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

Why You Shouldn't Have 'Limited Access to Email' While On Vacation

One of the big reasons you need a vacation this summer is to take a break from the chronic state of fight or flight that an overworked and overwhelmed lifestyle generates. By doing some quick math based on email statistics collected by the Radicati Group, I’m ball parking that the average business person gets 113 emails per day. When I ask the people in my leadership workshops how many they get in a day the responses are usually in the range of 200 to 300. Whatever the actual number is, for most professionals, it’s a lot.

All of that constant input ends up putting your sympathetic nervous system in a state where it’s constantly generating a sense of threat. That’s what leaves you in a chronic state of fight or flight. If left unchecked, the impact of that on your productivity and your health and well being is pretty devastating. When your blood pressure and stress hormones spike and stay there and your digestive and immune systems drop and stay there, bad things happen.

Your vacation goal should be to do things that activate your rest and digest response (your body’s parasympathetic nervous system) so...

The Surprising Benefit of Comparing Yourself to Others

Every so often you hear a story that’s the exception that proves the rule. In this case, the rule is don’t compare yourself to others; just do your best and play your own game. The exception is the story that David Duval shared this past weekend at the British Open.

Even if you follow golf, you may not know or remember David Duval. He used to be the number one player in the world back in 1999. In the latest world rankings, he was 1,268. You don’t make the cut very often as a pro when you’re ranked 1,268.  As reported in The New York Times, earlier this year Duval began leaving his playing career behind and signed up as an analyst for the Golf Channel.

When he got up in the broadcast booth, he started comparing himself to the other players and his perspective shifted. As Duval told the Times:

“When you’re playing well, you forget immediately about the bad shots, but when you’re not playing well and you’re struggling, you feel like everybody else is hitting it beautiful and perfect all time.”

Sitting up there when you’re announcing...

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...