We all had our reasons; vindicate our training and tough talk, to remind ourselves that we’re brave and capable, to satisfy our thirst for epic adventure, to do a little team building, to demonstrate leadership, and perhaps most important- to have a good time and enjoy the adventure. Staring from the starting line, knowing what was in store, I was more excited than afraid. Doing the Tough Mudder after recently pulling a hamstring, I’ll admit, was an intimidating notion. I knew we’d survive. I knew we’d get it done. I trusted my team and I wasn’t going to allow myself to quit, come hell or compound fracture. (more…)
People were STARING. They could have been pointing too, though I didn’t actually see it. You’d think they’d never seen a home-made sledge stacked high with trash being dragged across the beach before…
So that’s a bit of the cart before the horse, so let me begin again. Nicholas McGill (lastofthechivalrous) started things off. Thinking about it, he started way before the actual event, by signing up for the Tough Mudder scheduled for September 2011. I followed and joined his team as part of my Path To Fitness last year. Micah and Dave rounded out the team and we all committed to training. Nicholas wanted to get some team building going, and suggested a Road Trip to Point Reyes. Micah and I joined in and off we went. (more…)
Awesome-Grams, or, notes, displays and deeds of thanks, praise and appreciation are easy to write, lovely to read, and can boost productivity, rapport and improve a relationship personal and professional. Sending these is a great replacement behavior for the bad habit of nasty-grams. And for all you Ebineisers out there, sending awesome-grams as a habit can save you real dollars, bring more material perks as well as present new opportunities and prospects. Thank you’s are affirmations of appreciation. They help us acknowledge and celebrate the good things in our lives and counteract our tendency to simply note the negative disruptions and experiences. The smile the awareness brings puts a spring in our steps and we can sail through our days with light and happy hearts. How do we get started? Who do we thank? What are the perks? Have any examples: Read on kind sirs and madams. (more…)
We’ve all experienced it; customers wanting to get more for their money by adding in ‘just one little thing’ that ‘shouldn’t take much time at all’. Of course they want more for the same amount (or preferably even less), we all do. And as consultants we always want to say “Yes!” when what the client wants is within our ability to accomplish. That doesn’t mean we have to DO the work, just cause it to be done and charge for the additional overhead.
However, there’s a not so fine line that separates work that fits within the core engagement and the potentially time sucking, project sinking, energy draining activities that the client is trying to ‘train’ us to accept. Not only is it important to define the boundaries for the first engagement, it’s key in setting expectations and precedents for how future work will be added. After all we all know what happens if you let the camel put it’s nose inside the tent. (more…)
What skills and wisdom are required to thrive and lead a balanced life? What wisdom can we carry over from the industrial age? Which practices and mentalities are obsolete? What are the new rules, guidelines and best practices, for life and business in a global, information based economy? If we are to honor in our professions the belief systems and principals we hold personally and individually, how would we go about that? These questions were filling my head in 2010, when I started down a path of seeking answers, cultivating experience, wisdom, skills, discipline and a eventually finding a new Way, new models, that scale and profit in more than just dollars. I’ve since been reviewing and organizing the practice into what I call the Heroik MBA. (more…)
Our job is to inspire others to Get Heroik. This site is chiefly, an entertaining collaboratory for Heroik Media; a repository for our quixotic adventures (and misadventures), projects, insight, tools, and lessons about life and business in an empowered work environment. (more…)
The first step to become Heroik is to cultivate bravery.
