Remarkable Leaders Are Alike in One Powerful Way

Remarkable Leaders Are Alike in One Powerful Way

Remarkable leaders share one common characteristic. They are NOT like each other.

Pick any four remarkable leaders from U.S. history – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin for example. They are remarkably different from each other.

Remarkable leaders have peculiarities. Image of 5 white eggs and 1 brown egg.

10 common characteristics of most remarkable leaders:

There is no single template for remarkable leaders. But many share common characteristics.

Remarkable leaders…

  1. Find strength in supportive relationships.
  2. Try new things.
  3. Notice how experiences influence who they are becoming.
  4. Integrate their past into the present.
  5. Feel secure enough to be changed by feedback.
  6. Live by their personal values.
  7. Make reliable assessments of circumstances without drama.
  8. Believe they have value.
  9. Seek to have positive impact.
  10. Face their frailties and strengths honestly.

There are remarkable exceptions to the above list. My experience shows that some leaders live with deep insecurities. See #8 above. Some overestimate themselves (which isn’t all bad). See #10 above.


Remarkable leaders don’t fit a mold. Why are you trying to be like someone else?

Adopt best practices but don’t lose yourself in the process. Your fussiness might make you a remarkable leader. The secret is to believe in something to fight for.

Warning: Authenticity is no excuse to flaunt weakness, reject feedback, or be a jerk.

What are you willing to fight for?

What makes you different?

7 Steps Toward Authenticity – Leadership Freak

The Secret to Developing Authentic Leaders on Your Team is One Thing – Leadership Freak

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3 Common Diets Compared: One Doubles Weight Loss

People in the study lost an average of nine pounds using the diet.

People on an intermittent fasting diet lose more weight than those following the Mediterranean or paleo diets, research finds.

Broadly, there are two types of intermittent fasting.

The first type involves restricting the time of day during which people can eat.

For example, breakfast is taken 90 minutes later than usual and supper 90 minutes earlier, with nothing outside this 6 to 8 hour window.

The other approach involves only eating one meal on two days of the week, then eating normally the rest of the week (sometimes known as the 5:2 diet).

People in the current study lost an average of nine pounds using the intermittent fasting diet, more than double that of the paleo diet.

Those on the Mediterranean diet lost 6 pounds, on average, while those on the paleo diet lost 4 pounds on average.

However, people on the Mediterranean diet, while losing less weight, found it easier to follow and showed improvement in their blood pressure.

The conclusions come from a study that compared the three diets in a ‘real-world’ setting, without support from professionals.

There was evidence that all three diets could be healthy ways to eat.

Dr Melyssa Roy, study co-author, said:

“This work supports the idea that there isn’t a single ‘right’ diet—there are a range of options that may suit different people and be effective. In this study, people were given dietary guidelines at the start and then continued with their diets in the real world while living normally.

About half of the participants were still following their diets after a year and had experienced improvements in markers of health.

Like the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting and paleo diets can also be valid healthy eating approaches—the best diet is the one that includes healthy foods and suits the individual.”

The results showed that the Mediterranean diet was the easiest to follow.

Dr Michelle Jospe, the study’s first author, said:

“Our participants could follow the diet’s guidelines more closely than the fasting and paleo diets and were more likely to stay with it after the year, as our retention rates showed.”

The Mediterranean diet typically involves eating more fruits and vegetables, legumes, seeds, olive oil and fish, eggs, chicken and, once a week, red meat.

The paleo diet focuses on less processed foods including fruits and vegetables, animal proteins and extra-virgin olive oil.

The paleo diet prohibits legumes, grains and dairy.

However, people in the study used a modified version of the paleo diet that allows some dairy.

The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Jospe et al., 2019).

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Billdu Review – What Makes Billdu Great and Where Billdu Falls Short

Billdu is an invoicing app that makes it incredibly easy to manage the invoicing process. You can generate invoices, send them to customers, and have customers pay directly from the invoice itself. And with its handy dashboard, Billdu simplifies the process of tracking invoices and expenses so you always know where your accounts stand.

Additionally, Billdu enables you to set up a simple ecommerce store and take online bookings, either through your own website or through one created specifically for your business through its platform. For small businesses, Billdu is the perfect tool for managing everything related to invoicing and payments.

Billdu logo for Quick Sprout Billdu review. Billdu logo for Quick Sprout Billdu review.

Who Billdu Is For

Billdu is designed to meet the invoicing and financial management needs of small businesses. The app makes it simple to create professional looking invoices, estimates, purchase orders, and delivery notes. This allows busy small business owners to generate essential financial documentation and manage transactions with customers and vendors more efficiently. With Billdu, you can instantly customize invoice templates that reflect your brand.

If you’re a freelancer, Billdu also has the tools to help you take your business operations to the next level. Billdu gives freelancers the ability to generate branded invoices in minutes. The app also makes it easy for freelancers to track finances and expenses. Features like automated payment reminders ensure you actually get paid for your work.

And finally, if you run an agency, Billdu empowers you to generate polished invoices that reinforce your business’s brand image. With robust tracking features, Billdu also gives agencies increased visibility into their financial transactions and cash flow. The app is built to handle the large volume…

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7 Dumb Mistakes New Leaders Make That You Must Avoid

7 Dumb Mistakes New Leaders Make That You Must Avoid

Remember when you were just a twig on the leadership tree. You ached to bear fruit. You admired how the big branches did big things while you secretly shivered.

Ambition and fear cause new leaders to make unnecessary mistakes.

The most common source of mistakes in management decisions is the emphasis on finding the right answer rather than the right question.

7 Dumb mistakes new leaders make:

Mistake #1. Not noticing stress in others because you’re stressed out.

Your arrival stresses others. The stress you feel, others feel too.


  1. Realize your passion may seem pushy to others.
  2. Practice active listening.
  3. Notice people’s energy.

Protect yourself from stress: Some parts of your brain shrink under the influence of prolonged stress. Image of a stressed child.

Mistake #2. Trying to grow big fruit fast. Win small – win often.


  1. Build confidence by designing goals and milestones WITH team members.
  2. Hold yourself and others accountable.
  3. Honor incremental progress.

Mistake #3. Being gullible.

Don’t believe everything you’re told. People have personal agendas.


  1. Have conversations with fringe-people.
  2. Show up on the front line and ask questions.
  3. Reflect on the impact of requests and input. What do people want?

Mistake #4. Falling prey to leafy branches.

Some branches grow real fruit and some grow showy leaves.


  1. Study up on the difference between introverts and extroverts.
  2. Notice who talks about things they plan to do and who reports what they are actually doing.
  3. Establish and monitor performance metrics.

Image of a kangaroo with boxing gloves.

Mistake #5. Corroding trust by micromanaging.

Competent people resent being treated like novices. Being a novice isn’t permission to treat others like idiots.


  1. Listen to teammate’s life stories. Pay attention to experience levels.
  2. Notice your team’s go-to people. Trust people who are trusted by others.
  3. Establish a rhythm for one-on-ones.

#6. Coming off like a know-it-all.

Don’t resist feedback. Seek it.

  1. Remind yourself that most people are trying to help.
  2. Practice gratitude and curiosity when receiving feedback.
  3. Seek multiple options when pursuing suggestions. Don’t let people expect you to do everything they suggest.

Bonus mistake #7: Seeming disinterested in people because you’re so busy.

What mistakes do you see new leaders making?

The Top 4 Mistakes Busy Leaders Make – Leadership Freak

An Actionable Solution to the Mistakes Leaders Make – Leadership Freak

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An Early Sign Of Lower IQ

The brain is very sensitive in early childhood.

Exposure to maltreatment or trauma early in life is linked to lower IQ, research finds.

