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…

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…

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…

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 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…

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…

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…

Why You Should Make New Year’s Presolutions Instead

It’s New Year’s Day. If not hungover, you wake up with a fresh outlook on life. Ready to start life anew and better than ever. You have your protein shake ready to go. You lace up your shoes to go running as part of a new daily routine. You threw out (or ate) all those…

Site Update: September & October 2020

October 2020

This site update for September & October comes to you from my workstation overlooking a beautiful sea of Pennsylvania Fall foliage as far as the eye can see. I’ve been here, hard at work each day, building the foundation for joebalcom.blog and the Unparalleled brand. I've hit some pretty nice milestones recently since I started…

The Impermanence of Life: A Heuristic for Handling Loss

Impermanence in sand

The moments of deepest contentment in my life have come in moments when I am forced to accept the impermanence of it. I knew it was coming. That text or that phone call would come, and I wouldn’t know how to handle it. Then, at 2:00pm on Thursday, the dreaded text came through: my grandfather,…

Growing Up with Two Mentally Ill Parents

Growing Up with Two Mentally Ill Parents

No one is watching. No one is listening. No one cares. It’s funny, when you want to send something out to the world, those words are among your greatest fears. But when you want to keep something in from the world, those words can bring you the greatest comfort. So, what happens when those two…

The Irrational Fear of Vulnerability

If you want to free yourself from the past so you can fully move forward into the future, come to terms with vulnerability. Discuss your fears and insecurities with the world. Or at least with a friend. Growing comfortable expressing yourself with vulnerability, with full authenticity, will open an entire world of possibility that you…

How to Make Time to Reinvent Yourself

Be kind to your future self. If you feel stuck, the best thing you can possibly do for future "you" is to make time to reinvent present "you." Six months ago, I was totally out of answers. It was a chilly, dreary January day in Denver, Colorado. I had just left my job at a…

Crossing Your Rubicon: Give Yourself Permission to Write History

On January 9th, 49 BC, Julius Caesar stood at the north bank of the narrow Rubicon River as a Roman general and former governor of Cisalpine Gaul. Julius Caesar’s skills as a general and a leader were displayed in such brilliant fashion over the preceding decade, that the Roman Senate had grown uneasy. Threatened by…

11 Modern Books for Revolutionizing Your Life

Read books

"Reading books is the real-life version of collecting mushrooms in Super Mario.” — Random guy on Twitter Ever walk down the aisles of a bookstore and feel an intense FOMO on all the books you want to read? You realize that time on Earth is finite, and when you combine the fact that you need to…

12 Favorite Problems: A Practical Framework for Discovering Your Purpose

12 Favorite Problems

If you are having difficulty discovering your purpose in life, start by defining your favorite problems. We often feel lost in life when we lack purpose. Traditionally, we have been trained to rely on our ideas, our passions, and our skills to find direction. While this puts us on track to find something, this mindset…

Prove Yourself Wrong. It Will Always Prove You Right

Leave the hard climbing to the experts

Replace the need to perpetually prove yourself right, with an ingrained reflex to prove yourself wrong. Visualize climbing a thousand-foot ladder up the side of a steep mountain face. You desperately want to reach the plateau so you can rest, enjoy the view, and prove to everyone else that you are strong, determined, and superior.…

Writing Makes You Creative, Creativity Makes You Happy

Be true to your creative nature

Your ability to be creative is as much a part of your nature as playing and running is for a dog. When a dog trainer begins working with an upset or misbehaved dog, the first thing they ask the owner is “do you take it for walks?” This one question gets to the heart of…

How to Cook Steak Like a Pro: From Novice to Chef in One Night

Learn to Cook

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook…