3 Key Revelations About Effective Teams

How Collective Feedback Creates Clarity and Innovation

This week my team met for strategic planning. We set aside several days so the leadership team could review our values, goals, and budget. We’re just finishing up today, actually.

But Day 1 was dedicated not just to leaders, but to the full team. Why? I prioritize my team. Customers are important for a business. But without a stable, effective team you can’t serve them well.

How to Become a Big Thinker

7 Steps Anyone Can Follow to Develop This Critical Skill

Last week I wrote about how the mindset of a successful creative differs from less successful ones. I listed thinking big as the No. 1 characteristic. Over the years, I’ve heard from countless people who struggle with this.

I get it. When we’re young, parents and teachers tell us we can do anything. We can become whatever we want! Then we grow older, and these same people tell us we must become more realistic.

Usually, that’s just code for small thinking.

Why You Should Welcome Problems

4 Upsides to the Challenges We Face on the Job

Several years ago, I was having a really rough day at the office. It seemed everything that could go wrong was going wrong—at the worst possible time.

I was the CEO of Thomas Nelson then, and one of my biggest authors was threatening to leave. I had a major position I couldn’t seem to fill, despite numerous interviews. And several of our customers were upset over what I had thought was a minor policy change.

“When will it ever end?” I thought.

3 Leadership Lessons from the Cubs’ Historic World Series Win

Because it Takes More than Skill to Beat the Odds

I’m not much of a baseball fan. I played in high school, but I lost interest after breaking my elbow. So while most of my friends were deep into game seven of the World Series, I went to bed. Then they woke me up.

Several of us were staying in a vacation home for a marriage retreat. It was almost midnight when I started hearing voices rise in the house. There was laughing and a lot of excitement.

I tried to go back to sleep. But I couldn’t. Now I was curious. What was going on out there? I wondered. Surely the game is over by now.

What Happens When Companies Forget About the Product

The One Thing You Must Do to Preserve Your Innovation Mojo

I used to watch Apple’s product events with eager anticipation. But when I watched the most recent one, I was disappointed. I’m a serious Machead. But if I’m honest, I think they’re losing their mojo. It’s a cautionary tale, one that Steve Jobs actually warned about.

Using IBM and Xerox as examples, Jobs explained the evolution of large, successful companies in two stages. In the first stage companies focus on products that solve customer problems. In the second they focus on sales and marketing.

7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Likability Quotient

How to Avoid Spraying Talent Repellant on Everyone You Meet

Ever wonder why some people are likable and others aren’t? Without a high likability quotient, it’s tough to succeed in almost any area of life—especially as a leader or entrepreneur.

If you want to win with people, they not only have to know you; they also have to trust you. Likability is the bridge between the two. It’s a prerequisite to trust. Why? I’m not going to trust someone I don’t like.

Encore Episode: Why Accountability Is Vital for Leaders [Podcast]

We completed Season 8 of “This is Your Life.” The podcast is currently on hiatus while we design a new and improved show. We’ll be airing some fan favorites in the meantime and will debut the new format in the new year. So stay tuned! Today, we have one of our most popular episodes to share with you. Enjoy this listener favorite!

In this episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss the topic of accountability in leadership. Most leaders avoid it. Real leaders embrace it.

The reason is that taking responsibility for your attitudes, actions, and overall results is tremendously liberating. Attempting to avoid accountability—playing the victim—keeps you stuck.

Listen to the Audio

5 Strategies for Becoming a Better Conversationalist

What Leaders Can Learn from a Good Game of Ping Pong

A consultant prospecting for business gave me a call a while back. I was reluctant to meet, but he was a friend of a friend. I mistakenly gave him thirty minutes to tell me about his company and services. Complete waste of time.

I gently tried to interject my thoughts, but he didn’t seem too interested in my point of view. Evidently, he had his script. He was determined to plow through it.

It made me wonder how many times I do the same thing with others.

Encore Episode: The 3 Forces That Shape Character [Podcast]

The podcast is currently on hiatus while we design a new and improved show. We’ll be airing some fan favorites in the meantime and will debut the new format in the new year. So stay tuned! Today, we have one of our most popular episodes to share with you. Enjoy this listener favorite!

In this episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss the importance of character and the forces that shape it.

Charisma may be useful in attracting a following, but it is largely useless when it comes to achieving a long-term, positive impact on the people and organizations we lead. For this, we need character. Effective leadership is an inside-out job.

Listen to the Audio

How to Regain Your Perspective After a Major Setback

Use this Proven 5-Step Process and Get Back on Track

It’s easy to lose perspective if you immerse yourself in the river of daily news. Things appear to be bad—and getting worse! The end of the world as we know it is right around the corner.

The media profit from our fear and anxiety, which is exactly why I stopped watching television news. It provides an incomplete picture at best. But things are not always what they seem.