10 Research-Backed Ways to Create the Breakthrough You Need

Including One Trick that Works Especially Well for Introverts

Leadership and entrepreneurial breakthroughs depend on creativity. But we don’t always feel very creative, do we? Thankfully, research suggests we all have access to the kind of creativity we need to get the results we want—even if you don’t feel especially creative.

Last week I went fly fishing on Hesse Creek in East Tennessee. Nothing takes my mind off work like fishing. Worries and challenges fade into the background, and I find myself fully immersed in the present moment.

But it’s not about avoiding difficulties. When I’m finished I often find I have the clarity I lacked when I started. There’s something about the relaxation that actually sparks my best thinking.

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.

3 Ways Email Can Sabotage Your Leadership

When to Use It—and When to Avoid It Like the Plague

When I was the CEO at Thomas Nelson, one of our authors was frustrated. In response to a disappointing sales report, he fired off a blistering email to one of our divisional leaders.

He complained about poor results. He criticized the sales strategy and our failure to execute. Worse, he challenged the leader’s intelligence, competence, and work ethic. This thing was so hot, it nearly melted the servers.

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.