06 March

Do You Have a Healthy Work-Life Balance?

I’ve been asked a lot recently how I have time to do everything.

To give a little bit of background, I work a full-time job in digital marketing, I recently moved into and completely redecorated a new condo, I started recording an album as a passion project, I regularly visit the gym, I started leading a group of women on Monday nights, and I see friends multiple nights a week.

What’s the answer? I wish I could say I conjure time out of thin air because that would be cool. But the answer is much more boring than that: I just find the time. We all have the same twenty-four hours each day, and for the most part it’s our choice how we spend them. If something is important to you, I’m telling you that you can find the time for it.

Balance is a major ingredient for managing time. Less than a year ago I felt as if I were drowning and living with negative time. I was working and answering e-mails into the night, checking my Outlook app every hour on the weekends, and filling my mind with all the work I still needed to get done before I fell asleep. I had no balance and I was paying for it. How was it that just ONE thing was taking up all my time? How was I going to act as a leader in my company while I was driving with my life on empty?

I finally reached a breaking point and knew that something (or really, some things) needed to change. I started setting boundaries for myself and unplugged on nights and weekends. I took a greater interest in my physical health and joined a gym. I refocused on hobbies and passions that fueled me. And I made sure I was fully present with the important people in my life—not constantly staring down at my phone apologizing once again for working.

I think you already know where I’m going with this.

As I added more “life” to my days and less “work,” I actually found more time.

But, of course, it’s a balancing act. I do my best each day 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to stay focused on the tasks at hand and get done what needs to get done. I found that by giving myself time for life outside of work, I opened up my mind to work harder when it counts. I feel more refreshed and more focused, even though I am adding more to my schedule.

How can you take one step in this next week toward a better work-life balance? Need some ideas? Here are four to jumpstart your thinking:

  • Pick one morning to wake up an hour earlier and go to the gym
  • Each night before you go to sleep, read one chapter of a book you are interested in
  • Organize a night out with a friend or spouse for a fun or unique activity in the city you live in
  • For the weekend turn off the notifications for your e-mail app

Save yourself from the inevitable burnout of constant work and start down the road to a more balanced life.

Want to take things a step further? Grab a copy of Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours.

30 January

The Best Investment in Tomorrow Is to Develop Your Influence Today

An excerpt from Developing the Leader Within You 2.0:

What’s your greatest investment possibility for the future? The stock market? Real estate holdings? More education? All of these things have value. But I would argue that one of the best investments you can make in yourself is to develop your influence. Why? Because if you have the desire to accomplish something, you will be in a better place to do it if others are willing to help.

In the book Leaders, Warren G. Bennis and Burt Nanus say, “The truth is that leadership opportunities are plentiful and within reach of most people.”3 That’s true in businesses, volunteer organizations, and social influence 7 groups. If you’re an entrepreneur, those opportunities are multiplied exponentially. The question is, will you be ready for them when they come? To make the most of them, you must prepare for leadership today and learn how to cultivate influence and use it positively to make a difference.

Robert Dilenschneider, founder and principal of the Dilenschneider Group and former CEO of the PR firm Hill and Knowlton Strategies, has been one of the nation’s major influence brokers for many years. In his book Power and Influence, he shares the idea of the “power triangle” to help leaders become more effective. The three components of this triangle are communication, recognition, and influence. Dilenschneider says, “If you are communicating effectively, you will get positive recognition for your communication from the audiences you are trying to influence, which means people will think what you are doing is right and that you are doing it in the right way. When you get positive recognition, your influence grows. You are perceived as competent, effective, worthy of respect—powerful. Power comes from remembering and using the linkage of communication, recognition, and influence.”4

As a young leader, I followed that pathway to better leadership because communication is one of my gifts. As I became a better communicator, I did receive recognition. Soon I was being asked to teach on the subject of leadership. But I also sensed that leadership was more complex than just communication, recognition, and influence. I began thinking about how I could develop a model that would help others understand how influence works, and more importantly, how to develop influence in their own lives. I knew that if the people I helped invested in their influence, they would be able to make a positive impact in their world, wherever that happened to be.”


Get more from leadership guru John Maxwell in Developing the Leader Within You 2.0. This revised 25th anniversary edition includes two new chapters and 80% new content from John.

30 January

Introducing HarperCollins Leadership

HarperCollins Leadership (HCL), a new imprint providing integrated, values-based material, launched on October 10, 2017. The imprint will publish and produce content designed for individuals looking for inspiration, insight, and tools to help activate their inherent leadership potential. In addition to traditional book publishing, HCL will focus on creating materials that can be consumed efficiently and concurrently in a variety of formats. To meet the needs of emerging, established, and executive leaders, each book will be accompanied by a rich set of ancillary content including online learning tools such as video courses, blogs, podcasts, and digital apps.

“We are thrilled about this new opportunity to come alongside emerging leaders, both in businesses and communities, providing a versatile platform to communicate their messages in creative and effective formats,” says Brian Hampton, s-v-p and publisher of HCL. “Working with authors who are passionate about empowering their professional communities is exciting, and we are eager to provide essential resources to help cultivate a new generation of leaders with this innovative publishing venture.”

“Our goal is to make growth possible by offering leadership development content that is accessible and effective, whether you’re driving to the office, sitting at a coffee shop, or picking the kids up from school,” says Jeff James, v-p of marketing for HCL. “We believe personal and professional growth shouldn’t be limited to traditional avenues or prohibited by a demanding schedule.”

HCL launched with the release of Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by New York Times bestselling author, Donald Miller, on October 10.

“In my experience, I retain and apply what I’ve learned much better when I’m surrounded by different types of content and tools to help me use new skills each day,” says Miller, founder-CEO of the StoryBrand marketing services firm. “HarperCollins Leadership’s commitment to deliver integrated content across books, e-courses, podcasts, and web-based tools will help activate the leadership potential inherent in everyone.”

24 January

Actor Will Smith takes John Maxwell’s Leadership Advice


Popular actor Will Smith posted a video on January 8th with his “favorite quote” from John C. Maxwell’s 2007 book, Failing Forward: “Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.”

Want to learn more about what it means to fail forward? Download two chapters of Failing Forward for free today!

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