It comes as no surprise that the demands on our time and attention are infinite, yet the time in our life is finite. Time really is our most precious resource. So if we are to experience all the joy and fulfillment we seek during the limited time we have, we might benefit from routinely asking “how well does the last week of my life align to what I tell people is important to me?” Continue Reading…
There is a fatal mistake that too many organizations make when they grow. It happens quietly when leaders are unintentional about creating the right culture. The mistake is the formation of bureaucracy and a cultural aversion of risk.
One of the fatal flaws of bureaucracy is the creation of rules that limit talent, including those that discourage talent to experiment for fear of failure. I once heard someone describe the fear of failure as a wet blanket that extinguishes the fire of innovation and I agree.
United States Navy SEALS know better than most that the human body can endure an incredible amount of stress under the harshest conditions.
For SEALS, this lesson is hammered in during “Hell Week,” also known as The Suck.
The Suck is 5 days of constant motion, no sleep with physical, emotional and mental stress designed to literally break a person.
It was 1987 and I was northbound on a crisp late-fall afternoon in Michigan.
My mission that day was clear – to gain acceptance to Central Michigan University to pursue a degree in education. I had already been rejected once and I still didn’t have the grades, but that wasn’t going to stop me again from getting in.
Knowing that I’d be rejected again if I tried the traditional admission process – submitting an application, writing an essay and sending in my high-school transcripts – I bypassed that route. Instead, I scheduled a meeting with an admissions counselor to try to convince her to let me attend CMU the following year. Continue Reading…
Everyone reaches a point in which they feel like quitting something: a job, a relationship, a project, or a hobby. It’s inevitable.
It’s easy to conceptualize, to imagine and to dream of what might be. It’s difficult to do the work. Continue Reading…
The Start Doing List
If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.
It can be easy to get stuck in a comfortable routine where we focus on the same things and we forget to take a step back and identify things that we should be doing that would have a big impact on our business and on others.
I often tell leaders at Service Express that “what got us here, won’t get us there.” In other words, we cannot be content to rest on our laurels, we must continually look for new opportunities that will cause us to grow and become better.
As the President of Service Express, I can’t focus on the same things today that I focused on 5 years ago. As our company has grown, so has the need for me to identify new areas that I must focus on to ensure that I’m having the greatest impact on our company.
Michael Hyatt illustrates this well by saying that just as we must put the big rocks into a vase first, and then add the smaller ones, so too should we prioritize our time so that we put our most impactful activities first. If we put the smaller ones in first, there won’t be room for the big ones.
If there’s one thing that a majority of us can agree on, it’s not that one political party or another has failed us, but that too many politicians have failed to live up to their role as leaders.
It’s evident in their unwillingness to simply do their jobs by passing a budget and finding common ground with the debt ceiling.
If you want to fail as a leader, here are 6 surefire ways to do so, as demonstrated by some of our politicians.
Just Tell People What They Want to Hear
Ineffective leaders learn what others want to hear then tell them it. Inevitably they lose credibility. Effective leaders consider what others have to say but are crystal clear in communicating a Vision, truth and expectations. Sometimes the truth is not easy to say and sometimes it’s even more difficult to hear. Continue Reading…
Recently I was invited to be a panelist at a couple of Inc/ Small Giants Leadership Forums alongside Bo Burlingham and Paul Spiegelman. In this clip, Bo, who is an Editor-at-Large for Inc Magazine and the author of the book Small Giants, asks me what it is that accounts for SEI’s tremendous growth. My answer may surprise you!
If this video does not appear in your email, you can view it here
In this clip, Bo, who is an Editor-at-Large for Inc Magazine and the author of the book Small Giants, asks me how SEI’s Vision to “work with our employees to help them achieve their personal, professional and financial goals,” impacts our customers.
If this video does not play, you can view it here
Recently, on Twitter, I got into a disagreement with someone on the difference between the role of a manager and the role of a leader. Those who know me, know that I believe disagreement sharpens people, ideas and organizations. Agreeable disagreement causes us to examine our beliefs and it challenges us to make sure that we’re practicing what we preach.
I believe that there are very distinct differences between the role of a manager and the role of a leader. But the roles should not be in conflict with each other. Sustainable, high-performance organizations recognize that there is a symbiotic relationship between managers and leaders and they ensure that both are being utilized effectively.
I believe that we manage things (processes, procedures and outcomes) and we lead people (employees, customers and others).
Here are examples of differences that I’ve identified (I’d love to hear yours in the comment section below):
A manager focuses on process and procedure, a leader focuses on people.
A manager administrates. A leader envisions. Continue Reading…