Being abused, physically or emotionally, neglected or witnessing domestic violence, was linked to an IQ score 7 points lower, on average.

Abuse that occurs before the age of two-years-old is particularly damaging to intellectual development.

The brain is very sensitive in this early period, neuroscience has revealed.

Trauma and adversity early in life has repeatedly been linked to changes in the structure and circuitry of the brain.

The conclusions come from a study of 206 US children enrolled in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

The study started in 1975 and tracked the children from birth.

Children and mothers were assessed and interviewed at regular intervals and the children were given IQ tests.

The study revealed that one in three children had been maltreated and/or seen their mothers subject to violence.

This happened in infancy to 5 percent of children, in the pre-school period to 13 percent and in both periods to 19 percent.

Maltreatment — including witnessing violence and being neglected — was linked to lower intelligence scores every time it was measured.

The study’s authors write:

“The results suggest that [maltreatment and witnessing domestic violence] in early childhood, particularly during the first two years, has significant and enduring effects on cognitive development, even after adjusting for [other risk factors].

Because early brain organisation frames later neurological development, changes in early development may have lifelong consequences.”

The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health (Enlow et al., 2012).

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Chili Piper Review – What Makes Chili Piper Great and Where Chili Piper Falls Short

In order to boost your revenue, you need quality leads that convert into paying customers. You also need tools to connect leads to your sales reps while interest is still high. This is where Chili Piper comes in.

Chili Piper automates the lead conversion process through its suite of products that qualify leads, route them to the right sales rep, and schedule meetings using real-time calendars. It’s a powerful software platform that makes the scheduling process feel effortless for potential buyers—turning prospective leads into satisfied customers.

Chili Piper logo for Quick Sprout Chili Piper review. Chili Piper logo for Quick Sprout Chili Piper review.

Who Chili Piper Is For

Chili Piper provides an end-to-end inbound lead conversion and routing platform tailored to the needs of B2B revenue teams like marketing, sales, and customer success. The software shines when organizations need to increase the number of quality leads coming into their funnel and prevent any leakage during qualification and handoffs.

For marketing and demand generation teams, Chili Piper removes friction from the lead booking process so more prospects engage and convert into sales conversations. Easy scheduling and reminders get more people testing products and talking to reps, which ultimately creates more buzz around your business.

Chili Piper can also help Sales teams gain more chances to convert leads into buyers through automated workflows that guarantee every lead is directed to the right rep based on criteria like customer segment and product interest. Reps also have tools to automatically schedule meetings when most convenient for the prospect for higher connection rates.

On the finance side, Chili Piper provides clear visibility into meeting data like show rates and conversions. This helps revenue leaders accurately model forecasts and see…

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Striking the Right Balance Between Business Branding vs. Personal Branding

Businesses come and go. But your personal name, that’s another matter altogether. In the social business world, your name can be leveraged as your personal identifier across myriad social media sites as well as your monetized business brand. 

In creating a new business or online presence, one of the toughest decisions you may make is whether to establish your social business brand by your personal name or a fictitious “DBA” identity, such as a catchy word, phrase, or slogan.

It’s hardly a trivial decision, especially considering your online identity eventually will sprout hundreds if not thousands of backlinks which will need to be well-tended if you decide to do a digital makeover at a later date.

Confused on what to do? Join the club. Do you drop whatever you are doing right now, rush over to GoDaddy, and immediately reserve your-personal-name-dot-whatever, or stake your branding claim on a hot potential digital DBA?

Luckily others have already been down this path. They can offer a variety of business perspectives and advice on the question of building a business brand based on a personal name vs. a domain that can grow and expand into a free-standing business that extends beyond the individual and might someday deliver a lucrative buyout offer that tracks with a business plan exit strategy.

From Startup to Digital Enterprise: DBA Scales

The biggest advantage to going DBA or brand versus your name is that the blog/brand/company can evolve into something much bigger and more valuable than one person’s perspective.

