Do You Have a Junior Mentor?

I was talking with my daughter Emily the other night about possibly doing a speech with me to give a fresh perspective and a few points on how she sees things. Em Salt BalanceIt reminded me that a friend of mine brought the concept of having a younger mentor up to me a few weeks prior. I was talking to him about mentoring and my idea of the 10 year ring which is always have someone at least 10 years above you as a mentor and you mentoring someone roughly 10 years younger than you. He said he learned that you should have a mentor 10 years younger than you which was foreign to me.

After this discussion with my daughter and the connection I made with my friend I dug into this a bit. It turns out this is a real thing and it is called reverse mentoring. Reverse mentoring is

Are You Keeping a Good Perspective on Your Life?

This can be a trick question if you don’t have the right views to see things you need to see. haleakala1My wife and I are celebrating our 23rd anniversary this week. We were hiking a few days ago at Iao State Park in Maui, HI and we really enjoyed it and were talking about how fast things have gone. We are actively creating the version 2 of our relationship and we both are pretty excited about it. We are helping each other through growth, uncomfortable life zones, and just experiences.

So the big test was today 11-3-2015. We decided we were going to hike Mount Haleakala in Maui. So we got up early, drove 1 hour to the base and started up the mountain/volcano. So here is where it got interesting. There were what felt like hundreds of hair pin turns and switch backs on the side of this mountain.

My wife and I are not crazy about heights, but I gripped the wheel tight and kept driving. The first sign was 3,400 ft, then 5,000, then 8,000 or somewhere around that and let’s say we were not

Are You Thinking About What You’re Doing?

I recently had some big changes happen at work that are impacting my role and the responsibilities I have been asked to focus on.  Cognitive TriangleUsually I am the one making decisions and leading the charge, but this change was politely handed to me.  My initial thought was “WOW, I need to digest this change a bit.”

When I say digest, I mean process and think through because for me, the past 20+ years, I have been making the decisions so this was different for me.  I needed to pause, process, and respond appropriately vs. react.  In reality, I may have had too many plates spinning but doable for me with a strategy.  Either way, it’s done and now it’s time to process and adjust my vision.

Fortunately I was out with a good friend of mine a few weeks ago and he was explaining a process that his coach has him do throughout the day so he is responding to activities appropriately.  The process is to ask yourself 3 questions throughout the day.  The questions are:

Success Leaves Trails – Who Are You Watching?

Success leaves trails for sure.  My Uncle George is a pretty cool guy for many reasons.  2015 Glendale FishingWe were fishing this past weekend for bluegills and red ear also known as pan fish and we caught a bunch.  To be exact, and not a fish story, it was probably 600 for the weekend.  Now this was with my cousins and nephews but for 5 people, not a bad weekend catch.

It was windy and rainy, but over the 10+ years I have been going on the fishing trip with Uncle George and family, I have learned many things.  One very important one is be prepared for rain and cold.  I failed initially and you only make that mistake once.  We camp in the primitive section of the park which means no electricity, so you have to be prepared on many fronts.

Over the years, my uncle has taught me many things like how to fish, how to camp, and how to filet a fish. Some of the life lessons he has shared have been pretty impactful on my life.  He is in his mid 70’s and has the health of a 50 year old.  He crawls around in our pop up camper, hikes down the hills to the boats, crawls in the boats and still teaches all of us some fishing tips.  He is even quite fashionable with fishing gear and in life.

Do You Know Your Ripple Effect?

My wife and I were down visiting our daughter at Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana for Dads Weekend. iutailgate2015We had a blast getting to know her friends and their parents and just hanging out with our daughter seeing her spread her wings.  Early on my wife and I decided to put some guardrails in place to help us be the best parents we could be and allow our daughters to grow in as safe of an environment they could be.  Nothing is perfect, certainly not me but understanding the ripple effect and seeing how it impacts families, friends, friends of friends, and communities is really neat to see.

