Showing posts from September, 2018

Examine The Labels We Use

Have you ever gotten labeled something that you aren't? Has someone said you are lazy? Selfish? Rude? A jerk? Whatever the label is you just can't understand why it was applied to you. Have you ever given up and just accepted a label, that maybe you aren't as good as you think you are?

Why do we let labels define us? Things get mislabeled all of the time, it doesn't change what it actually is. If you go to the hardware store and the label said it was a hammer but the item was actually a screwdriver it doesn't make the screwdriver wrong, the label is wrong. We treat inanimate objects better than we treat others and ourselves. Too often we apply a label and let that define a person.

We label generations and try to define millions of people by a basic set of qualities. I hate the label millennial and the way it is used to define a concept of a generation of people that are lazy and selfish. I know plenty of people at any age that work hard and energize me and I know p…

First Step To Winning Is Believing That You Can

My latest read is Tribal Leadership and two words jumped out at me reading it, entrenched mediocrity. It was worth reading the book for those two words alone. Two words that speak volumes about many issues in our teams, organizations and ourselves. It is so easy to start believing something about yourself because it has always been the case. This is the same concept when a team in any sport starts to lose and they continue to lose. Just like good teams find ways to win, bad teams find a way to lose. More often than not it isn't about talent, coaching or scheme, it is about the mindset of the team.

Do you believe you are great and can accomplish great things? Or do you think that this is just the way things are? Do you believe that there are forces at work against you that will never allow you to rise above where you are at?

If you think you can't win because of whatever reason, you won't. Instead think about how you can win in spite of it. People have overcome a lot harder…

Culture Is Dynamic - What Are You Creating?

I always find it funny how a lesson in life starts forming and God finds a way to bombard me with messages to make sure I got it. Today's lesson continues to be culture, but how much I impact culture by what I say and what I do. How do I respond to someone doing something that goes against the culture my organization wants to build? Do I say something or let it slide just because I don't want to be that guy or don't feel like it is my place to say it?

Every time I let it slide I'm accepting a culture that goes against the goal of what we want to create. Jon Gordon reminded me today that I have to be ever diligent if I claim to be leader in this short video here.

What I do on a daily basis creates the culture I'm a part of. It doesn't matter what happened in the past, what am I doing right now to make our culture great?

When Is The Right Time To Quit?

This weekend an interesting event happened, a professional football player, Vontae Davis, decided to quit at halftime of the game he was playing in. This has brought all kind of speculation and ranting from individuals that I'm sure have no idea the actual circumstances or the whole truth. But the opinions have already formed. Some believe he is one of the lowest forms of life, you simply never quit on your team. Others give him their respect and understanding, believing it is only a game and if he felt it was the right time for him to quit that is his choice.

The odd way I start looking at events like this leads me to start asking myself the question, "When is the right time to quit?" Countless projects, relationships, activities and agreements in your life fall on either side of that question. There are times that it is the right thing to quit, to stick with something would be an exercise in futility. Many times we can look back and wish we would have quit earlier. Oth…

Embrace The Challenges In Your Life

If you have a pulse I'm willing to bet you wish that things were easier in your life. You wish your class wasn't as hard, the kid you sit next to in school isn't so mean, your employees weren't so challenging, your business was flourishing and your family sat around singing Kum Ba Yah while they told each person why they were the greatest mother/father/brother/sister/son/daughter/husband/wife there ever was. There might be moments like this but there are also moments where things are the exact opposite. No matter who you are you will make mistakes, you will have challenges, you will deal with difficult people and you will have your fair share of failures.

We want things to be perfect and easy. They never will be, and worse, we spend a lot of our precious time complaining about how bad things are rather than embracing the opportunity before us. We will be thrown things that challenge us, frustrate us and make us angry or sad. What matters isn't about what happens, be…

How Hungry Are You?

As I've been thinking about culture, teamwork and high performing teams recently everything I think of comes back to three key concepts found in Patrick Lencioni's The Ideal Team Player.

Humble - Check your ego at the door and put the needs of the organization above your own.Hungry - Always wanting more, proactive and never settling for the way things are.Smart - While book smarts are important, it is more important to develop an aptitude on understanding and working well with other people. I believe that you can learn humility and people skills, but hunger is something that you either have or you don't. The drive to work hard. The desire to achieve greatness. The passion to be successful. The need to never accept complacency. 
If you are just going through the motions, doing something because you have to, because it is your job, you have already limited yourself in what you can achieve. If you aren't hungry, don't be surprised if someone passes you by.

Are Your Actions Louder Than Your Words?

Actions speak louder than words. A famous quote that everyone has probably heard. Yes, it means don't talk about what you are going to do, actually do it. It also means, in another cliched saying, if you are going to talk the talk you better be ready to walk the walk.

If you are going to have policies, values, mission statements, handbooks and core beliefs, you better be ready to actually hold them to be true. If you don't, the people you lead will quickly see through you and begin taking the things you say as empty promises. It will be hard for them to believe anything you say. What is the truth and what is just another story you tell them? You can't use your policies as a reason to fire the employee that doesn't contribute, yet ignore them and make an exception for your superstar. There is no quicker way to lose the respect of those around you. Once you've lost their respect it is hard to get the best effort from them and sooner or later you start losing team memb…

The Magic Of New Beginnings

It is an exciting time in our house. That time of year my wife and I get super pumped up. Yes, football season is upon us, but that isn't what I'm talking about here. It is the start of school. That magical time when routines return. When the phrase, "I'm bored" is rarely heard. When we as parents start to get some level of sanity back.

This year is an especially momentous year in our house. Never before have we had so many new beginnings at the same time. Our three daughters are facing their first year of high school, their first year of middle school and starting kindergarten respectfully. To add on to that, my freshman will be old enough to take her driving permit test in two days. Lots of new beginnings.

To go with those new beginnings there are a lot of nerves, lots of excitement and a fair amount of worry. It comes with the unknowns. As adults we are the same, starting a new job or moving to a new city we also can be nervous, excited and anxious. But new beg…