3 Ways to Defeat Resistance and Get Your Most Important Work Done

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Have you ever been in the situation where you really wanted to get something important done but all of a sudden your internal dialogue took over and you ended up talking yourself out of actually doing it? If I had to guess, chances are you have. It’s more than likely that all of us at some point have been in a similar situation.

I come across people on a daily basis who go on and on explaining how badly they want to write a book, start a business or pursue a passion. And, as the conversation continues, the next thing that comes out is a list of reasons why that hasn’t happened yet.

Unfortunately, most will continue their lives without realizing their goal. It’s not that they lack talent or that something is wrong with us. What has happened is that like millions of other people, we’ve let one of the biggest dream killers, resistance, completely take over our lives and decision-making ability.
We all have big hopes and aspirations, but as time goes on and we grow older, we let that resistance creep in and prevent us from tapping into our full potential. And the thing is that the more important and special something is to us, the stronger and more powerful our resistance will be. One of the best books I have come across that details this process is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I highly recommend it because it explains that it’s not just creatives who deal with resistance; it’s anyone who desires to live a bold and highly successful life.
I have had my own battle with resistance over the years and have learned how to minimize its effectiveness each time I feel it gaining an edge on me. Here are three ways I’ve defeated resistance and gotten my most important work done.

1. Just get started!

Resistance is at its strongest when you’re getting ready to start something. When I first sat down to write my book, I stared a few minutes at the blank screen, knowing exactly how much I had to write, and immediately came face to face with resistance.

Multiple excuses began to pop up, and the last thing I wanted to actually do was to start writing. But the turning point came when I stopped thinking about the thousands of words I had to write that day and just made getting started my main focus.

Once I was able to just get started, everything was downhill from there. When you direct all of your focus to  taking the first step, you destroy resistance little by little. The last thing resistance wants you to do is to start on an important project or work that truly matters. Whether that project is writing a book, starting a business or pursuing a passion, just focus on taking that first step.

2. Compete with yourself.

One of the major benefits of being a former athlete is that I am always trying to compete with myself and have fun with everything that I do. Instead of looking at resistance as some dreadful and awful experience, I try to have some fun with it and make it a game. At the end of each work day, especially when I am in the process of working on a major project like writing a book, I will keep score of how many times I have beat resistance. Nothing feels better than to get to the end of the day and look at how many times I have successfully defeated resistance.

This ends up increasing my fulfillment, happiness, and overall satisfaction for that particular day. This simple and fun practice has drastically transformed the way that I work. I encourage you to find your own practice and what works best for you. What works best for me may not be the best solution for you, but that’s not the main point. The most important thing is that you give yourself permission to have fun with resistance instead of let it cripple you from performing your best on a daily basis.

3. Get extremely clear.

When you get extremely clear about what you’re  trying to achieve, who you are as a person and the overall mission and purpose for your life, the resistance you’re up against loses a great deal of its power.

Returning to my efforts to write a book: Once I got extremely clear about why I wanted to write in the first place and the type of impact that I wanted it to have on people, I got motivated to take action. A lot of times, resistance gets the best of us because we forget the importance of gaining clarity before we start something.

The next time you feel resistance overpowering you, then, stop what you are doing and spend some time getting connected with your major life purpose, your biggest goals and dreams for the year and anything else that motivates and excites you. A simple mindset shift like this can make a profound difference in not only your ability to beat resistance, but in the way you feel about life.

I strongly believe that every one of us has a unique talent and ability that can be used to make a tremendous difference in the world. Don’t let resistance get in the way of preventing you from leaving your mark on the world.

Just as author Steven Pressfield said, “Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.”

Don’t let resistance interfere with your becoming the best version of yourself.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Power of Writing Down Your Goals

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Everyone wants to be great and reach achievement milestones, but not everyone is willing to commit to the grueling process that being great requires. Many people give up after one try, one failure. They settle for being average instead of striving and working to be great.

With the New Year right around the corner, and most people starting to think about their resolutions and the goals they want to accomplish in 2017 — and that includes me — I want to share a process I go through at the end of each year, in late December. Some people don’t know how to set goals, and they certainly don’t know how to go about achieving them.

But, for me, nothing has changed my life more than learning how to set goals and then working hard to attain them.

What’s important here is the difference between goal-setting and goal achievement. Both are important, but setting goals alone isn’t enough. If you write them down on a piece of paper, then put that paper away and never do anything more, you’ve wasted your time. Instead, you have to take massive action to achieve your goals.

