Empowerment

Leadership: sprint, marathon & relay race

A colleague once said to me, “I stand on your shoulders.”  I replied, “We all are part of a chain of progress that stretches far behind us and will continue long after us.”  This is how I view leadership in general and women’s leadership in particular. Research by McKinsey, Harvard, Columbia, and myriad other consultancies, think tanks and universities show that organizations with diverse leadership are 35% more likely to have better financial returns.  So, advancing women’s leadership is a vital business imperative.  And, I hope men will share with all your male colleagues why “women in leadership” is not just a women’s issue. What's valid for women’s leadership applies to all of us, if we can break out of long-held but... more

Reconciliation Defeats Revenge

by beCause Associate Robi Damelin - While watching the bereaved African-American mothers on the stage at the Democratic Convention, I thought just how much we mothers, who have lost children, have in common, regardless of color, creed or national identity.  I thought that all bereaved mothers in the world should rise up together and say, "Enough! Stop the killing! Let our children live out the course of their lives.  We cannot continue to have the dreadful task of burying our sons and daughters and of continuing our motherhood by tending to graves and pretending that planting flowers and plants brings solace." I promise you, as one who has lost a child, the pain never goes away.  Yes, we put on our... more

What’s Your Story?

What's Your Story?

by beCause Associate John Seaman and his Saybrook Partner Robert Ferguson Storytelling is all the rage these days. In a world that is swimming in content, more and more organizations have begun using stories to sell products and services, build support for a strategy or agenda, or shape public perception. Unfortunately, many of the stories they choose to tell are superficial or inauthentic, serving only to undermine the very goals they hope to achieve. For truly compelling stories, organizations should look to their own heritage. What kind of stories work, and why Storytelling may be popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fad. In fact, the power of stories is well documented in the literature on narrative psychology. As social creatures, our happiness... more

Business Leaders: Expose Yourself to “Love”

by beCause Associate Andrea Learned -- One of the more challenging things for business leaders to understand about social media is how much it is about sharing “love.” When I bring it up with clients, I usually need to pause for the “wait… what?” response. The general concept may demand an extra mindset shift for those in the business-to-business (B2B) world. More pointedly, I’ve realized that being open to receiving this social media “love” is even harder for most to grasp than the idea of giving it. And, no. it’s not just you. This does sound suspiciously like relationship self-help. But, after meeting another leader whose contributions would amplify her company’s innovative work — if only she’d bring her voice and wisdom to social media — I’m convinced... more

Navigating complexity - hold onto your core!

by beCause Associate Jennifer Sertl   I am a pilgrim on the edge, on the edge of my perception. We are travelers at the edge, we are always at the edge of our perception. ~ Scott Mutter (Escalator ~ Copyright 1984 Scott Mutter used with permission from Bob Mutter) The people I know in this impact community often do a great deal for others. As caretakers and as innovators, we need reminders to slow down and also take care of ourselves.  This message is particularly for all my colleagues fostering social innovation. Here are a couple of exercises I hope sharpen your senses and allow you more grace in the midst of the pressure that comes with being change agents. There is a... more

Social entrepreneurs engines for SDGs

by beCause Global Associate David Wilcox, founder ReachScale and Dr. Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chair Institute for Competitiveness India - The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), deadlined for completion in 2015, have given way to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in September at the UN General Assembly and an array of other events including the SDG Business Forum, the Social Good Summit and the Clinton Global Initiative. In evaluating over 100 presentations at these events, I was struck by: Few presentations gave any indication of serious learning from the wins — and losses — during 20 years of MDG work. A delineation of the models that work (i.e. more sustainable and scalable) is missing. In the absence of learning frameworks, presenters reiterate the same problems, now expanded to... more

Being self-aware and truthful

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.  An elephant's faithful one-hundred percent!” ― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg It’s well known that our children learn from our actions, not our words.  The admonition “Do what I say, not what I do!” never has worked even for the least cleaver child.  The same absolutely holds true for how we each and all can inspire authentic, purposeful leadership by embodying it ourselves. I have found that self-awareness is the most fundamental dimension for this.  Can you to look into your own mirror with clarity and honesty about what examples you are setting on a daily, if not hourly, basis?  Are you being open, transparent and do you bring your... more

Collaboration lessons from music and business

by beCause beCause Global Associate Peter Cook, CEO Human Dynamics, - Collaboration is becoming a business as usual model for doing unusually good business in an increasingly connected world. Just consider these examples: For the first time in history, pharmaceutical companies are collaborating to pool their resources and information against consumer demand for greater transparency and the sheer costs of developing life-saving drugs. Social and economic pressure for these changes is enabled by the internet and our ability to process large volumes of data for advances in medical science that ultimately benefit the whole world. Companies as diverse as Coca Cola and Heinz, Corning and Sharp are collaborating to devise products that provide superior benefits for their clients and customers. In... more

Trust & leaders: warmth or strength?

by beCause Global Associate Barbara Brooks Kimmel, founder Trust Across America-Trust Around the World™  -- There are several frameworks and models of trustworthy leadership. Some describe the “three C’S” of Character, Competence and Consistency, while another substitutes “consistency” for compassion. Randy Conley, the Vice President of Client Services & Trust Practice Leader for The Ken Blanchard Companies, and one of our Alliance members, employs the ABCDs as a model (Able, Believable, Connected, Dependable.) At Trust Across America we like to say that trustworthy leaders are VIPS’s (Values, Integrity and Promises kept.)  Yesterday a colleague shared this Harvard Business Review article discussing the work of behavioral science researchers at Princeton (Amy Cuddy and Susan Fiske) and Lawrence University’s Peter Glick. Simply, the... more

Leadership lessons from Sibos: discernment, connectivity, proximity

by beCause Global Associate Jennifer Sertl, founder Agility3R, helping leaders navigate complexity – Sibos is an annual conference organized by the  SWIFT International Banking Operations Seminar for the financial industry. This year’s conference was held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Over 7,000 decision makers were in attendance from over 212 countries debating the future of money in particular global finance, crypto-currencies, payments, securities and trade issues.  While much of the conference was geared to financial institutions and multinational corporations, there were messages and lessons discussed that can help all leaders across sectors be better prepared and should be scaled. All leaders will navigate sea-change better by strengthening discernment, building strong networks, and ensuring a more robust toggle between local and global. “People focus on... more