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In order for a leader to lead from a place of personal wholeness and integrity, they must engage in a process of renewal. Be honest and open as you work through the four cornerstones of your life with this checklist. Check of the items that you regularly succeed at as you go through this Checklist for Renewal.


-          I schedule time for thinking and dreaming

-          I enjoy a hobby

-          I read books regularly

-          I keep a journal of thoughts, goals, and reflections

-          I listen to music to relax and walk to clear my mind

-          I engage in meaningful, unrushed dialogue at least once a week

-          I allow my imagination to create my dreams

-          I am organized and have a good time management system

-          I have specific unplugged hours for rejuvenation


-          I am up to date with current recommended medical tests

-          I exercise 20-30 minutes at least three times per week

-          I take daily supplements for vitamins and minerals

-          I maintain a strength program

-          I include cardio and flexibility exercises

-          I get a proper amounts of sleep

-          I eat clean at least 80-90% of the time

-          I rest one day a week

-          I consume moderate amounts of caffeine/alcohol


-          I have defined my “code of honor”, my guiding values

-          I have defined my purpose and includes accounting for my soul and spirit

-          I find daily renewal through meditation, solitude, prayer, study, or reflection

-          I give time talent and treasure to my faith community

-          I keep my heart open to truth

-          I honor the presence of God through faith

-          I honor and respect those with a different faith or religion than my own


-          I have a hopeful, optimistic outlook on life

-          I am aware of my moods, attitudes and emotions and their contagious nature

-          I understand emotions drive many my actions, performance, and leadership

-          I build emotional connections with others through trust and empathy

-          I sincerely apologize when I need to

-          I can persevere through hard times

-          I can control my impulses, cool down and respond rationally

-          I practice emotional renewal through recreational activities

It is my hope that the Leader’s Checklist for Renewal will help jumpstart your thinking for a personal renewal plan. Do you see areas where you are doing well? How about some blind-spots or areas that need attention? I think we all fall short in some areas. Rather than feel guilty or pressured, understand that there is no right or wrong plan when it comes to renewal activities. We all find renewal in our own unique ways. There are items on this list that will not apply to everyone, and that’s alright. The important thing is that you find a plan that works for you.

I hope this list encourages you in your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional renewal.

I would love to hear your ideas as well!

Your leadership matters and you matter!

-Steve Gutzler



For information regarding keynotes, training, and leadership coaching call or contact Steve via his website, email (, or call him at 425 681 9871


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high pressure

Research shows that 83% of the time we are able to effectively manage and balance our relationships with people and the tasks that need to get done. However, in those 17% moments when interactions become challenging and our work more difficult, we find the harsh truth. We discover whether we have it in us to continue to operate at our full potential.

This is the heart of Emotional Intelligence. This is where leaders rise or fall – this is where your reputation is built.

Here Are the Three Ways Leaders Increase their Emotional Intelligence

1. Emotional Self Awareness

  • Leaders work at staying calm under pressure
  • Leaders know how their emotions impact their behaviors
  • Leaders recognize how one person’s behavior can influence another’s
  • Leaders master their mood (they know moods move people)

2. Adaptability and Flexibility

  • Leaders remain open to change
  • Leaders are comfortable with uncertainty
  • Leaders are willingly to ask for help
  • Leaders can successfully handle multiple demands

3. Communication

  • Leaders provide adequate instruction
  • Leaders express feedback in effective and timely ways
  • Leaders don’t personalize disagreements
  • Leaders are world-class listeners

Remember, it’s those 17% moments that establish your influence, grow your impact, and make your reputation as a leader.

Here’s to building better leaders.

-Steve Gutzler


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This post was originally posted on Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest’s blog on February 14th, 2012.

I’ve been a part of dozens of corporate and business events and retreats. After a while they kind of blur together. It is the same hotel conference rooms. The same curiously similar buffet tables. Always the ridiculously poor lighting at the podium. But the people, they are who make it special. Yes the people!

Recently I was presenting at a corporate leadership retreat on Emotional Intelligence for Extraordinary Leadership. It was a really great morning of dynamic interaction. The CEO of the organization was truly exceptional; he had stunning leadership execution. But honestly, he captivates you with his people skills. His smile, his wit, and his unique ability to involve each person. You feel yourself elevating in thought and conversation just by being in his presence. Plus, my personal favorite, he had a contagious laugh that you just couldn’t get enough of.

The Defining Moment of the Retreat

On the second day of our retreat (the CEO actually called them “Advances” because his company never retreats) the CEO came up to the front to address everyone in the room. The previous morning I had described an example of a company where they take time each month to place a team member in the “Hot Seat.” When the team member is sitting in the Hot Seat, everyone goes around the room and talks about how that person contributes, shines, makes a difference and works hard to put skin on their goals as a company. It is a “your special. Thank you” Moment.


Sometimes when I share that story I can almost feel people rolling their eyes, sometimes I even see them. Tough minded types don’t like warm and fuzzy moments. Business and leadership is not for the weak of heart. It is a jungle out there and if you can’t step up and perform then you will find yourself in the junk yard!


So here was this CEO in front of his team. He stood and addressed the room stating that he would like to do the Hot Seat activity, but with a little twist. Then he walked around the room, stopping at each person. He literally placed his hand on each team member’s shoulder and talked about the stunning success contributions that each person had made. I kept thinking, “Where are his cheat sheets?” But he didn’t have any. I watched in wonder as the faces of each person lit up at his words. Each person looked newly inspired. I was witnessing the power of communicating personal value. Its transforming power, just those two or three minutes of recognition healed, emboldened, and filled hearts with a renewed courage to continue on!

Emotional Intelligence 401 in action! What a leader. What a magical moment.

And then the Surprise!

If that moment wasn’t enough, he turned to me. Yes, little ol’ me, in the corner taking it all in. He actually said, and I won’t forget the words, “And now I left the best at the end, Steve Gutzler.”

As he walked toward me, my heart started pounding. My eyes moistened. When he placed his hand on my shoulder and spoke glowingly, I melted. I faked a cool demeanor and a soft smile. But inside, I was a puddle. I have those words recorded in my mind. I return to them often because in my world, as I am sure it is in yours, I have many small voices. Sometimes even my own voice is speaking small to me.

But on that day I found myself driving to live up to those words of greatness. Emotional Intelligence can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For me it is something you experience and I attempt to deliver to one person at a time. One conversation, one smile, one handshake, one leadership moment at a time. I guess that is one reason at the end of my posts I say “You matter to me!”

Tying my best to be emotionally intelligent,

Steve Gutzler

“Leaders understand emotions drive behaviors, performance, and greatness!”