I Dare You!

With the Olympics in full swing, I am in awe & inspired by the athletes & their dedication. A friend told me to look up a letter written to high school students by an Olympic gold medalist named Clifton Cushman in 1964 & I absolutely love it. I hope you love it too. To the youth of Grand Forks: Don’t feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for some of you! You may have seen the U.S. Olympic Trials on television September 13. If so, you watched me hit the fifth hurdle, fall and lie on the track in an inglorious heap of skinned elbows, bruised hips, torn knees, and injured pride, unsuccessful in my attempt to make the Olympic team for the second time. In a split second all the many years of training, pain, sweat, blisters, and agony of running were simply and irrevocably wiped out. But I
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Do You Keep Score?

In any relationship we are building, we keep an internal score sheet.  In the healthiest relationships, both sides strive to keep the score even. No one wants to feel like predators or prey. We subconsciously or even consciously keep track of the exchange of favors in relationships.  Being conscious of this can help you going into any relationship, personal or business. If we are mentally keeping score, making sure we aren’t in the red, or too far in the black, you come across as a more likeable person and can build better and more balanced relationships. People hate feeling guilty and they also hate feeling taken advantage of.  When we are keeping track of the internal score card of our relationship, we can be assured that neither party will feel out of sorts. Walster, Walster and Berscheild in their 1978 study proposed the theory of equal relationships, showing how our
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Validation Is The Key To Winning Every Argument

Disagreement is a part of every day life.  Whether in your personal life, business life, social life – disagreements happen.  I came across an interesting article, The Mistake You Make in Every Argument, that gave an interesting perspective on how to make the best of the often times unavoidable argument. How do you respond when someone says something you disagree with? Do you calmly tell the person why they are mistaken, do you jump right in to defensive mode and yell or do you retreat and let them have their way?  In his article, Dr. Liane Davey makes the argument that all of those responses are wrong and the only way to get results in an argument is to first validate the other’s point of view. The first thing you have to do is validate the other person even though you completely disagree with them! See, when you validate the
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How To Be A Great Teammate

I had the opportunity to hear my friend, Don Yeager, talk about the new book he co-authored with legendary catcher, David Ross, called Teammate. He gave 16 characteristics of high performing teammates and I want to share my top 5. · Humble – They don’t require the spotlight to feel important – Action – make a point to praise others, especially when you are being praised · Encouraging – they notice the success of others – Action – identify those co-workers who are struggling, and find ways to inspire them · Resourceful – they share what they learn and embrace a mentoring role – Action – share your expertise with those co-workers who work in your circle · Willing to sacrifice – they are not above doing the dirty work – Action – assume whatever role is necessary for the team to win. Never say the words: “It’s not my
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Do Your People Know You Care?

Last week I spoke for Easter Seals Florida. They are an incredible non-profit organization that helps individuals with disabilities. I had the opportunity to spend some time with their CEO Sue Ventura and I came away inspired. We’ve all heard the saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I believe that’s true, and I often remind leaders that “You can live people without leading them but you cannot lead people without loving them.” My question is, do your people know you care about them? If your answer is yes then how do you demonstrate it? As the CEO of a non-profit, Sue Ventura is limited in how she uses her funds. But she wanted to make sure her staff felt appreciated and knew how much she cared about them. So in an incredible example of servant leadership, when Sue’s parents passed and
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What Type of Leader Are You?

In 2000, Daniel Goleman conducted a seminal study with over 3000 managers that clarified six distinct leadership styles and traits. Each style has its positives and negatives. Which one describes you?   Visionary — mobilize people toward a vision. Works best when a clear direction or change is needed. Creates the most positive climate. Coaching — develop people for the future. Works best when helping people and building long-term strength. Creates a positive climate. Affiliative — create emotional bonds and harmony. Works best to heal rifts in teams or motivate people in stressful times. Creates a positive climate. Democratic — build consensus through participation. Works best to create consensus or get input. Creates a positive climate. Pacesetting — expect excellence and self-direction. Works best to get quick results from a highly competent team. Creates a negative climate. Commanding — demand immediate compliance. Works best in crisis or with problematic people. Creates a negative climate. The most important aspect of this breakdown is
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5 Ways To Build Credibility

Credibility is an essential ingredient for every one of us who want to build trust and influence.  Being a relevant leader is a balance between credibility and reliability. Here are 5 simple ways to build credibility. Highlight Your Past Experience & Qualifications. – People are looking for signs that you know what you are talking about and that you are a proven entity. Highlighting your past experience lends credibility and substance to your opinions and beliefs. Display How Much You Care – The old adage is true – “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When we feel others have our best interest in mind, we buy into them more. Demonstrate Similarities – People like others who are similar to them. We tend to trust people who are similar to us. Shared values, similar dress, body language or speaking style can make you
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Choose Your Word for 2018

As the New Year approaches I enjoy spending time reviewing my goals and my progress from the previous twelve months and setting goals for the next. I look at my life in four parts: Physical, mental, emotional & spiritual. I set goals in each. I think about what I want to be in each category, why I want it and how I am going to achieve it. It is one of my favorite times of the year. Several years ago, I added something different to my goal setting session. I decided to choose a word: one single word that I would focus on throughout the year. It became the subject of my study, the focus of my thoughts, and it defined the trait I wished to gain in that year. Like Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues, my word would become part of me in that year. One year I chose the
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The 49 Best Lessons 2017 Taught Me

As 2017 comes to a close, I hope you spend some time reflecting on what you’ve learned this year and mapping out how to make 2018 even better. I saw this list from author Robin Sharma and thought it was worth sharing. 1. Hard work is a force multiplier. 2. Finding 30 minutes to be still and silent is one of productivity’s finest rewards. 3. Exercising for 20 minutes first thing in the morning is a total needle-mover. 4. If you’re not innovating daily, you’re on the path to obsolescence. 5. Once you decide to do something in your pro or private life, go all in. 6. Procrastination is an escape mechanism for people scared to do their best work. 7. Give your customers x25 the value they expect and they’ll tell everyone they know about you. 8. Don’t do it if you’re not having fun. Let joy be your
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Push Through With Passion

I am sure there is a goal that you are passionate about. Something that you are pursuing with all of your heart. What is it? Is it your business? The relationship of your dreams? Weight loss? Most people think that passion is just enthusiasm for what you are doing, and it is that, but there is more to it. Even though you focus on what you love, it does not mean it is always going to be without challenge. The word passion originated in the 12th Century, originally used by Christian scholars who were describing the suffering of Christ. Passion is more than just love; it is willing suffering for something that you love. It is when the feeling in your heart supersedes the challenge that lies in front of you. A family friend recently went through a kidney transplant because his body had rejected his own. He explained to
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