Leadership

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The first rule of any game

You won’t win a game you don’t know you’re in. If you don’t know you’re in a game you’re won’t be familiar with the rules and you won’t be paying attention to the trends and nuances that spell opportunity for veteran player.

Here’s an example: In high school my older friends would tell me that I should learn “understand the system” and “recognize that it’s all a game.” At first, I thought this sounded great, but I really didn’t understand what it meant so I continued to follow the conventional advice, “just work hard.” …

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When you put a fence around people, you get sheeple

After moving from California to New Zealand at age 10, adapting to the culture and especially the education system was a tough process for me. I also had some teachers who cared little to help me with this process and instead opted to make an example of me in front of my new peers on the first day of school.

Not surprisingly, my initial rough start lead to poor grades. Instead of being encouraged to try harder I was labeled as a below average student. At age 10 and 11 the concept of fueling my own personal ambition was simply not in the cards. Within only the first few weeks of class at my new school my teachers expected me to flounder. Sure enough, that’s what I did — and worse, I thought nothing of it…

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Progress is a barbed arrow

Unless you were born into your ideal life (highly improbable), then we know that we must keep moving to improve our circumstances and quality-of-life. Most of us like to label this “moving” as progress. However, let’s be specific… because it matters a lot here. Moving is not progress unless we are moving in the right direction…

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Canabalize your ideas

It’s not wording that paints the best mental picture, I know (maybe the unassuming Pac-Man imagery will soften the edge), but it is a notion that ultimately leads to a better outcome. The idea for this post struck me while reading Walter Isaacson’s biography about Steve Jobs. The relationship he had with ideas — even his own, was uncommon. When he came up with an idea he was never afraid to start attacking it — even if the idea has costly short term implications. A well-known example was…

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There is no “ish” in finish

Is there really anything left to say? By nature of the word, finishing means taking something through to the end. It means going the full distance. It means making a full commitment because a half effort won’t get you the full reward.

Greatness, mastery, and success are the counter-culture of “ish.”

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You don’t always have to buy what’s being sold

When everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you’re going to get a lot of opinions. And when estimates about the future cannot yet be proven, everyone wants to believe their idea is the correct one.

While it’s always important gather feedback and insight from others, it’s equally important to remember that you don’t always have to buy into it…

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Mavericks stir things up

Innovation is very rarely a smooth and predictable process. In fact, if it is, innovation is likely not taking place at the full pace possible.

No matter the industry or the goal, when it comes to discussing strategy most leaders and business owners intent to seek and/or create calm seas. I often hear people say many iterations of how they are, “waiting for the dust to settle.” Why? So you can linger around for everyone else to do the same and then move with the herd? That’s not how great ideas and outcomes are birthed.

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The best answer may require…

How much time have you spent fixated on certain problems in life? If you’re human like me, it’s more than you’d care to admit. But I’ve noticed that when I get “hung up” or “stuck” on something it rarely has anything to do with “facts” or circumstances. Instead, it has everything to do with how I approach the problem.

The answer we need to hear (not always necessarily the one we’re seeking) is often very close — it merely responds to a different cue. That cue, is a different question…

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Never settle. Stay uncommon.

Mediocrity has immense gravity pulling our ambitions to the mean. It’s not surprise, then, that the Mavericks who lead uncommon lives simply refuse to settle.

But even more interesting is that they refuse to even play the same game everyone else is playing. They rise above the noise because they’re not listening to it nor interested in it.

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Slaying Dragons. Be right back.

Life is full of challenges. If you have big dreams, they will never cease. This is why we must be:

Willing to confront them and act quickly because life’s monsters always become bigger when you try to avoid them. Slay the monsters when they’re small.
Willing to get down to business and let people know you’ll be busy for a little while.
Careful not to take them all too seriously.

Nothing groundbreaking here, I know, just important to remember.

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How to tread lightly. Properly.

Most people believe they should ‘tread lightly’ whenever possible. It’s not a ‘bad’ idea, but people’s interpretation of the term can be limiting.

To most, treading lightly means compromising passion, honesty, ambition, and commitment. Well, it shouldn’t be.

In fact I don’t believe there is EVER a time to lay those assets down. Instead, there should just be times we deliver upon them differently.

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