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What is Winston Churchill’s Productivity Secret?

Churchill Image: I am an optimist2“How did you get so much done?”

You’ve probably heard the question many times, asked of interview guests the world over …

“If you could interview anyone, living or not, who would it be?”

For me, that’s an easy question.

Winston Churchill.

What if I could only ask him one question?

I could ask him a million questions and talk with him for days, but if I’m only given one question, here’s the simple one I’d ask:

“How did you get so much done?”

Winston Churchill lived to the ripe age of 90

Today, Sunday, November 30, is the birthday of Winston Churchill.

He was born 140 years ago in 1874 … and died 50 years ago next month … yet his talent and prodigious output remains striking to this day. He has always been one of my favorite historical characters … and for many reasons.
Continue reading to discover Churchill’s secret

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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It seems like everyone is ready for a little R&R these days … and there’s no better time than the Thanksgiving holiday for a restful weekend with family and friends.

We can skip all of the pageantry for now ….

Thanksgiving kicks off a long holiday season … and … thankfully … it’s devoid of the frantic gift-buying, holiday card creation and party circuit pageantry that surrounds Christmas (unless you’re parked in a tent in front of Target waiting for the store to open).

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of fun in all of that … but don’t we often get to the end of the Christmas season … exhausted, drained and looking for another holiday to REALLY get a break?

Leave your trials and tribulations behind

So, let’s enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and take a moment to leave our trials and tribulations behind and reflect upon all of our blessings. We have a lot to be thankful for living in the greatest country on earth, with all of its blemishes, and for the families and friends who nourish our lives.

Savor these moments.

Enjoy each others’ company, catch a little football, watch Santa arrive in the Macy’s day parade … but don’t let the moment pass by without loving the ones you love and who love you … and enjoying and embracing the blessings that fulfill our lives.

Let the gratitude pour forth~

I offer my special thanks today to everyone who contributes to the blessings and favor that grace my life and extend best wishes to you for a restful and bounteous weekend with your families and friends.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday!

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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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If You Stop Asking these 10 Questions, You’re Toast

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Do NOT Stop Asking These 10 Questions

Several years ago, I wrote about whether we needed another checklist of the 10 Stupid Things I can’t stop doing ..or the Top 5 things I need to do before I brush my teeth (really, nothing, do that first … please).

I ran across it recently and re-read the article by Marc Kramer entitled, The 10 Questions You Should Never Stop Asking.

What about … WHAT ONLY YOU CAN DO?

As an experienced leadership coach leading a group of CEOs as well as a separate group of senior executives, I’m constantly reminding leaders to focus more intensely on what only you can do.

You’ll need to register to read Continue reading about this powerhouse article

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Rudolph led his team across the world. You can, too!

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 spiced egg nog in hand.

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

I’m afraid so.

Rudolph, The Entrepreneur?

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?

Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

Maybe because my daughter’s little yorkie, Lulu, is wearing her “Ludolph” outfit?

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 ….

There’s a timeless message in Rudolph’s story.

Then, 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. Here’s the message Rudolph has to share …

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Leadership | How Are You Paving the Road to Superior Performance?

Two-faced head statueIn Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?, I posed the question: If measured by financial performance, can dramatically different organizations be equally successful?

In this short series about culture development, we’ll take a look at how sound business principles and cultural patterns often collide within an organization’s walls.

How can opposing cultures both succeed?

In many ways, it doesn’t seem fair that both charitable and churlish cultures can thrive.

It’s easy to embrace the benevolent culture created by Sid Rich (we’ll call it Company South, “S” for Sid) as profiled in the first article in this series.

His company deserves to be successful.

Wouldn’t it be great if that was the company you worked for? (more…)

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Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?

Anger 2He threw a lead crystal ashtray at his son’s head?” I asked. “Thank God he missed.”

“He threw his secretary’s typewriter through a second story window – it wasn’t open – into a parking lot full of cars below?”

These are just a few of the stories I heard after I joined the firm.

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ever feel like you were a galley slave?

