Why Mariano Rivera Won’t Miss Baseball

At the end of this baseball season we will lose a hero.  He will be entering a new stage of life and playing a new ball game.  The greatest closer of all time, Mariano Riviera, is ready to retire.

Mariano Rivera

Mariano enters this final year with glee.  He still loves the game and loves his job.  But it is time for a new stage of life for the Yankee legend and he “can’t wait.”

A long time baseball fanatic, I hate to see him go, but I know he is happy and ready to move on.  I look at his career, playing baseball everyday, pitching for the most storied franchise in sports history.  “How could he be ready to leave that”, I ask myself.  But, I know full well why.  Mariano has lived fully in each stage of life.

He has enjoyed baseball, now he will enjoy evangelism.  One needs to look no further than the outline of Mariano’s life to understand that this man has enjoyed fully each stage of life, whether he knew it or not.  His life is an example of the natural progression through each stage of life.

Childhood – Like most of us, Mariano lived a somewhat normal childhood.  Fishing on his father’s boat in Panama, he lived an impoverished and modest life.  He loved soccer far more than baseball.

Roaring Twenties – His twenties were spent flying back and forth from the USA to Panama.  He traveled from town to town in the Yankees minor league system.  He was married and began having children.  But this stage of life is about learning and he was learning all the while.  He learned more about God and more about a pitch called the “cutter.”

Thirties – Our thirties are a time for investing.  This stage of life assumes we have our skills and talents learned.  It is now that we can apply them.  Mariano invested in his craft, his team, and his family.  He became one of the game’s greatest pitchers.  He became one of the highest paid closers of all time.  He put down roots in New York and he won a World Series, or five.  He also lost one in 2001.

Forties – Now an old man by baseball standards, Mariano is entering the final stage of life in the MLB.  He has etched his name into Cooperstown (home of the MLB Hall of Fame) set all types of records, and managed to avoid the all-to-popular sports star scandal.  He is now entering the Legacy stage of life

Growing up loving sports, I could see myself on the mound of Yankee Stadium.  If it were a dream to be there, why would anyone ever want to leave?  They leave for the same reason people leave the company they founded or the CEO position they worked so hard for; they leave because their work is done.  For Mariano, his work is done.  He has traveled the natural progression through the stages of life, leaving no chapter unfinished.  He begins his new chapter soon, hopefully with yet another ring on his finger.

What is your favorite memory of Mariano Rivera?



Biphasic Sleep For Travelers – How To Beat The Jet Lag Blues

Travel can be hard on a biphasic sleep schedule.  As I type this, I am 30,000 feet above Knoxville, Tennessee.  I’m departing from Atlanta.  I’m three days removed from departing, Austin and two days removed from departing Midland.  Next week, I’ll return to Austin, then Midland, then off to Washington DC.

Biphasic Sleep for Travelers

Time zone changes, large temperature swings, long nights and early mornings can really reap havoc on your body’s biphasic sleep routine.

I’m no exception.  I travel quite frequently and have struggled with finding some sort of balance to my biphasic sleep schedule.  Beating the system and finding time to hit the reset button for your body is important.

“Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama

In order to fully function while I’m on this type of travel schedule, I rely heavily on sleep.  Sleep is the great equalizer of time.  A good night’s sleep is like hitting the reset button on your body’s rhythm.  Your body doesn’t know time zones.  What it does know is rhythm and your body will remain on that rhythm until you rest it.

You must learn how to make yourself quickly adapt to another rhythm that works for your biphasic sleep schedule in a different time zone.  These are my go to tools:

GoLite – I typically try to remember to pack my Philips GoLITE.  Traveling through airports, working in dimly lit hotel restaurants and attending all-day conferences can make it difficult for your body to receive enough sunlight during the day.  As little as 15 minutes of contact with a Philips GoLITE can provide your body with enough sunlight to trigger the “daytime” effect.  This gives your body the ability to respond properly to the “nighttime” effect that makes you tired.

Blackout Curtains – The sun coming up too early can be just as detrimental to your rhythm as anything else.  Imagine the sun coming up at 4am tomorrow. That’s how your body feels when you’re in a new time zone.  Don’t be afraid to pull those blackout curtains at night and hide yourself from the light until the time when the sun rises at home.  For example, if you live in the Central time zone and the sun comes up at 7 am, don’t open your black out curtains in the Eastern Time zone until 8 am local time.  This will keep your body in a natural rhythm.

