All posts filed under: Leadership

7 days of Tess

Wow, what a difference a week makes.  For those of you who haven’t seen the IG Posts, we welcomed a healthy bouncing baby girl into the world last weekend, Tess Gertie Nanka.  I decided (or so it happened) to wait until a little bit later in life to get married and have a child.  I was still learning about myself (and always will be). I’ve been on a journey to see the world, test myself, meet and learn from incredible people.  I’ve always wanted to be ready. I guess you become ready when it happens.  As I turn 44 this year, I have never been more ready. If not now, when? There is a new layer of accountability that has snapped in, to do what is necessary to make sure she is happy.  Who knew one of my new favorite activities would be to just watch her sleep.  A new journey is upon us. It doesn’t mean the other will stop, it’s just on hiatus for a little while until they come together as one.  The …

The ways Anthony Bourdain made us all better

He took the road less traveled. He was vulnerable, resilient, deeply human and brought out the best in other people around the world, maybe at the expense of himself.    He opened up an understanding of cultures using the common language of food and wine and addressed tough and often taboo topics. He was an unbelievable storyteller and a lifelong learner. He helped us experience other cultures through his eyes and offer a connectedness desperately needed in the world. While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, he described how he approached his work. “We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” he said. “We tend to get some really astonishing answers.” A bright light in the world was extinguished on Friday but his gifts to the world will never be forgotten.  This is one of the ways I would like to remember him.   “There’s a picture of me and my daughter, aged four, in the Cayman …

Three Pieces of Wisdom From Kyle Maynard That Will Make You Better

Kyle Maynard is the best selling author, entrepreneur and ESPY award-winning mixed martial artist athlete and the first quadruple amputee to climb Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. On failure:   “The best way I can describe the feeling of overcoming failure is the Finnish word – SISU – the mental strength to continue to try even after you have reached the limits of your abilities.”   Advice for new professionals:   “Follow your bliss.  Happiness is just above status quo, bliss is your feeling of freedom standing on top of a mountain or laying back in a catamaran halfway around the world.”   On saying no:   A CEO friend of his asks his people to rate candidates for hire as 1-10 on potential and they cannot choose 7.  That lesson has helped him make better decisions on incoming projects and requests.   Excerpt from Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris    Advice to live by.   Colin  

Three reasons to stress test the system

Eighteen months ago I sprained my ankle before a big race in Antarctica.  I healed it enough to make it through the race.  It took a bunch of rehab through 2017 and was aggravated again in Patagonia in the fall and this spring in Vancouver.   As I start my 2018 journey in less than a week…Baby girl Nanka joining the world, I am focused on long-term rehab and healing this nagging injury.   As I gingerly and proactively stretch the tendons, my trainer explained to me when you went over on it last year you applied at least 2-3 times your body weight of force.    You need to build it back up to withstand competitive stress.   Is there something in your game that needs stress testing?   Three things I am focused on:   Strengthen the tendons Stretch and stress the tendons  Rest and let the body repair Always be strengthening the foundation.   Colin   

Are you losing out on the best ideas?

You get what you pay for! I pay for coaching that takes me to the next level. I #payforward to help people that I can learn from When you pay for a service, you typically stick with it when it provides more value than the dollars you put to it. At least a 1:1 + ratio. Uber or Lyft provide convenience and a private ride and they continue to improve the experience. Salesforce keeps you plugged into the future of technology My trainer keeps me plugged into cutting-edge research on mobility. The people you surround yourself with keep you plugged into accountability and the lightbulb of new ideas. Who or what is in your thought leadership pipeline? Colin

Are you accountable?

Do what you say you will do.  I remember 7 years ago I brought my coach in to help run a values exercise for my team. Our outcome was creating our top 5 values our team was going to live by. During that conversation, we had debated whether accountability was a value. We ended up having it as a process to live up to our values. It was a healthy debate. What happens if you have not been accountable for a task or situation? Are you not reliable or accountable? We thought about it in two ways. Do you regularly do what you say you will do? When you are viewed as an accountable person you warm the waters, like a positive wave washing over all the people around you.  They feel you as trusty worthiness!  When someone consistently misses or doesn’t DWYSYWD (do what they say they will do), it feels like getting stuck in quicksand towards accomplishing your goal. When YOU miss on a task or goal – clean it up! You have a very …

How can you be a game changer?

I had breakfast with a CEO friend of mine last week and one of his key focus areas for his company this year is making game-changing hires, once per quarter! He recently hired a new head of talent development who will make this possible.  His first game changer.   What is a game changer?   “an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.”   It got me thinking how does this apply to me and you.   Can you employ an idea or procedure that can elevate success for you in 2018?   Upgrade the talent on your team once per quarter Employ a new habit or routine that increases your mindfulness Add one event per week that brings you or your family joy Connect with a like-minded person that lifts your spirits in a regular cadence   I would love to hear what has been game changing for you in 2018?   Colin

How to invest in relaxed intensity

“Competition does not cause anxiety. Any emotional reaction…getting supercharged, displaying team emotional spirit excessively…is an indulgence that could distract and reduce levels of energy so needed for success. You need to not display contrived emotions, it’s what teams do when their self-doubt needs an artificial boost. If you know yourself and your opponent…objectives, and motivations…then all the hoopla is unnecessary.” – Deng Ming-Dao, Tao Wisdom Frustration is natural when navigating the choppy seas of business change, within high anxiety arenas and that uncertain and pivotal fork in the road. Those who detach from the outcome and control what they can control are calm,  reserved, and prevail.  Can you protect and harness the energy source, even though the fire may rage within?  This is relaxed intensity.  It applies to both coaches (managers) and athletes (individual contributors).  Has a friend of yours every broken a tennis racket or golf club? It’s not technical skill but presence, and ability to connect with emotions of passion, courage, and belief that override anxiety. Exercise  Identify specific positive emotions you have on the …

Three reasons why you are failing as a leader

1. You are insincere 2. You are not reliable 3. You are not competent This is the trifecta of building trust with people you manage, serve or partner with. If anyone one of the three is deficient you will have a communication breakdown. You can be a brilliant and competent leader and push your team hard, walk the talk and get the job done – and yet if you are insincere it’s like having an oil leak in your car. You can be sincere, treat your people well, know your role and coach well and yet not match what you preach in action and not do what you say you will do…and your team is like a semi-trailer truck with a flat tire and your trailer is swinging wildly on the road. You can be kind, fun, caring, follow up tightly on team requests and administratively do what is required as a manager. If you can’t model the way in the role for your people before you ask them to do it and sweat the …

You are the pilot of your own life

“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve jobs I like to sleep! I am about to get a lot less of it with baby (insert name) Nanka joining the world on or before June 8th! We could not be more excited. The average person lives 78 years! We spend 28.3 years sleeping!! That could mean over half of my life is behind me, however, I plan to live to 100! I have been waking up earlier, every year I am alive. I have too much to get done! In my role of enabling the success of other people, I constantly hear: I don’t have enough time I am overloaded I am sooooo busy I feel like I am always climbing I have lost balance in my life I have said all those things myself! I highly recommend this video by former Monk Jay Shetty as he beautifully outlines the value of time. Time is more valuable than money. Chart your own course today. Colin