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Do First Things First

One of our biggest battles these days is to keep our head above the water line … not drowning in the tsunami of endless inputs that flood our inbox.

Sure, we need a trusted system to manage it all … but we also need to spend enough time to focus on what really needs to get done.

What is your unique contribution? What is it that only you can do? What will move the needle and really make a difference?

Today, give it a try. Intensely focus on doing first things first. Just that process alone will do wonders.

If you do that, you’ll likely discover that no one will miss the parts you didn’t do at all.

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As a Leader, are you an Architect or just a Handyman?

Table Setting with nails and tools MODIFIED

You need to develop a Delegation Mindset!

Yes, it’s sad but true.

If you’re a leader and you don’t develop a delegation mindset, you’ll never get enough done to extend your influence or grow in your organization.

Most importantly, you’ll be unable to accomplish the things that only YOU can do.

Do you really have a chance if you don’t delegate?

When you look over your shoulder, you probably see the flood waters rising behind … and somewhere deep in your subconscious, you’re reminded that you need help.

It’s dawning on you that as you seek and take on more responsibility, you’ll only have more to do … not less … and you’re going to drown if you can’t get some help.

Then, you start to notice there is a lot of potential help nearby … others are tapping into that talent pool … but you aren’t taking advantage of those resources.

What about only what YOU can do?

You also know that if you don’t make time for the things that only you can do, they won’t get done … by anyone … ever. Continue reading to get the Delegation Principles checklist

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Be a Leader Worth Following: Leadercast 2014

SF Bay Area Image of Video
Every year for the last 12 years, Leadercast has organized a ONE DAY ONLY event focused on Leadership. This year, you can join over 120,000 leaders from around the world at this exclusive event.

The theme varies every year. Last year, it was “Simply Lead”. This year, it is “Beyond You”.

“Our jobs ask much of us. And so do our lives. Employees, families, our boss. We have every reason to focus on our own success.

And yet, leadership calls us to more.

Leadership is beyond the confines of our daily tasks. Beyond the borders of our roles and responsibilities. Leadership asks us to look beyond the everyday and consider the larger community around us – our employees, colleagues, neighbors, and cities. We are asked to look not only inward, but also outward. Beyond ourselves.”

Another Great Roster of Speakers

This year’s speakers offer an exceptional array of experience, talent and insights … from Malcolm Gladwell to Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, a $17 Billion Revenue company … and to Dr. Henry Cloud and Andy Stanley, two of the most heralded speakers from previous Leadercast events with more than 20 books to their credit. Learn more about the great lineup of speakers

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The 7 Qualities You Need to Get Your Company on the Medal Stand

What does it take to get on the Medal Stand and out of the Grandstands?

Jessica Long. One of the most decorated Paralympic athletes in history.

She’s won 17 Olympic medals. 12 of them are gold.

She holds 13 world records.

She’s been Sports Woman of the Year twice.

She’s obviously a remarkable swimmer.

She did all of it after having the lower part of both legs amputated when she was 18 months old.

Jessica Long’s drive, devotion and discipline are unquestioned.   Her determination is boundless. (NBC produced an in-depth look at her life you can find here.)

Is all of that enough? If you had each of those characteristics in immeasurable quantity, would it be enough to make you an Olympian?

Is drive, devotion and discipline enough?

Probably not.

Keep reading and download the 7 Olympic Qualities checklist …

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Leadership | The One Word You Should Tattoo on Your Forehead

There’s little doubt that this single word … or the absence of it … has doomed kings and queens as well as peasants and us regular folk.

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
~ Paul “Bear” Bryant

Why not take a moment … I know I  don’t have time for all of mine … to add a comment below about the biggest disaster you can recall when you left this word out of your plan?

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Leadership Insights | Do you really think you’re Resourceful?

blue-ball-in-a-maze
On a recent morning, I headed to a favorite place just down the street to fetch a couple of lattes for my wife and me.

Our forebearers would have awakened in woolen underwear, stepped in the dark onto a cold dirt floor, and stumbled outside to chop some wood to start a fire in the cook stove balanced on the rocks outside.

They would have tossed some coffee grounds into a beat-up metal pot … grounds that had already been used for several days … filled the pot with water, boiled it … and at some point, would finally get that first bitter cup of java.

No coffee house down the road, no car to get there, certainly no latte or cappuccino. Eat what you kill, literally. If you ain’t got it, you ain’t gonna get it.

Lots of resources but ….

The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” Benjamin Disraeli

In many ways, we’re much less resourceful than our forefathers.

While we may have expanded the definition of community in many positive ways, using our physical and social media “mobility” to create unimagined connections, we’ve also become more dependent on external resources to get through our day.

In some ways it’s probably better that we’re co-dependent. (more…)

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Leadership | The 7 Attributes of World Class Organizations

What can you accomplish in a flash of time?

It lasts about 300 to 400 milliseconds. It occurs about 10 to 20 times per minute.

Over the course of a day, excluding about 8 hours of sleep, it amounts to about an hour and 20 minutes on average, a fair chunk of time in our waking day.

If you consider that the universe is about 14 billion years old, about 54,000 years would pass by during any given span of those milliseconds. 

Some might argue that we can’t see anything during that period.

Yes, all that happens in the blink of an eye … about 1/3 of a second.

It ain’t much but in those small fractions, a lot can occur.

(more…)

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Leadership Insight | Don’t Gamble with the Storm Clouds

“There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time we have any power over.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

 

Fly to the Light!

Just after obtaining his pilot’s license, a dear friend from the Midwest found himself surrounded by unexpected thunderstorms. He clambered for every streak of sunshine he could find, ultimately zigzagging his way to a safe landing:

“That principle is a metaphor for my life. It seems that I have always flown to the light. If there was resistance or a combination of obstacles, I just vectored my way between them or around them. That approach is superior to flying blindly into clouds. You never know what’s in the cloud or on the other side of it. There could be another plane or there could be a bolt of lightening. You just never know. (more…)

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Leadership | Flying blind? Assume Crash Position!

What you can’t see can do the most damage

Weren’t you heartbroken over the death of John F. Kennedy Jr.?

We recently finished a three-day soiree with our long time friends from Boston, who we have visited frequently on Martha’s Vineyard where their family has had a home for more than 100 years.

As usual, the conversation turned to island lore, Fall from Grace, the mystery novel from Richard North Patterson, which takes place on the island (andwhich I highly recommend), … and inevitably to the Kennedy folklore and the tragic death of JFK Jr.

Is it hubris that drives us into the storm clouds?

“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” ~ Jonathan Swift

My wife has had a lifelong interest in the family side of the Kennedy dynasty, so she was enthralled by a factoid we hadn’t heard before … (more…)

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Leadership Lessons | Do you need your own “Bonfire of the Vanities”?

“There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it.”

– Mark Twain

 

Do You Need to Start Your Own Bonfire?

Barely 500 years ago, Girolamo Savonarola was an outspoken and strident critic of the current order, angrily vilifying the worldly possessions that tempted people to become sinners.

He was ultimately excommunicated from the Catholic church, condemned for heresy, stripped of his priestly garments, hanged, and his body burned in the town square in Florence, Italy, a stark and ignominious ending to a life committed to vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. (more…)

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