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The best fatherly advice my LinkedIn connections ever received

June 18, 2017

A few weeks ago, my LinkedIn connections shared the best advice their Dads ever gave them. While Dads come from all educational, professional and cultural backgrounds, some advice, like the importance of teamwork, is timeless and universal. And, as Dr. Sylvain Charlebois pointed out, the source of the advice really makes a difference.

Many people will give us advice and there’s no shortage of tips on the Internet, but we will only see a few people model and enforce it daily for decades. That’s pretty special.

Happy Father’s Day to Dads everywhere. If you are lucky enough to still have your dad, be sure to tell him you love him. Tell him about one specific piece of advice he gave you, the behaviour that brought about and the impact it has had on you personally and professionally.

From the collected wisdom of my network:

Be accountable. Be responsible. Avoid issues before they arise.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAw2AAAAJDY0N2RhNDU5LTMyODctNDRhYy04ZTMzLTJkYzQzNWQyZTI2NgLynn Vanschaik wrote: “My dad, now 97 years young. Gave me advice back when I was 16 years old. … He said: “Drive likes it’s not paid for” and “if you break it, make sure you fix it before you bring it home and tell me,” and he meant it. To this day my cars have been tidy, filled with gas, air pressure checked and maintenance done in advance to avoid issues or breakdowns. Life is more seamless and effective with this great guidance.”
Lead by example every day. Value the power of your team.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois shared:
Advice no.1: Leadership is important, but team leadership is even more powerful. Quite obvious, really.
Advice no.2: Life can be messy, but always lead by example, every single day, no matter what happens.”
Not earth-shattering material, but it made a difference coming from Dad.
Be loyal. Serve the people you lead.
36adc40Bruce Manion observed: “My father simply said that leadership was all about loyalty to the people you were leading. It was not about you but about them. What flowed from that concept was that your people would do their very best when they knew that you had their backs and go to the wall for them. He also told me to never work for a leader who did not adhere to that principle. I have worked both for leaders who followed that principle and for some who did not. I was always at my very best in the former situation and did not stay long when the latter situation prevailed. My father was Jack Manion, a long-time senior public servant renowned for his leadership and ethics. It would be very interesting to get his take on what passes for effective leadership these days.”
Work hard. Believe in yourself.
Josée Touchette, LLL, CPA, MBA, ICD.D valued her Dad’s encouragement: “My father told me I could be anything I wanted, as long as I worked hard and was true to my values . He probably never realized it, but he was a feminist. And I am a very lucky woman to have had such a loving father who believed in me.”
Get all the information, analyze, then decide.
Matthew Bondy, M.A. quips: “It’s almost irritating to write this down because I’ve heard it so much over the years, but here it is: ‘Get all the information, separate the wheat from the chaff, and then make your decision.’ It’s so easy to over-complicate things. And when you have tough decisions to make, it’s helpful to focus on a solid, simple decision-making *process* that organizes information in a clear, sequential way.”
Respect everyone. Focus on team success and recognition.
Anne MacKay lives up to what her Dad taught her. She writes: “My dad, Ken, doesn’t talk so much about his approach but he demonstrates beautifully. First, he treats everyone the same with the same degree of respect. Second, you succeed as a whole – if one of your team needs help, you give it and you share credit with all the folks who made progress possible. Great lessons!”


Go team!
Kimberly Leach also had a Dad who was a proponent of teamwork. She says:” at a young and impressionable age I remember my Dad telling me that “teamwork” gets the job done ! No truer words said.”
Thank you to today’s contributors. I’ve seen many of you apply these very lessons and the world is better for it.
You can read all about my Dad’s leadership advice and please share what were the most valuable lessons your Dad taught you. They live on long after Father’s Day!
P.S. I don’t know why the formatting appears wonky in this post. I assure you, I have left plenty of spaces between paragraphs. I could spend the the next few hours trying to figure it out, but I have to make dips for a party this afternoon. Family first. Formatting second.

