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March 17, 2021

Efficiency Can Destroy Effectiveness

As I listen to the team go over the new plan on process improvement, I’ve heard the word “efficient” several times. It’s obvious that we have certainly made an old manual process more automated and more efficient. Efficiency is not a bad thing — unless we let it destroy being effective. First, let me own that this is a pet peeve of mine. Being efficient is NOT the same as being effective.

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Topics: Focus, Forward Thinking, Leadership

October 21, 2020

Jogging in the Rain

I am back out on the jogging trail for my second jog this week. My legs are a little weary from the four miles I did yesterday, so my first mile is a scorching 13:43. I walked a little to warm up.

It’s cloudy today, and the skies are looking stormier by the step. I’m getting close to the end of mile two, as I glance down and see I’m averaging 13:14 pace when the first raindrops hit me. I’m making the turn and heading back, as the bottom literally falls out. It feels like someone is dumping buckets of water on me as I jog (trudge) back for the final two miles.

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Topics: Focus, Goals, Clarity

September 23, 2020

How Did You Spend Your Time?

As most of us have come out of the stringent COVID-19 lockdowns, now is a great time to reflect. We have learned so many valuable life lessons. And the importance of connections with family and friends and making them priorities have been highlighted in many ways. 

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Topics: Focus, COVID-19

February 12, 2020

Muddy Mess

It’s a steamy August morning, and I’m on my way to Eagle Lake, MS. A high-power pressure washer is loaded in the back of my truck, and I expect it will be my companion for the next six to eight hours.

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Topics: Focus, Clarity

January 29, 2020

Is It Time to Hit Reset?

CeCe and I are driving in from the Fraser River Valley area to the rental car return at Vancouver Airport in heavy traffic. What should have been a 2-hour drive has turned into 4 hours of stressed filled stop and go. Five days earlier, we had rented a car in downtown Vancouver to enjoy some scheduled vacation time fly fishing and hiking, which happen to be our favorite things to do together. Our rental car is practically brand new and loaded with technology, including a GPS.

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Topics: Focus, CeCe, Clarity

March 20, 2019

What Matters Most Right Now?

I’m amazed by how easily I can become consumed with things that aren’t the main focus. I might have a presentation to prepare for, yet I will check Twitter or LinkedIn instead. What matters most  connecting on social media or focusing on giving my best in the presentation? Another example is when my grandchild wants to play at the playground 30 minutes longer than I had planned. What really matters most  my plan or extra time with this precious child?

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Topics: Focus, People Development, Leadership

September 12, 2018

8 Ways to Overcome a Bad Day

We have all experienced those bad days when nothing goes right or we get bad news that seems to consume us and our day. Over the years, I have developed ways to reframe these moments that diminishes their effect on me and my team. Although no amount of reframing will make bad news good, there’s an opportunity for us to be at our best to deal with these bad moments or bad news.

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Topics: Perspective, Focus, Self-Awareness, Self-Discipline

September 05, 2018

Lessons from Beaver Creek

As we set out on our recent hike near Beaver Creek, Colorado, the first mistake I made was reading the hiking map. I informed CeCe that it was just three miles roundtrip so we should be able to do this easily in two hours. Thankfully, I did point out that it had some pretty good elevation to it.

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Topics: Focus, Determination

August 15, 2018

Focus Can Be Painful — Distractions Even More So

This blog is a fable that hopefully provides a humorous look into how distractions and interruptions can be very painful due to lost time and opportunities. Since I have recently shared some humor from my brother Mike’s storytelling, we will use his medical practice for today’s fable.

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Topics: Focus, storytelling

August 01, 2018

Does Confirmation Bias Help Us Weigh Less?

I am working diligently to keep my weight at 195 pounds. As part of my early morning ritual, I weigh and record my weight almost every morning. Yes, I write it down because it creates more accountability as I reflect on my track record daily and keeps me focused on my goal.

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Topics: Focus, Self-Awareness, Leadership

June 13, 2018

CRAP Piles Up Fast

We are 20 months into living in our new home and the outside fans still do not work. The tire service company can’t sell me three new tires because they are counting them for inventory. I’m in a meeting and find out 30% of the team is struggling to get a critical app to work on their phones. Worse, team members are accepting slow system performance as the “norm.” We all have these experiences and stories where no one takes ownership, no one gets it done. The sad part is that people give up hope for a better outcome and start accepting CRAP excuses.

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Topics: Focus, Ownership

June 06, 2018

Pruning Makes Us Even Better

As I pulled up the driveway, I knew Cece was in her element. She was muddy from head to toe and plants, flowers, water hoses and clippers were scattered everywhere. She got her love of gardening from her late father, Poppy.

As I walked up to hear the latest gardening updates, she had the clippers whirling on the rose bushes. “Cece, aren’t you being a little aggressive with those clippers?” I asked. She replied, “Poppy always said to have the prettiest roses, you have to prune them as they produce more blooms than the individual plant can support.” I must admit, Poppy had some beautiful rose gardens although I’m not sure he enjoyed the pruning as much as Cece, but I kept that thought to myself.

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Topics: Focus, Full Potential

May 30, 2018

Screen Doors Keep Us Too Busy

I was really excited about my schedule as I headed into the office for the day. I had two meetings with team members—one to collaborate on a new client opportunity and the other to develop a strategy to help us execute at a faster pace on changing our client experience to be more focused, anticipatory and consistent.

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Topics: Focus, Leadership