Commencement

ken

May is a great month.  Here in New England, winter’s grip is finally loosened and spring bursts forth.  The earth is resplendent with trees budding and flowers blooming.  Bears emerge from hibernation, and songbirds return.  Adding to these natural festivities (at least in this college town) are college commencements.  Graduations are achieved after the sheer determination and hard work of 8 or more semesters.

When I was younger, I always thought “commencement” was such an odd word.  My sense was we were celebrating what has (finally) been completed!  Commencement, of course, means to begin.  This focus on moving forward is essential.  No successful person is “done learning” when she or he graduates.  Understanding that learning is a life-long commitment is a powerful differentiator among people.  To value learning is to cultivate it at every opportunity.  To value learning means your life is enriched, and you enrich the lives of others, too.

One person who holds learning as one of his core values is Ken Blanchard.  Today, we celebrate Ken’s 75th birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEN!  Thank you for your example of life-long learning.  Your curiosity, coupled with your interest in sharing your learnings, has truly unleashed “the greater good” in hundreds of thousands of leaders all over the world.

It is a happy concurrence to have Ken’s birthday during “commencement season.”  We can pause to recall our past opportunities for learning, and be grateful for all of them.  Moreover, we can assess the ways in which we continue to learn.  Mostly, today we can commit to ways we can increase these learning opportunities:  for ourselves, and for others.

Happy Commencement!

Together, we are making a difference

by Linda Miller, MCC

Update after Asia Pacific Summit
I’ve spent the last week in Singapore culminating in our Asia Pacific Client Summit yesterday.  What a pleasure sitting with colleagues and leaders from around the world.  Several themes emerged as various people were speaking:Teamwork - Hands photo

From Ken Blanchard on leadership:  Organizations must change in order to keep up with the many changes that continue to take place.  In order for organizations to change, leaders have to keep stepping up and leading at a higher level.

From Margie Blanchard on multi-generations at work:  One of the many changes that are taking place is the change in the demographics of people in the workplace. With 4 generations working together, each of us needs to look for the contribution that other generations are making and flex to the needs of the different generations.

From two clients (a Telecommunications Company and a Multinational Software Provider) during a panel discussion – Development of talent is a current and ongoing focus in organizations.  Aligning leadership development with corporate strategy is critical and can start anywhere in the organization. A top-down approach isn’t always possible or best. Regardless of where development is focused, alignment is critical.

From Lael Good on developing a common leadership language – Programs aren’t enough to create lasting change. Having an integrated approach to leadership development is needed, including a common system, structure, framework and language for current and future leaders.

I also had the privilege of speaking about coaching during the Summit. We were able to do a brief coaching demonstration and allow people to practice coaching during the session.

Hearing about the impact of coaching in organizations was exciting and almost brought me to tears. We heard about managers and leaders who are integrating coaching into their leadership styles, and external coaches who are partnering with internal leaders to develop talent and reach their targeted goals. It amazes me how many people around the globe know about coaching and are aware of its impact.

Together, we are making a difference.