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You May Know Your Why, But What Is Your Wow?

Recently I traveled to California to record some videos for a company called Wisdom Capture. I encourage you to go to their website and learn more about them. They capture wisdom from key executives within corporations so it can be shared with employees, customers, and clients. It serves as a legacy of those lessons learned by people that came before the people that are there now.

One of the videos I recorded for them was entitled What Is Your Wow. Not “What Is Your Why” from Simon Senik, but “What Is Your Wow?”

What is that accomplishment? What’s that task? What is that achievement that you’re going to do for the organization? The one that’s going to make people stand up and say “this organization is different.” The thing that will make them think “This leader is taking this company to a new place.” or “This new product or service is going to make a difference in my life.”

So – watch the video. Then tell me in the comments – What’s Your Wow?

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What I’ve Learned From The Beatles & My Grandson

Normally my blog starts off with some music. I will play a song that has been important in my life. Perhaps it’s a song that has moved me to be a better person. Or it might be a song that has motivated me to work at a higher level, taught me a lesson about issues that we face in the world and how I need to participate in solving some of them.

Sometimes they’re just fun songs that make me smile and make me happy, and make me reminisce a little bit about something from the past.

Today’s video is a little different. It’s not actually a song but it’s certainly about music.

The lesson is about the power of practice and routine and focus and passion.

This short video illustrates that by focusing on learning – that skill that you need to be a better athlete, to be a better leader, to be a better person in your family and in your relationships can be achieved if you just focus on it and practice on it.

Enjoy this video. I’m a proud grandpa.


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Find Your Ukulele

I’d like to thank everyone who listens to my blog each time I send it out.

I love music. I love the power of lyrics and what music can do to you. It can take you to the next level. It can help you deal with discouragement, bring you closer to the person you love. It motivates you to take that next step.

I have always been a lover of music. As a child, I took music lessons. I played drums for eight years. I can play a little bit of trumpet.

Last Christmas, I asked for and received a ukulele along with some lessons. So each week I go to the music store and go into one of the little tiny practice rooms where my ukulele instructor teaches me new chords and new songs. They are songs that I ask him to give me the chords to – probably many rock ‘n roll songs that have never been played on the ukulele before. But you know what, I’m having fun. I’m learning. I’m doing something I’ve never done before.

I promise I’m not going to sing to you. I do not have a recording voice. But, I just challenge you to think of what you should do. What is that new skill you need to learn? What’s that new hobby you’ve been dying to start. What’s that sport you should try. Next time you’re on vacation, what will you sign up to do that you’ve never done before? At work, volunteer for something that’s outside of your comfort zone. We all have to be lifelong learners and we can do it in a fun and exciting way.

So, find your ukulele and enjoy it. I enjoy mine.

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We Need To Respect One Another

Many people are listening to old Aretha Franklin music this week. It’s powerful music by an amazing woman who demanded respect and received it. But some of her music isn’t quite as well known. I encourage you to listen to a few sound tracks. I was just listening to “Amazing Grace” which she sang at several funerals.  She sang for presidents. She sang for Martin Luther King. She sang before the Pope. And each time she was giving a message to not only the audience, but to the host.  Treat everybody with respect. Make sure they realize that you care about them.

Bob Chapman wrote a book called “Everybody Matters.” He’s a successful business person who started dozens of companies and he talks about treating employees like family. If I were to check with your co-workers, your boss, your kids, your spouse, your neighbors, would I find that you are giving them the respect they deserve? Reach out to someone today and let them know how much you appreciate them, how much you respect their behavior,  the way they’ve raised their family, are getting their job done at work, or keeping your family together.

Let’s take it out with some more powerful music from Aretha Franklin.

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Mean Something

That was Beyoncé singing “I Was Here.”

I encourage you to listen to the song in its entirety. The music and the lyrics are amazing. She talks about making a difference, wanting to leave a mark, hoping that she will mean something to somebody.

She wants to live and be loved. She wants to be remembered for being here. What are you doing? How are you leaving your mark in the community? How are you making a difference at your work? How are you loving and living your life with your family and your friends and your neighbors?

We live busy lives. It’s complicated – raising families, working hard, paying the bills. But on the final day what’s important is that you made a difference. You left your mark on this earth and made it a better place.

Let’s go out with a little bit of Beyoncé, and as you listen to her, figure out what you’re going to do to mean something to somebody.

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Take Time To Celebrate

That’s “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. We all need to celebrate the good times. We need to celebrate and come together.

How many times do we forget to do that? Let me count the ways. When your sales staff hits their goal, do you celebrate? When your construction project is finished, do you party on? Do you celebrate when you get that big order that you’ve been working on for years?

Do you celebrate when you perform that surgery successfully, or take care of that patient in a compassionate way, and they say thank you? Do you celebrate that good feeling that you have? Or perhaps at home, do you celebrate those small victories that your children have each day as they are growing and developing? Do you celebrate your spouse’s achievements or do you just complain about what didn’t get done?

The song is a simple song, but I think we all need to celebrate more often, especially during difficult days when we get discouraged. We need to find those moments to celebrate. Let’s listen to it again, and celebrate a little bit. Have a great day.

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We All Go Through Change

No one has to guess who that group is. We all know it’s the Beach Boys, the band of the 60’s who sung about surfing and girls and hot rods.

