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Be a pro…

Today, during practice 70 with a team of OSU grapplers, one of the stars admitted he’s an amateur. Well of course he is, you might say since they are all technically student/athletes. The admission, however, came from my question around their mindset. You see, friend, pro’s have a different mindset than the amateur. Pro’s prepare the same way for practice with 30 men on the mat as they do when they’re the only one going live. Pro’s prepare the same way when their opponent is ranked number 1 vs number 101. Pro’s prepare the same when they’re a starter or a redshirt. Pro’s prepare the same way for a BIG ten opponent as they do for non conference foe. Pro’s prepare, well, like pros.

Today, one OSU teammate came clean about his approach. He was an amateur this past year and he’s done with that. He called a meeting with his coaches and told them to kick his Ass. He went looking for feedback and is done waiting for it from his opponents. He’s going pro, at least in his mind. He will never be the same. This is a MOT (moment of truth). Today, Grappy (Coach Ryan) preached as hard as I’ve ever heard him. We had a ton of outsiders in the room and were missing Kyle, Bo, and a few other brothers. You see, Grappy is a pro. He brings his best business every time we gather for practice. Today was just another day in the office. Always is.

What does your team see, leader, when you show up? Are you a pro or just another amateur. Be a pro. Good…

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Occam’s razor…

Without realizing it, Lockton KC producers practice yesterday put Occam’s razor into play. You see, 700 years ago, Friar William of Ockham developed a really simple guiding principle which states that humans aimed at excellence should pursue the simplest way forward. French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery “anded” if you will – “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.” Not to be outdone a more modern mortal (Einstein) reminded us yet again. “Make things as simple as possible, never more so.”

So, yesterday, a team of very productive producers simplified. There are some laws of physics that govern systems as they grow. Fact. But most of what complicates and compromises our ability to perform are human decisions, mostly ones we’re not even conscious of. Complication creeps in, almost like a theif in the night, and robs us blind. Yesterday, a few young performers opened their mouths and opened some eyes. They brought forward some ideas to simplify. It helps to have young eyes look at old problems, leader, if you’re willing to listen.

How can you apply Occam’s razor to simplify and focus the aim of your work? How can you simplify your goals, metrics, meetings, emails, and decision trees? How can you cull activities to create clarity? I mean, come on man, how hard can it be to track what someone sells?

Occam’s razor. Good…


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Master your craft…

Last night, I had a well meaning BTL practice participant tell me that I ought to offer a disclaimer of sorts. He told me that my message intimidates folks and that many think BTL is some sorta cult. He meant well and I thanked him for caring enough to tell me to tone it down.

I won’t, however, be changing a thing.

Your job, leader, is to initiate, get to the front, pave the way, and open peoples eyes. You’re a leader if people follow. If your aim is to create a massive following, you may have to dumb down your delivery. Fact. If your aim is to build a few elite into even better versions of themselves, your focus had better remain on the few. Many will miss your point and find your message of “keep working” a bit more than they want to hear and heed. Do not be discouraged. Focus on the few. Be the catalyst for a few 5X performers among the masses.

Master your craft because you love your work and you love the team that believes you. Master your craft because you love the work and love the team that believes in you. Master your craft because you love the work and you love the team that believes a little bit of what your preaching. Master your craft because you love the work and you are learning to love those that oppose you. Master your craft because you love the work and you love the gift of your calling and your caller.

Master your craft. Seek feedback like it’s the breakfast of champions, cause it is. Let it all in. Your strong, BTL core will inform what sticks and what flows right through. You will change even though you’ll appear changeless.

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Education. Energy. Edge…

Education. Energy. Edge.

Remember, the best communicators are not the best educated. They are, however, masters at connecting their message to the right audience. We buy from the human that is educated about us and our needs. We don’t need degrees and titles to tell us we ought to listen up. We need to sense they know their stuff.

