Don’t Spill the Milk

Have you ever had those days or weeks when the momentum of the day has you in a crazy frantic state?  There’s just so much going on that it becomes noisy, confusing, and stressful.  Too much to do.  Too little time in the day.

It’s kind of like taking a cup and filling it up with milk.  At some point, you can’t put any more in to the cup without it overflowing and spilling over on to the floor.  And as my 4-year-old says, “We don’t spill milk on the floor, Daddy” – usually after she’s already spilled it on the floor.

But that proverbial cup is our own capacity to deal with life and the milk is the demands of the day that come at us from all directions.  And when we can’t deal with anymore?  Our cup runs over and spills on to the floor.

The latter is messy.  And even my 4-year-old gets it.

So, what can we do to keep from spilling our milk?  One strategy is to lessen the amount of milk flowing in the first place.  Another would be to consume the milk in the cup faster, so that you can fill it with more.  A third would be to get a bigger cup  (perhaps something with a handle or a backpack attachment).

In this post, we’re going to tackle the milk flowing in because it’s a great starting point.  But how do you do that?  Slow or reduce the demands of life.

 The simplest answer is to create filters to ensure that the right amount of milk is flowing in to the cup.  We call these filters ‘priorities’.

Setting (and adhering) to personal priorities can often make the difference between dealing with outright pandemonium and at least a controlled chaos.

Case in point – over the last couple weeks, I’ve received several emails and questions asking why there haven’t been any new posts on the Leader’s Locker recently.

My answer is simple.  Priorities.

Just like you, my life gets crazy from time to time with demands coming from all directions.  So, I fall back on my personal priorities to help slow the flow so that the things I am focusing on are done well.

This blog is an awesome project, but it is not the most important thing in my life.  So when push comes to shove, my higher priorities take precedence and I reduce the amount of time I spend blogging.

Personally, I use my priorities as a guide to which activities I engage in and where I spend my time.  Example:  I am a huge stickler around attending my children’s special events.  I rarely ever let work or another project keep me from them. 

Why?  Because my kids are a greater priority than my career or other projects.  Obviously, there is a life balance to that because (in the big picture) I have to make a living somehow so that I can buy milk for the ones I love and hold most dear.

So how do I determine my priorities?

For me, understanding priorities really boils down to three things:

1.  Knowing yourself. 

Everyone has different motivators in life.  No one can set your priorities for you, so you need to set them for yourself.  This is a conscious task and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  After all – your priorities dictate your time and your time is valuable. 

Try rattling off your top 5 priorities right now.

Mine are easy – My faith, my wife, my kids, my career, my immediate family/close friends.  I can recite these in a blink of an eye, because I’ve put thought in to them and use them as regular fence posts during my week.

If you have never written down your priorities, find some quiet time and sit down with a blank sheet of paper and work it out.  Start with the top 5.  What is important to you?  Try to think beyond what is important today or tomorrow.  Think in the context of your life.  Think bigger picture.

Once those are written, then determine what is most important.   Work through scenarios in your mind to help you get to the right priority order for you.  Once you get the top 5, subsequent priorities become easier to define and order.  Once done, file your list away or save it on your hard drive to revisit later.

SIDE NOTE:  This is also a good exercise for couples.  It’s good when you’re on the same page about your life priorities!

2.  Establish Reminders. 

It’s important to find ways to remind yourself of your priorities.  This could be notes on your office wall, a note on the bathroom mirror, or something as simple as a picture on your mobile phone or computer desktop. 

One trick I learned from one of my SVPs about a decade ago was to take a business card sized paper and write your priorities on one side and your goals on the other. Laminate it and put it in your wallet.   If you ever find yourself struggling with what to do, take out the card for reference.

The picture here is my first personal card that I made about 9 years ago.  You can tell by the wear and tear that it has been put to good use.  The other side has my 5 and 10 year goals on it.

3. Revisit your priorities. 

Life is dynamic.  Things change often.  And we as individuals change and evolve over time.  Which means our priorities change too.  A given priority may rise or fall in importance, be new to your list, or may fall off your list altogether.

So, it is important to constantly re-evaluate your priorities to ensure you have the proper filters in place to help guide your path.  As you can see from my card above, some of my priorities have shifted over time.  When they do, make a new card.

I suggest purposefully revisiting your priorities at least once a year or at any major life change. 

If you did #1 above, then this is as simple as pulling that list of priorities back out of the file or up on your computer and evaluating if you are in the same place as you were before or not.

Setting personal priorities is critical to limiting the flow in to your life, which helps you deal with the momentum of the day.  The absolute key to success though was mentioned briefly above – adherence

Once your priorities are set, you have to use them to guide how you spend your time.  This means you will have to say ‘no’ to some things and stick to it. 

If not, you’ll always have more than you can handle and your cup will end up running over …and no one wants spilled milk.  Just ask my daughter.

Do you know your priorities?  How do you set them?

When I Do Dumb Things

I am not perfect.

I’ve known this for quite a while.

I have no delusions that I am.

This means that I am going to make mistakes, just like everyone else.

My guess is that you aren’t perfect either.  If you are, you might as well stop reading now because you clearly don’t need any help.

For the rest of us, this means that we are going to make many mistakes in the course of our personal and professional life.  That’s just part of who we are.  What differentiates us from others though is how we deal with those mistakes.  Did we learn from them?  Did we figure out what to do differently?

Personally, I have a process that I go through when I do something dumb to make sure I don’t do it again.
But to make this entertaining, let me tell you about one of my recent dumb episodes.

Yesterday, I was scheduled to update several of our senior leaders on a project I am working on.  As time drew near, I ran from the printer, across the building, up a flight of stairs, and over to the meeting room.   I sat down in the lobby to wait my turn only to be told immediately, “you’re up”.  So I jumped up quickly (my first mistake) and walked in to the room.

I immediately began passing out copies of my PowerPoint, but noticed I was feeling a little light headed (clearly I stood up too quick).  I pushed through the feeling and began my update while walking to the front of the room.

As I approached the front of the room, I realized my light-headedness was becoming worse and I was struggling to catch my breath as I stood in front of my leadership.  I continued my presentation anyway (my second mistake).

At about a minute in, I started seeing black spots.  At this point, I knew that this was not going in a good direction.  While I typically like to stand and deliver, I said, “Just a second.” and grabbed the chair in front of me, sat down, and continued my presentation.  It got better – once I had oxygen.

Could you imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t sat down?  My career trajectory may have become flatter than me laying passed out on the floor.  Stories would be told for years around the water cooler about “that guy”.  I would be a legend…and not in a good way.

When I finished and left the room – I said a quick prayer of thanks for not passing out in front of the senior group and for being able to deliver the message.

I checked in with a couple of the attendees later and they said that they could tell something was up in the beginning, but that the update was fine.

I realized, though, that what I did was dumb and I only have myself to blame.  Was I as effective as I could have been?  No.  Was I distracting in the first few minutes with whatever behavior I was exhibiting? Perhaps.  Could it have been a lot worse?  Definitely!

So what did I do?  In the minutes following the meeting, I walked through my “Gee Jason, that was dumb – don’t do that again” process.

Here’s how it works.  I ask myself three simple questions – Why, What, and How:

  • Why did it occur?
  • What should I have done differently?
  • How will I ensure that I don’t do it again?

So, let’s take my episode as an example and walk through this.

WHY did it occur?  As I thought about it, it all began because I was rushing.  I shouldn’t have been because my presentation was done well ahead of time.  But I was in a hurry, waited until the last minute to go upstairs, and then ran to my meeting.  I sat down and stood up quickly, which made me light headed.  But instead of taking a moment for my head to clear, I pushed ahead – probably because I’m stubborn.

WHAT should I have done differently?  For starters, I should have printed my materials sooner (in the case that something delayed me).  I should have arrived at my meeting with such an important group well before the meeting started.  And I should have stopped at the first sign of trouble and taken a second to catch my breath.

HOW will I ensure that I don’t do it again?  Two things.  First, I will set a reminder to print my materials at least one hour prior to the update meetings.  Second, I will set a calendar planner to arrive at the meeting 15 minutes prior the start.  This should keep the whole episode from happening again.  It is important to be specific in determining your actions for next time.

This is a really quick process to run through and you can use the formula for a multitude of situations.  But the key is being resolved to ensure that you follow the actions you outlined in the HOW – or else you are doomed to repeat yourself.

Now, there is one possible additional step in some circumstances.  If you do something dumb and insult, upset, or disappoint someone – you should ask yourself this additional question, “How do I make it right?”  And then act on that quickly – as in – before the sun sets.

Now, in hindsight, my dumb episode is kind of comical, and I hope you found some humor in it.  But it’s only funny to tell because it had a relatively positive ending.  The important thing is that I learned something from it. And that you learn from the mistakes that you make.

So, how do you learn from your mistakes?  What process do you go through when you do dumb things?

Leadership Resolutions: 2012

It’s a new year!   And with the new year comes a slew of promises, goals, and resolutions to “be a better you”.

So, what resolutions have you set?

As I’ve listened to several people this week, I’ve heard much of the same rhetoric that you hear every year at this time.  I’m going to lose weight.  I’m going to eat better.  I’m going to be healthier.  I’m going to read more.  I’m going to spend more time with family and friends.

Now, these are all noble goals.  But let’s be honest.  How many times have you set these goals for yourself at the beginning of the year and actually followed through on them as you had intended?

If you’ve achieved your goals in the past then kudos to you!  Unfortunately, you’re probably in the minority.  Often, our resolutions go by the wayside before we get out of January.  And then at the end of the year we wonder where the time went and vow to be more resolute the next year.

My wife and I were talking about our goals and resolutions for 2012 this last week.  And if I learned anything (which I learn a lot from my wife), it’s that everyone views resolutions differently and has different motivators to get them to succeed.

For me, I need pretty clear goals that outline what I want to achieve.  So instead of saying, “I will lose weight.”  I say, “I will lose 20lbs by May 1st by working out 4x a week, watching my caloric intake, and eating low fat foods.”   The latter goal for me is SMART (simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) and is something I can accomplish.  Now, not all pursuits and resolutions can easily fall in to that SMART format (e.g., I want to be more friendly.  I want to listen more.), but it does work well for many and I encourage the use of those concrete goals when possible.

Another interesting observation of this week is that many of the resolutions that people talked about this week revolved around their personal life (e.g., weight, health, relationships, etc.).  I didn’t hear anyone say, “I want to be a better leader.”  Nor did I hear anyone talk about their professional life in any form.

So, I want to focus here.  Because I think it’s important to that we set goals in all aspects of our life; personal, professional, spiritual, etc.

Since our focus is on leadership topics, let’s look at your leadership goals.

What do you want to do differently as a leader this year?  Have you set any goals or made resolutions?

Resolving to do things different here isn’t much different than any other area of your life.  It’s merely identifying the areas that you’d like to improve in, setting a goal, and then driving towards that goal.

To share a personal example, for 2012 I resolve that I will be a better leader by ‘talking less and listening more’.  Now, this is hardly a SMART goal, which for me means that I will have to be even more deliberate and diligent in my pursuit of this goal.  Why is this one of my goals?  Because this is a trait I see that makes other leaders great.  And frankly, is an area that I can improve upon to improve my own leadership presence and skills.

One of the most profound statements I heard over the last few weeks came from a visiting pastor at my church.  He said, “One of the rost things you can do is be successful at things that don’t matter.”

So, back to you.   What can you do differently this year to become a better leader?  Are you focusing on the things that matter?

Here are 10 good examples of leadership resolutions I pulled by scouring the internet:

  1. Talk Less, Listen More
  2. Be Deliberate (in what you say and do) – have purpose behind your action and words
  3. Cut the Crap – Eliminate unnecessary clutter in your life (e.g., meetings, emails, etc.)
  4. Work Out! – Getting in to a regular workout routine improves stress management
  5. Focus on One (thing at a time) – be present and pay attention
  6. Grow Your Network – Build stronger relationships and make new ones
  7. Find Quiet Time (to think and focus) – don’t get sucked in to the momentum of the day
  8. Get Organized – find what works for you to make you more efficient
  9. Learn Something New – continue expanding your skills and knowledge
  10. Focus on Teaching Others – the actions of those under your influence is your legacy

What other resolutions can you think of?  What are YOU going to do?


Happy New Year!

Get Out of Your Seat!

Day after day, I talk to lots of folks who are looking to improve any number of work place issues.  Whether its resolving a dispute, gaining performance out of others, understanding what people are thinking, or simply building relationships, people are looking for the good ‘how to’ answers.

While there are no silver bullets, I do believe that there is one simple way to solve the above issues (and more).

Simply, get out of your seat.  Go ask.  Go listen.  Go talk.  Go engage!

It’s amazing what a little direct interaction can do to solve your ills.  Back in the day, we didn’t have email, instant messenger, text, or other digital mediums to communicate through (or hide behind).  We actually had to talk face to face with each other.

While that may sound archaic, it’s extremely effective.  And those that do it well reap successful rewards.

So what can ‘getting out of your seat’ do for you?  Check out these three benefits.

Improve your health.  Really!  Instead of sitting and typing an email, get up and go talk!  I was recently reading an article by Michael Hyatt that highlighted the dangers of sitting in your seat for prolonged periods.  There was an infographic that stated that sitting 6+ hours per day increases your likelihood of death by 40% as compared to others that sit far less.  That’s a pretty compelling reason in and of itself to NOT rest on your laurels all day.   Make sure to read through the infographic  – it’s pretty interesting!

Solve issues faster.  More than once today, I talked with colleagues and was asked, “How should I deal with this person?”  My response each time?  Go talk with them.  Stop speculating, trying to interpret emails, and/or listening to the scuttlebutt dished by other people.  Take the initiative, be proactive, and go get face to face with the source.  If approached correctly, you will get to the root issue much faster and gain resolution much faster.

Expand your influence.  One of my favorite leadership tenets at my company is that of Coaching By Walking Around (CBWA).  This is an intentional activity where the leader engages with the troops where they are.  But more important than coaching, is listening.  A leader will learn far more about what is going on in the business, how employees feel, and what’s concerning them by getting out from behind the desk and asking.  The added benefits of this critical exercise, if done sincerely, are that you become more approachable, more appreciated, and more influential – which makes your coaching (when necessary) more readily accepted.

As with all things, you have to use common sense and know when to communicate in the right manner.  Learn to use your tools appropriately.  But when it comes to those issues listed in the first paragraph – get up and go!

So what are you waiting for?  Get out there!

A Conscious Legacy

Last night, I was doing some blog surfing when I came across a blog by a gentleman named Rick Forbus.  In one of his posts, he was recanting the recent loss of his father and the importance of the legacy that he left.

Rick made a great statement in his post, “Leaders are conscious of their legacy.

As the night went on, my mind kept drifting back to this statement.

I think there is real truth and power in this statement.  I have one small tweak though  – “Good leaders are conscious of their legacy.”

And not only are they conscious, but they are also deliberate, passionate, and diligent when it comes to the legacy that they are creating.

They realize that they have the power to build up, grow, nurture, develop, encourage and inspire others; just as much as they have the power to do the opposite.  The question though is, “What will they choose to do with their time?”

One of my favorite leadership quotes is from baseball hero Jackie Robinson who said, A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” 

As stated by Al Duncan, what Jackie meant was “Do something to breakdown a barrier or carve out a path for someone else, not once, but as often as you can.”

Leadership is not about one time; it’s about as many times as possible.

There are many types of legacies that leaders can leave, but what I want to focus on here are four words for those of you aspiring to be good (or even great) leaders.  In thinking about the legacy you will leave, be:

  • Conscious.  Be aware of what you are doing.  Know what your words, body language, and actions really say.  Know how they impact others.  Be self-aware of the message you send – always.  Leaders are always “on”.
  • Deliberate.  Be intentional about growing and developing others.  Seek out opportunities to nurture others – don’t be a passive bystander.   The greatest legacy you will leave behind is that in which you have invested in others.   Purposefully and actively think through how those within your sphere of influence will best be encouraged – and then act on it.
  • Passionate.  Be fanatical in your advocacy and support of other people.  Clear their path, give them the tools, and then get out of the way – and not just once – do it over and over again.  When they don’t think they can do it, lend them your energy and inspire them to new heights.
  • Diligent.   Be tenacious.  Developing others is hard work. It may take you many attempts with some people, but I promise you that the reward of seeing them blossom is absolutely worth it.

Leaving a legacy is not something that happens after you’ve left this earth.  Leaving a legacy is about now.  It’s about the investments that you made yesterday, today, and the one’s you’ll make tomorrow.

So, be conscious – be deliberate – be passionate – and be diligent in the legacy that you are creating in others.

What are you doing about your legacy today?

Calling an Audible

I love American Football.  Besides the competitiveness and game itself, there are so many parallels to life and business.

I was reminded of one this last week; the art of the “audible”.

I found myself in a meeting with several senior executives.  My presentation was ready to go.  But then, as I listened to the pre-meeting conversation, tone, and watched the non-verbal cues, I decided to cut my presentation short and eliminate one of the elements.  I called an audible.  Did this work out for me?  Only time will tell.

For those of you that are unfamiliar, an audible is simply changing the play based upon what you are seeing.

Peyton Manning calling an audible. Source: Indystar

If you’ve ever watch a really skilled quarterback, they are amazing at reading what is in front of them and have a knack at making the changes to best deal with the situation to gain the best possible outcome.

The same is true in business.   You should be very familiar with this concept.  You probably do this often instinctively without thinking about it.  Your environment isn’t what you expected, so you adjust.

However, more often than not, we find ourselves calling audibles at times that we didn’t expect or over situations that we didn’t expect.  This makes us reactionary.  We end up having to rely on our gut, experience, knowledge, instinct, luck, and the ability to pull it all together suddenly to make it all work.  Some people are better at this spontaneous activity than others.  And sometimes it works out for us and sometimes it doesn’t.

What if you weren’t so reactive, but rather – proactive?  Would you improve the odds of your audible being successful?

As I mentioned earlier, there is an “art” to the audible.  So, my answer to the above is yes – you can improve your outcome.

What is this art?  If you study great quarterbacks, you’ll notice that they have a few things in common.

  • They are knowledgeable.  Simply put, they know their business.  They have a wealth of information and experience to pull from.  While this serves well in a reactionary mode, it is even more potent when it is used proactively and you are calculated in making adjustments.
  • They are skilled at reading their environment.  They pay close attention.  They notice every detail.  They are anticipatory.  They are aware of everything that is happening around them.  They understand what changes in their environment mean.
  • They have alternative plans.  They have pre-planned and created alternative scenarios.   Based upon specific changes in the environment, they already know what to do differently – and even better – what to tell the team to do differently.

How do you become good at calling an audible?   Certainly, practice will make you better.  Being knowledgeable and having good alternative plans involves knowing your own business, pre-planning, and knowing when to invoke which alternative plan.

Reading your environment though is a skill you have to develop.  Paying attention to what is happening around you is important.  Listening to tone and words.  Watching non-verbal cues (e.g., body language, eye contact, facial expressions).  Understanding what they all mean.

You can hone this skill by being deliberately attentive.  Try it in the next meeting that you attend.  Read your environment.  When you leave the meeting, take a moment to recap.  Was your read correct?  If not, what did you miss? This is a skill that will serve you well beyond just calling the audible.

As you’ve read through this post, you’ve probably thought of a few times where you’ve had to call an audible.  If you tried to count the number of times you do it, you will probably find that you do it more than you would have thought.

Calling audibles is a natural part of business, especially for leaders.  The goal, however, is to become good at it.

How good are you?  What can you do to become better?

3 Reasons to Embrace Your Scars

I was rummaging through some business photos the other day, when my youngest child said, “Daddy, what’s wrong with your face?”

The photo she was referring to was my “professional head shot” photo for work.

As I looked at the photo, I realized what she was referring to.

When I took the photo, the photographer immediately uploaded it to his computer and started doing his “magic”.  He said, “It’s amazing what the camera can see.”  When I asked him what he meant, he said, “I can see where your skin is damaged.  I can see blemishes you didn’t know you had.”  When I responded with an intrigued (and somewhat concerned) look, he said, “Don’t worry.  I can fix them.”

Then I watched him work.  He smoothed some skin out here.  Removed a scar there.  Gave me a little color.  Fixed my collar line.  At the time, I thought, “How cool.  This must be how they do it in the movies and magazines.”

What I didn’t realize at the time was that he wasn’t really capturing me.  He created a version of me that looked, well….”plastic”.   And my little one was sharp enough to pick up on that.

I looked deeper at the photo.  I started to account for the scars that were missing in the photo – and what each one stood for.  One from falling out of a tree.  Two from chicken pox when I was a child.  One from an outpatient surgery.   And others…

Scars mean many things.  They remind us of our adventures, risks, and even some of the dumb things we did.  Sometimes they remind us of success, while other times they remind us of defeat.  Sometimes they are a reminder of a funny story.  And sometimes they tell the tale of a painful and tragic event.

Regardless, they are a part of who we are.  And from the funny to the tragic, they tell the story of where we’ve been.

Personally, I have found that embracing my scars is an important part of my well-being.  I am mentally healthier because I allow them to remind me of:

  • Life lessons.  Most of us can account for every scar on our bodies – we know what happened, how, and when.  We remember the lessons that we learned – and are keen about not repeating our mistakes.
  • Identity.  Not all scars showcase a mistake, sometimes they tell the tale of who we are.   When I was a younger man, I worked for a short time for a farmer.  Before he hired me, he asked me to show him my hands.   When I did so, he nodded in satisfaction and said I could work for him.  Confused, I asked for an explanation.  He said that my hands had nicks and scars and that showed him that I wasn’t afraid to work.  Scars showcase experience and tell a tale.
  • Survival.  Regardless of whether the scar was caused by a major tragedy or a minor folly, they remind us that even in the worst of times – we had the fortitude to survive.   We persevered.  We endured.  And that reminder gives us hope the next time we face a difficult situation.

As I reflect on my own scars, I think not only about the physical scars, but emotional and psychological scars as well.  All of these together represent many lessons of risk and reward; recklessness and consequence; tragedy and triumph.  And it is up to me – it is up to you – to determine how to view our own scars.

We can try to hide and forget our scars and let them bring us down when we catch a glimpse.  OR we can embrace them, remember the lessons, and live stronger and wiser because of them.

Personally, I choose the latter.  These scars are part of who I am.  Their experiences have molded and shaped me into the person I am today.  I am thankful for them.

I have since retired my “professional head shot” photo.  I’ll go back and take another at some point, but this time, I’ll have the photographer leave the scars there – to properly reflect the real me.

How do you view your own scars?

3 Reasons to Become Audacious

Do you have the audacity to be audacious?

Do you desire to be bold, courageous, or even fearless?

If your answer is yes, then what’s stopping you?  If you answer no, then maybe this article isn’t for you.  If you hesitated or didn’t know the answer, then read on.

So, what do I mean by ‘being audacious’?

I mean to be bold.  Be brave and/or daring.   Step outside of your comfort zone.   Be unrestrained by the conventional way.  Purposefully learn something that’s outside of your norm.  Gain a new or broader perspective. Be adventurous and inquisitive.  Step up and do something different!

Why should you become audacious?  Here are three good reasons.

  • You’re sleepwalking.  Most of us have been here for either a brief time or perhaps are still stuck here in lifeisboringsville.  You do the same things every day – day in and day out – over and over.  It’s repetitious…and you’re tired of it!  It’s time to wake up!  It’s time to jump the rut and do something different with your life!
  • You’re living scared.  Most of us have been here too.  We’ve all been scared from time to time – but being scared and being too petrified to move or act are two very different things.   If we allow our fear and worry to imprison us, we may never break free and may never meet our true potential.  But if we can find the courage and strength, we may be able to overcome our self-imposed prison to find new amazing success and achievement.
  • You want something more or different.  Ahhh….one of my favorites.  You know that you have more in you to give.  More in you to share.  More in you to accomplish.  This reason is the one that focuses on the positive of untapped potential – and quite honestly has the greatest opportunity for success – if only we take a leap of faith and step out.

If you find yourself relating to one of the three situations mentioned above, then it’s time for you to take a step into audaciousness.

Don’t know how?  Try one (or all) of these:

  • Set one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG – as author Jim Collins puts it) with a time limit.  Don’t set some little wimpy arbitrary goal.  Really put something specific out there that is just out of reach, but realistic.  Something that will challenge you to learn, grow, stretch, and evolve.
  • Push past your comfort zone.  If you know yourself well enough to know your boundaries, start poking beyond those.   If you can only run a 12-minute mile – push yourself to hit a 10- minute mile.
  • Create accountability.  Invite others to hold you accountable.  Share your goals and desires.  Tell them what you’re doing and have them help you succeed.
  • Meet one new person a week.  Proactively introduce yourself to others.  Choose people that you wouldn’t normally meet and/or create a list of people you want to meet (and seek them out without becoming a stalker). Be proactive in growing your relationships.  But don’t just develop acquaintances.  Develop a real relationship where you invest time in learning about others.  What drives them?   What experiences have they had?  Why do they do what they do?
  • Ask more questions than you make statements.  This is one of my favorites. Use open ended questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how).  Listen more, learn more.

These are just a few things you can do to jump start your new audacious life!  What others can you think of?

As a personal goal, I want to step out even more this next year.  I want to be more bold in the way that I live life, work, play and relate to others.  I won’t settle for less.

You only get one turn on this earth.  Live your life everyday!  Make it the best!  Make a difference!

I will be audacious!  What about you?

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