leadership

The Convention Convention

The Convention Convention

Are there conventions for people who run conventions? Convention conventions? Con-Cons? Or are Con-Cons attended by con men? For the longest time, I’ve been really hesitant to go to a convention. I’m an introvert, so the idea of walking into a room of thousands of strangers makes me cringe. Also, I didn’t quite understand the […]


Leadership Tactic #82: Don’t Get Defensive

Leadership Tactic #82: Don't Get Defensive

This past weekend, I asked a number of Viticulture backers to playtest my new game, Euphoria. Euphoria has been in the works for a while now, but this would be the first time that we would conduct what are called “blind playtests”–basically, playtests where I’m not present to explain the rules. Blind playtests are great […]


Leadership Tactic #1: Responsiveness

Leadership Tactic #1: Responsiveness

I’ve learned a lot in the last year about running a business. Forming Stonemaier Games to publish and distribute Viticulture has taught me about customer service, accounting, project management, marketing, sales, production, shipping, logistics…the list goes on. A lot of it–perhaps 75% or so–is simply interacting with people. Some of those people are clients (Kickstarter […]


Leadership Tactic #81: Passion

This entry could double as a Confessions entry, so I’m going to tag it as such. Here’s my confession: I’m 32 years old, and I just learned the true meaning of passion about an hour ago. It’s not what you’re thinking (I’m assuming that you were thinking that I was referring to my hipster mermaid […]


A Taste of My Own Medicine for 2013

A Taste of My Own Medicine for 2013

There was something about 2012 that made me dispense a lot of advice. I think a lot of it stemmed from this blog. I advised about a dozen people last year on how to start/write/sustain a blog. Add in another dozen for relationship or online dating advice, and maybe half a dozen for advice on […]


Seven Pillars of Success: Amy Miles

Seven Pillars of Success: Amy Miles

It’s been a while since I did a Seven Pillars of Success entry, but recently I was moved to do one for a writer friend of mine who has shown incredible generosity (as you’ll read below) throughout her recent success as a self-published author. I needed to share her story, and she was so kind […]


Team Dimensions Survey Results

Team Dimensions Survey Results

Two months ago, I wrote about a new paradigm for team dynamics and asked readers to indicate what type of person they were. A few days later I launched my Kickstarter campaign, and writing a proper entry about the survey results was put on the back burner. I apologize for the delay. The good news […]


Viticulture Pre-Orders and Lessons Learned from My Kickstarter Backers

Viticulture Pre-Orders and Lessons Learned from My Kickstarter Backers

Tonight at 11:59pm, my Kickstarter campaign ended. We went out with a bang, raising $8,000 in the final 24 hours to bring our total to $65,980. Which, considering that I had absolutely no idea back in August if we’d even hit our goal of $25k, is astounding. But I want to focus today on a […]


Leadership Tactic #80: How to Sing so People Hear You

Leadership Tactic #80: How to Sing so People Hear You

When I was a kid, I thought that singing at church was a competition. I partially blame the other (albeit unwitting) participant in this competition: a middle-aged man who always sat about 5 rows away from my family. He was a loud singer. A good singer, but a loud one. This annoyed me, so I […]


Leadership Tactic #79: Knowing Exactly What Kind of a Teammate You Are

Leadership Tactic #79: Knowing Exactly What Kind of a Teammate You Are

I don’t think I’ve ever been excited about team dynamics until last Thursday, when I learned that there might actually be a formula to forming and maintaining an amazing team. I’m going to write a little about this now and a little about this later. But if you don’t read another word, please take 10 […]


Leadership Advice #78: The Worst Job Interview Advice I’ve Ever Been Given

Leadership Advice #78: The Worst Job Interview Advice I've Ever Been Given

I had my first “real” job interview in the middle of my senior year in college. It did not go well. A few weeks before the interview, I had attended a mandatory session for business school students about how to perform well during a job interview. I’m sure we learned some invaluable lessons, but unfortunately […]


Leadership Tactic #77: You Are Your Own Gatekeeper

Leadership Tactic #77: You Are Your Own Gatekeeper

Yesterday I read a brilliant post from blogger Nathan Bransford about how there are no more gatekeepers, only influencers. Then I read perhaps an even more brilliant post from comedian and actor Patton Oswalt about how there are no more gatekeepers and that anyone who thinks they’re a gatekeeper needs to rethink their strategy. Who […]


