FRESH IDEAS, HAND-CRAFTED WEEKLY

Inspiring thoughts on innovation, growth, leadership, creativity, transformation, and disruption. Quick reads, powerful results.

Become a ‘First Responder’ to Blaze Past Your Competitors

In emergency situations, the brave men and woman who race to the scene save lives. They respond with burning urgency, doing everything possible to get to the job fast. Realizing that every second counts, they employ systems, processes, and training regimens to reach their duties with no delays or distractions.    Don’t you wish your […]

Read More

Stand Up and Stand Out

A recent employer asked job seekers the following riddle: “You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. You pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus: 1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die. 2. An old friend who once […]

Read More

Forget Resolutions. Try This Instead

Each January, millions of people resolve to a slew of lofty commitments. We resolve to save more, eat less, improve our relationships, and hit the gym. The idealistic goals span from fitness to career; family to community. Yet the vast majority of these well-intentioned targets are abandoned early, only to be revived for a short […]

Read More

31 Tips to Reach Your Next Level of Greatness

We’re all trying to reach that next level of greatness – in our careers, families, and communities. But in today’s hyper-competitive world, achievement isn’t such an easy thing. In an environment of dizzying speed and exponential complexity, how can we take our game to world-class? How can we reach our full potential? Having spent 27 […]

Read More

The Ferris Bueller Trap

As individuals in the developed world, we each make around 30,000 decisions per day, according to fellow author and keynote speaker Michael Veltri. Ranging from small choices such as which hand to use when grabbing a napkin, to much larger ones such as how to draft a proposal to win that big new client, the choices […]

Read More

The Quality Shared by Detroit, Finland, and the Best Entrepreneurs

In the first week of 1940, the Finnish Army remarkably advanced into Russia and seized territory while at the same time withstanding brutal attacks by their foe on other fronts. Extraordinary considering they were out-manned by nearly 20 to 1, had far less sophisticated equipment, and enjoyed only a fraction of the training. Their ability […]

Read More

A 4-Step Formula to Create Freakishly Loyal Customers

We each have that one company we’ve hired that is absolutely fantastic. It may be your landscaper, favorite restaurant, retail store, airline, parts supplier or marketing firm. Think about that company for a minute, and you’ll start to smile. “They just get it,” you say to yourself. You’d never consider switching to a different provider, […]

Read More

My Great Hotel Caper

Arriving at my hotel in Bowling Green, Kentucky after 1:00am, I couldn’t wait to get some rest. I’d been in six cities in the last three days, was running on way too little sleep, and had a 6:30am meeting the next day. So imagine my surprise when I entered the small, boutique hotel and found the front desk […]

Read More

Two Ways to Kill Your Company

Heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of death for people living in the United States. Together, these killers account for almost 50% of all lost lives each year. Researchers, physicians, and scientists toil away at these two deadly foes, working diligently to find a cure and reduce their fatal impact.   Yet […]

Read More

Boost Your R-Factor

Sitting down with a group of close friends, you share the ups and downs of life. You discuss the horrible day you had last week, and the absolutely terrific meal you enjoyed last night. As the chat ensues, the things that are discussed are those that merit conversation. Those things that are remarkable… that have the […]

Read More

The 4 Must-Have Ingredients of a Winning Speech

Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a generation with his powerful “I have a dream” address. JFK, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton reached the highest office in the land, in part by delivering moving speeches. TED talks have vaulted unknowns to celebrity status based on their ability to deliver compelling and inspiring messages. Simply put, great […]

Read More

The Chief Startup Officer

Organizations are generally led by a predictable C-suite of traditional roles with traditional responsibilities. The Chief Executive Officer reads reports from her Chief Financial Officer about the work of the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Sales Officer. The Chief Technology Officer and Chief Human Resource Officer team up with the Chief Marketing Officer to deliver […]

Read More

What Rambo Can Teach Us About Achievement

The four Rambo films, released between 1982 and 2008, famously depicted John Rambo, a member of the US Army Special Forces known as the Green Beret. Throughout the films, Rambo singlehandedly outwits his opponents, adapts to changing circumstances and achieves at a super-human level.   While the movies glamorized his brute strength, the real-world Green […]

Read More

What’s Your Training Schedule?

There’s an old saying in the boxing world: “Champions don’t become champions in the ring; they are merely recognized there.” The implication, of course, is that the hard work of winning happens during an intense training regimen. The blood, sweat, and tears on the gym floor; the relentless planning for every possible scenario; the sacrifice […]

Read More

The Museum of Failure

In the Swedish City of Helsingborg, failures exist at an alarming rate. Just across the river from Denmark, the community isn’t actually screwing up but rather celebrating failures from around the globe. History was made when The Museum of Failures opened to the public in June. Colossal innovation failures -from the Apple Newton to the […]

Read More

A Life-Changing 2.97%

We all know we should exercise. And read more. And eat less. We should be more kind, should be more punctual, should give more back to our community. We should do dozens of things, but who has the energy? In fact, there are so many shoulds in life that we’re overwhelmed and frustrated trying to tackle them all. In my case, no matter how hard I try, I’m often left with feelings […]

Read More

Here’s What Happened When a Brilliant Entrepreneur Got Ticked

Chris Riley was ticked. Caught in a speed trap near his office in Coral Gables, Florida, the officer flagged Chris down like he was a hardened criminal. Yes, he was speeding…but not by much. Since he forgot his proof of insurance, the total cost for his minor infraction was over 500 bucks. Seething, his only […]

Read More

Four Powerful Questions

It’s often said that the most successful people focus more on the questions they ask than the statements they make. Asking the right questions can unlock volumes of knowledge, wisdom, and insight. Yet we’re often so busy telling, that we miss out on the power of asking. While this applies to communication with other people, I’m referring […]

Read More

How One Pizza Delivery Inspired the Nation

Benjamin Houston was having an especially rough night. As a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver in Flint, Michigan, it had been a tough road. The fact that Benjamin is deaf made his situation even more challenging. It all came to a head on July 15, when his car broke down on a delivery run near midnight in a […]

Read More

Planting Seeds

How do you know if you’ve accomplished something today? What should you measure if you didn’t deliver something measurable? In an era of dashboards, metrics, and key performance indicators, should every ounce of your energy be directed at hitting near term deliverables? In studying the behavior of the most successful people, I’ve noticed that they […]

Read More

7 Powerful Lessons from Ancient Japanese Wisdom

As we search for new approaches to our biggest challenges, we often seek the latest-and-greatest tactics from the hottest, cutting-edge research on performance. It feels like there’s a brand new management approach, tech tool, or leadership style on a daily basis. Yet sometimes we can progress even more by learning from those before us.    […]

Read More

Efforts vs. Results

Imagine that a loved one is on the operating table in a life-or-death situation. You and your family gather in the waiting room waiting with bated breath for the doctor to communicate the results of this life-saving procedure. When the surgeon finally arrives, you don’t want to hear about how hard she and her team labored. You don’t want to hear that she “gave […]

Read More

The Most Powerful Phrase to Boost your Company and Career

In our world of quick fixes and success hacks, there’s an old school approach that wins consistently. Think of it as the most potent high-octane formula to fuel your relationships, career trajectory, client satisfaction, investor relations, and company’s growth. A simple phrase that’s easy to say, but may require a mindset shift to fully embrace: […]

Read More

What Kenyan Distance Runners Can Teach Us About Achievement

Why does one small tribe in Kenya – the Kalenjin – produce a statistically impossible percentage of the world’s fastest distance runners? According to David Epstein, Senior Editor at Sports Illustrated, “There are 17 American men in history who have run under 2:10 in the marathon, while there were 32 Kalenjin who did it in October of 2011.” This one […]

Read More

Death by 1,000 Paper Cuts

We’ve all done it.  As you open an envelope or turn the pages of a magazine, the paper’s edge slices into your finger, causing you to wince with pain.  While not requiring emergency medical care, a nasty paper cut stings more than a trip to the dentist on Tax Day. Yet these small wounds, if […]

Read More

Are You a Firebrand?

We all come across two types of companies (and individuals) in our lives. First there are those that blend in with the others, swim in a sea of sameness, and personify mediocrity. They don’t like to stand out, prefer the safety of the masses, and seek out a profit (or a living). And then there […]

Read More

The 5 Obsessions of Innovators

In our turbulent business climate, we all seek new pathways to growth and success. Yes, winning can be elusive in these times of dizzying speed and ruthless competition. Companies like Tesla, Amazon, Netflix and JetBlue soar while their respective counterparts – Oldsmobile, Borders Books, Blockbuster, and PanAm – are merely tombstones in the business graveyard. […]

Read More

3 Hacks to Boost Client Loyalty and Growth

In these highly competitive times, it’s become increasingly difficult to hold onto customers. Retention is tough, and client growth is even harder with fickle clients and fleeting loyalty. It turns out, building deep, loyal, profitable client relationships isn’t as complex as the DaVinci code. In fact, these three simple hacks can boost your client relationships […]

Read More

Two Danger Traps to Avoid When Growing Your Business

Whether you run a 2-person graphic design shop or a 200,000 global manufacturing conglomerate, you’re likely craving growth. We all do. Expansion fuels profits, serves customers, drives share price, and impacts the world. Through building five companies of my own and helping at least 100 others scale, I’ve seen two repeating growth traps that have […]

Read More

Don’t Stumble Over Something Behind You

We all face incredible challenges in our lives. Difficult people. Ruthless competition. Time constraints. But so many of us succumb to an imaginary and impotent demon that strangles our potential and restricts our progress. This fictitious monster is called simply … the past. While the past can be a great teacher, it can also shackle […]

Read More