Next Level Blog

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The Ten Behaviors of Strong Personal Leadership

Next Level Blog

Since writing the first edition of The Next Level in 2006, I’ve coached, spoken with, and observed thousands of leaders in action. Many of them have been good leaders. Some have been great leaders. The great ones have one big thing in common. They don’t just lead at their best; they live at their best. How do I need to show up to make that happen?

Three Leadership Lessons from La La Land’s Jordan Horowitz

Next Level Blog

No doubt, you’ve heard all about it by now. It’s the end of the Academy Awards ceremony and Hollywood icons Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway have just announced that Best Picture goes to the popular musical La La Land. The producers and cast joyfully come on stage to accept their Oscars and make their speeches. Warren Beatty is huddling with people.

A World Class Example of Dopamine Derailment

Next Level Blog

In the latest installment of the story that wouldn’t die, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced that the two Price Waterhouse partners responsible for the Best Picture award snafu will never work the Oscars again. I call it a dopamine derailment. Here’s how a dopamine derailment works. How do I need to show up to do that?

Seven Things Leaders Can Learn from Bill Clinton About Connecting with People

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Unemployment under 6%, whoever thought? Stock market breaking records every day. No wonder the guy is so unpopular.”.

Three of the Most Common Delegation Ah-ha’s

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One of the biggest shifts that most rising leaders have to make is the shift from being the go-to person to someone who builds teams of go-to people.

How to Tame This Attention Span Killing Device

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If someone tried to force you to take a drug that was going to reduce your ability to mentally focus by 33%, you’d probably do everything you could to get away from them, right? Yet, the chances are you’ve already done that to yourself over the past several years. Your partner-in-crime is your smartphone. was introduced in 1999. Unlikely. Oh, yes!”

Mindful Mondays: The Surprising Benefit of Comparing Yourself to Others

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Every so often you hear a story that’s the exception that proves the rule. Even if you follow golf, you may not know or remember David Duval.

What Could a Life GPS® Do for You in 2017?

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The first goal is completely dependent on the second. If you live at your best, you can lead at your best. Because of the sleep I had more energy.

Five Things to Do to Find a Great Mentor

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Over the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune to have a number of mentors who have helped shape my life and career.

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Three Ways to Coach the Person, Not the Problem

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Back when we were co-teaching The Flow of Coaching module at the Georgetown Leadership Coaching Program, my good friend, hero and fellow Davidson College alum Frank Ball used to do a funny bit with a bottle of water. Then he would start coaching the bottle of water. Needless to say, he never got very far. That’s the thing.

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Live Your Day Really Well

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If you’re of a certain age, you likely recognize the name, Dr. Art Ulene. Mindful Mondays Art Ulene At Your Best audio gratitude podcast wisdom

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Five Questions for Leaders Who Would Rather Be Effective Than Right

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There were a lot of interesting answers. One participant shared one that really stuck with me because I think it’s so true.

How to Be a Coaching and Mentoring Ninja

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In both of those programs, the participants are expected to pair up with a peer colleague and spend 20 minutes a week coaching each other.

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How to Find the Person Behind the Professional

Next Level Blog

What difference would it make if you really knew the people you work with every day? Not just knowing what they do at work and maybe one or two facts about their life outside of work, but what they really care about, are passionate about, worry about or laugh about? What difference would it make if you could find the person behind the professional?

New Year, New You? Three steps to actually change yourself this year

Next Level Blog

OK, it’s January 2, 2017. Have you transformed yourself yet? C’mon man! What are we even doing out here, man? Time’s a wasting! Get busy! Sorry about that. I got caught up in all of the annual and predictable “New Year, New You!” hype we’re reading everywhere this week. Get organized. Lose weight. Quit drinking. Be nicer. Read more. Get stronger.

Mindful Mondays: Three Easy Ways to Unplug on Vacation

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When I ask the people in my leadership workshops how many they get in a day the responses are usually in the range of 200 to 300.

Mindful Mondays: Pope Francis’ Nine Rules for Happy Living

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In case you haven’t been paying attention, it turns out that Pope Francis is one of the most popular people in the world.

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Three Talking Points Best Practices

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Before we go any further, this is not a post about the 2016 presidential election. I have nothing to add to the millions of words that have been written about the topic already other than, like lots of people, I wish it was over. So, this post isn’t about political talking points, it’s about leadership talking points. Use straight talk.

What’s the Difference Between Executive Presence and Leadership Presence?

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The title of this post is a question I was asked yesterday during an interview for the book summary service Get Abstract.

Mindful Mondays: The Secrets of a 30-Year Partnership Revealed

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So, it was back in March of 1985 when I was dared to ask Diane Dougherty out on a date. She worked in an office across the hall from mine in a Washington, DC trade association. It was my first real job out of college and she was an intern in town for a semester. As she went past us, Dick said, “Wow, she’s cute. You should ask her out.”

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Resting and Digesting in a Beautiful Place or Wherever You Are

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That’s a very helpful response if you’re under immediate physical threat. The nickname for that is the rest and digest response. Want more?

