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Accountability | The 4 Key Principles of Powerful After Action Reviews

After Action Reviews are a powerful force to learn from what went right … and what went wrong.

L earn these 4 Principles to make it work for your team and organization.

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Many years ago when we lived in the Midwest, we became very good friends with a young couple down the street.

He was a fellow fraternity brother, from another college, but I remember him as a super bright physician with a unique ability to describe complex medical subjects in layman’s language.

After Action Reviews are for Learning – NOT Blame

One day, he asked me if I’d like to go to work with him on Saturday. He’d show me around, we’d have lunch, hang out.

He couldn’t leave for lunch, but he would bring along some homemade sandwiches, bologna with lots of ketchup, he said, and I could sit in his pathology lab as he performed an autopsy … and while he was cutting and sawing, we would enjoy our lunch together.

It was when he started laughing that I realized why my vision of an overloaded bologna sandwich, dripping with ketchup alongside an autopsy table, was kicking up a firestorm in my gut.

Keep reading to capture the 4 Key Principles of After Action Reviews

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Four Sports Metaphors to Make you a More Effective Leader.

The simple things in life are often the most important … and the most memorable.

T hese are swing thoughts you can put to work immediately … and with powerful results.

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Who can say it better than Yogi …

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore”,

“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken”,

“I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.”

Yes, I know, you’re disappointed this week that I’m not talking about Newton’s Third Law of Motion or The Key to Understanding Quantum Physics … but my brain needs a rest … and I’m still straining with every molecule in my body to understand what Newton’s talking about.

When in doubt – sports.

Sports in this country have become a glutinous conundrum of romance, excitement and heroes, leavened with money, big egos and scandals.

Yet, sports are uniquely imbedded in our culture, and we can still glean valuable lessons from them.

Let me share with you 4 Powerful Sports Metaphors that will help you become a More Effective Leader

To scoop up these 4 nuggets or leave a comment, please click here

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Aren’t You Getting Tired of Always Feeling Buried?

“I’m swamped.” “I’m buried.” “I’m getting killed.”

S ound familiar? It’s a common refrain everywhere I go these days. CEOs and business leaders are feeling overrun with a myriad of operational details exacerbated by the constant struggle to stay ahead of the information tsunami.

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In my work with CEOs across all industries, everyone’s swamped.

Do you feel like you’re barely hanging on, stressed by the fear that you’re missing a lot you should be doing and things might be getting worse?

In an era when we’re all being asked to do more than ever, and with fewer resources than ever, getting control of your personal workflow can provide a significant boost in personal productivity that can make a big difference in your executive and personal performance.

Being Out of Control is Your Real Enemy

As I’ve said here before, the feeling of being overwhelmed is really a matter of being out of control.

The solution is to focus on regaining control. While all of us have various tools we use to manage our personal productivity, many of those tools are dull and inadequate to the task.

Let’s dig a little deeper and suggest some tools to help relieve that feeling of “overwhelm.

Keep reading for some tools to get control back in your life

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How can you make sure that Common Practices are always Best Practices?

You’ve developed common practices you take for granted.

B ut, when was the last time you examined whether those “good practices” still represent “best practices”?

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Do you punt on fourth down because you always do?

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I … I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ~ Robert Frost

Several years ago when my father was in his final days, his bonhomie in full bloom, I sat in the room while the doctors administered a few basic tests to assess his cognition.

“What country do you live in,” they asked and Dad answered correctly.

“What city do you live in,” they asked. Dad answered “Grand Rapids,” correct again.

“What state do you live in,” they continued. Dad, ever alert, laughed and responded …

“Discombobulation.”

I think my father would agree that the “state of discombobulation” is still a pretty good word choice today.

Keep reading to learn why you may not be getting the results you want

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Delaying the tough call only makes it worse

Your Decision-Making Style will determine a lot about the success of your decisions.

A re you able to make the tough calls when you need to?

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On a recent episode of Black Sails, a saga about the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 1700s (S3/E3), the feared Captain Flint was piloting a pirate ship that was becalmed following a vicious storm. The sea was still.

Rations and water were alarmingly limited, and while the men’s rations had already been cut, an even deeper cut was required so the remaining rations and water would last for the additional week expected before the currents would bring them to landfall.

While the captain’s advisors objected and feared the effects of another reduction for all of the men, Captain Flint had a different idea. He knew that unless the men who were essential to sailing the ship were strong enough to do so, no one would survive.

What Was Captain Flint’s Decision?