Formally the ripple effect is “the continuing and spreading of results of an event or action”. 

Do You Know Your Sweet Spot?

I work with a pretty awesome team. As the leader, I want to make sure we are all in our sweet spot sweet spot1working on the right priorities. I believe this helps to keep our team healthy, happy, and engaged in the work they enjoy.

I have asked them to do a few different assessments, but my two favorites are Strength Finders 2.0 and How the World Sees You. Having awareness of your strengths can help guide you in your career path and ensure you are doing the appropriate training or learning needed to be successful or simply happy. It is pretty exciting to see people grow around their natural strengths which they may not have known.

How Aware Are You About You?

Really, how aware are you and do you have a desire to grow? 95% of what we know about the capabilities of the human brain has been learned in the last twenty years. I know I am not using all of my brain, but definitely want to learn how to use more of it. I read and listen to books a lot and have a crazy desire to learn. I listened to the book How To Think like Leonardo DaVinci about 2 years ago. It is a great book that challenged my thought process. In fact, I had to purchase the hard copy along with the workbook to make sure I had it to flip through when I had random thoughts of things I learned.

I have been pondering what I learned about whole brain thinking and DaVinci’s principles for a while. They definitely stretch me in a new way of innovative thinking that push me beyond my normal. The Seven DaVincian Principles take time to process, but I recommend keeping the principles close to you, your daily thinking, your thought processing as well as incorporating them into your life plan.

DaVinci’s 7 Principles are:

Curiosity (Curiosita) – An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

Do You Have Your One Thing?

Do you have your one thing? The one thing that is you, the one thing that defines who you are and what you stand for?ccshesburgpic2 I have been driving by Notre Dame for the past few weeks and noticed this banner hanging on the side of a building. The banner was for the late Rev. Theodore Hesburgh who passed away on February 26, 2015. He served as the president of the University of Notre Dame for 35 years.

It was quite a big deal when he passed as a lot of people from around the country came to the funeral. I really didn’t know all the details of what he accomplished. So after passing the banner for the 6th time, I decided to go online and read up on father Hesburgh. All I can say is WOW, he was a man with a mission and accomplished a lot. He grew up in Syracuse, New York and had his one thing from the beginning.

His One Thing was – “He had wished to become a priest since early childhood.”

Are you a Multiplier or a Diminisher?

Are you a Multiplier or a Diminisher?  2015 ND1I was fortunate to facilitate a business and innovation strategy session with my friend Bill McDonough at Notre Dame last week. It was part of Strategies for Success hosted by Executive Forums. There were about 20 owners/executives in our all-day session. One thing for sure was the people in the room were multipliers. They were investing time learning new growth strategies, learning from others in the room and sharing. This type of environment is energizing because you literally seem intelligence and humble learning in action.

One of the criteria for being in any of the peer groups is you cannot have diminisher traits. The impact is negative and can be very destructive just as the diminisher attitude can damage a family or a business. I am hypersensitive to diminshers both in my professional and personal life. They can drain you and stop you from achieving the very things you were put on this earth to accomplish. Checkout the below explanations of each.

Multipliers are leaders who are able to amplify the capability of people around them. They are able to optimize output by playing to people’s unique intelligence and capability. The goal of a multiplier is not to get more done by multiplying his own efforts but instead to multiply the output of those around him.

Tough Love – Are You Giving or Getting It?

Tough love is an expression used when you are stern or harsh with another person _MG_7771with the intent to help them in the long run. I got a lot of tough love growing up which I needed looking back. My brother and I were tough to handle growing up, but my mom was relentless on keeping the guardrails  tight around us. I didn’t like it back then, didn’t understand it either but am super happy I had it. We need this “tough love” in our personal and business lives.

  • Did you get tough love growing up?
  • Are you getting tough love now?
  • Are you giving tough love now?

My wife helped me understand this with our children a lot and drove it home with one sentence – “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. I made a ton of mistakes here, but am continuously working on this as we all should. Are You: