Living in Community

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

It’s a funny thing, on one hand we want to compete with each other; to be in the top of the class, to win the scholarship, to climb the corporate ladder faster, to be the best parent, to have the best retirement, golf score, yard, or antique car. On the other hand we desperately need each other; to work together, to have a tight knit community, safety in numbers, collaborating for friendships, family, and a better life together.

Even though, competition exists at all phases of life, as we mature, it’s encouraging to see that competition seems to give way more and more to community, relationships, and authenticity. It’s not about impressing others or reaching higher successes, but finding more ways to be significant in our communities and with the ones we love.

In many ways, a business can personify this philosophy of community. Businesses are micro-communities and it’s truly incredible bringing people, ideas, and fun together. Weaving the community together into the tapestry that is each organization.

A tight knit community always contains these 3 “C’s”:

  • Communication that is open and has spirit of learning
  • Coordination of events, ideas, and people all working together for a better life.
  • Cooperation as an attitude of curiosity and willingness to learn and work towards common goals.

A tight knit community contains these 3 attributes*:

  • Care as the active concern for the physical needs of others
  • Responsibility as caring for the higher needs of others
  • Respect as allowing others to grow at their own pace

It is the desire of great leaders to be an incredible resource to their organization/team and work to bring success, even more opportunities for significance, and doing it all in the spirit of building a truly tight knit community.

After all; call it a family, a community, love for others, or whatever you want. We all need it.

Enjoy Life!

Date posted: May 27, 2011 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Inspiration/Values Knowledge Leadership Motivation

6 Do’s and Don’ts for Organizational Communication

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr3

Do’s:

  1. DO: OVER-COMMUNICATE Vision and Values. It doesn’t matter if you think everyone has heard it or knows them. 99% of the time the executive team thinks they have beat it into the ground and the rest of the team couldn’t tell you what they are.
  2. DO: COMMUNICATE THE SELF EVIDENT – or, at least if it’s a Core Value. Many leaders tell me that don’t need to communicate positive attitude, friendliness, excellence, or integrity. And after all, these are the team that makes it happen. However, core values shape the culture, and communicating them drives the values from a list on the wall to culture that can be experienced. For example the Declaration of Independence; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,…” Some things may not be self evident later- and that is precisely when they are needed most.
  3. DO: COMMUNICATE WITH YOURSELF – Strange but true. We communicate in our mind about our external factors and internally how we feel about ourselves all the time. Actually, at the alarming rate of 60 million bits of information per second. Be intentional and positive about what you are saying to yourself. The organization will pick up on (and believe) what your attitude and body language are saying faster than your words. What is going on in your head will effect your message.

Don’ts:

  1. DON’T: FOLLOW THE “3 TIMES MODEL”- I have seen many times where people from some antiquated speech class are told this “Say what you are going to say, say it, and say what you said.” Argh! Please stop doing this. We live in the information age and don’t need to be told what you are going to say- just say it. And don’t follow it up by telling me what you just said, I know… I was there, I will wonder if you were.
  2. DON’T FOLLOW THE PREACHER’S MODEL – If you visit church, you will most likely find it is still customary to sit and listen as the preacher speaks for a period of time and then the congregation goes home. I don’t know why this is still the custom or why it ever became one in churches. But in organizations, this is a bad idea. Nobody wants to be preached to or at. Communication is a 2 way street and learning through lecture is the least effective style of learning there is. Find a way to create a 2 way street, even if you have to give a speech. Texting, comments on social media, and asking questions are all easy ways to turn a lecture into something more effective.
  3. DON’T IGNORE THE HUMAN ELEMENT – Many meetings in 2010 existed of tough conversations, and decisions that involved cutting, trimming, or furloughing people. Sometimes this bad news must be communicated, but ignoring or not placing a high value on the human emotion as it’s communicated will destroy the culture and moral faster than lighting the place on fire. Never speak until you know what others are thinking, feeling, and experiencing before you open the can of communication.

Date posted: January 7, 2011 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Knowledge Leadership

5 Ways to Keep Your Comfort Zone from Smothering You

“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” ~ Ann Landers


My family and I were on vacation in California, and it was the time of year right before fall when the vacation crowds are gone and the pool is on the edge of being too cold to swim in and enjoy. The water felt great in the mid afternoon, but once the sun went down it started to feel borderline icy. You know that scared feeling and anticipation you get on the edge of a pool when your anticipating the water might be cold enough to take your breathe away and you are about to jump in?

