Tag: results

Why the Middle of the Road is for Road Kill

The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California is consistently ranked among the top five restaurants in the country.  Celebrity chef Thomas Keller spares no expense in making the food and dining experience pure perfection.  Even with a price tag of up to $500 per person, this premier bistro is sold out every single night. The […]

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Getting Uncomfortable

Human comfort has become a booming industry and a way of life in modern society. The push of a button or the pop of a pill can pacify nearly any discomfort. Our cars are ergonomically designed, often including a duplicate set of controls on the steering wheel to avoid the agony of leaning over 14 […]

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Git ‘er Done

Paul Glomski, the CEO and co-founder of mobile app developer Detroit Labs, is a scrappy leader.  He is laser-focused on driving meaningful results in his business and realizing the company’s full potential.  As a result, he’s unwilling to get tripped up when things don’t go according to plan. The entrepreneurial process is often mischaracterized as […]

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Find Your Superpower and Use It

Aquaman has the unique ability to communicate with sea creatures. Comic book heroine Invisible Woman can — you guessed it — become invisible at will. In fact, each of the superheroes we grew up with and admired have one or more superpowers. Turns out that most highly successful people — both mythical and real — […]

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Time: Your Most Expensive Expense

Business people waste a lot of time worrying about spending money.  By conserving cash, the thinking goes, they are protecting their most precious and scarce resource.  As an investor in startup companies, I see this pattern play out again and again: leaders that invest too slowly in growth, believing this is a safe approach. In […]

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The Power of Smoke Detectors

David Lee Roth, the legendary lead singer for the band Van Halen, was the poster child for 1980s excess. He was chastised in the news media for demanding only non-brown M&M’s in his dressing room, the obvious sign of a narcissistic diva. While his ego may have been the size of the stadiums he rocked, […]

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Unleashing Chain Reactions

Scientists have long been enamored with the concept of chain reactions. A chemical change, for example, triggers a change in a nearby chemical, which in turn triggers change in other surrounding forms. In the case of a drop of water radiating out to impact an entire still lake, a single action can create far-reaching impact. […]

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A Higher Standard

The football coaches at Utah’s Union High School decided to make a bold decision.  With reports of poor grades, cyber-bullying, and attitude problems, the coaches were unwilling to support the declining behavior of their team.  So right before the big homecoming game, they decided to suspend the entire group.  Every team member was instructed to […]

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Life Can Be Like Playing Without Sheet Music

Classical musicians possess a number of enviable qualities such as discipline, precision and attention to detail. In a symphonic setting, they play the notes from the musical score with incredible accuracy, commanding their instruments to play precisely what the composer has documented. Intricate details such as attack and release, volume, tempo and vibrato are carefully […]

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Leveraging Mentors

Learning from others who have succeeded before you can be a difference-maker in your own pursuits. In fact, strong advisers have played a key role in the achievement of nearly every celebrated leader. The challenge is, how do you connect with the best mentors and persuade them to contribute to your success? I’ve observed that […]

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A New da Vinci Code

I never had a dog growing up. In fact, for years I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. Pets seemed messy, expensive and illogical. And then, without planning or consideration, I came across a puppy that was irresistible. So in mid-July, a new member was added to the family — da Vinci. […]

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A Simple Formula for Achievement

There appears to be a massive achievement gap in our country.  The large number of people that have a big goal to accomplish dwarfs the small number of those that actually achieve it.  Working with many startups and high-performance leaders over the years, I’ve observed a pattern that is followed by those who rack up […]

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The First (and Hardest) Step

Most people who are struggling and want to improve their situation aren’t lacking vision.   While they may not know the exact path forward, they have clarity on what a better career, family, or community might look like.  It’s easy to imagine a job where you get to contribute your best work, have the respect of […]

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Have a Plan Z, Your Dream Plan – Not Just a Plan B

Plan Z … Chances are your parents instructed you to always have Plan B. We all are familiar with this concept — a fallback plan in the event things go very wrong. The notion is so widespread that it’s even the name of a morning-after contraceptive pill. Most people first focus on their careers, which […]

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Take Responsibility For Setbacks, Not Just Successes

The dog ate my homework … Jan was furious she didn’t get that big promotion. “I deserved it,” she complained. “The boss is a jerk. My company doesn’t get it. The person who got the promotion instead of me is a suck-up.” When life doesn’t go the way we hope, it’s easy to attribute blame […]

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Unpack Your Challenges to Solve Them

“I could never do that.” “This is impossible.” “There are a million obstacles.” When facing a serious challenge, it’s easy to amplify the hurdles in our minds, which in turn makes the problems seem insurmountable. Our fearful inner voice has a way of exaggerating the barriers and then talking us out of even trying. The […]

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Walk The Walk

“Our greatest strength is our people,” the CEO boldly proclaims at an all-company meeting. “We treat each other with respect and our culture enables creativity.” These encouraging sound bites are rendered impotent, however, when that same CEO barks orders and scolds her staff in that afternoon’s leadership meeting. Most leaders know what to say. They […]

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When Your Fear Holds Back Your Creative Thinking

“I have an idea” vs. “I have a concern.” In meetings, what do you suppose the ratio is at your company between these two phrases? What do you think the ratio was five years ago? What is the ratio at Google? Facebook? Quicken Loans? It really got me thinking about where we are applying our […]

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Contagious

The sneeze of your seatmate on an airplane sends a bolt of disgust through your mind. “Now I’m going to catch what this bozo has!”  From popping endless vitamins to dousing with hand sanitizer, we go to great lengths to protect against germs.  We don’t want to catch what someone else has. Or do we? […]

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The Math of Worrying

Think about how much time you spend fretting about what might happen.  Those deer-in-the-headlights moments are not only agonizing but they are profoundly unproductive.  With each minute you spend in a state of worry, you’re robbing yourself of the opportunity to contribute to your own success and the world around you. The funny thing about […]

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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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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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