All posts filed under: Leadership

Put Your Big Rocks In the Jar First

Prioritization should be your biggest focus area right now. There is an old parable about the best way to put three items in a jar. Sand, pebbles, and rocks. If you put the sand in first, you can put in some pebbles and there is no room for the big rocks. If you put in the pebbles first, you can add the sand and there is little room for the big rocks. If you put in your big rocks first, you can then fill in the smaller spaces with pebbles and the smallest spaces with sand. Your big rocks are the most important things you are focused on every week. In these times, mine are family, health, and wellness, work and there is very little room for sand. If you leave too many gaps, they will get filled with things you probably should not be focused on right now. Defeating Average. Colin


Embrace your blemishes  I was listening to a Calm App daily meditation this past weekend and they introduced the term Wabi-sabi from Japanese culture.  Definition: “A world view centered on acceptance on transience and imperfection.” It was described as beautiful imperfections in what you experience.  We are in an imperfect time with lots of cracks in our confidence and veneer.  Embrace the imperfections as opportunities to create change and the blemish that makes each one of us unique.  What can you accept this week about the imperfections in the world? Defeating Average. Colin

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. Colin

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 …

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.  Colin

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

More than 70 percent of employees around the world work remotely at least once a week. Business Insider     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 …

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?   Recommendations: 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.   Colin

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: What did you love in 2019? What were some of your Magic Moments? What was magical and extraordinary? What did you accomplish in 2019? What are some of the things from 2019 that you want to duplicate in 2020 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? What decisions did you make in 2019 that were empowering for you? What were some of the …

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 …