Tag: disciplined dreaming

The Past Is Dead

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 our […]

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Fire Department Urgency

A few hours after I posted this blog, 19 firefighters tragically lost their lives in Arizona, giving everything they had to save ours.  Our hearts and prayers go out to their families, and courageous firefighters everywhere. The alarm rings at the fire station, and the brave men and women respond with instinctive urgency.  In a […]

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Choose How You Respond

We all get provoked.  An angry associate; a cranky customer; a snarling spouse.  In these cases, the primitive part of our brain designed to protect us in the wild kicks in and our autonomic response is to recklessly fire back.  We lash out, hit below the belt, and respond with uncontrollable emotion. That’s where the […]

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6 Lessons I Learned From My Father

Robert Linkner was one strange dude.  He forged his own path as he journeyed from hippie to psychologist to retailer to financial planner.  He had a hilarious, dark sense of humor, was an incredible chef and had a series of oddball hobbies.  He took pride that his tastes in music, travel, food, and life were […]

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Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Last week I heard from three different people on three separate occasions about how they had a great idea but missed the boat. “I had the idea for Groupon five years ago”, a friend claimed. “I coulda been the one to land that big promotion, but I never shared my ideas with the boss”, another […]

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Sherpa Leadership: 5 Powerful Lessons

If you set out to climb Mt. Everest, one of the first things you do is hire a Sherpa.  Originally an ethnic group in Nepal, today a “Sherpa” is the common term used for the leader of a mountain climbing expedition.  In business terms, you are hiring a CEO to help you get to the […]

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The Creative Twist

Too often, leaders accept defeat when challenges seem insurmountable.  They concede quickly, bowing to the pressures of the day.  If others in similar situations can’t overcome certain obstacles, it is easy to rationalize that nothing can be done. While some shrug their shoulders and accept the unacceptable, others are busy getting creative and generating meaningful […]

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More, Less, Stop

In our frenetically busy lives, we all smack up against the same obstacle: time.  The 24-hour clock is a brutal and unforgiving foe.  It’s easy to fill the hours, feeling busy and anxious, only to look back at a stunningly puny amount of productivity. With unlimited access to information and frictionless global markets for goods, […]

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You’re Always Interviewing

Think how polished you were on the day you interviewed for your job.  Or applied for a small business loan.  Or went on the first date with your spouse.  You took the time to look and act sharp.  You were engaged, thoughtful, and energetic.  You were a great listener.  You were empathetic.  You cared. Fast […]

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Never Embolden the Naysayers

At some point on the journey, every great contributor to the world was met with resistance.  The ones who made the biggest impact in business, politics, invention, education, and even humanitarian and civil rights were attacked as much as they were celebrated. Innovation is routinely met by fear from those that the advances disrupt.  Bold […]

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The Five New Faces of Leadership

In the context of seemingly endless challenges, many of us have paused to reassess what it really takes to win.  What attributes will we need to overcome the strong headwinds of this hyper-competitive business storm? We certainly know that the models of the past won’t cut it. To seize our full potential  – in both […]

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Why Not Choose Fabulous?

When bugging my fiancée, Tia, about what she wanted to do next weekend, she jokingly jabbed back with a line that struck me: “I just want to be fabulous,” she beamed. Although her response was meant to be playful and not taken seriously, her simple words could not have rung more true.  Dictionary definitions for ‘fabulous’ profess a […]

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User Friendly Leadership

A website is considered user-friendly if it is simple and painless to explore.  Ergonomics engineers study human-machine interactions to ensure that cars and other manufactured products provide an enjoyable experience in addition to their core function.  Consumer Reports ranks dishwashers and flat screen TV’s alike based on their level of user-friendliness. Twenty years ago, this concept was […]

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Effort 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 baited 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 […]

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6 Dream-Killing Excuses to Avoid

Children overflow with plans for bold adventure, inspiring careers, and triumphant victories.  I’ve never met a seven-year-old who aspires to middle management or wishes they grew up to become a paper-pushing bureaucrat. As we mature, we dilute the potency of our dreams, learning to settle instead of lead.  We adults too often let fear impede […]

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Giver or Taker? Hero or Villain?

Gandhi was a giver.  So were Mother Theresa, Dr. King, and Thomas Edison.  They profoundly contributed to the world, leaving the place better than they found it.  Because they gave so much, they are revered and hold a special place in history. Bernie Madoff is a different story.  Same is true for the Enron guys, […]

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Get Lucky

Sure, we’d all love to win the lotto, possess prodigy-level talent, or be born into royalty.  The luck of the draw can seem painfully unfair as some are stricken with disease while others grab an oversized helping of fame and fortune, and then come back for seconds. Without question, there are many factors that we […]

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20 Questions

In our professional and personal pursuits, we’re often so focused on finding the answers that we fail to ask the right questions.  A sense of curiosity and wonder will allow you to zero in on your calling and seize your full potential. Remember the childhood game of 20 Questions?  Here are 20 that we should […]

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One Small Step

I recently sat down with a friend who was down on his luck.  His situation, which had been worsening for years, felt hopeless.   Like so many Americans, he was in a state of despair and just couldn’t get unstuck. When I asked him what he was doing to improve things, he rattled off a long […]

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Empathy is the New Killer App

It stings. Another soul-crushing reprimand from a boss, parent, or spouse. That nauseous feeling when you feel unappreciated, misunderstood, and blamed. We’ve all been there, and in that knee-wobbling state we are far from playing at our best. On the other hand, remember how you felt after receiving a big boost of positive reinforcement. A […]

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Be the Change You Want

How many times have you complained about your boss?  Bemoaned the circumstances that are holding you back?  Attributed your setbacks to others or external forces? The problem with finger-pointing is that it’s completely unproductive.  We all have a finite amount of time, energy, and resources at our disposal.  Every ounce that you deploy blaming others […]

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5 Ways to Get Back Your Mojo

Detroit has seen its share of setbacks, but to me there’s one loss that’s most troubling.  It’s one thing to lose a sports rivalry or even endure a massive sea change in manufacturing that resulted in a throbbing economic hangover.  But worse, many Detroiters have lost their spirit and confidence.  That very sense of purpose […]

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Stop Apologizing

Steve Jobs was flawed.   Serena Williams has soft spots in her tennis game.  Even Brad Pitt has bad hair days.  No matter how successful, powerful, or good-looking, all of the people we admire most have at least some deficiencies. If we can accept that industry titans and Olympic athletes have flaws, why is it so […]

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The Best Resume Ever

Unless you are a trust-fund socialite, you’ve somehow been affected by the challenging economy.  It’s likely that you or someone you know have hit a major career pothole.  The European economy is as turbulent as an amusement park ride and the US Dollar is softer than a newborn’s blanket. So how in the world can […]

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Saying NO is EASY

A colleague approaches you with a radical new idea.  What are the odds you will imagine the possibilities, build on her concept, and embrace this new vision?  18%?  3%? 0%?  Grumpy professors, cynical parents, and finger-wagging bureaucrats have lured many of us into building championship NO instincts.  Much easier and less risky to protect the […]

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On Tooth Decay

As kids, our well-intentioned dentist forcefully instructed us to “Brush and floss twice each day.”  Sound advice that we largely ignored.  After we blew off that first evening chore and realized the world didn’t end, we became more ambivalent on following the regimen with precision. We’d blow off a brush here and a floss there.  […]

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4 Big Reasons Why Your Resolutions Will Fail

Tis the season of grandiose promises for the New Year. Naturally, January is also the pre-cursor to six weeks later when all those goals fizzle away and most of us end up back in our same old habits.  Next year you’ll set similar resolutions that will be anything but resolute.  Rinse and repeat. We all want […]

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What We Can Learn From Tragedy

Like so many around the word, the unspeakable events in Newtown, CT literally brought tears to my eyes.  Even as I write this, my gut is in a knot and my head is pounding like a snare drum.   How could something so unimaginable occur?  What kind of monster could commit such a heinous act?  And […]

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27 Lessons from 27 Years

Dan Gilbert is a busy guy.  He’s the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, the largest online mortgage company in the world.  He’s the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, owner of two casinos in Ohio, and primary investor in over 60 other companies.  He is leading a massive charge to revitalize Detroit, and has […]

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The Beauty of Forest Fires

There are few things in nature as powerful as the white-hot intensity of a forest fire.  Once they gain momentum, these vicious fires can consume hundreds of square miles, leaving behind a trail of destruction and scorched earth. Not exactly the symbol of beauty.  I doubt Van Gogh or Monet painted landscapes of charred land.  […]

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