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A Look Back at 6 Years

by Jeff Gau on August 24, 2017

Time flies when you’re … writing a blog. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve committed to writing this bi-weekly blog on leadership, growth and culture for six years now. I remember writing the first blog on how I define leadership and not knowing how long I’d have topics to write about – or if anyone would read it.

I continue to hear from readers across the nation on how the ideas and personal stories have resonated with them and that motivates me to stay committed.

To recognize our 6th anniversary, I took a look back at some of my favorite blogs. I share five of them here, including what’s changed and what continues to hold true:

  1. Avoid These 6 Phrases in Business
    It’s rare that a week goes by that this blog – and more importantly, the phrases it shares – doesn’t get referenced in a conversation. This blog holds us accountable to choosing our words more wisely and ditching clichés. We continue to add to the list of phrases to avoid in business. The most recent is, “I’m just circling back.” This makes me feel like we are not making any progress. Most times, it’s just a fluffy introduction or unnecessary transition. I’d rather someone just be direct and specific about the purpose of emailing or calling. What phrases would you add to the list?
  2. Building a Culture of Trust
    This blog struck a chord externally – and internally. Shortly after it was published, we turned it into a session that I deliver during training for every Marco employee. Ethics are core to who we are and the training allows us to put our stake in the ground. We won’t compromise our ethics. We’ve even developed our value statement around it. Our actions matter; not our intentions.
  3. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
    This is among the first blogs I wrote and it continues to draw traffic six years later. If there was one piece of advice that I could give emerging leaders, it would be this: Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Leaders need to do what others don’t want to do – or can’t do. I remind myself of this almost daily. How about you?
  4. Fail Forward
    Since this blog, I have spoken on this many times to audiences of all ages and titles. This goes along with Putting the Cart Before the Horse. Fear can hold us back from moving forward. We need to take risks – and be OK with failing. We all screw up sometimes – we just can’t do it all the time. One of the hardest moves we make in leadership – and in growing organizations – is putting resources before the results. This is where we’ve had a lot of success, and we will continue to do that.
  5. You Can Max Out as a Leader
    Many people who connected with me after I wrote this blog had the same question, “Did you write this about me?” The ability to recognize it is an important element of leadership. You can no longer grow as a person or an organization once Peter’s Principle comes into play. It’s often easier to see from the outside. Don’t be afraid to ask your trusted advisors.

I feel like I have grown personally and professionally over these past six years. I have learned that transparency, vulnerability and the personal side are what attract the most interest. I’ll keep sharing the “real” side of leadership – the attempts, the failures, the wins and the lessons learned.

I’ll continue to take your requests, too. Comment below to share a topic you’d like me to consider writing about.

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Topics: Leadership, Leadership Team, Professional Development, Growth