Work Ethic

What Does it REALLY Mean to Be a Producer?

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“So, what does a producer really do?”

During my 15 years as the Executive Producer of Seattle’s hit comedy TV show Almost Live!, I was asked that question a lot. Many times by members of my own staff.

“What does a producer really do?”

I used to answer that question from a very specific, TV-centric focus. Made sense, right? I mean, I was a TV producer, after all.

But after working with thousands of leaders in hundreds of industries, I’ve realized that what I ...

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Are You About to Lose One of Your Best Employees?

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I’m angry at Janie’s boss.

I don’t know Janie’s boss. I’ve never met Janie’s boss. But I do know Janie. Janie is one of the most diligent, hard-working, eager-to-learn people I’ve ever met. But because Janie’s boss doesn’t understand one of the basic rules of leadership, Janie is being made to feel like a failure in her job, and is thinking about leaving. So what’s the rule that Janie’s boss doesn’t understand? It’s this:

It’s a leader’s job to create an environment ...

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Great Teams Focus on the Mission, Not the Squabbles

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This weekend I was lucky enough to have VIP seats to see a performance by the U.S. Navy’s precision flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. They are, by any standard, an incredible team. They fly 18 inches apart at 400 miles per hour, while simultaneously doing coordinated turns and maneuvers — all of this in a plane that costs $56 million. And if you don’t think that’s a big deal, think about how mad you were when you got that ...

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Will They Be Sorry To See You Leave?

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“Some people brighten a room when they enter it; others when they leave.”

You’ve probably heard this quotation or some variation of it. I have no idea who said it originally, but it certainly is true. I’m sure you know people on both sides of the semicolon. Today I’d like you to consider a slight variation, this one mine:

“Some leaders brighten a workplace when they enter it; others when they leave.”

The question, of course, is: which ...

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The Power of Consistency

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I shouldn’t be writing this. Really. If I had any sense, I wouldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t be writing anything. Why? Because it’s late at night on Sunday, and I have an early flight tomorrow morning. So I shouldn’t be writing. I should be in bed asleep.

So why am I writing this article, and what does it mean to you?

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Becoming Timeless: Bowie, the Beatles, and Apple

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David Bowie existed before Ziggy Stardust, but it was Ziggy Stardust that put him on the map. The striking, glam costume; the red hair; the over-the-top Spiders from Mars tour—all these elements, plus, of course, the music, shot David Bowie into stardom. But the glam rock era eventually faded. And if David Bowie had stayed there, he would have been solely of that time, and faded along with it.

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For Smart People Only: Stop Being Lazy!

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Smart people are lazy. (No, not all smart people. I understand that you are different. It’s the others.) Now, this can be a good thing, which is why Bill Gates once said, “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job…because he will find an easy way to do it.” But it can also be a bad thing, because there are few things sadder than unfulfilled potential.

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Avoiding Work or Rewarding Work? How to Tell the Difference

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Some time ago I wrote that a truly successful person wouldn’t take the afternoon off to go see a movie. A colleague of mine countered that that person might, if they were celebrating a personal or business success. She makes a good point. (And she’s a Ph.D., which, although no guarantee, lends a certain magnitude to her thoughts.) I’ve been thinking about the distinction today, and it comes down to this: there’s a difference between rewarding your work and avoiding ...

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What’s Your “Perfect Swing”?

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What does award-winning performance mean to you?

I mean specifically.

In your business, in your work, what does award-winning performance look like, sound like, feel like? How do you recognize it in yourself?

It’s been said that what gets measured gets done. Others have said that what gets measured gets managed.

I disagree with both of those statements.

The truth is this: What gets measured gets measured. Nothing more, nothing less.

What gets measured gets measured.

What happens next is entirely up to you.

Measuring is just a ...

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The Real Truth Behind Obstacles

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What’s going to get in the way of you producing the results you want to produce this year? If you find yourself coming up against some obstacles, you might want to watch this short video!

Now it’s your turn. What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced that turned out to be surprisingly surmountable once you put your mind to it? Please share your experience in the Comments section below so that others can ...

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