Recklessness is bravery to excess. Cowardice is a lack thereof. Much of the world prefers cowards. We believe it’s better to edge a bit towards the reckless side of the bravery continuum as often times, the worst case scenarios aren’t nearly as perilous as the world would have you believe.They’re easier to manage and will work for less. At Heroik, we have a mantra that allows us to Get Heroik each and every day. We remind ourselves to bring our own bravery; to own and control our efforts and outcomes in life. Every challenge we undertake, every project and adventure, the least we can do is to be responsible and courageous enough not to look to others when it is time to get things done, have a good time, share epic experiences and lend a hand. We bring our own bravery, lead by example; get in there and get dirty. (more…)
Picture Batman robbed of his utility belt. He’s still more than able whoop your ass, solve the riddle and save the day. You too, should aspire to cultivate your skills to the point that armed with only the most primitive of tools, locked in an 8×10 room with a magic marker, you (your ideas, filters, lenses and processes) can be just as dangerous and powerful. Do you want more mental clarity, focus, less anxiety and stress? This year, this month, this week, try something different and get back to the basics. Brush the dust off a pen and paper, visit ye olde staples, follow along, get involved, and measure your gains. Spend the $10 on a pad of paper and something to write with. I recommend a moleskine notebook and a good pen. Just as a fool trusts his life to a weapon, do not place ultimate faith in your gadgetry. I’m not anti-tech. I’m a thrivalist. Read on if you want to become a bare knuckle biz champion of productivity. (more…)
Setting goals and creating action plans is a great pen and paper exercise that can result in a clear road map to achieving your dreams. As a personal productivity skill, prosperity skill and healthy habit, it’s strongly recommended. Grab your pen (I recommend the G2 Extra Fine Point) and your Moleskine Notebook or blank paper and get started. (more…)
Ideas can be empowering and uplifting. Here are some tips to help you work with ideas and build them from thought to profit.
1. See the Parts and The Big Picture
- Understand how the pieces can come together to form an opportunity.
- Observe the basic principles and elements and see how the larger mechanisms can be broken down into several opportunities.
- Have the courage to be imaginative. Then recognize the value of your vision. (more…)
We’ve all sent them, we’ve all received them. Nasty-Grams are disruptive, destructive in any relationship and unprofessional but common in the business world. When it comes to abusive and dysfunctional communication, it’s important to a healthy practice to enforce a 0 tolerance policy. So read on as we explore how to confront, correct and prevent nasty-grams and demonstrate how to put a price tag on dysfunctional business communications, and share the financial incentives for healthy exchanges. This is easily communicated in a business relationship when you can track the behavior to dollar amounts for you, your clients, etc. . Put simply, there is a high cost to nasty-grams, as there should be. And on the other side of the equation, though we all get frustrated, and the unleashing of emotions to paper/email is a great venting exercise, it’s important to understand and separate the therapeutic purpose of venting and the goals/objectives of the communication. To put it simply, vent in draft form and throw it away- re-write with clear objectives in mind.
The room erupted with gasps, groans, objections and expostulations. All this because of a simple question from Nicholas (@communityczar): “Do you believe that people will increasingly recognize and filter out the tweets originating from automated tools, rejecting them on the basis that they’re not authentic?” The dismay at the idea was nearly palpable and came from nearly everyone BUT the thought leaders in the room. They mostly nodded thoughtfully while the outbursts reached a crescendo then gradually subsided.
Perspective. It’s important to have and can become critical to gain for nearly any type of discussion or negotiation. So why don’t people see things the same way we do? Here’s a simple physical illustration to help clarify…
Tiffany Carlson of the Sacramento Business Journal met with us for lunch to discuss ‘what we do’ at Heroik Media. I’d first met Tiffany when she hosted us at the 40 Under 40 event last month. Even though the event was pretty loud, which restricted conversation to a degree, she impressed me with her quick grasp of concepts and ideas we were throwing down.
Today’s lunch is in a much more conducive atmosphere at the Riverside Clubhouse (AWESOME chicken ravioli with mushroom pesto today!!) and we’re discussing our expertise and capabilities and to see where we might be complimentary. While talking about the concepts of Digital Liquidity and how we approach proprietary platforms and systems there was a moment of puzzlement, so I whipped out the ol’ Perspective Exercise.
Thanks and credit for this go to Terry Tillman, leader, organizer and facilitator of several Wilderness Retreats that I’ve attended. In fact this was the very first lesson he imparted and it was at the start of my own journey of personal growth. It’s been invaluable over the ensuing years as it demonstrates effectively how the same event is different.
