Your Career is Your Responsibility

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. In all honesty, there has been a lot of hard work, difficult choices and tough breaks along the way. But that’s true for anyone who wants something more.

So what does career management have to do with leadership? It’s a lot harder to lead if you’re not in the right job fit. One of the best ways to excel as a leader is to choose the right context.

Here’s some of the best conventional wisdom I use with myself and others when it comes to charting out a career path – or just making a change.

Your Career Keyboard

How to Be Generous in Business

I’ve written before about generosity. It’s one of the greatest antidotes to selfishness there is. Obviously there is no shortage of needs both locally and globally. I’m also convinced that it has never been easier for the everyday leader to get involved.

But the potency of individual generosity is far surpassed by the momentum organizational generosity can build. The difference is teamwork. One person can make a difference. A team can completely alter an outcome altogether.

Whether you lead an organization or not, I’d like to share several of many ways organizations can act generously, whether they earn a profit or not.

Generous Businessman

Trusted Leadership Advisor – Free ebook!

Book 3D image v2I’m happy to announce that last week I posted my first ebook Trusted Leadership Advisor: Accelerating the Leadership Journey of Others.

You don’t have to be special to be a leader and you don’t have to be an expert to help other leaders succeed. You can start right now, right where you are.

Trusted Leadership Advisor is a compilation of some of my previous posts on this topic. In the ebook, I show you how to think about your role as a trusted leadership advisor, what to say and how to get started. Take a look – and if you find it helpful, please share it.

I’d also appreciate your feedback. This is my first ebook and I want to know if the format, structure and ideas prove to be helpful for you. You can leave me a comment below or contact me directly.

There’s so much work to do – let’s work together!

What Does It Actually Mean to Be Generous?

How will you spend Thanksgiving this week? As an American holiday, it usually includes time with family and ridiculous amounts of food and football. Talk about a great combination!

As we prepare to celebrate the holiday, it’s important to note that thankfulness actually encompasses four different areas: gratitude, generosity, sharing and contentment. Last week, I mentioned how important it is to be generous, especially with so many people who need our help. Right now, it’s the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. (If you haven’t made a donation yet, you can contribute to the Red Cross here). But there are many more.

I’d like to challenge you to be a generous person. Here’s how you can get started.

Generosity

It’s Time to Be Generous

On November 7, 2013, one of the most intense storms in recorded history Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. Wind gusts were estimated at 195 mph. Early estimates suggest over 10,000 people have died in the city of Tacloban alone and more than 11 million citizens have been displaced. Aid workers continue to struggle against the debris to provide food and shelter before the survivors succumb to starvation, exposure or disease.

If there was ever a time to be generous, it’s now.

Residents walk near vehicles and debris floating on a river after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban city in central Philippines

5 Reasons You Should Join Me at Chick-fil-A Leadercast

What are your favorite conferences, seminars or training events? Do you have any that you attend every year? Do you take your team with you?  One of my annual staples is the Chick-fil-A Leadercast seminar. This year it takes place on May 10. Let me tell why Chick-fil-A Leadercast is so special.

CFA Leadercast

Article Preview: Stress Test Your Speaking Skills

Last year I got the opportunity to write an article for Toastmaster Magazine.  I put my heart and soul into writing a funny and helpful article that related my experiences in Army Special Operations training to the pressure of preparing a professional presentation on short notice.  I learned one thing: if you’re fortunate enough to have an article featured in a publication with over 270,000 subscribers, someone is bound to read it!  Even though the article ran in April, 2011, I recently received an email from a Toastmasters Club member in the UK saying how he’d like to organize a “stress test” speaking event, like I wrote about in the article.

Style Sheets Master
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve had a blast in my pursuit to become a competent public speaker.  However, if I hadn’t practiced, I wouldn’t have been nearly as effective under pressure.  That’s why I’ve invested in programs like Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie.

What I Learned at the Re:Write 2012 Writers Conference

Last week I had the privilege to fly cross country from Washington, DC to San Diego to attend a two and a half day writers conference called Re:Write sponsored by The Fedd Agency. It featured many high-profile and incredibly well-written (and well-sold) authors, such as Ken Blanchard, Paul Young, George Barna, Mark Batterson, Peter Strople, John Kilcullen, Mary DeMuth, and others. Most of the attendees had either written books, were in the process of writing their first book, maintained blogs, or just wanted to learn more about how to focus their writing inspirations. There were also publishers and agents in attendance.

Ken Blanchard photo

I met Ken Blanchard at Re:Write 2012