Well, don’t jump in dummy? Right? Easy fix. I agree, except I had an excited 4 year old and 2 year old that had been waiting to go swimming with their Dad all day. This stinks. So, I knew I was going in, and before I could count to “1” my 2 year old was in the pool, it took her breathe away and she started swimming and having a ball. And splash, just like that my 4 year old was in and begging for me. Do you remember your younger days when your comfort zone was big enough to handle a cold pool? I do, vaguely. But, somewhere along the line I only started swimming when it was a perfect 85 degrees. I got so used to the comfort of warm swimming water in AZ, my comfort zone had shrunk in so far that I probably would not even be able to swim, at all, in my old state of New York. It’s just too cold.

A funny thing happens if we aren’t paying attention, just like a frog will not jump out of a pot of hot water as long as the temperature raises gradually, we get stuck in a forever shrinking comfort zone. We all do it, it’s part of being human; to seek the comfortable, to walk the path of least resistance.

It used to be easy to jump in cold water, meet strangers, interview for a new job, run a mile, get involved at great risk to yourself for a leadership role, ask your spouse out, tell your friends they mean the world to you, stand up for yourself or someone else, put yourself out there, take a financial risk, or any risk at all for that matter, and the list goes on.

When did you quit jumping into cold water? What has your shrinking comfort zone stolen from you? Playing with your kids, a chance at a better life, new friends, passion? Whatever it is, it’s probably more than you are willing to admit.

Here are a few things you can do to expand the comfort zone:
  1. Jump in and quit thinking. We “over think” everything as adults. And often without progress.

  2. When all is said and done. Be the one who did more than was said. Quit talking about what you will do someday and start being the one who did it, and then talk.

  3. Do one thing every day that pushes you off the edge. You know when your on the edge. So, everyday jump in once for a few minutes – meet the stranger, take a risk, do the unexpected, ask for the raise.

  4. Play. You can always find ways to play and have a good time. The older we get, it seems the more intentional we have to be, but you can do it. Have fun with life, even when the environment you’re in doesn’t seem to be “play friendly.”

  5. Pick up a new hobby. Even if it doesn’t stick, pick it up and look at it anyway. Cooking, art, outdoors, biking, running, games with friends, pogo sticks :), support a cause, volunteer, and you get the idea.
Expanding comfort zones nationally and encouraging you to jump in before you get too comfortable to enjoy life,

Jon Bohm

Date posted: November 19, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | 1 Comment »

Categories: Goals Innovation Inspiration/Values Motivation

Top 10 Rules to Dressing Professionally


Realizing this is a giant rabbit hole, here are some absolutely basic and crucial things to understand when it comes to dressing professionally in a way that can help you move your life and career forward. Sorry ladies, I’m not qualified for you, but I will get a post for you in this area as well.

After seeing many leaders and executives fail at these 10 basic rules, here are some things to keep in mind next time you are shopping.

My top 10 list for guys:

1. Dress for the position you want, not the one you have. Poise and style go a long way towards promotion/sales/ influence. However you feel about that from a fairness standpoint, it’s reality.

2. Never wear pleats or cuffs on your slacks. Sorry, to those who disagree. People argue this with me all the time, but pleats and cuffs have been out with everything else you left in 1993. I don’t know why anybody is still selling these to unsuspecting guys.

3. Never wear a white undershirt that can be seen under a dress shirt or even a polo. Time to invest in some v-necks.

4. Your shoulder seam should be right at the top of your shoulder or at most a half inch from the top of your shoulder towards your hand. Oversized shirts make you look sloppy and unprofessional.

5. Wear fitted shirts whenever possible. A fitted shirt has been sewn to remove material from the back and sides of the shirt so that you don’t end up with a bag of extra material around your belt or midsection. Fitted shirts will slim you down and broaden your shoulders. If you have extra weight you are carrying around your midsection you may need a little more room.

6. Sleeve length should hit the bottom of your wrist when your arms are hanging at your side. This allows a nice watch to peek out and keeps extra material from bunching and making you look sloppy.

7. Your belt, watch, and shoes all need to match. Brown shoes means a brown leather watch and brown belt. Black shoes mean a silver or black watch and black belt. Make sure shoes belt and watch all match stylistically as well. In other words, if you wear a formal pair of shoes, then wear a formal belt and “dress” watch with it.

8. Never, ever, ever, never, ever wear a tie with a short sleeve dress shirt. Dwight Shrute (see above). Enough said.

9. Shine your shoes. If you didn’t learn this in the military, from a Dad or friend, go to a nice department store like Neiman Marcus and the shoe dept. can give you a tutorial. Or, click here.

10. Don’t wear cuff links with a casual pair of slacks. The general rule is if you don’t need to dry clean your slacks, don’t wear cuff links with your shirt.

