3 Steps to Increase Leadership IQ

3 Steps to Increase Leadership IQ

When I was a Special Agent with the FBI, a significant part of my job was devoted to recruiting people who were in a position to provide information related to terrorism within the United States.

You may have heard these people referred to as “informants.” In the FBI, we usually just called them “sources"........

I Love To Be Sold

Ever heard the expression "People love to buy, but they hate to be sold?" 

Here's the thing - While I don't disagree with the first part, I think people love to be sold. But I think we love to be sold only when people do it well. When people suck at it, that's when we hate it.

Hear me out.......

The Real Definition of Leadership

Last night LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship. After being down 3 games to 1 to the Golden State Warriors, they came back to win to earn the city's first championship in 52 years.

After the game, it was clear that this was the sweetest victory of LeBron's storied career. Unlike those other championships he won in Miami....

How to Increase Your Self Confidence

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a talk to my first corporate audience. Up until then, I'd only spoke to college-age audiences.

Sitting in the car, before I made my way into the building, I found myself feeling a little nervous. I was surprised.......

6 Steps To Handle Criticism

Criticism. It's one of life's inevitabilities.

At some point in your professional life, you are going to be on the receiving end of criticism - and if you care enough about it, you will allow it to emotionally consume you. To eat at you. To deflate you. In some cases, it will paralyze and debilitate you....

Get Off The Porch

I recently had the pleasure of attending a seminar by Larry Heron of Dale Carnegie Training. He began the event with a terrific analogy, of which I took the liberty of paraphrasing below:

Picture an old, two-story farmhouse out in the country. Spanning the perimeter of the house.....

How I Got Tim Ferris To Take Me Out To Dinner

About 5 years ago, a popular online entrepreneur and I had dinner. His name is Tim Ferriss.

I had a good idea who Tim was at the time, but I really wasn't aware of what an insanely popular figure he was in the world of personal development and lifestyle design.....

Why I love speaking to college students

Last week I spoke at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; it's about an hour outside of Indianapolis. The students were friendly and down to earth. Most of them were receptive to my message. I had a lot of students come up to me after my talk ....

The "You" Behind The Wheel

The other day, while stopped at a light, I observed something that I often see. I'm sure you've observed it yourself. Driver X is attempting to make a left hand turn through an intersection and is forced to make a decision......

The Burrito Guy

Last week, I hit up my local Chipotle for lunch. I'm sort of a regular there, like a lot of people who frequent the menu-simple, recently in-the-news-for-the-wrong-kind-of-reasons eatery.

I arrived around 1:30 pm on a Thursday, and the line was thin.....

Why I Left the FBI

When I was toying with the idea of leaving the FBI, most people looked at me like I needed a psych evaluation. "Why would you turn your back on something you worked so hard to achieve?" Just the other day, a woman asked me why I "quit." Rest assured, I didn't quit.

What Are You Grateful For?

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Now that Christmas and Hanukkah are over and the dust is beginning to settle, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on how it went. 

Buying presents for my wife can be hard, stressful even, but I think I did a pretty good job this year. 

A while back, she mentioned to me that she was trying to incorporate more gratitude into her life. It sounded like a great idea, but I didn’t really know how to help her. At the time, somehow combining this into a Christmas present wasn’t even on my radar.

A few weeks passed and I serendipitously met Russ Terry, a New York-area life coach. Russ spent a year chronicling the things he was grateful for in life, took everything he learned, and incorporated it into a book titled My Gratitude Journal. What struck me about Russ’s book was how he was able to find gratitude in the most seemingly ordinary of situations, finding appreciation for all of the blessings surrounding his life.   

Boom. One Christmas present in the bag. Thank you, Russ Terry.

I’m glad I am able to help my wife incorporate more gratitude into her life this coming year. Over the last few days, she has made faithful entries in her journal and already I can sense a shift in her energy. So this morning, I was compelled to buy a notebook and start my own gratitude journal. I am excited to chronicle what’s important in my life, reflect on it, and try to live life more deliberately.  That’s the cool thing about life- each day is a new opportunity to get better at it.

I challenge you to join me and incorporate more gratitude into your life this year. Whether it’s once a day or once a week, just write it down and see how it affects you over the next year-as a friend, partner, co-worker, business owner, or as a leader. Who knows what can happen?

So, yeah. I kinda nailed it with the gratitude journal idea this year. And I didn’t even tell you about the Star Wars-themed Vans I bought her…

5 Steps to Get What You Want in Life

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Many people out there feel stuck, are unfulfilled at work, and aren't getting what they want in this life.  This is not something we have to resign ourselves to.  We only get one crack at this thing called life---so finally, why not say 'enough is enough' and go out and get what you want?

Step 1: Identify what you want.  Sounds easy, right?  Problem is, many people don't know what they want.  Even worse, some people think they know what they want but really it’s a projection of what they believe society or their family wants them to be.  When these people realize that they have finally achieved their “dreams,” they sadly realize that their ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.  Which leads to step 2….

Step 2: Clarify why you want it.  It can be a scary proposition to get deeply introspective, but you owe it to yourself to figure out what makes you tick and what fulfillment really means to you.  There are loads of resources out there—I recommend Strengths Finder 2.0, Enneagram Made Easy and my favorite: Do What You Are

Step 3: Write it down.  Again, this one seems simple, I know.  But realize that what gets written down usually gets done.  If it remains an amorphous idea in your head, then inevitably, this is how it will remain. 

Step 4: Set benchmarks.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to set and achieve goals along your journey.  Not only does it allow you to adjust your sail in shifting winds, but you give yourself the gift of positive reinforcement along the way.  Success builds upon success. 

Step 5: Consider Hacking Your Way to Success with a Professional Coach.  If you are having difficulty getting what you want on your own, or better yet, want to get there faster and more efficiently, consider working with a professional coach.  Coaching is a revolutionary modality that people are increasingly using to get what they want in all facets of life.  I have employed coaches on 2 occasions to help me achieve things that I may have not otherwise got on my own.  One thing successful people share in common is that they realize the instances in life when they need help, and then they gladly seek it out.  Sometimes, they even (gulp) pay for it.  Some people may get hung up on the idea of paying someone to help them achieve something they could likely do on their own.  My answer to that:  If they could’ve, then they already would’ve, right?  

You can get anything you want in this life.  Dream big.  Everything you need to succeed is already within you---So why not go out and finally do it?