The Least Sexy Leadership Trait

We got married a year before I finished college. My wife was bringing in most of our meager income. As part of our pre-marital counseling, we met with a financial advisor who explained to us the power of compound interest. We opened a tiny investment account and put money into it every month. Our early…
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Effortful Understanding

Sometimes I still get smacked in the face by how hard it is for us to understand each other. I recently argued with my wife for half an hour before realizing that I had completely misunderstood what she was saying. Even after 25 years together, getting to a point of understanding can still be a…
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Show Your Team That You’re Listening

Listening is the #1 leadership skill. Next to self-awareness, I have written more about listening than any other topic. Listening can break down walls of resistance, lower the temperature of conflict, build trust, reveal dangerous blind spots, and create a culture of sharing information. If the leader is not listening, it’s unlikely that anyone else…
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Tips to Find Your Work-Life Balance

A lot of people are talking about work/life balance—it’s a subject that is not going away. The obvious conclusion is that many of us believe we are out of balance. Leaders worry about balance, too. Even though they are “in charge,” most of the leaders I talk with express serious questions about the impact of…
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How to Respond to Bad News

In the last thirty years, instant information has completely altered how wars are fought. GPS tells soldiers exactly where they are. Satellite imagery and drone video show exactly where the enemy is. Internet tracking reveals where the planners are hiding and how they get their money. Artificial intelligence pieces together millions of clues to predict…
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How to Get Slightly Better at Decision Making

Decision making is a core leadership skill. That’s why it’s discouraging to face the fact that we’re not very good at it. Consider the data: On average, decision making ranks 24th out of 25 leadership skills across the working population. •When faced with a choice between two options, our decision-making success rate is less than…
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