Three Questions To Ask Yourself For Maximum Performance

In a conversation on adding value, New York Times bestselling author Brendan Burchard proposed three questions we should ask ourselves. As you finish a project, contribute to the team or look for ways to add value as a partner leader, I want you to ask yourself these three questions on a regular basis. I put it on a sticky note as I was writing my book Partnership is the New Leadership because I want the content to add enormous value. Answering all three in the affirmative will accomplish that goal. Question 1. Is what I am creating/contributing distinct? Is your contribution different in a significant way? Is it adding value in a way that no one else has done? Does it stand out? Does it look and feel aesthetically unique? Is it something that will impress people because it is coming from an angle that others haven’t thought of? It’s
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Don’t Make Others Feel Small

I was once having a conversation with my assistant about another person. She paused for a moment and said, “Can I be honest?” I said, “Of course.” en she said, “Every time I interact with him, I feel like he has somewhere more important to be. He makes me feel like I don’t matter, like he is having the conversation because he has to and not because he wants to and he is ready to move on as quickly as possible.” Have you ever felt that from someone else? I’m sure we all have at one time or another. But the more pertinent question is, have you ever done that to someone else? My friend Kevin Hall wrote a great book called Aspire. In the book he dissects the meaning of words and in the first chapter he introduces an Indian word – Genshai. Genshai means that you never treat
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Empathy Is A Powerful Leadership Tool

In 2017 I chose Empathy as my word for the year. I studied it and tried to apply it more in my interactions with people. What I discovered is how important empathy is for great leadership. If we understand that leadership begins and ends with people, then we understand the need to develop relationships, make connections, partner with our people, and show empathy. Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. Empathy helps us lead individually not collectively. Empathy gives us unique insight into people. Empathy encourages leaders to understand the root cause behind poor performance. Empathy allows leaders to build and develop relationships with those they lead. Empathy as a state of mind breeds more listening, more understanding and, therefore, more leadership! When leadership is executed with empathy it changes lives. Bob Gay, who serves on the board of the Anasazi Foundation,
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Beware of Your Ego

  Ego makes a leader un-teachable and unapproachable – two leadership killers. Keeping your ego in check means making it about we not me. It means giving credit and taking responsibility.       If I were to ask what caused the financial crisis in 2008, what would you say? (Hint: e answer has nothing to do with money). A common belief is that it was incompetence that caused the fall, a lack of knowledge or skill needed to get the job done.   But if we believe it was incompetence that caused the financial collapse, then we are saying that everyone on Wall Street was an idiot, which may sound funny, but it’s not true. e people working on Wall Street and those who contributed the most to the financial crisis were some of the most competent people out there. What caused the financial crisis wasn’t incompetence but rather
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It Adds Up

  On the slopes of Long’s Peak in Colorado lay the ruins of a gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some 400 years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth. During the course of its long life, it was struck by lightning 14 times and the innumerable avalanches and storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. The insects ate their way throughout the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny, but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had not withered, nor lightning blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb.   Just
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Can You Be Genuinely Happy For Others?

Last week I overheard my son and his friend talking about something that happened in their class where everyone got a bag with a prize inside. They were talking about how one child got a better prize than everyone else. All the other children were saying “That’s not fair,” and “He doesn’t deserve that.” All were upset about why this one boy got something better than they did. After hearing my son and his friend hash this out for I while, I took the opportunity to talk to them about how important it is in your life to be able to celebrate others and not have to be upset or try and tear other people down because they did something or were able to succeed in some way you weren’t. I think that is one of the biggest problems that we struggle with in life is the ability to be
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What Makes A Leader Great?

Three years ago I was in South Dakota speaking for the managers of Riddle’s Jewelry and I had them break into groups to answer the question: What is the #1 quality or characteristic of a great leader? Each team was supposed to share just one word. One characteristic. We heard answers such as: example, communicator, genuine, passionate, & listener. Then one team combined trust & respect to form the word – Truspect. I teased the team for cheating and making up words and it became an ongoing joke throughout my speech. A few weeks ago I went back to South Dakota to be with the managers of Riddles Jewelry and they all made buttons with the word Truspect. It was funny & very clever. They are a great group. But I want to ask you – what makes a leader great? What is your #1 quality or characteristic of a
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Six Ways To Make People Like You

  When it comes to books about networking, building relationships and working with people, the undisputed classic is “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” Dale Carnegie wrote the book in 1936 and it has been read by millions of people since. One of the great realizations in the book is that although some people are more extroverted or affable, working with people is a learned skill that anyone can master. In the second section of the book, Carnegie offers what he calls “Six Ways To Make People Like You.” These are simple suggestions that can make a huge difference in the way you work with people.   #1 – Be Genuinely Interested In Other People. Studies show that the most frequently said word is “I.” People love to talk about themselves, their lives, their hobbies, their families, their passions, etc. When you interact with people, ask questions and allow
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Communication Is a Balancing Act

Ivanhoe is a novel set in twelfth century England written by Sir Walter Scott in 1820. Characters include King Richard, Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. It highlights the conflict between the Saxons and the Normans as well as the Christians and the Jews in that time period. Ivanhoe is a Saxon knight returning from the crusades. He wins the championship of a jousting tournament sponsored by Prince John but is injured badly. The beautiful daughter of Isaac the Jew named Rebecca nurses him to health.   Rebecca is wooed by many knights templar but refuses them all. She is arrested by the Templers for witchcraft and is sentenced to be burned by fire. As she defends herself, she is described as resolute but not defiant. I love that line: resolute but not defiant. I think communication is a balance, and just like Rebecca, we must find that balance. It’s being confident
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12-7-4

Stitched onto the Iona basketball jerseys are the numbers 12-7-4. It is a mantra for the team created by coach Tim Cluess. It stands for: 12 months a year, 7 days a week, 4 hours a day. That’s the minimum you need to put in if you want to want to be the best. To be the best takes hard work, there’s no way around it. You can have all the natural talent in the world, but to be the best, you have to put in the time. Legendary basketball player Kevin Durant once said “Hard work beats talent when talents fails to work hard.” Hard work will out perform talent in the long run. Whether it’s being the best basketball player, the best student, the best leader, teacher, storyteller, parent, it all takes hard work. But the good news is you can achieve the level you want to by
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