To the Commonwealth: Kentucky, Basketball, People, and Teams Everywhere

To the Commonwealth: Kentucky, Basketball, People, and Teams Everywhere

I love the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

I love the game of basketball.

Like you, most of the time, I love people.

Life and work get tedious, and sometimes the tediousness of the grind takes its toll on us.  We’re human.  So, it’s okay.  It’s okay to not be okay.

Thank God for basketball…

Every March, as hoops fans dive into the madness that is the crescendo to college basketball season, we’re always reminded of those timeless principles which, without fail, give way to happiness, meaning, and fulfillment in our day-to-day – at home and at work.

There are so many of them, but this week, I’m compelled to call out the following:

  • Teamwork
  • Sincerity
  • Personal Connection
  • Community

The 2017 – 2018 Kentucky Basketball team was the nation’s youngest team.  They started off hot, seemingly on their way to another great year.  However, midway through the season, they hit a brick wall, and went on a losing streak Kentucky fans are not at all used to seeing.

Then, March happened…

All hope which had once been lost or given way to doubt came rushing back over Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Wildcats revealed character beyond any of our wildest dreams.  They played, hustled, united, listened, and perhaps the most impressive quality the collective team revealed was their sincere love, respect, and appreciation for one another.  We could see it and feel it clearly in their actions, reactions, approach, and demeanor before, during, and after games.  They had genuine concern and love for each other.

The Cats won the SEC Tournament, and then entered the Big Dance a less than desirable (and maybe in unfamiliar territory) 5-Seed, playing in Boise, ID for the first two rounds.  Didn’t matter.  They dug deep, came together, and played for each other and for Big Blue Nation.

The season ended last week, with a tough fought game vs. Bruce Weber’s scrappy Kansas State Wildcat team.  The young (KY) Cats didn’t play well, got no calls nor bounces, but they were still in position to win the game down the stretch.

As a life-long Kentucky Wildcat fan, every Kentucky team is special, with superstars born seemingly every single year.  And every year, we follow them and support them just as much as the year before.  The unique thing about this particular team was they were the youngest team in the country, with players who arrived on campus as boys.  Today they are a group of young men having learned lessons about teamwork, discipline, compromise, listening, and love which they will take with them for the rest of their lives.

Each of these young men are stars in their own right.  Watch them over the next several years, as we’ve watched others in the Kentucky Basketball fraternity, go into the NBA and become superstars.  But at Kentucky, Coach John Calipari takes a collection of individual superstars, and over the course of six to eight months, transforms them into a fully functioning, purpose driven team.

Coach Cal, love him or hate him, talks a great deal about his true purpose.  And since reading his book, Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out, I’ve personally been speaking to audiences all over the country about what drives Coach Cal every single year.  It’s not winning championships.  It’s about teaching, coaching, encouraging, and preparing young boys, helping them become men.  And perhaps the single most important principle he teaches them is to play for each other, not for themselves.

Common Wealth

I can’t help it.  I love threads.  So, consider for a moment the idea of “commonwealth…”.  Break it apart into two words…common and wealth.

I looked up both the worth common and the word wealth.  Miriam-Webster has a number of definitions for both.  I picked out a couple:


a: of or relating to a community at large

  • work for the common good

b: known to the community

2a: belonging to or shared by two or more individuals or things or by all members of a group


2: abundance of valuable material possessions or resources

3: abundant supply

Common wealth happens when we come together as a community, working for each other as opposed to against each other.

For Each Other

Before the Cats game last week, I received a text message from a dear friend.  He grew up in London, Ontario, our Canadian neighbors to the north.  However, since he was born in Houston, TX, he’s been a Texas Longhorn fan all his life.  But on the night the Cats were playing, he sent me a quick text with a picture of a Kentucky straight bourbon cocktail he’d prepared himself (in a special cocktail glass I purchased for him and all my groomsmen in my wedding in the Fall of 2016…) for the game, and all his message said was, “…to the Commonwealth…”

A week prior, our group of “Fellow Idiots”, we call ourselves, were all in Las Vegas to watch as many NCAA tournament games as humanly possible, together.  Our group is special, and that trip is special, because every person in our group cheers for each other’s beloved team.  We support each other, not only that weekend, but throughout each month of every year, in a 14-person continuous text thread with daily texts, sentiments, and encouraging messages to one another.  No matter what, we have each other, for support, love, and encouragement.

