A mission in the businesses that I work with is to help create “Drama-Free work environments.” Perhaps the most critical element that impacts the potential achievement of this dream is the level of positive engagement between leaders and followers.

2017 engagement data reveals the following statistics:

  • 51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged (Gallup)
  • Disengaged workers cause massive losses in productivity – between $450 and $500 billion a year (Mental Health America)
  • Only 16% of employees said they felt “connected and engaged” by employers (EmployeeChannel)
  • It can cost 33% of an employee’s salary to replace him/her (HR Dive)

Originally titled The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Patrick Lencioni’s The Truth About Employee Engagement gives us three simple causes that impact the level of job misery, or phrased differently, disengagement.

  • Anonymity…people have a need to be known, appreciated and understood;
  • Irrelevance…fulfillment occurs when the work a person does matters, and makes a difference;
  • Immeasurement…if my performance isn’t measured, how can I know if I’m winning?

Leadership Challenge: as a leader, ask yourself (and for that matter, your employees!) whether any of these three causes exist in your work environment? If so, then there is a strong chance that both disengagement and drama are active participants in your current culture.

This becomes an urgent call-to-action to make improvements before you become a contributor to this alarming statistic…

  • 75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable (HR Dive)

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In November 2017, I was allowed to participate in a wonderful and unique networking experience called “Women Making Waves.” This occurred on a cruise ship departing from Galveston, TX that brought together some brilliant female speakers and entrepreneurs who theoretically needed some body-guard types to protect them during this adventure (at least that was the story that I was telling myself as I attempted to justify why I was a participant in this adventure).

I was blessed in meeting many new acquaintances, including Angel Tuccy, who introduced me to a powerful phrase that she used…”givers gain.”  It resonated with me, and took me back to one of my mentors, fellow Dallasite Zig Ziglar, who professed that “if you will just help other people get what they want,”  you may ultimately benefit as they will tend to help you with achieving the things that you want.

This aligns with Stephen Covey’s “emotional bank account deposits” theory from his seminal book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey professed that if you helped people out when they were in need, either reactively or proactively, then eventually, if you ever needed something in return from them, the likelihood of them reciprocating would be greatly enhanced.

Most importantly, neither one of these brilliant role-models meant for these theories to be used or manipulated in a self aggrandizing manner. Rather, they approached these philosophies from the unselfish perspective that …”givers gain.”


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In the Book of Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7 states that “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Currently, I’m reading The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. This interesting book promotes the notion that we can influence our destiny by learning how to bring the incredible force of the subconscious mind under control.  We can literally change our lives by changing our beliefs.

As I read on, this writing makes me reflect on other excellent books that promote the same “thought process“…

  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  Hill asserts that desire, faith and persistence can propel one to great heights if one can suppress negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals.
  •  The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Peale suggests that thinking about certain things will make them appear in one’s life.
  •  As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. Allen prescribes that the proper use and application of thought leads to happy and beautiful outcomes in life.
  • The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, based on the pseudo-scientific law of attraction which claims that thoughts can change the world directly.
  • Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder. Ponder touts the formula that desire + visualization and affirmation = success.

Interestingly, I have personally seen these tactics and strategies deliver amazing results in my life…and genuinely buy-in to the belief that this stuff is real!

You are in control of your thoughts, no one else. You hold that key to your life’s condition. Your thoughts influence your outcomes. So here’s the self-reflection challenge…are the thoughts about your circumstances and situation constructive or destructive?

Keep them positive, affirmative and allow your subconscious to help create your better future life! I would hope that you experience great results as well.

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Early in my business career, a mentor introduced me to the notion of “infectious enthusiasm.” My interpretation of that powerful concept is that any person who comes in contact with me could become inspired as a result of the positive attitude, energy and demeanor that I displayed.

Not only did I love the sound of that phrase, but more importantly, I realized   that acting in that manner would enhance the lives of those around me.

Living life with an enthusiastic attitude and subsequently being an inspiration to those who you come in contact with…well, that’s the way that I strive to exist.

A good barometer for a self-check here: do others chase after you knowing that you create joy, or are they running away from you as fast as they can?

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Attitude by definition is a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically reflected in a person’s behavior.

Over the years, I have intentionally experimented with attempting to behave in an “optimal” fashion, primarily driven by my interpretation, and consequent attitude, toward any given situation.

My personal endeavor toward consistently demonstrating a constructive, energetic attitude dates back to initial engagements with Tony Robbins, via his Personal Power program. Robbins challenges us to improve our lives by asking daily quality questions, such as “What am I grateful for?” or “What could I be grateful for?” That process moved me toward the pursuit of living my life with an attitude of gratitude.”

Genuinely appreciating the good things we do have certainly beats spending time wallowing in pity about “What’s not great yet!”  There will always be someone else who is wealthier or healthier.  An honorable mission is to live in the moment, cherishing what we have been blessed with, and pursuing life with enthusiasm and energy.

The ultimate lesson that was reinforced throughout my experiment was that I, and only I, have the ability to choose and control the way I think, feel, act…and ultimately impact others. Doing so with that “attitude of gratitude” has certainly made the journey much more enjoyable…for myself and those around me!




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This philosophical strategy towards our pursuit of life while we’re experiencing our brief stay here on this earth has been advocated by numerous individuals, ranging from basketball coach Jim Valvano to Sir Winston Churchill.

