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Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.
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Change It Up This Week

If you’ve been reading anything I’ve written over the past few years, you know what a big fan I am of routines. I’m especially fond of the routines—physical, mental, relational and spiritual—that help you show up at your best. Mindful routines help us groove the behaviors that lead to incremental improvement. Incremental improvement consistently achieved leads to big results. So, yay for routines! That said, every so often it’s important to change it up.

Here’s a simple example from yesterday, the Sunday after the 4th of July. My anniversary present from Diane was two tickets to a Dodgers game. We had a great time even though the Dodgers were shellacked by the Mets. As we were getting ready to drive home after the game, Google Maps wasn’t kicking in on the smartphone. Instead of continuing to futz with it, I said, “Let’s just drive West on Sunset Boulevard. We’ll get home eventually.”

So that’s what we did, and just past Sunset and Vine saw the minions attacking the theater where their movie is playing. Diane is crazy for minions, and there were some interesting restaurants around so we...

What I Learned About My Emotions From Pixar’s 'Inside Out'

Last Friday night was movie night for our family and I got to pick. The fact that I chose the new Disney/Pixar movie, Inside Out, instead of Jurassic World probably tells you all you need to know about me. In case you’re not familiar with the premise, Inside Out is an animated tour through the mind of an 11-year-old girl who’s struggling with her family’s move from Minnesota to San Francisco. Five core emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust, are struggling, competing and ultimately working together to get her through a tough time in her life.

It’s a sweet and fun movie that’s sneaky in the way it makes you think. I have to confess that I probably didn’t process as much of Inside Out as I could have in real time because I was so busy thinking about what was going on with my own emotions as I watched it that it was like I was playing my own movie inside my head.

Friday was one of the rare days when I crashed with my multiple sclerosis. Most days I get along just fine with it but when the weather is...

Five Ways Leaders Can Make It Easier to Let Go

Earlier this month, I wrote a post titled What Makes It So Hard to Let Go? In this recent post I wrote for Fast Company, I outline five proven ways that leaders can make it easier to let go:

In my 15 years of executive coaching and running leadership development programs, I’ve worked with thousands of leaders charged with getting different results.

A number of scenarios can drive the demand for new results. How many of these apply to you?

  • You’ve been recently promoted.
  • You’re in the same job you were in a year ago, but the scope is a lot bigger today than it was then.
  • You’re working in an organization where the performance bar has been raised dramatically.
  • You’re operating in a constantly changing competitive environment.

Based on my experience, I’ll bet that you could check two, three, or even all four of those boxes. Most leaders check more than one. What they all have in common is that, when you’re in those situations, you have to get different results. Of course, it logically follows when you have to get different results, you have to take different actions. Otherwise, you end...

How You Show Up This Week Has a Huge Ripple Effect

As I wrote here earlier this year, a word that’s working for me this year is the Sanskrit word sankalpa. As explained to me by one of my teachers, Sara Ivanhoe, sankalpa encourages us to focus less on what we’re going to do and more on how we’re going to be. Of course, those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. How we show up in any given situation has an enormous impact on what we actually accomplish.

A great example of how that works was cited recently by Tony Schwartz in one of his regular columns for the New York Times.  Schwartz recently met and spent some time talking with Lynn Doughtie, the recently appointed chairman and CEO of the public accounting firm, KPMG. She is the first woman to hold both of those roles in one of the Big Four accounting firms. Obviously, you don’t end up in a position like Doughtie’s unless you have a stellar track record of getting big things done.

What struck Schwartz the most in his conversation with her was how present and connected Doughtie was with him. As great leaders do, she made him feel like she had...

Keep Doing the Work and the Results Will Follow

So, it’s not every day when you can say that one of your lifelong best friends just won a Tony award. Today is actually the second time I’ve gotten to do that. The fact that today is actually National Best Friends Day makes it even more fun.

Last night, one of my best friends since third grade, Michael Cerveris, won his second Tony award. His latest is best lead actor in a musical for playing the role of Bruce Bechdel in the ground-breaking show, Fun Home. The show was nominated for 12 Tonys and, in addition to Michael’s award, won for best musical, best director and best score and book.

Michael and I first connected a long time ago back in Huntington, West Virginia. His family moved to town when he was a third grader and his dad took a position as professor of music at Marshall University. Michael would likely tell you that we connected when I was the only kid who showed up for his birthday party a few weeks after he came to town. It wasn’t long before he had a lot of friends. There were a bunch of us who did everything...