Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Did you know one of the main reasons people stay with a company is their boss?  The other side of that coin is,  they leave their company because of their boss.  I remember a conversation I had with my niece a number of years ago.  She was in her mid twenties working for a shipping company and her job was to schedule containers being shipped worldwide.  She enjoyed what she was doing, but was looking for a job.  I asked her why?  She said the owner of the company was always yelling at people and using profanity. I remember suggesting to her that she could have a conversation with him and tell him this was really uncomfortable for her.  She didn’t want to. Nor did she ever tell him the reason she left.

My niece has come into her own now and is able to tell a manager when something they are doing makes her uncomfortable. But I have to wonder how many people leave jobs because of the behavior of their managers?  I am not talking about inappropriate comments or actions of a sexual nature which are abhorrent.  Rather I am speaking of never having time for an employee, rudeness, language, raising one’s voice, etc.  The sad part of this, is people leave and don’t say why.  Some companies have exit interview policies.  Even with exit interviews, as we have seen in the #metoo movement, people do speak up but those they speak to, for whatever reason did not bring the information to the appropriate people. Unconscious collusion? Fear of shooting the messenger? 

Lacking the courage to speak up is a serious problem.  I don’t know how we got to this point.  Perhaps the fear that employees experienced about losing their jobs during the great recession 10 years ago.  But, not speaking your voice is a serious problem. It  creates lethargy, and passivity.   Results in settling for complacency and mediocrity.  Not speaking one’s truth breeds ineffectiveness not only at work.  It’s like an ether that surrounds us wherever we go. .  At its worse, it creates a costly  “revolving door” syndrome in the workplace.

The financial outlay of hiring a new employee may appear to be less today than in the past because of technological advancements and  online marketplaces. It takes time and money to hire  a new employee.  Time of the HR manager if there is one to write the job posting, read resumes and schedule appointments.  Consider the time away from duties for other employees to interview prospective hires and sometimes fill in for them.  This is lost productivity. Bringing someone onboard also takes time and energy.  Training them, making them feel at home. There may not be a dollar sign associated with these costs-but they are costly.  Some stats say 150% of the annual salary of the job.

What can you do?  Put time aside each week to have coffee or a shake with an employee and ask them how they are doing. Invite a few people who work for you to have lunch with you together. At meetings acknowledge when you have learned something about yourself and your behavior. You begin to set a new tone for your organization.  Let people see and experience your humanity.  Breathe.  Watch your breathing.  Allow your breath to go down to your belly.  Allow yourself the luxury of a good belly laugh perhaps at yourself.

Help Me I'm Drowning

If you are anything  like me there are days when you are running as fast as you can and not making the progress or impact you hope to make.  It’s getting more difficult to distinguish between busyness and doingness.

We live in a time, and a world that suffers from information overload. It’s getting harder to distinguish whether information received is accurate or even relevant to our work.  Information appears in many different places and forms.  It is increasingly more challenging to distinguish accurate information, that which has been vetted, from fabricated ideas having no basis in reality.  To stymie us even more unfortunately, some fabrications are intended to mislead and manipulate.  We become overwhelmed.

Have you gone to a concert recently? I was at MSG recently to hear Billy Joel. Most people are taking pictures of the concert totally missing out on the experience of the concert.  Its crazy. 
Overwhelm results in poor communication, anxiety, fatigue and closing out new stimuli. We go into a protective shell.  Once fatigue sets in, it can lead to  exhaustion and depletion of our immune systems. 

Swimming in overwhelm, communicating poorly, exhaustion and weakened immunity,  results in feeling as if we have no control over our lives.  Our overall effectiveness and ability to focus is compromised You may wonder what this has to do with running a business or working for a corporation. The answer is a great deal.  When we are experiencing overwhelm our ability to communicate effectively is diminished. We suffer from irritability and brittle communications which has a ripple effect in the workplace.  People feel put upon, undervalued or even worse disrespected. Morale erodes.

Here is what I started doing in 2017  and commit to do throughout this new year. 
Research and spiritual teachings agree it’s necessary to surround yourself with positive thoughts and thinking to stay positive. Sign up for daily announcements form one of your favorites. I receive Daily Om and Daily Quote from Abraham  They keep me positive..  As part of an advanced program I am doing, I have an accountability partner (AP’s).  We speak daily for 5 minutes or text focussing on priorities and positivity.  

We have control over our thoughts, and how we react to situations with which we are confronted. Developing new habits that allow us to stay positive, grounded and focussed will enable us to realize extraordinary accomplishments.  A clear mind allows us to dream, be creative and focus on what is important to us. We are able to be our best. 

Honing In On

Our hearts go out to all of the Harvey survivors and families who lost loved ones. As I write this, I am aware that millions of people in the Caribbean who experienced the wrath of Irene, while millions more in FL seek safety and await her landfall with anxiety, trepidation and fear. And let's not forget about the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that hit southern Mexico Friday morning. We send blessings to you. Mother nature is certainly forcing our humanity to the surface.

Haven't gotten the video editing down yet, so pardon the thumbnail image. Hopefully the content will make up for it. Today's message although intended for effectiveness in your workplace has applicability to all aspects of life. Today I am honing in on...

Summer Heat Wave

Here in NYC we are in our third day of 90+ degree temperatures, heat warnings and concerns about air quality.  It brings to my mind, the Lovin' Spoonful hit Summer In The City written by John and Mark Sebastian.
A line in the song states “people looking half dead” got me to thinking ....

If you have a problem with the video link you can go directly to the Bova Enterprises channel at Youtube.

Enjoy and please comment.


July 14th, Bastille Day

It's Bastille Day in France.  Another celebration of Independence, and this year acknowledgement of the lasting relationship between France and the US.   A partnershiprecognizing the uniqueness of each country.  Starting with our fight for independence from the British, there have been a number of opportunities to partner on issues important to both countries.  There have been periods of strong disagreement as well. Trust is at the core, irregardless of who is at the helm. By now you may be wondering what this has to do with the workplace and management? Trusted relationships are needed in every place of business.  How does one build trust?

Nesting In the Blizzard

Greetings everyone.  We just turned our clocks ahead 2 AM Sunday morning a sure sign spring is on the way.  The full moon arrived that same morning and remained between 99 and 100 percent illuminated showing its brightly glowing face through last evening.  Mother Nature in communion with La Luna gathered her powers to play havoc on the east coast today and possibly even tomorrow. In NYC we hunkered down for between 12 and 20 inches.  When I awoke yesterday there was only a dusting of snow on the ground. The day felt different to me.  Usually snow falling has a beauty associated with it, gentle and peaceful.  Not Tuesday.  This snowfall seemed angry, wet,  winds howling.  Most people heeded the Mayor's request to stay home so few were on the streets.  Eventually we, (Dan and I ) had to go out and clear off the walkways.  We are ever thankful to neighbors with snow blowers who cleared our sidewalk a number of times.

Everyone I spoke to yesterday commented on the need to hunker down.  Nesting in.  I made a big pot of chicken soup in the morning.  Mother Nature is pounding us.  Some of us coping with the weather,  are still trying to find  footing after the election.  Concern is on so many people's mind.  A  friend forwarded an email that had a poem Wendell Berry wrote.  Although I know I posted this in a previous blog or newsletter reading it again today I felt compelled to write to all of you and reprint the words again.

Before I do this I'll give a brief update about BE (aka Bova Enterprises, Inc.).  I'm testing some new descriptive language and would love your thoughts.  Please comment to me at

BE...Blending the Art of Leadership with the Science of Management and Delivering a Better Future!

Helping people be more effective at their jobs, be they employees, owner managers or corporate executives. 

What makes me different? I synthesize knowledge, skill, experience, wisdom and the unseen to craft solutions to clients' unique situations.

Presently, I am also upgrading my website to align with some of my fine tuning.  I will let you know when it goes live.

Appreciating your comments in advance.

Till the next time enjoy Wendell Berry's words and a blessing from Peruvian Shaman

don Oscar Miro Quesada

The Peace of Wild Things  by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

  May the gratitude in your heart, on this good day of giving thanks from our hearts, touch in deeply healing manner the hearts of all who have lost hope in their heart.

In heart service, don Oscar.


It's Hard To Believe

I know many of you will agree with me when I say I can’t believe we are just completing the second week of the 2017.  Time is just flying by.  I hope each of you had a good holiday season.  Some like me celebrate religious and spiritual holidays with families and friends.  Others may get swept into the fray. Hopefully you have had some enjoyable moments.  

When I sat down to write this blog, I decided I should reread last months to see if I wanted to carry over the theme.  My concern for the need to dialogue and have meaningful discourse remains. Without it we sink into negativity and negativity serves no one. It breeds distrust, antagonism and adversity.


