Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

What's Your Word of the Week?


The ancient Greeks had a word called praxis which is the root of our modern day English words, practical and practice. Aristotle described the end goal of praxis as action. When he wrote about praxis, one of his points was that if you want to be a certain way, start acting that way.

The idea of praxis came to mind when I was in a class last weekend and the teacher suggested at the beginning that everyone hold the intention of being gentle with themselves. At a break, I was talking with another student who commented how differently she approached the learning with the concept of being gentle with herself in mind.

That simple concept of holding a state of being in mind while you go about your daily actions can change the results you create as a leader.

For instance, I remember a conversation I had several years ago with the members of a local chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. By definition, members of YPO are high achievers who have a successful track record of getting results. In my session with them, I walked them through the Life GPS® process of personal strategic planning. Two of the three main questions in the Life GPS® involve how you show up when you’re at your best and the outcomes you’d expect to see at home, work and in the community if you were regularly showing up at your best.

When I asked the group to talk about what surprised them in mapping out their Life GPS®, one of the CEO’s said he was surprised by what he came up with for the outcomes he expected at work. He explained that one of his best state characteristics was being supportive. He told us that he was very supportive of his own children but had never really thought about how he could act on that characteristic with his team at work. “I’ve always thought that we pay them to do their jobs and they should do them, he said, but if I think about what it would look like if I was more supportive of them, we’d get much different outcomes.”

Holding the picture of a simple intention in your mind can make a world of difference in your outcomes.

What word do you want to hold front and center in your mind as your praxis this week? What outcomes would you expect to see from acting on that word?

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.