Bad leadership quotes

Bad leadership quotes

The further you go, the farther you can see.

Happy April Fools day!  We are going to have fun with bad leadership quotes today. Don’t be fooled by these commonly shared quotes. 

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” – Steve Jobs

This could be said another way. “Have no empathy with others. Push people hard.”  As much as Steve did to build, and later rebuild a great organization, this quote lacks one of the key philosophies in making a great leader.

Empathy. 

We’ve talked about empathy at length over the years. Empathy doesn’t equate to weakness. Having great empathy means that you fully understand the position of the other person and you take that into account in your decision making. You greatly increase someone’s potential by understanding whether they are coming from and what motivates them in order to give them the practical steps to success. 

“Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing.” – Warren Bennis

The classic, ____X_____ is this and ______Y________ is the the opposite. It’s a favorite on Linkedin and quite easy to use the formula to crank out generic quotes. 

Managers are about themselves. Leaders are about others. 
Managers think about today. Leaders think about tomorrow. 
Managers talk. Leaders take action. 
Managers know it all. Leaders are constant learners. 

As good as they look on the surface, these quotes are often not totally true. A great leader does the right thing and does things right in the first place. It’s not always as easy this or that with leadership. 

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – George S. Patton

I can tell you people live by this quote! It’s also the root issue that brings me the most consulting business.

This basically says, instruct someone on what to do without giving them direction or the tools to be successful and stand in wonder at the results that you were not expecting.  The go-to version of this in my realm is this:

“You need to develop _(Insert underperforming person here.)__”

Six weeks later the boss is upset because nothing has changed and you are frustrated and bewildered because you didn’t know how to change the person’s behavior.  Make sure you give your team clear expectations on what the goal is and the resources to get there. Once those are established give them the freedom to create and then be surprised by the results. 

“A man’s gotta make at least one bet a day, else he could be walking around lucky and never know It.” -Jim Jones

So this one seems fairly inspirational until you realize that Jim Jones was the cult leader that force-feed poisoned Kool-Aid to his followers and led over 900 in an infamous mass suicide event in the late ’70s.

Do your best to fall into the trap of groupthink where no one is brave enough to voice their opinion or perspective. 

Don’t be fooled by bad leadership quotes and don’t drink the Kool-Aid. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Why

The Be Series: Be the Why

People rely on each other to make it through life and It often falls down to a close circle of friends and family. Some people aren’t as fortunate to have a strong inner circle and as a result, they isolate themselves, their mental and physical health deteriorates and they will never reach their fullest potential. 

When I say Be the Why, I mean for you to be someone else’s why.  “You are the reason I made it through all of this.” “I would follow you anywhere.” “You kept me from making some really bad decisions.” 

Be a relationship builder


Strong relationships can be taken for granted or undervalued. One of the top reasons great people stay in awful jobs is because of the relationships that they have built with their peers. They are willing to endure stress and dissatisfaction in order to keep relationships that are important to them alive. 

Be the Why for someone by building a strong and edifying relationship that adds true value to the other person. When someone feels like you have impacted their life and care for them, they will do just about anything for you. Listen to the person’s troubles and fill in their blind spots for them. Take time with them; time is more valuable than money itself in most cases. 

Be consistent


People are creatures of habit and highly value consistency. Oddly enough, consistency is also hard to come by in human interactions. Rooted in poor planning and prioritization and made worse by modern-day distractions, being consistent can be more elusive than it has to be. 

Be the Why for someone by being consistent. Be careful of the things that you say you’ll do or promise and then always come through on those things that you do. Just being consistent in a few small things with someone will go along way. Every time I play music with a guy in town, he texts me afterward to thank me. In five years, he has never not texted me! It’s not a monumental deal for him to do, but it has added a lot to our friendship. I know he appreciates me and I feel valued and as a result, I’ve gone out of my way at times to play just because he’s going to be there.  (More to this story can be found at PTB# 107: Finding Leadership in Music)

Be sacrificial


Be the Why by your willingness to sacrifice things that are important to you for the sake fo the other person. It’s important to have a sense of what the other person feels is a sacrifice so that there is not any unneeded tension. For example Let’s say I  missed seeing my favorite band to help my daughter with a school project. She might not realize they were in town so she shows no appreciation for the gesture. I’m then upset because I feel like she doesn’t value what I gave up to help her. On the other hand, My co-worker is over the top grateful because I gave up my lunch to help them on a project when lunches really aren’t that important to me. 

Understand that sometimes people will over and undervalue the sacrifices that you make for them. Prepare yourself mentally for both of those occasions. Don’t let the misunderstanding of the amount of sacrifice impact your willingness to continue to sacrifice things for them.  

Someone out there likely needs you to be the Why for them. Look at those around you. Build them up through strengthening the relationship and being the most consistent person they know. Sacrifice what you need to in order for others to be successful. Being the Why for someone can change, and even save, a life.  

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Counterweight

The Be Series: Be the Counterweight

A few months ago I was working on the set of Dynasty and as with any film set, there is a lot of downtime. A few of us were hanging out between shots and watched as giant industrial cranes worked on building projects across the road. One person commented on the fragility of such of a large piece of equipment and they were right. As large and strong as they are, everything depends on the counterweight for it to stay together. 

Serving without a show


It’s likely that you haven’t even noticed the counterweight on these large cranes. (It’s the rectangle piece at the end of the crane in this week’s picture) That’s because it’s the one part that is not putting on a show. You notice these cranes pivoting over the skyline and lifting large objects from one place to another.  The counterweight may be the most important piece, but it largely goes unrecognized.

When you are working hard at your job or helping someone else out, don’t do it for the glory or the credit. Do it because you can make an impact on others. It can be difficult to work hard on a project only for someone else to get all the credit for it. You may feel underappreciated, undervalued or left out. Keep at your best and reward yourself if you feel yourself falling into this situation. Enjoy some pampering, go out to your favorite restaurant, or take a trip. Be sure to keep your work or assistance at the high level you are known for. 

Some people actually love to play this part of the counterweight role. They love to help and contribute but have no desire to be in the spotlight. If this is you be an encouragement to those around you that may struggle in this area. 

Providing balance


The obvious function of the counterweight is to provide balance. Without it, the crane comes tumbling down as soon as it picks something up. Groupthink, where everyone constantly shares the same consensus, is dangerous for the team and business. Be brave and speak out when you feel a decision or action isn’t the best solution and support those that do the same. 

My wife serves as my counterweight often. She balances out my decision making and helps me make sure that I am not overworked or overcommitted. Make sure you have someone in your life that is the counterweight for you and then be that for someone else as well. 

The perfect amount of presence


The counterweight has to be weighted perfectly to be functional. If it’s too light the crane will tip over forward. If it’s too heavy, you’ve just created a version of a catapult. 

