redmansignA few years ago, my local gym posted a photo of a handwritten sign that had been posted outside the hospital room of a Navy Seal who had been severely wounded in battle. “The wounds I received,” wrote Lt. Jason Redman, “I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love.” I was so inspired by his courage, sacrifice, and perseverance that I told many people about the sign, and even discussed it in a podcast with my oldest son. Earlier this year, a family member saw Jason Redman speak and was so impressed that she sent me his book. I was surprised to learn there is so much more to Jason’s story, and so much that we can learn from him to take our leadership to the next level.

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Are You an Engaging Leader, or Just a Smooth Talker?

by Jesse Lahey on September 3, 2015

Image of young businessman interviewing female

If communication is a tool for cultivating and influencing, then communication is power … the power to make a difference in people’s lives, for better or worse.

Unfortunately, the history of the world is full of leaders who use their power of communication for selfish reasons. For example, Adolf Hitler had a magnetic charisma but used it to make himself a dictator at the expense of the lives and freedom of millions of innocent people. Even saintly Abraham Lincoln used his incredible power of empathy for some arguably self-centered purposes, such as predicting (accurately) what his political opponents would do — several steps ahead of time, as in a game of chess.

But studying and practicing communication principles — not just communication skills such as public speaking — will help you be a genuine leader who is making a positive difference. The full communication discipline is the art and science of inspiring trust and action. That goes deeper than mere skills, and it can help you leave the world a better place than you found it. [click to continue…]


First Priority of a Leader

July 25, 2014

This past week, a buddy and I were completing our final training ride (60 miles) in preparation for my longest race scheduled for the year, a 100-mile “century” cycling race this coming week. Since our last ride together, we both had acquired new gear. Sam had bought his first cycling shoes and clipless pedals. I had my first padded […]

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WWSA: What Would Socrates Ask?

September 13, 2013

I believe the world would be a better place if leaders considered “what would Jesus do?” (popularly referred to as WWJD). However, I also think it would make a huge difference if leaders considered “what would Socrates ask?” (WWSA). In contrast to other leaders and teachers of his day, Socrates didn’t use rhetoric to persuade […]

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054: Humility and Leadership: How to Teach Confident Humility | with Karin Hurt

September 12, 2013

Confidence inspires, attracts, excites and ignites.  And yet, confidence without humility can significantly limit a leader’s effectiveness — and even can be dangerous.  Truly confident leaders are secure enough to embrace and share their humility.  In the long run, their humility makes them stronger. To discuss how leaders can be confident and humble, and how […]

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044: The 3 Most Important Decisions in Life

July 4, 2013

If you had one brief moment to tell the young people of today something important, what would you say? Of all the things you could say to a young leader, what could you say that might have life-long impact? Jesse recently gave a short commencement address at his oldest son’s high school graduation. He spoke […]

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How to Prove You Know Everything

June 5, 2013

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered this simple math: What I know < All knowledge What I know < What I forgot When I was a high-school junior, my Political Science teacher tried to explain to the class the fundamental reason why knowledge creates wisdom: the more you know, the more you realize how much […]

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The Power of Focus

March 5, 2013

Setting more goals for your team means they will get more done, right? Wrong. Research has shown that communicating fewer priorities will actually make you more productive. Being laser-focused and consistent on just a few key goals or messages will inspire your team to achieve something big, rather than being diffused by many priorities and achieving none of […]

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3 Risks of Authentic Leadership

October 30, 2012

Authenticity has become a buzzword lately. We can assume it’s in great demand from today’s leaders. Right? Not necessarily. We reward political leaders who are fast with soundbytes and aggressive accusations. We buy music and movies from photoshopped entertainers who are best at being bigger-than-life. And we give money to religious icons who seem to […]

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009: The Power of Authenticity | Featuring Dave Stachowiak

October 25, 2012

Authenticity has become a buzzword. Everyone seems to know that a leader needs to be authentic in order to engage employees and other stakeholders, but what does that really mean? Authenticity. It sounds simple and easy. But it’s not. To explore the deceivingly simple topic of authenticity, Jesse is joined by special guest Dave Stachowiak, […]

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