What Are You Willing To Sacrifice?

Sidney Howard said, “One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you have to give up to get it.”   Anything great requires sacrifice. The recognition of the need for sacrifice and the willingness to act on it is a quality of the successful.   I recently met a new friend that was looking to make a big change in his career. To get hime where he wanted to go, he felt he needed coaching and so he decided to sell his beloved mountain bike to invest in this coaching, a big sacrifice for him.  He knew that making a hard choice now would have dividends in his future.   What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals?  More often than not, it’s not about what we are willing to do achieve our goals, but what we are willing to give up.   Most of the time, those big,
Continue Reading

There Is No Substitute For Hard Work

When I was 8 years old, my brother (age 10) and I started a paper route. We had to get up everyday of the year, without exceptions, at 5 am and deliver around 100 newspapers. Rain, snow, and exhaustion didn’t matter- the papers had to be delivered. So we did it everyday for four years.   Having this responsibility at a young age taught me how to work hard, be consistent and follow through even when I didn’t feel like it.   My mom recently sent me this letter she found from one of our customers and it reminded me how much learning how to work hard with a paper route has served me throughout my life.   Learning how to work is an invaluable lesson to learn. I’ve been able to take the lessons I learned from that paper route and apply them to everything I’ve endeavored to do.
Continue Reading

What Make You Memorable

Last week I was out of town and my wife went to a play with our oldest daughter so she hired a babysitter for the younger three kids. This was a new babysitter for us and the kids loved her. She played with them, got to know them and cleaned the house before Sarah got home. She was great! But that wasn’t what makes her memorable. She did something that I’ve never seen before. She left our kids a present to open the next morning. It had some candy, toys and a teddy bear. Our kids were over the moon with this small gesture and now they won’t stop asking when she can babysit again. What an awesome example of doing an amazing job, as we all should, and then doing that extra, thoughtful, extraordinary thing that makes you memorable. I think it’s a lesson for all of us –
Continue Reading

12-7-4

Stitched onto the Iona basketball jerseys are the numbers 12-7-4. It is a mantra for the team created by coach Tim Cluess. It stands for: 12 months a year, 7 days a week, 4 hours a day. That’s the minimum you need to put in if you want to want to be the best. To be the best takes hard work, there’s no way around it. You can have all the natural talent in the world, but to be the best, you have to put in the time. Legendary basketball player Kevin Durant once said “Hard work beats talent when talents fails to work hard.” Hard work will out perform talent in the long run. Whether it’s being the best basketball player, the best student, the best leader, teacher, storyteller, parent, it all takes hard work. But the good news is you can achieve the level you want to by
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

Energizers vs. Drainers

We are all busy.  Running from this to that to the next.  It’s just the pace of life these days.  While a lot of that busyness is necessary and enjoyable, it also is a drain on our energy.  We only have so much energy and we need to make sure we spending the majority time, or at least our discretionary time, on activities that energize us and not drain us.   Below are two lists, the first a list of “energizers” and the second a list of “drainers”.  While sometimes “drainers” cannot be avoided and are a necessary part of life, we can look for healthy ways to reduce or eliminate them.  When we look for opportunities to do more on the “energizers” list, we find ourselves feeling more positive, enthusiastic and hopeful.   Things That Energize Me Hanging out with people who inspire me Loving my children Teaching Reading books Developing ideas Exercise Hobbies I
Continue Reading

Plus, Minus and Equal

The four-time undefeated MMA champion now MMA trainer, Frank Shamrock, has developed a system for training would-be fighters. I’m not a huge MMA fan – but I think there is a lot of merit to his system. The system is called “+, -, =”. Shamrock’s theory is that in order to be the best, you need to work with someone better than you, someone equal to you and someone whom you can teach.  Shamrock believes this builds the best fighters.   We certainly don’t have to be an MMA fighter to benefit from this system. The same can be applied to us in any scenario. Training with someone better than us pushes us past our limits and helps us see greater possibilities. Training with our equal tests our skills and in the process they become a peer, allow us to create cooperation, shared learning and has a mastermind effect. Teaching allows
Continue Reading

What is your major goal for 2017?

As you approach the new year & set Goals/New Years Resolutions for 2017 I want you to think about your primary goal. What is your main goal for 2017? What is the one goal, that if achieved, will make the whole year a success? What will your contribution to the world be in 2017? Most people, when they set goals, focus on balance. They set several goals for every area of their life. I’m not against that, but years ago I learned that the word for balance in Hungarian is the word egyensúly. It actually translates to mean “one weighted focus” That understanding has changed my approach to setting goals and I’ve found that if I have one major objective it actually allows me to balance & prioritize my life around it. I also believe it has allowed me to make a bigger impact because I focus on major contributions &
Continue Reading