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Moving to a New Blogging Platform

Posted at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 04, 2009

This was the home of my blog from March 2004- November 2009.  Here you will find over 870 posts about leadership, training, learning and more.  I wrote here to help you become more effective and successful in all parts of your life.

My business (and yours) looks different than it did in 2004 - and the world of blogging and blog tools is certainly different as well.

For all of those reasons, I am now blogging in a new location, using new tools.  While the name of the blog has changed (it is now Leadership & Learning with Kevin Eikenberry), my goals haven't changed - I write to help you tap into and move closer to your remarkable potential.

However you found this page, whether you were referred, found it from a search engine or you bookmarked us long ago. I hope you will follow over to the new blog to continue to learn, grow and be a part of our expanding community of leaders and learners.
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Success Ideas from Will Smith

Posted at 5:04 AM on Monday, December 15, 2008

We can find success secrets in many places - though they aren't always secrets. Success, you see, leaves clues, and when you observe, listen to and learn from the very successful in any arena of life you will find these clues . . . if you look for them.

This morning I found them in a USA Today story about Will Smith (in part a promotion for his new movie Seven Pounds), The story, titled 'Seven Pounds,' seven keys to Will Smith's success , gives you a glimpse into the success habits of one of Hollywood's most respected leading men.

If you want to see some of these clues,read the article. Pay particular attention to his seventh point - "Leave Nothing to Chance." In this short section you will see a clue about the importance of purpose in our lives - in this case in the context of marriage.

For us to maximize our success (by whatever metric you want to use - not just monetarily), we must operate from a position of purpose. Whether as a leader, team member, peer, , or in your personal life, purpose is a powerful thing.

We'll talk about some success clues, but more importantly, I translate these clues into specific actionable ideas to help you make your next 12 months your best 12 months in my teleseminar on Dec 18th.

Consider this learning opportunity my gift to you. I hope you will join me!
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What's the Real Difference?

Posted at 1:18 PM on Friday, December 05, 2008

One of my wife's favorite television shows is The Biggest Loser. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a reality show where people who have health and personal needs to lose weight - and lots of it - compete against each other to lose the most – and become the "biggest loser."

While watching the show I have noticed a couple of very important lessons for all of us – whether you are at your perfect weight, would like to lose a few pounds before the holidays, or are thinking about being a future contestant.

1. While the winner gets a large cash prize - $250,000 I think - you never hear people talking about it. They are talking about staying in the game to lose more weight for the ways it will change their life, improve the lives of their children, etc. In other words, their biggest motivation is internal. And these rewards are more meaningful – than external rewards.

2. While the contestants (and the viewers) learn about healthy eating and exercise habits, the reason these folks lose incredible amounts of weight is about more than changes in exercise and eating habits. They succeed because they change their mindsets and beliefs. While changing mindset isn't enough (you won't lose weight if you keep eating a half an apple pie everyday), without that change the progress won't come nearly as fast or last for long (if it will happen at all).

These messages that I draw from watching the show - and they are important messages for us as all. Internal motivation is always the strongest and longest lasting, and our mindset matters in all matters of achievement and success than we give ourselves credit for.

These are just two of the ideas we will explore in our brand new free teleseminar, Start Today! Make Your Next 12 Months Your Best 12 Months. To learn more about it, you can read my announcement post.
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How You Ever Gonna Know?

Posted at 6:34 AM on Thursday, December 04, 2008

. . . that is the title of one of my favorite songs. It was written by Kent Blazy and Garth Brooks, and performed by Garth. Normally I would link you out to the lyrics, but since they are central to this post, here they are.

That old wind that's whippin' out there
It's whistlin' your tune
That wind blew pyramids to Egypt
And footprints to the moon

And that old star that you been wishin' on
Is shinin' mighty bright
But it's the fire inside your heart
That's gonna lead you to the light

How you ever gonna know
What it's like to live there
How you ever gonna know victory
How you ever gonna know
What it's like when dreams become reality
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to hold her
How you ever gonna know
What it's like to dance
How you ever gonna know
If you never take a chance

You know failure isn't failure
If a lesson from it's learned
I guess love would not be love
Without a risk of being burned

Anything in life worth havin'
Lord, it has its sacrifice
But the gift that you're receiving
Is worth more than the price

How you ever gonna know
What it's like to live there
How you ever gonna know
What you never knew
How you ever gonna know
If you're down here doin'
What the good Lord put you here to do
How you ever gonna know
If you could have done it
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to fly
How you ever gonna know
If you never dare to try

Listen not to the critics
Who put their own dreams on the shelf
If you want to get the truth to admit it
You gotta find out for yourself

How you ever gonna know
What it's like to be there
How you ever gonna know
If you're the best
How you ever gonna know
What you believe in
If you don't put it to the test
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to hold him
How you ever gonna know
What livin' means
How you ever gonna know
If you never chase the dream

How you ever gonna know
Your potential
How you ever gonna know victory
How you ever gonna know
What it's like when dreams
Become reality
How you ever gonna know
How it feels to hold her
How you ever gonna know
What it's like to dance
How you ever gonna know
If you never take the chance
Do yourself a favor. Before you go on, read them again, and ask yourself the questions.

