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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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The Ten Behaviors of Strong Personal Leadership

Since writing the first edition of The Next Level in 2006, I’ve coached, spoken with, and observed thousands of leaders in action. Many of them have been good leaders. Some have been great leaders. The great ones have one big thing in common. They don’t just lead at their best; they live at their best. They understand that to lead others effectively, they first have to lead themselves effectively.

Great leaders practice and exhibit strong personal leadership. They endeavor to live at their best so they can lead at their best. Their lives are structured for continuous improvement.

Here are the ten behaviors of personal leadership that I’ve seen the great ones practice:

  1. Self reflection. Great leaders take the time to identify and articulate how they are at their best and then organize their life so they consistently show up with those qualities. They use their understanding of how they are at their best as a reference point to regularly, often daily, stop and reflect on where they’re hitting the mark, where they’re not and making one or two adjustments to get back or stay on track.
  1. Self awareness. Great leaders are aware and intentional...

It’s a New Year—Have You Transformed Yourself Yet?

It’s hard not to get caught up in all of the annual (and predictable) “New Year, New You!” hype we’re reading everywhere this week. Yes, this is the time of year when we are bombarded with messages saying now is the time to change whatever you need to change to turn your life around.

Get organized. Lose weight. Quit drinking. Be nicer. Read more. Get stronger. Do more. Do less. Be a better parent. Be a better leader. Be a better person.

Just reading the list can make you exhausted. No wonder the research shows that less than 50 percent of the people who make resolutions are still following through on them six months later.

Is putting pressure on yourself to change with the changing of the calendar the right approach, though? Can we sustain the kind of instantaneous reset behavior we’re encouraged to exhibit, or is this work harder than the various “ten tips” listicles would have us believe?

Any time can be a good time to change. My experience is that the new year is as good a time as any to make progress in the direction of leading and living at your best. The...

Create Your Guide for Living (and Managing) in 2017

In working with and speaking to tens of thousands of leaders over the past 16 years, I’ve become convinced that if you want to lead at your best, you have to live at your best. The first goal is completely dependent on the second.

That’s why I’ve become so passionate in encouraging my clients and readers to create and use their own Life GPS®.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Life GPS® is a simple one page worksheet (you can download one here) that helps you ask, answer and follow through on three vital questions:

  • How are you at your best?
  • What are the routines – physical, mental, relational and spiritual – you need to follow to be at your best?
  • What are the outcomes at home, work and in your community that you would expect to see from consistently being at your best?

If you live at your best, you can lead at your best. With that in mind, this last week of the year is a great time to reflect on what’s worked for you that you want to keep doing in 2017 and to identify the adjustments you could make to create better...

How to Make Something Productive Out of Your Anxiety

As an executive coach, I often work with clients who don’t just have very full plates; it can feel to them like they’re spinning four or five full plates at once. (That sounds really messy.) When you’ve got so much to do that it’s hard just to keep track of what’s on the list, it’s really easy to start freaking out about how you are going to get everything done. The more professional term for that freaked out feeling is anxiety. When you have anxiety, you feel anxious. When you feel anxious, it’s really hard to keep the plates spinning. It’s actually really challenging to do anything productive from an anxious state.

The French philosopher Montaigne captured the essence of the anxiety challenge when he wrote that “My life has been full of misfortunes, most of which never happened.” We can get so spun up about what might happen that we don’t perform at our best right now. What if you could use your anxiety as a cue or signal to shift into a more productive mode? Here are some thoughts on how to do that.

A couple of weeks ago...

The Case for Radical Kindness

As I write this, it’s 6:30 AM on November 9, 2016, and, I think it’s fair to say, hundreds of millions of people around the world are asking themselves, “What  next?” Millions are asking that question with excited anticipation and millions more with overwhelming anxiety. Whether you’re on one end of the spectrum or the other, somewhere in between or haven’t figured out yet where you are, it feels pretty safe to conclude that the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States represents a seismic shift in the world.

So, what’s next? Who really knows? I think, though, that there’s another, more immediate question for each of us to answer: “What do I do now?” My humble suggestion is to, starting today, practice radical kindness.

No matter where you were on the presidential campaign, you likely agree that it was not our best experience as a country. Name calling, opinion shoving, sarcasm, condescension, and other behaviors that would embarrass most of us if we were watching a tape of ourselves doing those kinds of things became all too common over the past year. The campaign drove wedges between families, friends...