To Be a Better Leader You Must Kill Your Darlings


According to Faulkner, Ginsberg and many great writers, if you are particularly proud of a piece of writing, chances are it’s self-indulgent, stands out, and does not serve the greater good of your work.

The saying goes: “you must kill your darlings” – delete them. The overall intent of your work is more important than a particular piece that doesn’t fit, no matter how special you think it is.

So what does that have to do with business?

In today’s world, leaders are under great pressure to find new opportunities for growth. Ventures into new territories, product, channels of distribution, etc. are typically evaluated by short-term profitability and not strategic alignment.

These “darlings” become the focal point, rather than a coherent organizational vision, . . . → Read More: To Be a Better Leader You Must Kill Your Darlings

Think You Can Lead Without a Vision? Think Again


Think you can lead without a vision? Think again. Leadership is about going somewhere. How do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a vision?

Vision makes work meaningful. Vision helps us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. A shared vision helps us feel connected with others because we trust we share the same goals and values.

An organization without a clear vision is like a river without banks—it stagnates and goes nowhere.

A leader without a vision to serve is in danger of becoming self-serving.

The Power of an Emergent Network


Last week several of us launched a social media driven fundraiser for our friend and colleague Jamie Showkeir who is courageously facing ALS.

In just one week we sailed past our goal and raised over $60,000!

I am thrilled for my friend, and it has reaffirmed my belief that the natural movement of humanity is toward goodness.

I had hoped an emergent network would arise, but in my wildest dreams I never expected it would be this strong.

That’s the thing about emergent networks -they are unpredictable.

What is an emergent network and why is it so powerful?

An emergent network is a type of community that arises in response to an issue, and once the goal has been achieved, naturally dissolves. They ebb . . . → Read More: The Power of an Emergent Network

Are You Compromising Your Future? by @FSonnenberg


Guest Post by Frank Sonnenberg

For some folks in the business world, living in the “here and now” means seeking instant gratification. So they request favors five minutes into a new relationship, hold “fire sales” rather than building customer loyalty, and bark orders at employees rather than leading with trust. They measure relationships by what they’ve gained rather than by what they’ve done to strengthen the bond. And they negotiate agreements to gain the upper hand rather than making everything win-win. They act this way because it’s quick and easy. Don’t they realize their short-term mindset may be compromising future success?

The problem is, if you think trust, respect, and credibility are easy to obtain, you’re kidding yourself. If you think loyalty is . . . → Read More: Are You Compromising Your Future? by @FSonnenberg

Join Our Emergent Network and Keep Jamie at Home


Last spring my good friend and fellow Berrett-Koehler author Jamie Showkeir received the nightmare diagnosis of ALS.

By summer, he needed the support of a cane. By fall his legs no longer supported him. Today he has only 20% use of his arms, cannot feed himself, and needs total assistance getting in and out of his wheelchair and with other tasks of daily living.

Throughout all this, Jamie remains a bright, loving, generous man, who is mentally sound and engaged in life. He is teaching us about the true meaning of authenticity and courage.

If you’d like to know more about Jamie, read this excellent article in the Arizona Central: When the reality of ALS hits you harder than a bucket of ice water.

Jamie . . . → Read More: Join Our Emergent Network and Keep Jamie at Home

Do You Have a Blah, Blah, Blah Vision or a DRIVING Vision?

Blah blah blah vision

Does your vision sound something like this? – Our vision is to provide aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best value for consumers.

Bad news. You have a blah, blah, blah vision. Do yourself and everyone on your team a favor – take it down.

You have two choices. You can decide you don’t need a vision and get on with your work.

Or… you can engage with your team in creating a DRIVING vision – one that lives in the hearts and minds of everyone and naturally drives behavior and decisions.

A DRIVING vision is a clearly-articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.

When it is shared, . . . → Read More: Do You Have a Blah, Blah, Blah Vision or a DRIVING Vision?

Guidelines to Create a Compelling Vision


A compelling vision helps you make choices about where to focus your energy. Without vision, you are in danger of trying to be all things to all people, scattered or adrift.

In our book, Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision, Ken Blanchard and I explain:

“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide the journey.”

Who you are is your purpose. Where you’re going is your picture of the future. What will guide your journey are your values.

Vision is about being great

A noble purpose is inspiring and helps you stay committed when times are hard.

A compelling vision is not about beating the competition or expressed simply in numbers. It’s about being the . . . → Read More: Guidelines to Create a Compelling Vision

4 Tips to Cultivate Resiliency Before You Need It

Guest post by Eileen McDargh If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that at some point this year, you will need to be resilient – whether pushed by pain or pulled by possibilities.

Resiliency has become an important life skill. So why wait until you’re in a stressful situation to develop resiliency?

Instead, become PREsilient ™ – develop the ability to be resilient before you are tested.

Here are four things you can do to cultivate resiliency and build the muscles you will need now:

1. Develop an attitude of intelligent optimism.

Nothing drains you mentally and physically more than negativity. Intelligent optimism is the practice of finding what is right in a situation instead of focusing on what is wrong. . . . → Read More: 4 Tips to Cultivate Resiliency Before You Need It

Six Things to Keep in Mind Before Goal Setting

Although January is typically the time of year when we turn to goal setting, too often, it is a waste of time. Let’s be honest. How many times have you achieved all of your yearly goals?

The problem is not with goals. Goals provide focus, create momentum and help us stay on track.

The problem is with the goal setting process itself – choosing the right goals and setting up the right support for them.

Before you set goals this year, keep these 6 things in mind:

1. Start with your current goals.

When goal setting, keep your previous goals in mind to create a sense of flow. Don’t just start over anew each year. For goals that have been accomplished, identify the next . . . → Read More: Six Things to Keep in Mind Before Goal Setting