Nothing But The Truth, Episode 1

Have you ever lied to yourself, and possibly others, about a situation in your life?

Has the lying ever interfered with your strivings for success?

In this video, I share a lie I used to tell, why I did so and why I stopped.

Check out my new Interviewing Skills Online Course titled “I Got The Job!” Use the coupon code NEWJOB25 before 4.30.2021 to receive your 25% discount.

Check out my new book (on Amazon) on Interviewing titled “I Got The Job!”

Also discounted is my new Leadership Online Course: Performance Enhancing Feedback. Use the coupon code FEEDBACK25 before 4.30.2021 to receive your 25% discount.

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Are You A Blimp Worthy Leader?

Do you consider yourself a GREAT leader?

Are you good enough that the Goodyear Blimp would show up to cover your leadership?

In this video, I challenge leaders to work hard to become the best they’re capable of.

Check out my new book (on Amazon) on Interviewing titled “I Got The Job!” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FQMVPZS

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Make Common Sense A Common Practice

Have you ever ignored common sense because you felt that you “knew better?”

Did you end up paying a price for that decision?

In Episode #1 of the “What I Learned Was” series I share a time when I thought I was bullet-proof, but wasn’t.

Check out my new book (on Amazon) on Interviewing titled “I Got The Job!” 

Leave us a comment or a question below this post.

 

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The Most Powerful Message I Ever Heard

Several months ago, in the 2018 Goal setting newsletter, I suggested being focused and selective with your time. Lately, I was wondering what you focus on and pay the most attention to these days.

What do you listen to the most?

  • Talk radio
  • TV
  • Movies / Videos
  • Music
  • Friends talking
  • Other

Second question: is the message primarily

  • Positive, negative or neutral
  • Optimistic or pessimistic
  • Encouraging or discouraging
  • Educational or nonsensical

Your answers are important because how you feel daily is being shaped by what you listen to. What you focus on will increase in your life and be reflected in your attitude and actions.

The research on the importance of focus is deep and compelling.

Both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, when asked what single factor most contributed to their success, said Focus.

Timothy Ferriss said, “Being selective—doing less—is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.”

An Unknown author said, “The successful man is the average man, focused.”

On an everyday level, the easiest way to mistakenly cut your finger while working in the kitchen is to focus on (look at) your finger more than the food you are cutting. Smashing a finger when hammering a nail happens most when you focus your eyes on your finger rather than the nail.

Returning to my first question, the correct answer to what you listen to the most is – for everyone – your thoughts. It’s what you say to yourself in your head – your self-talk. Yes, you talk to yourself, all day, every day, probably way more than you know.

Don’t be concerned that you talk to yourself, or even that you answer yourself, we all do. Be very concerned about what you say to yourself! It is slowly, silently and powerfully shaping your attitudes and actions.

Now that you know you listen most to your thoughts, how will you answer the second question – what is the primary tone of that message?

I’ve often thought it would be cool to connect my brain to a printer, and print every thought I say to myself for one day. Crazy, I know, but the results would be very telling.

If you recorded all your self-talk for one day, printed it out and then highlighted all the positive thoughts in green, the negative thoughts in red, and the neutral thoughts in gray, what color would dominate your document? Are you sure?

In his book The Power Of Story, world-renowned performance psychologist, Dr. Jim Loehr states, “I believe that stories – again, not the ones people tell us but the ones we tell ourselves – determine nothing less than our personal and professional destinies. And the most important story you will ever tell about yourself is the story you tell TO yourself.

The truth is you are your biggest advocate or your worst enemy. You see, everything starts with a thought.

The good news is that no matter what thoughts you currently communicate to yourself, you can change them. They are only thoughts, and changing your thoughts is under your control.

Loving yourself is one of the most positive changes you can make, and impacts many other areas of your life. Louise Hay suggested the following: “The first step to loving yourself more is to stop criticizing yourself.”

