What is the Best Christmas Gift You Ever Received

Do you still have it?

I wrapped a couple Christmas presents this week. It is the season we hope to give and receive great gifts. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

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Here is a tougher question. Do you still have it? Or have all the “must have,” “just gotta have” desires that ruled that particular season faded to a faint memory?

The Ten Most Extravagant Christmas Gifts

Building the foundation of a powerful legacy

Christmas is about extravagance. But do we really know what extravagant Christmas gifts look like?  I watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” last night. It premiered 52 years ago which means I’ve watched it at least 52 times. When it premiered in 1965, I am sure I watched it in black and white. Today, in vivid color, it reminds me of my dad.

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Lucy appoints Charlie Brown to be the Director of the Christmas play. In the midst of chaos, Charlie Brown raises his head (I’d say chin, but he doesn’t have one) and shouts, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

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.

The Danger of Intellectual Drifting

Getting back on track!

Sometimes I get distracted and discouraged. Maybe you do to—most of us do. Call it intellectual drifting where we lose sight of where and how we intend to create and sustain meaningful impact with the people we love and teams we lead.

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Summer is the drifting season. The “lazy days of summer” invite us to take it easy. Planning for relaxation to reenergize is vital to sustained impact and is much different from intellectual drifting. Drifting is losing touch with our most important roles.

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.

Why You Need to Breathe Inspiration into the People You Love and Lead

Your words count.

It is so easy to glance over or miss the power our words have to breathe inspiration into the people we love and lead.

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Words are powerful. Organized in the right sequence, delivered in the spirit of true concern they can change the course and direction of life. 

The Secret to Being a Great Encourager

You've Got to Get this Ratio Right

Encouragement is a simple word with powerful potential. Encouragement improves relationships and raises performance. Encouragement is the coming along side of someone and instilling in them the courage to act when they are stuck.

Two good friends sit down to have lunch and start talking about their work. One of the men expresses concern that his boss never encourages him and maybe he should look for another job. He asks his friend what he thinks he should do. 

Impact is Not an Invitation Only Event

It all began with a hug...

It all began with a hug. A hug is ageless and communicates like few things can. Do you realize that when we are young we get used to hearing people tell us we need more experience. After gaining the experience and learning the tough lessons that come with that experience it is not unusual to be told your time has passed. The fact is neither is true.

The truth is no one has your unique place in the world to positively impact the people you love, teams you lead and the causes that stir your heart. The venue may change, your audience might be different but creating and sustaining impact has nothing to do with whether we are young or old.