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10 minutes of this per day will make you better

As I heard Tony Robbins say recently, “the mind is like a kite on the end of a string, and where everything starts is with breath. Control your breathing, you control how the kite flies.” We wake up each day, with the chance to start fresh, through your first few breaths. Be intentional about how you start it, instead of letting it happen to you! The holiday (Canada Day and Independence Day!) week is a good time to reflect. Even if you have a family, what you do for yourself impacts how you can support the rest of the team. As they say in case of emergency, “put your own oxygen mask on first!” I spend the first 20-30 min of each day meditating. Successful people I know spend at least 10 min asking themselves questions related to gratitude or visualizing what success will look like in the day. Whatever your method, make sure you are taking care of yourself first! Colin

I struggled to get my work out in, here is why

I remember the founder of a running store in Canada coming to our University in my second year. He was a graduate and shared his stories from his running career and how he was building this business. One thing he said about preparing for workouts really stuck. He put all his workout gear with his water bottle next to the door so it was easier to get ready to workout and gave him fewer reasons not to go. In addition, the deal he made with himself was if 10 min into a workout he wasn’t down for it, he had permission to pack it in. He focused on mentally agreeing to that first 10 min. I took that lesson forward in my life with great success. Last long weekend, I really procrastinated on getting my workout in. I reminded myself of this approach and went downstairs with a stretching and warm-up commitment for 10-20 min and a stretch goal of a bigger workout. What did I end up with? A really strong 💪 hour workout …

Stretching for greatness one turn at a time

Photo (Toronto Star) Yuzuru Hanyu from Japan just repeated as men’s Olympic figure skating champion for the first time in 66 years. As a proud Canadian, I watched many a Winter Olympics and this was always a big sport for our winter nation. Watching every Olympics in the last 30 years I remember the battle from the worlds best skaters. Often from the US, Canada, Russia, and Japan. When asked what Yuzuru’s focus is after delivering a historic performance in Pyeongchang, Korea in summary he said, I’m focusing on landing a quadruple Axle (4.5 revolutions). 15-20 years ago the quad was just starting to be practiced and not landed in competition. Now he and others are landing them left and right. Why is this guy on top? Because he keeps pushing boundaries and his own human potential. He thinks he can do 5 turns because a scientists say it’s possible. When asked to describe what doing 4 revolutions on the ice feels like he said: “think about jumping rope (double unders but four double unders …

How Colin Powell Makes Decisions Faster Than You

“Colin Powell has a rule of thumb about making tough decisions. He says that every time you face a tough decision you should have no less than forty percent and no more than seventy percent of the information you need to make the decision. If you make a decision with less than forty percent of the information you need you are shooting from the hip and you will make too many mistakes. The second part of the decision-making rule is what surprises many leaders. They often think that they need more than seventy percent of the information before they can make a decision. But, if you get more than seventy percent of the information you need to make the decision then the opportunity has usually passed and someone else has beaten you to the punch.” Don’t sacrifice quality for speed AND don’t sacrifice action for certainty. Lead without title today. Colin

Who is on your winning team?

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” –Michael Jordan   If I have learned one thing over my 20+ years of selling, its that you should not win or lose alone.    Any big hairy audacious goal worth achieving takes laser focus, a well thought out plan, consistency chunking out the key milestones, visualizing your way up and over the obstacles…and a team to support you.   Having the camaraderie of a band of brothers and sisters that can help support you to:    Rise early with passion every morning Get creative, act as sounding boards and give tough feedback Work the extra hours to push over weekly obstacles   Will help get to your championship level of performance.   Colin

How to tell a story like Oprah!

Just watch her. 2018 Golden Globe Awards Oprah Winfrey took the world by storm on Sunday with her rousing speech at the Golden Globe Awards.  There is no doubt that Winfrey is one of the world’s most gifted orators. If you could learn just one, small thing from Oprah’s time at the mic, you’ll have done one thing like Oprah today–and that is pretty bad-ass of you! So let’s take a look at what made her speech so powerful. She began with a personal story: Nothing grabs an audience’s attention like a glimpse into you as a person. Used at the outset of your presentation, it can be a powerful tool to humanize your message. She addressed an open room as if she was speaking to an individual: I don’t care if you are in a room of one or 1,000– your audience needs to feel that they are deserving of your attention if they are to give you there’s.  She spoke slow and with purpose. And without pomp and circumstance. She knew where she was going: Oprah …

Reading your way to the top

If you are not reading, you are falling behind. I’ve been following Mark Cuban for a number of years. I didn’t agree with his approaches to everything but he certainly shows some great examples of hustle, creativity and leveraging his opportunities. Plus his blog – Blogmaverick always kept us amused in the Toronto office. With his presence on Shark Tank, his notoriety from owning the Dallas Mavericks and other social media interest, he is out there a lot and accessible to hear his point of view. He’s the first one to tell you, he was at the right place at the right time with the success and sale of Broadcast.com. He said “if he had to start over, he doesn’t know if he could make billions again…but he could certainly make many millions.” One of the things that drives his wife crazy is that he spends up to three hours per day reading. It’s his competitive advantage. He consumes knowledge and is able to leverage it well for competence and gain. Mark Cuban knows his …

Push ups on the Pool Deck

Guest Post:  Kyle Byron (Nutritionist) My Dad always said, “If you want to be a man at night, you gotta be a man in the morning!” And although I don’t usually take his lifestyle advice, I am fond of this phrase. Ladies, forgive the gender bias here. After 11 years of nutrition and fitness coaching, I know women are tougher than men, I just don’t have a catch phrase for you right now. My Dad’s point is, if you want to stay up late and party, you have to get up in the morning and train, or take care of business. So on your vacation please go and have fun. But you have to take care of some business too.  Before you leave for your trip, do a bit of planning. Pack some exercise gear, pack some supplements (greens powders and fish oil would be two vacation favourites), pick what nights will be big nights, and order your groceries to be delivered the day you get back. When you’re away, aim for 33%-66% of your …

Having uncomfortable conversations

One of our leaders sent out a great TED talk to review this past week.  Adam Grants – “Are you a giver or a taker” and it made me think of this story.  I remember an all hands sales call we held many years ago where two star sales reps (now senior sales leaders) were asked about the difference in impact between being a generous and agreeable account executive and doing everything for your customer vs. being a difficult to work with (challenging AE) that perhaps caused some friction in the relationship.  They both shared feedback from their customers who said (paraphrasing) “We’ve had easier AE’s to work with in the past.  They said yes to everything and it was easy for me to get my job done. However, our implementation didn’t improve much and the Salesforce impact in our business was average. When I first met my new AE I found it difficult to work with them.  They didn’t say yes to much and in fact said no a lot.  They asked me so …