Leddin Group Blog

Dam Good Leadership

By Joseph Strelitz | December 1, 2021

I once read an article about beavers. Yes, the little furry animals. The article discussed a study in which beavers would build a dam simply when they heard the noise of running water.  The researcher put a beaver in a room with nothing but sticks and a speaker. They played a recording of running water, and…

  • View All
  • Perspective
  • Purpose
  • Priorities
  • Plan
  • Performance

Assess Your Convictions

A few days ago, I served as a judge in a business pitch competition. In all likelihood, you have seen these types of competitions before on television. One by one, the various contestants step on stage to present their business idea to the judges in hopes of receiving funding or support. After the pitch, the…
Read More

Be a Raving Fan

This past weekend, my wife, Jamie, and I went to a concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. If you are familiar with the Ryman, you know it is a special place. Unlike a large stadium filled with tens of thousands of people, the Ryman is an intimate setting. It also has a long…
Read More

Level-up Your Leadership

Have you ever watched a home remodeling show where a dilapidated house is stripped down to the studs and turned into a spectacular home? I’m always amazed by the before and after comparison shots. The contractor manages to turn a cramped bedroom into a luxurious sleeping space and an oddly configured living room into a…
Read More

The Power of Routine

When I arrive in a hotel room on a business trip, I set a five-minute timer. The timer indicates how long I have to unpack my bag, change my clothes (if needed), and get out the door. I created this routine years ago to avoid the trap of turning on the TV and getting sucked into flipping…
Read More

Heads-up Leadership

I once rode a bike into a parked car. It’s true. Distracted by a problem with my pedals, I rode directly into the back of a parked car. I flew over the handlebars and crashed into the back window. I then rolled off of the trunk and landed in the grass adjacent to the vehicle.…
Read More

The Tragedy of Leadership

I once worked closely with Chris McChesney. Chris is the author of the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals. Chris and I have remained connected over the years, and I have learned a great deal from him. He’s been a guest on my podcast and endorsed…
Read More

Where is Your Plimsoll Line?

Business Insider recently reported that “nearly half a million shipping containers are stuck off the coast of Southern California as the ports operate below capacity.” Although many in the industry have seen problems mounting over the years, the COVID-19 global pandemic has increased product demand and caused “shortages of workers, equipment, and a lack of…
Read More

How to Make a Dent in the Universe

I bet I can make a few assumptions about you:  You want your work to matter  You want to make a difference  You want those who work with you to be better because of your presence  You want to get better along the way   Essentially, you want to make a dent in the universe (or…
Read More

Leading Through Trauma

I teach a class at Vanderbilt University called Leading Business Through Times of Crisis. This week we read a 2002 Harvard Business Review (HBR) article titled Leading Through Trauma. In the article, the authors argue that:   “Although the human capacity to show compassion is universal, some organizations suppress it while others create an environment in which compassion is…
Read More

A Double Take at Leadership

Have you ever been to the eye doctor?    If so, you are likely familiar with a machine called a phoropter. While you look through the piece of equipment, the optometrist flips among different lenses in front of your eyes. The procedure is called a retinoscopy and it helps the doctor to determine your optimal lens…
Read More

Crisis at 800 Feet

My wife, Jamie, woke me from a deep slumber with a panicked, “What happened to your neck?” Having been asleep for a few short hours and waking to a fair amount of pain, it took me a moment to respond. I quipped, “What are you talking about?” She pointed to the large bruise on the back of…
Read More

What are you grateful for?

On Friday of last week, my book, The Five-Week Leadership Challenge: 35 Actions Steps to Become the Leader You Were Meant to Be, made the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.  I am thrilled about the book’s performance and the impact it is having. I’m also extremely grateful to:  My partners at HarperCollins Leadership for publishing the book…
Read More

What’s in a Name?

