A Practice to Finish the Year Strong

Photo of an hour glass representing the end of the year

The final months of a calendar or fiscal year are an important time for teams. When you consider the goals you established for the year (or were assigned to you and your team), how are things looking at this juncture? Are you confident you will meet the goals by the end of December, cautiously optimistic, concerned, or slightly panicked? 

Connection Heals Trauma

Man who has experienced trauma sitting on a couch holding head in hands

At some point in life, many people experience some form of trauma. This may be a personal trauma that occurs at home or in the workplace. It might also be a collective trauma, such as the trauma experienced by many in the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A number of books have been written about trauma and how to heal from it. Two books we recommend are Untangling the Mind: Why We Behave the Way We Do by David Theodore (“Ted”) George and What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey. For those of you who don’t have the time or inclination to explore this topic more deeply, we’d like to share a few points that everyone should be aware of since the ripple effects of trauma can affect relationships and the ability to work effectively.

Missing from the Oppenheimer Movie: The Connection Catalyst


Ever since learning that a movie was being made about J. Robert Oppenheimer and The Manhattan Project, I have been waiting for it to come to movie theaters, curious to see how the man and his work would be portrayed. In my first book, Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity, and Productivity, I had written about a particular angle of The Manhattan Project in reference to an element that teams need in order to function well. 

Healing Our Workplaces through Cultures of Connection

Coworkers laughing together in office

The decline of social connection and rise of loneliness in the United States has caught the attention of the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, which prompted the publication of a new advisory.

“The harmful consequences of a society that lacks social connection can be felt in our schools, workplaces, and civic organizations, where performance, productivity, and engagement are diminished,” writes U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation: The Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community released on May 2, 2023. “Given the profound consequences of loneliness and isolation [on individual and societal health], we have an opportunity, and an obligation, to make the same investments in addressing social connection that we have made in addressing tobacco use, obesity, and the addiction crisis.”

With a Little Help from My Friends

Person holding up a paper chain of people to represent supportive relationships

On Good Friday this year, I found myself in an operating room with my arms literally stretched out like Jesus on the cross as ten medical professionals prepared me for surgery. To my surprise, as a mask was placed over my nose and mouth to administer general anesthesia, I felt grateful rather than scared.

Rekindling the Inner Flame in Others, and in Ourselves

Portrait of Doug Conant of Conant Leadership

Do you feel like the inner flame that motivates you in your personal and professional life has dimmed? Answering a few questions will provide insight into how you can rekindle your inner light. Before we pose the questions, though, let us share a story that illuminates why contemplating them is so valuable.

Cultivating a Culture of Connection at Home

Happy family washing a dog in the backyard to illustrate connection culture at home

Our focus is on the importance of human connection and cultivating a culture of connection in the workplace, but what we’ve learned about connection applies beyond the realm of our work lives. The principles are relevant for individuals, community groups, sports teams, nations and even families. Knowing that a connection deficit negatively affects our own health and well-being, the health of groups and the health of society, we’ve become concerned observing how the pace and stress of life threaten to squeeze out time for supportive, lifegiving relationships and endeavors. Improving connection in the home can lead toward a more fulfilling life and healthier communities, organizations and nations.

Frances Hesselbein: A Leader of Leaders, Who Cared For People First

Frances Hesselbein

Sitting in the historic St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan before the start of the memorial service for Frances Hesselbein, my thoughts turned to one of the last days I spent time with the remarkable woman who had led the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. back from decline decades earlier and transformed it into what Peter Drucker described as “the best-managed organization around.”