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Design Your Best Day

Crisis Creates Opportunity

I’ve talked to a few thought leaders in the last week and they are all struggling and adjusting to these strange times, just like you.

These are unprecedented times and it requires a renewed focus on critical priorities. These are mine:

  • Family First
  • Outside family walking time built into the schedule once in the morning and once in the afternoon
  • Powerful Questions each morning
    • What are you excited about today?
    • What are you happy about?
    • What are you grateful for?
    • What’s possible to create today?
  • Play the long game
    • One day at a time and visualize when we come out of this thing

Defeating Average.


5 Ways to Crush Virtual Meetings 

Crisis is an opportunity.

In the virtual environment, we are now in for the next few weeks at least, virtual meetings will take center stage.

Here are four reminders on how to run your most impactful meetings and keep peoples attention.

1. Use Data

Stories are 22 more memorable than facts. Data is an attention grabber.  Follow it up with an insight of your own and then ask a question to drive a successful dialog just like news anchors

2. Story Telling

Stories activate parts in the brain that allow the listener to turn the story into their own ideas and experience.  If I said, I am going to start this meeting off with a story, pause and reflect on how that makes you feel.

3. Repeat Peoples Names

Bob, storytelling is 22 times more memorable than facts. I’ve often found that when I start a presentation with a story, people are more engaged. Bob, what has your experience been? 

4. Repeat You Key Messages 

People only remember 10% of what you present in a virtual presentation. You need to repeat your key messages throughout to drive that 10% home (Reference: Corporate Visions Training). 

Use Data, Tell Stories, Ask Questions, Repeat Peoples Names.

5. Stop Every 10 Minutes to Engage with the virtual audience

Science shows that people will disengage in a virtual meeting if you don’t grab their attention every 10 minutes at least.

  • You can ask them a question
  • Use a goto meeting, or Google Hangout or Zoom chat function to get engagement on questions
  • Show a visual and get input on what it means
In summary, Use Data, Tell Stories, Ask Questions, Repeat Peoples Names, and Engage the Audience Every 10 minutes.
Defeating Average in Crisis.

Obstacles are the way

“The only way out is through.”

– Robert Frost

We have a rough road ahead. 

Prior to the Corona outbreak, we’ve just come through an intense couple of months at work. Something I took from my ultra-endurance races is “accepting the obstacles in front of me” weekly and thinking through solutions. 

Previously I would spin on the “what if things don’t go well” when they may not impact my critical priorities. 

I’ve answered this question weekly:

What are the obstacles to overcome this week?

  • Anxiety on preparing for a key meeting
  • Tough people conversations 
  • Getting all the content created for a presentation 
  • Our daughter not sleeping through the night 

Then I think through how to handle. 

The effect:

  • Reduces anxiety if the item goes sideways 
  • Outlines what is true and what is just a story in my head 
  • Keeps my thoughts focused on critical items 

When we visualize our way through the obstacles, we are halfway through. 

Stay safe, stay together. 

Defeating Average in crisis. 


7 Ways To Get Through Isolation

In the upcoming weeks, I will be focusing on writing on “crisis creates opportunity

With all of us a little more separated in the coming weeks, even the most positive of us can feel isolated or down.

What are the things that bring you joy?

In the past, I have written down things that bring me joy and sprinkled them in my schedule over the coming month.

I am doubling down on what brings me and my family joy.

Here is my list of 7. I encourage you to create yours.

1. Having an afternoon nap with the family

2. Playing on the floor with my daughter

3. Writing more blogs

4. Reading more pages of books than I have in the past couple of months

5. Speaking more to our neighbors and seeing how they are doing

6. Eating Banana Bread

7. Going on long walks outside with the family

Create your own list. Put it on your iPhone. Sprinkle it into the upcoming month.

Defeating Average in Crisis.


Crisis is Opportunity + 7 Recommendations

In turbulent times, having the right questions to ask yourself every morning is critical. This helps shift you into the right headspace.

