Introduction

So… What’s all this?

This is an idiosyncratic collection of blog posts, articles, essays, and handouts that I have created in the past two decades or so and shared through my websites. Some of these are excerpts from my books, some are stand-alone articles and some are handouts or tools that accompanied presentations I made in classes or at professional conferences and webinars.

Over the years I’ve received requests from webmasters, college professors, HR folks and in-house organizational trainers to link to some of these materials so they could share them with students, employees or visitors to their websites. Such requests I humbly granted, hoping that readers might find something valuable — something that would make their project work easier, their work with teams more effective or their interactions with difficult people a little less withering.

This book is an attempt to pull all this stuff together into a single document so that it is easily accessible to anyone, thus eliminating the need to search through my websites.

Caveat: You May Find Inconsistencies!

These documents were each written at a unique point in time and at a unique point in the evolution of my understanding. As the years passed I was inevitably confronted by unanticipated situations, feisty and contentious clients or students, grumpy fellow professionals, etc. These events and people challenged the assumptions I held and pushed me to rethink things. This change in my thinking, in turn, may have manifested itself in the form of inconsistencies from one of these documents to another, depending on when it was written. However, from my perspective, that’s a good thing! Just ask Ralph Waldo Emerson, who tells us (my bold added):

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said to-day…”[from Emerson’s classic essay, Self Reliance]

In other words, it’s okay to be certain and enthusiastic about a point of view and then change your mind about it later when new facts or new experiences come to light. And that’s what I’ve done.

Anyway… Enjoy!

Despite the occasional inconsistencies among items, I hope you find something of value here. This collection represents my best approximation of wisdom and insight. In short, it’s the stuff I believe to be worth sharing. Enjoy!

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