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WE SPEND SO MUCH TIME focusing on credentials, experience, intelligence, and presentation. And yet, what is crystal clear to me after 20 years in leadership roles is that those ingredients, while important to success, aren't enough if you've forgotten the fundamentals of being positive, learning from others, being honest and the kind of person people want to work with.

I wrote the book Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart, to help center readers on guardrails for living and leading at your best. When you step outside of these boundaries, your professional and personal life are likely to suffer, holding you back on both fronts. Read, reflect, and recommit to these Always and Nevers, and realize the kind of future you've been planning for.

#1

ALWAYS be in charge of your thoughts

What you say and how you feel starts with the way you think. The way you think about everything is in your control. Thoughts are like seeds that need to be watered and nurtured with real knowledge, by real experts and real friends. A curious, open mind lets in the necessary sunshine.

Never forget that you are in charge of the way you think and a healthy mind requires ongoing fertilization.

#2

ALWAYS listen before speaking

And then listen some more. Listen to understand, to demonstrate empathy, and to give the gift of your time and attention. Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. This requires slowing down long enough to truly see the person in front of you. When people want to talk, especially loved ones, they’re rarely seeking answers from you. They want a sounding board, reassurance, and to connect with someone close to them.

Never dominate the conversation; you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

#3

ALWAYS follow the Golden Rule

Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam all subscribe to a version of the Golden Rule in their religious teachings. It’s a simple notion that has endured through the ages. Treat other’s the way you’d like to be treated. Kindness, patience, being first to say I’m sorry are the hallmarks of the Golden Rule, and the rewards to you are long-lasting: inner peace and a life of no regret.

Never let the mean acts of others cause you to break the Golden Rule.

#4

ALWAYS tell the truth

The truth has everything to do with intent. When intentions are pure and not mixed with anything else, there is the capacity for truth. In your daily consumption of information and interactions be aware of sources involved and their potential motives. People who spread rumors and half-truths are always recruiting new members.

Never gossip or waste time with those who do.

#5

ALWAYS do as you say you will

Make your commitments a priority, and you’ll earn something invaluable-- trust. The ability to build and keep trust is worth more than anything else you can bring to the table. There is no skill, degree, or talent that can replace it. Trust is the connective tissue between you and every important relationship in your life: your parents, spouse, boss, coworkers, and friends.

Never undermine trust placed in you by others by not keeping your word.

#6

ALWAYS place a high value on you

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Take care of your health and finances on a daily basis. Make your voice the loudest you hear, and the first one you listen to about your hopes and dreams. The compelling force for happiness and success in your life is you and only you.

Never allow others to determine your ability and potential.

#7

ALWAYS be a student

G. Bernard Shaw is credited with the adage “Youth is wasted on the young.” Wouldn’t it be great to preserve all the wonders of youth as we gain the wisdom and knowledge that comes long after high school and college? There is something you can do to maintain your youthful outlook on life—always be a student. Seek out opportunities where you aren’t the smartest person in the room and learn. Read books and magazines that broaden your horizons. Continuing your education in formal and informal ways will keep you young and interesting.

Never think you’re too smart or too old to learn something new.

#8

ALWAYS separate opinion from fact

Opinions are just that, one person’s view. They can be wrapped in fear or prejudice. Opinions can make people as impervious as steel preventing the passage to clear thinking or new possibilities. Keep your mind free of opinions and focus on acquiring real knowledge. Be selective about people who hold themselves out as experts. The best knowledge possible is that which comes from your first-hand research and experiences. Get the facts before you make big purchases, cast your vote, or try to influence others.

Never mistake opinion for fact.

#9

ALWAYS see the beauty in mistakes

Allow yourself to see mistakes in a whole new light. Learn from them, and one day, your mistakes will provide material for the stories you tell, your heartfelt advice to others and your expanding book of self-confidence. Always forgive yourself and others for making mistakes. Make decisions based on the best information you have and be confident you will be able to handle the outcome.

