Summer Shorts

hand holding compass in woods

Define Go

GPS technology only works when two factors are present: An accurate “current location,” and an exact address for point of destination.

The word success is vague and means something different to most people. It is like setting up your GPS to go “that way.” (As an aside, “that way” is apparently a place on WAZE in Lake Jackson, Texas. But do you want to go there? That is the question).

The reality is you can’t GO without knowing where you are going to.

Are you chasing prestige, title, or reputation?

Are you chasing money?

What about significance?

Or is it something else altogether?

I am not going to tell you how to define go, but avoiding ending up at the wrong destination is how to live a successful life.

Bonus content

Want an idea on how to do this? Earlier in the pandemic I spent a morning thinking about two questions:

What really matters to me long-term?

What do I want to be known for when I am gone?

My answers were the following:

  1. I want to be known as a follower of Jesus.
  2. Married to Sarah (emphasizing that we finished the race well)
  3. Kids that follow Jesus (I cannot control this, but I want to make sure there are no regrets in how I shared the Gospel with them. Ultimately, faith has to be their own.)
  4. Generous – I want to be known as a sacrificial giver.
  5. Valuable to the local community.

Number 1 and 2 above are the foundation for me. I have discovered that if I get those right, I am the best possible leader I can be at work, home, and elsewhere because I am centered and whole.

Finally, notice what is not in that list: Making money, building a huge business, or becoming a known speaker and writer, etc. Some of those things are probably on a longer list, but they do not “define go” for me because if I achieve them and neglect the top five, I won’t be successful.

Your list will most definitely be different than mine and that is what makes the world go round. The point today is to spend 30 minutes creating a list and defining go.

Define Go Read More »

man holding book next to leather briefcase

The Big “AH HA”

Leadership podcasts, events, and books, are all worthwhile. Executive coaching, peer groups, and especially accountability partners, are also vital. But the big “AH HA” happens when….

Wait for it…

It is so easy you may miss it…

The big “AH HA” happens when you DO THE WORK.


Do what you have read.

Do what you have heard.

Do what you have been coached.

Do what is morally right.

Do it now.

No more waiting.

No more believing the lie that you are not ready.

You never are.

Do the work anyway.

The Big “AH HA” Read More »

sign that says love to learn in shape of pencil

The Learning Process

When does learning take place? Does it take place when information is acquired? What about when the information is acted upon? Or, is it even sometime later?

Learning happens after feedback: It is only when the information is acted upon, feedback given, and a response made, that learning occurs. Learning, after all, is THE response. It is the difference between what the response would have been prior to the information acquired, and what it was because of the information acquired.

This is hugely important to the leader. Notice that we cannot force a response change. As a parent, I cannot force my child to clean their room up before they are asked. But I can coach them that we will ask them to have their clothes picked up before bedtime every night. The magic happens when they finally respond (i.e. learn) to do so without asking.

Leaders need to determine what the most effective process is for generating more positive process changes. While bosses seemingly rely on giving out more orders, leaders rely on coaching, sharing, and even joining in on the process of learning.

This coaching not only makes leaders worth following, but also—eventually—helps others generate new, and hopefully better, responses.

(A bonus note: Hey, it is Alex. I do not have a ghostwriter, which is a question I occasionally get when people ask me about BIB. So whatever you think of the worthiness of the content, it comes from me. I share this because on September 8th I am going to kick off the fall with a post about something that happened to me over the summer. It is one post that I hope everyone reads. Before that, however, there are two more summer short(er) posts that you will find both challenging and encouraging. In fact, given the difficulty of the season that we are living through, I am aiming for this blog to be a weekly source of encouragement for every BIB reader).

The Learning Process Read More »

black and white historical photo of hoffer plastics

The Leadership Mandate

The mandate of leadership is to move something, or someone, from position A to position B.

In other words, where no movement is needed, no leader is needed.

Leadership is then the process of achieving goals with and through other people.

