Work Ethic

The One Thing Better Than Good Intentions

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I was talking to a colleague earlier this week. Like me, she runs her own business. She told me that one of her “beginning-of-the-year” practices is to sit down in a quiet place, with a cup of coffee and a pad of paper, and write down her intentions for the new year. She sets intentions in several areas of her business: income, number of clients, marketing strategies, and others.

Sounds good, right? Making intentions, and setting them down on ...

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How to Become a Master of Your Work

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you either are, or you want to be, good at what you do. I’m going to take that even further and assume that you either are, or want to be, great at what you do.

But are you committed to becoming an absolute master? Possibly one of the greatest of all time? And, if so, how do you get there?

My brother-in-law Steve has a Ph.D. in musicology. He’s ...

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How Are You Filling Your Idea Pipeline?

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I’ve just been reading a terrific new book called High-Profit Prospecting by my friend and colleague Mark Hunter. Mark is a consummate sales professional, and his book is about how to keep your sales pipeline full so that you never run out of valuable prospects.

I’m not a sales professional, but I am an idea professional. And, just like I think it’s vital for people in the sales business to keep their sales pipelines full, I think it’s ...

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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.

Motivational Speaker Bill Stainton Continue Reading →

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