Never allow mistakes to cause shame or prevent you from trying again.

#10

ALWAYS share credit for success

If you want to be known as a team player, to be included in big projects and considered for promotion, look for ways to acknowledge others and their contributions. In fact, the group is always smarter than any one person, so why not embrace it and say so. When you make co-workers feel a part of something, they are inspired to do their best. People who inspire are literally pushed up the ladder by their peers.

Never allow your desire for praise overrule recognition for the group.

These principles come to you as a loving reminder, moment of reassurance, and reaffirmation of all that is important today and will be for the rest of your life. It comes from someone who has learned through experience these change-proof concepts the hard way.

I hope you'll share them with those you love. I hope it brings you comfort, joy and all the blessings of a life well-lived.

* * *

Lisa Shumate is General Manager of Houston Public Media, Associate Vice President at the University of Houston, and also Executive Director of the Houston Public Media Foundation.She is a mentor in the University of Houston PropPel Leadership Development Program for high potential staff. She serves as Advisor to Public Media Women in Leadership and also is a mentor to the group’s founder. She is the author of Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart.

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JERRY COLONNA helps start-up CEOs make peace with their demons, the psychological habits and behavioral patterns that have helped them to succeed—molding them into highly accomplished individuals—yet have been detrimental to their relationships and ultimate well-being. In Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up, he does just that.

He states that much of what he has learned about growing up came from learning to lead. Reboot is a peak into his live and the lives of leaders as they come to terms with who they are and what is holding them back. It’s like listening to a coaching session.

Who we are shows up in our leadership. Sometimes we use the organizations we lead to make ourselves feel better about our unresolved issues. When we don’t like what we see, we have to be honest and ask ourselves, how have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?

In Reboot, he says things like:

The back of the warrior is strengthened by knowledge of knowing the right thing to do. The soft, open heart is made resilient by remembering who you are, what you have come through, and how those things combine to make you unique as a leader.

On learning to lead yourself he says:

Learning to leader yourself is hard because it requires us to look at the reality of all that we are—not to fix blame on ourselves but to understand with clarity what is really happening in our lives. Learning to lead yourself is hard because it is painful. Growth is painful; that’s why so few chose to do it.

A client tells him, “It’s like this—if I’m not panting, I feel like I’m not working.” He responds with:

There it is. That same old haunting belief system. Run faster and faster, telling oneself that the way to be is to do; do more, faster, and just maybe you’ll outrun war, cancer, and the other demons that cause you to doubt your worth, your lovability, and your own voice.

Colonna challenges leaders to show up as you are.

When we stop the bullshitting, the pretending that we’re crushing it, that we’ve got it all figured out, we run the risk of being overwhelmed by the realities of all that we carry—the burdens we’ve convinced must remain secret to keep us and those we love safe, warm, and happy. But the spinning prevents us from being who we really are. You might as well tell me who you are, because if you don’t, I’m going to invent things, and those things will stand between us, keeping us from being close.

His thoughts on grit are illuminating. He begins by telling us what grit is not:

False grit is brittle. It’s the sense that we are nothing if we can’t take a punch. In fact, we define “taking a punch” as the ability to not feel pain when we are pinched. False grit is dangerous. It feeds a stubbornness that, in turn, can feed delusion. We mistake the tendency to delude ourselves that our relationship will improve, our companies will succeed, if only we double down on our old patterns, grip the steering wheel until our knuckles whiten, and bear down. Stubbornness is not the hallmark of the warrior. Leaders who persist out of stubbornness, believing themselves to be gritty, are at best delusional and, at worst, reckless.

On the other hand, true grit is kind.

True grit is persistent. Ture grit persists not in holding on to false beliefs against all evidence but in believing in one’s inherent lovability and worthiness. Ture grit is the leader believing in the team’s purpose, its capacity to overcome obstacles, and the relevancy of the cause. True grit acknowledges the potential of failure, embraces the fear of disappointment, and rallies the team to reach and try, regardless of the potential of loss.

