Houston, We Have a Problem

What would your year-end headline read?

Don’t look now, but the year is coming to a close. Do you have clarity? If you sat down today, to write a headline to describe your year, how would it read?

clarity, story, headlines, personal annual review, review, HR, success, achievement

A little over 20 years ago my headline would have read, “Houston, We Have a Problem!” 

Think Thankful Like Einstein!

Making the complex simple starts here.

Simple is good. Albert Einstein is credited with saying if you can’t explain something simply you don’t understand it. Ever found yourself rejecting simplicity because you didn’t think it could be that easy?

Einstein, Albert Einstein, journal, journaling, thanks, thankful, thinker, complex, simple, simplicity,

Isn’t it ironic that many (likely most) of the greatest thinkers, inventors and creators in history commonly made the seemingly complex simple!

The Five Minute Habit that Will Change Your Life

Do you do it?

Not everyone does it, but you should! It’s simple, easy and powerful. Would you take five minutes to journal if you knew it could change your life for the better? Of course you would, who wouldn’t—right?

habit, habits, good habits, journal, journaling, Dr. Robert A. Emmons

The development of this habit will make you a better leader, increase your impact and expand your influence. Don’t you think you can find five minutes a day to create the journal habit knowing it can change your life and those of the people you love and lead?

The Happiness Advantage

A 5 minute daily habit that will elevate your success

It is an age-old question. We use it when pondering some of conundrums of life—which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well of course you know the chicken came first.  But what about success and happiness? Is there a happiness advantage?

happiness advantage, impact, leader, leadership, jimdakers, gratitude, thanks, Shawn Achor

Are you happy because you are successful, or are you successful because you are happy? Many people, maybe most people, think success leads to happiness, but it actually is the other way around.

Moments of Significance

The indelible experiences of life we hunger for...

It was a moment like few we ever experience. This was a moment of significance that will be remembered forever. People will be talking about the setting and event for years to come. But for me the significance of a brief moment was more—much more!

moments of significance, WSU, GoCougs, USC, Pullman, Martin Stadium, Matthew Akers

I have dreamed of these moments. But try as we might, these indelible experiences can’t be planned for or manufactured. We are unlikely to see them coming. They sprout from seeds we sow along our journey possibly never realizing we had nurtured them along the way.

Change Your Relationship with Feedback

The Key to Explosive Personal Growth

We have a love hate relationship with feedback. It is not an equally balanced relationship. We love to hear positive feedback and push ourselves away from what we perceive as negative.

feedback, feedback loop, leadership, elon musk, adam grant, coaching, mentoring impact

We don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I sure hope I get some constructive criticism today. Oh yeah, I can’t think of anything I’d look forward to more than a heaping of unsolicited constructive criticism.”

The Most Important Life Skill—A Teachable Spirit

The Power of a Beginners Mindset

You know by now that I like questions. I have not always had a warm relationship with questions. I am sure I am not alone. Goodness, learning to invite inquiry capable of exposing ignorance is uncomfortable.

teachable, teachable spirit, coaching, teaching, learning

Through years of being rewarded for having answers we learn to lead with confidence and rely on what we know. Slowly but surely we extinguish our innate teachable spirit and insistently rely on a base of knowledge that grows more fragile every day.

The Victors Challenge

How to rise in the little and big challenges of life...

The juxtaposition of youth and maturity (growing old) had my full and undivided attention this past week. In a brief 24-hour period, I found myself standing in a hospital room and a college classroom.

At first glance, I didn’t consider for a moment there could be similarities. How could it be possible that the intersection of youthful anticipation and the pursuit of graceful aging could share something so powerful in common?

Think For Yourself

You can't just "Google It" or ask "Alexa"

Knowledge is a commodity. Just ask “Siri” or “Alexa.” If you would have said, “Google It,” 10 years ago, few people would have known what that meant. But today “Google It” and “Ask Siri or Alexa” are part of our daily lexicon. Thus some of us are only as smart as our “smart phone” allows us to be.

think for yourself, questions, ask questions, Siri, Alexa, Google It, leaders, leadership, teachers

Known answers are at our fingertips and we are bombarded (even overwhelmed) with data. High alert—“the value of explicit information is dropping.” 

Always Be Curious or Not

The danger of relying on what we know

I lost something. You’ve likely lost it too. We had a lot of it as kids. But something happens on our journey to adulthood that allows it to slip away seemingly undetected.  We lose our innate curiosity and stop asking questions.

curious, always be curious, questions, question, impact, think

It happens to all of us—some more than others. We’d rather stick to what we know. But what we know won’t be enough. In fact, what we know today won’t even be enough to sustain the present let alone allow us to make meaningful contributions in the future.