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Showing posts from March, 2018

Looking At A Robot And A Toy Train

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I saw this gif once where someone was making a joke about how they feel at their job, barely able to keep one step ahead of the train.
Many people feel like the robotic arm, frantically trying to keep up with the train. You feel like the slightest slip up will cause everything to come crashing down around you.
Some feel like the train, just steadily going through the motions every day and not really getting anywhere.
Instead, think of the problem solvers, the people that you don't even see that are coming up with cool solutions. It may not be the coolest invention ever, because really what is the point of the whole setup? Sometimes you need to make a problem fun. Sometimes you can create something without having a problem to apply it to, but there will be future opportunities. Try to find something where you have an opportunity to use some creativity, get both sides of your brain working.
You can find out more about this project by clicking here.

Better Than Yesterday

Over my life there are different quotes, sayings, mantras, whatever you want to call them, the things that stick with me and I can recite over and over again to myself. The one that I tell myself and find myself sharing the most with people I come into contact with is to simply try to be better today than you were yesterday. To get better at anything, to improve, it usually isn't about big monumental changes, it is about the small incremental daily work and minor improvements. If each day you are the tiniest bit better than yesterday you are improving. Some days might be bigger steps forward than others, but if you are moving forward when you look back after a week, month, or year you can tell that you are in a better spot than you were.
If you are trying to get better as an individual, a team, a department, a family, an organization or a community - start small. The larger the group the more progress you make collectively as each person does what they can to make a small improvem…

Move Over Motivation, We Need To Be Disciplined

When I learned about the One Word concept I usually never had a problem finding a word that spoke to me, it was usually a somewhat easy process at the beginning of the year. This year was different, I went through literally hundreds of words but it never felt like I had the right one. If you've never done a One Word before, I highly recommend it. Goals and resolutions are too complex, we never remember them and they fade from memory too quickly leaving us feeling guilty when we remember them. But One Word, that is something you can tape by your monitor or on your mirror, look at it countless times of day to remind yourself what this year is all about. I'm late to the game but for me my word for 2018 is Discipline.

When I look back at words I thought about discipline was there, but I'm guessing I didn't really want that to be my word. Discipline doesn't sound fun, it sounds punitive. But discipline is not about punishment, it is controlling your own behaviors to ach…

No Fear Of Failure

I don't care if you are a sports fan, you need to listen to what Scott Frost said in a recent press conference. He talks about wanting an environment where players have "no fear of failure". The reason behind that comment is where the real lesson is at, "Once you take away the fear of making a bad play it frees you up to go make good plays". Think beyond sports and I'm sure you can remember a time where you were focused on not making a mistake. What was the outcome? I guarantee you it wasn't your best effort, it has a negative effect on you. I had a boss in the past that I was always afraid of, it still affects me to this day as I will at times find myself more worried about establishing my defense rather than simply learning from my mistake and moving on.

Great managers and leaders establish a culture of learning. When you are learning something new you will make mistakes. When you are first learning to play the piano you aren't going to sound like…

Give Me All The Feedback!

It shouldn't surprise me like it does, but I'm still in awe of how many leaders don't use every avenue to gather feedback.

If you are a higher level manager that has mid-level managers that report to you, consider it a requirement to get feedback from those that are a layer removed from you. Build relationships and ask them for their feedback on how things are going or what can be improved. People have a funny way of trying to protect themselves, even if it is subconsciously. If you only seek feedback from your direct reports (you know, those people whom you write reviews and control their raise) you aren't getting the full picture.

If you are a coach how are you going to build a relationship with parents as well as the kids on the team? I know, many parents are terrible and are trying to re-live their glory days through their child and are insufferable, but you have to deal with them anyway so how do you overcome it and make it as productive of a relationship as possi…

What Are You Going To Choose?

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Many people go through life feeling like everything has been decided for them. They don't have a lot of control of what happens to them each day. They have a boss that tells them what they are going to do each day. They have a teacher tell them what they are going to learn next. They have a coach tell them where they are going to play. But we are not slaves to our situation. We have a choice to make every day.

I was reminded of this by a great tweet I read by @CoachHinesCHS Toughness is a choice
Hard work is a choice
Character is a choice
Humility is a choice
Loyalty is a choice
Just about 99% of life, is a choice! You might not love your job, but maybe God has you there for a reason, to build the qualities in you that you will need to get he job you want. Choose to be great in the job you have.

You might not like the subject you are studying in school, but remember that you are there to learn how to learn. Life is going to give you challenges where you have to learn about a subject y…

Just Be Honest - The Truth Will Set You Free

If I could give only one piece of advice to my kids and anyone that would actually listen, it is this: Just Be Honest. I'm not saying we have to go around confessing all of the thoughts and feelings that go through our head; just make sure that if you are going to say something, make it be true. We've all at some point in our life have had a moment where we try to backtrack or embellish the truth to make ourselves look better. Or maybe you tried to hide some facts that don't make you look as good as you thought. Sometimes things get out of control, the situation where one lie leads to bigger lies. For others the person that they most lie to is themselves, they only seek their own counsel and they completely buy into everything they tell themselves. I see it so often at work and it just wrecks working relationships that makes achieving goals that much harder as you spend more time fact checking to confirm the validity of what you are told. Dishonesty wrecks trust, if you ha…

How Do You Select A Captain For The Team?

My latest book is The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates The World's Greatest Teams by Sam Walker. It is an interesting read, one of those books that starts with a lot of research to discover something. It crosses multiple sports to find out what was the unique thing that made the greatest teams of all time so different. As you can guess by the title, there is something special about the captain of the those one for the ages teams. You would think they were talking about a superstar player, but it was often a person that many people never heard of or often overlooked, even if they were a fan of the team.

Great teams have someone that leads from the trenches like few can. Someone who sees the vision of what the team is trying to create and is willing to do the dirty work that is sometimes necessary to get them there. They set an example that drives everyone else on the team to give even more of themselves. There is a reason they are a captain.

There is a lesson there for …

How Are You Doing Today?

I get asked this question more times in a day than any other. It is the easiest greeting when passing someone in the hall, "Good morning, how are you?" The cliche goes that most people don't actually want you to answer in any way other than fine. They either don't want to hear how someone is doing great or they don't want someone to bring them down who isn't doing so well.

The fact of the matter is we all have days that aren't so good. The days where it feels like you have no friends. The days when it feels like nobody at work likes or respects you. The days when it feels like anything you say or do is wrong. The days when you feel isolated and all alone. The enemy tries to get us to think that we are all alone, but we never truly are. There are people beside you in life that will be there for you. There are people in your life that you need to be there for them. Sometimes you give and sometimes you receive.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, "...encourage o…