Everywhere I go to speak in the world, I share the following exact same goal-setting process that has shaped my life year after year. This process has helped me achieve almost every major goal that I ever set.

The process

Start by setting a stopwatch or the timer on your phone, for three minutes. This will force you to write your goals down quickly and not dawdle. The point is to eliminate the tendency to start worrying. When we consider the goals we want to achieve, we immediately start thinking about reasons we can’t reach those goals.

There will be roadblocks to consider, a lack of money and a million-and-one other obstacles. But don’t worry about those things; if you set a stopwatch for three minutes, that short time span will force you to focus and write down what’s really in your heart instead of to waste time on the challenges down the road.

The next part of the process is to write down eight to ten goals you want to achieve this time next year. It’s good to include some balance on that list with health, fitness, family, leisure and financial and business goals, to name some important considerations. Then circle the one goal that has the potential to completely change the course of your life and serve as a domino effect for every other goal on the list.

The “game-changer” goal

Next, identify what I call the game-changer goal. When I first adopted this same process into my life, I was 16 years old and a recovering drug addict. My major goal at the time was to get a Division I college scholarship for football. I knew that achieving that major goal would help me reach every other goal on my list and drastically change my entire life.

After you circle your own game-changer goal, you’ll find that the next part of the process is what separates the best of the best from everyone else. Write down 20 to 50 things you need to do to achieve that major goal of yours.

Most people never even think about what they need to do in order to achieve their goals. So, if you are thinking about this, you’ll be putting yourself in the small percentage of high achievers and be significantly increasing your odds of success.

After you have completed your action plan of all the things that must happen in order to achieve your game-changer, you should start transferring one to two tasks a day onto your daily task list. Once you have your game plan ready to go, your overall task is all about taking massive action and being relentless each and every day until you get to where you want to go.

Goal-setting has completely changed my life, and it can do the same for you. Want more detail on this process? See my book, Winning Plays.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Leadership Lessons We Can All Learn From Pat Summitt

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Pat Summitt, the leader who helped bring the University of Tennessee’s Lady Volunteers to becoming a powerful force on the basketball court — and who became the winningest coach in college basketball history — died on June 28 of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Coach Summitt was not only a phenomenal basketball coach who dominated on the basketball court, she was also an incredible human being who made a profound difference in the lives of those she coached.

Unfortunately, I never personally met with the legendary coach. However, after watching some of the interviews with former players and all of the other people who were so fortunate to personally know Coach Summitt, it’s very easy to see what a monumental impact she had on so many who crossed paths with her over the years.

You don’t have to be a basketball coach, player or even fan of the game to take away important lessons from Pat Summitt that could drastically change your impact and significance as a leader. When you dig a little deeper and find out more about the type of leader and person that Pat Summit was, it’s very easy to see why her teams dominated on the basketball court for such a long time. It’s very easy to see why all of the 161 players that she coached during her time at the University of Tennessee graduated from college. It’s very easy to see why her legacy will live on forever.

Coach Summitt exemplified what it means to be a real leader. A real leader isn’t someone who just has the head job and collects the biggest paycheck. A real leader serves those that they lead. A real leader works for their players or employees, not the other way around. A real leader invests the time, energy and effort into developing their people to not only become better at their job, but also better as people. A real leader makes an impact in the world. In her 38 total years at Tennessee, Coach Summitt won eight national titles and 1,098 games — the most by any Division 1 Basketball Coach, male or female.

Not only this, but Summitt made a profound impact on women’s college athletics. When she first took over as head coach at The University of Tennessee in 1974 when she was just 22 years old, the NCAA didn’t even really pay attention to women’s basketball. None of that mattered to Summitt. She couldn’t be ignored as the wins and championships continued to grow. She helped bring to light women’s basketball throughout the nation. And the rest is history. This is what true leadership is all about.

Pat Summitt was not just a basketball coach. She was humane, caring and empathetic. She was all “about the people.” She kept in touch with all of her former players, visited them when they were going through difficulties, and continued to help develop them as a friend even after their time on the basketball court was up.

That should be a reminder for all of us. One of the most important things that you can do as a leader right this moment is start investing in your team, which means directing every ounce of your energy into caring more, serving more and loving more. As a leader, it’s very easy to bask in the limelight or get sidetracked by all of the obligations that you have in front of you every morning as you step into the office.