10.5 The bottom of your slacks need to rest barely on the top of your shoes with no more than an inch of material in the left in the length. Again, extra material = sloppy and unprofessional.

Bonus information:
There are many different styles of collars when it comes to dress shirts. Each one is appropriate at different times.

Never wear more than 3 colors at a time. Patterns need to be different and can be mixed and matched if done correctly. Generally a lighter, or more pastel, colored shirt should be worn with a tie that goes with it, but should not match exactly.

Best advice ever! Are you ready? If you are not the average sized guy. For example, taller than 6’4″ or shorter than 5’5″- find a great tailor near your home. If he/she tries to put you in pleats- run away and find another tailor. Always wear clothes that fit. Being tall (I’m 6’5″) is not an excuse to wear clothing that doesn’t fit.

If you are wearing a tie, your pocket cloth should match the dominant color in the tie.

Hope that helps you move toward your goals and not away from them.

Enjoy Life and Shop well!

Jon Bohm

P.S. Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharped dressed man.

Date posted: November 18, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Goals Knowledge Leadership

Cleaning Up


Quick question: You walk into a room and you see that the room is flooded. On the far wall a sink is running on full blast and there is a mop leaning against the wall. What do you do?

This is the same scenario I see at many companies I walk into, and there is one of 3 choices that is actively being pursued:

1. The entire team is mopping like crazy – “this economy!” “run faster and work harder” or we will never get this cleaned up!

2. They walk in the flooded room- look around….and then leave. It’s too much of a mess, let’s just close the door and go back to sticking our head in the sand.

3. They turn off the faucet. Then they mop like crazy.

The choice is yours as you lead your organization. I recommend turning off the faucet by finding the root cause of negative results, behavior, or culture. To change behavior without changing the root cause is going to require a lot of mopping for a long time… in wet clothes. Nobody likes that.

Is it time to clean up your organization or life? Is it time to turn off the running faucet?

Making wet businesses dry,

Jon Bohm

Date posted: October 12, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Goals Knowledge Leadership Motivation

Beware of Re-creating your Past


Be careful of going back to what you once were instead of moving forward to what you have yet to become.


Like water, we have this incredible tendency to sub-consciously settle into the groove, the path, of least resistance. The only problem with this is that it only has one result, re-creating the past.

Many leaders have been leading in the same place, same position, same expectations, and same challenges for so long that this groove is created. A groove that steals passion and innovation one small piece at a time. We feel it sneak up on us like the cold at night. Slowly we find ourselves unchallenged and resting in this emotionless zone of the doing what we have always done.

We can wake up and make the change now, realizing that it’s never too late to be who you might have been . Or, we can settle in and wait until we are fired, forced out, or no longer have the passion to be productive. Only to look back, and realize the powerhouse we could have been, the changes we could have made in the world, or the dreams we could have realized for ourselves or our family.

The Cure is in the way you plan and therefore, the way you lead:
  1. Make decisions based off looking where we have been – Result = Re-create the past
  2. Make decisions based off of looking at our present circumstances – Result = Re-create the past
  3. Make decisions based off looking to the future – Result = Forecasting the future
  4. Move your actions and life into the future and act now, how you want your future to be – Result = Creating and Controlling your Destiny
The choice is ours to make everyday, rely on circumstances and the groove to guide us to the future or decide your own path now and move forward to where you have never yet been.

Beware the gravitational force that is always trying to pull you back to where you already were.

Walking into the wonderful unknown,
Jon Bohm



Date posted: September 23, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Goals Innovation Leadership

The Next Generation


Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992. For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks, and Tony Perkins have always been dead. Each year, Beloit College puts together a list of “cultural touchstones” that affect the lives of students entering college in 2011. The faculty uses it as a reminder to be aware of dated references. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.

3. Al Gore has always been animated.

4. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

5. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

6. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

7. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

8. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

9. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

10. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

11. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.

12. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

13. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

14. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

15. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

16. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn’t he?

17. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

18. Beethoven has always been a good name for a dog.

19. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

20. They’ve always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi (SYFY) Channel.

You can view the complete list at www.beloit.edu/mindset. Are you guilty of being “dated” in your dealings with the younger generation? These folks will soon hit the workforce so be aware of language you may want to change.

Thanks to my friends at Resource Associates Corporation.

Looking to the future,

Jon Bohm

Date posted: August 24, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Innovation Knowledge

Leading up the Ladder


Tom Landry, the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, once said something that may be true of nearly any motivator: “I have a job to do that is not very complicated, but it is difficult: to get a group of men to do what they don’t want to do so they can achieve the one thing they have wanted all of their lives.”

