#086: What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed [Podcast]

Today, I was thinking back to perhaps the busiest time in my career: the first few months right after I left Thomas Nelson, almost three years ago. At that time, I was spending all day, every day buried in administrative detail—responding to emails, making travel plans, and filling out expense reports.

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image courtesy of shutterstock.com/Andrey_Kuzmin

Finally, I decided I had had enough. Something had to give. I needed to take a different approach if I was going to get my head above water.

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#085: What to Do If You Work for a Bad Boss [Podcast]

If it hasn’t happened to you already, it will soon. Eventually you are going to work for someone who is immoral, incompetent, or just mean—maybe all three!

by ArtFamily

image courtesy of shutterstock.com/ArtFamily

The good news is that you often learn more from a bad boss than a good one. But only if you are open and teachable.

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The Reflex of Character

The foundation of effective leadership is character. Nothing else has more impact. Nothing else has greater reach. And nothing else can make up for its lack—not education, experience, talent, or contacts.

Every now and then you hear a story about someone’s character that brings this principle into sharp focus. I had this experience just last night.

#084: Why Effective Leaders Cannot Afford to Be Easily Offended [Podcast]

As a leader, you are going to draw fire. People will criticize you. Some will second-guess your decisions. Others will impute motives that aren’t there. A few will falsely accuse you.

Man Taking the Bait

If you are going to be effective as a leader, you can’t afford to be easily offended. Don’t take the bait! Nothing will derail you faster and consume your energy—energy you could be using to do what matters most.

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The 5 Biggest Hiring Mistakes Leaders Make

Over the last few months, I have had three young leaders come to me for advice on hiring and firing. In each case, they had made a big mistake in recruiting the wrong person. They were trying to remedy the situation and avoid it happening again.

Frustrated Young Leader

Photo courtesy of {Service}Ioannis Pantzi

I have made my share of hiring mistakes, too. I know how painful they can be. They were always very expensive and emotionally draining. Instead of focusing on the work at hand, they distracted me and kept my business from moving forward.

#083: 5 Strategies for Becoming a Better Conversationalist [Podcast]

Great conversations are a balance of give and take like a ping pong match. You wait for the ball to come over the net, then you hit it back to the person on the other side. Then you do it all over again—and on it goes.

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This is an essential leadership skill and one that can be learned with a little practice.

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Bill Gates - Success is a lousy teacher

5 Reasons You Should Smile More as a Leader

Several years ago, when I was the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, I was presiding over our monthly business review meeting. One by one, each of our divisional managers would appear before the executive team and review their operating results for the previous month.

Smiling Leader

Photo courtesy of ShutterStock.com/Charlotte Purdy

At the first break, one of my business consultants who was attending pulled me aside.

“Are you angry at someone?”

“No,” I said, somewhat surprised.