Are You Trying to be Better than Yourself?

American author, William Faulkner wrote, “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

Having a target ensures that you will at least take aim. However, making what the last guy accomplished your target will only cause you to shoot backwards.

If you want to reach your full potential, try to be better than yourself.

The key word is reach!

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is one thing you need to “reach” for before the end of 2014?

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Don’t Judge a Book (or a leader) by it’s Cover

I love to read. As a kid that was not the case. But one thing I learned early on about books still rings true today. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

In that regard, leaders are no different than books. You can’t judge them by their covers.

There is a difference in a great leader and a leader who looks great.

Do you look great or do you lead great?

Great leaders focus on integrity rather than reputation. Great leaders work on their character as much as they do their competency. Great leaders resist the urge to be all show and no go.

If you want to live up to your leadership potential, perhaps it’s time to stop worrying about the cover and start focusing on the middle of your book.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What happens when leaders are more focused on their reputation than they are their integrity?

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Defeating the Evil Twins of Complacency & Indifference

During a recent talk, speaker Alison Levine made the following comment, “Fear is okay, but complacency will kill you.”

Levine’s remarks reminded me of another quote I read from a guy named Elie Wiesel, “The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”  

As a leader, it is important for me to be continually reminded that indifference and complacency are my enemies.

The two evil twins are bound to show up in every life, and left un-dealt with, they cause skills to erode, passion to wane, and dreams to die.

Unfortunately, most of us like to travel on easy street which is paved with comfort, the mother of the twins.

So how is a leader to win the fight against indifference and complacency?

Easy. One word. Initiative.

Like Thor’s hammer, initiative smashes indifference and complacency.

If you want to avoid the regret of easy street, I suggest you do something today. Set a goal, make a call, beat a deadline, sign up for a race, knock out a project you have been putting off for months. Just do something!

If you want to defeat the evil twins, indifference and complacency, initiative is your greatest weapon.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is one area of your life where you need to take initiative today?

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Believe You Can and You’re Halfway There

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”  Based on his statement, if he met some of the leaders I have met, he would roll over in his grave. Why?

Can you say glass half full?

You do not have to look very hard to recognize the general malaise that is gripping our society. Negative media, financial challenges, disengaged staff, and a lack of resources all seem to be contributing factors.

I would argue that a lack of optimism among leaders is just as much to blame.

Great leaders believe. Great leaders find a way. Great leaders say yes.

If things in your leadership environment are sliding south, maybe it is time for an attitude change on your part?

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” 

Leadership Begins at Home,


How do you think a leader’s attitude impacts his influence?

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The Power of Incremental Focus

Mark Twain once wrote, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

As you begin a new day, focus on getting off to a good start.

If you are like me, things are probably more complex in your world than they have ever been. Perhaps even overwhelming?

If so, go back to placing a priority on one small step at a time. Incremental focus will lead to a great day. (tweet)

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is one area of your leadership that needs incremental focus today?

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