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.

Be a Volunteer & Escape the Unemployment Trap

Today’s guest contributor is Richard B. Alman, principal and chief career/employment strategist of Recruiter Media Inc., owner/operator of the career website Recruiter Networks. Richard has also managed human resources for Fortune 100 and smaller multi-national companies.


be a volunteerThere’s good news for jobs in the United States.

  • In June, the private sector added 288,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The unemployment rate has shrunk to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008, when the Great Recession was just starting. The rate has dropped nearly 2 percent since the beginning of 2013.
  • The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as tracked by Gallup, now stands at one of its highest points since tracking began in January 2010.
  • More companies, states and cities are either raising their minimum wage or considering it.

Does this mean that we can put our minds to rest regarding jobs and prosperity?

Not exactly.

Dancing with purposeful discomfort

purposeful discomfortWe joined the conversation just as Matt was defending the right to be quirky and go against the mainstream. He was calm, gracious, and articulate—speaking his mind without being in anyone’s face, urging respect for different values and opinions.

His message of tolerance went unheeded. As the threads of conversation began anew, anyone who disagreed with the majority opinion was belittled and harshly criticized.

3 Ways for Boomers to Stay in the Game

Today’s guest contributor is Steve Kayser, an award-winning writer, editor, publisher, former radio host, founder of Kayser Media, and author of The Greatest Words You’ve Never Heard. 

too much timeBoomers may want to recall one of the poets they grew up reading, Dylan Thomas, and his most famous poem, named for its first line, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” a desperate appeal to resist the trappings of old age.

As they retire, baby boomers need to stay true to their reputation for grand statements, and to mobilize their skill set in the business world.

If a humblebrag isn’t the answer, what is?

words are powerMany individuals, especially women, struggle with achieving equilibrium between confidence and humility—another one of those life, love, and leadership challenges of getting it just right by avoiding too much or too little of the extremes.

A bit like Goldilocks…

Self-promotion advice I recently read in a leadership enewletter post zoomed right past confidence and into hubris. It’s a busy, noisy world where being heard or being top of mind are precious commodities. Yet tips for creating a five-part strategic plan to showcase winning an award feels to me like over-the-top, calculated conceit.

11 on the 11th: Musing on weakness

Some recent events and conversations have spurred a newfound interest in looking at how we approach our personal weaknesses. They can trip us up if we’re not thoughtful and compassionate in how we approach them:

  • we can focus too much on trying to turn a weakness into a strength and lose sight of what we’re really good at
  • we can let an obsession with a real or perceived weakness become a road block that holds us back
  • we can let others use our weaknesses against us or to control us
  • we can be blind to our weaknesses, harming ourselves and those around us by our failure to see and accept

Our weaknesses are an essential part of who we are. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration in one of those quotes for effectively managing yours.

6 Tips for Women in Managing Business and Family

wisdom for womenToday’s guest contributor is Renae Christine, business owner, journalist, Mompreneur,author and speaker.

Being young and inexperienced can be intimidating for stay-at-home entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean you’re making mistakes.

Fresh out of college at 23, I thought I’d done something wrong when the wholesaler for my stationery company assigned me a personal representative. I was the busy mom of a 2-year-old and had just returned home to the mess left in the wake of last-minute packing when the rep showed up.