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Lisa McLeod

Stories by Lisa

McLEOD: It’s important to manage your face

A friend of mine owns a bakery and café. Her cupcakes are scrumptious, her Caprese sandwich melts in your mouth. Clients drive miles for one of her macaroons. Her baked goods are legendary; the problem is her facial expressions.

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MCLEOD: The biggest difference between success and mediocrity

If you’re a teacher, parent or leader, you want your people to be successful. The question you need to ask yourself is, do they know that?

MCLEOD: Invite the best version of your boss to the meeting

The boss is the unseen participant at every meeting. The boss might not be there in person, but everyone wonders what her reaction will be to the decisions, initiatives or outcomes.

MCLEOD: Why employees just don’t care, and what the boss can do about it

Lack of Noble Purpose erodes morale at work, and it eats into our lives at home, where people drag themselves through the door at night without an ounce of enthusiasm left for loved ones or fun.

MCLEOD: The secret behind great innovation

If you want to create a great company, invent the next big thing, or produce an amazing work of art, keep your ego out of it. Start with noble purpose, find a problem you want to solve, or people you want to help, and pour your talents into something bigger than yourself.

MCLEOD: Why we wait before giving our best

I’m willing to do it, but I’m not sure he is. It’s the biggest obstacle to making a positive change. We want to know, for sure, that the other guy is all in with good intentions, before we fully invest ourselves.

MCLEOD: Why do customer service people still give terrible customer service?

It’s nice to say customers are the No. 1 priority. But when you create reward system, decision-making policies, and culture that promote the opposite, your employees act accordingly.

MCLEOD: Words matter, so you them wisely

Words matter. Sticks and stones may crack up a few bones, but the wrong words in your head will your break your spirit forever.

MCLEOD: Why the GM ‘don’t blame me’ problem really happened

Science defines culture as “the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc., in an artificial medium containing nutrients.” The same principle applies to business. Culture is the cultivation of the human beliefs swirling and growing in the petri dish labeled: your organization.

MCLEOD: Three keys to getting yourself organized

When you know what’s important to you, it’s a lot easier to organize the good stuff, and part with the useless junk.

MCLEOD: Giving everyone a trophy sets us up for failure at work, life

Giving away meaningless trophies doesn’t inspire anyone to new heights of improved performance. Nor does it build self-esteem.

MCLEOD: The mistake businesses make about noble purpose

Here’s the noble purpose reframe: Provide real value to your customers, whether you make widgets or water pumps, your job is to improve your customer’s condition. When you make money, and you will because organizations with noble purpose outperform the market, give a portion of your profit to charity.

MCLEOD: The work-life balance is a flawed concept

You don’t get a work life and a home life. You get one life. Don’t waste it trying to achieve balance.

MCLEOD: How to get more done and be happier

For many years, I worked for a crazy person. Her name is Lisa, and for a decade she was the worst boss I ever had. I confess; I’m recovering overbooked entrepreneur, the terrible boss was me.

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MCLEOD: Nothing wrong with a little exaggeration

The next time you want to make a point, consider using a story. And if you need some extra exaggeration, to make it more interesting, you can borrow some from my family.

MCLEOD: How to reinvent yourself when life takes a turn

Ideas, even good ones, will fail. Companies will be purchased, and sold. Relationships will change. There are two choices, you can wish for what was. Or you can reinvent yourself to deal with what is.

MCLEOD: We’re asking the wrong questions about cheating

If we continue to reward test scores, we’ll continue to get cheating. But if we decide that we, the American people care passionately about learning, we’ll create a system that inspires our students and teachers to feel the same way.

MCLEOD: How the story about the lady and the baskets made me a better spouse

My friend who is a divorce lawyer says, “Most marriage failures are not the result of infidelity, substance abuse or in-laws. Most marriage failures are the result of selfishness.”

MCLEOD: Why I created the business concept noble purpose

Which circles us back to the leadership question of the day – do you have a noble purpose? Or do you just sell stuff?

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MCLEOD: The myth of 'the one thing'

Success or failure is never one thing; it’s lots of things.

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MCLEOD: Two wastes of time that shouldn't happen

Life is short. Meaningful human interaction is an excellent way to spend our limited time on this earth.

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MCLEOD: Why I taught my daughters how to be ambassadors in the fifth grade

World travel enlarges people. It’s a big wide world, the more you see of it, the more you appreciate it.

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MCLEOD: Why we trust strangers, but not people we know

We humans have cast our lot together. Trusting each other is the only way we’re going to get anything done.

MCLEOD: Why we wish away happiness

Your life is a series of moments. You can enjoy them, or you can wish them away. It’s your choice.

MCLEOD: The Airplane Experiment: Role reversal gone awry

Wouldn’t it be great if your boss had to spend a week doing your job? Or your spouse had to take care of your jobs?

