To view all of Marissa’s articles and profile on Inc Magazine click HERE.
Why Leaders Need to Condemn President Trump’s Political Viewpoints
Separation of business and politics is no longer an option because our country’s core values are under siege.
One of the biggest disputes occurring on Linked In is the use of the platform to express political opinions. A contact posted this New York Times article: “Trump Gives White Supremacists an Equivocal Boost.”
The post received many comments, including these:
“I thought this was supposed to be a site for professional development. I’m not in this site for personal politics.”
“I come to Linked In to get away from this Facebook crap. I’m going to do what I do on Facebook…unfriend this contact.”
“Such a disappointment to see these kind of posts on this site. I see enough in the news, Facebook, etc.”
I weighed in. “Trump is inflicting immeasurable damage on our country; our global reputation is severely impacted; and as evidenced by our world’s greatest CEOs who have all stepped down from his business councils, you can no longer silo business and politics. When our commander in chief – the CEO of our country – refuses to condemn Nazism and white supremacy, business leaders who collectively employ hundreds of thousands people of all races, religions, and ethnicities have a moral obligation to take a stand. There is no place in leadership for silence today. Our voices have never been more important.”
Where do leaders draw the line regarding personal political positions? And why are we facing an unprecedented conflict about this now?
Reading Habits of the Most Successful Leaders That Can Change Your Life Too
Reading taught Elon Musk to build a rocket, and showed Tony Robbins how to build a better life. How reading makes you a better leader too.
Americans read fewer and fewer books each year. Last year, a survey by the National Endowment for the Arts found that only 43% of U.S. adults read any type of literature not required for work or school–a percentage that is a three-decade low.
Apparently these statistics don’t apply to the busiest and most successful people. Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day, Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day and Bill Gates reads 50 books a year!
So how do they do this?
4 Simple Reasons Why Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Sleeps Well Every Night
Jeff Bezos sleeps like a baby every night, and dances into work every day, because of these 4 things.
Jeff Bezos is 1 of 2 people in the world to know the feeling of being the richest man in the world – even if he claimed the #1 spot for only a few hours.
While Amazon certainly brings in the bulk of his revenue, Bezos owns and invests in dozens of other entities, creating a modern day empire. These include Whole Foods, Zappos, Goodreads, Audible, IMDB, Living Social, HomeGrocer,com, BankBazaar.com, Bill Me Later, Wine.com, Twitter, Uber, and Airbnb.
It’s natural to speculate when and how Jeff sleeps. Apparently, he sleeps just fine.
The 1 Trait to Look for in Hiring New Employees (It’s Pretty Funny and Most Companies Overlook It)
80 percent of executives say a sense of humor is important for fitting into their corporate culture. Here’s how to inject fun into your firm.
Corporate America needs to loosen up! According to Harvard and Stanford research, the workplace is “in the midst of a laughter drought.” Babies laugh about 400 times daily. By the time we reach the age of 35, we’re only laughing 15 times daily. A recent Gallup study for the U.S. found that our laughter drought spans Monday-Friday, because we just can’t find the fun in work.
How Elon Musk’s Childhood Bullies Prepared Him for Life, and 5 Other Startup Lessons
A high pain threshold, tight purse strings, and fixing mistakes quickly are 3 of Elon Musk’s most important entrepreneurship rules for success.
Elon Musk is revered for his extraordinary genius and vision. Some refer to him as ‘Iron Man.’ Not only are there rumors that Stark was modeled after him, but Musk even had a cameo in Iron Man 2.
Unlike Tony Stark, however, Musk is much more grounded in reality.
It’s no secret that SpaceX and Tesla are part of Musk’s vision for a better world. Despite his many successes and his influence over our future, he remains humble.
The 1 Thing You Need for Success, According to Michael Jordan and Tony Robbins
Here’s the most important link between the world’s best basketball player and the world’s greatest motivational speaker, and how you can have it, too.
In addition to both being multimillionaires and having thousands of raving fans, Tony Robbins and Michael Jordan have something big in common: high standards.
After Jordan played his last game, with a record-breaking, history-making career average of 30.12 points per game, Robbins asked him what his secret was to standing apart from even the best of the best. “What sets you apart, Michael…. Is it God-given talent, ability, skill? What is it?”
101-Year Old Julia Hawkins Is Training for the 100-Meter Dash. Here are Her 10 Secrets to Winning Anything.
Julia Hawkins shares her secrets to a long and happy life that happens to deliver gold medals along the way.
One of the fastest growing demographics is the centenarian population. In 1990, there were approximately 95,000 people 100 or older. By 2015, the number reached 451,000. By 2050, experts forecast there will be 3.676 million centenarians.
What are their secrets to living long and happy lives?
The Top 10 Leadership Blind Spots, and 5 Ways to Turn Them Into Strengths
Too critical? Impatient? Conflict-averse? Easily offended? You’re not alone. Master your blind spots and take your leadership to your next level.
Self-awareness is a crucial key to happiness and success. Without self-awareness, we move through relationships and experiences disconnected, unaware of how others receive and perceive us, and unable to take full responsibility for our outcomes.
Conventional wisdom would lead us to believe that leaders with the most experience and the most seniority would have the highest levels of self-awareness. Surprisingly, the opposite is true.
How to Be a Lot Happier in Your Career–and Personal Life
Today’s technology-centric, gig-economized, always-on environment has changed the rules for work-life balance. Here’s how to reclaim your control.
Today’s business environment presents a gold-mine of money-making opportunities. Research from the Pew Research Center on the gig economy/sharing economy shows that 72% of Americans have used some sort of sharing or on demand online service.
They’ve purchased second-hand goods online, they’ve purchased handmade goods from an online artist, they’ve used ride-sharing or home-sharing services, and they’ve hired help for one-time or short-term projects.
5 Acts of Appreciation That Drive Employee Engagement, According to Science
Expressing appreciation is one of the easiest ways to keep employees happy. Here are 5 ways to boost loyalty and productivity.
Employee attrition is at an all-time high. There are many obvious reasons why employees are leaving their jobs in droves, including, a poor cultural fit, unclear expectations, and lack of training.
However, there is 1 non-obvious reason that compels employees to leave, which many leaders overlook: appreciation.
4 Great Lessons in Failure from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs
Failure is an inevitable part of success. Here are 4 of the most important lessons Jobs, Bezos, Musk, and Zuckerberg have leveraged in their journeys.
Failure is inherent in business and entrepreneurship. In fact, many entrepreneurs consider failure to be a natural stepping stone to success. They celebrate failure, because they’ve learned firsthand that our mistakes are our greatest sources of learning.
Here are 4 lessons about failure and making mistakes from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
The 1 Question to Ask Yourself If You Worry About Your Future
Are you part of the 40% that worry every day about your future? Asking yourself this 1 question every day will replace your worry with joy.
“Marissa, I’m worried about how my life will look in retirement , which is 2-3 years away. What will I do in the second half of my life? I don’t want to waste it. Right now I have no real vision.”
This was part of an email I received from a client asking me to help map out a clear path for his future.
The Secret of Great Leadership: Forgiveness
The biggest barrier to growth, healing, and progress is anger. Here’s how great leaders embrace forgiveness, move beyond pain, and focus on the future.
I poorly handled a situation that transpired with another leader who is important to me, and respects, trusts, and looks up to me. My intentions were in the right place, but I did a terrible job of navigating an incident.
I’m quick to forgive others. Through extensive psychotherapy and continuous spiritual practice, I’ve mastered releasing anger, living from a place of empathy, and accepting that everyone is flawed. However, I often fail to extend myself the same compassion.
The 5 Nonnegotiable Factors of Any Successful Partnership
About 80 percent of partnerships fail. By following these 5 guidelines, you’ll increase your chances of creating a winning and lasting team.
Steve Schwarzman is the billionaire chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest private equity manager with more than $360 billion in assets and trades. His net worth is $12.5 billion.
Growth came with challenges. Schwarzman recently sat down with Bloomberg’s Jason Kelley to share how he handled the struggles of moving from a small advisory business to an industry leader.
Why Google, Nike, and Apple Love Mindfulness Training, and How You Can Easily Love it Too
Mindfulness is now fully mainstream. From apps to pop-ups to the boardroom, you can become zen anywhere, any time.
Meditation is now mainstream. From Just Meditate in Bethesda, MD to Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles, drop-in studios are popping up everywhere to give people the time and space to drop everything and breathe.
The most popular Meditation app, Insight Timer, is home to more than 2 million meditators (including me), and logs more than 50,000 hours of meditation every day.
Want to Be Happier and Less Stressed? Here Are 6 Strategies to Taking on Any Challenge
According to 75 years of Harvard research, one of the 4 keys of a happy life is to approach challenges as learning experiences. Here’s how to do it.
No matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished, life is full of experiences that can pull you underwater so deeply that it feels as if you will never re-surface.
Zen priest and Harvard educator Robert Waldinger leads The Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has tracked 724 men for 75 years to understand what makes for a happy life.
9 Ways to Reinforce and Live Your Company’s Core Values Every Day
In my Tony Robbins podcast interview on transforming a company culture, I shared that setting the company’s core values is one of the most important identity initiatives a CEO can lead when launching a company.
In my one-on-one strategy work with numerous CEOs, our first order of business is to always revisit the core values, mission, and vision. These three identity elements define what a company believes, stands for & values more than profits, where the company is going, and why the company exists.
Airbnb books 1 million guests Memorial Day weekend. Here’s how they did it.
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky shares 4 entrepreneurial lessons from Airbnb’s $31 billion journey.
How do 2 poor college students in need of rent money launch an idea that investors initially ignored, and grow it into one of the world’s most successful industry disruptors? Airbnb originated when co-founder Brian Chesky was $150 short for a monthly rental payment of $1,150.
To close the gap, he decided to turn his house into a B&B for a weekend, when San Francisco was facing a hotel shortage due to a large conference. The only problem was that he didn’t have any beds to offer, so he offered air mattresses, and marketed his home as the Air Bed & Breakfast.
3 Simple Ways to Unlock Your Creativity and Achieve Remarkable Results
The quickest path to mediocrity is predictability. If you want extraordinary results, become comfortable with discomfort.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
We laugh when we hear this, and we love to share this wisdom with our friends. When it comes to ourselves, however, we may not find it to be so funny.
There is validity to this premise. Economist Tim Harford explains that our obstacles may be the key to unlocking our greatest creativity. In his TED talk, he shares 3 ways that we can leverage our difficulties to achieve extraordinary results.
Yes, ‘Call of Duty Flu’ Is a Real Thing. Here’s What to Do About It.
2.1 billion gamers worldwide play an hour of video games every day. Here’s what they can teach us about success and employee engagement.
Are you slightly surprised to learn that there are 2.1 billion gamers in the world that spend 1.75 billion minutes a day crushing candy? These numbers equate to 3.7 million full-time employees doing nothing but playing Candy Crush all day.
Did you know that Call of Duty (COD) players play 170 hours a year each day, and that 1 in 4 players worldwide call in sick to stay home and play on launch day? They contract the “Call-of-Duty Flu.”
7 Reasons to Schedule Walking Meetings
Want to boost collaboration, productivity, and creativity at work? Then leave your desk and get moving.
