Step Up And Play Big!

Leadership Newsletters Archive - Earlier Topics

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Leadership Newsletter Archive

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A weekly dose of Chris Ruisi’s leadership articles delivered every Monday morning to your in-box. Check out some of the topics you missed. And be sure not to miss another one…Register today!

September 2016

September 13: Who's Holding You Back? You Know the Answer
Success at anything doesn't happen because you think you can "will it" to happen. The path to success starts with a vision, then a first step, then another and another - this is called persistence - until you achieve your desired goals.

September 6: To Become Exceptional Means You Must Fight Off Distractions
Distractions happen, but do we really have to be bothered by them when we're trying to be and act exceptional? Of course you do! You just need to understand the best way to deal with them.

August 2016

August 29: Becoming Exceptional Requires That You Find Your Full Capabilities
For many of us, failing is sometimes the easiest option. We convince ourselves that it was a bad experience that we should just forget. In reality, from failure we can learn how to do it better.

August 22: Exceptional Means You Know How to Prepare to Do Your Best First
We have all heard people tell us to "do our best." Great advice, but rarely does anyone suggest that you should first "prepare" to do your best, so you actually can do your best! The most successful athletes, business leaders, entertainers and other professionals all practice and prepare, so why shouldn't you? Here are 5 real good starting activities you should undertake...

August 15: Being Exceptional: It's All About "The How" and "The Why"
If you look at why some succeed or others do not, it becomes clear that those who understand "the how" and "the why" of what they and their organizations do have the edge. Once you're clear on the "how and why" adopt - or better yet, "work" - here are 6 changes in your current mindset.

August 8: It's Your Choice to Become Exceptional
People who choose to be exceptional think differently than people who work at being average or (worse yet) mediocre.

August 1: 10 Steps To Help You Become Exceptional
To become exceptional requires your commitment to gain clarity on who you want to be; a commitment to do the required work and the courage to act - things you are capable of doing right now.

July 2016

July 25: Mediocrity or Exceptional: It's Your Choice
When one gets comfortable, there can be a lack of courage to break from the crowd and explore what exists beyond the current limits of their capabilities so as to discover what they can really accomplish.

July 18: Winging It
The ability to successfully respond to challenges (urgent or otherwise) in today's business climate requires you to be both agile and resilient. Some of you mistakenly call this "winging it" and use it as your primary approach to business.

July 11: It Can Be Simple
Nothing is ever really as hard as it first appears to be...

July 5: Playing it Too Safe
Playing it too safe or - doing just enough to "get by" - actually "holds you back" from using your full capabilities.

June 2016

June 27: Success Starts with a Vision
The one quality that all who successfully play big have in common is that they have a clear "going forward" vision.

June 20: Talk Is Cheap and Dreams Never Last
All too often, many accept their status and decide that "it is what it is" and put a permanent hold on any activities that challenge themselves to develop and use their full capabilities. This is self-sabotage in its purest sense. What follows is equally destructive...

June 13: Past, Future and Present
Many allow themselves to get trapped in the grasp of past events. Fact: Nothing that took place in the past can be changed.

June 6: How "Ya" Doing?
We're rapidly approaching the halfway point for 2016. Time goes by fast, when you're having fun and painfully slow when you're not. So, the obvious questions are...

May 2016

May 31: Try Me
What are you doing to attract the attention of your buyers to get them to try you so they can experience the value you can provide them? Or, do you just disappear into the crowd with others in your marketing space?

May 23: Quiet Confidence - Your True Competitive Edge
Individuals who possess quiet confidence know exactly what they have to do to achieve their goals.

May 16: Finding Your Greatness
Looking for the key to your greatness? Start by being the master of your circumstances and life.

May 9: Do Your Team Members Talk to Each Other?
Teams who communicate with each other regularly are better than those who don't. Nothing brilliant in that statement. It's just good old common sense.

May 2: Status Quo
Regardless of what status quo means to you, you should periodically check in on it to make sure your status quo is getting you and/or your organization where you want it to go in the most effective way possible.

April 2016

April 25: Dying Slowly
The alternative to making the decision to Step Up and Play Big is best captured in this poem by Pablo Neruda. Neruda was a famous Chilean poet, who, among his many achievements won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1971.

April 18: Some Thoughts to Consider
Success at anything doesn't happen because you think you can "will it" to happen. The path to success starts with a first step, then another and another, until you achieve your desired goals.

April 11: Some People
It's amazing to me how "some" people can talk themselves out of success, get comfortable with the status quo, and then complain about it. One step in a different direction could change their life significantly.

April 4: Eddie the Eagle
Do you dream big? Do you believe in yourself? Are you willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals? Are you prepared to make the sacrifices needed to achieve success? Or, do you let fear stop you from following your dream?

March 2016

March 28: Success, Personal Responsibility and Personal Willingness
The strength of your personal responsibility is reflected in how you take ownership for your actions and the outcomes that result from those actions. And to be clear, the things you say and write are included under "actions".

March 21: Another One (Two) Bites the Dust!
Well, as the song goes, "Another one bites the dust!" Actually, in Wounded Warrior's case, it was two who bit the dust!

