Nathan Magnuson

Give Them Something to Believe In

Nathan Magnuson

Recently retired Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder famously crafted 16 Goals for Success which he used with his football teams over his decades of coaching. Goal #13 stated, “Expect to win… and truly believe we will.”

How to Be a Responsible “Idea Guy”

Nathan Magnuson

Are you an idea person? Do you find yourself coming up with new business ideas, branding concepts or process improvements? Does careful project management sometimes stifle your creativity? Do people ever give you that look that implies you ought to focus on the task at hand instead of daydreaming?

How To 194

Respond to Crises with Clarity and Confidence

Nathan Magnuson

What happens when you find yourself in the midst of a crisis situation? Do you freeze up? Jump into action? Sit down to create a plan? What if you’re the person in charge? It’s the leader’s job recognize when stakes are high and respond appropriately.

The Cost of Unclear Expectations

Nathan Magnuson

I’m told that one quote preachers try to live by is, “If it’s foggy in the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pew.” ” In other words, as the leader and communicator, if you’re unclear about any part of your message, it’s a sure bet everyone else is as well. You don’t have to be a preacher to risk setting unclear expectations. If you’re responsible for performance outcomes of any kind, unclear expectations could be your biggest kryptonite.

Cost 143

3 Ways to Pursue Productive Failure

Nathan Magnuson

My new book Ignite Your Leadership Expertise is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. Both the soft cover and ebook versions will be available on October 16. Winston Churchill declared, “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Top 10 Posts of 2018

Nathan Magnuson

The seventh year of the Everyday Leadership blog has come to a close in 2018. Here are the Top 10 works (not just posts this time!) from the year. (By By the way, you can view all my past Top 10 posts as well.). Ignite Your Leadership Expertise. My first book Ignite Your Leadership Expertise was published earlier this year! The book shows how to grow your expertise in leadership while also growing trust with the people around you. Nine Ways to Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For.

Should I Focus on My Strengths or My Weaknesses?

Nathan Magnuson

If you have goal to grow as a leader, you’re on the right track. If you have a plan of how to do it, you’re doing even better. But where have you put your focus? Many leaders choose to focus their development energy on areas they think (or have been told) are their weak areas.

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5 Phrases Successful Leaders Use

Nathan Magnuson

There’s incredible power in language. Words don’t merely convey ideas, they can change the course of history. The words you use as a leader matter too. Here are some simple but powerful phrases that set great leaders apart from the rest. “We” (not “me”).

More Smiles, More Dollars

Nathan Magnuson

Several years ago I had a shocking experience that permanently changed my outlook. I’m afraid the traces of that experience began in high school. As a high school football player, we had a strictly enforced protocol among the players for team photos.

The Applause of a Single Human Being

Nathan Magnuson

A couple weeks ago I had an idea for one of my corporate leadership programs that has over 6,000 leaders enrolled.

4 Pitfalls of High Competence

Nathan Magnuson

We all know that competence is one of the main requirements for effectiveness. But can you become so competent that it actually becomes a detriment? The answer is yes. If you’ve developed a high level of competence in a particular area, you’re actually in a danger zone.

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The Business Case for the Stop Doing List

Nathan Magnuson

Are you a “to-do” list person? For each leader reaching for higher levels of productivity and accomplishment, a “start doing” list can be a friendly companion or a demanding task master – sometimes both at the same time. But what about a “stop doing” list?

12 Crucial Questions to Better Decision-Making

Nathan Magnuson

Decisions fascinate me. Occasionally they come easily. Sometimes they are difficult. Oftentimes they’re stressful. Some have huge implications. Most have a variety of influencing factors. Some decisions turn out perfectly. Some blow up entirely.

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Nathan Magnuson

Over a decade ago I received a DVD of a past Chick-fil-A franchisee seminar. As I watched, the late founder Truett Cathy took the stage to deliver his opening remarks. They weren’t what I expected.

How to Influence When You’re Not in Charge

Nathan Magnuson

How do you lead when you’re not the boss? It’s hard enough to lead when you are in charge. What are the other options? If you’ve wondered this, I’ve got good news for you. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. And you can get started today. Here’s a game plan for you.

12 Best Practices for Leading Effective Meetings

Nathan Magnuson

“If you were a fruit, what kind would you want to be?” ” That was the ice-breaker that kicked off the worst meeting I’ve been a part of. It took 30 minutes for everyone to contribute. The meeting ran 25 minutes long.

Coach K: Mike Krzyzewski on Teamwork

Nathan Magnuson

As a University of Kansas basketball fan, I’ve never rooted for Duke. But there is a Duke moment that stands out in my memory. It occurred probably 10 or 15 years ago. Duke was in the process of getting upset in the NCAA Tournament. They were playing hard that day but not well.

Beware the Curse of Knowledge

Nathan Magnuson

Acquiring knowledge and know-how is critical to any professional – both for knowledge and manual workers. But with it brings some new disadvantages as well.

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Developing a Servant Leadership Strategy

Nathan Magnuson

I first heard the term “servant leadership” in high school. Since then, I’ve seen and heard it referenced over and over again in books, presentations and casual business conversations.

How Leaders Learn to Lead

Nathan Magnuson

The new three-part video series Jump-Start Your Employee Engagement has now launched. Join communication expert Josh Erickson and I for three ideas in three days – all in four minutes or less. This video series will only be available for a limited time – click here to enroll.