That’s true common wealth.  It’s about everybody helping everybody.  People loving people.  Building people up, as opposed to breaking them down.

So leave it to basketball, to remind us

It’s not about individual contributions creating fame and fortune.  It’s not “bosses” in corporate America demanding, berating, and threatening their teams to perform.

To really experience abundance of all that is good in life and even at work, we have to make it all about each other. 

And Leaders – Coaches, Managers, Directors, Vice Presidents and Presidents – need to encourage, inspire, teach, and coach rather than threatening and/or using short sighted scare tactics.

Without teamwork, it won’t be sustainable.

Without sincerity, it won’t be credible.

Without personal connection, it won’t be meaningful.

Without community, it won’t be fulfilling in the least.

So all of this to say, here’s to the 2017-2018 Kentucky Basketball Team and Coach Calipari for another great year of basketball, but also for so much more.  Thanks to the young men, on all these teams in the NCAA Tournament, who remind us, with their own character, drive, humility, and passion what it takes to experience true abundance of wealth.


Have a great day.




For more ideas on how to turn the tediousness of your corporate corporateness grind into meaningful work, you or someone on your team or in your life might enjoy my new book, Ballgames to Boardrooms:  Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed.

Available on,, and on the Books section of this website.


Four Compelling Reasons to LISTEN

An excerpt from Ballgames To Boardrooms:  Chapter 7

Just a couple quick stories of how listening has/can/will change our lives…at work and at home.

Demystifying the Lost Art of Listening

I was about eleven years old, in my last year of Little League. I played shortstop and occasionally pitched (but not well). One Saturday morning I was on the mound pitching. My coach gave the sign to throw a change-up after I was throwing fastballs all game long. The hope was for the hitter to be out in front of a slower, change-up pitch, swing, and miss, of course. Instead, when I took a little off the pitch, the batter smacked it deep into the right field gap.

We May Not Know Everything After All

Frustrated, getting the ball back from a teammate, now with a runner on base, I kicked a few pebbles, slammed the ball into my glove, and mumbled under my breath, “Why can’t I just throw the ball?”

From the corner of the dugout a low, stern voice called out, “Cause I’m the coach. That’s why.”

At the ripe age of eleven I undoubtedly believed I knew everything there was to know about everything. I guess I saw myself as such a prodigy and student of the game, I knew more than the coach. Okay, no. Hardly.

I was a terrible pitcher, and not even very good at baseball. Maybe I was a decent shortstop, but I couldn’t hit a lick. Pretty sure the coach, an adult my parents’ age, and a great man in our community might be a smidge more qualified to make the call. After all, he was the coach. It would’ve been wise to listen more and talk less; a lesson that applies just as much today as it did then.

Jimmy Buffett covers a song originally released by Fred Neil in the 60’s, “Everybody’s Talkin’.”  The first line is a microcosm of today’s business world, and society, for that matter:

“Everybody’s talkin’ at me…can’t hear a word they’re sayin’…

Only the echoes of my mind…”


How often do you find yourself talking (or trying to talk) to someone, on the phone, videoconference, or during an in-person conversation, and you can’t get a word in edgewise? Why? Because, uh, they won’t stop talking. It’s true. Everybody’s always talking. Since they’re always talking, we sit around chasing our thoughts and all we literally hear are “the echoes of our mind,” a la Fred Neil’s lyric.

How often do you leave your office, hop in your car, turn on the radio, get five miles down the road and have no idea what songs, commercials, or talk radio segments just played in the very car in which you’re the only passenger? Maybe I’m the only one, but does your mind race with to-do’s, concerns and fears weighing down every thought?