10 leadership lessons from my Dad

June 13, 2017

My Dad, Robert J. O’Rourke, passed away on April 20. In his last days, more than 60


Make magic and enjoy the ride. Cheers Dad!

people came to the hospital to express their love and to say goodbye. A dozen more sent email, video or voicemail to let him know what he meant to them. Over the course of those final days and the celebrations that followed, the essence of the man emerged. It was no surprise to us that it was remarkably consistent over 76 years, across the country and across all aspects of his life.

While his friends and family grieve, his lessons live on. Isn’t that the essence of leadership: how people behave when the leader is not there?

Here are just some of the things my Dad taught me about leadership and life.

#1. Live your life with integrity.  Early and often my Dad reminded us that you want to live your life in such a way that you can like the person in the mirror at the end of the day and always be able to look anyone in the eye. A proponent of “what goes around, comes around,” he encouraged us to do our best, to be kind and to make amends when we fell short. It didn’t mean being a push-over. It meant having self-respect and compassion, and doing the right thing especially if it was tough.

#2. Take care of your family. In the early days of my Dad’s career he juggled three jobs, but I don’t remember him ever having an issue with work-life balance. There was ample time to shine shoes on Sunday night while watching The Wonderful World of Disney on TV. He and my mom cooked amazing meals together and hosted hockey nights, Boxing Day open houses and tons of parties for my sisters and me. He coached softball. He was up early to give me a ride to work and up late to make sure I was home by curfew. He was always happy to play cards, make you a sandwich or have a serious conversation. He loved and supported my mother through years of serious illnesses and lots of ups and downs. They were a real team. Many people remarked that “Bob’s girls” and the strength of his family are his greatest legacy.  You will have many jobs in your life, but you only have one family. There is no better investment.

#3. Build lasting relationships. I grew up on a magical little street. The men played softball together. We went to brunch with neighbours after church. People babysat one another’s children. And, for better or worse, everyone on the street knew you and who your parents were – so don’t even try to sit on the curb at the bus stop! (Oh yeah! Tough neighbourhood.) We moved away from Maxime St. in 1984 so it was touching that almost every neighbour came to the visitation 33 years later. Similarly, his entire “poker gang” -a group of men who played cards together for more than 40 years- went out of their way to visit at the hospital, to send notes and to shorten their vacations to say a final goodbye.

What was the secret to my Dad’s deep and lasting relationships? He listened to people. He helped them whenever he could. He was a “straight shooter,” and he really, really knew how to have a good time.

One cousin sent a voicemail message to my Dad from California. He put it best:

“You’re a person who went out of your way to be kind.”

#4. Do your homework. My Dad had a finely tuned bullshit meter and absolutely no patience for smoke and mirrors. Do you know what you’re talking about or not? He wanted to see the numbers. He wanted to hear sound logic. He wanted to see a well thought-out plan and he didn’t want you to skip any steps. “Brûle pas des étapes” was a favourite saying. Often obstinate, he loved a good debate, but it was best to leave a little buffer after he had just read the paper or watched the news.



My Dad with me and my daughter on the day I received my M.A.

#5. Work hard. My dad had great respect for hard-working people who made their own way in the world. From a kid who was paid $1/day to pick potatoes to being self-employed for most of his adult life, he certainly did. An early riser, he would watch the comings and goings of his neighbours. He could tell you that the man who delivered his morning paper had the contract for all the buildings on his street; that his wife drove the car, and that his whole workday was done before 6am. He could explain how his clients grew their businesses and, an entrepreneur himself, he knew the time and chops it takes to run your own business, feed your family and plan for business cycles and for the future. Chief among his mantras was “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.”


#6. Count on me. Back in the days of pay phones, my sisters and I always had to have a quarter with us when we left the house. That way, if we ever needed our parents, they were just a call away. When he moved to Vancouver for a few years after my Mom died, he assured us that if we needed him, he would be on the next flight. When we had our babies, he spent a week with us, filled our freezers with our favourite comfort foods and let us rest while he cuddled the newest of his 12 grandchildren. From our first steps into independence, we had the courage to spread our wings while knowing there was a soft place to land.


One of my last card games with my Dad, I left him holding a mitt-full!

#7. “Cards is cards.” Whether it’s go fish, canasta, cribbage, Rumoli, pass the ace (ugh!) or poker, my Dad always knew a game that could include everyone and he loved to connect over a game of cards. While games like crib and 31 teach you to count, he was more interested in your character. There’s etiquette around a card table. You have to deal from the top of the deck, deal yourself last, keep your cards above the table, and most importantly NEVER cheat! You play the hand you are dealt. You play to win but sometimes you lose (even little kids), and you can do both with grace.

#8. Make magic and enjoy the ride. Not a magician, but a man who made magic moments is how I would describe my dad. We had parades in the house on Christmas morning. Dad could peel an apple in one long strand as we waited eagerly. He collected our girlhood tears in his cotton handkerchief and told us they would be pearls on our wedding day.

As a kid, if you bumped your head, he would tell you that the bump will grow a bubble gum. When it was “ripe” he would tug on your hair a little bit and pretend that piece of Hubba Bubba or Bazooka Joe came out of your head! And the meals! They were always amazing in quantity, quality and presentation and you could always sneak into the kitchen to get “pick-ins” during the preparation. He could really connect with people and engage with them totally.


You can learn a lot while playing games. Have fun. Be honest.

During one of his week-long visits, he and my son created an elaborate Lego game of “zone” which involved creating elaborate bases with defences. It lasted for years. My Dad would call my son from Ottawa to tell him he consulted with the Department of National Defence and had new ideas to make his zone impenetrable. Tickled pink by the fun and the attention, my young son would respond  that we had visited the Ontario Science Centre and he could counter that new technology. During one of these all too rare visits, my Dad put tinfoil balls everywhere in our basement. When my son came home from school, he found little army men all lined up at the top of the stairs leading to the basement and a sign on the door that read “No Access, the Management.” My Dad did all kinds of silly things just to make kids talk. He liked to see how they thought their way out of unexpected situations.


In business, it’s easy to make someone feel special, yet we sometimes feel that we are too busy for fun and celebration. In the public sector especially, managers feel meals and fun are superfluous and fear they will be criticized, but we are humans working together. We need common points of reference. We need to be ourselves. We need to blow off steam and to have fun. It doesn’t have to cost anything to make magic but the dividends are exceptional.

#9. “My house, my rules.” It wasn’t all fun and games. A self-described “benevolent dictator,” my dad set norms and expectations in his home. He welcomed and respected everyone who walked through the door but expected the same in return. (So boyfriends, NEVER honk from the driveway. Take your ball caps off at the table and have us home by curfew!) As one of my sisters said at his funeral:

Our Dad had very few rules, and we knew better than to push too far.  He said what he meant, and he meant what he said.  We would always know the value of consequence, but he always left room for a way to make amends.

It’s important for leaders to be firm in their convictions and clear about their values and expectations. There is some room for input, feedback and evolution. There is also a necessity for clear norms, expectations and consequences. There is, ultimately, a decision-maker. Whether it’s your family or your organization, norms set the tone for how people interact within the organization and how they represent it in the world. With plummeting trust in organizations, government and media, we need higher expectations of behaviour and tough consequences for those who contravene them.

#10. Be yourself. My Dad would scoff at the concept of personal “brand.” He led by example every day and in every sphere of his life. He was a smart, kind, classy, generous and through-and-through authentic person. His lifelong investments in relationships were his greatest return.

I concede that is is a longer and somewhat “ramblier” post than I usually write. It was difficult to boil down the essence and the lessons of a man who meant so much to me when the grief is so fresh. It’s hard to edit with tears in my eyes and my heart still in my throat. Thank you for bearing with me and for learning a bit about a great man.