When we think about our future, and reaching any goals we might have, we must first get past our fears of failure, of the unknown, of resistance, of looking silly and even of success. We must get past that fact that change might require us to work harder or different. We must no longer settle. And most of all we must believe we can achieve.

This song shares for me a powerful message -

how will you know . . .

. . . until you try?

. . . until you take action?

The reality is that you won't, and you can't.

If you want any of the things in the song, or any of the things metaphorically represented in the song, you must go after them!

At some level we already know that, but yet we don't try, we dont take a chance, we don't move forward confidently in the direction of our dreams.

It is for that reason I have created a teleseminar called Start Today! Make Your Next 12 Months Your Best 12 Months. I will be offering this 75 minute teleseminar twice on that day - at 2 pm ET and 9 pm ET and there is no cost - it is free!

This is the most important an powerful teleseminar or session I have ever created and I am thrilled to share the information with you - and anyone else you want to invite.

We will offer you some materials to extend the learning and support you in applying what I share on the call, but the call is free - and I hope you will join us.

How you gonna know if your next 12 months can be your best 12 months?

Read those lyrics one more time, download the song to your iPod, and I hope you will join me on December 18th.
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The Power of Choice

Posted at 2:36 AM on Friday, November 14, 2008

I've been thinking about choice a lot lately - for myself and the implications it has for us as leader. Here is a case in point - what I sent to our Powerquotes subscribers earlier this week -

"You can always do what you want to do. This is true with
every act. You may say that you had to do something,
or that you were forced to, but actually, whatever you do,
you do by choice. Only you have the power to choose for

 -- W.Clement Stone

Questions to Ponder

What choices am I making?

Do I recognize them as in my control?

Action Steps

Recognize your power to choose.

Use this power wisely.


Recognizing that we are making choices and valuing those choices is something that effective leaders must do - it is a leadership activity of champions. 

Having the right focus on choice allows you exercise your leadership influence more effectively, will help you create a more empowered and engaged workplace and brings accountability and responsibility into focus more clearly.

But all of this starts with you. 

You must recognize that you are responsible for your choices; you must focus on what is inside of your control.  When you do these things consistently you will  create better results for yourself (in all parts of your life) and for your organization.  You will also be modeling this behavior for those you lead.

Choosing the recognize the power of choice isn't just a great concept for you personally, it makes you a more effective leader.

Improving your skills in this way doesn't require an organizational leadership development process.  It doesn't require a formal leadership development program of any kind.  What it requires is you stepping up and making choices based on what is in your control.

Recognize the power you have over the choices in your life and the outcomes those choices create.  Use them wisely.

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The Power of Choice

Posted at 2:34 AM on

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Do You Have Amnesia?

Posted at 4:58 PM on Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ryan, the good looking middle-aged executive that everyone loves is in a tragic car accident, and when awakens from a brief coma, the worst has occurred.  He has amnesia!  He can't remember any one or anything at all.  Suddenly he is beginning life new, with no clue about the people he knows or the strategies that have made him who he is . . .

Ryan is a make-believe person, and the story is ripped from soap opera television (any show, most weeks I'm told).  In the past when people would tell me of television story lines like this, I always thought, "I don't know anyone who as ever really had amnesia."

That isn't how I feel anymore.

Now I realize, that we all suffer from amnesia, and it affects our performance and results everyday. Yes, we remember the names of the important people in our lives and the way to work and our address, but we forget all sorts of important things all the time. 

The things we forget are tools and techniques that affect our leadership skills.  We walk through our day not doing things we know work; in effect operating as if we have amnesia related to the activities that lead to effective leadership.

There are many ways we can cure this unnoticed amnesia, but like any affliction, we can't cure it until it has been diagnosed.  We can diagnose it with a 360 assessment.  A 360 assessment can provide clues and pointers to show us and remind us of our blind spots.  I have never coached someone on a 360 assessment where there wasn't at least one thing that the person felt they "knew was important" but just wasn't doing - a classic case of leadership amnesia!

Once diagnosed, the cure can come from executive coaching, or any coaching and mentoring process, as well as personal reflection and and being on an ongoing learning path.

Ryan's amnesia was catastrophic, our much less evident.  And yet when we diagnose and understand our personal case, we can begin the long and beneficial road to recovery.

Pick one technique, tool or idea that you know works but haven't done lately (for whatever reason).  Notice the results you get.

And smile knowing that you are on the road to recovery from leadership amnesia.

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Real Learning From the Real World

Posted at 4:21 AM on Monday, November 10, 2008

Leadership Lessons from Presidential Politics

There are opportunities for us to learn from everyday life situations . . . everyday . . . but only if we look for them and take time to reflect on and digest them.

Recently we've all shared a common experience, that I know we can learn much from - and learn different things than you might think. That event? The U.S. Presidential campaign and election (and if you are reading this from outside the U.S. the lessons are just as valuable). As a leader, there are probably hundreds of lessons we can take from these events . . . but only if we step back, think, and reflect on them.

I've been doing that thinking and reflecting over that last year, as I have watched the polls, the press, and the process. As I've examined the speeches the systems, and the selection, I been learning and relearning key leadership lessons.