This week, I interviewed Skot Waldron for our podcast. Skot helps companies communicate more effectively with their customers and employees to create alignment, consistency, and loyalty. In preparing for the interview, I read the backstory on the spelling of Skot’s name. Most would agree that S-K-O-T is more often spelled S-C-O-T-T. I talked to Skot…
Read More

Lessons From Launching a Book

Today’s newsletter is going to be a little different. For the past few days, I have been traveling from event to event, promoting my new book, The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. From the first day I proposed the book to Harper Collins, to writing my first draft, to now, I have learned a lot. I’d like…
Read More

How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

Over the last two weeks, students have started to return to Vanderbilt University. I enjoy it when they arrive back on campus as they bring energy and excitement with them.    As I walked across campus today, I thought about the all-too-common question that is undoubtedly popping up in dorm rooms, dining halls, and other…
Read More

Why You Should be a Lifelong Learner

Imagine this: You just started at a new job. You’re excited. You want to make an impact. You hit the ground running. Over time, you build new relationships, deliver good results, and make a name for yourself. A few weeks pass. Weeks become months. Months become years. You grow comfortable…too comfortable If you see yourself…
Read More

Turning the Tables

On the Leadership Lab podcast, I’m usually the one asking the questions. This week I decided to turn the tables. On the latest Leadership Lab podcast, I brought on leadership coach and bestselling author, Eddie Turner, to interview me about my new book, The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Now, I loved this interview for a lot…
Read More

Embrace the White Space

In my role at Vanderbilt University, I often talk to students about their career aspirations. Most of those discussions involve a brief exchange about my experience and the decisions I’ve made throughout my career. I typically share two things about my work life. The first focuses on the information that is on my resume –…
Read More

Leading Through a Paradigm Shift

In college, I took a class on “The Scientific Revolution”. On the first day of class, the professor walked in and said, “You all signed up for a class called The Scientific Revolution. What you will learn over the course of the semester is that historians debate every word of that title.” They argued about…
Read More

What NBA Finalist P.J. Tucker Can Teach You About Maximizing your Strengths

Basketball player P.J. Tucker’s stats are unassuming. He doesn’t average a lot of points or take as many shots as most players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). No, P.J. Tucker does the little stuff, the things that don’t show up on his stat sheet. Tucker was a high school star, earning North Carolina Player…
Read More

Breaking Customer Trust

Imagine for a moment that a new coffee shop is built in your neighborhood. From your perspective, it seems perfect. You love coffee; you drive by the coffee shop’s future location nearly every day, and the new store is going to feature a drive-thru. Could it get any better? Over the next several months, you…
Read More

Leading from Confidence or Fear

Our dog, Magnus, is great. Except when he isn’t. When I take him for a walk, he performs exceptionally well. He behaves on the leash, lets people pet him, and enjoys interacting with other dogs. You can see a pep in his step, and he moves with confidence as he walks through the park. There…
Read More

How Do You Measure Success

On most days, my wife, Jamie, and I go for a walk. Our daily goal is to cover 3.1 miles (5km) together. I like variety, so we never seem to walk the same route, My watch’s GPS helps us reach our target. If we are falling a bit short, we circle the block a couple…
Read More

Preparing for a Tough Conversation with Your Boss

In the last few weeks, several people have told me about their plans to have conversations with their respective bosses about raises, promotions, or changes to work arrangements. Knowing that one of the business classes I teach at Vanderbilt University is Negotiation, each person asked how I would handle these potentially tough conversations. Like any…
Read More

What Do Your Employees Really Need from You?

