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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 Three Things You Can Control

A good friend of mine, who I’ll refer to here as Rick, is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. He’s approaching the end of a 20-year career and just got married a few months ago to a wonderful woman. A couple of weeks ago, much to his surprise, he found out that he’s going to be deployed for six months to a base on the opposite coast and possibly to the Middle East.

That’s not what he expected when he got married and signed a lease on a really cool town house. He is not, however, freaking out about it. He’s not super excited about the deployment but is totally taking it in stride. He understands that a deployment at this stage in his career is not something he can control. And, as he learned from an interview with Pat Summitt, the head coach emeritus of the Tennessee women’s basketball program who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago, there are only three things in life you can control.

They are:

  • Your attitude
  • How hard you work
  • How you take care of yourself

So, Rick is focusing on what he can ...

Two Minutes That Will Make You Feel More Relaxed

Chances are that sometime today or this week, you’ll find yourself spun up into a low grade version of fight or flight syndrome. As I explain in my forthcoming book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternativehttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwweblingrouc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1118910664, to counteract fight or flight you want to develop little breaks of rest and digest into your day.

I was lucky enough to take an anniversary trip to Pebble Beach this past weekend and took a couple of minutes to film the waves lapping against the beach so I could share them with you.

Watching and listening to the waves for a couple of minutes is a terrific way to activate your rest and digest response. I will pretty much guarantee that after watching the last two minutes of this video you’ll be more relaxed, thinking more clearly and more energized for what’s next.

Give it a look and listen and let me know with a comment how you feel after watching it.

Accepting the Help When You Need It Most

In a New York magazine article called “Life, After,” former CNN anchor Miles O’Brien shares his experience of what life has been like since losing most of his left arm a few months ago. O’Brien was on a reporting trip in the Philippines when a heavy camera case fell on his arm. What seemed like a minor injury became a major problem and his arm had to be amputated below the shoulder and above the elbow.

Since then, he’s been learning how to do everyday tasks like showering, brushing his teeth, getting dressed and cooking. He’s figuring out new ways to do his job of reporting and typing his stories. He’s learning how to run with a new center of gravity. He’s also learning how to accept the help of friends, family and colleagues who care about him.

O’Brien is a great reporter and tells his own story with courage and grace. The most moving passage for me was at the end of the article when he wrote:

“Two months to the day after my accident, I went to see a therapist for the first time in my life. I didn’t know ...

What Good Did You Do You Today?

I had been working in my hotel room in Wilmington, Delaware, most of the day last Wednesday and decided to head up to the concierge lounge to see if they had anything I could eat for dinner. As I got on the elevator, there was already a gentleman in the car who seemed a little stressed out. You know, some heavy sighs, comments of “What a day,” and things like that. Guessing that he was looking for a beer or a glass of wine, I told him I was headed for the lounge and to follow me.

Fortunately, they were serving chef salad, so I loaded up one of the little plates they use and sat down at a table to eat. It was crowded in the lounge and my new friend from the elevator asked if he could join me. I had brought a file folder of work to look at to prep for a leadership development program I was leading the next day but quickly decided that could wait.

As he took his first sip of white wine, it seemed to me the right question to open the conversation was, “So, what good did you do today?” He ...

Why You Should Be Brief and How to Do It

There’s a famous quote that’s often attributed to Mark Twain but actually originated with the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal: “I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.”

That Pascal was one smart guy. A full 500 years before the information flood that all of us face today, he understood that brevity is important and that it takes work to be brief.

If you want to learn more about why you should be brief and how to do it, check out a new book, Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less by marketing expert Joe McCormack.

In a recent conversation I had with Joe, he pointed out that your audience is drowning in the information flood that you don’t want to be the one to push them under for the count. Preparing your message is the best way to avoid doing that. Joe shared with me a communications planning framework he’s developed around the word BRIEF. First you get clear on the topic and then you provide the:

  • Background on the topic, and then the
  • Relevance to the audience, followed by the key bullet points ...