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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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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Growth Through Subtraction

The old adage that “you don’t get bigger by getting smaller” does not always apply in the modern world. In order to thrive in today’s fast-paced global marketplace you must think differently about what is essential to growth, and where and how to invest your time and limited resources.

Big corporations have gotten it wrong for decades. To artificially “pump up” stock prices and appease shareholders and the board of directors, they have historically downsized and reorganized during the fourth quarter to improve short-term financials. However, if you do not make fundamental changes to improve operational performance, this is a “slowly bleed to death” strategy that ultimately leads to disaster.

“When you remove just the right things in just the right way, something very good happens.”—Matthew E. May 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…

Play Above the Rim …

Don’t lower your expectations … lower the rim!

Yes, there is a story behind the message. I grew up in a basketball crazy area of Kansas City, Kansas and attended Wyandotte High School. During the glory days Wyandotte was State Champions in basketball ten out of fourteen years. And I had the real pleasure of playing on the school grounds with many outstanding players including Lucius Allen and Pierre Russell, who went on to have great college and professional basketball careers.

Although I didn’t play in high school, I absolutely loved the sport and always dreamed of growing up to be 6’2” or taller so I could dunk a basketball. Well, I didn’t quite get there. I’m barely 5’8” in shoes, on a good day, with a mediocre vertical leap no less. However, I have dunked a basketball roughly 100-150 times in my lifetime.

How was I able to overcome these physical limitations and achieve my goal of dunking a basketball? Continue reading…

8 Ways to Rise Above the Noise

I don’t know about you, but I have grown weary and resentful of all the negative news I read and hear these days. The steady drone of articles about the Clinton’s, President Trump and his campaign advisers, the Russian dossier, Uranium One scandal, the NFL player protests, and so forth. It’s exhausting!

What’s the solution? We can turn-off the TV, cancel our subscription to the newspaper, or our social media accounts, boycott the NFL, etc. However, being an isolationist is not a solution, its creative avoidance. The very real challenges we must overcome to ‘Make America Great Again’ are still present and unabated.

How can we rise above the noise and turn our attention to solving real-world problems? Continue reading…

What Shall We Talk About?

Henri Frederic Amiel once said that, “Everything you need for a better future and success has already been written”. If this is true, then what is left to talk about?

Ever suffer from writer’s block? Well, me too! I’ve been staring at the keyboard for some time now trying to come up with something new and informative to talk about that would capture the attention of my followers. And I’m drawing a blank. So I’ll pose the question to all of you …

What Shall We Talk About

What shall we talk about?

Let’s see, we could start with the ‘BIG 3’ … Sports, Politics and Religion. Continue reading…

Where’s the Reset Button?

Do you want to start over?

WOW … what a loaded question, huh? Let’s be totally honest. We have all had days, weeks, months and perhaps even years in our lifetime that we wish we could do over. It is human nature for us to want to go back and change things that didn’t go well or take back things we said or did that we later regretted.

Reset ButtonQuite frankly, I think it is one of the reasons we humans are so enamored with the idea of time travel. The opportunity to go back in time and ‘right the wrongs’ done to us, or erase those bad occurrences that left a stain upon our otherwise perfect lives. Just hit the reset button and start over. Continue reading…

Competition Is Not a Bloodsport

Unlike the early days of the industrial revolution, competition is not a bloodsport in the rapidly evolving, global marketplace of today. Instead, coopetition and collaboration have become the watchwords for this new era of global expansion and commerce.

When AT&T first entered the computer industry in the mid-1980s, it was their clear intent to dominate an industry controlled by IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Unisys, Wang, Data General and others. Although AT&T had been the defacto market leader in telecommunications since its inception, they soon learned that different rules of engagement applied in the computer business.

Fencing Sport

In order to survive and thrive as a new entry into the computer industry, AT&T had to learn to “plug and play” with everyone, including its direct competitors. To meet their over-arching business goals it was no longer about crushing the competition, but more about developing collaborative solutions that addressed the needs of the marketplace, by working together.

You don’t become a market leader in today’s fast-paced global economy by attempting to lord over the competition or your customers. Continue reading…

Let’s Stop Talking About Goals

Let’s stop talking about goals. There I said it. Like many of you, I’ve seen far too many articles posted these days that focus on goal-setting. Be honest, goal-setting is a total waste of time, unless it leads to results. It is time to shift the conversation.

Success Planning

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “The best goal is no goal at all”. I would not go quite that far. However, what it means is that we should stop allowing ourselves to be limited by certain goals, and stay open to the possibilities ahead of us. Continue reading…