Easter Bible Rosary Eggs and Palms

4 Ways to Optimize Your Lent Using Business Techniques

Catholic tradition sets aside the 40 days prior to Easter as a period of prayer, penance, and repentance. I typically head into Lent like most Catholics do, having chosen a couple of sacrifices that will fulfill my obligations and remind me of the reason for the season.

This year I chose to do something different.

I applied lessons I’ve learned through my business experience to Lent. Instead of giving up coffee, dessert, or some other nicety, I challenged myself to strategically define Lenten sacrifice to ensure that it had a real impact on my life.

Here are a few tips that may help make your Lent a little more powerful.

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fitbit force

What’s on My Phone: Fitbit

I wear a Fitbit Force (just upgraded from the Flex, and am glad I did) and have a Fitbit Aria (scale) in my bathroom.

While it’s not the most mature wearable activity tracker on the market, Fitbit does a fabulous job with its user interface. They provide graphical data that helps me to stay aware of how well I’m doing at moving around, staying active, and monitoring my health.

By staying aware of my activity level, I’m able to make sure that I move around more and get a bit more exercise. This makes me feel more refreshed, more energized, and more alert. I’ve also lost about 15 pounds in the four months I’ve been using it.

Question: Do you have a favorite app or use of technology to help you with your health and fitness? I’d love to hear about it! I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here. Learn to live an integrated life with humble confidence. Get it Now

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Family Decisions and Work Life Balance

There’s No Such Thing as a Family Decision in the Integrated Life

So often we talk about family decisions as though they’re isolated from the rest of our lives.

It’s so easy to talk about work and how it hinders everything else in our lives. But how often do we consider the ramifications of our decisions in those other more personal areas and how they affect the other aspects of our lives?

Here are two examples about how major decisions I’ve made have benefited me both professionally and in my family.

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MR MOM WEEKEND

Mr. Mom Weekend: Behind the Numbers

Last weekend was one of the most productive weekends I’ve had in a long time.

And it happened to be the weekend that I was playing Mr. Mom.

How can this be? I think I’m still trying to figure that out myself, but I believe it may be the increased focused on priorities.

I think my Mr. Mom Weekend gave me renewed focus and energy. 

This last weekend (the one after my Mr. Mom Weekend), I patched a hole in a wall, brought my spring clothes out of storage, and cleaned my closet, changed light bulbs, cleaned my home office, hung some pictures, and all sorts of other small jobs that I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

Question: What have you done lately that’s surprised you by giving you renewed energy and focus? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here. Learn to live an integrated life with humble confidence. Get it Now

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businessman hand stop dominoes continuous toppled

If You’re Not Failing, You’re Not Making the Right Decisions

Recently one of my senior leaders, who I’ll call George, was responsible for an initiative that didn’t exactly turn out like we all hoped. In fact it was less than impressive results, though it wasn’t a total failure.

George was the first to take responsibility. He held himself accountable, stood up, and said, “I take responsibility and I will fix this issue.”

But along with that, George also wanted to make sure that he was held accountable in a more serious way for the actions that were taken and for the lack of results. He was looking for some sort of punishment.

My response? Leaders don’t avoid adversity or even failure. One of the signs of a great leader is how they handle that adversity and how they move forward.

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Tracks points crossing

The Difference Between Product Management and Project Management

It never ceases to amaze me how few people in the software industry understand what a product manager does.

So many times when we open up for a product manager, of the resumes we have submitted, around 80% will be for a project manager position, not for product management.

Project management is very important, but it is not product management.

The role of a product manager can be described using the analogy of a railroad. The product manager is responsible for laying the tracks. They navigate the landscape and determine where the train will go. It is their responsibility to avoid the obstacles and make sure the train is successful at arriving at its destination.

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uber

What’s on My Phone: Uber

Uber is an app the provides on demand access to “Black Cars.”

It’s a taxi alternative, and I find it to be especially useful (and price competitive) in cities that are not “taxi rich” (cities other than New York, Boston, Chicago and DC) or when I’m in the suburbs.

With the single push of a button, I can order a town car (or SUV if I’m traveling with others).  The car will typically show up in 15 minutes or less. It tends to be a much more pleasurable experience than your typical taxi.

Uber automatically pays and tips the driver through one of your pre-registered credit cards, so, as soon as you arrive, you’re on your way.

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Human resources concept

7 Hiring Strategies: Weighing The Devil You Know Vs. the Devil You Don’t

I recently hired an executive who I had a history with. In fact, several years ago, I worked for him.

Hiring someone you know can be both a wise move and a big mistake. Over the years, I’ve learned how to make sure I only make the hire if I’m confident that it will be a big win. Here are seven hiring strategies I use to make sure I make the right decision.

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Father and Son Play Catch

A Case Study in the Integrated Life: Work Life Balance While Traveling

One of the greatest challenges for any leader is to live an integrated life when their responsibilities require travel.

I was recently faced with this challenge.

Generally, I try to limit my travel to every other week. My goal is to be gone no more than three days (two nights), unless, I am traveling overseas. I almost never travel on weekends.

Last week broke all of those rules. A commitment I have as CEO collided with a commitment I have to one of the charities I support. The first half of the week I needed to be in LA for a conference. The weekend required me to be present for a board meeting and the committee meetings that preceded it.  I was on the road from Tuesday night through Monday afternoon.

On Thursday I received a one sentence email from my 11-year-old son:

“Hi Daddy I am super nervous is about tryouts I want you to be here for them”

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beautiful of shanghai night scene

Make Your Travel Time Count

At the end of last year my travel schedule exploded. All of a sudden I was gone for five weeks out of every six. I had several things come up: it was a busy conference season and I had to visit prospects, clients, and overseas employees.

One of the things I had to learn to do was optimize my travel schedule: I had to learn to make my travel time count. I started to realize that even though I’ve always had this philosophy of getting in and getting out, I wasn’t really doing a good job of picking when and where I needed to be.

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