Why Vision Matters Now

I originally wrote the following article as part of What Matters Now, a free eBook that Seth Godin created and compiled a few years ago. However, I think it may be more relevant now than ever. What do you think? Leave me a comment at the end of this post.

Vision is the lifeblood of any organization. It is what keeps it moving forward. It provides meaning to the day-to-day challenges and setbacks that make up the rumble and tumble of real life.

Window Cleaner Using a Squeegee to Wash a Window - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/BrianAJackson, Image #19515449

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/BrianAJackson

In a down economy—particularly one that has lasted so long—things get very tactical. Most are just trying to survive. What worked yesterday does not necessarily work today. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Decisions become pragmatic.

How Your Life Is Like a Tapestry

A few years ago, I had breakfast with an old college roommate. We hadn’t seen each other in twenty-two years. To my surprise—and delight—he looked almost exactly as he did the last time I saw him. The only difference was that his blond hair was mostly gray.

A Beautiful Tapestry - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/InCommunicado, Image #4413064

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/InCommunicado

We spent an hour or so eating and reminiscing. We talked. We laughed. And we listened.

How to Build (or Rebuild) Trust

Trust is to an organization what oil is to a car engine. It keeps the moving parts from seizing up and stopping forward motion.

Trust in Building a Human Tower - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/nuno, Image #4239994

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/nuno

But trust is not something you can take for granted. It takes months—sometimes years—to build. Unfortunately, you can lose it overnight.

How Penguin Leadership Will Change Your Team Culture

This is a guest post by Sean Glaze, a team speaker and motivator. You can check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

What do penguins have to do with leadership and changing your toxic team culture? More than you realize.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mlenny

The power of a few can influence the behavior of many. Leadership, as John Maxwell suggests, is really nothing more than influence.

How Leadership at Home Affects the Rest of Life

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by John G. Miller, author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question. You can visit his website and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Have you ever heard—or asked—questions like these at work? “Who dropped the ball?” “Why can’t that department do its job right?” “When will we find good people?”

These questions lead us into the dangerous traps of blame, victim thinking, and procrastination—ones that leaders work hard to avoid while on the job.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jhorrocks

But what if the person asking these questions was also a parent and later returned to their family, asking: “Who made the mess in here?” “Why won’t he ever listen to me?” “When will my spouse help out more?”

Find Your Mountain

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Steve Kaplan. He grew a marketing company from start-up to $250 million in sales with offices in 14 countries before selling it for $2.1 billion. You can visit Steve’s blog, follow him on Twitter, or connect with him on Facebook. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

When you’re in charge, it’s easy to get accustomed to having the people follow your wisdom simply because you’re the leader.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/WLDavies

But when was the last time you took a real risk, putting yourself out there with the possibility of failure? Have we become so used to leading that we’ve forgotten what it took to get us there?

Does Your Marriage Have a Mission Statement?

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Dr. Ann, who is a doctor, wife, and mom. You can visit her blog (which is syndicated on Crosswalk) or follow her on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

The YMCA has a mission: to improve lives by strengthening spirit, mind and body. Coca Cola has a mission: to refresh the world. Star Trek even had a mission: to boldly go where no man has gone before!

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/LivingImages

What about you and me? Could we do with mission statement for our marriages? Yes, and here’s why: Many of us enter into marriage somewhat blindly.

6 Characteristics of Spiritual Leaders

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Bob Hamp, the Executive Pastor of Pastoral Care at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. You can find his blog or follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

As believers, we recognize the value of imitating Jesus and His leadership style. But if we really think about it, it’s strange that we try to emulate a leader who never developed an organization, regularly encouraged people to stop following Him, and ultimately saw His death as the pinnacle of His accomplishments.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/AurelianGogonea

What kind of perspective must a leader have to place high value on these kinds of strategies? Jesus was not a manager. His primary role was to function as a spiritual leader.

3 Important Habits for Building Influence that Matters

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Jeff Goins, who is an author, speaker, and blogger that lives in Nashville. You can read his blog, follow him on Twitter, and check out his eBook on getting published. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Last year was crazy. In six months, I received a publishing contract, started speaking for live audiences, and launched a writing career—all without having to quit my day job. How did it happen? I built a platform. But what does that mean?

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mediaphotos

If you want to find and lead your “tribe,” you are going to have to be intentional about the process. The first place to start is with building relationships. I’ve cultivated three important habits that have helped me do this.