Jul 312012

 Area One for Applying Communication Tips from previous post :

  • Learn How to Communicate with Yourself


– Self-talk is KEY.


– A crooked line doesn’t know it’s crooked until it is compared with a straight line


– Think of your mind as a library filled with deposits from your past experiences & what information you’ve allowed in. Your librarian goes to grab info to apply based on what you ask for.


– Replace bad/negative thoughts with good/positive; grab better information to take the place of the former from those with proven results in life. ( “fruit on the tree” )


– It’s often the case that the first piece of information that gets there first will hold the most credibility for someone.


– ‘If that’s all you have, that’s all you know.’


– Affirm the Winner. Don’t confirm the loser in you.


– Your mind is a fertile plot of land; each and every day, negative can and does seep in. Pull your own negative weeds; stop/pattern interrupt & reframe daily!


Area Two for Applying Communication


  • How to Communicate to Others


– Listen 1st


– Be QUICK to listen, and SLOW to speak.


– Understand human nature


Area Three for Applying Communication


  • How to Communicate about others


– Can be a very powerful or destructive


– Affirm & confirm.


– Edification : Three types – use each/all often


  1. First/1st person
  2. Second/2nd person
  3. Third/3rd person




This 2nd of 2 posts is also based fully on world class information from an audio by hugely successful entrepreneur Dan Hawkins that I’ve listened to several times. Thank you very much to him for sharing his wisdom!  And, its my privilege to pay it forward. 

Jul 252012

Today’s blog post is the first in a monthly series that I plan to post for the rest of 2012.  I hope all the readers of this blog find as much inspiration, value, & encouragement in these as I plan there to be 🙂

July’s movie recommendation from the vault for eagles ( eagles soar = leaders ) & rascals ( those climbers who strive to be part of the 5-10% riding the success curve of LIFE ) is 2006’s 6th & final movie in the series which in the mid ’70s, ‘Rocky Balboa

There are many other detailed reviews of this inspirational, heart warming, & edifying movie out there online, so my review is limited in scope to discussing how Stallone’s script ties in with growing personally, proactive change, service to others, dreaming big, and turning rejection into energy (fuel from critics & skeptics).

Stallone’s Rocky is in his mid to late 50’s, with the movie set 15+ years after ‘Rocky V‘ & 20+ years after ‘Rocky IV‘ –  it seems clear that there was expectation that Balboa would ever again fight in the ring, show raw courage & determination, or chase down any more dreams.  However, in a chance encounter with a lady, Marie, whom he hadn’t seen since they were kids, her son (Steps), and through his restaurant’s community, his life would end up taking an unexpected turn towards being a leader once again.

While at the restaurant, Paulie, his brother-in-law, came in one night & said that he wanted to watch a “cartoon” fight before going into his job for the night. Turns out, this fight was between Mason ‘the Line’ Dixon, current heavyweight champion, and a younger version of Rocky from his championship prime when Mickey was still alive/his manager. Rocky wins the simulated fight!

This leads to a real fight, a “glorified sparring session/exhibition”, eventually being scheduled in Las Vegas. Before he agreed to do so, his passionate speech to the PA State Athletic Commission + a talk with Marie, convinced him that it was his passion rekindled & his legacy reborn, to get back in the ring one final time.

What does this movie teach us about positive/self growth, personal development, dreaming, & servant leadership?  Plenty!   Let us count the ways …


1. Positive change begins with your own personal example. Rocky modeled this to his son, who had gotten ‘lost’ in the mass media/consumerist world of living for the weekend and not for something greater than oneself.

2. Self growth and personal development do not move in direct proportion to age. As Marie said in a memorable line, ‘The last thing to age on somebody is their heart.’ –  if you change your thinking, you can change your life.

3.  Dreaming big is crucially important and has priceless value regardless of your age, gender, economic background/history, geography, or any other measure.

4. The ‘American way’ and the ‘American dream’ are completely divergent paths. Rocky’s son, Robert, was on the former, and Rocky, having re-discovered his passion, began to again live the latter, as he had in his past.

5. Servant leadership is putting others ahead of yourself, excellence before ego, & service before self. Rocky served his son by challenging him head on with that gold medal talk in the street; he served Marie’s son, Steps, by becoming his mentor; he served Marie by offering her a better life through his job offer to come work for him; he served his customers/community in his restaurant; and, he served Spider by giving back to him years & years after their fight by offering him food and shelter.

In short, without spoiling this excellent movie by saying any more about the plot, script details, or its well rounded characters, I post this blog in the hopes that this movie’s sterling example will inspire even one person in the blogosphere to watch/re-watch it, and be inspired to step out, detect their purpose/passion, build a legacy that outlives him/her, and dreams great dreams.


Jul 192012










1. Pause before you Respond

  • – Listen 1st, evaluate, & think through what you’re going to say
  • – Think about social media’s amazing growth over the past 5+ years; people WANT to be heard, however, very few actually listen.

