Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

“Atomic Habits”

Catchy book titles grab my attention. That’s the case with the book Atomic Habits. I discovered one fresh insight that was worth reading the entire book. Here it is: Whether good or bad, habits accumulate. They have a compounding influence I did not think about before.  Positive habits associated with productivity, knowledge, and relationships can…

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The Zeigarnik effect

Chances are high that you’ve never heard of Lithuanian-Soviet psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik. I never have either, but I have heard of something called the Zeigarnik effect. This occurs when an activity you’re doing has been interrupted. This principle states that the interruption will make the activity more easily remembered. Recently it has been called the…

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Reflection

An important part of each day is a moment of reflection. It is the time to pause and take stock of your day. It is the time to think about what has gone well, and what could be done better. It is a time to acknowledge and appreciate the progress you have made, and a…

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Make your bed

You might have seen the viral video of Admiral William H. McRaven. He delivered the commencement address in May 2014 to the graduates of the University of Texas. He is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral who served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command. The speech’s theme was this:…

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Patience problems

It would be fascinating to graph the ups and downs of my life. It certainly would not be a flatline. My graph would be wrought with peaks and valleys. Many of “my valleys” have to do with patience or more accurately, my lack of patience. I just lost it again. My wife encroached on “my…

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. This is no great insight. What is interesting to investigate is how we use our strengths and weaknesses in leadership situations. I was taught years ago that it is important to know what you do well, but not to work at making your strengths even stronger. I was taught to…

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The goal of leadership

President Ronald Reagan once said, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Now that’s a powerful and inspiring statement. It speaks to the core of great leadership. So many of us get our vision clouded by…

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Leadership never happens in a vacuum

Why are leaders so hard to find? Is that a legit question or is it something people say when they don’t do the hard work of developing leaders in their circles of influence? The answer is “It’s probably both.” On one hand, it’s difficult to find leaders with characteristics like patience, competence, awareness, accountability, dedication,…

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Expect the unexpected

“Expect the unexpected.” On a surface level, this doesn’t sound like a leadership principle. It’s more of an observation. Life has a way of throwing you curveballs. Nobody “expects” to be in a car accident or to have a global pandemic foisted upon them. But it happens. So where does good leadership fit? Well, consider…

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“One bell”

There is an unseen factor that growing businesses and ministries share. The fact is most people ignore it.  People will look at any business or a ministry in my world and say, “Why is it growing?” They attribute growth to this or that, but one of the factors that is most commonly overlooked is unity…particularly,…

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Good leadership requires good preparation

“Tomorrow’s unknown crisis is not something to avoid in fear. It requires our attention and deliberation. We just need to have the courage to face the truth of our future’s uncertainty. We just need to be prepared.” That was a quote from Christopher Manske, an author and investment guru. Good leadership requires good preparation. Even the…

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Parkinson’s Law

My dad had Parkinson’s disease. You may know someone who has it. I’ll save the conversation about the condition for a later blog post. Something with the same name sounds like it might be related…but it’s not. It’s something called “Parkinson’s Law”. What is it? It’s the old adage that work expands to fill the…

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Great athlete, poor coach

Great athletes don’t always make great coaches. It’s one thing to play a sport with excellence. It’s another thing to teach and show someone else how to do it. Wayne Gretzky, known as “The Great One” in hockey circles had major shortcomings as a head coach. Magic Johnson attempted coaching the L.A. Lakers, but was…

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Fortune cookie effect

I read about something leaders call the “Fortune Cookie Effect”. I have never heard the phrase, but I sure have seen it in operation. So have you.  Simply put, the “Fortune Cookie Effect”  is a prediction that causes itself to become true.  Some call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’re the one that makes it come…

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Connections

If you want to influence somebody,  first you need to build a connection. Influence presupposes a link, a correlation, a rapport or a bond with the person. When you’re in sync with somebody, you have a better shot at leading.. The over-used word for this is “relationship.” I’m a bit reluctant to use it because…

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Seeing clearly

Is it OK to admit that I need glasses to read? I’ve been blessed to have 20-20 vision my whole life. Now I can’t read anything without help. I have to admit that it was pretty easy to take good vision for granted. Today however is a different story. As a matter of fact, you…

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The fastest path to change

My apologies to so many books on change and there on some good ones. “Switch” by Chip Heath is one. “Who Moved My Cheese” is a classic title. They’re both must reads for any leader, but I found that one of the fastest things you can change in any situation is you.  This is a huge…

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Find the surprise

Things that surprise us are easier to remember.  I was in high school at a Sadie Hawkins dance. Afterward, I took my date for a drive in my Mom’s car. When we stopped, we were leaning against the car. We both commented about how quiet the desert was that night. All of a sudden, above…

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What do I need to focus on?

With every “smartphone” update, there are new features to try out. My latest update features a way to “focus” your attention on a specific project without distractions. This is really helpful for me given my propensity to wander. But, it reminded me of the importance of figuring out “what do I need to focus on?”…

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Want to improve your leadership?

Most of my real estate friends would agree with this statement: “The three most important words in real estate are – location, location, location.” To be sure, location is huge in both residential and commercial sales. That being said, “What might be the three most important words in developing and growing in leadership?” Most experts…

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With words, leaders lead

I attended a Bible study with CEO’s and other leaders from the Phoenix area. The theme of the study was this: “Words are the most powerful tool of leadership.” That thought has stayed with me. With words, armies march. With words, peace starts. With words, love begins. With words, relationships end. And with words, leaders…

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Avoiding the wrong things

Leadership understandably means doing the right things and making the right decisions. But have you considered that equally important is making sure you don’t do the wrong things? These may be obvious, but here are two for a punchout list for you to consider. Don’t take credit for someone else’s work or accomplishments. I happened…

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When character is lost

Billy Graham said many profound things, but among them was this statement, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”   Why is it that character plays such a huge part in leadership? Character is fundamental to effective leadership because good character builds…

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Lead like a shepherd

What happens when leaders don’t lead well? It’s a great question. You can see it all over the place. It doesn’t take great insight to see the results.  Usually, there is a lack of direction, decisions are delayed or avoided, there is little or no motivation for anyone looking to them. It’s been said, “Everything…

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Frustrated

Life is fascinating.  It doesn’t always seem to turn out the way you expected. My dad and I went camping every summer.  I can remember the preparation checklist for camping…tent, lantern, sleeping bags, food, and fishing gear. One summer, we checked all the boxes preparing for our trip…except one…excessive rain. It rained so much, that…

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Generation to generation

Christine Caine shared this story at Catalyst West Coast. In the  2000 Olympics in Australia & 2004 Olympics in Athens & 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the 4×400 meter Women’s Relays, the American team should have won each time.  They had the best individual runners and had the best record of any other team.  They lost…

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Unchecked power

The Godfather was brought to life by Francis Ford Coppola. It was a fascinating case study on how power corrupts. Michael Corleone’s rise and fall is a case in point. His character starts off as an average soldier, and slowly he gets pushed by family business into a merciless murderer with no moral compass. Although…

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Lead, follow or get out of the way

You’ve probably heard the quotation before, “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way. Pretty bold statement. The quote is widely attributed to Thomas Paine but most scholars disagree because the quote doesn’t appear in any of his writings. However, it is attributed to General George S. Patton and the former Chrysler executive Lee Iacocca.…

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What’s the minimum required?

Most of us think that in order to make a big impact in our world, we must graduate at the top of our class. Or we must have extraordinary talents. Or we must have a large bank account. Those are great things and they can certainly be used to make a difference for good in…

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Loving the mundane

Love should be experienced. Let me explain. We can say we love a job. What does that mean? I believe it has to do with the joy you receive from the work you do as well as the passion you have for engaging in it. Without love, life is rather mundane. Jennifer Williamson once said,…

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