March 14: Find Your Team's Greatness
Those of us in a leadership position, all want to run/lead a successful operation. However, many are just not doing the right things at the right time to achieve that goal.

March 7: Got Goals?
Every successful entrepreneur I know has one important common characteristic: They have goals and use them to achieve desired results. I often say, "Without goals, you are like a ship without a rudder, constantly at the mercy of the winds, waves and currents."

February 2016

February 29: Procrastination: An Entrepreneur's Only Enemy
Ask any entrepreneur if he or she could be more productive, and I guarantee the answer will be a resounding, "Yes!" Productivity is something we can all be better at. Unfortunately, it's constantly hindered by that pesky habit we all share: Procrastination.

February 22: It's All About Your Marketing Message
It's a universal truth that it doesn't matter how much you know about what you do; it only matters how much other people know about what you do. As a result, the point of your marketing message is to educate as many people as possible about the value of what you do and how it addresses their needs and solves their problems.

February 15: Success: It's All in Your Mindset
The mindset of a successful entrepreneur is all about confidence, strong work ethic, and perseverance. While mentors and coaches can add tremendous value to entrepreneurs, no amount of strategic advice can help an entrepreneur who doesn't have the right mindset.

February 8: Your Success as an Entrepreneur Starts with a Vision
The first component of successful entrepreneurship is knowing where you want to go. Some people call this a roadmap; I call it a vision.

February 1: What does it take for Entrepreneurs to Succeed?
Many entrepreneurs run into trouble when they get too comfortable-or when they get caught up in the excitement of calling themselves "entrepreneurs." As a result, they're apt to miss some critical points of wisdom or learning at the beginning of their careers.

January 2016

January 25: 5 Ways You Can Master Distractions
Do you find that during any given week you waste time and money, and miss opportunities? Do you find yourself involved in "fire-fighting", moving from crisis-to-crisis? Are you very busy, running from task-to-task and meeting-to-meeting but still see no progress being made? To be "The Master" of those things that distract you, use any one of these 5 tactics...

January 18: Want To Impress Your Customers? Focus on the Small Stuff
Great customer service and great customer experiences are best found in the little things handled well. What are you doing to make your customers feel special? Probably not enough!

January 11: Creating a Sense of Urgency Culture
Creating and maintaining a sense of urgency culture in a company doesn't happen without a great deal of effort to bring about this change and, an even greater effort and commitment on the part of its leader to get the process started; and to have the courage to stick with it. Here are 3 tips...

January 4: It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again
Well, I thought it would be appropriate to kick off 2016 with one of Yogi Berra's famous quotes because for some of you it sure seems like you've been here before. Yup, it's that time of year when you "announce" your plans to make 2016 better than 2015. You probably went through the same exercise last year around this same time. Did it work?

December 2015

December 28: Your Daily Choice - Your Path to Success in 2016
Each of us makes the "choice" whether to be a victim or the master of our circumstances each and every day. What will your "Daily Choice" be?

December 21: Here You Go...Again!
It's that time of year where we rush around trying to cram 52 weeks of caring into the 10 days between December 24th and January 2nd. Every year you make a promise to yourself to be better the next year, but you repeat the same mistake 12 months later.

December 14: The Real Job of a Leader
Simply stated, the job of a leader is to have the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time. Yet, despite its simplicity, developing people still does not get the attention it should on many so-called leaders' radars.

December 7: Getting the Right Things Done: Making Your Plans Work
There are always more things that you can possibly do. This is particularly true this time of year when we assess what we "really" accomplished this past year as we supposedly plan for 2016.

November 2015

November 30: Passion and Vision
It doesn't matter how much passion you have, without a vision you're headed east of nowhere. Without a vision, nothing happens.

November 23: Five Simple Steps to Success
Focus on these 5 points and master them. If you do, and only you will determine that, you'll be racking up more wins on a consistent basis which will make your journey to success less challenging.

November 16: How Do You Deal with Excuses?
Effective leaders know that building and sustaining a "no excuse" culture can be done - not overnight - but as a result of the combination of several distinct (yet related) tactics. These tactics include...

November 9: It Ain't Just Luck
We all know someone who, regardless of the challenge, always seems to land on their feet or benefits from "lucky breaks". The question I have often asked myself is whether or not it really was luck? Or, was the outcome really the result of the actions the person took to give them the edge? In other words, did they create their own luck?

November 2: It's All About a Plan for Action
Successful people just do more things than others do. They take more action; they are not risk averse. Clear goals drive their activity. They stay busy working on the right things at the right time. They also have important common characteristic: They take action. Start now with these 5 steps.

October 2015

October 26: Why You Should Step Up and Play Big
The only barrier preventing you from Stepping Up and Playing Big - and living a life without regrets - is you. But you have to make the choice to follow the path that gets you there. What's holding you back?

October 19: How Tough Are You?
We can all agree that to be successful requires the proper use of certain knowledge and skills. However, without the right mental foundation there is no way you can use those skills effectively. In other words do you have "mental toughness"?

October 12: Creating a Success Mindset
Many start the day with the wrong mindset; they start out daily with a mindset that goes contrary to being a success. Wanting, wishing or hoping to be successful isn't enough. To be a success, requires a "certain" mindset that results in your ability to take the "right" actions. Here are 5 ways to help you create your own success mindset...

