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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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What You Can’t Learn From Failure

Is there a mindful approach to failure? You may reject the question on its face. After all, if you were mindful in the first place, wouldn’t you succeed rather than fail? You might if you had perfect knowledge or controlled all the variables, but, of course, none of us do.

Failure is a fact of life. Since it’s ever present, shouldn’t you and your team try to learn from it so you do better next time? That’s where a mindful approach – being aware and intentional – comes in. You’re not going to learn anything from failure itself. You’re only going to learn if you stop to unpack what happened and determine what you need to do different next time.

In my latest post for Fast Company, I interviewed Craig Mullaney about how he learns from failure. Given his resume, Craig may seem to be an unlikely expert on the topic. He currently manages Facebook’s strategic partnerships with global influencers. Before that, he graduated second in his class from West Point, completed Army Ranger School, earned a master’s degree at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, served in combat in Afghanistan, and wrote a New...

What Makes It So Hard to Let Go and Move On?

What is that you’re holding on to that keeps you from moving on to something new? What makes it so hard to let go and gracefully transition into the next chapter of your leadership journey or, for that matter, your life?

That’s what I talked about last week in a conversation with Pamela Dennis. She’s the author of a new book called Exit Signs: The Expressway to Selling Your Company with Pride and Profit. Pam was the co-founder of Destra Consulting Group, a management consulting firm that did major change management work at companies like GE, General Motors and Merck. A little over 10 years ago, she sold Destra even though she was young, hugely successful and could have easily kept going. Since then, she’s branched out into education, board work and advising a select group of leaders.

Exit Signs walks you through the steps of how to sell your business but it’s really a lot more than that. It’s a roadmap for anyone who needs to think through what has them doing the same thing over and over even though they recognize that’s keeping them from doing more important or interesting work...

What Any of Us Can Learn From Pope Francis

Like a lot of Americans, I spent a lot of last week transfixed by the coverage of Pope Francis’ trip to the United States. I’m not Catholic, but found myself moved by his words and images several times.

The pictures were what really got me. The look of joy of people in the crowds as Francis passed by or moved to touch them was unadulterated. The happy grin of the pope as he waved to the crowds out the back window of his Fiat as it left Andrews Air Force Base was priceless. There’s a picture in the New York Times this morning of the white robed arm of Francis extended for a handshake with the tattooed, ID bracelet wearing arm of an inmate in Philadelphia. How can you not be moved by that?

Because I work with a lot of leaders in very visible, demanding roles (not the papacy obviously), I’ve spent some time thinking about what any of us who are trying to make the most of what we do in life can learn from Pope Francis.

As the pope was in New York last week, I had a call with a coaching client who...

How to Live a Life That's 'Beyond Happy'

Being happy is a fundamental life goal for most people. But is it possible that by setting the bar at “being happy,” that we’re aiming too low? In her new book, Beyond Happy: Women, Work, and Well-Being, Beth Cabrera makes a compelling case for striving for more. Better yet, she offers practical and actionable steps on how to do it.

Cabrera is a senior scholar at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. She is also an expert and has conducted extensive research on the particular challenges that professional women face in managing the many demands on their time and attention. She does a great job of summarizing what women are up against in the first couple of chapters of Beyond Happy. The strategies and advice she offers in the rest of the book apply equally to both women and men.

In the recording that accompanies this post, Beth and I talk about her approach to moving beyond happy. The preview is that it comes down to hitting the sweet spot between feeling good and doing good. If you’re interested in learning more about how to do that, listen to my interview with Beth.

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The Case for Competitive Civility

The executive that signed professional golfer Jordan Spieth to a long-term endorsement deal with Under Armour should get a raise. In the year, since he signed on, the 21-year-old Texan has won two major golf championships, missed winning the other two by a total of four strokes and, with his second place finish in the PGA Championship yesterday, captured the No. 1 ranking in the world.

He did all of this while remaining calm, steady and friendly. In short, he’s an absolutely killer competitor who is, by the standards of any era, remarkably civil.

I paid more attention to the PGA Championship this year because I had the very cool opportunity to be at the tournament site in Kohler, Wisconsin, last week to speak at a program called Beyond the Green. It’s a daylong event the PGA puts on for women executives and business owners. The setting at Whistling Straits was so stunning and the organization of the tournament was so impressive that I watched whenever I could over the weekend.

Here’s what I noticed about Jordan Spieth in yesterday’s final round. He started the day three strokes behind the tournament leader, Jason Day. They were...