I’m sure you work or live with people who talk and talk and rarely pause to listen. It’s a total thing and a bit of an epidemic plaguing corporate America. Grand Canyon size wedges are driven smack dab in the middle of relationships. It also prevents talented up and comers from “becoming” all they could, should, and would be, if only they’d listen. Unfortunately, it also keeps many from experiencing the levels of fulfillment and happiness they long for both at work and at home.

On the other hand, consider an environment filled with respect, learning, understanding and love. How does that sound? Maybe a little better? That’s the type of environment you can cultivate within your teams, companies, families, and relationships when and if you listen.

            Don’t fall into the “know it all” trap. Of course, you’re smart. Be smart enough to realize someone else might know something, too. My wife is six years younger than me. Back when we were dating we had a few “fights.” Nothing major, just typical squabbles. One of my best friends gave me some great advice, as I was in mid-argument with the woman who is now my wife. He said, “Be open to listening to her. You might learn something.”

He was right then, and he continues to be right even today. I thought since I was “the older one” I automatically knew best. Dumb. Wrong. Not even close. I’m so glad I learned that lesson early in our relationship journey. If I didn’t learn to listen and become open to new ideas and perspectives, we probably wouldn’t have progressed in our relationship or ever even married. That’s a scary thought.

Four compelling reasons to LISTEN:

Listening is respectful

Listening is learning

Listening leads to understanding

Listening is loving

If you find yourself stuck in the hamster wheel, with more upsetting days than fulfilling ones, there’s a better way. Better days are around the corner. Be the one who listens because you will:

  • Become known as the respectful one,

  • Learn all kinds of new stuff,

  • Begin to understand things you never understood before, and

  • Receive an abundance of love from people to your left and right, your team, and even your boss.

  • Replace irritating days with fulfilling ones because you listen.


Thanks for listening.



More ideas and inspirations for turning your “menial job” into “meaningful work” can be found in my new book available on


This holiday season…believe in yourself, believe in others, believe in a higher power, and believe in the true meaning of the season. 

Whatever your religion…no matter what your holiday…whatever your current stage in life…


Be thankful for what you have instead of dwelling on what you don’t have

Embrace diversity…respect differences in opinions and perspectives; it makes us all smarter

Lead with LOVE…with every conversation, action, or reaction, lead with love

Invest the time and energy necessary to resolve conflict; everyone will be happier

Extend a helping hand to those you know may need it but will be too shy to ask for it

Value meaningful relationships with friends and family, and let them know you do

Encourage people that need encouragement; they’re hoping you’ll be the one to lift their spirits

Happy Holidays...


Why It’s Important to Make “Walk Ins” Feel Welcome

My grandfather was a barber for nearly 50 years. So that means I was blessed, growing up, with frequent (and free) haircuts.

To this day, I get a haircut once per week. I’m loyal, to a point, with my barbershop patronage. However, sometimes proximity, timing, and where I happen to be at the moment determine which shop I choose.

Welcome is a feeling, and the ‘feels’ usually close the deal

Recently I was in a particular part of town where I live, on a Saturday morning, and decided to “pop into” a barber shop whose sign on the window read, “Walk Ins Welcome.”

I stepped two feet in the door, and the two barbers turned, slowly, with a nonchalant, “…can…we…help…you…?” greeting. It was as if I was imposing, entering without proper identification or even credentials to deserve a haircut.

Not exactly “welcoming”.

To make things worse, I asked, “Well, I’m in the market for a haircut {thinking to myself, which is why I walked into, um, a BARBER SHOP!}. Do you have any availability this morning?”

The two of them acted as if I’d just asked them to work a double shift, into the wee hours of the morning, and the look on their faces suggested that I’d just taken away birthday. They finally responded, with, “well, I guess we could get to you in about an hour…”

I’m good. And…I won’t be back.

A true welcome…and more

Contrast that experience with a much different, and far better one two miles down the road.

I walked into Ray’s Barber Place – North in Dana Point, CA, where I should have gone in the first place.

Two feet into Ray’s door, and her eyes lifted up immediately from the cut she was in the middle of at the moment. A huge smile lit up the room, and she immediately said, “Hey! Long time no see, buddy! I haven’t seen you in forever, but I follow all your posts on Instagram!”

I sat down on the bench, with college football on numerous tv’s, glanced to the two other barbers cutting their own clients’ hair only to meet them both with smiling faces, eye-contact, and a head nod to truly welcome me in. For a split second, some all too familiar feelings of walking into my grandfather’s barber shop came over me.

Ray tended to her own client’s needs, finishing up within minutes of my entrance, and her warm welcome. The phone rang twice while I waited a few short minutes for her to finish. She answered each call, personally greeting, and inviting two more clients into her shop.

She finished up with her client, closed him out at the cash register, and quickly (but not in a hurry) came back around, and said, “…alright, hop up here. I’ll squeeze you in before my next guy.”

She was booked, back to back to back before Noon that day, but that didn’t matter. She still managed to welcome me in, nail it on my quick 1.5 guard all-around buzz cut, making conversation the entire time. Ray also took two more phone calls as she was cutting my hair, inviting two more clients down to her shop, with a smile in her voice.

Her next client walked in, as she was midway through my haircut. Same thing. She greeted them with a smile, welcomed them into the shop, and immediately let them know she would be right with them.

It was busy, but she never skipped steps with my haircut. Mind you, I’m a bit of a haircut snob, having the craftsmanship of my very own grandfather, “Barber Bill”, for the first 23 years of my life, so I notice a few things when it comes to my haircuts.

For example, the week prior I got my haircut “at the other place”, and the minute it got busy, the fella cutting my hair skipped steps. He didn’t trip my ears, shave my neck, or line me up on the sides.

Ray, on the other hand, nailed every element. The big stuff, small stuff, and she connected along the way. When I asked her, “How’s business?” She simply said, “It’s growing!

Didn’t surprise me a bit.

She also got the revenue from my haircut, which “the other place” did not get. In addition, she enjoyed a 25% tip on top of it. And I’ll be back next week. And the week after that.

If you’re in a service business, or any business for that matter, the art of making people feel welcome is a differentiator which truly sets you apart from the competition, and it doesn’t necessarily cost a dime. 

It just takes a heart for hospitality.

When people walk in, make them feel welcome. It’s the “feel” which not only closes the deal, but also keeps them coming back…

Have a great day.




A Twist on “Test and Control”

Test and Control

Marketers usually follow a “test and control” methodology with their sales and marketing campaigns.

For example, they take a subset of their customer database, and “test out” a new program, promotion, initiative, or invitation. They identify another subset of their database, and for them, they basically do nothing.

The latter is the “control group”, and the former is the “test group.” The reason they “do nothing” with the control group is so they can compare how well the “test” performed. Did it drive more revenue, more frequency of visits, both, or nothing at all?

Life is a bit of a “test and control”, with a twist

In life, professionally and even personally, stuff happens. Stuff tends to happen to us, to them, and to our companies. Some things we cause or our teams spark.

However, most of the time the “happenings” around us are 100% completely out of our control.

  • The goals are too high
  • The promotions are few and far between
  • The leads are weak
  • People are snarky and insecure
  • Bosses are…well, “bosses” as opposed to dynamic leaders

Unless you:

  • Set your own goals for which your bonus is paid
  • Are in charge of promoting yourself to Vice President
  • Have the power to magically make your prospective customers buy
  • Can leverage your super powers to make someone less of a jerk
  • Waive a magic wand, to un-micro-manager your boss

You’re Left With One Option You’ve Heard a Million Times Before

The only thing you or I can do is the following:

Focus on what you can control, and let go of what you can’t.

Talking about the goals, the “buyers who are liars”, and the bosses won’t get us any closer to achieving our goals, increasing our sales, enjoying the promotion, or changing our boss.

Reminding ourselves to spend our time, talent, and resources on things over which we can truly impact will not only make us more successful, but also allow for more happiness and fulfillment along our journey.

Suppressing the need for control is the true test.

Have a great day.


For more ideas, thoughts, and strategies for turning your “job” into truly “meaningful work”, you or someone on your team may like my new book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed.

