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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 Does Your Boss Really Want From You?

What’s the most critical relationship you have at work? Any way you slice it, the relationship you have with your boss has to be very close to the top of the list if it doesn’t already occupy the No. 1 spot. Because your relationship with your boss has so much impact on what you’re able to do, what you’re known for, what your future prospects look like and so many other factors, it just makes sense to step back and think about what your boss really wants from you.

That’s the topic of a new book, What Your Boss Really Wants from You, by veteran leadership coach and consultant Steve Arneson. In short, simple and practical language, Steve draws on his years of experience as an executive and a coach to offer a three-step process for understanding what your boss really wants. The steps are:

  1. Study your boss
  2. Consider how your boss sees you
  3. Take responsibility for your relationship with your boss

In a recent conversation with Steve, he shared with me some key questions that will help you unpack each of these steps and put them to work. Listen in to our brief conversation ...

Why Leaders Need to Learn How to Get Angry Without Being Stupid

One of the topics I regularly discuss with participants in my leadership workshops is whether or not they should show their anger or frustration when things don’t go well. Most of the time most of the people begin by saying that that’s not an effective leadership move. But when they think about it a little bit more, many acknowledge that there are times when leaders need to show their anger.

Recently, I had the chance to talk shop on this topic with a fellow leadership coach, consultant and author, Henry Evans. Henry is the co-author with Colm Foster of a new book called Step Up: Lead in Six Moments that Matter.

The way Henry and Colm describe that first moment is “get angry, not stupid.”

In this audio excerpt from our conversation, Henry explains when and why it’s necessary for leaders to show their anger. Of course, if you’re going to go that route, you don’t want to be stupid about it. Henry offers three important tips for how to stay on the right side of that line.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments. Is it ever ...

Nothing Changes Until You Do

Have you ever felt like you’re the only one who doubts yourself? Does that little voice inside your head compare you to people who seem like they just totally have everything completely together? Well, guess what. It’s not just you. Most everyone has their own inner critic that’s way too hard on themselves.

If you want to get some perspective on what’s going on with that and how you can train that inner critic to lighten up, you should take a look at Mike Robbins new book, Nothing Changes Until You Dohttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwweblingrouc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1401944558. Mike describes how all too often our self-talk is harsher and more demanding than anything we would ever say to another person. He suggests that instead of beating yourself up over some shortcoming, you should extend the same compassion for yourself that you would for a loved one, friend or colleague.

I had the opportunity to talk with Mike recently and really enjoyed the conversation. In it he offers three practical steps for quieting your inner critic that are easy to do and likely to make a difference. You can listen in at the link below.

Play

(Image via romrf/Shutterstock.com)

How to Stop Freaking Out? Start By Breathing

So, this past week I’m just moving along, minding my own business, getting work done and all of a sudden I start to freak out. It starts off small as just one thought about something I have to do. It hasn’t even happened yet. It’s not even going to happen for a few days. It requires a lot of preparation, expertise, information from others and then me delivering front and center.

Then, like a tidal wave, the panic and anxiety washes over me. It’s like someone just pulled the bar over top of me as I sit in the roller coaster. It’s making the climb to the top and I know it’s going to be a fast hair-raising descent.

I start breathing really shallow and much shorter breaths. I feel tense all over. My jaw clenches. My temples tighten. My ears feel a pounding inside. My face starts to tingle. I can even feel my adrenal glands start to throb on my lower back.

So I’m totally in fight or flight mode. You know, where your body thinks it needs to fight off that Saber Tooth Tiger. I know that if I stay ...

When Is ‘Good Enough’ Good Enough?

I’ve worked with a lot of leaders over the past several years who find themselves trapped on the gerbil wheel of too much to do and not enough time to do it. There are a lot of reasons for that. Corporate restructurings and 24/7 access through smartphones are two of the big ones.

Another is the tendency for high-achieving managers and executives to assume without any question at all that everything they and their teams do has to be 100 percent perfect. While the intentions are good, I’d argue that always going for perfection is a fairly mindless approach. In the real world, there is not enough time and there aren’t enough resources for everything to be optimized at a 100 percent level.

The question, of course, is which things need to be perfect and which are the ones where good enough is good enough? Just asking that question is a step in the right direction. If you’re starting this week feeling overworked and overwhelmed, I encourage you to ask it as you review the to-do list for you and your team. If you want to take the process further, check out the other “perfect ...