Use your self-awareness skills to find that perfect balance and presence. Step in when needed to provide a missing perspective while avoiding being too forceful in the interaction. Understand your place on the team and project. If you are the counterweight, don’t try to make yourself in the cabin, the arm, or the hook. Continually analyze your contribution and interaction with others and make adjustments as needed. 

The counterweight may not be the center of attention, but it plays a critical role in keeping everything together. Help without need for the spotlight, balance out those around you and 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Bow

The Be Series: Be the Bow

I thoroughly enjoyed archery when I was growing up. It was always exciting to pull the bowstring back, feel the strength manifest, and satisfaction that comes as the arrow left the bow and hit the target. It was also fun just to shoot some to see how far the arrow would go! The bow is both elegant and strong and it can teach us some things about our leadership walk. 

Each bow has a unique fit and purpose

I most often shot a traditional recurve bow but also shot some primitive and compound bows as well. There are more varieties than you may realize. A primitive bow has a few as 5 parts and some of the more complicated compound bows have 23 parts. They also range in size from 54in to 72in. No matter the differences, they do the exact same thing; they get the arrow down range. Their uniqueness comes from the archer and the purpose of the shot. 

My mentor once told me about great football coaches. They enjoy and foster a sense of uniqueness in their players as long as they are getting the ball down the field. Some players run it straight down the middle, and others are showier and run all over the place. Celebrate your uniqueness and don’t try to change yourself because you think that’s what others want. In the same sense celebrate the uniqueness of your teammates and co-workers. Despite what makes you different, you are working towards a common goal. 

The tension and stress make things happen. 

If the bow stayed straight, it would be useless. It’s power and use comes after it the bowstring is attached and curves the bow. If you ever have picked up or used a bow, you can feel the power at this point. The tension and strength almost begin to sing. If you see a bow, take a moment to run your hand across it and down the bowstring. You’ll feel its power. 

Our life and leadership abilities are the same way. As much as people run away from stress and tension, there is such a thing as a healthy amount of stress and it does make us stronger people. Use those moments to rise up, and show your full potential. 

Great shots are taken with time. 

Despite what you see in Avengers as Hawkeye lets arrows fly nearly as fast as bullets, a great and true shot takes time…… but not too much time. You should control your breathing, steady your aim and let go. Taking too much time will wear out the strength in your arm. 

You shouldn’t go through life like Hawkeye constantly firing off arrows everywhere. You’ll seldom hit what you are aiming at. Take a moment in those important moments to slow down, collect your thoughts (and perhaps your breathing) to make a wise and thoughtful decision. 

Be the bow.  Be confident in your unique purpose, maximize stress and tension for success and make sure your shots are purposeful and on target. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Horse

The Be Series: Be the Horse

Horses are known for their strength and poise and have been a symbol of power for humans for centuries. The domestication of wild horses was essential in the migration of early man to spread across the globe as it allowed them to carry supplies and move across large distances. 

Horses are very unique in the way they interact with each other and are finely tuned to their environment. Here are a few qualities that they possess that can help us in our own leadership and life walk. 

They are very social


We were not made to live a life in isolation and neither are horses. They socialize with each other, express emotions and mourn the loss of a horse that was close to them. Cigna health ran a study on loneliness in Americans and found that 47% reported being lonely either sometimes or all the time. 

Multiple studies show that the “social” in social media is not enough to fill that need in a person’s life. In fact if you spend more than two hours a day on social media sites you are twice as likely to experience social anxiety.  If you find yourself running to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or ticktock all the time, get a game plan to moderate your habit. Begin to put activities in your life that don’t revolve around a phone. Go on a hike, take up a hobby, go to a party with friends, see a movie. Start small and reconnect with others. 

They have keen instincts and act instantly


Much like rabbits (Be the Rabbit, EP #155), horses have a keen sense of their surroundings. They can see over 300 degrees and can “look” in two different directions at the same time. If their ears are up and turned away from the direction of their eyes, they are looking in two places at once. If they sense danger, they immediately act. There is no thinking, they are just moving as quickly as possible to avoid conflict.

We sometimes get paralysis by indecision in our leadership and life walk. While it’s good to have as much information as possible, it can also be harmful to wait it out. Trust your instincts and make the move necessary to keep yourself ahead of danger. Move, evaluate and then go from there. 

They have leadership laws and work together. 


Herds of horses usually have two leaders.  The mare leads the heard, the stallion protects it.  They generally don’t lay down at the same time when resting. One or more will keep watch as the others lay down first. Horses appreciate good structure in the group and each plays a part in contributing to the well being of the herd. 

Structure is a good thing for your team. As simple as it sounds, a good team structure still eludes many groups at schools, work, and volunteer organizations. Establish a clear leader and support system and spell out what each person’s role and responsibility are to the group. Help those around you that are falling short instead of talking bad about them and letting them continue to fail. Have that courage to have those tough conversations when needed.

Horses’ lives depend on the power of their teamwork and leadership. Lead your team in the same way. 

Be strong like the horse. Stay connected to others, trust your instincts and build great team-building skills. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How to handle toxic people

How to handle toxic people

No doubt you’ve come across at least one toxic person within your work environment, school or circle of friends. These people bring you down more than they lift you up. They can be verbally abusive, non-supportive and emotionally draining.  

You may not be in a situation where you can remove yourself from interacting with the person so here are some tips on how to identify if a person is toxic and steps to handle this type of person. 

Signs of toxic people


You may be involved with someone that is toxic and not even realize it because it’s subtle or you have grown accustomed to it.  

  • You feel drained afterward an interaction. This can be emotionally, mentally or even physically depending on the person. 
  • They never give a true compliment. Their “words of encouragement” are backhanded compliments, sarcasm or just plain rude. 
  • They are very focused on themselves. They get jealous easily, resent others wins, see themselves as a victim and they have no interest in your personal life or what is important to you. They also rarely apologize because they don’t see themselves in the wrong. 
  • They are forceful. Toxic people typically don’t respect boundaries, are aggressive with others to get what they want, and don’t take no for an answer. They can be relentless in their pursuit to fill their own need or want. 

Getting your life back


The first thing to consider is possibly removing the person or yourself from the circumstances that put the two of you together.  This could be difficult depending on the length and type of relationship involved. Include others like a counselor or mentor if needed to help you navigate the situation. 

Here are some tips if you have to deal with a toxic person. Each step is going to require you to have a real and honest conversation with the person. 

