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Now That’s Distracting

Now That’s Distracting

“Stop that!”

“Why are you doing that?”

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

That’s me. Yelling at me.

Well, scolding myself in a video that has already been recorded, published, and now pissing me off.

I was recently interviewed by a fellow Rotarian as part of a series of podcast-style videos on our vocations and years in Rotary service. Forrest did a terrific job of asking questions, none of which I knew in advance, which is my preference.

The indignity at myself wasn’t about my answers. It was about the annoying and infuriating thing I unknowingly kept doing.

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What’s That On Your T-Shirt?

What’s That On Your T-Shirt?

Do you ever find yourself people-watching?

I do.

In fact, while listening to the Journey station on Pandora while crossing the Puget Sound on a ferry this weekend, I found myself pondering what people chose to wear on a mid-70s degree summer day. I continued to ponder that everyone was wearing clothes that at some point was attractive to them, their style, and how they want to “brand” themselves.

This isn’t a judgment at all. Merely an observation and curiosity of humans choosing to identify and expressing themselves.

Which led me to analyze what I chose to wear that day.

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Balancing Lucky and Good

Balancing Lucky and Good

ou’ve probably heard the expression, it’s better to be lucky than good.

I contend, it’s good to be both. And that there is a balance needed which requires that you be good enough to take advantage of being lucky.

A few weeks ago, I hit my tee shot on the Par 5 15th Hole for the Cascade course at Gold Mountain Golf Course. I estimate it’s the longest drive I’ve ever hit in 44 years of playing golf – 314 yards.

My “average” drive is about 230 yards. A really well struck ball may go 245 yards. So how did this ball go so far? Was I channeling my inner Tiger Woods?

Well, it was that combination of lucky and good.

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Handle Hard Better

Handle Hard Better

Have you ever waited for something to get easier?

“I can’t wait until I can drive, then it will be easier.”

“When I move out of my parents house, then it will be easier.”

“When I’m out of college, then it will be easier.”

“When I get the promotion, then it will be easier.”

“Man, when the kids are out of college, then it will be easier.”

“Wow, when I get approved for that business loan, then it will be easier.”

“I can’t wait until I’m retired, then it will be easier.”

Kara Lawson has the same advice to you as she does her women’s basketball team at Duke University. It doesn’t get easier. It gets harder. You just have to handle “hard” better.

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Independence Day

Independence Day

It was July 4, 1976.

The bicentennial of the United States of America. I was 11 years old and in the summer between 5th and 6th grade.

I was a history geek at that time (and frankly still am!). I was able to recite the list of Presidents in order from Washington to Ford. Today, I get stuck a little in between Grant and Theodore Roosevelt.

My recollection of the bicentennial celebrations and what I learned in school was the concept of a grand collaboration of a bunch of men we referred to as our forefathers. I visualized the famous John Trumbull 1815 painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. All the participants were gathered around the issuance of the draft ready for signing. There was a clear portrayal of unity and goodwill among the members. I held the notion that this day was the catalyst to seamless transition into the great American experiment and dream.

In reality, it wasn’t that way at all.

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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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