The Power of Emotion

The Power of Emotion: A Lesson from Star Trek

What is it that made Mr. Spock one of the most beloved TV characters of all time? It certainly wasn’t his logical side. If he were all-Vulcan, all the time, that would get old fast. No, what made viewers love Mr. Spock was the occasional glimpse of humanity he showed us. Now Spock was only […]

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How to Be in the Moment

Why Being a Planner Could Be Your Downfall

If you’re the kind of person who plans things out carefully, beware: that strength could also be your biggest weakness, if it keeps you from being in the moment. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, and something I intend to work on in the new year. Planning Only Takes You So Far I consider […]

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Expressing Emotion is a Duty of Leadership

I work with a lot of executives on their speeches and find that one of their biggest hang-ups is a reluctance to open up and show emotion. And it’s a shame, because a proper display of emotion is one of the most effective ways for leaders to connect with an audience. The Power of Emotion […]

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Worried About the Competition? Get Over That Foolishness

I’m amused by old-fashioned notions about competition and how to deal with competitors. The old approach of putting up walls, guarding secrets and drawing strict lines between “us” and “them” may still work for companies holding truly proprietary information (like patents and such). But for service providers, where the difference in offerings among competitors is […]

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Act Your Way to Workplace Success: 3 Rules

Sometimes the keys to workplace success can be found in the most unexpected places. Like on the stage. Back when I was an improv student, I came across this great blog post called The Perfect Actor. It was written by Mick Napier, who’s a legend on the Chicago comedy scene. He’s trained and directed thousands of comics, […]

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One-Trick Pony

Beware of Being Labeled a One-Trick Pony

Years ago I had a client in the manufacturing business. They brought in an outside hire who came with stellar corporate credentials, fully versed in all the latest management/operational processes, like Six Sigma. The first time I met him he certainly seemed knowledgable. During our meeting he brought up a new factory that the company […]

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Sterling’s Gold: 7 Lessons for Success from Mad Men

Roger Sterling: fictional ad man, chronic drinker and serial womanizer. An inspiration to wiseasses everywhere, he says the things we wish we could say in the workplace — only funnier. But his collected quips, lovingly catalogued here, represent more than a cautionary tale about the dangers of cynicism and debauchery. A few precious gems stand […]

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When the Job That Got Away Is Better Off Gone

Sometimes you get passed over for a job or a project and you regret it. Other times you realize it was the best thing that could have ever happened to you. The other day I got an email from a company unveiling its brand new website. I quickly realized it was a project I bid […]

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When it Absolutely, Positively Has to Be Done by Yesterday

If it’s the holidays, then it’s time for the inevitable last-minute emergency projects from clients, bosses and others who are eager to clear out their outboxes at the expense of others’ inboxes. In honor of the tradition, I whipped this video together a couple of years ago during that 20-minute period when xtra-normal videos were […]

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A Lesson in Accountability From a Fallen Hero

Just a few days before the Petraeus scandal blew up, I bookmarked this story from the New York Times. It’s your basic puff piece — the kind that frequently follows those who inhabit that rarified “hero zone” in popular culture. Heroes have taken quite a beating lately, from Lance Armstrong to Elmo, and I could […]

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