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February 2013

Dear Readers…

Over the past few years of writing this blog, much has changed in my role as a community leader. I love writing posts for Musings with Mitch and feel the blog has in many ways become an extension of me. Your attention to, and interest in, this publication have made my “musings” worthwhile, and I so appreciate your readership. Read More »

Date: February 20, 2013

November 2012

Evaluating New (or Needed) Skill Sets

It’s easy to become complacent when our personal or work environments lack stimulus or when change doesn’t seem to come quite fast enough; however, now that signs of an improving economy are beginning to show, we need to shift into the right mindset and begin to make the most of the upturn. Read More »

Date: November 7, 2012

October 2012

Why You Need a Second-in-Command

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Date: October 3, 2012

August 2012

Some Change You Can’t Ignore

It’s interesting how technology is testing our ability to deal with change. There are times when I feel things are happening so quickly that I can’t possibly know about every upgrade or new product, let alone determine how I might use them to my benefit. Read More »

Date: August 29, 2012

Moving Ahead in a Down Economy

I’m sure we’ve all noticed these are challenging times. In a “down economy,” it makes sense to take stock of our current circumstances and think about how to adapt to an uncertain future. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about conversations I’ve had with people who reflecting upon where they are, both personally and professionally. Read More »

Date: August 22, 2012

Leadership Lessons Learned by Playing Poker

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Date: August 8, 2012

July 2012

Why Executives Should Embrace Social Media

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Date: July 18, 2012

May 2012

Character Matters: 14 Traits Every Leader Should Possess

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking to teammates about the importance of character in the workplace. There are many personal traits used to define a strong professional “character,” and I have listed those that I feel are the most important. Read More »

Date: May 23, 2012

April 2012

9 Everyday Principles of Leadership

We leaders are tussling with a tough economy – trying to make the right decisions and use our scarce resources to their greatest benefit. Additionally, we are spending a lot of time evaluating whether we have our talent in the right positions; not just for today, but for the long term, as well. Read More »

Date: April 18, 2012

March 2012

Forgive and Forget: Tips on Letting Go of Grudges

Admit it – at one time or another you’ve held a grudge against someone you felt “wronged” you in some way. I’m no psychologist, but I think it is a human nature to feel resentment at times, and even spite, depending on how betrayed we felt at the time. I’m writing about this topic today because I have seen many individuals, teams and organizations wither as a result of long-held grudges. Read More »

Date: March 21, 2012

What Is Your “Why”?

"If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears." - Simon Sinek Read More »

Date: March 7, 2012

February 2012

Placing Priorities in Order

Author Stephen Covey has a gifted ability to share stories that inspire us to think about our work in unique ways. One such account can be found in his book First Things First. This story demonstrates the importance of prioritizing the “big rocks” from the gravel and sand of your responsibilities. Read More »

Date: February 29, 2012

The Value of Teamwork

Several years ago, I read a book entitled Wisdom of Wolves, Leadership Lessons from Nature by Twyman Towery. It was a easy read, and focused primarily on the type of teamwork required to build happy and healthy organizations. Read More »

Date: February 22, 2012

Failure Is Not an Option

It is a natural part of our professional lives to encounter failed projects, initiatives or efforts. However, the cause of a failure tells us plenty about what we can learn from it. I recently received a note and slide presentation from a friend that lists several points on failure and success, listed below. Read More »

Date: February 8, 2012

January 2012

Are You Paralyzed by Tradition?

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Date: January 25, 2012

Give Your Career a Tune-Up

I just took my car in for a regularly scheduled tune-up, complete with a tire rotation and change of the various motor fluids. As I drove away, I felt safer and more comfortable knowing I was behind the wheel of a well-oiled machine. Now, when I hit the accelerator, my car reacts with more “zip,” especially when maneuvering around a slow vehicle on the freeway. Read More »

Date: January 11, 2012

Harness the Power of Your Habits

As I was cleaning out my desk recently to get rid of old files and dated material, I came across a wonderful story I shared with my team members years ago. I think both the riddle, originally written by John Di Lemme, and the related story, provide excellent “food for thought.” Try to solve the following riddle without peeking to the end. Read More »

