Above Header Navigation

Motivation & Incentives Library

Lessons Learned from The Prizefighter & The Preacher

Among some of us dads, we often remark, “Dads never get any credit.

Dads teach their kids how to play ball, run, catch, dodge … but if they score a run, a touchdown or a basket … and the camera zooms in on them, don’t they always say,

“Hi Mom!”

Dad’s Christmas gift of an ornament he thought I’d like. The cow sings, too!

Dads Never Get Any Credit

Have you ever heard the phrase,

“… as good as Dad and apple pie?.”

I doubt it. I never have.

How about,

“the father of all storms”?

Nope … I think you catch my point.

A Man in Full

My father lived a full life … as both a professional boxer and a minister. He had an interesting Audio/Visual business as a hobby, but I was also fascinated by the characters who came through his studio as he cut the master recording … yes, the old vinyl 78 format.

When you read, The Prizefighter & The Preacher, you’ll learn about his remarkably diverse career … and at least one of the drawings he submitted to a local art contest. It’s a classic that still makes me laugh out loud.

What Does This Mean for our Business?

You may recall that humility was the centerpiece of 5X leaders famously cataloged in Jim Collin’s book, Good to Great.

If you want to learn what that looks like up close and personal, don’t miss the chance to learn about the humility that was essence of my father’s character and the 5 Lessons it offers for setting humility as the cornerstone of your leadership approach.

Comment

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It’s not because the idea is no longer valid or the results desirable … but because other priorities jumped in line … energy was diverted to new projects … and the original project died on the vine.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

Comment

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.

image

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.

mon quote horses churchill

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

Comment

Are You Sure You’re Always Serving the Best Interests of Your Customers?

How often do the best interests of your customers and clients conflict with the short-term financial goals of your business?

A re your sure everyone in your organization doing the right thing when no one’s looking?

image

You grabbed the last piece of cake before your sister could get it.

The principal called and said your daughter broke a toy because another girl got to it first.

Your son pushed a boy on the playground because that boy got the last place on the teeter-totter.

“You know better than that!”

Isn’t that what our mothers would have said … our fathers, too?

What made them think that we knew better than that?

Are you serving the best interests of your customers? Keep reading …

Comment

Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results? Part 2.

Last week, in Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?, I posed the question: If measured by financial performance, can dramatically different organizations be equally successful?

I n this short series about culture development, we’ll take a look at how sound business principles and cultural patterns often collide within an organization’s walls.

image

How can opposing cultures both succeed?

In many ways, it doesn’t seem fair that both charitable and churlish cultures can thrive.

It’s easy to embrace the benevolent culture created by Sid Rich (we’ll call it Company South, “S” for Sid) as profiled in the first article in this series.

His company deserves to be successful.

Wouldn’t it be great if that was the company you worked for?

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. ~ Albert Einstein

What if you’re stuck on the other side of the tracks?

Contrarily, when you look across the aisle at the rough and tumble world of Company North (“N” for Nasty), highlighted by temper tantrums, public floggings and a petulant devotion to spending a dime on anything, we’re either glad we’re not working there … or wishing we didn’t.

Some powerful lessons are evident as we compare and contrast these companies, their styles and culture, although some lessons are not very inviting.

continue reading to see some of these cultural differences

Comment

Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?

There’s more emphasis every day on the value and influence of culture on business success.

W hat does it mean if your culture is dysfunctional and your employees think it’s a train wreck?

image

“He threw a lead crystal ashtray at his son’s head?“ I asked. ”Thank God he missed.”

“He threw his secretary’s typewriter through a second story window – it wasn’t open – into a parking lot full of cars below?”

These are just a few of the stories I heard after I joined the firm.

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ever feel like you were a galley slave?

In short order, I recognized that the company’s cultural ancestors probably included a toga-clad, sweat-drenched galleon driver pounding out a cadence of “ramming speed” with a wooden mallet.

Their cost-containment strategy was medieval.

Keep reading to capture some of the most important elements of a great culture

Comment

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.

image

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

Comment

Creativity & Innovation | They’re alive and well and living at USF

Last week, as an Adjunct Professor at USF, I had the opportunity to once again participate as a judge for the Fall 2015 University of San Francisco Undergraduate Pitch Competition.

I f you’re concerned about the ambitions and creativity of graduating students these days, don’t be. They’re on it.

image

The Entrepreneurial Studies Program in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco is ranked in the Top 20 of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Research Universities by Forbes (August 2015). An important part of this program is the Annual Pitch Competition which has been held in 31 consecutive semesters over a 16 year period. Dr. Mark Cannice is the Department Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USF. Dr. Monika Hudson is the principal organizer and presides over this challenging and entertaining event, attended by more than 200 students.

The Spirit of Creativity is Alive and Well and Kicking

The Undergraduate Pitch Competition highlights the spirit of innovation and creativity among graduating seniors seeking a business degree.

In short, the students are graded in these categories:

  • Delivery:

    • Eye contact (looked at/connected with audience),
    • Movement (expressive, comfortable),
    • Voice (rate, pitch, is the volume natural?),
    • Fluency (articulation is clear and smooth).
  • Content:

    • Introduction – does it gain our attention?
    • Is the customer pain defined?
    • What market research/validators can be identified?
    • What’s the marketing strategy and value proposition?
  • Viability:

    • Would you willingly put $100,000 of your money into the concept as presented?
  • Effectiveness:

    • A clear “ask” for a specific investment amount.
    • A specific plan of how the proceeds will be used.

Each team had 90 seconds without visual aids to make its pitch. The panel of judges had two minutes for questions, comments and suggestions.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. ~ Steve Jobs

Keep reading to see the winners and some of the most innovative ideas ….

Comment

Is it worth fighting for? How Committed Are You? Like Rocky? Rambo?

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.

image

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 new 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?

Comment

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

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

H e was born 136 years ago in 1874 … and died 50 years ago in 1965 … yet his talent and prodigious output remains striking to this day.

image

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.

mon quote horses churchill

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

Comment