Leaders & PACE.

top leaders

More than anything else, great leaders bring high paced energy every day.   They set the tone.  They create the environment in which the entire team works.  You can feel the energy and the sense of urgency they create, and the really good ones combine this “energy” into the following………….

The pace that they speak.

The pace that they walk.

The pace that they lead and direct conversations.

The pace that they try to speed others up.

The pace that they move to and from meetings.

The pace that they move hard against mediocrity.

The pace that they get to the bottom of what is going on and don’t accept staying on the surface.


Cause a great leader in my view, more than anything else………sets the pace.  They are battery chargers.  They “bring it” and make those around them excited to push forward….every day.  Not some days.  Not when they feel like it.  Every single day……..and on weekends too. AND they surround themselves with people who want to move at that pace as well.  And then they make them better.  (Remember the “who you surround yourself with” blog?)

A great leader lives the saying “it’s better to be moving than stagnant”, and they are moving at a high pace and pushing others to do the same….and succeeding.

It’s not a “sometimes thing” to be a great leader.  It’s an ALL THE TIME THING.

Good leader, different story.  I’m talking GREAT LEADER.

P.S- The picture above is from a great article out of Harvard Business Review magazine, which really illustrates and supports the Chatter team’s view on the impact fast paced leaders have on a business. Check it out!


My man Nick Saban is at it again.


Just when I thought he had impressed me to the max and couldn’t do more…….he tells his Offensive Coordinator to take a hike 7 days before the biggest game of his team’s season.  Yep, Coach Saban made a stand.  No one really knows what went on behind the scenes but it was clearly ugly.  Not sure there has ever been a dismissal of a more important figure prior to a Championship game in the history of football ever.

Let’s be honest……how many of you would be willing to get rid of the most talented person on your staff/team/organization 7 days before the biggest test/presentation/game/exam of your year?  The answer is 0.  ZERO.  No one would.  That’s why it’s so great.

So it was sort of interesting when Coach Saban came on SportsCener/Game Day January 2 and told the nation it was a “mutual decision”.   Was he kidding us?   Anyone believe that?    No one at Chatter did.  Not even close.

Not very hard to deduce that Coach Saban was not happy with the lackluster performance of his offense in their 24-7 less than compelling victory over Washington…..and when he let that be known…….some stuff must have hit the fan hard.  Real hard.

It will be so interesting to see how they play tomorrow night.  National Championship game in prime time and the coach that has been coaching the offense all year won’t be there.  Can Coach Saban rally the troops and can the new back up guy step in and not miss a beat?  Will be fascinating to see.  It’s the ultimate in reality TV.

So what’s the lesson this week?  Well, we got a few………….

1.  Have the guts to do what’s hard.
2.  When you’ve won uber amounts of championships, people won’t question you.  Getting to that point is really hard.  Most aren’t there or ever will be.
3.  If Nick were a rookie coach, everyone in the world would be thinking this guy was nuts and this move could cost him his job.

Sometimes where you stand, depends on where you sit.  And Nick Saban sits very comfortably.

Roll Tide.


Fired up, ready to go.


Welcome to 2017 and we here at Chatter are excited.  Hope springs eternal and here today on January 2, 2017 we will head to the gym and get started on losing those lbs., eating right and staying focused on our new and renewed resolutions.

In 2017, I want to bolster the thought that we can all learn from anyone.  There are lessons everywhere.  Doesn’t matter who says it, it matters about the message.  So I present to you a 5 minute clip from our President Obama.  Now many of you will immediately get either a great or a nasty emotion when I mention the current President.  But move past that.  And look into the message.  The message is what is important…not your politics.

It’s really hard for me to watch this without being stirred with positive emotion.  Carry this message thru to your family, your team at work, your group of friends, your most precious relationships and so much more.  Your voice and your thoughts can make a difference every single day.  Believe it.