Captain Flint knew that unless the ship could be managed when the time came, no one would survive. So, what did he do?

keep reading to learn the 5 Signs You’re Ignoring the Tough Decisions

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Lewis & Clark didn’t load the canoe with Mojitos!

Socrates said, “Know Thyself”, one of the most profound philosophies ever spoken about human behavior.

H ave you thought about what it might mean for your business?

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The night sky is etched in vivid black and white tones, and in the back seat of a chauffeured car prowling the streets of Hoboken, N.J., a lawyer for a mob-connected union boss confronts his brother, Terry Malloy, about testifying against the mob in court.

Malloy, despondent over these threats, is stunned when his brother pulls a gun to emphasize his point. Their relationship had reached a nadir, and Malloy was distraught that his brother helped dismantle his fledgling boxing career.

In his dark lament, he delivers this memorable line:

“I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody … instead of a bum.” – Terry Malloy (played by Marlon Brando in the legendary movie, On the Waterfront)

What did Mom Say about Being Somebody?

Our moms also told us to “be somebody” – although our behavior at any particular moment may have altered her tone when she really meant …

  • “Be somebody better than you’re being right now”, or
  • “Get off the couch and quit loafing.”

What does it take to BE SOMEBODY?

Continue reading to see how to consider your brand identity …

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Today is the Day that Tomorrow was Yesterday

Does that headline get you thinking?

D o you live your life like Tomorrow Never Comes? If you don’t make the best of today, what else is left?

Silhouette of happy father and son at sunset beach

Silhouette of happy father and son at sunset beach

You can learn a lot of lessons when death strikes close to home.

Over the Christmas holidays, we lost my wife’s only and youngest brother to a sudden and expected infection that even the greatest doctors at UCSF could not overcome.

Reflecting on that 19 day ordeal from his admission to the ICU until his Celebration of Life service, is a powerful lesson for all of us as we confront our mortality.

The acclaimed author, Sidney Sheldon, once wrote a book entitled,

Tomorrow Never Comes.

It summarizes what we already know:

What was tomorrow only yesterday is now TODAY.

Continue reading for the inspiration to kickstart your life

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Leaders Read and Readers Lead. Let Me Help You Get Started.

I got my hands dirty today.

I t’s been a long time since my fingers were almost black. It felt good, though, to get my hands back in it.

pug dog reading the newspaper and having breakfast in bed

It felt good to rummage around in there, traversing rather methodically, sometimes bouncing around without a real plan but enjoying the motion and the smell.

What is he doing anyway?

I was reading the newspaper.

Yes, it was newsprint all over my hands and fingers.

It’s been a longtime since I’ve read a newspaper … on paper.

I subscribe to 3 daily newspapers and countless magazines, all of which I read for years … on paper.

Since the E-revolution and my first kindle in 2007, I’ve converted to the paperless versions.

Keep reading to receive a simple 7 Step precess to help you develop and manage your reading program.

But, I kinda miss the paper

I’m fully committed to the paperless approach to the world and am almost 100% of the way there.

Keep reading to learn the 7 steps to jumpstart this process

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Is Your 2016 Plan Alive and Well … Or Dying on Your Credenza?

Completing your 2016 plan does not mean you’re finished.

I t means you’re just beginning and if you don’t keep it alive, it will be DOA.

2016 Highway to Success

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ~Dwight Eisenhower

I think that Eisenhower’s message that plans are worthless but planning is essential strikes a chord we all can embrace.

The word “planning” strikes fear and pain in the hearts of those who hear that word, but just when you think you’re done … you’re just getting started.

Is Your 2016 Plan Ready?

You’re aware that the commencement address only comes at the end of your school experience … NOT the beginning?

Likewise, your 2016 plan is just the starting line … and the work is just beginning.

Don’t miss the most important part of your 2016 plan

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Want to be more strategic in 2016? Start thinking like a drone.

It’s easy to get stuck trying to find our way out of the wilderness every day.

T ry this approach to gain perspective and think more strategically.

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They say more than a million drones were sold over the Christmas holiday.

Some for fun, some for mischief … but many offering innovative solutions for a wide array of challenges.

They’re being used to check ski slopes for snow coverage … to look for cracks and repair requirements at the top of wind turbines … and to accomplish video rooftop inspections to save thousands of hours and complete repairs more quickly.

If you don’t have a drone …

Maybe Santa left your drone off his list? No worries. You can add it to your birthday list when the time comes around.

In the meantime, there is one critical lesson you can take away from all of the hullabaloo around this revolutionary invention.

Keep reading to learn this technique ….

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