I vividly recall the time in my life when I quit, gave up.  During my Freshman and Sophomore years at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, I played intercollegiate golf.  During a four-day individual tournament one summer, I had made it through the first three days quite nicely, and positioned myself for a decent finish on the final day.

Day four turned cold, rainy, windy and miserable.  I found myself approaching the eighth hole, shooting a terrible score, frustrated, hating the elements, feeling chilled and ultimately quitting after that front-nine, withdrawing from the tournament.

To say it differently, I QUIT after completing 63 of 72 holes in the event. That felt okay at the time. As it turned out, many of the competitors struggled that day!  Had I persevered and completed the event, I would have actually finished in a top-ten position.

That triggered a passion inside to never ever give up or quit again. And, driven by this painful memory, to the best of my knowledge, I believe I’ve remained true to that commitment???

It has been noted that it seems to be human nature for most people to quit or “take a break” right at the moment when we are about to achieve that breakthrough or achievement we’ve been pursuing. What a shame…

Having personally felt the pain of giving up when not realizing how close I was to achievement cemented (in my mind) the importance of staying relentless in our pursuits.

As we continue to move forward in this fast-paced, ever-changing world, let’s challenge ourselves to conquer, rise to the occasion, stay optimistic and realize our true potential every single day of our lives…remaining persistent and never, ever, ever giving up.


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Several of the businesses that I am privileged to work with complete feedback forms following our coaching days, very similar to the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.

Recently, a colleague asked for my “magic formula” for getting such consistently high ratings on these feedback forms.

I didn’t have any formula or magic to reveal, yet, upon reflection, the following three “process” components most likely led to the constructive feedback received from my promoters:

  1. Prepare: in advance of every session with a client, a significant amount of review time is devoted in preparation for the discussion.  This includes studying notes from prior meetings and discussions, recent emails, Smartsheet and/or financial updates before our time together. Further, a written agenda prepared in advance of that session, ensures that the critical topics and action items are always addressed.
  2. Care: the level of preparation described above is a natural by-product of caring for the customer enough to achieve the status of “Trusted Advisor.” In order to optimize successful, meaningful, and valuable long-term relationships with others (personal and professional) elements of trust, likability and genuine care must be in place.
  3. Dare: this final component entails challenging clients to “Do what they say they are going to do.”  One of the primary roles of a coach or consultant is that of accountability mentor. Obtaining results requires planning and execution. Diligent, specific, and often, uncomfortable follow-up will help ensure that the critical activities that have to occur don’t get lost in the “busyness of business.

Although I’ve approached this from the perspective of a coach or consultant, I believe that this three-step process is applicable for use in multiple scenarios, both personal and professional. Whatever situation you may be currently “managing,” perhaps “prepare, care and dare” can help get you from here to there.


As we head into what will prove to be an exciting 2018, I wanted to reblog this annual practice reminder in hopes that it will prove to be helpful to readers…

As each year ends, my wife and I go through an exercise wherein we review our journals from the prior year, reflect on what we have, and in some cases have not, accomplished.

The end goal is to establish what our “top-ten highlight reel” might look like for the year gone by…we are typically amazed by all that has been achieved.

A post-exercise routine of comparing our respective “top-tens” is not only fun, but also provides a barometer for how well our values and beliefs are aligned, i.e. what’s truly important to each of us. It further reinforces the many blessings we have in our lives and the people and events that are shaping our destiny.

Further, this practice helps to create positive feelings and an inner-state that tends to energize a constructive planning effort for what we would like to realize during the upcoming year.

If nothing else, take time to reflect on your core values and guiding principles; and reignite your internal flame by establishing some meaningful, challenging and achievable goals to shoot for entering this new year.

Ever since becoming engrossed with Tony Robbin’s Personal Power program in the early 1990’s, one of my primary life-long passions has surrounded taking charge of how my time is spent.

By focusing, and executing, on the most urgent, critical and important activities in our life, we can deliver the necessary results to propel our lives toward optimal success.

Some of my earlier blogs such as the 6 P’s about proper prior planning and High Leverage Activities reinforced the importance of taking charge of your life on this earth.

What I have found during my professional business and coaching careers is that we are responsible for our own demise when it comes to “time & life management.” The predominant culprit appears to be the dis-ease of Over-Commitment!

For a myriad of reasons, human beings seem to be unable to say “NO” when we should.

In teaching “time-management” over the past few decades, I’ve encouraged attendees to plan or commit to no more than 50% of their/your available time. Surprises, unexpected interruptions, unplanned activities, etc. will quickly absorb the remaining 50% that you thought you had available to be used at your discretion!

By Under-Committing, you have a fighting chance of actually staying in control of your precious personal time…and how it will be spent.

Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame stated that “He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life.  But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.”

Here’s your challenge: will you CHOOSE to…under-commit, over-deliver, eliminate chaos, and gain control???



I firmly believe that one key differentiator between successful versus struggling businesses is the ability to effectively execute their plans.

Sounds logical enough, right?  Nonetheless, I am dumbfounded by how a business team can typically plan and prioritize the most critical action items necessary for success, and yet when it comes to implementing & executing the required important activities, there often seems to be some excuse as to why they weren’t able to effectively follow-through and complete those actions!

As noted in a previous blog on Execution Excellence, the ability to do what you say you are going to do tends to separate great visionary leaders from the “wannabes”.

Winston Churchill stated that He who fails to plan is planning to fail”.

Margaret Thatcher advised us to “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan”. 

My philosophy is a bit more assertive…“Not executing your business plan may lead to an unplanned “execution” of your business”.