The Invisible Hand

The Invisible Hand

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. It’s the invisible hand of leadership. When a leader walks into a room, they…

A Proper Place for Hope

A Proper Place for Hope

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an…

Seeing Through Groupthink

Seeing Through Groupthink

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Groupthink is the enemy of greatness. It’s the enemy of imagination, and a friend…

The Peacock Effect

Peacock Effect

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. The collective ego is like a peacock. When you speak to one “eye,” you…

The Delicate Truth Principle

Delicate Truth

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Any good leader can deliver the truth. But only the great leader knows how…

Territorial Leadership

Territorial Leadership

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Good leadership structures are hierarchical. But good leadership is not. It’s territorial. The author…

Brick by Brick

Brick by Brick

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. There’s a famous tale of a traveler who came across three men working on…

Win and Help Win

Win and Help Win

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. I no longer subscribe to the idea of “live and let live.”  Instead, there’s…

Plants, Not Commodities

Plants, Not Commodities

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Plants—like the flowers your dad plants in his back yard, like the cacti you…

Falling to the Level of Your Training

Falling to the Level of Your Training

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “We don't rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level…

It’s Not Personal

It's Not Personal

This is an essay free verse poem from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. It’s not personal. When someone blames you, When someone turns on…

Leveraged Language

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. As a leader, your language is the ultimate form of leverage. It costs you…

Still the Pendulum

Still the Pendulum

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. If there’s one useful leadership idea to be learned from the state of media…

Give Ego a Soft Landing

Give Ego a Soft Landing

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. The ego is nothing more than a fragile vase that, if large enough, will…

Do the Dirty Dishes

Do the Dirty Dishes

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. As a leader, you don’t deserve to be followed, listened to, trusted, or respected.…

Finding Your Vocal Equilibrium

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. The less you talk, the more people listen. The more you talk, the less…

The Inevitability of Success

Inevitability of Success

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Success is a function of time. When you treat it as such, success becomes…

Empowerment All the Way Down

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. One of the most powerful ideas I ever learned from one of my restaurant…

The Oil & Water Strategy

Oil and Water

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Every team has overperformers and underperformers. Let your people spend long enough in either…

The Architect and the Archaeologist

Architect or Archaeologist

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. There are two types of leaders: architects and archaeologists. Only one can see the…

The Four Irrefutable Laws of Tactical Leadership

Tactical Leadership

This is a series of essays within my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Tactics are to strategy what chapters are to a book, what stones…

Build a Moat. But Lower the Drawbridge.

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Most leaders tend to start by building their castle, surrounding it with water, and…

The Power of Detachment

Detachment

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. One thing you learn immediately in leadership is that in the heat of the…

The Saltshaker Theory

The Saltshaker Theory

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Always move the saltshaker back to the center of the table. That is the…

The Moment of Conversion

The Moment of Conversion

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Let’s say you just got the call from your boss, superior, or higher-up. They…

The Roots of Leadership

The Roots of Leadership

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Like the roots of a tree, the roots of principled leadership dig deep beneath…

The Bowtie Theory of Influence

The Bowtie Theory of Influence

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Like a bowtie, to become an influential leader, you must converge on yourself before…

What I Learned from a Four-Star General

What I Learned from a Four-Star General

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Four-Star General Michael Hayden, a former director…

Flaunt Your Heroes

Flaunt Your Heroes

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. On your rise to the top, your heroes will serve as more than just…

Balancing Life’s Checkbook

Balancing Life's Checkbook

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. There is an unusual, yet really powerful heuristic for leadership that I’ve subconsciously used…

The Isolated Leader

The Isolated Leader

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. In leadership, isolation is an ever-present double-edged sword. There are merits to being isolated…

The Chosen Leader

The Chosen Leader

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Become the leader, before you are ever chosen. The chosen leader is someone who…

The Only Excuse for Conformity

The Only Excuse for Conformity

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. If you’ve read any of my writing, you know I am a bit of…

The Dichotomy of Detail

Dichotomy of Detail

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Attention to detail can be your best friend, or it can be your worst…

Leathermindedness

Leather-mindedness

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. I just sat in a writing group with a bunch of outstanding writers from…

The Art of Leading Laterally

Leading Laterally

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Leading laterally is a remarkably difficult, yet necessary form of leadership. Before you can…

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” It’s an old Navy SEAL saying about efficiency…

What Do You Do When No One is Looking?

What do you do when no one is looking?

