Archives For self management


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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runner crossing finish line


Over the years, thousands of people have been asked, what are you thinking about most of the time?

Their answers tend to be the same worldwide. Successful people think about what they want and how to get it. As a result of this mental focus, they accomplish much more than the average person, even though they may have started with no particular advantages.

Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, tend to think and talk about what they don’t want. They talk about who they are mad at and who is to blame for their lack of progress and fulfillment.

Winners know winning starts with discipline in how they think.

Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania organized interviews with more than 350,000 men and women over a twenty year period to find out how they thought most of the time. He summarized his findings in his best-selling book, Learned Optimism.

What Seligman found was that the predominant quality of successful people is optimism. Successful people – winners – in life and in leadership are far more optimistic than the average person. They have a positive mental attitude toward themselves, their situation, and others.

Seligman discovered that your level of optimism is the very best predictor of how happy, health, wealthy, and long you live you will be.

Becoming determined to be a more optimistic person and leader in every part of your life will do more to ensure your success and happiness than any single quality you can develop.

Seven Ways to Think Like a Winner

  1. Think about your future. I recently updated my four-page life-vision plan in my journal. Write your story!
  2. Think about your goals. Only 3-5% of people write their goals down. Goals focus you on the positive results you want to achieve.
  3. Think about excellence.  It will lift your self-concept and your personal pride.
  4. Think about results. In business, health, and relationships review your victories.
  5. Think about solutions. Take my challenge today and pivot toward a solution.
  6. Think about building, not maintaining. What is your best possible life? Build your health your home, and your business.
  7. Think about dreams. Places to travel, people to meet, passions to experience, and purposes to be realized.

Here is to thinking like a winner!

-Steve Gutzler


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“Debbie, think of a person you know, possibly yourself, who is considered to have high potential, to be talented, smart, savvy, and well-trained, but who also does dumb things that end up sabotaging their success.”

There is a science to our emotions. The amygdala is the site of emotional memory and emotional learning. It is responsible for answering the critical question “Do I eat it or does it eat me?” more commonly known as “Flight or fight.” And, in preparation for either flight or fight the nervous system kicks in with a hormone called Cortisol. This hormone is designed to keep you out of harm. But often Cortisol (the stress hormone) can lead to an emotional hijacking, even in the best of leaders.

I have seen it hijack high-level CEOs, presidents, celebrities, and middle-level managers. They have all been victims of the science of our emotions, sometimes resulting in the destruction of months of dedicated work and well-built reputations. But in Debbie’s case, her emotional hijacking was cracking her credibility and trust within her team. She called it venting, her team saw her as emotionally unstable and unreliable as a leader under pressure.

Remember: Emotions come before thoughts, we feel before we think.

Remember: When you get emotionally hijacked you lose options, your cost is big, and you need to learn to catch it early!

Four Emotional Management Strategies:

1. Stop: When you feel your Cortisol kick in, your heart beat will increase; you may start breathing faster and sweating. Stop!
Quick Tip: Disengage even for a few minutes so you can reengage more powerfully

2. Breath: Oxygen to the brain and blood actually help neutralize Cortisol.
Quick Tip: This is why the practice of solitude and daily walks are good at keeping our stress hormones in balance.

3. Appreciate: Start an appreciation journal for your team. Write down the things that you are grateful for and the things that you are thankful your team is providing.
Quick Tip: If bad emotions can get you in trouble, good emotions can keep you out of it. The practice of appreciation is a powerful good emotion!

4. Seek Solitude: Rather than trying to rush and fix problems when you feel emotionally charged, allow for solutions to emerge as you ask others for help.
Quick Tip: Give time and space and watch how solutions can arise.

For Debbie, emotional self-management may be the game-changer. With her talent and skills, if she can bring greater self-awareness and self-discipline to her emotional management, the sky is the limit for her leadership!

Next week: Emotional Intelligence Week Four!
Don’t miss the continuation of Debbie’s story!