Power Naps – The nap is a critical component of biphasic sleep.  You’ll want to take this nap at your “usual” time.  For instance, if you typically nap at 3 pm central time, you’ll want to nap at 4 pm Eastern time.  Feel free to sleep a little longer or even take two naps.  Time your new waking hours to coincide with your schedule in the new time zone.

Fat and Sugar – Anyone trying to keep on their West Coast biphasic sleep schedule while on the east coast will find themselves going to bed extremely early.  To help induce this sleep, eat fats and sugars.  This is equivalent to taking a sleeping pill.  If you’d rather opt for the full-on tranquilizer, take a 15-minute cold shower 1 hour before bedtime.

Travel doesn’t have to ruin your hard earned biphasic sleep schedule.  In fact, travel should serve as confirmation that your decision to try biphasic sleep was a good one.

Have you considered biphasic sleep to help with jet lag?


The Positive Power of Escape

My wife and I recently traveled to Georgia for an awards banquet hosted by one of Allied Equipment’s best customers. The trip turned out to be a much needed escape. I learned why escaping from your normal life is a critical and essential step for leaders.

The Positive Power of Escape

I had been working for nine months straight without a full day of vacation. During this time, the company had grown significantly. I had built a new team, taken on new responsibilities, sold our home, built a new one, and all the while had a 2-year old running around. I didn’t know it, but I was stressed out.

The body can only take so much stress before it starts to break down. Like a stick that is being bent over someone’s leg, it begins to bow, and then splinter, until finally, it is snapped in two. Your mind and body react similarly to stress.

In order to prevent burn out and revitalize your results, you must escape.


  1. Get Far Away – We have a ranch that is three hours from home. One of my father’s favorite things about the ranch is that if you’d forgotten to do something or were worried about something at the office, you were too far away to do anything about it. Travel far enough away that the travel is just a big enough hassle to keep you from going home too early.
  2. Take A Book – With laptops and clouds, work is always with you. I frequently try to use any and all free time to accomplish something. I’m always producing. But on an escape, the goal is to accomplish a full system reset. Opt for a fiction novel and leave your work and hobbies behind.
  3. Sleep – A full night’s rest is hard for everyone. Resist the urge to fill your schedule with things to do. Plan only three or four things and leave plenty of time in between for a full night’s rest and at least one power nap a day. When you head home, your body and mind will be fully rested.
  4. Turn off – Social networks, laptops, smartphones, and televisions keep you plugged into the fast-paced world. Instead, opt for a walk through the woods, a peaceful moment on the beach, or just a quiet game of checkers in the lobby. It is amazing how much mental capacity technology requires. Try going back in time to a “simpler” time when technology wasn’t at your beck and call.
  5. Reflect – This is a safe time to reflect on the last several months. Take a physical inventory of where you are, where you wanted to be, and where you’re going in the future. This is a safe time for an in-depth reflection. But remember, you’re too far away to do anything about most of the things that will pop in your head, so write them down to be processed later.

Setting the reset button in life works just as well for clearing up minor problems as it does with an iPhone. Learn to use escapes as a way to relax, reflect, and refresh. Resist the urge to do too much and you’ll come home ready to do more than ever.

Where is your favorite place to escape to?

A Real World Example of David Allen’s Getting Things Done

Let me set the scene for the first time I knew I needed help with my office. It was 8:00 pm on a Tuesday. My wife and son were out of town and I decided I’d stick around the office to play catch up. Piles of paper had stacked up on my desk, my conference table, and the floor around me.

Getting Things Done

Sticky notes are great for jotting down an idea or a person’s phone number. They do not, however, offer much benefit as one’s only means for tracking what needs to be done. As I sifted through the papers I’d discover yet another note scribbles on a sticky note. “Crap, I never got back to him on this” I’d think, as I read the note. Then I’d write down, on yet another sticky note, that I needed to finish the project and get back to Dave.

This is not what an efficient office looks like, nor is this a good way to go about getting things done. The rest of the evening, early morning, and next day, were spent not catching up on work, but completely restructuring how I operate.

Imagine an office with a clean and neat desk. Desk drawers are organized and well stocked with the necessary tools of the trade. Paper is hidden and seems to be non-existent. Productivity is oozing from the walls and work is being turned out at an incredible rate. No task is forgotten, no meetings missed, no projects late. At the helm of it all is the Wizard of Oz, you!

