Leadership & Mindfulness

Have you ever received a phone call from a spouse or a child telling you they wrecked a car? How did you react? Was your first question – Are you ok? Or was your initial reaction frustration? Be honest. . Here’s the truth. It’s ok if you felt frustration or thought “why in the world”, it’s human nature, but it’s probably not best if you said it out loud. . Learning to listen to your thoughts & choose how you want to act is the practice of mindfulness. Learning to control your emotions is a skill that is developed through conscious effort. Meditation is a great practice to develop this skill. . As I see it, it is a required skill if a leader wants to be influential. A leader needs to be able to act & not react. To choose their response instead of flying off the handle. The
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Good Leadership Is Attractive

Donald Sterling bought the then San Diego Clippers basketball team in 1981 but he quickly moved the team to Los Angeles where they became the LA Clippers. Sterling and his Clippers struggled through many painful seasons and they did not have their first winning season until the 1991–92 season, 11 years into his ownership. In Sterling’s 33 years of owning the Clippers through 2013–14, the Clippers lost 50 or more games 22 times, 60 or more on eight occasions, and 70 games once. Sporting News described Sterling as “one of the worst owners in basketball for decades”, while The New York Times and Forbes called him the “worst owner” in sports, and an analyst noted that under Sterling’s ownership, from his purchasing the Clippers in 1981 through 2013-14, the Clippers achieved the worst winning percentage in all four major American sports leagues. It wasn’t just a failure to win. The
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5 Mantras Every Leader Should Live

Leadership is challenging. It requires a high level of energy, constantly redefining priorities, and ever increasing capacity. It is also the greatest opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of others.   These five mantras should be internalized by any leader who wants to lead effectively.   Mantra 1. “Always stay a student” The legendary MMA fighter Frank Shamrock said, “Always stay a student.” Leaders who stay humble, approachable, and hungry are constantly learning, growing and therefore becoming more and more valuable.   Mantra 2. “Business Is About Relationships” My friend Jeff Rust, founded a company called Corporate Alliance where the fundamental belief is that Business is About Relationships” My experience has taught me the same thing. Leaders who recognize they are in the people business and value relationships get farther faster because leadership begins and ends with people.   Mantra 3. You can’t lead people without loving them Love is about motive and action. Leaders who seek to serve lead
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What Type of a Thinker Are You?

Our mindset, the way we approach life, the way we think about the world around us dictates so much of our happiness. In the book, Supercoach, author Michael Neill outlines three different types of thinking – Acquisition-based thinking places the power outside us in the visible physical world. If we want some of that power for ourselves, we need to go out and get it. When we don’t get what we want, it’s either because the world is rigged against people like us or we just aren’t trying hard enough. Attraction-based thinking places the power outside us in the invisible metaphysical world. If we want to tap into that power, we need to align our thoughts, feelings, intentions, and desires. When we don’t get what we want, it’s either because God/the universe has a higher plan for us or we just aren’t thinking positively enough. Creation-based thinking recognizes that the
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What are your values?

Last week in my blog I mentioned my list of values and I received a lot of comments and questions about it. I have a list of values and understand their priority in order in my life. Why is it important? Because when your values are clear to you then making decisions becomes easy. Simply put – your values make you valuable. I don’t believe my values are important for everyone, they are simply important to me. I would encourage you to spend some time identifying what you value & why. It’s a very clarifying process. My values are: Faith – the defining tenant of my life is my faith. It gives me an understanding of who I am, helps me to know how I want to live & gives me confidence & purpose because of my connection to God. Family – my family is everything to me. My wife
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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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