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I am a business advisor and strengths coach (with 25+ years of business experience), and I’m using this blog to inspire readers to make simple, powerful changes to boost their performance and joy. Guest writers and I will primarily focus on:

1. Harvesting value from Gallup® strengths knowledge and application

2. Breaking free from imposter syndrome and “faking it” to a more authentic reality

Living authentically AND intentionally aiming your strengths daily is emancipating and powerful! This blog can help you with both.

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Time Management: The Snowball Principle, Compound Interest, and More

Ever heard the phrase, “Time is money?” Well, it is. And when it comes to time management, we can draw a lot of lessons from Dave Ramsey’s lessons on money management and getting out of debt. In a previous blog, we looked at managing time by first identifying priorities. Now we’re going to look at a few other principles that Dave Ramsey teaches and how they can apply to time.

Use the Snowball Principle

In a debt snowball approach, you identify your smallest debt and work hard to pay that off and build momentum toward your goal. But how often do we do that with our time? Sometimes when I look at a big project that seems daunting or a small one that seems boring, I simply keep pushing it off to another day. But the principle of building momentum can apply here too — chipping away at the mountain slowly gets the work accomplished. Read the Full Article

Managing Your Time By First Identifying Your Priorities

This is the first of a two-part series.

We have some friends practicing their “debt-free scream” for an upcoming appearance on the Dave Ramsey show on December 13. It’s an exciting thing for them! Hearing them talk about practicing that scream got me thinking… when is the last time that I heard somebody do the “exhaustion-free scream,” myself included? Am I being as intentional with my time as they were with their financial choices?

The Dave Ramsey principles for getting out of debt can also apply to time. And there’s one key thing that makes time different than money: We all get the same amount each day. If we start thinking about time through this lens, it can help us be more intentional and ensure we are using our time wisely. Read the Full Article

When They Love Us, They Change Us

“Denver told me that faith-based organizations, government programs, and well-meaning individuals fed him and kept him alive for all those years on the streets, but it was the love of Miss Debbie that caused him to want to change his life.” – from the book, Same Kind of Different As Me.

I recently read this book about two unlikely people whose lives intersect—a homeless man and a wealthy art collector. The book, co-authored by these two men, is a powerful and inspiring story that offers some leadership lessons as well. The homeless man, Denver, acknowledged that a lot of organizations and people kept him alive, but it was the love that one person showed him that sparked his desire to change his life.

How does this apply to business? When you treat someone as a person and recognize their value beyond what they do for your business, it’s powerful. It’s not about group hugs or throwing out high performance standards in favor of a softer approach to business objectives. It’s about treating people with kindness and actively showing that you care about them and want to invest in them. It’s recognizing them as a fellow human being with value. Read the Full Article

Belief: A Strength that Stays on Course

Belief is one of the misunderstood talent themes, both for individuals and for teams. People are sometimes in disbelief when it isn’t a top 10 Gallup strength for them, as many people feel they have strong beliefs and thus expect it to be on their list. Those who manage or lead people with high Belief often misunderstand it as well, which can create some challenges within a team.

Let’s clear up the mystery around Belief and examine some practical tips for yourself or for managing those with high Belief! Read the Full Article

Prioritizing When Life Blows Up

Do you ever feel that crushing weight of “this is all too much?” I experienced this recently after a quick crescendo of competing priorities. It had been a week of long meetings and lots of potential new opportunities that left little room for important projects I wanted to do. I knew something needed to shift, but what? How?

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How Football Explains Strengths

Recently, I enjoyed reading Sal Paolantonio’s book “How Football Explains America.” And as I was reading, I realized that we can also use football to explain Gallup strengths and the various concepts. Here are seven applications I found: Read the Full Article

Pursuit of a Calling: Introducing TakeFlight

The birth of a calling can seem mysterious because God’s ways are just that. As you’re finding your calling, you don’t have the privilege of looking back and seeing how it all connects. In this ongoing series of blogs, you will get a glimpse into this process and what we’ve learned about leadership, organizational development, faith, resiliency, and life’s journey.

The original “nudge” occurred in late 2017, and it’s since evolved into what’s now a division of BONSAI. While BONSAI is our calling to help leaders, organizations, and students contribute at their highest levels in work that fulfills their purpose, TakeFlight has an even more focused direction: to launch organizations, churches, and marriages in boldly leveraging their strengths to achieve their God-given destinies.

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Flip It! Shift Your Role for an Eye-Opening Experience

How does my question make a customer feel? How do my employees receive and process my comments when I lead meetings? These are great questions to ask. But sometimes, it’s hard to get truthful answers — unless, you flip your situation.

I find that people I work with often think they know what others are feeling or thinking and, as a result, can be dismissive — especially if they score fairly low on the Gallup Empathy strength. This is the case with me, and I have to be intentional about asking how others might perceive an action or statement. The only way to really do this is to walk a mile in their shoes.

I came to this realization through an unplanned personal experience. Last year, I became a client of a business coach, a customer of a professional services firm, and a member of a team I wasn’t leading. These were new experiences for me. Basically, as everything flipped, it helped me see my business and leadership style through other people’s eyes. Read the Full Article

Bold by Example: 4 Leadership Insights From a Bold Leader

What are the four attributes that can help make you a bolder leader?

  • Visionary
  • Communication/relationship-building skills
  • Openness to input
  • Willingness to learn

To dig more into this (see my article in Young Upstarts for more details on these 4 attributes), I recently interviewed Valerie Zumwalt. She’s not only the founder of ShowMe Leaders and Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team, but she’s also someone who’s willing to march boldly into new territory. Read the Full Article

From the Classroom to the Office: 3 Ways to Ensure a Smooth Transition

When the phone rings, do you dread picking it up? Do you default to email and text when communicating? Does the thought of a face-to-face conversation make you nervous?

You’re not alone. Approximately 15 million adults suffer from social anxiety, but in the workplace, interacting with others is critical. It allows employees to be productive and businesses to operate at maximum efficiency. Unfortunately, workplace communication is difficult for many people. When I talk to my clients, many of them complain about new employees’ poor communication skills. It’s also a prevailing Millennial stereotype, even if it’s untrue.

The good news is you can conquer this issue, which has serious career implications, by getting outside your comfort zone, modifying your thinking, and practicing new behaviors. Grab a friend to work alongside you, and you’ll both be celebrating promotions soon enough! Why? Because you’ll stand out among your competition if you can become a good communicator.

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