Learning In The Body

Because even if he knew his leadership (and his life) wasn’t working, even if on some level he was uncomfortable with it, there was a stubborn part of him that was actually deeply comfortable with it. He knew this place of holding everything and, in the past, it had even helped him succeed.

Which Way to Change?

If you can imagine your Big Arrow, you’ve already mastered half the strategy for getting your organization back on track.

Outsmart Your Next Angry Outburst

Robert and Howard* had always gotten along well. They’d worked on several projects together and considered each other friends. So when Robert discovered that Howard…

How to Read a Book a Week

It was the late 1980s and I was sitting in a university lecture hall listening to Abbie Hoffman, an author and an activist, ranting about…

Nadal Is Strong Enough to Cry. Are You?

Rafael Nadal, who just won the U.S. Open for the second time, is my hero.

His athleticism is extraordinary. His focus is awe-inspiring. His skill is, clearly, second to none. His will is unremitting. It’s a joy to watch him in competition. Yet those are not the reasons he’s my hero. In fact, it wasn’t until after he was finished playing in this year’s final that he rose to role model in my book.

So what was it?

A Question That Can Change Your Life

For years I’ve exercised every day — doing weights, cardio, yoga — but despite my continuous effort, I haven’t seen much change.

Until a few months ago.

Recently, my body has changed. My muscles are stronger, more defined, and I’ve lost five pounds along with a visible layer of fat. So what did I do differently?

Why So Many Leadership Programs Ultimately Fail

They’d all read innumerable books on leadership, taken leadership skills assessments, and attended multiple training programs — including executive leadership programs at top business schools. They knew as much as anyone about leadership.

So why weren’t they leading?

The Unexpected Antidote to Procrastination

A recent early morning hike in Malibu, California, led me to a beach, where I sat on a rock and watched surfers. I marveled at these courageous men and women who woke before dawn, endured freezing water, paddled through barreling waves, and even risked shark attacks, all for the sake of, maybe, catching an epic ride.

After about 15 minutes…

What to Do When You’ve Made Someone Angry

When I arrived at the restaurant, I apologized and told her I didn’t mean to be late.

She answered: “You never mean to be late.” Uh oh, she was mad.

“Sorry,” I retorted, “but it was unavoidable.” I told her about the client meeting. Not only did my explanations not soothe her, they seemed to make things worse.

Why You Should Take the Blame

“Watch out!” she shouted after the dog, then saw me looking at her and added, “He’s always in the way.”

Really? You step on a dog and then you blame the dog? Who does that?

Actually, a lot of us do.

How to Use Temptation to Strengthen Your Willpower

I was running a leadership offsite at The Allison Inn and Spa in Oregon — one of my favorite hotels — and the food, as always, was exquisite. The carrot cake at lunch was so delicious that I ate two pieces. And when the staff brought out big, thick, gooey, homemade cookies during a break, I was already so far outside my circle of guilt that I ate three of them.

The offsite was a success. But physically, I felt so full, it hurt. So why did I keep eating?

How Not to Lose a Sale

Robyn*, a close friend of mine and senior leader at a large pharmaceutical company, referred me to work with Dan, the CEO of one of…

Take Your Life Back

The waiter was halfway through taking my family’s order when his manager called him away. “Where did the waiter go?” Sophia, our seven-year-old, asked. Daniel,…

Defend Your Sweet Spot

Spending time on projects that he considered unimportant was driving Carlos* insane. Carlos is an excellent leader. He’s turned around every business that he’s led…

Do You Need a Checkup?

I had been feeling a little odd; a number of minor physical discomforts were leading me to feel anxious about my health in general. And…

Diversity Training Doesn’t Work

“We’ve got another lawsuit,” my friend and client Lana* told me over the phone. “Really?” I was honestly surprised. “What about all that diversity training…

When Nothing Works

I’d had tendinitis in my elbow for over a year. Even something as gentle as twisting a doorknob made me wince in pain. I went…

The Luxury of Time

Imagine you have six months to travel—free time to go anywhere you want, do anything that pleases you. Where would you go and with whom?…

FAQs about 18 Minutes

Over the last few weeks several people have sent me questions about 18 Minutes and using the 18 Minutes process. Rather than answer each person…

How to Really Listen

One morning, my wife Eleanor woke up, turned over, and said, “I am not looking forward to this day.” I asked her why. What came…

Who’s on Your Fridge?

I was lifting weights at my gym, a community center in New York City, when he caught my attention. His name, I later found out,…

When to say “No Thanks”

In my recent article, “Flexing Your ‘No Thanks’ Muscle,” I talk about the downsides of saying “Yes” too often. Over dinner with friends one night,…

Visualize Failure

This post is part of HBR’s special issue on failure. Several hours into the first day of our paddle down…

Manager Employee Communication

Peter Bregman writes for the Harvard Business Review, and he’s also CEO of Bregman Partners, a global management consulting firm. Bregman authored an article in January titled “When…

Undo Send in Real Life

I am alligator man, a dangerous amphibious monster. I swim quietly toward my prey, a seven-year-old girl named Isabelle, who…

Why You Need to Fail

“Peter, I’d like you to stay for a minute after class.” Calvin teaches my favorite body conditioning class at the…

Is this your lucky day?

  NEW YORK (CNN) — There is a Buddhist story about a poor farmer whose one horse ran away. All his neighbors came to him in…

No job? Create your own!

NEW YORK (CNN) — Madame Alexander was one of the great innovators in the doll industry. According to the company that bears her name, she…