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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

Effort Is A Skill

On Nov 14 in the NBA the Jimmy Butler saga ended when the Minnesota Timberwolves trader Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. If you aren’t a basketball fan, Butler was demanding a trade and it turned into an ugly ordeal. The interesting thing has been how much better the Timberwolves have been since the trade. A big reason for the uptick is the addition of Robert Covington. Covington is a skilled player but nobody would argue he’s more skilled than Jimmy Butler. What he brings to the table is an intangible that’s hard to measure. He brings energy. He is a guy on the court that plays hard on every play. Cheers on his teammates. Dives for loose balls and his energy is contagious – he raises the collective energy of the team. Here is my takeaway – Effort is a skill. And just like
Continue Reading

How to Deal With Negative Feedback

We all get negative feedback at times. That can come by way of a performance review, a critic, a well-meaning friend, rejection or through other tough experiences. We will all face mistakes, failures, and naysayers at some point – so the question isn’t how do we avoid negative feedback, but rather what do we do with it.   What drove me to write this post was the survey feedback I received from a particular conference a couple of years ago. I was the closing keynote speaker on leadership to a state association of CPAs. I felt the conference went well and the feedback was positive and afterwards as we had agreed to before – the client sent me the evaluation forms.   I received some great feedback. Here are a couple of comments: –       Ty was excellent, bring him back –       This was my favorite session of the two days
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

What Is Your Contribution?

My father-in-law Dennis White is a master gardener. It is a hobby that he has taken and made into a real craft. Every week, he cuts a bouquet from his beautiful flower garden to take to church to display on the pulpit. It is his contribution, his way to use his talent for the benefit of others. It’s been said that we can’t all contribute in a grand way, but we can all contribute in our own way. If we take our strengths, our talents, what sets us apart and use them for the good of others, then we are making a grand contribution. My friend Jason Hewlett describes this as finding your signature move and he has helped me to realize that it is vital that we share them with the world. I loved this observation from Jason, “The secret is this: Share them. Don’t hide them! If you
Continue Reading

The Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

  On the slopes of Long’s Peak in Colorado lay the ruins of a gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some 400 years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth. During the course of its long life, it was struck by lightning 14 times and the innumerable avalanches and storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. The insects ate their way throughout the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny, but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had not withered, nor lightning blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb. Just as
Continue Reading

How Do I Add Value?

As a leader, your job is to add value. Your team, your people, your customers, your investors, your friends and your family. Your job is to add value. Here are three questions that will help you do just that.   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 esthetically 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 2: Is this my most excellent contribution?   Did you just throw it together or did you do a good job? Did you put in the time to prepare and give it your best
Continue Reading

People Support What They Help Create

One of the key lessons I teach leaders is that – People Support What They Help Create. Our world has changed, and rapidly. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted your voice to be heard, you pretty much only believed it was heard if you held a position of leadership. Social media has changed all that and I don’t mean just because people have Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn where they can go and voice their opinion. It has changed the psyche of our world. It has caused everyone to feel like his or her voice should be heard. Regardless of where people are in your organization, they mentally believe that their voice and their opinion matters. As a result, our top-down directives don’t work the same way they used to. We can’t just throw things at people and expect them to jump on it, to run with it, and go for
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