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You’re Not Listening

I was listening to a great podcast this week from Preet Bharara where he interviewed Chief CNN Correspondent Clarissa Ward.

They discussed what makes a good journalist, a good lawyer, and a good parent. Clarissa Ward has been embedded in a lot of war zones. 

“We do a lot of talking in our society. We don’t do enough listening, and the one piece of advice that I would want to give to my young boys she said, is to do more listening than talking.”

 Preet said the same thing. “If you want to be a good lawyer,  be a good talker. If you want to be a great lawyer. Be a good listener.” 

I think we can all take that piece of advice in whatever profession we reside.

The more we can pause the more we can stay curious, the more we can listen to another person’s point of view.

Defeating Average.


The best way to stay in shape is to not get out of shape

“The best way to stay in shape is to not get out of shape.”

– Kelvin Beachum, Offensive Tackle, Arizona Cardinals

I had the good fortune of being on a customer panel with Kelvin last year and we caught up recently. Training camp in the NFL starts shortly and he focuses on staying in shape all year long.

When he spoke I recall him sharing a few things related to health, nutrition, and mindset. This is a summary in my words.


  • I stay in shape all year long. To compete at the NFL level it’s what I have to do.
  • I have dinner with the family and then we start to wind down around 830pm. Sleep is critical for my success.
  • More energy = More Success


  • I pretty much eat the same type of meals every day based on my nutritionist. It takes the thinking out of it and it’s easy to stick to.
  • Consistency + less decisions = Prioritizing what’s important


  • I get up at 430am every morning and well ahead of my wife and kids to get everything I need to get done.
  • I do a lot of work in my community and leverage my platform to help pay it forward. 
  • Front loading the day + gratitude  = Turning the flywheel

Defeating Average.



Soup for The Soul of America

I have found reading history in divisive times has been an antidote for anxiety. In the past, I have shared Ryan Holidays’ “Stillness is the Key” and am currently reading “The Soul of America” by Pulitzer Prize author and historian Jon Meacham.

When pressed on how he should lead John F. Kennedy said “ Now look, I happen to know a little about leadership. I’ve had to work with a lot of nations, for that matter at odds, with each other. And I tell you this: you do not lead by hitting people over the head. Any damn fool can do that, but it’s usually called ‘assault’ — not leadership.’ …I’ll tell you what leadership is. It’s persuasion–and conciliation–and education –and patience. It’s long, slow tough work. That’s the only kind of leadership I know–or believe in–or will practice.” 

We have a long road ahead of us. 

Be calm in the storm, in the face of adversity. 

Play the long game. 

Support one another.

We are better off together.

Defeating Average Together.


The Agony of Pandemic Parenting

The Agony of Pandemic Parenting

We have all had a tough year. One of those groups is parents, and especially mothers.

I think it’s important to understand all sides and how many different people in all corners of the country are managing the pandemic.

It may make you feel better.
It may develop empathy for people different from you.
It may make you feel connected to a broader community that are all trying to get through together.
It may cause you to be a little gentler on yourself.

Defeating Average Together.


People miss being with one another

Who is the person you will visit when you can travel?

“People miss being with each other” Delta CEO Ed Bastian shared on the Masters of Scale podcast recently. I think his sentiment in this podcast balances well, connection, and living values as leaders and in family.

I have flown Delta in the past and they have made big improvements under his leadership. They are leading by their values in the way they approach the market and feedback from their customers.

Questions pondered in this episode:
Can your business sustain if you put finances before making the right choices for your customers during a pandemic?

Can you afford not to make the right choice for your customer and survive?

Defeating Average.


He took a call from President Clinton in my office

I was listening (audiobook reading) to former CEO of Walt Disney Corporation, Bob Iger’s new book this weekend. The Ride of a Lifetime. He has some amazing stories, as expected.

One of many hit home with me on leadership.

His former boss in his early career with Disney had some big celebrity relationships and he kept interrupting important 1:1 meetings when calls would come in from people like Tom Cruise and President Clinton.

Meeting after meeting was rescheduled or abbreviated. It happened to many people.

Managing your time and respecting others’ times is a vital thing to do as a manager.

You have to sit through meetings you might otherwise ignore. You have to listen and learn.

How you show up in front of people impacts how they will show up for you.

I highly recommend reading his book.


Choking off success

Are you choking off your success?

I was listening to a great podcast this week on Finding Mastery.  Michael Gervais was interviewing Tony Blauer a self-defense legend and expert.

They talked about choking in the moment.

“When you choke you are choking off access to your skillset. You don’t lose your skills. You just can’t access them.”

Interesting listen if you are looking to work through the distress of defeat.

Recommend the podcast if you are looking to perform in the arena at the right moment.


If you are not breathing, you are not living :)

Breathe deep and stretch.

You need to breathe in deeply to enjoy a deep breath out.

I have been stiff lately. Being cooped up in a small apartment will do that to you.

I did a great workout session Friday morning with my trainer. All stretching.

As he said “active stretching isn’t just lying around. You need to focus on the breathing while you stretch, inhale deeply push into the stretch while you breathe out.”

We improved my hanging hamstring stretch by 3 inches!

This is the time for me in spring renewal to lean into stretching as we get ready to re-enter more normal times.

What can you focus on daily, breathe into and release out from?

Breath is the key.


Focus on thy self

Self Regulation and Self Awareness, are all the rage.

I was talking to my meditation instructor this past week. We were talking about the future of work and what managers need and what workers expect from their leaders.

We were breaking down what resilience meant in this environment.  Endurance + bouncing back.

Endurance requires self-regulation of energy and emotion.

Bouncing back requires self-awareness.

This requires daily focus. One of the examples that I have used is tracking obstacles you may experience daily.

I update my list every weekend. I read them every morning. Building awareness of challenges you may encounter allows you to regulate and prepare energy to overcome.

What are your obstacles for the week ahead?

Defeating Average.


I yelled at Tess and it didn’t feel good

I yelled at my almost-three-year-old last week. I felt terrible. True she has her moments and can be super whiny and annoying but I didn’t have the patience I normally do.

The underlying anxiety from the pandemic, state of political angst (insert…whatever aggravates you daily) and much less patience turns into yelling at my daughter.

We are all taking on a lot right now!

Note for myself and anyone it helps.

1. Pause and breathe for one minute
2. Acknowledge how you feel, build the awareness
3. Choose your path forward with poise

Defeating Average.