October 5: Winging It
The ability to successfully respond to challenges (urgent or otherwise) in today's business climate requires you to be both agile and resilient. Some of you mistakenly call this "winging it". However, no definition of either agility or resilience includes any reference to "winging it".

September 2015

September 28: Procrastination or Results: It's Your Choice
How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do (and should do), but eventually come up with a reason why you just can't get started and so you put it off? You know, you say to yourself things like: "the timing is just not right," or "let me get these few little (usually less important) things done first." Whatever your reason may be, the fact is you are procrastinating...

September 21: Building a Winning Team
Do you have a team or just a group of folks who show up, do no more than what they are asked to do, collect a check and do the same thing again every week? Here are 8 characteristics to look for...

September 14: 10 Ways to Stop Distractions in Their Tracks
There are times when most of us run the risk of being swept away into the "crisis of the moment" and disappear into that dark hole that gets described away with that famous comment: "Where did they day go?" The usual follow up comment is, "I'm beat and I have no idea if I accomplished anything." To stop distractions from taking your time and energy, use any of these 10 tactics...

September 7: 5 Simple Steps to Stay Focused and Get Things Done
The biggest challenge we all have is that there's never enough time to get done everything that we want to do. Staying focused on our most important priorities is one of the toughest challenges we all have. So, here are the 5 simple steps you can take to stay focused and get the "right" things done...

August 2015

August 31: Your Self-Beliefs Determine Your Success
Look, there are no shortcuts to success. Success at anything requires hard work, commitment, persistence and self discipline. From my own experiences, and from observing the successes of others, I have learned that to be successful one needs to have a strong internal foundation or belief system. Here is a list of the top 10 components that make for a strong belief system...

August 24: Making the Most of the Time You Are Here
One of the most common things that I have observed is how people - you and me - can put themselves into a real "funk" without even realizing it. What is particularly amazing is how they do this when there is no reason for it. Someone once told me that you're dead for a long time so why not make the most of the time you have while you are still here...

August 17: Is it Time for a Check-up?
We're a little past the mid-way point of 2015 and if you haven't done so already, now would be a good time to conduct a "check-up" to determine where you are and where you want to get to by year-end. And, if you started the year with specific goals or targets for the year, now would be a good time to measure your year-to-date progress with respect to those goals...

August 10: The Choice You Should Make Every Day
At the beginning of every day, each one of us must make a choice. The choice is simple: will you strive to be a master of your circumstances for that day or allow yourself to be victimized by them...

August 3: Leadership Has Consequences
All leaders face challenges of varying degrees of significance. In addition, a leader can never be perfect all of the time - they do make mistakes. However, a leader cannot make decisions or operate in vacuum or "bubble"...

July 2015

July 27: Are You Asking Yourself the Right Question at the Start of Every Day?
Unfortunately, far too many of you start your day without asking, "How can I be successful today?" You're willing to go through the motions and, in many cases, let the day's events take control of you. The result: you avoid success! Talk about being in a rut! Does the term "victim" mean anything to you?...

July 20: Where's Your Focus?
Constantly looking behind you and re-living past mistakes, etc. only results in wasting valuable time, energy and emotion, and forces you into living in a "could of, should of, or would of" world. Get over it...

July 13: Is Your Team a Bad Thing or a Good Thing?
Every business has a team. And the quality of your team is the single most important factor that will determine the success of your organization. Your product and marketing are all important, but it is your team that executes your company's vision and purpose on a daily basis. The question for the business owner or leader is whether or not they are functioning as a "competitive advantage" or just "doing the work"?

July 6: Don't Rain on Your Own Parade
Some of us (more than you think or will admit to) like to downplay our success. You work hard; you save and you do the best you can to provide for your families well-being. There is no guilt in celebrating your success and having fun. You've earned the right to do so.

June 2015

June 29: Want to Grow and Motivate Your Team? Stop Giving Advice!
Regardless of the role you currently fill - business leader, CEO, manager, Entrepreneur or Subject Matter Expert - you're regularly giving advice. And, in most cases, you're actually telling others what to do. Telling others what to do, no matter how well intentioned you may be, makes things worse. How, you might ask?

June 22: It's Up to You
Many of us spend far too much time obsessing either over what others have or what is missing in our lives...

June 15: What's Really More Important?
All of us from time to time have been called upon to make a choice between time spent with our family versus time spent at work or in business. The choice is never an easy one and, despite our best intentions, we sometimes place business/work ahead of ourselves or our families...

June 8: Building Your Path to Greatness
Last week, I wrote about finding your greatness. Today, I want to drill down further into this important subject and outline some additional points and actions you should consider to help you find and use your full capabilities to put you on your path to greatness.

June 1: Finding Your Greatness
Here are the top 5 characteristics these successful people share. They represent a great way to get started on learning how to find and live your greatness...

May 2015

May 25: Freedom Requires Sacrifice
A Time to Reflect; A Time to Say Thank You.

May 18: Do You Have a Significant Other?
So who is a "significant other" and what do they do? A "significant other" is someone who works directly for you who is willing to give you solicited and unsolicited candid, objective advice and feedback to help you meet the challenges of your senior position.

