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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 Tackle Unpleasant Tasks

What do you notice about your thought process when you’re about to start something that’s difficult or intimidating? Is your inner monologue helpful or hurtful? Here’s a hint: Your self-talk is highly predictive of the result you’re going to get.

There’s a simple mental shift you can make that almost guarantees a better result when you have to do something you’re not totally excited about or find a little bit scary. Instead of telling yourself, “I have to do this thing,” say to yourself, “I get to do this thing.”

As I’ve written here before, I learned this little trick years ago from speaking coach Dr. Nick Morgan when he was helping me prepare for the biggest speech I’d ever given up to that point. It was a keynote to a 1,000 people at the Washington Hilton with production values that were through the roof. Spot lights, teleprompters, the works. When you’re walking from the green room to the stage at the Hilton, you walk through a hallway that is filled with pictures of every U.S. President who has ever given a speech there. It’s an intimidating setting...

Leaders Focus on the Trends, Not the Data Points

In some organizations, this is the time of year where individual performance from the previous year is summarized and communicated in annual reviews. (Which, by the way, is an abysmal practice that does nothing to develop people and has at least an 80 percent chance of causing them to feel disengaged.)

One of the reasons annual performance reviews suck so much is that they too often deal in data points, not trends. Too many managers don’t provide meaningful performance feedback on a real-time basis so when performance review time rolls around (as it always and predictably does), they find themselves scrambling for points to make in the review conversation. That’s where the data points come in. In the absence of any meaningful thought or preparation, whatever happened recently suddenly becomes a trend. That meeting you nailed? Good job on that—you had a great year! That presentation you muffed? You know, I’m not sure you’re really a good fit for us.

Here’s the thing. A data point does not a trend make. A data point is exactly that—it’s a data point, not a trend. Lots of data points observed and documented over time...

What You Can Learn About Self-Improvement From Kevin Durant

If you pay any attention at all to sports, you’ve probably noticed that the Golden State Warriors are a really good basketball team. So good, in fact, that four of their five starters are playing in the NBA All-Star Game next month. With Steph Curry and Kevin Durant leading the team and (my idol) Steve Kerr coaching, Golden State is so good that it’s been reported that other teams in the league are suffering from Warriors Derangement Syndrome.

Still, as good as they are, the Warriors aren’t perfect. For instance, some of the players on the team tend to draw more than their share of technical fouls. Techs are sort of expected from Draymond Green given his game. They’ve maybe been less expected from Kevin Durant but he’s lately moved towards the top of the charts on techs and has been ejected from four games this season for saying more to the officials than they were willing to hear.

Durant’s latest ejection came against the Knicks last week after he felt like he wasn’t getting the calls he was due and spoke up about it – loudly. In the post-game press conference, he calmly...

Five Posts on How to Be Successful in 2018

Happy new year everyone! Here’s hoping that 2018 is everything you want it to be.

To give you some fuel for the journey, here are five quick posts about how to set yourself up for success this year. These posts cover strategies and tactics that have worked for both my clients and me so I’m confident they’ll work for you too.

For the big-picture, strategic point of view, take a look at these two posts on how creating your own Life GPS® can help you create the outcomes you want in the three big arenas of life: home, work and community:

How to Perform at Your Best This Year

What a Life GPS® Can Do for You This Year (This post includes a link to download a Life GPS® worksheet.)

When you’re ready to break things down into the small steps that lead to big results, check out these two posts on the tactics of making progress day-by-day and week-by-week:

Three Steps to Actually Change Yourself This Year

How Baby Steps Can Keep You on Track This Year

And, finally, if this is the year that you really intend to shake things up, read this post...

Why You Need to Be Bored (And How to Get There)

When was the last time you were bored? I’m willing to bet that you can’t remember. If I’m right, it’s because, in 2017, no one ever has to be bored. That smartphone supercomputer you carry around in your pocket guarantees it.

Don’t know what to do next? There’s always an Instagram feed to look at, a text to answer, an email to delete, a podcast to listen to, a cat video to watch, a news headline to click on or a Minecraft challenge to beat. Thanks to the technology, none of us ever have to be bored.

How great is that, right? Actually, it’s not so great. We – you, me, all of us – need to be bored once in awhile. That space between active thoughts is where we get our best ideas. Want to prove that to yourself? Answer this question. Where or when do you get you best ideas? (I’ll wait for you to consider your answer).

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I’ve asked that question of thousands of leaders over the past several years. The number one answer is, “In the shower,” followed by “When I’m...