“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.
“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:
Jump in and quit thinking. We “over think” everything as adults. And often without progress.
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.
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.
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.”
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,
Date posted: November 19, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | 1 Comment »
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.
“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:
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
Or, maybe I should say learning from LeBron’s choices and circumstances surrounding his move to the Miami Heat.
There is a lot of media surrounding what LeBron did, how he went about it, and even speculation on why he didn’t tell Cav’s owner (Dan Gilbert) before he announced to the world his decision to leave the Cav’s and move to the Heat. The aftermath is hurt and broken relationships as bridges of trust and loyalty burn to the ground.
No matter what, how, or why LeBron did what he did. One thing is for sure- any loyalty that may have existed between LeBron and and the Cav’s is gone, and any relationship that may have existed between Gilbert and LeBron is also gone.
So, was it worth it for LeBron? For Gilbert? Who knows? And only time will tell.
The takeaway from all of this is that loyalty is good business. From Gilbert’s perspective, had he fostered a deep loyalty in LeBron, it’s more likely LeBron would still be with the Cav’s. And, if LeBron had fostered loyalty and relationships with the team and Gilbert he would be more marketable, and he may have left without burning the bridges so many fans were standing on.
Loyalty exists when expectations are exceeded, period. What we can learn from LeBron is at the end of the day- relationships, loyalty, and expectations is the basis for decisions made in business. Sure money is an issue, contracts, and price all get into the game. But relationships, expectations, and loyalty trump every time sooner or later.
Obviously, LeBron’s expecations either grew or were never met with the Cav’s (he took a pay cut to go to the Heat.) Gilbert’s expectations either grew or were never met with LeBron (LeBron accomplished nothing towards a championship). This causes a relationship breakdown and loyalty comes apart at the seams.
Is your business exceeding expectations? Are you creating loyalty and relationships among your internal and external customers? Do you even know?
In your personal life it’s the same way. Marriage? Friendships? Work life and piers? Are you exceeding expectations?
Our challenge is not in how, what, or why other people do what they do. Rather, our challenge is where we set the bar in our own life, and how high we are willing to jump to create loyalty and relationships that will eventually trump everything else… sooner or later.
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential, for the eye which , ever young and ardent, sees the possible.- Soren Kierkegaard
I was hanging out with my 4 year old son the other day and I was impressed with the excitement he finds in all the little things in life like learning a new word, understanding how something works, the adventure of playing in the backyard, and eating a new food. His energy and adventure is contagious. As we get older, and we have lived a full life and tried everything under the sun. We can have the tendency to write off all the things we don’t like and embrace what we do enjoy, this causes the excitement and passion for life and new adventure to fade.
For example, I would love to get my pilot’s license and then fly the country in my own airplane. This is an adventure and it would be an incredible thrill for me. My Dad, on the other hand, has had his pilot’s license – he has been there and done that. The excitement has worn off, so what’s next? Maybe for my Dad it’s time to get some buddies together and build their own plane, time to take a passion and reinvent it. Re-create it with fresh perspective and new skills.
Once you have traveled the world, fought in 2 world wars, lived, loved and know yourself well. What is left? What excitement, challenge, and fervor for life and adventure is there? Maybe it’s time to re-invent yourself?
Is it time for you to get some new energy from an old passion? Is it time to date your spouse again? Renew your vows? Check an item off the bucket list? Build something? Find a new talent? Or maybe the greatest reinvention is to plant seeds off your tree of experience into the life and mind of someone else?
Enjoy this true story:
Anna Mary Moses loved to do needlework. She had been enjoying it since before she was married. But as she began to get older, she started to lose some of the dexterity in her hands through arthritis. By the time she was eighty, she could no longer perform even the simplest stitches. Therefore she decided to try something different—painting. The brushes were easy enough to handle, even with her arthritis, so she took it up full time, mostly painting farm and country scenes.
One day a traveling art collector stopped for a bite to eat in her town and saw her pictures in a drugstore. He decided that he liked them, and in a very short time the name of Grandma Moses was known throughout the art world. Although Grandma Moses didn’t even start painting until she was eighty years old, she was able to create over fifteen hundred works of art in her lifetime. She had an international following, and prominence as a world-class painter.
All this because she was forced to quit her favorite pastime and take up a new one.
Success cannot be measured in time, or what anyone else thinks. It’s personal and powerful when you are reaching your own goals. Never stop learning, dreaming, and re-inventing the wonderful life you have been given. The world is a playground, and there is always something new to explore. Sometimes the greatest exploration is done inside your own mind and life.
Dream it, find it, and live it. After all… this is YOUR one shot at life.
“Many an opportunity is lost because a (wo)man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.” ~ Anon
I was reading my son is bedtime story and it happened to include an interesting story about how a star is born in space. It requires 3 major elements for the star to be born; gas, gravity, and timing. Read more about the science behind this here.