In short order, I recognized that the company’s cultural ancestors probably included a toga-clad, sweat-drenched galleon driver pounding out a cadence of “ramming speed” with a wooden mallet.

Their cost-containment strategy was medieval.

The company showed no obeisance whatsoever to any concept of structure or chain-of-command organization.

The chairman slurped a workaholic tonic that abused everyone in sight, brooked little disagreement and intimidated employees, customers and vendors with equal disdain.

Typewriter broken? Just don’t use that letter!

His miserly ways were never more visible than the occasion on which he lost his patience hearing about the infamous typewriter (remember those?) that wouldn’t stay fixed. (more…)

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Who wants to see some bad guys get their butt kicked?

Get ready for Fiction Fridays … because we’re going rogue!

We’re going rogue…. on Fiction Fridays!

I intend to roust your senses, pillage your serenity and stimulate your discovery of the good, the bad and the only fiction genre where a ranch breakfast is a steel metal jacket dipped in cordite.

We’re going to mix it up … on Fiction Fridays … and talk about the books which fill the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre.

They sire rabid fans and beget a rogue’s gallery of unaccountable tough guys, a few cerebral types and shameless sidekicks. That’s going to be part of Fiction Fridays … starting now!

Are you a fan of the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre?

Most of us who love this genre are passionate about our favorite characters.

We’re looking for great stories, new authors, undiscovered gems and the unexpected twists and turns that keep these books at the top of the best seller lists.

No PC sensibilities, no hand holding, no singing kumbaya around the campfire.

Some days, a little street justice and a big-time ass-whuppin’ is just what we need. (more…)

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Leadership Insights | The 8 Principles of Effective Delegation

What’s Your Delegation Score?

Delegation isn’t just a handoff so you can walk away and do something else. It is a critical leadership skill that you must master if you want to expand your reach, take control of your time and achieve the work-life harmony you’re seeking.

Learn the 8 Principles of Effective Delegation.

Score = 0 from 3 people

 

How often have you failed with delegation?

How often have you wondered why a project went wrong, or why someone never finished the task you were counting on them to finish?

How many times have you complained about projects that you’re managing … missing their deadlines, going over budget (not under budget very often, huh?) and not getting done as you expected?

How did you feel when you were called on the carpet by YOUR boss wanting to know why the project you’re handling is stalled?

Why didn’t your delegation succeed?

When we’ve delegated some or all of a project to someone else, we’re embarrassed … and probably a little teed off … but we’re also too often thinking about the wrong things like …, “damn that John, he just can’t be counted on” … or, “she doesn’t get it” … or something like, “they can’t ever seem to follow through” as we tick off all the reasons why the people on our team have let us down. (more…)

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Leadership Lessons: Wild & Crazy Guys or Masters of our Domain?

What Does It Take to be a Great Leader?

Nothing in life travels in a neat formation accompanied by bugles and cavalry.

A lot of it shows up filthy and unkempt, prominent in the mess we’ve made around our foxhole.

These lessons are typically the offspring of hubris, naivete and ignorance … or from overlooking the land mines hidden beneath our feet.

We’re sharing valuable and practical leadership tips and tools to help you BECOME a better leader.

First, you must start BEING a better leader  … implementing NOW the changes necessary to adopt the proven strategies of successful leaders. You might start by building on the communication matrix and making sure you’re defending the castle to get done what only you can do. Make some time so you’re thinking past today.

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I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people’s accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

~ Justice Earl Warren

Get in the game. Enjoy the Ride.

Enthusiastic Leaders

The week just ended is my favorite sports week of the year. Some of you will say, “Nah, you got your calendar mixed up. Baseball season opened the previous week.”

Of course, I could say, “but the home opener for the Giants was that week” and then you’d say, “OK, so you’re a big Giants fan. I get it.”

A few of you may suspect that’s not the reason. Not that I don’t love the World Champion San Francisco Giants and all … but honestly? That didn’t even occur to me as I braced for the greatest sports week of the year.

What’s not to like?

There are a lot of reasons why I love the week that just ended. (more…)

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