Why You Should Stop Taking Credit For Great Ideas

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To become truly fulfilled in your career or calling, you need to answer one important question: Which is more important: Making your ideas happen, or taking credit for coming up with those ideas?  I know people who pounce on every opportunity to remind people they came up with certain ideas or projects. They’re willing to stop discussions, interrupt brainstorming sessions, and derail conversations, because they feel absolutely compelled to

It’s Thanksgiving Weekend: Here’s What You Need To Know

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You’re reading this during Thanksgiving weekend because hopefully, you’re taking a little time off. But let’s push that “time off” thing a little more and see how we could use these few days to make a real difference. So here’s what I suggest you do this weekend, with a “Life Lesson” attached that will make an even bigger difference in your career and calling:

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:

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.”

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