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April 22, 2020

Am I on Mute?

It’s silent on our nine-person zoom call as one of our partners, Bruce, shares very relevant insights with us. We are (again) experiencing that uncomfortable quiet where no one feels compelled to speak up. Crickets! I think this happens more than we want to admit in our new virtual communication world.

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Topics: Communication, COVID-19

June 05, 2019

Oversharing Is Caring

In a recent collaboration meeting with several leaders from numerous organizations and firms, one of them commented, “I think I may have overshared.”  Actually, her thoughts, insights and feelings were exactly what we needed to hear. She had been very vulnerable with us and her comments were both relevant and insightful. After her comment, the word "overshared" kept ringing in my ears. Why did I love this term so much?

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Topics: Communication, Compassion, People Development, Leadership

August 08, 2018

Let's Listen

Okay, I admit it. I need to be a better listener. The truth is, I learn so much more when I’m not trying to do all the talking. How about you?

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Topics: Communication

July 25, 2018

The Problem With Making Assumptions in Client Service

As I have shared previously, my brother, Mike, has a unique ability to bring humor to moments that simply bring you to tears laughing. One Sunday after church, we were having a family luncheon with my parents, Pop Joe and Mom, Mike, his wife Joy, my sister Mitzi, her husband Tim, and my wife CeCe at a local restaurant in Batesville, Mississippi. It was a hot summer day and we were enjoying a southern favorite—ice cold tea—as we waited. As you might guess, Sunday after church in a small town with few restaurant choices makes for a crowded and SLOW dining experience. However, we were having a great time visiting and catching up on family current events and stories while we waited.

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Topics: Communication, Collaboration, Client Service

July 11, 2018

Storytelling Works Better Than Viagra

My brother, Mike, is a family practice physician and has the well-earned reputation of being an excellent humorous storyteller.  He can make the most normal human moments comical to the point that everyone within earshot will be laughing. 

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Topics: Communication, Client Service, storytelling, Insight

February 22, 2017

Leadership Lessons From Fantasy Football

I have played in the same fantasy football league for over 12 years. I must admit, with today's technology it is more fun than ever.

My grandson, Davis (11), has asked me for the last two years to find him a league. Last year, a youth league fell through at the last moment so this year we formed a family league with 12 teams. We agreed I would be the head coach and he would be the assistant coach. He named the team "Landsharks" after our favorite college team Ole Miss's nickname for its defense. Now after seeing the Ole Miss defense this season, a better name might have been "Landminnows." It was ugly, but thankfully our fantasy team had some Landshark qualities.

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Topics: Communication, Leadership

September 14, 2016

Naked NO’s Kill Innovation

I despise a naked NO!  I love to hear no when it is accompanied with WHY or another possible path or strategy.

But it’s really disrespectful to just say NO impulsively!  Can you remember how you felt the last time someone just said NO to you?  No explanation or alternatives.  Are we in the habit of just being too busy to care or not confident that our no is the right answer? 

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Topics: Communication, Leadership

May 18, 2016

Topics: Communication, Feedback

April 27, 2016

Topics: Relationships, Trust, Communication, Leadership

March 23, 2016

Lack of Clarity Wreaks Havoc

This blog is the third in the series, My Top 10 Blunders and How You Can Avoid Them

For a long time, I had a terrible habit of communicating my expectations with very little clarity. 

For example, let’s take a look at this totally made up scenario:

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Topics: Communication, Leadership

May 06, 2015

The Key to Great Performance Reviews

It’s that nerve-wracking time of year where we “officially” document our progress and performance for the past 12 months. It’s tough on the performance advisors and the assigned team members. Everyone wants to get it right.

I know from my personal experience that one of the best ways to have a great performance review is to have a positive attitude. When I remind myself that this is about helping me grow as a professional and that my performance advisor and coach all care about my success, then it helps me listen to the feedback both positively and constructively. It is part of being better and growing.

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Topics: Performance, Communication, Success

November 05, 2014


The number one problem for most organizations is communication. The rule of thumb is that we need to communicate a message six times in different ways to even hope that most people read or hear it and understand it clearly. Clarity is difficult because words have different meanings to each of us. The context in which the words are used has a big impact as well. I learned a significant lesson on communication at dinner last week.
We were out to dinner for our daughter Haley’s birthday. As you might expect, my wife had a big bag of gifts which Haley began to open while we waited for dessert. The last one she opened was a bottle of perfume.They passed the bottle around and took the cap off, smelled it and commented on how good it smelled. Finally, I got it and took my wife’s arm to spray a little on her so I could smell it. She snatched her arm back and said, “Don’t spray that on me.”
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Topics: Communication

September 25, 2014


The terms The Naysayer, The Skinner, The Backhand & The Dumper are not originals of mine, but I am unsure of who to give proper credit. Once I read them, the terms just stuck with me as I identified very quickly that these are situations that slow me down.   
Some things just really weigh me down. I call them anchors, because they cause my forward momentum to stop. Now, I am not sure why some things bother me more than others, but they do. I try to recognize these pet peeves and respond in a manner that is appropriate, but also honest. Sometimes I do a pretty good job, and sometimes I don’t. My wife is especially good at letting me know when I don’t. I might as well have dropped an anchor on my toe when that happens.  
What are some of these anchors for me?

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Topics: Communication, Leadership