Saturday, October 29, 2011

Life Is Like Riding A Motorcycle... You Are Either In Control & Charting Your Own Course Or You Are Riding Bitch!

Before you get your panties in a bunch because I used the term "riding bitch", please understand this is a common term used in the biker community. Simply put... If you are a passenger on a motorcycle, you are "riding bitch" and you have no direct control over where the bike goes, how fast, etc.

Life can be like that if you let it. How many of you have let go of the handlebars and are letting someone else chart your course? Are you working on your goals and making progress toward fulfilling your dreams? If you aren't working on yours, then whose are you working on?

I hope my use of the term "riding bitch" did ruffle your feathers a bit. Why? Because maybe that will be enough to get you to realize it's time for you to take charge of your life and live it the way you want to!

It's time to grab the controls and take your life in the direction you choose, are you up for the challenge?

Enjoy the Ride...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Integrity... Don't Compromise Yours and Don't Tolerate Other Who Have None!

Integrity is yours and it is something nobody can ever take from you. In fact, the only person able to compromise your integrity is you. So what is integrity anyway? Wikipedia defines integrity as a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness that is a verb or accuracy of one's actions.

In life and in business, integrity means doing what you say you'll do, delivering on your commitments. It means standing by your values and not compromising them for anyone. Living a life of integrity has it's challenges. You'll find that not everyone has high integrity and you may even find it necessary to sever ties with others who do not have the level of integrity you expect. In my experience I have found that when people with low integrity are found out and confronted, they run, so you might not actually have to do the severing of ties, just call them out on their lies and they will run.

Say what you mean and mean what you say!

Enjoy the ride...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Slow Your Roll... Don't Get Spun Up About Things Beyond Your Control

On a recent trip to MCB Camp Lejeune, I was reminded of how little regard Mother Nature has for our schedule. My flight departed Jacksonville, NC bound for Charlotte at approximately 3:00 PM. Due to the weather in Charlotte, our planned flight path was south along the coast with plans to change course at Charleston, SC and head back around the storm and arrive in Charlotte after it had passed. I must add that this was the Friday prior to Memorial Day weekend and the 70 passenger plane I was on had me, a couple of other "older guys" and 60 some young Marines VERY anxious to get home for the holiday weekend.

Approximately an hour or so into the flight, the captain informed us that the Charlotte Airport was now closed to all arrivals and we were landing in Charleston, SC to refuel and wait out the storm. The response from my fellow passengers to this news was less than joyful. Many of them began to voice their disapproval with the plan and place blame on the airline, etc. The next 2+ hours of sitting on the tarmac with the 30 minute update intervals was no more enjoyable and did nothing to reduce their discontent. Fortunately, I had a good book and was making good use of my "extra" travel time. We did get to deplane for about 20 minutes and I ran into an old friend Jack Daniels and we got a few minutes of "quality" time together prior to getting the call to re-board.

We did eventually get to Charlotte and my planned 7:00 PM arrival into DC turned into a 12:30 AM arrival. Good news is there was no traffic to deal with on the ride home!

The point of sharing this experience is to call out the fact that we often get caught in situations such as this that are well beyond our control and we get all spun up about it. My question is why? There is literally nothing that you can do so why fall victim to the spin? This is all about mindset and your ability to control how you respond. Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup book series, uses the formula E + R = O to explain what I am talking about.  Events are going to happen in your life. How you choose to Respond will determine the Outcome. It's that simple. You are in charge of you and how you deal with what occurs in your life. Don't waste your valuable time and energy getting spun up about things that you have no control over!

Enjoy the ride...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Employee Engagement... Put the GAS in Your Own Tank!

Employee engagement... What the heck is that anyway? Sounds like some catch phrase conjured up in the world of academia. Are we talking about how committed or involved in something people are? Maybe whether or not they "Give A Shit?"

I think that's exactly what we are talking about... the "GAS" factor, just how much do you Give A Shit about what you do and how well you perform? I am a biker and as you well know motorcycles run on gas. I am responsible for putting the GAS in my own tank, yes even in New Jersey! So what do I mean by that? Well it's pretty simple. Whether or not an employee is engaged our committed to their work is on the employee. Many people want to place the responsibility of this on the organization they work for and while they surely play a part, the ultimate responsibility is on the employee. You are responsible for your own happiness, stop looking to others and external things to make you happy.

If you work for a jerk or an organization that doesn't appreciate you, go somewhere else! Don't waste your precious time and energy on people and organizations that don't value it! Don't let people and situations spoil the GAS in your tank.

Enjoy the ride...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ship... Shipmate... Self... Get Your Priorities Straight!

Ship... Shipmate... Self... A Navy Chief friend of mine offered these three words pertaining to priorities. WOW!!! Very profound and it speaks volumes about the priorities of an organization and how they should be. In this example, it's obviously a Naval vessel that is the subject, though this same methodology can be applied to other organizations and parts of our lives. Here are a few examples:

God, Country, Corps... (Sound familiar my fellow Jarheads?)
God, Family, Work
Mission, Team, Self

I'm sure you could think of a few more. The bottom line here is that in most cases, the preservation of the organization and the welfare of others needs to be a higher priority than self-satisfaction. It's not just about you and your agenda. To truly be effective, all leaders must know this and live by it!