Available on,, and the “Books” section of the website…

Are You a Coach or a Commentator?

Coaching vs. Commentary

We’ve all seen coaches, particularly in the college or professional ranks; make the transition to the booth or studio, as commentators for their sport.

Coaches and commentators are related, and perhaps require similar skills. They both must be knowledgeable, articulate, convincing, believable, and to some extent, engaging.

Just because someone is a great coach doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be a great commentator. The reverse is also true. Some of the best commentators are those who first failed at coaching, for one reason or another.

I did a few Google searches on both words, coaching and commentating. As expected, the obvious differences jumped out.

Coaching – the very spirit of the word and actions associated with it are all about doing for someone else – supporting, teaching, encouraging, guiding, training, and even “carrying” another.

Commentating, on the other hand, is merely talking. It’s commenting to make one’s self look, sound, or appear as an expert. Period. even defines the word as “making explanatory or critical comments…”

Why do I bring this up?

Which would you prefer in your boss, at work? A coach? Or a commentator?

Better yet, if you are a leader of people, teams, or organizations, which do you think your team prefers?  Think about your day-to-day, with your team.

Are you a “coach”?  Or are you a “commentator”?

If given their druthers, most people would rather be supported or encouraged as opposed to enduring a lecture from a commentator.

Most teams likely respond better to support as opposed to criticism.

There’s a place for both coaching and commentating. However, when it comes to leadership, it’s a no brainer.

Be a coach.

It’s less about us, and all about helping them. It’s impossible to help them unless or until we connect with them, letting them know we care. Once they know we care, and we’re all about helping them get through it, whatever it may be, magic happens.

Great commentary fills the air eloquently for a moment.

Great coaching fulfills hearts, souls, and lives for a lifetime.

Have a great day.


For more ideas, thoughts, and strategies for leading with love and unleashing compassion, you or someone on your team may like my new book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed.

Available on,, and the “Books” section of the website…

About the Author:

Taylor’s worked for notable brands in hospitality including Disney, Wynn Resorts, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Gaylord Hotels, Disney Vacation Club, and more. He graduated from Florida Southern College, earning a BS in Business Administration. He also earned a Masters of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University. Taylor resides in beautiful Dana Point, California with his wife, Jenna.

Taylor is the author of the new best-selling book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed

People Loving People

Every company has problems to solve, results to deliver, and issues to overcome.

Every team has dynamics. Some are positive, and others are negative.

Every person has thoughts, dreams, goals, and aspirations.

They also have worries, doubts, fears, confusion, and nervous energy as they fight those inevitable, mental battles every single day.

Brands can be sexy, with mantras, taglines, slogans, and even sleekly designed logos.

We can hype, tweet, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat our products, services, and “awesomeness” all we want.

Executives can push, drive, harp, and demand all day and night.

Still problems must be solved. Team dynamics must be improved. Worries, doubts, fears, and confusion must still be suppressed. Mindsets have to be managed.

Actually, mindsets must be inspired.

Results don’t happen unless or until people are compelled to deliver them.

Issues don’t get resolved on their own. Instead it takes intentional, purposeful people in the right frame of mind to realize compromise not only gives way to resolutions of problems but also new solutions perhaps we never knew were possible.

For leaders, the quickest way to engage people to foster a culture of inspired relationships, conversations, and compromise is to simply lead with love.

It’s not about chasing records.

It’s not only about results.

Results are important, but without relationships results don’t happen.

Without love relationships are impossible.

The first role of leadership, in any setting, is cultivating a culture of people loving people.

“All the colors and the cultures circle ’round us on a spindle
It’s a complicated riddle, the solution is so simple…

It’s people loving people…

That’s the enemy of everything’s that’s evil
Ain’t no quick fix at the end of a needle
It’s just people loving people” – Garth Brooks

Spread the love.



For more ideas, thoughts, and strategies for leading with love and unleashing compassion, you or someone on your team may like my new book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed.

Available on,, and the “Books” section of this website…

Hope you love it…

The Struggle is real (and everywhere)

I can’t believe he said that.

Wait.  We seriously have to have a meeting before the meeting to finalize the Power Point, before the call?

They don’t do anything over there.

She’s like, so rude…

Sweet.  Another new process which won’t get executed properly and will change again, six times, before next week.

I may actually be in this same role until I’m seventy-eight years old. They’ll never promote me.

I feel so suffocated and micromanaged and belittled and…well…I’m just so over it.


Sound familiar? Sound like where you work?

If not, congratulations on being the 1% of the 1% who don’t have blame, gossip, controlling ‘managers’ as opposed to dynamic, compassionate leaders, (did I mention gossip?), collaboration overload, doubt, and fear running wild in your organization, group, team, company, or community.

I don’t have actual, empirical PhD-level research to prove my “1% of the 1%” statement. However, I’m fairly certain we all face the adversities, misfortunes, and annoying corporate corporateness listed above, regardless of our rank, role, title, business, occupation, or industry.

How can I be so sure?

It turns out, that while I can’t prove the whole “1% of 1%” thing, I can confidently say that 100% of the people reading this post, working in your company, or living in your home or community are HUMAN BEINGS. As in, they are human…not perfect.

After much denial, self-deliberation, and struggling with it for years, somewhere along the way I realized I’m not perfect either; far from it. I still have to catch myself, and remind that fella in the mirror that while I strive for excellence, expecting perfection from myself, my team, or my company is just a FastPass to new realms of frustration and disappointment. Am I the only one? Or do you feel me? Same for you, I bet…

So what do we do about it?

First off, realize that you’re not alone in those annoyed/mad/scared feelings you have, where you work.

Not only are people on your own team and in your own company feeling those same things, guess what? People in the company on the other side of the road, in that other industry, across the country in that state where we think it would be so much better, yeah they’re feeling it too.

So while it’s always a good look to stay hip to opportunities for growth, more money, more balance, more responsibility, and more of what life has to offer; it’s short sighted to think that all the many issues, frustrations, worries, doubts, and fears won’t be waiting for us when we get to that next job, city, company, or magical place where the grass is greener.

We have a choice.

We can jump into the warm, comfortable waters of commiseration with everyone else at the office.


We can decide to not only make a difference, we can actually be the difference.

All it takes is a quick mindset shift.

Simple shifts like:

• Being grateful for what we do have vs. pining after what we don’t have.  When we’re grateful, it’s physically impossible to be negative.

• Focusing a little more on relationships as well as those ever-important-earth-shattering-life-altering results we’re asked to produce.

• Unleashing compassion as opposed to holding grudges

• Engaging in meaningful, interested conversation with “those people” at work instead of avoiding them at all costs



The struggle is real. It’s so, very real.  But it’s real everywhere.  That’s life.  We all face it. And we all have a choice as to how we go about navigating it.

Choose wisely, and live happily ever after.

Most of the time “how” we get there is more important than actually getting there.  As my grandfather, Bill Scott, used to say about certain misfortunes or happenings, “…well, that’s the way it bounces, ball-wise…”  And then he’d go right on, living life, enjoying the blessings around him, and making the best out of every situation.

Not a bad strategy.

Have a great day (wherever you are).



For more ideas on how to turn your menial job into meaningful work, you may like my newly released book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed is now available on and – eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover!

Order your copy by clicking HERE.

Or visit the #Books section of

See you there…

Artists, Generosity, and Gratefulness

Photo Credit: Jenna Joseph Photography (a talented #artist)


Art of any kind – music, writing, design, or theater – touches us in different ways at different times, but the arts usually spark something inside us. Sometimes it’s inspiration, other encounters motivate us, and occasionally art leaves us in a state of deeper, introspective thought than we were before.

So, art moves people. Before beautiful, inspiring, motivating, and moving art of any kind makes its impact, first an artist must create. Artists are skillful, crafty, educated, and knowledgeable about the work they do and the art they create.

