Busy? Or burned out?

Busy? Or burned out? It’s interesting how often we hear, or say, “I’m so busy!” For some, it’s like a badge of honor. I heard a short comedy sketch by a former Second City comedian. She acted out this skit for us (she played both parts, and of course it was much longer, but here’s…

Power of Assumptions

The Power of Assumptions I read a study recently on YouVersion about Joshua’s leadership. And, some leadership assumptions he made. You may recall the story – Joshua leads the Israelites into the land of Canaan and they come to the city of Jericho. To take the city – as God had promised the land to…

Leadership Improv

Leadership Improv Remember the TV show “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” It’s an improv show packed with wild and funny sketches, recorded in front of a live audience. The comedian actors and actresses are hilarious. The show came to the US from the UK if I recall. Both series are side-splitters. Leading any organization can…

Unbroken Leadership

For quite a while now, my wife has been recommending I read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. She’s a librarian and a voracious reader. I seem to have managed to read everything I ever wanted to by the time I escaped graduate school (a long time ago if you’re keeping score). I start reading books, but for some reason beyond my comprehension, I rarely finish reading them.

So when the movie version of the book came out, we planned to go see it, but by the time we got organized enough to go out (we have twins, ‘nuff said), it was already on Blu Ray. We finally watched it this weekend.

I think I will read the book now.

In short, Unbroken is the story of the life of

Lead with Confidence

Have a great day! Sounds very cliché, right? But when someone says this, they probably mean it, even if they aren’t really thinking about it – or about you – too closely. Most people who say this really do want you to have a great day. Can you imagine if someone said, “I hope you have a blah day?” A bad day?

The thing is … we often say things we don’t mean. Worse, we sometimes say things we mean, but don’t know how to follow through on it. And when it comes to leadership, do we mean what we say? Say what we mean? Do what we mean?

How do we even learn what we need to know?

What I Learned About Leadership from my 10 Year Olds

My kids are twins. They’re 10. Going on 5. Or 35. Sorta depends on the day, I guess.

I have a son. He’s all boy. Sports. Dirt. Sweat.

I also have a daughter. She’s all girl. Clothes. Creativity. Curiosity.

With twins, everything’s competitive. I laugh frequently, because my athletic son cannot draw a stick man without a stencil. My very highly creative daughter, finds dribbling a basketball beneath her station. Yet – if one were to challenge the other’s skill in said ‘department’, well, let’s just say, “Game on!”

Have you ever been competitive about something you know you’re not that good at …? 

Weary?

I live in the suburbs of Chicago. It’s Winter 2013-14.

We’ve had a LOT of snow (more coming this weekend!). And it’s been really, really cold this winter.

Funny thing is, I actually LOVE winter. I prefer the cold over the heat because, well, you can wear more clothes if it’s cold. But you can’t really do much if it’s hot, humid and muggy (which isn’t too rare in Chicagoland in the summer).

But – I’m weary now. Tired of it. Had enough.

Ever get that way? With anything?

What’s THE word?

When I was very young, I had it all figured out. I was going to be an astronaut. (Am I betraying my age by sharing this?)

I got busy learning about astronomy, mathematics and the physics of flight. I drank Tang (if you know what this is, you’re just as old as me!).

Of course then summertime came and I was distracted riding my bike and exploring in the woods. So I decided that instead, I’d be a daredevil. So I built ramps and jumped over stuff. I climbed on every roof I could and jumped off. I attached ropes to tree branches and jumped from increasingly higher parts of the tree to see how far I could swing. The list was long and grew by the endless days of summer that passed.

Say What – Part Deux

In my last post, I wrote that sometimes, no matter what we say in response to a question, the listener can sometimes be singularly focused only on the answer they want to hear, and not on the actual reply. I think it may be because we often get too specific in how we think, talk and ask questions. What do you think?

Say What?

A funny thing happened to me the other day. A trustee of an influential foundation asked me how our business helps non-profits achieve excellence in leadership. I was really pleased to get this question, because most often I simply get the proverbial “what do you do?” question.

I thought to myself, “Wow! Here’s my chance to really share with someone who’s influential how my company helps non-profits develop a truly ‘reproducing’ leadership culture!”