Your inner fire.

This week in my office I saw people working and ramping up their inner fire.   It was beautiful to see.  It’s a key question I bring up now in interviews.   I want to know about inner fire.  I don’t care that much about experience or tenure.  I care about what is inside of people and if they are closer to a 1 or a 7 (more on that later).

Why do I bring up the concept of inner fire?   Because I believe nothing great can be achieved in sports or in business if you aren’t working with a HIGH INNER FIRE on a daily basis.

The reason SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE SO AVERAGE……….isn’t for the reasons you think.  It’s because they can’t light that inner fire every single day.   Most people will do it 3 days a week.   Some can only do 2.   Some don’t do any.   And a very rare few do 4.

But almost NO ONE does 7.  That’s why they’re unique.   Unicorns of sort.    People who figure out how to LIGHT THEIR INNER FIRE (operate with passion) 7 days a week………….are CEO’s, Major League Baseball Players, PGA Tour Players, COO’s, etc etc.

In fact, society tells us to NOT light that inner fire 7 days a week.   You’re not “supposed to” be working all the time.   You “need downtime to recharge”.  Almost every successful person I have ever known (and most likely my definition of “successful” is different than yours) had a lit up fire 7 days a week.    Hard to get to “epic” status at anything if you aren’t lit up 7 days a week.   Cause others are.  And life is a competition.

My one question is this: Why do we not question the basketball player going hard 7 days a week, staying up until 10pm shooting free throws and bicycling 5 miles to practice everyday but we tell the guy who stays in the office until 9 and is back in at 5 that he needs to have a more balanced life and there’s more to life than “work”? Who are we to douse that inner fire?

You don’t even have to work 14 hour days 7 days a week, you just have to be fired up when you do. A person who is LIT UP and works only 9 hours a day is more valuable than someone who just passes through a 12 hour work day with no fire or energy.

Think about that as you go into your week this week.  Are you looking to “light it up”?   Are you going to impact everyone around you with your inner fire?    You don’t have to be loud or a big mouth to do it.  People will feel it.

Is your drive in to work on Monday morning spent “getting fired up” for your day?   Or are you just passing time and distracting yourself until you arrive?

Your inner fire does 2 things.  It helps you, and it helps everyone around you.

It takes effort and focus to light it.  You gotta make a decision that it’s important to you and your mission.

D.Halll

One of the best things I’ve read in a long time.

The day to day influx of information can be very overwhelming.  So much to read up on, so much news, so much industry info, so much, so much.   It’s like the wave and incoming information doesn’t stop.  Your brain eventually goes into auto-pilot and you’re just working to get through it all.

So it’s pretty infrequent that you read a line in someone’s article that stops you in your tracks and makes you think.   And then makes you repeat it out loud.   And then it comes up in conversation for 2 weeks straight.

That’s impact.

And here is the line I read………………The right thing to do is usually very inconvenient.

Man is that true.  If you think about stopping someone in the middle of what they are doing wrong and saying “hey what are you doing?” That’s pretty inconvenient but it’s always the right thing to do.

Other good examples off the top of my head….

  1. Going to the hospital to visit someone: Not typically near you.   Not a pleasant situation.   You can find all kinds of reasons not to if you try hard enough.
  2. Telling the boss that someone isn’t doing what they are supposed to do: It’s easier to continue on with your own business, but you are instead doing what’s in the best interest of the team/company.
  3. Spending time preparing a healthy meal to stick to your health & fitness goals: Sure, always easier to stop quick and pick up some garbage.  Fast food, etc.  I don’t need to explain this one.
  4. Working out after a long work day vs. going to the bar then crashing when you get home: Long term goals and investing in how you’ll feel tomorrow written all over this one.
  5. Pulling someone aside to coach them up not knowing how they’re going to react to it: You have a million things on your to-do list and you’re in meetings all day, easier to skip this conversation, but the impact you’re going to have on that person and the investment you’re making is far reaching. You can always get caught up on your email and to-do list later.

All of these scenarios have one thing in common: they’re all very, very inconvenient…yet undoubtedly the right thing to do.

In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about something that is the right thing to do that isn’t inconvenient.   I am over 2 weeks in and I’ve got nothing so far.

So email me if you come up with something.    And even if you do come up with one, I think it’s still a good lesson.   And one that we don’t teach enough to kids.

The convenient thing is often not the right thing.  Do what’s inconvenient.   Much more rewarding.

Happy Sunday.

D.Hall

My good friend left us last week

Death is very difficult.  It’s final.  It hurts.

Stephen Luigi Piazza meant more to me than I can express in a blog or probably ten years’ worth of conversation.  He and I were thick as thieves for years.  Where he went, I went.  Where I went, he went.  When I had troubles, he was there.  When he was in trouble, I was there.  We spent midnights at the office together brainstorming.  We met at 5am.  He was a mentor, a friend, a partner.  We were a team.

He’s gone now.

When you have a partner who invests time in you, mentors you, and believes in you, it changes you in a way that’s hard to put into words—I’ll try.

Luigi was awesome in a thousand ways.   It’s no surprise to see how many of his awesome qualities have been documented this week on social media.    He was a special person.   He and I were as close as 2 people can get in business.

I could easily rattle off 50 Luigi stories or lessons that he taught me, but here are just a few that really stand out.

  1. He cared deeply about the people who looked up to him and worked for him.  More than anyone I ever met.  He went to bat for his people and he saw them as possibilities for the future and believed in every single one of them.  Sometimes it was crazy to me but it was impactful how insane he was about his peeps.
  2. He never “managed up”.   Ever.   He hated authority and at times was as crazy obstinate as I have ever seen.   He would have rather kicked the CEO’s ass than kiss it.   Every day and all day and twice on Sunday.   In fact, he loved telling authority to go get f’d.  The CEO was always his favorite target to rile up with his insubordination.  It was totally inspiring.
  3. Luigi liked to spend money he didn’t have.  “Punch the Budget” was always his favorite phrase to let me know he was on a mission.    Whether or not it was in the “budget” was of no concern.  In fact, he enjoyed spending money even more if it was not in the budget or in the bank account!  Keeping in line with number 2 above, Luigi also took pleasure in letting the top brass know he “broke the budget”, and he often sent me to be the messenger of the ugly details.  I sometimes wondered if he was on a suicide mission, but it taught me SO MUCH about how to advocate for something and how to defend what some viewed as indefensible.

In short………he did the opposite of most of what I’ve seen people do in my career.  To steal a line from Frank Sinatra, Luigi did it His Way.  He bucked conventional wisdom and he swam against the stream.    He lead those AROUND him and never managed UP.  In fact, he hated authority and never saw people “above him” as important.  Wow did that impact me.   He loved people who wanted to become great or showed any sign of being good.   His favorite thing to tell me was “DH, I like you cause you like to go………..most people are 1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready, 3 to get ready, 3 to get ready…………..you go DH……..i like guys that go”.

He was a true overachiever.  I used to tease him that “no one does more with less”…………and it was all because of his belief system.   His mind made him unique and irreplaceable.   And he was an inspiration.  Because he was the biggest overachiever I ever met in my life.   He came from nothing.  He had no advantages. He didn’t have rich connected parents or access to mentors like he eventually became to so many.  His success and achievement in life was all him.  It was because of his belief systems, his grit, his determination, his passion, his love of life, I could go on and on.     He was pure and simple determination.   I thought I was determined and he was 1000 times what I was.

But none of that is why I loved him.  Those are the reasons I respected him.

I loved him because I couldn’t help it.  I COULD NOT HELP BUT TO LOVE HIM.    Would be impossible not to love someone who poured so much of their life into you the way he did into me.   He saw something in me that made him want to push me and help me and mentor me.   I’m incredibly grateful that someone like this was introduced into my life and took such an interest in my own personal development

He also got me “unfired” 3 separate times.  That’s true.   I remember so clearly brainstorming with Luigi how to unwind the jam my brashness and bravado had landed me in with “upper management”.  Although he did his best not to let on, deep down, I knew Luigi loved it.  He loved when I went over the top and threw my finger in the air.  I was following his lead.  The teacher had found his student.

And then there was the very best thing Luigi ever did for me………..when he called me into his office as a hot shot 29 year old.  I was the biggest producer at the company but I was still finding my way.   I was also full of bravado and brash talk…………… and secretly…….I was full of insecurity.   He told me “if there is ever a conflict in this office about a deal that 2 separate people talk to the same client………you ALWAYS give it away DH”…………….I was very perplexed and aggravated by that…………”Why the hell would I do that?  I’m the top producer”…………..and as only Luigi could do very calmly and looking me dead in the eye he said “cause you’re the f-ing best.   And that’s what people that are the best do”…………and that was it.  And I followed the order.   And he helped this hard-headed big ego crazy man understand what was important.   Other people.

Luigi changed me and my life for the better.  He was a true servant leader.  He poured so much of his life into others.