Dan and I sat riveted to the TV Tuesday night as we listened to President Obama give a civics lesson in his farewell speech, reminding us that a democratic society is only as strong as its citizens’ willingness to participate fully.  I ask each of you reading this to consider what you will do in 2017 to become a better citizen of our great nation. Please let me know what you decide.


This weekend we celebrate the birth and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.  My dear friend from college days at Brooklyn College, Luciana Duce is an artist and poet.  She shared with me a poem written to honor him that appears in her newest book of poems.  With her permission I share it with you:


Warrior of Peace

Today we celebrate

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King

Blackbird of Peace, of Passion,

of Courage and Compassion


You shone your light

on the dark forces of evil,

of hate, of racism, of bigotry

and inequality


Beautiful Blackbird

with wings open wide

you flew peacefully

but with a power so fierce

you shook the heavens


not to speak of thousands of souls

yearning for your message

You soared and flapped

and dove into our midst


Until the hunters came

hungry for the Blood of the Innocent

they shot you down

you fell as a Mighty Warrior bird

wings outstretched


No bullet can pierce

The glory of your name

Nor can ten thousand guns

Silence your voice


Soar onward

Hallowed Warrior of Peace

Soar onward!


Until the Light of your presence

Fills every dark corner of the earth

And every man, woman and child

Is Free to fly to the top of that mountain

You once named “I Have a Dream.”


From the book Wild Herbs,  by Luciana Duce-Dugan


Last, but not least, my partner Dan Snow is the featured artist at the Cathouse FUNeral Gallery Booth at the New York Outsider Art Fair January 20-22, 2017.  This is the 25th Anniversary of the Fair and “Totem” a piece by Dan that was in last year’s show has been selected to represent the 24th year of the Fair’s history.  We hope to see you there.

Thoughts This Holiday Season

Wishing those that celebrate Christmas a Blessed Christmas, a Happy Chanukah,  Happy Kwanza (it’s the 50th Anniversary this year of this newest celebration of Family, Community and Culture) and a Peaceful and Happy New Year 2017.  

Friday night I was at an annual holiday party.  Among those present, were people I worked with years ago.  Two comments, made by the same former colleague, stand out and have gotten me thinking.  One recalling a meaningful conversation with me more 30 years ago that caused him to miss a call from his then boss, and acknowledging the importance of a rare substantive dialogue at work.  He later commented on enjoying reading, what he called, the thoughtful and substantive commentary in my blogs and newsletters, which he reminded me of late have been few and far between.  Since I had been thinking of writing this holiday season, his comments energized me.


“Where have all the flowers gone?” What has happened to us?  Our ability and willingness to listen and hear what another is saying and respect divergent points of view has deteriorated.


The Christmas party I referred to earlier has been held for more than 25 years.  Usually a festive occasion, this time the party was different.  The turnout was smaller.  Most of the people present, I believe, were delighted with the prospects of a Trump presidency.  A few of us were not, and were discussing that fact.  Some deciding they could no longer be friends with Trump supporters.  I commented that one of my closest friends supported Trump and we’ve worked hard not to have this fracture our friendship, and deep caring for one another.  At one point the hostess came over, realizing we were not engaged in a conversation of merriment, she tried to shift the energy.  It didn’t work and I realized people that had been friends with her for decades suddenly thought differently about her.


I leave you with a few questions to contemplate as we close out 2016 and spend time with family and friends this holiday season.  What have we done?????  How did we allow the primary season and presidential campaign to sink to such a low level? What have we taught our children about professional behavior? What is the role the Presidency?  What is the role of business in a democratic society?  What is the difference between government and business?  What if anything do we give up if we stand by and watch business take over government?


My hope for everyone this holiday season is that we take a breath and slow down –sounds silly doesn’t it amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but it can be done.  Advent is a season of waiting and watching. So, I ask you to think about the country you want to be proud to live in?  What type of government do you want? What safe guards do you want people to have?  What do you stand for?  What does our country stand for? What do we want to leave our children?


Once you have reflected on these questions I ask you to take another deep breath and ask yourself what you can do differently so that you can engage in meaningful discourse with others so that we can revisit the values we believe in.


Those who know me personally know my passion is the world of work.  I help owner managers of small and midsize businesses, and executives of large corporations create conditions where everyone thrives-the ultimate win/win mindset for employees, managers, stakeholders, customers and the communities in which business is conducted.  How can we put aside partisan rhetoric and begin to speak to one another about what this country was built upon?  Our future depends on it.










