When an employee is underperforming and hurting the team, good leaders should begin by asking these 4 questions.
The Whole-Life Impact of Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance can be elusive. But it’s not complicated. Here are 3 simple truths you must understand to take hold of it.
5 Steps to Defuse Conflict
Conflict can be an opportunity for growth when you learn how to engage—not just be reactive. Here are 5 steps to guide that process.
Questions Reveal Your Interest
Anytime a person must gather information, there is no substitute for asking the right questions. Asking the right questions means asking someone to teach you things you do not know, or correcting you if your knowledge is distorted. We see forms of questions all around us: a manager interviews a job applicant, a detective talks […]
The Science of Curiosity
Curiosity starts early. Children throw cups from highchairs over and over, testing gravity and their parents. They repeat the same noises and ask the same questions, exploring sound and language. When everything is new, there are countless experiments to run. The answers are awe-inspiring: sunsets, gravity, hula hoops, and bugs. As more and more questions […]
Eight years ago, Craig Ross achieved a career milestone. He became the majority owner, CEO, and president of Verus Global, a leadership development organization based in Littleton, Colorado. There was no time to celebrate because of declining profits and growth. “For the first time in my career, I was asking questions I’d never asked,” Ross says. […]
The Counsel of Scorpions
Solomon was said to be the most successful king that Israel ever had—renowned for his wisdom and his riches. His heir Rehoboam, not so much. Of the 12 tribes of Hebrews that constituted the nation of Israel, 10 revolted under Rehoboam’s reign. Later leaders would manage shaky alliances. But after Rehoboam, it was no longer […]
The Science of Intuition
Your intuition is a lot like Shawn Spencer. If you’re not familiar with the hit TV show Psych, Spencer is a private detective with a twist: he has everyone convinced he is psychic. In fact, his supernatural, detecting power is nothing more than exceptional attention-to-detail. How is this like intuition? Though people are apt to […]
Big Data is Overrated
If thou gaze long into an algorithm, the algorithm will also gaze into… well, not exactly thee, right? More like a patchy portrait of your likeness churned out by a mimeograph low on ink—sharply delineated in a few areas, sure, but hazy and obscure in many others. Yet close enough in the broad strokes to […]
How to Avoid a Nuclear War
You will never make a fully-informed decision. Accept it. The reality is that every choice involves using limited information, can have unforeseen consequences, and, because of conditions that change before your very eyes, may end up being the wrong decision anyway. Then you will have to change your mind. Yet you still can make good […]
The Science of Naps
My two-year-old is asleep for the third time today. I thought I had developed a clever disciplinary method when I started telling him that cranky kids need naps, and sending him to bed multiple times. Turns out I was being more clever than I knew. Instead of being better behaved, he just keeps going to […]
Bouncing Back After Burnout
The intentions are noble: You want to buy a house with a backyard for your kids, pay off debt, or do something to actually justify the $50,000 worth of student loans that feels like a noose around your neck. You vow to work harder than everyone else on your team, to be the first one […]
The Importance of Play
This past weekend our family had to cancel a special trip to a friend’s lake house that had been circled on the calendar for months. Our initial weekend plans had play and adventure built into them to recharge the grownups, help us finish a busy season well and open our minds up to new possibilities […]
Get a Life!
For my first job in Washington, DC, I worked very long hours. One night, a rare dinner date was lined up. “What time do you get off?” my date asked to coordinate. A long, awkward pause followed. “It’s kind of a philosophical question,” I finally admitted. That was fine by me at the time, but […]
How Our Partners Empower Our Personal Growth
Leaders and entrepreneurs fail for a million reasons. The usual suspects include lack of cash flow, dearth of technological savvy, or insufficient planning. But according to researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, the cause behind a failure to thrive in both personal and professional settings may be much simpler to explain. At least for married folks. […]
How to Get More Cash Cows
It’s one of the toughest questions in business: Who should you be working with? Several years ago, when I was CEO of Thomas Nelson, I had one of those moments of clarity that has broad application for organizations. The “aha!” moment came when I was thinking about our professional relationships with authors and agents. Some […]
How to Get Away From It All
Periodically, you need to reboot your spirit. But how? In a recent vacation I experienced five keys to renewal that I want to replicate in my future outings.
Three Reasons You Can’t Afford That High-Maintenance Client
I don’t mean to sound unkind, but there are just some people you are not called to serve. You can spend all your time caught up in the drama of their demands and accusations, or you can move on. The sooner you cut the cord, the more productive—and happy—you’ll be.
3 Simple Rules for a Marriage You Love
As a leader, the health of your marriage directly impacts your effectiveness. Nothing will undermine it faster than a bad marriage. And few things will advance it like a good one. But it’s not easy. All marriages are works in progress. I’ve been married to Gail for thirty-eight years, and we’re still working on ours.
7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Likability Quotient
Ever wonder why some people are likable and others aren’t? Without a high likability quotient, it’s tough to succeed in almost any area of life—especially as a leader or entrepreneur. If you want to win with people, they not only have to know you; they also have to trust you. Likability is the bridge between […]
How to Build (or Rebuild) Trust
Trust is to an organization what oil is to a car engine. It keeps the moving parts from seizing and stopping forward motion. But trust is not something you can take for granted. It takes months—sometimes years—to build. Unfortunately, you can lose it overnight.
Are Your Friends and Coworkers Killing Your Energy?
There’s only so much time in a day—just twenty-four hours last I checked. And there’s no optional upgrade or booster pack available. Time is fixed. But your energy has flex. Our energy expands or contracts through the day based on variables like rest, nutrition, and exercise. But another critical variable—and one we often forget—are the […]
The Four Disciplines of the Heart
Life is hard. It’s easy to lose heart. That’s why it is essential that we cultivate the disciplines of the heart, so we have the resources to face life’s challenges.
What I Learned from Donald Miller about Being Brave
Donald Miller’s newest book, Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, is out and off to a great start. I can see why. It’s his best book so far. I’ve known Don for over a decade. He was one of our bestselling authors at Thomas Nelson, during the time I was publisher, president, […]