Date: January 4, 2012

December 2011

A Season to Remember

The holiday season is now in full swing. Autumn leaves have fallen, the air is filled with a brisk new chill, and, in the office, strategic plans for the coming year are falling into place. Read More »

Date: December 21, 2011

November 2011

Adapting to a New Economic Reality

Okay, I’ll say it. The world will never be the same again. The world economy is a mess; the national economy is a mess; and, our organizations, while surviving, are not performing as well as we want or expect. These facts make it likely that as individuals we are not achieving personal or professional goals we have set for ourselves. I get it. In fact, I think we ALL get it. Read More »

Date: November 30, 2011

Message to Occupiers: Set Concrete Goals, Stay on Message

If you’re like me, you may be getting a bit tired of the Occupy movement and the fact that it doesn’t appear to have a strategic purpose. While I definitely understand the reason for their peaceful protests and the fervor necessary to create change, I have become a little frustrated because there has yet to be a defined goal of their cause. To be honest, I am very sympathetic to those who believe in positive change, and the Occupy movement creates a very real opportunity for positive change to occur. I am also of the opinion that the majority of those involved in the movement are in it for the right reasons. They have become frustrated with the economic and political realities we all face today, feeling that many voices are better than a single voice. Read More »

Date: November 16, 2011

What’s the Value of Authenticity?

“Leadership without perspective and point of view isn’t leadership — and of course it must be your own perspective, your own point of view. You cannot borrow a point of view any more than you can borrow someone else’s eyes. It must be authentic, and if it is, it will be original, because you are original.”
– Warren G. Bennis Read More »

Date: November 2, 2011

October 2011

Dear Leader – A “Dear Abby” Knock-Off

In today’s installment of Mitch’s Musings, I’d like to ask those who follow my blog to comment with a leadership “dilemma” – a question, problem or concern that keeps you awake at night. I invite my readers to then thoughtfully respond to the dilemma. In order to get things started, I will pose a question that I sincerely hope elicits feedback: Read More »

Date: October 12, 2011

Weathering the Storm

Is it just me, or do most of you think that this summer has been particularly difficult in comparison to other years? As I write this article, the weather outside is typical for an autumn day in the Pacific Northwest. But it seems summer in Oregon started very late this year, and the weather has been particularly harsh in other parts of the country. It’s not a pretty picture for many people these days, either with the weather or from an economic standpoint. Read More »

Date: October 5, 2011

September 2011

Games Help Develop the Power of Foresight

In the past, I’ve shared that I like to play board and card games as well as solve puzzles. For me, these activities offer a friendly – yet competitive – environment in which to ponder multiple possibilities. It’s pretty cut and dry when you play these types of games. There’s no celebrating when you win and no crying when you lose. It’s simply a game, and the fun should come from playing it, not from the result. Read More »

Date: September 28, 2011

Five Ways to Assess Your ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-Nots’

I received a great letter recently from a business friend of mine who provides consultative financial and business services to medical professionals. In it, he shared an exercise he created to help his clients with their strategic planning endeavors: The Having Exercise. Read More »

Date: September 21, 2011

Weighing Costs and Benefits: Brain Food for Professionals

This week I have the pleasure of introducing a guest blogger, Vicki Gray. Vicki is senior vice president and relationship banking manager with Pacific Continental Bank. Those of you who are residents of the Pacific Northwest will find particular resonance in her post. Vicki draws a comparison between our gorgeous-then-gloomy climate and cost-benefit analysis. Read More »

Date: September 14, 2011

Solution-Based Thinking

How do you think about a problem in a healthy way? My suggestion is to focus on the solution – not the problem. Read More »

Date: September 7, 2011

August 2011

A Gift to Emerging Leaders

This post is intended to provide young, emerging leaders and those who have recently ascended to a position of leadership with wisdom. As part of this post, I wholeheartedly endorse an article from the Center for Creative Leadership that also addresses new leaders as its audience. Read More »

Date: August 31, 2011

Rotary Lessons

I have been a member of my Rotary club for 20 years, serving in many different capacities. I have learned many things while being a member of Rotary and have enjoyed many different experiences. For instance, this year I was elected as club president for the first time. In this post, I thought I would highlight a few club insights in order to provide you with some additional perspective about work and life. Read More »

Date: August 24, 2011

Knowing When to ‘Man Up’

An expression that I use to describe the act of taking responsibility for oneself is to man up. According to the New York Times, there are two distinct uses of the expression. One use is synonymous with toughening up; the other is to do the right and honorable thing, which is how I’m using it. Now, I know what you’re thinking – this isn’t politically correct. And so, since I want to include everyone here, let’s use step up for this blog post. Read More »

Date: August 3, 2011

July 2011

Recalibrating Success

This week I’m featuring a terrific article by Peter Buffet that was forwarded to me by a coworker. In his article, Buffett discusses the unique economic environment facing this year’s “millennial” college graduates, and he seeks to recalibrate the definition they may have of success. His article poses the questions: Read More »

Date: July 27, 2011

Trust + Coaching = Wisdom

There have been times in my life where I find myself reacting to a situation or conversation in a way that “isn’t me.” When this occasionally happens I am surprised by my behavior and find it bit funny. For example, at a recent family gathering I caught myself reverting to my inner-child self, when I “got the best” of my older brother in a round of golf, reacting to the win with excitement and flair. I realized afterward that my reaction could have been perceived as insensitive. Fortunately, my brother understands my humor and responded by putting his baby brother (me) in my place. I chose to share this story because I think it is relevant to today’s Musing. Read More »

Date: July 6, 2011

June 2011

What’s Your Perspective: Customer or Client?

Throughout my professional career, I have learned that there is a difference in the mentality of client-facing professionals who consider their target audience customers and those who consider their audience clients. I liken this variance in mentality to the difference between eating at a fast food chain – customer mentality, and eating at a luxury restaurant – client mentality. Read More »

Date: June 8, 2011

March 2011

When Does Coaching Resemble Parenting?

I had a terrific conversation with a team member recently, who wanted some advice regarding how not to take personally the coaching they receive from their supervisor. While I didn’t get to the heart of the matter initially, the employee eventually shared with me that they often find themselves taking their superior’s coaching personally.  Read More »

Date: March 2, 2011

February 2011

Are You A Dreamer or Believer?

Every day, I get the opportunity to work with a large group of talented individuals, many of whom wonder what they need to do to enhance their career, earn more money or simply create more value for the company.  They dream of “bigger and better” but struggle with the steps required to turn their dream into a reality. Read More »

Date: February 23, 2011

Vision Required for Taking Your Game to the Next Level

For my blog posting on January 5, 2011, I discussed the role your team plays in taking your organization to the next level. In today’s article, I will share my perspective on the  importance of effectively communicating your vision and the desired results of said vision to your team. Read More »

Date: February 9, 2011

Engaging or Engaged? There’s a definite difference.

How many leaders do you know that are personable and easy to like, yet appear to lack sincerity or create real value to their organization?  Such is the dilemma I observe in organizations where leaders are actively engaging in day-to-day “PR” activities , but are not truly engaged in the firm’s long-term success. In today’s post, I want to emphasize that good leaders demonstrate both an interest and an aptitude to work in their organization as well as the desire and drive to work on their organization. Read More »

Date: February 2, 2011

January 2011

Taking Your Game to the Next Level

Okay, I admit it; I am thoroughly caught up in the current football hype surrounding the University of Oregon Ducks. At the timing of this writing, the Ducks have yet to play the Auburn Tigers for the right to be called “number one.”  No matter; this article is more about the evolution of a winner and not about actually being identified as a winner. (I will say for the record, however, “Go Ducks!”) Read More »

Date: January 5, 2011

December 2010

Understanding your Worth

From the time I was very little, my parents, grandparents and siblings always shared with me that I would make a great attorney when I “grew up.” I guess it’s because I was a bit precocious and a tad bit argumentative. No matter how steadfast their position may have been on a subject, apparently I felt the need to argue the other side. It’s obviously not something that I look back on with satisfaction or pride, but I can’t help think that it has had a profound impact on my personal and professional development. Let me attempt to explain.  Read More »

