Motivation Monday – Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa has given some great speeches through the years.  This one is the best in my opinion.  This one is actually a speech of motivation as opposed to some of his other speeches such as the one about change in Russia.

motivation - Rocky Balboa

In 2006, the final (maybe) film in the Rocky series was released.  Growing older in age Rocky wants to get back in the ring after being retired for quite some time.  Noone believes in him, everyone has written him off a joke, even his own son isn’t supporting him.  His response to his son, and his critics, is the video below.  Get ready to be pumped up and ready to tackle the week ahead.

Leadership is Like Golf

As I struggled on the golf course to overcome the bogey on my last hole, I found myself on full tilt.  Standing on the tee box I stared down the 420 yard par 4 before me.  I reared back and swung with all my might.  The ball set off in flight, but on a crash course with a tree, only 150 yards away.

 

Leadership is like golf

 

I had to find myself.  I had to overcome my adrenalin rush and focus. I had to get back to me if I was going to shoot par.  It was at this moment, as I walked down the fairway to my ball, that I realized why so many other executive leaders I have met play golf, because golf is like leadership.  In order to succeed at golf, you need to make sure you have the right tools in your leadership toolbox.  These 6 key leadership skills are imperative not only to a winning score on the golf course, but a winning score in business.

 

  1. Manage the small parts – a typical course requires 72 shots from the best of players.  To be a strong leader, you must be able to focus on each and every “shot” in order to keep the sum in line with your goals.
  2. Mistakes can be quickly overcome – a 150 yard drive into a tree can be over-come with a 220 yard 3 wood and a strong approach shot from there.  The same holds true with business and leadership skills.  A strong leader is able to overcome a mistake by holding their composure for just a short time after the mistake has been made.
  3. Quarterly Results – a good golfer will focus on the short term, just as a good leader will focus on weekly, monthly, and quarterly reporting.  A bad 3 holes can be overcome by 3 good holes.  A good golfer knows which holes will be tough, and thus a bogey is acceptable.  He’ll also know which holes are easy, and thus a birdy is expected.  A great leader will be able to read into his team and business to identify areas where strong performance is expected, and where weak performance is acceptable.
  4. Consistency is key – A good golfer approaches each shot the same, taking into account all the variables.  He then adjusts his aim, alignment, and swing speed.  A consistent approach is important to delivering high quality leadership, however, a leader must be able to make adjustments on the fly.
  5. Control your attitude – An average round of gold lasts 4 hours.  A good golfer must be able to keep his attitude in check for 4 hours in the face of success on one hole and failure on another.  An even keel approach is essential to maintaining a consistent score.  Leaders must be able to lead their team in the same manner for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, regardless of the circumstances surrounding them.
  6. Practice – When a golfer is not on the course he is on the range honing his skills.  Leaders must do the same.  Read about leadership, go to leadership seminars and leadership training, eat healthy, exercise, and practice being a good leader.  Without this, you’ll be sloppy when it comes time to tee off.

 

As in golf, leadership is a game of finesse.  One must constantly be fine tuning every aspect of his approach in order to win.  Practice these 6 steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming the best leader you can be.

 

What are some other keys to success on the course, or another sport for that matter, which are parallel to success in business and leadership?


Fit To Lead – Patience

This is the 7th Post in my Fit To Lead Series.  Patience is a thing of the past.  In a day and age of iPhones, Internet, and Amazon, anything and everything is at your finger-tips.  This makes fitness a little disappointing doesn’t it?

Leadership and patience

I woke up, ran a mile, ate healthy, went to the gym later that day, and went to bed early.  I felt like a champion.  I had conquered the fat cells of my body…for 1 day.  I looked no different, but I sure felt worn out.  What I needed was patience.

We’re used to instant results and instant gratification these days.  Who wants to wait weeks for anything anymore?  Unfortunately, we have no hope.  Fitness isn’t an overnight thing.  It is a long and often difficult journey.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when pursuing your fitness goals.

