Do You Possess Neotony?

I was recently introduced to the word Neotony.  It was in context of the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon searching for the Fountain of Youth, said to cure the effects of aging for those lucky enough to drink of it’s waters. Business has it’s own fountain of youth, neotony. Neotony refers to childlike qualities retained in adulthood, qualities like love, creativity and curiosity. These are all qualities that are essential to influential leaders.  Leaders who love generate support from their people.  Leaders who are creative bring better ideas in better ways.  Leaders who are curious have limitless potential for growth. So how do leaders retain, or in some cases regain, these childlike qualities? – Love is built through serving your people – Creativity is built as we develop the habit of studying and constantly learning – Curiosity is built by learning to eliminate bias, question everything, and avoid routine Neotony is an amazing attribute that
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There Is No Substitute For Hard Work

When I was 8 years old, my brother (age 10) and I started a paper route. We had to get up everyday of the year, with no exceptions, at 5 am and deliver around 100 newspapers. Rain, snow, and exhaustion didn’t matter – the papers had to be delivered. So we did it everyday for four years. Having this responsibility at a young age taught me how to work hard, be consistent and follow through even when I didn’t feel like it. My Mom recently sent me this letter she found from one of our customers and it reminded me how much learning how to work hard with a paper route has served me throughout my life. Learning how to work is an invaluable lesson to learn.  I’ve been able to take the lessons I learned from that paper route and apply them to everything I’ve endeavored to do. It
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Are You Investing In People?

A few weeks ago we took the kids to Universal Studios in California. They were over the moon about Harry Potter World. They wore their house robes, carried a wand from Olivander’s Wand Shop, drank butter beer and performed spells throughout Hogsmead. It was magical. As we ventured out the rest of the park we quickly found the Minnions ride. As we waited a worker named Derek talked to us about our day. He asked where we had been and he told us about all the other rides we needed to do before we left the park. After the Minnions rode we were surprised to see Derek waiting for is with front of the line passes for all the rides we had talked about! Derek invested in us. He went above and beyond. He didn’t just do what was in his job description- he invested. He surprised us. He made
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Am I A Good Listener?

Steven Ash, “The Career Doctor” developed this listening test. It is a great way to see where you rate as a listener. Good luck! Give yourself 4 points if the answer to the following questions is Always; three points for Usually; two points for Rarely; and one point for Never.   __ Do I allow the speaker to finish without interrupting? __ Do I listen “between the lines”; that is for the subtext? __ When writing a message, do I listen for and set down the key facts and phrases? __ Do I repeat what the person just said to clarify the meaning? __ Do I avoid getting hostile and/or agitated when I disagree with the speaker? __ Do I tune out distractions when listening? __Do I make an effort to seem interested in what the other person is saying?   Scoring 26 or higher – You are an excellent
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The Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

  On the slopes of Long’s Peak in Colorado lay the ruins of a gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some 400 years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth. During the course of its long life, it was struck by lightning 14 times and the innumerable avalanches and storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. The insects ate their way throughout the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny, but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had not withered, nor lightning blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb. Just as
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How Does A Person Become Legendary?

I have thought a lot about the word legendary. How would you describe it? When I think about legendary people – they come from all walks of life; they lead families, countries, businesses, movements & religions. They leave their mark. They are legendary. So I developed a set of 5 questions that I am asking myself & I want to invite you to ask yourself if you want to live legendary lives. Are you focused on being important or focused on doing important work? Are you focused on how much you make or are you focused on how much impact you make? Are you worried about fitting in or focused on standing out? Are you seeking popularity or are you seeking mastery? Do you concern yourself with being served or with serving others? Save
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Resume Virtues vs. Eulogy Virtues

How do you want to be remembered?  Would you rather be known for the business deals you brokered and the fame you amassed or the people you helped and relationships you had?   David Brooks, in an editorial titled “The Moral Bucket List,” developed the concept that there are “two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral.”   Both types of virtues are important and worth pursuing and honing, but only eulogy virtues have any lasting value and legacy.  Developing résumé virtues is fairly straightforward.  You read more books, you practice, you develop skills & you get more education.  But the development of eulogy virtues is not as clear-cut.  It involves a lifetime of making good decisions and prioritizing things of lasting value.
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Are You Known For Customer Service?

My favorite fast food restaurant is Chick-fil-a.  I love it!  I love the chicken, but it’s the service that always leaves me impressed. According to QSR Magazine’s annual drive-thru report, Chick-fil-a is statistically the most polite restaurant chain out there.  According to the report, Chick-fil-A employees said “thank you” in 95.2% of all drive-thru encounters and it really pays off.  In 2015, the chain generated more revenue per restaurant than any other chain in the US.  It’s these small pleasantries that really set Chick-fil-a apart in the industry and drives higher sales.  The company invests more in its employees and they definitely see the benefit on the bottom line.   Investing more time and effort into customer service will always pay off.  It certainly keeps me, and thousands of other Chick-fil-a customers, coming back for more.  I’ve never left Chick-fil-a without feeling like a valued customer who received superior service and that goes a long way.  
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The Lost Art of Handwritten Notes

A few weeks ago I was boarding a Delta flight from San Antonio, Texas to Salt Lake City, UT. I am a loyal Delta flyer and am often upgraded to first class as I was on this flight. When I got to my seat I found a handwritten note on my seat with two chocolates. It read: Mr. Bennett, Thank you for your continued business and loyalty as a Diamond Medallion with us! We truly appreciate you here in SAT!! Each of the first class seats had a handwritten note and some chocolate. The guy next to me was amazed at the fact that they were personalized (his talked about how he has flown over 2 million miles with Delta). It reminded me of the power of a handwritten note. It stands out. It is meaningful. It shows that you took time. That you really care. As technology makes communication
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Research Pays Off

A few weeks ago I was speaking in Omaha, Nebraska for Centris Federal Credit Union. When I got to my hotel room there was a gift basket waiting for me from the team at Centris. It was a very nice gesture but the reason I am writing about it was because they took an extra step that most people don’t take. They had done their research and the gift basket was full of things that I personally like. (Personal note: Dr. Pepper and Licorice are the keys to my heart) I was reminded of how much a little research pays off. Before you meet with a potential client, team member or partner – take a few minutes to research what they like, dislike, etc… It will give you insights into that person, allow you to personalize your approach and customize the conversation. I recently had a meeting with a potential
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