Wisdom from Brene Brown

Brene Brown has a new Netflix Special, The Call To Courage. If you don’t know who Brene Brown is … have you been living under a rock? Brene studies vulnerability, courage and shame and is on a mission to help people understand the power of vulnerability. Her definition of vulnerability is when we are willing to try not knowing what the outcome will be. We are vulnerable when we decide to have a tough conversation, when we share our mistakes & apologize, when we make a sales call or present our ideas. In all of those situations you don’t know the outcome & it takes courage & vulnerability to try. In Brene’s special she had two lines that hit me and I think they are worth sharing & exploring. “We talk about people, but we don’t really talk to people” – I often talk to leaders about conversational leadership and
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What Creates Influence?

J. R. Miller said, “No one can understand that mysterious thing we call influence … yet … everyone of us continually exerts influence, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain others lives.” What is influence? According to the dictionary, influence is “the power to sway or effect based on prestige, wealth, ability or position.” That definition would seem to suggest that affluence determines influence. And yet, one of the poorest women, in terms of financial wealth, the world has ever known was also one of the most influential: Mother Teresa. In a life devoid of materialism, Mother Teresa spread her influence of love and selflessness around the world. It was her lack of position, as we normally think of it, which touched so many. As much as anything she did, it was her words that spread a legacy
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Are You Genuinely Happy For Others?

I have two boys. Tanner is 10 years old and Drew is 8. They are best friends. Last year they become obsessed with American Ninja Warrior. Everything in our house became an obstacle and we soon found a ninja gym near our house for them to attend classes. Last month both boys competed in an area competition, Drew in the 6-9 age group and Tanner in the 10-11 age group. They both did great, but Drew qualified for regionals and Tanner did not.  Last Saturday Tanner and I went with Drew to support him in his regional competition. Drew did great and qualified for Nationals! It was so cool to watch but that’s not what I was most proud of on Saturday.  I watched Tanner cheer on Drew without a hint of jealousy, just genuine excitement. I actually had two different parents comment on how sweet of a brother he
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The Case For Storytelling

When I was twenty-one years old, my brother Scott and I started a business together. I quickly discovered that I didn’t have a lot of credibility when it came to influencing others. We had marginal success but not the kind we were after. So I started to study communication and influence. I read books, attended seminars, listened to audio programs, and practiced what I learned. Through my study I found some keys to how to tell my story and communicate my message that caused people to listen and to eventually follow me. We ended up building that business to over $20 million dollars in annual revenue while still in our twenties. I since have had a chance to share my influence strategies, as a speaker and author, with hundreds of thousands of people around the world. What I’ve discovered is that when it comes to communicating with others, most speakers,
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Go Serve Someone

On Tuesday I was running late to the airport.   I decided to park inside to be closer, but there was an attendant at the gate that said it was full and I had to go to the economy parking. I took the trip around the airport to get back to the economy parking and struggled to find a spot. After parking a long ways away from any of the bus stops I ran to catch a bus I could see in the distance only to find it was full. I waited another 5 minutes for the next bus as I got the notification that my flight was boarding. The second bus came and there was room. I got in ready to zoom to the terminal but there were several elderly passengers with wheel chairs, walkers and canes that all had to get off. At this point my anxiety was
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Can You Laugh At Yourself?

Last month my 12-year-old daughter, Andie, was diagnosed with scarlet fever, strep throat and the flu all at the same time.   She felt miserable and the rash from scarlet fever covered her body and face.  I felt horrible for her. At its very worse, she came downstairs and said, “Dad I look like I a tomato that got sunburned and then someone beat me up” 🙂   I loved that she could laugh at herself even in the midst of feeling bad and, well let’s face it, looking horrible.   For all of us, learning to laugh at ourselves has very positive benefits. Note that I said laugh at ourselves, which means that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This is not to be confused with negative self-talk and poor self-image.   Benefit #1 – It improves our health   According to psychologist and humor researcher Dr. Arnie Cann, Laughter
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People Join Companies But They Leave Bosses

This week I spoke for a Pharmaceutical company. In preparation for my speech I interviewed a couple of their sales reps over the phone and went on a ride along with another rep. I found it interesting that all of them at some point brought up their loyalty based off of the relationship they had with their manager. They said things like: “If you connect with the right manager it will make all the difference” “I left my last company because of my manager and I’m staying here because I have a great manager”   You’ve probably heard the saying that people join companies but they leave bosses.   The bureau of labor statistics reports that today’s average worker will have fifteen to twenty jobs before they retire and the #1 reason for changing jobs is bad management/bad culture.   Le Roy H. Kurtz of General Motors once poignantly observed:
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How Often Are You Having a Culture Conversation?

This week on my podcast I interviewed Tim Sanders, NY Times best selling author and leadership expert. One of the great points that Tim made was that leaders who want to build a strong culture need to have culture conversations often.   He used the example of Zappos and how often they discussed culture within their organization. From the call center employee up to CEO, Tony Hsieh, they had culture conversations on a very regular basis.   I was thinking about that idea yesterday as I was at a conference talking to Chris Tomasso, who is the CEO of First Watch Restaurants.  We were talking about our friend, Ken Pendery, who is now the Chairman of First Watch restaurants. I asked him what Ken’s role is and his response surprised me. He said Ken is the Chief Culture Officer, which means that his job is to go and have conversations
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Stories Make Everything Better

On Monday, I sat in an Irrigation Company Board meeting in Idaho for shareholders who own water rights. We bought a cabin/ranch property last year and with it bought water rights on the canal that runs through our property. The shareholders in the room were primarily farmers and ranch owners – this is a gruff bunch. The President of the Board started the meeting with a funny little story that poked fun at farmers and made everyone laugh and my thought automatically was – Stories make everything better Storytelling a skill that can enhance virtually every situation.   Last week Kyle Bringhurst reviewed my book The Power of Storytelling http://www.kylebringhurst.com/reviews/book-review/the-power-of-storytelling/   In his review he shared his 8 favorite quotes from my book & I wanted to share these quotes because they give practical ideas on how to share stories more effectively.   Top 8 Quotes “You don’t retell a
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