Are You a Scapegoat?

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Over and over, I meet frustrated people who feel that somehow, they’ve become a “scapegoat” – and it’s usually in the office. I can understand their feeling, because far too many times I’ve personally seen teams where a particular person seems to be picked on, blamed, or takes the heat for most of what goes wrong. The truth is, life isn’t fair, and your co-workers – even in the best of situations – will sometimes


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


Why You Should Master the Art of the Apology

Banquet Table

Saturday night Kathleen and I “pre-celebrated” Mother’s Day at a nice Italian restaurant with our daughter Kelsey. Kelsey’s husband Chris is on the national Broadway tour of “Sister Act” and our other daughter Bailey lives in New York City so it was just us three. We were on our way to attend the screening of a new situation comedy produced by a friend, so we made early dinner reservations. As a result, we were the first people to be seated, and that’s when the trouble began. We ordered, and then


End Runs? Don’t Do Them


Last week I was in a meeting with Michael Solomon, former Chairman of Lorimar Telepictures (the largest TV production and distribution company in the world at the time), and then President of Warner Brothers International Television.  Now he’s the founder and CEO of the online Christian network Truli.  We were meeting at his house with a friend discussing an idea for a new TV program. At one point, the friend had a concern about a previous production relationship and wondered if it was worth going around them and using another company. With Michael’s long experience in the media business, I was fascinated with his answer:


Are You A Good Listener? Learn The Keys to “Selective Listening:”


Are you a good listener?  You’re not learning if you’re doing all the talking, and far too many people think they need to talk to get noticed.  So I asked the founder and CEO of Infinity Concepts, Mark Dreistadt, the secrets of listening well.  Have you ever been accused of “selective hearing?”  You know – the process that happens when you intentionally don’t want to hear something.  Well, there are actually five different ways we listen.  So here’s the 5 secrets to what Mark calls “Selective Listening” – how many have you experienced?


Why Your Point Person on a Project is Critical


At some point, your organization is going to work with a vendor, consultant, or other outside group. It could be about creating or updating a web or media project, hiring a builder, engaging legal advice, fundraising strategy, or a million other possibilities. Whenever that happens, there’s a critical issue that too many organizations don’t think enough about:  Your contact person. Some call them a “liaison,” a “go-between,” or “point person.” Whatever you call your employee that handles it, that role is


Insecurity – Do you (or someone you know) suffer from It?


Let’s talk about insecurity for a minute, because organizations around the world have employees (and leaders) who are riddled with it. Both religious organizations as well as Hollywood (interesting combination) are literally filled with people who suffer from insecurity. It’s a complex issue, and there are various resources available that cover the subject. The biggest problem for us is the chaos it creates in the workplace.


Nobody Cares About Your “Policy”

Talk to the hand

Kathleen and I are in Honolulu where I’m speaking at a international leadership event for the Salvation Army. If you know Kathleen, you know she can be rather direct sometimes. We decided to take a break today and go sit out by our hotel pool. It was hot, and when we got there, we noticed there were no umbrellas – except one. But it was closed. Kathleen went over to ask the pool manager if we could use it, and here’s the exchange: