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

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

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

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

Re-Inventing yourself…What’s next?

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.

Jon Bohm

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

Categories: Goals Innovation Inspiration/Values Knowledge Motivation

A Star is born

“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!
Jon Bohm

Date posted: July 6, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | 1 Comment »

Categories: Goals Inspiration/Values Knowledge Leadership Motivation

Dog Cakes on the Path to Success

“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.

Hungry for Life-

Jon Bohm

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

Categories: Goals Inspiration/Values Knowledge Motivation

The Choice YOU have to make today

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

I went for a hike in some of the mountains near my house the other day and it got me thinking about all the comparisons that can be made between a hike in the mountains and life. One in particular jumped out at me.

When I started my hike, I had to choose which path I would take. The trail map showed a rating for each trail based on:
  • Ruggedness of terrain
  • Elevation height
  • Elevation change
I chose, as I often do in life, to take the most challenging trail. I want the one with the highest peaks and the lowest valleys, I want the one with the hardest trail that can take my breathe out of my lungs and replace it with a burning sensation, the one that makes my legs ache and burn. But, this trail also offers me the greatest breathtaking views, the greatest sense of accomplishment, and the greatest overall rewards.

We have to make this same choice everyday. If you get married you are choosing a path with much higher highs and much lower lows than a single person will have. If you open a business, likewise higher highs and lower lows. If you step out and volunteer to give that speech, to write that book, to handle that challenging situation at work, to commit to a workout program, to ask that person out…you get the idea. Anytime we choose to step into the ring and pick the rugged trail in life with the most elevation change, you are picking a different life than the majority of people who are simply content to go for a stroll on a smooth flat path that will never experience the breath taking views nor the pain of the climb.

Which path have you chosen in your life? Which path will you choose in the future? Which path will you take today?

As for me, call it a curse, but I have to take the rugged trail to the top, the view is just to amazing to pass up on.

See you on the trail, I hope to see at the top!

Enjoy the Climb!

Jon Bohm

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

Categories: Goals Inspiration/Values Motivation

Somebody SAVE me!

Somebody SAVE me!

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” ~ Sven Goran Eriksson

The fear of failure is a sub-conscious courage eater. It will rob you of passion, paralyze your mind, and urge you to give the responsibility for success to someone, or something else.

Have you ever felt that thing in the back of your conscious mind that wants you to run away, the moment you see the possibility that you could fail? We all have it. I think it’s purpose is to keep us safe, which would be fine, if we still lived at our parent’s houses with everything we need supplied by someone else in a perfectly safe world that was free from disease, pain, and suffering of any kind.

Since that is not the world we live in, and since our world is not SAFE. We have to come to grips with the reality that there is no avenue of retreat, we must arm ourselves. We must prepare mentally to live in the absence of safety, to live in a dangerous world with the possibility of failure forever lurking at the back of our subconscious mind, telling us to retreat.

What happens when the fear of failure is nagging you, and your subconscious is telling you to retreat? Our first instinct is often to scream “Save me” to anyone willing to listen.

  • Business owners yell “save me” to marketing firms and coaches
  • Mom’s yell “save me” to school programs and babysitters
  • Personal finances yell “save me” to financial planners or bankruptcy attorneys
  • People in need yell “save me” to anyone willing to listen
  • Sometimes big businesses yell “save me” to government
  • Sometimes government yells “save me” to taxes
Don’t get me wrong I am all for asking for help, collaboration, gaining partners, and teams. The difference between asking for help and yelling “save me” is this; asking for help implies that I am emotionally and mentally keeping the responsibility for my success and I simply want to team up, or ask for your help as a part of the effort to succeed.

Whereas; Yelling “save me” implies that I am giving you the responsibility for MY SUCCESS. And this will allow the fear of failure to destroy you. We can never give the responsibility for our own success to anyone. We can delegate, we can collaborate, we can orchestrate, and we can simply get help. But, if we give the responsibility for success to someone else, we have lost the war. We have retreated, and we have lost all influence in our success, guaranteeing failure.

