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The Standard Is the Standard

by Melody Stacy


Would you be interested in buying a pair of Nikes if one shoe was several centimeters longer than the other? What about some Apple AirPods that are too quiet to hear?


For this reason, companies have specifications on what their standard of success is. And it’s not just for products.

When you fly Southwest, it’s obvious that being friendly and not taking yourself too seriously is a part of their criteria of success. And while the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, we can also see Southwest’s standard all through their purpose, vision, and values.

What is your standard of success?

When working as a cohesive, effective team, everyone is clear on the yardstick we’re using. And no one apologizes for it.

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. - Charles Kettering

Determining the standard includes defining and being crystal clear on core values, mission, and vision, then communicating expectations...

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The Success Tax

constructive courageous Nov 29, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson


The ladder of success can feel pretty tall and steep sometimes, right?

Author and leadership guru Dean Graziosi often uses the term success tax when referring to the struggles that come in pursuit of a dream.  

In order get the most out of life, we have to consistently show up and put in the work. 

We don't get fit simply by buying expensive running shoes or joining a gym.

You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself. - Alan Alda


Pay Now, Play Later

There are few shortcuts to success.

There will certainly be times when we must endure tasks or even a position that is undesirable. Such challenges often separate those who will succeed from those who give up. 

There are no traffic jams on the extra mile. - Zig Ziglar


Success Tax Mantras

Short term struggles...

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What We Appreciate ...

by Aubrey Patterson 


People want to work with those who truly value them, right? 

Gratitude can and often does start with anyone, but it’s highly impactful when leaders set the tone for the team. An attitude of gratitude prompts qualities that are crucial to a positive work culture: humility, empathy, and compassion.

Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life. - Rumi

Experiencing gratitude fuels our souls; expressing it shows those around us how much they matter. 

Saying “thank you” and publicly complimenting people for exceptional work in real time can instantly affect morale and culture. 

As an emotion inside a journal, gratitude is fleeting. As an action in the outer world, it lasts. 

Making someone feel appreciated is one of the greatest gifts we can offer. - Adam Grant

One of the best gifts we can give is sincere...

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Build Your Team's Circle of Influence

communication meetings Nov 14, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson 


Isn't carrying yesterday on our backs one of the most exhausting exercises in the world?

And how much more tiring is it to carry an entire team's past around each day?

We all have a need for some certainty, so it's quite natural to find ourselves stuck in the past once in a while.

It's better to construct the future than to the varnish the past. - John Maxwell

When times are tough, it can be tempting spend our days lamenting change and instead choose to put a little more polish on what we did in the past.

Circle of Influence

Limitless possibilities await us in the future. Living in the past won't help us unearth exciting experiences, new relationships, and successes.

The past is a dead issue and we can't gain any momentum moving toward tomorrow if we're dragging the past behind us. - Jack Hayford

Dr. Stephen Covey’s circle of influence concept is an exceptional and timeless...

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You Can Say That Again

by Melody Stacy


Have you ever seen an old-timey, pioneer-style candle dipping demonstration? Or maybe you’re a modern-day DIYer who does this?

The steps go something like this: 1. Dip candle wick in melted wax. 2. Remove wick to let wax cool. 3. Repeat again and again and again and again… until wax is thick enough to make a candle.

Like a candle that can’t be lit until it’s been re-dipped many times, our communication as leaders isn’t effective until it’s repeated continually, creating enough layers to light the path towards clarity and commitment.

Communication isn’t a one-time event.

As leaders, we know the importance of communication. But we can often miss the importance repetition plays in being effective communicators.

Employee engagement surveys across the globe point to the regularity and dangers of under-communicating.

Has anyone ever left an organization because they were too clear on the purpose, or too committed...

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Do Your Habits Match Your Dreams?

constructive courageous Nov 01, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson


Many people want to build new habits but worry about developing systems that disrupt their current routines. 

Such worries are understandable but rarely warranted. Optimizing systems leads to having the time, energy, and peace of mind necessary for producing more remarkable results. 

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. - James Clear

Impactful leaders enable and galvanize their team to join them in the creation and pursuit of a compelling vision. They continuously work to build and improve systems to actualize these dreams. 

Uphill Dreams, Downhill Habits

The extent to which we achieve our dreams is determined by our habits. 

Everything worthwhile in life is uphill.

The problem is that most of us have uphill dreams but downhill habits. John Maxwell

Success doesn’t just suddenly happen and neither does failure. Each is a...

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The Winning Lottery Ticket of Commitment

constructive culture Oct 25, 2022

by Melody Stacy


There’s a famous experiment about lottery tickets that has some pretty significant implications for leaders interested in building commitment in their teams.

It went like this: Researchers formed two groups of people to participate in a lottery. One group’s tickets were pre-printed with random numbers. The other group received blank tickets so they could write their own.

Right before the winning ticket was drawn, researchers asked if they could buy back the tickets.

Knowledge of basic probability leads to the logical conclusion that there shouldn’t be a difference in the value of each group’s tickets. We could even convince ourselves that the random tickets might be of higher value since we’re assured of no duplicate numbers.

The reality? No matter when or with whom the experiment was run, time and time again the researchers found themselves paying five times the amount for the tickets from the group who had chosen their...

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Swing Thoughts

by Aubrey Patterson


It's very common for a golf pro to ask a student, “What's your swing thought?”

A swing thought is the message in a golfer's head while addressing the ball. 

Unsurprisingly, a positive swing thought often leads to a more positive result. 

We can also choose this mindset tool to be more impactful without ever setting foot on a golf course. 

Carry Your Weather

We've all worked with people who seem to brighten every room they enter. 

Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. - Rumi

Consistently using swing thoughts like these is an excellent way to proactively carry warm weather into our conversations:

When answering the phone, think: they should hear my smile through the phone.

When walking into a meeting, ask: what's my weather?

 When entering a 1:1 conversation, remember: choose a kind voice.

Kind words...

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Touch People Before Paper

by Aubrey Patterson


What do you do upon entering your workspace each morning? 

We can choose how we show up. We also have it within our control to decide how to begin our days, and this doesn't need to include being immersed in email or a pile of paper. 

One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity. (Dan Ariely)

Leaders are more impactful in person, and most experience greater productivity in the first two hours of a day. Imagine if we could maximize those precious hours and dedicate them to building a remarkable culture.

How great would it feel to be that leader who truly puts people first?

Touch People Before Paper

We always have an opportunity to be a thermostat by setting the temperature of the room.

It's always a good move...

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Leading in Sync

by Melody Stacy


Fireflies flashing in the woods. Starlings murmuring in the sky. People, even strangers, rocking in chairs. What do these have in common? 

They all (yes, even us humans) have a tendency to synchronize behaviors.

This interesting, yet surprisingly common, phenomenon found all throughout nature has some particularly important implications for leading and working in teams.

Being in sync has powerful effects.

It all goes back to millions of years of evolutionary tendencies which aid in our quick response to possible threats. With this comes a synergy that, when harnessed, can mean seemingly impossible results for advancing our mission and goals.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.   - Martin Luther King Jr.

We are deeply reciprocal beings.

The unfortunate truth of our synchronous, progressive tale is that our brains tend towards the negative. It’s why gossip and toxicity can so easily take hold.


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