Author Archives: Martha Miser

Today’s Corporate Mystic

A Quirky 90s Notion Years ago I read a book called The Corporate Mystic: A Guidebook for Visionaries with Their Feet on the Ground (Hendricks & Ludeman, 1996). Written at a time when narratives about hard-driving CEOs, like Ford’s Lee Iacocca and GE’s Jack Welch, were popular, this book was never destined to be a … Continue reading 

Ambassadors of Trust

The Illusory Ideal of Collaboration. Years ago I worked with a CEO who would bemoan the inability of his staff to see beyond their own function, project, or individual need. Exasperated, he’d say, “I’d give anything to have people who could work together for the greater good of the company.” And yet, despite his best … Continue reading 

The Case for Compassion

Compassion fatigue. We’ve known for years that overexposure to trauma can produce hopelessness and cynicism in caregivers, educators, and first responders. In 2012, journalist Nicholas Kristof extended this notion to the broader public, saying that relentless images of suffering and tragedy can be overwhelming, shutting down our ability to care. Kristof’s argument is supported by … Continue reading 

Brains and Buddha

The Reptile Rules! Brain research is all the rage these days. Everywhere I look, I see articles and books about neuropsychology and other branches of neuroscience that are unlocking the mysteries of the human brain. For example, in my field, brain researchers are offering new insights on behaviors that help or hinder interpersonal relationships within … Continue reading 

The Three Myths of Change

Author and mythologist Betty Sue Flowers (2007) says that a myth is a belief or story that we’ve stopped questioning. Although myths are neither inherently good nor bad, when we accept a myth as truth, we develop a blind spot —  a learned cluelessness —about that topic. In this issue, I examine a few myths … Continue reading 

The Three Myths of Leadership

My husband likes to poke fun at my profession. He insists that if you put the word leadership into the title of any publication, it will immediately go to the top of the best-seller list. “Leadership for Losers,” he says, “it’s a slam dunk! Write it, and we can retire on the profits!” Like any … Continue reading 


Many years ago, I had an experience that changed my relationship with fear. At the time I was a new trainer in a corporate university, learning how to facilitate one of the company’s flagship leadership programs. I had just completed the second of three days of teaching and it was going pretty well, but it … Continue reading 

The Axial Age – Lessons from our Ancient History

There’s a growing body of thought about the potential for developing higher levels of human consciousness – not just among individuals, but collectively, across organizations and societies. Ken Wilbur, one of those on the forefront of these discussions, suggests that we are progressing to higher stages of consciousness and are learning how to “unlock” the … Continue reading 

People Are Tired

Many of my recent conversations sound like this: Martha: “Hey, how’re you doing?” Client:   “Busy. It’s just crazy here. I’m so far behind and I can’t seem to catch up.” Martha: “That sounds exhausting. Is there any end in sight?” Client:    “Hold on…gotta answer this text…you know how it is, everything’s a crisis…” Martha: “Sure, … Continue reading 

Blessed Unrest…And the Corporation

“It has been said that we cannot save our planet unless humankind undergoes a widespread spiritual and religious awakening…What if there already is in place a large-scale spiritual awakening and we are simply not recognizing it?”  Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest, p. 184  In his 2007 book, activist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken considers the question posed … Continue reading 

From Complexity to Simplicity

Recently I heard a client make this intriguing statement: “Some of the smartest people I know work for this company,” she said, “however, I think too often we use our intelligence to increase the complexity of our work. What if we used our intelligence to drive simplicity?” That comment got me thinking. Much is written … Continue reading 

The Mystery of Collaboration

All my clients are asking this question: “How can we increase collaboration?” Instead of collaboration, they see people struggling to connect and build productive relationships within an increasingly complex environment. This produces a variety of outcomes that range from mild confusion to more destructive behaviors such as information hoarding, turf battles, political posturing, gossip, and … Continue reading 

Being the Best Consultants for the World (2nd in the GRLI Series)

In my continuing series on the GRLI conference, below are some of the highlights from Monday’s pre-conference session which focused on the subject: “What is globally responsible advisory and consulting?” To date GRLI has had a predominately academic focus, although it has also attracted many business leaders and consultants. This pre-conference was the first gathering … Continue reading 

Globally Responsible Leadership

Greetings from Oulu Finland and the GRLI General Assembly! In the interest of sharing this exciting conference with a number of people, I thought I’d try my hand at blogging. So, welcome to my first blog post! Let me start with a little background…GRLI stand for the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative which is a worldwide … Continue reading