Valuing the Importance of Teamwork

With all of the stories of former pitching great Roy Halladay, one specifically comes to mind. This is a great example of Halladay as a person and teammate, and is a reminder of how we all should appreciate teamwork in the workplace.

In May 29, 2010, Roy Halladay became only the 20th pitcher in major league baseball to pitch a perfect game. Three months later, Halladay presented 60 Baume & Mercier watches, valued at over $3,000 each, to all of his teammates, coaches, even clubhouse attendants. Each watch was engraved with the date and individual’s name. The watches were encased in a brown box with an inscription on front:

“We did it together. Thanks, Roy.”

In everyone’s line of work, there are co-workers who have different roles and responsibilities. They all possess various strengths and weaknesses. To be successful, teams on and off the field, parley each other’s strengths to reduce their weaknesses. This is the reason why teamwork is so important. Not everyone recognizes the importance of their co-workers contributions, but the top performers do. They understand the fact they can’t succeed without the help of others. Roy Halladay understood that, which is why he presented all of his co-workers with such a token of appreciation.

While you are not in the position to spend thousands of dollars on such a lavish gift, a thank you note or email would suffice. So if this sounds like an easy concept to grasp, why is there such an overabundance of books and resources to improve teambuilding skills at work? It is because in most workplaces people get rewarded for their individual accomplishments rather than those of the team. Your role at work can change from one year to the next. Your position is attained from years of developing skills, oftentimes as the expense of somebody else’s aspirations. Everybody can aspire to become manager, or even CEO. In order to move up, employees must look for ways to showcase their talent and promote their successes. However success cannot be obtained without the help of others, and the person you help today may be the person helping you tomorrow.            

Posted 272 weeks ago

Under Inflated

The National Basketball League starts it season this week. The leagues requires three basketballs are available for each game; however, the game is usually played with the same ball for the entire game. The only time the ball is changed is if something effects the ball making it become deflated. 

Have you ever tried to play with a basketball that wasn’t fully inflated? It doesn’t perform the way it was intended. The ball won’t bounce properly when you dribble it. The ball won’t rebound off the backboard, allowing you to score off a missed shot. It will lack the velocity and voyage necessary to travel the distance required to make a three-point shot. 

To put it bluntly, a basketball that has been under-inflated will underperform and disappoint.

The same holds true for people.

When an individual is under-inflated, he or she is not living up to their fullest potential. In some instances, the person is lacking certain knowledge or skill. In other vases, they may know exactly what to do and exactly how to do it; but are still not living to their fullest potential.  

I believe we were all born with great gifts, and with the ability to do great things. Some of us are struggling to discover our gifts, or how to put them to use. Others must overcome their fear and doubt to embrace their gifts, and gain the courage to change their lives. Most people settle for average because they are not consciously aware of how to change, or fall into a preprogrammed belief regarding the limit of their capabilities. 

Motivational and self-help expert Tony Robbins says “change happens in an instant.” People think it takes a long time to change, but that is simply not true. It takes a long time to get ready to change, to think about changing, and to finally  accept they deserve to change. There will be a process to go from where you are currently until you reach your goal, but the initial change happens instantaneously. 

Think about the process to inflate a basketball. The moment you add the initial burst of air, the ball starts to inflate. Right away, you are making progress towards your goal. It may take time to gather the inflation needle and pump, the resources required to reach your goal. It may also take time to fully inflate the ball, depending on how deflated it is to begin. The process begins the moment you take action; change is truly happening in an instant.

Be open for change; do something every day to enrich your life. Get your bounce back!

Posted 275 weeks ago

You Are What You Think You Are

I am a trainer, speaker, and success coach. I take great pride in developing individuals and providing them with the tools to reach their fullest potential. I find success when my clients find success. As a personal success coach, I often help people breakthrough the feeling of being an  “Imjusta” employee; as in Imjusta teller, Imjusta loan processor, Imjusta mail clerk.

Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” Many people are fearful of the unknown and of learning something new. We know what we like, and know what we do well. Changing our routine, responsibilities, or expectations in our personal and professional lives is downright scary.  I believe in big-box thinking. I tend to think the person holding us back the most from succeeding is ourselves. By labeling ourselves as what we are, and what we’re not, we put limits on what we can ultimately become.

In October 2001,  Steve Jobs introduced the iPod with a simple benefit statement:
“1,000 songs in your pocket.”
With that launch, he revolutionized the way we listen to music and buy songs. How archaic does it sound now to waste money on an entire album when all you want to hear is three good songs?  Not only did the iPod forever change the music industry, it also changed Apple, the company which created it. Apple was once a computer company, selling desktops and software. Today, less than 20% of their total revenue comes from selling computers and software.

Think about where we would be today if Steve Jobs referred to his company as Imjusta computer company or Imnota music company. It would be an awful lot tougher walking around with 1,000 songs in your pocket if they were all cassette tapes.

Making changes is difficult; you need to learn something new and change your behavior. There is that period of adjustment and inconvenience – sometimes we wonder if it ever going to end. Anyone who has ever renovated their kitchen or bathroom knows how much of a hassle it is initially; but we understand how great it will be when the dust finally settles.

Posted 277 weeks ago

Are you making problems too complex you won’t take action?

My friend Tracey Jones recently relayed the story of a philosophy professor who gave his students one final exam. The professor brought a chair out to the front of the class, and instructed his students to utilize everything they’ve learned during the semester to prove the chair does not exist. Most of the class spent the next hour writing pages upon pages of detailed analysis refuted the existence of the chair. One student spent less than a minute on her paper before returning it to the professor. She received an “A” on her paper despite hardly writing anything at all. Specifically, her paper contained just two words:

“What chair?”

Sometimes we look for complex answers to easy questions. We look at a some challenges as impossible, obstacles as insurmountable, and before you know it, we become so overwhelmed with a situation we decide not to do anything at all and hope it works itself out. You don’t have to continually search for an answer which is  right in front of you. Occam’s Razor states the simplest most obvious answer is usually correct. This is a simple principle people can apply to dealing with problems in their personal and professional life. Instead, many people suffer from a paralysis by analysis; they spend so much time pouring over details and variables they continuously ‘plan to  plan’ and never get around to taking action.

Achieving your goal is the byproduct of successfully performing specific behaviors. It is essential to have a plan for achieving your goals, but you cannot achieve success without putting the plan into action.  People waiting for the perfect time will be waiting forever. Its no coincidence Benjamin Franklin aid “tomorrow is the busiest day of the week.”

It’s time to take action.

Posted 278 weeks ago

How the Baseball Rule of 54 Applies to Life

Fall is officially here. Students have returned to school, swimming pools are closing, and the baseball regular season is winding down. This is the perfect time to discuss the Baseball Rule of 54, and how it applies to life.

Major League Baseball teams play 162 games each year. The Rule of 54 states that every team, no matter how good they are, will still end up losing 54 games each season. The rule also states every team, no matter had bad they are, will still find a way to win 54 games each season. What each team does in the remaining 54 games each year determines who finishes in first place, and who finishes in last.

This rule applies to our personal and professional life as well. We will all have good days and bad days. You will never be as bad as your worst day, and you’ll never be quite as good as your best day. How you perform day in and day out, facing and overcoming obstacles, rebounding ater a defeat, and keeping level-headed after a victory, will ultimately determine how successful you will be in life.

Posted 279 weeks ago

Don’t Let “It” Sabatoge Your Goals

Stephen King’s thriller It returns, this time to the big screen. It revolves around a monster who feeds on the fears, doubts, and hopelessness of individuals. While many people associate It with a clown, the monster is actually faceless, morphing into whatever fear or insecurity someone is facing. “It” toys with people’s emotions, handcuffing them with fear and self-doubt, questioning if they are trapped in doom for the rest of their lives.

Sound familiar?

Many of us have dealt with “It” in our own personal and professional life. “It” can take the shape of a person; your boss, co-worker, family member, or acquaintance. Maybe “It” takes the shape of a goal; buying a home, completing college, work promotion, or being able to retire. In extreme cases, “It” can even be the face of your lifestyle; your business, health, or relationship. We frequently encounter situations where we face fear and doubt, and when things don’t initially go our way, a sense of hopelessness.

How can we defeat the monster? Like anything that lives and breaths, the monster can only survive if you feed it. You need to starve the monster in order to defeat it.

I recently read the book The Positive Dog by Jon Gordon, a sequel to his best seller The Energy Bus. In the book he describes there are two dogs inside of us; a positive and negative dogs. Both dogs are fighting for survival, and the one that wins is the one who gets fed the most. Gordon tells us to feed the positive dog, thus starving the negative dog.

I am a firm believer in self-fulfilled prophecies. I believe we get the things on which we focus and pour our energy. Success doesn’t happen by accident. Achieving your goal is a result of effort and persistence. You need to consistently focus on and perform certain behaviors which lead you towards your goal. If that’s true of success, then it is also true of failure. If you focus on things going wrong, they are likely going to go wrong. If you focus on failing, you’re going to find a way to fail. Let me repeat that, you’re going to find a way to fail.

That’s why we tell people afraid of heights who find themselves up high in the air to not look down. You see, the fear isn’t necessarily the height itself, it’s the potential of falling. Once the individual looks down, the potential of falling moves to the front of his or her mind. The individual starts to focus on the ground, and almost immediately will think about all the ways he or she could lose their footing and slip and fall.

People who focus on success won’t stop until they’ve found a way to succeed, the same way people who focus on failure won’t stop until they’ve found a way to fail. Focus on success. If you encounter setbacks along the way, consider them to be learning opportunities on what to improve on next time. You deserve the success you desire; just focus on what you are doing to move in the right direction. Let “It” feed on somebody else.

Posted 281 weeks ago

To go up, you must be willing to give up

241 years ago, 56 men left their families and gathered in a steamy hall in Philadelphia to commit to the boldest statement ever recorded. As much as they knew they were embarking on a worthy cause, they also knew there would be obstacles faced along their journey. They knew they would need to sacrifice, because no worthwhile goal is obtained without a few sacrifices along the way.

John Maxwell’s Law of Sacrifice states in order to go up, you need to be willing to give up. Every person who has achieved any type of success in life has made sacrifices to do so. Regardless of whether your goal is to be promoted at work, improve your health, or build your bank account, there is definitely something you will need to give up in order to get up.

As a corporate trainer, I work with individuals every day to be successful. It is my responsibility to provide individuals with the tools and resources to be successful. It is up to them to use those resources to make a positive impact on their life. I routinely talk with people who wish they developed their skills, made more money, or got in better shape, but were unwilling to make sacrifices necessary to obtain those goals. You can’t get promoted at work unless you sacrifice the time and energy to learn and develop new and existing skills. You won’t be able to lose weight unless you are willing to sacrifice some of the food you eat, and increase your exercise. You can’t increase your bank account without sacrificing some of your discretionary spending, and depositing that money into your account.

What are your dreams and goals? What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve them? The bigger the goal, the bigger the sacrifice. We find that truth to be self-evident.

Posted 291 weeks ago

What a High School Wrestler Taught Me About Setting Goals

Last weekend, I officiated the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state high school wrestling championships. Held over three days in front of 45,000 in the Hershey Giant Center, the top high school wrestlers in arguably the best wrestling state in the country took to the mats to fulfill their dream of winning a state championship. You don’t need to be a wrestling fan or understand a lot about the sport to appreciate the determination of these young men, especially one individual who worked the last 364 days for his big opportunity.

Austin Desanto, a senior from Exeter Twp. High School, entered his final match with a career record of 187-7.  Stepping on the Giant Center mat, he found himself in the same exact spot as the previous year, in the championship final against Spencer Lee. The Franklin Regional senior was the only wrestler to hand Desanto a loss over the last two years, a span that included over 100 matches.  

All Spencer Lee does is win. His victory over Desanto in the 2016 finals gave him his third PIAA state wrestling title. He entered the rematch with an undefeated high school record of 145-0. Considered by many to be best high school wrestler in the country, Lee had already committed to wrestle for the University of Iowa. While winning his third state championship, Lee defeated Desanto by technical fall, the wrestle equivalent of the “mercy rule” where the match is stopped when one wrestler is leading by 15 points or more.

The day after the defeat, Desanto knew he wanted another shot at Spencer Lee. Desanto entered the 2016-17 season competing at 132 pounds, one weight class above Lee. Closing the regular season with a record of 42-0, Desanto was ranked #1 in PA and #7 in the country at his weight class. For all his success, he was still without a state championship. That allusive gold medal would be well in reach if he stayed at his weight class. But Austin Desanto had a bigger goal, and hadn’t lost focus.

How many of us lose focus of our ultimate goal when things are going well? Maybe we fall into a routine and “settle” for the success we have instead of challenging ourselves for more. Nobody would have faulted Austin Desanto if he stayed at his weight class and won a state championship. After all, thousands of young men and women wrestle throughout Pennsylvania, but only 14 leave Hershey with a gold medal packed in their bag. And what if Desanto doesn’t win? Would it all be worth it?

Spencer Lee scored the first takedown of the match for a 2-0 lead through the first two periods. Lee scored an escape in the beginning of the third, to increase his margin to 3-0. With a little more than a minute to go in his high school career, Austin Desanto was undeterred. He scored two takedowns in just 40 seconds to tie the match 4-4. With less than 30 seconds left in the match, Desanto had a choice; he could try and ride Lee out and take the match into overtime, or capitalize on his momentum and go for the win. He went for the win. Desanto chose to let Lee up and give him a 5-4 lead and push for the final takedown. Desanto had Lee on the mat and got behind him as time expired. With 8,000 fans on their feet blowing the roof off the Giant Center, the two officials conferred in the center of the mat to determine if Desanto secured the takedown before time expired? The takedown counted, and the goal was achieved.

What is your big goal this year? The year is less than three months old, and already many of us have already broken our New Years Resolution. You don’t need to face the last page of the calendar to sit down and write out your goals and plan to achieve them.  

Video of the match curtesy of Pennsylvania Cable Network can be viewed through this link:

Posted 306 weeks ago

What Do You Do When You Find Yourself Holding the Wrong Envelope?

Watching it live, you thought you were seeing an actor hamming up the big moment for the audience. Watching it again, you can see the moment Warren Beatty realized he was holding the wrong envelope. Just a few minutes earlier, Beatty was handed a red envelop as he walked on stage to present Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards. He has served as a presenter at awards shows in the past, and even ran through this award earlier in the weekend. Now, in front of a worldwide audience, Beatty opened the envelop, read the card to himself, and knew there was a problem.

Everyone knows the saying “practice makes perfect”, but most people only practice for achieving the desired result. How often do you prepare for when something goes wrong?

Warren Beatty glanced at the card a second time, and even looked inside the envelop to see if the correct card was somehow stuck inside. The audience inside the Dolby Theater laughed, which probably made Beatty’s stressful situation even worse. Later, he would tell the crowd he “wasn’t trying to be funny.” He started to announce the winner, pausing, drawing it out, probably hopeful someone in the back would notice the error and correct the situation. He showed the card to his co-presenter, Faye Dunaway, probably in a silent plea for help. Unaware of what was going on, Dunaway sealed the deal on a bad situation and blurted out the name of the movie on the card as the winner. Within a few minutes, everyone knew there was a problem.

What do you do if you end up holding the wrong envelope?

There are plenty of examples in life when someone finds themselves in a situation where something is wrong and they don’t know what to do. Leaders are judged based on how they react when things go wrong. Let’s face it, it is easy to lead when everything is going right; the most important thing to do is to let your employees do their jobs and get out of their way. Similar to a presenter at the Academy Awards; get some applause, say a few words, and give way to the people who are doing exceptional work. Faced with a sudden problem when things were otherwise going smoothly is not as easy.

Leaders need to be able to quickly assess the situation, analyze data in their possession, stay cool under fire, and make a sound decision. Sometimes those decisions include asking for help or to obtain more information. Beatty knew he had a problem, and the best decision would have been to state the obvious “I think I was handed the wrong envelope.” Someone would have come out and helped him assess the situation. Would it have made for an awkward moment on live TV? Yes, but not nearly as awkward or embarrassing as what actually occurred.

Are you prepared if you are holding the wrong envelope? How would you react?

Posted 308 weeks ago

Putting On Your Oxygen Mask

If you ever fly on an airplane, you’ll hear the flight attendant review the safety measures right before takeoff. “If the cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling” you’ll be advised. “Put your own mask on first before assisting others.” If you are a parent or caregiver of someone who is dependent upon you, of just someone who thinks of others before you think of yourself, this contradicts your instinct to help others first, before you help yourself.

The thought-process behind the oxygen procedure is pretty simple; you could lose consciousness in just a few seconds without oxygen. Let’s face it; if you are unconscious, you really aren’t much help to others. Caring for yourself allows you to feel and perform your best so you can be more helpful to others. How many times have your sacrificed your own well-being and put someone else first? Maybe you’ve reduced your sleep, stopped exercising, or begun eating poorly. Eventually, it will all catch up and you’ll feel rundown and sick.

That’s the way my wife and I both felt a little over a year ago. We both had important responsibilities at work and a toddler to care for at home. We were definitely burning the candle at both ends. The nights ended later and mornings started earlier. Our diet was a mess, and we felt like crap. We were not a productive as we needed to be and something had to change. We made the decision to invest in ourselves first, and took the advice of a friend and started a nutrition program. The results were amazing. We lost weight, increased energy, and improved focus. Along the way we’ve surrounded ourselves with more positive energy. We truly feel the sky is the limit for our success.

Now that we’ve put our oxygen masks on, we want to help you with your mask. My background is training and development. I’ve provided the resources to help individuals succeed in business. My wife is a Registered Nurse. She is experienced in treating and caring for patients. Personally and professionally, we are passionate about helping people obtain their personal best. The great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said it best “you can everything you want in life, if you just help others get what they want.” Whether its personal motivation, fitness, or wealth creation, we can’t wait to help you get what you want.

Your oxygen mask is waiting, may I help you put it on?

Posted 309 weeks ago