What inspires me is reading about leadership lessons of people who are successful and actually leading larger organizations. I have many favorite ones. Here are three of them:

1 – Keep sight of what really matters

This leadership lesson is best illustrated by the following story:

Walt Bettinger, CEO of to the Charles Schwab corporations, described in the New York Times (February 7, 2016) a big leadership lesson that he learned in college. Bettinger had been studying for many hours for the final test on business strategy. He really wanted to pass this exam. But when the professor gave everybody the final exam it was just one blank piece of paper. The professor asked everybody to turn the paper over. That side was blank, too. The teacher continued saying that he had taught everybody in the class a lot about business. However, he added, the most important question will be on this exam. The question was: what is the name of the lady who cleans this building?

Bettinger didn’t know. He didn’t pass the exam.


Ask yourself if you keep sight of what really matters in your office. Take a few minutes to ponder over the answer.

2 – Praise

Even your toughest employee or colleague needs it: praise. The praise doesn’t have to be sentences long. One sentence is often enough. Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour Magazine, follows the advice that was given to her years ago. Count the number of times you typically praise others; next, double their frequency. Isn’t that great advice?


Watch yourself for a week and count the number of times you praise someone. Then double it. Take that amount and look for opportunities to praise someone. See if you can hit that number.

3 – Be challenged

Leaders are often surrounded by employees who are not as open and honest with their bosses as they are with others. They know that you’re the boss. The problem with this is that even bosses and leaders need to be challenged. And then we mean really challenged. We are not talking about being “challenged” in a way that makes you look good.


Watch the reactions of others when you propose something. Do they feel free to oppose it? Or does everybody line up behind you agreeing after you have spoken?

Which of the above leadership lessons are you going to embrace this week? Have fun with it and let me know how it went. I love to hear from you.