The Golden Rule At Work

One of the most popular axioms in western culture, going all the way back to Ancient Greece, is The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as they would do unto you.” In other words, treat others the way you, yourself, would like to be treated. Although useful in general (who doesn’t…

Because I Said I Would…

Some time back, I shared the story of Alex Sheen.  Founder of Because I Said it Would, a nonprofit dedicated to “bettering humanity through the power of a promise,” Sheen is one of the world’s keenest devotees of Promise Keeping.  Inspired by his recently passed father, a habitual promise keeper,…

Gritting it Out on the Race From Hell

Pulling into the aid station at the half-way point of my first (and so far only) half-marathon – my legs exploding in pain – I know I’m in big trouble. Me:  “If this was just a training run instead of a race, I’d definitely stop right now.” Girlfriend:  “Geez, that…

The Four Traits of Warrior Teamwork

If you had to pick four traits for your work team to embody, what would they be?   Collaboration, perhaps?   Cooperation?  Communication?   Surprisingly, when Steve Kerr addressed his group of 14 men before a morning meeting this week, he omitted many of the traditional team characteristics, instead focusing on 4 unconventional…

Hold Onto Your Saxophone

There’s a great scene in the movie Bird (1988), Clint Eastwood’s biopic of famed jazz man Charlie Parker, in which a young musician goes to a club to hear Parker play.   Bird (as Parker was called) is so naturally gifted that the musician in the audience leaves the club in…

Gridlock at the Plaza

  When does the puppet-master become the puppet?   Not that often, probably, but that’s exactly what happened to me last month at the annual NASAGA conference.  (NASAGA, by the way, stands for the North American Simulation and Gaming Association — a “network of professionals dedicated to the design, implementation, and…

6 secrets for Transforming Your Team into a “Community”

All worthwhile endeavors start with a question. In a 1962 speech at Rice University, John F. Kennedy famously asked: “But why, some say, the moon?  Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? …   We…

Debriefing Training Activities the ORID Way

When I first started my treasure hunt company, Dr. Clue, in 1995, I had two directions I could take it.  I could either walk down the path of creating the most entertaining recreation activity in the business, OR I could concentrate on harvesting deep learning from the exercise. By and…

Pushing the Envelope

It’s 1987 and I’m living in Shimonoseki, Japan – a non-descript town of 100,000 known primarily for its production of the poisonous delicacy, fugu (blowfish). Although here, ostensibly, to teach English to junior high school students, only I know the real truth.  Inside, I’m Indiana Jones.  I am an adventurer!…

Three Stumbling Blocks on the Path to High-Performance Teams

It’s half an hour into one of my recent team-building programs — a treasure hunt offsite at the Bronx Zoo in New York  – and Janine  is clearly struggling.   For 30 minutes straight she’s been sitting on a bench, 20 feet away from her “Team Indiana Jones” teammates, poring over…