The Most Important Life Skill—A Teachable Spirit

The Power of a Beginners Mindset

You know by now that I like questions. I have not always had a warm relationship with questions. I am sure I am not alone. Goodness, learning to invite inquiry capable of exposing ignorance is uncomfortable.

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Through years of being rewarded for having answers we learn to lead with confidence and rely on what we know. Slowly but surely we extinguish our innate teachable spirit and insistently rely on a base of knowledge that grows more fragile every day.

Think For Yourself

You can't just "Google It" or ask "Alexa"

Knowledge is a commodity. Just ask “Siri” or “Alexa.” If you would have said, “Google It,” 10 years ago, few people would have known what that meant. But today “Google It” and “Ask Siri or Alexa” are part of our daily lexicon. Thus some of us are only as smart as our “smart phone” allows us to be.

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Known answers are at our fingertips and we are bombarded (even overwhelmed) with data. High alert—“the value of explicit information is dropping.” 

Always Be Curious or Not

The danger of relying on what we know

I lost something. You’ve likely lost it too. We had a lot of it as kids. But something happens on our journey to adulthood that allows it to slip away seemingly undetected.  We lose our innate curiosity and stop asking questions.

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It happens to all of us—some more than others. We’d rather stick to what we know. But what we know won’t be enough. In fact, what we know today won’t even be enough to sustain the present let alone allow us to make meaningful contributions in the future.

Pay Attention

Lessons in grammar and life...

I am not good with punctuation and grammar. Goodness my writing software just proved it by correcting “grammer” to “grammar.” I get reminded fairly frequently that I didn’t pay a lot of attention in my youth during English class.

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I pay a lot more attention today. I am still working on the grammar and I’ve come to appreciate the value and power of words through the years.

Journeying from Father to Great Dad

Being a father is easy—becoming a dad creates impact

It took me awhile to understand being a father is easy but becoming a great dad is difficult. You don’t need a degree or license to become a father. Fatherhood rarely begins as you expect it to or unfolds as you plan. It is indiscriminate in its ability to reveal and demonstrate how ill equipped you are to run this race.

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Fatherhood is a strange paradox—testing your resolve and commitment like few things can and providing joy like nothing else can. It may be the essence of clinging to the obligation and responsibility of being a father long enough to understand how becoming a dad creates a lasting and rippling impact on our kids.

The Feedback You Need to Unlock Performance

Most of us are delusional and miss it

Do you want the good news or the bad news? The truth in the question is we don’t like to deliver bad news so we try to soften its impact. Especially if we anticipate the news is not going to be well received.

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Not all feedback is created equal. I had a boss once who spoke frequently of the need to have “courageous conversations” with people. It takes courage to coach people towards improvement.

Five Qualities of Great Encouragers

Only 1 in 5 Americans get enough.

Less then 20% of Americans receive the necessary level of encouragement necessary to raise their performance.

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Why do so many leaders, teachers, coaches and parents fail to use a tool that is readily available to them every day? Equally important is wondering why so called “soft skills” like encouragement are so undervalued and appreciated.

Four Reasons You’ll Follow a Leader

Why are people behaving so poorly?

What is going on! Why are people who’s job it is to serve behaving so poorly? But maybe the more important question is why are the leaders of these company’s seemingly so surprised.

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The answer is simple—four qualities that engender people’s loyalty, commitment and effort. And here in lies the challenge, simple is not easy. Simple can be painstakingly hard and it can also reveal something in ourselves that we would never want to admit.

Do You Have What it Takes to do the Toughest Job in the World

Do you have the skills?

I was intrigued. How could anyone not be interested in understanding why even 24 people responded to the ad. The ad placement drew 2.7 million views, which is not a surprise. What was surprising was the fact that 24 people inquired about the toughest job in the world and participated in an interview.

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The job title, Director of Operations, was certainly appealing. But after a quick review of the job requirements it is easy to see why even the most ambitious candidates quickly moved on.  

Five Timeless Leadership Competencies for Millennials

Taking advantage of a generational transformation

One of the greatest shifts in business history is currently unfolding. A generational transformation is underway that will open the door to an unprecedented opportunity for impact for Millennials and their organizations.

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You can gain a significant advantage by both recognizing and seizing it. It begins with organizations of all types clamoring to attract quality talent. But beyond attracting talent how organizations respond to this generational transformation may well predict not only future success but survival.