Extraordinary isn’t a big enough word


Ron Clark is BIG TIME. Truly inspiring. I would love my kids to go to his school one day.

Innovator, disciplinarian, fun, tough. All great words to describe what is going on here.

But more than anything else…..he is creating a CULTURE of PROGRESS and more importantly of GROWTH.

You watch this 5 minute clip and tell me this guy doesn’t “get it”.

Let’s see, if we inspire people, make it super fun, create real life examples of their future, give them rules and trust and push them, and build secret doors and put bunjee jumping in the middle of the hallway, that will get their attention? Yea, for sure. I love it.

This is much more than extraordinary.


You can’t nap your way to great

imageThis week’s edition for your “weekly fix” of my nonsense is short and sweet. Now I have new stuff to yell around my house randomly – “Get your butt in the gym”… I am so into this coach.

She is the bomb. Totally “gets it.”

“Get your butt in the gym!!”

“Nobody wants to watch that.”

It’s a metaphor for life, for you and your people, for your kids, for me and for my friends as well as for my future children and EVERYONE.

Get your butt in the gym. No magic formula. No secret potions. Put the phone down. Stop tweetin’! You can’t nap your way to being great.

Watch it 3 times today. And tell me it doesn’t kick ass. It does.

I love it.


It’s not about the money


Sometimes we convince ourselves of things that aren’t true so we don’t have to face the facts. We have probably all seen leaders/managers tell themselves that they can’t recruit or retain talent because they “can’t afford it” or because they “are only given so much to work with”……….but as the leader, it’s really about you, the environment you create and how you treat people in general. The reality is, YOU are in control. Look at any great leader in sports or in business and you’ll see they all had to overcome a lot and create an environment that was extraordinary in order to make the group extraordinary.

Research tells us that most people ask first about pay when seeking new employment opportunities, but further research reveals that it’s not what keeps them or ultimately impacts their perception of their environment at all.

Great team members feel a certain “connection” to the company they work for. They connect to the vision of the company or their direct leader and are in an environment to make decisions freely and take risks that are directly connected to their goals. They feel like they can make impact and help the cause. This is so much stronger than compensation and yet so undervalued. It’s all about environment, influence and empowerment. All very powerful things that most leaders have no clue about and are not good at.

Through much reading, observation and 45 years on planet Earth, these are “The Big 6” that leaders and companies can focus on to make their people want to stay (and want to join their team) and not seek that “higher paid position” that ultimately doesn’t satisfy them, but may seem like a “grass is greener” situation.

1. Cultivate an environment that makes people happy, stimulated and challenged day in and day out. That environment is rare. If you can create it, you win. All humans look for this without even realizing it. People spend LOTS of time at work and want to be in a great environment.

2. Give team members the ability to become a leader if they want to. When people have the opportunity to move up……it motivates them daily. (Not all people are innately destined for leadership, so your role here is key. You need to mentor them and bring them along in the areas they aren’t strongest.)

3. Allow people to have flexibility in their schedule. It’s 2016, not 1954. People want to know that they either have flexibility or that they have work life balance. OR BOTH. Extremely important these days and it makes people more bought in and more appreciative, valuing what they have. Then they will GIVE more.

4. Make sure you have people that really enjoy the work they do and the people they work with. This can make or break someone’s experience.

5. Provide an arena where your people can grow their knowledge base constantly. Give them more opportunities than they can handle to learn and observe new things.

6. People are happiest when they feel valued by their ideas and input…that you even want their ideas and input. Listen to what they have to say, ask them what they think. This is so crucial to how valued they feel, which ultimately ties into and impacts everything else we already talked about.

Humans by nature like to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and that they provide value and make an impact. They WANT to contribute. Help them by creating the environment and stop telling yourself it’s about the money. It’s not. It’s about you.


P.S. We love to hear when people are sharing our newsletters with others…….feel free to encourage others to subscribe at Chatterinthehall.com……..here is a recent comment we got: ”I shared your comments with my entire team from Detroit to LA. Many thanks for helping us all stay on track. Hope to see you again soon.”

Super Bowl Perspective


Super Bowl Sunday is fun. The Lawrence Phillips story is sad.

Today is an exciting time for people to get together, eat a lot and stay up late talking about how this day should be a holiday so we didn’t have to work the next morning. But bigger than the game itself, the hype surrounding the commercials and half-time show is the people that make the game happen. The players… This Super Bowl Sunday I want to remember a player who dreamed of playing in the Super Bowl. And that dream never came true.