When you truly start to find ways to invest back into your people and leave your office door open to provide a listening ear for someone who may be battling a disease or who has just lost a loved one, or some other personal issue, does more for your organization’s future success than actually handling work-related tasks. It’s always about the people.

Your organizations long-term success is dependent on all of the people within your organization. Sure, great systems, phenomenal products and awesome customer service are critical for success, but never underestimate what truly makes great organizations thrive and separate themselves from the rest of the pack. They have a leader who passionately cares about the people they lead. In return, these people will go above and beyond to get the job done and carry out their leader’s vision.

There are so many leadership qualities that are required in order to become a great leader, but in my opinion, caring and loving more each day is the starting point to greatness.

 

Instead of thinking that others work for you, develop the mindset and perception that you work for others. By adopting this mindset as a leader, you will revolutionize the culture of your organization and inspire your people to do whatever it takes to create something special.

Just look at, and remember Coach Pat Summitt. That’s what a real leader looks like.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Things That Will Always Rob You of Reaching Your Full Potential

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Working to get better every day of our lives and striving to reach our full potential should be a major life goal for us all. Whether it’s complacency, the fear of failure, bad habits and plenty other factors that come into play as to why most never fulfill that major goal — that doesn’t have to be the story for you.

You can increase your chances of making sure that’s never going to happen to you by being intentional in your approach and understanding what’s holding most people back in the first place.

Here are three things that will always rob you of reaching your potential.

1. Having a limited vision.

A very sad but hard truth is that one of the main reasons that robs so many of reaching their full potential is the limited vision that they have for their lives. They let their failures, heartbreaks and misfortunes throughout the course of their lives dictate what’s in store for them and cloud their vision as to what’s really possible.

Any great organization, individual or even team that went on to achieve an incredible accomplishment all started with expanding their vision and being able to see it all take place in their minds before it happened in reality.

Expanding your vision consists of constantly going to work on your mind. Read uplifting and inspirational books to help rewire your current level of thinking. Set big and challenging goals that excite you — and then look at them every single day. Adopt positive self-talk as a daily habit and start to picture yourself as a healthy, accomplished and positive person. Visualize yourself winning and accomplishing whatever major goal or dream that is deep within your heart.

2. Associating with negative and toxic people.

We end up becoming who we hang out with the most. Over time, we begin to adopt their habits, talk like they talk, dream like they dream and embark on the life journey that they embark on as well.

I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of the most talented athletes in the world throw their career down the drain all because of who they associated with on a regular basis. I have seen hundreds of entrepreneurs who had a great idea and even begin to take action moving that idea forward, but ended up falling flat on their face all because of who they let hang around them.

I have seen incredibly talented teams that were expected to dominate the market in business or win a championship in athletics, but the few negative and toxic team members ruined it all for everyone. The bottom line is that who you choose to have around you absolutely matters — and has a large determining factor as to what the final outcome is.

3. A lack of fight and resolve to persevere through the challenging times.

Things will never be perfect for any of us. We will fail, lose focus from time to time, get discouraged, lose self-confidence and maybe even think that where we currently are is all there is.

Every great achievement to ever take place in history was all because of someone who possessed a ridiculous fight and resolve to persevere through the challenging times to end up getting to their final destination that labeled them a champion. You are going to get knocked down throughout the course of your journey.

That’s just a non-negotiable. However, the one thing that you determine is what happens after you get knocked down. You have the decision to either stay on the ground and accept defeat — or get back up and fight every waking moment to get to where you want to go.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Don’t Lose That All-Important Sense of Urgency. Do It — Now!

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The secret weapon that is often overlooked to your personal and professional success is urgency. Creating a sense of urgency is rarely talked about when discussing all of the required characteristics that make up the highly successful, but without a doubt, it’s a prerequisite for success in business and in the pursuit of achieving your personal goals and dreams.

It’s important to approach each assignment, task and project with extreme care and focus, but being a perfectionist often hinders the sense of urgency needed to produce. Whether it is letting your perfectionism slow your growth or waiting for the perfect moment rather than creating a sense of urgency to make it happen and get it done, you must be deliberate in your efforts to identify a sense of urgency in all that you do.

People who live with a sense of urgency, also live their lives with purpose and meaning. They wake up everyday with purpose and possess an inner urgency that drives them to deliver on it.

The amount of people that I have witnessed over the years who have let a lack of urgency in their personal or professional lives sabotage their success and full potential is unbelievable. Quality will always matter, and perfectionism can be a great asset, but productivity, efficiency and speed are equally important.

