Before You Respond . . .

The normal thing to do when attacked is to respond in kind, or run away. If someone yells at you, the natural inclination is to raise your own voice in response. If someone strikes you, the natural inclination is to strike them back. If someone sends you a critical email, the natural inclination is to send back an equally critical email. These are all natural reactions and in almost every case, these are the WRONG reactions. Responding in kind to these kinds of stimuli displays poor emotional intelligence and weak leadership skills.

For more on this check out the short video below:


A Little Paranoia is Healthy

A wise person will always understand that things rarely go as planned. Helmuth von Moltke stated: “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” It is good to have a plan, the sad truth, however, is that as often as not the plan doesn’t come together, at least as originally conceived. So, be prepared, at least mentally, for things to go awry. Always keep in mind the very real likelihood that you WILL need a plan ‘B,’ and perhaps even a plan ‘C’ and ‘D.’ This little bit of paranoia will give you the ability to accept reality as it unfolds, and be flexible in modifying the plan as necessary.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Blind Spots – Johari Window

The Johari window is a psychological tool that looks at self-awareness, specifically mapping awareness of our idiosyncrasies into a matrix of four blocks:

1) that which is known by ourselves and others,

2) that which is known by others but we don’t know it about ourselves,

3) that which we know about ourselves but others do not know, and

4) that which neither others or we ourselves know about our personality/behavior.

The reason I include this in a proverb is that self-knowledge is fundamental to wisdom.

For more on this check out the short video below:


WIIFM stands for: “What’s In It For Me.”  WIIFM is the operational philosophy of nearly 100% of the population, nearly 100% of the time, including you and me. Yes, there are a LOT of people who say they operate under a different philosophy, and there may be a few who do, at least occasionally, but, by and large, that number is low.  Christians strive to operate out of a philosophy of love and consideration of others above self. This is as it should be and God’s design, but most give little thought to anyone or anything without first considering the WIIFM.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Pride goes before a Fall

That is actually a variation of Proverbs 16:18 (from the Bible): “Pride goes before destruction….” Here is another, “Do not think of yourself more highly that you ought….” Romans 12:3. Jim Collins in Good to Great described the difference between companies which performed at good levels, and those which could be considered great. Several years later he wrote a follow-up book titled How the Mighty Fall which described how many of those “great” companies had crumbled.

For more on this check out this short video:

Pick up the PHONE!!

I know we live in a digital age.  I know that we depend on email and text messages for almost all of our communication, not to mention LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.  In most cases these forms of communication are entirely adequate to get a message across. In fact, these forms of communication can be extremely effective because they leave a nice digital trail to refer back to if necessary.

For more on this check out this short video:

Mission Statement

The benefits of the mission statement are that it clarifies what the company DOES and does NOT do, which allows greater ability to focus on quality. People can have mission statements, too. A personal mission statement clarifies why YOU exist. It provides boundaries in your life that can be very useful in keeping your focus on the goals you have for your life. Mission Statements must be dynamic, by that I mean that a mission statement’s value is in its active guidance in your life.

For more on this check out this short video:


Expediency, Exigency, and Ethics

I think it is accurate to state that most of us would say that we live our lives according to an ethical standard. That standard includes such moral virtues as honesty, respect, fairness, etc. Yet, the Ethical conduct of our life is constantly under pressure to bend to the needs of Exigency and Expediency. Three ‘E’ words that make all the difference in how we live and conduct our lives. It is better to live right, and to choose right in advance of exigency than to allow expediency to prevail and push you into actions opposed to your values.

For more on this check out the short video below:


Hire People Smarter Than Yourself

Hiring people who are smarter than you are seems counterintuitive. It seems like, as leader, you should know more than those you employ, about every aspect of the job. That, however, would be wrong, especially in the current age in which we live. Hiring people smarter than you will be difficult if you think you are the smartest person in the room. However, if you can get over yourself, you will soon realize there are a lot of areas where you don’t know the answers. Smart leaders hire even smarter workers who can help the organization move forward.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Making Conversation

Whether in a group of three to five individuals, or simply one-on-one, the ability to engage in conversation is a crucial skill. I say crucial because this ability is the beginning step in forming a relationship. Almost all relationships have a communication component, verbal or otherwise. Relationships form the foundation of all meaningful human interaction. The best way to develop the skill of conversation is to start from a common point of reference, for instance, sports, the weather, home towns, cars, etc. Building on that, from a perspective of genuine interest, begin asking questions and sharing from your own experience.

For more on this, check out the short video below: