Mentoring

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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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

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

 

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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.

Art of Brevity (#148)

Last week was the deadline to turn in the draft of my next book, Outperform, which will be released next Fall and features the principles of capacity building in Friday Forward.

Before submitting it, I was asked to cut about 1/3 of the content to get it to the targeted length. A key tip from my editor was to eliminate parts that were not as valuable for the reader. I thought this was going to be a much harder process but discovered that it forced me to make points more succinctly, which made it better. I worked harder so the reader won’t have to.

I then thought about how often this dynamic comes up in our communication. We struggle to get to the point, either because we haven’t taken the time to be clear or maybe or we don’t want to be clear.

Years ago, when I was directly managing affiliate programs, I would reach out to someone I suspected of engaging in fraudulent activity for an explanation of their tactics. They would often respond with a long, vague e-mail filled with marketing jargon. I would then ask for a simple screen shot of their methods and get no reply.

To this day, I remain wary of people who can’t get to the point quickly. It’s not that they are up to no good (as in the example above), it’s just a poor first impression and weakens the message.

A great framework for communicating clearly and succinctly is to focus on three core elements: What, Why and How, in that order.

  1. What do you want from someone; what do you want to share?
  2. Why does/should it matter to the recipient?
  3. How can they help or benefit by what you are telling them?

While some believe that starting with the “why” is important, it’s critical to first establish the “what” to capture your audiences’ attention in the first few seconds.

The why comes into play after that. Yet, interestingly, so many fail to address it. For example:

People regularly reach out to me to offer their company’s services to our clients. They establish the “what” (sell their stuff to our clients) and even the “how” (they want me to introduce them to our clients), but they fail to address the “why” of how doing this would benefit me or our company.

They are focused on their own agenda, not on creating value for others. And this is why they often don’t get a reply from me.

Take time to get your message clear before sharing it – and don’t mistake length or volume for quality. Sometimes the most effective messages are the briefest (e.g. “Just do it”).

And there you have it. The shortest Friday Forward of 2018 using the What, Why, How framework.

 

Quote of The Week

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

Mark Twain

 

 

The post Art of Brevity (#148) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Monthly Goal Check-In | Thor Conklin | Episode #583

How are you doing on your annual goals?

 

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/

 

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Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

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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 by mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.