May 11: 3 Tips on How to Make Better Decisions
One of the biggest challenges that I see regularly within my coaching practice is the difficult time people experience in making decisions. Look, none of us get it right all of the time. But, that shouldn't stop you from making the best decision you can on a timely basis. Maybe the following three steps will help you sharpen your decision making skills...

May 4: Get Past the Emotion to Get to the Solution
At any point in time, we find ourselves having to deal with a variety of problems. Some are big; others are small. Some we create and others land in our lap as a result someone else's actions (or lack of actions). Some are valid while others are just unnecessary distractions. Regardless of how it is described, in almost all of the problems we encounter, we are paid to solve them.

April 2015

April 27: Practice Makes Perfect...No it Doesn't!
You've all heard the expression, "practice makes perfect". If you're spending your time trying to be perfect, you're wasting your time because "perfection" as a goal does not exist. So, it doesn't matter how long or how hard you practice, you will never achieve perfection of that particular task or skill. What you should be focusing your energy on is ...

April 20: Success is Based on How Much You Can Take
All of us have an idea or vision of what success looks like in our lives. Our "vision" may include good health, financial security, the type of home we live in, maybe a second home, the health of our family, a promotion, or whatever we think will bring us that positive feeling in our lives that we all want.

April 13: Duke Basketball: When Coach K Walked Away
There are lessons for all of us from Coach K's career journey. While "walking way" for a period of time will vary for each of us, there is value in periodically getting out of the weeds and questioning your status quo with the goal being how you can improve "your game".

April 6: 3 Guaranteed Ways to Hire the Wrong People
I'm always amazed how everyone agrees that the quality of your team will determine the quality of your business. Yet many still approach the hiring and selection of employees as a burden or something you "have to do". Here are 3 sure-fired ways to make certain that you continue to hire the wrong employees.

March 2015

March 30: Are You Working on the Right Things or Just Busy?
There are events you can't control outside of your business. Some you can ignore, but others (and usually the majority) need your attention. However, you need to know the difference between what gets ignored and what doesn't. If you are not clear on the difference, you will be lost in an ocean of "busy-work".

March 23: Chris' 4 Rules
Over the course of my corporate career (some 32+ years), I have followed what I refer to as "Chris' 4 Rules". These rules were created as a result of my experiences - the good ones and the bad ones - and yes, there were more bad ones than good ones (but that's where I learned the most). Nonetheless, whether based on a good or bad experience, they worked whenever I followed them.

March 16: Leaders Need to Ask Questions
When leaders ask the right questions, they get better responses and information. With better information, they are able to make better decisions, which in turn have a positive impact on their teams and organizations. Here are 7 key questions that every leader should learn how to ask on a consistent basis in order to achieve their goals:

March 9: Confidence = Willingness
Many of us talk about confidence, want more confidence, and struggle with building and maintaining our self-confidence in the face of the challenges we deal with it every day. When I talk about confidence, I frame it up around the concept of your "personal willingness". Let me explain what I mean. Confidence is your personal willingness to...

March 2: It's Not that Hard to Make it Better
In January, I hosted a dinner presentation for respected business leaders in my community. All of them have achieved various levels of success within their industry and business. Many of them head up a team of people. I started the presentation by asking each of them to identify one thing that they would like to take on that would make their team better. Here is a summary of some of the answers that were surfaced...

February 2015

February 23: Courage & Self-Confidence - Jonah's Excellent Adventure
What made it an excellent adventure for Jonah was his "courage" to try something new...and new it was! His something "new" was to have the courage to head out into the Pacific Ocean, with no land in site, to try and catch his first Pacific Sailfish. He knew that in order to accomplish this goal he had to suppress any feelings of fear, and replace them with the excitement of doing something that would lead him towards achieving his goal. It was a great example of what I often describe of getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

February 16: Excuses
Well, we're now 6 or so weeks into the New Year and many of you have either figured out how to "forget" the resolutions you made or have come up with some very creative ideas to avoid tackling know, you've come up with excuses.

February 9: Taking it Slow Can be the Right Choice
Today, I want to talk about your team and the most important step you can, no...must take when hiring new team members. Hire slow! That's it. It's simple, but critical, for you to adhere to this concept. There can be no excuse.

February 2: It's Not a Perfect World, So Deal with It!
The world we live and work in is not perfect. As such, we have to learn to make the best decisions based on the information we have in front of us.

January 2015

January 26: Boy! I Am So Busy!
Are you really that busy or does it make you feel good to hear yourself say that? Whenever I hear a stressed out, overwhelmed business leader make that claim, I usually ask, "Really, doing what?"

January 19: Be There
We are all challenged daily to not only make plans, but to actually "be there" and keep those commitments. We find ourselves constantly pulled in a number of competing directions with the result being we just can't do it all: business opportunities are missed, we disappoint customers, co-workers, and even our family and friends. When will it stop?

January 12: You Only Have One Important Responsibility
Your personal responsibility is the foundation of any level of success you would hope to achieve in whatever you do. The big question for you and the true test of the strength of your personal responsibility: can you "own up" to what you do or do you look for those opportunities to blame someone or something? Do you spend more time coming up with excuses to distance yourself from your mistakes and failures?

