Relevant Leadership Blog

A Lesson In Marketing

Today I am in the virtual studio speaking to the leadership team at Charles Schwab. Let me tell you how that happened. 11 years ago I wrote an article on LinkedIn about how to grow your influence. It was read by Liz Hall, VP of Training for C&A Industries, a staffing company in Omaha, Nebraska. Liz got on my site and bought my book The Power of Influence. When the order came through I saw her title in charge of training so I emailed her and started a dialogue. A few months later I was speaking in Nebraska for Subway

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The Commitment Scale

    As a young entrepreneur I had a mentor who used to tell me, “If you treat your business casually, you will become a casualty of your business.” This advice has stuck with me for nearly 20 years and with time I have found it to be applicable in many areas beyond business. If you treat your health causally, you will become a casualty. If you treat your personal and professional growth casually, you will become a casualty. If you treat your marriage casually, you will become a casualty. If you treat parenting casually, then your kids will become

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Do You Know Your Value?

I love the lesson this little story teaches A father said to his daughter “You graduated with honors, here is a car I acquired many years ago. It is several years old. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you. The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because it looks very worn out.” The father said, ”Take him to the pawnshop.” The daughter went to the pawnshop,

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We’re All In This Together

My mind has gone back to this story several times in the last couple of weeks. Several years ago, my friend Cindy and her kids noticed that two robins had built a nest in one of their trees. As they paid attention to the robins’ activity they realized there were eggs in the nest. Those eggs soon hatched four baby birds. Cindy and her kids took ownership of the baby birds. They loved to watch them and would check on their condition regularly. Then one day as Cindy was putting clothes away in one of the kid’s rooms – she

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Influence and Charisma

We all know someone who is charismatic. They have a charm that can inspire devotion in others. My question is: What creates that type of Charisma? What produces that type of presence? One of the biggest keys to influence and charisma is being genuinely happy for other people’s success. When someone achieves something great – do you feel threatened by their success or do you celebrate it? One of the surest signs of someone being comfortable in their own skin is how they see others and how they can separate others experiences and achievements from their own. Too many people

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At The End of The Day – What Matters Most?

In my personal reading I came across some information about some beliefs of Ancient Egyptians. I found it all very interesting, but I was struck by their belief about what happens when you die. The Ancient Egyptians had a belief that when you died you were met at the gates of heaven and asked two questions. Your answers determined whether you were let into heaven or not. The two questions are these: 1. Did you experience pure joy in your life? 2. Did your life bring joy to others? At the end of the day, the answers to those two

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One & A Half

This summer we have had a 19-year-old family friend living with us. As people have heard he was living with us I’ve had numerous people ask skeptically, “How is that?” The honest answer is that it has been amazing! Brigham has been fun. Our kids love him. And the reason it has worked and we have enjoyed having him is because he is helpful. He is always willing to help. He looks for opportunities to pitch in. He jumps up when something needs done. I complimented him about this by saying, “You carry your weight.” And he said, “No, you

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself

  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 personally put them on a sticky note on my to look at as I sit down to create. 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

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Effort Is A Skill

On Nov 14 in the NBA the Jimmy Butler saga ended when the Minnesota Timberwolves trader Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. If you aren’t a basketball fan, Butler was demanding a trade and it turned into an ugly ordeal. The interesting thing has been how much better the Timberwolves have been since the trade. A big reason for the uptick is the addition of Robert Covington. Covington is a skilled player but nobody would argue he’s more skilled than Jimmy Butler. What he brings to the table is an intangible that’s hard to measure.

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How to Deal With Negative Feedback

We all get negative feedback at times. That can come by way of a performance review, a critic, a well-meaning friend, rejection or through other tough experiences. We will all face mistakes, failures, and naysayers at some point – so the question isn’t how do we avoid negative feedback, but rather what do we do with it.   What drove me to write this post was the survey feedback I received from a particular conference a couple of years ago. I was the closing keynote speaker on leadership to a state association of CPAs. I felt the conference went well

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