At what point does someone become the type of leader that is worth millions to an organization or team? What does it take? There are many answers to that question that we could use to describe someone like Tom Landry, Jim Boeheim, Phil Jackson, John Wooden, or one of my current favorites Ken Whisenhunt.

One thing, they all have in common, is that they have the ability to motivate people and players to higher performance- to fight through pain and achieve at the highest levels of their potential.

This requires conquering 3 levels of leadership.
1- They have climbed to the rung of leading themselves – this means they know who they are, they like the person in the mirror, and they have become confident internally with what they know they can do. They have the capacity to truly care for others and confident in the circle of people that care about them.

2- They have climbed to the rung of informal leadership – this is the behind the scenes leadership, locker room conversations about life and leadership, inspiring others through conversation and small group huddles. They can rally energy in others when they walk into the room.

3 – They have climbed to the rung of formal leadership – they can drive a team/organization by grabbing the energy of everyone involved, they recruit, train, develop, and strategize to surround themselves with smart high performing people and then rally the team to the cause.

A leader who has climbed this 3 rung ladder is the type of leader that an organization can not pay enough, support enough, or give enough too. They are truly priceless in a world of insecurity, disorganization, and dispassionate living.

Which rung are you on? Are you priceless to your organization? You can be, the secret is ….it never happens on accident.

Creating Priceless Leaders –
Jon Bohm

Date posted: August 13, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Inspiration/Values Leadership Motivation

Business Owner today and Entrepreneur Tomorrow

“Nothing is so successful that it can’t be mismanaged. If you lose sight of what you are doing, it could be here today and gone tomorrow.”- Jim Pohlad (Owner of the Minnesota Twins)

What are you doing? Whatever you do to pay the bills or take care of the family, what are you doing it for? Money, kids, to make a difference? This is a very important question and the answer to which must be kept front and center, or it will be gone.

Often, when business owners started their business they new they were doing it to build a better life, have more time, make a difference, etc. But, along the way they became not only the owner but the CEO, CFO, COO, manager, supervisor, and sometimes even the hourly wage worker. The ideals of a better life get swallowed with working harder and surviving and paying the bills. Without much thought, just like that, you can lose sight of what you got in this for in the first place. Same thing with being a Parent, a coach, or a teacher.

Since I can’t speak to everything in a short blog, here is an overly simplified model to entrepreneurial success:

  1. Solve the $ Step – If you don’t plan and save to get far enough ahead to invest in others and better systems you will be left spending everyday and hour (every dinner with your spouse) not thinking about anything, except, how can I make more $ so I don’t go out of business. Some people stay at step one their entire life- this is very sad to me as a coach.
  2. Solve the time step – Use the money you saved or set aside in step 1 to buy yourself more time. Hire, delegate, create, and build new time saving systems.
  3. Use the time you bought for yourself to find inspiration, new ideas, better ways of doing things, and creative energy to build your life and/or your business to new heights.

Where are you stuck? Which step is next? How are you going to get to the next step?

Of course, I’m here to help you do that. Just never lose site of what got you in this in the first place. Have fun!

Enjoy Life!

Creating Entrepreneurs everyday,
Jon Bohm

Date posted: July 30, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Goals Inspiration/Values Knowledge Leadership

Can’t change the game? Change the players.

Playing a game as kids there is always someone who would bend the rules, make up new rules, or re-create the game on the spot if it benefited them. Man, did you hate that or what!? Unless, that was you ruining the ability to play fair for the rest of us.

We were always told – you can’t do that! We hated on them and we called unfair or conspiracy, depending on how many people were trying to change the rules.

Now, here we are, all grown up and those that have figured out how to change the rules of the game to benefit them are the winners. As an entrepreneur, if you can change the way the game is played – kudos to you- do it. Google, Facebook, online magazines, Tivo, Apple, netflix, etc. have changed the rules in their industry. In one way or another they are making the world play their game. And just like when we were kids – the people that hate you for it feel like you are making them lose and those that benefit love your influence.

But, what about most of us?  Are we game changers?  I hope so, we try to be. But, often we don’t get to change the rules. We have to play the game by whomever is changing the rules.

So, we will have to pick one of 2 options:

  1. Take our ball and go home= you will no longer be playing the game, or refusing to play the game will often get your boss to send you home as well if the marketplace doesn’t send you home first.
  2. Realize if you can’t change the game- change the players. Starting with you.

    In today’s marketplace the rules are changing everyday.

Are you going to take your ball and go home or worse get sent home?
Or are you going to change the players starting with you?

If you think your industry isn’t changing- beware you are probably inches away from being sent home.

If you can’t change the game – change the players.

Changing players in every industry everyday,

Jon Bohm

Date posted: July 27, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Inspiration/Values Knowledge