True grit, the capacity to stick with something to the end, stems from knowing oneself well enough to be able to forgive oneself. To have inquired deeply and steadily enough to find the deep sense of purpose that is beyond a personal mission statement. In that knowing of oneself, one is then able to stand as a single, warrior amid a community of brokenhearted fellow leaders.

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HAVE YOU EVER heard a front-line worker say, “I can’t wait to make more money for our shareholders today!” No? In all my years as a consultant, I haven’t either.

It doesn’t matter what your company peddles. Increasing shareholder value, company market share, or worker productivity just doesn’t jazz the average worker.

There is often a vast disconnect between what is important to a company’s executive body and what is important to front-line workers. What matters to the average worker includes career opportunity, meaningful work, a balanced life, a fair wage, and being treated with respect—not increasing output.

As a leader or manager, you have to attend to the goals of your board or bosses and to the career aspirations of your workers. Too many people in charge focus solely on the former, leaving workers’ aspirations in the dust.

A Solution in Four Words

Cueing into your workers takes far less time and energy than you’d think. In fact, it only takes four words. They are among the most important words in the English language, and, together, they constitute what I call the Holy Question: “What do you want?”

Answering those words, in my opinion, should be required of every job candidate, every worker, and every executive on up the line. The answer to those words should be reviewed during every performance appraisal, succession-planning session, and employee-ranking process. Why?

Because when you know what people want, you are in a far better position to match their ambitions and goals to the company’s goals. When company and worker goals are aligned, people pursue organizational goals with the same dedication and passion as they do when driven by self-interest.

Aligning Goals Increases Workers’ Courage

It’s easier to get people to perform courageous (and uncomfortable) tasks when those tasks tie into their personal aspirations. By knowing what people want to get out of work, you can give them stretch assignments that connect project tasks to their own goals.

So, if your boss’s goal is to “repurpose our existing product assets to create new revenue streams and optimize our market dominance on a go-forward basis,” you can tie your boss’s goal to your employee’s own career aspirations by saying, “Hey, John, you said that you want more opportunities to use your creativity. Create ten new business uses for this product by next week.”

Or perhaps you know that your employee Michelle would like to move from a data analyst to an advisory role. Your board has come to you needing an informed opinion on the latest sales metrics—and fast. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring Michelle into the fold, allowing her to provide a fresh perspective while simultaneously gaining experience for her dream role.

The point is this: Before getting workers to carry out tasks in pursuit of the company’s objectives, you have to understand what is important to them individually. How would you answer the question of “What do you want?” How would your boss answer it? Your customer? Each of your direct reports?

Getting each person to answer the Holy Question, with specificity, will help you to know when and how they’ll be willing to be courageous.

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Bill Treasurer is a workplace expert, courage pioneer, and author of Courage Goes to Work: How to Build Backbones, Boost Performance, and Get Results. Founder of Giant Leap Consulting, a consulting and training company specializing in courage-building, he advises organizations—including NASA, eBay, Lenovo, Saks Fifth Avenue, Spanx, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates—on teaching workers the kind of courage that strengthens businesses and careers. Learn more at Giant Leap Consulting.

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MANY of today’s leaders are saying: I know leadership is about people, not tasks; effectiveness, not efficiency. However, the rapid increase of robotics, AI, and digitization are a disruption. It’s leading us to increased depersonalization and disengagement with our employees. How do I keep the digital demands of today from overwhelming my business? I want to keep my best people engaged, remain competitive, and stay on the growth path!

If these are your feelings, you are not alone! Many business leaders are perplexed by the task of leading in an ever-increasing technological world. Yes, we are leaders of people, and yet it feels as if technology and other digital demands keep us from investing in our most valuable resource, our people.