Date: December 1, 2010

November 2010

Working at Peak Capacity

In every organization, the recipe for success is predicated upon the management’s ability to accurately measure the number of employees required to achieve their strategic objectives. It also requires that management balance the underlying aptitudes and capacities of their talent, and a work environment that provides their employees with flexibility to learn and grow on the job. This recipe is ever changing, based upon such ingredients as the ability of an organization to retain their best talent, the ability and interest of that talent to expand their core competencies and the ability of management to refine their vision in the face of ever-changing competitive, economic and regulatory pressures.   Read More »

Date: November 24, 2010

Finding Your Wings

The subject of this article comes as a result of some personal reflection about the fact that each of us has within us the ability to fly, to be significant. This significance can be achieved independently or in collaboration with others, with the result – enhanced confidence – helping us to achieve even greater outcomes in the future. This has ramifications to us as individuals and to our organizations.  Read More »

Date: November 3, 2010

October 2010

Fail Forward

I recently benefitted from a very insightful conversation with a team member, Sarah M., who shared with me the concept of “failing forward.”  I asked Sarah if she wouldn’t mind defining this concept for me, in her own words, so that I could use it as the basis of a blog post.  Here is what she wrote: Read More »

Date: October 20, 2010

The Power of Shared Leadership

The following blog article, "Nurturing the Leader in all of us" was shared with me recently, and I found it both heartwarming and refreshing. The concept of shared leadership isn’t new; however, it is certainly more profound when coming from a teenager who recognizes and espouses it! Read More »

Date: October 6, 2010

September 2010

Enjoy the Journey

I had a very interesting interaction with a team member the other day that I thought might make for a good blog article. It had to do with offering some career guidance, which is one of the most fulfilling things I get a chance to do. For me, it’s a chance to learn more about the hopes and aspirations of a team member, i.e. what they feel today is their definition of personal success. It is also an opportunity to manage their expectations both on the job, and in life. Read More »

Date: September 22, 2010

June 2010

Life Lessons from the Heart

I recently held a team leader meeting that included all of my supervisors. As we were discussing our year-to-date results and fine-tuning our daily processes, I took a little detour and asked them to focus on the talent of their team members. I reminded them that in every employee there exists the possibility of greater individual significance. I then asked each person to reflect back on their own careers and to identify a time when they knew they were more significant than their peers. To think of the time when they separated from the pack and were promoted over someone else, possibly someone with more seniority, more knowledge or more experience. I then asked them to share that moment and how impactful it was to them. I wanted my team leaders to openly learn from each other, so that they could go back and share what is possible to their own team members. I have to tell you that tears were shed as people related their stories. My team of leaders had a unique opportunity to FEEL what each of the other was saying; one team leader took a little different approach and shared a personal story of a lesson shared with him by his father. To him, this moment was the most significant lesson he has learned in life. What he shared was that as an 18 year-old soon-to-be high school graduate, his father and he were in the bathroom shaving together. His father said something along the line of, “Son, whatever you do in life, make darn sure that the man you see in the mirror right now is one that you can admire and respect forever.” This team leader then went on to speak about the relationship he had with his father, who has been deceased for a couple of years. After he spoke, you could have heard a pin drop if not for the quiet consoling sobs of several of his peers. This, my friends, is an example of the power of sharing! If done from the heart, sharing can stir up emotions, change perspectives, and create new opportunities for significance. After assessing the group following his comments, I took the opportunity to make a significant point, and I hit it home hard. I said “This is what it means to be significant, when you share from your heart that which motivates you to excellence! I want you to feel it! I need you to own it! Most importantly, I want every employee in our market to benefit from it!” This is just one example from that day serves as a guide as to the benefit of sharing wisdom. After the last supervisor spoke, I suggested that this type of sharing needs to be formalized. We have subsequently created mentoring panels of these same team leaders and supervisors so that they are able to share their personal success stories for the benefit of all team members. Since this is a new initiative for us, I can’t yet relate any notable outcome; however, I am supremely confident that our talent will be motivated in such a way that our clients and our company will see tangible results, both in the short and long run. Read More »

Date: June 2, 2010
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