What to Do When People Don’t Recognize Your Talent or Potential


If your goal is to make an impact in your career or calling, it won’t be long before you meet someone who doesn’t recognize (or even dismisses) your talent. Early in my career, I worked for a man who thought so many of my ideas were stupid that he fired me. But after I left, I used those same “stupid” ideas to help other organizations do amazing things. But sadly, my experience has been echoed throughout history. For instance:

The Origins of the College Student Assault Against Free Speech


I don’t normally write about social issues, but with so much media coverage and hundreds of articles written about the assault on free speech from students at the University of Missouri, Yale, Claremont, and other colleges, I wanted to make a connection. From objections about Halloween costumes, to the right to a “safe place,” to shouting down speakers they don’t agree with, to a hundred other “micro-aggressions,” today’s college students are being called “cry bullies” for wielding their victim status like an axe. Where in the world did this come from? And while 

How ISIS Uses Media to Expand Its Influence


President Obama’s declaration recently that ISIS had been “contained,” asserting that the terror cell had been stalled in Iraq and Syria, has been picked apart from lots of angles – especially after the Paris attacks happened just hours later. Along with the other criticism of the statement, it also reveals how little most of us understand that

Why People Skills Trump Everything


A leadership principle that I strongly believe is that “People skills are more important than whatever skill it takes to do your job.”  You may be a brilliant lion tamer, bus driver, coach, teacher, salesperson, or marketing director. But if you can’t get along with people on your team – and better yet, inspire them – the odds are you’ll never get far enough to

Everything Communicates

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Something leaders, speakers, and communicators often fail to understand is that everything communicates. That means it’s not just the message you share, but it’s the clothes you’re wearing, your attitude, the way you stand, the lighting in the room, and many more things impact

Forget Your Ability If You Can’t Get Visibility

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In today’s hyper-competitive, distracted culture, it’s time we realized that it’s not the customer’s job to find you, donate to your cause, or buy your product, it’s your job to find them. I was in a meeting with a business group the other day and one of the board members vented in frustration: “We’ve been producing an incredible product for decades! Why aren’t people buying it?” I told him that’s analog thinking from yesterday. In the old days 90% of the battle was

How Being Late Can Damage Your Reputation


I’ve written before about chronically late leaders and the damage it causes, but now we’re seeing the direct impact that regularly being late can have on your career. No less than the Mayor of New York City – Bill DeBlasio is taking a beating from his peers and the press because he’s chronically late. Apparently, he has a long history of tardiness, and the Wall Street Journal reports: “People close to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spent months in 2014 urging him to stop being late for events, worried the habit was damaging his image and overshadowing his accomplishments.”

Porn When You Don’t Want It


Just when you thought you had protected your family from pornography on the computer, there’s another threat that’s potentially even more significant. The new porn highway that drives right into your family home is available via your mobile devices. Sure you can filter search engine results there as well, but what I believe are much bigger threats are

Stop Taking Meeting Notes And Start Writing Action Steps


Possibly because of a tragic final exam experience in college, I’ve become an obsessive note taker. I have a couple of note apps on my iPhone, I have two notebooks in my briefcase, and I carry small index cards and a tiny pen in my pocket everywhere except bed (but I also have a notepad and pencil on my nightstand.) After client meetings, I used to walk away with pages of notes. But a few years ago I realized

The End of The Cult of Self-Esteem?

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Culture Watch:  You absolutely have to read this article from Britain’s “The Telegraph” written by Allison Pearson. I picked it up when Kathleen and I were in London this summer helping produce the media for The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary at the O2 Center. Essentially, it’s the story of a school in Lancashire that has banned naughty children. Actually, what they mean is (ignoring several centuries of compelling evidence) the school had decided there is no such thing as a a naughty child, there is only