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Disrupting the Routine: 7 Ways to Change for the Good

There are some who will tell you, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  I don’t necessarily agree.  “Functioning” doesn’t always mean “fully optimized,” and without change, we risk falling into a rut, losing perspective, and falling behind.

To grow and stay competitive, you have to change.  Here’s why it’s important to disrupt the routine once in a while, and seven simple ways that you can stir things up for the good.


White Gold: A Story of Persistence

With obstacles, frustrations and nay-sayers, how do you find the persistence  you need to succeed?
It’s one thing to have a great idea or an inspiring vision.  Sticking with it until you are successful can be an entirely different matter.  In this instant-gratification world, we can all learn a thing or two about persistence from the story of Samuel Platt and an unexpected discovery he made over 150 years ago.


Play Your Part

Are you giving it your best?
I was watching The Tonight Show recently – the opening monologues are often funny, and other parts of the show can be entertaining.  The musical guest that night seemed interesting, so I fast forwarded to watch their performance.

On stage were the two rappers, some percussionists, a 16-person gospel choir complete with director, and a pianist at a big beautiful grand piano.

After watching a while, it was the piano player who caught my attention.


How to Build Team Culture One Test at a Time

We all recognize that building team culture is important   We know a strong team culture can have a huge positive impact on team effectiveness, employee engagement, and overall productivity.  The question is, where does it come from?  How do we build it?

To me, the short answer is that culture is shaped most powerfully by what happens when things go wrong.  I happened to see this first-hand some years ago when I watched a team on the verge of collapse do something that amazed me.  More importantly, their actions cemented their team culture even in the face of failure.  It’s something we can all learn from.


5 Essential New Manager Survival Tips

Your first days as the new leader of a team can be a challenge – new faces, new places, the fire hose is on and you are definitely drinking in as much as you possibly can.  And even as all this is happening, you are anxious to make a good impression, build your team, and start getting stuff done.

To relieve some of that pressure, and to help you get off to a strong start with your team, here are five new manager survival tips you can put into practice today.


6 Steps You Should Take Immediately as a New Manager

They made you a new manager.  Now what?
Whatever you did to become a new manager is probably not enough to help you be successful there.  Leading well is a skill set of its own.  To help you make the adjustment successfully, it helps to have a plan.  In this post I’ll give you six things to focus on in your first week as a new manager so you can get started on the right foot.


8 Gratitude Practices to Improve Your Sleep, Smarts, and Sanity

Two old friends met each other on the street one day.  One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears.  His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you:  three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”

“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted.  “Last week my great-aunt passed away.  I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”

Now the man’s friend was really confused.  “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week . . . nothing!”
(Thanks to Cary Schmidt)

Leadership Lessons Learned from Lost Luggage

Sometimes the simplest of actions can have far-reaching impact.  When the unexpected happened during our fall camp out, one Scout was left without the clothing he needed to keep warm.  But with the help of friends and the kind act of a stranger, not only did he make it through the weekend, we all learned a few lessons in leadership.


How You Can Use Accountability to Achieve Your Goals

If you have big ideas, great.  If you have turned them into goals, super.  But if you want to make them become real, the question is:  What’s your accountability plan?  Today we’ll talk about accountability and how you can turn it into a powerful tool to help make that goal a reality.


The Stink Test: Why Leaders Need to Listen to Their Noses

During a long trek deep in the woods, we were faced with a mini-crisis that could have ruined the trip.  But by applying the “Stink Test” we averted disaster and finished the hike as intended.  Here’s what the “Stink Test” is, and how you can use it to make smart decisions as a leader.