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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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When you change the way you look at things…

What we see is not dependent on what is actually there to be seen — it’s entirely dependent is our perspective (Tweet this quote). This is why people can experience the same circumstances and have completely different observations and conclusions about what they experienced. Here is a short video documenting a very well-known example.

As much as we hate to admit it, our brains are easily fooled. Maybe this is why…

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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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Depart from the ordinary.

I like heading the airport and following the departure signs. Not because I like sitting on planes, but because I like the idea of departing from the familiar and beginning a new adventure. Call me crazy, but I enjoy challenging predictable circumstances. It keeps life interesting and forces you to be mentally sharp and engaged. You certainly can’t live an “uncommon life” if your daily life becomes a common collection of routines…

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Sleepwalking is a crime.

Of course, this has nothing to do with a nighttime sleep-disorder. However, it does have everything to do with mental daytime vacancy. The number of people who mindlessly navigate through life is staggering — especially at work. The imaginary switch on their back is permanently lodged in the off position. Not surprisingly this stifles productivity, creativity, motivation, passion, happiness, and the list goes on.

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Leadership means moving people in the same direction

Whatever the team, each member has his or her own challenges to navigate. Rarely, if ever, do all team members begin in the same place with the same circumstances, same experiences, and same skill sets. This means the path to the end result will vary for most people — even though they share the same goal.

This seems obvious… until you take a closer look at how most teams, managers, and leaders work with their head down.

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The real weapon that wins wars…

There have been countless circumstances through history that have proven newer and better tools do not guarantee success. Although important, tools, technology, connections, money, and even experience are often defeated in the face of directed passion…

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Ships weren’t built for harbors

Like a ship in a marina, many people live their professional lives in a cubicle, docked up, tuned out, and turned off. It’s not that the cubicle itself is bad — it’s that the culture of cubicle can eventually restrict our ability to act and think outside of our current role, position, and skill set.

Staying in a harbor — any metaphoric harbor — for too long can make the open seas appear too terrifying to consider. We should be sure that we’re challenging ourselves to sail out of our safe, comfortable, and predictable environments to test our current abilities, to develop new skills, and reveal our often hidden potential.

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One of the most dangerous beliefs…

Repeating behaviors, routines, assumptions, and processes is attractive because, well, it’s easy. But pressing the “repeat” each day is short-sighted. Eventually, our results taper off to a plateau (or decline), we overlook opportunities that can improve our life, and our creative muscles dystrophy.

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