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Best Advice I Ever Got Library

5 Tips from Winston Churchill to Overcome Any Storm

Are you having a bad day … maybe a bad week … even a few bad weeks in a row?

Could you handle it if you had to slog your way through a seemingly unending storm?

How Do You Achieve Victory Against Insurmountable Odds?

Yesterday, November 30, Winston Churchill would have been 143 years old. He died in 1965 but few modern historical figures are as legendary as Churchill.

It made me think on his countless pearls of wisdom I’ve enjoyed over the years. Some poignant, some funny, some rather cutting. I’ve sprinkled a few throughout for your enjoyment and amusement.

It also reminded me that in the face of life’s challenges, we CAN keep on getting on … and overcome them even when they seem stretched endlessly in front of us.

What Does the Future Hold?

The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may destroy it … but there it is. ~ Winston Churchill

The future is never clear enough and there are always unbidden passengers getting on the train … economic turmoil, political stalemate, terrorism, the wrath of Mother Nature … it’s a pretty long list.

“Let us go into the storm … and through the storm,” said Winston Churchill as he prepared England to confront the Nazi regime in World War II.

I thought this might be a touch of hyperbole as we face life’s challenges, but then I recalled that Churchill’s odyssey raged for five years, not just a day or a week.

Imagine Churchill, FDR and others slogging for five dreadful years through the greatest threat to civilization we have known.

How do we carry on the fight over a longer period?

Keep reading to learn how to overcome the Resistance …

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The Two Principles You Need to Live a Life of Harmony

Does this get you thinking: Today is the Day that Tomorrow was Yesterday?

D o you live your life like Tomorrow Never Comes? If you don’t make the best of today, what else is left?

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It’s Time to Live a Life of Harmony

In addition to living life today and not waiting for the promises of tomorrow, I’m kicking the concept of a “balanced life” to the curb.

Instead, I’m looking for a Life of Harmony, which is a blend of two key principles:

  • A blend of work, home, friends and community, and
  • A commitment to live for today, not for the tomorrow that never comes.

As you prepare for your Best Year Ever in 2018, both of these principles must be present to achieve a Life of Harmony.

Principle 1: The Concept of a Balanced Life is Over

The concept of a balanced life is kaput because it’s based on the outdated assumption that there is a bright line between home and work.

But there really isn’t, is there?

With today’s technology … with both spouses working and sharing home and parenting duties … the line between work and home is fuzzy at best:

  • You have the capability to get work done when and where you want,
  • You don’t want to miss your kids’ soccer games or piano recitals,
  • You may prefer to put your kids to bed and work afterward, and
  • You want a life where all of your interests and needs are in “harmony”.

Once you embrace that concept, you can join me and kick that *balanced life* concept out the door.

Principle 2: Life is Short and Unpredictable

When death strikes close to home, this lesson rears its ugly head yet again.

Over the Christmas holidays several years ago, we lost my wife’s only and younger brother to a sudden and expected infection that even the greatest doctors at UCSF could not overcome.

Reflecting on that 19 day ordeal from his admission to the ICU until his Celebration of Life service, is a powerful lesson for all of us as we confront our mortality.

None of us had any idea this day was coming. He was relatively young at 65, healthy throughout his life and was planning to retire at the first of the year … with many plans that he never realized.

The acclaimed author, Sidney Sheldon, once wrote a book entitled, Tomorrow Never Comes.

It summarizes what we already know:

What was tomorrow only yesterday is now TODAY.

Continue reading for the inspiration to kickstart your life

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Have you ever been so broke you had to sell your dog at the local 7-Eleven?

This may seem like a very strange blog post for a site dedicated to leadership. But not really.

N ot if you’re committed to managing your life, controlling your day and fighting for what you believe.

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Recently, I saw a profile of Sylvester Stallone and, serendipitously, stumbled across several articles and interviews about him at the same time. One of the stories was featured on CBS Sunday Morning which featured him and spotlighted his movie, Creed.

In the process, I learned that Stallone broke through with his own writing and NOT with his acting. After some of his early acting failures, he began writing, relentlessly.

He wrote almost 30 scripts.

He says 29 of them were crappy.

Rocky Balboa – Stallone’s breakout role

The 30th script was for Rocky, a $500 Million blockbuster movie … but as interest began to build in his script, he saw this as a unique opportunity to kickstart his career.

How did he do it?

What can we learn from Sylvester Stallone and his iconic characters?

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This Has Been My Universal Experience: No Momentum? No Results!

How often have you started a project which ran out of steam?

It’s not because the idea is no longer valid or the results desirable … but because other priorities jumped in line … energy was diverted to new projects … and the original project died on the vine.

Isn’t it interesting that Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion perfectly predicted this?

“An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

In other words … if an object is in motion, it tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by another force which slows it down … like unexpected obstacles, new priorities, emergencies … really, anything that gets in the way.

I’ve described this phenomenon in greater detail in Why the Lack of Momentum is the Most Lethal Force in Your Business because I want you to create and harness the concept of Momentum. You’ll find that while it’s invisible to the touch, it’s paramount to the energy that’s needed to successfully complete … almost anything.

So, the next time you find a project flailing about … and its energy dissipating … be sure to consider what you can do to jumpstart that project and renew its energy

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If You Want To Trash Your Brand … Here’s a Good Way To Do It

Any chance that you’re tone deaf? Maybe you should follow Paul McCartney’s example.

A brand anthem expresses to your customers the core values related to your brand and products, much like a vision statement expresses the core values of your company 


Are you trashing your Brand Anthem?

A few months back, I was sitting in an exceptionally beautiful church on Easter Sunday morning.

There were garlands of fresh daffodils and orchids draping the sanctuary.

Easter lilies were everywhere, consuming the floor of the chancel and the empty spaces on the altar rails. Small children were dressed in their Easter finery, sitting awkwardly in their new suits and dresses anxiously awaiting the Easter Egg hunt following the service.

Time for the Processional Hymn

Christians everywhere know that the hymn, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” also starts the Easter service and marks the procession of ministers and laity down the aisle to the altar.

It is unarguably the best known Easter hymn, a holiday staple like O’ Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World and other holiday songs at Christmas.

I pretty much know that Easter hymn by heart … sang it every year as a child … and can’t imagine an Easter service without it. Read What Happened to that Favorite Song

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Happy Birthday, Winston | How Did You Get It All Done?

Today, November 30, is the birthday of Winston Churchill.

H e was born 142 years ago in 1874 … and died almost 51 years ago in 1965 … yet his talent and prodigious output remains striking to this day.

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Winston Churchill has always been one of my favorite historical characters … and for many reasons. His oratorical wit, style and passion was without peer.

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity, a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity. ~Winston Churchill

He had a spine of steel … with discipline and resilience to match, albeit the certainty of his convictions often triggered an abject stubbornness that wasn’t always welcome. It also created no small amount of turmoil.

I suppose some of these attributes can be found among many of us, so by themselves, they may not be so distinctive.

Prime Minister during WWII is only part of his record

To believe is to be strong … Doubt cramps energy … Belief is power. ~Winston Churchill

For me, his greatest distinction is the enormity of his accomplishments.

In most lifetimes, we’d be fortunate to accomplish a fraction of what Churchill got done.

Most notably, he served as the Prime Minister for Great Britain (and for 40+ years in the House of Commons, holding many other cabinet-level positions previously), leading the Allies to victory against the Axis forces during World War II … by most standards, enough to earn eternal praise and approbation.

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The Nobel Prize for Literature

Yet, who else in that same lifetime wrote 43 book-length works in 72 volumes?

Keep reading to learn of Churchill’s extraordinary accomplishments

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Why don’t people return phone calls?

It’s remarkable that so few people return their phone calls on a timely basis. Why is that?

Are we just lazy? Too busy? Did I mention lazy? Don’t give a rip? “If it’s important, they’ll call back?”

 

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Are you eyeballin’ me? Of course not … not you. You return all your calls. Right?

Wanna think about all the time we invest in phone tag? Nah, me neither.

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Ok, let’s do it anyway. Talk about a time sink … keeping track of all those who …

  • don’t return the call,
  • are out of the office,
  • traveling,
  • on vacation,
  • sick,
  • already on the phone …

… what a bother, huh?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got dozens of these floating around at any one time.

What if they don’t return phone calls at all?

Keep reading if you need a few more reasons to NOT return phone calls

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How to Keep Smart People from Killing Each Other

While I am spending a little downtime with my family, I wanted to share with you a timeless article from our Leadership Library.

If you want to poison the well where you work, allow a Certified Jerk to roam free.

Mollycoddling is a pernicious and infectious organism you need to expel from your organization.

No Asshole Diagram

It’s easy to figure out how to deal with the Certified Jerk

This phrase is powerful in so many ways.

Smart people can often be prima donnas – I’ve heard those accusations myself … the smart people part, of course, not the second (and when it has been used, it’s typically disguised in less elegant terms) … but the brilliance of some people is often more blinding than enlightening.

Fortune magazine once asked Dr. Mehmet Oz about the best leadership advice he had ever received.

Keep reading so you don’t miss how to make the tough decisions

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Accountability | The 4 Key Principles of Powerful After Action Reviews

After Action Reviews are a powerful force to learn from what went right … and what went wrong.

L earn these 4 Principles to make it work for your team and organization.

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Many years ago when we lived in the Midwest, we became very good friends with a young couple down the street.

He was a fellow fraternity brother, from another college, but I remember him as a super bright physician with a unique ability to describe complex medical subjects in layman’s language.

After Action Reviews are for Learning – NOT Blame

One day, he asked me if I’d like to go to work with him on Saturday. He’d show me around, we’d have lunch, hang out.

He couldn’t leave for lunch, but he would bring along some homemade sandwiches, bologna with lots of ketchup, he said, and I could sit in his pathology lab as he performed an autopsy … and while he was cutting and sawing, we would enjoy our lunch together.

It was when he started laughing that I realized why my vision of an overloaded bologna sandwich, dripping with ketchup alongside an autopsy table, was kicking up a firestorm in my gut.

Keep reading to capture the 4 Key Principles of After Action Reviews

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Four Sports Metaphors to Make you a More Effective Leader.

The simple things in life are often the most important … and the most memorable.

T hese are swing thoughts you can put to work immediately … and with powerful results.

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Who can say it better than Yogi …

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore”,

“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken”,

“I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.”

Yes, I know, you’re disappointed this week that I’m not talking about Newton’s Third Law of Motion or The Key to Understanding Quantum Physics … but my brain needs a rest … and I’m still straining with every molecule in my body to understand what Newton’s talking about.

When in doubt – sports.

Sports in this country have become a glutinous conundrum of romance, excitement and heroes, leavened with money, big egos and scandals.

Yet, sports are uniquely imbedded in our culture, and we can still glean valuable lessons from them.

Let me share with you 4 Powerful Sports Metaphors that will help you become a More Effective Leader

To scoop up these 4 nuggets or leave a comment, please click here

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