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 Strength To Be Humble

I love these thoughts on humility written by Lloyd D. Newell. I think humility is very misunderstood & at the same time absolutely essential to great leadership.     The Strength to be Humble by Lloyd D. Newell   A national newspaper grabbed attention recently with this headline: “The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses.” At first, that may seem to contradict conventional wisdom – that a good leader is dynamic, dominating, and bold. But it’s been found that people who work for humble bosses exhibit better teamwork and perform at higher levels. Not surprisingly, when a leader listens to the perspective of others and constantly seeks to learn and improve, the people who follow that leader are more likely to do the same. That doesn’t mean leaders should be passive or indifferent. On the contrary, as one expert observed: “Humble leaders can also be highly competitive and ambitious. But they
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Do You Love Reading?

Statistically very few Americans will read any books after High School, but I personally didn’t discover a love of reading until after High School. I had mentors that promoted reading for personal & professional development & I took it to heart. I have read thousands of books. Usually a couple a week on leadership, communication, relationships, high performance, parenting, psychology, history, etc… Reading has enriched my life & continues to make me better. I want my kids to establish this habit earlier than I did. They actually love to read & I want to encourage that but also add some non-fiction, personal development to their repertoire. So I grabbed a bunch of my favorite books & put together a summer reading library & an incentive program for them to read & review them. After reading the books, my kids will do a video review that I’ll post online so you
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A Storytelling Lesson From The NBA Playoffs

I love basketball almost as much as I love storytelling. Luckily for me, today they will come together. We are in the middle of the NBA playoffs and without question the single best player so far in the playoffs has been Kevin Durant. He is averaging over 30 points per game. And it’s not only this year. Durant has been the best player in the playoffs the last three years. In fact, in his entire playoff career he has averaged over 29 points a game which has only been outdone by Michael Jordan & Jerry West. The interesting thing to me is that for all of his greatness, he is still disliked and discounted by a large percentage of NBA fans. And I think the reason is a lesson in storytelling. I teach audiences that a great story follows a model of struggle to solution. You hook people with the
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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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