I’d love to know, what did your Dad teach you about leadership?

Archived: What my Mom taught me about leadership

May 14, 2017

my mom 1My Mom: The first person I laid eyes on, the first person to guide me by the hand, my first love and my first model of leadership. While I didn’t know it as a child and disregarded it as an adolescent, my Mom taught me a lot about leadership.

Like most great leaders, she never sat me down and said: “Now, I will teach you about leadership.” She just led by example: Lesson #1.

When I sat down to draft this post I had a few ideas and thought it would come together easily. Yet, the more I pulled on the threads of memory, the more I had to say, the longer the list became, the more it related to leadership theory and the less I knew how to organize it all. In the end, I think it breaks down into some big themes and some common wisdom that applies to all leaders.

Elaine O’Rourke will never be on the cover of Forbes or Fast Company but here’s my tribute to my Mom’s leadership style. For what is leadership if not the ability to exert a lasting influence on others?

My Mom taught me about:

  1. Servant leadership: I can’t tell you the hours my Mom spent driving my three sisters and me around, typing endless high school papers, not to mention the endless hours of cooking, cleaning, shopping, doctor’s appointments, etc. You really can’t appreciate all that devotion until you are a parent yourself and understand that, just maybe, there were times when she would have preferred to do something else. Through it all, I don’t remember any complaints, it was always done to support our pursuit of the day. We think of it as typical “parent stuff” but it prepares us to be of service to others so that they can meet their objectives.
  2. Motivation: Parents know instinctively what motivates their children. Is it the promise of a reward or the threat of loss?  Is it “eat your dinner and then you can have dessert” or “if you don’t eat your dinner then there will be no dessert”? Different approaches work for different people under different circumstances and my Mom seemed to know how to recalibrate. Regardless of the circumstances, she always offered plenty of praise, mostly sensitive feedback and unbelievable chocolate chip cookies.
  3. Setting positive norms and values: There is lots of research about optimal organizations being those where peoples’ values align with those of their organization. Those values come to life through behaviours and “how we do things.” In our home there was respect for authority, there was kindness, honesty, good manners, taking pride in yourself and there was a solid work ethic. Of course I groaned every time I heard: “If you’re going to do something, do it properly,” but it has served me well.
  4. The importance of celebrating: Oh the feasts! My Mom (and Dad) knew how to throw a party. Every holiday, every birthday, the more the merrier and the effort they put into these celebrations let people know how special they are. They were fostering lasting family and community ties and creating a common history. I learned later in reading Shackleton’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer  how important it is for people to eat together, to get to know one another and to celebrate milestones and holidays. It creates goodwill among team members which can be critical during challenging times.
  5. Perseverance: When I was an infant, my Mom discovered that she had advanced kidney disease and was told she should get her affairs in order. She wasn’t going to leave her husband with four young girls at home without a fight so she made arrangements to go to the Mayo Clinic. There, she discovered that she had been misdiagnosed but would need a transplant to survive. It was quite unheard of to challenge a doctor’s authority in those days and the church was not sold on transplantation either. She was undeterred.  After some time on dialysis a donor was found and that gift kept her alive for more than twenty years. This wouldn’t be her last health challenge. During one health scare, Mom received a blood transfusion tainted with Hepatitis C. She fought for years to prove it and to obtain the compensation to which she was entitled. She knew she’d been done wrong by and, ill as she was, she was quite literally not about to take it lying down. She was eventually compensated by the federal and provincial governments but she did not live to see that day.

There is so much more to say but I think I’ll close with more “comMom” wisdom that I use every day.

  • Listen
  • Be optimistic
  • Think critically without criticizing others
  • Do your best
  • Go for it!
  • Say please and thank you (I’m still always behind on Thank you notes but it’s a kind gesture and good networking)
  • Be yourself
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously (“The Devil made me do it” was a favourite phrase of hers.)

