All posts filed under: Success

Question of the Decade

Saying 2020 has been a strange year is an understatement. When you are looking back from the eve of 2030, how do you want to look back on how you showed up in 2020? I will take it one step further for those who have kids. When your son or daughter while studying this strange year in school asks you, what did you do to secure my future in 2020, what will you say? It’s never been a more important time to think ahead into the future while standing firmly with both feet planted in the present moment. Wishing you a great week ahead. Defeating Average. Colin

What Tess taught me about persuasion

My 28-month-old daughter Tess taught me a beautiful lesson about life recently. It reminded me of a fable I learned when I was a young boy. The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. While they were disputing with much heat and bluster, a Traveler passed along the road wrapped in a cloak. “Let us agree,” said the Sun, “that he is the stronger who can strip that Traveler of his cloak.” “Very well,” growled the North Wind, and at once sent a cold, howling blast against the Traveler. With the first gust of wind, the ends of the cloak whipped about the Traveler’s body. But he immediately wrapped it closely around him, and the harder the Wind blew, the tighter he held it to him. The North Wind tore angrily at the cloak, but all his efforts were in vain. Then the Sun began to shine. At first, his beams were gentle, and in the pleasant warmth after the bitter cold of the North Wind, the …

How to build trust in meetings

Don’t waste people’s time. You will lose trust and it impacts your brand.  In the last month, I have been talking to a number of leaders on how to run productive meetings. One thing they all agreed on was it’s never been more important to use people’s time well.  People are stressed. They have less time. They need to focus on family and mental health.  What is the criteria for good meeting management: Set clear meeting agendas  Be clear on why you are holding the meeting and why people are there (include in the meeting invite) Tell people what you will talk about ahead of time and what the outcome of the meeting should be  Run the meeting on time and have a call to action in the last 5 minutes  Respect people’s time and do not run over. If you make people late for their next meeting they will blame you. 🙂 Defeating Average in meetings.  Colin

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

Do this one thing to be effective

Don’t multi-task. Focus on one thing at a time and move to the next. I was in a training class a couple of years ago on how our company uses an agile method to build software. The trainer had us do an exercise where we took sticky notes and write out everything we needed to get done for a sample project on the board. Then we put all the sticky’s above a line (and the rest below) for the piece of the project that had to be complete in week 1. Finally, he taped a square 4 x 4-inch box on the whiteboard and we put the most important thing to get done first in that box. Once that was done we removed it put it on the table and put the 2nd most. As he described “I use this in my regular work life as well. What is above the line is what you will do during the day. What is below you are saying no too. It feels good to be clear and …

What’s in your confidence jar?

We all waiver in our confidence.  Leverage when you are at your best! I was listening to an Olympic athlete last year talking about her confidence. In two separate Olympic games, they were at completely different levels. As she transitioned from one to the next she did two things. 1. Create a confidence jar 2. Create a confidence highlight reel She wrote down moments that she was at her best and revisited them prior to big events. Second, she created a short 3-minute video reel of her best games and also watched that before big events. How are you leveraging your confidence? Defeating Average. Colin

Win The Day

In a recent podcast (Finding Mastery with Dr. Michael Gervais), Cap Ripken Jr was asked what he focused on each day.  Calvin Ripken Jr., nicknamed “The Iron Man”, is a former major league baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 21 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken holds the record for consecutive games played, 2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 that had stood for 56 years and that many deemed unbreakable.  His answer “Win the day.” You can play the long game both with a great vision for your career and taking it one day at a time.  On a recent day during PTO, nothing was more important than lying down in the park and watching the sunset with my wife and daughter. Win the day.  Colin

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