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Tailwinds

Tailwinds

On the back half of my Saturday run, I had this eerie feeling that I was merely running in place. At first, I chalked it up to being tired. But it soon became apparent to me that there was another reason.

I’d made a turn in direction heading back for home directly into the wind.

While it wasn’t a gusty wind, it was evident and consistent. I hadn’t noticed it much when it was behind me, but now it was a force to contend with.

Funny that in business and life – especially for us playing the Back 9 of them – that we can easily over focus on the headwinds. Those times where things aren’t quite perfect, or maybe even “gusty” and weighty in life. We expend a lot of mental, emotional, and physical energy to lean in and continue.

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Where Do You Want to Play Your Next Shot?

Where Do You Want to Play Your Next Shot?

Last week, I was a guest on the Ask Valor Marketing Podcast, hosted by Joe Zeman and Galan Ruelos. In response to one of the questions regarding being resilient, I shared a piece of advice frequently given to my high school golfers when coaching on the course.

In golf, you always have a next shot. Sometimes that next shot will be after being in a good position, and sometimes it’s after being in a precarious one. In young players, it’s common to want to hit the “heroic” shot; to make a spectacular play.

I’ve always advised them – and constantly need to remind myself – that you don’t need to make a spectacular shot, you only need to make the right shot. And the right shot is putting yourself in a position to succeed. Before hitting any shot, you should ask, “Where do I want to play my next shot?”

The same is true in business.

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Unconscious Bias

Unconscious Bias

Recently, I had the opportunity to read several letters from high school coaches nominating student-athletes for a prestigious award. I didn’t know most of the young athletes, so I was going almost purely off the coaches words.

I found myself drawn to vote for the male and female nominees where the coach’s words resonated with me. The nomination letters in these cases were expressive, told stories, and were grammatically well-written. They provided a clear picture of the student-athlete. This was in stark comparison to a few nomination letters that were more pithy, less extensive in accolades, and without stories to expound the virtues of their nominee.

In recent weeks, I’ve interviewed guests on the Shrimp Tank Podcast where the topic of “unconscious bias” came up.

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Memorial Day Special

Memorial Day Special

All words that signify and define the word, “memorial.”

I can’t imaging what it would have felt like on June 6, 1944.

To be 21 years old, standing on a Navy ship, and set to be on a landing party to the beaches in Normandy. The odds said that you’d be a casualty and you knew it.
The chill of the wind and the rain in the Atlantic just off the shore of France, and far away from wherever you hailed from.

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Packaging

Packaging

My new Titanium Apple Card came in the mail. And it was different from all the rest.

First, it was delivered to my door by FedEx, not to my mailbox by USPS. It was contained inside a very firm cardboard packaging. Not one of those flimsy deals; this thing had heft.

Inside the cardboard folder was another layer of packaging. A clean, solid white package with the familiar Apple logo.

The instructions to activate required one small sentence that said “Hold your phone here to activate your card.”

That’s it.

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The Keys to Success

The Keys to Success

My neighbors and I have a great relationship. Part of that relationship includes the keeping of each others house keys in the event of assistance.

There have been multiple times that one of us required our dogs being fed or plants watered, and we always have friends available to do so.

Recently, I needed to find the keys for my next door neighbor. Turns out…I have a lot of keys.

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Back of the Card

Back of the Card

There’s an old baseball saying that you are what the back of your baseball card says you are.

I started collecting baseball trading cards at about 9 years old. Baseball became my favorite sport at that time. I collected cards for about another 15 years before petering out, but still kept my collection.

While no longer my favorite sport, I still love baseball. The axiom about the back of the card still rings true.

Allow me to explain…

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What Could Go Wrong?

What Could Go Wrong?

This past Saturday was Outbound Orientation for a group of high school students preparing to go on a year-long foreign exchange experience through Rotary. I’ve been involved in Rotary Youth Exchange since 1994, and find that this process exhilarating for all parties.

My job was to give a 45-minute presentation on being resilient. My goal is to make the session interactive by proposing ideas and then asking questions of the students.

At the conclusion, I always ask for what most resonated with each of them. I never cease to be amazed by the answers because very often, it’s not what I expected.

Several of the students mentioned to a point I made about midway through the presentation. The point was summarized in a brief bullet point stating,

“Always ask, what could go wrong OR right?”

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Mental Frailties

Mental Frailties

“What if I leave the ball in the damn sand?”

As most of you know, I picked up a part-time job this Spring as the Boys Golf Coach at my local high school.

I was feeling good about my game going into the season. Over last summer, I dropped nine strokes off my handicap. I was primed to do some coaching.

And then I get on the driving range.

All of a sudden, a new pressure emerged. The opportunity to demonstrate as a coach is constant. Standing in front of either one or a group of players to hit a ball without having warmed up or hitting a few practice shots conjures up a few demons in one’s head. At least mine! I’m supposed to be good. I’m supposed to teach them! It’s a completely different and more demanding pressure than playing a round with my pals on a random Monday morning.

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