I was recently talking to a CEO about how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped employee expectations. She shared with me that team members are looking to their organization for answers on topics well beyond the company’s products, services, and policies. They want to know public policy decisions, health issues, personal safety measures, and more. They…
Read More

Grace Under Pressure

Over the last year, you and the team you lead have shown grace under pressure. How do I know that? Because you’re still standing today. You’re still performing. You’re still working to move the organization forward. The only way that could happen is for you to deliver results during some tremendously difficult times. Times of…
Read More

A Leadership Lesson 17 Years in the Making

Cicadas are about to make their presence known across large portions of the United States including Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee. This batch has been dormant underground for 17 years, but now they are starting to emerge as part of their standard lifecycle. Along with their emergence comes the accompanying noise visual display. As the…
Read More

How Great Leaders Use Tools

I enjoy going to the hardware store. Roaming the aisles and looking at the tools often inspires me to tackle a project around the house. I find the rental section particularly intriguing as it offers massive power tools, wood chippers, and even jackhammers for short-term use. Occasionally, I catch myself glancing at the rental rates…
Read More

3 Steps to Aligning and Maximizing Your Roles

We all play a range of roles. You may be a project manager, volunteer, boss, friend, CEO, and the list goes on and on. Not only do you fill many roles, but there’s an excellent chance that you feel like some of your roles compete against one another. As a result, you are pulled from…
Read More

Help Your People to See that They Are Valued

Thirty years ago, Jaime and I were married. Like many soon-to-be-wed couples, we registered for linens, dinnerware, and a range of household items that we felt would help us as we started our lives together. One gift that we received wasn’t on our registration. Nonetheless, it became one of our most treasured items. It was…
Read More

Are You Building Something Worth Building?

We had a beagle named Dolly. She was the sweetest dog. Dolly never met a stranger as she quickly made friends with everyone. When she was excited, she would produce an endearing little squeak that became her trademark. Dolly was near perfect, except for one bad habit. Hardwired in her DNA was the desire to…
Read More

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Nearly every morning both my wife, Jamie, and I make small concoctions for ourselves. They are comprised of two things: water and a scoop of fruit and vegetable powder. In all honesty, it’s not something I came up with on my own. I prefer a huge latte as I roll out of bed; but Jamie convinced…
Read More

3 Ways to Tackle a Challenge

Recently, my son, son-in-law, and I went for a long hike. We covered about 11 miles of fairly hilly terrain, but the real challenge came at the end. The last mile required us to ascend a steep and fairly long stone stairway. Once we reached the top, I asked about their approach to tackling the…
Read More

What an Ice Storm Taught Me about Friction and Leading

Not too long ago, my neighborhood was covered in ice. The slick spots made walking a bit treacherous as there was no friction. My shoes didn’t grip the slippery surface and the only thing between me and a trip to the emergency department was dexterity and luck. Fortunately, luck was on my side each day…
Read More

The Kind of FIT that Truly Matters to Your Culture

I enjoy a challenging puzzle. I also like a great analogy. That probably tells you a lot about me. That said, I don’t particularly enjoy the analogy that compares puzzles to teams and people to pieces. Perhaps you’ve heard this analogy. It can show up in ways like these: A person interviews for a job…
Read More

Snow Days and Other Traditions

The United States was hit with a major snow and ice storm a couple of weeks ago. While my newsfeed filled up with stories about the weather and its aftermath, my social media populated with images of kids sledding and drinking hot chocolate. In the midst of all of it, I became a bit nostalgic…
Read More

What is your radical idea?

I’ve had this long nagging desire to write a sitcom. Silly, right? I’m not a sitcom writer. I’m a professor and an entrepreneur. I research important topics and I consult about practical things like leadership, team building, and talent development. Nonetheless, every once in a while, I find myself noodling with this idea for a…
Read More

Discover Your Purpose

Have you ever heard the expression, “if you want to know what someone truly values take a look at their bank account and their calendar”? The idea is that regardless of what we say we value, the true answer is revealed in how we spend our time, energy, and resources. Reading a leadership blog suggests…
Read More

What I Learned in Jail

When I sat down to talk to the warden, I had a burning question to ask him about what I had just observed. Over the previous few hours, I had participated in an inmate training workshop. The course focused on leading yourself to better results and was designed to teach inmates how to be more…
Read More