What I am excited about today?
What could I be excited about today?
What am I grateful for?
What will bring me joy today?
What is possible?

As we all head into unprecedented times, we need to come together and support one another.
Your family, your neighbor, your community.

Top 7 Things I am thinking:

1. Prioritize – If it does not support my family, my friends, and community, my company, or bring me joy, I am cutting it out.

2. Rest / Recovery – With less movement and travel comes the opportunity to recharge. Sleep is where 90% of the body heals.  A good thing to be focused on right now.

3. Reconnect with your family – We are often “busy”. Now is the time to support one another, and where possible look eyeball to eyeball and help each other.

4. Breath – Whether being mindful or just slowing down and fully taking inbreathe, give yourself the opportunity to fuel your mind and concentrate on what is important. Be kind and gentle to yourself.

5. Get the basics and step away – There will be tons of news and media coverage on this health crisis.  Get the basics daily, for your family to be safe and then step away and something that brings you joy. Walk outside with social distance (6+ feet apart of people), get fresh air, read a book, listen to a podcast.

6. Have accountability partners – If you get anxious, know who you can turn to talk and bring calm to your life and slow you down. Support one another and check in daily.

7. Move with purpose – It’s easy to be sedentary in times like this. Don’t worry about getting a “full workout in” or that you can’t follow the normal routine. Get outside, use bodyweight or just take a long strong and appreciate what you have.

I would love to hear what others are thinking, please feel free if you have a few more minutes than usual to respond to me.

Defeating Average.


4 Ways to Keep Connected When You Work Remote + 1 More!

1. Build Trust – 58% percent of people say they trust a stranger more than they trust their own boss. Ugh.
Strategy – Learn about your employees or boss. 
  • Who is in their family, kids, dog, birthday?  Write it down to review monthly.  
  • Ask how their family and significant people are in their life at the start of weekly meetings.
2. Show appreciation
Strategy – Say Thank You, often!
  • Put reminders in your calendar to thank your employees throughout the year for choosing your company and you. They have choices.
  • Be specific in the feedback on what they did and how it helped you and the business.
3. Communicate well
Strategy – Be available to help coach them through situations, know their personal style on how they like to communicate best. 
  • Chat, email, phone. It took me a year to realize one of my employees much prefers a quick phone call!
  • What are the best times to reach them and not reach them when they are offline with family
4. Be vulnerable
Strategy – Be open up to mistakes and be comfortable asking for help
  • As my boss likes to say, no pride of authorship here. All ideas are welcome.
  • Psychological safety is in 1:1’s and in team meetings is proven to reduce stress and get more out of your team
5. Help your employees set up their inspiration/mentor system
Strategy – Help your employees find mentors and connect them with like-minded peers who will inspire them
  • I personally have two mentor conversations per week of people who are either more senior than me, at a similar level or junior to me.  You can either learn, team together or master your craft.
  • Teach them how to find and set up these conversations and it’s like an annuity of mentorship and inspiration over time.  Like a subscription.
  • Look for mentor opportunities everywhere you go. Podcasts, books, flights, vacations, they are out there if you are open to them.
Defeating Average.

The Power of Networking

“The size of your network inside your company is often a more statistical predictor of success for salespeople than the Rolodex outside your company.”
– Bain and Company
How can you as a leader support your team?
  • Tell people who they are supposed to work with (business partners)
  • Map out collaboration points
  • Make simple ways for them to engage together
  • Have regular built-in time for cross-functional teams
What do the best in the world do:
Bain and company found that the very top performing professionals do this weekly:
  • Invest 3 more hours with customers
  • Invest 1 more hour with their managers
  • Invest 10 more mins with their cross-functional peers
  • Make a plan, work the plan.
Defeating Average.

10 Questions to Get You Laser Focused for 2020!

“The power to question is the basis of all human progress.”