Despite the onslaught of “mobile” technology, people are spending more time sitting at their desk than ever before. The average worker sits about 9.5 hours a day – which is 2 hours more per day than they sleep.
What keeps us tethered to our desks? Our insatiable thirst for increased productivity and efficiency. Ironically, one of the things that makes us most effective is leaving our desks.
6 Reasons Cultures Change, and 3 Ways Leaders Can Respond
Corporate culture evolves in response to internal and external changes. A recent survey shares the 6 main reasons, and how leaders can respond.
Contrary to popular belief, corporate culture isn’t stagnant. It’s always shifting in response to both internal changes, and external forces.
The corporate culture of my first company, Information Experts, drastically shifted in 2013 when our largest customer, the federal government, shifted what they valued most. They moved from valuing innovation and value-driven solutions to valuing lowest-price solutions. That huge change dramatically impacted our corporate culture.
5 Easy Ways to Ask for Help and Get Exactly What You Need
Zuckerberg, Gates, Branson, and Winfrey say support from others helped them succeed. Here’s how it can help you, too.
Ask any successful person about their secrets to success, and they will tell you that asking for help is one of the most important aspects of their growth. Zuckerberg, Gates, and Branson proudly share that mentorship is a vital part of their story.
Branson credits British airline entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker for his success in launching Virgin Airlines. “It’s always good to have a helping hand at the start. I wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry without the mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker,” he shares.
2 Ways to Negotiate a Salary That Pays What You’re Actually Worth
Salary negotiations don’t have to be stressful. Follow these steps to earn what you’re worth, and not leave money on the table.
All negotiations can be stressful. However, navigating salary negotiations can be a particularly complex and emotional process.
In the last position I held before launching Information Experts 21 years ago, I approached my performance review with hard data that demonstrated my worth based on my education and experience, and a spreadsheet that outlined the profits I generated for the firm, as they double- and triple-booked me on billable work. My boss rejected my salary request, and told me, “You will never be worth more than $34,000 to our firm.”
How 8 Industry Leaders, Including WalMart, Use Blockchain to Revolutionize Business
Blockchain is happening right now. In fact, you may be benefiting from it, and you don’t even know it.
Blockchain technology is no longer an obscure mystery. In early 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that more than 40 top financial institutions were experimenting with blockchain’s distributed ledger technology.
Besides the financial industry, there are several other sectors that blockchain can potentially reinvent through widespread adoption.
Will Blockchain Technology Be the Ultimate Disrupter? Harvard Says Yes
Say goodbye to the middleman for your financial transactions. Blockchain technology will change the way you do everything.
Until recently, we’ve relied on trusted intermediaries to send information over the internet. In 2008, a pioneering payment method and cryptocurrency entered the market–bitcoin. The technology behind it, called Blockchain, has forever changed both online payment and information sharing networks.
To learn more about this emerging business technology, I interviewed Blockchain expert Jeremy Epstein.
The 5 Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself When at a Crossroads
Are you facing a big decision? Are you stuck in a difficult spot? Answering these 5 questions will lead you to your best outcome.
A close colleague is wrestling with the fact that his business partnership is literally sucking the life out of him. He launched his company several years ago with a friend, with no real plan or path for growth, and now they have a highly profitable, $20 million dollar business.
The problem is, they have grown apart as the business has grown. They have different value systems and leadership styles, and if they were to meet today, they would never go into business together. Plus, the business doesn’t excite him anymore.
Want to Build The Best Teams? Science Says You Need These 2 Types of Diversity
Diversity is no longer limited to age, gender, or race. The best-performing teams also represent diversity in non-visible ways too.
When we think of diversity, the first aspects that come to mind are age, gender, race, and other visible characteristics. Over the years, many people have believed that this type of diversity in business teams would increase outcomes such as creativity and performance.
Harvard researchers, however, have discovered that diversity in thought is more important. In fact, teams which are more cognitively diverse – in perspective and knowledge processing – are able to solve problems more efficiently.
Why Great Leaders (Like Richard Branson) Inspire Instead of Motivate
Inspiration (not motivation) is the most important leadership trait, fueled by passion and purpose. Here’s how top leaders inspire their people.
People often use the terms “inspire” and “motivate” interchangeably. Conceptually they may seem related, but in fact they are worlds apart.
“Inspire” translates to “in spirit.” Inspiration comes from within.
The root word of “Motivate” is “motive,” which is an external force that causes us to take action.
Motivation pushes you to accomplish a task, or work through a difficult event, even when you would rather be doing anything else. We are motivated by a result.
10 Habits of Highly Persistent People
What can you do when you’re working towards a goal, and your persistence fades? Here are 10 options to recharge your batteries, and keep going.
Whether it’s my fitness regimen, navigating my sons through the teenage years, or my many business goals, when things get hard, I double down and remind myself of how hard I’ve worked, and how far I’ve come to get to where I am.
I celebrate the wins. However, I also remind myself that all of the struggle – and all of the victory – will be for nothing if I quit now. So I keep going.
Here are 10 additional strategies you can apply when you find yourself de-motivated, off-course, or discouraged. It happens to everyone who is ambitious and goal-directed.
The 6 Most Important Times When Your Employees Are Watching You
Leaders are always under a microscope. During these 6 events, their employees are watching even more closely, and following their lead.
Leaders are always being watched. They choose that position when they step up. It’s one thing to be watched when everything is going well. It’s another thing to be watched in times of conflict.
The most effective leaders learn to demonstrate grace under pressure. Here are the 6 circumstances that can challenge even the most experienced, emotionally balanced leader.
4 Crucial Clues It’s Time to Replace Your Consultant
Consultants bring great knowledge and value to our businesses. Sometimes, the relationship runs its course. Here’s when it’s time to pull the plug.