It can grow into a company, media outlet, etc., that can be monetized, bought, sold and so on. Mashable has grown into a powerful media outlet. It wouldn’t have done that if it were just its founder’s personal name, as an example.

The Business Persona and the Person

If you work for another business, you’ll have to consider the delicate balance of marketing your personal brand alongside your business.

I started out with a blog name that combined the industry and my own name (SEO and Smarty). I’ve certainly thought about the potential for a more topic-focused name over the last few years, but ultimately this started out as something for me, to explore my interests and help me learn, and I’ve been thoroughly happy with the way that it has worked out.

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What if your business fails? The hard facts are that, depending on the study, 50-60 percent of new businesses close in the first year; upwards of 80-90 percent go under within five years. You can dispense with a DBA given a few forms and some signatures. Not so easily done if your brand is your personal name and now…

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Courage When Your Knees Buckle

Courage When Your Knees Buckle

The opposite of weakness isn’t strength, it’s courage.

Your knees will buckle someday. Strength will fail you unless you consistently aim low. Boredom defeats you when competence always sustains you.

Clinging to competence is sleeping with attainability. Attainability is the mother of average. Lean into courage when you’re in over your head.

Courage when your knees buckle:

#1. Drop your mask.

Vulnerability sets you free. Weak leaders eventually collapse under the weight of fakery.

Don’t run around bragging about incompetence. Seeking pity weakens you.

Ways to drop your mask with courage:

  1. Say you don’t know but you’re working on it.
  2. Do something today that reflects your commitment to personal growth. People can’t grow for you.
  3. Connect with others. Ask experienced leaders how they found strength. (Don’t simply ask what to do. Ask how to do.)
  4. Look outside your current circle of friends for a mentor or coach.

#2. Experiment.

  1. Reflect on desired results. What do you want to happen?
  2. Record your current strategy. What are you doing that isn’t working? Confess current strategies aren’t working.
  3. Adopt an “I’m learning” attitude. (Learning means failure. You only learn when you fail.)
  4. Write down three things you could try to attain desired results. Try one.
  5. Reflect and repeat.

#3. Self-reflect.

Practice structured self-reflection.

  1. Set an intention in the morning. Determine one behavior that expresses your intention.
  2. At the end of the day reflect on results.
  3. What did you try?
  4. How did it work?
  5. What did you learn about others, yourself, and behaviors that work?
  6. What do you intend to do tomorrow?
  7. Treat yourself like a kid. When children are learning you don’t beat them down. You cheer them on.

What do courageous leaders look like?

Courage to Become a Leader – Leadership Freak

Two Hours to Courage – Leadership Freak

Source for Roosevelt quote: Good Reads

The Vagrant: The Inner Journey of Leadership,” enables leaders to see themselves more clearly and provides structured self-reflection exercises to move your growth forward.

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An Easy Way to Reduce Depression And Loneliness

Reducing loneliness and depression could be as simple as this…

Limiting social media to 30 minutes per day decreases feelings of loneliness and depression, research finds.

The study strongly suggests that excessive social media use makes people more depressed and lonely.

It is also ironic that less ‘social’ media use reduces feelings of loneliness.

For the study, 143 college students were tracked for three weeks.

Half were told to use social media as normal, while the other half were instructed to limit it to 30 minutes per day.

All reported their use of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram along with feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness and fear of missing out.

Dr Melissa G. Hunt, the study’s first author, explained the results:

“Here’s the bottom line.

Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness.

These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study.”

Dr Hunt does not think young people should stop using social media all together.

Limiting screen time, though, seems sensible, she says:

“It is a little ironic that reducing your use of social media actually makes you feel less lonely.

Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there’s an enormous amount of social comparison that happens.

When you look at other people’s lives, particularly on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that everyone else’s life is cooler or better than yours.”

Dr Hunt concluded:

“When you’re not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you’re actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life.

In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life.”

The study was published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology (Hunt et al., 2018).

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