I asked a number of friends what their Moms taught them about leadership and the conversation was fascinating. Stay tuned for those insights in a follow-up post. Until then, what did your Mom teach you about leadership?

Code blue: Hospital-patient communications

March 28, 2017

hospital-1806111_1920My dad was released from the hospital today after a month of ups and downs. During that time, my sisters and I spent plenty of moments at his bedside trying to keep track of which specialist was which and how the diagnosis and the plan were evolving daily, sometimes hourly. I thank God that he has come through a life-changing and harrowing experience. At the same time, I’m puzzled at how critical communications are delivered in a hospital environment.

Why do doctors speak to patients during 6 a.m. rounds? Patients are half-asleep, drugged and potentially hearing scary information for the first time. Of course, that’s when the doctors are available, but is it the optimal time for patients? Can patients be expected to make good decisions under the circumstances? They don’t have any family there at that time of day. Who helps people who have a language barrier or a cognitive impairment? Who makes sure they have understood properly?

Why don’t hospital patients receive any written information to refer to later or to discuss with family members? Every communicator knows that people need to receive information several times through different channels before the information can be fully understood and acted upon.

When companies announce layoffs, they do it face-to-face and provide a printed hand-out containing key information. It’s well established that when people receive difficult or shocking information, they don’t hear everything that follows. The brain is overwhelmed with emotion and rationality falls away.

A friend recently told me that when she and her mother accompanied her father to his cancer diagnosis, they left that meeting with three distinct perspectives. Her father was thinking “Shit, I have cancer.” Her mother was thinking “How do we manage this?” Finally, the daughter who works in healthcare, was thinking about the diagnosis and the course of treatment. Cancer patients leave their meeting with a huge binder of information. Where’s the well thought-out, plain-language information and resources for hospital patients?

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that things change very quickly, often dramatically, in a hospital setting and that doctors can’t be bound by a document that could be stale as soon as they leave the room. I understand there may not be time to write everything out for every patient, especially where stays are very short. But surely there can be a solution that takes time, accuracy, resources and liability into consideration.

I have to say, my dad received excellent care and his doctors and nurses were very good about updating us when we asked. Not being there for 6 a.m. rounds, we relied on them to check the chart and to provide updates; but it all felt very discrete – hour by hour or day by day – as opposed to a holistic person and a holistic plan. My sisters and I exchanged the updates, at least our understanding of them, and pieced together different specialists’ feedback. Eventually, we requested a family conference with all the specializations in attendance. That helped immensely, but again, we initiated that meeting and we took our own notes.

Definitely, hospital resources are stretched, but Canada’s population is aging and more people have complex healthcare needs. Improving patient communications might help reduce the workload of doctors and nurses who have to answer questions frequently.

For example, people who are isolated for potential hospital-borne infection are currently told they are being tested and then moved to a new room. Why not provide a one-page handout that explains what is suspected, what is happening and the expected treatment? What about a short video? It would help families and visitors understand what’s happening without bothering the nurses. It could provide information about how to switch tv and phone without bothering the clerk. It might also impress upon visitors to that room the importance of handwashing and of minimizing exposure.

I am definitely not asking doctors or nurses to do more. I am suggesting that we consider the most vulnerable audiences and challenge the communications status quo in hospitals, especially for very complex cases.

Shake the giant on #IWD2017

March 8, 2017

As I write this on International Women’s Day, I am not feeling particularly optimistic for
my gender. Women in Halifax are protesting the acquittal of IWD quotea cab driver who raped an intoxicated, semi-conscious woman. There are simultaneous inquiries into missing and murdered indigenous women, into uninvestigated sexual assault cases, and into rampant sexual harassment in the armed forces. It seems women can’t feel safe in a cab, on the street or in their workplace.

