How Great Do You Want to Be in 2016?

Why are some organizations able to achieve AND sustain greatness? The quick answer is they are never satisfied. Regardless of the level of excellence they achieve, they always Raise the Bar.

The leaders in High Performance Organizations understand, it is better to raise the bar yourself versus waiting on your competition to do it for you.

As you enter 2016 the big question is, “How great do you want to be?”

The following is an excerpt from the Chess Not Checkers Field Guide. Mark Miller and I wrote it as a blueprint for creating your own High Performance Organization.

Do you know what you would find if you visited your chief competitor? There would be a group of people huddled in a room, focused on one thing … how to eat your lunch! One of the best practices of High Performance Organizations is they are constantly attempting to Raise the Bar and distance themselves from the competition.

May I remind you, “Records are made to be broken.” Those six words have pushed individuals, teams, and yes, even organizations to the rare air of record performance. Occasionally, we see a glimpse of a group who can sustain such excellence over long periods of time, and we label them as a “dynasty.” Do you have dynasty potential? I’m guessing you do.

As you assess your organization, do your current results lean toward ordinary or extraordinary? Would your competition describe you as average or awesome? When is the last time your people set their sights on something great and pursued it together? Not just your leaders, but everyone in the organization. Amazing things can be accomplished when leaders Raise the Bar and call out the best in the people around them.

High Performance Organizations refuse to settle for good. Instead, they lock in on being great and maintain focus. No team drifts to greatness, and yours is no exception. You will never hope your way into high performance.

If today finds you at a place where your business is merely blending in with the competition, it is time to Raise the Bar.

There is an old Latin word that is a great reminder to leaders. Quantuvis means, “as great as you choose.” The reality is, your organization can be as great as you choose for it to be. Make the decision to Raise the Bar, and you’ll be amazed. And you might even give your competition a reason to worry.

The rare air of high performance is waiting on you and your team in 2016 … but only if you choose to raise the bar.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is one way you need to raise the bar in your organization?

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Happy New Year. Welcome to 2016!

I hope today finds you full of anticipation as you approach new opportunities. However, before you roll into all that lies ahead, perhaps the best thing you can do is not make resolutions, but remember. 

Remember … it strikes me as funny that the word remember is so easy to forget. I think God knew it would be the case and that’s why he put the word remember in the Bible so many times, constantly reminding His people to look back. 

Oh, I’m not suggesting God doesn’t want us to look ahead. He does. But as leaders it is important for us to remember where we came from. 2015 had moments, good and bad, you need to reflect on. If you are like me, there are things you can build on and things you should change.

I also encourage you to remember who helped you get where you are. Most of my success in the past year was because I worked with great people. Without my inner circle I would not be where I am. How about you? Are there some people who deserve your gratitude. Don’t wait until November for Thanksgiving. Make your appreciation known this week.

Next, remember what’s important. People matter more than things. Leadership is relationship. As you look back over the last year, your impact had more to do with your values than your volume of sales, wins, or promotions. Evaluate your values and make sure you are locked in on what matters for the new year.

Finally, remember who you are. You are not your accomplishments, successes, failures, hopes, revenue, or even your relationships. You are you. Psalm 139 reminds us we wouldn’t be here unless we were created to be. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you (GOD) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well …  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Translated – there is a plan for your life, so lead well!

As you charge the 2016 hill, make your resolutions, write out your bucket list, make your plans, dream your dreams. But before you do any of those things, don’t forget to remember.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is your favorite memory from 2015?

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Have You Paid the Rent Today?

Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski challenges me to stay focused with his words … “Success is never owned … It’s rented, and the rent is due every day.”

So the question is, have you paid the rent today?

As a leader, I’m guessing you have achieved a measure of success. The temptation is to be satisfied and take for granted you will always be successful. Don’t assume yesterday’s work will get you where you want to go. No, yesterday’s work got you here. If you intend to increase your impact and remain successful, the rent is due.

Laziness will drain your dreams. Procrastination is your enemy. Half-hearted will land you with the masses.

Make the decision all successful people make. Pull out the ‘discipline checkbook’ and pay the rent. Show up early and prepared. Work hard. Define what you want to accomplish. Create clarity with your team. Challenge mediocrity. Pursue excellence, and continually raise the bar.

Why? Because success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day. If you’re like me, I’m guessing you don’t want to be evicted.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What are some ways successful people “pay the rent?”

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Are You on the Doorstep of “It Might Have Been?”

Recently I caught a few minutes of the TV gameshow Jeopardy. One of the clues was a great reminder for leaders.


The answer … IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

The lines come from Whittier’s poem, Maud Muller. It is about two people who missed an opportunity for love, only to be left thinking, “It might have been.”

Scary words for a leader. Think about it. With less than a month left in 2015, many of us are on the doorstep of “It might have been?” 

You have four weeks left before the curtain closes on 2015. I encourage you to refocus and go into attack mode to finish the things still undone.

If you will, at year end hopefully you’ll be able to say, “I did it,” rather than, “It might have been.”

Leadership Begins at Home,


What needs to be your top priority before the end of 2015?

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