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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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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 ...

Inject Some Life Into Your Daily Grind

Back in 2007, Tim Ferris released a mega best-seller called The 4-Hour Workweek. He’s since gone on to release a couple of other best-sellers but it was his first book that really put him on the map. It was a great title for sure. Who doesn’t want a four-hour work week?

I’ve always joked, however, that there was no way Tim Ferris was only spending four hours a week working on writing and then getting the word out about his book. As I’ve been doing the same thing on my second book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative this year, I’ve been reminded of what a time intensive process it is to write a book and then let the world know about it. (After all, what’s the point of writing it for people if no one knows it’s there?)

The biggest challenge for me this year has been to write the book and meet my normal business obligations without becoming—you guessed it—overworked and overwhelmed. It’s been an interesting exercise in eating my own dog food. I’m happy to report that it actually tastes pretty good and that most days ...

What Leaders Can Learn About Trust from Vladimir Putin

Given his track record in Crimea and Ukraine over the past several months, you wouldn’t think there is much that leaders could learn about trust from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The shoot down of the Malaysian Air flight, the Russian-backed rebels, the troops massed on the Ukrainian border, the government-stoked propaganda in Russian media and the current “humanitarian” convoy that the Russian army is driving into Ukraine have blown the international community’s trust in Putin out of the water.

So, what in the heck could a leader learn about trust from Putin? It’s one of those what-not-to-do kind of lessons. An article in the New York Times about Germany’s changing relationship with Putin sets the table for the lesson. A longtime German politician named Gernot Erler is quoted in the article. Erler has been working on establishing a stronger relationship between Germany and Russia for decades. He’s done with that. As he said in the article:

“The policy of Vladimir Putin is destroying reserves of trust with breathtaking speed. Russia is not naming its goals and has suddenly become unpredictable. And being unpredictable is the greatest enemy of partnership. Restoring trust will take time.”

And ...