Blowing In The Wind

NYC June 12th warm temperature, bright sun and lots of wind. I don’t recall having windy days (in the absence of a storm) in June. I like millions of other Americans wake up to the horrific news of the Orlando murder rampage . For the next few hours we are glued to the TV watching and listening to the reports. Paris, Brussels, San Bernadino, now Orlando. What is next? I listen to one of the first news conferences and hear Muhammad Musri, the president and imam of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, deploring the horrendous act of violence and asking people not to rush to judgement. I see the subtle changes in facial expressions of police brass standing behind him and say to myself this is futile. They know something.

A multi-layered attack upon America and in particular our LGBT community during Gay Pride month, and the first week of Ramadan. Am I dreaming?

My heart goes out to the families of the murdered, the victims in hospital and those that were there who were able to flee but will have to deal with the post trauma memories; to the first responders and medical center doctors and staff who trained for such a situation but never thought their training would have to kick in.

I write this today because I worry about my own reaction. I scare myself with my own lack of response. Numbness. I’m in my head. I watch the reports as if I’m watching a TV police drama. This is not good, I think. Not healthy. Am I becoming complacent? Have terror attacks and savagery become routine? I am appalled at my own reaction…curiosity, wanting the facts, feeling numb, devoid of emotion usually felt in my body. Yet yesterday, in a monthly conversation with two healer colleagues of mine I learn that the body regulates how much we can take in at any given point of time. This is a healthy response.

It helped to watch the Tony Awards Sunday night. James Corden’s opening statement dedicated the night to the victims, survivors and country. Hearing Lin Miranda’s sonnet ending in “is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, cannot be killed or swept aside”, and Frank Langella’s eloquence regarding our choices of how to respond to such an event to “live in fear, let it define us or strengthen us”. I choose strengthen us. Stephen Colbert, reminds us love is a verb and requires action.

I have spent much of the last few years a student of “evolutionary consciousness”. I use the mantra, taught by don Oscar Miro Quesada “I am, We are, One, as a continual prayer. We have choice. What we focus on appreciates…increases. Years ago people used to speak of the 100th Monkey phenomenon. Not sure if it has any scientific grounding but it presented the idea that when enough monkeys engaged in a particular behavior, monkeys in other parts of the world suddenly started doing the same thing. Scientist Rupert Sheldrake’s concept of morphic fields, aka nature’s memory, in my mind, somewhat similar to Jung’s collective unconscious, provides me with hope we can shift our consciousness from hatred and violence to love, compassion and the fact “we are one”.

It’s taken me a few days to compose this blog. During this time, I become aware of the senseless killing of Christina Grimmie, a young singer while she signs autographs after a concert Friday night in Orlando. Her family needs our love and support. This morning the story of toddler grabbed by an alligator at a Disney resort there. Pulled underwater despite the futile attempts of his father to free him. What is going on? My heart breaks as I imagine the family watching their child being snatched in front of their eyes. I trust the outpouring of love and support from all over the world will bring comfort in particular to families who have lost loved ones, members of the LGBT communities, the Muslim community. We must eradicate fear and hatred. We must watch the language we use which incites negative behavior. We must send positive thoughts to the family who watched in horror as their child was pulled under.

How can we handle this onslaught of tragedy? We must take care of ourselves as well. I invite you to visit the website of Carla Reed and listen to Keys For Healing. Her music will open your heart and heal the pain and despair you may be experiencing from this week’s tragic events in Orlando. I invite you all to revisit the words to Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In the Wind".   The winds blew strong in NYC last Sunday all day long, and continued less strong on Monday.  Do you think Mother Nature is trying to tell us something?

Mom At 97: A Woman, Courage and Transformation

Yesterday was my mother Mary Bova’s 97th Birthday. We celebrated Sunday with a small family gathering. In a call with cousin this AM we reflected on the life my mother has had these 97 years. That conversation sparked the thought to write about her life, courage and transformation. So here goes.  

Born in 1918 the seventh child of Italian immigrants, Mary (Marie Kathleen Ribellino) was born at 197 Hester Street in the midst of the Italian ghetto, and lived there until age two when my grandfather bought a home in Brooklyn at 1370 72 Street. Seeking a better life for his family.