25 days ago Lawrence Phillips killed himself in a California jail cell while serving a 30 year sentence for a myriad of issues with the law that were not defendable nor okay. Phillips was the very best running back in football in 1994 for the University of Nebraska. His dream was to play in the Super Bowl.

It’s interesting to me the way that we, as a society, enable people that can dribble a ball, tackle other people, and run fast. Even prestigious college and professional coaches, highly respected people, enable kids like Lawrence Phillips. They do everything they can to make sure these superior athletes are “on the field” rather than take the time to do what’s best for the kid over the long term.  Whatever happened to teaching and discipline for young 20 year olds from the coaching staff and their mentors?  And why does it usually not happen?   Well in this particular case, cause he was big and he could run fast. Johnny Manziel isn’t the first or last public fool who has been enabled. There is a long line.

This is why results in sports matter less and less to me as I grow older. I’m more interested in the type of people they are and what else they do. Are they well rounded?  Do they care about others?  We live in a “win at all costs” society. Is it really that great to root for a team if your players can win but they also beat up women and steal from the elderly? Or cheat on their exams?  I’m not that into any of that.

I think about the people that were around Lawrence as a teenager. No one could help him? Did he have a mentor? Was he a really bad kid that no one could reach? Here was a guy that has talent that our society cares immensely about, making horrendous off the field decisions and ruining his future. Where was the guidance?  Where was the coaching? Where was the parenting? Why do I have a feeling that everyone was more concerned with getting Lawrence “on the field” rather than mentoring and disciplining him which ultimately led to his demise.

On today’s festive Super Bowl where we toast and applaud the achievements of the great athletes on the field, let us not forget of all that didn’t make it, and the sacrifices of what is perhaps much more important in our short lives than the ability to throw and catch a ball on a field.

I’m rooting for Peyton Manning and thinking about Lawrence Phillips.

Enjoy the game.


P.S.  Attached are some accounts of letters Lawrence wrote from prison. Pretty dim stuff, but the truth of what he was going through. Sad. These letters from Lawrence make him sound both introspective and intelligent. Can’t imagine being in his situation, granted he made his own decisions throughout life, however misguided they were. The concept of “get to vs. got to” is quickly amplified after reading through them. After reading his thoughts, I have much appreciation for my circumstances, those that guided and helped me along the way and for life in general.


Cosmic Shifts In Thinking


Ok, we are one month into the new year……have you stuck to your resolutions? They say (I love saying “they say”) it takes 21 days to build a habit and the longer you go, the easier it gets.  Keep on it.  Don’t let up.

Top 4 things (and a bonus 5th for golfers) that I have discovered in January 2016 that have me approaching things differently (potential cosmic thinking shifts):

1. If you work out a lot and your body and back are just a little sore, that’s a good thing. Your body is making adjustments to the new you. Great feeling.

2. Weight loss is really simple even though the world wants to complicate it. If you make sure that 80% of what you eat are fruits and vegetables, drink nothing but water, and work out hard for 45 minutes a day, you will see DRAMATIC improvements in 30 days. In fact if you can do this for 30 days, thejoy of eating and drinking garbage will be trumped by how good you feel being in better shape.

3. The key to “growth in your career” is often the direct result of becoming more aggressive about the things you want. Passive and reluctant behaviors usually do not create success.

4. CNBC talks a lot about numbers, pricing, future forecasts, revenues, and cutting expenses in predicting business success. In my experience business success is  equally dictated by overall teamwork, leadership and creating a culture of winning. I can’t find a channel for that.

5. Bonus one for golfers……make your focus when you putt on the distance and not the line. Distance control in putting is very underrated. Everyone is trying to hit the putt on the perfect line……but focusing on the line is not the optimal focal point while over the ball. That’s what you focus on prior to the putt…….I will be sure to show you when I see you on the putting green if this doesn’t make sense.

Happy February!! My hope for all of you (and what I’m trying to do) is you pursue your goals just as hard in the new month as you did in the new year.

Make “cosmic shifts in thinking” in areas you want to improve… if you want to make cosmic shifts in your results.


P.S. We have received a lot of great feedback from those that receive our newsletter and many have forwarded them to share with co-workers and friends……speaking of that, rumor has it (from a good source) the BYOG blog from last week (thanks for all the great feedback on yelling BYOG around your homes as well) reached the desktop of Dabo Swinney himself……the entire team was excited to hear that, and personally I think that’s bad ass!