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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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Thrown Into the Deep End

This is the time of year when it’s natural to look back on the year that’s ending and look ahead to the year that’s coming up. You may find yourself focused on tallying up wins, losses and what’s too soon to call. If you’re charged with leading a team, you may be thinking through what you need to do coach your team to the next level of performance in the year to come.

Here’s some food for that thought process. Throw some of them into the deep end of the pool.

If that sounds intriguing if not a little harsh, check out my latest article for Fast Company for more details on a mindful way to develop your key players this coming year. It will require everyone – you included – to stretch past their comfort zones. The good news is that 10 years of real world research shows that it works. Read on for the “how-to.”

(Image via Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock.com)

Remembering What’s at Stake

Like a lot of people reading this post, I’ve spent a good part of the past weekend trying to process what happened in Paris on Friday night (and Beirut a few days before and the apparent bombing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai a few weeks before that). I know that’s not the kind of opening you’ve come to expect in these Mindful Mondays posts, but that’s what’s on my mind as I write this, and it doesn’t feel honest to write about something else today.

Much like 9/11, I imagine a lot of people will remember where they were when they heard the news of the shootings and bombings in Paris. I was in Cancun on a business trip. I had just finished a day of delivering workshops for a client company management conference and was in my room getting ready to end the day with an hour or two on the beach. CNN was on the television and the first uncertain reports were coming in about something going on in Paris. When I came back to the room 90 minutes later, the magnitude of the horror was all too clear...

3 Ways for Non-Beginners to Keep a Beginner's Mind

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to have a beginner’s mind and why, especially if you’re a non-beginner, it’s so important to have one.

The thought process started for me a few weeks ago when I was in a yoga class. If you’ve read my blog for awhile you know that I’m a committed yogi. I started in-depth five years ago (last month was the anniversary of my first class) as a way to get back on my feet (more or less literally) after receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Since then, I figure I’ve taken well over 1,000 classes, have completed 200 hours of teacher training and learned how to do a lot of things like headstands and handstands that I never expected to do even when I didn’t have MS.

Most experienced yoga teachers will tell you that it takes about five years of regular yoga before you’re no longer a beginner. I may or may not be a beginner at this point. It probably depends on the day. Either way, I’m working hard to keep a beginner’s mind because there’s always more...

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...

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