And as a result of this I've built what I believe to be a very innovative leadership tool for your leadership development right now.. That tool is a teleseminar titled Leadership Lessons from Presidential Politics. During it I will share over 25 ideas, tips, techniques and skills that I've extracted from the process. All of these ideas result in more effective leadership skills for you and can be applied right away!

Consider this as the most innovative leadership skills training you will participate in this year! Whether you are focused on upper level corporate leadership or supervisor training you will find lessons you can apply immediately.

This teleseminar will offered twice on November 12 - 2 pm ET and 9 pm ET and I'm paying your registration fee (people normally pay us $57 for live teleseminars) - but you can participate even if you are unable to attend. To learn more about the specific ideas I will be sharing, and to register, sign up for Leadership Lessons from Presidential Politics here.

Also posted in Learning and Training.

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Just 1% a Day is All You Need

Posted at 5:07 AM on Friday, November 07, 2008

Many years ago when asked what the most powerful force in the universe was, Albert Einstein said, "compound interest."  What I am writing about today, might be, with all due respect to Albert, just as powerful.  The reason is that it in many ways they are the same thing: compound interest allows your money to grow on itself, and Incremental improvement allows your skills and productivity to grow on themselves.

In short, if you want to improve your skills, your best approach is get a little bit better everyday.  You can't make quantum leap improvements each day (there are certainly situations where a new idea, technique or approach may in a short time drastically improve your skills or abilities, but you can't rely on these occurring regularly.) If you want to get 10% better at a particular leadership skill in the next 30 days, that might seem daunting.  But can you get 1% better every day for a month?   That seems easier and more realistic. We can all get 1% better each day.

So let's do the math.  We'll just use the working days and assume 20 working days in the next thirty (even though there are plenty of ways to work on leadership development everyday).  At the end of our 30 days we will have improved by: 20.81%.  This is certainly a powerful concept for us personally and should cause you to be excited and ready to start learning, but this is just the start.

The power of incremental improvement is perhaps the most when considered as an organizational leadership development idea.  Ask yourself this question:  what would happen to productivity, profitability, and results overall if everyone on my team improved by 1% each day.  Now you don't have one person improving 20.81% in a month, but EVERYone improving by that amount.

And this is just month one.

Want a strategic leadership initiative?  Build a process, tools and expectations to help everyone in your organization work on a single skill each month, with the goal of getting 1% better each day.  Then, move to another skill next month.

That is why I believe Remarkable Leaders are Continual Learners (one of the chapters from my book Remarkable Leadership - Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time), and that idea is the crux of our "one skill at a time, one month at a time" model for the Remarkable Leadership Learning System.

I will write more on this topic in the coming days, but for now, I'll leave you with this question: 

What do I want to get 1% better at today, and how will I do it?

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Some Thoughts on Learning (and Twitter)

Posted at 5:07 AM on Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jim Canterucci a friend, colleague and collaborator of mine sent me a note yesterday while I was at a Conference. It mentioned that I might like his latest blog post, entitled, Teaching and Learning Technology - Process or Tools? He was right.

This post, as the title suggests, talks about how we learn, and equally importantly, how we can teach new technology. While I hope you read the post (hint, hint), one of the key points is that it isn't about the tool or the software, but the process of learning it. In other words we don't want to learn the technology, we want the benefits that can be derived from using the tool.

This is true for technology, and true for learning and teaching anything else as well. When we focus on the benefits, the "why" we are will far more motivated, dedicated and even disciplined in learning anything.


Jim's post uses Twitter as an example of a technology, so I wanted to comment briefly on that as well. The learning I received from reading Jim's post came from Twitter.


Because the note Jim sent me about it, came from Twitter. I read Jim's blog but I doubt I read every post. Being connected there allowed me to think about and learn something great - and do it much sooner than I might have otherwise. I am sure he sent me the message in part because of a brief conversation we had on a related topic recently.. on Twitter. It continues to build my relationship with Jim. Because the post mentions another speaker and writer, Mike Figliuolo, I have now read his blog and connected with him on Twitter.

My hope is that the "Twitter part" of this post is an example of one of the principles in Jim's post - that it shows, through a story process, some of the benefits of Twitter. If you are on Twitter, or if this post intrigues you enough to check it out and gain the benefits I am gainig, make @Figliuolo, @Canterucci and @Kevineikenberry three of the first people you follow.


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An Important Project Management Question

Posted at 7:06 AM on Monday, October 13, 2008

Here's the question:

Are you managing your projects, or are your projects managing you?

This question is much more than a play on words or a time management query.

The question is about planning and focus. It is a question which begs us to put our projects in the proper big picture perspective.

Perhaps most of all this question encourages you to think about whether you are proactive or reactive.

While I could write much about these answers, it is the questions and how you answer them that are most important. Your answers will have a significant impact on your levels of stress and success.

If your answers show you that you could use some guidance, consider signing up for my next teleseminar -Remarkable Leaders Manage Remarkable Projects.

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How to Get the Most From Your Conference Investment

Posted at 3:32 AM on Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tomorrow, I'm off to Las Vegas for Blog World Expo. This is a conference I have been looking forward to for some time! Usually when I attend a conference I am a speaker and an attendee. This time, I'm purely in the learning mode. AS I started my preparation for thsi event, I was reminded of an article I wrote several years ago. I've cut and pasted it here, and now, as I read it, I will highlight key ideas and add new comments and ideas in red.

