How to Spot the Best Leader in the Room


I’ve worked with national level leaders and creative people for a long time and sometimes I’ll be with a group I haven’t met personally. In those situations I’m always curious about who has the most experience, knowledge, wisdom, and vision, because that’s the person I want to get to know. And I’ve discovered a method that’s almost foolproof for quickly discovering that person within the group:

The Top 10 Secrets for Successfully Failing Up


Nearly everyone knows someone who’s “failed up.” In other words, no matter how many times they’ve failed, been fired, hurt co-workers, or created a catastrophe, they still seem to move up the career ladder. It’s frustrating to watch, and if you’ve ever wondered how they do it, here are the real secrets of “failing up:”

The Secrets of Confronting Without Offending


At some point, all leaders will be required to confront someone on their team. It may be about performance, personal behavior, mismanagement, or a host of other possibilities, but confrontation is critical – and inevitable – in all organizations. However, as Deborah Smith Pegues points out in her excellent book “Confronting Without Offending,” the key is to use confrontation to make better employees, not drive them away. Here’s a few of her tips for making that happen:

The Power of Admitting Your Mistakes


Even though we’ve all eaten Domino’s Pizza, few people know just how successful the company is today. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino’s Pizza was profiled for his success leading the company. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, when he took over the company was on a rapid slide to oblivion. People hated the pizza, and their PR was in the trash heap. But

Five Ways To Score A Meeting With Someone Important


We all want to get advice, pitch our ideas, ask for a job, or otherwise meet someone we admire. But chances are, that person is out of your orbit. So what are the secrets to scoring that important meeting? While everyone is different, and there are no guarantees, here’s five techniques that should help you make the connections you need:

How to Kill Your Career in 3 Easy Steps


Life can throw us a lot of curves. Our childhood, our parents, physical challenges, early experiences on the job, all indelibly imprint us with bad behaviors that are hard to shake. A woman abused as a child, a man whose father told him he’d never amount to much, a person who lives with insecurity. Big or small, they damage our relationships, the quality of our work, and our chances for success. But there are three specific personality “quirks” that really set people back from achieving all they could become in life. I’m not a psychologist, and don’t have all the answers for fixing these problems, but I’ve discovered that

Give Your Decisions a Good Jolt!


Recently, I’ve run into a number of companies, nonprofits, and churches who’s leaders have real trouble making good decisions (some have trouble making decisions at all).  Good decisions matter, and here’s a few of the keys to making the kind of decisions that will take your career to the next level:

Six Things That Can Hide Bad Leadership


Over the years, I’ve encountered some terrible leaders – many times in situations where their employees and coworkers actually thought they were a genius. Maybe you’ve experienced that as well. I started thinking I was an idiot, and it bothered me for a long time, until I realized that there are some key situations and cultures to watch for in organizations that can actually hide bad leadership.  Here’s the six most damaging:

Why You Need to Understand How Your Business Works


The last thing most of us creative types want to do is learn the business of anything. I want to create, and I’ve spent my adult career looking for a business partner to help me navigate the media industry. I’ve learned I won’t get very far if I don’t know how to make my creative dreams work in the real world.  Knowing how the publishing industry works won’t compromise your original idea, and it might open you up to