January 5: It's Not Too Late - Start Drawing
Last week - on January 1st - you had before you a fresh and clean blank canvas for you to draw your future success. What did you draw? The choice is your's. Your future success is your's also, but you have to define it first for it to become a reality.

December 2014

December 29: It's About You and Not a Resolution
Let me suggest that to make this holiday and next year more meaningful for you - instead of making resolutions or promises that you probably will not keep - that you ask and answer the three questions that follow. Why? Because the answers to these questions will help you identify specific actions you can take to use the knowledge and skills you have to make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

December 22: What Makes a Decision Work Best? Quick Action!
As I look at the most successful clients I have worked with, the one common link between them is their ability to make timely - and even quick decisions - even in the face of incomplete or imperfect information. They know that decisions result in action which can lead to the growth of their business...

December 15: The Biggest Threat to Your Success
No mystery or trick question here - you are the biggest threat to your success. I could stop right here, but a little more "explaining" would be helpful...

December 8: Chasing Success - It's That Time Again
It's that time again. You know that time that happens every year around now when we start to think about what worked and what didn't; and what we need to do in the coming year to achieve business success. Here are 10 tips you can use to help give you the edge going into next year...

December 1: Do You Suffer from Legacy Thinking?
When a leader is reluctant to challenge the status quo because they are "comfortable" with where they are and the results they are achieving, they are positioning themselves and their company to a future disaster. They mistakenly think that their current status quo will continue into the future "as is". This is usually referred to as "legacy thinking" and a failure to recognize it can be deadly to any business-big or small.

November 2014

November 24: Perseverance
As we approach the end of the year, many assess what they have accomplished and what still remains to be done. Some will revamp their priorities and stay focused on getting the job done. Others will give up on the project. Well, they may have decided to stop working on the project but, they quit on themselves...

November 17: Are You Taking Care of Your Foreign Objects?
Each one of us need to be alert to those "foreign objects" that may distract us and, if left unchecked, cause harm to our careers, teams, or businesses. Some examples of these distractions could be...

November 10: Questioning the Status Quo or Face the Consequences
Questioning the status quo, when necessary to regain control of one's circumstances, is a basic element of what it means to Step Up and Play Big.

November 3: Productivity 101
All of us are challenged each and every day to find new or additional ways or tools to improve our personal productivity. Instead of looking for that next great idea, start focusing on mastering the basics first.

October 2014

October 27: Why Goals
Goals - everybody talks about them, most think they have them, but very few do and even more have no idea how to set them.

October 20: Leadership - A Quick Refresher on The Basics
7 things you need to know about leadership.

October 13: Winning Can Be Good and Within Your Beliefs
In the past, I've written that our beliefs determine our attitude, which in turn determines our behaviors or actions. So our beliefs set the stage for our actions. Changing your beliefs will change your actions and open the door for you to achieve your goals and dreams. Seems pretty simple, right? It's really not that complicated. Here are five steps, that may not earn you an Olympic medal, but when taken will make you a winner at whatever you choose to do.

October 6: Employee Engagement Tactics
This is the last Wake-Up Call of this three part series on employee engagement. According to Wikipedia, "an engaged employee is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization's interest." So what are some tactics you can use to create a healthy employee engagement culture?

September 2014

September 29: Getting Your Team Engaged - It's All About Leadership
Leaders get paid to produce results. It is a known fact that an effective leader is only as good as the team they assemble (recruit and select), develop (properly train), and lead (set expectations and goals). If the leader is not effective, then it stands to reason that the team will not perform well on a consistent basis and it would be a miracle if they were "engaged". Leaders in an effective culture of employee engagement share these characteristics...

September 22: Getting Your Team Engaged - Give Them a Vision
Getting your team successfully engaged in the "work at hand" has been a challenge for all leaders since the beginning of time. Having your team engaged is especially important as employers of all sizes work to meet the challenges brought on by today's competitive economic climate. Here's how.

September 15: You Can Be A Great Player
What made Derek Jeter different was that he wanted to be a great player and was prepared and committed to do everything he could to become a great player. Now many of us will never become an all-star shortstop or even a professional athlete. But, we can become an all-star or a great player at whatever career or life choice we decide to pursue. How? Consider these tips...

September 8: Creating the Exceptional Company
Any company - whether big or small, retail or B to B (even a butcher, a baker or candle stick maker) ­- can be exceptional. The responsibility of making a company exceptional rests solely on the shoulders of the leader and how they engage their team to pursue it. Here's some advice...

September 1: Self-Belief is the Fuel for Your Mind
What fuels "drive" is our self-belief make-up. Our minds are the most powerful tool we have. What it depends upon most of all for it to guide us effectively is our self-belief system. From my own experiences and observations, I have learned that to be successful, one needs to have a strong internal foundation of self-belief.

August 2014

August 25: Enhancing Your Personal Productivity
All of us are challenged each and every day to find new or more ways, tools, or even tricks (yes, some of you think that tricks are the way to go!) to improve our personal productivity. Instead of looking for that next great idea (and wasting time while looking), start focusing on mastering the basics first. Here are five simple ways you can get started...

