Sheri was a smart, ambitious, and energetic executive. She had lifted herself up through many of the barriers that arise in all growing careers, and through many of the barriers  unique to women leaders. How? First, she had the requisite talents and competencies. She brought as much to the table as anyone. Wise superiors and mentors recognized her value and leveraged it. it was win/win. Second, Sheri maintained a can-do attitude. She never said no. It was a great asset. But it almost killed her, and it almost killed her career. She, like most of her colleagues, both male and female, had not recognized how the nature of organizations elicits co-dependent behavior. What is Co-Dependency? The term co-dependency comes from the field of addiction. As professionals were gaining an understanding of the nature of addiction, they came to recognize that people who loved the addict often unwittingly contributed to the…

Thousands of studies demonstrate that leaders with higher EQ are more successful than those with average (or lower) EQ. But I’m not writing about that today. I’ve found myself reflecting on the nature of organizations, thinking about my own experiences with them, experiences that clients who work for them have told me about, and stories my friends and family have related to me. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts about what follows. Think about times when you’ve dealt with a large healthcare organization. Maybe you’ve helped shepherd a loved one through a serious illness. Maybe you yourself were the patient. Did the experience enhance your sense of yourself as a human being? Or did you find yourself feeling like a piece of meat, lost in a maw of processes, procedures, and awful communication, while the people working there did what their organization told them was necessary? Think of the times…