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. What you do when no one is looking will define who you are when…

Transcendental Innovation

Transcendental Innovation

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. The word “transcendental” in the dictionary offers definitions in three subjects: spirituality, philosophy, and…

The Iteration Game

The Iteration Game

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Playing the iteration game makes you fearless and egoless—the pinnacle of leadership. My friend…

Great Leaders Imitate

Great Leaders Imitate

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. All great leaders imitate their heroes. They realize that in order to achieve greatness,…

The Three I’s of Leadership

The Three I's of Leadership

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. This is the first essay in a four-part miniseries on leadership development. If you…

Mettle Moments

Mettle Moments

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. They’re the moments when you’ve reached your breaking point. They’re the moments when you…

Be the Lighthouse

Be the Lighthouse

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. If you’re not the captain of the ship, be the lighthouse that guides it.…

Third-Order Thinking

Third-Order Thinking

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Third-order thinking is the Mount Everest of cognitive performance. It’s a climb few people…

Hone Your Strategic Mind

Hone Your Strategic Mind

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the…

Accountability is Currency

Accountability is Currency

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Leadership can be bought. And the only currency accepted is accountability. Everywhere you go,…

The Leader Does Not Seek to Lead

The Leader Does Not Seek To Lead

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Leaders who seek to lead are no leaders at all. Leaders who seek to…

The Other Side of Fear

The Other Side of Fear

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “What’s on the other side of fear? …Nothing…”Jamie Foxx Fear is a killer. It’s…

The Fine Line Between Leadership and Manipulation

The Fine Line Between Leadership and Manipulation

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. When you boil it down, leadership and manipulation are identical twins. They both cultivate…

Know When to Lead

Know When to Lead

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Leadership isn’t always so cut and dry. There are times when leaders must follow,…

The Crossover to Insecurity

The Crossover to Insecurity

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Insecurity is just the seed of imposter syndrome, planted. Most people confuse the two…

Failure is a Force of Nature

Failure is a Force of Nature

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. I have a confession to make. I’ve never told anyone because it sounds utterly…

Idolization is Impotence

Idolization is Impotence

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. In their song “Cult of Personality,” the band Living Colour described the idolization of…

Tunnel Vision is for Trains

Tunnel Vision is for Trains

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “A compass will point you true north from where you're standing, but it's got…

The Price of Indecision

The Price of Indecision

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Indecision is almost always worse than making a bad decision. On the first day…

Be Grounded. But Don’t Dig In.

Be Grounded. But Don't Dig In.

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Great leaders define the “what,” and leave the “how” up to the team. Steve…

The Cure for Imposter Syndrome

The Cure for Imposter Syndrome

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. For the cure for imposter syndrome, look no further than the blue Eurybia butterfly.…

Don’t See Luck. Seed Luck.

Don't See Luck. Seed Luck.

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Luck is the tree you planted last week, last month, or last year. It…

To Ask is Human

To Ask is Human

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. To ask is not weakness. To ask is human. One of my deepest flaws…

Plant Your Flag Where No One Dares

Plant Your Flag

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. To establish yourself as a leader, one way to do it is to boldly…

Learn the Canon

Learn the Canon

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Here’s a secret everyone knows but no one does: reading and learning from the…

Live the Long Game

Live the Long Game

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Becoming a leader is a lot like squeezing toothpaste. You can’t put it back…

Hungry, but Not Starving

Hungry, but not Starving

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Here’s the optimal setting for you and every individual you lead: hungry, but not…

Writing Makes You a Better Leader

Writing Makes You a Better Leader

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. My favorite college professor once said something that has always stuck with me, “great…

The Bystander Effect of Leadership

Bystander Effect of Leadership

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Think you can’t be a leader? Think again. It seems that most people, in…

Think Like an Owner

Think Like an Owner

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “If you think like the owner and you act like the owner, it’s only…

Finding Truth in a Hall of Mirrors

Finding Truth

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Every truth reveals itself if you pursue it far enough. Except, in the 21st…

Eustressing?

Eustressing?

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. Hell Week is the infamous five-day period of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training when…

The Mimetic Theory of Leadership

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. “Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns…

Want to be an Effective Leader? Get a Dog.

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. When I tell people about my dog, Pearl, I almost always follow it up…

Wear the Purple Tunic

Wear the Purple Tunic

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. If you’re afraid to look bad, you’ll never be an effective leader. Tyrian purple…

Permissionless Leadership

This is an essay from my popular 100 Days of Leadership Series. If you would like to learn how to become a leader in your organization, your community, or in your personal life, sign up here to receive these short essays directly to your inbox. You don't need permission to lead. It’s often said that…