Mentoring

Conscious Inaction (#151)

Today is Black Friday, an American tradition that has now spread overseas. People fight lines and even each other in their attempt to not miss out on the latest hot deals.

Although a principle that I regularly espouse in Friday Forward is the need to be action-oriented in life (especially since the basis of most regret is inaction), there are times when conscious inaction is the best path, particularly when based upon a careful reflection of our core values.

Take, for example, outdoor clothing retailer REI. For the fourth year in a row, they will be closed on Black Friday. Instead of encouraging shopping, they’re promoting their #OptOutside campaign, an initiative designed to inspire people to reconnect—with themselves and others – outdoors.

In a statement about the decision, REI’s CEO Jerry Stritzke said, “You don’t win in the long-term by pushing what I call rampant consumerism.” Stritzke even credited the decision to close stores on Black Friday with helping REI survive the “retail apocalypse.”

For REI, the decision to not get caught up in the fervor of Black Friday is very intentional and conscious. I’d argue that those who are surrendering by being open from dawn till late evening today may not actually want to do so. They may not be able to afford to play the deep discount game and company leadership might not be ready to go against the grain. Unfortunately, their employees and shareholders are the ones who get the short end of that decision stick.

In life, many of the best decisions are the ones we consciously didn’t make.

The employee we didn’t hire.

The company we didn’t buy.

The job we didn’t take.

The emotional e-mail we didn’t send.

The thing we didn’t say.

There is an important difference between complacency and conscious inaction.

Sure, if our inaction is based on fear or insecurity, we need to push through. However, if we are being pulled to do something that is not aligned with our values or that won’t help us achieve our desired outcome, then the conscious decision not to act is often the best one. Especially if we are being drawn to something that is urgent but not important.

My friend, Rob Dube, wrote a book on this subject and leads “do nothing” mindfulness retreats specifically designed for business leaders and entrepreneurs. By learning how to do less, Dube and his team help them find more presence and awareness, which ultimately helps make them better people and leaders. He describes it as “The most rewarding leadership challenge you will ever take.”

This mentality is clearly shared by REI’s Stritzke. In a recent statement he said, “Day in, day out, we’re looking down instead of up, looking at our phones instead of the world around us. We’re asking people this year to reevaluate that picture of themselves. To see technology as the starting point to a journey outside, not the destination. And to go explore the world with someone they love – on Black Friday and every day.”

As I have in past years, I am going to do exactly that, spending today with friends, family and getting outdoors. I hope you’ll join me.

 

Quote of The Week

Choices are the hinges of destiny.

Edwin Markham

 

 

The post Conscious Inaction (#151) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Giving Thanks l Thor Conklin l Episode #589

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

 

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.  

 

Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.  

 

Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary road map, strategies, tools and psychology to win this game.

Closing Time (#150)

Let’s face it, it’s pretty easy to be a great leader and kind to others when things are going well.  When sales are doubling or your company has raised millions of dollars, being positive, doing the right thing and keeping the troops motivated doesn’t take a lot of skill or effort.

It’s when adversity hits that you see people’s true colors and how they perform under pressure. How they act when their backs are up against the wall and there are no good options is often the truest reflection of a person’s character.

For me, this is the real test of leadership. I have lost respect for many leaders in my career after seeing them turn from Jekyll to Hyde after even a little pressure was applied.

One of the greatest leaders of our generation is Danny Meyer, the founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. USHP owns and operates such restaurants as Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke and Union Square Cafe. Meyer is also the founder of Shake Shack.

Known for his team-based, customer-centric approach, Meyer builds successful businesses because he truly cares about his employees. The training required even to wait tables at his restaurants is unprecedented.  He’s also pioneered a guiding principal called “Enlightened Hospitality,” an approach that prioritizes employees first and foremost so they can deliver an amazing experience for guests.

Back in 2006, Meyer published his first book, Setting the Table. On the very first page he wrote, “So far, I haven’t had the experience of closing any of [my restaurants], and I pray I never will.”

Four years later, he made the difficult decision to close his first restaurant, Tabla, as it was unprofitable.

In an industry where this news would usually be communicated to suppliers and employees on a padlocked door when they showed up to work or for a delivery, Meyer chose to take a different path.

He provided three months’ notice, early and transparent communication to all stakeholders, and career support for his employees. Years later, many of those people have successful careers within his company and beyond.

And he’s about to do it again, having announced earlier this year that the North End Grill will close at the end of 2018. He transparently communicated the restaurant’s closing a good nine months before its official close date, giving his employees and stakeholders time to adjust. He also committed to helping each of his employees transfer to a new job.

In discussing the decision in a powerful LinkedIn post, Meyer wrote:

“When reality dictates closing, we have a choice: to do so in secrecy and shame, or instead, with dignity, integrity, and pride. Uplifting outcomes (some of which can take time to reveal themselves) usually ensue from taking the latter path: your team grows tighter and stronger from weathering adversity. It’s actually a painful, but incredible learning experience. You build trust with guests, suppliers, investors and all stakeholders by upholding your values during difficult times. And you benefit from the introspection needed to reflect upon and learn from what went wrong. It’s a lesson every entrepreneur can practice with failures big and small”

How you deal with adversity is ultimately the greatest test of your character and leadership; it’s clear that Danny Meyer is both a stand-up human and leader. Rather than being a barrier to his success, his generosity and care for his people is the reason for it.

 

Quote of The Week

“Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times.”

John Gerzema

 

 

 

The post Closing Time (#150) appeared first on Friday Forward.

How Many Why’s Do You Have? l Thor Conklin l Episode #587

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Thank you once again for listening

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

 

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.  

 

Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.  

 

Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary road map, strategies, tools and psychology to win this game.

Breaking Barriers (#149)

Barriers are meant to be broken, even when doing so seems unachievable. Nowhere is this truer than in running.

The first major running barrier was broken by Roger Bannister, who, on May 6, 1954, busted through the four-minute mile barrier with a time of three minutes, fifty-nine and four-tenths of a second. In doing this, he accomplished a feat that many had previously thought was impossible.

Then, curiously, numerous other runners broke the four-minute barrier over the next few years. Presumably they were aided both by improvements in training, coaching and technology, but psychology also played a big part; these other runners now knew it could be done. Today, an elite high school runner can accomplish the feat.

The next barrier in the running world is the sub-two-hour marathon. Nike is leading a project dubbed “Breaking2” and has even dedicated a special research and development team to the project with the hope of breaking the barrier in the next few years. In fact, one runner came within minutes of doing so in 2017. It’s likely only a matter of time.

There is nothing that Nike wants to be associated with more than elite athletes, especially those who inspire others.

Oregon runner, Justin Gallegos, has recently gained national attention for his goal to break a barrier and run a half marathon in less than two hours.  Oregon is the Alma mater of Nike founder, Phil Knight, and a training ground for elite runners.  However, two hours for a half marathon certainly doesn’t sound elite…what’s missing?

Justin Gallegos has cerebral palsy. For him, running is both a joy and a physical struggle.

As a toddler and preschooler, Gallegos used a walker and did physical therapy to improve his gait, according to Running Magazine. He then began competing in long-distance running in high school and caught the attention of Nike. He also helped Nike develop a shoe designed for runners with disabilities.

Just a few weeks ago, Justin made history by becoming the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to be signed by Nike. Nike surprised him with a contract offer by sending a video crew to capture the event at one of his practices, a video he believed was for a National Cerebral Palsy Day promotion.

At the end of a run, a director from Nike presented Justin with the contract. He was moved to tears, as are most people who watch the video of the event.

I am sure some will contend that there is a lot of marketing and PR motivating Nike’s sponsorship of Justin. However, I give Nike a lot of credit for sticking to their values and supporting an athlete with lofty goals and who serves as an inspiration to others.

While some runners will continue to challenge the two-hour barrier, Justin’s courage will inspire a whole group of athletes and humans in different but equally important ways. I, for one, have committed to run my first half marathon by next summer.

 

Quote of the Week

“I was once a kid in leg braces who could barely put one foot in front of the other, now I have signed a three-year contract with Nike Running!”

Justin Gallegos

 

 

The post Breaking Barriers (#149) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Plan from the Stars Down l Thor Conklin l Episode #585

PEAK PERFORMANCE NATION

A community dedicated to raising your game to the next level by learning how to Execute at the highest level and eliminating the obstacles that keep you from being the leader you were born to be.

Join group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeakPerformanceNation/

 

SPONSORS & FREE OFFERS

Special promotion or gift for the listener: 50% off the first month for any plan with coupon code “peakperformers”

 

Acuity Scheduling – Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

Peak Accountability – http://www.thorconklin.com/accountability/

Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

Facebook: Thor Conklin   

Twitter: @ThorConklin

Website: http://www.thorconklin.com

 

ThorConklin.com

Thor Conklin Media

Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

 

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.  

 

Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.  

 

Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary road map, strategies, tools and psychology to win this game.