Whether it’s business process re-engineering, accounting, HR, IT, legal, marketing, sales, or any other function, the experts that dedicate their entire business model to a specific area of expertise are instrumental in helping business owners build their strongest companies.
But many good things must come to an end. Not all consulting relationships will – or should – last a business lifetime.
I Stopped Using Facebook. Here’s How My Life Changed in 6 Ways
I broke up with Facebook. Here’s how my life changed for the better.
It’s not you. It’s me. As much as I loved our time together, the liabilities of our relationship started overshadowing the benefits. As hard as it initially was to pull the plug, and despite the doubters, life has been infinitely better without you.
In early February, I hit the tipping point where engaging on Facebook was causing me more stress than pleasure. I’m not alone. Research shows that the more time people spend on social media, the stronger the link to depression.
5 Lessons Learned from 100 Days of Rejection
The most effective way to overcome fear of rejection is to face it. Jia Jiang shares the 5 lessons he learned during 100 days of rejection.
I think about this quote whenever I step into a situation that will force me to expand my comfort zone. It reminds me that playing it safe isn’t really living. Rather, it’s existing.
The same goes for rejection. We’ve all been stung by the sound of NO. We’ve all allowed ourselves to be temporarily defined by another person’s decision to reject us, even when it’s not personal.
How can we not only move beyond the pain of rejection, but also embrace the gifts that rejection provides us?
The 5 Skills and Behaviors That Make Entrepreneurs Successful, According to Harvard Research
Vision, mission, focus, experience, education, emotional intelligence, grit, genetics… what makes an entrepreneur successful? Harvard tells us.
Richard Branson has tremendous passion. Elon Musk sees no limitations. Steve Jobs was relentlessly focused on perfection and the customer experience. Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins were determined to build a life of abundance by overcoming poverty and abuse.
What is the secret to successful entrepreneurship? Is it passion? Vision? Focus? Intelligence? Grit?
The 1 Secret to Ditching Bad Habits, and 5 Ways to Permanently Break Free
Bad habits rob us of time, money, energy, and the results we need to live our best lives. Here’s how to finally release the bad and embrace the good.
We all hang onto a few bad habits like security blankets. They feel so good, especially when we are stressed out or bored. We all know we should be doing things differently.
Science proves that our brain is wired to repeatedly engage in bad behavior, even when we know it can be harmful.
How do we move from what we know we should be doing to actually doing it? The most important aspect of breaking a bad habit is to replace it with something else. It’s not enough to stop what you are doing. By merely trying to stop a behavior, you are left with a void, and the question of “what do I do now?”
The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating Your Co-Worker
If you’re thinking of mixing business with pleasure, you’ll need this primer on how to successfully merge your job and love life.
You can’t stop thinking about the person down the hall. You spend extra time in the mornings deciding what to wear because you want to dress to impress. You have never loved your job as much as you do now. “You complete me…” you think to yourself, as you pull your car into the office parking lot.
Proceed no further until you have read this blueprint for successfully navigating an office hook-up.
5 Bad Habits That Are Destroying Your Focus
Our days are filled with activities that sabotage our focus and slow us down. Here are 5 ways you can stop distraction in its tracks.
We are bombarded with information and competing priorities, from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. Technology has permanently turned up the volume and quantity of noise that permeates our lives.
The current political climate has drastically impacted employee focus and productivity. Employees report spending 2 hours a day reading an average of 14-21 political posts online.
This has required us to become much more intentional in how we spend our time, and where we direct our energy.
Science Proves the Secret to Being a Better Learner (and a Lot Smarter)
Are you pulling all-nighters to crank out work? Your plan may backfire. You may be jeopardizing brain growth and memory.
When we turn in for the night, our brains are getting ready to go to work. Sleep provides our brain the time it needs to restore and recalibrate, and prepare to store new information we will need to recall for the next day.
When we are awake, our brains produce a chemical known as adenosine. It continues to accumulate during our waking hours. The brain monitors the level of adenosine to determine when it is starting to quiet down so that it can start repairing the areas of the brain that fire off synapses.
The Simple Formula to Improving Your Performance (in Anything)
The formula for improved performance in any aspect of your life is actually quite simple.
We are all in search of secrets for the fountain of youth. Whether it’s through the $3 billion cosmetic surgery industry, or through the $30 billion fitness industry, we are all seeking hacks that will give us a competitive edge physically, mentally, and intellectually.
What if you could simply shift your thinking so that you could improve your performance in any aspect of your life? Envision turning a kaleidoscope ever so slightly to the left or right, and experiencing an entirely new perspective.
The Most Important Aspect of Emotional Intelligence That No One Talks About
Emotional intelligence is a known predictor of success and happiness, but what we know and what we do sometimes don’t align.
I recently facilitated one of my monthly CEO Roundtable groups, and a member raised the topic of Emotional Intelligence (EI). My members all run multimillion-dollar businesses, and have high emotional intelligence. (By the way, “Emotional Quotient” and “Emotional Intelligence” are different. EQ measures capacity; EI indicates application of EQ.)
5 Ways to Rise Above the Political Drama at Home and Work
Political drama is bombarding us around the clock. Here are 5 strategies to minimize its impact at home and at work.
Political drama is EVERYWHERE and it’s taking a toll on our health and happiness. Constant exposure to negative news has long-term psychological consequences, and impacts how we interpret and engage with the world around us.
How can we minimize the impact in our personal and professional lives? Here are 5 strategies we can all apply, and it doesn’t involve moving to another country.
4 Types of Experts that Leaders Must Have on their Boards in 2017
A strong Board is essential in today’s volatile environment. Board members with these four areas of expertise are non-negotiable.