RIP Toys R Us

Toy’s R Us is dead – the last two stores have closed. As the store has gone through its multi-year descent, the debate has been underway about what killed the business: Was it poor strategy and execution? Including specific issues like store selection and website functionality…. (Business Insider) Did Private equity strip assets and saddle…
Read More

How Reddit Changed the Game and What You Can Learn from It

Reddit gained attention for the role the platform played in GameStop’s stock price. As PCGamer put it, Reddit “messes with investors by driving GameStop stock price to record heights.” The self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” is big – very big. With over 174 million unique visitors each month, hailing from over 186 different countries,…
Read More

Leading Your Whole Self

In today’s world, outsourcing is commonplace. To reduce costs, a company ships jobs to another country or location where labor is less expensive. This shift in management mindset coupled with advancements in technologies allows a company to establish a call center halfway around the world and enjoy the associated cost savings. The situation seems almost…
Read More

4 Trust Building Choices that Smart Leaders Make in Uncertain Times

Leaders everywhere continue to weave their way through the dynamically changing COVID-19 situation. Perhaps you’ve experienced one of these scenarios: You email your team members the latest policy on how your organization is dealing with the coronavirus. As soon as you hit send, a message arrives from your boss adding a new requirement to the…
Read More

Sometimes You Need to Take Two Steps Back

I recently had surgery on my left arm. The procedure was designed to fix a pinched nerve that has caused my hand to be essentially numb for the last five months. At the same time, I’m planning to climb Mount Elbrus, the highest point in Europe, with my son and son-in-law this summer. They’ve already…
Read More

No Goal, No Gusto

Before I went to bed the other night, I looked at the weather and learned that there was a 100% chance of rain the following morning. I woke in the morning to heavy rain, confirming the meteorologist’s prediction. Jamie and I had a hike planned for the day, and based on the weather, I was…
Read More

7 Gifts that Great Leaders Give to Their People

Throughout the year and around the world, various occasions are marked with the giving of gifts. For many, exchanging presents is not merely tradition; it is an outward sign of one’s appreciation for another. Much time, energy, and effort are put into finding the perfect gift. The gift-giving practice often extends to the workplace where…
Read More

Your Team’s Resources are a Premium. Do Not Simply Fuel Busyness.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that in most organizations, most of the time, people tend to do what leaders check. This doesn’t mean that team members believe it’s important. Nor, does it mean that they are excited about, energized from, or committed to the activity. It simply means they do it because they…
Read More

What Moving 250,000 Meals Per Day Can Teach You About Purpose

In Mumbai, India, a city of 17 million people, fast food has a unique meaning. Every day, about 5,000 dabbawalas, or “lunchbox people,” deliver nearly a quarter of a million home-cooked lunches around this vast, tumultuous city—at high speed and without error! Because people who work in the city enjoy a home-cooked lunch, thousands of…
Read More

Musk Heading to Texas is Just Another Boring Move

Musk announced that he is moving to Texas. Is this another Boring move? In the 1830s, Charles Pearson proposed a rather ingenious, and arguably mad idea for public transportation. Some 14 years later his boring vision began to take shape as Londoners started to bore a tunnel that over time weaved its way under the…
Read More

Amazon Tops Advertising List as the Strategic Wolf is on the Prowl

Ad Age’s Datacenter reports that Amazon spent $11 billion on advertising in 2019 That makes it the world’s largest advertiser topping Billion-Dollar Brand Builder Proctor & Gamble that is a perennial placeholder at the top of the chart. Amazon has been a regular topic of discussion in my marketing and strategy classes at Vanderbilt University. It wasn’t…
Read More

What Lloyd Austin Taught Me about Leading in Tough Times

Retired Four-Star General Lloyd Austin is set to become the next U.S. Secretary of Defense. Many years ago I worked for Austin and saw him lead in uncertain times. Allow me to share a story with four lessons that we can all use during the uncertain times… Many years ago, my wife, daughter, and I…
Read More

