March 24, 2015

The Power of Positivity

  “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” – Anonymous From their book “The Extraordinary Leader,” John Zenger and Joseph Folkman analyzed hundreds of organizations and their leaders over several years, and from this research developed a list of ten “fatal flaws” that led to failure in leadership.  The most common and most noticeable fatal flaw was failing to inspire due to lack of energy and enthusiasm.  One person interviewed described his boss as, “having the ability to suck all the energy out of any room.”  An individual lacking positive energy and having a negative outlook on everything very quickly saps energy from those around him.  Conversely, a leader with a positive attitude creates a significant “trickle down” effect.  Her enthusiasm and positive energy spreads to her employees.  This energy has been shown to increase productivity, efficiency, improve overall job satisfaction and, as you would imagine, decrease turnover.  The trickle […]
March 10, 2015

Putting Things in Perspective

Much of the research and literature on the experiences of raising a child with a disability focuses on dysfunction and the stress as a result of having a disabled child, dismissing the positive transformations a family can go through.  Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with two parents and learn about their individual experiences and struggles, as well as their new found strengths and positive outcomes. Both Susan, whose son has autism, and John, whose daughter has cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities, were very open and surprisingly blunt in answering tough questions about their experiences. Susan discussed how typically when your child has an illness, you go see the doctor and he develops a plan of action for treating the illness.  With autism, however, “You are waiting for someone to tell you, ‘Okay, your child has autism.  This is what we are going to do…’ but the ‘what […]