Mistake

It's Not Too Late To Turn Things Around.

One of my clients had a grand opening this weekend — and I made it a point to be there to help out with the crowds. It's a state-of-the-art fitness complex — the first of it's kind in Oxford — and by the size of the reception, it's going to be a huge success. As a small present, I designed and printed a banner of Greg Plitt with one of his favorite quotes:

"There are two types of pain, the one that breaks you and the one that changes you. In the gym, pain is felt as a result of weakness leaving the body. Physical pain is the glue of transformation and the pain of progress. The more you endure the harder it gets to accept the thought of failure."

What a great quote. I read it every time I'm in his studio and he pushes me past my physical limits (ouch). What happens if we apply this quote to our business/career?

"There are two types of challenges, the ones that break you and the ones that change you."

How often are you really broken down? Of course, we lose our job, we lose major clients, get yelled at by our boss or we might make a terrible decision that cost us lots of money.

But are you really 'broken' — or just powered-down for the time being?

"In business, loss is felt as a result of weakness leaving the body."

Too often, we tend to hang onto loss — we dwell on it — we make it a scar that we feel everyday. It keeps us from taking additional chances and bold decisions. We get gun-shy — we are afraid of making the same mistake again.

Will you REALLY make the same mistake again? Or are you coming up with excuses not to try something new that will take you out of your comfort zone?

"Business/Career loss is the glue of transformation and the pain of progress."

The bedrock of any business/career is TRANSFORMATION. You can't stand still — you have to innovate constantly to stay ahead of the competition. If you don't — you're taken off the main endcap shelf and tossed in the bargain bin.

"The more you endure the harder it gets to accept the thought of failure."

As you know, I regularly listen to 'How I Built This' — an NPR podcast where they interview successful business owners and how they got there. What's the one consistent theme I hear in every interview? FAILURE - LOSS - TRYING AGAIN.

If you grow a thicker skin when exposed to failure — it's easier to take bolder chances. Try it — it's fun.

Ethics - The Only Way To Be A True Leader.

eth-ics (noun) - that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions. Right and Wrong. Good and Bad. And the most important part - the motive and ends of such actions. There are many executives out in the marketplace today that know what they are doing is wrong . . . and bad.

Losing Your Job & Breaking Shovels.

It's a lot like losing your job. The first time it happens, people are pretty shell-shocked. They do a lot of soul searching (why me?), denial, hatred of their company, boss, etc. — you know the drill. Ultimately, when the adrenaline dissipates, they get down to business and look for a new job. The second time someone loses a job (and this happens more often that you realize in this economy), they tend to almost laugh about it, pick themselves up quickly, and go after that next job.

Leadership Blind Spot: Recognizing Your Team.

We all forget to do it. You focus on work, meetings, reports, etc. and ignore the most powerful leadership tool you have in our arsenal - recognition and acknowledgment. When you neglect it, your teams tend to wander and lose focus. When you regularly insert it into your leadership practices, you'll have the best performing and energized team money can buy.

My first mistake in 2009.

I made an incredible blunder the other day. I let the media and other people's perception of our economy get me down. Boy - I got REALLY nervous. Scared that I was losing clients, businesses were shuttering left and right, thousands laid off, dogs and cats falling from the sky -- real apocalyptic thinking. And this is from the guy that has "decided not to participate in this recession"! Have you been there lately? So I immediately sat down and came up with these three tips to learn from my mistake:

  • Don't drink the Kool-Aid. The news is sensationalized and fear sells. Things are rarely as good as they seem and things are rarely as bad as they seem.
  • Negative thinking will not move you forward. Look for the positive, find solutions, and don't dwell on the past or fear the future. Live in the present.
  • Embrace your fear. When people get scared, they get smart and they take action. Re-vision your career -- if things are changing, you change. Don't get caught in 'old-think' -- interact with people and clearly see where the wind is blowing -- then act swiftly.