Leadership Tactic #76: Know Who Others Think You Are

Leadership Tactic #76: Know Who Others Think You Are

A line jumped off the pages of the July/August edition of Inc. Magazine. It was written by Bob Sutton, a leadership expert, when asked if there is a single trait that every leader should possess: The ability to understand how you come across to others. YES. How many times have you met someone who clearly had […]


Leadership Tactic #75: How to Scrap Your Dream Job

Leadership Tactic #75: How to Scrap Your Dream Job

What did you want to be when you grew up? Here’s my dream job evolution, starting from when I was a boy: inventor, writer, architect, biochemical engineer, entrepreneur, restaurant owner, and then…well, it’s more in flux now. This isn’t about me, anyway. It’s about you and your dream job. Think about your dreams as a […]


Seven Pillars of Success: My Dad

Seven Pillars of Success: My Dad

This year I started a series on the blog about individuals who are really successful in one specific area of their lives. I believe that everyone has at least one component of their life that they’re really, really good at. A month ago I wrote one such entry for my mom on Mother’s Day. Today, […]


Notarize This

Notarize This

I had an interesting customer service experience today. I needed to get something notarized for work. I don’t know much about notarizing things, but from what I can tell, a notary public watches people sign documents to verify that the real person matches the signature. I was told that I could go to any bank […]


Seven Pillars of Success: My Mom

Seven Pillars of Success: My Mom

This year I started a series on the blog about individuals who are really successful in one specific area of their lives. I believe that everyone has at least one component of their life that they’re really, really good at. The two I’ve written about so far are John Donovan and Eric Silverstein. Today I’d […]


Top 10 Survival Tips for Introverts at Social Events

Top 10 Survival Tips for Introverts at Social Events

If you like this entry, feel free to check out my Kickstarter campaign for a board game I invented called Viticulture. Board games happen to be perfect social lubricants for introverts. I’m an introvert. Myers-Briggs tells me that I’m a very low introvert, but I think that’s because I’ve learned to cope with some social […]


Leadership Tactic #72: Praise Publicly, Criticize Privately

Leadership Tactic #72: Praise Publicly, Criticize Privately

Praise publicly, criticize privately. It’s a simple rule. And yet many people–among them a number of managers–get it backwards. We criticize our peers in front of others so that we can feel powerful. We may not realize it, but we do. Maybe it’s a know-it-all comment about a friend’s misuse of grammar in a small […]


Leadership Tactic #72: The Clean Desk Club

Leadership Tactic #72: The Clean Desk Club

One interview question that I used to ask to applicants was, “What does your desk at work look like?” I didn’t put a lot of weight in the answer (hence my omission of that question from more recent interviews), but my theory was that a person’s desk is reflective of the way he works. If […]


Leadership Tactic #71: Just Try It

Leadership Tactic #71: Just Try It

A few weeks ago I was kind of a jerk at work. It would be inappropriate for me to go into details, but basically, a coworker and I disagreed about a certain type of publicity we were doing. I thought the existing Option A was the right way to go, and my coworker thought that […]


Leadership Tactic #70: How to Ask for Feedback

Leadership Tactic #70: How to Ask for Feedback

I love to give feedback. Love it. I’d wager that this is pretty universal–who doesn’t like to offer advice? Over the past few months, I’ve seen the number of varied requests for my feedback increase significantly. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe because I’m putting the offer out there more often. I’ve given people feedback on […]


Leadership Tactic #69: Positive Reinforcement and Jamey Points

Leadership Tactic #69: Positive Reinforcement and Jamey Points

I read a fascinating article the other day about a school in Chicago that charges students money when they start to accumulate demerits. Although I found the concept intriguing, it was this passage at the end about a different school district that really clicked with me: At Knowledge is Power Program, a network of 109 […]


Leadership Tactic #68: How to Relieve Yourself of the Stress of a Bad Day at Work

Leadership Tactic #68: How to Relieve Yourself of the Stress of a Bad Day at Work

A friend texted me today to say that she was having a bad day at work, and she wanted some advice on how to make it better (which made my day, because I love giving advice). We all have these days. I don’t care how optimistic and carefree of a person you are–every once in […]