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Our minds can work in an “either/or” fashion, i.e.: Good/Bad Better/Worse Health/Sickness Richer/Poorer You get it.  I look at such contrasts in a linear fashion.  At one end is the area I aspire to.  At the other is the one I don’t. Chances are we are faced in one direction or the other. So, I was listening to a podcast – in reference to this “either/or” mindset.  The former Surgeon General of the United States […]

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DON’T GO PASSIVELY INTO THIS WEEK – “HAPPEN” TO IT! 

Some people want it to happen.   Some people hope it will happen.   Some people make it happen.  Happen to the world!  Starting your week, have you determined how you intend to “happen to the world?”   A lot of us start our weeks open-minded.  We wait to see what opens up to us.  What situations come our way.  We play the hand that’s dealt us.    But, as you know, I believe in “happening.”  When you start […]

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HIGHER EXPECTATIONS LEAD TO IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

Higher expectations lead to improved performance. The highest performing companies—and people—are typically those with the highest internal expectations. Want to achieve more? Start with your expectations. We have high expectations. We expect to be safe.  We teach you to perform your duties safely.  We alert you to the risks inherent in our operations.  We are committed to correcting unsafe conditions immediately. We expect to be productive.  We strive to enable our equipment and systems to operate efficiently and effectively, every day.  When […]

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A GREAT STRATEGY FOR GOOD LEADERS: LEARN YOUR LEARNER

I’m reading a book by Pete Carroll. He says one of the great strategies for good leaders is to “learn your learner.” Here’s the concept.  Everyone is different so everyone learns differently.  He teaches his coaching staff to expect differently.  He expects his coaching staff to be flexible in accordance with the styles of their learners. In other words, he believes that coaches who believe there is only one way or style to coach will always fall short […]

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ADVICE ON RECEIVING BLUNT FEEDBACK

Jim VandeHei CEO of online media company Axios. VandeHei noted that feedback is essential.  Sometimes it comes out of the blue and is expressed bluntly.  He gives five pieces of advice on receiving “blunt” feedback.  His advice is in bold, and my thoughts follow. 1.  Listen.  The best thing to do with direct feedback is to stay quiet and take it in.  If you say anything at all, repeat it to make sure you heard it correctly, or just […]

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INSPIRATION FROM GENERAL GEORGE PATTON

George Patton was a famous World War II general.  Yesterday I encountered two quotes of his from completely different sources.  I figured it was a sign. The first was an inspiration posted on Twitter that read: “You’re never beaten until you admit it. So, don’t admit it.” On one hand it sounds stubborn. But there is power in having that kind of determination when we come up against a challenge.  It’s the kind of belief […]

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THE BENEFITS OF SPEAKING UP

Do you speak your mind? Let me tell you what I mean. Chances are: We do things that you don’t understand.  Do you ask questions, when you don’t know the reasons why? You see the potential to improve how we do things.  Do you pose those suggestions to someone who could help make them happen? You see waste.  Do you point out those wasteful practices? There are small things, easy to fix, that would make your job easier.  Do […]

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CHOOSING EXCELLENCE

One of my favorite authors is Tom Peters who wrote “The Excellence Dividend.” Peters is a famous management guru who touts “excellence” as the only way to conduct life.  I’ve found his thoughts on this subject to be practical and profound.  He has written several classic books through the years.  He’s an author who is worth a read. In my reading, he said “‘Excellence is not a tomorrow’ thing.  It’s an ‘in the next five minutes’ thing. Excellence doesn’t […]

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WINNING WITH ATTITUDE, EFFORT, AND FOCUS

“The best players don’t always win.  The players who play the best do.” – Lou Holtz   This is a subtle distinction.  When all the players are on the field, there are some who have more talent, skill, and strength than the others.  Why don’t they always win?   The effort, attitude, and focus matters too.    I suspect not everyone is interested in the US Open tennis tournament in New York.  Serena Williams, arguably the greatest to ever […]

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WE ARE WHO WE ARE.  WE CHOOSE WHO THAT IS.

I watch HBO Hard Knocks, a show that follows an NFL team through its training camp, covering the team’s preparation for the upcoming football season.  This season, the Detroit Lions are featured.  The head coach Dan Campbell was walking among his team and said: “We are who we are. We choose who that is.” It’s a rich insight.  “We are who we are.” It means we are going to act according to our skill set […]

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