  1. Rome wasn’t built in a day – It took you years to get in the bad shape you’re in today.  Whipping yourself back into shape will take just as long, even if you are fully committed.  Set your mind on the long journey and make it a lifestyle.
  2. 2.5/6 – A healthy amount of fat to lose per week is 2.5 pounds.  Anymore and you’re causing more harm to your body then good you’re doing.  On the other side of the coin, it takes a typical body builder 1 year to gain 6 pounds of muscle.  My point?  The results are very slow coming.
  3. Marshmallows and patienceCheck out this article in the New Yorker.  Basically, they set a marshmallow in front of a child and told them that if they’d wait 15 minutes without eating the marshmallow, they could have more.  Some kids had no resistance and ate the marshmallow right away.  Others sat there infatuated with the treat.  Their thoughts consumed by the fluffy goodness before them cause them to succumb to their own desires.  Low and behold, they gobbled it up.  Some children however kept themselves entertained by other things and were able to avoid tempting themselves into eating the marshmallow.  This was the group that survived to see their dreams come true.
  4. Keep Busy – Keeping yourself busy will allow you to make the transition from a fitness crazed enthusiast, think of all the new year’s revolutionaries out running on Jan. 1, to a person who fitness is just a part of their life.  When you’re busy you don’t have time to dwell on your goals.  You’re forced to focus on making the correct choices when the opportunity presents itself.
  5. Lifestyle – Fitness isn’t a choice. It is a lifestyle. You have to live it.  You can’t just will it into place.  You have to do all the things that encompass fitness.  From working out, to drinking more water, it all counts.  If it were easy, everyone would have a six pack.  Go to a public place and count how many people go by.  How many are in good shape?  Not many.  It is difficult.  Likely one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do.

Set your sites on the horizon, not on the path before you.  You’ll drive yourself crazy if you think about it all the time.  You need patience.

What are some of the tricks you all use to stay focused and posess patience?

Fit To Lead – Maximize Your Results

As a leader and an executive, finding time for physical fitness can be a big challenge.  Nestled somewhere between meetings, emails, tasks, and crisis management, you’ll find my scheduled work out.  This is my 7th post in my Fit To Lead Series.

maximum results

I posted earlier about picking an hour to go to the gym, click here to read that post.  Assuming you have worked out your schedule to be able to squeeze in a workout, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

This post is designed to show you how I work out and my philosophy toward my approach in the gym.  Years of trial and error have proven this to be my most effective means of working out.  Below is how I achieve maximum results with minimum effort.

  1. Timing – Keep your workout within 45 – 75 minutes.  Working out more than this is detrimental to your health and can actually cause overtraining.  Overtraining will cause you to lose muscle as you wear yourself out.  Try to squeeze your whole workout into this timeframe.
  2. Warm up – Begin your workout by stretching and warming yourself up.  Choose and exercise that will work all your muscles in the muscle group you’re working that day.  For instance, if you’re working your chest and triceps, do some close grip bench press with just the bar.  Do 20 to 30 reps to get your muscles warmed up.
  3. Sets and Reps – To maximize your results, you should perform 3 sets per body part.  I typically work two muscle groups per workout session.  For instance on Tuesdays I’ll work my chest and triceps.  I perform 3 sets for each.  When it comes to repetitions, I find 8 -12 reps per set to be best.  For more on reps and sets visit bodybuilding.com.
  4. Two body parts – Work two body parts per session.  On Monday I work legs and lower back.  Tuesday is Chest and Triceps.  Thursday I’ll work my Upper Back and Biceps.  Friday is the day I work my Shoulders and Traps.  This type of approach allows you to work your entire body during the week.  I do it in this order however to minimize strength loss.  For instance, you’ll need your biceps to perform your back work out.  This is why I don’t work biceps before back.
  5. Calves and abs – Perform 2 sets of either Calves or Abs after every work out.  For instance, on Monday I perform two sets of Calves.  On Tuesday I’ll perform two sets of Abs.  The same pattern is repeated for Thursday and Friday.  Calves and Abs heal quicker than the other muscles and are more difficult to push to full fatigue.  As such, working them twice a week is optimal
  6. Perform Cardio Last – Without getting into too much of the science here, I recommend performing any cardio after your weight lifting.  I recommend this because I believe it is best to use your strength to perform heavy lifts.  Cardio for fat loss should be performed at about 65% you maximum heart rate.  As such, it is not an exercise that requires maximum effort.  Therefore you should use your strength for your heavy lifts.  This allows for maximum results from your cardio.  More on this subject here.

Following this short set of rules every time you enter the gym will get you in and out as quickly as possible while maximizing your results.

What  do you find as a helpful time saver when you’re in the gym?

 

Motivation Monday

I posted a motivational video from YouTube a couple weeks ago on a Monday and I think it served not only myself, but my readers well.  So I’m posting one of my all time favorite motivational videos here.  This is a scene from the end of The Pursuit of Happiness.

In this scene Will Smith’s character finally achieves his goal and is awarded the position he has worked so hard for.  This position will allow him to provide for his son and take care of his family.  We often forget what it is like to be in such a position as his.

In today’s tumultuous economy, many people are faced with similar situations.  This scene can be applied to many things in life.  It’s not only those without jobs who are struggling to land an opportunity that can change the future.  All of us are seeking similar success.   What is yours?

I love this motivational video because I am reminded of all the hard work that went into achieving his goal.  This video reminds me that anything is possible if you’re willing to do the work.  I posted this video to get us all feeling that success with him.  Success is contagious!

Today begins a new work week, a new chance at success.  Go out an get it!  Have a great Monday and start this week off with some momentum.

What are you working towards?  Are you willing to put in the hard work to achieve your goals?

Fit To Lead – Drink More Water

This is the 6th post in my Fit To Lead Series This post is all about water!  One of the best things you can do to improve your health, stamina, and overall well-being, is drink more water.

What’s the big deal, if my body wants water, it’ll get thirsty.  Makes sense right?  Sure it does, but no matter how much it makes sense, it’s dead wrong.  If our bodies were automobiles, food would be the gasoline, and water would be the oil.  Without enough oil your vehicle’s engine cannot operate properly causing your vehicle to break down.  Are you headed for a break down?

While drinking a gallon of water per day is not easy, it’s what you should do.  I’ll give you my best advice for consuming more water without going insane.

  1. Drink 12 oz of COLD H2O – Do this first thing in the morning.  Your body can lose up to a few pounds of water weight every night and needs to be replenished as soon as possible.  By drinking cold water, you jump start your metabolism.  I’ve been doing this as part of The 4 Hour Body.
  2. Take a 44 oz cup to work – There is a cup from the famous Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque in Kansas City sitting on my desk right now.  3 of these will equal one gallon, which is roughly what I drink per day.  I fill this cup when I arrive at the office and have the goal to empty it before lunch.  I repeat the process after lunch.  That is 88 oz.  When I combine the water I have first thing in the morning, lunch, and dinner, I achieve my gallon.  Pretty easy huh?
  3. Room Temperature – I don’t know if there is really any science behind it, but I find it easy to drink my 44 oz cup if the water is room temperature.  It just seems to go down easy.  Many people will have a hard time getting this much water down their first few days and I find room temperature is easiest to drink.
  4. Drinking more makes you thirsty – It’s a weird phenomenon that occurs when you drink more.  I find that the more I drink, the thirstier I am.  It’s as if my body understands there is a surplus of H2O available so it begins to crave it.  Start off every glass by chugging several gulps.  Give it a few minutes and you’ll be thirsty, which makes it easier to drink more.
  5. Drink water with all your meals – as you eat, you’ll naturally become thirsty.  This is a great opportunity to soak up some water.  So have water with every meal.
  6. Consume less caffeine – Caffeine is a diuretic and will cause your body to lose hydration.  The same is true in a glass of tea.  I’ve had people tell me that they get plenty of water because they drink coffee, tea, and soda all day.  While these beverages do contain water, the diuretic effect caused by their ingredients causes your body to shed all the water in them, plus some of the water already in your body.  If you’re going to drink any tea or coffee, have a glass of Yerba Mate instead.
  7. Don’t over-do it – Don’t drink too much water.  More than 1 gallon can cause your body to lose so much sodium that it can actually be harmful.  More is not always better.  Aim for 1 gallon, no more.

Drinking water really makes you feel so much more alive!  It can be very difficult to drink as much as you need to finally feel the benefits.  It takes several days of consistency before the benefits really shine through.  Using these few tricks will help you consume more H2O.

Do you drink enough water?  Share some your experiences and results below.

 

Grammatical Goofs You’ve Probably Made

I found this on Copyblogger this morning.  This would have saved me so many red marks on my papers growing up.  I think everyone should download it for themselves and if they have children, give them a copy.  It will help both you and them, time and time again.

 

 

Below is the original infographic I downloaded from copyblogger.  Their site is one of many I have in my daily reading routine.  I use Google Reader to scan and read hundreds of blogs and news outlets across the web every day.

I see people making the first mistake all the time on Facebook.  I even saw someone driving down the road with “Your Awesome” written on their window in shoe polish. (If you didn’t catch that, you really need to scroll down.)

This was on a recent high school graduate’s vehicle too.  I hope she corrected the enthusiastic vehicle decorator.

 

 

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more copywriting tips from Copyblogger.

 

So what do you think?  Have you made any of these goofs in a sentence?  Which one do you make the most?