Fresh Voices: Perspectives on Change, Communication and Delegation

One of my favorite outcomes of blogging has been the opportunity to meet and learn from some really sharp people that share a passion for many of the same topics that I write about: leadership excellence, high performance and personal and professional development.  

One particular blogger regularly points out that there are millions of blogs out there and most of them bad. I’m not quite as judgmental.  I prefer to treat the blogosphere like I do a bookstore.  There are many, many books that I have no interest in ever reading, but I know that somewhere on the shelves are a few works that will move and transform me. 

Consistent with my desire to hunt for great new books, I’ve been seeking out new (to me) writers on topics that are relevant to anyone engaged in working with and leading others or focused on developing themselves.  I plan on sharing these posts and authors with you from time to time, just like I would a great new book or a newly discovered writer.  Oh, and don’t be surprised when some of the writers focus on topics outside of what you might find on the business bookshelf.  Most of the best content for aspiring leaders is found elsewhere.  

I’ll stop short of indicating that this will be a regular feature, because I’m wholly uninterested in maintaining a regular cycle on my blog, other than my Leadership Caffeine for the New Week posts on Mondays.  I write about whatever strikes me as interesting at a point in time.  Nonetheless, you can expect me to consistently feature some of the great new (to me) writers that have something important to say to us.  

Enjoy, and remember to drop these bloggers a note or leave a comment if they say something that resonates. After all, the power of this medium is its ability to promote the exchange of ideas.  

Enjoy this week’s features!

The Top 10 Ways to Establish Change Without Discipline is from Mary Jaksch, author and proprietor of the site: Goodlife Zen.  I discovered Mary’s thoughtful and motivational work through Twitter and am now a subscriber and regular reader.  

There are many, many articles on change, which is of course a staple of the leadership, HR and Organizational Development set.  This is a fresh perspective, with a theme focusing on using positive rituals to reinforce change in ourselves, instead of relying on our old standbys, will and discipline.

Research suggests that we may have a much more limited store of will and discipline than we would like to believe, and a better way to promote change in ourselves is to create positive rituals which become self-reinforcing.  

Mary offers 10 suggestions for changing or establishing habits using positive rituals, and along the way, does a nice job of integrating ideas from her own teachings as well as the work of mainstream business nad change experts.  The entire post is great, but the Top 10 tips are golden for anyone interested in making some very positive changes in their habits and routines.  

Gwyn Teatro writes a bit closer to my focus on Leadership in her wonderful blog, “You’re Not the Boss of Me.”  Finding Gwyn and her blog is a lot like uncovering a great new author and series of books just when you had concluded that you knew everything out there. Her voice is fresh and her guidance excellent. 

I originally intended on featuring her post, “Lack of Communication You Say,” a great piece about how we needlessly complicate the communication process in the workplace , when I was confronted with her most recent post: “Taking Charge, When Not to Delegate.”  So why choose?  Both are well worth your time. 

In “Lack of Communication, You Say,” Gwyn reminds us of how easy it is to muck up the communication process with poor listening habits, our propensity to make assumptions and our over-reliance on confusing business jargon. Her suggestions and examples for eliminating the bad communication habits that bedevil us in the workplace and in life are great.

“Taking Charge, When Not to Delegate” offers some great examples and suggestions on a topic critical to leaders during tough times.  So many leaders falsely assume that they can delegate away their responsibility for the tough tasks, when the reality is that just the opposite behavior is required.  Gwyn offers four situations where leaders must “stand up and be counted.”  

Thanks to both Mary and Gwyn for sharing your thoughts and professional guidance with us.

By | 2016-10-22T17:12:09+00:00 May 12th, 2009|Career, Leadership, Leading Change|5 Comments

About the Author:

Art Petty is a coach, speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. When he is not speaking, Art serves senior executives, business owners and high potential professionals as a coach and strategy advisor. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.


  1. Patti May 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm - Reply


    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Mary Jaksch – I look forward to hearing more and more from her. As for Gwyn, I met her on twitter and am enjoying what she has to offer. I learn more every day from talented and very smart people like the two women above, as well as yourself. Different perspectives, wonderful ways to look at things and stories that teach and propel one forward are always welcome!

    Community means supporting and promoting the talents and good work of many people, cheers for doing just that!


  2. Art Petty May 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Patti, I could not have said it better about the definition of community. Thanks so much for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to learning more from you as well. Best, Art

  3. Andrew Meyer May 13, 2009 at 10:15 am - Reply


    one of the most interesting books I’ve read is “Consulting Daemons” by Lewis Pinault. He talks about how Arthur D Little took the ideas of scientific analysis and applied them to industry after WWII and from there how McKinsey, BCG, Bain and others filled other niches. Who were the people, what were their strategies and how the business developed. Not the marketing version, but what the thinking, strategies and results version.

    Fascinating from the perspective of how people (leaders) innovated an industry, but also how that industry operates, works with and views their clients.

    All my best,


  4. Garrick Throckmorton May 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm - Reply


    I recently started a disucssion with the OD network on Linkedin with the following question: What are the top 3 OD related books/resources that you view as a must have on your shelf? This question has become the most commented on thread in this group. At the end of the discussion is a compilation of all the books recommended throughout our discussion. Feel free to take a look.


  5. Art Petty May 13, 2009 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Andy, great to hear from you again. You’ve piqued my interest in the book by Pinault. Will loop back once I’ve checked it out. And Garrick, thanks for the link to the book list. I’m hoping that many of these have Kindle versions…I’m enjoying filling my little toy with great reading material! -Art

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