In football, we had a saying — “speed is the name of the game.” It was brought up repeatedly before every meeting, practice and game. What I learned about that saying from hearing it for so many years is that it holds the same amount of truth in life as well as in business. Speed matters. Doing something to the best of your ability and creating quality work should always remain a top priority, but speed is essential.

So many people want to take their business to the next level, but they are so busy perfecting one aspect, they miss the opportunity to expand beyond it. This lack of urgency stumps growth. So many others walk around unfulfilled wishing they had acted on what they were passionate about or an idea that they truly wanted to move on but let a lack of urgency prevent them from ever getting started.

How to create a sense of urgency in your life.

W. Clement Stone, the late great businessman, philanthropist and author had a success statement that he thought was one of the most powerful statements you could ever say to yourself which was, “DO IT NOW.”

There have been plenty of things throughout the course of my life that I have pondered on for days and never ended up taking action on, because I thought a better moment or opportunity was going to present itself. I now know — this is a trap mentality. It rarely happens that those same opportunities will come again.

Life presents itself with small windows of opportunity, and we have an even shorter time frame to make a decision. Those with a sense of urgency, will jump through these windows when they see them. Those who lack urgency will do as I once did, and weigh the pros and cons for so long that the opportunity passes us by, and all that’s left is the “woulda, shoulda, coulda’s.”

I now have written down on a notecard that I keep in my briefcase, as well in the notes section on my phone the simple but powerful saying, “DO IT NOW.” Seeing this daily and making it top of mind every day has helped create the sense of urgency that I lacked for so many years. It’s so easy to let your mind talk yourself out of taking action on a goal or dream of yours, and letting that lack of urgency take over your decision making is one of the worst things that you can allow when it comes to ensuring personal and professional success.

Even if you end up being wrong or maybe don’t get the results that you had originally hoped for, taking action and making mistakes along the way is more beneficial than not moving at all. Get used to the saying, “DO IT NOW.” Incorporate it into your everyday life. Creating a mindset shift that prioritizes a sense of urgency in your life can be a game changer for you — just as it has been for me.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

By Failing to Prepare, You Are Indeed Preparing to Fail

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How many of you have heard the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail?”

If this is your first time seeing it, read it again. I cannot stress the importance of these wise words enough. People often talk about how they are waiting for their big break or that if they were just given the opportunity, they would take it and run with it.

But would they really? That would mean that they have to be prepared when the opportunity presents itself, and unfortunately, the majority are simply not. A really bad habit to get into is talking more about what you would do given the opportunity — than actually working to create that reality.

Those who are proactive about their possibilities know that they can create opportunities for themselves, and in that process, prime themselves for success. If you feel there is not enough opportunity knocking, ask yourself if you are preparing for it as much as you are talking about it.

One thing I’ve learned from being both unprepared and prepared at pivotal times in my life is that life presents us with limited windows of opportunity. These windows may never come again. Many are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. There are windows that will swing open, and if you’re not ready at that moment, you have to bite the bullet and accept it as a missed opportunity.

In high school, I was a baseball standout. I had MLB scouts coming to watch me play, and because I got involved in delinquent behavior, I was kicked off my baseball team. I wasn’t mentally prepared. I had all the talent in the world — but that wasn’t enough. I had to reluctantly accept it as a major loss, and understand that only I was to blame.

It is important that no matter how skilled, talented or knowledgeable you are in your respective field, you must spend time every day preparing. Prepare for the next step, the next goal, the next big moment when it arises — because you never know when it will come. I’ve found that the biggest regrets come from individuals who had a window of opportunity that they weren’t prepared for. Whether it was the job interview that they tried to wing, or the endorsement that they lost. There is nothing worse than the feeling of your dreams being close enough to touch and them slipping through your fingertips, never to return.

Whether I look at my life as an athlete or in the business-arena, preparation makes all the difference. Preparing for a game and studying your opponent is necessary in order to win. If you don’t know your opponents’ strengths, you’re going to come out blindly hoping that your skill level will outplay theirs. True champions do more than that. They don’t gamble on their skill level. They combine it with diligent preparation.

Going into a meeting looking for a capital investment for your start-up and relying on your knowledge and passion is simply not enough. True successors combine their passion and knowledge with meticulous research and preparation. You need to know who your investors are before you can convince them how valuable this investment is for them, not you.

