How to Overcome an 8-8 Mindset

No, this is not another fan rant about the Dallas Cowboys lackluster performance on the football field this year. Although there are some similarities we’ll draw upon here. Rather, the article is about you. If you’re a business leader who seems to be stuck in neutral and unable to find the ‘winning formula’ to move to the next level.

None of us grew up with the notion of being average, just being good enough.

Whether it’s in sports, music, grades, business, etc. We have all been ingrained with the notion of being the best in our chosen pursuits. Does this seem realistic? There is nothing wrong with the quest for excellence. However, not everyone can ascend to the top of the pyramid and stay there. Real life just doesn’t work that way. And that’s OK!

Are your expectations aligned with reality?

Let’s talk for a moment about the ‘BIG LIE’. The big lie is what we tell ourselves when we have a bad day, or when things are not going our way. “Things will get better”. They won’t. Things are not going to get better until what? Until we do. In order to consistently achieve success at any level we must take risks, make changes and sacrifice to get there.

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What’s In Your Box?

Several years ago a good friend gave me a copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of Bob Buford’s book, Half Time®: Moving from Success to Significance. I enjoyed the book so much that it was added to the required reading list for my Business Leaders Forum℠ mastermind program.

Buford believes the second half of your life can be better than the first. But first we need to figure out what we want to do with the rest of our lives. In Half Time®, this transition is described as moving from ‘success to significance’.

While attempting to come up with a strategic plan for himself, Buford was asked a simple question: “What’s in the box?”

The answer to this simple, yet penetrating question will help to determine how successful we are at fulfilling our future life plans. Whether we’re still young adults, have reached the midlife point, or are already into our second half. Let me explain.

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Holiday Cooking Life Lessons

Six years ago ‘The Boys’, my son Daniel and I, decided to take on the task of doing most of the Christmas holiday cooking. It was our way of giving ‘The Girls’, my wife Laura and daughter Melanie, a break to relax and enjoy the holidays. My wild, crazy idea!

NOTE: The photo above includes some of the sweets and “treats” made as part of the holiday cooking marathon.

We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we started. But after eleven recipes and 12+ hours of meal preparation, cooking and the clean up, let’s just say we had learned a lot from the experience.

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Do & Don’t Lists for 2020

The holidays are a perfect time for both reflection and renewal. And it’s an excellent time to formulate the list of things you want to accomplish in the New Year.  While enjoying quality time with family and friends, of course. So, let’s get started on our lists.

“The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.” – Elbert Hubbard

Here are my suggested Top 5 “Do” and Top 5 “Don’t” lists to help us formulate our New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2020.

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Make Your Vision Reality

Each year in Times Square at the stroke of midnight the ball drops officially ushering in a New Year. A time to start anew … new hopes, new dreams, and a new list of New Year’s resolutions, goals and challenges awaits each of us.

Yes, it’s hard to believe the first week of 2020 is fast approaching. So, what’s next for you? Do you have a personal plan to prepare you for success in the New Year? Most importantly …

Do your goals align with your vision?

When I think of the challenges most of us must confront in aligning our goals with our vision, I’m reminded of this quote from Isaac Asimov:

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”

Getting to where we want to go, from where we are today, is the ultimate challenge for most of us. This transition is also the most troublesome. Why? Because it requires us to move away from old habits and traditional thinking to achieve this new reality.

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How to Create a Winning Culture

Do you believe that creating a winning culture is vital to the success of your business? If no, skip to the next article. If yes, what steps have you taken to build a winning culture within your organization?

Each year Fortune and Forbes magazines’ complete extensive surveys and publish their respective lists of the “Best Places to Work”. These surveys rank the top companies in a broad range of categories including job satisfaction, pay and benefit programs, attitudes about management, internal communication, hiring practices, training, and diversity efforts.

What makes these businesses great companies to work for and recognized leaders in their respective industries?

Whether your business is a start-up or well established, it’s important to recognize that everyone wants to be a part of building something special — a great company. And culture is an undeniable part of the fabric of any great company. A lot has been written about culture and its importance, but do we really understand what goes into creating a winning culture? Continue reading…

What Have We Learned?

If you believe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green Deal supporters, the world will end in 12 years if we don’t start right now to address climate change aggressively.

Ironically, it was 50 years ago that U Thant, then the Secretary-General of the United Nations, made a similar declaration about the future of mankind. He stated that the “Members of the United Nations have perhaps ten years left to solve the challenges ahead of us, or they will be beyond our control”.

U Thant’s more detailed comments can be found in the Introduction to the book, The Limits to Growth. It was the first edition of this book back in 1972 that began to reshape my thinking about the world around us and the fate of mankind. In 2012, 40 years later, I released my first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead that addressed many of these and other global challenges.

Back in April, I discussed one of the major issues from Chapter 5 of my book, Education Revitalized, in a blog article. Now, I want to broaden the conversation. Let’s go back a little farther to see what has changed during the past 47 years since the initial release of The Limits to Growth. Continue reading…

Global Imperative: Education Revitalized

What is the global imperative? If you read my first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead, you know the answer. The answer, “change your thinking”.

In my opinion, the key to changing your thinking is education. Education is the foundation from which growth and progress springs forth. If we truly want to change our world, and improve the quality of life for all global citizens, it starts with education.

In my book I devoted an entire chapter to Education Revitalized, so let’s look at how we have fared over the past seven years since the book was published. Continue reading…

Why Being Average Is Not Bad

I get it. Long before Nickelback’s song became a hit record, we all wanted to be a rock star, 5-star athlete, prom queen, Hollywood icon, or a perfect 10. But are these realistic goals for most of us, or are they holding us back?

Too often in today’s world I hear people refer to average as being mediocre. This places an inaccurate, very negative label on being average. Although average is a synonym for mediocre, look closer at the definition. 

What Does “Average” Actually Mean?

Average is the result that you get when you add two or more numbers together and divide the total by the number of numbers you added together. … An average person or thing is typical or normal. Let me repeat that last phrase … “An average person or thing is typical or normal.” So, if being average means you are normal, how can that be a bad thing?

It isn’t. However, our obsession with being a perfect 10 when most of us are 6, 7 or 8s, or the belief that being average makes us mediocre is just wrong-headed thinking. Sure we all want to be successful, want our businesses and our children to excel, but keep things in perspective. Continue reading…

Discover Your Purpose

Who am I? Why am I here? What’s my motivation? What is my ‘Why’? These are all purpose-related questions most of us will struggle with at various stages throughout our lives.

What is purpose and why is it important?

Purpose is “the reason anything is done, created or exists”. Everyone has or needs a purpose, otherwise we are just flopping around with no true sense of direction or meaning to our lives. However, defining our purpose in meaningful terms can be a major challenge.

We quite often hear the term, “find your purpose”. Every time I hear this I want to respond, “I didn’t know it was lost”. But in reality, it wasn’t lost because in order to be found it had to exist. Therein lies the difficulty for many people.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” – Lewis Carroll

Why having a purpose is so important:

  1. Focus.
  2. Clarity.
  3. Meaning.
  4. Drive and passion.
  5. Achieve success.

These are just a few of the things that come to mind when we consider why having a strong sense of purpose is so important. Continue reading…