I hope you find it useful for the next time you are at a conference. And if you are going to be at Blog World, follow me and send me a note on Twitter.

Tips on Getting the Most From Your Conference Investment

All professionals attend conferences, seminars, and trade shows each year. Through my observation and person experience here are my top tips for maximizing your time and monetary investment in these events.

1. Set goals for the event. Think about what you hope to gain from your attendance. Be specific and write them down! Consider your goals for specific content areas, specific questions you hope to have answered, number and kinds of people you want to meet and/or amount of new business you hope to gain. Goal setting here is like in anything else. Be specific, write them down and then focus on achieving them. If you don't start with this one, all the rest will be less effective. Is there room for serendipity? Of course, but have goals too!

2. Invest some time in planning. Sit down before the event with the schedule or agenda. Think about which sessions will best help you meet your goals. Schedule your day to take best advantage of those opportunities. Often you find yourself with many good sessions to choose from. This is one of the values of your goals. Refer to your goals and let them guide you. You did bring that list of goals with you didn't you?

3. Schedule your meals! Conferences are a prime time to learn in a more relaxed atmosphere. Schedule your meals with key colleagues, clients, presenters, or others you would really like to meet. You'll be surprised how easy this is to do, even with people you don't know yet, if you plan ahead just a little. Have too many people you want to have meals with? Invite more than one! Or schedule some meetings during a slower time during the conference program. This one is huge - for this trip I have scheduled a dinner reservation for 15, and am working on filling up that reservation - and beyond. Do you think great learning, fellowship and relationship building will happen at that dinner? You bet!

4. Network! Take advantage of all the networking opportunities available. If there is planned networking activities, be there early! Consider the Exposition or trade show as a networking opportunity (not only with the exhibitors, but also with your fellow participants. Who knows who you might meet standing in a line?) Have plenty of business cards and spend more time listening than talking. Don’t forget the time before a session starts when most people just sit and wait for something to happen. Don’t just sit there, network!

5. Capture ideas. Sometimes there isn't much room but your lap to write during a session. Don’t worry! Follow your instincts and your best habits about the amount of notes to take. I urge you though to, at a minimum, to write down the action ideas you got during the session. These ideas might not even have anything to do with what the speaker is saying - no matter! Capture those gems so you have them for later. Maybe you will use your laptop or iPhone. I don't care how you take the notes. The question is are you capuring the ideas?

6. Have fun! All of these tips require a little bit of rigor and planning - even this one! As you try to reach your goals and maximize your time, leave time for some fun and allow yourself the opportunity to let serendipity happen. If at the last minute your instinct says to go to a different session than the one you had planned, or to skip a session to get to know a new person, let yourself! It may be the best time you spend during the whole event.

7. Get some sleep. Conferences and shows can be long and harrowing. You will be at your best if you get some sleep. Too much of #6 (having fun) may leave you short on this one. Find some balance and get some rest. You’ll be glad you did. Yes, even in Vegas.

And when you are on the plane home or when you get back the office.

8. Review your notes and ideas. Compare your list to your goals. How did you do? Take the time to prioritize the ideas you generated. Schedule the most important ones - with the rest of your tasks, giving them appropriate priority. If you can't find time to implement what you learned, why did you go? Make sure you take action on at least the most beneficial of your new ideas. If you have notes beyond action ideas, consider scheduling a short amount of time each day for the next week to review those notes. The repetition will help solidify the new concepts and principles in your mind, increasing the learning you gained from the session. Pick one idea and get started. Implement something immediately. This will give you results and keep your momentum up for implementing more. Otherwise, the list will become as stale - and useless - as week old bread.

9. Send thank you notes. You collected business cards as you networked right? Or made a note of the really fabulous session leader you listened to? When you get home, take the time to write some brief thank you notes. You benefit by sending positive thoughts into the world, as well as being more memorable to the receiver. True gratitude is important to acknowledge and share. Make the time to do it! Schedule that time in your calendar, like a meeting, before you leave. Yes, and add people to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (pick the tools of your choice) too.

10. Share what you have learned. Whether you share with a colleague face to face, on your blog, through Twitter, with your mastermind group or whomever - make sure you share what you have learned. When you do this you begin to own your knowledge (i.e. learned it more deeply), you improve the likelihood you will do something with it, and you will have passed that learning on to others for their benefit as well.

If you will take action on these ten tips, you will gain more from your conference dollar, improve the return on your time investment, as well as making the Conference more fun and a better learning experience.

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Work Matters and Leadership Matters

Posted at 12:56 PM on Monday, September 15, 2008

I was fortunate to be a guest on Nan Russell's Work Matters radio show recently. That show is now available online to listen or download as a podcast.

My interview begins about half way through the show, and I believe, is one of the best I have given to date on leadership, learning what it means to be a Remarkable Leader.

I hope you will listen, and share it with others.

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Happy National Teacher's Day!

Posted at 6:11 AM on Friday, September 05, 2008

It is National Teacher's Day in India today. I learned from this Wikipedia entry that many countries celebrate teachers on a designated day - though few pick the same day.

