Common Outlook
May 2013 - Issue # 13-05


Founder's Message



"What you see and what you hear,
Depends a great deal on where you are standing.
It also depends on what sort of person you are."
~ C. S. Lewis The Magician's Nephew


Lewis could have easily added this third truism: "And the person you are depends largely on your Attitude." That's what Ted, a fellow sojourner, talked about in our April issue (read here). A vociferous senior executive living in 'Reaction', Ted was shocked when he was fired. Alternately angry and irresolute for months, he was finally able to move away from Reaction when a limiting belief was derailed; sink his roots into 'Response', and grow the wise and powerful Attitude of a changed man.


After we ran the article, we were encouraged to provide more information about his former Attitude, and the steps he took to alter it. Therefore, in the interests of continuity, we have decided to do that in this, our May 2013 issue, leaving those promised dig and delve questions about your Attitude(s) for our June issue.


In the meantime however, I am pleased to offer you a group of questions I've distilled over the years that prompt the kinds of Attitudes fundamental to my own brand of leadership. They have been immensely helpful, especially when heading-up projects, delegating, or dealing with difficulties and mistakes. And while I'm not sure my team would walk over hot coals if I asked them to, I do know if I keep the questions front and centre, I can hold onto the notion they might.


Leadership Attitudes


  • Am I working inclusively?
  • Am I seeking input?
  • Am I being truly receptive to others?
  • Am I giving imaginative, off-the-wall ideas their due?

    Stepping Aside 

  • Am I showing others how to tether and harness ideas?
  • Am I helping them build a solid conveyance that holds goals, plans, progress charts and milestones?
  • Am I putting the reins in their hands; moving aside; letting them drive?
  • Am I leading by following?


  • Am I holding a mistake against someone? 
  • Do I really trust the necessity of making mistakes?
  • Am I encouraging the mistake-maker to pick up the reins again?
  • Am I trusting, and therefore turning my attention to other matters that require direction?


  • Am I acknowledging others meaningfully?
  • Am I being specific by saying what I'm thankful for and why?
  • Are my thank-you's authentic?
  • Do my thank-you's offer encouragement and strength?



    Attitude Tip:

    For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.


    What's New? 


    That's up to you! To get started, check out your Attitude in next month's issue!




    "Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude."
    ~ Ralph Marston




    How Ted Changed his Attitude 

     "For years, I used anger to intimidate others so I could feel powerful. I didn't make that discovery until after I was fired, and it took a while for me to understand that my need for power was an attempt to dispel a hidden sense of inadequacy. The crux was this: although I began to see the anger didn't benefit me anymore - indeed, was the very reason I was let 'go' - my sense of inadequacy deepened because I could not bring my anger under control. It had grooved itself into a habitual Attitude."

    Habits begin when intense reactions - such as anger - chemically flood brain neurons. The chemical changes produce electrical impulses which enable connections with other neurons. This surge or 'synapse' is the first faint mark; the initial biological linking chain or path in the brain which we term 'learning'.  Similar situations or behaviours causing the same reaction(s) will permanently cement the synapse chain, allowing you or me or Ted to say: "I learned how to ...."

    Once a pathway is laid down, it cannot be erased; meaning that if Ted was going to change his habit, he would have to construct a new, more favourable, and much stronger synaptic network overtop the old one.


    Read More


    Peter Hiddema


    Quick Links




    Join Our Mailing List


    Contact Us:

    Tel:  +1.416.483.6450


    Fax: +1.416.352.1920




    Click on the link below to visit Peter Hiddema's website and sign up for free goodies and blog updates.


    Visit Peter Hiddema's Blog

    Visit Peter's Blog