Sharpening the Saw

In his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey describes the practice of sharpening your saw. He’s talking about the habit of working on maintaining and improving your skills and the tools you use in your business.

I know how hard it can be to slow down to do that when you’ve got so much going on. But it is possible. In this video, I share one of my routines to make sure I keep my saw sharp.

Please comment, like, or share.


Doug BrownSharpening the Saw
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Another Smartphone?

The alerts and notifications on my client’s smartphone wouldn’t stop. Shutting them off wasn’t helping because his clients would just call the office. So we came up with a solution that saved the day – and his sanity.


Doug BrownAnother Smartphone?
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The Dreaded DDL

“I got the DDL again”, I overheard her whisper to a friend at work.

I’d heard vague references to this before and my curiosity got the best of me. So I asked, “So, what is this DDL?”. I’m really glad I did.

DDL was shorthand for “Disappointed Dad Look”.

It was a look they saw on my face from time to time when I wasn’t pleased about something. It wasn’t intentional, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. But it was a message they received just as strongly as if I had said it out loud.

Being in on the secret helped us communicate more clearly with less stress. When they saw it they could call me on it. Awareness allowed me to be intentional and adapt when needed.

The DDL was a great reminder for me that what we say only accounts for 7% of what we communicate. 38% is the tone of voice, and 55% is body language.

If we want to motivate people and build relationships and trust then we must pay attention to everything about how we communicate – especially when we’re not using words.

What’s one way that you make sure you know how your communications are being received?

P.S… Email is a great miscommunication tool. Click here to check out my 5 Tips to Improve Email Communication – and leave email chaos behind.

Doug BrownThe Dreaded DDL
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The Slippery Slope of Perfectionism & People Pleasing


Let’s debunk the destructive and silly “Slippery Slope” argument. In a slippery slope argument, a course of action is rejected because, with little or no evidence, one insists that it will lead to a chain reaction resulting in an undesirable end or ends. Add in a dose of perfectionism, people-pleasing, and the imposter syndrome and you’ve got a recipe for burnout.

Doug BrownThe Slippery Slope of Perfectionism & People Pleasing
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6 Leadership styles – and their impact on the people we lead.

Our leadership style has a profound impact on our ability to build our brands, generate revenue and have satisfying careers.  In my travels as a executive leadership strategist coaching executives and business owners I found an excellent study on how our leadership style impacts the organizational climate. This work makes academic concepts easy to understand and apply in everyday life.

Doug Brown6 Leadership styles – and their impact on the people we lead.
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Grabbing your Audiences’ Attention

Do you want people to understand and act on what you write or what you say?   If you want someone to pay attention to you then you have to frame your message in a way that is attractive to them.   We think about this when we craft formal presentations – yet it is just as important for short communications via email and in-person conversations.  Here are some tips from the HBR Management Tip of the Day:

Coach DougGrabbing your Audiences’ Attention
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