Some of you may recognize the address as being the address of Bova Enterprises, Inc., Dan’s Art Lab and our home. She’s lived in this home all of her life except for a period of about five years. After marrying my father Frank in 1941 they set up an apartment close by, only to have WWII intervene. Within the year she went to live with my paternal grandparents.


Mom lost her mother at age six and a half, and was raised by her father and siblings. They did the best they knew to do, but she missed out on the attention of a loving mother. She was just 11 when the great depression began, which affected my grandfather’s business significantly. Like so many other families they huddled together in the family home, adult children and their families. Mom’s education was not a priority. Fortunately, the home, business and family survived.


Four months before the US entered WWII, at 21, she married my dad. They were married 56 years when he died in 1997.


Both my brother and I (and, our partners and his children) recognize how fortunate we are to have mom with us and able to participate in life. Sure she doesn’t go out very much, doesn’t bake anymore and has serious hearing problems that have made her more isolated and dependent on others, but she still is feisty and reads the paper everyday and will question what is going on in the world of politics.


Reflecting on her life these last few days my appreciation of what she has experienced and witnessed in her lifetime is heightened. Here are a few milestones that have helped shape her:


Mom’s a survivor. Somehow she learned early on in her life that she needed to stand up for herself and not focus on pleasing others. She did this out of necessity, likely intuitively for her own survival.   However in raising us she taught us to put others needs before our own. “Be nice,” she’d say. “Extend a helping hand”, even if it might interfere with what you might want to do. Our life was pretty easy. Only recently, an outgrowth of deeply feminine exploration, did I realize I hadn’t built up the muscle of truly standing for what I want from an authentic place inside.


Mom never finished high school and so in the 1960’s she had to take a literacy course and pass a test in order to earn the right to vote. Since that time she has never missed voting in an election and, makes sure to remind the rest of us to do the same. She is passionate about her responsibility as a citizen. That term isn’t used all that much these days.


She has seen change in the world appear almost overnight. When my dad crossed over in 1997 we didn’t know how she’d handle it. He died 11 days before Christmas. She cleaned out his closet within days of his burial and insisted with our support that Christmas celebrations go on as usual. “Life goes on” she said.


When her last surviving sibling died in 2012 she became the matriarch of the Ribellino family line. Shortly thereafter, Dan and I bought my Aunt Sadie's former apartment, renovated it and moved in bringing a bit of Manhattan to 72nd Street. It’s been quite a learning experience living so close to her.


So why am I writing this today?


Obviously, I am honoring my mother. I’m also weaving together some recent aha’s, which I hope you think are worth your attention. I’ve learned to view unconditional love through a different lens and appreciate the power it can have. I’ve learned about the courage to move forward when life’s circumstances throw us curve balls. I’ve learned to appreciate gazing at clouds while sitting on the front porch to see new whats in them, putting the blinds up at night when the full moon shines brightly so moonlight can bathe you while lying in bed. Only since moving here have my mother and I realized we both love watching the clouds and the moon.

The last 60 years have seen the most rapid advances in technology and science than ever before in the history of humankind. New discoveries and subsequent required changes in how we live just keep emerging. Living moment to moment requires us to modify, course correct and or change how we view the world. An appreciation of that, which falls under the realm of the Feminine, is finally, after thousands of years coming to the forefront. It is not linear but more likely a circular spiral. Its essential each of us, women and men do our inner work.  I've recently started cracking my inner "glass ceiling" freeing myself from the earliest programming.


"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T S Eliot. I am finding my mother and seeing her for the first time. Seeing me for the first time, as a daughter unconditionally loved and loving.


The Power of Crocus

Much has happened since I penned my last blog A Turn Of A Season late September 2014.  An unexpected medical diagnosis shortly thereafter, resulted in a shifting of priorities. Rather than say more, other than I am fine, I choose to focus on what’s ahead. Suffice it to say it has been a long hard winter in many places around the world.  Although we are 23 days into spring, it has only felt like spring in NYC these last few days.  Saturday in Brooklyn was a lovely day.  Windows open, I loved hearing the birds calling to one another and landing on still bare tree branches soon to be full of buds.  Birdcalls I hadn’t heard all winter delighted my ears. I am so happy to have heard them. The house next store to ours has been under renovation for 8 months, the front yard the staging ground for equipment and materials. Yet an abundance of purple crocuses have popped through the barren earth. How delightful to witness the joy of new beginnings.

