How a Tragedy Gave Us Clarity

perseverance stories Sep 11, 2021

I’ll never forget the day. I was in Orlando leading a Simulation forum with just over fifty people in the room. The conference chair unexpectedly poked her head in the middle of my session, quietly made her way to me with a clear look of concern.  

“Paul. So sorry to interrupt, but the news is horrible. The World Trade Center  was just hit by a plane, and so was the Pentagon.." She swallowed  hard for air, and continued.  "They believe it was terrorist attack. And they think there are terrorists still in the air.”  

 I couldn’t believe my ears. “Terrorist attack - still in the air.” I pondered. 

Then she added, “We fear that there might still registered attendees flying to this workshop - on their way who may be on some of those planes.” 

When...

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Don’t Forget the FUN

attitude Sep 04, 2021

Heath Ledger, playing the role of the villainous Joker in the Batman series, had a famous line that often causes me to rethink.

Why so Serious?

It’s a great question to ponder. Admittedly, I sometimes get way too serious in my work and in life.  That serious bit, causes me to stress more, live less, and miss out on great experiences and relationships. I often realize later – usually after the moment – that I missed an opportunity to really connect and be present. 

So, what’s the antidote going forward. Well, there’s a short little anagram, which is just a fancy word for acrostic, to home in on embracing fun daily. As you can guess, it spells the word FUN. Each letter means something specific.

Be Focused

Focus – the right focus – will keep you out of trouble. Focus means to be fully present. To be aware of what’s happening in the present. Not the past. Not the future. But right now!

Focus means being attentive and motivated...

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What it Really Takes to Win

We just finished an amazing mastermind discussion on the book W1NNING, by Tim Grover. Grover was the personal coach for Michael Jordon, Kobe Bryant, and other notables -- not just in sports but in life.

Grover shares 13 principles for Winning based on the stories of MJ, Kobe, his own journey and many others. But before you dive into the book try this little exercise.

Grover suggests early-on answering this one question.

What does winning mean to you?

Seriously. What does winning mean? You won't be able to fully value this book (or any discussions) until you do. Take time to answer that question -- consider it a prerequisite. But, there's one caveat. 

You can only pick only one word for your definition.  

That's right - just one word. 

It makes it a little harder, doesn't it? But go ahead, give it a try. 

Sure the dictionary will tell you winning is "gaining, resulting in, or relating to victory in a...

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Are You Living Like a Champion?

What if you lived life like you were training for the Olympics? What would you do different? 

That’s the question I asked myself that stopped me in my tracks.

I realized I wasn’t playing full out. Yes, there are days I’m giving everything I have – and I’m leaving it out on the field wherever I am present, but there are many days that I just don’t’ have it. There are days I just don’t give it my best and I fail to FOCUS.

Why?

It’s not because of a lack of intent. I want to play full out. My aspirations are there. The reason why I don’t FINISH is because I can get out of balance.

The balance revelation drew my attention to something called the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Maybe you have heard of them.  Here's a hokie graphic that illustrates them.  (thanks Adobe Stock)

Here are the 8 in no particular order. Each of them have an equal weight of importance and value.

  1. Occupational
  2. Social
  3. Emotional
  4. ...
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The Vision Book You Need To Lead

books leadership Jul 11, 2021

I like to read (or listen) to a good book. Usually, after time has passed, these books become a footnote in my awareness.  I remember them, but I don't reflect on them too much. However, I found one book that I keep coming back too.  It's become more than a footnote.  It's the one book I'm so glad I read, and yet oddly enough it's the one book I wish was never written. 

"Why?," you wonder.  Because it flipped over my apple cart.  It made me rethink everything when it comes to business and leadership. You can say it's disrupted my world. 

The good news is that it disrupted it for the better.  The bad news, it's still disrupting. :-).  

The Book

"What's the book?", you ask.

It's The Vision Driven Leader, by Michael Hyatt.  A book that has quickly become one of my top 12 favorite books of all time. *

If I were to write a book on vision, I would have written this one too. :-) ...

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Home of the Brave

perseverance stories values Jul 04, 2021

According to my math, our country is only 8 generations old.  We're still pretty young. As such, we should never forget the importance of the 4th. It was a significant moment, a bold step of our past that will continually shape our future.  We are still the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

But July 4th isn't just a day of independence -- it is also a day of declared dependence too.   

  • We need each other.
  • We need family. 
  • We need connections.
  • We need a sense of belonging.
  • We need God and country.

Let today be a day of declared dependence.  Let's come together connected by our common values: 

  • Diversity
  • Duty
  • Encouragement
  • Honesty
  • Life / Liberty
  • Pursuit of Happiness
  • Trust

These values  bring us together. They unite us and shape our vision. 

Diversity

It's often a misunderstood word today. But "diversity" is something that has always been us. It's why the USA is called...

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2021 Summer Reads - Some Fun in the Sun!

books growth Jun 24, 2021

The kick-off book for our summer reads is "Greenlights" by the illustrious Matthew McConaughey.  Yes. You guessed right, the famous Action, Adventure, RomCom actor from the big screen. He shares the art of "catching greenlights". 

What's a greenlight?

It's a metaphor that indicates "permission to go."  There are greenlights all around us, but we're often blind to see them. When we don't see them -- we hold back, and fail to be who we are meant to be.

Reflecting from his own incredible journey, McConaughey offers us a fresh and fun perspective on seeing greenlights and creating them.  It's suited for any entrepreneur, adventurer, or dreamer -- or just a person who just wants to be entertained.  (I recommend the audible book for full entertainment value).

The second book we have queued up is "W1NNING: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness" by Tim Grover.  This is a gem of a book....

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I Love It When My Kids Call Me Dad

Today is father’s day. But my kids never call me father. They call me Dad. I love that word. Being a dad is one of the greatest joys of my life. It’s also one of the toughest roles of leadership I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Becoming a Dad

I remember the birth of my first son. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cried with joy, as my wife and I gazed at our child for the very first time. But let’s give credit where credit is due. I couldn’t be a dad without my wife (and God's blessings). What she endured for 9 months, and then 8+ hours of labor is unfathomable. I couldn’t do it. I remember her experiencing contractions, and me writing down the times and duration. Helping her breath. She was the bravest thing in the world… and still is!

When we knew it was time for the birth, we jumped in the car in the middle of the night in the pouring rain and headed to the hospital. I had packed a video camera to...

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Good Can Still Come

faith hope perseverance Jun 12, 2021

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

– Romans 8:28

Here’s what I’ve learned. The disappointments, the failures, the struggles, the challenges. They are all God needs to make an impact.  The irony is that God works best with broken things. The best stories in life come through trials and tribulations.  Perseverance is intended for the underdog. Don’t give up!

In life, the challenge is often the opportunity. When it seems that things are messed up, or have not gone right, don’t dismiss what God can do. Like lemon turned to lemonade. He turns messes into messages.  All that He asks is for you to be open to the potential and for Him to use your story.

Here's are three questions to get you back on your feet: 

What's My Story?

Take time to think of how God has redeemed a situation in your life.  What are the trials and tribulations that He can...

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Becoming a GOAT Leader

leadership perseverance May 30, 2021

Greatest of All Time

That's an accolade that doesn't suffer from humility, does it?   How can one be humble and a GOAT?  Is it even possible?

If you look back at the GOATs of life, there are a few who you could lay claim as both GOAT and humble:  Think Mother Theresa, Jesus ,Chadwick Boseman, and Fred Rogers to name a few.  The question is, how did they pull it off?

It seems it can only pulled off if we are willing to go through the full progression -- all the phases - of leadership.

As I started thinking about those phases, and an interesting analogy came to life:

Mountain Top Experiences

If you hadn't noticed, mountain top experiences never start on top of the mountain. It starts in the valley -- from a state of humility. There is a whole progression of phases that happen that makes those experiences the Great of All Time.  If those phases are what create GOAT experiences, then maybe there are some parallel aspects to what...

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