This isn’t a dream – this is reality. This is the office you can have. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

The Process
Performing what David Allen calls, “knowledge work” requires first that we can define the following:
What is the desired outcome?
What needs to be done to achieve this outcome?
What is the next step to get it done?

In this process, we must have defined In, Outs, and In-betweens.

What is In – Everything that enters your office must be placed into “In”.  For this, I have two inboxes only. One inbox is on my desk; the other is in the form of email. If something enters the office on foot (delivered by a coworker) it is placed into in. If something enters the office via the telephone, it is written down, then placed into in. This is only allowed to happen twice a day. If something is emailed, it sits in the inbox until it is processed. Email is only processed twice daily as well.

You can tell already that not much time is spent talking on the phone or emailing. These two necessary evils will kill your productivity if you allow them constant access. I’ll share more on how to limit the interaction of telephone and email later in the productivity section. You’re going to love it.

Processing In – The actual processing of in depends on your day. I personally prefer to process “In” twice daily. I do this after lunch and before leaving for the day. Processing simply means you take the notes, papers, reports, files, or whatever, out of your inbox and make a decision on it. Making a decision on everything in your inbox can seem like a chore. To make it easier, we limit ourselves to only two decisions:
1 – Will this take less than two minutes to complete? If yes, do it. If no, put it into Nozbe.
2 – Can someone else do this at least 80% as well as I can? If yes, delegate it. If no, put it into Nozbe.

Email processing – Treat your email the exact same way as your physical inbox. I prefer to process my physical inbox and my email inbox one right after the other. This way, I completely empty “In” twice a day. Ask yourself the same two questions as you did while processing your physical inbox.

What to do with items once you’ve made a decision:

For everything physical – Scan papers into Evernote or Dropbox, and then trash them. For this, I use the Fujitsu SmartScan, which syncs directly with Evernote and Dropbox. In the rare event that the item is something physical someone else will need later, I file it. For example, we have job folders at my office. They are in my inbox for my approval. Once I approve them, they are taken to our A/R department. For items such as these, I don’t scan them.

I scan items that I need to save as a reference into my Dropbox. This way I can access it anywhere on any device. This keeps me free from the office. For items that pertain to a project or that I delegate, I sync to Evernote. Evernote then automatically syncs them to my project on Nozbe – more on this in this post.

For everything digital – meaning emailed, I apply the same two questions first. If I need to save the information, I place it into a project folder in my email client. Let’s say you receive an email asking you to plan an event. You decide it would be best to delegate this to your assistant. Simply use Nozbe short codes in the email. Automatically the information in the email will be added to your project and context on Nozbe. If I want to save specific information, I use the Evernote Extension in Outlook to save it as a note on the project action in Nozbe. More on these amazing integrations later.

Schedule – If the two minute drill doesn’t apply to something and you can’t delegate, you have no choice but to do it yourself. But right now is not the time. Instead, schedule time to do it. Add the item to your project list on Nozbe. If you’re going to need to be alone to finish the work, schedule a meeting with yourself. The times at which you schedule these tasks will depend on where they fit into your ideal week.

Delegate – When you’ve delegated a task you must track it. What gets tracked gets done. Explain as thoroughly as possible in an email what you want done, what your timeframe is, what your expected outcome is, and how much autonomy you’re giving your chosen delegee. Track this with Nozbe shortcodes. Be certain to track it by context. Personally, I have a context for every employee. Before I meet with them, I just check their context on Nozbe and I instantly know what they’re responsible for.

The devil is in the details. Now that you’ve gotten everything in your office to “In” status and have decided what to do with it, you’re poised for success. But you’re not guaranteed success. Processing “In” is like a sprinter getting into the blocks. He knows what needs to be done and how he’s going to do it. Now he must act on his desires.

Are you ready for that starting gun to fire?

How To Shave 10 Hours Off Your Week And Find More Family Time

Almost everyone I know would like to have more time with his or her families. This is why we all enjoy vacations and why books like The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris are so popular. Most folks however, can’t up and retire, nor can they get by with only four hours of work a week.

Practical Ways to Shave 10 Hours

But, what if you could shave 10 hours off of your week every single week? What if you could spend 520 more hours with your family? That’s equivalent to 13 weeks of vacation! This isn’t such a far-fetched idea. In fact, it is very simple to do. Here are several places where you can create more family time in your day:

  1. Stop mowing your lawn (2hr/wk) – Redesign your lawn to be maintenance free. There are many options – Xerscape, turf, and even robot lawn mowers. Of course, you could always hire a lawn service to help you shave 10 hours off your week.
  2. Stop doing laundry (2hr/wk) – The last time I timed myself folding and putting away laundry, I averaged 20 minutes a load. On average, my family has five loads a week. Include the 20 minutes spent sorting it; I’d waste two hours a week doing laundry. Instead, find a laundry service in your area. Some even pick-up and drop-off.
  3. Stop cooking (5hr/wk) – Thirty minutes of food prep plus thirty minutes of cleaning dishes kills an hour a day for whoever is doing the work. Multiply that by five times a week, as much as seven, and you can quickly shave 10 hours off your week.
  4. Don’t Eat Out (5hr/wk) – I find that the average restaurant takes me 15 minutes to get from my front door to a table. Add 20 minutes for all the waiting you do between ordering your drinks, reading the menu, ordering food, and waiting for food. Another five minutes can be added for that annoying time when you’re finished and waiting for the check. Another 15 minutes back home; you’ve spent an hour not actually eating. Instead, pick food up on your way home, and then eat as a family.
  5. Hire a Cleaner (3hr/wk) – The size of your family and home will make this number fluctuate, but I’d bet three hours of cleaning your house per week is probably a fair estimate. Ask your friends for a recommendation or you can use websites like Care.com. They provide background checks to make sure you won’t be swindled.
  6. Stop Watching TV (14hr/wk) – According to this survey, the average person watches 2.8 hours of TV a day. This wastes 14 hours of your work week, when time with family is most hard to come by. Set down the remote and quickly shave 10 hours or more off you week. Plus, TV provides almost zero enrichment for your life.
  7. Outsource Labor (4hr/wk) – How much time do you spend driving to the grocery store, shopping, then driving home? Add in the same thing for the dry cleaners, the post office, and other errands. Outsource this to folks like TaskRabbit or Needto.  These are great sites to help you shave 10 hours off your week in other areas also.  You can often find someone to do your shopping for $20. Consider the $5 in gas you’re saving and you just spent $15 for an extra 2 hours with your family. That’s a great investment.

You may not be able to completely outsource your life – and who would want to? But you can certainly find a few more hours in a day if you’re intentional about it. Take an inventory of time wasters you engage in every day, and then get rid of them to shave 10 hours or more off your week!

What other activities are you doing that you could eliminate?

Outsourcing Labor To Become Super-Dad

Outsourcing labor has come to be a taboo phrase. The fact is, outsourcing labor is quite the opposite. In a world that is often too fast-paced where leaders feel overworked, outsourcing labor can be your key to becoming a super-dad, just in time for Father’s Day.

“Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow, and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die, ’cause you never had time to call and say hi?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast, time is short, the music won’t last.”
This is my favorite quotation from David L. Weatherford’s poem “Slow Dance.”

Everyone can relate to Weatherford’s poem. Too often we are so preoccupied be getting things done that we don’t notice the things that are passing us by and the people our To Do Lists are hurting.

Your life could be much more fulfilling if you didn’t have all these small nagging tasks to get done every day. Trust me, I know your feeling. But there is help, a cure. The cure is called “Outsourcing Labor.”

Outsourcing labor and other tasks opens margin in your life. If can provide you with the much needed time to watch your son’s practice, play with the dog, and talk with your wife. Embrace the idea of outsourcing labor and never say “we’ll do it tomorrow” again.

Tips for outsourcing labor:

1. Catalog – Take note for one week of everything that’s taking time away from you enjoying your life. This will help you identify areas that you can outsource and areas that must remain in house.
2. Automation – Robots have come a long way since C3PO. I currently own an iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot, Cube Hard Floor cleaner, and soon will own a robotic lawn mower. These litte guys eliminate 2 hours of work I must do each week.
3. Re-design – Are there areas where you can restructure the things that are taking up your time? For instance, how much time do you waste preparing meals and cleaning afterwards? I suggest finding a healthy place to pick up from. Last night I had a steak, steamed vegetables, and a salad for dinner. I picked it up on my way home. It cost me 5 minutes as apposed to the 1 hour or more I would have spent preparing, cooking, and cleaning.
4. Service Companies – Do you ever take your clothes to the dry cleaners? This is a form of outsourcing labor, but enriches the economy and provides for the propietors. Find other areas where you can do this. Many laundry companies offer laundry services. For $40 I can save 4 hours a week by not doing my own laundry.
5. Help Sole-Proprietors – Thanks to sites like Craigslist, Care.com, and others, it is simple to find good help. Need a your car washed? I bet you can find someone who will do it right in your driveway. And for tasks like running to the post office, grocery shopping, and even picking up your drycleaning, try TaskRabbit.com or Needto.com.

The possibilities for buying time via outsourcing labor are almost endless. When you outsource labor it is a win-win for both parties. You can buy more time with your loved ones while providing a living for others. My only caution, don’t give up the opportunity for family time. I prefer to pick up food, because we can still eat as a family at our own table, no distractions. Except now, I have no dishes to clean so I can go right outside with my son and play in the yard.

How many hours of family time could you find in an given week?

How To Balance Work And Life

Being a parent is tough; we all struggle to learn how to balance work and life. We must work to provide for our family…but at what expense?

How to Balance Work and Life

Learning how to balance work and life can be the difference between living a life of joy or a life of failure. We all struggle to find the right balance. I know I struggle on an almost daily basis; it’s inevitable for us all. But it is not impossible to learn how to balance work and life.

I recently wrote a post about the Leadership of Boone Pickens. His son, Michael Pickens, quickly commented, “Boone Pickens is a farce.” No doubt about it, Boone did not know how to balance work and life. He’s admitted it a few times, though he’s taken steps to improve. You can see the comments on my post: Leadership Lessons from Boone Pickens.

The fact is, you don’t need to be a billionaire to have a good family life, in fact, billionaires rarely do. What you need is to understand how to balance work and life. Most people rarely give it any thought.

Here are my ideas on how to balance work and life:

1. Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work – We all need passion – I’ve written about its importance. Without a job and goals to pursue, you’d live a boring life. But what do you really gain by putting your passion before your family? Approach your job as a means to providing for your family. It’s ok to be passionate about your job, as long as you’re more passionate about your family; this is how you balance work and life.

2. Learn to Shift – I recently wrote on this as well. It’s important not to bring your troubles with your wherever you go. The same is true about your focus. I’m the worst at this. It’s hard to turn off my work-brain and turn on family-brain. However, if you neglect to shift your focus, you’re robbing both work and life.

3. Accept your Stage of Life – Knowing where you are in your life and what should be important to you now is critical to understanding how to balance work and life. The truth is, I can’t and shouldn’t bring my work home. There isn’t time for it. Perhaps, if I was older and my children were on their own, I’d have more free time. But that is not my stage of life. If I try to live outside my current stage of life, I’ll miss out on everything I should be enjoying. Time goes by too quickly for you not to learn how to enjoy the here-and-now.

4. Take Vacations – It’s ok to work late when you need to. It’s also ok to put your job before your family in a time of crisis. But you better turn around and make a deposit for those withdraws. You have to pay the piper; this is part of balancing work and life. Your family can only be placed on the back burner so many times. The same is true about your job. Don’t be the guy who works all day and doesn’t spend time with his family. Additionally, don’t be the guy who is always late to work, leaving in the middle of the day, and then clocking out early. Both situations will only lead to stress and discomfort.

5. Create a Routine – Just as you don’t have to think in order to breathe, you don’t have to think in order to do things you do on a routine basis. His is an important trick to helping you learn to balance work and life. Start work at the same time – end work at that same time. This creates bold barriers between work and life. The more you try to intertwine the two, the muddier the waters get and the harder it is for you to enjoy both separately.

Learning how to balance work and life is a daily struggle for most of us. It isn’t easy, but it is possible. The best way that I know to separate the two is by using the five practices above.

Why do you need to more balance between work and life?


Using Philips GoLITE To Become A Morning Person

Enter Grok, the primitive cave man living waking up at sunrise somewhere with the dinosaurs.  The early light of the morning passes between the edges of the cave entrance and the rock covering he uses as a door.  This is his version of the Philips GoLITE.  Grok quickly rises, stretches, then sets out for his morning hunt.

Philips GoLITE

George Lois, the original Mad Man, though he was way more impressive in real life, claims to have only slept 3 hours a night!  As a business leader, I have always been envious.  For me, my mornings have always consisted of exactly three things, oversleeping, grogginess, and wasteful procrastination.  I wanted to find the secret to waking up at sunrise.

I used to wake at 7:40 am, arrive at the office around 8:15 am, and actually start working around 9:30 am.  Then I discovered the Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device.  The GoLITE does for us nocturnal animals what the sun did for Grok.

