The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders: Habit #1

The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders: Habit #1

Last week, I shared what sand dollars and significant leaders have in common and the difference between significance and success. 

In today’s video, we’re discussing Habit #1 and how a road trip can help you become a better leader.


Game Plan


For any project, role, and even for yourself, ask:

  • “What does success look like?”
  • “What’s the overall goal or outcome?”

You can also do this for your team’s development:  

  • “What does success look like this year?”
  • “Where do they want to be at the end of the year?”


Tweetable Lesson


The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders: Intro

The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders: Intro

In our newest series, The 8 Habits of Highly Significant Leaders, I’m going to share with you the 8 principles that serve as a foundation for significant leaders. And when consistently applied over time, these habits will take your leadership to the next level.

In today’s introductory video, I share the difference between significance and success, what sand dollars and significant leaders have in common, and why it matters.



Game Plan

Why do you want to become a significant leader?

That’s going to become your motivation, especially when life gets busy and you don’t want to be disciplined in these habits. Let your why give you the inspiration you need to push through.


Tweetable Lesson

Diamonds and Personal Development

Diamonds and Personal Development

What does personal development mean to you?

Just like the formation of a diamond, personal development can be a mysterious process. And what makes both diamonds and personal development so rare and yet so valuable?

In this week’s Your Leadership Coach video, I share what diamonds and personal development have in common.

Game Plan

When it comes to personal development, what’s your diamond? 

What is that one dream or goal that you have always wanted to accomplish? 

What is that one skill that you like to develop further or subject matter you want to become more of an expert in? 

For 2021, choose your diamonds and create a development plan that uses pressure and time. Decide on consistent actions that push you and stretch you toward your goal over the next year.


Tweetable Lesson

My Reading List for 2021

My Reading List for 2021

Like many of you, I create a reading list for the upcoming year. 

What many people might not know is that my reading list is divided into themes. The reason for this is (1) I want variety in the books I read; (2) I want to focus my reading around a few key topics and/or skills; and (3) I always want to incorporate fiction in my reading.

Before sharing my themes and the books within those themes, I do want to make one note. Don’t get too caught up into the amount of books on my list. My goal is to read 38 books this year. (If I accomplish this, it’s the most I will have read in a year.) Now, I know successful people who read less than me and others who read more. The key when it comes to reading, like most other things, is quality over quantity. As Charles Spurgeon said, “Little learning and much pride comes from hasty reading.” 

Read to gain knowledge and insight. Read to learn a new skill or refine an existing strength. Read for pleasure and inspiration. Just make sure that whatever you read, you allow those books to benefit both your personal development and also add value to the lives of the people around you. 

Here is my reading list for 2021 categorized by their themes (all links are affiliate links):


Mental Toughness

  1. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  2. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
  3. Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
  4. Toughness Training for Life by James E. Loehr
  5. It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moawad
  6. The Power of Other by Dr. Henry Cloud
  7. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  8. Discipline=Freedom by Jocko Willink


Strengths/Personal Development

  1. Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton
  2. Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath
  3. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  4. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson



  1. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  2. The Starbucks Experience by Joseph Michelli


Fiction: C.S. Lewis

  1. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
  2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  3. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  4. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  6. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  7. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
  8. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
  9. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
  10. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis


Nonfiction: C.S. Lewis

  1. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  2. The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis
  3. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  4. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
  5. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  6. The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis


Autobiography/Biography: C.S. Lewis

  1. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis
  2. C.S. Lewis–A Life: Eccentric, Genius, Reluctant Prophet by Alister McGrath
  3. C.S. Lewis: A Biography by A.N. Wilson



  1. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
  2. Cherish by Gary Thomas



  1. The Question of God by Dr. Armand Nicholi, Jr.
  2. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
  3. Aesop’s Fables


Game Plan

What’s on your reading list for 2021?

I’d love to hear about it. Write a comment below or connect with me on social media. Tell me which books you’re looking forward to reading this year (or maybe the books you’ve already read!).