August 18: Do You Have "True Grit"?
"Grit" - Rooster Cogburn had it and you can to. But, before you strap on your six-gun and saddle up to ride off after some bad guys, let's shift gears and talk about your "Executive Presence" when we refer to your "grit".

August 11: Business Success Truths Part II
Part 2 of 2: 5 more "Business Success Truths" for your consideration.

August 4: Business Success Truths
Part 1 of 2: The first five of 10 "Business Success Truths". They are factual and to the point, and when adopted at the appropriate time will put you on a path to success.

July 2014

July 28: It's Never About You; It's Always About Your Team
The success of your company hinges on many factors. Some of these factors you can control, while there are others that you have to react/respond to. One of the most important factors of success - that you can control completely - is your team. Specifically, how you select, develop, utilize, and measure them.

July 21: Putting Downtime to Good Use
Five ways to make the best use of the time you have to be successful.

July 14: Feedback: Some Leaders Don't Like it, But Every Leader Needs It
Most leaders "say" they want feedback, yet leaders today struggle with how to provide it in an effective and constructive way. But for our purposes today let's focus on how you - as a leader - can ask for it and accept it.

July 7: Personal Productivity Starts with You Management
Most of you know my opinion on "time management". I believe that time management does not exist. It's just not possible to manage time! Rather, it's all about how you manage what you do with the time you have available each day. Here's how you practice effective "you management"...

June 2014

June 30: Create More Time for Growth - Developing Other "Go-To People"
Developing other "go-to people" is one of the key people strategic issues (selection, development, utilization, and measurement of your team) that the leader needs to focus on.

June 23: Developing Your Team is as Easy as Sitting on a Stool
It's time to throw away all of your multi-page evaluation forms that you hide behind to convince yourself that you are developing your team. Take a look at this simple graphic of a stool and how it can help you develop your team into a competitive advantage for your company.

June 16: "What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate" - Clearly and Concisely
Every one of us in a leadership position has the need to communicate - on a daily basis - a variety of information, some more critical than others, but all critical to the success of our organizations. Here is a simple outline that was mandatory for all of us to follow during my tenure at USLIFE, which resulted in clear and concise communications and more efficient and productive internal work relationships.

June 9: Making New Employee Selection Work
Selecting new employees is probably the most important responsibility every leader / manager shares. Here are the facts: productivity gains, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and customer referrals all start in the same place - at the time of selection! Here's how to do it right!

June 2: Driven to Failure
Often driven entrepreneurs (business leaders) like to "go it alone". They need to make the following choice: stop the madness or allow the madness to stop them.

May 2014

May 26: Freedom Requires Sacrifice
A Time to Reflect; A Time to Say Thank You. 

May 19: Get Out of Your Own Way to Boost Your Productivity
Everyone wants to be more productive; get more of "the right" things done and make the best use of their time. Here are 10 simple yet practical ways to boost your productivity...

May 12: 5 Simple Leadership Actions to Stop Being a Boss
Here are 5 simple actions that you can take to not only stop being a "Boss", but raise your - and your team's - level of productivity.

May 5: Not Every Surprise is a Good One
One of the things that I learned early on in my role as a leader was what we called the "no surprise" practice of management. Simply stated, it meant never surprise your boss, peers, or team members. Want to minimize and avoid the effect surprises have on your organization? Follow these steps...

April 2014

April 28: Better Leaders Are Always Learning
Becoming a great leader isn't easy. The fact is, not everyone can or will become a great leader. However, everyone can become a better leader than they are today - if they make the choice to do so. Here's how...

April 21: Finding Common Ground
If you're in a leadership role, it's your responsibility to find that "common ground" when you are communicating with a team member. A "one-size-fits-all" approach to communication does not work.

April 14: "Could've; Would've; Should've"
Get rid of that old baggage you are carrying around with you. Learn from the past; use the knowledge in the present to create that better future.

April 7: Have Fun, Enjoy Life, and Be Grateful
Taking life too seriously will kill you. You work hard so there should be no guilt associated with the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of your life.

March 2014

March 31: Are You Training Your Team or Developing Them?
Stop thinking about training your team and make the mental shift to those activities that will "develop" them. Here are 3 ways to do it successfully.

March 24: Time for Some "Mental" Spring Cleaning
Some thoughts on what you could do to make room for some new and more effective learning and behavior that will help you to grow and succeed versus splashing around in that crowded swamp you call your mind.

March 17: The Most Important Meeting You Should Have Each Week
We probably have more meetings than are actually needed. Sadly, many are not very helpful and are a nuisance. There is however, one meeting that you should be having each week and if you conduct it properly, it would be your most important meeting.

March 10: Can You See Your Vision?
The one quality that all successful individuals have in common is that they have a clear and exciting vision for the future. Here’s how you can “see” yours…

March 3: What Would Bill Do?
Learn about “listening” to your customers through a true story of “what Bill did”.

February 2014

February 24: Excuses
Stop accepting and making excuses. Excuses waste time and money, and drain you mentally and emotionally. Here’s how to break the habit.

