Building Powerful Teams, A conversation

Survive & Thrive sessions sold out!

November has been a busy month! My friend John Clendenning and I partnered with The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and delivered a business improvement workshop series that we called “Survive & Thrive”. It was a glowing success. Each session was sold out. This reaffirms to me that there is a definite appetite for valuable business education among leaders today. From the GKWCC blog: “Another Sold Out Finish for Survive & Thrive!” [Read more...]

Borrowing Concepts to reinforce Powerful Ideas!

What I learned from Robin Sharma…and what he learned from Richard Branson…

I just read this post by Robin Sharma, who recently interviewed Richard Branson. Richard Branson seems to make success look easy. I really appreciate his style. To me he always appears to be positive, and happy. I imagine that having billions of dollars at one’s disposal is a good start toward happiness, however I don’t get the same impression from other uber-successful public figues.

One of the principles that resonated for me the most was in the first point – Politeness Matters. I completely agree with Sir Richard’s Mother when she told him “what you’re seeing in others is really what you’re seeing in yourself. So look in the mirror.” I think it’s good to remember that.


What’s so great about thinking positively anyway?

Oh Yeah!

Research shows that a ‘happy person’ functions at a much higher level than when the same person is unhappy, (the research is conclusive – here’s just one study):

According to research by Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage”:

  • Happiness causes success and is not simply the result of it.
  • If we hinge our happiness upon achievement, our definition of success changes and happiness remains elusive.
  • Every single business outcome improves when the brain is set to ‘positive’ instead of ‘negative’, ‘neutral’ or ‘stressed’.
  • Workers who feel appreciated by their employers improve their productivity by 30%
  • 75% of success comes from “Optimism Levels” and the ability to see stress as a challenge and not as a threat.

The stories we tell ourselves

How do we become a more positive version of ourselves? One way is to improve our self-talk. We tend to believe what we repeatedly tell ourselves. People who view themselves as rational usually act rationally. People, who see themselves as stressed and overwhelmed, usually seem to be just that. It’s important to remember that we are the author of our own story. We may not be in complete control of our circumstances, yet we have a tremendous influence on how we react to them. One way to affect our mindset is to actively ask better questions. Consider the following questions:

“Why do these problems always happen to me?” verses “What can I learn from this so that I can avoid this in the future?” These questions generate much different answers and subsequently a much different self-talk. Solution based questions are a great way to focus the mind to where we want it to be.

So to sum it all up, better questions are a good way to find solutions which lead to a better state of mind. Happy people are more productive and effective and as a result more successful, not the other way around. What better questions can you come up with? Hmmm. Good Question.


You see what you’re looking for.

Recently I was running through the house in an insane frenzy, looking for my wallet. I searched all of the usual places. On the coffee table, in the kitchen, family room, dining room and even the bathroom!  The hunt was furious and intense. Eventually I found it in on my bedroom dresser. Exhaling a sigh of relief, I felt my pants pockets and realized that I was missing my car keys as well. “Oh I just saw those.” I thought. “Where did I see them?” I asked myself.  Strangely, I could actually picture the image of my keys sitting somewhere in my house yet I couldn’t recall where they were. The fact is that their location didn’t register with me because I saw them while I was looking for something else.  In other words, I’d told my brain that I was looking for my wallet so it didn’t alert me when I saw the keys. Although I could remember seeing the keys, their image was just more data to be filtered. [Read more...]

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