Winners Focus on Winning, Losers Focus on Winners

I help to coach my daughter’s competitive soccer team. They are in fourth grade and are a really good team for their age group in the state. Last week, I set up a set up a scrimmage with a sixth grade team. These girls were older and bigger but they don’t play at the same level and don’t know the game as well as our girls. As we began the scrimmage, our girls were timid and very worried about how big they were. They weren’t playing their game because they were intimidated. After a couple of minutes, I finally got them to stop focusing on the sixth graders and instead play soccer the way they know how. We started passing, being aggressive, spreading the field and we won 6-0! My girls were doing what a lot of do in business and in life and that is why it is a
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Work Like An Artisan

Earlier this month my wife and I took a trip to Israel. It was a wonderful trip full of history and culture. One of the things that stood out to me was the idea of working like an artisan. While we were in Israel we saw sculptures and carvings that were centuries old and what stood out to me is that artisans would carve their name or initials into their work. I began to wonder if everyday I would be proud enough of what I do to carve my initials into my work. What sets a true artisan apart from an everyday craftsman is an artisan makes their craft their sole purpose in life. They devote their lives to their craft, taking the time to master, perfect and produce their product.  They don’t just fabricate for mass production. There is a real pride in ownership to being an artisan. In
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Real Leadership Is About Building Leaders Not Followers

Ralph Nader said that, “The function of leadership is to produce others leaders, not just other followers.”  If that is true then the question becomes how do you produce other leaders? And if our focus is on empowerment and leadership development then the legacy of a leader is not what they do when they are at the helm, but rather what happens after they leave. Two years ago, with this thought process in place, I had a chance to test out some of my theories on leadership and can now measure the result. In June of 2013 I was put in as the President of the Mountain West Chapter of The National Speakers Association. This position was a one year commitment and I wanted to not only make an impact during that year but I wanted to set it up for the chapter to continue to thrive after my term
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Don’t Give Up On Your Dream – The Jeremy Lin Story

With the NBA Playoffs in full swing and some amazing buzzer beaters over the last week I was reminded of my favorite sports story of the last few years and wanted to share again an article I wrote three years ago. I love the sport of basketball and if you are a basketball fan like me you have probably been swept away by Linsanity! For those of you going “Huh?” – let me explain. Jeremy Lin who, at the time of my writing this has now started five games for the New York Knicks, has taken the basketball world by storm. His output has been amazing. The New York Knicks have won all five games. But Jeremy Lin’s story has inspired me and so many others to not give up on our dreams. Jeremy Lin didn’t receive a single scholarship offer to play basketball in college. Instead he walked on
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Three Leadership Approaches – Three Different Results

I believe we choose the level of influence we have with our people based on the approach to leadership we choose to take. In my observation there are three distinct approaches to leadership and each derives a different result. 1. Pretentious Leaders create contempt. Pretentious leaders are driven by ego. Their focus is not on their people, it’s on them. When a leader is conceited, fake, disinterested or abrasive, they create a feeling of contempt with their people. The lack of respect erodes trust and causes desires to undermine the leader’s authority. It’s easy to blame problems on your people and even to fire people who seem to be a thorn in your side, but I want to be clear that bad leadership most often creates contempt. 2. Positional Leaders create compliance. When leaders rely on position or authority they are not truly leading. People don’t follow titles, they follow
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Would You Win Leader of the Year?

If there was a contest today and your employees, team members or clients were asked to vote – would you win leader of the year? If you were asked to vote – what would make the leader of the year in your mind? Would it be their knowledge, their skillset, their example, their commitment, or the way they treated their people? My daughter Andie is in third grade. She has loved school every year and done well. She has loved every teacher she has had, but this year has been something different. This year however, her teacher Mrs. Allison Moschetti, is her absolute favorite. Mrs. Moschetti was just voted teacher of the year, so it isn’t just Andie that thinks she is doing a great job. And I want each of us to learn a couple of things about leadership from her that has set her apart from her peers.
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The Two Most Important Days of Your Life

  I’m excited to share my new book – The Two Most Important Days of Your Life. The book – The Two Most Important Days of Your Life is a fable based on a true story. Years ago, my friend Wes Blatter received an unexpected phone call that quickly put life into perspective. On the other end of the line was a devastated and emotional mother. She greeted Wes, and said, “I don’t know if you remember me or my family but ten years ago you were my son Danny’s Scout Master.” She paused momentarily and then said, “The reason I am calling is because Danny committed suicide yesterday. He left a note describing how you had been a positive influence in his life and asked for you to speak at his funeral.” Not only was Wes shocked at the reality of the situation, but also after so many years
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The Best in the World

  Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were a kid? Was it an astronaut, a baseball player, a fireman, chef, writer, actor, lawyer or a doctor? Regardless of what profession you chose, there is a common element to childhood dreams: Every child dreams of being “The Best in the World.” Think about it – you didn’t dream about being a casual, better than average basketball player. You dreamed about being in the NBA and winning a world championship. You didn’t dream about being a writer whose book never got published. You dreamed of writing the best-selling book of all time. Children dream big, and don’t see past their goal to envision all the work it will take to get there – they just dream. But somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we lose the “best in the world” part of our dreams and settle for the “that’s
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Leaders Need to Embody the Three A’s

I believe that every leader chooses the level of influence they have based on the approach to leadership that they take. If you choose to lead based on title and position – your influence will be situational and small. Some would argue that your influence would be non-existent. On the other hand, if you choose to lead based on relationships and by adding value – your influence will be lasting and unlimited. Leaders today who choose to lead based on relationships and by adding value need to embody The Three A’s: Accessibility Approachability Authenticity Accessibility: As a leader are you accessible to your people? Do you take the time to be with them and available? The Marines call this eye ball leadership, being face to face, belly to belly with your people. If you want to build genuine relationships, you need to spend time with them, get to know them
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Value Precedes Influence

In the 1940’s a small boutique financial services firm was just beginning to finally see a bit of success.  They had started out when two people came together with the hopes to create something great.  They decided at this point to add someone to their marketing department.  They found a guy named Charles Engle – a journalist by background who at the time was working as an editor of a magazine, that had just started to have some experience in advertising and marketing and he found that he really loved that much more than he loved journalism.  So when this job opportunity came up he was just the perfect fit for them.  He did not have much experience and they did not have much money – Perfect Fit. He begins his job and starts to look at what they are doing when it comes to marketing.  Now at that time
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