  • Build your self-awareness. Reflect on your relationship with the other person. Do you unknowingly support the behavior by giving in to demands or by giving them more attention then they need? There may be opportunities to make some adjustments here to begin pulling back the power of the relationship from the other person.
  • Establish boundaries.  Think about how the toxic person breaks your trust, invades your personal space or time and set clear boundaries with the person. Be fair and to the point. 
  • Be honest and give feedback.  It’s okay to be assertive and to the point. “When you _____activity_____ I get/feel/become ____emotion_____. I need ________ going forward. I wanted you to know this because__________ (It impacts my work and I want to have a good relationship with you, I care about you, I want us both to do well, etc)
  • Hold them accountable and keep the power. Now that you have had that tough conversation, the situation will only improve with your commitment to keeping them accountable. Call them out matter of factly and keep emotions in check when they cross your establish boundaries.  If they are especially needy, hold your response unless it’s convenient for you or absolutely necessary to solve a larger issue. An example fo this would be someone inundating you with texts. Turn off notifications and get back to them later.

A toxic person does not have to dominate and control your happiness and quality of life.  Take time to identify if they are a truly toxic person, take stock in what’s important to you and how the relationship is holding you back. Find councel and follow these actionable steps to bring balance and boundaries in the relationship. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How to answer “Tell me about yourself.”

How to answer “Tell me about yourself.”

“Tell me about yourself.” The statement seems simple and easy enough but it can be one of the most stressful conversation starters. Is the person just being polite or is there a deeper motive? It can be a landmine that we second guess our response to afterward. With some thought and preparation, you can navigate this very successfully. 

Know your audience

It’s important to be aware of your audience as you answer this question because how you approach the question should vary significantly depending on who the person is. You can’t navigate this question with a one-size-fits-all canned answer.  

Social settings, significant other’s family, peers outside your company

  • In this environment, it’s okay to get personal just be sure not to be too personal. Keep it short, personal and positive. The person is likely asking the question for small talk and is not there to be overly judgemental. 

Interviews, potential hiring managers

  • These are veiled as a conversation starter, but these are often asked to see what they can get out of you. It’s also a way for them to get you to spill about things they can’t legally ask you in an interview. 
  • Craft your response differently for each person that asks you the question. You may have three or more interviews as part of the process to get the job and have every one of them start with a variation of you telling them about yourself. Your conversation with the first person should be about what you do. The last with a C-suite leader should focus on the impact to bigger picture goals. 

Template

Use this simple template in building out your response.

  • Present: What you do or what your role is and perhaps something that you’ve done recently that you are proud of. This is not the place to start listing out all of your greatest accomplishments. 
  • Past: Quickly tell about your journey on how you got there. 
  • Future: What are you excited about doing next and if it’s an interview, why you think they would be a great fit. 

Examples

Meeting your significant other’s family
        I just started at Stord a couple of months ago and have been loving it. We make it easy for companies to know exactly what they have where in a live setting. Before that, I graduated from Georgia Tech where I met Sara and we both are adventurous so we are excited to start exploring the city more this year. 

First interview for a sales job
        I’m currently at Salesloft as a sales rep. We just finished out the quarter and I was the top salesperson for the third time in a row. Before that, I worked in training at Mailchimp and really enjoyed investing in others there. I’m looking to continue to grow my career where I can combine my love of people and sales. I love the culture here at Leasequery and the sales trainer role looks like a perfect fit for my passion and experience. 

Last interview for a sales job
        I’m currently at Salesloft as a sales rep. I just won top salesman for the third quarter in a row and I’ve been enjoying helping set budgets and mentoring new Lofters this last year. Before that, I worked in training at Mailchimp and loved creating material that helped our people meet our business goals. From my time with Scott and Lakisha I think Leasequeary is a great match where I can serve long term and making lasting impact in the organization.   

Bad example for an interview
        So I just graduated from college and got married this summer! I interned in the marketing department at Mailchimp during my senior year. I’m a fun and personable guy and I work hard.  My wife and I go the beaches in Florida pretty often and we are hoping to end up there one day. 

More quick tips.

  • Practice on others that are close to you. 
  • Write it out. It sometimes helps in formulating your thoughts as you create your roadmap. 
  • …but don’t memorize. You want to come off as natural and authentic. Give yourself the flexibility to change or add something as the natural conversation goes on. 
  • Keep it positive. Don’t drag personal or professional negative experiences into the conversation. Remember that this is playing into the person’s first impression of you. 
  • Stay focused and keep it short and sweet. 

Get a good mental gameplan beforehand so you can navigate this space well and leave a lasting positive impression on the other person.

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The power of thank you

The power of thank you

Two of the most powerful words that you can speak are, “Thank you.”  Showing appreciation and gratitude are gestures that no one can ever get enough of. It can make someone’s day, pull someone out of a bad frame of mind and affirm their behavior. 

Don’t fight charity and gifts


Many people have a tendency to fight charity and gifts. You’ve likely seen someone playfully argue with someone else about getting a meal paid for. “You really don’t have to do that. No, no, I can pay for my own stuff. You don’t have to do that.” Maybe you’ve said those things to someone!

Part of the problem is that we can have difficulty accepting gifts. It can be rooted in a sense of pride or guilt that you don’t have anything to give in return. When you fight back against a gift or charity you are robbing the joy from the giver. They shouldn’t have to argue, playfully or seriously, to give you something.  If you receive a gift or service, simply thank the person for the gesture and show your appreciation. Doing so affirms that they gave you something of value and makes them feel good for doing so. 

Convey the meaning and impact of your thanks


Saying thanks and thank you can turn into the phrase, “How are you doing?” It’s a pleasantry that we truly don’t expect any answer back other than fine or good. Be sure to share the meaning and impact of your thanks from time to time to break up the monotony of just simply saying thanks. 

Tell the person why you are thankful. “Thanks for doing this for me. This is really going to save me some time on my project.” “Thank you for mowing the yard. I know it’s a lot of work and hot out there today. It looks awesome!”

Giving them the why and impact of the thanks conveys an extra sense of appreciation and acknowledgment of what the person did for you. 

Show thanks and gratitude in other ways. 


Words are powerful and your actions can back those words up. Gifts, gestures, service are just a few of the ways you can show your gratitude besides just words. Don’t just do things for others after they first do something for you. Be proactive is looking for ways to surprise and delight others with your thanks appreciation and gratitude. Here are some areas to discover how you can show your gratitude:

  • Find out what their favorite snacks/restaurants.
  • Discover what their hobbies and interests are. 
  • Understand what they love to do. 
  • Understand what they really don’t like to do. 

Ae you saying thanks enough? Do your actions convey the same message? Increase your gratitude and strengthen your relationships. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The power of your voice

The power of your voice

Our findings show that the voice is a much more powerful tool for expressing emotions than previously assumed. 
-Alan Cowen

Yes, words are powerful, but we often forget the power of our voice itself.  

When receiving communication, how the message was spoken carries just as much weight as the words themselves. If I say “Please get out of my office,” in a timid tone, you’d take it that I was likely worn out, out of energy, stressed and/or unengaging. If I said the same sentence with a growl in my voice that was low and load, you’d immediately know that I was very angry and upset. 

There are several areas where we can learn about the power of our voice. 