Artists are careful, deliberate, purposeful, creative, and they’re generous. They’re never in a hurry. Quick maybe, but they’re never in too big of a hurry; because the process is meaningful, purposeful, and maybe most of all, intentional. The intent is to deliver inspiration, motivation, introspection, and moving experiences for people.


Think about the time artists put into their craft. Paintings take months to materialize on a blank canvas. Musicals take years to orchestrate. (Lin-Manuel Miranda spent seven years writing the 22,000 words in Hamilton – An American Musical.) Design projects take months to sketch schematics, and years to go from inception to completion.

Artists, the creators, spend their time, devoted to inspiring, motivating, and moving people. They literally give away their time with friends, family, or even to themselves, to think, analyze, ponder, and architect the art we get to enjoy.

Not only are artists purposeful and intentional, they’re incredibly giving. They give away their time, talents, and sometimes even the things they treasure the most, so they can create for us.

Artists often give more than they receive. And usually they’re okay with that. Generously giving their gifts fills their cup.


We’re the recipients and benefactors of their work. We get to enjoy the art they create. Because of their work, we’re inspired, motivated, encouraged, and moved to either feel a certain way, do a new thing, or maybe to simply reflect on how grateful we are to have what we have.

Though, we’re grateful for their work, artists are even more grateful for the opportunity to have not only created but also delivered a little magic for us in the first place.


Leaders Should Be Like Artists

  • Leaders should be intentional, purposeful, careful, and deliberate in creating art for their teams, Guests, Customers, and Clients.

  • Leaders should set out to move people like artists move people.

  • Leaders should spend time thinking, analyzing, preparing, pondering, and architect-ing environments and cultures, which give way to inspiration, motivation, and encouragement for their teams.

  • Leaders should be generous with their time, talents, and even their treasures so that people in their midst are moved to move

  • Leaders should be grateful, just like artists. When leaders are grateful, it’s impossible for them to become negative. And when leaders aren’t negative, their teams aren’t either.

Leaders should be artists. The great ones are artists who create and generously give of themselves to others.


This post is dedicated to my dear friend, former roommate throughout most of our twenties, a groomsman in my wedding, and true artist, Steve Barkofski.  

Photo Cred: Jenna Joseph Photography

About a year ago, I called Steve with a little idea for a logo for the Ballgames To Boardrooms brand. He was in the middle of multiple projects, designing for his clients, who include several divisions of the Walt Disney Company, among many other corporations, but he took my call.

Steve put his own work to the side, and devoted intentional, purposeful thought to create the logo you now see on the cover my newly released book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed.

Steve, a true artist, was not only more creative than ever, but also incredibly generous with his time and talent. Throughout the process, as grateful and inspired as I still am from Steve’s work, he was even more grateful for the opportunity to contribute.

Thank you, Stevo. You’ve been one of my best friends since May 11th, 1999, the very day we met. I’m proud to be your longtime friend, and I’m inspired by your passion, creativity, and ability to inspire, motivate, and move people with your art.

Leaders should be like artists.

Leaders should be like Steve Barkofski.

Have a great day.


My newly released book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed is now available on and – eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover!

Order your copy by clicking HERE.








Personal Training and Leadership

Leaders in any industry, business, sport, or even in communities can learn from friendly neighborhood Personal Trainers.

Personal Trainers are not only a wealth of fitness knowledge, but they also give us almost a perfect blueprint for how to be an effective, impactful leader.

A Quick Fitness Trainer Story

Last week, during my workout, our trainer dropped a dead lift into the circuit training session. Nothing crazy. Moderate weight. Two sets of 10. I was on rep number three when our Personal Trainer, Ben, came up next to me as I set the bar down on the floor.

Keep your chest high, back straight, and push those hips back…use your glutes and hamstrings as you go straight back up…

I finished the set, making the movements exactly how Ben explained and demonstrated.

It had been a minute since I’d routinely knocked out sets of dead lifts, so I needed that coaching. When it came time for the second set, he came up next to me again. This time, as he watched, he gave me a, “there it is…nice.” I rattled off ten straight reps, with the form he was looking for – chest high, hips back, etc.

