The Top 10 Posts of 2016

Unpredictable Results

Talk to any blogger and you will likely hear the same thing.  It is always a surprise to see what becomes popular.  I may work like crazy on something for hours, post it, and it may see very little traffic.  Something else ends up taking off, and it was almost a last minute thought.  You just can’t predict.

In putting together a list of popular posts, there are also so many ways to look at the data.  Do you measure purely by the traffic?  If you do it that way, doesn’t that give an unfair advantage to content posted in January?

After looking at the statistics, I decided to pick the top posts by traffic with a weight based on the date.  If a post was dated later in the year, it received a slightly higher weight to equal things out.

 

The Top 10: Did you miss one?

Here are the top 10 original posts:

3 Leadership Lessons from Santa Claus

Lesson from Santa: Let go of baggage weighing you down.

Don’t Get Hooked! Why Successful People Don’t Take the Bait

“Happiness can only be found if you free yourself of all other distractions.” -Saul Bellow

Why Leaders Must Deliver on Promises

“You are what you do, not what you say you will do.” CG Jung

Winners Give Just A Little Bit More

“A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.” –George Augustus Moore

What Do You See in the Clouds?

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” –Edgar Degas

The Best Book Covers of 2016

Book Jackets

It’s no secret that I love books. A few years ago, I confessed to abiliophobia, the fear of being without a book or at least something to read. (Try telling your doctor about your affliction and see what happens.) There’s little more concerning to me than being stuck somewhere with nothing to read.

Fortunately for me, my career has me covered. Whether visiting a library, a book warehouse, an author conference, a publisher, a bookstore or my home, I always have several within reach.

Like most of us, a book cover captures my interest. I often pause and peruse books simply based on the graphic design.

Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover?  That’s the goal of every designer: to influence that moment and make you take action. Pick me up!

Each year, I make a list of the best book covers.  And, it’s not only fun, did you know that book covers also offer valuable leadership and goal setting lessons?  (Click here to read more.)

If you want to compare this year’s list with previous years:

2015 Best Book Covers

2014 Best Book Covers

2013 Best Book Covers

2012 Best Book Covers

2011 Best Book Covers

Without further ado, here are the Best Book Covers of 2016.

(If you click any of the titles it takes you to the book on Amazon.)

Cruel Crown By Victoria Aveyard

9780062435347

The Children’s Home By Charles Lambert

9781501117398

 

The Night Gardener By the Jan Brothers

9781481439787

 

Greatest Landscapes By National Geographic

9781426217128

 

The Comet Seekers By Helen Sedgwick

9780062448767

 

The Muse By Jessie Burton

9780062471611

Merry Christmas: Pat-a-pan

Merry Christmas!

One of my favorite Christmas carols is Pat-a-pan. It was first published in 1720 and has endured through the centuries.

This is my favorite version sung by Steve Green and arranged by David Hamilton. They collaborated on the additional lyrics.

May the energy of this song infuse you with Christmas spirit. May the lyrics remind you of the reason we celebrate.

-Skip

 


“God has come to us. God is here with us. Emmanuel!”

3 Leadership Lessons from Santa Claus

Leadership Lessons from Saint Nick

All year long he’s preparing for a single night.

Of course, he doesn’t do it alone. His faithful wife is by his side, a full partner in making Christmas a success. And the industrious elves are at work, focused, skilled, determined to meet the imposing deadlines. Oh yes, we can’t forget the reindeer, a critical part of his delivery team.

Christmas Eve is show time. There’s no room for excuses. It’s not possible to delay. Time waits for no man, not even Santa.

Santa’s leadership is fully on display on Christmas Eve.

1. Let go of the baggage weighing you down.

By the end of the night, everything is gone. He doesn’t hold on to anything. Every single bag is delivered, leaving him with an empty sleigh. Because of this, the year ahead offers unlimited opportunity, a fresh slate, a new outlook.

Are you holding on to baggage better left to the past?

 

Lesson from Santa: Let go of baggage weighing you down.

 

Lesson from Santa: Giving to others frees you up for new opportunities.

 

2. Remember the good and forget the bad.

Santa has kept a record. Sure, we know he supposedly sees the good and the bad, but no kid ever reports getting a bag of coal Christmas morning. I think he has an excellent memory for the good things, the kindnesses he sees, and he forgets a lot of the bad stuff. Santa focuses on the positive and uplifting.

Are you willing to overlook faults, forgive wrongs, and remember the best of people?

 

Lesson from Santa: Forget wrongs. Celebrate kindness.

 

Lesson from Santa: Focus on the positive.

 

49 Christmas Quotes and Sayings

For all of you celebrating Christmas, here is a collection of quotes and sayings to make you laugh, think, or remember. For those not celebrating Christmas, you may still enjoy some of the thoughts and sayings here.  Enjoy the season!

“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” –Phyllis Diller

 

“Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.” –Johnny Carson

 

“I stopped believing in Santa when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” –Shirley Temple

 

“The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world and people keep sending it to each other.” –Johnny Carson

 

“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” –Buddy the Elf

 

“Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.” –Victor Borge

 

“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note saying: Toys not included!” –Bernard Manning

 

“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.” –Ben Franklin

 

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas.” –Peg Bracken

 

“Pets, like their owners, tend to expand a little over the Christmas period.” –Frances Wright

 

“One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present.” -Unknown

 

“Love the giver more than the gift.” –Brigham Young

 

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” –Harian Miller

 

“That’s the true spirit of Christmas: people being helped by people other than me.” –Jerry Seinfeld

 

“The real Santa Claus is at the mall.”–Lemony Snicket

 

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” -Charles Dickens

 

“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.” –Eric Sevareid

 

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” –Andy Rooney

 

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” -Normal Vincent Peale

 

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” –Charles Schulz

 

“The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.” -Charles D Warner

 

“The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.” –Helen Keller

 

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.” -Luke 2:14

 

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” –Erma Bombeck

 

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” -Calvin Coolidge

“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” -Dale Evans Rogers

 

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.” –Irving Berlin

 

“This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.” -Taylor Caldwell

 

“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.” –Dr. Seuss

 

“You know you’re getting old when Santa starts looking younger.” –Robert Paul

 

“Always winter but never Christmas.” –CS Lewis

 

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”  -Chris Van Allsburg

 

“Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it.” -Richard Lamm

 

“Christmas is a time when you get homesick-even when you’re home.” – Carol Nelson

 

“And so this is Christmas…what have you done?” –John Lennon

 

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the Inn.” -Luke 2:7

 

“The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school.” – Alice Cooper

 

“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.” –Margaret Thatcher

 

“There has been only one Christmas. The rest are anniversaries.” –WJ Cameron

 

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” –Alexander Smith

 

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” –Bob Hope

 

“Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” –Helen Steiner Rice

 

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.” -Larry Wilde

 

“It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you.” –Mother Teresa

 

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” –Garrison Keillor

 

“Remember, if Christmas is found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.” –Charlotte Carpenter

 

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” –Majorie Holmes

 

“The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much.” –Henry David Thoreau

 

“I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me.” -Bing Crosby