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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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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One of The Biggest Keys to Influence & Charisma

  We all know someone who is charismatic. They have a charm that can inspire devotion in others. My question is: What creates that type of Charisma? What produces that type of presence? One of the biggest keys to influence and charisma is being genuinely happy for other people’s success. When someone achieves something great – do you feel threatened by their success or do you celebrate it? One of the surest signs of someone being comfortable in their own skin is how they see others and how they can separate others experiences and achievements from their own. Too many people subscribe to the idea that tearing others down actually builds you up and it’s just not true. It makes you look weak and insecure because that is where it is actually coming from. People who are secure with who they are genuinely happy for others, they celebrate their success
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If You Want To Communicate With Influence – Then Use This Phrase

When you’re the leader, the one in charge, it’s far more natural – and far easier – to lecture and command than to discuss and invite. Leaders can create caste systems within their organizations simply by language choices. When they refer to “we” as the leadership team and “you” as the employees, they create a separation in the team. If we want our people to feel like they are in a partnership with us, that we are in it together, that we are locking arms with them to accomplish the overall goal of organizational success, then we need to communicate in a way that creates partnership. The ultimate partner phrase is: “If I, will you …” Examples: “If I set aside time to help fine tune your board presentations, will you have it prepared by Friday to review?” “If I let you choose your people, will you head up the project?” “If
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A Success Secret From The Navy Seals

On May 2, 2011, a group of Navy Seals stormed a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, successfully completing their operations of killing Osama Bin Laden.  Since that day, it seems that the world has been fascinated with the Navy Seals, and rightfully so. There have been multiple best selling books like No Easy Day and Fearless and some big blockbusters like Lone Survivor and Zero Dark Thirty that have ridden the tide of public interest in the mystery that is the Navy Seals.  Everyone wants to better understand what makes this group so successful. My personal fascination began last year when I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Kevin Lacz.  Lacz is a former Navy Seal sniper, breacher and and combat medic. Since meeting him, I have read multiple books and studied more about their operations. One of the success secrets of the Seals is learning to get very
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People Support What They Help Create

One of the key lessons I teach leaders is that – People Support What They Help Create. Our world has changed, and rapidly. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted your voice to be heard, you pretty much only believed it was heard if you held a position of leadership. Social media has changed all that and I don’t mean just because people have Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn where they can go and voice their opinion. It has changed the psyche of our world. It has caused everyone to feel like his or her voice should be heard. Regardless of where people are in your organization, they mentally believe that their voice and their opinion matters. As a result, our top-down directives don’t work the same way they used to. We can’t just throw things at people and expect them to jump on it, to run with it, and go for
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What is your major goal for 2017?

As you approach the new year & set Goals/New Years Resolutions for 2017 I want you to think about your primary goal. What is your main goal for 2017? What is the one goal, that if achieved, will make the whole year a success? What will your contribution to the world be in 2017? Most people, when they set goals, focus on balance. They set several goals for every area of their life. I’m not against that, but years ago I learned that the word for balance in Hungarian is the word egyensúly. It actually translates to mean “one weighted focus” That understanding has changed my approach to setting goals and I’ve found that if I have one major objective it actually allows me to balance & prioritize my life around it. I also believe it has allowed me to make a bigger impact because I focus on major contributions &
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What is Your Word For 2017?

Every year I choose a word: one single word that I focus on throughout the year. It becomes the subject of my study, the focus of my thoughts, and it defines the traits I wish to gain in that year. Like Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues, my word becomes part of me in that year. The first year I started this I chose the word communication. I always felt like I was a natural communicator but I wanted to turn a raw talent into a strength. At the time I wanted to become a professional speaker and was speaking regularly in building our business. I read books on communication, presenting, public speaking and story telling. I worked very hard to eliminate any filler words from my speech, such as um, or ah. I recorded myself every time I presented, either in audio or video, and analyzed what worked, what didn’t work, and
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Leaders Keep Learning

It was John F. Kennedy who said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Ego inhibits learning, growth, and progress. Humility, however, encourages it. The word Humility comes from the word humus, which is the rich, organic part of the soil that allows for growth. Ask yourself if you are sufficiently humble? Do you allow yourself to learn and grow? Do you allow others to grow and develop? Humility is what Jim Collins (in Good to Great) says separates good leaders from great leaders. The leadership capacity of someone with true humility is absolutely immense, because you cannot contain or restrain his or her personal growth and development. There is a story of a boy who was walking through the garden with his father. His dad was one of the best gardeners in the town and proud of his work. As they finished the father asked the boy if
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