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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute - a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Are you being like the Sankofa?

Do you know what the Sankofa is? I heard it referred to briefly at a recent conference I attended, and it stirred me to research it further. Turns out is a metaphorical bird, generally depicted with its feet facing forward and its head turned backwards lifting an egg from its back. It is of symbolic importance to the Akan people of Ghana, as it expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past in order to make positive progress forward. Look back to move forward – what a great message for leaders everywhere!

As leaders, we need to draw upon and learn from our failures in order to avoid making similar mistakes and missteps in the future. And just as important is a willingness to learn from others, and to use their experiences as stepping stones to move forward and onward.

It has been my observation that most people are disposed to learn from their own mistakes; after all, it’s not often that we tend to apply exactly the same method that we know has failed previously. But regrettably, a lot more infrequent is a willingness to take what others have done and build upon it. The reasons vary – sometimes it’s because we like the sense of victory and satisfaction that comes from taking a project or initiative from start to finish solo. Other times it’s because we don’t respect or like those who might have relevant experience. Either way, we choose to go it alone and start at the beginning. Which is a pity!

Ironically, we would achieve greater success by building upon what is already there – past experiences, others knowledge, an awareness of ours and others strengths – to create a solid foundation upon which to build even more. The Sankofa obviously knows this. Even the ancient Aztecs understood the value of this approach. Isn’t it time that we all did?

So, what have been your experiences? Are you being like the Sankofa? Are you observing or working with people who don’t get this important concept? Please share your perspectives directly on the blog at

In The Globe and Mail: What does it take to lead in times of crisis?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a living case study of how to lead (or not) in the face of calamity. Examples of good (and bad) leadership abound. In Merge’s latest column in The Globe and Mail, she offers several examples and outlines four must-dos for exceptional leadership in times of crisis.

Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge offers customized virtual learning programs?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a “new normal”. And for many of you, that means working remotely. But even though so many of us are no longer working face-to-face, the importance of learning hasn’t lessened. When Merge heard this sentiment from several of her clients, it made her stop and pivot. In just the last three weeks, Merge has done a fast-track build of several highly-relevant virtual learning programs, designed specifically to address her client leaders’ challenges in the changed work environment. Is “working from home” working out for you? and Leading from afar – the new normal in the world of work are just two of the new customized virtual learning programs Merge has delivered in the last two weeks. If you need help leading and working in the new “normal” than please contact us, and Merge (or one of her staff) will reach out to you right away to see how we can be of value.

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