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Showing posts from June, 2019

The World Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

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It is easy in life to take the safe route, to do the thing that you are comfortable with. There is risk in trying new things, because when we are new at something we are usually not very good at it. If you decide to take up golf because it looks fun but you've never played in your life, you are not going to be Tiger Woods when you tee off the first time. 
Great things can happen when you step outside of your comfort zone. There are great people to meet and interesting places to visit outside of your neighborhood. You might find a new hobby or a new job is more fun or more interesting than anything you had done before. It might be more work or effort than you've done before because you can't just slip back into your normal routines, allowing your muscle memory to just get you through the day. It might be more exhausting because it takes more energy. However the easy route, the safe route is rarely the most scenic. Don't let your comfort and fear of the unknown prevent y…

Servant Leadership - A Simple Test

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I fear that servant leadership has become one of those buzz words that gets thrown around too easily and has lost a lot of meaning. But then I think of what is seen a lot from leaders today wouldn't be considered servant leadership at all so even if people like the buzz word doesn't mean they are actually executing it.
I heard a concept once that has stuck with me that I think epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader. If you want to be a servant leader, your aim in life should not be becoming the hero, your goal should be becoming the wise leader that guides the hero. Don't be Luke Skywalker, become Yoda teaching Luke. Don't be Frodo, be Sam that is always by his side. Don't be Danial, be Mr. Miyagi. Don't be Harry Potter, be Professor Dumbledore. There are countless examples in stories where there is a secondary character that is vital in helping the hero become who they are meant to be. They are there to provide support, advice, friendship, encourageme…

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…