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

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.”

Prudence: The Forgotten Word in Leadership

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There are a lot of books on leadership from a variety of perspectives. But none that I know of on the subject of “prudence.” In our culture today, prudence has become an uptight, unfashionable word. In fact, in our sex-obsessed society, the idea of “prudent” is the last thing anyone wants to be. But let’s look at the definition:

How To Get Noticed On The Job

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I heard an employee described recently as a person who “simply passes everything on.” They meant he was someone who never takes responsibility, never deals with the issue, and never fixes the problem. They simply pass it on to someone else. How many people do you know who do exactly that?  Today’s lesson:

Should You Consider a Lawsuit Over a Negative Social Media Post?


I’ve spent time on this blog warning social media users about inappropriate posts.  But should a church, nonprofit, or company start a lawsuit over a critical social media post?  Outside the United States, it’s almost open season on employees who post negative content about their job on social media – largely because freedom of speech isn’t such a valued principle as it is in the United States.  In fact, defamation is becoming a huge issue on social media sites and legal action is dramatically increasing internationally. In Canada, 15 percent of all Web 2.0 rulings were on defamation cases. In France, it’s 49 percent.  However,

Leaders Should Never Control Employees By Keeping Secrets


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:

What Do You Hate About Your Career That You Need To Embrace?


I travel more than any normal person should. Because of a global speaking schedule, clients from across the country, and filming projects around the world, I spend way too much time in airports. In fact, last year, as I walked up to the American Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) the lady behind the ticket counter looked up and said

Your Boss Won’t Listen? Then Quietly Make Changes On Your Own


I met someone recently who heard me speak at an international conference a few years ago. She was managing the local office for a major American media ministry in that country. She told me that after hearing me speak at the original conference, she was excited to go back and start using the ideas I shared, but when she talked to her boss, he

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


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: