All posts filed under: Leadership

You are your own obstacle

The Biggest obstacle I ever faced was my own limited perception of myself.- RuPaul My wife and I were watching Queer Eye Season 5 about the “anxiety activist.” It was about a young 18-year-old girl in college leading a climate change group called sunrise and the episode focused on anxiety. There is always an uplifting ending and in this time of division, we enjoy watching something positive. I think we all limit our own potential at times comparing ourselves to others. How can we widen our lens? A few questions I have found helpful: 1. What’s possible? 2. What brings me energy? 3. What brings me life? 4. What advice would my (add 20 years to age) self tell me to focus on? Just like Abby in this episode, we all have HUGE potential and sometimes need others to help us see it. Colin

A Centering Question that Drives Value 

What does this person value above all else?   I was listening to a great podcast from linked in founder Reid Hoffman on Masters of Scale.    The conversation was with the Peloton founder John Foley and the original challenge getting funding.    When approaching venture funds and angel investors Reid recommended asking yourself this question:   What does this person value above all else?   Then look at your plan and answer, am I offering something that provides that value?   Great advice for life.  Colin

One step, One Day at a Time

30 min walking, sunlight on your arms and fresh air will get you going.  I was talking to my trainer on Friday and I asked him how his clients were doing in the pandemic. He said those who usually push hard are slowing down and being more methodical. They are focusing on mindfulness, moving, and being grateful for what they have.  His newer clients that are getting back into shape are focusing on foundational bodyweight exercises. In between workouts, he is recommending three things for them. 30 min walking / sunlight on the arms / breathing fresh air.  Move, get nature’s energy, breath in, and tap into your frequency.  I talked to a number of people who have been leveraging walking in the pandemic. Starting at 30 min a day and now they are up for an hour walk a day. Walking with family or taking business calls has been key to feeling energized and losing a few pounds.  Action: Set your time goal or the number of steps per day and increase 5 percent each week. …

What is your self talk?

Life is the story you tell yourself. Do you believe in yourself? Do you have the confidence to achieve your goals? Are you focusing on what you can control? The theory of self-efficacy (contributed to by a world-class psychologist who grew up an hour from where I grew up!) refers to “an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments. Self–efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.” Albert Bandura is widely described as the greatest living psychologist, and as one of the most influential psychologists of all time. With that in mind, here are some questions that have helped me. What is the learning opportunity here? What does success look like today? Who needs me on my A-game? What brings me energy and life? Defeating inaction, and status quo and the average inside. Colin  

Three ways to reset the day

Two weeks ago my week flowed smoothly. I was happy with it. Last week roared up and down like a 6 flags roller coaster. One day good, one day full of angst and frustration.  The same day after day. It was frustrating.    How can we reset?   Here are three ways that work for me:   1. Put the technology down and carve out 5-10 minutes to close my eyes and just breathe. Count to 10 breaths repeat. Reset.   2. Get outside and go for a walk. Put the technology away and just breathe in fresh air.    3. Close the computer, iPhone early, and go to bed early. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do. Begin again.   Bonus if I can read for 20 minutes before bedtime. I sleep better and wake even more refreshed.    We are all better being present together.    Defeating Average.   Colin

Who is in your guest house?

I was reading a poem by Rumi this weekend. It reminds all of us to be with whatever is brought to us, in joy or challenge, fear, or frustration. Accept the road ahead, we are all on our own journey.  What can I be grateful for today? The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.   — Jellaludin Rumi,   We are all in this together.  Defeating Average. Colin  

Every day is the same 

Many people have shared this sentiment. I feel it too. We are all watching endless Netflix series, navigating the same challenges with our children, or missing connections with friends. The world can feel kind of drab. However, there has never been a more important year to stand for equality and to turn society around. To build that inner resilience for the winter that is coming…and the next time this virus rears its ugly head. Times are tough. Tougher for some more than others. If you are doing ok, reach down and help somebody out. It will feel good and they will appreciate it. If you need a hand, reach up. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there. Two questions for you. What brings me energy? What brings me life? Sprinkle that into your days going forward. Make every day full of the same life and energy. We are better together. Colin

Let the piano keys do the talking

I was watching my wife play the piano with our daughter Tess recently. We were in Hyannis Port at a friend’s house. She hasn’t played in a while but it didn’t take her long to get reacquainted. She felt out the keys and then played something simple that Tess could try and follow along. I’ve also seen her play beside people who play the Piano well and she plays at a more complex level. She has the feel and muscle memory based on the situation. It had me thinking about how we lead people or how we lead without title. When you play at the beginner level, putting two or three keys together, you may use one skill in conversion. You learn through practice different key combinations for another skill and soon you have options. With much practice instead of thinking what key combination or skill am I going to use in this conversation, you look at the person in the eye, and listen to what they need. Then you let your hands find the …

You are about to gain momentum

Have you ever started something you thought was going to be fun and exciting and all of sudden you lose interest or momentum? I have. We all have.  I had an attendee of a talk ask recently:  “I used to be in really good shape and want to get back into the classes I took. Every time I think about getting started, I stall. How do you stick with it?” Accountability, Acceptance, and Gaining Momentum.  Everyone hits a pothole on the way to a goal or a full out wall. It’s ok. It’s how you recover and pull on the rope and climb over or walk around it.  In order to keep committed to a goal (working out, doing yoga, painting, reading, or any other hobby) you need three things.  Accountability  DWYSYWD (do what you say you will do) Have accountability partners that will keep you on target  Action: Create an accountability texting group Acceptance Think through the obstacles you are going to encounter, visualize your way through and you will be halfway to your goal  …

When the student is ready the teacher will appear

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear” has been attributed to Buddha and other theologists. What does this mean to me? When the student is ready to acknowledge his or her ego has been in the way and are ready to set it aside with a laser-focus and pivot to a growth mindset, the teacher will appear. When you are not open to learning or feel like you know all the answers, the real answers will stay clouded and out of reach. The student may realize that the answers are everywhere at every moment and so many people can be teachers. In order to crush the average inside stay open to be teachable, coachable, and receptive to learning when you least expect it. We are all struggling with something right now. Keep taking one small step forward each day in this anxiety-ridden and challenging marathon of life.     We are in this together.   Defeating Average.   Colin