  • Indira Gandhi (Third Prime Minister of India 1917-1984)


One of the things I love most about the turn of the year is the ability to look back and reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year while getting excited about all the experiences and potential of the year ahead.  I’ve been delving into the questions below for a number of years and they have helped me supercharge my goal planning process.

Here is part 1 of the exercise:

  1. What did you love in 2019?
    • What were some of your Magic Moments?
    • What was magical and extraordinary?
    • What did you accomplish in 2019?
  2. What are some of the things from 2019 that you want to duplicate in 2020
  3. What did you hate in 2019?
    • What do you not want to have happen again?
    • What did you learn by going through these experiences?
    • Why were they incredibly valuable?
  4. What decisions did you make in 2019 that were empowering for you?
    • What were some of the most important decisions of this year for you?
    • What decisions might you make next year as a result?
  5. Write down anything in your life that was once merely just a goal, dream, or desire.
    • Circle the two or three items on your list that seemed the most difficult or impossible to achieve.
    • For the two or three items you circled, write down the steps you went through to turn each one of them into reality.
    • Write down every goal you think you’d like to accomplish in the next 20 years.
  6. When you are finished, go through your list and next to each item, write down the number of years you want it to take (or believe it will take)
    • Circle your top four 

This should take you a couple hours.  Spend the time to reflect and stew.

Stay tuned for part 2.



If he can do it, I can do it

If he can do it I can do it 

He showed up every day, whether he felt good or not.

In 1980, when I was six years old, a young man named Terry Fox who had his leg amputated due to cancer captivated a nation. He was a regular guy who did something extraordinary.

He was a young and vibrant 18-year-old University student in Canada. While recovering in the hospital he saw the impact cancer had on other young kids.  

He said “coach, I didn’t understand cancer affects young people and they are giving up. They are not trying. While I was there, kids my age and younger, passed away. What can I do to give these people hope to keep fighting?”

He asked himself “what can I do with one leg?”

Powerful Question

Terry heard about a man who ran the NYC marathon with one leg and that was the spark.

Famously he said, “If he can do it I can do it.” 

He created the Marathon of Hope and trained to run near a marathon a day, every day. I woke up every day that summer to see where Terry was.

He showed up every day

He would wake up at 4 am and get to his starting spot. He would run 12 miles, go to a speaking engagement, have a nap and then run another 8-12 miles. One mental mile marker at a time.

He said “I believe in miracles, I have too. If I don’t make it no one will.” 

Terry started the run when I was 6, he died when I was 7.

He ran for 143 days and 3,334 miles before he succumbed to the illness.

That is 400 miles longer than running from NYC to San Francisco.

Terry was 22 years old

His commitment was incredible, and people will remember him for his compassion for young children battling cancer. To never give up hope. 

“Your running for my son, thank you so much.” one woman told Terry. 

Terry asked where he was?

“He died last week.”

Terry ignited a spark in me, my generation and millions of other Canadians, and people around the world over the last 40 years – to never give up.

He would be 61 this past December.

Every year 5km and 10km fun runs occur in 56 nations and over 4,000 venues in his honor, to create a world without cancer.

What did he teach me?

“If he can do it, I can do it. If I can do it, you can do it.”

…and to show up every day.

I count him as one of my biggest and earliest mentors.

What I have learned from him and other mentors is that we are all on a journey, the marathon of life.

All looking to find those next gears, either through inspiration or desperation.

I ran my first marathon at 28, failed my first ultra-marathon at 36 and have finished six – 160-mile races all over the world since then.

One Breath

One Step

One Flag

One Mental Mile Marker at a time 

What can I offer you?

Find a mentor like Terry who model’s the way, and show up every day to honor their commitment to excellence.

  • Live a life of meaning and compassion
  • Help others achieve their dreams
  • Don’t waste another moment of writing the chapters of your life

What can you do starting tomorrow?

Show up

Defeating Average.