I remember sitting…

    Read More

  • Coaching Ontologically

    Last week I had a call with a potential coachee. He was talking to multiple coaches to decide which one would be the best fit for his journey. Early in the conversation, he said, “You describe yourself as an ontological coach – what exactly is that?” The question took me by surprise. Although I reference…

    Read More

  • I Do Declare

    Last week we talked about speech acts and learned the distinctions between assertions (facts) and assessments (stories). In his book, Language and the Pursuit of Happiness, Chalmers Brothers points out that with assertions, first comes the world, and then comes the word. We use language to describe the world. With declarations, the word comes first. Through our declarations,…

    Read More

  • Just The Facts

    One key learning from my ontological coaching training is a set of distinctions called Speech Acts. These were introduced by philosopher John Searles and expanded by individuals, including Humberto Maturana and Fernando Flores. The speech acts outline a set of daily constructs we use in language, including assertions, assessments, declarations, requests, offers, and promises. Language is one…

    Read More

  • Shifting Perspectives

    Today’s blog post explains one of my favorite exercises dating back to my earliest days as a leader and mentor. I now know this exercise foreshadowed more profound techniques I would learn on my journey as an ontological coach. Ontology is the study of being. Ontological coaching examines our Way of Being – how we view the…

    Read More

  • The Case for Fortnightly

    In my last blog post, one of my previewers suggested I replace “fortnightly” with “every two weeks.” Their concern was that most US readers aren’t familiar with the term. Ironically, another previewer who knows how much I love the word praised me for deftly incorporating it. I left it in because the word brings me…

    Read More