My resolution for the New Year is to remind myself every morning to “raise my standard of excellence” from the day before.  I got this from Nick Saban as he discussed why Alabama football is so successful.  In summary he said, we have an extremely high standard of excellence.  It really hit me hard when he said that.  Gotta raise the standard of what excellence is!  And then live into that.

And I think that’s what this lady is doing that is described in this clip in a very simple way.  Very simple.  Raising the standard of everyone in the room in a very positive way that makes a material difference.

In 2017, make a difference.  I GUARANTEE if you spend 5 minutes watching this clip, you will email me and thank me for sharing it.


Fortune Favors Bold.


Happy last day of the old (2016), and wishing everyone a terrific and awesome new (2017)! Here at Chatter we typically like to talk lessons, strange stories, heartfelt moments, and nonsense.  But this week is a little different as we touch on a few personal highlights to hopefully trigger your own list.

Next week we will get back to our normalcy but thank you for the opportunity to recap as best I can my personal 2016.  And maybe that helps you capture your own “big rocks” and focus on how your year went.

Thanks in advance and happy New Year to all……

As I sit here reflecting back on the year 2016, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, wisdom, love, passion and perspective.  Everything worth achieving in life is on the other side of adversity. I once told that to someone and it’s really true.  I worked like all get out on my golf game………and to be able to qualify for some of the biggest golf events in my career.

I also started my own company and it’s a rewarding and difficult thing to do all in one.

Most importantly, I defied a lot of odds……46 years plus of bachelor-hood and in 2016 I proposed to someone who I never thought or knew actually existed. That’s right, yours truly is getting hitched in 55 days and counting! (Gotta get this locked in before she realizes what is happening.)

Enough of the lead in…here it is my friends…2016…..epic!!

Let’s talk recap here………….

2016 was a year of change and so many incredible accomplishments.  It just goes to show you never know what’s in store and your life could look very different one year from now than it does at any given moment. Mine sure does, and it couldn’t be better.

In early 2016 I decided to leave the company I had helped to grow and felt satisfied with…… to start my own company again. I took a little needed and welcomed time off but quickly got a renewed focus and started Hall Financial. Over the course of the year we grew to 25+ people and moved to new office space and the future is looking bright.  Super excited about our 2017 as we grow to 60 plus team members this year…….

I’m pleased to be able to say I traveled more than I have in a very long time both for golf and to escape the dreary Michigan winters. I traveled all summer to play tons of golf, qualified for the US Amateur Championship as well as the US Mid Am Championship then went on to win my club championship. It was a very cool year in golf. I’ve never been so focused, so centered and so free to completely infuse myself into one of my greatest passions in life. And I saw the fruits of my labor for sure, so worth it.   These created some of the best golf memories of my career……to date.  I was really fortunate.

I got to spend some much needed and enjoyed one on one time with both my Dad and brother at different times during the golf season and it made me appreciate those times and them that much more.   They both caddied and were great!!  We’re all healthy, happy and that’s what it’s all about.  Jason caddied for me at the US Mid Am and we had some much needed brother bonding time.  I really cherished those days.

Then the big one came—Andrea said “Yes” after I popped the big question on her birthday in August. We planned a destination wedding (of course) and just under 60 days from now I’ll have her fooled into spending the next 50+ years with me. This one came as a shock to most but I’m here to tell you when your standards are high and you wait and wait and wait… life might slap you in the face with more than you could have asked for! She isn’t just my fiancée though, she’s a career woman if I ever knew one. She has earned honors in her industry for Elite Women as well as Top 40 under 40, and also was named as the MVP of her company……..an award for 2016 out of 2000 employees.  She’s on fire and I’m just trying to keep up.

Fun fact of this little blog rant………… both myself  & Andrea’s dads have the exact same birthday to the month, date and year – I mean exact! What are the odds? So naturally we celebrate all together every single year on July 8th. This year these two guys turned the big 70! They don’t act a day over 25 and we love it!  Actually they both think they are 18.  We have to slow these cowboys down.

To wrap up, I’d say this year goes down in history like none other. Embrace and welcome whatever life throws at you and work hard to make meaningful changes…that’s my advice to you as you approach 2017 and hopefully make it an even better, more memorable year than 2016 was.

The only question for me/us is can we make 2017 top 2016?  You better believe I’ve already got some things in mind so I suggest you start thinking the same way.

Fortune favors the bold.

Happy New Year!

D. Hall


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
This holiday edition of Chatter is short and sweet.

Great conversation with my Pops last week discussing a variety of nonsensical issues.  Somehow it led to what I’ll call my Christmas gift to all of you. My very wise father and I arrived at an important life conclusion and I want to share it.

So here it is…

The best way to achieve “true happiness” (very elusive for most) is to focus your time on setting up all of the people that you love to succeed. And then you really enjoy it when they do and you celebrate it with them. 

Think about how grateful you are and how much you “give” to those who give a lot to you.

You want to improve your mood and your relationships with others? Well I just gave you the Holy Grail.

Happy Holidays!


The big gap between what people are really worth and what they believe they are worth

Ah, perception of ourselves….what a very tough thing to get a grip on.  Many overvalue (most do in fact), some undervalue.  How do I get a good gauge of my worth in the workplace?  Or within the team I’m on?  Interesting questions for sure.
It’s so situational isn’t it?  The kid that doesn’t think he is very good but is ultra-talented vs. the cocky salesman who w-2’d 41k the last 3 years.  Neither is desirable but certainly the latter needs a reality check.

Now here at Chatter we are BIG ADVOCATES of THINKING BIG.  For sure it’s the only way to go.  You gotta think anyway right?  Might as well be big.

But let’s not mistake that for having no clue, no self-awareness and walking around life in a fog.  We have all seen so many people in our day that think they are worth “x”, and move themselves right out of a great situation.  Not smart. All the names come to mind as I type this of the guys that were moving along nicely, only to have some not well-intentioned person get into their ear.  Not good.

So what exactly happens when people overvalue themselves?  What are the pitfalls?  Well, they end up trying to get so much more for themselves than they deserve and sometimes end up in a situation where they are worse off. They gain a sense of such false entitlement and really lack self-awareness.

Here are my observations of the top 5 reasons people feel they are worth way more than they really are:

1.          They have absolutely no awareness of what’s really happening in the world and where they fit in.  Knowing your worth and what you’re best and not so great at are so important.  Only way to fix this is to ask your friends, boss and mentors to be brutally honest with you.  It can really help.
2.          Their parents gave them a very false sense of who they were and probably should never have procreated.   Again, let’s refer to mentors jumping in and saving the day.  The parents didn’t need a license (you should have to have one to have kids……future blog for sure).  Can’t totally rely on them.
3.          Their first job (first jobs are key!!) was such a horrendous environment with such bad people they were actually made to believe they were good. (Future blog on this very subject is upcoming)
4.          They have become so good at bullshitting thru their entire life, they just can’t stop.  And then the bullshit they tell everyone else, carries over to their own internal thoughts.  Now they bullshit themselves nonstop.  Now the “it’s not me, it’s everyone else” syndrome starts to kick in.  Not good.  Really not good.
5.          Their friends never told them the truth and they hung out with all the wrong people (future blog on STRONG PEER GROUP essential to success upcoming) so they never surrounded themselves with people who would make them better and challenge them.

As you can see there isn’t a lot of good in any of it.  So what’s this week’s lesson?  Pull someone aside you care about in the world that you can see is “underachieving vs. their potential”, and ask them some tough questions.  And try to get them to think. Challenge them, make them more aware and push them to realize who they are today vs. who they could be with a shift in focus.  Make people be honest with themselves.
The Chatter stats say you will only be able to create change to 1 in 7 that you talk to……so my advice……talk to 7 so you can change 1 future.


Young High Achievers don’t need you to tell them how to do the job. They need something way more important. 


Here’s a story of a 46 year old man with experience and a 22 year old sharp as a tack young guy learning his way.  It’s a good one.  Well, you’ll be the judge but I think it’s pretty good.

My young friend here is a high achiever.  Yeah he shoots for the stars.  Graduated U of M, Ross Business School…. all A student…..tutors other kids…..your classic young bad ass……..etc. etc.  You get it.  He’s on his way to big things.

He is on the job hunt and he’s having his emotions tossed around with interviews, denials, and all the rest.  Now because I’m OLDER, and he’s YOUNGER, there was a certain piece of advice I gave him that he ended up needing.  And in the end it gave me a lesson as well.

It all began when he was upset over an email of denial he had received. He called me about it.   They didn’t want him at ABC Big Shot Firm in New York/Chicago wherever…………My immediate reaction: “I need you to go print that email right now.  And we need to frame it.”

My man replied, “Why?  What do you mean print it?  Are you nuts?”

He knows that I am, so what a dumb question………but I continued…”Dude, we are going to frame that thing for two reasons-
1) In 20 years we need to call that guy and tell him how much ass you are kicking
2) Tell me a bigger motivation you could wake up to if you are a real over-achiever”.

And the ONLY REASON I gave him that advice:  He is going to be great and I can see it much clearer today than he can.  I am so confident he is going to be great, I want him to put his “set backs” front and center. That got me thinking……why don’t we all get someone to watch out for us in this way?!

So many things that “get us down” or seem like steps backwards…..are really steps towards where we are going. We just need someone who is older and wiser to show us that.

Moral this week……….young over-achievers don’t need to know that much about how to do the job or how to think about the job.   They need way more INSPIRATION and BELIEF.
Think about that with the people you care about and believe in.  Inspiration and belief are way more important than any gift you can give someone else.

Have a great week!


Another reminder that all that is good in life happens right after you think you might shit your pants

Ahhhhh……being in the arena. Yes what a wonderful feeling to be “in the mix”……until you get there. And then the next thing you know it’s game 7 of the World Series and you feel like Anthony Rizzo in the video.

What’s very interesting to me is this thing we are taught/not taught about getting/being nervous and what it means. I plan to change that. My plan is to have a young boy or girl in 2017 or 2018 and teach them a lot of good things. At the very top of that list is that BEING NERVOUS IS AWESOME. FEELING SCARED IS GREAT. This whole notion about “controlling your emotions” and “having ice water in your veins” is complete garbage. The reality is this………we really don’t care that much about 95% of the stuff that goes on in our lives. We can take it or leave it. Steak or chicken? Burger or salad? Stay in or meet up with friends? Make plans for 3pm or 4pm? It all basically doesn’t matter.
But then we get to that awesome 5%. THIS REALLY MATTERS. That’s where the CHARGE IN LIFE comes from. 

So as you watch the video and realize that a BAD ASS MAJOR LEAGUER is nervous as all get out………..remind yourself that it’s perfectly normal and good when you get that feeling in your gut. Embrace it. And try to hold on to it as long as you can. 

Cause most of the other stuff doesn’t really matter.

“It’s only gonna get worse”……what a great response. This is so awesome.

Enjoy the video (you have to scroll down a bit to see it but it’s worth it…..you will love it). 


98 Percent of What I Care About Revolves Around 2 Words

Life is filled with lots of things that don’t matter. As I get older I find myself trying to steer away from those things more and more. I am going to do a scientific study that will probably determine that many humans do lots of things that don’t matter between ages 15 and 42………and when you hit the age of 43 you now have a clue as to what is important and you start to focus on those things almost exclusively………..man I wasted a lot of time as a young guy……..

Ok, enough of that or I’ll just get pissed…….let’s talk about some things that DO MATTER……….cause in my 46 years of experience, there are two words that surround everything I care about (or at least 98 percent of it)……..HUNGER and LOVE……both words are impactful. Both are critical to happiness. Both have a lot to do with how people do things and live.  

And for the purpose of this week’s note from our great team here at Chatter………we are going to focus on HUNGER (we can save Love for another blog as I learn more about it).  

