Choose leadership. Choose excellence.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams

I believe that leadership is what our world needs most, and I believe that leaders can choose to be excellent. Habits help us do just that.

Why Lead?

A few Saturdays ago, my eyes connected with a board member’s and, instantly, I knew we were having the same thoughts: Why am I here? Why do I subject myself to this? These meetings are always more frustrating and hurtful than they need to be. As quickly as the recognition of those thoughts was the unspoken understanding that we wouldn’t choose anything different. But I couldn’t quite find the words for that . . . . . . until I saw a 60 Minutes interview with Bob McDonald, the new United Continue Reading

Does Leadership Still Matter?

With crowdsourced decision-making growing in popularity, well-known companies creating self-managed teams with no managers, and technology that makes communication simple, it’s time to ask, “does leadership still matter?” In Good to Great, even Jim Collins questioned the importance of leaders. So, early in the project, I kept insisting, “Ignore the executives.” But the research team kept pushing back, “No! There is something consistently unusual about them.” Finally - as should always be Continue Reading

In Search of Discomfort

I think I’ve stumbled upon an unlikely ally in this journey of life. As I look back, it’s been supporting me for decades, but I didn’t always recognize it. And now, as I seek it out more frequently, its assistance is even more powerful. This unlikely friend is discomfort. The Meeting It was May of 1991, and I was 11 the first time we met. My Mom and I were at Wendy’s, enjoying my childhood favorite salad bar, as she explained to me what she’d been experiencing. She was sick, but the Continue Reading

Invisible Rust

When metal corrodes, it's obvious. The tiny speckles of brownish-orange emerge, growing larger over time, and eventually prohibiting any movement. When habits or skills erode, the effect is the same, but the warning signs aren't nearly as visible. As I'm learning, this invisible rust can be equally as hard to remove. --- In mid-July, I committed to publishing one meaningful article every Tuesday. And each week since has been a battle. The distractions come first. There's never Continue Reading

The Next Step

On our journeys, sometimes the paths are clear and lit for miles and miles. And sometimes it feels as if thick fog has rolled in, obscuring all but inches ahead. Uncertainty turns to anxiety, eventually to fear, and then an instinctual urge to turn back or hunker down. In those cases, it's probably even more important to proceed. As scary as it is, we know the next step. We may not know what lies beyond, but we know the next step. We must find the courage to take it. Even if Continue Reading

Summer loves.

June was packed with planning a conference and completing my annual CPE, but with July came the freedom to dig into my Reading List. Of the two dozen or so books I’ve read recently, there were a few I knew I had to share. I picked this book off a discount rack, and wasn't sure quite what to expect. It turned out to be an entertaining and insightful read, particularly in light of re-emerging global conflicts. Albright's candor and cohesive explanations of historical world events Continue Reading

Drift happens.

In his recent podcast, Michael Hyatt recounts a harrowing memory of being caught in a riptide while snorkeling and drifting significantly away from the shore. He recalls how he and his wife collapsed on the beach after swimming with all their might to get back to land. While his focus is on the metaphorical "kick" needed to get one's self back on track, I think there's another lesson we can explore. \'drift\ : something driven, propelled, or urged along as if by a natural agency Like riptides Continue Reading

Live Empty. Daily.

Annie Dillard succinctly said, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." And I love how Todd Henry expands the question to frame it up perfectly, "Imagine for a moment that you will have a guest accompanying you throughout your day tomorrow. This person's task will be to follow you around from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep. They will take copious notes about your schedule, how you interact with your family and friends, how you engage in your Continue Reading

Excellence Is a Choice

Somewhere along the way, success became linked with comforts. Palatial houses, luxury cars, gourmet foods, the finest threads. All in the name of making us more happy or fulfilled. But they’re often simply modern-day salves, taking the sting out of an otherwise miserable life. The path to excellence goes the opposite direction. We must embrace the natural suffering that accompanies progress. Our favorite movies are two hours of struggle for two minutes of triumph. Interviews and Continue Reading

Setting Your Pace for the New Year

In this episode of the Habit Chef Podcast, I'll replay the foundational episode that explains how to ensure you achieve your goals. By implementing your own Daily March, you can prevent both slacking off and burning out. Click here to play the podcast in a new window. More specifically, you'll learn: Where the concept of a 20-Mile March came from Why you should apply it daily How to prevent slacking off when things aren't perfect How to avoid pushing yourself to burnout How to Continue Reading