We hibernate in winter, hunkering down and then allow for new growth to emerge as spring unfolds.  Will we like the crocus poke our heads through the tightly packed ground?  I’m pleased to report just like nature, we at BEI are poking our head out to celebrate new beginnings with the launch of our new website look and content.  In the midst of revitalization with enthusiasm like never before we announce our presence and availability to help new and returning clients create vibrant businesses and engaged workforces based on sound business values and practices which recognize a “rising tide lifts all boats”.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of David Brook’s new book The Road To Character out today.  Over the last few years I’ve been noticing him speaking about his own yearning, and soul searching.  Yesterday on CBS This Morning he was interviewed and gave a definition of humility, which is worthy of repeat.  Humility is radically honest self-awareness. Teaching nowadays, he commented about how his students are yearning for what I refer to as life’s meaning, an inner moral compass.

You can get a taste of the book by reading his essay the Moral Bucket List, which appeared in the NY Times Sunday Review Section this weekend. Character is such an important aspect of life and I’m concerned it has taken a back seat to the fast paced, goal oriented work environments we’ve created.  Have we lost sight of it?  To have a workforce that’s engaged we need to have accountable managers who behave based on the basis of a moral compass.  Companies need expressed business values as well as their managers having their own personal moral compass.  Their character becomes the beacon of their managerial leadership.

How does your character affect your effectiveness at work?

The Turn Of A Season

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world marched last Sunday, September 21st  to draw attention to the importance of addressing climate change. At 10:29 PM Monday summer ended and fall began. Today, Thursday is the New Moon a good time to set intentions.  

Like clockwork temperatures have dropped not much higher than the mid 70’s. Nights bring cool breezes. In NYC today heavy rain is expected. The UN is in session and for the first time there has been a resolution regarding terrorism. I’m reminded of Pete Seeger’s song Turn, Turn, Turn referencing a time for everything. lyrics


Personally, Uncle Larry my only remaining uncle, my father’s brother, passed away last week at the age of 95. A veteran of WWII Uncle Larry was in intelligence. He had a full military funeral. My brother and his son are the only ones that carry on the family name in the traditional fashion that is.  What is the Bova legacy? I am aware of the end of an era; the mantle of patriarch passes to my brother now as the senior Bova male in our clan. Mom at 96 is the matriarch of her clan, the Ribellino's. She doesn’t like this role. Mom hates being the oldest at gatherings.


Transitions and new beginnings!   In my uncle’s death I get to know his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Sadness lingers as I recognize the impermanence of everything around me. Change occurs. There is a natural ebb and flow, like the tides, seasons come and go, trees drop their leaves, fields whither and die. Change is everywhere whether we realize it or not. This is the thought I want to focus on today.


How important is it to recognize change? To honor transitions? Are some transitions more significant than others? My only niece gets married in two weeks. I remember receiving the call at 4AM the morning she was born announcing her birth. Soon she will be married. Likely raising a family of her own soon enough.


I’ve spent the last 18 months in transition. I’ve studied with indigenous teachers and have heightened my awareness of the natural world; ebbs and flows, patterns, timing. I watch clouds travel across the sky to change form before my very eyes. I wonder. I’m fascinated, amazed.


What does all this have to do with work, the hours we spend doing our jobs, running our businesses? Sounds corny but I think “slowing down to smell the roses” is essential to our overall well-being and effectiveness. Take a breath and notice what nature has to teach. Some of the most important scientific breakthroughs have come when people are out in nature. Wasn’t it Einstein who had a major aha while sailing?


I invite you to take 3-5 minutes during each workday, while at work to be exact, to look out the window, go outside, focus on a live plant, a fish tank. Gaze! Wonder! Over time reflect on your own behavior, have your thoughts changed? Consider making a daily notation After three weeks to a month are you more calm? Relaxed? Creative? Engaged? Has your energy increased? Have you noticed changes in your relationships with others? Let us know.





Initiating Peace

Summer fully upon us, bizarre weather patterns occurring around the globe. We took a pass on a July blog but feel compelled to write now. Will be brief and to the point.  Friday August 8th 2014 is a Global Day of Peace.  Numerous organizations and groups around the world are asking members to focus on peace that day.  Each and every one of us needs a more peaceful personal existence. We all know too many places in the world where people are terrorized by their own governments, governments that threaten their sovereignty, terrorist organizations. and thugs. Natural disasters and the Ebola virus also terrorize innocent citizens of the world.  I long for peace and know many in my circles of influence long for it too, which is why I’m writing to you today.  Below is a link to an initiative in which I will be participating.  

Visit globalmeditation and sign up to be part of this important global meditation event of the year. You need not know how to meditate to participate. Or can just google Global Peace Day and find out about more ways to participate.  Simply if you just set an hourly reminder on your smart phone and sing (or hum)  or say the phrase "let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me" you will be adding to a ground swell of worldwide peace consciousness that day, as well as on a cellular level bringing peace consciousness to the cells of your body.


Also this weekend, on Sunday, August 10th at 2:09 PM EDT the moon enters her full stage and this is the second “super full moon” of the three that will occur this year. I looked at the moon Tuesday evening and couldn’t believe how bright she was. So I encourage all of you to spend some time gazing at what many Native peoples refer to as Grandmother Moon as she radiates in her fullness.  Treat yourselves to this awesome sight.


An earlier blog addressed some of the changes underway at BEI. It continues to be an important time as we find a new balance in our work, client base and other undertakings.  Enjoy the heat of August.  As the song says "see you in September"!


A few weeks ago the NY Times OP Ed page featured an article by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath entitled Why You Hate Work. Apparently it was one of the most widely read and responded to pieces in the Times, having more than 500 comments made. Obviously it struck home to readers. A 2013 Gallup Poll report states only 30% feel "engaged at work". Schwartz’s company partnered with Harvard Business Review last fall to survey 12,000 plus people some of the results of which are discussed below. The Schwartz Porath article identifies four essential needs that when absent, diminish a worker’s experience dramatically, having a domino effect on the culture and effectiveness of the entire organization. They are opportunities for Renewal, Value, Focus, and Purpose.

On a recent webinar conducted by the Institute For Corporate Productivity on Managing Talent I was pleasantly surprised to see that current research about companies considered high performance organizations confirmed the importance of an employee’s experience at work, and consistent definitions and language across business units and whole systems, as leading indicators to corporate high performance.

Their findings aligned very nicely with the findings of Dr. Elliott Jaques, my mentor, who over a 50-year period of social analysis developed the comprehensive system of building highly effective organizations known as Requisite Organization. Although they used different language the message is the same. (Read: Social Power and the CEO available at Cason Hall. Here is my take on a few of the points made. • A requisite organization is by definition a high performing organization • Business strategy and values inform the work to be done • Managing, consisting of assigning work clearly, providing parameters within which an assignment needs to be done, and giving feedback regularly are all aspects of Jaques’ role of a manager. They are also consistent with the new data on high performing organizations. • Consistent language and agreed upon definitions were a passion for Dr. Jaques. They are a requirement for scientific rigor to be applied to the field of management making it a science in and of itself. The complexity, size and cost of multiple systems now necessitate common language within companies. However as a field of science, management is not yet there.

Elliott conducted his social analysis throughout the world on six of the seven continents and in every workplace he entered he found workers who wanted to do a good job, wanted to be treated with respect and integrity, and wanted feedback as to how they were doing and how they could do better. They wanted fair remuneration. My career also confirms that most workers want to do a good job at work. They want to be appreciated, valued and recognized for their efforts. They want to be paid and treated fairly and have opportunities for advancement from which to choose.

We see the debacle that has unfolded at the VA. It took courage for those that blew the whistle, in some cases incurring the wrath of management and co-workers, to stand up for what they believe. At GM the ignition switch failure has resulted in a first round of firings. Will CEO Barra be able to keep her word that this will not be tolerated going forward? Will she be able to restore pride and a productive culture at GM? Time will tell. Both lapses resulted in people dying. Yet criminal action is not being talked about openly.

Summer Solstice begins tomorrow morning. The cycle of summer begins. It happens every year about the same time. Solstice requires no human effort or courage. It happens naturally. People however, require courage and effort to change. We have power over how we perceive what is happening to us and around us, and what we do about it.

More now than ever in our lives we need to slow down and allow time to reflect, to know what we value and whether we are living a life based on our values and beliefs. If we are, fine. But if not, we must muster the courage from within to do something about it. Only then will we have greater personal satisfaction and bring greater positivity, productivity and profitability to our organizations.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Gandhi

Happy Solstice weekend! Let me know what you think., our blog was initiated to create awareness and dialogue about the importance of people being engaged at work. This is not only essential for individual well being, but also for the creation of vibrant organizations, communities and our country as a whole. We must fix what is broken!