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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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How to Keep Your Smartphone From Taking Over Your Life

As smartphone addicted people around the world await Apple CEO Tim Cook’s introduction of the iPhone 6 tomorrow, perhaps this is a good day to think about how to keep your smartphone from taking over your life. While I was doing the research for my new book, I came across a lot of interesting stats about just how addicted many people are to their phones and how that affects their lives.

For instance, one study I saw reported that the majority of smartphone owners are never more than 5 feet away from their device. Likewise, many people report that the first thing they do when they wake up and the last thing they do before going to bed is check their phone. Maybe that’s why, as the the Center for Creative Leadership learned in a 2013 study that the average smartphone enabled executive, manager or professional is connected to his work an average of 72 hours a week.

So, perhaps your smartphone has already taken over your life or maybe it’s about to. Whatever your threat level, here are some ideas for how to reclaim your life from your smart phone.

Schedule It—As the Center for ...

What Any Leader Can Learn From Pope Francis

Jeffrey A. Krames has been involved in publishing more than 400 business books over the course of his career and has written books on business and government leaders like Jack Welch and Donald Rumsfeld. As Krames describes himself, he is the son of Holocaust survivors and believes that Pope Francis is the most authentic leader he has ever seen. As he told me in a recent conversation, he felt moved to write a book on the Pope. It’s called Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis and is available this week.

Krames defines leadership as the ability to articulate a vision and get others to carry it out.  In our conversation, I asked Krames to share some examples of how Pope Francis embodies that definition. Krames is a keen observer and has a real talent for explaining how the Pope operates as a leader.

Give a listen to the conversation for compelling stories of authentic leadership in action, reflect on what you can learn from the Pope and how humility combined with ruthless consistency may be the secret to effective leadership.

If you’re fascinated by Pope Francis, you’ll love Lead With Humility.  Check it out ...

Three of the Most Common Delegation Ah-ha's

One of the biggest shifts that most rising leaders have to make is the shift from being the go-to person to someone who builds teams of go-to people. As you take on more and more scope in your leadership role, you can’t continue to operate as the go-to person who acts as if you’re personally responsible for everything that happens. You need to be accountable and own the results but you can’t expect yourself to do everything that leads to the results.

That, of course, means that you need to be really effective at delegation. Unfortunately, a lot of leaders aren’t that good at it. Too often, they delegate something to a team member and it doesn’t get done well, or on time or at all. One of the big reasons this happens is because too many leaders take a “one size fits all” approach to delegation. As I’ve written here before, effective delegation needs to be custom-fit to the people involved and the tasks that need to be accomplished.

That might sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t really have to be. For several years now, I’ve been teaching ...

What If We All Hugged It Out?

Because I fly a lot for my work, I get upgraded to First Class a good bit. Sometimes, it’s just a happy surprise and other times, I’ll use frequent flyer miles to secure a seat up front at the end of a long week of travel.

Last week was one of those long week of travel scenarios. I had a connection at Washington Dulles Airport to catch a late afternoon flight to Los Angeles. My connecting flight to Dulles was late taking off and then got put in a holding pattern over the airport for 45 minutes. By the time we landed and I got my bags, it was five minutes after the door to the LA flight was supposed to close. I decided to make a run for it anyway because I really wanted to get home. After running a half mile through Concourse D with my backpack strapped on and my roll aboard trailing behind me. I made it to the gate and was thrilled to see that the door was still open. I wasn’t so thrilled when the gate agent told me that she had just given my First Class seat away. I was ...

Tired of Fire Drills? Appoint a Fire Marshal

One of the things I talk a lot about with my executive coaching clients is the highest and best use of their time and attention. When they think about what they really need to accomplish and how they should be spending their time to do that they often see a gap. The gap is between what they should be spending their time and attention on and what they actually are spending it on.

When they itemize the lists on both sides of the equation they usually recognize that a lot of what sucks up their time and attention each week is fire drills. If you’re an executive or manager, you know what fire drills are. They’re the unexpected customer crises, data calls from the top or systems breakdowns that draw you into a vortex of email chains, impromptu meetings and circular conversations. Before you know it, you’ve turned over 10 or 20 hours of your week to stuff you had no idea was going to even come up on Monday morning. Fire drills make it really hard to stick with and follow through on all of those more strategic and value added uses of your time and ...