Time to raise the monkey bars?

If you’re like me, you’ve fallen flat on your face more times than you’d care to recall. Some of your face plants may have been literal, like one I remember so vividly from my childhood, when I fell from the jungle gym in my cousins’ yard in St. Louis and landed mug first in the dirt.

Nobody got sued over that bloody nose, or any of the numerous others that preceded and followed, or over my head-first plunge into a thorny shrub in my own back yard in Des Moines. (If you look really close, I imagine you can still see among the wrinkles a little scar from a chance encounter with a tree branch one dark night in Windsor Heights.)

Those incidents and injuries had something valuable in common. As I have from the more figurative bumps and bruises and cuts and scrapes that come with being alive and trying to succeed, I learned something from each of them.

column by Peter Orszag prompted this recollection. He wrote, in part, “Failure is not only survivable; it is also essential.”

I find that comforting. While not exactly looking forward to the next fall from the monkey bars, I can at least be confident about getting back up off the ground a little wiser. So can you.

Beware your comfort zone, leadership expert says

3D Team Leadership Arrow Concept

The term “comfort zone” can evoke some nice, cozy feelings of safety and security.

Beware your comfort zone, however. As Colorado leadership and motivation expert Jim McLaughlin explains in a series of blog posts, it robs people of their potential. It can take yours.

This presents a special challenge for leaders, who must move other people beyond where they are comfortable to reach ever higher levels of achievement.

The three-part series is adapted from Jim’s book, The Six Things: Leading People to Outstanding Achievement. It is available in paperback and in ebook format for Kindle and other readers.

As the book’s editor, I have a pretty good idea of what’s coming in Parts 2 and 3 of the “comfort zone” series. You may be surprised to learn how a comfort zone changes over time. I certainly was.

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