I won’t get too scientific here but there are certain chemicals released into the body the instant sunlight hits our eyes.  The same is true when we are in darkness.  The body is programmed to make itself tired when the sun goes down, and energized when the sun comes up.

We humans have destroyed this program and overwritten it with Venti Lattes, flourecent lights, window shades, and even our computer screens beaming light into our eyes just before bed.  No wonder people struggle to become early risers.  For those who wish to be an early riser, there is the Philips GoLITE.

Often referenced by Tim Ferriss and Michael Hyatt, two guys I follow closely, I decided to try one.  What could I lose, I had tried just about everything else on the market.  To my astonishment, the Phillip’s GoLITE works!

Why I use the Philips GoLITE everyday:

Mimic The Sun – The blue of the GoLITE mimics the blue of the sky exposing you to more sunlight.  We are meant to be out in the sunlight all day.  This exposure helps our body notice the sunset and make us tired.  Unfortunatly, with the modern office, it just isn’t practical.

Wake Early – The Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device is your answer to that annoying alarm clock you’ve learned to ignore.  Rather than jolting you from your sleep, the Philips GoLITE will trigger the natural human waking experience leaving your refreshed and energized.  I use it in the mornings while I read.  By the time I arrive to the office, at 8am now, I’m wide awake and productive.

Stay Energized – The Philips GoLite also sits next to my computer on my desk.  Around Allied Equipment, the coffee begins flowing again at 3pm for an afternoon pick me up.  Not for me however, I have the sun on my desk to provide all the natural energy I need without the 6pm crash.

The Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device has become an critical component of my energy ritual.  To truly harness a high level of energy and productivity, you must be intentional about it.  I have a whole ritual, from the foods I consume to the Philips GoLITE, and physical activity, that creates the ideal energy level to fuel my day.  Grok would be proud.

Leadership Lessons From Boone Pickens

Driving through University Park on my way to our Dallas, Texas offices, I can’t help but think of Boone Pickens. He lives in the area and his new company, BP Capital, is headquartered here right off Preston Road. Boone epitomizes the word leadership.

Leadership Lessons from Boone PIckens

An engineer who works for us and whom we later made a partner, once worked at Boone’s energy firm, Mesa Petroleum, now known as Pioneer Resources. On the first day of orientation you were given Boone’s latest book and expected to finish it. I guess I would have been a standout; I’ve read all of his books.

What appeals to me about Boone Pickens is his leadership skills. Once a man who was living in his car, shaving in gas station restrooms, and struggling to survive; he has time and time again risen to the top. Nowadays he leaves his mansion in University Park for his plush office. At the end of the day, he climbs aboard his private jet and sets off to his massive ranch. The next morning he might fly to the, so aptly named, Boone Pickens Stadium to watch his beloved Oklahoma State Cowboys.

The secret sauce, if you will, to Mr. Pickens’ success is his leadership skills. There’s a huge difference between leadership and management. Management does just that; they manage the situation. Leadership creates vision, fosters culture, and sets examples. I’ve learned a great deal about leadership from Boone.

Communication is Key – Creating a vision is one thing, but communicating that vision and the goals that must be achieved to reach it, is another ball game. George W. Bush rarely performed any tasks when running the Texas Rangers Baseball team. Instead, he talked to everyone, everyday. That was the key to their incredible growth.

Lead By Example – You will emulate those you most admire and so will your employees. If you’re a very good leader, they’re going to look up to you. As such, they’ll do everything you do. You must set the example of what a model employee is. Show up on time, take care of yourself, and work hard.

Demand Much, Reward Greatly – I had a football coach who transformed our offensive line in one year. He was the toughest coach I’d ever had in 11 years of football. But when we did well, he was the first on the field for a chest bump. He demanded much of us, but he rewarded us well.

Provide the Best Resources You Can – The United States Military has long been the world’s premiere super power. One of the reasons, we have the best weapons and we use them well. Give your people the upper hand by providing the best resources and the training to use them.

Loyalty is a Two-Way Street – Do your employees show up day after day and work their tail off for you? You should do the same. I remember one instance when a boss got on to me for two of my team members being eight minutes late. I told him they’d be there within 15 minutes of start time. When told to reprimand them, I said no. Apparently, someone overheard this conversation and later told the employees. Because I stood up for them being well within company policy, they became my most loyal team members.

Leading a team is not the same as managing. To be a leader you must be out in front and showing the way. You must exemplify everything you want in an employee. Learn to lead and you’ve learned the secret to Boone Pickens’ success.