Jim’s “Tru Leadership” Blog

8 Secrets To Promoting Yourself

Here you go, these are 8 secrets to achieving your greatness: Secret #1:  Read minds. Who is your audience and what are their frustrations, fears, joys, and dreams?  If you want people to believe in you, then invest time to learn their levers for both pain and […]

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5 Keys To Appearing Confident Even When You’re Not

Amy Cuddy, Susan Cain, and other key leaders have said, “Fake it til you make it” or Fake it till you become it.” Careful! Too much acting takes away from our sense of authenticity and honesty, especially if we claim these as part of our high core […]

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What Does Emotional Intelligence Mean For You?

Do you feel like your boss has no emotional intelligence? If we are high in Emotional Intelligence (EI) we may decide to give them a break, since they are low on EI, but it also means we have work to do to help them improve, and that […]

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The Real Way To Effectively Say No

Sadly I hear too many people say, “I am just so slammed. My job doesn’t allow me to say “no” to my work, my clients, my boss, or my family. I work and worry all the time!” Research from Family Practical Management concluded, that with current technology, […]

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How Technical Introverts Can Succeed In Broader Leadership Roles

I recently spoke with Manuelle Charbonneau, a senior executive coach, regarding her perspective on a leader’s evolution from being in a primarily technical expert role into a broader more people responsibility role. She related how interesting the work is with high IQ leaders from technical backgrounds as […]

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4 Neuro Leadership Keys Driving Success

A man fluent in 2 languages recently went into a deep coma, and upon coming out of the coma, could only speak one language. And after a horrific beating, another man,became a Mensa-qualified genius. These are true stories and reflect how much we are still learning about […]

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Culture Is…

Culture is a lot like trust, we recognize when it is not present, better than how to actually define it. We learn best in contrasts, and to learn what culture is almost requires knowing what it isn’t.  “Culture is the 2 worst behaviors we tolerate. Because what […]

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10 Ways To Ruin A Team

We all talk about team-building, but one of the best ways to understand greatness is to first comprehend the other side – the bad. Marshall Goldsmith once said, “We should spend less time teaching leaders how to be better, and more time simply teaching them what not […]

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Public Speaking Made Super Simple

Yes, public speaking can be scary, and for other people, public speaking is exhilarating and fun.  Regardless of how we feel about it, there are 3 simple keys in making public speaking even more successful. David Crystal of the Yale University Press, recently recognized that in ancient […]

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Finding Our Purpose And Meaning

Viktor Frankl the famous teacher, novelist, and Jewish Austrian psychiatrist, was severely beaten and tortured in a WWII Nazi concentration camp. He was fascinated how, at the lowest points of their lives, prisoners viewed their same horrible circumstances differently. Some wanted and begged desperately to die. He […]

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The Good Boss – Part III

My experience, through many years of coaching hundreds of people in numerous industries, is this – the higher we climb on the corporate ladder, the further we get from where real people do real work. The emotional intelligence that launched executive success years earlier seems to be […]

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The 4 E’s To Handling Complainers

Despite all our positive leadership efforts, we often still have people who are addicted and obsessed with complaining. It’s as if complaining feeds some dark empty sore spot for some people, and that if they didn’t complain, they’d have nothing to say. So, here are the 3 […]

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4 Ways Managers Create Dead People Working

Sometimes it’s the simple things that seem so normal that cause us the biggest challenges.   1. So, we have a good team and one or two players become our “A” players. To make sure we get tasks done…. We pile on. We don’t mean too overwork […]

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Account Management – Would You See You?

