4 Principles for Staying Cool under Pressure

Today’s guest post is from Robert J. Cerfolio, MD, the James H. Estes Family Endowed Chair of Lung Cancer Research and Full Professor Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, surgical training at the Mayo Clinic and at Cornell-Sloan Kettering hospital, and has been in practice for more than 26 years. Dt. Cerfolio is the author of Super Performing at Work and at Home.


principles for staying coolWe all ask ourselves the same desperate question from time to time:

How am I going to make this work?!

No matter how well we’ve done laying the groundwork for everything to run smoothly—becoming educated, choosing the right spouse, treating others well—we all face situations that challenge us. If we can keep our cool and adhere to some basic principles, we can not only meet any challenge—we can perform with excellence. 

After battling breast cancer, my cherished wife Lorraine, recently passed away. The following four principles helped me through that greatest of all challenges and many lesser ones along the way.

16 on the 15th: Power of Communications

power of communicationsWhether they’re spoken or written, our words are powerful.

They can inspire, anger, motivate, and move. They can build bridges or walls.  They can pull people to us or push them away.

Here’s to choosing them wisely and well!

Quotes about the power of communications

A secret sauce for leadership?

paradox and leadershipOur brains prefer simplicity.

We look for ideas and solutions that support how we think—and ignore evidence that says we’re misguided at best, wrong at worst.

No wonder it’s so hard to get our leadership arms (and heads and hearts) around paradox.

Paradoxes are wicked hard.

The Information Age: 5 Essential Laws of Internal Communications

Today’s guest contributor is Megan Marie Ritter, an online business journalist  with a background in social media marketing. Her writing covers everything from entrepreneurship and small business strategies, to virtual communications technology and global business strategies. Connect with her on Twitter today!  


Ainternal communications successful company is comprised of a strong team of individuals.

While you might be experiencing good communication between your suppliers and customers, a business will collapse if its internal communications are not given some degree of attention. Having an effective internal communications system in place is a vital ingredient for the success of any business.

When an operation has a clearly-defined strategy in place and everything goes according to plan, good things are sure to follow — and that’s icing on the cake.

First Friday Favs 9.5.14

learned silence favsAs I tippy-toe into a new routine, my reading this past month has been all over the place. An eclectic assortment of favs, for sure.

Please enjoy these highlights!

20 Paradoxes That Are True | Mark Manson on Mark Manson

Boss to employee: no news from me is good news

leadersn stand up and communicateDo you think a workplace where your boss only talked to you if you’d done something wrong (or had to let you go) would be a crappy place to work?

I do.

Someone I recently met described where she used to work that way. She made the observation so calmly. Kinda detached even. One of those it-is-what-it-is kind of things.

Lever of Change: Communications

Today’s guest author is Mark Miller, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness for Chick-fil-A, who believes that leadership is not something that’s exclusive; within the grasp of an elite few, but beyond the reach of everyone else.  In the tenth anniversary edition of The Secret, Miller reminds readers of a seemingly contradictory concept: to lead is to serve. With more than 600,000 books in print, Mark has been surprised by the response and delighted to serve leaders through his writing. The tenth anniversary edition of The Secret will be released September 2, 2014.


mark miller

Mark Miller

I’ve written several posts over the last few years about change.

Based on the enormity of the task we face as leaders, I probably have not written enough on this important topic.

I love the idea of a lever as it relates to change.

As you may remember from physics, a lever creates mechanical advantage. Translated, a lever allows you to move or lift a significantly greater load than you could without it.

Live with courage, not regret

live with courage not regretMoving from hurt feelings to sympathy happened fairly quickly after a friend apologized for not reaching out to me during my sick leave.

She said she had meant to call or send a card countless times but that something for work always got in the way.

Her remorse was obvious.

What resonated so much was being able to identify with how her good intentions had gotten lost in the swirl of appointments; to do lists; and grumpy, impatient bosses addicted to impossibly short deadlines.

Go ahead & disagree but leave the snark at home

disagree with grace and civilityIt was a day of the triple rudeness whammy…one delivered in my Twitter stream and the other two observed in meetings:  someone sharing their point of view only to be vigorously pommelled with personal attacks. The retorts were just plain brutal.

5 ways to banish the perfection gremlin

escape from perfectionRebecca’s gifts were always so perfectly wrapped that it felt wrong to open them.

They were works of art with perfectly creased foil paper, artfully draped lace doilies, and exquisitely abundant handmade bows. She would spend hours on each creation.