Before a keynote, I don’t just go on stage and give a blanket speech on performance, leadership or sales. I study the organization I’m speaking to, crunch their numbers, address their challenges, and cater content specifically to them. This preparation makes all the difference and will set you apart from the people just going with the motions.

It’s often obvious to tell those who are prepared or not. Whether it’s the start-up pitch, the keynote speaker or the athlete taking the field, preparation is not a concept you can throw together quick. You cannot “fake it ‘til you make it,” and you can’t wing it.

It takes time, discipline, thought, effort, research, organization and even some meditation. It’s an investment in yourself, your product and your business, and those who are prepared are noticed. If you want to create possibilities, prime yourself for success, and capitalize on opportunity. You must simply begin to prepare as such.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Southwest Is the Only Major Airline to Not Charge for Luggage Check. What Is It That Only You Can Provide Your Customers?

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Whether you just launched a business or you’ve been at it for a decade, it is imperative that you continually ask yourself this one question: What separates you from everyone else in your industry? The answer cannot be your work ethic or your passion. It cannot be because you believe your products or services are the best. Why? Because we all share those same sentiments about ourselves, our products and our services. It is that very principle and unwavering belief in ourselves, our talents and abilities that have led us down the path of entrepreneurship.

So again I ask, what truly separates you from everyone else in your industry? If you cannot answer this question without hesitation or conviction, chances are, you will eventually be in trouble. It is time you stop what you’re doing and begin distinguishing this: In an ever-changing, option-saturated market full of steep competition, people need to know — why you?

You must not only identify your “Only We…” clause, but you must begin to lead with it. The “Only We…” clause is the thing, the item, the promise that only you, only your company, only your services, only your products provide.

One of my favorite “Only We” companies is Southwest Airlines. They have made it boldly apparent by splashing their “Only We” message across the front page of their website, “Bags Fly Free.” They are the only major airline that does not charge an additional fee to check your luggage. They use their “Only We” concept to differentiate them from other major airlines. It has created many lifelong customers, including myself.

Something I do for all the keynotes I give is I offer a risk-reversal guarantee. Meaning, if for some reason a client was not 100 percent satisfied with the keynote they received, my speaking fee is fully refunded to them. This does a few different things. It gives the client the assurance that I will add tremendous value, and the keynote will be a knockout success without taking a financial risk. It also gives me a never-ending incentive to be a master of my craft and provide value, every single time. It’s important to set a standard that you have to constantly live up to.

It’s easy to get comfortable, stop preparing and rely solely on your talents to get you through, but your customers and your clients deserve the very best. If you aren’t doing it, someone else will gladly come along and sweep up the business you couldn’t finish.

You should be able to lead your business with the answer to the question, “What makes you different? Your consumers must know what separates you. They are paying for your promise as much as they are paying for your product or service.

Remember, in an ever-changing world of endless options, fierce competition and undecided consumers, it is important to differentiate who you are by offering something that they can get only from you.

The “Only We” clause is a necessity to your business success, because we live in a world of endless options. Whether you want to buy a new car or a new computer, try a new salon, a new gym or a new service, the reality is that people suffer from too many options. There are millions of options to choose from. If people can’t find what they want in a storefront, they can find it online for cheaper.

Sites like Amazon will even have it delivered to your doorstep by the end of the day if you join their subscription service. Competition is fierce for businesses trying to survive. Today’s consumers can become quickly overwhelmed with options. Consumers, however, love options — when they can distinguish between them.

This is why your “Only We…” clause needs to be easily identified. If people don’t know immediately what separates you, they will go for the product or service that offers what they perceive as the most value. That could be the vehicle with the 10-year warranty, the hotel room with the lowest price guarantee, a service with a money-back guarantee or an airline ticket with free cancelation. It is because of assurance that allows the consumer to risk the sale with you in the first place. It is completely worth the time and risk-reversal hassle to establish this for yourself.

People are often willing to look beyond the most economical option if they know that the difference is worth the added value. Sometimes, all a consumer needs is the assurance. I’m certain you’ve purchased something with the above attached clause, and even if you never used the assurance guarantee, there was a sense of security by knowing that just in case, you are covered.

Sometimes, you have to face your own product or services as a consumer. How do you know which one to choose when you’re faced with so many options? What resonates with you? What assurance do you need before making a purchase? And more importantly, why should someone choose you? If you don’t know, they won’t either — and they will opt for the one who does.

