Seth Kahan
Author, consultant

Seth Kahan

Change expert and author who has advised executives in 50-plus organizations, including Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps and NASA. He can be reached at

Archive: Seth Kahan

The real deal

Dylan is showing us what it means to grow old, and his constant reworking of classics to our dismay is irrelevant. Instead he continues to stir the pot, to see what new forms emerge.

By Seth Kahan | December 20, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Benefit of the doubt

There comes a time to let go of the past. Vick served his time and now seems intent on turning things around. I give him the benefit of the doubt.

By Seth Kahan | November 22, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

Then what?

When faced with adversity, one person rises to the occasion while the other is beaten down. It all comes down to how you frame your life circumstances.

By Seth Kahan | November 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Food and values

Value is always determined in the eye of the beholder and many organizations and people forget this to their detriment.

By Seth Kahan | November 1, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

All changed, changed utterly

After 9/11, 2,000 World Bank workers joined together. Open weeping could be heard in the atrium. The event was as stirring as it was profound. I wil never be the same. My world was reordered. My neural pathways forever changed.

By Seth Kahan | October 25, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ups, downs, breakthroughs

How do I get out of a period of stagnation? Well, I've designed elaborate schemes and rituals, but I have a sneaking suspicion they all boil down to waiting for time to pass. Ups and downs are part of my life.

By Seth Kahan | October 18, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Risk -- and reward

Today my time is much more integrated with my life. My efforts are an extension of all that I care about. But to be fair, there is more at risk.

By Seth Kahan | August 9, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)


Mistakes are part and parcel of leadership and human endeavor. Rather than avoid them, strive for continuous improvement and know that blemishes are part of the process.

By Seth Kahan | July 26, 2010; 05:23 PM ET | Comments (5)

One choice among many

When I feel anxiety about all the little devices that have become indispensable, I go for a walk. There's nothing like moving through nature to remind me of the last 200,000 years.

By Seth Kahan | July 22, 2010; 02:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

A stain on the Earth

Hayward could have stepped free of his role as corporate mercenary. He could have saved BP's image and gained the world's empathy and support. Instead, he appears like our leaders on Wall Street: culpable, witless, and sociopathic.

By Seth Kahan | May 20, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Strong and successful

Somehow, the media chooses to focus on making Laura Bush uncomfortable, more intent on igniting gossip than appreciating her significant accomplishments.

By Seth Kahan | May 17, 2010; 02:28 PM ET | Comments (4)

New days, new ways

People are going about change differently, using the tools of the 21st century to take up contemporary initiatives. The results will be different as well.

By Seth Kahan | May 6, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

A worthy pursuit

We are on the cusp of history made visible. The effort to reform the financial markets makes U.S. a place where the little guy is cared for by the mightiest offices in the land.

By Seth Kahan | May 3, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Coping with success

Charles Schulz was a genius and the world is richer for his acute vulnerability.

By Seth Kahan | April 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Changing hearts and minds

While the economy suffers and Detroit is in tatters, Ford has managed its way through the rubble and emerged with several strong cards in its hand.

By Seth Kahan | April 26, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Hitting the highlife

Oprah may have her days, but who doesn't? I have a lot of tolerance for someone whose benevolence is as far-reaching as hers.

By Seth Kahan | April 22, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Challenges ahead

This is not the defining moment in Obama's career. He is still a young president. It is, however, for many Democrats.

By Seth Kahan | March 21, 2010; 10:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

A tank's biggest shark

Sniping and attacks need not be part and parcel of success. Take the temperature of your environment. You can tell pretty fast what it's like when there is blood in the water. Do the sharks begin to circle?

By Seth Kahan | March 21, 2010; 10:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Glass is made to break

Natalie Randolph does not have to measure up to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or Jackie Robinson, but she does have to keep her eye on the football.

By Seth Kahan | March 18, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

What really counts

The coach has to infiltrate his team, yet remain apart from it so he can shape it. He has to be one with the players, but not one of them.

By Seth Kahan | March 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Human frailty and healing

Alec has done much to repair his image both professionally and privately.

By Seth Kahan | March 11, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Politics as usual

Washington has its own rules and currents. They both play havoc with well-intentioned, capable personnel.

By Seth Kahan | March 8, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

The $60 Million Man

Will Jay Leno use his return to late-night TV to build on the response and go beyond the Carson mystique?

By Seth Kahan | March 4, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (2)

Down for the count

Success is not just about performance, but behavior under pressure. Rebuilding trust must begin immediately and Toyota is a case study in what not to do.

By Seth Kahan | March 1, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Our inner gold

Whenever one engages in such a competition, it calls forth a part of our being that enables us to transcend normal limits. It gives us a taste of the ideal we strive for in our innermost beings. It is spiritual in the truest sense.

By Seth Kahan | February 25, 2010; 12:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Following your heart

The odds of being successful can be correlated to the freedom you have to author your actions, mastery over your own efforts, drive, and real talent. If Patrick is picking a different path, then may the wind be at his back.

By Seth Kahan | February 18, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

David slays Goliath

Rather than being driven by commercial success, Jobs is driven by a vision of the future that he consistently midwifes.

By Seth Kahan | February 1, 2010; 12:03 AM ET | Comments (1)

A long time coming

Everyone with a goal should prepare for the day when the stars align so you can seize the moment as Brown did.

By Seth Kahan | January 25, 2010; 12:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Misguided trust?

We all want heroes, just like we want a quick buck. As long as there's fortune to be made, someone who raises our hopes, we will follow, throwing our fortunes in with our hopes. That's why it pays to be careful when it comes to investments of any kind: trust or cash.

By Seth Kahan | January 21, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (2)

It's about time

Recent growth in the number of women leaders is a welcome sign that we will soon be benefiting from a more just and evenly distributed cadre of leaders.

By Seth Kahan | January 18, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Four ways into risk

Evaluate your circumstances before deciding how risky to be. While it's true that fortune favors the bold, knowing when to be bold and when not to can save your life.

By Seth Kahan | January 14, 2010; 12:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

Success without satisfaction

The average worker may not need need job satisfaction in order to succeed. But the average leader needs to provide it -- otherwise, he or she may fail as a leader.

By Seth Kahan | January 11, 2010; 12:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

What is failure?

Jim Zorn will determine his own fate by how he uses his biggest asset: his state of mind. Do not underestimate the power of the human mind to take the toughest challenge and turn it into the greatest success.

By Seth Kahan | January 7, 2010; 01:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

The wrong horse

If you want your children to get ahead, teach them to listen and understand the needs of those they are serving, anticipate challenges and take them on proactively,

By Seth Kahan | January 5, 2010; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Four keys

We all face challenges -- so find out what needs to be done and address it.

By Seth Kahan | January 4, 2010; 03:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Power of reflection

Reflection separates those who take the reins of destiny from those who leave them alone.

By Seth Kahan | December 30, 2009; 04:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

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