In other words, no other people, no leader.

This is why the leader’s most important task is to invest in the building up of the people they rely on to go from point A to point B.

This process is how you become someone worth following in the first place, otherwise known as a leader.

The Leadership Mandate Read More »

young person working at laptop

Walking Across the Office…

A couple months ago I asked Bald in Business subscribers for summer post ideas. One subscriber, Roy, shared a story that stood out during this time of division.

The purchasing agent at Roy’s last company was someone “not well liked” by many in the office. Apparently, many people considered him a road block inside their corporate culture.

This did not dissuade Roy from getting to know him however. “I decided not to listen to the naysayers and set up monthly lunches with him.”

I once heard a Pastor challenge their congregation to be the kind of person that “walks across the room” in social settings – meaning seek out those that are standing alone.

Roy “walked across the office.”

Division runs rampant in our country. What if we were the kind of people that walked across the office and developed relationships anyway?

Aren’t those the kind of people worth following?

I will leave you with how Roy ended his email to me: “Our friendship endures into retirement.”

Note: If you have a story share, please email me at

Walking Across the Office… Read More »

young boy with large glasses in flag pattern

I Can Learn from Anyone – Can you?

One of the alarming trends in our society today is herd-mentality. As open as we claim to be towards diversity, we are arguably becoming less diverse in our thinking.

Do you believe you can learn from anyone?

I have been repeating this mantra to myself lately – “I can learn from anyone.”

I have discovered that I can learn from:

Those I disagree with politically.

Those that are younger.

Those that are older.

Those that follow a different religion.

Those holding a different world view.

And even from people whose sports fan hood I loathe!

Open yourself up to learn from anyone.

This openness will grow you in ways you do not expect.

I Can Learn from Anyone – Can you? Read More »

closeup of microphone

3 Powerful Communication Questions

Everyone reading this post would be a millionaire if they collected one dollar every time they heard someone mutter, “we need to communicate better.”

What, exactly, does that look like?

While the questions that follow do not solve every communication problem, they solve about 95% of them. Memorize them and put them into action:

What do I know?

Who needs to know?

Have I told them?

(Credit for these questions goes to someone I have read / heard. I apologize for not jotting down who this came from).

3 Powerful Communication Questions Read More »

women at table with ipad

The Ultimate Growth Question

John Maxwell is known to ask his team members, “What are my blind spots?”

Think about that: Maxwell has written numerous best-selling books about leadership, and is arguably one of the most well-known speakers on the topic of leadership.

Yet, he still wants to get better by hearing from others about his blind spots.

This question is the ultimate growth question because it exposes one to the full picture of their leadership. The full view allows them to learn, grow, and get better.

Ask this question.

Listen to the feedback you receive.

Use it to become better.

The Ultimate Growth Question Read More »

three woman at conference table

Staying Interviews

Forget exit interviews.

What are you going to learn?

“You need to improve.”

Shocking! You did yesterday, you do today, and you will tomorrow.

Leaders should notice patterns however: If people reporting to the same boss keep leaving, it is obvious you have a problem.

Why don’t you ask the people staying what they are seeing?

Why are they staying?

What can you do better?

Can they help make you and the company better?

One last reminder…

You don’t get the right to talk smack about your company when you aren’t sticking around to be part of the solution…

Staying Interviews Read More »

young woman looking through telescope

Where Are You Looking?

Author’s Note: Today launches a new series I am calling Summer Shorts: Leadership Insights in 100 words or less. I will run this through the beginning of September.

A leader is someone that looks outside the organization and surveys the horizon. This allows them to set the pace, and for others to follow.

Given the nature of events so far in 2020, the tendency for leaders has been to look within. This has been wise. A global pandemic cannot be planned for, so we have to make sure that our team have all hands-on-deck in addressing problems.

But now we must look out and up. To do that we have to trust things inside will be handled. That trust is one reason followers follow.

Look out.



Where Are You Looking? Read More »