Bob Rausch, PhD.


Some Conflicts Only Exist in Our Minds

by Bob Rausch, Ph.D.  

“The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven.”     ~ Milton, A Paradise Lost

SOME CONFLICTS ONLY EXIST IN OUR MINDSWe waste a lot of energy thinking and rethinking situations in our minds. I’m sure you remember times when you’ve taken a perfectly good problem and run it over in your mind until you ended up with a serious conflict. We become our own worst enemy when we use too much energy thinking about a problem over and over again. My father gave me a great example of this. When he was a young boy, there was a bully in his neighborhood. This kid was bigger than the other children and took advantage of his size by pushing the other kids around. Although he never touched my father, he was a threat in my father’s mind.

So my dad began lifting weights and taking boxing lessons. Then one day he saw the bully sitting on the porch outside of his house and while not saying a word and mustering up all his courage, my dad walked up and hit the kid right in the mouth. That may seem strange but it’s a great example of creating conflict out of a problem, and it all took place inside my father’s head. We waste a lot of energy by over processing a problem and creating a conflict that only exists in our mind.

Here are some pointers to help you keep things in perspective when problems arise with others: Learn More »

Good Judgment Comes from Experience and Experience Comes from Poor Judgment

by Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could say that all the things you’ve and all the decisions you made were the right ones? I think that as most of us look back over our lives, at times we are pleased with our actions and at Good Judgment Comes from Experience and Experience Comes from Poor Judgmentother times we’re a little disturbed. I don’t know about you, but I’ve sure gotten myself in some jams along the way. We all want to feel like we use good judgment, not only in the tight times but also in day-to-day decisions.

Your mistakes and failures contain the seeds of opportunity when you focus your energy on what to learn from them. Chris Argyris, a psychologist who wrote The Witch Doctors, found that failure is a much better teacher than success. Argyris calls success “single-loop” learning. For example, “I did X and it worked.” Argyris states that failure generates “double-loop learning”, which leads people to investigate their failures and the assumptions behind them. Learn More »

Who and What are You Committed To?

by Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

Commitment is defined as being bound emotionally and intellectually to someone or something. The greater the commitment the more focused your energy and the greater the possibility Who and What are you committed to?of success. Noel Tichy, an author and professor of management at the University of Michigan agrees that “..the best leaders, either in sports or in business, such as UCLA’s legendary basketball coach John Wooden, see themselves as teachers who guide people, not bully them. And those qualities of being teacher first and leader second apply in all walks of life.”

I believe that many times we are more committed to the “thing” we are doing than we are to the people that make the “thing” happen. Reaching the goal is the main focus, but in many organizations that focus results in neglecting the very resource that gets them there – PEOPLE! They are committed to the “something,” but not to the “some ones.” Jim Collins makes this perfectly clear in his book, Good to Great, great organizations take into consideration “who” before the “what.” Commitment does not begin with the activity to be achieved, but with the people who will achieve it. Collins found that great organizations were committed to having the “right” people in the “right” job and valuing their participation.

If you found these tips from Bob Rausch, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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Who Influenced Your Leadership?

by Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

The sergeant I reported to while serving in the Air Force had a significant impact on my leadership style. When he said, “This is the easy part, the rest of life will be difficult,” it made so Who influenced your life?much sense. At that instant I realized that he was absolutely correct. Basic training wasn’t hard, it was different and I was a long way from home. I was homesick! My experience with that Air Force sergeant influenced my view of life and leadership in these ways:

  • Before I quit something I ask myself, “What’s the real reason I want to end this?” That question was very helpful as I worked toward my Ph.D.
  • When others are struggling with tough projects I have a different perspective.  I’m more sensitive to the level of difficulty which helps me understand how to encourage the individual.
  • I have a clear sense of my strength as an individual. The sergeant understood what I needed to do and didn’t hesitate, even one second, to point it out. I’ve found that when I’m confident that I know something, I shouldn’t hold back.

Leaders have a solemn responsibility to recognize and responsibly use the influence they’ve been given as a result of their position in the organization. Learn More »

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