How to Conduct Virtual Check-ins with Your Team Members

The concept of conducting one-on-one meetings isn’t new. For some of you, it has been a regular practice for years. In 2016, Harvard Business Review published an article by Rebecca Knight, entitled “How to Make Your One-on-Ones with Employees More Productive.” Knight references books and studies that have pointed to the importance of regular check-ins…
Read More

8 Behaviors of Truly Abundant Leaders

I’ve spent considerable time thinking about and studying the concepts of scarcity and abundance. I want to understand not only how abundant leaders think but also how they behave. My efforts thus far have yielded eight behaviors of truly abundant leaders. “Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see…
Read More

Getting Angry

This morning I read the news and found myself getting angry. I was angry about COVID, violence, and other injustices. Frankly, I felt that the world was bit terrifying, dangerous, and out of control. Guess what? It is – and it has always been that way. Every generation has faced its own terrifying, dangerous, and…
Read More

Great Leaders Create a Culture of Quitters

You are likely familiar with the concept that employees don’t quit companies, they quit bad leaders. It is with this in mind that many organizations invest time, energy, and resources developing leaders who foster employee engagement. Yes, employees might quit an organization because of a bad leader; however, these same employees may quit their own bad behaviors…
Read More

Finish Strong

It has no doubt been a very tough year for everyone. There’s been uncertainty around every corner. There have been obstacles in your path that you never thought possible. Many of you have lost family members and friends, saw relationships fall apart, or learned that your job was no longer available. Regardless of how challenging…
Read More

Changing Lanes

Many years ago, I earned a speeding ticket. I say I earned it because I was driving too fast and there’s a natural consequence for driving too fast especially when a police officer is present – you earn a ticket. The paperwork stated that I could either pay a fine or go to a driver’s…
Read More

Why You Should Revisit Your Thinking

I recently talked to Prakash Raman about how our thinking shapes us. Prakash is a leadership coach who is listed on the MG100 and recognized as a global thought leader. It was a very interesting conversation that focused on the concept of attachment and how our attachments can shape our mindset, behaviors, and results. Prakash shared…
Read More

5 Things to Look for in a Job Candidate

Imagine that you are interviewing for a leadership role. You’ve studied the position, looked into organizational challenges and opportunities, and conducted a couple of mock interviews. You settle into the chair and I enter the room and introduce myself. During the interview, I’m looking for several things to suggest that you are a good fit…
Read More

Communicating in Tough Times

Leading in tough times requires effective communication. This week’s leadership tool outlines 3 communication behaviors that you should embrace when moving through uncertainty: 1. Be proactive; don’t allow the story to overtake your message. 2. Be appropriately serious; don’t come across flippant. 3. Be open to feedback; don’t create an environment where people won’t speak…
Read More

Find Your Path

The vast majority of my career has been spent being developed to lead others, leading others, or developing others to lead. Throughout much of that time, we would be led down a fairly prescriptive path. To be a leader, you’d have to have this experience, go to this course, take this job, etc. There was…
Read More

Do Your Actions Pass the Grocery Shopping Test?

Years ago, a friend told me that she isn’t one to burn bridges. If she ever bumps into a customer or colleague at the grocery store, she doesn’t want them to try to avoid her. I’ve tried to take her idea to heart. I find myself envisioning a future day, 15 or 20 years down…
Read More

4 Reasons That You Should Start a Business Today

Every semester, I invite entrepreneurs into my classroom at Vanderbilt University to share their stories with my students, partner with student teams to address business challenges, and receive recommendations about how to improve their businesses, drive growth, and better position themselves in the marketplace. Using these experiences as a backdrop, coupled with my own business…
Read More

Are Great Leaders Born or Made?