Enjoy the Ride...

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Foundation of Leadership... Lead Yourself First!

Leadership of others begins with leadership of self. In other words; You must first make sure that you are a squared away, living, breathing, walking, talking example of what others strive to be. This is a philosophy that I learned as a young Marine and have seen the importance and practicality of it play out time and time again. You can't be a walking contradiction and expect others to follow and respect you. The old saying, "do as I say not as I do" doesn't bode well for leaders.

Now, here's the part that might ruffle a few feathers. Relationships are hugely important in leadership and in life for that matter. If you are on your second, third, or fourth marriage, you might suck at the relationship thing and if that is the case, your leadership abilities are hindered as a result. Yes, I said it! Seriously, how can you argue that? Ok, so maybe it's not the relationship thing. Maybe you suck at judging people, well that too is a problem that is negatively impacting your ability to lead. No wait, I get it... It's not your fault, it's the "other" person in the relationship that is the problem. Hmmm.... Accountability for your actions? Sound familiar? Another huge part of being a successful leader is being accountable to yourself and to others. When you screw up, own it and then fix it!

Here are 5 areas to focus on in order to make improvements in the "Lead Yourself" category:

1) Know what fuels your machine and share it with others...

You have to know what makes you tick, what drives you, what you are passionate about. It's also important to know this about your people but first you must know it about yourself.

2) Have a personal vision and a plan for achieving it...

You have to know where you are headed, what you want to achieve and how you plan to do so. We ask people in their "work lives" to do this all the time however, we don't often use these very effective tools to achieve or our dreams... Start today!!!

3) Update your operating system...

Computers have operating systems that need updating on a regular basis. They often get viruses that begin to negatively impact their performance. Our brain, which is our operating system and the programming that it has received which is our belief system is much like that of a computer's operating system. The human operating system needs to be updated and the viruses that show up as self-limiting beliefs must be removed an replaced with new, possibility focused beliefs.
4) Focus on building strong relationships...

Life, business, leadership, it's all about people. Focus on connecting with those around you. People need to be connected, we are herd animals and feel comfort around others like us. 

5) Have your S*#T together...

Make sure that you are setting the right example for your people. Trust me when I say THEY ARE PAYING ATTENTION!!! You can't expect them to do or be something you are not. Hold yourself to a high standard and expect the same of your people. Be accountable to them and hold yourself and them accountable.

And last but not least... ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Reduce Your Christmas Card Budget... Be Authentic

Got too many friends? Or let's say "acquaintances" and you want to find out who your real friends are?

Here's a sure-fire way to thin the herd... Start being completely honest with them. Call them on their BS and hold them accountable for their actions. That alone will be a new concept for many and they will tuck tail and run because they are unable to deal with the truth! Now, it must also be said that in order for you to be authentic with your friends and give them open and honest feedback, you too must be able to receive the same from them.

If you want to have some fun and shake things up a bit... Try this at work too. It's espcially fun to do this with your boss. Make sure you get permission first or they "open the door" and then seize the moment. I wrote about one of these experiences in a book entitled "My Boss Sucks... A Story Book and Survival Guide". Check it out @

Saturday, February 12, 2011

If You Are Not Part Of The Solution... You Are Part Of The Problem!

Bitching, pissing & moaning, whining, and complaining is easy and all too commonplace. Seriously, start listening to conversations at work, maybe even your own, and see just how much of this negative behavior goes on. What are you doing about the events and circumstances that cause you or others to complain? Nothing? Shame on you! If you are unwilling to take steps to change whatever the situation is that you are complaining about then STFU! In case you are unfamiliar with that acronym, here's a clue... Shut The... You can figure out the rest. If you can't offer a solution or are unwilling to be involved in an effort to create change then you have forfeited your right to complain.

How about this... Step up and be a part of the solution!

Enjoy The Ride...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pain/Pleasure Factor

In my experience as a law enforcement dive team commander, I was often tasked with evaluating the benefit of a given mission versus the risk it would pose to team members executing the mission. This is referred to as the Risk/Benefit Factor.

It's my opinion that we should evaluate our personal and professional relationships in a similar way. Let's call it the Pain/Pleasure Factor. We all have a finite amount of time each day, year, etc. and you get to choose how you spend that time. My advice is that you choose wisely and don't waste time with people who are more of a pain/frustration than they are a pleasure to be around. Make sense? Sure it does.

So look at your interactions through that lens and place a high value on your time. Plain and simple... Don't spend time with people that suck the joy out of life.

Enjoy The Ride...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Wow.... It's been waaay tooo long! Time to get back in the saddle!

Let's talk about responsiveness...

I am amazed by how many comments I get from people for calling them back so quickly... WTF? Seriously, I thought it was a "no brainer" when someone calls you and you know that you have a hot lead or someone who is ready to buy, you are like "Quick Draw McGraw" grabbing the phone to call them back? Apparently that doesn't always happen, so here's your chance to stand out among your competition.... Be responsive, return those calls ASAP and see what a difference it can make.

Ride on...