When we think of the holiday classics, we don’t usually think of grit, but perhaps we should…

By: Eli Shell

In her groundbreaking Ted Talk on Grit, Angela Duckworth says “grit is passion and perseverance toward very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out. Not just for the week, not just for a month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality.” …

What a marathon mantra taught me about long term achievement.

By: Renn Vara

My wife and SNP’s CEO, Mo, taught me how to run marathons before marriage and kids. She said the key is to hold back energy for the long miles and dig deep for the tough ones. A mix of persistence and grit.

But there was one lesson she failed to teach me. It happened at the twentieth mile, the wall, during my first marathon, her fourth or fifth. The weather had gone from hot to cold. I was shivering. I was struggling. I was convinced I was dying. I dropped out.

Mo stood over me in the…

In a world where we’re all remote, how do we stay connected? James Baldwin set the blueprint years ago and he did it without Zoom.

By: Renn Vara

I’m driving alone down a remote two-lane bumpy highway in Eastern Maine. NPR is fading in and out as I strain to listen to an interview with the author of a new book about James Baldwin. “He was in, but not of, the civil rights movement,” he says attempting to explain the complexity of “Jimmy’s” voice during his time in history.

I find this odd considering how important his voice is right…

A message for leaders: Whether you like it or not, you’re all now CROs, Chief Repetition Officers.

By: Renn Vara

“I’m boring me,” he said. He’s the founder / CEO of a unicorn in San Francisco. I had been coaching him for some time, urging him to repeat his core message ten times in ten different formats. His athletic nature ensured he did just that. Boring himself was the price.

Leaders struggle with this idea. When we teach media skills, we talk in terms of staying on message. The concept of presenting it in three parts. It’s called the power of three and satisfies our human need to hear things in threes. But to do this well…

You can’t be an expert in everything, but if you want to lead, if you want to inspire, you need to master these.

By: Judy Sheldon

I’ve been coaching and facilitating events for C-Suite executives for a number of years. And whether they’re from a startup or a Fortune 100 company, one piece of advice always comes up for those climbing the ranks:

EQ becomes more and more important than IQ.

And having been exposed to those ranks, both as a professional and as a coach, that insight couldn’t be more accurate. Unfortunately, EQ content is usually brushed to the…

Most people like to think of themselves as good listeners. In reality, many are far (very far) from it.

By: Danny Schultz

Listening is an easy concept to understand, yet it’s very difficult to do. Putting it into practice requires attention, focus, and a hell of a lot of energy.

You’re probably thinking ‘Not me. I’m a GREAT listener. One of the best.’ Ok, maybe not that exact thought process. You get the idea. So, how can you check? How can you tell if you’re a good listener? Start by assessing if you don’t know how to listen. Here are 5 signs:

1. You’re Thinking About Something Else

You’re nodding, you’re smiling, you might even throw in a “yeah…

Just because you ignore it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Stress unchecked can impact you, your team, and your family. But turns out, not all stress is bad…

By: Judy Sheldon

Stress gets a bad rap. Either people say they don’t have it (I want your life…) or they talk about how stressed they are constantly and wear it as if it’s a badge for productivity.

I’d like to make the argument that stress is GREAT! If it’s managed, of course. Unmanaged stress, on the other hand, will take you out by the knees and sit on your chest. It’s not nice. But let’s get back to the good kind of stress, just for a moment. Managed stress (for the most part) is really just pressure. Pressure is…

Believe it or not, free company swag doesn’t define a conference. They still can happen, but where do you start?

By: Roisin Hunt

Like it or not, in-person conferences and large events are off the table for the foreseeable future. So, now what? Here are a few things to consider -

  1. DO IT — Don’t wait. Many companies are postponing their usual in-person events and waiting until we can all be together physically again. Don’t fall behind. This is a unique moment in time to create intimate imaginative experiences for your audience and capture the mindshare of your customers, employees, or partners. People are open to connecting and being part of something new.
  2. CONTENT IS KING OR QUEEN — Your…

Unlocking a new mechanism for learning

Photo by Kyle Glenn Illustrated by Selena Persiani

By Renn Vara

In his recent book, Humankind, author Rutger Bregman dissects human history to make the case for our goodness. Bregman argues that we are inherently good and we are reinforced by our ability to empathize and bond with others. Importantly, this bond is built on being seen, heard and understood.

In business, we call this listening. Better yet, active listening. This all-important skill involves open-ended questions, mirroring, and playbacks.

But, is that all there is?

Some years ago, a well-known business leader quoted my partner and wife in her best selling book, saying something to the effect that…

What the biggest brands in the world are considering and how you can help shape their decision.

By Renn Vara

Google believes they will need more space to accommodate social distancing. Salesforce says it will come down to programming teams and using the space creatively. WeWork sees a bright future with flexibility as the highest priority. And small and midsize companies are rethinking their need for office space altogether.

Then there is the discussion about social capital and proximity to power. These experts say we have a human need for social connection that will win out over this current situation. But in the meantime, there will be a delicate balance between those who benefit from being in…

SNP Communications

Leadership communications for over 25 years. Yes, we’re that old.

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