If you want to be a doctor, it takes over a decade. You can’t wake up one morning and decide to do surgery. You can’t do an “accelerated track” for “high potential medical students” and get up to speed in a couple years. You need four years of undergrad, four years of medical school, and…
Read More

How Culture Can Devour a Leader

Perhaps you are familiar with this well-known Peter Drucker quote about the power of culture. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. My experience suggests that culture has a fairly robust appetite. Not only does it have the ability to eat strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sometimes, it can devour a leader as well. When this…
Read More

Tool: 3 Leadership Behaviors that Work

I’m excited to share our latest free leadership tool. Do you want to be a more effective leader? I’d recommend that you embrace three leadership behaviors that work: Recognize people as individuals Invite people to participate in something bigger than themselves Create positive memorable experiences We release new tools every week.  Get 60 in your…
Read More

True Leaders Jump First

A decade ago, Simon Sinek asked Marine Corps Lieutenant General George Flynn, “What made the Marines so great?” The general responded, “Officers eat last.” Sinek slightly modified the sentiment and used it as the title of his 2014 bestseller, Leaders Eat Last. The book focuses on the sacrifices that true leaders make for their people and a…
Read More

3 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

About 20 years ago, my wife, Jamie, and I started Wedgewood Consulting Group. We built the business from scratch, led it for over a decade, and then sold it. We learned mountains of lessons, many of which I’ve discussed on LinkedIn over the years, including some of the stories which form the basis of the 5…
Read More

3 Problems Plaguing Your Productivity. Number 3 Might Be Killing You.

Today’s productivity problems go far deeper than just managing units of time. Our world has a few specific challenges that allow the time to just “go by,” and can leave us feeling unaccomplished and weary at the end of a day. Productivity Problem #1 We are making more decisions than we ever have before. Think…
Read More

Are You Promoting the Right People?

Imagine for a moment that you just got promoted. Your first order of business? Help choose your replacement. To you, there’s really no need to interview anyone. You already know that you’ll be choosing your hotshot lead analyst who has been performing at a high level for some time. Fast forward 6 months, and things…
Read More

What Does a Leader Do, Anyway?

Leadership is incredibly hard to define. Instead of trying to figure out what a Leader is, I find it easier at times to discern what a Leader does. I’ve whittled it down to three key jobs of a Leader. No matter what organization or industry you’re in, or what job title you have, or what…
Read More

How COVID-19 Barriers Remind Us that Great Leaders are Barrier Busters

In recent weeks, I’ve watched as neighborhood businesses began to come back to life amid COVID-19. After last week’s article, I’ve been making an effort to (safely) get back into my old routine. In addition to asking customers to wear masks and comply to social distancing standards, restaurants and stores are installing plexiglass barriers at…
Read More

How to Help an Employee to Quit

This week I had the pleasure of speaking with my friend, Chris Stemp. Chris hosts the Smart People Podcast and works at Nestle in Learning and Development. He has two small children and a beautiful home – he seems to have it all. But at one point, he was passed out in his boss’s office…
Read More

TOOL: 3 People-Centric Actions of Great Leaders

Regardless of your industry, function, or any other aspect of your role, if you want to be a great leader, you must be people-centric. Here is a tool outlining three people-centric actions to help you to be more successful. Recognize people as individuals Invite people to participate Create positive experiences Download the free tool below.…
Read More

I Would Bet Big Money that You Need to Unplug, Relax, and Take Care of Yourself

I just returned from a quick overnight camping trip with my son, Clay. He graduated college in May and has been busy working the last several weeks, so it was nice for the two of us to sneak in a two-day adventure. We left Nashville at 10:00 a.m. and drove about 100 miles to the…
Read More

JetBlue Airways Chairman Told Me Two Ways to Help Your Career to Takeoff

I recently interviewed Joel Peterson for my Leadership Lab podcast. Joel has a long history of successful growth capital investments in a variety of industries. He currently teaches at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, serves as Chairman of the Board of Overseers at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, and is engaged on numerous Boards.…
Read More