Companies that know their “Only We,” lead their sale with a promise. If anything goes wrong, they will replace it. If you are unsatisfied, they will give you your money back. People love options, when they can differentiate between them. There is trust, there is no risk — there is, however, a guarantee of satisfaction. People want to know what they are going to get, every singe time. Consistency is key. Knowing that they can get the same experience, the same product every single time and or have the situation rectified is what creates a lifelong customer.

How many places have you went one time to and never returned? When there are other options, you will utilize them. For this reason, first impressions are everything. Knowing that customers have options, it’s important to exceed expectations. You can differentiate yourself with your “Only We” clause, but then it’s extremely important to lead with it in almost everything that you do.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Want to Be Like Apple, Disney or the New England Patriots? You Need a Stellar Company Culture.

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Creating a distinct culture within your organization is everything. Whether in sports or business, you must set a concrete foundation and an understanding as to what your culture is — and it must be identifiable in all that you do.

Have you ever stayed at a 5-star hotel chain that made you feel like you were their most important guest? Have you ever visited a store or dined at a restaurant, where the customer-service level far exceeded your expectations? Have you ever wondered how a sports franchise is in the playoffs seemingly every year?

Sure, some people are just good at what they do, and when you gather a bunch of talented people together, you’re bound for success, right? Wrong. It has everything to do with a culture that is easily identifiable, attainable and respected by everyone working within the organization. Whether your culture revolves around creating a 5-star service standard, a family environment, a winning-culture, a customer-is-always-right culture, you must have one — and it must be clear — before your employees can buy in.

Although we often hear about the importance of culture, I still find that so many overlook how vitally important it really is. A weak culture, or one that is never established, can completely diminish performance levels within an organization, even if that organization possesses the best strategies, products or talent. On the other hand, a distinct and thriving culture can certainly make up the difference for just average strategy and talent.

Please don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say don’t try to create the best strategies and recruit the best talent for your company, but understand that all of that is just a byproduct to what really matters most — the culture you create.

I have witnessed the incredible importance of culture in my own life. During my time as an athlete, I was on teams that didn’t have the most talented players in the world, but we still got the job done and won games as the underdogs. That came from the result of leadership instilling a phenomenal culture from day one.

I have also been on teams that had extreme talent, but the results on the field were mediocre at best. That same team lacked a presence of culture. Leadership wasn’t setting the tone or expectation as a whole, so it was each man for himself. In sports, of course, the main objective is to win, but if there is no set process outside of individual talent, no set standard for all to buy into and no leadership driving it, a star-studded roster means nothing.

In my world as a speaker now, I get the wonderful opportunity to travel all over and sit down with leaders from all different industries. Prior to each speaking engagement, I sit down with the leadership of the organization, and I spend time taking a closer look at the culture of the organization and where I can add the most value. During this time, I usually find one of two things. The first one is a leader who is incredibly passionate about creating a dominant, healthy and strong culture. These are the organizations that have a great employee retention and morale.

The leaders who aren’t as passionate about building and nurturing a strong and powerful culture unfortunately end up falling into the trap of directing all of their focus on outcomes and results. The major problem with all of this is that the presence of culture is what largely drives results. By completely neglecting the importance of building and nurturing a strong culture while focusing solely on outcomes and results, the process ends up backfiring somewhere down the line and being counterproductive.

I’m not telling you how to run your organization, but I do want to share with you that the results speak for themselves when it comes to organizations that focus on culture compared to the one’s who don’t. If you take a very close look at the New England Patriots, Disney, Apple or any other organization for that matter that dominate their market or craft, you will begin to see that they are crystal clear on the culture that they demand from their people.

All of the championships have great strategy and talent behind them, and the sales milestones have great products and value behind them, but the culture that leadership instills and demands throughout the whole organization is what actually drives results.

Culture is and will always be vitally important when it comes to your organization’s growth, success and longevity. It’s my hope as a leader that you make it a major priority to create a crystal clear culture that your employees are proud to show up and be a part of everyday.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Daily Routines for Becoming Happier and More Successful

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When looking back on the many blessings of my football career, I am forever indebted to the game for instilling in me qualities and traits that have helped me succeed in business. Football taught me the power of routine and adopting successful habits.

The most successful people in the world all have world-class habits and routines. If you asked the 10 most successful people you know what contributes most to their success, most would say it’s the things they consistently do daily over the long haul. The habits and routines give them their greatest return on time and energy so they can get big things done.