Make a conscious effort to pay more attention to your self-talk. When you find yourself saying something negative, pessimistic or critical

  • stop dead in your tracks and hear what you just said to yourself
  • record or remember it so you can examine why you said it
  • change the message to align with how you want your life to be
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    The Secret To Keeping Conversations On Track

    What the heck happened? I don’t understand! You gotta be kidding me! I didn’t expect that to happen! That’s not the way that was supposed to turn out!

    Have you ever felt that way after a conversation?

    If you’ve ever gotten into a conversation expecting it to go well only to have it spin out of control and end badly, you will be interested in learning about the feedback loop.

    Understanding and utilizing the feedback loop will help keep your conversations on track.

    In the accompanying video, I explain this visual communication tool, and how doing the right things keeps a conversation on track, and doing the wrong things derails it. Keys points shown are

    • identify your purpose before beginning
    • action needs to match intention
    • understand how others affect you
    • act rather than react

    We also need to address those conversations you expect to be difficult. Do you hesitate to have them or avoid them, even when it’s your responsibility to do so? Hotly contested conversations can pleasantly surprise you. Learn how

    • warm, comfortable conversations can result in not accomplishing your goal
    • challenging conversations can be very productive

    One aspect of becoming an effective communicator is controlling your part of the conversation. It requires you follow key communication principles and avoid those tempting, reactive, self-defeating responses.

    Learn these principles and watch your conversations improve to the point where you welcome all conversations, knowing you can hold your own, stay fixed on your purpose, and communicate effectively.

    That’s my perspective; what’s yours? Leave us a comment or a question below this post, and don’t miss the video on this topic on YouTube!

    P.S. In Three Weeks: The Most Powerful Message I Ever Heard read more

    How Playing The Blame Game Hinders Success

    I delivered a speech a while ago titled Ain’t My Fault. I felt compelled to do it after reading countless articles on the disturbing trend of people blaming others for their mistakes.

    What’s worse is that this victimhood trend extends to people blaming everyone and everything for the state of their life. It’s easy to take credit for success; mistakes not so much.

    Conventional explanations for this trend are

    • The middle class is struggling to make ends meet and wants a quick payout.
    • Being civil to each other is on the decrease. We are becoming more self-absorbed and find it easier to take advantage of each other.
    • It’s easy to get away with things – things we know are wrong.

    Regardless the actual origin(s), the effects are varied, profound and disheartening. I long for a time when every person looks in the mirror and says to themselves

  • This is who I am, what I stand for and believe in
  • I stand for integrity, honesty, and truthfulness
  • My actions reflect those values, and I’m proud of who I’ve become
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    When Good Enough Is NOT Good Enough!

    Most of you know I’m a health conscious person who values physical and mental fitness. I was discussing training schedules with a physical trainer friend of mine, and she asked how I had modified my training regimen after suffering a heart attack and devastating shoulder injury nine years ago.

    As I shared the details of my surgeries and subsequent lifestyle changes our discussion turned to when “good enough is not good enough” – situations for which perfection is the objective.

    The greatest payoff of striving for perfection is that even if you don’t achieve it, you accomplish more than when you set the goal lower.

    Accomplishing more rewards you with an enhanced sense of satisfaction and personal mastery.

    Unfortunately, from time to time you may be tempted to settle for ‘good enough.’

    Settling for ‘good enough’ is a dangerous, self-defeating habit to establish because it blocks you from reaching your potential.

    In this video, you’ll be challenged to:

    • Identify the areas of your life that deserve perfection-based efforts
    • Evaluate your current efforts toward reaching your goals
    • Visualize how you can enrich life with perfection as the target

    What areas of your life deserve an increased effort beyond ‘good enough?’

    Remember, you accomplish more and feel better about yourself when you set your goals higher AND remain flexible enough to accept the ensuing results.

    If you know of others who would benefit by setting higher goals for themselves, please pass this letter and video along to them.

    That’s my perspective; what’s yours? Leave us a comment below this post and don’t miss the video on this topic on YouTube!

    P.S. Next Week: Interviewing For Your First Leadership Position read more

    Say Hello To Reaching Your 2018 Goals!

    Happy New Year! It’s time for resolutions, new goals, and a fresh start. Let’s make 2018 the best year ever! Have you set your goals yet?

    Successful people who regularly reach their goals understand goal achievement. To achieve your goals

  • believe in yourself – Expect Success!
  • choose meaningful goals that excite you
  • set specific goals – SMART goals
  • surround yourself with encouraging people who regularly reach their goals
  • have a plan with a deadline
  • be focused and selective with your time
  • take action – avoid inactivity and procrastination
  • prepare to manage setbacks
  • leave no room for excuses
  • be committed – Success Is Not Convenient!
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    Are You Prepared For Success?

    With 20 of my closest friends, I recently celebrated the ‘well-lived life’ of a high school classmate who passed away.

    We discussed everything from daily routines, life accomplishments, and family highlights, to broken relationships, failed careers, and life-changing accidents.

    The theme that repeatedly surfaced was the importance of being prepared to take what life gives you and make the best of it. Life will undoubtedly throw you curve balls; how you adjust is what counts.

    When I say ‘curve balls,’ most people envision dealing with failures and setbacks. In this instance, however, I’m talking about the curve balls that come with success.

    When all your hard work pays off, and you finally reach the summit of that mountain you’ve been climbing, will you be prepared? Are your morals, ethics, and values solidly in place to withstand the challenges that are bound to come? Why do I ask?

    We routinely hear about the

    • lottery winner who ends up broke
    • superstar who gets distracted by shiny objects, and loses everything
    • ‘success story’ who fires the one person keeping him grounded, and squanders the career he worked hard to build
    • celebrity who lets success go to her head and turns into a jerk

    To stories like that the average Joe says, “If that had been me, I would have handled it better than they did. Give me a chance; I’ll show you how to handle success!” Are you sure?

    Though relatively common, we rarely hear about the

  • aspiring manager who gets a long-awaited promotion only to cave under the pressure
  • new parents blessed with a newborn, only to have their relationship end in separation
  • partnership that collapses when the title of breadwinner changes hands
  • marriage unable to withstand the travel schedule of the new Executive
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    Take Some Time To Waste Some Time

    Do you spend more time doing things you have to do and less time doing what you want to do? It’s time to reprioritize your life, to take some time to waste some time. What do I mean?

    Schedule four hours to sit under a tree or in some quiet, peaceful place, and do nothing. If you just said, “I don’t have four hours to sit under a tree” you really need to do this exercise!

    Don’t take your phone, tablet, computer or book. Quiet the noise, focus on nothing, do nothing, just listen. And if you just said, “I can’t sit still that long,” keep reading because I address that in a minute! When you listen to your life, it will tell you the changes to make to be happier.

    There are two approaches you could use to reprioritize your life:

    • systematically analyze every facet of your life (sounds like work)
    • shutdown, quiet the noise and let the answers come to you (peaceful choice)

    When you quiet that competing noise, the answers you’re searching for will be heard loud and clear. If you’re not convinced your life talks to you, where do you think the messages ‘don’t eat that’ and ‘

    why am I standing here looking at the food in my refrigerator’

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    When It Is Smart To Not Finish What You Started

    Finish what you started. From a young age you’ve heard that from parents, teachers, and coaches. It suggests you stick with it; you can do it, and think through your decisions because you can’t always change them. Good lessons to learn.

    Some people learned them well – maybe too well – because they feel they always have to finish what they started, no matter the circumstances. Is it good to always finish what you started? I believe the answer is no. I believe there are times when it’s smart to go against your training and not finish what you started.

    When you have second thoughts about finishing something you started, answering these questions will help you decide when it’s smart to not finish.

    • Why did you start in the first place? What did you want the result to be?
    • Do you still want what you wanted when you started?
    • What is the cost to continue, and the cost to stop and move in another direction?
    • Will continuing your efforts get you what you originally wanted?

    If you answered that you still want what you started out wanting, that it’s still possible to obtain, and the price is still worth it, then continue, and finish what you started.