What Atlanta Braves Player Dansby Swanson Told Me about Leadership

Major League Based (MLB) recently announced plans for the 2020 season. Needless to say, this year will be far from normal with the 162-game season reduced to 60 games, changes to roster requirements, adjustments to how extra innings will unfold, and the need to keep players and fans separated. Despite all the differences, much will…
Read More

What Patrick Lencioni Taught Me about Leading Others for the Right Reasons

I recently had the chance to sit down and speak with bestselling author, Patrick Lencioni for my leadership podcast (listen here). Pat is a gifted consultant, speaker, and writer. His long list of bestselling books includes The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The Ideal Team Player, The Five Temptations of a CEO, and, most recently,…
Read More

3 Lessons that Skullcandy’s CEO Taught Me about Starting Your Career Strong

As the leader of a global brand, “at the intersection of sport, music, youth culture, art, film and fashion,” Skullcandy competes against big players like Apple, Bose, Sony, and many more. The audio marketplace is tough and it is heavily dependent on trends and emerging technologies. These can change overnight. This level of competition teaches…
Read More

Leaders Need to Recognize the Affect of Headwinds and Tailwinds

I recently supported a couple of friends who were on a multi-state biking tour. As they worked their way from the Florida Keys up the eastern seaboard of the United States, my role was to drive a support vehicle with the supplies needed to keep them fed, safe, and ready to ride. My friends rode…
Read More

How Being a Good Person is Holding You Back

Years ago my wife and I built a new house. We were excited to move in to our new home and start the next chapter of our lives. Everything was new. The paint was fresh and the stickers were still on the windows. The wood floors, oh those wood floors, were amazing. Whenever someone walked…
Read More

The Genie is Not Going Back into the Cubicle, 3 Areas for Leaders to Explore

You’ve likely heard the expression, Put the genie back into the bottle. Here’s a twist on the idea given our current reality. In the coming weeks and months, it is highly likely that we will be emerging from the #COVID19 restrictions that are currently governing our daily movements. None of us knows for sure how…
Read More

The Power of a Canine Coworker in Your Home Office

Meet Magnus. He’s one of my coworkers. We adopted him from a shelter a few years ago and our home office environment is better for it! You can throw out what Forbes Magazine said in recent years when they proclaimed that 1 in 5 employed Americans work from home. You can likely disregard expert predictions…
Read More

Great Leaders Make 5 Communication Choices

“Leadership is first, and foremost, a communication activity.” – Hackman & Johnson We’ve all benefited from the communication efforts of great leaders. We’ve also suffered through the pains of poor communicators in leadership roles. I’ve found that great leaders regularly make five communication choices. I invite you to review each, assess how well you are…
Read More

Great Leaders Keep People, Not Things, at the Center

What started as a small project that my wife, Jamie, and I worked on in our spare time quickly turned into a viable business. We both quit our jobs and went all in on the new venture. Eleven years later, we had offices in three states, amazing team members, and an enviable list of loyal…
Read More

CEOs, Bestselling Authors, and Professional Athletes Told Me that One Word is Key

I recently reviewed the transcripts from the first 25 Leadership Lab podcast episodes. One word jumped out at me. Many of the CEOs, NYT bestselling authors, & former professional athletes told me that one word has been key to their success. What’s the word? Kindness That’s right, kindness. Here are 3 things to know about…
Read More

Leadership Food for Thought, Supporting Your People

I worked at a fast food restaurant in high school. My co-workers and I started most shifts with a quick meeting to get our manager’s instructions for the day. I vividly remember one such pre-shift huddle, not because of what he said to us at the beginning of the shift, but because of what transpired…
Read More

Set Aside 30 Minutes Daily to Get S&^t Done

Between our smartphones, laptops, and tablets, we have more than enough distractions at our fingertips at any given moment. When you enter the workplace and add the interruptions of your co-workers, vendors, and managers, your ability to complete tasks is seriously diminished. A study at the University of California Irvine found that each time a…
Read More

