In 1917, federal investigators seized a shipment of Clark Stanley’s Snake Oil Liniment. Prior to this, medicines derived from Chinese water snakes had actually proven to be quite effective in treating joint pain, due to their richness in omega-3 acids. So people were very receptive to snake oil as a treatment for all sorts of ailments. Jumping on the trend, less than scrupulous opportunists began bottling and selling oils processed from American rattlesnakes. But these oils were very low in omega-3’s and provided no benefit whatsoever. Clark Stanley, known as the Rattlesnake King, built an empire with his particular brand. With a flair for showmanship,Read More →

This week will provide many reminders of the importance of thanksgiving. It’s hard to quantify the value of gratitude, but among the virtues of leadership, it may be the greatest. Making thanksgiving a consistent part of your leadership will bring out your best qualities, refine the quality of your influence on others and brighten your perspective. Thanksgiving is the ultimate “self-leadership” virtue. Have you recognized how difficult it is to be grateful and arrogant at the same time? Have you ever tried to be thankful and selfish? If you accept the value of being a part of something bigger than yourself, cultivate your appreciation forRead More →

You can probably think of a number of occasions when you have been asked a simple question, “What did you learn today?” It begins early in life. You trudged home from a long and arduous day at Kindergarten and your mom popped the question, “What did you learn today?” After a mistake in judgment during the tumultuous teenage years you were confronted with another iteration of the question, “What did you learn from your experience?” It’s a good question that carries forward into your life as a leader. To be sure, the best leaders are lifelong learners. Most leaders scramble to keep up with aRead More →

Are you energized this morning or are you wading through messages about overcoming burnout and finding meaning in your work in hopes of finding a gold nugget of inspiration? Sometimes, inspiration is much more accessible than you think. It may just be a matter of perspective. There are at least a couple of ways to define inspiration. Inspiration is the drawing in of breath. If you are reading this, you have that one covered. It’s time to move on to another level. The second view of inspiration is a little more complicated. It has to do with mental stimulation. In particular, inspiration is the stimulationRead More →

The day has just begun and many messages compete for your time. Honestly, it’s so easy to get knocked off course. There are times that a subtle deviation turns into a U-turn. It’s a two-fold challenge. First, a clear sense of direction is more important than ever. Second, you have to refine your ability to respond to distractions and unexpected challenges. Navigation is a critical leadership skill. It is the ability to stay on course and find your way. How do you find your way? Consider the wisdom of this old French Proverb: If you are going out to sea, you better have a star.Read More →