Discover. Learn. Influence.
EVERYBODY CARRIES INFLUENCE. THE QUESTION IS, WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH IT. The Leadership Life Blog is about DISCOVERING, LEARNING, and LIVING a life of influence. It is a blog based upon PRINCIPLES that will apply to whatever leadership context you are in. The content on this site is the product of personal experience, mentors, publications, and other various sources of inspiration. My hope is that as a result of reading this blog, you become a LEARNER, a LEADER, a WORLD CHANGER.

Let the journey begin.



Link: Survey says most new graduates in U.S. would take a pay cut to make a difference (would you?)


72 percent of graduating college seniors believe being able to make a “positive societal impact” through their work is essential to their happiness. Making a difference is so important to them that 45 percent say they’d take a 15 percent pay cut to work at an organization that makes a social or environmental impact and 58 percent say they’d take a pay cut to “work for an organization whose values are like my own.” Female students are significantly more likely to prioritize social impact than their male classmates. 

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Governing vs. Leading [Excerpt]

The following is an excerpt from the book “Master Leaders” by George Barna where he had a chance to hear from former Attorney General John Ashcroft on the idea of what real leadership is. 

"Leadership is taking people where they are not already going. It is about redefining the possible. I have come to understand that leadership is different from governance. So people confuse to the two. Governance is the process whereby minimums are established. In government, the law is passed, and it sets the minimum threshold for activity. If you don’t exceed the threshold, you are the subject of impositions and mandates. Leadership is different from governance because it doesn’t establish the lowest and least that is acceptable, but it inspires people to their highest and best. Whereas governance operates on the basis of mandates, impositions, punishment, and things lie that, leadership operates on the basis of models. The outcome of governance is the establishment of a floor. The outcome of leadership is people operating at their highest and best." (p.12-13)

The book “Master Leaders” by George Barna is available at

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Link: Leading Through Connections


Bridget Van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business ServicesFor the first time — and despite the state of large swaths of the global economy – CEOs placed “technology” atop the list of issues they believe will exert the strongest influence on their strategic directions.

Download IBM’s 5th CEO study “Leading through Connections” – a perspective from more than 1700 CEOs and public sector leaders worldwide at

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3 Mindsets of an Equipper

The choice to become an equipper of leaders is one that should not be taken lightly. As stated in my previously blog, there are multiple sacrifices you will make. I highlighted three of them (and there are many). First you will sacrifice time. Second you will sacrifice recognition. Lastly you will sacrifice ambition. But beyond the sacrifice, there is also a mindset that exists. In other words, what is the frame of mind of someone who equips leaders? Below are three mindsets of an equipper. 

1. I Will Be Intentional: Everything you do is now done with a distinct purpose. Every experience you bring a potential leader into is done as an intentional moment in their journey. When you take on the role of an equipper, those being equipped are looking to you to be an example to them, teach them, and ultimately release them to make a difference. As a result look at every one of your actions and words with the upmost intentionality. Your goal is to raise up a leader, so how does that effect everything you do and expose them to? When you equip leaders you take them on a journey. You will be a significant factor and influence on what that journey entails. 

2. I Will Be Limited: The reality is that you cannot equip everybody. As a result you must ensure that you are investing into the right people. Do you believe in them? Do you see their potential? Are they teachable? But beyond that, research shows that 20% of your people accomplish 80% of your results. So are you investing into your top 20%, or are you spending your time with those who aren’t influencing much. Be specific, choose wisely, and you will not only love the journey, but will see the fruit of your labor on your organization as well. 

3. I Will Be a Safe Place: Perhaps the most important of the three, to be a safe place means to provide a place where those being equipped can ask questions, fail, succeed, wrestle, and trust you completely. It is a place where they feel listened to, believed in, and empowered. The leaders that you equip are more than just a “skill”, they are a human being that is looking for a place to belong, to prosper, and to use their gifts. Be that place for them and it will change their life and yours. Change happens as a result of leadership, and life change happens as a result of intentional relationships. 

Allow these three principles to shape your mindset when equipping others, and you are on your way to creating a legacy that will last way beyond your years. 

Lead On.


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3 Sacrifices You Must Make to Equip Leaders

The choice to equip leaders, while the most noble, will require sacrifice on your part. It is not always easy, smooth, or effortless. Equipping leaders requires great focus, patience, and sacrifice. Below are three specific sacrifices that you will need to make as you equip leaders. 

1. Time: This is the simplest of the three. Spending an hour or more a week investing into somebody’s life does not seem all that complicated on the surface. But as your leaders continue to grow, they will need to be given more opportunity and responsibility. This as a result will incur more time on your end. Time is given in way of instruction, demonstration, and observation. But no greater time can be given than that of simply listening. If you’re going to invest into leaders, be willing to give your time.  

2. Recognition: For many, this is the hardest piece. As leaders you equip take on more responsibility, they also begin to take on more success (at least thats the goal). As a result your name may not be the one being mentioned when it comes time to celebrate. This is a tough one to overcome as all of us appreciate recognition and affirmation. But one of the greatest tests of a leader is when they equip others and are never even recognized or known for the work they have done. Chances are as your reading this I bet you can name one person that had a significant influence on your life that most people would not even be aware of the scope of influence they had. Great leaders are willing to give up recognition for the sake of future leaders. 

