Opening Day: All’s Well that Begins Well

Yesterday was, so far, the best day of the year. Opening Day of the baseball season.

Baseball

Years ago on opening day, my wife and I were living in Texas. I remember watching a sportscast that night, after the Rangers had won their first game. The reporter made a comment I will never forget. He said, “You can’t win them all if you don’t win the first one.”

Admittedly, it is silly to think a baseball team could end up undefeated through their 162 game schedule, but that’s not the point. The point is that in order to end up in a great place, you better get off to a good start.

There is a four-hundred year old Shakespearean play, All’s Well that Ends Well.” The play is where we get the old saying by the same name.

While I love happy endings as much as the next guy, perhaps just the opposite is true. What if, as leaders, we all understood the power of the foundation? What if, “All’s Well that Begins Well,” became our mantra?

Whether you are considering a startup or a restart, I suggest you pay attention to your beginning. And if for some reason you are stuck in your current reality, maybe its time to retake a look at your foundation. Can you say, “House of cards?”

You won’t win them all. But I guarantee you that you will win a lot more if your team is built on the right foundation.

Remember, “All’s Well that Begins Well.”

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What happens when a team or company is built on a flawed foundation?

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Great Leaders Have Great Habits

Every day people all over the world pour a cup of coffee to start their day. It represents a routine … a habit for many.

A routine is defined as an “unvarying and constantly repeated formula.”

Leaders can learn a lot from coffee drinkers. Namely, find a routine and stick with it. A constantly repeated formula can lead to leadership success.

I am not saying your routine should be your only focus. There are many times you should live outside the box. However, you will never have success unless you are willing to establish some disciplined habits for learning and leading.

Find a routine that helps you lead yourself first and you will be ready to lead others.

The next time you pour yourself a cup of coffee, may it remind you to be relentless in your self-leadership habits.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What are some of your routines that make you a better leader?

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Beyond Mountains, There are Mountains

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Haiti. While there, one of the locals taught me an old Haitian proverb, “Deye mon, gen mon.” It means, beyond mountains, there are mountains.

Haiti

Are you facing a mountain of adversity today? If so, I have good news and bad news. The good news is, you have what it takes to scale the mountain and overcome your obstacle. The bad news is, once you summit the peak you will find there is another mountain waiting in the distance.

Leaders are mountain climbers. One peak after another, they climb, fail, overcome, triumph, and then relentlessly do it again.

The best news is, the mountains will make you stronger. Adversity increases your capacity, and the most amazing views are discovered by those who embrace the challenge to climb.

Deye mon, gen mon – Beyond mountains, there are mountains. Something you better get comfortable with if you want to achieve your full potential.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Who do you know that has overcome adversity?

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Reframe the Way You Look at Your Loved Ones

Without being morbid, may I remind you there will be a last time that you will have the opportunity to talk to each of your family members.

What if you knew your next time would be your last time?

While your next time might not be your last time, the truth is you only have one shot at each moment – Oh how I wish declaring a Throwback Thursday would really take me back.

Reframe

A while back I read an interesting challenge from blogger, Phil Bolsta. It was a great reminder about how important it is to relish the moments you have with your family.

Bolsta writes, Imagine that earlier in the day you got the news that your loved one had passed away suddenly. If that had actually happened, you would have given all you owned to sit with them like you’re sitting with them right now — to hold their hand, to look them in the eye, to say “I love you” one more time. What a gift, what a miracle that would be! And yet, that same experience barely registers in the course of an ordinary day.”

He goes on, Why wait until something tragic happens to reframe the way you look at your loved ones? Never forget that each time you see or talk to a loved one, you are treading on holy ground. Remember this little exercise in perspective every time you interact with those you love. Savor each encounter and recognize it as an outright miracle cloaked in the guise of an ordinary moment.

Leadership really does begin at home. It starts with not just being there, but really “being there” – fully engaged, totally present, and thoroughly interested.

If you find yourself unbalanced in your home life, maybe it is time to “reframe” the way you look at your loved ones.

Why not treat your next conversation like you would if you knew it was your last?

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why do you think it is so hard for leaders to maintain a balance between work and home?

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Do You Have a Rule of “7″ in Your Leadership?

A while back I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a college baseball coach. Something he said has stayed with me and has served as a great reminder to follow one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – “Begin with the end in mind.”

Start Fresh

The coach has done some digging and learned that in a college baseball game, there is a “rule of 7,” as he called it. According to his research, if you score seven runs you have a 93% chance of winning the game.

So guess what he does? He manages every game with one goal in mind. To get to seven runs.

He told me this clarifies things for him. “Sometimes in the second inning I might have someone bunt a runner over and try to score a single run rather than hoping someone will hit a home run and drive in multiple runs. The percentages are in our favor with the bunt more than they are for a homer. Remember, we are building toward seven.”

Needless to say, this guy has been one of the winningest coaches in the country over the past couple of decades. Why? Because he has a simple plan that has been well thought out, supported by research, and he works his plan.

When it comes to your leadership environment, what does beginning with the end in mind look like? Figure that out and then work backwards and you will be well on your way to success.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What would be the “rule of 7″ in your leadership world?

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