Are You Genuinely Happy For Others?

I have two boys. Tanner is 10 years old and Drew is 8. They are best friends. Last year they become obsessed with American Ninja Warrior. Everything in our house became an obstacle and we soon found a ninja gym near our house for them to attend classes. Last month both boys competed in an area competition, Drew in the 6-9 age group and Tanner in the 10-11 age group. They both did great, but Drew qualified for regionals and Tanner did not.  Last Saturday Tanner and I went with Drew to support him in his regional competition. Drew did great and qualified for Nationals! It was so cool to watch but that’s not what I was most proud of on Saturday.  I watched Tanner cheer on Drew without a hint of jealousy, just genuine excitement. I actually had two different parents comment on how sweet of a brother he
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Can You Laugh At Yourself?

Last month my 12-year-old daughter, Andie, was diagnosed with scarlet fever, strep throat and the flu all at the same time.   She felt miserable and the rash from scarlet fever covered her body and face.  I felt horrible for her. At its very worse, she came downstairs and said, “Dad I look like I a tomato that got sunburned and then someone beat me up” 🙂   I loved that she could laugh at herself even in the midst of feeling bad and, well let’s face it, looking horrible.   For all of us, learning to laugh at ourselves has very positive benefits. Note that I said laugh at ourselves, which means that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This is not to be confused with negative self-talk and poor self-image.   Benefit #1 – It improves our health   According to psychologist and humor researcher Dr. Arnie Cann, Laughter
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Stories Make Everything Better

On Monday, I sat in an Irrigation Company Board meeting in Idaho for shareholders who own water rights. We bought a cabin/ranch property last year and with it bought water rights on the canal that runs through our property. The shareholders in the room were primarily farmers and ranch owners – this is a gruff bunch. The President of the Board started the meeting with a funny little story that poked fun at farmers and made everyone laugh and my thought automatically was – Stories make everything better Storytelling a skill that can enhance virtually every situation.   Last week Kyle Bringhurst reviewed my book The Power of Storytelling http://www.kylebringhurst.com/reviews/book-review/the-power-of-storytelling/   In his review he shared his 8 favorite quotes from my book & I wanted to share these quotes because they give practical ideas on how to share stories more effectively.   Top 8 Quotes “You don’t retell a
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Do You Have A Growth Mindset?

A couple of months ago I was working with a company who was using Carol Dweck’s book Mindset as a group study. Then last week a friend asked me if I had ever read the book Mindset? And yesterday while recording a podcast interview my guest talked about the importance of a growth mindset and so I figured the universe was trying to tell me to pull out this book that I read years ago and revisit it.   Mindset is a great book that I highly recommend and in it Dr. Dweck explains that there are five facets to this growth mindset.   Number one is to learn from failure. How we respond to failure and what we take from it is crucial. Number two is to embrace obstacles. Be willing to do the hard thing. Number three is giving your best effort, regardless of how you feel. It
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Better Motives Lead to Better Collaboration

Yesterday we hosted our Leadership Inc Institute and the trainer was Neil Staker.   We spent the day talking about collaboration and communication – it was great.   One of the points that stood out to me was that when it comes to dealing with people, our motives are more important than our behavior.   Why? Because better motives lead to better collaboration.   Even when we behave correctly (do the right things) if our motives are off, it can impact how it’s received and therefore the outcome.   Here are some examples: Offering advice under the guise of being helpful when you’re really just annoyed. Doing a job for others because you don’t trust them or are tired of waiting. Acting polite or supportive in front of people, only to criticize them or their ideas later. Asking questions that have more to do with undermining than understanding.   Are
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The Commitment Scale

What is the most important ingredient to achieve any goal? As we begin a new year all of us have goals, whether that is to build a business, to lose weight, to be, do or have anything in our life; I believe that the most important ingredient to achieve any goal is COMMITMENT. On my office wall I have a mantra that I believe to be true: “When you are interested you do what is convenient. When you are committed you do whatever it takes.” A high level of commitment is really what is required to achieve major goals in your life, and that brings us to the Commitment Scale. There are Four Levels of Commitment. If you understand this scale then you can consider your level of commitment and begin to understand may not be achieving at the level you want. The First Level of commitment is distraction. Most people live
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Here’s An Answer You Probably Don’t Want To Hear

  A couple of days ago I had a conversation with a speaker who said “I’m really good on stage, but I’m not getting booked for speeches as much as I would like to, do you have any suggestions?”   My answer is one that he probably didn’t want to hear, but it’s the truth. I said “Your problem is one of two things. Either 1 – you’re not as good as you think you are on the stage or 2 – you’re not marketing yourself the way you need to or as effectively as you need to.”   That might be hard to hear, but when you think about it that’s the truth. It’s true not just for speakers, it’s true for all of us. Think about an entrepreneur whose business is not growing in the way that they want it to. It’s either because their product or service
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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
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How Do You Respond To Crisis?

Last year after only a couple of weeks on the job, UBER CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was faced with a crisis. Government officials in London announced that they would not be renewing Uber’s license to operate in the city. Being shut down and in essence kicked out of one of the most popular cities in the world is a monumental crisis for a company like Uber. How would you respond? Crisis often brings out the worst in us. We react. Get emotional. Say things we regret. Lash out. It’s usually ugly. Instead, Uber’s Chief Executive sent an email to employees that showed composure, humility, emotional control and solution thinking. The part of the email that is most poignant is this: “While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got
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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
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