passing the baton

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Zack’s weekly posts that include actionable and tangible steps to help you grow in your leadership and life walk.

The 360 Leader: Leading up

The middle leaders are perhaps the most important part of an organization. They both serve and lead and without these leaders, the ability to get things done becomes hazy at best. As you lead down to your team or customers and across to your peers, it's important...

The 360 Leader: Leading across

Twenty years ago I had wrapped up my military service and finally found my next steps in my career path and accepted a people leadership in operations. My family, including my 6-month-old daughter and wife who had just gotten laid off as our main source of...

The 360 Leader: Leading down

No matter your career stage or season of life you have a circle of influence. Think of it like a rock being tossed into a quiet lake and watching the resulting ripples spread once it hits the water.  As you think about your 360 circle of influence it can be...

Addressing Toxic Positivity

"I think that they are too positive." That was the start of a coaching session a leader once had with me when we were discussing one of their employees. It can be a weird and confusing feeling to realize that you are interacting with someone with toxic positivity. On...

The benefits of pausing before a response

"I want it right now" is the expectation that has become ingrained in our desires in all parts of our lives - from that order that you placed online today, to health goals, and expectations in your business. Instant gratification can be a difficult and sometimes...

Manage your energy

There are days when you wake up early, get ready for the day, and knock out a few important things off of your to-do list all before mid-morning. And while you take a moment to give yourself kudos, "Wow, I've gotten a lot done this morning!" there's probably...

Create a culture of leadership

I love a team that has a strong culture of leadership. There is a maturity there, where everyone is putting others above themselves, letting go of egos, and while always looking at ways to go above and beyond to service the team, their customer, and ultimately the...

Work backwards to hit your goal

Dreaming big and setting lofty goals can seem intimidating. At home, a personal goal may seem extremely difficult or impossible in your current situation. Mobilizing different groups to execute towards a work project may seem like an insurmountable game of cat...

What to do when business relationships aren’t working

You can't be successful on your own, no matter how hard you try. Your success as a leader, and as an individual contributing to your company's larger success depends on how well you build good working relationships. There will be times when those relationships slip or...

Be the farmer

I find farming to be a fascinating industry. There is a beauty and calmness to be seen as you drive by a field of growing crops. Underneath that calmness are highly skilled workers, complicated machines, and a focused plan and team to bring it all to life. Today,...

Be a song

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house that had hundreds of records and there was constantly music being played somewhere in the house. Songs can hold a lot of power too. Hearing a certain song can bring you back to a...

Teach your leaders to be empathetic

In an ever-changing work dynamic for your team, the skill of empathy has become an important tool in caring for your people so they feel respected, valued; and stick around longer as a result. Rarely does a command to a leader to "be more empathic," stick in a...

How to create luck for yourself

I've always been a lucky person. At nine, I won a mountain bike from a gas station (that was too big for me) and later won a chest full of Disney merch in a separate drawing. Since then I've won clothes, cash, food, concert tickets, VIP experiences, and more. I'm also...

More tips to improve your EQ

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a skill set that you can always benefit from growth, and it's one of the few areas in which you don't experience a ceiling as far as capability. We've covered the foundations of leadership on shows 145-149 and you can find many resources...

What leader shadow are you casting?

Good leadership cascades out and impacts the team long after a leader leaves the room. Like a shadow, it follows a person and can be even larger than the person themselves. As you can imagine, that shadow can have both a positive impact and a negative one. ...

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Lessons under 5

Leadership videos that are shorter than a song