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How to Dropkick Uncertainty | 5 Techniques to Master Your Domain

As leaders, we continually encounter issues over which we have no control.

U ncertainty hovers over our plans. We can do something about it by focusing only on what WE can control.


Did you know there is an Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS)?

It was developed in 1994 by a team of researchers in Quebec. The scale assesses how much people desire and seek out predictability, and how they react in ambiguous situations. A higher level of intolerance of uncertainty, or IU, is a “cognitive vulnerability,” according to Michel Dugas, a professor of psychology at the University of Quebec in Outaouais, and one of the architects of the IUS.

Here is one of the most important findings and research about uncertainty:

As a rule, humans prefer certainty to uncertainty. Studies have shown that people would rather definitely get an electric shock now than maybe be shocked later, and show greater nervous-system activation when waiting for an unpredictable shock (or other unpleasant stimulus) than an expected one. Where people differ is in the degree to which uncertainty bothers them.

Keep reading to learn the 4 Techniques to Gain Control …


If your thinking is limited to today’s lunch, next year they’ll be eating your lunch!

There’s nothing more important … or more challenging … than the need to balance short-term results with long-range plans.

H ow is your organization focused? Are you encouraging long-range thinking or only what happens this week?


Do you have the Attention Span of a Mosquito?

How many times have we asked Are Distractions Destroying Your Brain?

Whatever happened to that blank sheet of paper you were going to use to THINK, you know, that old-fashioned approach to problem solving and the creative process?

Do you agree that Google is making us stupid?

These are but variations on a theme … our increasingly short-term focus.

Keep reading to make sure you have a longer term perspective


Leadership & Productivity | 4 Ways to Create More Time for Actual Thinking

If you don’t take time to think, someone else will do the thinking for you … maybe your competitors.

L ike every Effective Leader, you need to make time to do the things ONLY YOU can do.


Protect the Castle from the Intruders

From the unusual amount of email I received following It isn’t Technology Creating all the Distractions. It’s us., I realize we share a universal revulsion for the distractions that confound our days.

You’ve taken the first step to taming the behemoth by trying to understand these forces and how they derail our focus and productivity.

Leadership & Productivity are Sleeping Together

Keep reading to learn the 4 Defenses You Need to Get Time to Think


Five Lessons for Success from the Alabama Crimson Tide

It’s the heart of the college football season and there are valuable lessons we can learn from the most successful programs.

Y ou don’t have to be a football fan to embrace them. They are timeless lessons that apply to any business.


“Who’s walking on my field?”

You’re lugging 40 pounds on your back in 100 degree temperature.

Your head’s tucked inside a small capsule like a two-pound sausage in a one-pound casing and sweat’s pouring down your face.

There’s no chance the sun will disappear … it’s only 10 a.m. … and while there’s water everywhere, your reach for the next bottle seems to exceed your grasp.

Oh, yeah, and the boss expects you to be running – not walking – on his field.

Run, don’t walk, to see the 5 Lessons for Success …


The 4 Do-or-Die Principles of a Leakproof Productivity System

When you look at this image, do you see your Personal Productivity system at work?

You can fix this leaky bucket. It’s not that hard if you faithfully and relentlessly apply these basic principles.


Over the last several years working with Bay Area CEOs and with members of the Exkalibur Leadership Forum, I’ve learned that personal productivity improvements are one of the most important ways in which every CEO and business executive can Become a More Effective Leader.


Two Major Reasons … but many more.

First, it allows you to devote more time to the things only you can uniquely do … whether as a business leader, CEO, mother/father or spouse.

That’s why they’re paying you the big bucks – to do the things only you can uniquely do. If you don’t what only you can do, why do they need you?

Keep reading for the 4 Do-or-Die Principles of a Leakproof Productivity system


Does Mom think you should be a snitch?

For most of our life, we’ve heard, “Don’t be a snitch”. In most of the movies we’ve seen, the “snitchers’ don’t fare so well when their comrades discover their double-dealing.

Does this same approach work in organizations?


Some of you may be familiar with the famed but controversial West Point Cadet Honor Code:

“A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do.”

But Didn’t Somebody Say: “Don’t be a tattletale?”

Few of us would doubt the wisdom of “will not lie, cheat or steal”, the core of many of the values we learned as children.

One of the other things we learned as children, though, was, “don’t be a tattletale.”

Be loyal to your friends … don’t snitch on them … and don’t go running to mommy when you observe a small infraction of the rules.

It doesn’t help we’ve seen countless movies since then where a snitch ends up on the wrong side of the grass.

Keep reading to see if you can apply a high standard that rejects a double standard …


The First Rule of a Mistake? Not So Obvious To Most.

Everyone makes mistakes. That much we know for a fact, don’t we?

So, why do so many persist in their insistence that they did no wrong?


Why are we are so unwilling to admit our mistakes?

Despite the lessons that cover the waterfront — from Watergate to the Catholic Church — the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

What appeared to be minor tributaries turned into a rushing river of a failed presidency and international scandal, yet the stream of lies and denial from those who fail to heed these lessons continues unabated in both our public and private lives.

The truth will never come out … will it?

For some reason, we persist in believing that the truth will never come out.

Keep reading to find the simple road to recovery


5 Signs You’re Ignoring the Tough Decisions | The “UN” Factor

One of the most pervasive challenges that arises in my coaching sessions with CEOs and other business executives is the struggle to make the tough decisions.

It’s a deadly disease that cripples personal productivity.


It’s usually a decision that’s already been resolved — silently, often deep in the psyche — but we don’t announce it, we don’t execute it and no one really knows the decision has been made at all.

What’s the impact of indecisiveness?

This is a high stress point for executives. These delayed decisions constantly beg for attention, but as we drop these pebbles of indecision in our backpack, it gets heavier with each step.

Carrying around the burden of these unexecuted decisions is a malignant tumor that can be fatal to both executive effectiveness, productivity and health.

Jack Welch said it best: “you gain nothing by showing uncertainty and indecision”.

You’re squandering valuable time

These agonizing delays also hijack valuable time from the organization.

Keep reading to Learn How to Overcome Decision-Making Paralysis


How Close is Your Business to a Colossal Screwup?

Have you established a written Code of Conduct in your organization?

Our prescriptions for acceptable behavior are too vague. Get started now to spell it out more clearly to avoid that potentially colossal screwup.


Have you heard this phrase before?

“Conduct unbecoming”

You may have heard this phrase before, perhaps from the clenched teeth of a military JAG officer about the same time you learned that “Crystal” is a perfectly apt response to “Are we clear?”

What is the Standard of Conduct in Your Office?

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain

Throughout my service as a U.S. Army officer, this phrase was constantly refreshed as the highest standard to apply to the official actions of military officers.

How Do Organizations Define Acceptable Behavior?

Keep reading to learn more about how to define acceptable behavior


Fun Friday | Why don’t people return phone calls?

It’s remarkable that so few people return their phone calls on a timely basis. Why is that?

Are we just lazy? Too busy? Did I mention lazy? Don’t give a rip? “If it’s important, they’ll call back?”


fri blog one ringy dingy

Are you eyeballin’ me? Of course not … not you. You return all your calls. Right?

Wanna think about all the time we invest in phone tag? Nah, me neither.


Ok, let’s do it anyway. Talk about a time sink … keeping track of all those who …

  • don’t return the call,
  • are out of the office,
  • traveling,
  • on vacation,
  • sick,
  • already on the phone …

… what a bother, huh?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got dozens of these floating around at any one time.

What if they don’t return phone calls at all?

Keep reading if you need a few more reasons to NOT return phone calls