February 17: The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
Anyone who pursues success will always have something difficult to accomplish. And, on certain occasions (and depending on the issue), each day may be harder than the one before. How they respond to these difficulties will determine what level of success they will eventually achieve. So how does one increase their chances of success and achievement?

February 10: Goals: It’s Important to Know Why They Are Important
If you had real goals and worked at them relentlessly, you would more successful than you are today. I will make the dangerous assumption that the reason you don’t work those goals properly is because you don’t really understand why they are important. Here are 3 ways to develop that understanding.

February 3: Getting the Right Things Done
Here are the 5 simple steps you can take to condition yourself to stay focused, avoid distractions, and get the “right” things done.

January 2014

January 27: Ya Gotta Believe
You will never achieve success by waiting for it. Rather you have to have faith in your abilities to experience success. In other words, “ya gotta believe” in your abilities to make something happen!

January 20: Preparing to Be Your Best
The most successful athletes, business leaders, entertainers and other professionals all practice or prepare, so why shouldn’t you? Here are 8 good starting points.

January 13: The Best Leaders Know How to “Let Go”
Most effective leaders come to the realization that for their companies to grow properly it’s no longer possible – or for that matter sustainable – that they continue to be the center of all activity as the “go to” person.

January 6: Is Your Marketing Working For You or Your Competitor?
Here are 6 key questions to ask yourself to get your marketing momentum working effectively as early as possible in 2014.

December 2013

December 30: So, What Are You Going to Do Now?
Some of you had a great 2013. Celebrate it. Then think about what worked best last year and build upon it in 2014. Here’s how…

December 23: There Is No Better Time Than The Present
If there was ever a good time to reset your personal and business GPS, there is no better time than the present. Here are 10 examples to guide you in your “adjustment”.

December 16: Let’s Get Some Holiday Spirit: Fire a Client!
There are those clients who make you remember what it felt like when you heard someone scratch a chalk board with their finger nails (you probably just felt it, right?). Here’s what to do about them.

December 9: It’s That Time of Year – Again
It should come as no surprise – again – that you have lost your focus. Here 5 simple steps you can take starting today to gain focus and stay focused to get the “right” things done.

December 2: Get Happy: Your First Responsibility is to Yourself
It is our responsibility to pursue our own happiness. Only we can see our dreams and only we can live them. Here’s how…

November 2013

November 25: We’re in a Relationship Business! Really?
We do business with people and people do business with us based on the strength of the relationship that exists. Then why do so many things that are directly contradictory?

November 18: Communicating the Decision
Follow these steps to turn your decisions into a productive reality within your organization.

November 11: The Art of the Decision
All business leaders – whether in a large or small, public or private company – have one thing in common: they are paid to make important (and usually tough) decisions. Follow this decision-making process.

November 4: Do You Suffer from Self-Inflicted Distractions?
As the leader, if you don’t put yourself and your priorities first, you can easily be swept away solving the problems of others and end up becoming a “victim”. Here’s how to claim your territory and fend off distractions.

October 2013

October 28: Failing Your Customer and Your Growth – Lessons from the NSA
In order to pursue the right kind of revenue growth – one that is profitable and generates “healthy cash” – without sacrificing the viability of your company, CEOs and business leaders should consider this approach.

October 21: The Cause and the Solution can Usually be Found at the Top
Leaders get paid for getting results by getting things done through the combined effort of their team and when the desired results are not achieved, some leaders will immediately “blame” their employees…when should look at their own leadership style first.

October 14: Are You a Master or a Victim? It’s Your Choice.
The qualities and actions successful people exhibit on a consistent basis.

October 7: Creating Luck
Take a closer look at what others do to gain the edge, put the odds in their favor, and increase the likelihood of being successful.

September 2013

September 30: Want To Learn How to “Win” Big? Do What Team Oracle Did!
Even if you don’t know a thing about boating or sailing, you have to admire a team that can come back from that far behind to win. Learn what they did…

September 22: You Pick It: Mediocrity or Exceptional; It’s Your Choice.
Many find it easy to follow the crowd, seek safety in numbers, and then get comfortable in a world of “sameness or average”. You can choose otherwise.

September 16: What’s Wrong With Success?
It’s time for you to conduct an honest assessment of where you are, where you want to get to, and by when.

September 9: Do You Give Your Best Performance at Every Show?
What are you doing on a consistent basis to prepare and position yourself and your team to give your very best performance consistently every day with your customers/clients?

September 2: Geez Chris, It’s Labor Day!
If you are serious (and I know you are) about your development there is always a free 10 minutes where you can learn something.

August 2013

August 26: Which Do You Want First: The Bad News or the Worse News?
The Boss is burnt out; the worse news is The Boss is still showing up for work. When leadership needs to take a time-out.

August 19: Making Leadership Work – Expectations and Accountability
Leadership: Setting clear and specific expectations and accountability.

August 12: Are You Hiring the Best Employees or Your Future Problems?
When hiring at any level, an employer – before they even sit opposite a prospective job candidate – should follow this process.

August 5: Getting Back in the Game
Here is a list of steps that a business owner or leader can take to get the momentum going in the right direction to plan for their future and build a stronger business.