It’s apparent that 2017 is no longer business as usual. Between Brexit and an unprecedented US election that has already delivered the reversal of significant trade policies and healthcare legislation, along with massive cyber-security breaches, business leaders must step up their vigilance across all aspects of their organizations.
These political, regulatory, and technology upheavals require changes in the boardroom as well. Whether you rely on a Board of Directors, an Advisory Board, or both entities, your business requires advisors that bring expanding skillsets, knowledge, contacts, and accountability.
The 2 Biggest Obstacles To Finally Writing Your Book, and How to Overcome Them
“I will write my book in 2017!” say aspiring authors everywhere. If you want to make it happen, you must move past these 2 obstacles. Here is how!
Do you have “write my book” on your list of 2017 goals or resolutions? The good news is that it’s never been easier to write your book.
There are countless resources available to you to teach you how to write your book, there are support groups, and there are dozens of ways to bring your book to the market.
The 2 Most Important Leadership Lessons from the Closing of Ringling Bros.
Ringling Bros. had a 146-year run. Now on the cusp of closing, what can business owners learn from its demise?
Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus will no longer be coming to town. After 146 years, Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld announced that they are closing the curtain. Businesses don’t simply close overnight, especially businesses that have spanned more than a century. COO Juliette Feld shared that attendance has dropped steadily for 10 years.
5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Networking Communities to Help You Grow in 2017
Finding the right communities of support is essential for growth. Here’s the foolproof roadmap to lead you straight to your perfect tribes.
You’ve wrapped up 2016 with a bow, and shut it down. You’re fired up for an awesome 2017. After all, this is going to be YOUR YEAR.
We all know that we can’t make the journey alone. We need the right people to support us, challenge us, and push us forward.
4 Questions You Absolutely Must Answer Before 2016 Ends
We made it through 2016. The world is breathing a collective sigh of relief.
Before kicking 2016 to the curb, set aside 30 minutes to answer these 4 questions. Print out this column, write down your answers, and place them where you can read them often.
4 Books to Make You Stronger and More Resilient in 2017
Whatever you hope for in 2017, you’ll need to dig deep for strength, courage, and resilience. These books will help you achieve this.
Books are a leader’s best friend. Moving into 2017, I recommend 4 books that are probably not on your traditional business list. They don’t address sales, marketing, networking, strategy, finance, culture, teambuilding, or any other business topic.
Instead they focus on where all success originates… inside of you.
3 Steps for Massive Progress in 2017
Is 2017 your breakthrough year? It will be if you follow these 3 steps!
The path to progress is lined with setbacks and excuses. It’s so much easier to blame other people and external events for our lack of progress than it is to look in the mirror and take responsibility for where we are at this precise moment in time. However, if we choose to ignore our realities, we will never move past our blocks.
Steve Case: 3 Ways to Get Rich with the Internet’s “Third Wave”
The “Third Wave” will drive wealth for entrepreneurs who know how to disrupt obsolete paradigms. Will you be one of them?
We are in the middle of a revolution. The Internet of Things (IoT), which gained legitimacy in 2015, is predicted to grow to $1.7 trillion in 2020, from $655.8 billion in 2014, as more devices come online and platforms and services grow up around them. For vendors selling hardware and software to support this market, 2020 revenues will exceed $470 billion.
How Did we Get Here?
5 Things Your Company Should Do Now to Avoid Costly (and Harmful) Employee Lawsuits
Lawsuits can debilitate or destroy a company. Here are 5 simple and inexpensive steps companies can take now to avoid being sued.
No business owner ever plans on being sued, especially by employees. Consequently, they often don’t take preemptive steps to avoid the financial and organizational disaster that invariably accompanies a lawsuit.
Business liability insurance company Hiscox reports that one in five small or medium-sized businesses will face employment charges with an average cost to defend of $125,000, which includes expenses such as attorney’s fees and settlement costs.
5 Cringeworthy Examples of Holiday Party Disasters (and How to Avoid Your Own)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…filled with opportunities for self-humiliation. Here are your do’s and don’ts for your upcoming events.
We’ve all heard stories of employees creatively using the copier machine at the company holiday party, or employees openly expressing their affection or disdain for their co-workers as a result of an open bar.
These indiscretions can permanently damage your career track. In fact, 15% of companies surveyed have said that inappropriate party behavior has hindered an employee’s career growth.
9 Strategies for Staying Fit and Focused During the Holiday Season
Distractions to derail your health abound during the holiday season. These strategies will help you stay the course, and start 2017 fit and focused.
Under the best of circumstances, CEOs and leaders encounter dozens of distractions each week that can derail them from eating well, getting enough sleep, and consistently exercising.
The holiday season presents additional challenges because of holiday parties, extra food in the office, employee vacations, end-of-year obligations, and family priorities.
10 Strategies for Successful Black Friday Shopping
Are you planning a Black Friday shopping spree? Here are 10 tips to help you stretch your money and preserve your sanity.
Are you one of the 138 million Americans that storms the malls and big box stores on Black Friday? If you can’t resist, at least apply a method to your madness.
Here are 10 strategies to make the most of this frenzied American tradition.
7 Simple Time Management Strategies for a Stress-Less Holiday Season
Use these 7 simple strategies to protect your time, energy, and health this upcoming holiday season.
The Holiday season is always a time of increased anxiety. We often feel pressured to socialize more, eat more, drink more, spend more, and even smile more. And, we’re expected to do all of this in less available time.
Here are 7 strategies to protect your limited, valuable time, so that you can say “yes” to what and who is truly important.
