Doubting to learn

Paul Heagen Purposeful Leadership & Living Leave a Comment

Many years ago in my corporate career, someone who knew me well told me: “You’re not always right, but you’re never in doubt.” It took me a while to realize that the observation probably wasn’t a compliment! (And here I thought it was just my intellectual determination at work!) How do we feel about being “in doubt?” Ego, at its most …

When the hits come

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They say it happens in a split second. When you’re going 75 miles an hour, a split second is all the time it took for the 120-pound deer to show up in the path of my motorcycle while riding on the freeway two months ago. The deer is no longer here to explain its action nor reflect on its decisions, …

The Sand Is Still There

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It is one thing to peer at the grainy, monotone photographs and films of documentaries and news programs this week, or to wince vicariously at the brutal opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. It is altogether a deeper visceral experience to stand on the wind-swept beaches and try to imagine what happened on that theater of slaughter.  You almost forget to …

Exercising Love

Paul Heagen Purposeful Leadership & Living, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Over the last two decades serving as a leadership coach, at some point in our conversations I have asked nearly all of my clients to recall someone who has had a lasting positive impact on their life and career.  Many people paused and went to a different place emotionally in rummaging up the name and the memory. The answers were never …

Data, guts, and the art of decision-making

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Thirty-three years ago this week, I and several other people stood on a roof of an office building in Florida and watched the space shuttle Challenger thunder upwards into the brisk morning sky. We applauded and stayed long enough to see the two rocket boosters banana-peel off the main engine, assured the flight was on its way.  Coming back into …

Learning to lead

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You are decaying. Sorry, as disconcerting that truth may be, we tacitly if not begrudgingly accept that reality. If you’re somewhere past your 30-somethings, the tipping point arrives and biological gravity takes over. If you are disciplined about it, you also approach this new phase of life with a determination to fend off the ravages of age with exercise, diet and …

The journey out of Wonderland

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We can burn a lot of time and energy imagining things. Not creating but ruminating, worrying, speculating. It usually takes the form of “I’m not sure what they meant by that.” or “I don’t understand what they are trying to do.” or “I’m not sure what they want.” Most often is shows up when a leader is speculating (yes, speculating, not …

The Case For Space

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It’s a well-worn tenet that if you’re in senior leadership, your real value is not in knowing everything, but in asking the right questions.  That presents a new challenge, though: Do you wait long enough for the answers? One of my favorite leadership moments from the movies is the scene in Saving Private Ryan where the Rangers captain John Miller, …