Let’s say, you are traveling home late Thursday night and checking your appointments for Friday, and you see you have a meeting with a person from another company at 3:00pm – a 3:00 pm appointment on a Friday after a long week on the road. You have […]

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7 Ways Team Coaching Goes From Nice To Necessary

Who is Coaching Your Team? How can we optimize performance and ensure success? The Intertwine Group has researched the reasons why teams need coaches. This included looking at critical factors for customer-facing teams such as sales, customer service, and marketing. We could be the leader of our […]

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Cell Phones And Being Present

We get so easily distracted that we have a term for it –“squirrel.” We are so busy being in the next moment we aren’t fully present in this moment. Our technology, and our lack of awareness of its proper use, are to blame. “Looking down to read […]

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Fascinate Your Audience

At different events, we often get stuck at the end of the table with people we barely know for over 2 hours! These situations apply to certain family events, business dinners, and celebrations of all kinds, and it causes us to say, “Oh no, another dinner event […]

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Managing Managers

Our great small team success got us promoted, and now we need new skills to manage managers. Especially since managers, by their very job definition, are very different than individual contributors. What got you here won’t get you there. – Marshall Goldsmith Large team management requires different […]

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No Apology, No Strength

Some people believe that if they have conviction, they don’t need to apologize. Needing to apologize makes it sound like it’s required – like a child that has to say “I’m sorry,” or is punished with penalties of fewer food choices, shortened playtimes, or limits on other […]

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6 Keys To Building Your Personal Brand

Our brand starts long before we show-up with people, and ends as soon as we leave the room. Brand building is created as we leave the room, just like muscle builds after we leave the gym. We plan a vacation or a workout toward a goal, and […]

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Higher Thinking, Empathy, And Positive Intent

How fast do we assume the worst? Media is no longer the traditional forms of BBC, Washington Post, or NBC. Rather, media today is anybody with a cell phone. What pictures and texts are people sharing of us as we live our daily lives? When we act […]

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Make Social Media Work For Your Business

Compared to your website, your social media business page is an informal outlet, so keep your posts fun and positive but always remain professional. Post questions on a regular basis to create engagement. Social media should be the start of a conversation between you and your potential […]

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We Manage Work Or Work Manages Us

It all started with our darn parents. They said we couldn’t have dessert until we were done with our dinner. They told us we could not go outside and play, until all our homework and chores were done. Today, can we get all our work done in […]

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Hard to Do the Right Thing?

Well, we are kind of wired for self-preservation. We are the most dependent species on the planet, and to get what we want we have learned as children how to control the external environment. Even to the extent we disregard our own bad behavior as being necessary […]

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An Oldie But A Goodie12 Elements Of Great Performers

Gallup®  in their 1993-1998 survey of thousands of organizations at all levels, collected and built these 12 elements as standard predictors of high employee and team performance. Seems to me, we still have a long way to go to do even half of these! 1. I know […]

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6 Big Sinkholes Of Poor Leaders

Leaders are people. And like all people we sometimes just get it wrong. Real wrong. Stinking it up bad. We have had bosses who tell us, “Look, we have real work to do, and making people feel good is not my job or your job!” “Just tell […]

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4 Myths Of Leaders As Coaches

Could I COACH you? Sure. A great coach blends emotional intelligence (EQ) with listening, tailored questions, making few statements, discussing, and curiosity, for the coachee to locate their own best path for success. In coaching, high EQ transforms to high IQ. EQ is a part of the […]

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Am I Addicted To Work?

We may be addicted, because we like work a lot! And for good reason – it heightens our intellectual and mental capabilities. Work is exciting, challenging, and feeds our appetite to be valued and to contribute. Research from Sarah Damaske showed that mothers in full time jobs […]

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Should I Stay Or Should I Go – Part II

Go. When I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati, I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut. My friend said he couldn’t wait to grow up and work for Procter & Gamble just like his dad. As I look back on it now, I find […]

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Should I Stay Or Should I Go? – Part I

Stay. Deal with the devil you know versus leave and discover the devil you don’t know. Remember how excited we were just a few short years ago when we created a business marriage to join our current company? What changed? Is it them or is it us? […]

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Great Leadership Is a Balancing Act

Great leadership is shown through what we do and say on a daily basis. It is exemplified in a sense of P.R.I.D.E. – Personal Responsibility in Individual Daily Effort ~ Tom Sullivan “Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible. Care more than […]

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A Little Magic For Waste Of Time Meetings

Meetings are where minutes are kept and hours are lost. They get such a bad rap! What criteria should we use to decide to attend or conduct any meeting? It seems ½ the meetings we take via conference call, we are trying to do email at the […]

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4 Steps To Repair That Lost Partnership Or Damaged Relationship

