Thoughts on Vulnerable Leadership

Leadership is difficult when you don’t know how to be vulnerable with the people you lead. #3 on this list by Forbes (11 Ways a Leader Can Develop Empathy) makes sense, but it falls short of telling leaders HOW to be more vulnerable in our western culture construct. We tend to award an image of authority and perfection while punishing those that show weakness or mistakes. If this is a common case, how can a leader of people feel safe being vulnerable if investors, board members, and those working for them hold them to an impossible and detrimental ideal? Continue reading “Thoughts on Vulnerable Leadership”

Recruiting vs Friend-making

(Written on MARTA while commuting to work. Please forgive my errors. -sD)

I cannot claim to have thought up this idea, but when I heard Jared Spool talking about why you write a thank you letter to your imaginary hire, it made complete sense. We don’t talk with friends in bullet points and calls to action. Culture isn’t made up of font choices and section spacing. Relationships in business and friendship rely on compassion, trust, understanding, and silly banter. If I am seeking to get into a business and friend relationship with another individual, why would I recruit them with a list of requirements? Not bad mouthing industry practices, but I’d like to do my discover a bit differently. Continue reading “Recruiting vs Friend-making”

The Wealthy Had Ziploc Bags

(Working draft written on an iPhone SE while on MARTA. -sD)

I grew up in a very comfortable home. The only child of an amazing single mother, I am lucky to have such a loving surrounding. Between my mom, my grandparents, and my friends, I had a positive environment to thrive. I won’t go deep into my childhood and my crushing fears that nobody liked me, I instead want to highlight my childhood symbol of wealth, Ziploc bags. Continue reading “The Wealthy Had Ziploc Bags”

Proud of Juliette

Forgive my lack of editing/word smithing/run-on-sentences as I wanted to get this written before running to a 6-year-old’s birthday party. 

My response to Empathy Lab’s Question #231 : Most Proud

Today, I am proud of something that occurred a few days ago. I am proud of the empathetic and emotional understanding my six-year-old daughter, Juliette, recently displayed. While sitting at the dinner table on Wednesday, my wife, Laura, and I decided to talk about what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since we have some good family friends that live out there, we decided to make sure Juliette knew her friends were okay. We use dinner time to sit around the table and talk about our days, things that are on our minds, and tell bad jokes before running upstairs to bathe. Since we are an NPR morning drive-to-school family, she and her three-year-old brother, Grayson, heard many stories about the car accident, the angry crowds of people, and our leaders response to it all. In the car we would briefly explain what was happening and encourage her to ask questions as she had them. Nothing really major was explained in the car for good reason, we wouldn’t be able to hold their hands if they were unable to understand the depths of the issues at hand. Continue reading “Proud of Juliette”

50 Answers to 50 questions

Empathy Lab has recently crossed the 50 question mark! Yay! As part of the Empathy Lab rollout, I’ve recently started inviting more friends and relatives to the empathy experiment. As we’ve been progressing through the questions, I’ve been answering the questions on the side. Here is a rundown on my first 50 answers. Some of them I will break out as individual blog posts and elaborate when I have the time.  Continue reading “50 Answers to 50 questions”

Scared Progression into the New

Last night’s thought after reading Shel Silverstein’s “Missing Piece Meets the Big O”…

Day in day out, ideas pour from my head,
So many things to explore before I drop dead.
My to-do list is like yours, extensive yet incomplete,
I check one thing off, add four more, zero inbox is quite a feat.
The thing that scares me most can make an above average wave,
I must lead with my heart, lean forward, and be brave.

-Shelton Continue reading “Scared Progression into the New”