In the midst of managing these exponential leaps in technology, there is a war for talent. We are challenged to attract, engage, and retain top-tier millennial talent – the fastest growing segment in our workforce.

However, Millennials, the techno-wizards, are not necessarily happy either. Here’s the paradox: Millennials are stepping into a world where one of the things they are good at—technology—may well be one of the things that hurts them most and undercuts their ability to flourish. They are living in a world where the predictions are that robots will soon take over their jobs.

It feels as if we’re getting mixed messages from the top. Do we need to choose between attracting and engaging top millennial talent and installing new, state-of-the-art technology? Not every industry needs the latest artificial intelligence, but everyone is feeling the pinch of staying on the leading edge of technology. How can we be an engaging leader in a world of robotics, AI, and digitization?

The Benefits of Engaging Leadership

According to the 2017 Gallup Workplace Report, employee disengagement is alarmingly high in America. They report that just over 30 percent of participants are engaged (love their jobs), 16 percent are actively disengaged (miserable and destroying what others are building), and 51 percent are not engaged (they’re just there).

In 2016, the Society for Human Resource Management made a compelling case about the benefits that come from an engaging leadership approach:

• 22 percent greater profitability
• 21 percent greater productivity
• 65 percent lower turnover

Millennials are reminding us of what the research shows – no matter how important the new AI or robotics system is, in order to attract, engage, and retain them, we need to do three important things.

Prioritize the Person, as Well as the Technology

“I want to be treated as an individual – not as a trend or a robot.”

Listen deeply. Listening is a tangible action that engaging leaders employ to demonstrate that they value the Millennials in their sphere of influence. They listen…then collaborate on how they might support their emerging leader’s goals to leverage their strengths, nurture their natural skills, and achieve their career goals.

Here’s the challenge. As experienced leaders, we have a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and insight that we are excited to share with our younger counterparts. But what happens when we talk, and talk, and talk…and don’t listen? Our emerging leader loses trust. Then, they disengage. Why? Trust is at its lowest when we talk 75 – 80 percent of the time, and listen only 20 – 25 percent of the time.

What might happen if we spent 20 – 25 percent of our coaching and managing time asking insightful, probing questions, and then listening? Practical experience has proven that active listening improves collaboration, deepens relationships, and boosts productivity. By prioritizing and seeking to understand what makes your emerging leader flourish, you spark engagement.

Plus, you will gain even further insights from them on how to leverage technology to gain to tap new markets, gain market share, and enhance the customer experience.

Align Vision and Values

“I want to understand your vision and values so that I know how I’m making an impact. I want to be part of something bigger than the job you’ve hired me to do.”

Tapping into the goals, dreams, and aspirations of their Millennials – and create align with their company’s vision and values – is a driver for engagement focused leaders.

Emerging leaders often feel stuck and can’t see beyond the perceived drudgery of their ToDo List. They may struggle seeing how their everyday work has meaning and purpose. The result? Disengagement.

Reverse this trend by helping them see how they, and the work they are doing, fits into your company’s larger purpose. The clearer the picture is to them on how they are helping your customers and how they are making the world a better place, the more engaged they will be. They will live with high regard for their work, bringing fresh, human compassion, insights, and connection to a high-tech world.

Value Two-Way Mentoring

“I want to be more than a digital number in your database who gets a monthly paycheck. I want leadership that values my opinion and is geared to my career development opportunities.”

Two-way mentoring means that we seek not only to teach and train our emerging leaders, but also to learn from them.

Millennials thrive when they get clear guidelines and feedback that shines a bright light on what they’re doing right. This creates a learning pattern for them of recognizing their strengths, re-creating it, and refining it. Bring them into brainstorming and problem-solving processes. Their insights can assist you in developing new products and services, as well as create openings in new markets. We might not want to admit it, but they have important insights for us to consider that test and rethink our own paradigms about how to lead well in the rapidly shifting world.