But today, September 5th, is National Teacher's Day in India.

Celebrate by taking five minutes today to do these three things:

- Think of a teacher you are grateful for.

- If at all possible call or send them a note of thanks.

- And teach someone else something of lasting value today.
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Everyone's a Leader!

Posted at 5:53 AM on

That was the message of the short keynote I gave last week to Rainmakers, a fast growing, difference making business networking organization in Indianapolis last week. My goal was convince them that everyone is a leader, and that we can all become Remarkable leaders too.

They've posted the full keynote here.

I hope you will take a look and share it with your colleagues and fellow leaders.

(If you'd like me speak to your organization or have us deliver customized training for you - contact us here.)
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Thoughts on Effective Meetings with Susan Otto

Posted at 4:27 PM on Sunday, June 22, 2008

I sat down with Susan Otto, owner of Training-Modules.com, instructional designer extraordinaire, colleague and friend of mine recently (okay, we did it through email because we are both busy and live two hours apart) and asked her some questions about her experiences and advice around creating more effective meetings. Here are her thoughts on my questions . . .

What is the biggest issue with meetings today?

No one is considering the true cost. When was the last time - if ever - that you estimated the cost of a meeting. I don't mean the room, lights, food, etc. I don't even mean time spent just chatting because you were waiting to start the meeting -though that is important, too. I mean the meeting member’s salary for that time spent. If everyone in an hour-long meeting made $30.00 per hour and there were seven people present, then the cost for that hour-long meeting would be $210.00 just for the members. That doesn't include the cost of what they could have been doing with there time if they weren't "stuck" in the meeting. And, that cost gets much higher when you have executives attending the meetings.

(a note from Kevin - when you add in the cost of infrastructure and benefits, the number goes up by another 30-50%!)

What do you believe is the most important thing you can do to make a meeting more effective?

Create and provide an agenda - based on the purpose for the meeting. Any meeting items that are not pertinent to the meeting's purpose should be eliminated. And, if possible, the agenda should be distributed prior to the meeting.

What is one of the biggest mistakes people make when attending meetings?

Not being prepared. This follows what I just mentioned . . . if an agenda is distributed prior to the meeting, each member attending should know what they need to do and/or bring to make the meeting more effective. And, if you are invited to attend a meeting and you don’t have a clear idea of why you need to attend, call and find out. Then consider whether your participation at that meeting is really necessary.

What is one of the biggest mistakes people make when planning meetings?

Expecting the "usual" members to attend the meeting, which again follows what I was just alluding to. Only invite those members to attend who really need to be at a meeting. Oftentimes, people are invited to meetings whose attendance is not necessary, especially for the purpose of the meeting. Some meeting could, and should, be sub-meeting where only a few members meet to discuss and decide on issues. Written communication, following the meeting, can provide the rest of the group with what was discussed or decided.

What can I do to evaluate my meetings' effectiveness?

Ask someone to attend one of your meetings, paying attention to the interactions between team members only. Watch for who participates in the meeting, who talks to whom, etc. Oftentimes an outside resource can provide you with valuable insights into the groups’ or teams’ meeting effectiveness, especially if the team is well-established team and has been working together for a long time.

Thanks Susan!

Susan has created a training module that can be used in your organization to improve your meetings - and has created an eWorkbook (a tremendous value) on the same topic. I urge you to take a look at those links (as well as all of the other Modules and eWorkbooks she has available) if you would like to create more effective meetings for yourself or across your organization.

These are just two examples of Susan's excellent work - take a look to learn more, download some samples and make a purchase.
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Remarkable Happiness

Posted at 9:35 AM on Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This month in the Remarkable Leadership Learning System, our members are focusing on their role as a leader in modelling and creating the attitudes that will create successful results. I'm excited to say that my Guest Conversation for our members is with Marci Shimoff of Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Secret, and most recently Happiness for No Reason (here's my recommendation of this book).

If you would like to participate in this call, learn from Marci and even ask her a question, go here to sign up for the call - it is tomorrow June 19th at 2 pm ET. If you can't join us at that time, you can still register and receive the recording and transcript of the call.

I hope you will join us!

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If You Want to Be A Better Teacher. . .

Posted at 11:42 AM on Thursday, May 08, 2008

The idea for this post comes from a question Angela Maiers asked and Mike Sansome posted on as well. The added to a piece written by Carl Glickman in the book Leadership for Learning.

In this piece, he asks and if then statement - If, as a teacher . . . . then I . . .

Here are a couple of my additions . . .

If, I as a teacher . . .

- stop learning new things myself
- forget what it is like to be a classroom student
- focus on teaching rather than learning

Then I've forgotten what is most important and my growth and effectiveness as a teacher is unnecessarily stopped.

Think about these thoughts as well as Mike and Angela's . Think about the times you are in a teaching/coaching/training/facilitating/parenting role and how these thoughts apply to you.

Then add your twist as a comment - I'd love to read your IF, THEN statements as well.

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Daily Learning Habits

Posted at 7:41 PM on Sunday, April 13, 2008

In my last post, I shared a powerful daily habit with you. There are lots of other daily learning habits that we can invest in. Here are two others . . .