Get Your Idea Off the Ground

Nathan Magnuson

How do you get your big idea across in the age of information? A quick keyword search can provide anyone with much more data than they could ever hope to use. What’s the secret to getting your idea past all the clutter and into the land of reality?

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My #1 Productivity Tip (and 5 Others)

Nathan Magnuson

As you continue to grow as a leader, the invariable happens. You get put in charge of more. Whether you’re promoted to a higher position or have your level of responsibilities expanded in your current role, there’s simply more to oversee.

What Coaching Leaders Do Differently

Nathan Magnuson

The term “coaching” has been trending as a corporate buzzword for some time now. We’re all familiar with athletics coaches. But when someone advises us to find a coach to learn a new skill or solve problem, it’s usually in a professional context.

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How to Be a Good Dictator (or Not)

Nathan Magnuson

In the 16th century, political consultant (for lack of a better term) Niccolò Machiavelli’s works were published in the controversial manuscript The Prince – which is still in print today.

Expertise Matters!

Nathan Magnuson

Years ago I served as a consultant to two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that worked closely together. At one, the head accountant was a friendly woman who very much enjoyed her job.

NGO 172

12 Books that Shaped My Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

For years I’ve been asked for book recommendations. I always take them seriously because I wouldn’t be the leader I am without my library. It’s been a huge part of my leadership education.

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How to Ask Great Questions

Nathan Magnuson

What if I told you you don’t need to have a great solution for every single problem that comes your way in order to be a competent and mature leader? Well that’s exactly what I’m about to propose. Hopefully it’s as refreshing to you as it is to me.

How To 244

How to Host a Productive Generational Conversation

Nathan Magnuson

A decade ago, American organizations were largely unaware of the predicament they faced. The initial wave of Baby Boomers (many of whom occupied senior leadership roles) was set to begin a mass retirement. Many organizations were completely unprepared. Then something curious happened.

Your Career is Your Responsibility

Nathan Magnuson

I’ve been thinking about career selection and management a lot recently. When I’m asked how I landed where I am, I’m quick to reply that I wouldn’t wish my career path on anyone but I sure do love where I am now.

Career 184

Do You Have a Royal Culture?

Nathan Magnuson

After repeat appearances, the Kansas City Royals have accomplished something they haven’t done in 30 years: win the World Series.

Team 201

Top 10 Posts from 2017

Nathan Magnuson

6 years. That’s how long this Everyday Leadership blog has been running. I hope you’ve seen your leadership awareness and effectiveness grow over this time – as have mine. Below I’ve compiled the top 10 posts of 2017. You can also view the Top 10 list from past years.

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When to Coach… and When Not To

Nathan Magnuson

“How can I get my leaders to do a better job coaching their teams?” ” That’s a question I frequently field from the executives and HR partners I support. I hope you’ve asked that question for yourself as well, because it means developing your team is high on your radar.

5 Ways to Take the Pain Out of Giving Feedback

Nathan Magnuson

One of the most distasteful activities leaders face is giving negative feedback to others. The reason? It rarely produces a positive response. No one likes engaging in activities that aren’t appreciated. Giving great feedback isn’t easy.

You’re Never Too Big to Serve

Nathan Magnuson

My first job in high school was working at a small grocery store in town. I remember there were only eight aisles, so it wasn’t long before I had most of the place figured out.

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Dealing in Hope

Nathan Magnuson

Napoleon Bonaparte claimed, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” ” Hope is a strangely human enigma. It can’t be handled but it can be shared. It can’t create anything on its own but it can pave the way for new accomplishments.

eBook 158

Is “Culture” Just a Buzzword?

Nathan Magnuson

“What we really need around here is a culture.” ” I’ve heard this dozens of times. You probably have too.

eBook 173

Where Have All the Good Leaders Gone?

Nathan Magnuson

If you’ve worked for any length of time, you’ve probably wondered, “Why is it so hard to find good leaders?” ” You’re not alone.

The Person on the Other End of Your Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

What comes to mind when you think about leadership responsibility? Taking charge? Casting vision? Setting strategy? Getting results? Every time this question has been asked in a workshop setting, the list gets long very quickly.

eBook 130

14 Questions to Answer Before Signing Up a Vendor

Nathan Magnuson

I love the opportunity for new partnerships. Having been on both sides of the vendor & client agreement, I’ve enjoyed some partnerships so incredible that folks were often eager to work late – and then chum together afterward.

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9 Reasons Your Leadership Development Program is Failing

Nathan Magnuson

A recent Bersin study reported that U.S. companies invest over $2,000 in leadership development initiatives per company leader. That’s great news. But is it worth the investment?

Who All Gets to Be a Leader?

Nathan Magnuson

Who gets to be a leader? From time to time, I hear an someone admonish a group of individuals by saying “you are all leaders.” ” Other times, I see organizational messaging indicating “leadership” is reserved for a small group of individuals who occupy certain positions.

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12 Ways to Make Your Teammates Look Good

Nathan Magnuson

In the past, I’ve shared the value of being a “Kamerman teammate” – that is, going the extra mile to make your teammate look good. It’s a mindset shift for most of us, and a complete game-changer at that.

Top 10 Posts from 2014

Nathan Magnuson

It’s been another great year for Everyday Leadership. Visitors stopped by from nearly every country. My Trusted Leadership Advisor ebook finally got posted (check it out, it’s free!). Thanks for making it another a great year! Here are the top 10 posts from 2014.