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Personal Development Library

Personal Development is a widely used term by thousands of bloggers. Some are wide-ranging articles about the body, mind, spirit and soul. Others are focused on life coaching, personal success and lifestyle. It’s a bit of a potpourri here, too, but you will find practical strategies, tips and tools that can make a difference in your life.

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

Is Your Leadership Team at the Top of Its Game? | Take This Challenge

Your Leadership Team is the linchpin of your success as well as your organization’s.

H ave you taken a close look at the strengths of your Leadership Team? If there are gaps, what are you doing about it?

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Thermopylae.

Little Big Horn.

Vicksburg.

The Alamo.

For many, these words conjure a spectacle of clubs, spears and cannons … for others a vision of what might have been.

For me, they resound with will, determination and commitment … AND … they are a compelling reminder of how we can apply limited resources to overwhelming challenges.

Sounds like the role of the CEO in today’s demanding economy, doesn’t it … focusing scarce resources on a few critical initiatives?

Is Your Leadership Team up to the Challenge?

Do you recognize that the gaps in your leadership team are the single biggest obstacle to your success?

Continue and take the Leadership Team Challenge

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Happy New Year! 2016 is YOUR YEAR.

Happy New Year, my friends.

L et’s see what we can accomplish together in 2016!

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Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. ~ Oscar Wilde

The New Year is always a great time for renewal and for a fresh start … but don’t let yourself get bogged down by a bunch of new resolutions that you most likely will never keep.

In fact, just embrace Oscar Wilde’s simple mantra for 2015.

Here are some Powerful Goals for 2016

Continue reading to kickstart your 2016 …

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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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Rudolph Made It | So Can You

If you woke up this morning with sugar plums dancing in your head, most likely Santa made it down the chimney … and Rudolph is stretched out on the ottoman with a cup of egg nog in hand.

T here’s a powerful lesson in here for you.

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“Seriously?” my wife said.

“You’re really singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer while you’re getting dressed this morning?”

I’m afraid so.

Honestly, I have no idea how that song got into my head.

Maybe because Rudolph … along with Santa and Frosty … are the most iconic images of a secular Christmas?

Why is Christmas like a day at the office? Because you do all the work, and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit.

Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

Maybe all that … but for just a moment, I stopped to consider the words … mostly to figure out how to convince my wife that I hadn’t lost it … yet.

It dawned on me that there’s a very timeless message in this simple tune that applies to all of us entrepreneurs … and everyone else trying to find their way in this world.

Keep reading to get the full Rudolph Message ….

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The 12 Pains of Christmas | An Executive Sing-a-Long

The holidays are here and we’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to get it all done. You know, all the productivity stuff we talk about?

S o, instead of asking you to work at something – anything – I’ve decided to give you a gift of holiday music.

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Elmo did it, so did Ren & Stimpy, Winnie the Pooh, Shrek, the Muppets … so with animated competition like this, what can go wrong with my first effort at song-writing?

There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them. ~ P.J. O’Rourke

Yeah, I know, don’t quit your day job.

So, feel free to sing along to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. Key of D Sharp, please.

All together now:

The first thing in business that’s such a pain to me… is the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

Don’t miss every one of the 12 Pains of Christmas

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The 12 Days of Christmas | What does is cost this year?

The cost of the fanciful mix of gifts described in the classic carol, The 12 Days of Christmas, has been tracked for over a quarter of a century.

W ho knew how expensive the Seven-Swans-A-Singing would be?

 

12-Days-of-Christmas resizedWhat a difference 5 years makes!

It was a pretty fowl year back in 2010.

Who knew the price of a French hen would increase by 233%?

Or that two turtle doves would cost 78.6% more? That a lone partridge would go up 20%?

Not that there’s anything wrong with a basket of assorted swans, geese, French hens and turtle doves … I’d prefer a beef tenderloin myself … but who would have expected in 2010, the “Christmas Price Index”, which has closely tracked the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for most of its 27 years, would rise by 9.2%, the 2nd largest increase over that period (2nd only to a 16% jump in 2003).

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day. ~ Phyllis Diller

PNC Wealth Management has carefully tracked these costs for more than 25 years. This year, they’ve even created a Gingerbread House to explain this index and educate people about the economy.

