Think about something you’ve learned.  For example, how to manage meetings, make effective presentations, write well, play tennis or golf.  How to be a good listener, a great salesperson, teacher, parent or surfer.  Whatever you know how to do today, you’ve learned it by degrees.  I call it learning in layers.  The first layer of […]

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If you feel pulled in the direction of change, begin your planning and preparation with an honest self-assessment. Check in. See if your mind and emotions are aligned with your decision and plans. If there is a gap between what you think and how you feel, you have work to do. Moving ahead without attending […]

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There comes a moment when you know it’s time to leave the comforts of the familiar and move on. You may be ready to move up to the next level, a lateral into a new functional area to broaden your experience base, a leap into a new industry or company where you can apply your […]

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According to Harvard Business Review contributor Jon Christiansen, there are more job openings than there are unemployed people.  That fact, along with the high cost of losing talent, makes it critical to keep the good performers you have.  Yet, Christiansen says there are several things employers commonly do that make people quit.  Here are two. Inconsistent goals or […]

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Did you know that those great Steve Jobs presentations that launched so many iconic products were rehearsed over and over?  Jobs didn’t just read from a teleprompter; he embodied his message. Follow his example and you’ll make great presentations, effortlessly.  To support you, here are three tips from the Harvard Business Review.   Practice under mild stress. In addition to […]

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Some leaders say they want to set stretch goals, but they stop short because they want certainty that their goals will be achieved.  They want plans that account for all possible outcomes and consequences. If this sounds like you, consider the following.   Knowing for sure that you will attain your goal probably means you have not set […]

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For meeting leaders, it can be challenging to consistently make regular, standing meetings interesting and relevant.  If you’re the meeting leader, you might feel obligated to set the agenda and come prepared with all the answers.  If you do, you will suck the life out of the meeting and lull participants to sleep.  Here’s a way to increase […]

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Do you suspect that your staff meeting is losing its value?  Are people coming late and leaving early?  Are they interacting with their technology or having side conversations?  Do discussions wander aimlessly?  Is it hard to get active participation in conversations?  If you answered, “Yes,” to any of these questions, you need to hit the refresh button.  Here are three things […]

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Mistakes.  We all make them.  What’s important is how we deal with them so that our errors don’t become our undoing. New York Times Better Living Columnist Tim Herrera has some tips for moving beyond big and little gaffes. He recommends being honest with yourself.  Acknowledge that it was indeed a mistake.  Accept it, but don’t let it define you […]

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Robert Collier, one of America’s original success authors, said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”  While that’s a message I communicate often via Office Talk, it bears repeating.  It’s good to remind ourselves that we can’t do it all at once.  We may not be able to see all the […]

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Whether I’m watching Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Nick Foles, Bryce Harper or Joel Embiid, I notice how they do what they do — the mechanical and mental aspects of their performance.     An important lesson — one many of us can learn from — is the resilience of those at the top of […]

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A study from the University of Exeter in the UK confirms that bosses who put the people who follow them first, boost productivity.  The researchers used 130 independent, previously published studies to test their theories. The result:  the “servant-leader” style of management, which is ethical, trustworthy and shows genuine interest in the wellbeing and development of staff, […]

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Your thoughts can make or break you. What you think affects how you feel.  Together, thoughts and feelings shape your life because they influence your behavior and determine what you see as possible.  The process you use to identify or recognize opportunities becomes a closed loop – life-defining and self-reinforcing.  Your imagination becomes more and more […]

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A study at the University of Basel in Switzerland suggests that if you set attainable goals, you’ll experience more satisfaction.  The findings imply that setting goals that you believe you can achieve will make you feel more in control, which will lead to greater well-being. As you and I know from experience, setting attainable goals is […]

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At all times, two parts of our brain are governing how we behave.  We’re aware of the rational, deliberate self that is ruled by the prefrontal cortex.  But the threat protector, ruled by the amygdala, reacts beneath the surface causing us to lash out inexplicably.  That self is enabled by the inner lawyer, which rationalizes, deflects and blames.  […]

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Delivering negative feedback or criticism is rarely easy.  Receiving it may be even more difficult.  But researchers at University of Toronto found that how people receive criticism depends greatly on the source.   Through field and lab experiments, they discovered that when negative feedback comes from a boss or a peer, the receiver’s creativity level drops.  The researchers concluded […]

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Are you a leader who struggles to see the value of building relationships with your team?  Do you see the personal stuff as a distraction? Harvard Business Review says this is a recipe for high turnover and lower productivity.  They offer five ways to adjust your management style. Get Feedback. Ask key stakeholders to rate your focus on […]

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The kind of environment we work in plays a big role in job satisfaction.  Yet, that environment is largely controlled by another person:  your manager, or someone at or near the top of the org chart.  If they’re supportive, job satisfaction soars. Forbes.com says this is especially true for millennials. If you’re one of the people at or […]

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 As the year winds down, it’s a good time to think through the ways you’ll make the next year even better. Although every day represents the possibility of a new journey, the new year is widely recognized as an important opportunity to think big and go big.   As Oprah says, “Your journey begins with […]

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 While some people are great delegators, many struggle with trusting others to do as good a job as they do. Try looking at delegation as a teaching opportunity. According to the Harvard Business Review, here are some steps you can take in that direction. Don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed or going on vacation to […]

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