Friday, August 30, 2013

The Fruits of Our Labor

It's Labor Day Weekend! The beer is cold, the weather is warm, the grill is ready, College Football is starting and we've got Monday off work. It's a good time to be an American!!!

It is time to celebrate the fruits of our labor. Have you earn it?

This weekend take a minute to reflect.....

Do You Love Your Job?
The boomerang of Reciprocity has never swung with such vigor!

Dear Readers, the Great Recession is over! It's your time now! No longer can employers play the "your lucky to have a job" card. No longer can your Manager mistreat you without being exposed to millions in Social Media. In fact, soon-to-retire CEOs are looking for thought leadership from the trenches to ensure their legacy is intact. Everyone matters and everyone should be treated fairly.

As you smash through the office doors this afternoon, what is your mindset?

Are you launching into the weekend full of pride in your professional life? Do you love the company that you represent? Can you put sunscreen on your children this weekend with a feeling of absolute achievement?

Are you celebrating collective progress to make the world a better place?

Or.....are you trying to outrun your shitty professional life for a few days?

Do You Work Harder Than Anyone You Know?
There is a premise in the professional world that performance reviews should go away. That's not going to happen! Your company needs to document your performance (or lack there of) in the event that they need to fire you. Performance reviews are always demotivating because we focused on the one and only 4 out of 5 on our score sheet. Performance reviews over-shadow our achievements and they invite criticism where there should be praise.

Performance reviews suck: You have a job to do....if you don't do will be fired....sign here.

Of course, I am a proponent of praise over criticism. But, Rules are can't suck at your job and keep it because people like you. You cannot crowd source performance! People love Tim Tebow, let's see how his fate shakes out!

The boomerang swings both ways!

Have You Forgotten How To Love Yourself?
This weekend I will sit on my deck and analyze my performance. I will thank God for my good fortune and then I will begin to think about what I can do better.

Only you know how great you really are. Only you know the days you've given less than your full effort, how many times you hit the snooze button and if the words you profess are based in authenticity.

How others view your performance means should always expect more of yourself than anyone else does. You should always ignore scores that don't align with the reality only you know to be true!

Celebrate....Reflect....and Celebrate some more: Because You Deserve To!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 23, 2013


In every endeavor I have undertaken in my life, I have had my fair share of skeptics. It's probably a necessary evil to see faults in people and seek to correct them. I love being underestimated, it makes it that much sweeter to hear Thank You from those who said you were incapable.

In this life there are those who can (because they believe in their ability) and those who cannot (because they have lost their willingness to try). I feel sad for people who suck and what they do...they know they can they just choose not to.

When you look in the mirror at the end of your career you may ask yourself one of two questions:
1. When did I give up?
2. At what point did it all come together?

Never Give Up
I heard a tale of two salesmen. They were tasked with selling shoes in Africa. The first landed on the foreign soil and saw natives without shoes. He instantly called his boss and reported that the market didn't exist and that their success was doomed. The second saw the same audience and determined that the opportunity was limitless.

You can take to the existing market or you can create a new one.

I am certain that nothing is certain...why wouldn't we see that as a massive opportunity?

There are days that suck. Sometimes you feel like you are climbing up a hill with a rock on your back. It often seems that when work is going well your personal life suffers. It is hard to find the alignment of all that a reason to hang your head?

I have created repeatable success in a wide variety of conquests. This based mostly on the fact that I awake before anyone else, stay up later than anyone else, and get up every time I get knocked down.

As you read this are you raising an eyebrow or nodding your head?

Your limits are only a cause of the doubt that you allow to overshadow your spirit. Our time here is too short to lend credence to those who do not believe in us.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Choose Happiness

The foundation of our lives is built by the choices we make: The career we chose, the person we picked to spend our life with, how we delegate our time.

While the foundation may be built on choice, our future is built by our perception & our attitude. Last week, we identified that with the right resources and the proper motivation we can achieve anything. In essence, we just want to glimpse what is possible. We want to imagine opportunity. It starts with hearing Yes.....then with a mindset fueled by possibility, we are catapulted forward to achieve.

Can it not be said that the more we learn, the less we need?

The New Economy
I have been overwhelming impressed by Chris Norton's vision of consumerism in today's marketplace. He ponders how it might be possible that during a recession products that were priced 3x their competitors sold at record highs. It is because of 2 reasons:
1. Consumers are more educated
2. With so much information available our bullshit filter is more active than ever

Therefore, selling and marketing alike are now more about story telling and design than product promotion. If that which you are selling is an extension of your uncompromised vision...people may feel that they cannot live without it.

Is what you have something people cannot live without?

The Road to Success
There seems to be a misconception that "nice guys finish last". As stated, buyers are more educated, so slick talk no longer works. The Wall Street ethos is giving way to The Social Network.

No longer are slick suits and fancy cars a distinction of success. We now drive fuel efficient cars and wear Toms.

It is reality: we now care more about others and less about ourselves. Even our personal brands are bolstered by our unwritten social contact that states:
Generosity is our most valued currency 

The Path to Happiness
Today suits are being replaced by jeans and cubicles torn down to make space for bean bag chairs. Corner offices are giving way to more room in the courtyard.

Success is no longer in tandem with an ability to put up a front. False pretense has given way to authenticity.

You cannot fool anyone, any more!

We don't have to convince others that we are capable. We simply have to allow the reality of our capabilities to represent themselves.

The key to establishing influence lies in a simple mantra:
Be yourself and be OK with that.....

We need not pretend to know what we do not. Speak through your actions.

Choose Happiness!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 9, 2013


In a former life I was in a rock band. It's not as glamorous as you may think. You load in your gear around 7pm (maybe you get a sound check at 8) and then you sit at the bar until your band finally takes the stage at midnight. After the show, you wait until the bar clears out to load the gear back into the van. During one of these long nights I offered the lead singer of a well-known band a shot. After we downed the licorice tasting liquid crack he looked at me and said, "Thanks for the shot, but I don't like your band". Then he walked away.

I was profoundly entertained! I appreciated the man's ability to cut through the BS. Sure...he'd take me up on my offer for free liquor, but he wasn't gonna spend the night on a stool with a kid with which he had no common interests. He also wanted to make it clear that as an established professional he thought my band had a different audience.

Remembering this interaction conjured up 2 distinct questions:
1. How much time do we waste being polite?
2. Are we entertaining the right audience?

Cut To The Chase
There is a film about a man who discovers he is going to die and loses his ability to engage in small talk. He tells those he loves as much and those he dislikes why. How much time do we waste being polite? Is that girl you are with the woman of your dreams? Are your friends people you genuinely identify with? Is that customer you are chasing worth catching?

Wouldn't it be nice if we could cut the crap and say what we really mean? Wouldn't it be great if we could walk up and kiss the girl in HR or tell the CFO he is being an asshole?

Not likely...but hope is not lost! 

Controlling Your Destiny
While we cannot predict the future, we can choose who we wish to spend time with.

You can sit down with an employee and alert him of his bullying nature. You can tell that girl that you love her. You can quit your job. You can tell a customer that their behavior is less than professional.

What have you got to lose?

We often fear the unknown. The only certainty is that if we ignore what we fear we will never know what could have been.

What are you hiding from?

Do you have the job you have because it's manageable? That's no way to live!

Ask yourself a simple question:
Can I do more here than I can anywhere else?

If you have the tools to succeed, you like the people around you, and you trust the organization; then the answer to the question above is: Yes!

...then its on you!

Don't waste your time complaining about a problem, solve it! Don't wait until your life is over to try new things. Don't give your power away because you are afraid of how great you might be.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Make It Easy

There are not enough hours in the day. We often avoid situations for fear of discomfort. Sometimes we wake up at night with the feeling that the world might end. Then we take action...and everything gets better!

I had recently advised a group of young people of their plight to set expectations for themselves greater than those of their predecessors. It is easier to avoid misguided advice if the advice you give yourself is of a higher standard. We have seen that the lack of motivation in human beings is more often an affect of boredom than a disinterest in a challenge.

Do you ask more of yourself than others do?  Does following procedure seem to marginalize your greatness?

Our challenge is not to debunk the system but to sustain and overcome. I have lived in the trenches for 15 years, so I don't need to reference a survey or quote an "expert". Let me reveal to you life's great certainty:

To doubt oneself is healthy. To give up empowerment is a crime!

A Line Around the Block
I commonly refer to the following split scenario....

Post This: "Tell Me What I Am Doing Wrong?"
Inevitable Reaction: People will line up around the block to submit criticism. Whether they know you or not, they will relish the opportunity to crush your spirit.

Post This: "I Need Help"
Inevitable Reaction: Feedback will be sparse and uncertain.

....a good way to discover who your real supporters might be.

Don't Pile On
If everyone else is willing to project their dissatisfaction upon you, why would you add to the madness?

With every ounce of uncertainty comes an opportunity to discover your greater potential. It is not OK to put pressure on yourself to the extent that you cannot perform.

Are you honest about the moments that lack clarity? Are you validating criticism or proving your critics incorrect?

Take Inventory
Are you stressed out because you are annoyed? The things that annoy us are actually very easy to avoid.

Ask Yourself: Is your frustration driven by life altering experiences or has human error fueled your discontent to disabling degrees?  

When we allow others to determine our fate, we give away power. Sometimes the answer can be found without asking for help. We have the power to create answers to unanswered questions.

Everyone has something to teach, most just choose not to. This is an opportunity not a shortcoming!

Don't Forget to Remember!