July 2013

July 29: Are You a Confidence-Building Leader?
As the leader, you have the responsibility to instill self-confidence in each of the members of your team.

July 22: A Sense of Urgency
How to develop and maintain an ongoing sense of urgency.

July 15: Does Your Team Give You a Competitive Advantage?
Here’s a 10-point checklist to get you started on building the winning team.

July 1: The Beginning of a Future
6 steps that will help you define your future.

June 2013

June 24: Don’t Get Too “Content” – It Can Be the Beginning of the End
Leaders who choose to “Step Up and Play Big” have two important and common characteristics…

June 17: How to Know When You’re Not Having Fun as the Leader
5 key steps all leaders need to take.

June 10: Can You Become Obsolete? You Bet You Can!
Signs that you may be on the road to becoming obsolete.

June 3: Some “Useful” Advice for the Graduates
My twist on advice for the graduates.

May 2013

May 27: The Price of Freedom
A Time to Reflect, A Time to Say Thank You.

May 20: Make No Mistake – If You’re the CEO, You’re the CRO
Learn how to be the Chief Results Officer.

May 13: Nurture the Culture
Culture is the key to your team’s productivity.

May 6: Consistency – A Building Block of Leadership
It’s a known fact, that consistency builds trust and trust is one of the key attributes that a leader must have.

April 2013

Apr 29: For Starters, Keep it Simple
We sometimes tend to make things harder or more complicated than they need to be. Why?

Apr 22: Heroes
Last week we were all shocked and consumed by the act of violence and terror that took place on the streets of Boston…

Apr 15: Are You a Trusted Leader? If Not, Why?
In keeping with the “trust” theme, let’s start this week off with reviewing what it takes to become a “trusted leader”.

Apr 8: Becoming a Trusted Advisor
Whether you are a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker, you want to be seen as an expert or “trusted advisor”.

Apr 1: Leadership Is a Team Sport
Apply These Five Simple Steps to Boost Your Team’s Performance

March 2013

Mar 25: Quiet Confidence
Your True Competitive Edge

Mar 18: Do You Practice Comfortable Inaction?
Recently I came across the following John F. Kennedy quote…

Mar 11: It’s Time for a Leadership Exorcism
The recent actions of politicians can never be described as leadership.

Mar 4: Creating Your Legacy is a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
Your future success is a choice; you have to choose to want to be successful.

February 2013

Feb 25: Do You Know Your Purpose?
Find out how to develop your purpose and use it to your advantage.

Feb 18: Is Too Much Self-Confidence Really Bragging?
Self-confidence breeds success. Bragging is a short trip to nowhere.

Feb 11: Making Your Marketing Work
Use These 10 Points to Make Your Marketing Work.

Feb 4: 6 Simple Steps to Create a Good First Impression
Creating a good first impression requires commitment.

January 2013

Jan 28: Burn the Boats!
Change Means it’s Time to Get Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable.

Jan 21: Resolutions Are Useless – Build Mental Toughness Instead!
3 Steps to Toughen Your Mind to Achieve Success.

Jan 14: Hey! Let’s Go Fishing!
Fishing for customers.

Jan 7: It’s Marketing and Value First – Then Revenue!
Follow These 3 Simple Steps to Boost Your Marketing & Your Revenue

December 2012

Dec 24: We All Still Have A Chance
Holiday survival tips.

Dec 17: A real wake-up call
Reflect, Pray, and Resolve

Dec 10: Procrastination: To Do or Not To Do – That Is The Challenge!
3 steps to getting things done when they need to be done.

Dec 3: Do You Have What It Takes To Be Exceptional? You Bet You Do!
It’s not really that hard to be exceptional; that is, as long as you’re willing to work at it.

November 2012

Nov 26: Never Chase a Skunk
Follow these 3 steps to avoid getting caught up in a really dumb discussion.

Nov 19: Even Elvis Knew…”It’s All About Action”
The Coach and The King agree: The future belongs to the action-oriented.

Nov 12: The Good News is “You’re the ‘Go To’ Person; The Bad News is You’re the ‘Go To’ Person!”
Even Superman needed to rest between “leaping tall buildings in a single bound”

Nov 5: It Didn’t Work For the Fly, So Why Do You Think it Will Work for You?
Two Practical Ways to Avoid Personal Burnout and Increase Your Productivity

October 2012

Oct 29: Want Great Results? Just Remember: There is No Such Thing as Time Management
Want to Be More Productive? Focus on Managing “YOU” and Not Time

Oct 22: Your Business or The Business of You and Your Family: Which is Really More Important?
Are you overdrawn on your family’s emotional bank account?

Oct 15: Are You Prepared for Tomorrow’s Leadership Challenges?
Take These 10 Steps to Get Started

Oct 8: Being a Jedi Knight is Hard – but Doable
Use “The Force” and Follow These 5 Steps

Oct 1: Do You Delegate or Do You Collect Other People’s Problems?
Follow These 6 Simple Steps to Become a Real Delegator

September 2012

Sep 24: Get Your Head Out of the Sand
Be a Master of Your Circumstances, Not a Victim

6 Steps to Making Things Happen

5 Steps to Give Your Idea Legs to Run On

5 Key Actions You Can Start on TODAY!