Leadership Legacy

Leadership Legacy

You are going to leave a leadership legacy whether you are intentional or not.  Take the time to create a meaningful Leadership Legacy Statement and write your own story.

Happy Memorial Day 2020

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.” John F Kennedy

“If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for.”

“It takes the best in each of us to make the best world for all of us.”

Memorial Day is about taking a time out and remembering.  As a leader when people take a time out how do you want them to remember you?  What type of memorial impression are you leaving on them?  Are you creating the leadership legacy that you expect?

Perhaps leaving a legacy is too far out there for you to think about today.  How about this?  When you enter the room are those you lead excited to see you?  (more…)

Leaders are Humble and Kind

Leaders are Humble and Kind

Leaders are Humble and Kind

I just began training for a half marathon that was rescheduled to July. Check out Martian races. This is my favorite event because it’s my chance to give back to the running community as a pacer.  Also, I love to wear fun martian costumes so that the runners can see where the pacer is.  Who knows if the event will go on or not, but I choose optimism.  Besides, being locked in my house with all of the food requires a great deal of exercise.  I’m not going to lie, getting back on a schedule has not been easy, but even yesterday with a 100% chance of rain all day I got my butt out there and did it.

I also spent a little time watching TV.  I adore The Masked Singer.  Everyone is so positive and supportive.  It takes me to a happy place. The judges support the singers and they support each other – even when sometimes they make such a ridiculous remark – that would be mostly Judge Ken Jeong – they support each other.  No spoilers if you aren’t caught up, but this week Rhino sang the most beautiful Tim McGraw song, Humble and Kind.  Here are a few of the lyrics (more…)

Mindful Monday

Mindful Monday

Make every Monday a Mindful Monday.

To all the mom’s out there I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day

“Behind all of your stories is your mother’s story because hers is where yours began”. Mitch Albom

My family spoiled me with a few of our family traditions. Decadent homemade pecan rolls and bacon, onion, and cheese quiche.

This is why I run marathons

Not running 30-50 miles per week would have me weighing in at 300 pounds.  Berta is the 300 pound Italian girl inside me who is dying to come out.  That is why in addition to this podcast I also host a Facebook page called Thompson Challenge.  It is all about being 1% better than you were yesterday.  It mostly focuses on being better in a physical way, but we include all types of self-improvement.  So check it out @ThompsonChallenge and there is also a Facebook page for this podcast @TheEverydayLeaderPodcast.


Both are intertwined.  Why? Because you cannot get better in one area of your life without it trickling into other areas.  It’s just impossible.  Here’s an example say my goal is to lose weight by cutting out dining out.  My intent is to improve myself by getting my weight under control, but I’m also improving my finances with all of the money I am not spending eating out.  See how that works.  So, by getting 1% better every day doing Thompson Challenge there is no way that somehow it doesn’t make me a better leader. I speak of compound interest in the intro to this podcast.  Thompson Challenge adds residual income.  You continue to get paid in your leadership improvement after the work is done in the self-improvement department.

May Challenge

This month is fun on the Thompson Challenge.  It’s 7 days of awesomeness. (more…)

Be A Leader With Optimism

Be A Leader With Optimism

Be a leader with Optimism

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” Christine Caine

This week I am adjusting my schedule to what the new norm will be. It’s been nice writing and recording on Monday mornings, but the reality is when the stay at home is lifted I most likely won’t be free Monday mornings.  So I encourage you – if you’ve started something new during the pandemic – reading – walking – writing – running whatever it is think about how and when you do it now and how and when you will do it when our lives move into the new normal.  You’ve come this far – don’t give it all up because it doesn’t fit into that schedule.  Start shifting your schedule now.  I sent out a challenge a couple of weeks ago to try and get up 10 minutes earlier every day – that’s a great place to start.  Heck – right now – even setting an alarm to get up in the morning may be a great place to start.

Proud parents of an MSU grad

This week was very special for our family.  Our daughter Mattie graduated from Michigan State.  We couldn’t be prouder.  Of course she didn’t get to walk, so my Aunt, who is probably the most positive and optimistic person I know, picked up the ball and ran with it by scheduling a Zoomuation.  The power of Zoom is not just for business and education it is a great way to connect.  Truly having experienced this yesterday I would choose Zoom over a real graduation any day.

  • not sitting for 2 hours just for the 5 seconds they announce your grads name
  • with family all over the country we were limited to who could have been able to attend
  • with the camera on we were able to focus on each other instead of breaking up into little clicks

And for Mattie instead of competing with thousands of other grads she truly got to be the center of attention.  The day was all about her.

This quote makes me think of my Aunt’s actions

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control instead shift your energy to what you can create.” Roy Bennett

She completely created an amazing event for her niece with her optimism.

Why you should be a leader with optimism (more…)
5 Weeks of Stay At Home; Embrace the Genius of AND

5 Weeks of Stay At Home; Embrace the Genius of AND

This week marks about 5 weeks of the stay at home order here in Illinois and much of the nation.  This week I did a little personal inventory a little reflecting back on the week to see if I’m on the right track.  Remember, Steve Jobs told us we can only connect those dots looking back.  And I have to say that looking back I feel pretty good.  If I was in a job interview right now and the interviewer tried to test me by asking what 3 valuable uses of my time were during my period of unemployment.  I feel confident that I would nail it.  I’m learning about financial advising, I’ve enrolled in some free online classes – blows my mind that people don’t take advantage of these great opportunities, I’ve started this podcast – which by the way you can also start for free and I’ve gotten outside and worked on staying fit.  Also free!

The binge watching couch potato.

Not for the interviewer, but for you.  I’ve also seen the first three seasons of Money Heist – love it!  Except that they killed my favorite character – not a spoiler alert since you don’t know who my favorite is and Except that while playing a board game with the family the other night I heard Tokyo narrating my next play in my head.  “now is the time for mommy to make her move, but she’s screwed.  She missed the opportunity to play her awkward pieces and now there’s no place for her to play on this board.  The professor told us we would face this, but where is the professor now?  We haven’t heard from the professor since the coronavirus began.”  Yes,  I love this show, but I don’t love it in my head.

Jonathan Estrin says “The way we spend our time defines who we are.

So I’m sharing this story because there are so many choices right now –

You can choose the couch

OR

You can choose to dive into sharpening the saw or learning new skills

OR

Can you see the tyranny of “or” here?  If I choose one path I choose to deny myself of the other path.  Or is oppressive.  It’s why so much self improvement, so many diets, and so many new ideas fail.   Poor sad little “or”. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other or choose just one path.  As Jim Collins would say in his book Built to Last “Embrace the Genius of AND.”

Instead of being oppressed by the “Tyranny of the OR,” liberate yourself with the “Genius of the AND”— and set yourself free.  You can embrace two extremes at the same time. It is possible.  You don’t need to choose between A OR B, figure out a way to have both A AND B.  In my earlier example I have used my time for self-improvement AND I’ve been a couch potato.  Just not equal parts of both. (more…)

Gratitude Changes Everything

Gratitude Changes Everything

Gratitude changes everything.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

Today is April 20th 2020 and this week marks one month of the stay at home order here in Illinois and much of the nation.  Fear, angst, anxiety, stress, you name it I’ve felt it just like many of you I felt hopelessness, despair and depression over losing a job that I loved with my whole heart . . .and then . . . I stopped . . . and I thought for a moment about what was really going on.

I was choosing fear over faith and once I had that moment, that moment of discovery that I was in control.  That this again was another choice and I could choose to not feel fear,  I could choose to let go of anxiety.  I could choose to not feel hopeless.  I realized what a true blessing this time is.  How grateful I should be and when I changed the way I looked at things things changed. Gratitude changes everything.

This is what I now saw

This ah ha moment that I experienced reminds me of what Steve Jobs said (more…)

Stay At Home and Staying Healthy; Chili Lime Shrimp

Stay At Home and Staying Healthy; Chili Lime Shrimp

Staying at home and staying healthy has been a challenge during this pandemic.  We’ve tried to behave, but being trapped with our food is so hard.  Those few ventures out to the store have also been a struggle. Determined to stick to our grocery list, but then . . . we accidentally venture down the vanilla Oreo’s aisle.  This recipe is quick, easy and healthy and has so many serving options.  Serve on top of pasta or rice, use as a salad topper, or our favorite way to serve them is as shrimp tacos.

Shrimp omelets are my favorite special treat.  I always make a couple of extra shrimp for the next morning.

Chili Lime Shrimp

Quick and easy and delicious
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time14 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Shrimp
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lb shrimp - peeled and cleaned we use the 21-25 size
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika smoked is different than regular, try not to substitute
  • 1/2 tsp course salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes add more if you prefer
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Mix together the olive oil through red pepper flakes and pour over shrimp.
  • Let sit for up to 30 minutes
  • Heat skillet or grill to medium heat
    If using skillet add enough olive oil to prevent sticking
    chili lime shrimp
  • Cook about 2-3 minutes per side. Shrimp will be pink and start to curl when cooked through.
  • Serving suggestions:
    serve on pasta, rice, as a salad topper, or in taco shells
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional)
The 10 Minute Challenge; Make Perfect Use of Your Time

The 10 Minute Challenge; Make Perfect Use of Your Time

The 10 Minute Challenge: Make Perfect Use of Your Time.

Reflecting back on the past couple of weeks we talked about the mindset of a leader.  Your mindset is your attitudes, beliefs and expectations and these are what drive your behaviors and your behaviors are what get you your results.  Simply put – if you want better results adopt a better mindset.