Using your voice to communicate without words


There are 24 sounds that people use to communicate without words. The University of California, Berkley completed a research study with actors and regular people where they recorded their reaction to different emotional scenarios. 24 seems like a lot but think about your every day. How often this week have you let out a frustrated sigh? Maybe you’ve let out a gasp at surprise, fear or terror. A good laugh communicates your amusement without any words. 

The school also has an amazing interactive map that lets you hear the sounds and how they correlate to communicating emotions. I probably spent a little too much time here playing around with it.  It’s fun and educational!

Your voice is a powerful tool to communicate emotions even without having to say any words. Understanding this communication piece can help you increase your self-management and relationship management with others. 

Using your body to control your voice 


Your voice calls on over half of your body to help it communicate. When you are speaking with authority, your shoulders are back and you are speaking from your diaphragm. When you are annoyed or showing contempt you speak through your head. You move all your vocal power to your upper throat and nasal cavity. 

Think about your body as you talk to others. Knowing what parts of the body convey what message can help you enhance what you are trying to get across. Knowing the role that your body plays also can help you with self-awareness. Talking through your nasals or in a weaker high pitch that is exaggerated can come off as annoying and uninviting.  If you find yourself doing this, knowing the body’s ties to the voice can help you correct it for better communication. 

Match your voice to your message


Now that we know about the sounds that we make and how we use our bodies to project our voice, we can make sure that our voice and words align to bring the message that we want. Have you ever had to go back and explain to someone, “That’s not what I meant,” because they misinterpreted how you said something? Make sure that your voice, non-verbals, and words are speaking in beautiful unison when you are communicating to others. 

Your voice is a powerful tool in your daily communication. Understand it’s impact and use your knowledge to your advantage in becoming a better communicator. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The value of your audience size

The value of your audience size

We as a society can get caught up in numbers. It’s easy to start attaching our self-worth to the number of likes that we get, the followers we have and comments we receive across social media platforms. I know people who have let the pursuit of numbers fully consume them and miss out on opportunities to connect with others in the real world because they are focused on their next post. 

Two of the most common questions I get from people interested in starting their own podcasts are: How many listeners do you have and how quick can you start getting ad revenue? My answer to both is, I don’t know. Neither is the reason why I started this endeavor. 

An audience of one


Just because I don’t keep track of our weekly podcasts numbers doesn’t mean I don’t have an idea of who our audience is. We announced on our birthday week that we now have Baton Carriers in 101 different countries. Even with the large group that we are blessed to have I still write to you as an individual and you’ll often hear John and I talk about the table for three on the show. John, myself and you. It’s all I’m concerned with. 

I regularly run across people that think they aren’t true leaders until they lead a certain number of people or obtain a certain title. They are looking for a sense of arrival when there is none in leadership. Even if you have zero followers you can lead your peers well by modeling great leadership behaviors. Focus on leading your one very well and you’ll be asked to lead more in the future. Let tomorrow worry about itself. 

Hold on to your why


As your audience grows, there is a strong temptation to change who you are to match the trends of the day. Dale Partridge discusses this cycle in this book People Over Profit. You start out in the Honest Era, being defined by your values. You become successful and start chasing more in the Efficient Era. You begin to compromise yourself in the Deceptive Era and then you try to right the ship in the Apologetic Era.  You can think about any large company are trace how they have gone through this cycle, sometimes multiple times. The same cycle also applies to our personal life in regard to growing an audience and influence. 

Hold on to your Why so you don’t fall into the cycle that Dale talks about. It’s your North Star to keep you focused on staying in the right direction. Check your compass by evaluating yourself, your team and your organization to ensure that your values still hold true and your values on the wall haven’t turned into just another decoration. I typically do this personally and professionally a couple of times a year. 

When you find yourself drifting from your Why, apologize and right yourself as quickly as possible even if it means letting go of some of your audience. 

Just start


After the numbers and equipment questions, future podcasts often reveal how they are overwhelmed with getting great music, a logo, format, and quality sound. That fear and sense of perfection causes many people to never even start their show and once they do, most shows don’t go past number 7. 

I mean, have you listened to PTB Episode 1?

It’s two guys who are huddled around one mic and not knowing a thing about podcasting. We didn’t even know how to record the show! I think it took me 5 hours to write the first intro music for the show. 

……But we did it. 

You can do it too. Just start. Start leading yourself well today. Start working on that project you’ve wanted to today. Start that podcast as a full-on amateur hour basement show.  Don’t worry about being perfect for an audience of 1000 that you don’t have (yet). Do it for yourself or friend or family member. I just want you to start and then figure it out from there. 

Your audience size truly does not matter. What matters is that you are willing to influence others one person at a time. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Create Disney Magic by burning the free fuel w/ Lee Cockerell

Create Disney Magic by burning the free fuel w/ Lee Cockerell

When you spend time with others it shows to them that they matter.
-Lee Cockerell

I’m so excited to have Lee Cockerell as our guest for our 200th episode of Passing the Baton. Lee is the retired Executive Vice President of Disney World and currently travels the world speaking to clients and companies about the power of Creating Disney Magic in their own organizations. Today he shares his thoughts on showing your team care and support.   -ZH

Appreciation, recognition, encouragement: A.R.E. Together they make up a cost-free, fully sustainable fuel, one that builds self-confidence and self-esteem, boosts individual and team performance, and keeps an organization running cleanly and smoothly. 

Spend meaningful time with employees


You’d be surprised how much it means to people when their leader chooses to be with them – not looking over their shoulders but helping them, getting to know them, asking what they think and feel, and simply enjoying their company. Employees know how valuable your time is, so if you spend some of it with them, they figure they must be pretty valuable too. 

When I was at Disney World I spent about half my time out and about, visiting Cast Members. I asked them to walk me through their operations and show me all the good things they were doing for Guests. The message I was sending was simple but profound: ” You matter, and I know it. We couldn’t do it without you.”

When you’re a leader, you’re well served by being visible. I always found that seeing employees with the hair down and meeting their children and spouses added a personal touch to my relationship with them that made working together easier and more pleasant. You give out tremendous amounts of ARE just by showing up. 

Give extra ARE to frontline employees


Pay particular attention to your frontline employees. They often get overlooked when leaders dole out recognition and the are most likely to get heat from the customer. Employees that don’t feel cared for are not committed one. They may give only 50% effort instead of 100%, or worse, they get revenge by gossiping, quitting abruptly, suing the company, or even stealing. 

Make sure to treat frontline employees as respectfully as you treat higher positions, if not more so, even when you have to disciple or fire them. You can be tough, but your frontline employees should always know that you’re on their side and that you appreciate what they bring to your organization. 

Make ARE a natural part of your routine


Great leaders are environmentalists. If you want to attract and keep the best employees, you have to create a wonderful environment for them, and I assure you, ARE is as important to a healthy workplace as clean air and water are to a healthy planet.  

