Hey Joe!

You

My brother is well known for a silly joke that he told for years…..

Let me set the scene for you.  There is a guy and girl sitting in the lower level seats at a sporting event.  People are everywhere.  The two are talking, having a great time, enjoying some nachos and cheese, and taking in the event.

All of a sudden, a guy several rows behind them yells “HEY JOE!!!!”.  The guy stops talking, looks to his left, as far as he can see.  Then he turns to this right, looking and looking.  Turns back and starts talking to the girl again.

A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!’  same situation….

A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!’  same situation….by this time the guy is getting frustrated.  He has stopped talking three times now, looked around, and tried to see who is yelling.

A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!

The guy turns to the girl – with an angry look on his face – hands her the nachos and says “hold these for a minute!” and stands up turns toward the back of the ground and yells “MY NAME IS NOT JOE!!!!

My brother used to tell this “joke” everywhere he went.  It was not uncommon for someone in my family to say “HEY JOE” to my brother at family events, and he would turn around and say “MY NAME’S NOT JOE!!”. It is something that will stick with my brother for the rest of his life, I’m sure.

Whether you laugh at this ridiculously corny joke or not, there is a story to be told.

In his book, “The Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren opens with four simple words…..”Its not about you”.  And there could be no more true statement.  The young man in my joke was sitting in a whole crowd of people.  As you are listening to the joke, I’m sure you were thinking that this guy’s name would be “Joe”.  Why would you not?  He kept looking everytime the guy yelled “Hey Joe!!”.  But the punchline tells us the story.  A story about a young man who assumed that everyone was talking to him, and that surely this guy must be talking to him but have the wrong name.

Now I don’t think any of you would do this at an event.  If you or I heard someone yelling “Hey Joe!!”, we would just assume that this person was not calling for us (unless, of course, your name is Joe).  But thing I want you to think about today is beyond this story.  Are you living in a world where you think it’s all about you?

I’ll be honest….our society has evolved to the “me” concept.  As much as I love Apple products, they put “I” in front of each of them (iPhone, iPad, iTunes, etc).  We didn’t even have “selfies” until just recently.  But now everyone is posting pictures of themselves on social media everywhere.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone does it.  And if you’re a selfie fan, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, or that you’re not a good person.  It’s just an observation of how our society has changed.

I remember growing up – it WAS about me.  I had to study to pass my classes, I had to decide what I wanted to study in college.  I had to take that job so that I could pay for my expenses in college.  I had to search and find that first job after I graduated, and I had to take care of myself.

But today I’m here to share with you 3 times that I realized it was not about me:

  • The first time I realized it was not about me, was when my son was born.  The delivery was difficult, and the doctors decided to do an emergency C-section to bring him into the world.  When he arrived, they handed him to me, and went back to taking care of his mom.  I remember that day very well.  The way he looked at me, as if to say “Are you the dude that is going to take care of me?”.  They say when you become a parent you finally realize unconditional love.  That was true for me.  And that was the day I knew I had to take care of myself, my health, my finances, and everything else, so that I could also take care of him.  It no longer was about me.  I was about me and him.

 

  • The second time I realized it was not about me was when I became a manager:  In 6th grade, I took a test on an Apple II/e computer and got my “computer certification” in elementary school.  I remember going home and telling my mom, “I’m going to be a programmer and I’m going to do that all of my life!!”.  Well, the first part was true.  I went to school to be a programmer, I got a job as developer, and I loved it.  But the true passion in my career came when I became a manager, and it was no longer about me.  The situation was very similar to having that first child.  I was now responsible for a “team” and not just myself.  My decisions would affect them just as much as me.  It was no longer about me at work, I was about the team.

 

  • The third time I realized it was not about me was when I became a speaker:  We love meetings in the office.  I participated in many meetings.  I even led many of them.  I had given advice and guidance, but in 2012, I realized a new passion that would change my future forever.  I was asked to speak at a conference on software testing.  Halfway through my 2 hour session, I started to notice something.  People actually “WANTED” to hear me talk.  They were listening to every word, and they were asking questions.  They were involved.  It felt like that moment, years before, when my son was looking at me on his “Day 1” – as if to say “are you going to take care of us?”.  I have made sure that along the way, as I speak more at conferences and events, I try to give each and every attendee something to take away with them that they can never forget.  It is no longer about me.  It is now about EVERYONE.

I leave you with this challenge.  Who do you meet often that you could make a difference in their lives?  What can you do today to build those relationships and make a difference in someone’s life, career, or future?

But wherever you go…whatever you do…never forget, “It’s not about you”.

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My NEW BOOK is coming soon!! The website is up NOW!

Anyone that knows me has surely heard me say “I want to write a book someday”.

I’ve been compiling notes, experiences, and events in journals and documents since at least 2002.

I’m happy to announce that I am nearing the end.  The updates to my notes and the compilation of my book chapters is taking place right this moment.  And I plan to move to publishing very soon.

The book is entitled: “The Drive-Thru Is Not Always Faster“.  It will be a leadership/motivational book, and will have experiences from my life, and a collection of chapters that share many insights, acknowledgements, and suggestions for enjoying your life!

I have created a website for the book, which can be found at:  http://www.TheDriveThruBook.com

Please check out my site and stay tuned for more updates!

12 Rules of Success from Steve Jobs

Anyone that knows me understands that I have quoted Steve Jobs many times in my leadership coaching, mentoring, speaking, and training.  I was fortunate to find an article which listed 12 rules of success that he had claimed years ago.  I wanted to share these 12 rules with my readers and followers….

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Rule #01: Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Make a difference. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Rule #02: Be different. Think different. Better to be a pirate than to join the navy.

Rule #03: Do your best at every job. Don’t sleep! Success generates more success so be hungry for it. Hire good people with a passion for excellence.

Rule #04: Perform SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate to throw bad apples out of the company.

Rule #05: Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be acted upon quickly and decisively and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Rule #06: Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.

Rule #07: Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it regardless of whether or not anyone else is using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.

Rule #08: People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don’t know about it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Rule #09: Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.

Rule #10: Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate. Let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.

Rule #11: Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Rule #12: Learn continually. There’s always “one more thing” to learn.
Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers, competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don’t like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.

I hope you enjoy these, and I hope also that you are already following some of these rules in your life.  I wish you all much success and that you reach all of your goals!

Source of information: http://www.businessbrief.com/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-12-rules-of-success/

What is your Legacy?

PREFACE: I’ve had this blog on my mind all week.  It’s been a while since I have written and I was thinking of this very topic as my first after so long.  I had 90% of this writing complete and saved it as a draft this morning.  As I sat in church today, my pastor began speaking and I realized that his topic today was exactly in line with this very article.  He spoke of realizing  your purpose in life and leaving something to the world long after you are gone.  It’s times like these when I know that the work I do and the writings I share with the world are meant to occur.

Two Most Important DaysThis week I was watching “The Voice” and a song called “See you again” is being performed by Wiz Khalifa. The inspiring words are at the start:

It’s been a long day without you, my friend

And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

We’ve come a long way from where we began

Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

When I see you again

So many thoughts came to mind as I listen to these words. The one core though that stayed in my mind was how that, so many times in life, the moment is gone before we even realize it was happening.  It reminded me of another phrase that I heard just yesterday once again:

“Life is what happens while we are making plans”

Why are we unable to cherish and enjoy those special times in life to the fullest?  Maybe it’s because the world is getting faster before our eyes. We’ve gone from having computers on our desk and laps to having them in our hands and wearing them on our wrists.  Everything is at a faster pace than ever before in history.

But as I thought about the great people I’ve gotten to spend my life with – especially my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents – I’m reminded of what things I remember when I reminisce about the days of the past.  And then I’m reminded of the legacy that was left to me; the lessons I’ve learned; the stories that I have been able to tell; and the experiences that have shaped my life to what it is today.

Then I’m reminded of one of my personal core values that I learned first from Stephen Covey: “To Live, To Love, To Leave a Legacy“.

It may sound crazy, but one of the many things I must ensure that I accomplish in life is to leave a legacy. To be remembered for something.  To stay in the minds of others long after I am gone.

What is your legacy?  What are you hoping to accomplish in this life that you want others to remember you by?  Is it a book? Is it a charity event or effort? Is it helping others in need? Is it a great invention? Is it to help grow your company or organization? Is it to start your own company? Is it to provide a memory to your children and grandchildren of core values and a purpose in life? Or is it something even more large that changes the world forever?

We all have the potential. And we all have the same amount of time every day. Zig Ziglar stated that “We all have 24 hours in a day“. What are you doing with your days to leave your legacy?

I’ve learned that as we grow older new things become more important than others. I’ve learned many of the basic core goals of my life in just the last few years.  I feel confident in telling you that when you realize what your goals, your aspirations, and your legacy encompasses, you will know it with clarity.

I would love to hear from you, reader, and what are your plans for leaving a legacy? Your life is important. Have you found your purpose?  What is your purpose?  How do you want to be remembered?

Who Will Win Superbowl XLVIII?

It’s almost time for kickoff of Superbowl XLVIII (48 for those that are Roman Numeral illiterate).  As the Denver Broncos take the field for the AFC and the Seattle Seahawks take the field for the NFC, many people will be gathering around the stadium in New York, as well as around their televisions to watch the event.  Parties will be taking place, and fans of these teams will be happy or sad by the time the game is over.  Fantasy football will be at it’s peak, with the winners showing their pride in selecting the right team for their season.

But for me, it’s one of the first times that I do not care who wins.  In so many years past, I have either had a team there that I really wanted to see win the game, or, in many cases, there may have been a team I really did NOT want to win the game (that has happened a lot lately).

But as these two teams take the field, I see myself sitting back and just enjoying the game of football.  I get to enjoy just watching two teams go head to head for the Vince Lombardi Superbowl Trophy, and be happy or sad based on who wins it.  I have been known to be superstitious about the fact that I can control the win or loss of a team, simply by ‘willing’ the team to win or ‘wishing against’ the team I hope will lose.  There are now some very funny commercials about football superstitions  (“It’s only weird if it doesn’t work!”).

I thought about this over the weekend, and it struck me as a great metaphor for how we should look at events in our day to day life.  Too many times we position our lives as if it is the Superbowl and we are ‘required’ to pick a team we want to win or a team we hope will lose.  We see events at work or in our personal lives as ones in which we must either win or lose – and there will be no room for a break even, or even a win-win situation.

My challenge to each of you, is to step back and examine how you approach each event in your daily life.  Are you struggling with everything that is going on?  Are you trying to drive things to a win at all costs?  Are you subconsciously wishing for someone to lose?  If so, think about the situation – is it truly important?  Take yourself out 6 months, 1 year, 5 years and ask yourself if this is really important enough to be anxious, losing sleep, or worried about.

So as I sit back and relax with no tension for a team to win or lose, I ask you the following… what can you sit back and relax about tomorrow, this week? or this month?  What things can you stop worrying about and let the ‘game of life’ take it’s course.  Focus on the important things.  There are many things in which you MUST worry, and you MUST win at.  But that list of things is probably much shorter than the one you are carrying with you right now.

Work the list.  Everyday is a new kickoff and it starts off with 1st down and 10 yards to do.  It’s your decision how you plan the plays to be successful.

Enjoy your game!

Rudolph Was Not a Brown-Noser

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Feeling like you are not doing enough to get noticed and appreciated for the things you do?  Thinking about what you need to do in order to get the attention of people who decide the future of your career or personal life?

Just remember, that to move to the top, you don’t have to be a brown-noser.  Rudoph wasn’t.  And look what it got him!

We all remember the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, right? (You’re singing the song in your head right now, I can hear it….)

Rudolph initially lived a tough life.  He was different than the others.  He had a red nose.  All the other reindeer had brown noses.  As the story goes, the other reindeer made fun of and laughed at Rudolph.  Does this happen to you?  If so, you can learn from the story – because Rudolph didn’t let this push him down.  He kept going, even with adversity.  He went about his day and focused on what he could do and what he was delivering.

The story goes on to tell us that the brown nosing reindeer excluded him from their reindeer games, making him an outcast, and treating him different from the others.  In so many circles, those who are patting themselves on the back and self bragging are getting the most attention initially.  But it’s not always strength and victory that wins in the end – but instead consistency, resiliency, and dedication.  Rudolph ignored the name calling and the “better than you” attitudes of the other reindeer.  He didn’t get lost in the race to be Santa’s favorite reindeer, fighting to move to the front of the line against the other average brown nosers.  He stayed consistent.  He did his job, and in the end, Santa picked him out of the crowd to be the leader among all of the others.

NotLikeTheRestMy challenge to you today is to stop worrying about the others.  Stop looking around and comparing yourself to the best that others can do.  Stop complaining that others are getting opportunities that you are missing out on.  Stop complaining that others are moving up in their careers and goals and you’re not moving.  Because if you do this, you will eventually get lost in the crowd and drowned in the abyss of averageness.  Focus on what you can do, focus on your goals, focus on what you do great, focus on making sure you are proactive, growing every day, moving closer to where you want to be…. and the day will come that you will be rewarded for this.

Let’s start a new phrase and make it viral.  “Red-Noser!”.  I would much rather be a red-noser than a brown-noser.  Wouldn’t you?  Let’s do our part to change the world, building a society where we focus on what we do great and how we can make things better, and end our focus on how well we can impress those who might be able to give us what we want.

Red-nosers Unite!

Time Does NOT Equal Money!

time is moneyHow many times have we heard the phrase “Time is Money”.  While I get what is being said, it’s far from the truth.

I’ve had plans to write on this topic for some time, and while surfing the internet, I found one with all the same points already out there.  I encourage you to check out this blog/article – it makes a lot of sense!

http://spearsmarketing.com/1302/time-money/

Zig Ziglar once said “you have never heard someone on their deathbed saying ‘I wish I had worked more hours'”.

We should all evaluate our lives and determine where we can give time back to ourselves and our families – and to the things that matter most in life.  Work hard, give 110%, but look around you and determine where you are wasting time and focus on giving certain tasks and ownership away so that you get back the time you are losing every day.

As the article states, you can make more and more money.  Even when you run out of money, you can start making it again.  But once time is gone, it’s over.  There is no regaining lost time.

Spend your time wisely – it’s an investment that does not return equally to you.  The benefits of how you spend your time will be returned to you in family and friends who see the value of your time management.  It will be returned to you in children who admire you for the efforts you make to spend valuable time with them instead of wasting it on things that have no value.  It will be returned to you in finding the right career or opportunity that will allow you to maximize your time doing the things you love in your work and career, and giving you back time to do those things that are most important.

The clock is ticking….what are you doing today to change tomorrow?