9 Rules for Life (and Leadership)

We all want to get the most out of life. We all want to achieve great things. We all want to be known as strong leaders. I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. First, the good news. Here are nine simple rules that lead to a productive and fulfilling life. Now, the bad news. These nine rules are also challenging. It will take a daily commitment to remember and practice these simple, yet challenging rules. There are no short-cuts. To see the view from the top of the hill, you’ve got to make the climb. Oh, by the

Categories: Leadership.

To Find Your Center, Go to the Edge.

When we are faced with obstacles to our growth as leaders, when we are at the edge, we must push farther. The edge, in all its many forms, can be specific or metaphorical. Seth Godin writes that “edges are how we define things, they are the moments when things begin and end. The concept of the edge applies to every project, every concept, every institution in our lives. The edge of performance, the promises and goals we make every day, defines who we are and what we do. Most often we exist somewhere in the middle, but we gain understanding

Categories: Leadership.

Declare your Independence from the Usual and Ordinary.

The big day approaches! My new book, Ultra Leadership, launches on Saturday! The book is a must-read for anyone wanting to develop the mindset and skill set that separate ultra leaders from the usual and ordinary. It lays out the simple, easy-to-follow steps to creating stronger engagement, higher performance, and more successful change. To celebrate the launch, and to ensure that it’s a complete no-brainer for anyone who is interested in becoming a better leader, we’re discounting the book to $0.99 for the first 24 hours. On July 2 (12:00am ET – 11:59pm ET) the Kindle edition of Ultra Leadership is only $0.99! Sunday morning,

Categories: Leadership.

In 2016, Why not go beyond usual and ordinary?

We’ve reached the edge. Everything has an edge. An edge is the outside limit where something begins or ends. Some are real. Some are imagined. Some are self-imposed. We can see this year-end transition point as an edge. Our leadership has an edge. Our knowledge and competence has an edge. Our capacity to empathize and connect with others has an edge. Our comfort zone has an edge. To continue to grow as leaders and achieve more we must choose to go to our edge and push past the limits – real or imagined and self-imposed. So as 2015 ends and 2016 begins,

Categories: Leadership.

Frank Sinatra’s Ultra Leadership Lessons

December 12th was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra. I’m a huge fan of Frank Sinatra. I’ve been listening to his music for years. I love the songs. I love the voice. Most of all I love the attitude. I remember stories I’ve heard about the original “Ocean’s 11.” Filming in Las Vegas, Frank and company (Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford) would be on set during the day and then perform at the Sands Hotel in the evening. Sometimes, the sign in front of the Sands simply said, “The Summit” because Frank and the

Categories: Leadership.

The Incredible Lightness of Leading.

“Lighten up, Francis.” (https://youtu.be/syV2LkGpQB0) I love this line from the movie “Stripes” (great movie, by the way). It is a constant reminder to me and to any leader that we run into trouble when we take ourselves too seriously. Most of us are not in roles where we are making life and death decisions. We are in business; we make and sell products, we sell and provide services. How is it that we become so worked up over things when something doesn’t go our way? Perhaps to be better leaders (and people), we need to “lighten up.” I am not

Categories: Leadership.

Your presence (or lackthereof) tells a story

I was asked to observe a leadership team to give them some feedback on their interactions as a team. Throughout the meeting, people kept checking their phones for emails and texts. This happens every day in meetings in organizations around the world, so this team is not behaving in a way that is out of the ordinary. Toward the end of the meeting, the leader of the team said, “Okay Greg. How’d we do?” Here is my response: “Some of you are too young to remember this.  At the presidential debate in 1992 President (GHW) Bush glanced at his watch.

Categories: Leadership.

Dare to Lead.

Joseph Campbell writes, “The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly. What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of a fiasco. But there’s also the possibility of bliss.” What does this have to do

Categories: Leadership.

What doesn’t change in times of change?

Things change. Maybe your company is changing. A change of strategy can lead to a reorganizing or restructuring of the company. As a result, your role may be changing. Maybe your team is being redistributed. Maybe your scope is changing. Maybe some things you were responsible for are being moved up a level. Maybe the changes your company is instituting have changed what you thought of as your ideal job into a transition role. Maybe you weren’t planning on it. The reality is that lots of things will change. Whether you see those changes as positive or negative depends upon

Categories: Leadership.

How to Be an Unusual and Extraordinary Leader

The word ultra means “going beyond what is usual or ordinary.” In today’s business climate we need Ultra Leadership. Ultra Leadership takes us to the edge of what we think is possible and inspires us to push farther. It must do this over and over again. Ultra Leadership is the will to push the limits (individual, team, and organizational) combined with the skills to get people to willingly, enthusiastically, and repeatedly say “yes,” and engage and contribute. Three skills and one important drive are foundational to Ultra Leadership. Together they add up to going beyond what is usual and ordinary

Categories: Leadership.