To build the routine in your habits, schedule it. Make it a habit today and don’t hold it off until tomorrow. If you aren’t comfortable expressing your emotions face-to-face yet use notes, pins, certificates, publications and other methods that don’t involve speaking to the person directly. The most important thing no matter how you give it is to give it regularly. People who say that it’s not a good time, are using that as an excuse not to get started. 

I used to write down in my Day-Timer the names of deserving people I wanted to acknowledge, not just employees who did something exceptional, but those that needed a little extra support too. Remember, for some, a workplace with a heart can be a place of refuge. 

Other ways to show ARE to others

  • Recognize them by name.
  • Catch them doing something right.
  • Make it public.
  • Include their families. 
  • Recognize and encourage great ideas. 
  • Watch our company language. 

Remember that ARE is contagious. Each person who receives ARE from you will have more of it to give to his or her co-workers, colleagues, and customers. It’s not only free fuel but the main ingredient for creating a culture of magic. 

Create Disney Magic where you are. 
-Lee

You can listen to Lee weekly at Creating Disney Magic Podcast. You can also learn more about his books and speaking engagement opportunities at LeeCockerell.com.  Today’s topic drew from Creating Magic, a book highly recommended by Zack and Passing the Baton Leadership Resources. 

Commonality across generations

Commonality across generations

We’ve spent time identifying ageism and generational challenges (EP 197) as well as ways to gain an understanding when leading individual generations. (EP 198). Even with all the differences, there are some traits that will always be universal. 

Common things we all share

Respect
Everyone desires respect among their peers and co-workers. This is the main reason why I don’t appreciate the phrase “OK Boomer”. I understand that it’s rooted in the frustration that a younger generation feels like they are ignored and being held to outdated ideology.  Answering disrespect with disrespect only proves the other person’s point in their own mind and does nothing to build a meaningful relationship. 

To be heard
Similarly, everyone has a desire to be heard. Take time to listen to others without judgment no matter the age difference. Their point and perspective is just as valid as yours. 

Connection
On some level we all desire connection with others.  People, for the most part, enjoy collaborating, mentoring and helping those that they are close to. We enjoy sharing ideas and thoughts when we feel safe and supported to do so. 

Being recognized
Positive feedback, praise, and recognition go along way no matter your age. It strongly affirms and builds confidence in your leaders while showing respect and appreciation for older leaders. You can never give out too much praise. The person who has been around 30 years will love it just as much as the person who has been around 30 days. 

Keep the light on
Every generation hates being left in the dark. Be inclusive of all groups and communicate clearly with a varied approach to match your audience.  When you don’t deliver the narrative and mission people will begin to write their own. 

The benefits

Magical things begin to happen in your organization when different generations work well together. Here are just a few of those benefits:

Innovation increases
Forbes led a study that showed diversity being key to driving innovation in your team. It’s the increase in perspective and experience that is the fuel for talent and ideas here. Each generation can provide insight and knowledge to an innovative thought regardless of stereotypes.

Better serves your customer/client
The increased perspective also gives your team a great advantage of fully understanding your audience. This is one of the reasons why I always coach teams to match the customer that they deal with on a daily basis. 

Future-proofing your workforce


Last year, we had Diana Wu David speak on our show (Ep 182) on future-proofing your success as an individual.  Generations that work well across lines in a company future-proof the success of the organization. Your loss of knowledge drops significantly when older leaders leave and your younger leaders step into those roles.  

We talk about the power of mentorship often, but mentoring in this circumstance can be a two-way street. The older ones can mentor younger leaders on people issues, industry knowledge, and best practices. The younger leader can return value by offering a perspective in changing demographics and technology changes. 

Well rounded skillset


Your organizational and team ability increases as generations work together for a common goal. An example would be utilizing the communication preferences from last week’s lesson in a sales campaign. Your older team members could utilize phone outreach while your mid-tier leveraged email and your younger leaders reached out by apps, text and social media. 

There is beauty when different generations are working together and adding value to one another. Work hard to identify any issues that you may have, understand their perspective and lean into their uniqueness to lead them well. You and those around you will a more fulfilling work experience. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

We will be launching a sister podcast to Passing the Baton called Leaders of Atlanta on Jan 21st! This show will highlight CEOs and senior leaders in different sectors of the city. You’ll get an inside view of their leadership journey and the story of the company or cause that they are tied to. You’ll also walk away with practical tips to grow your own leadership and life walk.
How to connect with different generations

How to connect with different generations

Misconceptions, stereotypes and a lack of respect for other generations have further fueled the need for understanding each other. If we are going to be productive, we must know how to connect with each other.

This was a lesson that I had to learn once I started leading large groups of people. I often found younger leaders would pick up and follow me and older leaders would stubbornly stand their ground no matter how obvious it was that they needed to change. Once I learned what was important to each group, I was much more successful in engaging all of my leaders. 

The chart above helps you with an empathetic view of the other generations you work with on a regular basis. Understanding general communication preferences and values can go along way in eliminating frustration and friction across generational lines. 

Baby Boomers


I am a very driven leader that focuses on problem-solving and implementing change regardless of how things have always been done. My disconnect when leading seasoned baby-boomers for the first time was that I didn’t realize how much value they put on tenure and legacy. Once I learned my lesson, I changed my approach. I acknowledged their tenure, assigned them projects to showcase those skills in front of others, and framed all the changes through the lens of landing a great legacy at the company. Those changes made a world of difference. 

Show them respect, include them in major change initiatives and frame them in a way that matters to them. 

Gen X


Gen X is the first generation to be chasers of work-life balance. I have found them to be very hard working but often missed out on promotions and potential because they were never developed in the right way. They were typically given very general feedback of, “Do better.” “Keep trying.” or nothing at all. I found that this group thrives by giving them practical steps to achieve their success. Don’t just tell them to do better. Tell them how to do better in a tangible way. Providing them with time management training and system efficiencies is very well appreciated. It shows you care for them outside of the workplace. 

Millennials


Certainly, a lot of material has been written about this group. This group is not nearly as loyal to a brand or company as the previous two generations. To engage with this group it’s essential that they feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their role and that the company is serving a larger purpose. 

This group typically enjoys and appreciates being a part of a collaborative team and enjoy flexibility in how and where they work. Trust is key here in allowing non-traditional work practices into the culture if possible. I have yet to interact with an organization that went backwards after allowing flexible schedules when it made sense. Millennials also appreciate the freedom to try new things. 

Gen Z


This group is just now making a significant impact in the workforce and will continue to grow in influence in the coming years. Growing up in a fully digital age has left many of these workers lacking soft skills essential for long term leader success. When I spent times with senior leaders for the Leaders of Atlanta podcast many cited this need as they see the newest generation entering the workforce.  

Provide soft skills training and other opportunities to grow as a person as well. Mentoring groups in and outside the company are a great way to connect them to the older generation. They typically put a very high value on independence and social responsibility, so give them freedom with a safety net and provide them opportunities to give back to the community and the world so they are fulfilled. 

