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Maynard Brusman
San Francisco, California
I am a consulting psychologist and executive/career coach.
Interests: leadership development, executive coaching, emotional intelligence, career coaching
Recent Activity
To be sure, mistakes vary in degree, and depending on the consequences, additional actions may be required, including consulting with a legal professional. But when we make an insensitive comment, send a message without having all the facts or consider how it will be received, or berate a subordinate (or colleague) publicly, we must promptly acknowledge our mistake and make amends. It’s time for a good apology. Continue reading
We live in a celebrity culture where leaders, and especially CEOs, are expected to be perfect examples. They are held up as icons. We don’t like to admit they have flaws, or that the traits that make them special can also lead to failure. Continue reading
Business leaders today are not exempt from making mistakes. While we like to believe their judgment is getting better, certain behaviors make them vulnerable to err, such as mindset failures, delusions, mismanagement, and patterns of unsuccessful (or poor) behavior. Our wishful thinking, denial, and other forms of avoidance often prevent us from seeing their errors—or the mistakes we make. Continue reading
Great leaders understand that diversity and inclusion are not the same. While companies can mandate diversity, they have to cultivate inclusion. This begins with a genuine interest in, and for, other individuals. Continue reading
Some businesses also leverage technology to assist in their recruiting and hiring process to reduce discrimination. Of course, it must be carefully designed in order to avoid pitfalls and achieve fair hiring: absent of disparate treatment and disparate impact. Continue reading
Being excluded at work is not fun. Even in times when most people are working remotely, being left out can intensify a sense of alienation, which impacts our happiness and performance. This is even more critical for small businesses: according to a 2019 survey, 52% of small businesses report labor quality as their biggest challenge. Continue reading
While many leaders believe they have taken adequate steps to correct or avoid inequalities in the workplace with policies, promotion, and training, all too often we hear about employees who experience some form of exclusion or inequity, including lack of promotion, outright harassment, and even worse. Continue reading
Coaching team interdependence and peak performance in a virtual world has its advantages. It allows you to plan, reflect, prepare, implement, and follow-up your discussions. Continue reading
Higher degrees of interdependence reflect greater complexity, and require different types, or degrees, of management. Continue reading
The two most important factors for better team interdependence are planning and communication. When all parties understand and agree to what, where, when, how, who, and why, less communication (and meetings) is needed. Continue reading
Today, most business organizations elevate independence as the corporate culture ideal. Certainly, workplaces that support self-assertion, individual expression, and new ways of thinking/being are to be applauded, but what happens when this is valued greater than collaboration, or worse, greater than the common good? Continue reading
Today’s business leaders face incredible pressure to anticipate, adapt, and produce. Unfortunately, ongoing uncertainty and increasing demands cause many to fall into the trap of over-management. And it’s not uncommon: when a system crumbles and a new one is not yet fixed in place, we get a lot of chaos and confusion. Continue reading
As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, our society teaches racism. And, our institutions often support it. The best leaders examine their implicit bias, take action to mitigate their biases, and dismantle policies and systems that support inequity. Oftentimes, the first step is to recognize our own learned socialization.As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, our society teaches racism. Continue reading
Racism is built on a foundation of underlying beliefs, assumptions, and myths, many of which are unrecognized, let alone understood. (And I don’t have to understand it for it to be valid.) Continue reading
Today, most organizations offer diversity training. But we need to move beyond this. We need to learn how to listen better, learn better, and take better action to correct the systems that support racism. Ultimately, this will strengthen our businesses, those we serve, and our entire society. But most importantly, it’s the right thing to do. Black lives matter. Continue reading
All people who are not perceived as white continue to experience racism. They experience it in shared ways, and in ways that are unique to their group, and their position to whiteness. However, there is something profoundly anti-black in our culture. It cuts across all groups, and is a form of state sanctioned discrimination. Continue reading
In their attempt to influence how people behave—their purpose or process—leaders fail to address the needs, desires, and agendas of those they want to persuade. This approach only serves to foster a closed, or fixed mindset. Continue reading
Managing through change can be a real crucible test for leaders today. To be sure, intense, unplanned, and traumatic events have the power to transform leadership abilities. But great leaders can prevent fueling fires, pivot with purpose, and lead others to positive, meaningful change. Continue reading
Managing meaningful change requires the engagement of each employee in the decision-making of where, how, and when they work. Of course, the level of flexibility may vary depending on circumstances, however, leaders and managers can make a conversation meaningful with two-way dialog: listen, ask, mirror, and reflect back what is heard. Continue reading
Leaders and managers are testing their assumptions and abilities in change management as organizations, lines of business, and teams are asked to quickly pivot in their roles and responsibilities. Many employees are being asked to take on additional work, perform new tasks, work in new environments, or under increasing pressure. Everyone is affected. Continue reading
Wise leaders understand that both positive and negative emotions work in the decision making process. Positive emotions open us; they expand our social, physical and cognitive resources. Negative emotions serve to limit our thoughts and behaviors; they help us to focus and act more decisively in times of stress or crisis. But an imbalance can sap our energy and lead to brain fog. Continue reading
Socrates believed that wisdom is a virtue, acquired by hard work: experience, error, intuition, detachment and critical thinking; and that the truly wise recognize their own limits of knowledge. Wisdom is also a paradox: based partly on knowledge, shaped by uncertainty; action and inaction; emotion and detachment. Wise leadership reconciles seeming contradictions as part of the process of wisdom, for wisdom is a process. Continue reading
Wise leaders continuously assess and adjust for new data, as well as all of the possible consequences of a change. Continue reading
Socrates believed that wisdom is a virtue, acquired by hard work: experience, error, intuition, detachment, and critical thinking; and that the truly wise recognize their own limits of knowledge. Wisdom is also a paradox: based partly on knowledge, shaped by uncertainty; action and inaction; emotion and detachment. Wise leadership reconciles seeming contradictions as part of the process of wisdom, for wisdom is a process. Wise leadership is a combination of elements, including intelligence, self-awareness, acknowledgement of personal limitations, humility, patience, and emotional resilience. To put it in the simplest terms, wise leadership is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience and understanding, to make good decisions. Continue reading
In a time when “flattening the curve” requires universal participation, when, how, and who to re-open requires tough, wise decisions. Wise business leadership is needed more than ever before. There’s no shortage of talks, posts, or tweets on our need for wise, capable leaders who pursue the common good; who balance big-picture thinking with next-step management. But predicting outcomes becomes much more complex as systems and people interact in unexpected ways. We need our leaders to do the right things, in the right way, against the right time frame. The real stand outs can navigate intrinsically complex circumstances, make smart decisions, and inspire others to do the same. Continue reading