Many years ago, at the end of a long day, I had a client interested in our conversation and preparing to acquire my product. I was sensing he was interested and I kept on pressing for commitment and action. That was not a good decision. He fairly […]

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The Triple Threat – Leadership, Humility, and Gratitude

Want to follow a leader? In the book, The Leadership Challenge(r) by Barry Posner and James Kouzes, they conducted research that has been collecting responses since 1987, with over 1.4 million responses to the question, What will we Follow? Here are the most common answers:     Honesty     Vision […]

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Mentoring Is Championing

Do you have a great mentor or average mentor? Are you being promoted by your mentor to senior leaders?   How often do we ask ourselves, “In my organization – who is my champion, my advocate, the one who believes in me?” “The one who is stepping […]

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How To Give Feedback To Highly Emotional People

Some of us take feedback so personally. We fret, worry, feel anxious, and decide that the world is against us – even as a response to clear, helpful feedback. The feedback process can be brutal, for three main reasons: 1. The way feedback is delivered, as if […]

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Conversation Groundhog Day: Nothing Ever Changes

Influence begins with a “Sure, I’ll do that.” The old adage is “selling begins with yes.” This is an acknowledgement of our knowledge, our friendliness, our product value, or it might even be a commitment to further action. Sometimes the actual response of doing what we think […]

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The Culture Killer: I’m Bad With Names – Here’s the Easy Fix

Knowing people’s names is over 50% of our culture and personal engagement! I have a friend, Ryan Larson, who was receiving an award at a formal banquet. The president of the company stood on stage and read a list of Ryan’s accomplishments, and then summarized by saying, […]

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Increase Your Presence Without Being Promotional

We all want to be more valued, recognized, promoted, or get a raise. And our supervisor says to us, “You need to improve your visibility or be seen more by others.” You think your boss likes your colleague Bling Bam Biff, who is so far out there, […]

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6 Components Of Executive Presence

Executive presence is less about how we show up, and more how others say they feel when we show up. Our executive presence used to rely on character and integrity as the ruling kings of leadership and boardroom ethos. Then in the 1880’s robber barons took hold […]

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Management Balancing Leadership

Management is Doing Things Right and Leadership is Doing Right Things. ~ Peter Drucker Many others have further described management as more task focused versus leadership as more people focused. Which is more important? The answer is both. It depends if we need compliance or commitment. Growth […]

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Key Leadership Failures

The #1 trait of a leader is self-awareness. If we say we want to be authentic leaders, that requires knowing fully our strengths and weaknesses. If we think – “Oh, I’m a good person,” and we shoot-from-the-hip our thoughts, feelings, and statements, we make sense to ourselves […]

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The 5 Biggest Team Killers

People often ask me, as we’re completing exercises in workshops, “Should I answer this as me at work, or me at home?” Well, if we believe we need to truly ‘act’ a certain way to survive or be accepted in either place, that is a tough place […]

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10 Great Questions To Ask Your Interviewer

Our success in interviews is no longer about our preparation of our resume or reporting of our achievements. In fact, the resume is now more unimportant than ever. It used to be that a job required specific skills, and so we summarized our skills, successes, and accomplishments […]

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Did The Assembly Line Kill Our Purpose?

Henry Ford launched the assembly line, and he may have killed our purpose. It used to take 12 hours to build one car and the assembly line dropped that time to less than 1 hour. Pay went from $1.25/day, to $5.00/day. Henry got seriously good workers. Real […]

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8 Steps To Stop Worry

I have learned from interviews, surveys, and research that we have two huge blocks to our leadership success at home and at work.     Worry     Forgiveness (we’ll save forgiveness for another day) Worry just chokes us! Particularly women – in the area of worry, women outshine men, by […]

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The Good Boss – Part II

I had a boss once, Ted, and we were in a critical business meeting where tempers were flying and agitation was high – things were clearly getting personal between my boss and his boss. Boardroom dynamics are usually so professional and staged, much like a business dance. […]

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Hey Team Leader! How Do You Handle This??

