Leadership and Empathy Go Hand In Hand

  Great leaders understand that they are in the people business. • We need leaders who care more about people than they do numbers. • We need leaders who focus on being interested, not interesting. • We need leaders who use influence, not authority, to get things done. • We need leaders who talk with people, not at people. • We need leaders who truly care. 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
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Do You Love Reading?

Statistically very few Americans will read any books after High School, but I personally didn’t discover a love of reading until after High School. I had mentors that promoted reading for personal & professional development & I took it to heart. I have read thousands of books. Usually a couple a week on leadership, communication, relationships, high performance, parenting, psychology, history, etc… Reading has enriched my life & continues to make me better. I want my kids to establish this habit earlier than I did. They actually love to read & I want to encourage that but also add some non-fiction, personal development to their repertoire. So I grabbed a bunch of my favorite books & put together a summer reading library & an incentive program for them to read & review them. After reading the books, my kids will do a video review that I’ll post online so you
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A Storytelling Lesson From The NBA Playoffs

I love basketball almost as much as I love storytelling. Luckily for me, today they will come together. We are in the middle of the NBA playoffs and without question the single best player so far in the playoffs has been Kevin Durant. He is averaging over 30 points per game. And it’s not only this year. Durant has been the best player in the playoffs the last three years. In fact, in his entire playoff career he has averaged over 29 points a game which has only been outdone by Michael Jordan & Jerry West. The interesting thing to me is that for all of his greatness, he is still disliked and discounted by a large percentage of NBA fans. And I think the reason is a lesson in storytelling. I teach audiences that a great story follows a model of struggle to solution. You hook people with the
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Will 2019 Be Your Best Year Yet?

As of today, one third of the year is over. There are eight months left of 2019 and if we are going to make it our best year yet then let’s stop & take assessment. As of right now are you on track to hit your goals? Physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally Are you growing as a person? If you have built great momentum in the first four months, what do you need to do to maintain it? If you are struggling, what needs to change? What are your two biggest priorities in the remaining eight months of the year? I don’t know where you are but I believe in your ability to make the next eight months something incredible! . Here is to the rest of 2019!
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Wisdom from Brene Brown

Brene Brown has a new Netflix Special, The Call To Courage. If you don’t know who Brene Brown is … have you been living under a rock? Brene studies vulnerability, courage and shame and is on a mission to help people understand the power of vulnerability. Her definition of vulnerability is when we are willing to try not knowing what the outcome will be. We are vulnerable when we decide to have a tough conversation, when we share our mistakes & apologize, when we make a sales call or present our ideas. In all of those situations you don’t know the outcome & it takes courage & vulnerability to try. In Brene’s special she had two lines that hit me and I think they are worth sharing & exploring. “We talk about people, but we don’t really talk to people” – I often talk to leaders about conversational leadership and
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What Creates Influence?

J. R. Miller said, “No one can understand that mysterious thing we call influence … yet … everyone of us continually exerts influence, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain others lives.” What is influence? According to the dictionary, influence is “the power to sway or effect based on prestige, wealth, ability or position.” That definition would seem to suggest that affluence determines influence. And yet, one of the poorest women, in terms of financial wealth, the world has ever known was also one of the most influential: Mother Teresa. In a life devoid of materialism, Mother Teresa spread her influence of love and selflessness around the world. It was her lack of position, as we normally think of it, which touched so many. As much as anything she did, it was her words that spread a legacy
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Are You Genuinely Happy For Others?

I have two boys. Tanner is 10 years old and Drew is 8. They are best friends. Last year they become obsessed with American Ninja Warrior. Everything in our house became an obstacle and we soon found a ninja gym near our house for them to attend classes. Last month both boys competed in an area competition, Drew in the 6-9 age group and Tanner in the 10-11 age group. They both did great, but Drew qualified for regionals and Tanner did not.  Last Saturday Tanner and I went with Drew to support him in his regional competition. Drew did great and qualified for Nationals! It was so cool to watch but that’s not what I was most proud of on Saturday.  I watched Tanner cheer on Drew without a hint of jealousy, just genuine excitement. I actually had two different parents comment on how sweet of a brother he
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The Case For Storytelling

When I was twenty-one years old, my brother Scott and I started a business together. I quickly discovered that I didn’t have a lot of credibility when it came to influencing others. We had marginal success but not the kind we were after. So I started to study communication and influence. I read books, attended seminars, listened to audio programs, and practiced what I learned. Through my study I found some keys to how to tell my story and communicate my message that caused people to listen and to eventually follow me. We ended up building that business to over $20 million dollars in annual revenue while still in our twenties. I since have had a chance to share my influence strategies, as a speaker and author, with hundreds of thousands of people around the world. What I’ve discovered is that when it comes to communicating with others, most speakers,
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Go Serve Someone

On Tuesday I was running late to the airport.   I decided to park inside to be closer, but there was an attendant at the gate that said it was full and I had to go to the economy parking. I took the trip around the airport to get back to the economy parking and struggled to find a spot. After parking a long ways away from any of the bus stops I ran to catch a bus I could see in the distance only to find it was full. I waited another 5 minutes for the next bus as I got the notification that my flight was boarding. The second bus came and there was room. I got in ready to zoom to the terminal but there were several elderly passengers with wheel chairs, walkers and canes that all had to get off. At this point my anxiety was
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Can You Laugh At Yourself?

Last month my 12-year-old daughter, Andie, was diagnosed with scarlet fever, strep throat and the flu all at the same time.   She felt miserable and the rash from scarlet fever covered her body and face.  I felt horrible for her. At its very worse, she came downstairs and said, “Dad I look like I a tomato that got sunburned and then someone beat me up” 🙂   I loved that she could laugh at herself even in the midst of feeling bad and, well let’s face it, looking horrible.   For all of us, learning to laugh at ourselves has very positive benefits. Note that I said laugh at ourselves, which means that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This is not to be confused with negative self-talk and poor self-image.   Benefit #1 – It improves our health   According to psychologist and humor researcher Dr. Arnie Cann, Laughter
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