And we discussed that changing beliefs is hard because years and years of programming went into your current beliefs then we got to work on our habits – or the actions that fuel our results.

What actions?

Back to compounded interest theory.  Sure massive action may get us massive results, but is it sustainable?  Or is it even repeatable?  Small actions over time will build into massive results in a more sustainable way.  There are two buckets of habits you really need to look at

Bucket 1)  You can reach your goals by establishing new good habit or by building on the good habits you already have

Bucket 2)  And you can reach your goals by eliminating your bad habits.

So it’s not necessarily what are you going to start doing.  It may be what am I already doing that if I do more of I will attract more success or what am I doing now that if I stop doing will get me more in line with my goals and aspirations.

Today I’m going to share with you the most powerful habit to stop doing.  If you stop doing this right now.  Today! You will dramatically start to get different results in your life.  I love this one because it’s totally doable for everyone, you can start it immediately, and it requires no money just effort.  I also love it because it is a two-fer.  We are going to stop doing something today and replace it with something else so we will get two habits of the most successful leaders at once

Are you ready

This habit if you stop doing now – and I know that you are doing it.  I see it on your social media posts and its become worse since the current pandemic that we are experiencing.  Listen here and take the 10 minute challenge

Do the 10 minute challenge for 30 days and watch how much more productive your month has become.  You’ll have 300 minutes invested in your success.  An investment you are well worth!

New Actions; New Results

New Actions; New Results

If you want new results you must adopt new actions.

Changing beliefs is hard.  Years and years of programming went into your current beliefs.  Like they say with losing pregnancy weight it took you 9 months to put on the weight, give yourself at least that amount of time to take it off.  The same with your beliefs.  It will take a lot of new thinking, new programming, maybe even new friends to eliminate old beliefs that were getting in your way and adopt new beliefs that unleash your true potential.  As Brian Tracy says, “you begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.”

So now we have a leaders mindset.  We are working on replacing our limiting beliefs with positive beliefs and so we must start working on our actions.  Why?  Because again our mindset fuels our actions and our actions fuel our results.  If we want different results than what we have had then we need different actions. You’ve heard that saying – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.  New results require new actions.

What actions?

Listen here

Back to compounded interest theory.

Sure massive action may get us massive results, but is it sustainable?  Or is it even repeatable?  Small actions over time will build into massive results in a more sustainable way.  There’s a great book out there called Atomic Habits by James Clear – by an atomic habit he means a small habit and he says “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”

There are two buckets of habits you really need to look at

You can reach your goals by establishing new good habit or by building on the good habits you already have and you can reach your goals by eliminating your bad habits.

So it’s not necessarily what are you going to start doing.  It may be what am I already doing that if I do more of I will attract more success or what am I doing now that if I stop doing will get me more in line with my goals and aspirations.

An Example

To illustrate, these let’s say I want to be a better leader and I know that leaders are readers.  Every January I get bit by the new year’s resolution bug and I buy a new book and dive all in.  I also really enjoy binge watching Netflix’s most popular shows and some nights watch as many as three episodes in a row.

I already have a good action – reading a book in January, but it’s not really a habit yet.  If I took this one thing and built on it until it was a habit would you agree that I would attract more success as a leader?  Of course.  So another thing we learn in Atomic Habits is that you do not rise to the levels of your goals you fall to the levels of your systems.

So, my buy a book every January wasn’t a very good system was it?  No.  What if I changed my system to sign up for a book club that sends me a book a month.  Now I have some skin in the game and may be one step closer to making this a habit.  Now what if I go one step further and dedicate 15 minutes every morning to reading first thing when I wake up.  Do you see a system forming here.  My system has a why – I desire to be a better leader.  It has a what – leaders are readers – and it has a how – have a book delivered every month and commit to reading 15 minutes every morning first thing when I wake up.

Also we can get better results by stopping habits that are in our way of success.  What about my Netflix habit in the example?  What if I stopped this habit and filled that time with new more productive activities built with a success system.  Of course I would start seeing new results.  What time wasting habits do you have?

Summary

Does this example sound too simple.  Yes – but what is simple is not easy.  Simple said not so easy do right?  This is where I think so many people get held up in the world of self improvement.  They think that the changes or the goals have to be monumental or they are not worthy so they are paralyzed with fear.  It’s too big it’s too much – so many limiting beliefs form.  But when you break it down to the small – atom sized pieces – you can start to see how the changes can be possible.

Here are two quotes from Atomic habits to sum it up.

“If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.”

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

Leadership is Influence

Leadership is Influence

Leadership is influence.  Every one of us has influence.  We all lead at something:

our business

leaders of our family

perhaps our sports team

or our classrooms . . .

Maybe you haven’t had that ah-ha moment yet .  that breakthrough where you realize what you do makes a difference, your actions are impacting others.  First adopt the mindset of a leader.  Listen here

 

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