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Leadership LibraryI have written more than 300 articles about Leadership, about 1/3 of which have been published by the SF affiliate of the New York Times. You can focus here on specific issues including Communication, Compensation, Governance, Entrepreneurship, Performance, Planning, and Recruiting

Please check out the Featured Articles from our Leadership Library to get you started.

The Two Principles You Need to Live a Life of Harmony

Does this get you thinking: Today is the Day that Tomorrow was Yesterday?

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

It’s Time to Live a Life of Harmony

In addition to living life today and not waiting for the promises of tomorrow, I’m kicking the concept of a “balanced life” to the curb.

Instead, I’m looking for a Life of Harmony, which is a blend of two key principles:

  • A blend of work, home, friends and community, and
  • A commitment to live for today, not for the tomorrow that never comes.

As you prepare for your Best Year Ever in 2018, both of these principles must be present to achieve a Life of Harmony.

Principle 1: The Concept of a Balanced Life is Over

The concept of a balanced life is kaput because it’s based on the outdated assumption that there is a bright line between home and work.

But there really isn’t, is there?

With today’s technology … with both spouses working and sharing home and parenting duties … the line between work and home is fuzzy at best:

  • You have the capability to get work done when and where you want,
  • You don’t want to miss your kids’ soccer games or piano recitals,
  • You may prefer to put your kids to bed and work afterward, and
  • You want a life where all of your interests and needs are in “harmony”.

Once you embrace that concept, you can join me and kick that *balanced life* concept out the door.

Principle 2: Life is Short and Unpredictable

When death strikes close to home, this lesson rears its ugly head yet again.

Over the Christmas holidays several years ago, we lost my wife’s only and younger 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.

None of us had any idea this day was coming. He was relatively young at 65, healthy throughout his life and was planning to retire at the first of the year … with many plans that he never realized.

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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Are You Willing to Accept Defeat? If Not, What Will You Do To Prevent It?

If you’re like most, you love playing the game far more than you like preparing to play … in the sports world, better known as practice.

In business, as in sports, you’ve learned … courtesy of the school of hard knocks … that your success in the game is closely intertwined with how well you’re prepared to play it … how hard you have practiced.

 

On the eve of 2018, now is a great time to get prepared. There will be unexpected speed bumps to be sure, but having a plan is your greatest asset and advantage.

Summon the will to prepare … a commitment to getting ready with the same passion as you play the game … and you’ll set yourself up for the Best Year Ever.

You can easily add your comment below, or by visiting our Facebook Page or @Exkalibur on Twitter. I visit them every day and look forward to discussing these ideas and concepts with you.

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Who, me? I need to make a change? No, you’re the one who needs change. What?

There is at least One Irrefutable and Universal Truth

I t’s a pretty rare day when you don’t think about changing someone else, isn’t it?

If you could just get other people to change, to do things your way, to see the path as you do ….

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You may not know Tom Allender, but you’d be lucky if you did.

Several years ago, my wife mentioned that Tom had a reputation as a very insightful and heartfelt speaker and was appearing at the local parish in a few weeks to talk about relationships.

I was a little skeptical of getting “preached to” about relationships, but my wife was eager to attend, so I agreed to join her.

He was terrific and wasn’t at all “preachy” … and as he got started, you could see couples beginning to squirm, turning to each other and whispering versions of …

“How did he know that [about us]?”

… or “Have you already talked to him?” …

“I didn’t see him peeking in our window.” ….

What is that One Universal Truth?

It quickly became clear he could pinpoint the universality of the many things we face in our relationships with each other.

What I distinctly remember is his story about the married man who approached him one day to ask about an upcoming couples’ retreat:

Keep reading to learn a simple approach to change your life …

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Great. Your 2018 Plan is Finished. Now What?

Finishing your 2018 plan feels great … but if you’re not working it with intense and relentless focus, it’s DOA. Try these  7 Steps to Annual Plan Success.

The harsh reality is that the so-called strategy formulation part is important … and as challenging as it may be, it’s by far the easiest.