2. Be trustworthy & honest

  • – Do NOT gossip. Ever.
  • – Do not exaggerate. Remain credible & consistent.
  • – Think Win:Win ( Covey’s Habit 4 )
  • – Easiest way to ensure you have a good memory 🙂

3. Don’t Rush!

  • – Slow down to avoid mis-understandings.
  • – Don’t monopolize
  • – Data (i.e., texting) CANNOT replace in person communication.

4. Adapt your ideas to others

  • – Go to their side of the table; understand their viewpoint(s)
  • – Tailor / customize your communication
  • – Often, you explain from YOUR side, whereas others listen from THEIR side.
  • – Understanding them allows you to sell your ideas, beliefs, points, & thoughts across age, gender, economic/class, & other differences.

5. Stay in the Moment

  • – Keep your brain in the same place as your ears & the rest of your body
  • – Active listening; take your time

6. Pay attention to peoples’ non verbal cues

  • – Helps to be able to ‘read’ other people to understand what they may be thinking.
  • – Also, be sure to pay attention to your own!

7. Intend to Understand

  • – Covey’s Habit 5
  • – Don’t be defensive
  • – Poor/mis-communication ==> Relationship problems ==> Business/career/job/family/friend issues
  • – Use conflict resolution, NOT avoidance, triangulation, or silence.

8. Be Patient & Open Minded

9. Follow up on the communication

  • – Repeat back what you THINK you heard and understood
  • – Much value in being an active listener; can follow up and not assume anything

10. Ask for Feedback

  • – Mis-communication can mess up an entire family, business, or other organization
  • – Be open. There is no one you cannot learn from.


Deepest appreciation & kindest regards to Dan Hawkins  for his superb audio talk on this topic, which I took notes on;  it was hugely helpful to me, as yet another small step forward on my leadership & coaching journey, to have heard this information. I’m thrilled to be able to share it with the Twitteverse & blogosphere on this Thursday evening.

Jul 152012

There has been plenty written about how small changes can and do lead to huge differences in results. One such example is the sliver between very hot water, at 211 degrees Fahrenheit, and boiling water, at just one degree, 212, higher.

Success works the exact same way. Recently, I had the privilege to re-listen to an audio by accomplished entrepreneur Marc Militello . In it, he discussed three topics which have been explored in depth before, however, when combined together for someone who wants to improve his/her personal or professional development, or both, that degree of difference can be bridged even easier.

My transcribed notes below in this post are a bundle of Mr. Militello’s original thoughts as espoused on the audio along with my interpretation/wording.

AREA 1 : Time Management









There are 86,400 seconds in each and every day. In order to use them wisely, be sure to ask the question, ‘Is this the best use of my time?’ before doing anything.  A book recommendation [ note: I haven’t yet read it- it’s on my bookshelf ] that he made:  ‘Eat That Frog!’ by Brian Tracy.

AREA 2 : Self Improvement | Development






Anyone who wants more out of their LIFE should chart out a course of lifestyle change that develops the inner core and helps one deal with the outward circumstances that come at us daily. Self-help, self-improvement/development cannot be taken for granted in a world where intellectual and social capital are both in unlimited need.

Reading great books ( such as ‘Rascal‘ ), being a hungry student ( seeking out and applying lessons and principles from a coach/guru/mentor ), joining a tribe/community that focuses on leadership growth & positive association, & giving your best in all you do are all part and parcel of this area. Additionally, the tale of two woodcutters is recommended reading.

AREA 3 : Daily Discipline






The final area is discipline. We’ve all heard about this one before!  Discipline, however, should not be viewed in a negative light or with emotion; discipline for success may bring with it some pain and discomfort, however, it is only with pain and stretching oneself out of his/her familiar zone that will lead to lasting success.

The ‘Do It Now’ principle will be a big help with overcoming bad habits, primarily procrastination, fear, and risk-averseness.

The Parable of the Touchstone is a great visual to help with re-programming your subconscious mind to deal with the changes you’ll experience in this area. Imagine finally having the touchstone, and then tossing it into the sea like all the other stones, just out of rote habit!


May your have nothing but success moving the needle on your leadership thermometer to 212!

Jul 142012
Living the LIFE

It took me a while to begin my leadership journey, however, as I’ve embarked on it these past 2+ years (with a turbo boost starting late last October!), I came to realize that a life well lived is not shaped by your vocation/career/job, but rather by mostly intangible things, such as your purpose, a servant’s heart/blessings, & legacy.

Living the Life [you’ve always wanted], therefore, is far from a slogan, a tagline, or a concept. It is purely driven through and by Level 3 motivation, as described in the landmark best seller, ‘Launching a Leadership Revolution’ by Chris Brady & Orrin Woodward.  A very succinct equation, then, would be : Level 3 > Level 2 > Level 1.  Each one can and does build on the other, yet, it is Level 3 that has the most impact, or, to coin John Maxwell, it would be part & parcel of ‘The Law of Explosive Growth’ . Have a fantastic day & thank you for reading my blog!

Mastering the Five Levels of Influence