Archives For Mike Bonem

BasketballThis is the third of several blogs inspired by NCAA basketball’s “March Madness” championship tournament.

As described in my previous blog, a few basketball players will become instant heroes when they hit a winning shot during March madness. But for every one person who makes the highlight reel, there will be several who walk off the court with their heads hung in despair. They’re the ones who miss a key free throw or make a bad pass or just have a bad game. And because of that, they feel that the team’s loss rests on their shoulders.

One of the oft repeated sayings during March madness is “win or go home.” It refers to the reality that this is a single elimination tournament. When a team loses, they’re eliminated from the tournament and their season is over. For most of the seniors on the team, it will be the end of their basketball careers.

As a leader, how do you respond to “losing a game”? When you put your energy into a major initiative and it doesn’t go well, how do you feel? When you push for an important decision and…

Continue Reading

SwitchOne of the books that has been on my reading list for two years is Chip and Dan Heath’s Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. I read it over the Christmas break, and wish I hadn’t waited so long. It’s one of the best books on change that I have ever read.

The Heath brothers draw from an extensive set of research studies, mostly in the field of psychology, to explain why people act in certain ways when confronted with the need to change. This sounds very dry, but the genius of Switch is that the Heaths have created a simple and memorable framework that is easy to read and captivating. They deal with both the emotional and logical issues that can cripple change efforts both at the personal or organizational levels.

One thing that makes Switch so captivating is the stories of change. As I’m writing this review, I’m remembering that the size of the bucket doesn’t affect the amount of popcorn eaten by a movie-goer and the implications this has for change efforts. I’m thinking about a community revitalization effort in rural North Dakota that was started by teens, a…

Continue Reading