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Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

Why You Need to Be Bored (And How to Get There)

When was the last time you were bored? I’m willing to bet that you can’t remember. If I’m right, it’s because, in 2017, no one ever has to be bored. That smartphone supercomputer you carry around in your pocket guarantees it.

Don’t know what to do next? There’s always an Instagram feed to look at, a text to answer, an email to delete, a podcast to listen to, a cat video to watch, a news headline to click on or a Minecraft challenge to beat. Thanks to the technology, none of us ever have to be bored.

How great is that, right? Actually, it’s not so great. We – you, me, all of us – need to be bored once in awhile. That space between active thoughts is where we get our best ideas. Want to prove that to yourself? Answer this question. Where or when do you get you best ideas? (I’ll wait for you to consider your answer).

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I’ve asked that question of thousands of leaders over the past several years. The number one answer is, “In the shower,” followed by “When I’m...

Three Basic Truths About People That Busy Leaders Should Not Ignore

Lately, I’ve been working with a company that’s about to make a big leap. They have a potentially world-changing product and are on the cusp of scaling up in a big way. It’s very exciting stuff.

Everyone from the CEO on down is super busy. There is a lot of work to do both internally and externally. With all the demands, time and attention are scarce.

That’s true for many of the leaders I work with. It can be really exciting when you’re running at a hundred miles per hour to get big things done. The challenge is that, in that kind of situation, it’s easy to lose sight of some basic truths about people that you just intuitively get when you’re not so absorbed by everything else you have to do.

Here, then, are three basic truths about people that busy leaders should not ignore:

People care about where you are and what you’re doing. When you’re running hard, you’re likely to be in a lot of meetings and, possibly, on a lot of airplanes. You’re getting stuff done but it can feel to your team like you...

Five Ways to Create Space to Think

A lot of thinking is really just reacting. On any given day, there’s so much coming at us that we just react or reflexively respond to the input. That’s not all bad. A lot of stuff gets done that way. But whose stuff is getting done – yours or someone else’s?

To get your own most important stuff done, you have to create space to think. How, when and where do you do it? I’ve been asking my clients a version of that question for years—where or when do you get your best ideas? The number one answer is in the shower. The next two are exercising and driving to work. Those are fine but the problem with all of them is it’s kind of hard to write anything down while you’re doing them. The other problem is that none of them really last that long. What if what you’re trying to do requires more think time than a shower or your commute? How do you create the space to think in a way that allows you to capture and build on your ideas?

I’ve just had a very solid week of...

How to Determine if the Balls You’re Juggling are Rubber or Glass

In my work as a coach and speaker to corporate leaders, I hear a lot of stories about how many balls people are trying to juggle at once. There are at least three big factors driving these stories. First, most leaders in most organizations are expected to continuously do more with less. Second is the ability to do practically anything from your smartphone that you could do at your desk. Third, is that, unless you set and enforce some boundaries, that smartphone can make you instantly available to anyone who has your email address or phone number.

Those conditions can make juggling all the balls a pressure-filled challenge. How do you keep all the balls in the air without dropping something important or driving your health and well-being off a cliff?

For years, I’ve been talking with my clients about the importance of understanding the difference between when something needs to be perfect and when good enough is good enough. They usually get the distinction between perfect and good enough, but often have a hard time determining when it needs to be one instead of the other.

Lately, I’ve started offering a different way to think about the...

Why Leaders Should Focus on Outcomes Instead of Solutions

Yesterday morning, before delivering a workshop on how to lead and live at your best, I had the privilege of watching a roomful of high-potential managers share what they’ve learned so far during their company’s multi-month leadership development program. There were a lot of good observations but the one that really landed with me was from a participant who said he’s become a lot more aware of the difference between solutions and outcomes.

He went on to explain that he’s been working on making a shift from focusing on solutions to defining outcomes. He’s realized this year that his job is to describe and keep the team focused on the outcomes they’re trying to create. He’s also learning that his job isn’t to come up with or prescribe solutions for how to get to the outcome. That’s his team’s job. His job is to make sure they’ve got the information, perspective, skill sets and motivation to do that.

I love that distinction between solutions and outcomes. Too often, executives and managers overlook the difference between the two. In those cases, they confuse their commitment to a particular solution with...