I run a small upholstery company and we have many staff members in a  confined space. Personal habits have become a real problem. Some people talk too loudly, or have jarring noises coming from their computers. People bark at each other, tattle to me, use the silent […]

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5 Power Questions To Build Your Network

81% of the time, our next job will come from a friend, referral, or friend-of-a-friend. So, maybe we should spend less time beefing up our resumes and more time beefing up our networking skills! Networking sounds so hard and clinical. It can be no fun if the […]

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The Good Boss – Part I

Brittany, told me she had the best boss ever. I asked her why and she said, he (Jason) was lazy, weak, kind of a liar, and overall he was unsure of himself. Huh? She laughed, and said, “Well no, not really, only it could look that way” […]

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8 Steps That Really Help Employees Adapt To Change

How do we avoid dealing with the crazies? We know the more emotionally stable a person is the more they can handle and they make the best teammates, employees and friends. Emotionally healthy people relate well to others. They can deal with stress, tension and failures with […]

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Is Technology Leading To Our Isolation?

We go to restaurants and we see people looking down at their cell phones and avoiding interaction with each other.  We know we need to dis-connect to connect, and yet it seems so hard to actually do. We are connecting electronically with everyone and communicating with no […]

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Expert Advice On How To Get Ahead

Managers light a fire under their people, while leaders light a fire inside their people. The question, “How do I get ahead?” was asked of key US executives and the responses were reported on by Harvey MacKay. Warren Buffett (CEO, Berkshire Hathaway) – “Follow your passions. Find […]

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7 Sandman Tips For Results and Recovery

Do you find your best sleep is in a crowded, overly warm, cramped meeting room, while your boss talks about 2016 performance and goals? Well, that’s not good. Turning off our power-plant of a brain is nearly impossible. Our desire for information is overwhelming our circuitry. People […]

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The Only Requirement For Selling

I recall interviewing some potential sales people who would tell me, “I’m really good with people.” “I like people.” “People like me.” or “I like a job being with people.” I would then ask them, “How many sales calls do you think you’ll make in a day?” […]

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Top Performers Don’t Beat Themselves

Really top performers have learned how, in the heat of battle, not to wilt. Our lives in some ways are more difficult than the lives of professional athletes because, while they are under bright lights a few hours a week, we have to perform at a high […]

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8 Rules Of Business Success

Here are my 8 simple rules to help us succeed in business:     Learn To Handle Adversity Focus on the things we can control Give others the ownership of projects Anticipate and plan for contingencies Over-communicate updates and options     Lead People Effectively Respect everyone Analyze and recognize each […]

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5 Ways Questions Should Not Be An Interrogation

Have you ever been asked a really great question? 3 aspects of great questions are: 1. They make us think. 2. They lead us deeper inside our own purpose and toward finding our own answer. 3. We believe the person asking a great question has great value. […]

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Accepting Change In 2016 – From Surviving To Thriving

Changes in our business and relationships are happening faster now than ever before. Our first response is often, “This is terrible!” or “Now what?” and “So all my success will be forgotten?” and “Great, another new boss or team?” As we keep saying these things,  we drive […]

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Tiny Tweaks To Calm Your Cranky

Force a smile in a tough situation Help an elderly person in the grocery store Smile at noisy kids – you were noisy once too! Count 3 things others like about you, right now Go compliment someone Think about your traits and values you are most proud […]

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5 Keys To Toasting & 4 Holiday Party Survival Tips!

For your team it’s a party, but for you, the leader, it’s not. Here are tips for toasting and surviving the holiday party excerpted from business consultant Roz Usheroff. The Art of Toasting The concept of toasting is to honor someone who has made a difference or […]

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8 Facts, Stories And Magic Phrases For Real Listening

“Wisdom is the reward you get from a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.” Doug Larson These brains of ours are so loaded with information we can’t seem to sleep or listen. We read more information in one New York Times newspaper, than people […]

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Training Program? Cancel It, We Need Results Now

Oh, we get it! We need business success, productivity, and results at yearend, and we’ll reschedule training when things calm down. But they don’t calm down. Many pit crews of fast performing race cars stand ready with arms crossed shaking their heads while their driver continues speeding […]

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Ye With The Most Authority, Beware

I hear from so many emerging leaders,  “I’ve got the responsibility, but I have no authority. How can I lead teams if they won’t give me the authority?” Well, how is leading with authority working? Not well. We are not led by titles or power. We give leaders respect with titles or […]

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The Difficult Employee – It Is Them

The difficult employee – is it their intent to be difficult? As leaders we know employees push our buttons and the buttons of others on our team including our boss. We are on point to “fix” this or everyone looks at us as not fully competent to […]

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Am I The Bad Boss?

