Do you give 100% at work, at school, and at home? Some people probably think of giving 100% this way: 12% for Monday, 23% for Tuesday, 40% for Wednesday, 20% for Thursday, 5% for Friday = 100%. Too many people coast through life, only doing what is required to get by. Giving 100%, 100% of the time is the effort required to stop getting by and start getting ahead. It is the difference between playing not to lose and playing to win.   Living by design and not default. Giving 100% will separate you from the rest. It will build your integrity and your results.   John Wooden was one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach. John used to tell his players, “Give 100% today, because you can’t
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

Service Makes You Happier

One of the reasons that I love the Holiday Season is because of all of the good that is done in the world. We focus on others, serve those around us and look for ways to help. When I was in high school, I decided that our DECA club needed to do something that brought us together and provided service. As we discussed it, one of the girls suggested we provide Christmas for a family who needed it. We all got on board, soliciting donations, money, and food. With a monumental effort, we showed up Christmas Eve at the front door of a tiny home in downtown Denver with three SUV’s packed full of Christmas. We had toys, candy and clothes for the four kids, food to fill their pantry, and some money for the parents. As we brought in the first presents I set them down next to a
Continue Reading

Pura Vida

Last week my wife & I vacationed in Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country & we had fun adventures but I was most impressed by the happiness of the people. The Costa Rican people have a saying – Pura Vida. They use it as a greeting or in response to a question. It means life is good. Everything is awesome.  It’s an emotion, it’s an attitude, it’s happiness, and it’s a way of life. It’s like hakuna matata from the movie The Lion King. As native Costa Rican, Nuria Villalobos , said “Happiness, well-being, conformity and satisfaction is what “Pura vida” reflects; it identifies a Costa Rican wherever he or she may be. When you say, hear or see “Pura vida”, the facial expression of the person changes and a smile is drawn on his face. It is a very meaningful word for us “ticos” (Costa Ricans) because it
Continue Reading

Prove Them Wrong

Last week my six-year-old son Drew invented a new game. The board was a torn piece of cardboard with marker & the pieces where taken from an old box full of mismatched toys. He said he wanted to sell it to someone. His older sister mocked him and said, “Who would buy that?” Drew didn’t seem to hear her and went out to go door to door to sell his new invention (I apologize to my neighbors). Within five minutes he walked in with a huge smile on his face and a shiny dollar in his hand. He immediately went into his sisters room and said, “Remember you said that no one would buy my game? Then how do you explain this?” & he held up his dollar & walked out. I have to admit I might have teared up a little because I have lived that experience. If you
Continue Reading

Be An Optimist

As I have studied successful people, one of the common traits I find is optimism. Not naive or overdone – just a positive approach to life, leadership, challenges, and what is possible. Those who believe in positive results think the world looks bright.  They see the good in things and not just the bad. They carry a smile on their face instead of a frown. Author John Maxwell said, “A pessimist is a person who regardless of the present is disappointed in the future.” An optimist then is a person who regardless of the present is excited about the future. The world is full of pessimists. We are conditioned to be negative and cynical. I find it interesting that very few people would admit to being negative. They use the excuse that they are “realists” not “pessimists”. The problem with that is reality is based on perception. We create our
Continue Reading

Investments Lead To Stories

Investments in people lead to stories. And the stories that are told invariably build the influence and reputation of the one doing the investing.   Think about it: -When you have exceptional service at a restaurant, what do you do? You tell the story. -When your boss does something extra special for you, what do you do? You tell the story. -When a friend goes out of their way to help you, what do you do? You tell the story. We love it when someone invests in us by providing exceptional attention and service, and because it is so unexpected or unusual, we almost always share.   One of my clients is Subway. I speak to their franchisees and managers quite often and when I do I always share a simple experience to illustrate this point. I was eating in a subway once in the middle of the afternoon and
Continue Reading

Those Who Tell The Stories – Rule The World

This week I had a chance to train the Wounded Warriors Project Speakers. What incredibly brave soldiers with amazing stories. I was reminded once again of the power a story has to emotionally impact those who hear it. Stories are a great way to make a connection. People love stories. People relate to stories. Stories are engaging, not only intellectually but also emotionally. When we hear a good story we automatically make a connection with the storyteller. As leaders we need to learn to tell a good story. In my book, “The Power of Storytelling” I break down the science and the art of telling a great story. For this post, let me synthesize that down to a couple of key points: One: Don’t talk too much. I was recently interviewed by a business magazine about storytelling and leadership. One of the great questions they asked is what is the number one mistake leaders
Continue Reading

Reverse Your Goals in 2016

As you set goals for 2016, try to reverse the process. Most people set goals in this order: Have – Do – Be. We usually think about what do I want to have? (A new car, more $, etc…) then what do I need to do to have it? Then what will I Be as a result? The answer is usually, then I’ll be happy. The problem is that things don’t make you happy and most things come as a result of who you are. So reverse the process & focus on becoming. Set goals in reverse: Be – Do – Have What do you want/need to become? What are the attributes you need to develop? In what areas do you want to improve? Then establish the steps you need to do to become. Then what will you have as a result. Jim Rohn taught that “For things to change
Continue Reading