Category Archives: Coaching

5 Training Hacks From Great Professors


I’ve interacted a lot with educational institutions in my business career and it’s often seemed that there’s a lot they could learn from business leaders.

For all the struggles our educational institutions have, I’ve also come to recognize that a lot of business leaders could learn as much (or more) from great educational leaders too.


Courage Isn’t Confidence


Most of my clients and students are facing a scary challenge of one sort or another: A high-profile leadership role. Major commitments to investors and employees. A huge professional opportunity that will inevitably take a toll on other aspects of life. They face plenty of daunting challenges on a smaller scale as well: The tough conversation at work. The tough conversation at home. The impact of big, demanding jobs on health, relationships, and peace of mind. And I’m right there alongside them, wrestling with all sorts of difficulties that generate uncertainty, anxiety, and outright fear.

What allows us to face these challenges? Courage. But when we quaver in the face of a challenge, when we lose our mojo, and our palms start to sweat, and we want to run away and let someone else slay this particular dragon, we often make a colossal error in judgment: We think that courage comes from confidence, and we interpret our lack of confidence as the absence of courage. This is profoundly mistaken–a lack of confidence need never prevent us from finding courage.

We may utterly lack confidence–we may even suspect that failure is a near-certainty. But that determination has no bearing at all on our ability to be courageous in the face of those long odds. The issue isn’t the likelihood of failure–the issue is the relative cost.


How to Overcome a Face-plant


Earlier this week, I saw a video shared on Facebook titled “when you’ve having just the worst day at work.”

The video showed lots going wrong in the workplace, such as people running forklifts into garage doors, accidentally starting a chain-reaction of falling shelves, and face-planting after misjudging the distance between equipment.

As apparent as some mistakes are to everyone, the person hurt most by a face-plant is the person who fell. In today’s guide, some practical wisdom for overcoming your own face-plants, picking yourself up, and moving on.


Pain, Suffering, and Hedonic Adaptation

Bob Timberg

The man pictured above is Bob Timberg, whose face was extensively burned when a vehicle in which he was riding hit a land mine. This occurred in February 1967, when Timberg was a 26-year old U.S. Marine Corps officer just 13 days from finishing a year-long tour of duty in Vietnam.

Timberg spent months recovering in military hospitals, enduring more than 30 reconstructive surgeries on his face, including several that were conducted, by necessity, without anaesthesia. He eventually became a successful journalist and author, including serving as the White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, but his life has been filled with difficulties, ranging from children recoiling at the sight of his disfigured face to the dissolution of his marriage, which he describes as the result of his poor treatment of his ex-wife.

In July 2014 Timberg was interviewed by Fresh Air’s Dave Davies after writing a memoir, Blue-Eyed Boy, and I was deeply struck by this exchange near the end of their conversation:


How to Influence

How to Influence

I’ve heard lots of definitions of leadership over the years, but this has always been one of my favorites: