Tag: focus

How One Musician Used a Quarantine to Become a Legend

When first hitting the scene, the now legendary Charlie “Yardbird” Parker was described as mediocre at best. His music seemed undisciplined, out of control, and fraught with mistakes. Like most musicians, Parker practiced regularly but was struggling to achieve major improvements in his playing. How, then, did Charlie Parker become the master that we celebrate today? The change […]

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The Dude-Bro Conundrum

I have the good fortune of delivering keynote speeches at over 100 corporate events per year. They range from a few hundred to many thousands of people in attendance, often with elaborate staging, lights, and production value. Hours before taking the stage, an AV tech check occurs where all audio and visual elements are plugged […]

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Five Big Questions to Gain Clarity, Sharpen Focus, and Drive Results

In our increasingly busy and scattered lives, getting clear and focused can feel like an insurmountable task. We live in an era of distractions vying for our attention the way high-strung paparazzi try to capture that perfect celebrity photo. Knowing that most of us can’t take a three-month sabbatical to hang with monks in mountainous […]

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When We Stop Doing The Things That Made Us Great

Last weekend, I went to one of Detroit’s most celebrated Italian restaurants. I’d been years ago and anticipated the same exquisite experience. Known for their impeccable service and inspired dishes, I was expecting them to nail every detail like they had in the past. Yet the very things that made them successful had obviously been […]

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Well-Rounded is Over-Rated

“And the award goes to… the most well-rounded person!” Said no one, ever. Achieving modestly in many areas may be what our middle school principal suggested, but it’s no way to become a history-maker. We’re led to believe we should be ‘pretty good’ at a lot of different things, but the truth is that the […]

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Inch-Wide, Mile-Deep

If you’re looking to buy a new knife, the choices seem limitless. A 21-function Swiss Army knife will run you around $39 bucks, less than $2 per blade. The all-purpose tool is versatile, but none of the functions represent the highest in quality. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Ao-Ko Mizu Honyaki […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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What Your Kids Can Teach You About Leadership That Your Boss Cannot

When we think of leadership, we often gravitate toward lessons learned from our bosses (past and present). Generally this practice makes a tremendous amount of sense — longstanding success and a pattern of winning matter. However, by narrowing our focus to only learn from the tenured few, we miss out on many other lessons to […]

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Feed The Right Wolf

There’s a powerful American Indian fable that has never been more relevant: One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, […]

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7 Deadly Sins of Leadership

With mounting pressure and competitive tension, you may be seduced into sloppy leadership patterns that can ultimately hurt your business.  In these challenging times, thoughtful leadership has never been more important and it is your responsibility to continuously refine your game.  Here are seven common traps to avoid: 1. Violate trust. This goes beyond straightforward lying, […]

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