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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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Why You Need to Flex to Connect as a Leader

In the nine years since Tom Friedman wrote The World Is Flathttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwweblingrouc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0312425074, it has become even flatter and smaller. Even if you’re a leader who never leaves your home country, on any given day you’re likely to be videoconferencing with colleagues halfway around the world and sitting in meeting rooms with team members who grew up in other cultures, come from different socio-economic backgrounds than yours, are significantly older or younger than you or represent any number of other differences from your own experience and background.

Effectively leading and working in an increasingly global and diverse community of customers and co-workers is a critical skill set for leaders.

Fortunately, there’s a great new book out called Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differenceshttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwweblingrouc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0062248529 that can help you build the empathy muscles you need to be an effective global leader.

I recently had a chance to speak with one of the Flex co-authors, Audrey Lee. In this podcast interview Audrey explains how flexing is the art of switching between behaviors and styles to connect with people who are different than you. She also shares some very helpful insights and tips on how to flex while still being ...

3 Ways to Quiet Your Mental Chatter (aka Monkey Mind)

Has this happened to you lately? You’re in a conversation, or a meeting or working on an important project. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, you’re thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner or the email you forgot to respond to or the March Madness game you watched over the weekend or an errand you forgot to run or someone you need to call or that crazy episode of House of Cards you watched last night. The likelihood is you’re having a whole series of those thoughts, not just one. It sure happens to me; that list of random thoughts I just wrote comes straight from my current playlist.

In doing the research for my new book on mindfulness for overworked and overwhelmed leaders and professionals, I’ve learned that the average person has 70,000 thoughts a day. So, seriously, what’s the likelihood that all those thoughts are going to lay themselves out in an exquisite sequence of hyper focus? Not very likely.

We all have mental chatter. There’s even a Sanskrit word for it—vritti—that the ancient yogis came up with thousands of years ago to describe the ...

5 Ways to Stay Sane When You Have to Slog Through

From the archives of the Department of Irony, I found myself overwhelmed this past week while working on a book whose title is Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative.

I was at the point in the process where I had to read through about 400 pages of interview excerpts and sort them into working files for each of the 19 chapters of the book. It was about three days straight of reading, thinking, copying and pasting. As passionate as I am about the topic and the project, I have to confess. It. Was. A. Slog.

No doubt, you’ve had episodes like this and probably will again. It’s that important step in the project that can’t really be delegated or outsourced because it requires your judgment and perspective throughout. And it’s going to be several solid days of work.

So, how do you stay sane when you have to slog through? Here are five ways to do it that worked for me last week:

  1. Stretching: Lots of stretching. When you’re working at a desk all day, you absolutely must get up and stretch every 60 to 90 minutes. Your shoulders, back and hips need it and ...

What Does Mindfulness Even Mean, Anyway?

If you do a Google search on the word “mindfulness” you’ll find close to 6.5 million results. Safe to say you could spend the rest of the day reading through all of that and still have a lot left to read. (Probably not the most mindful use of your time, actually.) In any case, mindfulness is clearly a hot topic as the recent Time magazine cover story “The Mindful Revolution” illustrates.

Since I’m writing a book on the mindfulness alternative to being overworked and overwhelmed, I get asked a lot how I define mindfulness. 

If you want to go deeper on this topic you should check out the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg and other contemporary mindfulness experts who have been at this a lot longer than me. If you’re not inclined to go deeper right now, know that you don’t have to aspire to be a Buddhist monk or nun to benefit from mindfulness. It can help anyone deal with the overwork and the overwhelm that’s such a fact of life today.

Based on dozens of interviews I’ve conducted with everyday leaders, experts in health and wellness and my ...

3 Simple Ways to Create Space to Think

How do you create the space to step back and actually think about what really needs to be done when the input is coming in far faster than the output is going out?

Here are three simple ways to create the space to think:

  1. Leverage Time. One of the leaders I’ve interviewed for my new book is Adm. Thad Allen, former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, who led recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. There aren’t many jobs that get more high stakes and high profile than that. When I asked Allen about the routines that enabled him to perform at his best, he told me that on the days when he was in his office as commandant, he rode his bike 15 miles to work every day. That 45-minute ride was not just his exercise for the day but also his time to do mental planning and reflection on projects, public appearances and tough problems. In a packed, busy schedule he leveraged the time he had available to give himself space to think.
  2. Schedule Time. Another leader I’ve spoken with is Brian Halligan, CEO of the rapidly growing Web ...