It’s You Vs You Not You Vs Them

On Monday I shared the stage with Rachel Hollis (author of Girl, Wash Your Face & Girl, Stop Apologizing) speaking to a group of entrepreneurs in Michigan. If you don’t know Rachel Hollis, you have probably been living under a rock, but you should check her out.   On Monday she opened the conference and shared some thoughts that I think are worth passing along.   Rachel started by saying “what got you here, will not get you there.”   You have probably heard that saying before but, because it is a trite phrase, I wonder if you have considered the implications.   In my list of values, I prioritize: Faith, Family, & Then Growth.   Growth is what this life is about. Learning, developing, becoming better and therefore adding value and benefitting the world is why we are here. (IMO)   So why don’t we push to the next
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One & A Half

This summer we have had a 19-year-old family friend living with us. As people have heard he was living with us I’ve had numerous people ask skeptically, “How is that?” The honest answer is that it has been amazing! Brigham has been fun. Our kids love him. And the reason it has worked and we have enjoyed having him is because he is helpful. He is always willing to help. He looks for opportunities to pitch in. He jumps up when something needs done. I complimented him about this by saying, “You carry your weight.” And he said, “No, you carry one & a half. My parents taught me to carry your weight and one more.” What an awesome approach! It makes you likeable and, in fact, needed. We’ve had a great summer with Brigham and I’m grateful for the example he has set. My new goal & my challenge
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The Three E’s of Great Conversation

My wife Sarah is a great conversationalist. She connects well with others; people love talking to her and they often describe her by saying, “it feels like I’ve known her my whole life.” Those are goals we should all strive for – especially as leaders. Over the years, I have watched her in conversation with others and I’ve deciphered that great conversations require 3 E’s: – Engagement, Energy & Empathy A great conversation first requires engagement. How often are we distracted in a conversation? With texts, email or wandering though processes. When we are engaged both physically (through body language & eye contact) & mentally (through concentration & focus) we make the other person feel important. The second part of a great conversation is energy. Think about how you show up for a potential client or a friend you haven’t seen in years. There is an energy you bring to
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Some Thoughts on Freedom

I love the 4th of July! I love fireworks, get togethers & barbecues. But most of all I love what the holiday stands for: Freedom.   And this year as we approach the 4th of July my thoughts keep circling back to the idea that you can’t have freedom without responsibility.   This idea was first introduced to me years ago when a friend told me about the idea for a Statue of Responsibility.   The Statue of Responsibility is a proposed structure to be built on the West Coast of The United States. The original idea of a Statue of Responsibility was the vision of Dr. Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who went on to publish Man’s Search For Meaning. In this work published in 1946, Frankl stated that: “Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose
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Great Advice for Fathers and Leaders Alike

Last week was Fathers Day I’ve reflected a lot on what my own father taught me. Both in words & actions. One of the lessons my father taught me was that a father’s role is to: Preside, Provide & Protect. If a Father provides then he leads by example. He takes on the responsibility of leading both by example & instruction. He lives & prioritizes the values that he wants the family to embody. As a provider he is charged with working hard, continually growing and adding value in a way that takes care of the needs of his family. To be an effective provider he needs to be a doer. And ultimately a Father must protect his family. Not only physically but emotionally & spiritually. Obviously if the situation arises he would fight off an intruder but the day to day responsibility is to make sure his family feels
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Simple Ideas for a Happy Life

At church we gave our kids little notebooks and told them to write some of their thoughts and feelings. To reflect on what was important to them. These are the thoughts that Drew wrote. He’s 8 years old & I found his ideas to be very wise: “When I get stressed looking to God is a way to relieve stress. Another way is to do a meditation 🧘‍♂️ Or listening to music 🎶 If you get sad then go to your parents, your siblings or to people who love you 😘 When you feel scared 😱, say a prayer 🙏 When you get mad 😡, walk away A good saying in my family is don’t let your mood dictate your manners . That’s important because if you are in a bad mood you shouldn’t make those around you mad too If you are happy 😃, then just be happy”
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The Strength To Be Humble

I love these thoughts on humility written by Lloyd D. Newell. I think humility is very misunderstood & at the same time absolutely essential to great leadership.     The Strength to be Humble by Lloyd D. Newell   A national newspaper grabbed attention recently with this headline: “The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses.” At first, that may seem to contradict conventional wisdom – that a good leader is dynamic, dominating, and bold. But it’s been found that people who work for humble bosses exhibit better teamwork and perform at higher levels. Not surprisingly, when a leader listens to the perspective of others and constantly seeks to learn and improve, the people who follow that leader are more likely to do the same. That doesn’t mean leaders should be passive or indifferent. On the contrary, as one expert observed: “Humble leaders can also be highly competitive and ambitious. But they
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3 Questions to Ask Yourself

  New York Times bestselling author Brendan Burchard proposed three questions we should ask ourselves. As you finish a project, contribute to the team or look for ways to add value as a partner leader, I want you to ask yourself these three questions on a regular basis. I personally put them on a sticky note on my to look at as I sit down to create. Answering all three in the affirmative will accomplish that goal. Question 1: Is what I am creating/contributing distinct? Is your contribution different in a significant way? Is it adding value in a way that no one else has done? Does it stand out? Does it look and feel aesthetically unique? Is it something that will impress people because it is coming from an angle that others haven’t thought of? It’s not crazy or out there, but it is distinct and stands out. Question
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Leadership and Empathy Go Hand In Hand

  Great leaders understand that they are in the people business. • We need leaders who care more about people than they do numbers. • We need leaders who focus on being interested, not interesting. • We need leaders who use influence, not authority, to get things done. • We need leaders who talk with people, not at people. • We need leaders who truly care. If we understand that leadership begins and ends with people, then we understand the need to develop relationships, make connections, partner with our people, and show empathy. Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. Empathy helps us lead individually not collectively. Empathy gives us unique insight into people. Empathy encourages leaders to understand the root cause behind poor performance. Empathy allows leaders to build and develop relationships with those they lead. Empathy as a state of
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Do You Love Reading?

Statistically very few Americans will read any books after High School, but I personally didn’t discover a love of reading until after High School. I had mentors that promoted reading for personal & professional development & I took it to heart. I have read thousands of books. Usually a couple a week on leadership, communication, relationships, high performance, parenting, psychology, history, etc… Reading has enriched my life & continues to make me better. I want my kids to establish this habit earlier than I did. They actually love to read & I want to encourage that but also add some non-fiction, personal development to their repertoire. So I grabbed a bunch of my favorite books & put together a summer reading library & an incentive program for them to read & review them. After reading the books, my kids will do a video review that I’ll post online so you
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