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Category / leadership

Tell less, ask more

A haiku from the author Michael Bungay Stanier summarizing his book, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way Your Lead Forever: “Tell less and ask more. Your advice is not as good As you think it is.” I need to print this and put it in a frame on my desk […]

Going for it on fourth down, every time

I’ve posted about maverick Arkansas high school football coach Kevin Kelley before, and now Andy Staples of SI writes about seeing his team, the Pulaski Academy Bruins, in person where they ended the opponent’s 84-game home winning streak. Kelley’s team is famous for going for it on almost every 4th-down, opting for onsides kicks on every […]

The guardian

Solid insight from @garrytan: Behind every truly great experience is a guardian who relentlessly pursues the perfection of that experience. — Garry Tan (@garrytan) September 20, 2014 Steve Jobs was that guardian for Apple. He was ruthlessly protective of the experience Apple products provided for their customers.  Walt Disney was all about “plussing” and relentlessly […]

Tim Cook on Steve Jobs and the values that drive Apple

Fast Company has an exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook that is filled with quote-worthy insights. Cook, an Auburn University graduate from Mobile, Alabama, has always come across to me as a genuinely good guy. Very smart and driven and hard-working, of course, but a regular, unassuming nice person who just happens to run the […]

Pick a path and get moving

A thought worth considering from Donald Miller’s memoir about relationships, Scary Close: “I wonder if what might help couples build great families is to pick a place for their family to go and then hit the gas, to work toward their vision and build it out. Relationships have a way of stabilizing when in motion. […]

Band camp and intrinsic rewards

I was in the marching band in high school. Trumpet and French horn. I was no great musician, but I especially enjoyed the camaraderie. During the summer we all had to participate in band camp, where we learned the music and the show we would perform at football games and in competitions. (There was no […]

Unconventional wisdom

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” –Mark Twain Running with the crowd may feel safe, but it shouldn’t make you feel comfortable. The bold ideas, the original and courageous convictions, are most often at odds with popular opinion and conventional wisdom. “When 99 percent […]

Shine for someone

I found this anecdote a while back: “Maya Angelou was once asked what was her secret to being such a good writer and poet. Her response was, ‘Because when I was a little girl, every time I walked into a room my daddy’s eyes lit up.’” I can’t trace it to an interview with Maya […]

The elevator pitch, the tweet, and clarity of purpose

Can you pitch your idea or make your point in the length of an elevator ride? That’s been a long-standing and effective thought experiment to help determine if you’ve thought clearly enough about your plan and can articulate it simply and quickly. So, if you’re working on a speech or a business idea or a […]

Five C’s of leadership

Kevin and Melissa, two of the university students I work with, are taking a leadership class and were assigned to ask questions about leadership. They both had this question for me: “What are the characteristics of an effective leader?” “Effective” is subject to interpretation. Gengis Khan was effective… in conquering, destroying, and subjugating, but he […]