Summary

The disruption of digitization, robotics, and AI is here to stay. That does not mean that your role as a leader of people will become obsolete. In fact, your role will become even more indispensable.

As the war for talent continues, you can come one step closer to winning that war by becoming an engaging leader. The time has come to start listening to the emerging leaders so that we learn about their strengths. Give your Millennial clarity on his or her role, and create a win-win scenario by establishing yourself as a leader who wants to learn. You have the experience and resources to counteract the depersonalization and disengagement phenomenon. Keep your best people engaged, remain competitive, keep up with the demands of technology, and be poised for growth!

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This post is by Danita Bye. She is the founder and CEO of Sales Growth Specialists, a leadership and sales development firm that partners with business owners to improve sales performance as part of their growth strategy. These core strategies propel her clients’ businesses to the next level through consulting, training, coaching, and recruiting. Danita gained valuable experience at Xerox Corporation in sales and later, as an owner and manager of a turnaround medical device sales team. She excelled as a sales person, but her greatest success was her ability to find and mentor young talent. Danita saw
firsthand how character-based leadership can impact the bottom line as well as young professionals she coached.

She is a member of Forbes Coaches Council, is a leadership and sales development expert and author of the new book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader.

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THE 2019 Clinic of Champions held in April and hosted by Alabama head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide football coaching staff featured a number of speakers from around the NFL including Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens.

Kitchens explained in his presentation what it takes for good players to become great. It was meant for coaches, but the principles apply to us all across the board. Saban shares his takeaway from that presentation:

Freddie Kitchens made an interesting statement last night when he spoke to the clinic, and I actually shared it with the players today.

You know, we have about five choices in our life. We can be bad at what we do. We can be average at what we do. I mean, we can be good at what we do – which probably is God’s expectation for whatever ability He gave us. Or we can be excellent…or we can be elite.

Everybody has a choice as to what they want to do and how they want to do that. But if you’re going to be excellent or elite, you’ve got to do special things. You have to have special intensity, you have to have a special focus, you have to have a special commitment, and drive, and passion to do things at a high level and a high standard all the time.

It doesn’t matter what God given ability that you have…that probably can make you good. But without the rest of it, I’m not sure if you ever get excellent or elite, and that’s the part that we’re trying to get to.

The kind of excellence that Kitchens and Saban are talking about is not easily won. Excellence comes from a fanatical attention to basics. Little things make up the big things. Like the painting by Seurat, many points of activity conspire to produce a single effect. Details done right—at a high level—create excellence.

One of those many points comes down to steadfastly acting instead of reacting to any condition you are faced with. That’s driven by consistently keeping the focus on where the team is headed and not where it has been.


WATCH: Freddie Kitchens, head coach of the Cleveland Browns, made an interesting statement to this weekend's Alabama coaching clinic that Coach Saban shared with his team...

Insider scrimmage notes:https://t.co/1IQB2PO1pV pic.twitter.com/EhwbJfhb8O

— BamaInsider.com (@bamainsider) April 7, 2019

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GRACE, a concept present in all of the world’s major religions, has a divine meaning. Grace, in a secular sense—that is on a human level—is about perspective. A perspective larger than ourselves. A perspective that reaches to a purpose beyond who we are alone. In short, our connectedness.

Grace is a critical part of who great leaders should be. To that end, John Baldoni has tackled for us in Grace: A Leader’s Guide to a Better Us, an attribute that is in short supply today. Grace is something all leaders should model for the benefit of those around them so that it spreads to society in general.

Grace is foundational to service. Baldoni writes:

Love, sacrifice, truth, and courage are virtues made actionable by grace. We may be disposed to do what is right; grace gives us the impetus to act upon doing it. Grace then becomes the inspiration for treating individuals with generosity, respect, and compassion. It manifests itself as action in the name of others, and it energizes us to act upon our beliefs.

To help us better understand grace and to help us intentionally apply it in our leadership, Baldoni explores grace from five perspectives with this acronym:

G is for Generosity: the will to do something for others.
R is for Respect: the dignity of life and work.
A is for Action: the mechanism for change.
C is for Compassion: the concern for others.
E is for Energy: the spirit that catalyzes us.

Generosity

Gracious people give of themselves. Gracious people leverage who they are and what they have for the benefit of others. Baldoni shares a great quote from British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”

Gracious leaders share time, knowledge, and power. They cultivate a selfless approach to life. Generosity emanates from an abundance mindset. A selfless person, even in the midst of personal adversity, can find something to share with others. That attitude is contagious.

Respect

Self-awareness opens the door to respect for others. A fully self-aware person knows her faults as well as her strengths. Such awareness compels the self to acknowledge the dignity of others.” Humility plays a big part here. Respect and self-respect fuel each other. They grow together.

Action

Grace is intentional. A reactive mind rarely manifests grace. While grace that has been shown to us comes freely, it requires effort for us to generate it ourselves. Grace means rising above a perceived slight.

Grace is often manifested in clarity of purpose and civility. Civility is a decision we make. “No matter what leaders may feel inside, they think before they speak. They focus not on themselves, but on the needs of others—on healing.” Instilling civility in the workplace is the job of leaders.

Compassion

Gracious people have the capacity to forgive and show mercy. “Grace enables us to take the higher road, to think more clearly.” It meets rage with love and civility.

Gratitude enables compassion—both gratitude expressed and felt. “Gratitude is that capacity to care. We need to reframe our lives with a constant awareness of just how important feeling gratitude within ourselves is because it actually helps our overall well-being.”

Energy

Grace requires energy. “It renews itself through practice as well as by taking in life, doing one’s best, enjoying the highlights, mourning the losses, and do so in the full spirit of life. In forgiveness, mercy, joy, and humor.” Grace draws energy from a positive outlook and an abundance mindset.

When we demonstrate grace in our leadership, it spills into other areas of our life as well because it is an approach to life. Our example encourages others to begin to think that way as well. Grace—in all of the dimensions Baldoni explores in this book—is a value that has fallen on hard times. It is time to revive it in our personal lives, in the workplace, social media, and in public discourse.

Grace celebrates grace as well as advocates for it. Baldoni shares many examples of people from all walks of life who demonstrate grace in their lives. They are an inspiration to us all.

Grace reduces the space between us. Our environment often pushes us into negativity; into the differences between us. Grace intentionally overlooks the negative and leverages the positive. It finds the connection and promotes it.

Baldoni breaks the often intangible idea of grace into down-to-earth actionable behaviors that we can all intentionally implement into our lives. You will find a self-assessment tool of 20 questions to help you take an honest look at how much you have allowed grace to fill your thoughts and behaviors.

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AS LEADERS, we can and do introduce stress into the workplace. Charles Fred initiated a study of over 4000 post-startup business to find out why, after they had experienced early growth, had stagnated.

What the researchers found is a problem in the way employees approached their roles, solved problems, and interacted with each other; poor-performing firms showed working environments of intense stress.” The responsibility for that rests on those that influence how others work and interact within the workplace—the leaders.

Our culture baits us into a non-stop frantic pace with the inevitable unintentional behaviors. Many leaders believe that they are just setting the bar for high performance. Our bodies react by producing cortisol and adrenaline to help us keep up, but over time it becomes unproductive stunting the “very tool we need to prosper in today’s environment: our cognition. So, when we require mental acuity, we experience diminished recall. When we need sharp thinking and problem-solving, our minds are full.”

Into this environment, Charles Fred introduces a leadership discipline that inserts pause and calls it The 24 Hour Rule. “The discipline of pause focuses on the simple notion of creating a space between you and the persistent and perilous stimulus from a frenetic world.” It is the role of the leader.

Pause is not a delay but a discipline. It’s not a waste of time; rather, it affords us the time to deliberate before we act. It allows us to control how we respond and react to others, whether it takes five seconds or 24 hours. Most importantly, it does not delay our ambitions or dampen the need to hustle.

Unfortunately, leaders don’t have a contained workspace or a controlled set of procedures to give us the method to pause. Instead, we begin each day with unknown situations, variables well beyond our ability to plan and prepare. For these reasons, a leader must use self-discipline—the ability to mentally call a time-out, to get rest, to run through a checklist—despite overwhelming temptations to quickly react or respond without doing so.

It is the one thing we have complete control over. Fred writes, “I’ve learned that I can truly only regulate one thing: the way in which I respond and react to another human.

When we look at the highlight reel of successful people, it gives us the impression that they are always on—always producing. As we watch from the sidelines, we create for ourselves a false set of expectations. We introduce unnecessary stress into our lives and work as we try to keep up. The thing is, it’s not real. Top producers insert pause into their work. We need the self-discipline to do the same by letting go of a false ideal.

The 24 Hour Rule is a well thought out and well-executed booklet. Fred provides three steps for building self-discipline around pause. It is a quick read but one that is worth spending some time thinking about.

How will you introduce pause into your leadership?

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Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in July 2019. Don't miss out on other great new and future releases.

The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change by Jon Gordon and Damon West

The Coffee Bean: an illustrated fable that teaches readers how to transform their environment, overcome challenges, and create positive change. Life is often difficult. It can be harsh, stressful, and feel like a pot of boiling hot water. The environments we find ourselves in can change, weaken, or harden us, and test who we truly are. We can be like the carrot that weakens in the pot or like the egg that hardens. Or, we can be like the coffee bean and discover the power inside us to transform our environment.

The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

The true, behind-the-scenes history of the people who built Silicon Valley and shaped Big Tech in America. Now, after almost five years of pioneering research, O'Mara has produced the definitive history of Silicon Valley for our time, the story of mavericks and visionaries, but also of powerful institutions creating the framework for innovation, from the Pentagon to Stanford University. Deploying a wonderfully rich and diverse cast of protagonists, across four generations of explosive growth in the Valley, from the Forties to the present, O'Mara has wrestled into magnificent narrative form one of the most fateful developments in modern American history.

Follow the Feeling: Brand Building in a Noisy World by Kai D. Wright

In Follow the Feeling, strategy advisor Kai D. Wright answers a critical question plaguing entrepreneurs, brand strategists, marketers, and leaders: how do you grow your brand in a noisy world? Analyzing 1,500 fast-growing companies from Alibaba to Zara, the Columbia University lecturer and Ogilvy global consulting partner unpacks five branding secrets. Follow the Feeling will show you how to best build and position your brand so you can stand out from competitors, build a tribe, and engineer a positive feeling across five important branding territories—lexicon, audio cues, visual stimuli, experience, and culture.

Designing Experiences by J. Robert Rossman and Mathew D. Duerden

In an increasingly experience-driven economy, companies that deliver great experiences thrive, and those that do not die. The book presents interdisciplinary research underlying key concepts such as memory, intentionality, and dramatic structure in a down-to-earth style, drawing attention to both the macro and micro levels. It provides readers with the tools they need to design innovative and indelible experiences and to move their organizations into the experience economy.

Swim! How a Shark, a Suckerfish, and a Parasite Teach You Leadership, Mentoring, and Next Level Success by Walter Bond

A fascinating story about the power of networking, connection, and mentorship. Written as an engaging parable, Swim! How a Shark, a Suckerfish, and a Parasite Teach You Leadership, Mentoring, and Next Level Success brings to life real-world challenges (and their solutions) and presents them in simple, yet powerful terms. The book explores the vital importance of networking, explores the steps that lead to successful networking, and explains why we need it.

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Build your leadership library with these specials on over 39 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.

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“You're the same today as you'll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

— Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

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Here are a selection of tweets from June 2019 that you don't want to miss:

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THE CHANGING ORGANIZATIONAL and leadership environment is changing at such a pace that leaders need to develop quickly. Coaching, more than training, focuses on an individual’s specific development needs. Technical skills and talents aside, how we lead is a product of who we are. Coaching seeks to make us more aware of the mindset that directs our interactions so that we can become more intentional in our leadership.

The same is true, of course, of the coach themselves. While a coach may use certain tools and techniques to help their client, the most critical factor affecting the coaching relationship is the coach. Who you are is how you coach. It is this aspect of coaching that Pamela McLean explores in Self as Coach, Self as Leader.

A coach will be far more effective in helping other leaders know themselves if they have a grasp of who they are and what they bring to the coaching relationship. Exploring our own internal landscape is critical as coaches and leaders.

McLean states, “The greatest tool we need to cultivate is our self.”

What’s more, to know one’s self requires a fierce and courageous willingness to explore the many layers of one’s inner landscape, a territory that can be elusive and enigmatic, confusing and paradoxical. This space can be intimidating if we have not spent much time there.

To this end, McLean introduces a process to examine our interior landscape through six broad dimensions of interior knowing that overlap and support one another: presence, empathy, range of feelings, boundaries and systems, embodiment, and courage. “Our most worthy goal as a great coach is to remain at the edge of our growth, always feeling appreciative for where we find ourselves in our development, and simultaneously for where we find ourselves in our development, and simultaneously leaning into new layers and emerging opportunities to deepen our capacity as coach.”

Presence

McLean has found that there are three layers or aspects to presence: presence to our inner rumblings (our thoughts, assumptions, biases, and judgments), presence to the relationship (the voice, language, emotion, body and somatic signals of our client), and presence to the ecology or our surroundings.

Are we able to put our agenda on the shelf and listen to our clients or fellow workers? We must be able to keep our own experiences out of the equation.

Empathy

Empathy is a skill that allows us to feel and understand others so that we can “offer sensitive, perceptive, and appropriate communication and support.” But there has to be a balance. Too much or too little can impede our work. She explains how to cultivate the right amount of empathy. And notes: “Take nothing for granted and check your understanding of another’s situation to make sure you aren’t blurring their story with your interpretation or stories.”

Range of Feelings

It is important for a coach to have an understanding of a wide range of feelings in order to meet others where they are. We begin by taking an inventory of our own feelings. Over time we have developed judgments about certain feelings. “The simple act of uncovering judgements allows us to access some of the off-limits feelings and grow our repertoire.” We are in control of our feelings. “Our reality is that things happen to us and we have a feeling or we decide we have a feeling, but others can never ‘make us feel.’”

Boundaries and Systems

Coaches need to resist the urge to rescue their client.

In coaching, when our boundaries are porous, we have an almost automatic tendency to take on what our clients bring to us, to want to solve, to make others feel better, to save them from themselves, to put on the cape and go to work.

Our work in coaching is to help our clients see their stories and assumptions, not to jump into their situation and become a part of it.

At the other end of the spectrum, when our boundaries are too rigid, we run the risk of disconnecting.

When we have appropriate boundaries in place it is easier for us to see the system as a whole—the interconnectedness of everything.

Embodiment

“Embodiment is all about how we live in our body and allow our body to be the center from which we interact and move in the world.” The way we respond to life and stress is built into our muscle memory and the way we hold ourselves. “The way we sit and stand can change the way we think and feel.”

Courage

For coaching, courage is about the willingness to face our fears and our long-held ways of thinking and being. Additionally, leaders need courageous coaches. “It takes courage for a leader to seek out a coach and when a leader comes knocking, they deserve the coach’s courage to help them look at that which is invisible or only marginally accessible and uncomfortable to explore.”

The Self as Coach Model creates a valuable framework to discover and evaluate how we show up as coaches and leaders. It helps to turn up our awareness of our internal landscape.

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