We buy from the human that is educated around why she’s here and what her company is the best in the world at. When she connects her why’s to our needs, we tune in like a banchee. We buy from someone whose education creates a sense of belief. We trust the words from someone that communicates with the proper energy. We believe them when their energy is believable, it matches the moment, mood, and comes from some place meaningful, or so we perceive. We don’t buy when they use lots of words, especially fancy freakin’ ones. We buy, remember from the missionary man. We believe them. We buy their sincere edge. We can’t, oftentimes, describe it but we buy it nonetheless.

Education. Energy. Edge. 3E’s of master connectors. Build skill here, friend. Good…

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Education or entertainment…

We do not get better by being entertained. Most training, today, is mere entertainment. The teacher/presenter/preacher simply stands and delivers 30 – 90 minutes of entertainment. They know their stuff. We laugh. We think we’re learning. We are mostly not learning anything leading toward changed behavior. We remember whatever we’re completely immersed in. Our brain buys what we sell it, not what another try’s to get us to buy.

My favorite eastern proverb illustrates this in a very ccd fashion:

Tell me, I may listen.
Teach me, I may learn.
Involve me, I will do it.

We need leaders, teammates, and teachers who educate. We’ve got plenty of entertainers. Are you providing entertainment or education to your team, leader? Are you educating yourself and your team, leader? What are you reading that is educational? What are you doing to put your learning into PA (productive action). You and I get better when we study, learn, and apply. You and I get better when we raise the level of our conversation. We don’t get better listening to monologue. We get better when involved in healthy, challenging, educational dialogue. Good…

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Sweat the right stuff…

When the brain is overwhelmed with too many tasks, it tends to ruminate and hold as many as possible in working memory for as long as it can. The result is this human tends to think too much- act too little. Eventually this brain fatigues from too much thinking/too little acting and pops. Hard STOP, oftentimes. Not smart.

However, when your brain has clarity about worldview, identity, principles, passions, purposes, and process, it’s freed from thinking about the big stuff while trying to manage the small stuff. Smart. The reason some humans sweat the small stuff more than others is because they lack clarity around their W.I.P. & 3P. This CORE lacks definition. These humans think too much about daily tasks and stressors because their brain can’t connect the dots and make sense of it. Not smart.

Want to increase your ability to get stuff done? Work on the hard stuff, first. Get clarity within. Build your strong, BTL core and authentically author your labor of love, your OPUS. Sweat the big stuff, if you will, even though your brain is telling you there’s no time and these deadlines right in front of you are labeled “dead” for a reason. You are not your mind. Control it. Make your brain tackle the big stuff, first. Sweat the big stuff. Before you know it, you won’t be sweating the small stuff. The problem isn’t that you’re sweating. We are meant to labor, friend, just not in vain. We are meant to labor toward our aim, toward our labor of love. Here, is where we drain the tank and come away feeling somehow fuller. Here is where we truly find ourselves.

Remember, friend, hard labor you will disdain as you tire. Hard opus you will sustain as you tire. You choose. Your choices have consequences. Sweat the right stuff, my friend. Smart.

Sweat the right stuff…

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Shining or crumbling…

Yesterday, during practice 254, we read MLK jr.’s masterpiece – Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The reading took a team of twenty around thirty minutes to complete. We invested the remaining hour writing and talking about our interpretation and how relevant and riveting MLK’s words were.

You see, friend, the time to build your strong core is not in the crucible. The time to build it is now. One of the teammates took the time to write me after practice, his ccd interpretation. He is a man of few words. Like E.F. Hutton of old, when he speaks – people listen. Here are his words. See what you think.

“When we face adversity, especially the life-altering suffering exemplified by MLK, the intense pressure will produce one outcome: diamond or dust. Our preparation and core work will determine if we shine like a precious gem or crumble into a cloud of carbon dust. We choose so choose wisely.”

When placed under pressure, friend, are you shining or crumbling? Diamond or dust. Turns out the outcome is determined well before the crucible reveals. Choose to build within now. Good…

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