Relevant Leadership Blog

Humanize People

Seeing an individual as human, as a person, is one of the most difficult things for leaders to do. We interact with humans everywhere we go, but they come and go without us seeing their humanity.  This happens in our organizations as well. One of the most important gifts we can give others is the gift of our time.  The word gift is used purposely.  A gift is something we give with no expectation of a return.  We simply give it because we value them as a human being.  Time is one of the most valuable resources of a leader. 

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Influence vs Manipulation

This week I was interviewed on a podcast where we talked about influence. One of the questions sparked a conversation around the difference between influence and manipulation. The truth is, while the connotations between these two words are extreme, the difference is subtle. There is an important warning to us as leaders when we purposely use emotions and feelings to influence.  We must check our motivations and desired outcomes.  If our motivations are selfish or our desired outcomes are self-centered, we will find ourselves manipulating not influencing. The fundamental difference between manipulation and influence is intent – intent based in

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What Are Employees Four Basic Needs?

  Last week I spoke at an Employee Benefits Summit that was focused on employee engagement.   I shared a message about how a leader’s approach impacts the commitment & engagement of their people.   I also sat in on some of the other sessions and in one particular session on employee engagement a lot of the research out of the Gallup Poll was shared. One of the key takeaways from the Gallup studies was The Four Basic Needs of Employees.   While we might think these center around fair compensation, flexible schedules, great benefits or a number of very

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People Learn What They Live and They Live What They Learn

This week I was introduced to a poem that struck a cord with me. As a father I believe this is a powerful lesson for parents. But as a leader and a leadership coach, I think the same principles apply. Last week on my blog I talked about how Leadership & Parenting is similar (Read Here) The truth is we are leading big kids and all people live what they learn and they learn what they live. As you read this poem – I want you to think about how you are leading.   Children Learn What They Live By

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Parents & Leaders Do 3 Things

  I have four kids. They are 13,11,9 & 6. For my career I speak to companies & write books on leadership. The more I think about it – they are the same thing. Parents & Leaders do three things. Parents help their kids feel: 1. Safe 2. Loved 3. Empowered to reach their potential Leaders help their people feel: 1. Safe 2. Loved 3. Empowered to reach their potential That’s easier said than done but at its core that is it. To help your people feel safe they need to feel important, heard, understood & a part. To feel

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Three Roles of the Entrepreneur

Yesterday I was watching Shark Tank and Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of Kind Bars, was a guest shark. In one of the discussions, he shared something very insightful. He said there are three roles of an entrepreneur. The first is the Creative. First, entrepreneurs need to create their product or service. They brainstorm and determine how to solve problems. The second role is Critic. I think many entrepreneurs miss this phase. They need to be the biggest critic to their plan. Play devil’s advocate. Try to poke holes in it in order to create the best product/service/plan. The third role

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Do You Speak Their Language?

This last week I’ve been traveling through Europe with my family. We spent 2 days in London, then 5 days in Portugal and we are in Spain currently where I had a speech for an international group.   We love to travel. I’ve personally been to nearly 40 countries. I’ve found things I love about every country I’ve been to but I noticed something during this trip.   I lived in Portugal for two years as a missionary and I speak the language fluently. The truth is you can travel virtually anywhere in the world and get by with English

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Leadership & Mindfulness

Have you ever received a phone call from a spouse or a child telling you they wrecked a car? How did you react? Was your first question – Are you ok? Or was your initial reaction frustration? Be honest. . Here’s the truth. It’s ok if you felt frustration or thought “why in the world”, it’s human nature, but it’s probably not best if you said it out loud. . Learning to listen to your thoughts & choose how you want to act is the practice of mindfulness. Learning to control your emotions is a skill that is developed through

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Good Leadership Is Attractive

Donald Sterling bought the then San Diego Clippers basketball team in 1981 but he quickly moved the team to Los Angeles where they became the LA Clippers. Sterling and his Clippers struggled through many painful seasons and they did not have their first winning season until the 1991–92 season, 11 years into his ownership. In Sterling’s 33 years of owning the Clippers through 2013–14, the Clippers lost 50 or more games 22 times, 60 or more on eight occasions, and 70 games once. Sporting News described Sterling as “one of the worst owners in basketball for decades”, while The New

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5 Mantras Every Leader Should Live

Leadership is challenging. It requires a high level of energy, constantly redefining priorities, and ever increasing capacity. It is also the greatest opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of others.   These five mantras should be internalized by any leader who wants to lead effectively.   Mantra 1. “Always stay a student” The legendary MMA fighter Frank Shamrock said, “Always stay a student.” Leaders who stay humble, approachable, and hungry are constantly learning, growing and therefore becoming more and more valuable.   Mantra 2. “Business Is About Relationships” My friend Jeff Rust, founded a company called Corporate Alliance where the fundamental belief is that Business is About

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