Use some of these practical tips and knowledge to engage individually with people across generations.  Your workforce will be more engaged and unified as you push towards your business goals. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

We will be launching a sister podcast to Passing the Baton called Leaders of Atlanta on Jan 21st! This show will highlight CEOs and senior leaders in different sectors of the city. You’ll get an inside view of their leadership journey and the story of the company or cause that they are tied to. You’ll also walk away with practical tips to grow your own leadership and life walk.
How to identify ageism

How to identify ageism

Our workplace environments are dealing with generational issues more than it ever has before.  There are currently four generations simultaneously in the workforce, (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials, Gen Z).  There also has not been as a profound difference between generations as there is now. This is in large part due to the timing of the third and fourth industrial revolution.  Baby Boomers grew up without using computers for the most part, to Gen Z, who only know life in a smartphone world. 

The lack of understanding and empathy across generations has let the culture killing issue of ageism into many work environments. Typically ageism is associated with older generations, but it actually impacts every generation across our workforce. 

Understanding the signs


You first need to determine if you potentially have this issue in the first place. Some signs of ageism may look like this:

  • Employees cast judgment on one another based solely on age. 
  • Employees dismiss the ideas offered by younger and older co-workers. 
  • Generations compete for recognition, resources, and influence. (Us vs. Them)
  • Multi-generational teams uniquely struggle to accomplish their task or mission. 
  • Sub-conscious bias to hire from one particular generation. 
  • Older workers want to get out or retire early. 
  • Younger workers are disengaged, uninterested and have higher turnover rates. 
  • Employees assume people younger and older are incapable of doing the job as well as them. 

Looking through the list, some of these signs are obvious and some are very subtle. It’s easy to pick on gossip and negative comments but much harder to realize there may be biased promotion procedures.  Take a neutral look and include different generations as you gather your information. 

Reports sometimes say a sign of ageism is when a manager communicates that they need special training to lead different generations. This is not true and is not ageism.  What you are looking at is a leader that has self-awareness in their leadership ability and understanding of generational gaps. It’s beneficial for all employees to understand how to work across different generations. 

Realize that there are deniers out there 


If you do a search for “generational difference in the workplace myth” you’ll pull up a ton of articles from supposed experts and research scientists out there that deny generational differences exist. Don’t fall prey to this thinking. Much like the people that put videos denying work-life balance exists and then go on to explain a variation of the exact thing they are denying; many of the generational articles actually end up acknowledging ageism in a varied way. 

Ways to collaborate across generations


Whether you find yourself and organization needing a turnaround or simply a little improvement, these areas a great place to start.  


1. Keep expectations high.
One of the classic stereotypes is that no generation can complete a task or project as well as the one that you are a part of. As a result, we lower our expectations in dealing with other generations. Keep your expectations high. You get what you expect and inspect. One of the most common self-fulfilling prophecies out there reads, “Low expectations.”

2. Find Commonality. We will cover items that are common across all generations in Ep 199: Commonality across generations. Remember that there is often shared commonality on a personal level just below the surface. You just need to be intentional in finding out what that is. Were you both in scouts or the military? Do you share the same hobbies? Movie or music taste? Are you both foodies? Into sports? There are many avenues to build a bond with someone that has nothing to do with your generation.  Use this to build a relational bond that will help your working relationship. 


3. Connect the talent. Yes, different generations have different communication preferences, personal work values, and challenges, but talent is talent. Everyone is talented in some regard. Understand what each person’s unique talent is and give them a chance to utilize it and show it off to others. It makes the person feel valued and appreciated and it helps to break misconceptions with other generations. 

Next week we will dive into strategies on connecting with different generations and then move on to what we all share as well as the benefits when all generations work well together. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

We will be launching a sister podcast to Passing the Baton called Leaders of Atlanta on Jan 21st! This show will highlight CEOs and senior leaders in different sectors of the city. You’ll get an inside view of their leadership journey and the story of the company or cause that they are tied to. You’ll also walk away with practical tips to grow your own leadership and life walk.
Profiles in Leadership: Jesus

Profiles in Leadership: Jesus

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
-Jesus

There is certainly no one in the history of the world that has been talked about and written about more than Jesus. Three of the worlds largest religions acknowledge him in some way. (Christianity, Judaism, Islam)
The records of Jesus’s time is filled with leadership. While not an exhaustive list by any means, we’ll cover a few of the highlights on what Jesus can teach us about leadership. 

He was a servant

Think about if you were the president of the country and there was not a legislative body. Whatever you said or wanted would happen. What would you do with that amount of power? How would you carry yourself? That alone is hard to imagine. Now multiply that to having the power the rule the world and everything in it. 

Jesus had that power but never showed it for personal gain. He never ruled in a political way, never sat on a worldly throne, and often slept outside. He wasn’t caught up in his own power; he was there to serve others. You and I obviously don’t have the same power that Jesus carried, so why should we act as if we do? 

Serve others no matter your role or position. If you ever get to the point where you believe others are there to serve you, then you have lost your way as a leader. 

He was a storyteller

Jesus is well known for his storytelling ability. He used this communication tool often when teaching his disciples and other followers about theological and life lessons. Jesus showed us the power of storytelling and why it is a tool that you should use when communicating with others. 

  • The stories made complex theology mentally accessible to everyone. You didn’t have to spend your life in the temple to understand the concepts. 
  • They were memorable. Think about the speeches and lectures that you hear. The parts that you walk away remembering are likely the stories that were told. 
  • They all followed the same basic outline: A beginning, a challenge or dilemma, and a resolution. They were also typically short and to the point. Your stories don’t have to be long narratives to be effective. 
  • His stories caused people to think. The best stories are the ones where people can project themselves or their circumstances and learn a lesson about themselves. 

He handled interruptions well. 

When reading about Jesus, it’s easy to overlook one thing. He was constantly interrupted. He was interrupted in his sleep, prayers, conversations, and in his travels. In each circumstance, he welcomed it with grace and humility. 

We generally don’t like interruptions. I really dislike interruptions when I’m in a creative mood because an interruption can cause my creativity to come to a screeching halt. Jesus’s example shows us that we likely have an opportunity for growth in how we handle the daily interruptions that we have in work and life. Treat people with respect even when they interrupt you and keep your composure as things happen throughout your day that are unexpected. 

A few interesting facts

  • Our system for counting years was developed in the Medieval Times based on their guess when Jesus was born. They got close but they likely weren’t right. Most scholars put Jesus’s birth between 6-4 B.C. while others put it as late as 7 A.D. That means you most likely are living 4-6 years from now if the calendar was fixed!
  • Speaking of birth, it’s very unlikely that Christmas is Jesus’s actual birthday. The date is never mentioned in the Bible and from historical context, it was likely sometime between summer and fall. 
  • Jesus fulfilled many prophecies that were written in the Old Testament, with over 300 accounts about acts in the New Testament. To understand just how rare that is; the odds are 1 in a trillion raised to the 13th power. 

