Is Your Leadership Creating Short Order Cooks?

While on vacation you stop in a local restaurant for breakfast. You’re adventurous so you didn’t check the Yelp ratings before choosing this one. Seated near the kitchen, you have a birds-eye view of all the action. Cooks are working furiously to keep up with all the orders thrown at them, dropping dishes or utensils from time to time, and occasionally getting yelled at by the wait staff or manager for how long it’s taking to fill an order. The menu is extremely limited because the cooks have only basic ingredients and haven’t been trained to do anything except the quick stuff. Those apples and breakfast bars back at your hotel room are looking better all the time, aren’t they?

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Why Work Life “__________” Needs More Than Just A “B” Word

It seems like there is always a desire to describe the essence of a concept, philosophy, movement, culture, or societal ill as succinctly as possible. In our sound-byte driven world, having just the right catchphrase for one of the afore-mentioned situations gets attention from others. “Knowledge worker,” “millennials,” “#metoo” and the “experience economy” are four that quickly come to mind.

Sometimes, however, these phrases don’t work as well.

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Three Rhythms You Need To Improve Work Life Balance

While sitting with my daughter Sydney at a recent violin lesson, I watched her struggle to get the rhythm right with one particular piece. Her teacher was so patient and helped her understand how the rhythm of the piece should be played by focusing on a few measures at a time. Then, when they played the whole piece together with different rhythms, it sounded amazing! (from a proud dad's perspective).

The experience reminded me of how important...

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18 Simple Ways To Make 2018 A Better Year

By the time many of you are reading this blog, you will have already broken one or more of your resolutions for the new year. You didn't mean to... it was just so hard to keep that major commitment. While I do believe in setting worthwhile and measurable goals for a new year, I prefer identifying small changes I can sustain throughout the year as opposed to vague or emotionally-driven resolutions. For example,

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Jones Loflin
Which Word Best Describes The Focus Of Your Calendar?

Open your calendar (app or otherwise) and look at last week. As you reflect on the meetings, activities, and reminders from the past seven days, would you say the focus of your time was on getting things done or becoming a better person than you are now. Sure several activities play a dual role, but what's the "feel" of where your time is being spent?

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Is It Time To SPICE Up Your Self Care?

In my book, Juggling Elephants, Todd Musig and I outline how the best way to manage your work and life is like running a circus. A key tenet is that you have three "rings" in your life: A work ring, a relationship ring, and a self ring. The key to success, we believe, is to have quality activities in all three rings... not just one or two.

An interesting part of the training on the book is

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Are You Noticing The "Time Ticks" In Your Day?

I know, I know. No one likes ticks. I can't remember the last time I was sharing a meal with a friend and they said, "You know, I was just thinking about ticks." Like mosquitoes and the IRS, we want to avoid contact with them at all costs. However, if you work outside in the summer months in various parts of the country, staying alert to their potential presence on your clothes or skin is essential to maintaining good health.

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Is It Time For A Life Chat?

Last week I had two unforgettable experiences. The first was the opportunity to spend time with five individuals who I have known for over 30 years. We had not been together as a group for five years, and the chance to reminisce and catch up on what was going on with each of us was just fantastic. That was the first experience.

The second one, while involving this same group, was very different.

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Why Hobbies Make You More Successful At Work

"Work is my hobby," he said with a weak smile, and then continued by sharing all he had on his plate at his job. It's a comment I hear far too often. We have become so conditioned to focus on work until some nebulous point in the future when a break will magically occur... but rarely does.

A recent article from Peter Jones also makes the case that hobbies aren't just a luxury but can be essential for our success at work.

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Stop Treating Email Like A Trip To The Dentist

"When I open my email I feel like I'm headed to the dentist, and I hate going to the dentist," the person on the other end of the phone kept saying. I was working with a client who was really struggling with their email management. They had let things get out so out of control that they were rarely checking email at work, opting to spend one to two hours in the evening handling their email. And yes, it was putting quite a strain on their relationship with their family and their own personal renewal time.

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