How many times have you read, heard or said this phase, or a derivation of it? Probably so often that it barely registers at this point. Yet we continue to overuse it in describing our goals, or what we want to accomplish for clients. However, have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “The next level of what?”
What exactly does this mystical “next level” look like? Is it fame, fortune, retirement, financial independence, peace of mind? Do you have a clear vision of what the next level means for you or for your business? And what is required to get there?
If you don’t have a clear vision of what the next level looks like, then how do you expect it to become a reality?
Well, 2022 is rapidly coming to a close. So … are we having fun yet?
In the business world we are notorious for putting fun last on our list of priorities as a New Year kicks off, and as a result, never getting to it. We’re so darn busy throughout the year trying to meet our annual objectives and “putting out fires” that we don’t set aside time to have fun.
With what we’ve suffered through these past few years that needs to change.
The negative trends in business as a result of the pandemic, downsizing, restructuring and economic uncertainty have collectively taken a huge toll on the workplace. And a huge toll on the workforce tasked with doing more with less.
Innovation is something that is sorely needed – in our businesses, in our communities and in our country. Yet despite its benefits, innovation is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.
In the business world, innovation is often described as “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. Think of the GE slogan, “We Bring Good Things to Life.” However, I tend to favor Scott Berkun’s definition, “Innovation is significant positive change.”
What does significant mean?
In this broader context, significant is a 30% or more improvement in something. So, you could argue that any time changes are made to anything that results in a 30% or more improvement, you’re innovating. To simplify further, innovation is not invention.
Think of the BASF slogan … “We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.”
This makes innovation a little bit easier to tackle now, doesn’t it?
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 4-7.
Is joy a feeling or a state of mind? Are joy and happiness the same thing? Why is joy a gift? When was the last time you experienced real joy like the child in this photo?
What is joy? Definition … “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight (rejoice)”.
It is now less than two months and counting until the Presidential Election 2020.
Hopefully, the turnout at the polls will be much better than the 2016 election. Only about 138 million Americans voted in the last election. Roughly 58% of the eligible voters.
What were the rest of you doing on Election Day 2016?
My dad was ‘old school’ and pretty vocal on his position when it came to exercising the right to vote. If there was any kind of political debate within earshot at his local watering hole, my dad would respond by asking, “Did you vote? If no, then you don’t get to express your opinion.” For dad and others like him, no vote equals no voice.
For many of my dad’s generation, voting was not just a right granted to them as a U.S. citizen, but a privilege and an obligation to help build a better America.
Do your best … that’s all you can do! This is my youngest son’s mantra and it has served him well in his early adult life. However, what if it isn’t enough?
happens when your best just isn’t good enough?
Throughout our lives we’re encouraged to do our best, try harder, keep pushing, don’t give up, etc. However, most of us already have or will encounter obstacles or challenges seemingly too difficult to overcome, despite our best efforts. So what’s the right course of action when your best is not enough?
If we assume failure is not an acceptable outcome, then we have created an irresistible force paradox. The classic paradox formulated as “What happens when an unstoppable force (you) meets an immovable object (obstacle or challenge)?” This paradox arises because it rests on two premises—there exists such things as irresistible forces and immovable objects—which cannot both be true at once.
“If you lean in the direction of success,
you will make progress even when you fall.” – Grant M. Bright
The hardest thing for most of us to accept is failure. We have been conditioned to believe that failure is a catastrophic, ‘end of days’ type event, rather than a life lesson. However, in this world we are a part of, there are no such things as irresistible forces or immovable objects. Something must be changed. How can we strive to do our best against all odds knowing the end result in some situations will not be favorable?
goals produce dumb results? The short answer is “yes”. But the better question to
ask yourself is, “How can we keep this from happening to us?”
goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
The main problem with SMART goals, or goals in general, is that they are just ideas, thoughts or expectations. They generate no energy, no forward motion until you take action. If you make a half-hearted attempt to achieve them, or are not fully committed, then what happens? Poor or (dumb) results are the eventual outcome.
and planning are balance sheet approaches. They offer only a snapshot of what
is important to you today, and how to
get there from here. However, there is no momentum, no “wood behind the arrow”.
Without this momentum being generated and directed, it’s hard to reach the
intended target. A P&L approach is what’s required to make them come to
If your overarching goal is to build a successful legacy business that will be around long after you are gone. And your horizon plans extend beyond the next 90 days. Then please read on …
In this article I want to share some thoughts on why you should consider globalizing your business, if you are in it for the long haul. So stay with me.
“Globalization is becoming a strategic imperative for survival and growth.”
Whether we choose to acknowledge this fact, or not, it is true for small businesses as well as large, multi-national corporations. I have been writing and speaking off and on about this topic for the past 10+ years. My first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead, provides an in-depth look at the major challenges we must overcome in the complex, rapidly evolving global society we are all members of.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Many of you reading this introduction are thinking this does not apply to me. “I’m just a local small business owner and have no current plans to expand globally.” I have spoken to numerous business groups, and heard this comment more times than I can count.
What I’m here to tell you is “there is no such thing as a local small business in today’s global economy”. You’ll understand why I say this as you read further.
No, this is not another fan rant about the Dallas Cowboys lackluster performance on the football field this year. Although there are some similarities we’ll draw upon here. Rather, the article is about you. If you’re a business leader who seems to be stuck in neutral and unable to find the ‘winning formula’ to move to the next level.
None of us grew up with the notion of
being average, just being good enough.
Whether it’s in sports, music, grades, business, etc. We have all been ingrained with the notion of being the best in our chosen pursuits. Does this seem realistic? There is nothing wrong with the quest for excellence. However, not everyone can ascend to the top of the pyramid and stay there. Real life just doesn’t work that way. And that’s OK!
Are your expectations aligned with reality?
Let’s talk for a moment about the ‘BIG LIE’. The big lie is what we tell ourselves when we have a bad day, or when things are not going our way. “Things will get better”. They won’t. Things are not going to get better until what? Until we do. In order to consistently achieve success at any level we must take risks, make changes and sacrifice to get there.
Ten years ago, my son Daniel and I decided we’d take on the task of doing most of the Christmas holiday cooking. It was our way of giving my wife Laura and daughter Melanie a break to just relax and enjoy the holidays. My wild, crazy idea!
NOTE: The photo above includes some of the sweets and “treats” made as part of the holiday cooking marathon.
We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we started. But after eleven recipes and 12+ hours of meal prep, cooking and clean-up, let’s just say we learned a lot from the experience.