Who’s Leading? Who’s Responsible for Leadership in Government?

capitol_building_tulips

There is a lot of talk in the Public Service about leadership.
We say we need it. The question we don’t ask, however, is
“who is responsible for leadership?” Moreover, if we
stop and reflect, we recognize that leaders don’t lead without
the commitment of those who follow and that uncommitted followers
can destroy any leader no matter how talented or sincere. Leadership
can be a solution to many problems, but it is a solution ONLY IF
we are

read more

The Leadership Paradox

1122 S1

By Jim Selman | Bio

Peter Drucker, who many consider the father of modern management, once said, “We know almost nothing about management, that is why we write so many books on the subject.” The same might be said for leadership. There are more than fifty thousand titles available and hundreds more being published almost every month. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on countless workshops and courses to train leaders. The question is, with all of these writings,

read more

Where is offense?

JimBioPic

Like most of us I have been following the tempest succeeding the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the wave of anti-terrorist rhetoric, the rendering of Mohammed as a kind of ‘we’ll-show-you’ counter-punch, the counter-counter punch of Muslims being offended by the rendering, and on it goes. Everyone seems offended by something.

I spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to observe the phenomena that are being referred to in ordinary conversation — when we are speaking and listening.

read more

Between Trapezes

1119 Selman

By Jim Selman | Bio

I love the metaphor of being ‘between Trapezes’. In one image it connotes the comfort and familiar arc of my current life, the emerging possibility of moving from where I am onto an entirely new trajectory, and most compelling — the excitement and terror of letting go and confronting that existential moment where annihilation seems to be a genuine possibility.

Charles Dubois once said that the most important thing in life is the willingness to let go of

read more

Why do we procrastinate?

1026

It’s a bit more than a week into the new year and I am already behind on all the things I was going to get done during the post-holiday lull. I am procrastinating. As with many of my less agreeable habits, I decided to do a workshop on the subject for a European client late last year. The overarching question of why we procrastinate was framed a bit more specifically as “Why don’t we do the things we KNOW we need to do to accomplish what we SAY we want to accomplish?” The correlation

read more

Compassion

1004

For some reason I have been feeling acutely connected to people I am encountering these days. In addition to my friends, family and others I know, I am observing all sorts of people – on the street, providing services, working in stores. It is as though I am more ‘present’ to them individually, and more conscious of who people are and the uniqueness of each one’s lives. We all are in pretty much the same soup — working, raising families, dealing with problems, dreaming, and dealing

read more

The Next 10 Years

EI 1006

Another year. This year’s resolutions looked pretty much the same as last year and the year before that so I’ve resolved to stop making New Year’s resolutions. Nonetheless the year-end (or beginning) is a time that calls for taking stock and reflecting on the past and the future. This year the big questions for me have to do with the next 10 years.

I have laughed a lot about how easily I can fall into making just about anything significant. I even made

read more

Love is…..

EI 1007

By Jim Selman | Bio

Love is, I think, the most universal and central aspect to our experience as human beings. In much of our music, literature, popular culture and day-to-day life there is no other topic that even comes close. Yet, love for most of us remains a mystery — something that we all about without any consensus as to what love really is.

Not long ago, I was facilitating a meeting of top executives in a food company in the Ukraine. They were working on the question of ‘why’

read more

New Beginnings

EI 1016

By Jim Selman | Bio

One of the toughest things we ever learn is to ‘let go’.  I can’ t remember all the times I have made resolutions or tried to ‘reinvent’ myself or start over in one way or another. Every time we end a relationship or a job or some deeply ingrained habit (whether voluntary or involuntary) we must confront the break between the certain past and the possible future. And as far as I know there is no way to create and experience a ‘new’ future

read more