All posts filed under: Leadership

Ukraine Strong

My grandfather on my Dad’s side died when I was 12. My middle name was named for him. My Grandmother and his wife died a number of years later. They grew up in the farming community in the province of Manitoba, Canada. The breadbasket of Canada. I remember getting my first tool set just a couple years before he passed. He had an old shed he worked out of just like my dad would for most of his life. He fixed things that were broken. He repaired trucks, cars and items in and out of the house. He lived a simple life. He was grateful for what he had and to live in a country where you could carve your own path based on hard work. My grandfather is Ukrainian. My Dad is Ukrainian Two of the biggest communities of Ukrainians are in Manitoba and Edmonton, Alberta where I grew up. In 1997 and one of the biggest floods since 1950 in Winnipeg, my dad traveled to help his brother to build a fortress of sandbags …

This is a story that is just beginning 

50 percent of people are re-examining there lives    40 percent of people are experiencing some sort of mental health impact from the Pandemic    Employees satisfied with their work life balance attend 25% few meetings    We are on a long journey that is just beginning.    How can we all help one another?   Listen Be curious a little bit longer when people are sharing with you    Learn Be willing to relearn how to live in this environment  Ask more questions  Be more selfish with your well-being    Live  Focus on what is best for you and your family  Find the best way to recover  Answer: what is something that would bring me joy today?   Be well

Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

There is an old parable that uncovers how I have felt over the last couple years, and maybe you too.  The conversation is between a grandfather and his grandson and does like this: “I have a fight going on in me,” the old man said. “It’s taking place between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” The grandfather looked at the grandson and went on. “The other embodies positive emotions. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. Both wolves are fighting to the death. The same fight is going on inside you and every other person, too.” The grandson took a moment to reflect on this. At last, he looked up at his grandfather and asked, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee gave a simple reply. “The one you feed.” This parable serves as a powerful reminder of the fight that every human being must face. Regardless of …

Honey Makes Me Wiggle

I was making a lunch snack for my daughter this morning and I asked her the typical question. Would you like almond butter and honey or almond butter and jam? She shook her head and came over and pointed at the honey. Almond butter and honey I said.  She shook her head no, “just honey.” Why, I said? “I don’t like Almond Butter.” But you have always liked Almond Butter I said. “I just want honey. Honey makes me wiggle.” Fair enough! As I am learning, things change often with kids. What was true one week is not true the next. What worked yesterday, may not work tomorrow. Accepting that as true with my daughter makes life easier.  I am focused on staying a little curious a little longer and treating each day with a beginner’s mind.   Defeating Average.   Colin

The Right Trail

I spent the last week hiking 100 miles through Death Valley with my running Mentor Ray Zahab and 4 other hikers and a support guide.    “Keeping on the same trail with easy terrain can seem like the right way, but you need to have the courage to follow your way points, what you know is true and take on tougher terrain to prioritize safety, hydration and success. Committing to the wrong path can be deadly.”   Ray crossed the Canadian Arctic three times, the landmass of Antarctica and ran 4,500 miles across the Sahara Desert in 100 days in 2009, which was turned into a film “Running the Sahara” narrated by Matt Damon. In 2011, 2014 and 2018 he crossed Death Valley North to South and East to West at the hottest time of the year, in July. Death Valley is the lowest altitude on earth, down to 250 feet below sea level and has been measured as the hottest place on earth. Earlier this year 134 F!   Ray is the only person …

I visualized being at the top for three years 

“I visualized being at the top of Everest for three years until I was.” Ricky Singh (Indian / American Entrepreneur) We sat around the dinner table talking about our first day on the expedition and someone ask Ricky “we heard you climbed Everest in 2019, tell us about the experience.” He said “I climbed for 6 weeks every spring in Nepal with the team I assembled over three years. We practiced our skills and build trust constantly. When back in the US I spent a little time each night visualizing success. I saw myself at the top. I saw through any obstacles. Skills will only get you so far in Everest. You need belief in yourself, confidence you can handle anything that comes your way.” As we hiked Death Valley this week he got me thinking about my values. Trust, learning, exploration. Trust and learning have always been my top two. For me part of exploration is courage. Ricky exemplifies courage and learning. To be different, think differently, challenge boundaries. He was one of the most curious …

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 …

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. …

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 …