Keep reading to find out how much this will cost you this year ….

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Hi. I’m Your Mobile Phone. I’m lost and I can’t find my owner.

We’ve become very dependent on our mobile phones, haven’t we? Losing it is super frustrating … and can be super expensive.

I ‘ve been through this exact scenario recently, so I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned. Follow these steps to make sure you’re prepared for something that will inevitably happen to you or someone in your family.

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Like it or not, most of us are tethered to our phones like a puppy on a leash. If you don’t think you are, no problem. Leave it home today and see if you can do it again tomorrow.

We have it with us at all times and get pretty flustered when we don’t have it with us.

This is a long email as there are several choices you can make both BEFORE as well as AFTER your phone has been lost. I would suggest you at least consider the BEFORE options now so you don’t have to deal with the much greater challenges AFTER your phone is missing.

What if you can’t find your phone?

But, what happens if you can’t find it. Maybe you left it …

  • In the back of a taxi
  • On an airplane
  • Maybe in the hotel room which is now an airline flight away
  • Gee, did I leave it on the table at the restaurant?
  • I really have no idea where I left it
  • By now, maybe it’s been stolen?

Follow These Steps to Protect Your Phone

Keep reading to learn the steps necessary to protect your lost phone …

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Creativity & Innovation | They’re alive and well and living at USF

Last week, as an Adjunct Professor at USF, I had the opportunity to once again participate as a judge for the Fall 2015 University of San Francisco Undergraduate Pitch Competition.

I f you’re concerned about the ambitions and creativity of graduating students these days, don’t be. They’re on it.

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The Entrepreneurial Studies Program in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco is ranked in the Top 20 of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Research Universities by Forbes (August 2015). An important part of this program is the Annual Pitch Competition which has been held in 31 consecutive semesters over a 16 year period. Dr. Mark Cannice is the Department Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USF. Dr. Monika Hudson is the principal organizer and presides over this challenging and entertaining event, attended by more than 200 students.

The Spirit of Creativity is Alive and Well and Kicking

The Undergraduate Pitch Competition highlights the spirit of innovation and creativity among graduating seniors seeking a business degree.

In short, the students are graded in these categories:

  • Delivery:

    • Eye contact (looked at/connected with audience),
    • Movement (expressive, comfortable),
    • Voice (rate, pitch, is the volume natural?),
    • Fluency (articulation is clear and smooth).
  • Content:

    • Introduction – does it gain our attention?
    • Is the customer pain defined?
    • What market research/validators can be identified?
    • What’s the marketing strategy and value proposition?
  • Viability:

    • Would you willingly put $100,000 of your money into the concept as presented?
  • Effectiveness:

    • A clear “ask” for a specific investment amount.
    • A specific plan of how the proceeds will be used.

Each team had 90 seconds without visual aids to make its pitch. The panel of judges had two minutes for questions, comments and suggestions.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. ~ Steve Jobs

Keep reading to see the winners and some of the most innovative ideas ….

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Is it worth fighting for? How Committed Are You? Like Rocky? Rambo?

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 new 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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Turbocharge Your Resources with these 6 Pivot Points of Leverage

Car jack. Nail clippers. Claw Hammer. Teeter-totter. Tweezers. Nutcracker. Scissors.

W hat do these devices all have in common? They create leverage, a simple but extraordinary force that increases the power of everything to which it is applied. (Whenever a word is underlined with a dotted line, there is an accompanying definition when you click on the word. Most of them are used to explain specific financial terms, like leverage in this case.)

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Engineers and financial analysts use more specific definitions, but in simple terms, you need at least three things to create leverage:

1. A fulcrum, or pivot point,

2. A load being moved, and

3. A force that’s moving it.

Leverage has never been more important for a leader.

Leverage is even more invaluable in a demanding economy. Most of us have fewer resources to solve the problems we face every day … so we need as much leverage as we can muster to turbocharge the resources at our command.

Financial leverage may be one the first things that come to mind, but I want to talk about at least six pivot points that can drive your business to greater success.

1. Delegation

Are you doing everything possible to leverage your time? It not only empowers others to learn and grow, but it increases the chance the most important things won’t get overlooked.

Continue reading to learn the 6 Pivot Points to Gain More Leverage

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