    Consider not finishing what you started when:

    • you no longer want what you originally wanted
    • it costs more to continue than you believe it is worth
    • you will never get what you started out wanting with your current plan

    Resist the temptation to label yourself a quitter and start justifying not finishing to others and yourself. You’re not quitting – you are making a wise decision because you had the courage to be completely honest and admit to yourself things like:

  • you originally wanted safely and security – but now you want to be a risk taker
  • you thought you wanted boundless wealth – but found the price is not worth the reward
  • you believed this career choice would lead to happiness – it hasn’t and it never will
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    The Minimum You Accept Is The Maximum You Get

    Life is a compromise – we all know that – no one gets everything they want (sorry to disappoint you, idealists, out there). I, for one, want to compromise the least and have the fewest regrets about the compromises I make. What is my strategy?

    Make smart, well informed, well thought out decisions, considering all the facts as I know them and anticipating the consequences of each option. A principle I apply that impacts consequences is the minimum you accept is the maximum you get. This suggests that where you compromise in life, whatever level or amount, quantity or quality you settle for, life rarely comes along and gives you more.

    • If you’re satisfied with a C in class, that’s probably the highest grade you’ll receive.
    • If you’re ok with living paycheck to paycheck, financial freedom is unrealistic.
    • If you settle for the ease of living an unhealthy life, pain-free longevity is a long shot.
    • If you’re accepting of a good relationship, don’t expect that one day it will become great.

    Why? The answer is simple. When you settle, you don’t do the things necessary to get more.

    So, if life rarely gives you more than you are satisfied with, what do you compromise on? Things I do my best to not compromise on are the things that are most important to me. Things that:

  • if they were increased or added to my life, I would be happy and excited,
  • if they were reduced or taken away, I would be upset and disappointed.
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    How It Happens Lingers Longer Than What Happens

    During the heyday of downsizing in corporate America, I worked as a trainer for a career consulting company and taught managers how to terminate employees with respect and dignity. It’s one of the most difficult duties a manager will ever perform; those who have done it will confirm that. I would tell managers how it happens lingers longer than what happens.

    Long after separated employees have picked up their lives and moved on to new jobs their most vivid memories will not be that they were let go, but how they were let go – how the manager and the company treated them during the process.

    I believe how lingers longer than what applies to many situations, not just difficult corporate layoffs. Everyday situations like:

    • You get interrupted during dinner by a sales call. Do you communicate you don’t want to buy what they are selling in a nice or not-nice way?
    • You need to deliver a personal message to a family member, colleague or friend. Do you deliver the message in front of others and embarrass them or courteously pull them away from the group and deliver it one-on-one in a thoughtful way?

    How it happens also applies to what should be positive, pleasant situations.

  • You give someone a gift. Do you make it a special event or throw it – unwrapped – across the table at them as if you can’t wait to get rid of it?
  • You give someone a compliment. Can they hear in the way you deliver the compliment that you mean it, or does it sound like you have to say something but your heart isn’t in it?
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    How To Create More Excitement In Your Life

    Want more enjoyment and excitement in your life, but can’t find the time or the space? If so, you are not alone, lots of people do. Interestingly enough, there’s one barrier that keeps most people at bay. When you identify what it is and remove it, wonderful things can happen.

    By the way, the busier you are the more you’ll benefit by this message.

    A couple of days ago I was in my doctor’s office. My doctor is fabulous and if you have a 10 o’clock appointment, nine out of ten times at 10 o’clock he’s sitting right in front of you. This day he was running late. The nurse came in and said, “Craig, I want to apologize, we’re running late. I’ll do my best to get you out of here on time.” I responded, “Take your time; I’m not in any particular hurry.” That shocked her, and she replied, “Thank you very much for that because it seems like just about everybody else is.”

    Her response validated what I’ve been suggesting for years; that many of you have your lives so packed full of stuff, you’re running from one event to the next and not enjoying each one as you go. If you compared your life to a computer hard drive or a USB and clicked Properties, you would read Used Space 100%, Free Space 0%.

