Tag: Brian Gast

How to Make Difficult Decisions

May 19, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

Two Ways to Cultivate Wisdom and get More of What Matters Most “What do you think? Should I sell the company or not?” For the first time in our two-year relationship, Ed was stuck. His business acumen and intellect were of little help that day. The offer was alluring but there were big implications to this decision. Converting 98 percent of his net worth from illiquid private company stock to cash, having a boss for the first time in 18 years, the uncertain fate of 750 employees, and a high likelihood of being unemployed in 12 months was uncharted territory. There was no going back once he committed to sell. I took a deep breath and pulled out one of […]

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How to Leave a Meaningful Legacy

November 19, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

The day I turned fifty, the passage of time seemed to speed up. I started seeing expiration dates on relationships and activities I had assumed would last forever. What is it about midlife? It kicks up questions that no independent, high-achiever ever thought to ponder. Our original equipment seems to include a sensor that is activated sometime in our fifties to remind us we’re mortal and invite us to reassess our priorities. Asking Big Questions Although you’ll resist it, the best practice for evaluating your priorities, living a present and fulfilled life, and preparing for a peaceful death is contemplating your death. I’m grateful to have the option to practice dying, many people have no choice when they get sick […]

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A Case for Compassion: How to be Happy and Realize your Potential

October 31, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

In times of uncertainty (isn’t that all the time?) it’s useful to balance fear with compassion. Notice why you do what you do. You may be surprised how often fear is your motivator. Fear of not being endorsed, of not having good career options, of pissing somebody off, of being stuck doing work that’s boring, of being part of a losing team, of not being realistic about what you want, of not being satisfied, of not being a good provider, the list goes on. Choosing Scarcity Many high-achieving executives needlessly suffer because they fear scarcity. There will not be enough. They won’t do enough, make enough, or be enough. The fear that they are not enough is beneath all fears. […]

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How to Balance Work and Life

January 23, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

I recently was a guest blogger on Inspiyr.com – a cool site dedicated to being healthy, happy and successful. I had a little different take on the topic of work/life balance. There’s nothing wrong with working or working hard. What causes the unintended collateral damage for some high-achievers is their unconscious relationship with work. Too many high-achieving executives try to force themselves to work less rather than address the underlying cause of working too much. Because they can’t dial down the work some people rationalize they can work hard and retire early or sell the company and then balance everything out. Most of the people I know on this plan feel empty, unfulfilled or at least disoriented. They end up […]

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Reaching for Something a Mid-Life

January 11, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

I recently wrote an article as a guest blogger for ThoughtLeaders (also appeared in SmartBrief on Leadership). I love the topic of navigating the middle passage, exploring the unique. Click Here to read the article

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Great Leadership hosted by Professor Dan McCarthy

December 14, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Here is an article I recently wrote for a New England business school prof named Dan McCarthy. The topic is Leadership Capacity and talks about the four dimensions of a leader and how to perform under pressure. How to Expand Your Leadership Capacity “What’s your leadership capacity? I was 35 and the CEO of one of the fastest growing telecom companies in the US. I had created $400 million in value from an idea, was managing a 1,500 person company that everyone wanted to work for and a public company that was a darling of Wall Street. Then things got tough. Competition increased and my patience with my team decreased. I began to avoid real problems and became isolated from […]

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What’s In Your Bubble? The Secret to Living a Fulfilled Life

June 27, 2012 | By | 1 Comment

We all live in a Bubble. The outer-most layer of our Bubble is our mask—the façade we want others to think is real. At the center of the Bubble is our Authentic Self, our True Nature, our Essence. If there is an inherent purpose to our lives, it’s to make the journey from the outside of this Bubble to its center. At the center is our aliveness, spontaneity, authenticity, joy, and potential. When we live at the center of the Bubble, we’re at home, we feel fulfilled. Yet it feels like every cell in our body wants to move to the outside of the Bubble, to the successful front we believe everyone wants to see. The Leader’s Façade The journey […]

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Embracing Death, Competing Agendas, and the Great Mystery

April 20, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

A forty-six-year-old gregarious and affable executive and member of Young Presidents’ Organization took his own life last month. He was married, with a twelve-year-old son. Everyone is trying to make sense of it. The event has generated feelings of shock, confusion, sadness, guilt, and anger. Behind the feelings are many thoughts. The post-modern mind has a tendency to pathologize everything—especially things that are hard or impossible to understand. Why did this happen? What could have been done? What could I have done? What signs did we miss? How can it be avoided next time? Whom Do You Know? I was reminded of how few people I know well (and how few know me well). The measure of how well we […]

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Three Recipes for Unhappiness

February 22, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

You can never get enough of what you don’t really need. ~ Unknown I’m a slow learner. In my twenty and thirties, I knew I was ambitious, hard-working, and resourceful but I had no idea what really drove me. Ironically, it was the source of my internal drive that limited my performance and happiness. I was a focused young man. And although I didn’t blatantly plow over colleagues in the early years of my career, my career pace and path were certainly more important than my relationships at work. It seemed practical to operate this way. I took my work seriously and I had plenty of friends outside of work. Eventually I heard the feedback from mentors and co-workers. I […]

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How to Get to Heaven

December 20, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

How do you develop the authentic humility and fulfillment necessary to lead yourself and others? Tim Tebow’s contagious humility starts with his thank-you’s (see my recent blog post). Before he responds to reporters’ questions, he thanks Jesus, his teammates, and his fans. Then he attributes the good outcomes to a broad set of factors, and acknowledges his errors when things didn’t go well while he was on the field. He never talks as though he’s making things happen on his own for his own benefit. He always acknowledges his sources of support in its many forms. Contrast Tebow with me when I was in my twenties, making millions and being interviewed by the press (albeit many fewer millions, and less […]

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