3 Ways Smart Leaders Prepare for the Unknown

This is a guest post by LaRae Quy. She was an FBI agent, both as a counterintelligence and undercover agent, for 25 years. She exposed foreign spies and recruited them to work for the U.S. Government. Now she explores the unknown and discovers the hidden truth via her blog, Your Best Adventure. You can find her on Twitter as @LaRaeQuy.

If we could predict the twists and turns in life, we’d never be confronted with the unknown. But things like cancer, death, or a sudden job loss are often beyond our control—they thrust us into an unknown world with little or no warning.

Toes on the Edge of the Diving Board - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/gmnicholas, Image #286935

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/gmnicholas

Whether we land on our feet, however, is something we can control.

7 Steps to Launching Your Next Big Project

Launching anything new is tough. If you’re like me, you have more on your plate now than you can say grace over. How in the world could you make time for one more thing?

Space Shuttle Atlantis launches from the Kennedy Space Center - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/japrz, Image #14676970

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/japrz

That’s what I thought back in December when I first started thinking about launching a new podcast. I had already been doing a podcast based on an adult Sunday school class I teach. But, after 83 episodes, I stopped in May of 2011.

How to Become a Twitter Ninja in Less Than 30 Minutes a Day

Twitter is one of key tools in my platform toolbox. It represents about 21 percent of my blog referral traffic. In terms of the return, I don’t know of a better investment.

A Ninja Assassin - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/by_nicholas, Image #14879784

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/by_nicholas

Currently, I have more than 110,000 followers on Twitter. According to TwitterCounter and RetweetRank:

#001: 10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic [Podcast]

Welcome to my new podcast, This Is Your Life. Like my blog, it is dedicated to the theme of intentional leadership. My goal is to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.

This Is Your Life, Episode 001 Art


I plan to talk about the same topics I discuss here on my blog, namely:

The Secret to Happiness as You Get Older

Have you ever noticed that people become more of who they are as they get older? Over the years adversity chips away the exterior facade, leaving our true selves exposed.

I witnessed this first-hand with my maternal grandfather. As he got older, he always seemed to be complaining. He shuffled through life with a frown on his face, grumbling about this or that. He appeared irritated at everyone and everything.

How to Create a Life-Changing Presentation

This is a guest post by John Richardson. He is an author, speaker, and digital media creator. You can explore his blog and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

The side lights dim in the auditorium and the speaker walks on stage. As they are introduced you notice something different about them. The way they are dressed commands your attention. They start to speak and you are quickly drawn into a powerful story. There is drama, tension, and intrigue.

Abstract Blue Sparks - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Nikada, Image #15137495

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

Soon you are tracking with them. You can relate to their struggles and you marvel at their tenacity. Soon they share how they overcame obstacles and found a way to prosper. And then they do something amazing. They offer to share their secret with you.

What’s at Stake If You Don’t Succeed?

In 1986 I started my own publishing company with Robert Wolgemuth. We had worked together at Word, Inc. and then at Thomas Nelson. Like a lot of young entrepreneurs, we had a big dream, a business plan, but few resources.

Orel hershiser Pitching

We raised enough money from investors to launch the company, but we were still strapped for cash. Regardless, we soldiered on, believing that God would bless our creativity, hard work, and commitment to excellence.

Personal Coaching for Those in Ministry

I have written previously about how to go further, faster. One of the best ways is to hire a personal coach. I have used coaches for more than a decade. I credit much of my success to this strategy.

Ministry Coaching International Website

The problem is coaches can be expensive—especially for those in ministry. That’s why I am especially excited about Ministry Coaching International (MCI). It was started by my good friends at Building Champions, the coaching company I use and recommend. MCI has the same philosophy as Building Champions, but it is specifically focused on—and priced for—ministry professionals.

Five Publishing Hurdles (And How to Clear Them)

If you’re an aspiring author, have ever wondered what happens to your book proposal after it arrives at the publishing house? Sometimes, I’m afraid, the acquisition process appears to be a sort of “black box.” Proposals are inserted into the black box and then disappear—for weeks. At some point they pop out. Most are sent back to the author with a rejection letter. A precious few actually become a book.

Runner Jumping Over a Hurdle - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/technotr, Image #7292467

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/technotr

But what happens while the proposal is inside the box?

In this post I want to describe the internal proposal review process. If you have ever wondered how in the world publishing houses decide what to publish, this post is for you.

Leading from a Distance

This is a guest post by Michael Sliwinski. He is the founder of the time and project-management application Nozbe (the task manager I use) and editor-in-chief of Productive! Magazine. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

I love my complicated situation. I lead an Internet company based in Poland (Central Europe). Most of our team is located there, with one person in Germany, collaborators in the USA and Japan—and me in Spain. And our customers are all over the world. Leading a company like this is complex but rewarding.

The Connected World - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/enot-poloskun, Image #7298729

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/enot-poloskun

We all work from home. It’s our lifestyle choice. Everyone works the way they want, at the time they want. It gives us all lots of freedom, but it also requires a tremendous amount of focus—and great leadership skills from me. I’m learning as I go, reading this blog every day as well as every leadership book I can find. I’m also a GTD (Getting Things Done) aficionado and this helps, too.

3 Actions You Can Take Now to Shift Your Emotional State

A few weeks ago, I had to speak five times in one day. I knew it would require a lot of me mentally and emotionally. My goal is always to give 110 percent. I want nothing left on the table when I finish.

Close Up of a Hand Down Shifting a Manual Transmission - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dtimiraos, Image #4801950

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dtimiraos

But, for some reason, I woke up that morning in a funk. I don’t know why. It was one of those things I couldn’t explain. But I didn’t like it and knew I needed to get myself in a better place if I was going to deliver on my goal.