    The frustrating part is when you’re trying to add something new to your life, there’s no space for it. Where do you find the space? Obviously, you first need to delete something, but what gets deleted from your life to make space to embrace something new?

    You probably remember a time when you deleted something in a hurry and deleted the wrong thing. You only realized you deleted the wrong thing after it was gone and you couldn’t get it back.

    I’m happy to say there’s a simple way to avoid that type of mistake.

    Charlie Rose once interviewed Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in the same interview. At one point in the interview Bill Gates said what he really learned from Warren was that, “You control your time. Sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority… it’s not a proxy of your seriousness that you’ve filled every minute in your schedule.”

    Warren Buffett then replied, “It’s the only thing you can’t buy. I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can’t buy time. I better be careful with it because there’s no way I will be able to buy more time.”

    While you don’t have total control of how you spend your time, the person who most controls it is YOU. You can slow down and think how best to spend it, or be a victim to it. It’s your decision!

    The more your life is packed full of stuff and the more you want to make space to embrace something new in your life, the more I suggest the first thing you make space to embrace is time to seriously think through the decision of what you’re going to delete.

    Make it a priority to carve out some time to think this decision through. When you do, you’ll have confidence that you deleted the right thing, you won’t regret the decision, and you free up space for the new.

    I wish you well Making Space To Embrace all the new, exciting, wonderful things that can be yours in this lifetime. But remember, if your life is currently packed full, you first have to hit DELETE.

    Deleting leads to adding, and adding fun is always a good decision!

    That’s my perspective, what’s yours? Leave us a comment or question below this post and don’t miss the video on this topic on YouTube! read more

    6 Easy Steps To A Happier YOU

    When life isn’t going the way you want, wouldn’t it be great to turn it around in your favor; to tilt the world your way a bit?! The good news is that everyone has a Recipe For Success; life ingredients, that when mixed together in the proper proportions reward us with fulfillment, happiness, and success. They make life exciting again.

    A sad fact is that only certain people know their recipe well enough to access it when they most need it. Lots of people could be happier than they currently are. Knowing your Recipe For Success allows you to quickly transform a marginal situation into a memorable one.

    The process to identify your recipe is simple and fun.

    Step 1: Open a blank word doc or find a blank sheet of paper and label it Exciting Time #1.

    Step 2: Here’s the fun part. Think about a time when life was fantastic; you were happy, content, and at peace. Identify all the things that made it great, and write them down.

    Categories to consider might include:

    • Relationships – with whom, how much time you spent with each person
    • Living arrangement – where, what type, what made it memorable
    • Free time – activities, how much or often, with whom
    • Job / career situation – type of work, hours spent, commute distance
    • Daily attitude about life – why it was what it was
    • Other significant events / characteristics

    Step 3: Create a similar list for a second and third time, and label them Exciting Time #2 & #3.

    Step 4: Compare the three lists and identify items that all three lists have in common. Add them to list #4 titled Recipe for Success.

    Note: In identifying the items the lists have in common, list their general characteristic rather than the specific one. For instance, if you had a different job on each list, but what they had in common was that you enjoyed them and they were rewarding, add an enjoyable, rewarding job to list #4 rather than the title of each job. Or, if you lived in three different locations, but they were all pleasant surroundings, add lived in pleasant surroundings to list #4.

    Step 5: Compare the lists a second time, identify items on two of the three lists, and add them to list #4.

    Step 6: Look at all three lists a third time. Is there any item from one list that is so important to your happiness you want to add it to list #4? If so, add it. Now take a long, hard look at list #4.

    What you just created is a personalized template or Recipe For Success; ingredients that when mixed together in the proper proportions have proven in the past to lead to happiness and enjoyment. Anytime you want to change your life in a positive direction, it’s a simple process to look at your Recipe and compare it to the current state of your life.

    Doing so will reveal what to keep, change or create. While you may not be able to immediately adjust life to what your recipe requires, knowing what to do is step one to creating a happier you! Cook on my friend!

    That’s my perspective, what’s yours? Leave us a comment or question below this post and don’t miss the video on this topic on YouTube! read more