April 5 Book Signing with Barnes and Noble

I’ll be signing and discussing my book on Saturday, April 5 at Barnes and Noble Easton (Columbus, OH area).  The setting is different than my previous signings.  I’ll have the opportunity to speak in a speaker-audience format. 

You can take a look at a Columbus newspaper’s mention of the event here.  Hope to see you at the event on Saturday.

Email: To Respond or Not to Respond

Scot over at Cube Rules posts this piece on email responsiveness. He has some helpful tips.

Scot’s post made me think of those who fail to respond.  I don’t think it is ever ok (with the exception of extreme circumstances like system issues, human mistakes, etc.) to not respond.  If you’re like me, there’s nothing that makes me angrier than a no response.  Don’t people understand the idea of bridges burned.  Besides, even if you don’t want what I’m offering, you can end the issue in one sentence or less and leave your reputation in tact.

So is it ok to not respond?  What say you?

March 28 Radio Show: Don’t Chase Success

Friday’s radio show will cover Secret 3 from my book.  The secret, Don’t Chase Success, will help you avoid the pitfalls of pursuing the dead end known as success.  I promise you won’t be disappointed with the alternative. 

Click here for listening and call-in information.

Check out the below video clip for a little context as well:

Why Leaders Must Hold Their Followers Accountable

Earlier we spoke of how leaders must love people.  It’s a very true statement.  Leaders must also hold their followers accountable. 

Holding another human being accountable (expecting an outcome and carrying out a consequence for the behavior manifested) is tough.  Many leaders avoid this like a plague.  The best leaders see accountability as an integral part of wanting the best for those that follow.  They also know the follower won’t grow without accountability.

As I outline some solid reasons for holding followers, in career and out, accountable, please remember that motivations are everything.  If you’re not really for the person, then don’t bother with this.  Maybe you should ask whether you and/or the person you’re not for should be in the position they’re in.

Here is a brief list of why leaders must hold their followers accountable:

  • Assuming a bond has been formed, it will increase the chances that the follower will desire to hit the mark of what has been asked of them.
  • True growth (financial, mental, innovation) occurs where some one is lovingly checking to see how things went.
  • See the subprime mess to get an example of an accountability vacuum.
  • No accountability will lead to a lack of respect from your most faithful followers.  By the way, these folks might not say a word to you about a loss of respect.
  • Committed people want and need accountability.

Why Leaders Must Love People

Wrote this post a while ago, but the relevance still resonates.  It’s intended for the customer service rep. or the senior vice president of sales.

I’m always fascinated by organizations that appoint, or anoint, influencers (leaders) who don’t really love people.  Yes, loving people is essential to leading people.  For all of Corporate America’s talk of the importance of people, the results speak to a different reality.  If asked, most workers would tell you that the organization’s leaders are focused on an audience of one…themselves.  Don’t get me wrong, I am no populist, but those who influence should remember that power flows through them and not from them.  Leaders need to use their power to love.

Some time ago, I was in a conversation with a friend who was involved in a management restructure.  It was striking what she observed in the early days of that change.  The leaders were very focused on the work and process.  But sadly, they looked at the people as merely a means to an end.  The tragic part was that they were unconscious of the message they were sending.  The working dead at work.  Being a part of the working dead is bad enough for the individual worker, but it is lethal when a leader of people falls asleep.

In the end, loving people will keep us focused on the what is most important.  Loving the people we lead is the most important "thing" in any type of organization.

March 15 Book Signing with Barnes and Noble

The below photos are from my book signing with Barnes and Noble (their Pickerington, OH location) this past weekend.  We sold some books and more importantly we connected with those who bought.  What could be better?

March_15_book_signing_002

Smiling for the camera and the magazine racks (tons of magazines).

March_15_book_signing_004

Great friends who came by to spur me on.  The son was a little reluctant, as you can see.

March_15_book_signing_005

Smiling with every signature.

March_15_book_signing_007My great friend Rick Williams.  The perfect last photo of the day.