This past year in Alberta,  women running for political party leadership quit after being subjected to vicious online attacks. South of the border, an open admission of sexual assault by a presidential candidate did not result in retribution, rather it was chalked up to ‘locker-room talk’ and ‘boys will be boys.’ The thin veneer of civility is dissolving. Vulgar language, attitudes and behaviours are making a comeback in “polite” society. It’s not just the president, plenty of men feel perfectly free to harass female journalists – especially sports reporters- while they are trying to do their jobs.  If you haven’t already seen it, take four minutes to watch #MoreThanMean Women in Sports Face Harassment.

Beyond these examples, the gender pay gap persists and inequality is almost universally present in boards and C-suites. On Monday, Tavia Grant wrote in the Globe and Mail:

At the current rate of change, the global economic gender gap won’t be closed for another 170 years, the World Economic Forum says. Canada has also tumbled down the forum’s global rankings, to 35 th place, due to factors such as wage equality, earned income and the share of women in Parliament. – Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail

Progress is slow and the problem often seems intractable. In Lean In, Cheryl Sandberg refers to the Heidi/Howard study where identical resumés are judged more favourably for Howard than for Heidi. On identical qualifications, Howard is more “likeable” than Heidi. Sandberg also refers to research that shows when men don’t take on additional work to help a colleague, people understand that they are already too busy, and respect him for setting boundaries. However, people resent it if a woman doesn’t pitch in when a colleague asks for help. How do you navigate that?

In The Lady Vanishes, the first episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s new podcast, Revisionist History, Gladwell explores the phenomenon of tokenism and its resulting backlash. He uses two examples to illustrate his point. The first is English painter Elizabeth Thompson whose painting, Roll Call, was widely celebrated in 1874 – a time when women were not admitted to the Royal Academy. Despite having Roll Call prominently displayed, viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, losing admission to the Royal Academy by just two votes that year and producing two more brilliant paintings, Thompson was never admitted to the Royal Academy. She married and disappeared entirely from the art world. It was 1936 before a woman was admitted to the Royal Academy.

Gladwell attributes this to moral licensing, a phenomenon where you allow one outsider into the tent, congratulate yourself for your broad-mindedness, then give yourself moral licence to discriminate even more against the same group. (I believe a similar thing happens with poor food choices after people exercise.) He writes: “You open the door to one outsider and that gives you permission to close the door to the others.”

Gladwell’s second example is former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who faced virulent sexism during her tenure. After she called out the leader of the opposition in a speech in the House of Representatives for “Misogyny. Sexism. Every day from the Leader of the Opposition” and providing a litany of examples for support, Australians elected him as their next prime minister. (Of course, I know, there were certainly other factors involved. My point is there is no penalty for misogyny.) Her hope, of course, is that the road is smoother for the next woman to hold the office.


The source of my frustration on this IWD2017 is that, apparently, statistically, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. I feel this way and I am an educated, middle-class, middle-aged white woman. What about women of colour? Women on the margins? What about women in other parts of the world? What will change the system? What do we do about young women who think the battle is won while their paycheque slowly slips behind that of their male counterparts? How do we encourage women my age who are just so tired of this bullshit?

I will borrow a page from Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. I think we need to wake – no, shake –  the giant, the majority of men who support women. They want equality for their wives, sisters and daughters. They need to understand the biases that exist, but more importantly, they need to help change gender norms, to call out unacceptable behaviour and to send the bullies packing.

Women who are comfortable need to shake off their complacency and help one another. We need to keep charging up that hill, and it will help to know we have more players on our defensive line. This is not Sisyphus endlessly pushing a rock up a hill only to have it roll down again. This is not a damsel in distress scenario. This is a tipping point.

Respond to the global trust crisis: 12 Weeks To Trust now updated

March 1, 2017

A “global trust crisis, ” a “global implosion of trust” declared the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer in January. The annual global survey found declining trust in government, government leaders, business, media,  NGOs and corporate leadership, which fell in every country studied and hit an all-time low at a measly 37 per cent.

