Tag: disciplined dreaming

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 […]

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We Want Our Twinkies Back

This past week, a tragedy occurred.  The entitlement and stubbornness of union leaders forced Hostess (makers of Twinkies, HoHos, Wonder Bread, etc.) to cease operations forever.  The result: 18,500 jobs lost, $2.5 billion of revenue squandered, and millions of sweet-tooth consumers left with a craving. Pretty much the same thing happened to this year’s NHL […]

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Waste On The Shop Room Floor

A friend of mine owns a high-end Italian restaurant, which has delighted customers for decades.  He’s an astute business owner, and manages the food quality, staff, and inventory with exquisite precision.  Now imagine what would happen to his profits if the kitchen crew just randomly dropped 25% of their high-quality ingredients on the floor.  Wasted […]

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The Streetfighter

Having built four startups from scratch and now investing in them full-time, you could say I’m in the business of “entrepreneurship.”  But I don’t think that’s the right term anymore.  At all. The word entrepreneur was borrowed from the French language and implies an aristocratic polish.  It conjures up images of backroom deals with white men in three-piece […]

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The Future of Waiting

A few weeks back, I wrote a snarky blog post about the horrible experience most of us have while visiting the doctor: long delays, rude staff, apathetic physicians, dingy waiting rooms.  You’ve been there. Funny enough, in response to my blog the head of patient care from a large hospital system contacted me to sit down and […]

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How to Botch Your Career

Your parents probably gave you loving advice on how to land a job and work your way up the ladder.  Unfortunately, that advice is likely dead wrong.  While their intentions were probably noble, the world has changed so dramatically in the last few years that the golden nuggets of the past have become the anchors […]

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Run Toward Your Fear

One day, a wise Zen master went to visit a remote mountain temple accompanied by a monk.  As the two approached the temple a pair of ferocious dogs began running toward them.  The dogs were barking and angry, sending fear down the spines of both men. The monk, who was still in training, saw the […]

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Leadership Lessons from the Honey Badger

Don’t let the sugary name fool you.  Recognized as the most fearless animal by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Honey Badger is a strange yet powerful creature.  This determined animal may not be a household name, but even the King Cobra fears and respects this beast. Check out this hilarious and informational video […]

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Empty Leadership

This last week, TechCrunch reported that a startup named “Color,” which had raised $41 million in venture capital, was in big, big trouble.  So what does the valiant CEO do?  Take 3-4 months off for a sabbatical, naturally. Having fought through countless battles building four startups and now backing entrepreneurs as a profession, this absolutely infuriated me.  A glaring […]

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Veggie Omelet with Ham

At breakfast with my 13-year-old daughter Chloe and her friend, a baffling question was posed.  Chloe’s friend asked, “Can I get the vegetarian omelet…but with ham?” “Absolutely!  Why not?” I grinned.  And then it hit me.  She’s at an age when her imagination still hasn’t been beaten out of her; where she can still balk traditional thinking and embrace […]

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Clarity Through Camouflage

Last week I had the profound honor of speaking to the 414th battalion of the United States Army.  I looked into the eyes of these brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our country.  Their sacrifice enables us to start companies, create art, and build communities. In the room where I […]

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Lead Without Title

At a recent visit to a NYC jazz club, I witnessed a near disaster averted only by another’s selfless act.  The vocalist (the leader in this instance), instructed the musicians to begin a classic jazz standard in a specific key.  Once she began to sing, however, the highly trained musicians cringed with fearful anticipation.  The […]

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Be The Cannibal

In the business world there is an often-muttered fear of “cannibalization.”  This silly phrase is used when one person at a company comes up with a new idea or figures out how to better serve a customer.  Immediately, the fear-mongering bureaucrats object, stating that this new solution might “cannibalize” their business. Good! We should hope […]

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Running Behind

I experienced the joy of a doctor’s waiting room this past week.  After waiting 29 minutes, I asked the staff behind the glass what was up.  With striking disdain and apathy, a grim woman told me, “The doctor is running behind.”  No kidding. At 43 minutes into the adventure, I asked again.  With ice in […]

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The Vision Trap

“I have an incredible, game-changing, transformational vision for the future,” the eager entrepreneur tells me as part of her pitch. Naturally, my next question is, “Specifically how do you plan to execute?”  As I dive three or four questions deeper – asking about cost per acquisition assumptions, which team members should be added and when, […]

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On Second Thought…

A student was in physics class taking a test. The final question on the test was, “Given a barometer, how would you measure the height of this building?” Now, the go-to answer for this is to go to the first floor, note the pressure, go to the roof, note the pressure, and run it through […]

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Reaching Your Next Level: 5 Weekly Habits

Getting to the next level means something different to each of us. For you, it could be launching a startup, landing a big promotion, starting a band, being a better parent, or making a bigger impact in your community. The thing all of us have in common – even the best of the best – […]

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Chipping Away

MYTH: Achievement occurs through some gigantic epiphany or an all-at-once breakthrough. FACT: Most things worth accomplishing involve a persistent stream of small advances that, over time, lead to something transformational. Michelangelo once said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside.  It is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”  His vision was brought to life […]

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What’s the Wait?

So many people wait around endlessly for the perfect opportunity to emerge.  And then, when that big opportunity comes a knockin’, few are prepared to seize it. There are many things outside of our control, but there’s never a shortage of actions we can take right now so that we’ll be ready to grasp opportunity […]

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Your Band Doesn’t Need Five Drummers

Imagine if the Beatles had no Paul, John, or Ringo… just four Georges.  Their incredible contribution to the world – their timeless music – would be merely overlapping guitar solos and too many strumming chords.  Blah! A great band comes to life through the unique contribution of varying instruments, talents, and perspectives.  So why then […]

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What’s Your Calling?

As the waiter told us about the specials this past Saturday night, he didn’t simply drone on with emotionless facts. Instead, with the animation and passion of an opera singer, he told us about the Kobe beef “experience” and the incredible “intensity” of their dry aged steaks.  This guy was doing much more than his job.  […]

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The Myth of Life Balance

In addition to reaching the top of our game in our careers, we feel crushing pressure to excel at nearly every other area of life.  The list of “shoulds” puts us in a pressure cooker that could turn coal into diamonds.  We should be have a sculpted body, be a perfect parent, be well-read and well-travelled, be […]

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Reaching Conclusions

As events unfold, it’s human nature to interpret situations quickly and reach immediate conclusions.  We tend to judge swiftly and prefer the binary view of good/bad, happy/sad, or win/lose. In today’s complex world, reaching early conclusions can cloud your judgment and lure you away from achievement.  One of my favorite Zen parables illustrates this beautifully: […]

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Stop the Beatings

I’m short.  And Impatient.  I stink at details, I am a horrible dancer, and I am a lousy athlete.  Like you, I have dozens of imperfections and spend a lot of time focusing on them.  How completely unproductive. Worse yet, I spend far too much time focused on the shortcomings of others.  The driver in front […]

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Your JumboTron

As basketball fans enter their favorite time of year, all eyes will be on the ever-present JumboTron.  In addition to all the flash, this giant scoreboard provides critical information to players, coaches, and fans.  In its larger-than-life format, everyone has up-to-the-nanosecond knowledge of the score, time remaining, period, and many other vital stats. Now, imagine […]

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Dance Like No One’s Watching

There exist few things in life as awkward as the self-conscious dancer.  Prancing about without rhythm or timing, their embarrassing moment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  There’s one at every wedding, every party, and every dance club. This hapless soul has a counterpart: the person who doesn’t give a shit.  He lets it all hang out, irrespective […]

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Getting Unstumped

In our personal and professional lives, we’re often faced with a problem that has no apparent solution.  We reach an impasse where logical, conventional thinking simply isn’t cutting it.  In these frustrating cases, we have a choice: We can resign ourselves to the insurmountable nature of the challenge, or we can get creative. Doug Dietz […]

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Swiss Army Knife Innovation

That ubiquitous red contraption contains just about every feature you can imagine.  A nail clipper, ice pick, and Philips screwdriver.  None of the individual tools are especially remarkable – you could buy a corkscrew that is higher quality and more beautifully designed – but all of these mediocre features are crammed into one product. Is […]

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The Hard Part

Whether you are running a startup, building a relationship, or rebuilding a community, there’s an easy part and a hard part.  One requires less work in the moment while the other unlocks the potential of your efforts and concurrently is the playground for personal growth. Those comfortable things that require little thinking, risk, or effort exist to test […]

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Leadership Lessons from Floyd Mayweather

Love him or hate him, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. is the champ.  With a perfect record of 43-0, he’s the highest paid athlete in the world having earned over $200 million in the ring.  In Saturday’s pay-per-view bout, he made a cool $32 million; putting his total purse from the last three fights over $100 […]

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