Lead with a humble heart. Be a servant to others, tell great stories and embrace the interruptions. Lead like Jesus. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

If you are interested in getting to know more about Jesus, I would suggest the book The Case for Christ. It’s a book written by Lee Strobel about his journey as an award-winning journalist to disprove the existence of Jesus. 

Profiles in Leadership: Thurgood Marshall

Profiles in Leadership: Thurgood Marshall

The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.
-Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was the country’s first African American Supreme Court judge. Before landing the historic position, he was known as a leader for equal rights, having argued, and won, hundreds of cases to bring the nation closer to equality. A man that led himself well and stood for a cause much larger than his own, Thurgood Marshall gave us several great examples of leadership. 

Follow your calling instead of what others call you

Thurgood Marshall knew that he wanted to be a lawyer and worked hard through his college career to position himself for law school. After graduating with honors, he was rejected from the Maryland Law School based on his race. The encounter with discrimination stuck with him for the rest of his life. He went on to become a lawyer though another school, worked at the NAACP and began arguing civil rights cases.  Where Dr. Martin Luther King brought people together in the streets, Marshall began righting social injustice laws in the courts. 

When you find your calling, let no one keep you from it. If you run into adversity, find a way around it, through it, under it. Do whatever needs to be done to follow your calling. Had Marshall given up, the civil rights movement may not have been as strong and the progress set back a number of years. 

Use your gifts to help others

Marshall’s drive was to end as much inequality as he could. He won one of the most famous cases of the 20th century; Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. He challenged the notion of separate but equal, and then won a unanimous decision that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” While the change was slow, this was the foundation that ended segregation in schools. 

Use your gifts, just as Marshall did, to help others. It may not be as dramatic, but there are certainly ways that you can utilize your skills and talents to increase the value of others. 

Work toward a vision even if you know you can’t reach it

At Marshall’s retirement press conference, several reports asked him about his legacy. One asked about MLK’s “Free at last” statement to which Marshall replied that he didn’t feel free. Marshall also said that wanted to be remembered as a man that did what he could with what he had. He knew that he wouldn’t see the vision that he and Dr. King had during their lifetimes, but that didn’t stop him from pushing towards the goal. 

Hopefully, you are working towards a vision and purpose for your life and/or work that is so big that you may not make it. That’s what makes it exciting! Don’t be discouraged if at the end of the day you don’t get to realize the vision. Think about the progress that you made from your efforts.

I had a culture vision for an organization that had been around over 100 years. Although I never got to realize it’s full potential, I’m very proud of the progress that was made. Sometimes you are a steward of a vision for a while and then someone else will come along and carry it further. 

A few interesting facts

  • Marshall had a great track record as a lawyer and judge. None of his 100 decisions as a circuit judge were overturned in the Supreme Court. He also won 29 of the 32 cases that he argued in the Supreme Court. 
  • He said that one of his greatest accomplishments in high school was that he could recite the whole constitution from memory. He initially received the assignment from a teacher for misbehaving in class. 
  • The Thurgood Marshall Academy was established in 2001 to honor Marshall’s legacy and drive for equal opportunities. The school is located in D.C.’s historic Anacostia neighborhood in Ward 8. There they prep students for successful college careers and teach the importance of being engaged in their community. 

Use your skills to help others, follow your calling and shoot for a goal so big that you may not hit it in your lifetime. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Profiles in Leadership: Margaret Thatcher

Profiles in Leadership: Margaret Thatcher

Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.
-Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher became the prime minister of Britain in 1979.  It was a time where you would have to wait in long lines to get gasoline, interest rates were very high and the cold war had started. She was part of a generation that lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and the rise of communism.

In a time when the world needed strong leaders, Margaret Thatcher showed herself worthy.  Here are some things that we can take away from her leadership. 

Follow your convictions

The prime minister was, and still is, a polarizing leader. British citizens both loved and hated her. She once cut a free milk service to children as part of a large scale effort to get Britan out of debt. She was dubbed the “Milk Snatcher” as a result. She once described herself as following conviction, not consensus. Without a doubt, Thatcher led with conviction.  She carried her country through many trials successfully because of the conviction inside of her.

It’s all too common to see people compromise their convictions for the sake of popularity. Don’t be a person that backs down from your convictions for the sake of acceptance. Make the decisions that need to be made…even the difficult ones. 

A shining example of professionalism

Thatcher once said, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” This quote is so refreshing in today’s landscape of showmanship and extravagance. She believed in carrying herself as a professional while in public and always wore pearls with her outfits. She felt they were elegant and not flashy like diamonds. She didn’t boast about her status or power, she simply did the job that she set out to do. 

Thatcher’s example reminds us that if we find ourselves saying things like, “I’m the leader,” “Trust me,” and “I know what I’m doing,” then on some level you know that others don’t see you the way that you do. Dress the part, lead like the part, and act like the leader that you aspire to be. 

Be a fixer

Britain was known as “the sick man” of Europe” for its poor economic state when Thatcher became the prime minister. Not only was she a leader with conviction; she was also a fixer with a disposition towards closure. She changed the rules of the London stock market which moved the city to the forefront in world finance. Thatcher simply got things done. 

As a leader, you’ve got to get things done. You’ve got to be action oriented or you aren’t going to be a very effective leader. Don’t leave problems for the next leader or even the next day. Rally your team, define your goals and move there as quickly as possible. There will be plenty of other challenges that will come and require your attention later.

A few interesting facts

  • Before politics, Thatcher was a food scientist and was part of the team that created soft serve ice cream.  Just like the invention of the hamburger, there are several people who claim themselves to be the true inventor.
  • She was the first woman prime minister ever elected in Britain. She said earlier in her life that there would not be a woman prime minister in her lifetime because of prejudice.
  • After retiring in 1992, she was given the honor and title of Baroness Thatcher. This entitled her to sit in the House of the Lords. 

I love Margaret Thatcher’s quote at the opening. It goes so well with our philosophy that leadership is how you carry yourself, develop others and make the right choice. You don’t have to be a behavior expert to lead people. The lessons you learn in the house are the same ones that you can use to run a nation. Follow Margaret Thatcher’s example and make the right choices in a professional way. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Profiles in Leadership: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Profiles in Leadership: Franklin D. Roosevelt

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
-Franklin D Roosevelt

There are few leaders that faced the number of tough decisions and crossroads in leadership as Franklin D. Roosevelt. He lead the US through the Great Depression and most of the 2nd World War. Many historians consider him one of the greatest, If not the greatest, president of all time.  FDR exhibited many leadership qualities that we can model in our own lives. 

