The Awesome Power of Showing Appreciation

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Tracy Letzerich, a stay-at-home mom and former strategy-consultant-turned-algebra-teacher. She blogs at Time With Tracy. You can also follow her on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

It doesn’t matter whether your office is a boardroom, classroom, or laundry room. There are people who do things for you every day. Employees, colleagues, and family are expected to do their part. Do they know that you appreciate them?

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It was a typical Monday, and I was about to churn out a business-like email to my husband. Have you heard back from the tax guy? Don’t forget the teacher-parent conference on Thursday. Oh, and the neighbors are irritated because you put the recycle bin out on the wrong day.

In the middle of composing this gem of gentle reminders, a terrible realization came over me: I send a similar email to my husband every Monday. Imagine his excitement when my name appears in his inbox! I began to wonder. Does he know how much I appreciate him?

Why You Should Be Living for the Future Now

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Mary DeMuth. She is an author, speaker and book mentor. You can read Mary’s blog or visit her on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

I love it when I get to spend time with my friend Randy Ingermanson who runs AdvancedFictionWriting.com. I always come away from our conversations challenged and changed.

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Our recent conversation happened in a hotel lobby in Dallas where he shared about something he learned about goal setting.

5 Ways for Leaders to Listen Harder

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Craig Jarrow. He is an author, speaker, and blogger on time management and technology. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

At a recent conference I attended, I heard someone say that the higher leaders advance in an organization, the less truth they receive.

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In the conversation that ensued, it was discussed how executives receive less feedback from their teams and organizations. This was attributed to positional authority, employee job security fears, and other organizational factors.

When Leadership Fails

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Jeremy Statton, an orthopedic surgeon and writer. You can follow his blog, connect with him on Twitter, or download a free copy of his book Grace Is. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Rainy days. Flat tires. The worst case scenario. As the saying goes, it happens. And so does poor leadership.

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Leadership failures are often the result of:

  • Poor planning
  • Inexperience
  • Stubbornness
  • Lack of vision
  • Pride

It happens more often than we would like to admit, especially when it is our fault.

Don’t Wait for a Funeral to Give a Eulogy

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Michael Smith, a blogger and associate pastor in Franklin, TN. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

We typically wait until the end of a person’s life to give a eulogy, to say nice things about someone. But why wait? Why not start now—when the words can have the most impact?

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Earlier this year, my family celebrated my father’s eightieth birthday. It was a fun celebration with friends and family.

5 Strategies for Becoming a Better Conversationalist

A few weeks ago, I was called by a consultant who was prospecting for business. He was a friend of a friend, so I felt duty-bound to give him thirty minutes to tell me about his company and the services he provides. Sadly, it was a complete waste of time.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dwphotos, Image #6070301

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dwphotos

For starters, the guy talked non-stop. I probably didn’t say more than three sentences in the entire call. Worse, he made all kinds of assumptions about me and my business. Most of them were wrong.

How Can We Solve the Man Problem in the Church?

This is a guest post by Patrick Morley, author of The Man in the Mirror, one of the bestselling men’s books of all time. I had the privilege of publishing that book in 1989 and even came up with the title. For more than 20 years, Pat has led a successful men’s ministry called Man in the Mirror. It is committed to helping pastors and churches equip men for success in every area of life. And now, MITM is hiring. Please help us get the word out!

Everyone knows we have a “men problem.” You can hear about it on CNN, read about it in the New York Times, and watch the destruction it creates on Dr. Phil.

The stats are jarring. For example, 80 percent of men are so emotionally impaired that not only are they unable to express their feelings, but they can’t even identify their feelings. The collateral damage is staggering. One-third of America’s 72 million children will go to bed tonight in a home without a biological dad.

Turning Failure to Your Advantage

In 1991 I, along with my business partner, suffered a financial meltdown. We had built a successful publishing company, but our growth outstripped our working capital. We simply ran out of cash.

Exhausted Businessman

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For a while our distributor funded us in the form of cash advances on our sales. But eventually, their parent company wanted those advances back. Although we didn’t officially go bankrupt, the distributor essentially foreclosed on us and took over all our assets.

Three Lessons I Learned from Getting Fired

It’s easy to look at successful people and envy their situation. What you often don’t see is the pain they went through to get there. That certainly applies to me.

I didn’t eventually become a CEO because I made fewer mistakes than you. In fact, it’s probably just the opposite. I made more. In fact, I’ve been fired from three jobs in my career.

An Employee Being Shown the Door - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/nullplus, Image #10081269

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/nullplus

Each of these was a very painful experience. But these experiences also taught me important lessons that I probably could not have learned any other way.

7 Steps to Take Before You Quit Your Job

Face it. You will eventually quit your job. It may be this year. It may be next. It may be ten years from now. But it’s inevitable. It’s only a matter of time. The only real question is how to do it in a way that doesn’t burn your bridges. You never know. You may want to come back. At the very least, you may need a reference.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/kledge, Image #5071987

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/kledge

Unfortunately, many people don’t always end their tenure at a company as well as they begin. The key, in my opinion, is to begin with the end in mind. As leaders, we should be intentional about everything we do—even quitting.

Ten Difficult, But Really Important Words

Many words in the English language are difficult. In fact, there’s even a Dictionary of Difficult Words. But none are more difficult than these: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”

Young Couple Standing on Opposite Sides of a Wall - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mediaphotos, Image #14615005

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mediaphotos

Many otherwise articulate people seem to have great difficulty in spitting these words out. They hem and haw. They stutter. They may get something close out, but they have a hard time slowly and deliberately saying these ten simple words.