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Leadership Development

The Difference Between Leadership and Influence

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Entire industries have developed around the exertion of influence. The lobbying industry tries to influence the government. Advertisers persuade consumers to spend their money on certain products or services. Politicians employ nationwide telemarketing campaigns to sway last-minute voters. Parents attend seminars aimed at influencing the way they influence their children. […]

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The Best (and Worst) Motivational Strategies

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Leadership is a lot like parenting. Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a bit about trying to convince a toddler to go to sleep (skip ahead to 5:20), which he calls a “hostage negotiation” in reverse. Many leaders can relate to this. We wear ourselves out trying different “motivational” techniques, all designed […]

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Advance, Assess, Repeat.

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64,000 tickets per minute. That is the rate at which Mega Millions tickets were being sold leading up to the historic $1.6 billion in October 2018.   Why? Why did so many of us rush out to purchase a ticket for something that we had a 1 in 175,000,000 chance […]

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What Kind of Boxer are You?

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The best boxing movie ever made is…(drumroll please)… Cinderella Man. You might have thought I was going to say Rocky (or perhaps Rocky II, III, IV, V, or VI), but as much as I love a good Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed showdown, I’m sold on Cinderella Man.  The movie […]

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Creating a Culture of Thankfulness

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“It’s a one-year membership in the Jelly of the Month Club.” These, of course, were the words uttered by Clark Griswold right after opening his Christmas “bonus” and just before he completely lost it, unleashing the most memorable holiday rant in cinematic history. Overworked and Underappreciated  If you’ve ever watched Christmas […]

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The Art of Disagreeing

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It can happen at dinner with family, or chatting with friends at the gym, or maybe just making small talk with a co-worker. Someone registers an opinion or point of view. The chit chat turns up a notch. Before long, though, it becomes increasingly clear that everyone doesn’t quite see […]

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Steering High Performers

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I get a decent number of emails every week tied to a friend or client asking my point of view on something. Sometimes I have a quick answer. Other times, I ponder it for a bit, research a little, and then fashion a reply. In most cases I end with […]

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The Art of Contextualization

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I needed a simple cotter pin. You know, the pin that holds your bike rack or boat trailer securely to the hitch of your car. My wife and I were all set to head out on our local bike trail, but as I loaded the rack I realized the cotter […]

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Both/And Decision Making

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Often, the most difficult decisions are not between black and white but between two shades of gray. A CEO friend who owns a family business is pondering firing his unethical sister. Another buddy is weighing a second chance for an underperforming best-friend employee who is dragging the company down. Or […]

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