And I know without a shadow of a doubt…………..he’s in heaven today spending money he isn’t authorized to spend.    It made him so happy.

Love you Luig.    I’ll never forget the lessons.

DHall

Some lady is screaming at her husband and I’m feeling pretty grateful after 1 great year of marriage

This weekend marks a year of me being married.   Really and truly never thought I would type the words “me” and “married” in the same sentence.   Just never really made sense to me.   Then things changed and man do I have it good.  I mean really good.   Sort of crazy, actually.  I’m not sure that “jackpot” is strong enough to describe my current status.

Ok, let’s quickly switch gears.

I was at the airport recently and observed this lady screaming at the top of her lungs at her husband.   I am talking full meltdown here and with a crowd.   This was a “I gotta stop and watch this train wreck” kind of situation and I’m the guy who thinks that people who slow down on the freeway to see what happened have nothing better to do with their lives.  I never slow down.   Ever.   But I couldn’t help myself here.   This was a true “til death do us part” deal breaker yelling scene.

Now at this point some of my key instincts kicked in.  How do I help her?  How do I help him?   Do I somehow make a joke about “cultivating a great relationship”………….nah probably a bad idea at this point.  Even I know that.

All I could imagine is how brutal this must be.   Don’t think you can get to an episode like this and have it be a one-off.   Can you?   I don’t think so.   I also started thinking about how much alcohol or foreign substances need to be consumed in this household to keep things from rambling out of control.   Yea, alcohol is definitely a logical explanation.

I believe in the human race and mankind…..but it goes down fractionally every time I see episodes like these……….it’s really sort of crazy.   Only second to people whose cars are a complete mess—hard for me to imagine.

So, what’s the moral of all this mess?   I need to get my wife a nice gift.   She needs to know that I really respect her and appreciate the fact that she loves me in an A+ over the top way.   Makes me feel very good.

Basically, I need her to know that I realize I hit the jackpot.

Thanks airport lady.

D.Hall

My 3 latest epiphanies that will ease your mind and make your life better and less stressful.

As we meander our way through life, we have many thoughts that consume us. Some that worry us. Some we stress over. Some are accurate. MANY are inaccurate……….so how do we stop caring about these things that trouble us?

Most of the these thoughts that involve the BIG 3 (see below) are INACCURATE. The less you think about them, the better off, more at ease, and more stress free you will be.

AWARENESS of these 3 as they cross your mind are important.

  1. Your employer doesn’t care about you that much. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good place to work………just don’t get too wound up in what they think. One of the reasons I feel I have had some success in leading people is that I actually do care about them. I never realized this in my 20’s and 30’s but as I get older and get to know other owners………they don’t really care about their employees that much which is why working for them sucks. 90% of employers are filling a spot. You are in that spot……….unless you are REALLY VALUABLE or you work for the very rare employer who REALLY VALUES people. 3 days after you leave, no one will talk about you. So either find a 1 out of 10 or don’t worry that much if they don’t seem to be in love with you. It doesn’t matter to them. Hard truth: you don’t matter to them.
  2. Most of the drama that surrounds your life by your family and friends has nothing to do with anything that can help you and they are basically filling time for themselves and including you in it. In other words…….most people have very little to do so they kill time by creating a dramatic game in their life to interest them. You are a pawn in it. Get out!! Stop getting involved with drama and wasting your time. Focus on productive issues that make you better. Stop being a sucker.
  3. People you run into who annoy you that you will never see again are not worth getting annoyed over. Most service people suck—valet, servers, cashiers. You can’t blame them; they encounter some angry people throughout the day and most feel like their bosses don’t care about them much. They’re in a position where they’re replaceable. The problem is we have to deal with them. Try to change the narrative if you can. Spend time appreciating their service and if they’re doing something wrong, give them feedback. Be the customer who thanks them for their service.

If you don’t understand this blog, you probably are a working stiff, with a lot of drama in your life, and you put up with a lot of shitty service!!

Happy Sunday.

D.Hall

Alabama won the National Championship and it was the 2nd biggest story of the night for me

My man Nick Saban rolled to his 5th National Title in 9 years and kept the ROLL TIDE dynasty moving with an outstanding win in an unbelievable game.   Some are saying it was the greatest game of the decade.   It was pretty epic.

More than anything I was inspired and moved almost to tears by the actions of one player.  The player that got benched.  The player that had been 25-2 in his career coming into the game.  The player who struggled.

Jalen Hurts.

