“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.
“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr3
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
P.S. Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharped dressed man.
Date posted: November 18, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »
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?
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:
Make decisions based off looking where we have been – Result = Re-create the past
Make decisions based off of looking at our present circumstances – Result = Re-create the past
Make decisions based off looking to the future – Result = Forecasting the future
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,
Date posted: September 23, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »
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!
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.
“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.