Monthly Archives: May 2014

what real leadership is about

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”
― Lao Tzu


Real leaders are rare.  Far too common are the people who insist they are leaders because they want the title, or they want power or they want control, but these people are not leaders.

Leaders care for people and we’ve seen stories about people in positions of power discard people because the bottom line is what they thought they were leading.

Take a look at NextJump an organization that is intentional about real leadership.  Organizations that lead from the heart lead better than organizations that lead from the bottom line.   Another organization that is leadership focused is Barry-Wehmiller and is an example other companies could learn from.

Leadership begins with the human heart and being deeply concerned about the welfare of others.  Do you work in an organization that cares about the employees?   How do they do that?

Take a look at this video by Simon Sinek, listen to the story of real leadership in action.   Imagine working for a company who put you first, imagine what that would be like.

the anxiety epidemic

“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”

― Brené Brown


Anxiety is a problem in the US.   The stresses of career, life, family are taking their toll on a lot of people.    Anxiety is worrying about a future that has not yet come, and yet it seems that many people are worried about tomorrow to such a degree that they need help controlling their emotions.

Too much stress, too much pressure to succeed can lead to anxiety.  Pretending to be the person you aren’t can lead to stress and anxiety.   Are you one of millions taking anti-anxiety medications?   What do you think would help you manage your anxiety better?   What do you do today to manage stress?

Brand name
(generic name)
Used for… U.S. Prescriptions(% change from 2011)
1. 1. 1. 1. Xanax
Anxiety 48,465,000
2. 3. 4. 2. Zoloft
Depression,AnxietyOCD,PTSDPMDD 41,416,000
3. 2. 17. 11. Celexa
Depression,Anxiety 39,445,000
4. 5. 5. 4. Prozac
(fluoxetine HCL)
Depression,Anxiety 28,258,000
5. 4. 3. 5. Ativan
Anxietypanic disorder 27,948,000
6. 7. 6. NA Desyrel
(trazodone HCL)
Depression,Anxiety 26,242,000
7. 6. 2. 3. Lexapro
Depression,Anxiety 24,920,000
8. 8. 7. 16. Cymbalta
Depression,Anxiety, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy 18,573,000
9. 13. 22. 10. Wellbutrin XL
(bupropion HCL XL)
Depression 16,053,000
10. 12. 9. 6. Effexor ER
(venlafaxine HCL ER)
Depression,AnxietyPanic disorder 15,796,000

five ways to lead better

“As we live out of such a mind, we become generous, with no sense of tolerance. We become patient, with no sense of putting up with anything. We become compassionate, with no sense of separation. And we become wise, with no sense of having to straighten anyone out.” 
― Steve Hagen


Leadership means something different to just about everyone you meet.  Some people have the title of leader and believe they are.  Some don’t have a title to lead, they just do.    John Maxwell, a leadership master, has written over 70 books on leadership, and yet we are still debating what leadership is and what a leader is.

So, what can be done to lead better, to lead effectively and lead others near and far from you?  Let’s look at five ways to lead better.

1. Let go.  Leadership is about letting go of control.  It is about letting others contribute.  As a leader ask others what they are thinking and instead of judging their thoughts give their thoughts life.  How would you take that idea and make it bigger?  Value the contributions of others.

2.  Listen more.  Listen always.  Be the first to listen and the last to speak.  What do you really hear?   What is being said that isn’t being spoken?   What is on the hearts of the people?   Listen to what is being said between the words.

3. Be vulnerable.   The last thing that some leaders want to reveal is their own weaknesses as they are hiding behind their own insecurities as a leader.  They believe if people really knew who they are they wouldn’t be in the position they are in.  The lack of vulnerability disables the full contribution of the followers.   They will do as commanded, but rarely do more than that.

4. Be open.  Sometimes leaders feel that they have to be “right” all of the time.  Being right shuts down the contributions others can make.   Why would you contribute if you knew your ideas wouldn’t be valued?  Leaders who have to be right disable the contributions of others.

5. Invite others in.  Sometimes leaders believe things just have to get done and they get it done.  Visions are cast in close quarters and given to the followers.  Decisions are made, directives delivered and pronouncements made.  The more a leader does things in isolation the less the leader is leading.  Let others give voice to ideas, visions and direction to initiatives and embrace the rich variety of creative energy that can be obtained from inviting others in.

What can you do to be a better leader?

desire to grow

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” 
― C. JoyBell C.


Are you growing?   Are you developing your profession?  Are you investing in yourself?   Are you becoming more than you were yesterday?

Many people leave out their own growth in the quest to live a happy life and find that working on all the other things while important doesn’t always lead to a happier life.  Personal growth in some shape or fashion does help create change, change towards something better.

How many books have you read this year?

What kinds of books are you reading?

How is new information helping you grow?

What do you want to grow towards?

Stay curious and grow.

finding strength in difficult times

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” 
― Christian D. LarsonYour Forces and How to Use Them


There are moments when you will face extreme challenge.  Your emotions will be aroused to heights you have never experienced before.   What will you do when you are in that experience?

Being aware of your emotions gives you a chance to be in control of you.  Being aware of what triggers an emotion, anger, sadness, fear, grief, depression, or other negative feeling is something that is part of emotional intelligence.   Are your emotions triggered by what others do and say?   What is it that others do that set off an emotional feeling in you?  What do others say that push you off your normal center?  When do you become impatient, unyielding,  or unsupportive?

What happens when you feel those emotions rising quickly?

It takes awareness and strength to reel in those emotions before they overtake your ability to “respond”.   Reactions often set into motion words or actions that cause regret.    It might be a difficult day on the job, so challenging that in a moment of emotional stress you decide it is better to quit than to stay.   Once the emotions subside and there is time to evaluate the situation the best action may not have been quitting but understanding what triggered those emotions.

In difficult times find the strength to resist the power of negative emotions.  Process what happens when emotions are triggered and carefully evaluate them.  What could you do differently in the future?  What strength do you need to pull from to prevent going into a negative spiral?

create your luck

“The monster I kill every day is the monster of realism. The monster who attacks me every day is destruction. Out of the duel comes the transformation. I turn destruction into creation over and over again.” 
― Anaïs Nin

There are a lot of people hoping they can win a million dollars so they can start living the life they want to live.  Hope is held in the form of a lottery ticket.   Most of the time that ticket won’t bring the promise of a better tomorrow.  The ticket doesn’t offer a hope for the future.  It might be the easiest thing to do, to spend a couple of dollars in printed ink on a ticket,  and hope that the numbers will be the lucky ones.

There is a better way to create the future you want and that is to create a plan to build that future yourself.

What do you want your life’s work to mean?   What kind of work do you want to do?

What do you want your life outside of work to mean, to look like and to feel like?

What do you want your internal life, your spiritual life to be like?

What do you want to contribute to the world around you?  What difference do you want to make in your community?

Luck happens when you create opportunities for good things to happen.   Life isn’t like a lottery ticket where if you are lucky success surrounds you.  It takes effort and consistent action towards a powerful vision for your life.

What are you doing to create your luck?