What do you do when you’re under pressure? How can you be at your best when it matters most? If only there were something that could reduce that pressure—immediately.
Well, I’ve got good news for you. There is something that can immediately reduce your pressure, and it’s not tequila. First of all, tequila can be expensive. And second, tequila is not always around. The technique I’m going to tell you about is absolutely free, and it’s something that is always available ... Continue Reading →
The single-engine Cessna 172 was about 1,500 feet above the Pacific Ocean when that engine stopped.
I still don’t know why it stopped. All I know is that I was the pilot and the sole occupant of the plane. I had just taken off from a small airport in Western Washington. The pre-check had been routine. The takeoff had been uneventful. The sky was blue, the wind was calm. It was a beautiful day for flying.
And then the engine stopped.
What would ... Continue Reading →
Twenty-seven minutes and fifty-five seconds.
That’s the time I had to hit—exactly—every week for fifteen years.
27:55. Not a second more. Not a second less. 27:55.
Welcome to the world of television production, where the clock is your master. You’re always aware of it. You go on the air at 11:30pm, every Saturday, whether you’re ready or not. Whether you feel like it or not. And, exactly twenty-seven minutes and fifty-five seconds later, you fade to black. Every week.
You’ve felt the pressure of ... Continue Reading →
70% of all change initiatives fail.
That’s a pretty startling statistic. Especially when you consider how important change is. I mean, we all acknowledge this, right? There aren’t many organizations out there saying, “You know what we need to do? We need to maintain the status quo, and we need to do it now!”
Every breakthrough involves change. Every innovation involves change. Every new product, policy, or service that moves you ahead of the competition involves change.
So change is vitally important—and yet ... Continue Reading →
You’re a fraud. That’s the bad news.
You’re not very good at your job. Sure, you’ve been lucky so far. You’ve gotten away with it. You’ve managed to fool everyone around you.
But sooner or later they’re going to find out. You know this, right? The charade can’t last forever.
Sooner or later, they’re going to figure out that you’re a fraud.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that, in all likelihood, none of this is true.
Welcome to Imposter ... Continue Reading →
This morning I flew from Seattle to Chicago for a speaking engagement. During the course of that trip, these three things happened:
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- The 40-ish-year-old gentleman sitting behind me on the plane, while seemingly perfectly healthy in all other respects, was apparently unable to get into or out of his seat without the semi-violent assistance of the back of my seat.
- The woman immediately in front of me on the down escalator, upon stepping off said escalator, just stood there lost in thought—unaware, ...
Producing great results consistently is hard. Producing great results consistently—and under pressure—is harder. It takes a great deal of confidence to pull it off successfully.
But confidence, it turns out, is only half of the equation.
In a previous article, I talked about the importance of confidence when producing under pressure. And it’s true. Confidence is a vital attribute when you’re leading a team (even if that team has only one member—you) through a high-pressure situation.
Confidence, however, is no guarantee of ... Continue Reading →
I used to work 100 hour weeks.
I still do, on rare occasions. But back when I was first producing my weekly comedy TV show Almost Live!, they were routine.
And most of those 100 hours, especially the final 24, were in panic mode. I spent much of those 24 hours trying to hide the panic from my staff.
So why was I in such a panic? Because the pressure was overwhelming, and I didn’t know how to handle it.
Each week, we had ... Continue Reading →
Do you regularly find yourself in high-pressure situations? If you’re a leader (or a lion tamer), the answer is probably yes. And if that’s true, then it’s also true that you’re expected to produce under these high-pressure situations, right? In fact, that expectation to produce only adds to the pressure!
And that actually increases the chance that you’ll choke.
So how do you do it? How do you keep from choking in the big moments—the ones that really count?
Simple: use a pre-show ... Continue Reading →
There are few things more challenging to a leader than having to lead your team through a major change. You hear all the usual whining from your team:
- “But we like it the way it is!”
- “It’s too hard! It’s weird and uncomfortable and messy!”
- “We don’t know what it’s going to be like on the other side!”
Honestly, they sometimes sound like babies, don’t they?
Fine then. Let’s talk about babies. Specifically, let’s talk about birth.
[You: “This is getting weird.” Me: “Stop ... Continue Reading →