What Happened When I Was Told To Leave

At various points of my writing here, I’ve pointed to my experiences when I was told to leave my last job in corporate America.  I always tried to write in a way that wasn’t caustic or mean-spirited.  I wanted to inspire versus protest what seemed, at the time, an injustice.  The former was the right choice, because my being told to leave was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  I write that now due to time passing.

Considering all of the news about job cuts and recession, I thought I would detail some specific results of my ceremonious departure from corporate America:

  1. I could breathe again.  It was as if I discovered that I was truly alive.
  2. I could see my journey without someone always trying interrupt and sabotage.
  3. I discovered that my career was a contributer to my life and not my whole life.
  4. It hurt.
  5. I became aware of what and who I was neglecting.
  6. I found out who was really for me.
  7. I became more compassionate toward those who followed me.
  8. I embraced the first chapter (Be Authentic) of my book.
  9. I learned that change takes time (sometimes a lot), but it is worth it.
  10. I learned to do things I would never have while watching my life ebb away in corporate America.

The ten results are only a snapshot of what materialized after my departure.  In the end, what seemed like a rupture, was a magnificent change in the flow.  A flow to where I’m supposed to be.

Be encouraged…

Why I Write-Updated

Thought it was important to update this post.  Originally written in 2008, it's a daily reminder that trust is important in words-written or spoken.

"I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor.  What I have in my heart must come out, that is why I compose."

                              -Ludwig Von Beethoven

You may not need this post, but I'm going to proceed anyway.  In the blogging world many talk about how to increase subscribers, increase hits/page views, or how to monetize the blog itself.  Each of those efforts have merit.  But why should someone who blogs want results like an increase in subscribers?  I think many of us in the blogosphere have missed something in our motivations.

In a celebrity obsessed culture it is easy to get carried away by attention and notoriety.  We forget what an authentic following means versus momentary infatuation.  You could have a thousand subscribers, but does that really mean that something is being flipped?  I don't think so.  In my last days in corporate America I had a number of people who were "subscribers."  Funny thing though, when I was escorted out my subscriber list fell dramatically.  Did my ideas change?  Did my expertise diminish?  No, to all of those things and more.  But my cache did.

So when I write (books, columns or blog posts) I make sure it comes from my heart.  That way I can sleep at night knowing I didn't write in order to make a sale for a sale's sake.  Believe me I had enough posing and posturing in corporate America to last me two lifetimes.  No sense in resurrecting those tired positions for the sake of numbers.  Besides, I really want change to be my partner.

If you're writing/communicating through a blog or some other portal, give people authentic content. 

Trading the Intangible for the Tangible

I recorded a podcast with Anna Farmery of The Engaging Brand a couple of weeks ago.  I’ll link to the podcast in the coming weeks.  It was a great conversation and I understand why her blog is called engaging.  She did a great job in allowing me to articulate my thoughts on having a great life as well as a great career.  But it was her father’s advice that is still resonating with me.

Anna told me that her father once advised that the intangible things of life can never be satisfied by the tangible.  See Lennon and McCartney’s take (Can’t Buy Me Love).  You might say "of course, Eric."  But why do so many people try to do what Anna’s wise father warned us not to?  Don’t have enough space to address all of the reasons here. 

The following outlines some reasons why we’ve taken the bait:

  • We deceive ourselves into believing that the temporary feelings we experience will last.  You know what I mean; "now that I am ____ life will start to go my way."  Tangible things were never meant to last.
  • The intangibles are hard, the tangibles are easy.  Need I say more on this one?
  • Our wonderful friends in the media keep telling us that intangibles are not important and tangibles are. 
  • We think more like consumers than we’re willing to admit.
  • We don’t pay attention to history.  History will tell you that Love matters.

I am a man who attempted some of the above and I failed like many before me.  My conversation/podcast with Anna reminded me of how fortunate I am that I woke up. 

Here’s to all of the mystery, tears, hope, disappointed, and Love the intangibles bring.