Word of the Day

For many years I have asked people "what's the word of the day?" It has typically been a way to greet people and get people thinking. This could however be a powerful way to build your vocabulary. Think about how your vocabulary would expand if you learned just one new word a day. While there a likely many tools for doing this online, I've subscribed to A Word A Day for many years. I highly recommend it.

A Picture a Day

My intern for this coming summer, Abby Hoye was apprised of my "what's the word of the day?" question during a discussion with another person on the team. Since then she has shared a couple words of the day with me. Then, last week I received an email from her with the subject line: Kevin Eikenberry-isms. Here is part of the note:

"You have your word of the day correct? Well I have come up with a very similar, but slightly different "of the day" thing. It's a picture of the day. I take one picture every day with my cell phone to sum up my day and send it off to people."

This seems fun, creative and another possible daily learning habit. What if the picture related to a life lesson, important value, or something along those lines. The picture of the day could be connected with the word of the day (a picture that relates to your word of the day) or to the daily learning question as well. These pictures could form the basis of a great personal journal or blog.

I know there are many other daily learning habits. Consider these just a start. What are your daily learning habits?


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What Do You Believe?

Posted at 4:35 AM on Saturday, March 08, 2008

I woke up this morning with the words from a Brooks and Dunn song in my head. I didn't know the title, but I assumed it was "I Believe". So, a bit later to iTunes I went to spend my $.99. After doing the search, I didn't find it, but I found 150 results, including an old Don Williams song that was popular on country radio when I was in high school. Yes, I dropped $.99 on it, and did another search.

The song I had been singing in my head is simply titled Believe.

As I worked on email and cleaning my office I listened to my two new purchases. The Brooks and Dunn song has a very gospel message and sound, and the Don Williams tune is a love ballad.

Both have me thinking about believing.

The Don Williams song is a series of statements of things he doesn't believe (right is right and left wrong, that north and south can get along is one lyrical pair), then he closes with a chorus of things he does believe in (including love, babies, Mom and Dad, and eventually the person he is singing to).

All of this has me thinking about what we believe in, and how impacts us as professionals and leaders.

What are the things you believe in most deeply?

How do those beliefs impact your daily actions and behaviors?

Are you living in alignment with those beliefs? (If not, can you be surprised if there is significant stress in your life?)

Yesterday when completing a proposal, I wrote about some of our beliefs and philosophies as a company. Communicating them was important - it will help the potential Client decide if we are the right fit for them or not.

What do you believe?

And how are you putting those beliefs into action each day?

These are powerful questions for all of us.
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What We Can Learn From Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day

Posted at 7:52 AM on Friday, February 01, 2008

Each year Punxsutawney Phil comes up from his hole on Groundhog Day to see about the world around him and look for his shadow (or not). Media from around the world will cover this event (I haven't quite figured out why). You can learn more about this event and it's history from the official site. But this isn't exactly why I am writing on Groundhog Day Eve.

Like I said, Phil comes up out of his hole after months of hiding and hibernation to check out his world, then he retreats just as quickly as he emerged.

This reminds me of some people I know.

They get so caught up in their lives; their work, their projects, their goals, their cocoon, their hole, that they don't take time to look up and see what is going on in the world around them.

If we want to be more successful, happier, better leaders, more effective team members, more creative, or a more effective learner (need I go on?), we must do more than Phil.

First of all we need to lose the hole completely. We need to be more engaged in the world around us. Does this argue against focus or hard work? Not at all. Instead this advice encourages you to be more open to new ideas, new insights, and new observations that will make your work more relevant, more effective, more connected and quite possibly easier.

How often should we look around our world?

Well, if we have gotten rid of the hole and chosen to reside in the world (a glass house anyone?), this question is almost irrelevant; you will be looking, noticing and observing.

On this Groundhog's Day Eve, get out of your hole, look around, and resolve to learn from and with the world around you.

Note: I've written about Groundhog Day in the past and if you enjoyed this post, or like the day, you may want to check out 2005 and 2006.


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A Remarkable Opportunity

Posted at 7:02 AM on Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Deep down you know you can be remarkable. You shouldn't
settle for anything less than your best self, reaching ever
closer to your potential--whether as a leader or in any other
part of your life."

-- Kevin Eikenberry

I want you to succeed. I want you to achieve at remarkable levels - the level your potential allows. That is why I do the work I do. That is why I write this blog, and that is why I wrote Remarkable Leadership.

But one thing I know is true - that writing the words mean little if they aren't read. And they mean even less if people don't take action. So I've decided to do everything I can to urge you to read the words and take the action.

Whether you have a copy of Remarkable Leadership and are looking forward ways to help you implement what you've read, or if you want to build your leadership skills, and want ways to get started, I know I can help.

Owner of the book or not, to see how I plan to help you starting today, check out this Remarkable Choice.


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Read and Listen

Posted at 4:01 AM on

I posted yesterday on the Remarkable Leadership blog about a recent review of the book, and a link to my interview with Wayne Turmel, the famous, and not-really-cranky, Cranky Middle Manager. Check it out here.

Also posted in Leadership, Learning and Training
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Who Will I Serve?