MCLEOD: What to do when your friend’s father dies

Here’s the thing I’ve learned: funerals matter. When a friend helps you through a funeral, you never forget it.

MCLEOD: The big mistake people make when they negotiate

There are two types of negotiation. The kind where you don’t care what kind of reputation you’re creating, like a hostage negotiation. The other kind of negotiation is when you’re negotiating prices and terms with people that you’re eventually going to have to work with.

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MCLEOD: The big question that changes everything

The big question — How would I want this handled if I were on the other side? — doesn’t simplify problems, it illuminates their complexity, which is exactly what is required to solve them.

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MCLEOD: Why trying to make your children happy makes everyone miserable

If you ask people what they want for their children, most will tell you that they just want their kids to grow up to be happy.

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MCLEOD: Turning advesaries into allies

Personally, and in business, mastering people skills is life’s big difference-maker. It’s not easy, but important skills are rarely intuitive. Mastering the art of winning people over is the difference between being surrounded by support and enthusiasm versus having do everything on your own.

MCLEOD: Why happy families require 12 great relationships

Group relationships are complex. But they’re worth it.

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MCLEOD: Three ways to deal with a poison person

If you’re forced to co-exist with a poison person, don’t make the mistake of letting them inject their venom into your life. They may be the killjoy, but you’re the one inviting them to dinner every night.

MCLEOD: Intentions are more fun than resolutions

If you’ve already abandoned your resolution, or you’re wavering, try reframing it into an intention. You’ll feel better about it, and you can go back to it all year long.

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MCLEOD: Five friends nobody needs and how to manage them

Life is too short to have — or to be — a bad friend. If you see yourself in any of these, it’s not too late to change. And if these remind you of someone you know, you might want to consider an intervention.

MCLEOD: Three ways to leverage the power of the pause

When you pause, you breathe, which makes you physically stronger, and you clear your mind, which enables you to think more strategically.

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MCLEOD: Are your greatest strengths holding you back?

We’ve all known people who touted the merits of their best (perceived) traits without realizing that they carried them to such extremes that people found them off putting.

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MCLEOD: Nobody feels confident the first time they try a backflip

The 60 percent principle is my new mantra. If I want it, and I’m close to 60 percent confident that I can do it, I’m going for it.

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MCLEOD: Sacrificing love of learning on the altar of memorization

There’s a great scene in the 1980s movie “When Peggy Sue Got Married.” Kathleen Turner’s time travels go back to high school. Already having lived much of her adult life, she confidently tells her math teacher, “Mr. Snelgrove, I happen to know that in the future I will not have the slightest use for algebra.”

MCLEOD: Why compromise is a flawed model

We’ve been told that when two sides disagree, we’re supposed to compromise, but that never really works.

MCLEOD: Why millenials consider an iPhone a basic human right

Kit Yarrow, author of “Gen Buy: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings are Revolutionizing Retail,” says, “What you learn as a kid kind of becomes your values as an adult, so this generation really knows luxury and quality, and that’s what they want.”

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MCLEOD: How to create a culture of purpose

People want to make money. They also want to make a difference. Creating a culture of passion and purpose is how you do both.

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MCLEOD: Redundant paperwork ruins everything

Paperwork is bad enough, but when people ask you to fill out their forms with the same information you provided on a previous visit, they’re trying to make their life easier, not yours.

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MCLEOD: Three reasons you might need a Red Team

What if you had a team of people whose sole job was to find fault with your thinking? It’s called a Red Team. Used by the CIA, IBM, the Army, news organizations and other businesses, a Red team is a group designed to penetrate your defenses

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MCLEOD: How to navigate the blurry years

The lines between work and home may be blurred, but make no mistake, the skills and mindset required in each venue remain distinctly different.

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MCLEOD: Why bosses and teachers have so much power over families

The boss affects every member of the employee’s family. The same is true of teachers. Your spouse’s boss and your kids’ teachers can be a source of joy, or misery, for an entire family.

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MCLEOD: Why we're usually wrong about other people

You’re not the person you were 25 or even two years ago, neither is anyone else. Don’t let assumptions about who a person once was inform the way you interact with them today.

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MCLEOD: Why moving the needle matters

You don’t accomplish big things overnight; you move the needle every day. Sometimes you get the big score and sometime you don’t. Whichever way it turns out moving the needle is always worth the effort.

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MCLEOD: What the worst companies in America have in common

Running a big organization isn’t easy; I truly empathize with the leaders that made the awful list. But as my grandmother used to say, if you want to fix a problem, the best place to start is with yourself.

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MCLEOD: Our three biggest fears

Your fears and insecurity don’t exist outside of your own head. Banishing them from your brain isn’t easy, but it leaves space for something more fun and productive.

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MCLEOD: Three ways to break out of the gerbil syndrome

Life may come at you in frantic endless blips, but don't let the pace of your electronics set the pace for your life.

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