Dr. Stephen R. Graves
Helping Leaders Flourish
How Big Companies Are Missing It with Millennials
The 5 Big Questions of Life
Google “Meaning of life” and you come up with some quotes like these: “Life is like an onion. You peel it off a layer at a time and sometimes you weep.”—Carl Sandburg “When I’m lost, I j…
Can Anyone Become a Manager?
The coaching carousel happens every winter after the records are in and the alumni are clattering for something new. I remember last year when Lincoln Riley was named head coach at Oklahoma and repl…
Four Dangers of Success. And the Antidote.
I’ve become convinced that most people handle failure much better than they handle success. Failure can make a man, and success can ruin a man. I’ve seen it in the lives of the business leaders wi…
A Founder’s Role
I’ve worked with hundreds of founders in my three-plus decades of executive advising. Men and women representing all shapes and sizes of organizations. Massive nonprofits and hometown businesses, …
Celebrity-ism and Leadership
Quick. Name the Christian you admire the most. Perhaps you said your brother or your grandmother or your early cell group leader. Perhaps like Edith Schaeffer, you consider the question of the greates…
Does Ordinary Equal Meaningless?
I have a good friend who nearly died a couple years ago. From a medical perspective, he should have. He lived, though, and he told me not long ago about the odd experience of living when people though…
What I Learned at the Taco Bell Drive Through
Don’t judge me. I was in between meetings the other day and drove through Taco Bell. I just needed something quick before a conference call, so I ordered a couple of crunchy tacos with extra tomatoe…
What Season are You Planning For?
As an old cowboy once said, “You can’t ride two horses at the same time.” Sometimes we just have to choose between options and live with the outcome. This reality is very true when it comes to s…
Three Guys, Three Chainsaws
Who’s the best worker you know? Not the hardest worker, but the best worker. I’ve got a candidate. A few months back, a storm came through northwest Arkansas, and it did a number on some lake prop…
Are You Living in a Scarcity Mindset?
Everybody talks about a win/win, even Michael Scott. The problem is, most people operate from a framework that doesn’t really allow for win/win. At their core, most people really believe that for m…
An Idea Is Not a Business!
I have to say this once a week to someone about something: “An idea is not a business.” An idea is an idea. Granted, not all ideas are equal. Some ideas are evolutionary, some are revolutionary, a…
Are You a Run-the-Business Leader?
Some core traits of a leader bleed across all archetypes. They’re universal and timeless. Other qualities and styles better fit certain leaders for certain seasons of their assignment. There are t…
The Fine Art of Swapping
Does your stomach start churning when you survey the avalanche of work waiting for you? Perhaps you let out a defeated sigh that first time you check your email each morning or power up your phone aft…
Legacy Vs New Customers
Age matters! How old is your company or organization? If your company or organization is older than 15 years, one of your biggest challenges might be how to honor and optimize your legacy customers (t…
What Makes Work Redemptive?
What makes work redemptive? It’s a question I’ve asked and been asked thousands of times. On some level, I’ve made it my life’s work. I think it’s a phenomenal question, a valuable and soul-…
6 Questions to Determine if You’re Making the Ethical Choice
Some people see everything in black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. Others see an ocean of gray with nothing really ever firmly planted on one side or the other. I actually believe the bett…
Are You Making Your Job Harder Than it Should Be?
Want to stun an executive? Tell him his job is simple. I was meeting with a CEO recently who felt guilty that he wasn’t running around 16 hours a day with his hair on fire. “That feels like what s…
Do You Have Something Worth Saying?
Content is king. Eyeballs are god. God is sovereign. To put it another way—you need something worth saying. You need people who want to hear it. And at the end of the day, it still isn’t all up …
Think // Plan // Do
I don’t just coach CEOs. I own or co-own some small businesses as well. In a couple of them I am instituting a framework called Think/Plan/Do. I’m convinced that every successful business and orga…
What Do You Value?
Have you seen anyone using one of these lately? I have, and I’ve got to tell you, it caught me off guard. I sat down for a quick phone charge in the ATL airport between flights, and a nice fellow fr…
3 Things to Measure Your Life Against
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates I was out on a sailboat, a substantial distance from shore, and found myself wondering about getting back in the dark. It gets pitch black out t…
Planning to Rest
What everyone wants is the very thing that we need more than we realize. Rest. True biblical rest. A real break from the weight and pressure of life and work. It’s interesting, though, that we run f…
Books for the Summer
Do you have your summer books stacked and ready to read? I do. I typically go into the summer with an ambitious pile of books to read that usually carry over into the fall and the end of the year. For…
Five Great Moves for Launching Your Children
300 feet. 2 seconds. These numbers may not mean much to you, but if you were a pilot sitting on the deck of an aircraft carrier, they would mean a great deal. 300 feet. That’s the entire length of a…
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