10 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Be Grateful for on Thanksgiving
Entrepreneurship is one of the most life-changing journeys one can choose. Here are 10 gifts your entrepreneurial choice has bestowed upon you.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Regarding the choice of entrepreneurship, truer words have never been spoken. Ask any entrepreneur how many times they’ve questioned their ability to move forward, or how many sleepless nights they’ve had, and they will tell you it’s been too many to count.
The Most Important Business Lesson You Need to Learn From Trump’s Victory
Trump’s victory presents a critical lesson for business owners everywhere. Are you paying attention?
Regardless of how you voted, were you blindsided by the outcome? Have you been asking, “How did this happen?”
There is a very simple answer to this question: Competitor underestimation. This happens all the time in business.
Your 2 Most Important Post-Election Mindsets, No Matter Who Wins
November 9th can’t come soon enough for most. Adapting these 2 mindsets will ensure you don’t get sucked into drama-filled, post-election rhetoric.
Wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk. This is what I hear now every time I find myself trapped into listening to either Presidential candidate speak. If I’m on the treadmill in the gym, or in an elevator, or at a doctor’s office where the TV is broadcasting a story or smear-campaign ad, I hear the voice of the teacher in the Peanuts/Charlie Brown movies.
Regardless of who wins, half of the United States will be irate. The mud-slinging will continue. There will be no grace in the outcome. Results will be contested, disputed, and protested. Other countries will continue to incredulously observe just how divisive we are.
2 Daily Priorities That All Successful Leaders Never Ignore
Great leadership requires stamina, grit, focus, and discipline. Are you doing what you need to be your best?
A CEO client is over-extended, has too many priorities to juggle, and is simultaneously hyper-stressed and hyper-exhausted. Actually this describes many of my clients. Does this sound like you too?
Friends, this is no way to go through life. As someone who has dodged two cancer bullets while building two businesses and raising two sons, I have a very healthy respect for mortality, along with the insight that tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
6 Powerful Steps to Rewrite Your Self-Limiting Beliefs
We all tell stories about who we are. How are your stories holding you back? Here are 6 steps to reset your story and reconnect with your greatness.
“I hate to bother you, but..”
These were the first words a young woman business owner said to me last Saturday when she approached me after I delivered a keynote speech on creating positive inner messaging.
I politely stopped her, and asked her to start over. Puzzled, she asked me what I was talking about. I pointed out to her that, consciously or subconsciously, she set her inner dialog to say that her presence would be a bother to me.
The 4 Most Destructive Ways to Waste Your Energy, and How to Stop
You have the power to decide how you are expending your limited and valuable energy. Are you choosing wisely?
There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Assuming you sleep 7 hours, this means you are awake and able to consciously choose how to spend about 1,000 minutes of energy every day.
Too often, we fall into a reactive mode in life. We all know that juggling 100 balls, and splitting our focus into pieces, is counter-intuitive to our productivity, health, and happiness. We’ve all been stretched too thin to the point where we know we are not doing anything well.
7 Best Interview Questions to Identify Your Company’s Next Rock Star
It’s not about resumes and references when you’re looking for rock stars. It’s about getting to what matters: drive, vision, and cultural alignment.
This past weekend I assisted a client in vetting candidates for a critical position. She called Friday night, and said, “Marissa, I interviewed this candidate for the Chief Operating Officer (COO) position. He’s young, but I really like him, and want you to conduct the next interview. Can you come tomorrow?”
Of course I complied. We’ve been scouting for this position for months, and she needs a “Number Two” to streamline processes to move to the next levels of growth. She forwarded me the candidate’s resume. Admittedly, I was unimpressed, and skeptical.
The 4 Questions You Must Answer in Any Negotiation
Negotiations are calculated discussions that require clarity and intention about desired outcomes. These 4 questions will help set you up for success.
One of my clients is in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation, where she may be selling a part of her company to another firm so that she can focus on her core service offering. Naturally she’s anxious to get the deal done, which doesn’t serve her well.
Through my advising, part of my role is to continuously talk her off the ledge when her emotions begin to over-rule her logic, and when her exhaustion begins to take over her stamina in this process.
8 Rules for Successfully Working With Friends
It takes one nasty business situation to ruin even the best friendship. These 8 rules can protect your bond and your business.
Almost 20 years ago when I launched my first company Information Experts, I hired a friend as a writing subcontractor to design and develop a training curriculum for a big client. It really didn’t occur to me that she would act unethically.
However, I wanted to set a precedent in my company that everyone was to be treated equally, so I required her to sign a non-compete and non-disclosure agreement.
It’s a good thing I did that, because she violated both documents. She stole my proprietary content, and solicited work directly from my client. Again, I had to set a precedent with this situation.
The Most Dangerous Mindset That Is Killing Your Success, and How to Silence It
Positive mindsets are not enough to achieve our goals. We must shed the negative mindsets that undermine our beliefs that we are capable of greatness.
Mindset is the single most important factor in stabilizing our challenges. I intentionally use the word “stabilize” because the truth is that life will continue to surprise us and knock us down. Unless we live in a bubble, unless we choose a life of complete safety, we are at risk for turmoil.
The 6 Steps You Need to Follow to Make Super Successful Introductions
Bringing great people together is one of the most rewarding aspects of being well-connected. Here’s how to create lasting relationships every time.
Building our networks and connecting with like-minded people must be an intentional strategy if we want to grow our business. One of my favorite things to do for my clients and professional colleagues is to connect them with others they ordinarily wouldn’t meet.
5 Simple Ways to Find More Time in Every Day
We all need more time in our over-scheduled days. Here are 5 proven strategies for making the most of every minute you have.
No matter how much we try, it seems we can never reach that point when we declare, “Wow! I have way too much time on my hands! I don’t know what to do with myself!!”
