Where is Your Energy Going As a Leader???

You bring energy to work every day, where and how you direct it should be a conscious decision. Typically, most energy flows to keeping things running, which is fine, but some leaders do not focus enough on developing their team or organization. While others actually do not put enough energy into the system, or worse, use their energy to create problems.

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Are You Mission-Driven or Tribalistic?


Do you put the goals and needs of your department before the goals of your organization? Do you do things that undermine other parts of the organization such as: poaching employees, complaining about them in front of your staff, actively competing with them? Are you unresponsive or slow to respond to their requests? If you do any of these, you may be tribalistic. That is, you’re identifying solely with your group and not with the whole organization.

Of course being loyal to your department is a Continue reading

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Handle a Painful Experience With Skill and Tact


Several years ago I had a fall rock climbing and caught my foot on a ledge. I didn’t break it, but it hurt like I did. It wouldn’t have been such big deal except that I was planning on climbing two 10,000 foot volcanoes in Oregon . I could have backed out, but I traveled across the country to climb them and I really hated the idea bailing. After the first day of climbing, my foot looked pretty ugly. My climbing partners asked if it hurt. I told them “only when I stepped on it.” They laughed and said Continue reading

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Do You Have Emotional Courage?


I heard this from a friend not too long ago, “I’m just so unhappy, I don’t think I can do this job anymore.” When I asked her what was up she told me that she was totally stressed out and that she was in constant fear of losing her job. After a short discussion, it was clear that there was no real threat to her job, just some deep-seated anxiety. When I suggested that maybe she should talk to a professional she told me, “I know what my issues are”. In other words Continue reading

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How to Use Mindfulness to Enjoy Work More

I partnered with doctor Jose Ribas to developed the below 4 module program on Mindfulness.  Mindfulness is a Buddhist practice that focuses on emotional awareness in the present moment and uses meditation to help manage those emotions and improve your overall sense of well-being.  This popular practice is used by millions to help ease a variety of mental and physical conditions including stress and anxiety. 
This program was designed to be used alone or in groups and is broken out into 4 short videos:
You can view these videos from any device with internet connection, including your phone.  Please feel free to share these videos with others and, if possible, try to incorporate viewing them during team meetings and see the positive effects it has on everyone! 
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What To Do if You Get Written Up at Work

The first time I had to give someone a written warning as manager I was dreading it. An employee of mine was consistently late in submitting her paperwork and  I was forced to write her up. She took it very graciously and even thanked me. I was relieved and surprised it went so well. A few day later she spread a rumor that I was sleeping with someone in office. Yeah, I guess she didn’t take it as well as I thought.

Get it Together

Being disciplined is difficult, here are some suggestions on how to Continue reading

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Stop Believing in Yourself (at least stop believing in what you can’t do!)

In 2001 Takeru Kobayashi, a  5.9, 128 pounds young man from Japan broke the world record in his rookie appearance in the world hot dog eating championship. The record had been 25 hot dogs in 12 minutes. He ate 50. In 2008 Ueli Steck, a Swiss mountaineer, broke the record for the fastest climb up the 9,000 foot North Face of the Eiger. Typically, a fast-moving mountaineer team usually takes 3 days to summit this vertical snow and ice climb. He did it in 2 hours, 47 minutes, and 22 seconds (check out the jaw dropping video).

Both are extreme examples of going well beyond the limits of what was thought possible. A lot of hard work went into establishing their records, but what they both had in common was that the two of them were immune to what are called “limiting beliefs.”

Limiting beliefs are those restricting convictions we hold about our abilities. These kind of beliefs stop us from trying something hard or force us to give up to early. Takeru and Ueli could have easily succumbed to the view their goals were not possible. They were able to reach their full potential by ignoring the negative messages, overcoming any fear of failure, and surrounded themselves with positive people.

The following graphic describes how limiting beliefs are formed and how they can be overcome.

Limiting Beliefs

The external messages, such as, “you can’t do it”, come from others or society in general. These Continue reading

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How to Behave in Your One-on-one Meetings with Your Boss

one on one form
Over the years, I have sat through hundreds of one-on-one meetings with employees. Most were great, but too often staff would come unprepared. When that happened, all we could do is talk about what they did for the past two weeks and they would be forced to listen to my worldly advice. Not terribly productive. So, I started to mandate that they come with an agenda. When the didn’t, I would reschedule the meeting or cancel it.

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Why Being Responsive will Make You Successful

ResponseHow many people are you waiting on to get back to you with something you need so you can do your job? Someone to an answer an important question, approval on proposal, data for a report?  I currently have six. Three I know will get back to me soon, two will eventually, and the last one never gets back to me, so I already anticipate that I will have to hide in the bushes and tackle him when he walks by. I don’t know about you, but working with people who are slow to respond or just completely unresponsive makes me crazy.

This is a classic “soft skill.”  You don’t need any technical knowhow; you just have to value the principle of Continue reading

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The Simplest Way to Advance Your Career? Talk!

business people talking on business meetingEarly in my career, I had a job where I wasn’t feeling very challenged. So I gave my notice. When the CEO of the company found out, he approached me and the asked if I would be interested in staying and running a department. I was taken aback because I had no idea that he saw me as management potential. I told him that it would have appealed to me, but unfortunately I had already committed to my new employer. He said that he understood and told me that we probably should have had this conversation a while ago. In the end, it all worked out for me, but I still wonder if it was an opportunity missed. Continue reading

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