How to Find More Breathing Room

Instead of posting a new episode of my podcast today, I want to encourage you to listen to Andy Stanley’s recent podcast series, Breathing Room. I just finished listening to it yesterday and knew I had to share it with you.

Blue Room with An Open Door

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Peshkova

Do you ever feel like you can’t catch your breath? Do you run from one activity to the next without any margin? Are you stressed, overwhelmed, and close to burnout? If so, this series is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Our whole role in life is to give you something you didn’t know you wanted and then, once you get it, you can’t imagine your life without it.

CEO of Apple, Tim Cook

5 Insights from My Reader Survey and What They Mean for You

Last November, I launched my most recent Reader Survey. This is the fourth year I have gone through this exercise. I have benefited enormously each time. Ultimately, I think it also benefits you, because it helps me improve the content I create, whether on this blog, my podcast, or elsewhere.

My Reader Survey Results

Photo courtesy of ShutterStock/zimmytws

More than twenty-eight hundred people participated in the survey—almost double the number that took my last one. This was particularly surprising given the fact that I asked almost twice the number of questions (fifty-three as compared to thirty).

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.

In a Commencement Address at Stanford University, Steve Jobs said,

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Ric Elias was a passenger on flight 1579, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? In this short five-minute speech, he shares how facing his own death gave him a new perspective on life. It’s well worth watching. (Thanks to Darrell Vesterfelt at the Storyline Blog for sharing this.)

#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.

#082: How to Keep Your Team Aligned During Times of Intense Change [Podcast]

The key to keeping your team aligned in the midst of change or chaos is communication. Unfortunately, most leaders are not intentional about this. They either don’t communicate or don’t have a plan for rolling their message out. The result is that people are left to create their own narrative about what is happening.

image courtesy of shutterstock.com & Corepics VOF

If you are going to be an effective leader, you must be deliberate in keeping your team informed. If you don’t, you will create a tremendous amount of “sideways energy” as people speculate and come to the wrong conclusion.

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