"Leadership is an education and the best leaders think of themselves as the students not the teachers." -Simon Sinek
“Leadership is an education and the best leaders think of themselves as the students not the teachers.” -Simon Sinek

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3 Ways to Treat the Scourge of Cynicism

What to Do if Your Organization Is Infected with the Disease

I hate cynicism. It is like cancer to the human soul. It is especially deadly when it infects an organization.

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A few years into my tenure as the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, I thought we had pretty much eliminated it from our company. I was hoping the disease was in remission. But, one morning I discovered that it was still alive and well—at least in parts of the company. The worst part was that a few of our leaders were manifesting symptoms of the disease.

How to Sync up Your Team for Success

Do You Know the 3 Components for Effective Alignment?

Sometimes it’s easy to spot the difference between a weak leader and a strong one. Take alignment. While weak leaders blame their teams when they can’t get it, strong leaders know it’s their responsibility to create it.

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Years ago, I was making a major presentation to a prospective client. My boss was there. So was my boss’s boss (aka “The Big Boss”).

Our goal was to sign the client and win his business. Everyone on our team was nervous, especially me—since I was the one making the pitch.

7 Steps to Gain More Confidence Now

A Proven Path to Overcome Fear and Reach Your Goals

Whenever I speak with leaders about their greatest struggles, the answer I hear more than any other is a lack of confidence. It’s a universal affliction.

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Early in my career, I suffered from almost crippling social anxiety. At formal office functions, I’d sweat like crazy and my hands would go ice-cold.

Later, as the CEO of Thomas Nelson, I wrestled with heavy feelings of inadequacy. Was I really up for the job? Could I really lead this business through the Great Recession?

Season 7, Episode 13: 10 Reasons Every Leader Needs a Blog [Podcast]

(And How to Get Started)

Welcome to Season 7, Episode 13 of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss why we think blogging is an absolute must for leaders today.

Season 7 episode 13

If you’re a leader and you don’t have a blog, then you are missing out on one of the greatest leadership tools ever invented. With a blog, you can literally influence hundreds and thousands of people at a time. Today, I’m going to give you my 10 reasons why every leader needs a blog and what you need to do to get started.

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7 Ways to Get Your Team to Take More Initiative

Try These Proven Methods to Spur Action and Get Results

Self-starters who take action and get things done are essential to any effective organization. But what are you supposed to do if your teammates don’t show initiative?

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I was recently talking with a friend. He was frustrated his employees didn’t take enough initiative. The lack was really affecting his business. The problem was he blamed them and acted like he was powerless—like he was the victim.

I didn’t believe that. And the more I thought about his situation, the more clear it became how to turn it around.

5 Characteristics of Weak Leaders

(And How Not to Be One)

Sometimes you learn from positive role models. Often you learn from negative ones. This is one of the reasons I love to read history—you inevitably get both.

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After watching Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, I decided to reread Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It is a page-turning account of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and his political genius.

Season 7, Episode 11: 5 Ways to Build Trust with Your Tribe [Podcast]

How to Quickly Gain Rapport

Welcome to Season 7, Episode 11 of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss the importance of building trust with those you serve.

Season 7 episode 11

You have to get people to buy into you before they buy into your message. They want to know that you’re honest and you deserve to be listened to. Today, we’re going to discuss some practical ways to earn people’s trust so you can influence them for good.

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Where Are You in Building Online Influence?

Take My Free 8-Minute Platform GPS Assessment and Find Out

If you’ve got a nine-to-five, work in consulting, or travel as a speaker, you already know this: To make more money or have more impact, you’ve got to work more hours.

But trading time for dollars doesn’t scale. It’s not long before work cuts into our rest, health, relationships, personal time, and more.

You want to build an online following, but where should you start? My free Platform GPS Assessment will help you figure that out in as little as eight minutes. Best of all, it’s free. But it’s only available for a short while longer.

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Why Not Architect Your Own Life?

Design the Life You Want by Aligning Your Vision, Priorities, and Actions

We usually take our workplaces for granted, don’t we? But skyscrapers are colossal achievements. Architects must design them with variables like winds, earthquakes, communication, traffic, and the surrounding environment in mind.

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It’s impossible to imagine building one without architectural plans. But here’s the thing: The lives of everyone working inside those towers are infinitely more complex.

The Four Disciplines of the Heart

How to Fight Back When You Feel Discouraged

A few years ago I met with a leader who was in the process of losing heart. I have seen the look in his eyes a hundred times before. (I have seen it in my own mirror on more than one occasion.)

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My friend was under attack. He had just discovered that one of his board members was campaigning to unseat him. Worse, one of his children had just been diagnosed with a chronic disease. As a result, he was struggling with the typical symptoms of stress: insomnia, indigestion, and back pain.

He was ready to throw in the towel. And who could blame him? Life can be brutal sometimes.