Bill Berthel

Origin Story

My colleague Erika Davis and I were recently guests on Alex Canavan’s podcast, Cultivate. Alex is an impressive young leader here in Syracuse with a passion for bringing people together. Her focus is on female leaders, and she herself has a voracious appetite for learning and development, an attribute all successful leaders share. The focus…

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Emotional Accountability

For much of my adult life, there’s been a voice in my head. It’s a voice at once demanding and prideful, one that encourages me to follow its advice and rewards me handsomely for doing so. And what does it say? Be accountable to your emotions! I identify strongly with this voice, and consider it…

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A December Reflection

All of a sudden it’s the holiday season! The ground is frozen and white. The skies are dark before the day is over; I feel like I must have taken a long autumn nap and missed the onramp to the holidays this year. In part, I have been far too busy with work. I usually…

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Outstanding Hybrid Meetings

Those of you who know me know I’m not afraid of broaching controversial topics, and today I’ll be discussing one of my favorites. Politics? Religion? Nope–hybrid meetings! Like many organizations, Emergent has been holding, hosting and facilitating hybrid meetings more and more since 2020. For sake of clarity, hybrid meetings are those in which some…

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The Pressures of Change

Many of our parents and grandparents stayed in the same job for most of their career because their jobs provided a sense of security. Perhaps you, too, are a “lifer” in your organization. There was a time when American workers chose a job, whether consciously or subconsciously, because of the employer’s ability to shelter them…

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It’s Natural Leadership

We spend so much time on the Internet. We are constantly connected to a complex artificial environment, surfing the web, streaming media content, and accessing the cloud. It’s no secret that this technological addiction is affecting our productivity, leadership and well-being. What about the real waves and streams, the real webs spun in the wilderness…

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Polarity Management

Polarity management theory is a model for managing two forces that are opposite, yet interdependent.  When faced with two antipodal options, we often focus on the opposition, and may fail entirely to notice that the forces depend on each other. Think, for example, of breathing. Breathing is a complex biological process, but it can be…

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Reset Yourself

During a meeting with local health leaders, I noticed an interesting phenomenon: compassion fatigue. Burnout is common in healthcare, and the pandemic added untold stress to health workers around the world. But in addition to facing long hours and near-daily traumas, doctors and nurses are also expected to show empathy and compassion to millions of…

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The Most Important Question

“What is the most important question a leader can ask?” I get this question often from my clients, and I always tell them that they basically just asked it! Put more generally, the best question a leader can ask is also the simplest: “What do you think?” This question is basically an invitation to contribute….

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The Pitfalls of the Peter Principle

Recently, I found myself engaged in a conversation with a small group of friends on a perennial topic: incompetent bosses. When one of my friends wondered aloud how unqualified people end up in high-level positions, another replied, “That’s the Peter Principle for you!” The Peter Principle was first identified by Dr. Laurence J. Peter, a…

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