I’m not a bad boss! I don’t yell, threaten, or manipulate. Really? Do I leverage bonuses, special projects, leadership awards, or trips as factors to motivate people? That’s “carrot manipulation.” The other type of manipulation is “stick manipulation.” – Many years ago, my boss, as we were driving in my […]

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Debunked!? The 7 Myths of Presentation Skills

Speaking is an audience-centered sport ~ Marjorie Brody Please note: Boardroom presentations versus all other presentations. Boardroom presentations are unique in that they are designed to disseminate information, mostly instructional, and are in presenter-to-the-audience format. The presenter is expected to have the knowledge, and is presenting less for […]

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Authentic vs. Acting

Bronnie Ware, an Australian hospice nurse, has released her report from discussions with patients at the end of their lives, regarding what regrets they have or things they would like to have done differently in their lives. In the past, the #1 response has been, “I wish […]

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New Hire At Day 60-Ask 7 Questions Or Be Surprised

Have we forgotten, how hard it was to find the new hire? – All the interviews and debates with yourself and others to find the right person. The last thing any manager wants to do is start this process all over again. As leaders, it’s up to […]

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The 3 Reasons Customers Buy

We spend so much time selling; if only we recognized our best sales results did not come from our efforts, rather they come from our customer. We are in the business of creating buyers, not pushing product. Companies hire sales forces, train them with product knowledge, and convince […]

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Negotiating Is Created In Their Thinking

We talk so much and it is all about us. We actually have an acronym for it – WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). WIIFM needs to evolve to WIIFO. (What’s In It For Others) * WIIFO involves getting to know “why” someone states something. It involves […]

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Are You Managed By Your Computer? 9 Ways To Get Your Life Back!

What are the most productive people doing? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and yet some people seem to have things under control, get things done, and get ahead. Is there a secret? Yes, after years of interviews with top performers and highly […]

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7 Ways To Be Major League Unprofessional

We learn in direct contrasts – how we GO when the traffic light is green is also how we learn to STOP when the light turns red. Hitting a great golf shot is also about learning what club will not work to hit that same shot. Being a better […]

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5 Ways A Leader Becomes A Manager

Real World Leading Versus Managing Revealed 1. Short-Term versus Long-Term Focus When I am managing, I am focused on week-to-week fluctuations in the numbers versus the long-term accomplishment of our bigger goals. When I am managing, I allow my mood to be dictated by the ink spots […]

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5 Questions Driving Leaders – Unplugged!

A brain discovering a question can never return to its previous state. “How can I finish this project in this limited timeframe?” “Am I really supposed to get all this done by myself?” “What can I do to make my kids’ be more responsible?” If only we […]

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Victims, Villains, Heroes – What Characters Are Blocking Your Success?

Leadership is a choice and sometimes we chose not to act in a leadership way. The opposite of leadership is not management – it’s DRAMA. Our favorite movies, books, and TV shows all have villains, victims, and heroes. We identify with all these characters in different ways, since […]

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The Triangle Of Traits For Winning That Aren’t Trained

Training implies, “something you need to learn.” Like somebody else has the knowledge and is prepared to share it with us. That applied in 1960, but today we all have knowledge only a google click away! Some leaders instruct us, tell us, or impart their knowledge and their […]

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3 Steps to Real Influence

Ever get behind a car going slowly? How do you get them to go faster? If we tailgate they get angry and go even slower. We get a better result when we are in their sights (not too close) and they feel bad, and will, on their own, pick up the […]

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Corporate Athlete or Company Tool?

Wanna be a better Salesperson …. be a better Person !! Take P.R.I.D.E. in being a better Leader of ourselves: Personal Responsibility in Individual Daily Effort Before recent advancements in sports science, the elite athletes’ coping strategies were limited. The approach was typically to push harder, train […]

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