Posted at 3:44 AM on Monday, January 28, 2008

This is the thirteenth post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The thirteenth question is:

Who will I serve more effectively and/or completely?

Why else are we here, in the end, but to serve others?

Whether you think about this through a business lens, thinking about customers, through a leadership lens, thinking of those you lead, through a personal lens, considering family and friends, or from any other perspective, this is a valuable question.

This is a question that can point you in the direction of greater meaning in your life.

Enough commentary (though there is much more I could say) and on with my answers.

I plan to serve:

- my wife, children and family more completely.
- my colleagues and team more intentionally.
- my Clients and Customers more effectively.
- my community and world more actively.

This isn't the place, in my case, to elaborate, but as you answer this question for yourself, you will want to think about the details. In fact, even if you are thinking about this question for the next month, quarter, or year, I encourage you to decide how you will answer the question today.

this question as much as any of them will help you be more engaged with your world. Why not start today?

After a total of 27 posts on this project, I'm not quite done. After a big day tomorrow (make sure you check out the announcement here), I'll be back later this week to wrap up this whole series and let you know what is next. Thanks for reading - whether this is the first post or you have read the full list.

Also posted in Leadership, Learning and Training

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What Lasting Memories Will I Create?

Posted at 6:00 AM on Friday, January 25, 2008

This is the twelfth post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The twelfth question is:

What lasting memories will I create?

You may be thinking that this isn't an intentional question - that memories happen and while we can be grateful for them, we can't preordain or plan these memories.

I don't believe that is completely true. While I may not be able to tell you about the memories themselves ahead of time, I can determine the situations I want to be in and from which the memories will be generated.

Consider this is a question about life balance, because I'm guessing all of your answers (or even your first answers) won't be about work or just professional memories.

I plan to generate memories with my family through a family reunion, a party to celebrate my father's life, and a trip overseas, (as well as some very fun evenings of Wii Tennis).

I plan to generate memories with those I work with in our office (i.e. Remarkable House) - memories that will be meaningful both personally and for the business.

These are just a couple of my answers. I hope you consider this question and your answers carefully, as of all of projective questions, your answers to this one may be the most valuable to you five years from now.

Be intentional about creating memories, starting today.
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How Will I Become Healthier This Year?

Posted at 7:24 PM on Sunday, January 20, 2008

This is the eleventh post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The eleventh question is:

How will I become healthier this year?

This is an important question for all of us. After all, without our health, the rest of the questions and their answers won't mean very much.

I will become healthier this year because I am exercising in preparation to participate in the Indy Mini Marathon in May. (Tomorrow I will finish fixing our treadmill - I'm not really interested in running or walking outdoors at 0 degrees!)

I hope you have an answer or answers to this question - you owe it to yourself and those who love you.
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What Habit Will I Alter or Eliminate?

Posted at 5:55 AM on Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This is the tenth post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The tenth question is:

What habit will I alter or eliminate?

This is a close cousin to question #9, and your answer may be even more powerful.

I have several habits I'd like to alter. Here are three examples:

  • I'd like to refrain from turning the television on without knowing what I am going to watch.
  • I'd like to discipline myself spend the last half hour of every day reading something uplifting and educational.
  • I'd like eliminate language or comments that could be seen as hurtful or mean to others - even if they are truly meant in jest.

While I am going to work on all of them, the first one - only turning the TV on when I know what I am going to watch is going to be my focus. Studies show American adults watch an average of four hours of TV per day (see here), and while I enjoy some television I don't nearly approach that on average (though some football Saturdays, Sundays and college basketball tournament time days head that direction!), I do find times when I seem to binge, or don't turn the set off.

For me the culprit is the times I just turn it on and surf. In these cases I'm not choosing to sit and watch with part of my family, and I don't have a particular program that I want to see. The reality of these situations is that when I turn the set on in these times I am procrastinating, and therefore actively (by turning on the set) moving away from my goals.

I do enjoy TV and don't want to banish from my house (I'd even like a new one on my wall), but I don want to manage it more effectively. Altering this habit will, for me make me happier, healthier and feel better about my results every day.

What more could we ask from a habit?

Think about this question, answer it, and take action. It is one more way to make your 2008 great!

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What New Habit Will I Create?

Posted at 2:04 PM on Sunday, January 13, 2008

This is the ninth post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The ninth question is:

What new habit will I create?

I plan to strengthen habits related to building and deepening relationships.

Included in this area are:

- sending more (and more timely) thank you notes.
- intentionally connecting more often - with colleagues, clients and other cool people.
- making time for friends, creating meaningful memories and conversations.

The key to making these happen is to take action. I have been and will be taking these actions, and along with making for more enjoyable conversations, it will also support me in reaching my other goals for the year.

Pretty good returns for some new habits.

What habits will create those kinds of returns for you? What new habit will you create?

I hope you will choose to share your answers in the comments to this post.

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What Relationship Do You Most Want to Develop?

Posted at 4:18 AM on Saturday, January 12, 2008

This is the eighth post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The eighth question is:

What relationship(s) do I most want to develop?

