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.

Taylor

 

 

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.

Taylor

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 Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and the “Books” section of the BallgamesToBoardrooms.com 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. Dictionary.com 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.

Taylor

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 Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and the “Books” section of the BallgamesToBoardrooms.com 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.

Taylor

 

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 Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and the “Books” section of this BallgamesToBoardrooms.com 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.

Or…

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).

Taylor

 

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 Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com – eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover!

Order your copy by clicking HERE.

Or visit the #Books section of BallgamesToBoardrooms.com

See you there…

Artists, Generosity, and Gratefulness

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

Artists

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.

Generosity

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.

Gratefulness

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.

Taylor

My newly released book, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed is now available on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com – 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.

Explain.

Demonstrate.

Observe.

Coach.

Have a great day.

Taylor

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 Amazon.com HERE.

 

It’s In There. Tap Into It.

I recently participated in the first spin class of my life, at the Renaissance ClubSport, in Aliso Viejo, CA. It was awesome.

Great music, while burning over 1,000 calories, and every article of clothing was soaked! The class instructor, about midway through the first sprint block, encouraged us as we kicked it up a notch.

She was great. She said, “…it’s in there…tap into it!

For the rest of the class, I couldn’t stop thinking about that simple yet profound statement.

Sometimes when life gets tedious and we’re not feeling the magic, it’s easy to get down. We think we’ll never quite measure up. We think we’re not good enough. We even think this just may be as far as we can go, or maybe we feel like this is as good as we can or will ever be.

We’re all human beings. Jeepers. It’s ok. It happens.

But, hold up. Not so fast.

Sometimes when we find ourselves in a valley, all we need is a quick jolt. Often times, in order to get that jolt, we have to do something outside our comfort zones. That’s when we’re forced to dig deep, and we find out who we really are.

Think about it.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re an adult who’s lived a pretty full and active life thus far. You’ve no doubt had some really bad awful seasons, but you’ve likely had just as many (if not more) absolutely fantastic seasons. You’ve come up short a time or two, but you’ve also overcome adversity with your faith, your character, and drive.

Whatever hill you’re climbing at the moment, and whatever is getting you down, remember there’s something in you, deep down, that can get you over the hump. It did before, and it will again.

It’s in there. Tap into it.

If you’re having a hard time tapping into it, here’s a quick Fast Pass – Draw Up a New Play for yourself. Do something out of the ordinary, completely outside your comfort zone.

You just need a jolt, and perhaps just one more step into the uncomfortable unknown.  That’s when and where you’ll find it; almost automatically.  Because you won’t quit, and you won’t let yourself fall short.  You’ll come out on the other side of this season better than you were before it.

It’s in there. Tap into it.

That’s why I wrote a book about all the lessons from our coaches we never knew we needed way back then. We all played something, participated in something, or we had coaches along the way who taught us so many pearls of wisdom. Ballgames To Boardrooms is all about tapping into what we already have in us, what we’ve already been taught but may have forgotten.

When we dig deep, and apply today what our coaches taught us back then, it’s amazing how menial tasks become meaningful work, relationships flourish rather than flounder, and we start seeing and feeling ourselves becoming more successful and more fulfilled in the process.

August 15th is the day Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches launches.

Amazon.com already gave us some shelf space here!

If you’re having a brutal week, month, or season, it’s in there…tap into it.

If someone you know is in the midst of one of those days, weeks, or months, share this with them, and let them know.

It’s in there…tap into it.

Have a great day.

Taylor

A Simple Step to Experience Freedom at Work

In 1776, Coach Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. After a fashion, the events of the American Revolution transpired, and this week Americans celebrate our independence…our freedom.

We’ve all grown up with this tradition, and it happens to be my favorite holiday. Something about summertime, being poolside, and celebrating with friends and family makes us happy, gets our minds right, and reminds us what life is all about.

Freedom for America is a sentiment we’ve all lived and experienced since we were born. Our founding fathers laid the groundwork, and our men and women in the United States Armed Forces keep us safe and free, every single day. Our public servants, on both sides of the aisle, in D.C. and in every state in the Union, devote their lives to keep America free.   Thank you, for your service!

The Irony

America is free, but in Corporate America, so many feel the opposite of free. I hear it, and you hear it, almost daily. You and I also experience it.

Corporate Corporateness is a total ‘thing’. Blame, finger-pointing, grandstanding, power moves, and passive aggressiveness come out because of fear, insecurity, and doubt.

And so despite the bosses constantly calling for “results, results, and more results”, employees, managers, directors, and even vice presidents feel trapped inside a box with all four walls closing in on them. With every email, phone call, or text message from a “boss”, digging, digging, and digging, those walls close in further and further.

The actual “result”…the opposite of freedom!

Breaking Free From Corporate Corporateness

Freedom from it all is possible. It’s simple, but not always easy. It is possible to break free from the corporate corporateness of it all.

Ironically, the best way to break free is to let go of the very thing that we feel looming over us, and that is control.

We feel controlled by it all, and therefore we feel trapped; as if we can’t possibly be who we want to be or do what we know we need to do. We feel as if they have control over us.

Let go of control.

Some of the best advice I ever received was the following, “part of becoming a great leader is realizing organizational realities.”

Understanding and being able to decipher that which you can and cannot control has a way of setting us free – mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Take the simple, but sometimes not very easy, step of letting go of control of what you cannot control, and I will do the same.

Then call me or message me later this week or next month, and we’ll continue celebrating our freedom!  (…and in the process we’ll be reminded of what life is all about…and it’s not impressing the bosses.)

How do you break through the corporate corporateness where you work? 

I welcome your comments, as we continue to build and share with each other in the Ballgames To Boardrooms community.

 

One For the Road

I’ve been thinking about this all week and weekend.

The reason I wrote a book is to help people, myself included, experience this “freedom” at work. This post merely cracks the surface, but letting go of control is more than a crack…it’s a huge breakthrough to experiencing more meaning, happiness, and fulfillment at work.  I share this principle and about 26 other simple, yet not very easy, principles in the chapters of Ballgames To Boardrooms. 

I am so excited to share Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed with you.  After nearly 20 years, working in various line of business and levels of management, my purpose of the book was to compile about 184 pages, in 26 chapters, of what has worked and what hasn’t worked.

The goal is to simply help others become all they can and will be, while experiencing as much joy, meaning, and fulfillment as possible.  My belief is that all we need to do in order to achieve this is to simply do what our coaches always taught us!

August 15th is the official launch date, on Amazon.com. You can pre-buy the eBook version today for only 99 cents, which you’ll be able to download on August 15th.

Happy Fourth!

Taylor

Grace, Power, and Money in the Race to Make An Impact

Grace comes in first.

Power usually benefits, first and foremost, those who have it. Sure, their span of influence may be great big and wide, but their true, positive impact is usually limited to a select few who they deem worthy of receiving it. And that impact usually comes at a cost, as leaders obsessed with power (specifically their own power) have requirements for those looking to gain their favor.

Money has its benefits, and with it we can buy stuff. For all the things money can buy, there are a few important things money cannot buy, like true love, quality time, and pure, unadulterated happiness. Focusing on the money, all the money, and nothing but the money results in missing out on some of the best times, the deepest loves, and that elusive place where happiness really lives. It’s somewhere between Contentment and Patience, on the corner of Selflessness and Compassion.

But What About Grace?

Grace is synonymous with words like kindness, courtesy, elegance, poise, finesse, nimbleness, and attractiveness, among many, many other qualities. These are the qualities of a Leader worthy of following.

Grace not only comes in first, in the “race for making the most impact”, it also comes in the first place.

For example, before people in power or those with money were granted said power or money, the grace of someone else came first; and it was that grace which helped usher them into power and/or allowed them to have money.

The best part about grace is by definition, it’s free. When extended to others, the way it’s meant to be extended, there is no charge. It costs nothing, but grace always adds something – value, in one way, shape, form, or fashion – as it’s received on the other end.

Power and Money, they’re not always bad. It just depends on what Leaders choose to do with the power and/or money they accrue.

The Refreshing Leader, Rare but Beautiful

For example, isn’t it refreshing when Leaders use their power and money FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHER PEOPLE, as opposed to using people for their own power and money accumulation?

It’s rare, but when it happens, it’s a beautiful thing, and those are the people we follow, because their grace is far more attractive than their power, money, and all that tends to come along with it.

Who would you rather follow – Leaders obsessed with their own power or money? Or Leaders who make it about you? – your growth, your success, your forgiveness, and your feelings.

Better yet, who do you want to be?

Easy choice. Grace wins every time.

Share your comments and thoughts, as we continue to form this Ballgames To Boardrooms community. We’d be interested to hear about illustrations and examples of great leadership in your lives, and most importantly, what makes those great leaders GREAT.

               We’re LIVE on Amazon.com!

Ballgames To Boardrooms: The Community is Growing, thanks to you!  Thank you!

Also, please share this post and this website to your friends, family, colleagues, and even your own leaders if you find it valuable.  I’ve added a new email subscription on the home page of BallgamesToBoardrooms.com, for anyone interested in receiving these posts, conveniently via email! 

Stop by the home page here, to subscribe.  I look forward to connecting!

Pre-Buy the eBook, Ballgames To Boardrooms: Leadership, Business, and Life Lessons From Our Coaches We Never Knew We Needed here! 

It’s LIVE on Amazon.com

You’ll be able to pre-order the print version on Amazon later this summer.  Stay tuned.