The Simple Truth of Mastering a Skill

The Simple Truth of Mastering a Skill

Mastering a skill takes years, whether it is teaching, becoming a great leader, a parent or world-class speaker. Like the Bamboo Farmer that I reference in my speeches and my first book Water The Bamboo the key to mastery lies in one’s ability to be focused and disciplined for years.

Making a Weakness a Strength

Making a Weakness a Strength

I believe you should use most of your time and energy focusing on your strengths. However, leaders must reserve some time to improve their weaknesses.  

The first step in any improvement is awareness. It is difficult, if not impossible, to improve weaknesses if you are not aware of it. Seeing yourself in action or paying close attention can help you identify your weaknesses. Getting honest feedback from those you respect is a gift, so receive feedback with an open mind. However, if you receive a singular piece of feedback from someone, verify it with others as well since feedback is subjective.

Leaders Must Master the Art of Acknowledgement

Leaders Must Master the Art of Acknowledgement

In chapter six of my book, What’s Going Well, I teach readers how to apply the What’s Going Well mindset professionally.

In my experience, the workplace is one of the last places people receive genuine appreciation and acknowledgment—and it shouldn’t be. Recognizing people for their accomplishments and acknowledging a job well-done are essential to employee engagement and satisfaction; it also boosts productivity, changes behavior, and impacts the overall workplace culture!

The Battle of the Books: Which One Wins?

This year I have noticed an interesting pattern. When clients request a keynote presentation, I ask which speech they want me to deliver--one focused on Water The Bamboo, Unleashing the Potential of Teams and Individuals or What’s Going Well? The Question that Changes Everything?

It’s been about a 50–50 split.

I developed a keynote and a half day workshop around the What’s Going Well mindset. Below is a short video that gives you a flavor of the new book and keynote.

Watch the What's Going Well Video

And if you are not familiar with the Water The Bamboo keynote and workshop here is a video to help you gain an understanding.

Momentum: The Key to Finishing Big Projects and Leading Teams

Momentum: The Key to Finishing Big Projects and Leading Teams

Every year instead of setting a New Year’s resolutions, I pick a word that I use as a theme throughout the year. Last year, 2018, I chose the word “momentum.” I have to give momentum lots of credit for helping me power through and finish my new book, What’s Going Well.

3 Ways to Transform the Culture of Your Workplace

3 Ways to Transform the Culture of Your Workplace

Creating a What’s Going Well culture puts team members in an optimistic frame of mind, and interpersonal bonds and team relationships are strengthened at a deeper and more sincere level. The strong relationships that result lead to increased job satisfaction, engagement and loyalty. Acts of cooperation, teamwork and empathy generated by a What’s Going Well culture can also directly influence an organization’s bottom line. A What’s Going Well culture is a competitive advantage for organizations that implement it broadly and systematically.  

Leadership Lessons from the Greatest Hitter of All Time

Now that your NCAA Final Four Bracket is busted – thank you University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers! – we can start talking baseball. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate the lessons that can be found in baseball. I was not much of a baseball player growing up, but I did make the thirteen-year-old "All Star" Babe Ruth team (I didn’t make it because of skill – there were barely enough 13-year olds in my region to field a team).

Is Your Cat a Better Leader Than You?

My recent blog post titled Is Your Dog a Better Leader Than You? received a lot of great feedback but also seemed to spark a bit of controversy. Some readers have suggested that their cats have better leadership qualities. It was not my intent to ruffle any feathers – it is of course the year of the dog NOT the cat.

Leadership Strategies for Dealing with Team Conflict

Conflict is normal and sometimes necessary to progress. Many people view conflict as negative but, in reality, it’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it has the potential to bring mission-critical issues to light. After all, conflict is often the result of misaligned expectations, so dealing with conflict the right way can strengthen team communication and improve culture.

4 Reasons "Fake It 'Til You Make It" Is a Bad Idea for Leaders

It is true that in some instances "fake it 'til you make it" makes sense but most of the time this is a losing strategy for a leader. Fake leaders can be found everywhere and are easy to identify. They give us an uneasy feeling that they shouldn't be trusted. Fake leaders end up losing respect, struggling to gain trust, and failing to create meaningful, lasting relationships.

Stay More Engaged at Work

A lot of my work with leaders and teams is centered around how to increase and sustain employee engagement. When people first begin their jobs, they are typically fully engaged, but this initial enthusiasm eventually fades into "what's next?" or thinking the bamboo grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

6 Tips for Better Organizational Culture

In my work as a professional speaker and leadership trainer, I've learned a great deal about how strong organizational cultures are created and maintained. One of the biggest roadblocks to an effective organizational culture I see again and again is the mission and values of the organization are misaligned with how decisions are made. Whether it comes in the form of miscommunication or power imbalances, misaligned purpose begets a sub-par organizational culture.

7 Key Ideas for a Leader-Coach

The first thing to know about leadership is that good leaders are great coaches. Being a good coach is a challenging, long-term duty but it's one of the most rewarding things you can do. After all, what's better than helping others reach their potential for the benefit of the entire team?