Mindful Mondays: What Would Happen If You Let Go?

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Most people that are talented enough to reach next level scenarios in their careers are pretty good at picking things up.

A Life Changing Decision to Feel and Perform Better

Next Level Blog

What if there were an inexpensive pill with no side effects that would cure many of your aches and pains, spark weight loss, give you more energy, leave you in a better mood, increase your mental focus, help you get more done and extend and improve your life? You’d line up for that, right? So, first the bad news and then the good news.

Separating Fat from Fiction

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Last month, I wrote a post about how reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can dramatically improve the quality of your life.

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Three Things I’ve Learned About Public Speaking

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If you’re in a leadership role of almost any type, the odds are high that you have to do some sort of public speaking on a semi-regular basis. It could be a staff meeting, a board presentation, a town-hall meeting or a conference keynote. Your public speaking possibilities are endless, really. Do you enjoy them or dread them? Nail them or muff them?

Three Signs You Should Make Leadership Team Changes Sooner Rather Than Later

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A few years ago I wrote a post called Three Reasons You Should Fire the Prima Donna. Click headline to continue.

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Mindful Mondays: The Surprising Benefits of Being More Fully Present at Work

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The increasing levels of addiction to checking smartphones and other screens throughout the day are well documented.

How to Prepare for Your Meetings Like Olympians Prepare to Compete

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Last night, Diane and I were watching the U.S. women’s gymnastics team compete in the opening round of competition in the Rio Olympics. The floor exercises were the most astounding thing I saw. One of the things I love about watching the Olympics is when the camera zooms in on the face of the athletes right before they compete. Think about it.

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If You Can’t Be Confident in Your Knowledge, Be Confident In Your Ignorance

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The title of this post comes from a comment made at a global leadership team meeting I was facilitating earlier this year.

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How to Get Your New Team Off to a Strong Start

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If you’re a leader in your organization, there will be multiple times in your career when you have to get a new team off to a strong start.

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What It Takes to Be a Superboss

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When you think back on the best bosses you’ve ever had what stands out about those people? What do they all have in common?

The Character of Listening

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What does it mean to really listen? As I’ve written here before , I’ve been focusing a lot on that question in my talks and workshops on mindful leadership. What’s really going on when we listen to someone else completely and without any agenda other than to connect? As explained in this post on the website of the U.S. No surprise there.

Three Ways to Avoid a Wipeout

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In 15 years of coaching , I’ve worked with a lot of high-performing executives. When things go well, they run like a finely tuned Formula 1 race car. But life and humans being what they are, I’ve witnessed the occasional wipeout where, in spite of best efforts and intentions, an exec spins out and crashes into the wall. Long may it run.

Five Choices That Created an Amazing Five Years

Next Level Blog

Today is my 55 th birthday. Yes, I said it. It’s part of my new policy of radical transparency. I’m now older than my parents were when Diane and I got married. Heck, I’m older than they were when we had, Andy, our first child. There was a time in my life when 55 sounded really old. Now that I’m there, I realize how relative that is.

3 Leadership Lessons Illustrated by Tom Hanks Heroes

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With all of the different roles he’s played in the movies, Tom Hanks is as well qualified as anyone to speculate on what makes a hero a hero. In a recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air , Terry Gross suggested to Hanks that the men he’s played had “nerves of steel,” and asked if he had ever been tested like that in his own life. Coast Guard. We all do.

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Take Some Time to Connect

Next Level Blog

Last week, I had two reminders of how important it is to take some time to connect with other people and how we leave so much value on the table when we don’t. As they sat in trios for 15 minutes, I heard laughter and saw tears of joy and gratitude. This was among a group of people who didn’t know each other at all five hours earlier.

Mindfulness at Work Doesn’t End When You Leave Work

Next Level Blog

This week I wrote a piece over at Fast Company about a “minor work habit” that is leading to burnout for countless workers, from junior team members to executives. What’s the habit? E-mail. Or rather, answering work e-mail after 7 or 8 PM. To read the full story, click here. Mindfulness doesn’t take breaks.

Love, Laughter and the Meaning of Life

Next Level Blog

Last week, I was reminded of the value of old friends. While I was back in DC to teach in the Georgetown Leadership Coaching Program, I got to spend three days teaching with my dear friend of 13 (!) years, Rae Ringel. On one of the days we there together, I got to have lunch with another dear friend and mentor of 14 (!) years, Frank Ball.

Three Things Leaders Can Still Learn from JFK

Next Level Blog

The coverage this week of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. It’s easy to debate what he did or didn’t accomplish. Kennedy.

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Three Leadership Rules for the Shark Cage

Next Level Blog

If you haven’t already seen it, watch this video of a great white shark attacking a dive cage. It runs about a minute and a half and is straight out of Jaws. OK, now that you’ve watched it, we need to draw some leadership lessons from what happened there. So, based on a true story, here are some leadership rules for the shark cage. Yeah, OMG.

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