Tweetable Lesson

My Word for 2021

My Word for 2021

Many of you have probably heard of the One Word Challenge. The premise is that you choose one word that serves as your theme or overarching goal for the year. I didn’t come up with this challenge. It was developed by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page in their book, One Word That Will Change Your Life. 

I’ve been participating in the One Word Challenge over the last few years. For me, this word is not a replacement for my goals but rather a complement to them. And this word aids me in accomplishing those goals.


Game Plan

What’s your word for 2021? Come up with your “one word” for this year.

I have two free resources to help you out:

    1. Personal Vision Discovery Guide (grab this by subscribing on our home page – we’ll send you the free downloadable via email)

After you come up with your One Word, I want you to: 

    1. Write it down and put it in a place where you will see it everyday.
    2. Share your “one word” with someone else. (Bonus points for sharing it on our social media post this week!)


Tweetable Lesson



My Word for 2020

My Word for 2019

Top 10 Posts From 2020

Top 10 Posts From 2020

I know all of us are ready to leave 2020 behind and focus on 2021. But like many of you, I spent some time reflecting on the last year, and there were certainly lessons I learned. Here are my top 10 posts from 2020, a sample of lessons I learned and shared over the last year.


  1. The First Ingredient of All Great Leaders (Part 2)

There is no “one size fits all” leader or leadership style. But there are characteristics or qualities that all great leaders have in common. In the first session of an ongoing series entitled “The Ingredients That All Great Leaders Have,” I share the characteristic that is foundational to effective leadership.

  1. The Art of Goal-Making: How I Read 25 Books in a Year (Part 2)

In this series, I share some tips that have helped me become more consistent in accomplishing my goals. In fact, these techniques helped me go from reading 13 books in 2018 to nearly doubling it to 25 books in 2019. Part 2 is focused on what most people forget when it comes to creating their goals.

  1. A Type of Learning That Transforms

We are inundated with information. And when it comes to learning, the opportunities are endless. However, for all this intake of information, is it producing growth and development? Here’s why this is an important question. Information, in and of itself, doesn’t produce transformation. Transformation is in the application. Simply knowing a fact or point of view cognitively doesn’t help us develop. So, how do we create a type of learning that actually transforms instead of one that simply informs?

  1. The Top 5 Temptations That Will Derail All Leaders

We have all heard stories of highly talented leaders (and celebrities) who never reached their potential because poor choices ended up derailing their career. Our leadership journey is a marathon, not a sprint. And if you are going to be a leader that finishes well you must stay away from these common temptations.

  1. Leading in Uncertainty 

Leadership, (or the lack thereof), is revealed through adversity and uncertainty. The measure of leadership is not found in how one leads in security and success; it’s how one leads in uncertainty and chaos. Here are five tools to help you lead both yourself and your team effectively through uncertainty.

  1. How to Lead With Significance: Vision

Significance is more important (and impactful) than success. If leaders want to lead with significance, there are 10 qualities or skills they must develop. In this video session, I share the first skill of leading with significance (vision), why it’s vital to leadership, and how to develop vision.

  1. How Not to Stand Out

In this Sixty(ish) Seconds with Shawn video, I share two traits that will guarantee that you don’t stand out and will eventually cripple your leadership. 

  1. A Leadership Lesson From a Janitor

The President and a janitor walk into NASA…that sounds like the start of a joke. But it’s actually a powerful story about the importance of vision, how to increase employee engagement, and how to be self-motivated at work. In this Sixty(ish) Seconds with Shawn video, I share a great leadership lesson that I learned from a janitor.

  1. How to Stand Out

Most of us want to stand out, whether at a job interview, at our current place of work, or even among our family and friends. But let’s be honest: few of us do. In this Sixty(ish) Seconds with Shawn video, I share the eight traits that will guarantee you stand out and make you a more effective leader.

  1. My Top 10 Leadership Books of All Time (1-2)

Many of us understand the importance of reading, but due to busy schedules or an overabundance of options, we struggle with consistency (or perhaps we even struggle to get started). In this video session, I share my top two leadership books of all time.