I’m now more confident in my ability to execute that exercise correctly, and I’m even more confident that my desired results will follow. The bonus – I respect and appreciate Ben because of his genuine, intentional coaching in helping me achieve my goals.  All it took was a slight tweak, and all I needed was a little coaching.

 Think About Your Role Today, as a Leader of Your Team

How is your team executing the most important “exercises” in your business this week, or this month?  Are they delivering the results you or your senior executives are expecting?  If not, maybe they need a slight tweak to their execution.  They may need a coach.

You’re that coach.

Coaching, at it’s core

Every leader, at any level, and in any industry should take note of how consistently a Personal Trainer executes their day-to-day activities with their clients. At its core, their process is precisely what every leader should be thinking about, and most importantly doing, as often as possible with “their own clients”, which are the people on their teams.

Think about the approach of a Personal Trainer or a Fitness Coach:

  • First, Personal Trainers EXPLAIN, in detail, the exercise they’re about to give you, and they also explain how to do it; the great ones go one more step, and tell you why the exercise is important.


  • Next, Trainers almost always physically DEMONSTRATE exactly how the exercise should be executed. They literally get on the machine, floor, treadmill, or TRX and demonstrate how it should be done.


  • Then, Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches OBSERVE their clients doing the exercise. It’s undoubtedly hard to do sometimes, especially if their clients are doing it really bad, awfully wrong! However, they keep their hands off, just long enough to observe and assess where and how they need to coach for improvement or course correction. (Just like Ben did with my dead lift form.)


  • Finally, then and only then, once they’ve clearly explained the exercise, physically demonstrated it, and observed the client, they do the most important part, which often comes so naturally to them. They COACH. They give very specific coaching which aligns with the why they shared in the explanation and the form they taught us when they demonstrated it.

                                    …and btw Personal Trainers HAVE FUN…Leaders should do the same…

If you’re a leader of people, a leader among your peers, or simply looking for ways to lead, inspire, or motivate more effectively, just model the process of a Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach. After all, their role is to help and coach their clients toward achieving specific goals or results.

And isn’t that the role of a leader?

That’s what all leaders can learn from Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches.





Have a great day.


A Quick Conversation For the Road…

Results are important, it’s true.  No doubt the Personal Trainer process and approach to leadership outlined above will drive results, for any individual, on any team, in any business or industry.

But here’s the thing.  Human beings work in companies.  Human beings, with feelings, worries, doubts, anxieties, and fears make up all the teams we lead.  So results are important, but so are relationships.

Relationships take time to grow.  They’re just like a garden.  We can plant a new leader in the captain’s chair, and we can hire everyone to fully staff our departments, “planting a bunch of humans among one another” in order to go meet the goals and drive those ever-important results. We can’t stop there.  That’s only the beginning.

Just like a garden needs water, sunlight, and the right soil to grow into a beautiful, flourishing thing of beauty, people need good, ol’ fashioned conversations with each other in order for valued, meaningful relationships to grow into a thing of beauty as well.

So, sure leaders should emulate Personal Trainers, and explain, demonstrate, observe, and especially coach all day long.  To be great, and to make the kind of impact people go home and tell their spouses, friends, families, and even their bar tenders and waitresses about, leaders should take every opportunity to engage in genuine dialogue with the individuals on their teams.

They’re not “headcount, staffing levels, or bodies”.  They’re people.  They’re human beings, just like you and me.  (…and so are our Guests, Customers, Clients, and Members…)

Results are great.  But the combination of Results AND lasting, meaningful Relationships fostered along the way is what people really want.  It’s also what corporate America needs.


Send this post to a Leader, Coach, Personal Trainer, or an Executive who does it the right way, making the RELATIONSHIPS as important as the RESULTS.  One without the other leaves every company, every team member, and every Guest, Customer, or Client unfulfilled.

Speaking of fulfillment.  For ideas, stories, and perspective on how to turn your menial job into the meaningful leadership journey you had in mind, you may like my new book, launching AUGUST 15th. 

Available for PRE-ORDER on HERE.