A Fight To Be The Best!

I can vividly remember back a dozen or so years ago to a time where an absentee plant manager would send a late night email to one of his minions on the local management team demanding a to-the-minute update on the various metrics we were all required to track on a monthly basis. He always expected those numbers to be presented at the 8:45a production meeting; never mind the fact that he sent his diktat by email around 10p the night before, most of us didn’t arrive in the building to even access his emails until 7:30a, and those reports typically required several hours to complete each month even when we had the necessary data to put them together… That’s when one of the management team members taught me an interesting lesson, “the hard it is to prove something is correct, the harder it will be to disprove…” 

That was also the day I learned that the majority of my peers had learned to pay very little attention to our absentee boss’s...

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A CheckPoint or the Finish Line?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 14, 2020.

Have you heard stories of people dying soon after they retire? In many cases, that seems to serve as motivation for considering early retirement and enjoying the time we have left. But according to a study I read recently on WebMD, folks who retire at 55 are 89% more likely to die in the ten years following their retirement than their counterparts who retire at 65… Well that stinks!

What about the statistics regarding how many people stop learning once they’ve completed the formal education? Now I’m certainly not one who just loves to read, but these numbers are absolutely shocking! According to a 2003 study by The Jenkins Group, “one-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.” That study goes on to show that “42% of college graduates never read another book after college.” While I’m not suggesting that learning can only happen...

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How Do You Play the Game?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 11, 2020.

In the LinkedIn article I published yesterday, I referenced the origins of a quote I had already attributed to Vince Lombardi. We’ve likely all heard some type of reference to the idea of “it’s not whether we win or lose, but how we play the game” but I was clearly confused about where it originated. (I did find an entire web page dedicated to actual quotes by Lombardi so we’ll probably be circling back to that in this series sometime soon…) 

The actual quote I was thinking about was from Grantland Rice in 1927 but even he was paraphrasing something from a Greek historian that was written nearly 2,500 years earlier. Rice’s words were “For when the great scorer comes to write against your name, He marks not that you won or lost but how you played the game.” And that 5th century B.C. Greek historian wrote this in reference to Olympians of the time “Tis...

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Win, Lose, or Grow?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 13, 2020.

Following the theme we’ve followed over the last few days, I’m going to challenge you with a question right out of the gate: WHAT do you think or feel when someone in a similar role or field as you’re in succeeds? Are you excited for them? Is there any sense of jealousy? Do you view it as them beating you or getting ahead of you?

Let me be very transparent here; this is something I’ve struggled with at times. And quite honest, there’s a lot of systems in place throughout society to reinforce a competitive sense in us when we see someone we view as a competitor doing well. The traditional thought process is that when they do well or gain market share, then we inherently must be doing poorly and losing market share.

Are your toes OK so far? This may be stepping on them a bit but that’s not my goal!

In The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek gives a number of examples of how many businesses...

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The Name of the Game

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 12, 2020.

Before we get started, here’s a quick heads up that we now have all the up to date details on the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg events posted at www.L2L-Harrisonburg.com and we’ll be adding new details as we have them. In addition to live, private, and virtual options, we’ll be providing EVERYONE who participates in any of these options with a special bonus at no additional cost!

Now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast!

I closed the last message by asking you if you had ever stopped to consider whether or not you’ve been playing the right game… Kind of an odd question, huh… While I truly believe Bo Jackson would have been one of the best Major League Baseball players ever had he chosen just that instead pursuing his football career as well, that’s not where I was going with my question!

Another way of looking at that question could tie back to some of the...

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Champions Aren’t Made in the Ring!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on January 16, 2017.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier once said, “Champions aren’t made in the ring, they’re merely recognized there. What you cheat on in the early light of morning will show up in the ring under the bright lights.”

In chapter 3 of Leadership Gold, John Maxwell makes a similar point. I realize I’m a bit biased, but I think his may apply to a wider group of people. In this chapter on defining moments, John offers his thoughts on preparing for the ones you’ll face in the future. He says, “One of the most valuable things I’ve done in my life is to make major choices before times of crisis or decision. That has enabled me to simply manage those decisions in critical moments of my life.”

So how does that apply to you and me? I’ll take a shot at answering the second part of that question. I’ll leave answering the first part up to you…

For me, Smokin’...

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There’s a Hole in Your Bucket!

john leadership maxwell Aug 13, 2020

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on January 17, 2017.

On the way to the office this morning, John Maxwell taught me something that I’m still trying to completely process. (I’ll bet you didn’t realize that John and I carpool almost every morning and every evening!) It’s a really simple concept, but I don’t think I’ve quite digested how much impact it really has…

Before I go into anything else, John doesn’t really ride with me. I do listen to some sort of lesson from him almost every day though. This one was from 1996; about four years before I had even heard of him.

I’ve heard John teach several lessons over the last few years where he talks about how time can’t really be managed. The one I’ve been through most recently has been chapter 13 of Leadership Gold, Don’t Manage Your Time, Manage Your Life.

Hopefully we’re all growing wiser with time, not just simply growing older. (That’s...

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But I Didn’t SAY It Was OK…

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2020

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 2, 2020.

In the last few blogs, we looked at how much more the people on our teams will follow what we do than what we say and then we looked at how much responsibility stinks at times when we realize someone is ALWAYS watching… And as tough as walking that fine line can often be, every leader will run into situations where maintaining the highest of standards with their own behaviors still isn’t enough!

Well crap!

A scenario we walk participants through in the very first lesson of our Emerging Leader Development course deals with the importance of self-discipline as a leader. For many folks, that’s simply having the character to set the right example for what the team they lead is expected to follow. But one of the most common frustrations I’ve seen supervisors, managers, and executives deal with in nearly every organization I’ve worked with over the last two decades initially started when...

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Responsibility Stinks!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 1, 2020.

Do you remember a time in your career, or even in your personal life, when so many people weren’t depending on you to make the right decisions? And maybe there wasn’t even anyone watching if you did something stupid, or something you wouldn’t have been proud to tell your grand kids about… Since smart phones have entered the equation, those days seem to be gone, huh…

I kinda remember those days… But I more clearly remember the day I volunteered to serve on a safety committee and learned that every move I made from that point forward would be under a microscope. The idea we touched on in the last message about Monkey See, Monkey Do would be hard at work in my life from that day forward. I couldn’t promote the importance of choosing safe behaviors and continue to do dumb stuff that could get me hurt if I wanted to earn any credibility at all! And as I accepted different roles...

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Monkey See, Monkey Do? Team Member See? Team Member Do!!!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on June 30, 2020.

Ok… Think back to when you were a kid. What did you see the people you admired most doing that you weren’t allowed to do? Maybe you were too young, maybe “it was bad for you”, or maybe it was just something that same person had told you that you weren’t allowed to do…

How did that usually end up? For me, it typically only made me work that much harder to do that exact thing that I was told I shouldn’t be doing because that person I wanted to emulate was doing it! I was quite frequently very successful in accomplishing that forbidden thing… To save a little face here, I won’t go into any of the specifics. But I’m sure your imagination can do its own work. And I’m also sure I’m not alone!

Now fast forward to your current leadership responsibility. How often have you been in situations where you’ve either wanted to, or absolutely had to, do...

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