Monthly Archives: January 2014

2014 List – Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business

Trust Institute - Top Leaders

See if some of your favorites made the list on the 4th Annual “Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business”, published by Trust Across America.

Many of the honorees are well-known CEOs and leadership experts, while others are quietly working behind the scenes as teachers and researchers. What are some of your favorite trustworthy leaders?

Click here to read the list.


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What’s the topic of your next leadership development training at work? Are you stuck?

Leading with Honor Group Training from Lee Ellis

What’s the topic of your next leadership development training at work? Are you stuck?

Consider Lee’s new Leading with Honor Group Training just released this month. Leaders that have used Leading with Honor say that their teams have better retention and use of the stories and leadership lessons in this training program.

Click to learn more. Also, please share other leadership training programs that you have studied in the past that you really enjoyed–we’d love to hear your input.


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Leadership and BridgeGate – Who’s Doing the Right Thing?

Recently, Lee was a guest on My Fox 9 program, Chasing New Jersey, as they discussed recent issues related to Senator Chris Christie’s leadership.

Watch Lee’s reaction and commentary from a leadership development perspective, and share your thoughts on this topic. As we all look inward, what can we learn from this situation as leaders?

Click here or click the image below and watch on our Multimedia page.

Lee Ellis Chasing New Jersey

Related Articles:

The Paradox of Faith vs. Reality – How to Create Your Leadership Vision

Leadership Psychology – Are Great Leaders Made or Born?

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


Why We Become Mindless Zombies at Work (and in Leadership)

Zombie at Work and Leadership

Editor’s Note: We thought this article was an interesting spiritual perspective in regards to work and calling. You may or may not have the same spiritual beliefs, but it is our hope that you can gain some new perspective in this insightful article.

Original Article Link – Click Here

by Paul Sohn

If you add all the time spent at workplace, commuting to and from work and add in the time spent thinking about, preparing for, or conducting work-related activities in and outside of work, work consumes a significant amount of your life – about 30% by some estimates.

Now, here is what alarms me. Recent studies by Gallup report 13% of employees are happy at work worldwide (around 30% in U.S). In other words, globally, almost 9 out of 10 people dislike or hate their job.

Frankly speaking, I too have suffered from countless days feeling robbed from a sense of purpose, meaning, and joy from work. As a Christian, I have wrestled with the idea of viewing work as my God-given calling and living a life of excellence. Work felt at times like a cage where my potential was stifled, strength underutilized.

There are only a few things that are more painful than working in an environment that sucks out the joy in your life, becoming a mindless zombie at work.

But why don’t more of us experience joy at work? According to Susan Gibbons, the answer is two-fold.

First, false self promotes self hate. Brennan Manning in “A Glimpse of Jesus” describes false self as “the dominant malaise crippling Christian people and stifling their growth in the Holy Spirit.” All of us have grown up with cultural biases and parental pressures that constantly bombard us with messages like we’re not good enough, smart enough, or disciplined enough to acquire the virtues that would make us what we think we ought to be, torturing us spiritually and emotionally with “intense feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, and self-punishment.” The outcome becomes a pernicious one: a debilitating, unhealthy, and negative self-image.

The false self deceives us by living a life of constant comparison. Instead of looking within, we are looking outside.  We have bought into the lie of finding joy in external matters such as wearing the latest fashion, getting the next promotion, buy that new car, or even on our spouse’s and children’s success.

The false self stands in complete opposition to the biblical idea of being made in the image of God as His workmanship. In Jeremiah 1:5, God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” It is a beautiful thing to know that we are known – known by our very Father, Creator, and Author in life.

As someone who wrestled with “inferiority complex” in my formative adolescence, I have experienced the devastating effect of this incorrect understanding of self in my life. Life becomes devoid of love, joy, and peace.

Second, Gibbons says that our workplaces are designed and populated by a host of false selves, looking for joy outside of themselves where it simply cannot be found. She says, “the workplace becomes a marketplace where the false self barter in values in order to manipulate structures, systems, and other people to produce outcomes that satisfy their intrinsic desire for personal development in pursuit of their highest human potential.

I love what she says next: The fundamental problem with that is, of course, that our highest human potential falls woefully short of God’s potential in our lives as lived out through the authentic self-growing and thriving in the new covenant love-relationship.

So as leaders, what can we do? Though we may not be able to directly give joy in our people, we can certainly help others find joy by creating a workplace that is conductive to growth in which people can find their God-given purpose through utilization of their God-given talents.

