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Perseverance

constructive courageous Jul 21, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Some times, everything goes according to plan. Other times, life feels overwhelming.

Remarkable leaders certainly must feel like giving up at times, but they persevere and often inspire their team to greater successes.

Why?

Perseverance and Practice

No matter how talented people are, there is no success without perseverance. Tenacity is not an issue of talent nor is it limited by time. It’s simply about practicing and finishing.

Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing that makes you good. (Gladwell)

In So Good They Can't Ignore You, author Cal Newport debunks the notion that we should follow our passions, arguing that passion is the result of putting in the hard work to excel at something valuable.

Remarkably successful people are experts at practicing. They have the ability to push themselves to the limits of their skillsets,...

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11 Mantras to Boost Your Courage

courageous Jun 20, 2022

by Melody Stacy

 

Picture this.

You’re standing in frigid temperatures with wind gusts reaching 50 miles per hour, facing nothing but 930 miles of blinding white, snow-covered terrain. And the only company you have is the supply-filled sled that you’re pulling.

Seem impossible?

Everyone thought so before Colin O’Brady completed his 54-day adventure, the first unassisted solo trip across Antarctica, in 2018.

It always seems impossible until it's done. - Nelson Mandela

When asked, “How did you do it?” Colin, an endurance athlete, shares, "I would, without a doubt, say that the mental part is harder.”

He attributes his ability to keep the mental challenges at bay to his daily mantra, a trio of statements that helped him realize the best, most capable version of himself.

Each morning, he would repeat this refrain to himself.

You’re strong. You’re capable. You can do this.

Tell yourself a story that speaks into possibility.

...

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Calendar Before To-Do

by Aubrey Patterson

 

A great many swear by their to-do lists, and with good reason. Psychologist, author, and film-maker David Cohen maintains that a completed list greatly reduces anxiety.

Individuals with a strong internal locus of control believe events in their life derive primarily from their own actions, whereas those with a strong external locus of control tend to praise or blame external factors. A list is a way of being in charge. Sorting things out and getting jobs done gives you a sense of having influence on a world that seems beyond your control. - David Cohen

But these feelings of influence and control come at a cost.

Because it’s easy to add things to a list, our to-do items can quickly grow to an unmanageable number. To make things worse, as our well-intentioned lists expand, lesser items begin to take on equal importance with our most impactful work.

Simply put, putting too much stock in that convenient and coveted to-do list often leads to us spending...

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The Power of a Story

by Melody Stacy

 

Once upon a time, there was a leader who told powerful stories that influenced her team and led to clarity and cohesiveness around the pillars of her organization.

The end.

Stories connect us at the most basic level of humanity.

We’ve all felt it.

Listening to someone tell a story and suddenly we’re feeling what they’re feeling, on the edge of our seats, and hanging on each word.

And in the next days, weeks, and even years, we recollect and even retell that story we heard.

The story we felt.

If I ask you to think about something, you can decide not to. But if I make you feel something? Now I have your attention. - Lisa Cron

Stories stick.

How do we harness the leadership power of this most historic and basic form of communication?

According to David Hutchens, storytelling expert and author, leaders must tell four core types of stories.

Origin - what it means to be us

 Vision - the future we desire

 Values...

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Dandelions and Orchids

compassionate May 10, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Most accept that we are a product of both nature and nurture.

In 2005, Dr. Tom Boyce and Dr. Bruce Ellis introduced the flower metaphor of orchids and dandelions in an influential academic paper.

They concluded that children who are less sensitive and more resilient are like dandelions, which tend to thrive in any circumstances. Very sensitive children, conversely, are more like orchids that need a nurturing environment in order to flourish.

So what about you?

Of course, we'd all love to be more like the dandelion.

Why doesn’t constant trampling defeat the dandelion? The key to its strength is its long and sturdy root, which extends deep into the earth. The same principle applies to people. The true victors in life are those who, enduring repeated challenges and setbacks, have sent the roots of their being to such a depth that nothing can shake them. - Daisaku Ikeda

Most of us are somewhere...

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Leaders Walk the Talk

by Aubrey Patterson

 

We all have good ideas.

And we should share them and hope our teammates elevate them into something remarkable.

When we have an idea but don’t act upon it, at best it’s just a good intention.

Some people think generous sharing can help a relationship, but vision without action creates disappointment in those we've excited with a new idea.

Someone who frequently offers ideas and rarely acts is communicating, “I have the ideas, you need to do the work.”

Good intentions only count when accompanied by good effort.

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

- Peter Drucker

When we offer a new thought that is received enthusiastically, the actions of each team member should immediately be entered into some form of a shared task document.

Dreams are turned into action when we know who will do what by when, including the commitments of the leader who just motivated the...

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On the Dot!

meetings time blocking Apr 26, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Do you find yourself in meetings that are chronically late to begin? 

To the punctual majority who are often pressed for time, being late is like saying, "This work is important, but, hey, it's not that important."

Arriving late was a way of saying that your own time was more valuable than the time of the person who waited for you. - Karen Joy Fowler

A Typical Late Start

We've all been part of this common scenario:

Some arrive a little early and start chatting. Most of the people arrive just in time to begin. A few have yet to arrive. Often one or two key members, who are usually the leaders, keep chatting until eventually one of them declares, "OK, let's get started."

Unfortunately, far too many meetings organically stumble to a late start, and then stagger to a slow end. Time, enthusiasm, motivation, and focus are the casualties of this pattern.

All of this makes...

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Habits vs. Willpower

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Many of us rely on willpower to actualize our biggest goals.

When we want to lose weight, we access willpower to prevent us from eating a piece of cake. 

If we want to save money, we use willpower to not click buy now on Amazon.

And when we want to wake up early, we use willpower to quickly get out of bed.

This common approach certainly seems to make sense. However, consistently relying on willpower is an exhausting, demoralizing, and failing strategy for most.

Willpower vs. Systems

Willpower is like a muscle. It needs to be consistently exercised or it can get weak.

Habits don’t require additional energy. They happen automatically.

If this, then that habits are most desirable because they require neither a lot of thought nor willpower. 

Powerful habits work together with beautiful synergy and beget excellent...

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The Bee Hive Mentality

constructive Apr 12, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson

 

In 1965, the founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, predicted that computer chips would exponentially increase in power while decreasing in size. This became known as Moore's Law and has been proven correct over the past 50 years. 

It isn't much of a stretch to extrapolate that an increase in the speed and convenience of computing has led to a corresponding escalation in the amount of information coming at us each day. 

So how can we keep up with the dizzying growth of information received and the multitude of channels that deliver new inputs seemingly by the minute? 

Predictability is desirable, but being overwhelmed certainly is not.

There's no app for this

We all know someone who adopts every new productivity app and very convincingly attempts to gain fellow converts.

Though well-intentioned, these efforts rarely amount to much because increasing productivity and peace of mind doesn't happen...

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Is Your Email a Progress Trap?

communication impact tips Apr 05, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Has technology really made day-to-day communication easier? 

Most would never choose a return to the days of the fax machine or expensive phone calls in favor of the wonderful ability to instantly FaceTime a daughter across the country or text congratulations to a friend in another country.

But what about the vast amount of undesirable and expectation-laden messages you receive every day?

We create a progress trap when our ingenuity is used to solve one large problem that inadvertently causes new problems that affect our quality of life.

The taming of fire, creation of cities, and industrial revolution all led to lurches forward, while each improvement also brought with it progress traps.

Email

Imagine a week without receiving an email. It's certainly an attractive thought, right? 

However, anyone who can recall sending multiple faxes or waiting weeks for a signed form to...

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