How to Deal With the Whiners On Your Team

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Most creative teams are going to have at least one member who’s a whiner. Whiner’s focus on the negative, and thrive on complaining – often about the most insignificant things you can imagine. According to the Wall Street Journal, research indicates that productivity can be damaged by working alongside a chronic complainer. Exposure to non-stop negativity can disrupt learning, memory, attention, and judgement. The problem is more widespread than you think, because

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The Power of Being Brief

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I’ve written about this before, but until people get the message, I’ll continue to be a crazy prophet in the wilderness. Keep it short – please. I have a friend who can’t send an email less than 300 words. He feels compelled to add the backstory, all the details, the possible alternatives, and more. Even his simplest email drones on and on and on. I met with a producer recently who kept deviating from the pitch. He rambled on about

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Distractions Are Killing Your Creativity

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Here’s the facts:  A University of California, Irvine study revealed that employees working in open-plan offices (cubicles or around big tables) were interrupted 63% of their time at work. (63%!)  Employees with offices were interrupted 49% of the time. After each interruption, it took 25 minutes for the cubicle employees and 26 minutes for the office employees to get back on track. However, typically, employees turned to 2.26 OTHER tasks before getting back to the original task from which they had been interrupted. Which means,

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How to Stop Worrying About “Life-Work Balance”

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There have been hundreds of books, seminars, and consultants focused on helping people negotiate the demands of balancing life and work. Yes, there are workaholics who can’t seem to turn it off – ever. But here’s what I think: Life-work balance is only necessary when you’re doing a job you hate. That could cover a lot of careers obviously, because everyone has their own preferences. So if you hate your career (and plan to stay there) then yes – start working on the balance thing. But if you

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Fired After 40: How to Recover

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In the last year, I’ve met far too many people who have lost their jobs in their forties. In fact, it feels like an epidemic. Technology is transforming today’s workplace, and far too many people are caught by surprise when changes happen. On the job, we need to always keep our eyes open, look ahead, and see changes coming as much as possible. Certainly recovery can take a long time, but if you’ve been ambushed and find yourself on the street, here’s the first steps I’d take:

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Leaders Should Never Control Employees By Keeping Secrets

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This post isn’t about leaders keeping secrets about sexual affairs, mismanaged money, or harassment. That’s bad enough.  But this is about leaders who use secrets to control people and expand their power. Early in my career I worked for a leader who used secrecy to consolidate his authority. By withholding information from certain staff members, it became necessary to run everything through him – which made it obvious he was the guy in charge.  But here’s why that’s a disaster waiting to happen:

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The Perils and Prize of Leadership: An Interview with Dr. Sam Chand

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One of the most respected voices on church and ministry leadership today is Dr. Sam Chand.  On his website his tag line is “My Life’s Vision is Helping Others Succeed” – and he’s good at it.  Sam and I have shared a number of clients over the years and time and time again, I’ve seen him turn around struggling churches, inspire frustrated leaders, and transform the culture at failing organizations.  Recently, I did an interview with Dr. Chand because I wanted to share some of his experience,  wisdom, and insight on church and ministry leadership.  Take notes.  Share it.  This is powerful stuff:

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What’s Your Organization’s Priority?

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Short blog post, powerful question: Is your organization run by the best ideas, or an organizational chart? Leadership is important, but as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs put it: “You [the organization] have to be run by the best ideas, not hierarchy. Otherwise, good people don’t stay.”  It’s one of the biggest reasons teacher’s unions (and other unions as well) are in trouble across the country. They’re based on

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