For some reason, it just won’t implement itself.

 

Your 2018 Plan is just the Starting Line

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

I know you’ve seen this quote before … because I use it like they vote in Chicago – regularly and often.

Why?

Because it captures the essence of the planning activity that so many executives miss. That includes the CEOs and senior executives who complain that the exercise of creating an annual plan is basically … worthless.

They usually say something like,

“ It’s a waste of time to create a plan every year … and a budget and a forecast to go with it … because the future is unpredictable and it never turns out the way we plan it anyway.”

Military strategist Helmuth von Moltke is famously known for this simple quote in response:

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”

What’s your experience?

Keep reading so you don’t miss the 6-Pack of Annual Plan Success

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Today, we honor and say THANK YOU to ALL of our Veterans

Today, we celebrate Veteran’s Day. This honor extends to anyone who has ever stood somberly, raised his or her right hand, and enlisted in any branch of the U.S. military (while swearing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”).

Veteran’s Day was established to honor ALL those who served honorably in the military.

It doesn’t matter if the veteran served in wartime or saw combat. (For the record, Memorial Day, which is celebrated on the last Monday in May, is set aside to honor those military personnel who died in the service of their country.)

So, today we extend our heartfelt THANK YOU to the veterans who have served our country.

If you know a veteran, take a few minutes to call them and thank them for their service. If you see a soldier or veteran, thank them for their service. Buy him or her lunch or coffee if you can. It’s a small thing but it’s a tangible and visible way to show your support and respect.

If nothing else, take a moment today to remember the sacrifices they have made through the years … and continue to make every day … at great risk … but with an unwavering dedication to the service of their country and to our safety and well-being.

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Will people like what they see when they look in your window?

Do people see exactly what you want them to see when they look in your window?

I’m sure you will agree with this: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

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Back when I was a bank teller ….

Just after the dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, my first assignment in the Management Training Program of the bank I joined right after college, was as a teller at one of their branches.

Some of you may never have been inside a bank branch, but back then, they were the center of your personal and business banking universe. There was no online capability and everything had to be done face-face.

I won’t try to make you jealous of my experience … making sure the transactions at my window, and in the entire branch, were balanced before anyone could leave the branch … the often tedious nature of handling deposits or standing around waiting for one … but I remember vividly one of the most powerful lessons I learned on my first day:

If you care about what people see when they look in your window, keep reading

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Have you ever been so broke you had to sell your dog at the local 7-Eleven?

This may seem like a very strange blog post for a site dedicated to leadership. But not really.

N ot if you’re committed to managing your life, controlling your day and fighting for what you believe.

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Recently, I saw a profile of Sylvester Stallone and, serendipitously, stumbled across several articles and interviews about him at the same time. One of the stories was featured on CBS Sunday Morning which featured him and spotlighted his movie, Creed.

In the process, I learned that Stallone broke through with his own writing and NOT with his acting. After some of his early acting failures, he began writing, relentlessly.

He wrote almost 30 scripts.

He says 29 of them were crappy.

Rocky Balboa – Stallone’s breakout role

The 30th script was for Rocky, a $500 Million blockbuster movie … but as interest began to build in his script, he saw this as a unique opportunity to kickstart his career.

How did he do it?

What can we learn from Sylvester Stallone and his iconic characters?

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Have you got my back … or will you fold your tent when the going gets tough?

Resourcefulness has nothing to do with access to resources.

W e have more resources than ever before. That’s not what makes us resourceful.

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Early this morning, I headed to a favorite place just down the street to bring home a couple of lattes for my wife and I.

I think Jefferson or Franklin or another of our forefathers was looking down at that moment, shaking his head in wonder. He looked a little disgusted at our lack of self-sufficiency.

Would You Work This Hard for a Cup of Coffee?

Our ancestors would have awakened in woolen underwear, stepped onto a cold wooden or dirt floor, and would have gone outside to chop some wood to start a fire in the cook stove or set a campfire with a few nearby rocks.

Don’t mistake resources for resourcefulness. Keep reading ….

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