Question: How can leaders help others discover joy at work?


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The Latest Recommendation from Lee’s Bookshelf – “Exceeding Expectations: Reflections on Leadership”

General Looney Leadership

We wanted to mention the latest recommendation from Lee’s bookshelf – “Exceeding Expectations: Reflections on Leadership” by William R. Looney.

In this book, General Looney reflects upon his most formidable experiences during a 40-year career and articulates his leadership philosophy, which is built around a very simple notion — the greatest leaders are those who not only “exceed expectations,” but also inspire others to do the same.

Have you read this book? If so, please share. Read more about it on Good Reads.

Related Articles:

Lee’s Latest Recommendation from His Bookshelf – “Character: The Ultimate Success Factor” – See Inside

Lee’s Latest Book Recommendation – “Eyes on the Horizon” – Read Why


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What do you believe was the strongest leadership attribute of Martin Luther King, Jr? Share Your Answer in This Poll


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The Paradox of Faith vs. Reality – How to Create Your Leadership Vision

Leadership Vision

One of the difficult challenges for leaders is paradox — the fine balance between being humble and strong; decisive and willing to listen to the ideas of others; confident and vulnerable; tough and compassionate; and detached and sensitive.

What’s your leadership vision for the new year? And do you create a meaningful vision that matches your personal goals? Go beyond the New Year’s Resolution scenario and find a permanent, right balance in these areas.

Read Lee’s latest article in Smart Business Magazine and share your wisdom too!


Original Article by Lee Ellis

Starting a new year can be a time of mixed emotions. I know because I greeted six consecutive New Years sitting in POW camps of North Vietnam. Fear was the foremost emotion in those first three years, and the others were somewhat daunting, too. Yet, we always kept hope that the New Year would bring an honorable end to the war. In spite of the difficult conditions, our leaders stayed positive and inspired us to bounce back as they did so often. They also taught us to deal with the tough issues at hand—to resist the enemy and survive so that someday we could return with honor.

One of the difficult challenges for leaders is paradox—the fine balance between being

  • humble and strong
  • decisive and willing to listen to the ideas of others
  • confident and vulnerable
  • tough and compassionate
  • detached and sensitive

A healthy paradox to start the New Year is facing the future with both hope and realism. In his bestselling book, Good to Great, Jim Collins addressed the process that kept the Vietnam POWs going year after year, and he named it after his friend and one of our senior leaders, VADM James Bond Stockdale. Collins insightfully categorized the importance of this dynamic tension as the “Stockdale Paradox” –

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

So as we look forward to year 2014, what is your business challenge? Are you naturally optimistic and seeing the positive potential of what can happen this year? If so, then you may need to sit down with some friends and teammates who are more realistic to help you confront the brutal realities of your situations. Do you have a strategy and plan in place to address the tough days ahead? If not, it’s time to face the facts and get your plan in place.

On the other hand if all you can see is barb wire and hard times ahead, then you probably need to begin the New Year with a time of thanksgiving to count your blessings and recalibrate your attitude. Determine where you can get a foothold of hope and optimism to inspire yourself and others. Optimism generates positive emotions related to faith, belief, conviction, and confidence, and it’s from these emotions that we gain the inspiration to persist when things look bleak and hold on until we can ultimately prevail.

Yes, diligence and dedication are important, but never forget that inspiration is the source of power. Commander Stockdale was right—“faith that we would prevail” is the essential first principle of successful business leadership. It enabled us to resist and survive as POWs and return with honor. This same thinking enables poor men to become rich, sick people to become well, last place teams to become first, and each of us to reach our potential as human beings and business leaders. It’s more than positive feelings—it’s the choice of belief.

Most New Year’s resolutions never last ninety days; but given the impact your attitude and behaviors can have on the year 2014, why not commit to lead with honor by following the Stockdale Paradox? Deal with the brutal realities of your situation, and choose a positive belief of great hope and expectations that you will prevail. When the hard times come, it’s the leader’s attitude that lifts others to victory. The POW leaders shined the light through dark times, and that’s a lesson for all times.



Smart Business Magazine – Article Link

Related Articles:

Leadership in the New Year – Read Lee’s Thoughts in this FAQ

“Checking Your Organizational Pulse: Four Healthy Ways to Improve Business Reputation and Results” – The Latest Article from Lee Ellis


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