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?
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.
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.
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
- Lack of vision
It happens more often than we would like to admit, especially when it is our fault.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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?”
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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.