Over the holidays I bought new pairs of Dickies at OSH, a size larger than ever before, and they were already tight. My belts were straining on the end hole. The trousers to my suits had to be worn ‘below the bulge’ and I know how attractive that looks. It was time to take action.
Now I don’t believe in Resolutions. Resolutions get broken; hell they have a reputation for it. Just on that connotation alone they’re doomed to failure. Hey, everybody breaks their resolutions.
I DO believe in Improvements. Set a goal, make an action plan, move forward. And Improvements are far more attractive than mere change. After all, change can make things worse.
Since the target I chose this year is fitness, I broke it down into several areas:
Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.) has lead the emergency response efforts in extreme situations that present unique problems that are well outside the traditional disaster response models. Most recently, he led the response to the BP / Deepwater Horizon oil spill and previously led the emergency efforts after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He is accustomed to working outside the box, going off book, departing from protocol and leading in unfamiliar territory. And, although he’s retired, if called upon, he says he’ll go where he’s needed. He is a bonafide, Heroik Bad-Ass.
His definition of leadership: the ability to reconcile opportunity and competency.
It is an often said but poorly understood notion, that many if not most people in your life will try to discourage, devalue and chip away at your self-worth. Due to toxic patterns, poor upbringings, selfish behavior, and other environmental and psychological factors, the masses try to bring you down. While exploring this subject, I took a deeper look at these things, and decided to share my thoughts as to why people do this, what you can do stop them and yourself from , and how to cultivate and nourish your own sense of self-worth.
What does a healthy sense of self worth get you? A solid sense of self worth can go a long way to helping you earn more money at work, improve personal relationships, and reinforce your ability to have enough self respect to say “No, I don’t have to”
A healthy sense of self worth also helps to:
- Identify abuse and toxic patterns in your mind and in your relationships with others.
- Demand more for your time. This may mean more money, more focused attention, more balanced role in a relationship, or just more.
- Empower you with the ability to respectfully decline to do things that you don’t want to do; the power to confidently opt out.
The Book of the Five Rings is a work written by a legendary swordsman and artist, Miyamoto Musashi. Active during what is called the Kyoto Renaissance 1550-1650, Musashi traveled throughout Japan studying many different styles of Martial Arts and many walks of life. He met, studied and conversed with masters and leaders of his day, and with a critical eye and focus on fluidity and effectiveness, he adapted only that which would achieve victory. His style and skill led him to over 60 victories, which is an astounding feat, even for a master in those days. On October 10, 1643, in an act of purification after sensing a fatal disease, Musahsi, climbed Mount Iwato in the province of Higo on the island of Kyushu, and began to write The Book of Five Rings. He intended his work to be a guide for his followers he had trained face to face. In this book, Musashi offers timeless advice on navigating life, training the mind and defeating an adversary.
Today, The Book of the Five Rings is required reading for Harvard Business students and is of tremendous value to those with sense enough to see beyond material, linear, checkerboard solutions to life’s challenges. Below is an assortment of important lines from the book, along with a few modern thoughts strewn in here and there. As with many works of the East, this isn’t simply a book you read. The knowledge in this book is best captured by taking the time to read, practice, study, re-visit and re-read.
I often get asked about how I stay motivated to stay fit. My not-so-secret method is that I put forth a real effort into connecting to my health and fitness, in as many ways as I possibly can, to my happiness and everything I wish to achieve. I constantly find subtle ways to remind myself of the interdependencies between my health,fitness, and my happiness & productivity. One of the most under-utilized, under-appreciated and most important tool I use: a fitness journal. Here are some tips to add value to your journal and help you become aware of how your health and fitness play a significant role in your overall well being.
1. Don’t call it a workout journal!
If reduced to being thought of as merely notes of reps and sets, a journal is as pleasing to think of or look at as a math book. Give it substance and value by thinking all-around fitness and health. Put some words and thoughts behind all those numbers. There aren’t any rules or boundaries! This is about you, what you are doing and what you can do! It should be as much a trophy and motivational resource as it is a measuring stick.