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Leadership Development

Canceling the Noise in Your Work

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My Wall Street investment banker friend found himself growing weary of his work, and his meteoric success put him in a position to do something about it. Even though he was only in his thirties, he told me he wanted to quit work and retire. In my role as his […]

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The Two Voices Every Leader Chases

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“I promise, Dad, it’s highway 62!” Before my kids went to college, we would sometimes do day trips from our home in Northwest Arkansas. This particular day we were headed to Dogwood Canyon, which is a couple of hours north in Missouri. The kids were old enough that they had […]

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No One Aspires to Mediocrity

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The forging of steel is neither pretty work nor easy work. It is dirty and sweltering and done at 3000+ degrees. The mill is usually a mammoth building, filled with suffocating heat and deafening noise. The hammering, the fire, the pressure, and the inspection are all done in the pursuit of a product […]

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Wartime Leadership

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The concept of being a wartime leader was not invented last week by the president. People talk about Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and many others as remarkable wartime leaders. There’s debate over whether it’s a good phrase or not, but academics and consultants use it to distinguish leadership during crisis. […]

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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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