Words as Self-Sabotage

3 Steps to Get Your Brain Back on Track

You are often your own worst enemy. It starts with the words out of your mouth and the voices in your head. From telling yourself that you aren’t knowledgeable enough to take on a new challenge to the nagging doubts about important career moves, the negative words in your mind are obstacles to the success […]

The Science of Words

How Repetition Can Be a Game Changer

The idea of self-talk elicits images of less-than-sane people muttering to themselves as they stumble about less-than-safe streets. I try not to look like that when I talk to myself. In theory, this means ensuring my internal monologue is actually internal when other people are about. In practice, people are always sneaking around corners and […]

Words That Changed History

Why Lincoln, Henry, and Sojourner Truth Stood Out

People have delivered countless speeches in history. But even speeches delivered by the most prominent people, on the most auspicious occasions, routinely make little difference. Think of presidential speeches, like inaugural or State of the Union addresses. How many of them had any lasting impact? Just a few, like John F. Kennedy’s 1961 exhortation to […]

The Science of Naps

Snooze Now, Conquer Later

My two-year-old is asleep for the third time today. I thought I had developed a clever disciplinary method when I started telling him that cranky kids need naps, and sending him to bed multiple times. Turns out I was being more clever than I knew. Instead of being better behaved, he just keeps going to […]

Bouncing Back After Burnout

Real Stories from Leaders Like You

The intentions are noble: You want to buy a house with a backyard for your kids, pay off debt, or do something to actually justify the $50,000 worth of student loans that feels like a noose around your neck. You vow to work harder than everyone else on your team, to be the first one […]

The Importance of Play

Have an Adventure, Wherever You Are

This past weekend our family had to cancel a special trip to a friend’s lake house that had been circled on the calendar for months. Our initial weekend plans had play and adventure built into them to recharge the grownups, help us finish a busy season well and open our minds up to new possibilities […]

Get a Life!

Leave All Work and No Play in the Dust

For my first job in Washington, DC, I worked very long hours. One night, a rare dinner date was lined up. “What time do you get off?” my date asked to coordinate. A long, awkward pause followed. “It’s kind of a philosophical question,” I finally admitted. That was fine by me at the time, but […]

5 Ways to Hold Shorter Meetings

Take Things to the Next Level, in Half the Time

When Bryan Stockton was pushed out as CEO of toymaker Mattel, he fingered a complacent company culture for dipping profits. In fact, he went one step further and blamed the lack of innovation on bad meetings. Stockton’s story has been on my mind because I’m releasing a new book today called No Fail Meetings. Meetings […]

How to Shut Down Annoying Meeting Behaviors

Tips for Dealing with 8 Common Disruptors

As a young leader, I was excited to attend the annual gathering of my professional organization. It promised three days of learning and networking, plus a few business sessions. During the first session, one of my elder colleagues, a man wearing bright red suspenders, rose to ask a question, something something about whether a point […]

How Did We End Up with So Many Meetings?

A History of Distrust and Micromanagement

Meetings are a necessity. Meetings also often stink. Typically, they are a waste of time. There are too many meetings—and most of them are often poorly-organized, lack coherent agendas, serve to do little more than reaffirm hierarchies than achieve results. As a result, poorly-run meetings cost companies $37 billion a year in lost productivity. Employees […]