The bottoming-out of trust is a serious risk management and societal issue, but two trends are even more concerning. First is the universality of the decline in trust. In previous years, “informed publics” had more trust in the system than general respondents – not anymore.

The Trust Barometer found that 53% of respondents believe the current overall system has failed them—it is unfair and offers little hope for the future—while only 15% believe it is working, and approximately one-third are uncertain.

Even the elites have a lack of faith in the system, with 48% of the top quartile in income, 49% of the college-educated and a majority of the well-informed (51%) saying the system has failed. – Edelman Trust Barometer

Second, the Trust Barometer identifies the cycle of fear that fuels distrust and the polarization of opinion as people seek out information from peers that validates their existing beliefs. Edelman calls this the “echo chamber.” Leon Festinger called it cognitive dissonance. Whatever you call it, this alarming trend replaces fact with opinion and information with ignorance.

Beyond the usual circles, this barely caused a ripple.  This is stunning.

Trust is a bottom-line, risk management issue. It’s a clarion call for immediate action. So let’s not wring our hands. Let’s take big, bold action to build trust.

This updated series, based on my MA research, draws on marketing, ethics, business strategy and economics literature to provide empirically sound advice on building trust within and between organizations. Find out how formal and informal governance mechanisms can help your organization build trust with employees, between departments, with suppliers, distributors, community partners – anyone.

Distrust is very expensive. It limits opportunities, increases legal, monitoring and communication costs and decreases productivity.  Distrustful environments are more unpleasant to be in since humans are pre-disposed to trust. And, a negative spiral of distrust is extremely difficult to reverse. The costs of distrust are significant personally, organizationally and socially. Leaders urgently need to understand and implement trust-building mechanisms that go way beyond the usual platitudes.

Start by taking a look at the Trust Barometer findings. Dive into 12 Weeks to Trust, and send me your questions. Let’s tackle the trust crisis together.

The 12 Weeks to Trust series


  1. Intro: Respond to the global trust crisis
  2. 15 Facts about Trust: Definition, types and perspectives
  3. 5 reasons trust is key to a successful partnership
  4. 22 Benefits of inter-organizational trust
  5. Ethics: goodwill at the heart of trust
  6. Using formal governance mechanisms to build and maintain trust – Part A:  Hierarchy, monitoring & contracts  and Part B: Transaction Specific Investments
  7. Using informal mechanisms and relational norms to build and maintain trust – Part A: Common norms, values & goals; Part B: Joint planning & problem solving; Part C: Bilateral communication
  8. The role of reputation
  9. Do you trust boundary-spanners or the organization itself?
  10. 12 downsides of trust & Mitigating the downsides of over-trust
  11. Can an organization have solid inter-organizational trust without organizational trust?
  12. Practical applications for leaders


Re:Solution … Make a plan not a promise

December 19, 2016

I originally wrote this post in 2012 but it still holds true. Now though, I would also refer to the year when my resolution was to refresh my underwear drawer-best resolution ever. It took one day, one shopping trip and… voilà, resolution kept!

Bonne année to you and yours.

Accolade Communications

There’s no shortage of posts, articles and tweets debating the pros and cons of making a New Year’s resolution. It’s a silly debate because it’s not about the resolution, it’s about the outcome. People aren’t averse to setting goals, they’re afraid of failing. So instead of making a promise, make a plan.

In her column, Take a Flying Leap, in the January O Magazine, Martha Beck points out: “The leap from your mind to your calendar is the moment of commitment.” So if you want to see friends more often, pick up the phone now and book three dinner parties… voilà, resolution kept.

While my archive post below speaks to small steps, Beck’s got me thinking about loftier goals. Had the Mayans been right, I’m not sure I would have loved my last day on earth. It’s time for me to set the next big goal. (That’s going to make my husband really nervous!) As Beck writes…

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