While there are many relationships I want to deepen and develop, including some from my post to the last question, this question begs focus. And while I won't pick one person, I'll pick just three:

Lori - my wonderful wife
Parker - my quickly maturing 15 year old son
Kelsey - my beautiful 9 year old daughter

While there are many relationships that are important to me, none compare to these three. Whatever goals I have set, whatever plans I have made - and you have some sense of those if you have been following these posts - none of those matter if I don't have the most important people to me, ever closer to me.

More than the achievement of any other goals, accomplishing this will bring me success happiness and joy.

Several of the past projection questions have been inwardly focused. This one and some of those to come will be less so. I encourage you to consider this question, as well as the logical follow-up of "How are you going to deepen those relationship(s)?"

As with all of these questions, I welcome your comments and answers.

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Who Do I Want to Meet?

Posted at 7:07 AM on Thursday, January 10, 2008

This is the seventh post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The seventh question is:

Who do I want to meet?

Oooh, I love this question!

I have a long list of people that I want to meet. Some are people that I already "know" from online and phone conversations, but that I look forward to meeting. People like:

(This is a partial list!)

I also am looking forward to meeting large groups of John Deere dealers (which I will do in sessions over the next couple of weeks), many new Clients and participants, all of those who are our partners in promoting Remarkable Leadership, and many other members of the Top Sales Experts group.

I also have a long list of "famous" people I would like to meet for a variety of reasons. I wasn't going to share this list, but I decided that by sharing these names I may be improving my chances of meeting them. (Who knows, maybe they, a family member, or colleague will read this - or maybe you know these people!)

Here is part of that list:

- All of the former Presidents
- Oprah (ok, so I want be more than meet her, I want to be a guest on her show!)
- Vince Gill (and while we are at it, my wife would like to meet his wife, Amy Grant)
- Garth Brooks
- Seth Godin
- Larry King
- Warren Bennis
- Patrick Lencioni
- Tony Dungy
- Jimmy Buffett
- Warren Buffett
- Joe Vitale
- Mark Joyner
- Michael Masterson

I want to meet these people for a variety of reasons, but the one reason that is in common is to learn from them. I admire all of these people in one or more ways and I believe that in meeting them I could learn more than I could from afar.

I encourage you to ask yourself this question and think big - not only those people who you "know" you will meet (like, in my case future participants and Clients), but also build a list of those that might be a bit more of a stretch.

One of the things that answering this question (on paper) does for me is that it helps me realize that making this happen in many cases is easier than I might first think. Even in reviewing this list to write this post I am energized by the connections and network that I already have that can help make some of these meetings.

Of course, I am open to your introductions to any of these people as well!

So, again, let me ask you - who do you want to meet (this year)?

As with all of these questions, I welcome your comments and answers.

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What Will I Learn?

Posted at 6:32 AM on Wednesday, January 09, 2008

This is the sixth post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The sixth question is:

What will I learn?

I believe this question is extremely powerful because it makes us intentional and conscious as learners. In many ways this is the necessary follow-up question to the second in this series - What are my goals?


Because when we set goals by definition identifying gaps in our knowledge.

In my experience most goals require more than just time or other resources - they also require that we learn some things! So if you have been following this thread and (hopefully) answering these questions for yourself, go back to question 2 and start there in creating your learning list for 2008.

My list for 2008 includes:

- How to use and extend Web 2.0 tools for the benefit of our clients - current and future.
- How create and tell stories more effectively.
- Write to elicit more emotion from the reader.
- implement ideas with greater speed.
- ways to collaborate more effectively.

As with many of these questions, I haven't shared my full list, but rather a sampling. If you are also interested in learning these things, or if you may be able to help me as a mentor, coach, or teacher, let me know - I am VERY open to learning these things in any way that I can!

As with all of these questions, I welcome your comments and answers.

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How Will I Apply My Most Valuable Lessons From Last Year?

Posted at 5:21 AM on Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This is the fifth post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The fifth question is:

How will I apply my most valuable lessons of last year in the New Year?

To answer this question, you must know your most valuable lessons from last year.


The best (and perhaps only if you haven't already thought about it) way to answer this question is by doing the reflecting questions earlier in this series. If you missed them, click the links in the paragraph above. :)

For me the way I will apply my biggest lessons will be to make decisions consistent with those lessons. For me this includes, asking for help, deciding on what is most important, planning my time more effectively and being more focused. My biggest lessons from last year require me to make different choices.

On most counts (though not all) I am doing much better than I had in the past. This shouldn't be a surprise - success is, after all a journey.

While it is a journey, it does begin with decisions - decisions that play a big role applying my lessons from last year.

As with all of these questions, I welcome your comments and answers.

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How Will I Best Use My Skills?

Posted at 8:02 AM on Saturday, January 05, 2008

This is the third post in a continuing series designed to help you create a great 2008 - using questions to reflect on last year, and project into the future. All of the questions and additional information can be found in this tool, available for you to download now.

The third question is:

How will I best use my skills?

My answer to this one is simple. I will use my skills to serve others.

I believe this approach I allows me to not only serve others, but reach my personal and business goals, and ultimately make the world a better place.

I plan to do this by writing, speaking, listening, consulting, and training. I plan to do this by caring about the needs of others.

So, how will you best use your skills, as an individual, as a team member, as a leader (insert any other role in your life here)?

As with all of these questions, I welcome your comments and even your answers.

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