3. Ambition: The difficult reality is that when you equip other leaders, the dream that you had, the vision that you birthed, you might see that come to fruition trough other people. In other words, the reality of your dream MAY come to life not through you directly, but indirectly as other leaders you have equipped bring the dream to new heights and depths. While this may sound negative, realize that no harm can be done when you allow other leaders to “stand on your shoulders” (to apply what they have learned from you) to make a greater difference than you ever imagined. If you are in leadership for the sake of yourself, you and your legacy simply will not last. It is only in the humble and selfless act of equipping others does a legacy begin to form and fulfillment take place. 

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Link: Harvard Business School takes on Collaboration as Teaching Model


At Harvard Business School  students are now working in “hives,” new circular, collaborative workspaces. The hives are part of a radical rethink of everything from its curriculum, pedagogy, and outcomes, to its brand identity and physical spaces. Inspiration for the spaces reportedly comes from Facebook’s offices —  Harvard Business School For The Facebook Age  

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There is a misunderstanding in our world today amongst leaders and followers alike; that somehow our past mistakes and failures define who we are. I have spoken with numerous individuals, both formally and informally, who feel as though they are stuck or cannot mvoe forward because of their mistakes. There’s an honest sense of being paralyzed in their ability to pursue that dream or become who they desire to be.

This is familiar territory to me. Junior year of college I went through some pretty intense counseling as I began to realize that what I do (my actions, my gifts and talents, accomplishments, etc.) does NOT define me. And while it took quite some time (2 years approximatly) to allow this truth to set in, it was incredibly freeing and empowering as I no longer felt the burden of being held down by past failures. Over the years sense then I have come to realize that as leaders, if we can learn to differentiate between the things that define vs. refine, I beleive we can all grow to be not only more effective, but more free in life. Allow me to explain.

To be “defined” by something is a never changing component. To be defined is the constants of who you are. It is in the defining where our world views and values come to surface; the things that we hold to stand true. Think of it like the American Constition. The Constitution is the document that defines the American spirit and people based upon principles that our founders beleived to be true for all individuals; “endowed by our creator” as the document says. There is no reference to past mistakes, failures, just the lessons learned from them. The same is true with you and I. We are defined by truth, but are refined by experience.

So to be refined means to change, discover, and mature as a result of experiences and knowledge. The things that refine you are the things that enable you to grow as you live out who you are defined to be. To be refined is to be shaped, to be defined is to be constant. Just as gold goes through a process of refining to get to its purest form, it does not change the fact that is is still gold. The refining simply made the defining better. In other words, it is our experiences, pains, hurts, joys, and successes that refine us to become the leaders we were born to be.

Thus there is no reason to be held back. There is no reason to lay your head low. For now you can look upon your past and present decisions as simply the opportunities to be refined in becoming and defining the leader you are. Influence today in that comfort.


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The Leadership Gap: Application

Fact: There are over 75,000 books on Amazon that are under the topic of leadership. 

Fact: There are approx. 600 million links (via a Google search) containing leads to the topic of leadership. 

Add to that the millions of articles, blogs, and hundreds of conferences every year around the world and the reality quickly is realized that there is no shortage of content about leadership. If you want to know about vision casting, its out there. If you want to know how to shape teams, you’ll find that too. If you want to become more inspiring, simply be inspired by how many tips and exercises you can find via all the content available to you. 

And yet with all this information, why is it that the world is short of leaders as so many have stated? Why does there still seem to be a void? With all this information, what is the missing piece? The problem is not the content, the problem is the application. 

It may be difficult to swallow, but by reading books about vision it does not make us vision casters. By hearing a lecture on innovation, does not make us innovators. And by searching online for team exercises does not make us team builders. Application is the game changer and it is a daily decision. So what the world needs is not more knowledgable leaders, but knowledgable leaders that courageously apply and implement the principles into their various contexts. In other words, the more that you know (knowledge) the more you grow; but the more you grow, the more you are expected to show (apply). 

So if you find yourself struggling to become a more effective leader as a result of application, then try your best to embrace the following:

1. All Growth Requires Sacrifice: In the case of growing as a leader, the sacrifice a lot of times comes in the form of comfortability. To apply your knowledge it will require taking risks and trying new ways and methods. The greatest depth of learning comes from experience, so don’t be afraid to sacrifice your comfortability for the sake of application. 

2. Application is a Daily Decision: Each day ask yourself the question “what can I apply today from the lessons learned yesterday?”. 

3. The Lack of Action is Still and Action: Leaders move things forward. By not applying the knowledge you have gained, you are keeping your organization and teams stagnant or moving backwards. As a result, you become less mature, less effective, and will lose influence. But on the other hand, when you apply your leadership knowledge you provide your organization with the example, tools, and motivation to keep moving. If you want to accomplish anything significant, you must keep moving forward; the world needs you to. And my guess is that your organization and teams are longing for the leader you know you can be, the type of leader you’ve read about, the type of leader you’ve heard about, the type of leader only you can choose to be. 


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Celebrating Victories

Everybody wants to be a part of a winning team. The sense of winning boosts moral, productivity, and a sense of progress towards accomplishing a greater vision and purpose. One of the roles of the leader is to celebrate victory along the way. In other words, look for and recognize the moments and people that exemplify the values, goals, and mission of your organization. Publicly praise them, share it with others, and by doing so it will inspire other team members to the same. The statement is true, “what is celebrated is repeated”. 

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