Prior to the game I didn’t have much feeling for him one way or another.   He was mainly a running QB playing on a team with a great defense and great tradition.

But on this night he didn’t have his best stuff.  And when they went in at halftime down 13-0, he was playing poorly.

Keep in mind Hurts was the PLAYER OF THE YEAR the prior year in the SEC Conference as a true freshman.   He was THE MAN.

But on this night he was benched.  Nick Saban went into the locker room at halftime and told him and his back up (Tua Tagovailoa), “we’re gonna rotate QB’S in the  2ND half and  Tua is gonna start us off”.

Wow.   The National Championship and you’re benched at halftime.  That’s gotta sting.

So how do you respond?

Well folks it was inspiring.  He was the biggest cheerleader for the back up QB in the 2nd half.  He was first off the sideline to congratulate him when he made a great play.  He was totally ENGAGED with him on the sidelines.  Keep in mind his back up was a TRUE FRESHMAN who was playing on a high school football field a year ago.   You think it was helpful to Tua to have last year’s player of the year pushing him forward and encouraging him?   Think it helped his performance?  I think it did.  I think it was a difference maker.

I know 40 year old’s who would have pouted if they got benched.  This kid was in the GAME OF HIS LIFE, and he had the poise and inner strength to not make it about him………he made it about the team.  And I can’t stop thinking about it.

And moreover, how come Jalen Hurts wasn’t rooting for him to not do well so he could get back in like so many other kids would?   After all, Saban said “we’re gonna rotate in the 2nd half”……………  Well I’m not sure but I got the tape queued up so I can show my future children what being a great teammate looks like.   Jalen Hurts showed us.

And it was so epic.

D.Hall

Consideration.

“It’s the greatest path to peace of mind.”    -Jeffrey T. Klein

Klein is a good friend of mine.  When he sent me this in a text, it immediately impacted my overall thinking.

So many of us have our own ideas and thought processes that are hard wired.  Too infrequently do we live in consideration.  Consideration, deep consideration, for others is without a doubt the greatest path to peace of mind.

The substitution of habitual thoughts is key.  And you have to be aware of your thoughts to make this happen.   Instead of getting incredibly frustrated with that dumbass in the meeting or your family member who makes the worst decisions, consider why they are who they are.  What are THEY going through?  Why do they conduct themselves the way they do? Or even….what is it about them you find so frustrating? Why is that? Is it something they’re doing or is it how you were raised?

Think about how often it happens to you in life.  Inevitably, you experience thoughts that lack consideration multiple times throughout your day or week.  I do, too.   The waiter not going fast enough for you.  The lady at the checkout counter a little spacey.  You don’t like how the guy negotiating the deal with you is going about things.  How were THEY raised?  What values were THEY taught at a young age that are in conflict with yours?  Think about what they may be going through or maybe the advantages you have had that they have not.

CONSIDERATION.  There is no other way to live.  And maybe you’ll make them (and yourself) a little better in the process.

Think about something you are terrible at.  Now imagine if you had to perform doing it without much practice….or guidance.  That might be what someone else is going through right in front of your eyes. Maybe they have never had someone step up to show them a different way.

Every day you likely meet with friends, family, and coworkers you don’t always appreciate or get along with. This week, I challenge you to reflect on why that is.

Is there anything more important than peace of mind?   You can control it more starting tomorrow by implementing consideration.

Happy Sunday Morning. Have a beautiful week considering and make it a noteworthy one.

D.Hall

3 more tips that are binge worthy after binge eating for 3 days.

Happy Holidays to all and hopefully everyone had a wonderful long weekend.  Two years ago, and then again last year, I shared some tips on how to make yourself more productive after a multi-day eating binge!!   This year we’ve come up with 3 new ones.  They are fresh.  Get em while they’re hot!!  And act on them.   Maybe today!!

1. Cliché as it sounds, hit the gym. Don’t wait until the new year. Get back in your routine today or it will be that much harder come 2018. Haven’t been working out? Start today. There’s no rule saying you have to start your 2018 goals in 2018; start them now. Takes at least two weeks to make a change into a habitual routine. Why not get ahead?

2. Find people who share your same 2018 goals, reconnect with them and hold each other accountable. Stronger together.

3. Go through all your toiletries and lotions and hair products and bag up everything you won’t use or haven’t used and take it to the local shelter. People less fortunate need it.

Have a great Tuesday and here’s to a great 2018!

D.Hall

PS as an update for 3 apps to download to help with productivity:

1. Waze—we don’t talk about traffic and you shouldn’t either.

2. Weather bug—don’t let the weather rain on your parade.

3. Voice recorder—best way to send yourself a note, record it.

The greatest 4 gifts you can give people you lead and people you love

Leadership is something that comes in all forms.  I’ve seen good, I’ve seen bad, I’ve seen indifferent.   There is nothing more important to an organization or to a young person’s career than great leadership.   Some of the best I’ve been able to work with did phenomenal things to help me get better.   Often it came with a little push, a lot of love, and at times a great sit down talk to get through to my hard head.

I think there are 4 essential things a great leader needs to do and I think if you want to be a good leader you can learn how to do these.

  • Love your people.   We all have a choice every day to find something right or wrong with the people we lead and love.  Choosing to figure out what you love about them, will help you make them better as you can start from a firm base and get on same page with their strengths.
  •  Believe in what your people can do.  Did you know a lot of people in our world have NEVER had anyone tell them they believe in them?  It’s crazy but it’s true.  One of my business mentor’s Steve Piazza was the absolute best at believing in the people on his team when I worked with him.   He believed in PEOPLE.   Didn’t matter really who you were, if you were on his team, he thought you could be great.   It’s a skill to think this way,  and believe me developing this skill is critical to becoming a great leader.
  • Inspire a love of learning.  If you can teach people to love learning, you will go far.   There is nothing more powerful than helping someone expand their mind.  I think I read somewhere that “knowledge is power”.   Inspire people to love to learn.
  • Challenge your peeps to grow themselves every day.   Most people need a push to get “out of the box” or “out of their comfort zone”.  Have the awareness to recognize other’s tendencies and help them see things they can’t see for themselves.   I think that truly caring about people involves pushing them to new heights.

If you follow these 4 steps you will not only be known as a great leader but you will also see your team succeed and achieve new heights.   Knowing you have a hand in that success is one of the best feelings, nurture it.

D.Hall

BYOG, Yoga, Alcohol, Tactics, Thanksgiving, you instead of I, and 9 months of marital bliss

thankful

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  What a great day to reflect and give thanks for all we have and to be alive!!  This year’s annual Thanksgiving Day blog will be shorter on fluff and longer on real TACTICS!!  Wow, what a preview.

Will the Lions win?  Will the Cowboys lose?  How many times will they show me Jerry Jones in his private suite?   Will you eat too much?

Ok, enough fluff.

This year I decided we need to get down to business.  I have 5 SURE FIRE tactics for you to improve your days, life, productivity, outlook, and perspective.  Get your calendar ready cause here we go.

  1.  Copy and paste BYOG link (my man Dabo Swinney below) to the 1st of every month in your calendar for all of 2018 to watch.  It will get you pumped up, make you laugh, and give you a bolt of energy.  It’s like a 5-hour energy shot that doesn’t slowly kill you from the garbage they put into energy drinks.   And it lasts much longer than 5 hours.
  2. Make it a point to drink less.  Most of us drink way too much.  My simple tactic is to cut and paste this into your calendar RIGHT NOW for Sundays at 7pm: “Look at calendar for the week and cancel a night of meeting people for drinks and replace it with yoga”.   You’ll thank me later.  It’s better for you and most of us don’t invest in ourselves enough.  Every hour at yoga is an investment in yourself. Don’t want to do yoga? Meditate.
  3. Cut and paste this into your calendar for every Wednesday morning at 730am: “Send 1 email or text to someone I care about in this world and tell them why.” That WHY is very important.
  4. Cut and paste this into your calendar for every Friday at 8am: “Start every sentence for the next hour with ‘you’ instead of ‘I’.”   So many people start every interaction with I, I, I, I.    It gets really old for the listener. Start focusing on the other person involved in the conversation.
  5. Invest in the people you love.   After 9 months of marriage, I’m loving this married life.   My wife is awesome and I’m really lucky.  I know I’m the “newlywed guy”………but there is nothing that says you can’t recalibrate your relationships by putting something in your calendar 2 times a week to “feed the meter” or “water what I love”. In my experience the more you feed or invest in the things that are important to you, the better they get.   And there’s no shame in reminding yourself to be creative weekly in your calendar.   I personally have absolutely no choice as The Guinness Book of World Records is coming to see me soon for “all time marrying up”.   I gotta mind my business big time cause I’m terribly overmatched.

That’s all. Five very easy things to do and incorporate into your routine to be more productive and happier tomorrow than you were yesterday.

Happy Thanksgiving.

D.Hall