Are You Confusing Leadership and Control?

4 Ways You Can Become a Person of Influence

I often hear leaders, particularly younger ones, complaining about their lack of control in various situations. “If only the sales department reported to me, I could consistently hit my budget,” they lament. Or, “If the production department reported to me, I would not have run out of inventory!”

What they are really saying is, “If I could control these people, I could guarantee the results.”

How to Make Positivity Go Viral in Your Organization

5 Ways to Avoid Catching an Emotional Cold

We’re used to hearing about people getting sick at the office. Someone brings in the cold or the flu, and it spreads. But that’s not the only thing that goes viral in the workplace.

For a couple of decades now, researchers have been studying something called emotional contagion. It’s important for leaders to understand because of the effect it has on our organizations.

The latest findings show us why you have to keep a close watch on the mood of your team. Managed well, it can energize your team to achieve results. Managed badly, it can poison all your efforts.

How to Ensure You Never Have Another Terrible Meeting

One Resource to Help You Stay Focused and Get Results

Ask leaders about the most efficient way to be inefficient, and I bet most will say “bad meetings.” But the hard truth is that meetings are not only inevitable, they’re also essential. Why?

If our teams are going to achieve major goals, we need to be able to plan, coordinate, and tackle problems together. The problem is that many meetings are the least productive use of our time, right?

The Best Business Books I Read in 2016

5 Titles that Triggered Massive Transformation for Me and My Team

I’ve worked in and around publishing my entire professional life, and I’ve written several books of my own. I believe in the power of books to help people improve and grow. Read the right books, and you can trigger massive transformation in your life.

More than any other business books I read this year, five titles especially challenged me, stretched my thinking, and helped me to grow personally and professionally. Each one also benefited my team in different ways. I bet they can do the same for you.

4 Innovation Lessons from the Crazy Success of Instagram

What Leaders Can Learn from One of the Fastest Growing Apps in History

I’m already seeing a lot of Christmas images on Instagram, and I expect to see a flood in the next few days. The company just announced it surpassed 600 million users.

Instagram launched in 2010. I joined a year later, but I only became a heavy user a couple of years ago. The company’s growth curve is phenomenal.

The Self-Leadership Secrets of Extreme Athletes

3 Takeaways from Dean Karnazes’ 153-Mile Race from Athens to Sparta

Sometimes leading a business can feel like running a marathon. That’s especially true when our goals seem ambitious, daunting, and a long way off. What could the sport of running teach us about reaching the finish line?

dean k running

I’ve been a fan of Dean Karnazes ever since I read his book, Ultramarathon Man several years ago. His story inspired me to run my first half marathon. So I eagerly devoured his newest, The Road to Sparta, which tells the story of history’s first marathon.

Why Gratitude Makes All the Difference in Hitting Your Goals

3 Reasons to Stay Thankful All Year

When I asked successful business and thought leaders how they prepared to reach their goals in the upcoming year, several said gratitude gave them an edge.

Some mentioned setting aside special time to reflect and express gratitude for all the positive they experienced. This close to Thanksgiving, that seems perfect this time of year. But why stop there?

Jon Gordon told me practicing gratitude one day a year isn’t enough. “If you do it daily,” he said, “you’ll notice incredible benefits and major life change.” The science backs him up.

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.

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.

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.

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