Today’s pace has practically eradicated the concept of “work-life integration” because work is part of life, and there are no more boundaries. We are always “on.”
Here are 5 easy ways to protect your valuable time, from morning until evening.
The 15 Most Important Questions To Ask Yourself Right Now
“He who asks a question remains a fool for 5 minutes. He who does not ask remains a fool forever.” ~Chinese Proverb.
September begins a time of transition. Students return to school, the weather turns cooler, the sun sets a little earlier, the leaves begin to fall.
The Jewish religion celebrates the New Year and observes the Day of Atonement. It is a time of deep introspection as we all contemplate mortality and the fragility of life by commemorating the 9/11 terror attacks.
As visionaries, it is also the time when many leaders start thinking about what 2017 will look like, both personally and professionally.
8 Consistent Behaviors of Highly Authentic Leaders
Authentic leaders that truly walk the walk engage in these 8 behaviors every day. With intention, you too can step into your greatest authenticity.
In an era where virtually everyone is calling themselves a leader or entrepreneur, how can we distinguish the truly great ones from everyone else? And more importantly, how can we become one of the great ones?
At a recent Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) leadership summit, I had the opportunity to learn from one of my most inspirational mentors who happens to also be a great speaker: Warren Rustand, a lifelong entrepreneur and former NBA player.
How to Avoid the 3 Most Dangerous Roles in Leadership (and Life)
In life and leadership, you likely have played 3 dangerous roles. Here is how to shift your mindset and behavior to never play them again.
There is a dangerous triangle of roles that even the best leaders may unknowingly adapt at one time or another in an effort to quickly solve problems.
Although our intentions may be good, (“I really want to help”) the outcomes often result in victimhood (“I can’t believe this happened to me”), blame (“I can’t believe you did this to me”), and disempowerment (“I am not capable of solving my own problems”).
8 Steps to Turning Your Enemies into Allies
Great leaders understand the importance of open, honest communication with everyone. Here are 8 steps to building bridges in place of barriers.
Imagine a strategically important teaming partner justifiably sues you and takes you to court, you lose the case, and then you regain their trust and team with them again to win another million dollars worth of business. True story of a small business I know! How does this happen? How do we transform our greatest threats into our trusted champions?
The 5 Most Important Characteristics of Great Teams
Building a team that exceeds expectations every time is easy when you follow this formula. Don’t leave your team results to chance!
In all aspects of our life, teamwork plays a vital role. Whether we’re on a field or in the boardroom, we engage with and depend on others to accomplish virtually every task.
Because we depend so heavily on teams, we don’t want to leave it to chance to construct and manage them.
4 Powerful Actions to Take, and 5 Important Questions to Ask, When Facing a Long-Term Challenge
Struggles don’t have to cast a shadow over all aspects of our lives. Here’s how to gain control, find the silver linings, and prevent future battles.
In business and in life, everyone has the rug pulled out from under them. Sometimes we see the warning signs from a mile away. Often, we’re blindsided.
In business, it takes only a single contract or proposal loss, a lawsuit, or employee resignation, to send the business into a free-fall. In our personal lives, we’re vulnerable to an array of significant upheavals and disruptions.
Want to Double Your Employee Loyalty? Science Says Provide These 3 Things
Engaged employees can increase your revenues and profits over 200 percent. Here are the three things businesses can do to drive devotion.
According to neuroscience expert Christine Comaford, author of the New York Times Bestseller Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together, we know that 90 percent of our behaviors are driven by our emotional brain. Our intellect controls only 10 percent of our decision making.
22 Awesome Places to Find Inspiration When You’re in an Idea Rut: Part Two
Stuck in a rut? Have writer’s block? Creative juices at a standstill? Here are the second 11 of 22 places you’ll find inspiration for your next great idea.
I recently shared 11 awesome sources of inspiration you can easily access when you are stuck in an idea rut.
Here are 11 additional sources of inspiration.
22 Awesome Places to Find Inspiration When You’re in an Idea Rut: Part 1
Stuck in a rut? Have writer’s block? Creative juices at a standstill? Here are the first 11 of 22 places you’ll find inspiration for your next great idea.
Everyone gets into an idea rut. We can’t pull our thoughts together to creatively problem-solve, write, or even imagine what’s next for us. We are uninspired. When it happens to you, where do you go for inspiration?
My brain is constantly churning out new ideas. Here I share the first 11 of 22 sources of inspiration that keep my creative juices flowing.
4 Things Great Leaders Do To Lead in Volatile Times
Leadership behavior is most important in times of uncertainty and volatility. Are your actions inspiring employee trust?
Let’s be honest with each other. The national and global political climate has everyone on edge, and organizations are feeling the tension from so much discord.
Social media feeds and media outlets are filled with vitriolic rhetoric about the impending election, and that energy is spilling over into the workplace.
7 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself Before Initiating Every Difficult Conversation
“We have to talk” triggers anxiety in all of us. Here’s your blueprint for calmly creating a win-win, even with the toughest conversations.
There are four words that, when we hear them, we stop in our tracks because we know they are going to be followed by a lot of other words we may not want to hear. This happens in both our personal and our professional lives. Those four words are…. “We have to talk.”
Did you feel a shiver run up your spine?
5 Powerful and Simple Ways to Energize Your Life, According to Science
Our mental and physical energy drives our health, happiness, and overall success. We have 5 daily opportunities to restore and protect our energy.
Have you paid much attention to the daily rhythm of your life? We all function in accordance with a specific rhythm. Early-birds (like me) wake up with the sunrise, energized and ready to engage with the world. Night owls often are just getting started when the early-birds are starting to crash.
5 Steps You Can Take Now to Increase Your Resilience When You’re Going Through Hell
Life throws some major curve balls. Here are 5 ways to move through your challenge and rise again stronger.
As Founder of two self-funded bootstrapped companies, a hands-on mom of two teenage sons, a leadership coach to dozens of CEOs, and a cancer survivor, I’ve personally learned that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Unless we live in a bubble, no one moves through life without pain. When the world begins to close in around us, what can we do to push through the darkness?
4 Remarkably Powerful Ways a Mindset of Intention Will Transform Your Life
Opportunities for intentional choices are all around us. Here are 4 areas of your life where your intentional mindset will drive tremendous change.
How many texts, emails, calls, and social media notifications do you respond to every day? We’ve become a very reactive society.
We spend an average of 90 minutes a day engaging with our phone, which equals 23 days a year. We’re constantly responding to every trigger.
9 Proven Lessons You Can Apply Now from Trump’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy
You don’t have to like Trump to learn from him. Here are 9 proven marketing strategies he is brilliantly applying to get under your skin.
Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, he provides a tremendous opportunity to study proven marketing principles in action. He is flawlessly executing 9 of the 22 concepts found in “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Al Ries & Jack Trout. You can apply them to your business too!
3 Ways Pokemon Go Will Brilliantly Boost Your Company Culture
Pokemon Go may be one of the best ways to infuse new energy into your corporate culture.
They say “timing is everything.” Nintendo seems to have hit the jackpot with its July 5th release of Pokemon Go, its augmented reality game.
By the time this column publishes, it will have been downloaded more than 8 million times, Nintendo will be averaging $1.6 million in daily revenue, and the Pokemon Go Facebook page will have well over 1 million subscribers.
2 Remarkably Powerful Mindsets to Move You Through Difficulty
Your mindset determines how you feel about your life. Choose these 2 mindsets to move through any challenge with strength, grace, and courage.
Have you ever noticed your initial thoughts when you wake up, and where they may take you? These moments have the power to set the tone for your day. The good news is that once we become aware of the power of our thoughts, we can re-direct them to take us to a positive mental place.
Over the last several years, I’ve moved through great pain in my personal and professional life. As painful as my experiences have been, I believe most of my situations are not unique.
8 Timeless Leadership Lessons From One of Our Most Respected War Heroes
General Stanley McChrystal, one of the most respected war heroes of our time, shares 8 lessons in how to “Listen, Learn, and Lead.”
I own two Washington DC-based firms (Successful Culture and Information Experts) that proudly support our war-fighters through the creation and facilitation of training programs to help our military men and women stay safe. I have the privilege of facilitating leadership training programs for our Air Force.
In my custom programs, I incorporate various TED Talks that validate various leadership philosophies I share with my students. One of the most well-received talks is General Stanley McChrystal’s 2011 TED Talk on leadership.
12 Habits of Horrible Leaders and How to Break Them
Leadership isn’t a dictatorship. If you want your employees to go the distance for you, avoid these 12 destructive behaviors at all costs.
In leadership, everything you do counts. All eyes are on you, even when you aren’t there. Employees feel your presence throughout the day because you set the tone.
This is what it means to be a leader–to be aware of how your actions and decisions impact others even when you are physically absent.
The 1 Thing That Will Make You a Great Communicator
Good communication isn’t rocket science. There’s 1 thing you can do to make sure your message cuts through the noise and makes an impact.
We’ve all read and listened to communication experts dole out advice on how to improve our communication skills. After all, good communication is the linchpin of every relationship.
In today’s world, good communication is increasingly elusive. We rely on technology to convey our messages more than ever before, and we are receiving more messages from multiple sources than ever before.
How Summer Lifeguarding Helps Teenagers Prepare for Leadership
Think your lifeguards are mindlessly coasting by? Think again. They’re learning valuable leadership lessons that will serve them long after Labor Day.
This was part of a dinner conversation I had with my 18-year old son last week, who’s been lifeguarding for more than a year. This past winter, he chose to get his pool operator certification so he could earn a higher hourly wage.
As a rising college freshman who’s concurrently held three jobs since freshman year of high school, and as someone who has both a Chipotle and a Vineyard Vines addiction, he’s focused on making as much money as possible.
10 Business Lessons You’ll Learn at the Gym
Thinking of skipping your workout? Don’t. Your good habits make you stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually.
I’ve been a hard core fitness enthusiast for 34 years, since I saw Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in The Terminator. My commitment to physical fitness has been one of the most important factors in my success as a leader and entrepreneur. It’s my single most important habit to keep me in top condition so that I have the stamina and mental fortitude to withstand the challenges of business growth.
I firmly believe my superior fitness level also helped my body knock out two cancer scares several years ago, and has been instrumental in helping me manage episodes of depression throughout my entrepreneurial journey.
The Single Biggest Reason Why Your Startup Will Succeed or Fail
IdeaLab’s Bill Gross has launched hundreds of businesses. He shares the single greatest predictor of success or failure.
On average, 50 percent of new businesses will not survive beyond their fourth anniversary. Companies in mining, manufacturing, construction, retail, transportation, communication, and utilities have even lower survival rates. There are countless theories about why a company may go under.
IdeaLab’s Founder Bill Gross has launched and invested in more than 125 companies in his career. In his 2015 TED Talk, he shared the single most important factor that he has discovered that matter most to a start-up’s success or failure.
7 Ways to Be Happier Everyday
Don’t delay your joy! Here are 7 ways to infuse more joy, fun, and laughter without compromising time or productivity.
Let’s face it. People are stressed out. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S, affecting 40 million adults. That’s almost 20 percent of the population.
Entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Columbia University Professor Jessica Bruder documented the brutal mental challenges that entrepreneurs face in her award-winning report, “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship.”