5 Lessons from a Leader Who Stands on Top of Africa

I recently found myself in Tanzania setting out to hike to the highest point on the continent of Africa. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t suddenly fall from the sky or wake from a dream and ‘find’ myself on the mountain. The prerequisite planning took place and I put in extra miles to get ready,…
Read More

How to Avoid 4 Leadership Blindspots and Save Yourself from Yourself

We all have blind spots. These are things that others know about you, but about which you are completely clueless. They can be small things… A stain on your shirt that everyone sees – except you. A conversation that you arrive late to and say something out of place. Everyone knows the arc of the…
Read More

Two Great Reasons that You Should Start a Side Hustle

Four years ago, I took my son and several of his friends on a 10-day hike along the Appalachian Trail (AT). After the trip, I made a small gift for each of the boys to help them remember the adventure. The gift was a sign reminiscent of the markers we saw along the trail. On…
Read More

Take Your Organization on a Purpose Drive, Indiana Jones Type Adventure

In 1981, Indiana Jones ran, swung, and fought his way into movie theaters everywhere. Since then, the archeologist has taken audiences on numerous adventures in search of hidden treasure. You are likely familiar with the basic Jones’ storyline. After painstaking effort, dangerous encounters (“Snakes…why’d it have to be snakes”), and finding himself at the precipice…
Read More

How to Transition From Team Member to Leader: 3 People-Centric Actions

Several years ago, I joined KPMG Consulting as a senior consultant. On day one, the firm assigned me to a financial analysis project. My teammates and I were asked to help a large institution streamline and improve its financial processes. Our job was to identify, document, and analyze the steps of a complex system. In…
Read More

Smart Leaders Master Two Amazingly Important Skills

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with clients across a variety of industries and locations around the world. Whether I am working with a professional services firm in Malaysia, a manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom, or a healthcare business in the United States, I’ve noticed that the top performers master two…
Read More

5 Etiquette Behaviors that Help Young Professionals to Standout from Peers

Joining a new workplace at any age can be daunting! Here are 5 quick and easy workplace etiquette tips. Although simple, and seemingly straightforward, these 5 things are often forgotten or overlooked in the rush of beginning a new role. By practicing and applying these skills, you will help yourself quickly become a standout among…
Read More

How Embracing Vulnerability Will Change Your Life for the Better

Yep, that’s me in the pictures. I just put three silly selfies of myself on the internet. Allow me to explain… A few years ago, Brené Brown visited Vanderbilt University and talked to us about her research. A University of Houston professor, Brené is known in academic circles for her grounded theory research in the…
Read More

How Finding the Right Guide Can Take Your Career to New Heights

This past weekend, my son and I hiked Mt. Sherman in Colorado.  The summit sits at 14,036 feet and offers breathtaking views in every direction. Having hiked several 14ers in the past, we knew that it would be a tough day, but this trip came with a twist – early winter weather. The trail that leads…
Read More

5 Disney Brand Building Lessons to Bring Some Magic to Your Business

Over the last 15 years, CEO Bob Iger has been at the helm of the Walt Disney Company. Under his stewardship, Iger and team have acquired Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. Many of Disney’s moves have reaped huge rewards (Avengers: Endgame $2.8 billion in worldwide box office), some are struggling (Star Wars: Galaxy’s…
Read More

16 Health and Wellness Tips to Avoid the Regret of Business Travel Fatigue

Traveling for leisure or for work can complicate our healthy habits and wellness routines for a myriad of reasons – our sleep schedule is different, planes are germy, we don’t have our normal “stuff” quite as accessible, and it feels like our daily routine has gone out the window. However, if you are traveling for…
Read More

How to be a Tough – Yet Amazing – Act to Follow

About a year ago, I had the opportunity to speak to 120 leaders at the U.S. division of a European-based company. The leaders were embarking on the next phase of a learning journey that they had begun the past summer. My job was to kickoff the new phase and to get them excited about the…
Read More