Be Authentic: Discover Your True North

September 1, 2018

For any leader at any level in any organization, clarity of purpose is a critical ingredient of success. In other words, you must know where you’re headed and why you’re headed there. A compass provides the ideal metaphor. Just as a compass points toward a magnetic field, your personal “true north” directs your path and…

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Titles Don’t Make Leaders (So Don’t Chase Titles)

August 28, 2018

Being a long-time student of leadership, I’ve naturally heard a lot of pithy quotes about the subject. One of my favorites is from Margaret Thatcher: “Being a leader is like being a lady. If you have to remind people you are, you aren’t.” Well said, Madame Prime Minister! And another, by John Quincy Adams: “If…

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For Best Results, Live Your Life ‘Day One’ At A Time

August 21, 2018

More than 30 years ago I wrote a personal mission statement. It’s a relatively brief and straightforward document (less than half a page), focusing on six roles that I identified for my life. I use it as a daily, forward-looking reminder of my commitments, vision, and purpose. As my friend Stephen Covey used to say,…

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No Time for Balance? Think Again

July 30, 2018

Most people who feel the crush of busyness have heard the clichéd advice about time management: “Either run the day or the day runs you.” And my favorite, “The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that you’re the pilot.” The interesting thing about clichéd advice is that sometimes it’s spot-on correct.…

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Your Brain Has a Mind of Its Own

July 27, 2018

At one time or another, most of us have claimed that our emotions—our feelings—are imposed on us, that we have no control. Admit it, you’ve probably said something like “He makes me so mad!” The reality, tough though it may be to swallow, is that nobody can make us be mad, or glad, or sad,…

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Take A Break: Save Your Job, Marriage, Life

July 27, 2018

It was Warren Buffett who said “the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they’re too heavy to be broken.” The sentiment perfectly describes the creep in both the amount of time people work and the locations where work is done. It’s an insidious pattern that fools people into believing that more…

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The Speed of Trust: It’s A Learnable Skill

July 21, 2018

Trust is the operating system of every relationship. Think about that metaphor: operating system. You can have great software programs installed on your computer. But if the computer’s operating system has a glitch, nothing seems to work right. In your work environment you can have world-class processes in place, backed up by well-conceived procedures. But…

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Chaos at Work? You Can Learn to Manage It

July 10, 2018

We seem to be surrounded by rah rah on the virtues of “smart” work and how to manage that finite resource called time. Yet there’s dangerous irony involved. While technology is supposed to make our lives simpler, billions of hours are wasted every day by people staring at their “smart” phones. But that’s a subject…

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Why Etiquette Is So Much More Than Saying Please

July 6, 2018

It’s been said that the test of good manners is the ability to put up pleasantly with bad ones. But in a world where in-your-face behavior is sometimes mistaken as a strength, it’s often hard to understand the rules of etiquette. Etiquette. It’s a fussy word that almost defies definition. I grew up at a…

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