Take advantage of technology to strengthen your communication

FDR was a great communicator and utilized a new technology, radio, to get his message out to the nation’s citizens.  They were informal in nature and were called fireside chats. The messages certainly resonated with people. There was 1 mailperson assigned to the White House prior to the shows. 70 people had to be hired because 500,000 letters of appreciation and questions showed up after the first airing. 

Are you leaning into technology to effectively communicate with others? It seems like every month there is a new tool to use! With technology changing at the pace it is, it’s not smart to get too comfortable and to push all of your communication down one avenue. Remain nimble, stay on top of the newest trends and communicate in a way that your friends, family, and co-workers want. 

A shining example of a continual learner

FDR was a very curious leader who was constantly trying to learn new things and educate himself on issues going on around the world. He sought insight from people both inside and outside of his country.  FDR’s drive for knowledge and growth meant that he could speak on many subjects with authority when he gave his speeches and fireside chats. 

This is a great reminder for us today to continue to grow our own experiences and education. Instead of instantly condemning a side of a debate, take some time to understand the other perspective. Go against today’s society of, “I’m an expert because I say I’m an expert.” and study up on a subject matter before you speak out on it. 

Confident in leadership

The president was already known as a confident leader and his desire for knowledge only made his confidence stronger. Many of his confidants were against the idea of supporting the British during the early part of the war. FDR was well versed on the agenda of the Axis nations, the consequences of his actions and inactions and held to his moral compass. Knowing that siding with the Allied forces was the right thing to do, he announced the United States support. Many consider this one of the defining moments of the war that began to take the momentum away from the opposing side. 

Be confident in yourself and your leadership. Get the facts, hold to your moral standards and make a decision. Try to avoid the wasted energy of second-guessing yourself. If you make a mistake, admit and make the changes that are needed. Not every decision made by the Allied forces in the war was the right one. They learned from their mistakes, adjusted and would go on to win World War II. 

A few interesting facts

  • FRD is the only president in the US to serve 4 terms. The constitution was later amended to limit presidents to 2 terms. 
  • He dealt with a large amount of personal adversity while leading. He contracted polio and was paralyzed from the waist down. 
  • FDR wrote the New Deal. He established the social security system, the FDIC to protect your funds in the bank and the SEC. (Security and Exchange Commission)

Follow the president’s example and be confident, curious, and use all the tools available to you. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Have more fun!

Have more fun!

Work hard, have fun, and make history.
-Jeff Bezos

Have fun! It’s sometimes easier said than done. You can’t force someone to have fun. I remember when my dad would get on to me about something and we would then go out in public. He would stop and tell me to smile in a very unfriendly way. I wasn’t exactly inspired to put on a smiling face. 

Even though you can’t force fun, you can make it more of a habit in your life. Here are some tips to draw out some fun and joy in your life. 

Don’t worry about what others think

We tend to carry a heavy value on what other people think of us when we are in school. You don’t truly escape that want and need to be liked by others as you grow into an adult. A few do, but most are somewhere on the scale of desiring acceptance. 

The desire to be accepted, or fear of being rejected depending on your perspective, holds many people back from having fun. Do your best to let go of that. I don’t mean showing up at work out of the blue in your PJs and a unicorn mask. Take baby steps. become more comfortable with yourself and give yourself the freedom to have fun. 

It’s common for me to come downstairs, have a dance off or training battle with my son, a self-deprecating conversation with my daughter and fun talk with my wife. I believe that it’s important for your kids, spouse, significant other and friends to see you having fun. Your joy gives them joy. 

Make fun out of things you normally do

Look for ways to make some of the things that you do more fun. There are several out of the box options available if you know where to look. When I first started to get into running, I found an app called zombies, run! It has story-based missions where you go on supply runs and build up your base during the apocalypse. I certainly helped me get out and have fun on my runs. It played my music, I got to be a part of a serialized drama and I got my exercise in as well.  If you need help to get some ideas, do a search for “fun things to do ______” The blank is your normal routine. Ex. while at work, on my commute, at home, with the kids, etc. 

Ask people entertaining questions

This has been one that my wife and I have enjoyed this year. We meet weekly with a small group that we do life together with. It’s equal parts accountability, growth, socializing and learning. We started kicking off our get-togethers with fun and entertaining questions. One was, “What is your favorite cereal?” That turned into a half hour long discussion of passion for cereal, remembering great ones that are now gone, funny stories involving cereal and an idea to have a cereal social. Even questions and conversation starters that seem mundane can spark all kinds of fun discussion. If you need help here, do a search for fun topic starters or icebreakers. 

Be yourself and have fun! Try to let go of what other people think of you and enjoy some fun moments throughout the week. Your mind and body will thank you. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How an accountability partner can help you on your journey

How an accountability partner can help you on your journey

An accountability partner is able to perceive what you can’t see when blind spots and weaknesses block your vision.
 -Charles Stanley 

I have really appreciated the accountability partners that I have had over the years. They were there when I had no one else to talk to, there to listen when I had something really embarrassing to talk through, and they were there to help me formulate my goals. An accountability partnership can be a great two-way road of added value to each party. 

There are all types of accountability partners

An accountability partner can fit into just about any scenario of your life. Here are just a few of the types that you will find out there. 

  • Exercise/health
  • Spiritual
  • Academic
  • Life coach
  • Men/women
  • Business
  • Support groups

They help keep your goals on track

A good partner can certainly help you stay on track with your goals. If they are honest, they will call out areas where you have slacked off or veered away from your intended target. Think of your accountability partner like the bumpers that go up for kids (and some adults!) at the bowling alley. They ensure that no matter what, you hit your target. 

They help take your excuses away

An accountability partner certainly helps keep the excuses away. You might not want to go to the gym at 5 AM, but if you know that Scott is going to be there and waiting for you, you’re more likely to get out of bed. No matter the situation, you are more likely to hit your commitments when you have to meet with someone and/or show your progress. Excuses can dominate our goals when we try to do it alone. 

They give you a different perspective

Although your partner is walking alongside you, they are not in your shoes and they have a unique perspective based on their own life journey. This gives you a different perspective on your hurdles, struggles, and challenges. Maybe you aren’t looking at the problem right. You could totally off base and not even know it.

People have blinders. You have blinders. It’s a common occurrence when I’m pointing opportunities out at a  business and the leader says, “I’ve never seen that,” or “I can’t believe I haven’t noticed that.” Although it makes me look like an eagle-eyed coach, that’s not always the case. The leader has put up blinders because they are there every day. When I go into a new location, I don’t carry those blinders. It’s the same in your life. Your partner doesn’t have the same blinders and can point out the obvious to you. 

They give you someone to celebrate with

What better person to celebrate your personal win with than the person who has been involved in your journey? There is true joy in sharing your victory with someone who truly understands just how challenging it has been and how hard you worked to get to your goal. 

An accountability partner can help you in just about any situation. Connect with the right one and reach your goals in a more efficient and enjoyable way.  

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH