Author: Colin Nanka

Are you a leader of tomorrow?

What is life?    What’s it for?   There is a lot of ambiguity in the world right now. We are coming out of lock down. Life is getting back to normal. There is a new virus variant, we may be retracting, putting more strict measures back in place?   One thing is certain. Nothing is certain right now.   How does that make you feel?   Uneasy, confused, despondent.   I think we have all felt these emotions. I certainly have.   We are entering a new uncertain future.   The leaders of tomorrow (and this includes leading yourself and your family), are people who can adapt, pivot, grow, learn.   Attitude can lead you through ambiguity. Recovery for mind and body can lead you to the right results. Living (and showing others how) through your values leads to victory. Understanding and empathy helps lead you over the mountain pass of uncertainty.   We are all in it together. Help one another.   I will be on PTO for the rest of the week …

How do you retain top talent

25-40% of people are thinking of quitting their job in the next 6-12 months! Are you one of them? In a recent article published in Axios titled the Great Resignation Wave, surveys show anywhere from 25% to upwards of 40% of workers are thinking about quitting their jobs. Similarly, a UK and Ireland survey found that 38% of employees were planning to leave their jobs in the next six months to a year. Why is that? I’ve read and heard from many people:   The pandemic has really spurred people to think deeply about what is important to them and how they prioritize that They want to be aligned to a company or organization that meets their values They want to be inspired on the mission of what their company does The job market is very hot right now and will no longer will tolerate working for a bad boss   If you are a leader of a team or an aspiring leader, here are some things to think about: People want to know where they …

I used to collect stickers…business stickers

Passion, joy and something to look forward to is an anecdote to anxiety. When I was 8 years old, a couple friends and I would call up local businesses and ask if they could send us a few of their business stickers. We got a lot of – what? Pardon? You want what? When I think of it now, it sounds a little absurd. On the other hand, we were very committed. We repeated exactly what we were up to and why we wanted the stickers with no apologies. “We collect business stickers. We have a big album. We have them from all over Alberta.” (My home province in Canada). Shiny ones were the best. Often long haul trucking companies had sparkly ones, even better. Some people would take our address and pop them in the mail. Others would ask us to send them an envelope with return postage. Either was good.  We ended up getting a surprise in the mail and split the stickers. Maybe I am thinking about it more as Tess starts …

Rock Tumbler

I had a rock tumbler when I was younger. For those who have not heard of it, it’s a small cylinder that spins or tumbles. You put stones in it with some small pebbles that wear down and smooth your stones.   You leave it running for a few days. When it’s done you have some beautiful smooth stones and you add to your rock collection. I was thinking of this lately and why I enjoyed it. Taking something from rough form Investing in it over time The anxiety and excitement of what will result The reveal and pride in what you produced   It made me think of how people invested in me and now transitioning to how I invest in other people. You have a valuable rough young resource you are responsible for You listen, you coach, you advise  You ride the emotional coaster of some success, failure and growth You graduate someone you manage or mentor into the next state of their career   The stone continues to tumble, get smoother and shine. …

I’m back from PTO and I slowed down!

“Pay attention in the present moment. Drink your tea slowly and revelry, as if it’s the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly without rushing towards the future. Live the actual moment, only this moment is life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh   It took me three days on a week-long vacation to SLOW down, rest and restore.  I had naps in the afternoon instead of writing. I meditated longer in the morning instead of rushing to get a workout in. I played in the ocean longer with my daughter Tess, instead of heading to the beach and chunking through the book I was reading. I was less achievement oriented and I feel like I am coming back more rested! I lived more in the moment. I did less, and went deeper.   In the end, what’s it all for? This is one of my daily questions I answer. I spent some time documenting good moments during the days. Something I can refer back to. Hopefully I can bring at least 2%+ more …

Here’s the rarest type of employee—and why they outperform everyone else

It was after two years of really great success for me and then two years of failure that had me look in the mirror and reevaluate how I approached business. My secret sauce of being a great hardware seller hit a wall in 2008 when every purchase by customers was scrutinized to the nth degree. I realized I need to learn more…myself, from my peers and other people in the industry. I had some solid skills and was not sharing what I knew freely with other people. One day I decided I was going to give away my best ideas to my peers (and who I somewhat saw as competitors), pay it forward, and ask for help in the process. What I quickly realized is my two hot pieces of secret sauce were dwarfed in a good way by the 10 nuggets of wisdom I quickly got back. From that day forward #growthmindset was my number one focus. I believe we are at this inflection point again. The world is too complex and companies are …

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe, Tennis hall of fame player, and presidential medal of freedom recipient I heard this quote today and it made me think of many different stages of my life. If I could go back to my younger self and give me this advice I would have said. Start where you can Focus on learning everyday Realize momentum builds over time and taking the first step is the key Use what you have Use your stubbornness and discipline and commit to one big thing to improve  every year Keep it simple, life gets complex over time Do what you can Pay it forward to others and reap the benefits over the next 10 years Help one person every week Put your oxygen mask on first every day Defeating Average.   Colin

My Stressful thoughts overtake my ability to focus

I was listening to a podcast last weekend as the guest was answering a passage stuck out. When I am overloaded, “my stressful thoughts overtake my ability to focus” and I thought yes, that is how I feel some days! The good news is those days are infrequent and I find it’s helpful to watch for the queues and have a plan Queues: When I feel like I have so much to do and don’t know where to start When the same single keeps playing in my head about things I can’t control Negative thoughts in general Antidote: Go for a walk outside and get fresh air Take a breathing or meditative pause and break Write down all the things I have to do, get them out of my head. Circle the Top 3 and work on the first one first.   Defeating Average through stress.   Colin

Are you missing out on opportunity?

Pull your toes on the way up, push through your quads on the way down and widen the circle.   Good advice from Peloton instructor Sam Yo last week on one of my regular spin classes. He was focusing on potential range of motion, power, and output. It made me think about how that applies to life.   You can look at it like 7 pieces of a pie in the wheel of life.  Spirituality Career Finance Family Learning Health and Wellness Friend and Community   If you are not getting your full range of motion, power and output in each area, you are missing out on opportunities.   None of us will be hitting 10/10 in all areas and not even close.   When we think about how much of the pie and landscape we are covering we can put a spotlight on the areas we would like to focus on…and perhaps pull our toes up a little more.   Where are you doing well? Where can you expand that circle?   Defeating Average. …

Upskilling and the war for talent

We used to call education the four and 40. Go to school for four years, work for 40. What’s now is you are going to have to learn some sort of new skill every four years. I was listening to a great episode of Masters of Scale (Rapid Response) this week with guest Rachel Carlson,  co-founder and CEO of Guild Education. She shared “100 million Americans, over two-thirds of the workforce today in America, need re-skilling or upskilling in the next decade in order to be relevant, employable, and be able to survive in the economy of the next decade. The problem is those folks don’t know how to find what school or program they ought to go back to, let alone what they ought to study.” “So the half-life of a skill is now about four years. So if you’re learning anything skills-based, you are probably getting about four years worth. And so the future of work, the skills are going to evolve, right? “We call that the four and 40, right? Go to …