I think people that are hungry are more fulfilled. I think they get into trouble less. I think they have more purpose. I think hunger is the basis of all that is good around all that we do. People that lack hunger struggle to find purpose and fulfillment.

I think being hungry keeps you young. I think it’s the key to becoming great. I have my own definition of Hunger that I use when I talk to companies and young people. It might help you. It might not. What the hell, I’ll tell it to you anyway.


Helpful – the more you give the more you are going to get. Be helpful.

Unrelenting – stay after things even when they get hard. That’s where all the good stuff is.

Next to impossible – stay focused on those things because those are things you will remember you did.

Get to – You never “got to” in this life. You “get to”. Everything in your life you “get to” do.  

Energy – Be a battery charger for everyone you run into. The world is filled with battery drainers. Be a charger.

Ridiculous – Be totally ridiculous in your over the top pursuit of your goals. All the great ones are.

To accomplish things in life that are out of the norm defines extraordinary. Let’s teach young people the value of HUNGER and instill it in them as a great attribute. I’m not sure that there are many things in life that I have cared about or will ever care about that didn’t start with a hunger as the beginning of it and something that matters.  

Don’t fill your life with things that don’t matter. Relish and focus on your inner hunger and let it drive you.

Have a great week!


It’s really smart to TRAIN YOUR BRAIN


This summer I was very fortunate. I qualified for the two biggest national championships that an aspiring true amateur golfer can play in – the US Amateur and the US Mid-Amateur. A lot goes into hitting goals like that in life. 20 years of hard work, playing a game you love, seeking out advice from different pros, running into a guy named Jay Horton when I was a kid who helped me immensely, my parents having enough money to buy me clubs etc.

Part of success is fortune. Part is work. Part is dedication. And part is mindset. Actually, a whole hell of a lot of it is mindset. So let’s talk about that some, shall we?

As a competitive golfer and businessman, I’ve learned there are “right ways” to think and “wrong ways” to think. It is very helpful to your success to study these methods and apply them to your daily life. It takes a lot of discipline and review to change your thinking. THE most important skill any golfer can have is self-belief and a feeling that things are going to go really well in the future. I like to believe that it’s my destiny in life to have a lot of good fortune on my side. And thinking that way is a self-fulfilling prophecy that makes that a reality.  I really believe in that.
Here is something I read almost every evening that helps me with my golf. I also have one that applies to business also (future blog). Hope this sparks some thoughts and improves your performance in whatever it is that’s important to you!!!

Tomorrow is a great day to shoot in the 60s.

Tomorrow is a day to have fun.  A lot of fun.

Tomorrow is a day to have a great attitude.

Tomorrow is a day to remember my successes.

Tomorrow is a day to prepare to win the Senior British open in 2026.

Tomorrow is a day to prep for the next US Amateur you play in.

Tomorrow is day 1 of 73,000 days I have here, and that’s it…if I’m lucky.

TOMORROW will be a day that so many on this earth never get to do. I’m very fortunate.

One of the greatest lessons I learned as a kid was from a golf pro named Jay Horton.  I was a hot-headed, hot shot kid that would get very emotional and upset, and when I hit a bad shot there was hell to pay.  Jay used to tell me little things that would creep into my psyche and help me.  And one of the biggest things he’d tell me, helps me 30 years later still.  I used it this summer on my 34th hole of the US Amateur qualifier.  His voice was in my head.  And it helped me qualify many, many years after the lesson…………….He used to tell me that when I would hit what I perceived to be an easy shot into trouble, “That might be the only place you can make birdie from today on this hole…”. Wow, what a powerful lesson!  Maybe if I hit that shot to 6 feet I would have missed but because I hit it in the bunker maybe I’m going to make it?  Love it.  Apply this to your next set back.  MINDSET.  If something bad happens, is that potentially your path to something great?  Think about it.

Have a great Sunday…what a great day to have a great attitude!