What a great metaphor for each of us. We all want to be “stars” in our own world, family, industry, or peer group. We want to make a difference to bring the right things together and maybe the biggest motivator – we want to be recognized for it. We want to shine, brightly!
It’s easy to think that this is a function of luck.
If I had their background, looks, luck, than I would be a star too
If I had bought when they bought I would be rich too
If my daddy owned “x” company I would be in the right circles
If my kids were born without that disability
The more I work with people in a behind the scenes capacity with widely successful people the more I realize there is no four leaf clover, there is no lucky situation, and there is no lottery ticket. The magic bullet to success doesn’t exist.
What appears to be lucky timing or lucky resources is not luck at all – it’s simply preparation, passion to find resources, and the ability to expect opportunity (timing.) 3 ingredients that happen out of purpose and direction. To the skeptical outsider it appears to be lucky. But, it’s not.
You want to be a star? 3 simple ingredients must exist to shine brightly –
1. Prepare yourself to become who you want to become. You want to be a star, act like one, now.
2. Find your passion and you will find the resources. Trust me, if you want it badly enough you will find the resources- or they will find you.
3. Look for opportunity with an expectation, a certainty of someone who knows the sun will rise tomorrow.
Stars are born everyday, in every economy, industry, and family.
The only question is: will YOU look inside for the opportunity and put the ingredients in place or will continue to look for four leaf clovers and lottery tickets?
Expecting great things for you!
Date posted: July 6, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | 1 Comment »
Have you ever had a feeling or a thought you couldn’t get away from? Like it was haunting you?
We typically think of this as a bad thing that occurs after a tragic experience or from the pain of a previous choice. But, I have found that most of the dynamic, driven, and high performance people are haunted by something.
Something that salts their life with passion, purpose, and drive that goes deep within them and pulls their emotions off the sideline and into the game of life.
I have a stress dream (nightmare) I had when I was battling cancer in which I was dying and all of the dreams I had for my future were dying with me, untold speeches, unwritten books, unchanged lives, and a mediocre life for myself. That one nightmare changed my life forever, it has haunted me ever since. I can’t wake up and live without urgency, passion to make a difference, and emotion that drives me to an extraordinary life. It is my “why” to get up in the morning and it haunts me every day of my life. That nightmare was a gift that keeps on giving.
Do you have something that haunts you? That drives you to passion, purpose, that gets you actively and emotionally living your life? If not, find it. Look for it in daily life when you find yourself engaged, enraged, or just happy. Be haunted by your future successes and the fantastic life you have waiting for you, however you measure it.
George Eastman, inventor and founder of the Eastman-Kodak Company, often said that he never set out to become rich. Nor was it specifically his intent to promote photography. Eastman had lost his father while he was still young, and he was forced to watch his mother struggle to provide the bare essentials for George and his two sisters. Memories of his mother mopping floors and washing clothes for other people haunted George like a bad dream throughout his life. Consequently, he vowed to make enough money so that his mother would never have to work again. – One Minute Motivator
Actually, he made millions, and he revolutionized photography—but his real goal was to make a comfortable living for his mother. And that is the power that compassion for another can have.
May we all be so blessed to be haunted by compassion.
“Your sweetest successes always come after some of your most sour mistakes.”
Confusing a mistake for a failure is a common thing to do. We often (mentally or emotionally) think and feel that a mistake or a trial and error is a failure to some degree, but really it’s just a part of your next success.
You haven’t failed until you quit making mistakes, and therefore quit moving forward.
A client of mine told me a great story of Saturday pancake breakfasts at his house growing up. His Dad would be up earlier than everyone else and his Dad would start to make pancakes for the family. The smell would fill the house and by the time they got up, there was coffee brewing and a giant stack of perfectly golden pancakes. The family dog was normally a beggar, but never begged on Saturday mornings. Because, as it turns out, every Saturday before the family was up- Dad would burn the first batch of pancakes, which he gave to the family dog. These were the “Dog Cakes.”
The “Dog Cakes” had to be made, they had to burn the oil off the pan before you could ever get to the golden brown beauties that came next. The “Dog Cakes” were a right of passage, an important part of the journey towards a perfect pancake.
When you start a new venture, launch a new product, make your first cold calls, try to connect emotionally, give a speech for the 1st time since high school, or anything else- be ready and willing to have some “dog cakes.” But, don’t confuse a few “dog cakes” with failure.
“Dog cakes” are not failures, or even mistakes, they are a part of the process to the perfect success. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t run from opportunity because of them. Rather embrace them.
Believe me, your greatest successes will come after a short stack of “dog cakes.” The faster you burn the oil off the pan the faster you will taste sweet success.