I usually talk about a song. Today, I’m going to talk about a group, and the power of the Beach Boys’ music. You see, as a teenager, my parents went through a divorce, and I was shipped off to Southern California to spend the summer with my big brother. He lived in the South Bay where all those beaches that the Beach Boys talked about were located – Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, down to Huntington Beach, and up to Malibu.

I was on those beaches everyday thinking I was a cool surfer dude. Really, I was a teenage nerd. But that music kept me going. It kept me believing in myself. It helped me get through difficult days. It allowed me to feel really good about myself when I needed it.

We all go through change. It happens to us many times in our lifetime – growing up, finding a person that we love, going through jobs that have meaning, dealing with tragedy and sickness. Even the Beach Boys had to go through change. In the 60’s, all of a sudden, there was the British Invasion. The Beatles arrived. The Beatles had admired the Beach Boys with some of their harmony in some of their songs. The Beach Boys had to adapt some of their music to be a little harder to compete against the bands from England.

Change can be hard. Competition can be difficult. But they’re healthy. It made the Beach Boys better. It made the Beatles better.

Let’s go out with some good surfing music – Good Vibrations. Hopefully, it makes you feel better today. Thank you for listening. Tell me your favorite song and how it’s impacted you and your life. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Friends. That was “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor.

I just got back from a trip with some of my friends from many years ago. They are guys that I went to high school with who I stayed in touch with for a number of years, and then lost touch and reconnected with them just recently. Now we get together each year and reminisce about our past, share our issues, care about each other. And I know any of us would come running to see each other again – winter, spring, summer or fall, because all we have to do is call, and we’ll be there.

Who are those friends from your past? Reconnect with them. Maybe you’re a young person and you haven’t lost touch with some of your young friends. If you haven’t, congratulations. Stay in touch with them. But if you’re older, think back to those people that made a difference in your life, in your teenage years, and in your 20s and 30s. Reach back out to them – calling them, writing them, knocking on their front door and going to see them. Tell them what they meant to you in your life, and how they developed you into the person that you are today, and how grateful you are.  Listen to them and find out what’s going on in their life and how can you help them as a friend. Stay in touch. Get reconnected to those people in your past made you who you are today.

If you’ve got a favorite song, tell me about it in your comments or send me an email.  I’d love to know what song resonates with you and how it makes you a better person.

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Who Is Your Coach?

How many of you have a coach?

Kenny Chesney has a song called Coach. It’s mainly about an athletic coach that he remembers and how meaningful he was in his life. The song has probably been sung at many funerals and retirement parties and tribute events.

Those kinds of coaches that we have as we are growing up do indeed make a difference in our life. They give us the foundation to be better human beings, to understand the value of teamwork, and to understand that when you fail you’ve got to get up and try again.

But I’m talking today about the coaches you need as an adult. Whether that’s a yoga coach, a life coach, a fitness coach, a therapist, a counselor, a priest, a pastor – someone that can give you the brutal advice and counsel you on what you need to be successful. You need someone that will push you to stay strong and fit, to get through that moment of depression and discouragement, or the next challenge that’s facing you.

Go out and find that coach. Have several.

My athletic trainer recently asked me what are the lessons that I teach when I’m out coaching chief executive officers. I tell them three things. One: they need to become better listeners. Two: they need to focus on the one thing that’s most important to get accomplished this year, this month, this week, today. And third, they need to treat everybody like family. Whether it’s your employees, your co-workers, your neighbors, treat everybody as you would treat a family member.

Those are the lessons that I teach to my executives week after week, month after month, year after year. They are the same lessons that we all need to keep learning and improving upon. So, I ask you, what is it that you need to work on? Is it your health? Is it your business acumen? Is it your attitude towards life? Take the music that drives you to deal with those issues that you’re facing and those obstacles that you need to overcome. And, with the help of coaches take yourself to the next level.

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Do Something

We all have those moments in time that we’ll never forget the day or where we were when that event happened. Perhaps it’s 9/11, or November 22nd. Maybe it’s 10 years ago during the China earthquake, or perhaps it was when you lost a parent, or a brother or sister. Maybe it was your wedding day. Maybe it was the moment that you discovered you were working in a toxic work environment, and you needed to get out of that situation. Perhaps it was the day you fell in love. Or, it could be that time you saw a starving refugee trying to get a cup of water or something to eat after traveling hundreds of miles escaping a war zone in their homeland, and it made you want to do something.

There are two songs with the same title “Do Something.” One is by Matthew West, and the other one is by my favorite band the Eagles. In Matthew West’s version, he talks about seeing troubles and asking God, “Why do you let this happen?”

Well, we’re put on the earth to do something about the things we see.

In the Eagles version, they talk about what’s happening in the world, and in society, and in our environment, and that we cannot just take up space.  We must do something. So, I encourage you to listen to both of these songs in their entirety not just the highlights here in today’s blog. Then determine what you’re going to do to change the world. What are you going to do to leave this a better place?

How are you going to be a better citizen, a more engaged worker, a more compassionate boss, a more loving husband or wife, a more understanding parent?

I leave you with the music “Do Something” and encourage you to use it as your motivator to get out there and make a difference.


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