ALPHA Thinking

Tips, tools and thoughts for top performance

Avoiding Organizational Indigestion Syndrome

Organizational Indigestion Syndrome is the unfavorable condition that occurs when an organization tries to do too much at once — and can be a major growth inhibitor. Focus helps, but there are some often over-looked approaches…

Master Monkey Mind to Grow Faster

Monkey mind is a state of mind in with our mind restlessly jumps around from thought to thought to thought. The workplace is a hive of monkey mind. The primary job of leaders is to both manage their own focus and also train others to manage theirs…and grow fast.

Realized Gains or Paper Gains

In finance a paper gain is a gain that has not been realized yet. If a stock we own rises we only realize the gain if we sell and lock in the profit. The same premise is at work in our personal development. We must “lock in” our gains.

Discerning Organizational Disconnects

We are surrounded by disconnects – gaps that keep things from being as good as they could be. For example, in news coverage today there is a disconnect between journalism based on investigation and journalism based on ideology. Leaders must be adept at recognizing disconnects in order to profitably grow their organizations. Organizational disconnects can occur in many areas including talent and strategy.

Reluctant Leaders and the Poison Promotion

When a new leader is struggling in a new role the cause is often diagnosed as a lack of leadership skills. This may be the case, but often the obvious and overlooked point is the impact of preference. In addition to lack of skills is there also a lack of a preference to lead people? In retrospect was the move to a new role actually a poison promotion?

A Day to Remember Silent, Noble Service

In our busy, day-to-day lives, it takes a formal day for us to pause and reflect.  Memorial Day honors those that have died while serving in our armed forces.  It is humbling that so many have given their lives in service.  It is also remarkable that many have served and sacrificed with little fanfare.  A formal day of remembrance is then a powerful force to help get us thinking and thankful. On a drive between Phoenix and San Diego I stopped at the tiny town of Dateland. Arizona. On a marker there I read about a B-50 that crashed nearby in 1950 during training exercises.  Twelve of the fourteen crew members perished in the crash.  I have driven by that spot for over 20 years, ignorant of the story. This week, a Wall Street Journal editorial noted that thousands of military contractors have died while supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The contractors (because they are not active service members) do not get military honors or benefits.  They are often not counted in the tallies of the casualties of those conflicts. Through my grandparents I met a World War II veteran.  My grandfather introduced him as a hero.  The man just shrugged his shoulders.  Later I learned from a book on the subject* that he was part of an audacious group of paratroopers called Pathfinders.  These troops (and this man I met) were tasked with parachuting behind German lines to provide navigation orientation for the troops to land at Normandy. It is easy to be unaware of even great sacrifices. While not on the scale of sacrifices honored...

How and Why to take “Cold Plunges” at Work

Cold plunges and cold showers are a popular component of athletic performance routines. Taking metaphorical “cold plunges” can also have tremendous impact on our growth as leaders. The benefits include improved perspective, accelerated learning, discovery of new abilities and renewed enthusiasm for goals. Here’s three ways to do it…