Tag Archives: leadership

Playing Big as a Leader


My blogs are usually about how to become a better leader. This time I would like to take a step back and provide an assessment as to what it looks like to Play Big or Play Small. Let’s be honest with ourselves. None of us have all of the characteristics of Playing Big in leadership, but the best leaders are aware of their shortcomings and are improving themselves. When reading this post, look for areas you need improvement and write out some simple steps to address your weaknesses.

Playing Big in leadership is not a one-cut diamond; it requires a multi-faceted approach. Below is quick checklist assessment to ensure you are doing everything you can to Play Big in your leadership.

Leaders Playing Big:

  • Do not jump to judgment
  • Remain calm during challenging times and in tough relationships
  • Pause to reflect and don’t rush to react
  • Do not place self-imposed limits on their potential
  • Have an ability to be present and engaged when it counts
  • Understand how emotions affect their behaviors
  • Can see from other people’s frame of reference
  • Can admit when they are wrong
  • Can see the great potential in others
  • Accept that sometimes they are Playing Small and need to step it up
  • Can appreciate their lives and their successes

The above list gives you some attitudinal goals; below is my list of attributes to avoid.

Leaders Playing Small:

  • Are more judgmental of themselves and others
  • Allow negative self-talk to derail their big plans
  • Are often reacting, rather than responding
  • Are not willing to admit when they are wrong
  • Are often distracted during conversations
  • Become defensive when criticized
  • Feel a need to be right rather than do right
  • Want control for control’s sake
  • Have a hard time following other
  • Seek short-term success
  • Avoid short-term pain
  • Are driven by habitual, default behaviors
  • Lack a strong sense of purpose.

Remember: To get big time results you have to Play Big. What are two or three characteristics of Playing Big can you work towards today?

Here is to building better leaders

-Steve Gutzler

u work towards today?

image credit: www.mattmorris.com

Leader in the Spotlight: Rebekah Radice

Steve and rebekah

My Leader in the Spotlight this week is Rebekah Radice, a true leader in her field. Rebekah Radice is a social media strategist, content developer, trainer and community manager for Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, serving as “the voice” behind the brand.

As someone that manages social media on a daily basis, Rebekah recognizes how difficult attracting new business can be in the digital era. For many small to mid-size businesses, this is due to the lack of an online strategy, poorly executed campaigns and little to no online footprint.

Rebekah’s works to assist business owners with their online marketing plan, helping them capitalize on the power of an integrated social media campaign in a specific and strategic way.

Her goal is to help you stop those time sucking activities and maximize, prioritize and monetize your online efforts!

I asked her some question to try to get at the root of her success so that I could learn what makes her special. Her insightful answers provide some amazing takeaways which I hope you will take to heart.

1. You are truly a leader in the field of social media, etc… What are three or four guiding tenets for building your own business?

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Steve, for making me your Leader in the Spotlight. I truly appreciate the chance to share my knowledge and passions.

The core values or guiding principles that guide my life and business are integrity, passion, creativity, innovation, authenticity and empowerment.

My pursuit is not to be everything to everybody, but rather to give everything to help individuals. I strive to make each encounter an opportunity for me and for the person with whom I am interacting.

2. Successful entrepreneurs and leaders have great daily habits. Share two or three of your best practices.

  • Quiet time every morning that allows me to start my day energized, focused and eager to tackle whatever comes my way.
  • Consistently set stretch goals that allow me to live outside my comfort zone – the only place I’m every truly happy!
  • Always, always, always make time for the stuff that makes me smile. Whether it’s a walk with my dogs or a run to the local frozen yogurt shop, I make time within each day to enjoy life’s little pleasures. I spent too many years working at a very fast pace and made a commitment to myself many years ago to never let work interfere with a life.

3. How do you define success and what does it look like?

The definition of success in my life has certainly evolved over time. Success is many things to me these days. It is the peace of mind that comes with knowing I am giving my best in any given situation. It is the satisfaction that is received recognizing that I have attacked a project and given all that I have, leaving nothing on the table. It also means that I am living up to my employer/clients expectations and have met or exceeded the promises made.

4. Who do you look to for inspiration, mentoring or leadership influence?

There are several people who are constant sources of inspiration to me. This is a small group of friends, industry colleagues and a business coach that has been with me for nearly a decade. Each is there to offer support, encouragement or in some cases, the kick in the pants I need to keep pushing forward!

5. What are a couple of things your parents taught you that you’re grateful for?

My father was an incredibly hard worker and taught me the reward behind an honest days work. I have often juggled 2 or 3 jobs just to get from where I was to where I wanted to be. I have always believed that we are the masters of our own destiny, something he taught me at a very early age.

My mother taught me compassion and humility, a beautiful combination. I admire her incredible spirit and the fact that she’s never met a person she didn’t feel compelled to reach out to, share with and get to know in a meaningful and authentic way.

6. I know marriage and family is very important to you, how do you keep the spark alive and find balance?

Well it’s no secret that juggling work and family life is an enormous challenge. The only way I know how to effectively find balance is to work at it every single day. What do I mean by this? I schedule date nights with my husband or steal him away in the afternoon to our favorite coffee shop where we can grab a spot in the sun for 15 minutes and catch up. It’s the simple things that feed my soul and keep that spark alive.

