Why Who You Work With Matters

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Changing the organizational chart of an organization has a limited impact.  But changing where people sit, has a massive effect.  That’s from Ben Waber, CEO of Sociometric Solutions, who uses sensors to track communication patterns in the workplace.  He says a worker’s immediate neighbors account for 40-60% of interactions a worker faces during the workday.  If you’re two rows away, it’s reduced to 5-10%.  The fact is,

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Why Your Boss Is The Key To Your Future

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At some point or another, everyone has boss problems. I’ve worked for bosses who were the owner’s son or daughter, and were completely incompetent. There are fine leaders out there who are second generation, but in my career, I’ve worked for some real losers. I’ve had other bosses that were insecure, others who were egomaniacs, and still others who wanted to be somewhere else. As a result, sooner or later, most employees dream of

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The Apps That Help Me The Most

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From time to time people ask me about the apps I use to navigate my life. From writing, speaking, producing, and leading our media production and consulting company Cooke Pictures, I’m a bit of an experimenter. But I’m not a geek and keep going back to simple and easy. Where my brilliant friend Michael Hyatt uses five apps, I use one, so my list will be a lot shorter than his. I’ve tried a lot of things over the years, and here’s a list of some of the key apps that make my life work better:

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Who You Work With Matters More Than You Think

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We all joke about our co-workers.  We’re close to some, others drive us crazy, and a few seem outright evil.  Since we spend so much of our lives working in the office, more and more studies show that who we work with has a huge impact, not only on our performance, but on our personal health.  A recent study from Tel Aviv University tracked 820 workers for 20 years.  They discovered that our co-workers impact our health more than the hours we work, the stress, or our boss.  And it’s pretty serious – working with not-so-kind colleagues, actually increases our risk of dying.  In fact,

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Enough With All the Drama!

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A significant number of organizations have what I call an “office hysteric.”  You know who I’m talking about – the person that takes everything to extremes.  They thrive on drama, and discuss everything with great emotion.  They’re addicted to superlatives, and tend to over-describe everything.  Sales results aren’t good, they’re “the most awesome results anywhere in the country.”   The project isn’t just working, “it’s going to change everything.”  They work in the negative as well.  When things look bad, it’s

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Why Crazy Rules Exist

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Over and over, I visit organizations that have incredibly stupid rules in place. One TV station had a rule that you had to switch between cameras every 10 seconds – no matter what. A church had a rule that you couldn’t change the lighting on the stage. A production company had a rule that you couldn’t have close-ups in a program. The list goes on and on – completely insane rules at otherwise apparently normal organizations. If your organization has rules like that in place – before you beat your head against a wall – here’s the reason:

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Your Ideas Won’t Happen with Someone Else’s Team

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I’m pulling this post from the archives because I was reading Matthew 9:16 about putting new wine into old wineskins or sewing un-shrunk cloth on an old garment.  In Biblical days wine was kept in a leather bag or “skin,” because it could stretch as the wine aged.  But once it got old, the bag locked into it’s shape and lost the ability to stretch.  The concept is particularly important when it comes to leadership.  A few years ago I was asked to consult with a major ministry that had been on the national scene for a long time.  Now, a new leader wanted to bring it up to date – make it more contemporary, fresh, and relevant.  But the first thing I noticed was

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My Pet Peeve of the Month – Weird Shaped Business Cards

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I’m bringing this post back from the archives, because it drives me crazy.  I know they look cool – those weird shaped business cards. Squares, skinny thin ones, or shapes like TV sets, cameras, books, or houses (if you’re a real estate agent.) But the truth is – they’re a real pain. They don’t fit into a business card folder, don’t play well with other cards in a stack, and generally are difficult to deal with. I know – you’re going to say, “But Phil, you always tell us to be different and stand out from the crowd.”   Yes, that’s important – but

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