How Deep Work Can Change Your Life Forever

3 Strategies to Overcome the Distractions

How many of your work hours are wasted on distractions? Probably more than you think. Financial management service Think Money researched the question, and their findings are eye-opening.

According to their 2015 report, distractions annually eat up 759 hours per worker. That’s just one hour shy of twenty complete 40-hour workweeks every year!

Now flip the question around. How much time do you spend on deep, focused work? I’m talking time where you’re not interrupted and where you’re working on your top, most important priorities. The answer people constantly tell me is “not nearly enough.”

The One Thing You Need to Create Wow Experiences

How to Overcome the 5 Obstacles to Excellence

Today’s marketplace is more noisy and competitive than ever. If you want to capture—and keep—your audience’s attention, you need to build wow into whatever you’re offering. But that’s harder than it sounds sometimes.

Several years ago, when I was CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, I had a conversation with one of our editors. He had just finished a new manuscript from one of our biggest authors. I asked, “So what did you think?”

“Honestly?” he replied, slightly hesitant. I assured him that I wanted the truth, and he gave it to me. “Not great,” he said.

The Most Under-Appreciated Characteristic of Strong Leadership

3 Ways to Leverage Humility and Avoid the Trap of Overconfidence

Why do smart people make terrible decisions? At Catalyst several years ago, Malcolm Gladwell answered that question by going back to the Battle of Chancellorsville during the American Civil War.

“Fighting Joe” Hooker was a Major General in the Union army. In 1863 he squared off against General Robert E. Lee in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near the village of Chancellorsville.

How to Be a More Energetic Leader

5 Things You Can Do Today to Regain Stamina and Enthusiasm

On more than one occasion, I’ve heard Andy Stanley say, “The best thing a leader can bring to his team is his energy.” I agree. This has certainly been my experience.

As a leader, everything you do is contagious. If you are discouraged, pessimistic, or lacking in energy, people will feel it. The organization will reflect it. It will spread faster than an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

What Happens When You Confuse Friends, Critics, and Trolls

3 Key Differences and What They Mean to Your Business

If you’re a leader, you’re going to attract critics. I say this from experience as an author, public speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO. It goes with the territory. But let’s be honest: criticism stings.

Theoretically, I know if you put an idea or product out in the world, it’s just the price you pay. But emotionally, it knocks me off-kilter almost every single time.

The Secret to Hiring Great People

5 Steps to Give Your Organization a Personnel Push

Leaders frequently tell me they have a hard time recruiting great people to join their organizations. When I ask about their hiring process, I often find one missing element: sales.

Recruiting great people is similar to any kind of sales process. Your company is the product. Prospective employees are your customers. The recruiting process is not just about filtering candidates—it’s also your sales pitch.

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.