All posts filed under: Leadership

The Compass to Finding Your Next Gear

Continuing our conversation from last week, I was recently talking to a friend about teaching people to overcome tough obstacles. If you read about Navy Seals training and experience they say “when you think you are done, you have 40% more left in the tank.”  I experienced this in the desert running. When you run a marathon a day for four days and still have 50 miles left to go, it’s a little bit of mental confusion and anguish. You are anxious. Many questions and thoughts come into your head: I am finished! This is tough, I can’t do this, this is crazy, how could they possibly think we could do this? The challenge: Crossing the chasm. How can I possibly get there? Approach: Ask better questions. Reflect Get Curious Get Resourceful Lean-to Action Inspire yourself Reflect: Wow this is really hard, what is the learning opportunity for me?  Life is hard and this is pushing me to the limit of my potential. Get Curious: What is possible for me at this moment? Get Resourceful: How do I …

Everything you need is inside of you

Everyone at some point thinks: I’m not good enough I am not strong enough I am not thin or big enough I am not loved I am not smart enough. But you are. Everything you need is inside of you. Like Leonardo da Vinci chiseling away from a block of marble a masterpiece, so lives the best version of you…that is good enough, strong enough, thin, big or strong enough and truly loved. Defeating Average. Colin  

How to stop the mind turning 

The mind is always turning. The ability to real it back in is the key. Like a playlist on the radio station of your mind that plays the same five songs and worries, work on noticing and come back to being present. Acknowledge the tunes, see them pass by and focus on what’s important. It happens to all of us. It’s what you do with them that makes all the difference. Colin

13 things mentally strong people don’t do

In 2012, I was traveling 80 miles on foot through the mountains in Mongolia with a new friend Tristan from Sweden. He was an experienced diver and runner and was tough as nails. He had a banged-up ankle, and I was feeling nauseous from dehydration.  I was relatively new into the sport and what I clearly remember was he was calm, deliberate, and positive. I was riding the emotional roller coaster hour by hour and just trying to get by. What I had going for we my ability to breathe through the discomfort. I had trained for it. Together we pushed and kept one another on track to finish the seven-day ultra-marathon. Tristan was the leader and I was the young follower.  Mental strength isn’t often reflected in what you do. It’s usually seen in what you don’t do. This was Tristan. In her bestseller “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” psychotherapist and social worker Amy Morin wrote that developing mental strength is a “three-pronged approach.” It’s about controlling your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. …

Fill Your Confidence Jar

Missy Franklin on Finding Mastery Missy Franklin, 5 time Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer in this great podcast episode shares how she overcame adversity and depression through injury in order to persevere on the world’s biggest stage. In Missy words: “It’s not about whether or not someone’s gone through more than you or whether or not someone’s lost more or gained more, it’s just about being human together and knowing that we all experience these emotions based on so many different things.” What is one small and yet very powerful way she drives confidence? A confidence jar. After every good workout, she wrote herself one comment on how she performed and words of wisdom that would give her confidence in the future.  Before a big swim meet, she would sit down and read a number of comments from the jar. How a champion thinks.  Genius. Defeating Average. Colin

Conservation of Energy

“Sir, to what do you attribute your success in life?” Immediately, Churchill replied, Conservation of energy. Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.” Churchill conserved his energy so that he never shirked from a task or backed down from a challenge. He would go on to become one of the 20th centuries great heroes. In his spare time, he was also known for taking on bricklaying and oil painting. He energized his soul by feeling the earth between his fingers and using a different part of his brain. What can we learn from this? Anxiety is calmed by finding purpose outside your core job and carving out time for activities that immerse you in nature.  Working harder is not the answer. It’s conserving your energy so you know when to lean in and when to lean out. I highly recommend Ryan Holiday’s Book Stillness that gives many examples of the world’s great figures and how they achieve it. Defeating Average. Colin

Feeling each piece of grass on your toes

It’s a really busy and anxious world we live in right now and if you don’t get a hold of your angst, it will strangle you.  “Try to walk so slowly that you feel each piece of grass on the bottom of your foot.”  That is what my friend Michael Apollo told me.  He was teaching me a walking meditation. I was 29 and feeling overwhelmed with work and life and had come to know Michael through a local health and wellness clinic. He taught some group mindfulness classes which I enjoyed so I decided to see if I could learn more 1:1.  As someone who was always active, this was a new way to bring some calm into my life. We were hanging out in a park near a busy street in Toronto. There was construction nearby, and I wasn’t sure how this was going to work.  In my mind, I felt anxious. “How can I concentrate with the construction noise? Is this going to work? Why can’t those people walking by be quiet? We should …

How to fall in love with your abilities

“We can fall in love with our own abilities and our own potential, then choose to maximize those abilities.” – Bob Rotella, performance psychologist, New York Times Bestseller author Thanksgiving is always a good time to evaluate your progress in a year, surrounded by friends and family. We often focus on the endpoint, the results, instead of focusing on the journey and the abilities and skills that got us there. Taking time to reflect on how you have grown and how your best performances look and feel like, can often tell you more about where to focus next. In the spirit of incremental learning, take some time this week to answer these two questions: 1. What does it look and feel like when I perform at my best? 2.  What are two changes can I make in my daily routine to support performing at my best? Have a great Thanksgiving week. Defeating Average. Colin

Make Your Content Short and Sweet

In this three-part blog, I’m going to answer a recent mentees question on how you prepare for an executive presentation. Part 2 – Preparing Content If you have been like me, I get wrapped up in putting slides and content together and getting stuck! As I have learned over time, start by hitting the ball down the fairway, instead of playing in the trees. Start by answering this question: 1. What challenges are you solving for? – Slide 1 This will guide the rest of your presentation (or golf round) 2. What are your big bets or solution to the challenges? – Slide 2 3-5 ideas Show them visually  Have anecdotes or stories to back them up No more than 25 words on a slide (much less is better) 3. Money Slide – Slide 3 If it’s a business plan – show an annual view of the program (s) If it’s a sales proposal – show the ROI of each solution You are likely to spend time on one slide when executives start asking questions, this is it.  …

I am busy and I am anxious

Part 4   “I don’t actually have serious work problems but I am anxious about that.” I can recall through my career, my feelings Sunday when the weekend glow would start to end and the realization I had to go back to work the next week would start to set in.  Like the glow starting to dim after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Two things I am going to address here:  I am busy and I am anxious. Even if we like our job, we are often really busy, treading water trying to keep up. I noticed about a year ago, that when I asked people “how it’s going?” they would say “busy”.   It didn’t give me any information about what they were working on or how they were feeling, except that they may be overwhelmed.   It had me question, when I used that term (which I was often) how people left interactions with me?? I decided to do two things: 1. Be ready for the question I share 2-3 …