7. What are two or three things an entrepreneur needs to keep an eye on to build their own personal brand?

They need to have a deep understanding of their unique abilities or value proposition, their consumer’s needs and the needs of their local market. With the evolution of social media, needs change on a dime. Entrepreneurs must stay agile and willing to adjust strategy when and where it’s needed.

8. How do you handle setbacks or criticism?

I have pretty thick skin and typically take criticism in stride. That being said, both setbacks and criticism can be derailing emotionally and spiritually. It can sap me of my energy and take my eyes off the target, if only momentarily. This can happen to all us from time to time, which is why it’s so important to surround yourself with a solid support system. The people I mentioned above are exactly that to me. They help me see the reality in the situation and move out of the moment and back into a healthy frame of mind.

9. What are three of your favorite social media tools (with links) that are must-haves to manage and grow a business online?

Three of my favorite tools are:

Sprout Social – A Facebook and Twitter management and analytics dashboard that allows you to listen, engage and share with ease.

Bufferapp – Buffer does all of the heavy lifting for you by analyzing your social accounts and determining the best times to post. You can then schedule and auto post to maximize exposure.

Socialbro – Funny name with awesome capabilities to monitor and analyze Twitter followers, including best time to tweet.

10.What projects or engagements are you looking forward to this year?

I am attending Social Media Marketing World in April where the best and brightest from the industry will be speaking and sharing their best practices. Education is a cornerstone of my success and I love learning from those so willing to give away their hard earned knowledge!

11. What are three words that you would use to describe yourself?

Ambitious, Creative and Eager!


Thank you so much Rebekah for sharing your wonderful insights and being our Leader in the Spotlight!

Please connect with and follow Rebekah via her many online profiles!





Email: rebekah@rebekahradice.com

Web: www.rebekahradice.com

Steve’s Favorites: If I Get to Five

This post was originally posted in Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest’s blog on January 17th, 2012. 

Naomi was only four when she arrived at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. She had a complicated brain tumor that was wrapped around two arteries. This was over 25 years ago and pediatric neurosurgery was still in its infancy.

Dr. Fred Epstein, the founding director of the institute, was commissioned to removed Naomi’s tumor in the course of two delicate surgeries that were both deemed “a long shot.”

After Naomi survived the first surgery, this feisty girl with dancing eyes and a bandaged head pronounced:

“If I get to five, I’m going to learn how to ride a two wheeler!”

Each day leading up to the next surgery as Dr. Epstein made his rounds, there was Naomi making her bold statements:

Monday: If I get to five, I’m going to beat my older brother at tic-tac-toe!

Tuesday: If I get to five, I’m going learn to tie my shoes in double knots!

Wednesday: If I get to five, I’m going to learn to jump rope backwards!

What Dr. Epstein was learning from this courageous little four-year-old girl was :

  1. You can draw courage from a four-year-old
  2. Courage is greater than fear
  3. She knew that getting to five was an “if” and not a “when” proposition

Naomi understood that in order to get to five years old, she needed to look forward to the next level of mastery, like learning to tie her shoes in double knots or learning to jump rope backwards.

Naomi survived both surgeries and although there was some brain damage, her courage has sustained her. She has since stayed very close to Dr. Epstein.

Exceptional You 2.0 Question

You must be honest- How are you doing with determination to embrace the next stages of your life?

To get to that next level and next stage in business and leadership, it will require the pursuit and mastery of new skills!

Naomi reminds us that even when “inoperable” is stamped across our lives, we need to strengthen our resolve to never give up. She was determined to make it to five so that she could learn new skills. We must strengthen our resolve to never give up in dire situations, not on a child, not on a relationship, not on our business, and especially not on our dreams, no matter how daunting the next challenge is. Just go for it!

I am sure if you are like me, life can get pretty messy and mundane at times. At other times, it can become overwhelming and burdensome.

But children, like the elderly, can teach us about courage and character. For one thing, children live life in the moment, they usually take on just today. Remember, today matters! And the elderly, well the aged don’t have the strength to live much more beyond today. Like Grandma Gutzler used to tell me, “I am just happy to be alive today.”

Six Take-Away Truths from Naomi and Dr. Epstein

  1. Hold someone’s hand
    “We can do no great things. Only small things with great love” Mother Teresa
  2. Live in the moment
    “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time” Abraham Lincoln
  3. Face your Fears
    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear” Ambrose Redmoon
  4. Believe in Miracles
    “Sometimes children teach us character, other times they teach us child-like truth which leads to miracles.” Steve Gutzler
  5. Play your Strengths
    “I don’t think I shall easily bow down before the blows that inevitably come to everyone” Ann Frank
  6. Love without Boundaries
    “Now I know I’ve got a heart, because it is breaking.” Tin Woodman from the Wizard of Oz

The Book:
if I get to five- what children can teach us about courage and character.
By Dr. Fred Epstein, MD

Today matters, live it with fresh courage, faith, and child-like determination.