So next time you feel that fear of failure begin to creep up on you, stop and make a plan. Stop and think about how to attack. Become even that much more committed to owning the responsibility you have to your own success.
And only then, ask for help and collaborate towards your success with marketing firms, coaches, attorneys, school programs, friends, government, and anyone who can help.

Don’t be a victim to the fear of failure, be an OWNER of your own success.

Owning it daily,

Jon Bohm

Date posted: February 2, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Inspiration/Values Knowledge Leadership Motivation

New Year + Focus = New YOU

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they do their lives. Perhaps that’s because escape is easier than change.” – Jim Rohn

2010 is here! I hope you are as excited as I am!
I don’t mean to be over excited, but as a cancer survivor I take every milestone as a chance to celebrate life and what it means to be here for 2010 is more than words can ever describe. So congratulations! You are here for 2010 as well.

If you are anything like me, you are expecting 2010 to be your best year yet. Not just because 2009 seemed to have so many challenges for so many people, but because you are continually BECOMING a better person who brings more value and good to those around you every year, and that is exciting!

For me I have a few things planned. I have a new plan to be an even better coach, father, and husband. I have financial, family, friends, fitness, and fun goals that I will be working towards. All of them requiring resources and mental shifts from where I am now to where I will be by the year end. What about for you? What do you have planned for 2010?

Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s a laundry list to some degree, similar to mine. Do you know the best way to insure hardly any of it happens? I do, DON’T focus on any ONE thing.

I have recently taken up bird hunting, great fun, and great food 🙂 Sorry bird lovers. When I walk within 10 feet of the right bush I could see 20 doves fly out and go all over the place and I have about 2 seconds to take a shot. What I have found is that if 20 fly out, I hardly ever walk away with even ONE?! I see them, I hear them, I get crazy excited and then I don’t seem to have enough time to pick one out of the crowd and take a shot and nothing happens. But, if I walk into a bush area and only one flies out, I’m having dove for breakfast.

The New Year will be the same for me, and I bet for you, if you have 20 goals all flying out of your year at the same time, you will be lucky to walk away from 2010 with even one goal completed and in the bag. We have to FOCUS, focus, and I will say it again focus. We will have to pick one out of the crowd and take a shot, before we ever move on. So, here is a practical and easy guide I recommend for making 2010 be productive and successful in BECOMING a better YOU:

  1. Make a list of the top 5 things you would like to change about you, or your circumstances. (For me, I’m starting with getting back in shape)
  2. Answer this question; “If you could change one thing in your life that would have the greatest positive impact on your life in 2010, what would it be?” Do not move to step 3 until you have a confident answer for number 2. Many of my clients say something with the five “F’s” (Family, fitness, financial, fun, or friends) for number 2 in some way. What is yours? Got it?
  3. Ok, now number 3 is to separate that goal from the crowd, and make it specific and put a time frame on it. What will you do and when will you do it?
  4. Now, put everything else on the shelf, and set your sights on only that one change.
  5. Ask yourself; What do I have to know? What do I have to do? Who do I have to become? for that goal to be in the bag by the date I set?
  6. Go get it! Protect it, focus on it, resource it, and don’t rest or look at another goal until you achieve it.
Although, for me goal achievement is an art and this rabbit hole goes pretty deep, the take away that I want you to get, (which is 90 % of the process) is to FOCUS on that one thing. I am convinced that one of the biggest reason so many people live in mediocrity with so much available to us, is because so much IS AVAILABLE that we lose focus.

A new year is hear, and the pages are blank for 2010, it’s time to write the first page. Pick one thing, only one thing, and focus on it until completion. Then move onto the next thing until completion, and so on. And write the greatest story of your life ONE page at a time in 2010.

Live a great story!

Jon Bohm
YOUR personal, business, and strategy coach

Date posted: January 3, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »

Categories: Goals Knowledge Leadership Motivation