Posts

Extreme Ownership

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We talk all the time about how important ownership is in your job. You need to own the projects assigned to you, the things that you have control over. But the part we so often fail to recognize is that we have more control than we think we do, so we need to look beyond ownership and instead practice extreme ownership. I just finished Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. If the military interests you, this is a great book as each principle is told through a story from their time as SEALs, a short overview of the principle itself, and a story that applies the principle in business.

The principles themselves though are tremendous. We need more of this thinking today. There is too much entitlement and feelings of, "What are you going to do for me?" Extreme ownership is about not making any excuses, not blaming anyone, not complaining, and never hiding the truth. If your manager isn't explaining why you are having to work on a …

Sometimes Our Greatest Opportunities Come From Our Greatest Setbacks

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There is nothing better than having teachable moments of real life with my girls. Recently I had the opportunity to help them learn about life's setbacks as we shared with them the reality of having lost my job. The reality of the world is that you could be doing a good job but consolidations and cost cutting moves happen all the time and you never know if you are completely safe. You do the best job you can but always be prepared for something unexpected happening, because that is part of life. It is never an easy thing to lose your job, but there are a few things you should always be doing.

First is to have a good practice of watching your spending and having a savings account. I know, it is hard to do when it is so easy to get credit to buy a new car or whatever toys you want. Being smart with your money is as simple as spending less than you make and making sure you save something every paycheck. When you watch your budget, and only spend what you have it is easier to save. St…

Tell Me It Is Okay To Be Nervous

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There are times for everyone in their life that they get nervous, but we often try to hide it. We think it is a bad thing to be nervous. When someone tells us they are nervous we tell them not to be. How many times have you told someone to not be nervous and they look at you and say, "Oh, you're right, I won't be." Probably never.
Being nervous, excited, adrenaline pumping, or anxious is okay, it just means something bigger than your normal average day is happening. We don't need to be scared or ashamed of it. Learn to focus in spite of the nerves and you can use that extra energy to get through what you are facing. Take a deep breath and enjoy the fact you have something in your life that is pushing you. Learn from it and use it because there will be another time in the future where you are nervous again.

What Do I Do With My Free Time?

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School is finally out for the summer, my girls are loving it as they have some free time. They aren't happy with me though, as I've already had them work on their list of things that they are going to work on over the summer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling them that it is a screen free summer, though there will be days that are screen free. They need time to relax, recharge and just have some fun. We all do, but too often the activities in our free time don't do much for us. What are the books you are going to read this summer? What are the things you want to learn how to do better? What is something new you want to learn? If they don't have any ideas I luckily have some ideas for them.

We should be no different. It never seems like it, but we all have free time. We need time to relax and refresh, but we should be using some of our free time to learn something new or get better. Those that lead and are successful use a portion of their free time to get bet…

What I Learned About Work Watching A Bug's Life

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One of my favorite scenes I use to describe workplaces comes from the Pixar movie A Bug's Life. It is far too common of a scene I'm guessing all of us have witnessed in our life. It is a humorous take on the two basic types of people at work. You have those that throw up their hands and say they don't know what to do when the exceptions happen and you have those that tell others not to panic and figure out a simple way around the challenge before them.

Any workplace, school or team has rules and procedures that you have to follow. However, every workplace, school and team find themselves dealing with problems that they never have faced before. There isn't a procedure on it because it is new, or not frequent enough to have a documented procedure on how to deal with it. When those come up how are you going to react? Are you going to panic over everything, even a tiny leaf? Or are you going to remain calm and just figure out a solution?

Today Is Going To Be A Good Day, And Here's Why

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This past weekend I was lucky enough to see Dear Evan Hansen, a great musical by Steven Levenson with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (they did The Greatest Showman and many other projects). Besides the music being amazing, it has such an interesting story that deals with suicide and how easy it can be for people to feel alone or forgotten. It is a very dark topic to say the least but I believe almost everyone has felt like they were alone at some point in their life. We can live in a cruel world, full of bullying and hate speech on every corner of social media. We all know that not everyone in this world will be our friend or even like us. It is easy to fall into the trap from there where you start feeling like nobody likes you and you have no friends. I know I've been at that point in my life, feeling like I was all alone, wondering if I disappeared, if anyone would even notice.

The closing scene of Dear Evan Hansen gives us the perfect response for when we feel that way. Th…

Learning From Mistakes - Regardless Of Who Make Them

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When we make a mistake we think we need to hide it or come up with an excuse as to why it happened. Society makes it seem like you can't let on that you don't know something, or that you have a weakness. When we have scars we try to cover them. The fact is we are all fallible human beings, we all make mistakes, so why do we try so hard to hide them?

Some of the best life lessons have come from learning from my mistakes. The second best lessons come from learning from others mistakes. That is how society and innovation continue to progress forward, we build on what was learned in the previous generation. Everyone doesn't need to start out in life inventing the wheel and discovering fire. When you allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share your mistakes there is someone in your life that will benefit in learning about it. Unfortunately there are still plenty of people who will exploit your weaknesses and mistakes, so you have to be careful on who you share it with. The benef…