Here are three powerful routines and habits worth practicing every single day of your life.

1. Spend some time everyday just contemplating.

Most people aren’t thinking past reacting to the circumstances and demands of daily life. It’s amazing what can happen when you pause for five to fifteen minutes during your hectic day to contemplate where you are in life, who you are becoming as a person and where you are headed.

Those three questions can get you started strategizing a new business idea, thinking through a current problem, or simply paying tribute to all that you are grateful for in your life. Setting aside a set time on your calendar to just think can reap tremendous rewards in both your personal and professional life.

2. Build health and fitness into your routine.

A huge contributing factor to low workplace performance is failing to emphasis the importance of employees taking their health and fitness very seriously, for their benefit and for the organization as well.

When you work consistently to become the healthiest version of yourself your organization becomes healthier, too. When you get really serious about creating a powerful health routine to become the healthiest version of yourself you will feel better, perform better and boost your self-confidence.

 

3. Routinely set aside time for growth.

As a football player, each practice was dedicated to a specific component of the game. One day it may be a strong emphasis on special teams, the next day the defense is the main focal point.

You will see an extraordinary positive difference in your life if you set aside even just a couple minutes each day to grow somehow, some way in your line of work. The most successful people in the world have a strong routine of growing and getting better to reach a level of mastery at what it is they do.

Regardless of age, as long as you are still breathing, there is more for you to achieve, become, do and give. Don’t let a day go by without setting aside some time to grow and get better.

Developing a positive and strong routine in the above three areas can bring great joy, happiness and success to your life and business.

 

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Why Talent Alone Will Never Be Enough

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One of the great mistakes of life is to think that talent alone is enough to be great and become a high achiever. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen talented people get cut from the sports team, go bankrupt after a few years in business or just completely get flat out beat by someone with a lot less talent.

I first came to realize how very little talent means in the long term during my athletic career. Some of the most talented athletes in the world are the ones who you don’t know or never hear of. I was amazed and never could fully wrap my head around how some of the best players I played against in high school never made it to college or how the best players in college never went on to have lengthy NFL careers.

Everyone had a different journey, so I’m not saying that every single case was the same, but when I began to dig a little deeper, there was a remarkable trend that I started to see dating all the way back to when I played sports as a little kid. There was always that extremely talented kid who seemed he or she could do it all. He or she was light years ahead of everyone else and you instantly started to think to yourself how far this kid is eventually going to go. But then as time went on and the older he or she got, everyone around them started to get better as well, and he or she was still relying on talent alone.

On the flip side, you have the kid who wasn’t very good, but through hard work, dedication and perseverance, eventually went on to make it the furthest and even surpass the kid with all the talent. I have seen the exact same scenario in the world of business: The man or woman who is extremely gifted in a particular skill, has a little bit of success and thinks that they are going to go down as one of the greatest in the world. As time goes on, he or she stops nurturing and developing his or her talent and before he or she knows it, a less talented person comes along and knocks him or her out of business.

Here are two ways why talent alone will never be enough.

Someone with less talent is coming with a major chip on their shoulder.

Doug Flutie, Oprah Winfrey and Muggsy Bogues are a few of high achievers who maybe weren’t the most talented or destined for major success from an early age, but through a second-to-none work ethic with a major chip on their shoulders went on to do what others thought was the unthinkable.

 

Just because you are extremely talented at something doesn’t guarantee that you will have long-term success, and the moment you stop nurturing and developing your talent, someone else with less talent is working day and night to beat you.

Talent alone can only get you so far.

You might make a ton of money, reach a certain level of success and even think you made it at some point, but if you stop there, you will eventually fall down. Just as there are so many less talented people who go on to beat the people who are 10 times more talented than them, there are also those who are incredibly talented but who work like they have no talent whatsoever.

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are two of my favorite examples. I used to be amazed at how the two of these men are arguably the greatest to ever play the game but also work harder than anybody else. How in the world does that happen?

Will Smith, one of the great actors of our time, credits his major success in Hollywood to his sickening work ethic and mentality to die on a treadmill rather than get off before you do.

We are all talented at something, but if we stop there it will more than likely end a disaster. Do something every day, even if a little, to develop and nurture your talent. Adopt the champion mindset that Jordan and Bryant have. Make it up in your mind that absolutely no one will outwork you, regardless of how talented you may be.

I want to leave you with a quote from Tim Notke that sums up everything I have been trying to hammer home in this column:

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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