WHAT TO READ

Better Than Before

Effective Communications, Goal Planning, Time Management, Prioritization.  These are skills at the heart of sustainable leadership.  Not because they exist from time to time but because they are habits of effective leaders, they exist repetitively and are consistent over time.  That is the idea behind " Better Than Before " by Gretchen Rubin.  While drawing upon the latest research, she also uses herself as her own study to see and feel firsthand what it takes to set and make something a habit. My favorite chapter is titled, “Nothing Stays in Vegas: Loophole Spotting” where she talks about the loopholes we rationalize our inability to maintain a habit.  She pretty much covers nearly all the reasons why people procrastinate and I recognized a few of them from working with my own clients.  In that same vein, my other favorite chapter is titled, “Someone’s Watching: Accountability” which clearly speaks to the value of...
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Why Entrepreneurs Especially Need to Take a Vacation

This month I had the pleasure of contributing to Entrepreneur Magazine in Lisa Evans’ 8/12/15 article titled, “ Why Entrepreneurs Especially Need to Take a Vacation ”. In it, we talked about the importance of stepping away from the business and taking a true break from the business. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who likely started the business and become physically and emotionally invested in all aspects of the business. In truth, the best measure of health of an entrepreneurial business is best described by how well leaders at the top delegate to their next level of managers. How does the business run in the absence of the top leader? What happens when the owner gets sick or has to step away for unintended circumstances? The other value of taking a vacation is the health of the leaders themselves. Intellectually, we know that physical health has a direct effect on...
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Growing Mentor Intelligence™

One of the best things a leader can do for another is to be their mentor. I recently met the author as we are both alumni of the same college, The United States Military Academy at West Point. Alan Landry’s book, “ Growing Mentor Intelligence™, A Field Guide to Mentoring ” is an easy to read and understand guide to being an effective mentor and mentor partner (more on that in a bit). In the classic sense, this mentoring relationship usually meant a more seasoned executive mentoring an up-and-coming leader to help them gain the experience needed to effectively achieve their goals. In the non-classic sense, it still means an experienced professional mentoring a less-experienced professional in helping them achieve their goals. In a perfect sense, the best of both worlds occurs and both parties benefit from the mentoring partnership. My favorite part of the book is Chapter 6: Tools to...
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The Missing Piece for Entrepreneurs

Achieving Sustainable Growth through Business Alignment As we wrap up Small Business Appreciation Month, I reflect on the many entrepreneurs and small business owners I have worked with in the past as well as those who I currently work with. It is these innovative, hardworking, sometimes frustrating and all the time inspirational business leaders who motivated me to publish, “ The Missing Piece for Entrepreneurs – Achieving Sustainable Growth through Business Alignment ”! It provides a framework to help the many current and future entrepreneurs and small business owners successfully thrive as a key component of a growing economy. In the book’s Foreword, Joe Abraham, noted entrepreneur and author of “ Entrepreneurial DNA ” wrote about three groups of entrepreneurs. Of the third group he wrote, “Then there’s the minority – I call the elite – that have invested the time and energy to go through the process you are about...
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A Contrarian's Guide to Leadership

Every once in awhile, I pick up a book sitting on my leadership bookshelf and re-read it. Because I process anything I read in the context of the here-and-now, re-reading older books through a new lens adds to the freshness of what it takes to make leadership a way of life! My most recent re-read is Steven Sample’s “ A Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership ”. The contrarian reference is about doing things that may buck conventional wisdom based on that wisdom created under circumstances that created a much different context than what leaders need in the current situation and contingency. My favorite chapter is actually the last full chapter titled “”Being President versus Doing President” and comes from advice the author received prior to becoming the tenth president of the University of Southern California (USC). In the chapter he describes the challenges of leadership that many times cause leaders to subordinate...
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