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I know you have the greatest invention in the history of mankind. Something that nobody thought was even possible.

And you’ve applied it in a totally innovative way that just blows people away.

Unfortunately, this led you to create a business plan that is entirely product-centric. When I see your plan, as an outsider, I’m worried about how fragile it is. All it takes is the NEXT whizzy innovation, and you’re in bad trouble.

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Credit: David Moum on Unsplash

I was listening to a very interesting conversation between The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, about criticism they had received on their offerings. It got me thinking about the complexity around how criticism works.

I tend to be a conflict-avoider, but in general I think I’m about average when someone criticizes me. Often it stings inside, especially when it doesn’t feel like the person actually cares to support me as an individual.

So much of that depends on the context of the relationship. The “sandwich method” of delivering bad messages (good stuff – bad stuff – good stuff) was an attempt to remind the recipient of the larger positive context, but has been so badly misused that it’s pretty much entirely ineffective.

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There’s been a lot of chatter about company cultures recently. Unfortunately, that includes lots of bad examples.

  • Google employees are arguing about gender bias.
  • Airlines have opened up a debate about what enables great customer service.
  • Restaurants are starting to figure out that the roots of food contamination often start with how their workers think of their role in the company.
  • These events have increased the realization that businesses are more like organisms than machines. They’re based on how people believe and behave as a group.

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I was working with others on the ICF-CO Fall Conference, where someone remarked, “You know, Fearless Leadership [the conference theme] isn’t about fear!”

So what IS it about? Well, here’s the answer …

Are you looking to speak to coaches and leaders in the Denver area?  You have two days left to submit your proposal!

deniz-altindas-38128Running a business is hard work, and you don’t have enough hours in the day. Big surprise! Your attention on self-care is one of the first things to go.

You know as well as I do that this is hurting the business. And it may well put you in the hospital at an early age.

So how do you maintain health and balance as a leader?

Physical health

Your mental state reflects your physical health. I’m not talking about extraordinary health care, either, just attending to health issues quickly, eating wisely and maintaining a good weight.

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tribesWho’s your tribe?

In 2008, Seth Godin wrote a powerful book titled, “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.” It digs into the concept of leadership by influence and attraction.

Some of the strongest leaders I work with have their own unique twist on this concept. Specifically, they map out the spheres of influence around their company’s mission.

This is powerful because businesses on a mission usually feel like they’re so unusual that nobody understands them. It starts feeling like nobody really cares.

That’s not true!

The fact is that if you’re working to make the world a better place — through people, products, services, or influence — that there are others who align with your values. They have a desire to help you succeed, even if they haven’t heard about you yet. Read the rest of this entry »

makalouI ran across a really good article today about the three toughest conversations that a manager needs to have with an employee or leader:

  • Delayed terminations
  • Companies outgrowing their leaders
  • Rumors about compensation

So go check out Meg Makalou’s advice – well worth a few minutes of your time!

handshakeAnything significant is a commitment before it is actually done.

Let’s think about that for a moment. Why is it true? Because we make progress by deciding to do something first.

Perhaps it’s a commitment to yourself: I’m going to clean up the yard. I’m going to have that conversation I’ve been avoiding. I’m going to get that job done this afternoon.

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Source: James on Flickr

Source: James on Flickr

I hate to say this, but you might not be doing everything perfectly.  Sorry to break the news!

But this isn’t about making you feel guilty about all the stuff that you’re behind on.  You already have enough pressure there, and it’s probably stressing you out.

When we look at the big picture, the leader’s job is to define the direction and then to set the organization up for success.  Other people can do the details, but it’s the person in charge who is uniquely qualified to do these two things.

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