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Showing posts from July, 2019

On The Road To Greatness

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One of my all time favorite business books is Good To Great by Jim Collins. I have read all of his books and recently finished a short addendum to this called Turning The Flywheel. This was apparently what they call a monograph, a term I was unfamiliar with until reading this short 37 page gem. It was a reminder of how we often set definitions around things, like books and how they have to conform to a certain structure. The lesson is to deliver your product in the form that fits, not what culture tells you to be right.

The real takeaway I got from this book is from the last paragraph.
Good to Great is never done. The moment you think of yourself as great, your slide to mediocrity will have already begun.  A simple but powerful message. Seek greatness, but be humble enough to know you are never great. Think of it as a journey and not a destination. Companies, people, coaches, players and artists are great when others describe them as such, but rarely are great when they describe thems…

Do You Know What The Word Empowerment Really Means?

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Do you ever have those moments where you hear a word, one you've heard many times before, and suddenly you realize you didn't really understand it till now? That word for me is empowerment. You hear it a lot, especially in business. People want their employees to feel empowered, they want them to feel like the have authority and control over things so they take action.

Yet, we've all seen too often what it looks like in reality. When someone doesn't follow the exact process or they make a mistake, how do those same bosses react in those situations. Previous words now sound empty.

When you get a sense of what true empowerment looks like, you quickly realize how wrong your view was. True empowerment looks like your manager telling you that you will make a mistake, and that is okay because everyone has done it, so we learn from it and move forward. True empowerment is your mentor telling you that the way you performed a task isn't how they would do it but it got the j…

How Can We Make Something Better?

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There is a simple strategy on how to get better at your job, your hobby, a relationship, school, etc. Ask, then go do it. Simple, but yet often hard for us to do in reality. You see when you ask what you can do better, people might actually tell you things that you need to work on. Some of those things might even be items you thought you were pretty good at. There is a good chance that it will be a hit to your ego. But take heart, because I guarantee you your ego can handle it, and now you actually have some feedback you can do something about.

If you are doing something wrong, the first step in being able to fix it is realizing there is a problem. The second step is wanting to fix it. We get feedback and when we don't like it we start explaining why their feedback is wrong. You've missed a golden opportunity when you do that and now have probably ensured you will never get another opportunity again. When someone gives you feedback the best way to end it is to simply say, &quo…

Stop Being Influenced And Start Doing Your Own Influencing

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I have to admit, this whole world of Social Media Influencers baffles me. Did we seriously let this become a thing? There are people out there whose job it is to create a large enough audience so people pay them to advertise their goods and services to their tribe. What's worse is we have parents that are working hard to exploit their children to turn them into the next great influencer on YouTube or Instagram. There are kids that are millionaires before they turn 10. The easy argument is that if someone is willing to pay a kid the money, the child and parents have the right to accept that payment. I am actually completely okay with that.

What I am more concerned with is the fact that we the audience become so enamored with these influencers that we start blindly following them, liking what they want us to like and buying what they tell us to buy. As a society we continue to be hounded by people and companies vying for our limited attention. It is a slippery slope between looking …

You Are Special But You Are Not Entitled To Anything

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One of the hardest things I find to try and teach my kids is the balance between them knowing that they are special but they aren't so special that they are entitled to anything.

When I read about the rising levels of depression and suicidal thoughts in our world it scares me. The levels of bullying are very real and as any person who had a typical time growing up can tell you, kids can often be cruel. But in spite of all of that, every person is unique and special in so many ways. You are a unique individual that has your own set of gifts and talents for the world, something only you can bring.

On the flip side, I see so many more people feeling entitled, that feel like they are special above other people for one reason or another. I recently read a story where someone was telling of a co-worker that she overheard getting corrective feedback. The person didn't agree with the feedback and ultimately called their mom to complain about their boss and ask if she would call her bo…

The Truth Will Set You Free

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I'm not a fan of the news. I like to keep up on what is happening in the world but I hate the news because it is hard to tell when you are getting the actual story. In our attention driven culture we only notice the juicy headlines and stories that are often embellished to the point where the truth is lost. I get tired of listening to people give statements professing their version of the story as true only to have them reappear a few days later attempting to clarify their story after new damning evidence is released.
The truth can be hard. We all make mistakes in life because we are all human. We are all fallible creatures that try to hide our faults and mistakes. We tell ourselves reasons for it and sooner or later those stories we tell ourselves we start telling others. When the lies start they can be hard to stop. But eventually the truth comes out. The people we really care about, and care about us, can always see the truth. It is always better to hear the truth directly from…

Keeping Traditions - Building A Culture That Endures

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I know nothing about rugby, that needs to be stated out of the gate so if I have any rugby enthusiasts reading this I hopefully won't offend them. But I need to talk about rugby and probably the most famous rugby team, the New Zealand national team called the All Blacks. I recently finished Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Lifeby James Kerr, which talked about the culture and changes the team made over the years to maintain their elite status and rebuild when they weren't meeting their own expectations. You don't have to know anything about rugby to recognize their dominance. They hold a 77% winning record against their international competition. Since the inceptions of the World Rugby Rankings they have held the number one ranking longer than all other teams combined.

Part of what is intriguing about the All Blacks is their deep sense of culture and tradition. To wear the All Blacks jersey isn't something to be taken lightly. As a player y…

Objective: Be A Part Of A High Performing Team

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I've realized that one of my goals in life is to experience being part of a high performing team. I've always been a part of a team, and almost every team has been made up of great people working together. But when I say high performing team it is another level. In high school I played basketball and baseball. I played on teams and we won some games, I would never say we were a high performing team at any time. A high performing team is one that wins or competes for championships. You watch them and there is something special about them. Everyone else gets pumped up when they have to play them because they know they are going against the best. High performing teams are identified from those outside, others recognize their greatness, it is never self proclaimed.

When I look back on my 20+ year career I don't believe I could say I've ever been on a high performing team. The closest I've come was a 3-4 window where we had all of the right parts but just didn't qui…

Great Stories - Everyone Has One

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I'm reading through Legacyby James Kerr and there was a part talking about stories that reminded me how much I enjoy a good story. The best business books I've ever read all have an element of good story telling to them. Nobody wants to read a text book. We learn and engage better with stories. The best speakers are those that tell great stories. Stories are a foundation in our culture.

Most people think that their life is boring, they are a failure, or that nobody would care about their story. It isn't true though, your story just isn't finished. Every story has conflict, every hero has that moment where it seems like they are defeated and it is the end of the line. The key is that isn't the end of the story. It is at that moment that the hero has a choice to make. They can stay defeated, turn around and forget about the path they were on because it looks too hard. Or, they can find the strength to move forward, learn from the defeat and turn the tragedy into triu…