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Creating Work/Life Balance

Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

How well have you done with work/life balance this summer? Our minds and bodies need time off from work to de-stress and recharge. Ironically, creating time off decreases our level of stress and increases our work productivity. It may seem counter-intuitive but it’s medically proven to be true.


Like you, sometimes it’s difficult to achieve the balance that I desire. Just this morning my wife, Lyn, and I wrestled with how to focus our attention today while staying near majestic Yellowstone National Park. How do we balance completing our business work so we can enjoy the beauty of America’s first national park. As a result, here I am completing this article before we set off to soak in the beauty of nature and recharge our souls. Lyn is wrapping up her tasks as well.


For more than 10 years, Lyn and I have operated our businesses as we have traveled throughout North America in our mobile office and home. We both have businesses that require consistent attention. It has been a continuing discovery process of figuring out how to live and work while full-time RVing. Our desire for work/life balance has enabled us to experience some of the most incredibly beautiful sights on the planet, stay connected with friends and family, while continuing to serve our wonderful clients as we roll.

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Why Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland Splash Mountain

Are you planning a family vacation to Disneyland this summer? If so, notice how they attend to the details of what makes you happy.

Disney understands what you, the customer, wants before you do.

Several years ago I attended a Disney seminar for leaders and was amazed at their organization’s attention to their customer’s needs and desires.

Disney employees exemplify what I call “The Diamond Rule: Strive honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”


Here are some ways they understand you, their customer, intimately:

  • They minimize distractions and expedite check in at their hotels because they know your family’s nerves are frazzled from the long, exhausting trip to get there. They know the last thing you need is more stimulation at that moment.
  • You won’t find an outside newspaper for sale anywhere on their property because they know you have come there to escape the real world.
  • Every employee knows where the nearest restroom is because they know you have pushed your bladder to its limits and will need to make a mad dash to get there in time.
  • Trash receptacles are placed no more than 30 steps apart because they know just how long you are willing to hold onto your trash before dropping it.
  • Lines at each attraction twist and turn with their own suspenseful entertainment as you wait with anticipation so that you don’t mind very much how long it’s taking.
  • Disney employees are called “Cast Members” to remind them that when they enter the property “It’s show time!” and your family is their most important audience.

Disney’s philosophy in their own words (excerpts from the Disney Institute website)… Read more

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Spring Forth with Renewed Energy

Circle of Growth

Spring is a time of releasing old burdens and planting something new and exciting that make your Spirit soar—both personally and as an organization. What could you plant now that will lead to a bountiful harvest this Fall?

Consider growing your company as you would grow a plentiful garden on fertile ground. During our strategic planning and training sessions with Native American communities and their enterprises, a good Hopi friend and business associate of mine, Perci Ami, often shares about the circle of growth and how it relates to the four directions of the medicine wheel. This cycle has proven valuable for understanding the natural order and balance necessary to yield a successful harvest in life as well as in organizations.

1. Cultivate Your Garden

Every organization is unique like each seed of every plant. What works for one may not work for another. Does your organization have a strategic plan that clearly identifies your unique seeds to success? The strategic planning process naturally reveals and cultivates what to focus your precious resources upon so that your organization is aligned with your desired vision for the future. This alignment will result in an organization that will stand the test of time.

The process also helps to differentiate the uniqueness of your organization compared to that of your competition. It is a great way to determine or reconfirm the core purpose, core values, vision, goals and action plans for an organization.

Successful companies that stand the test of time even during tough times are built upon a solid foundation of core purpose and core values while adjusting their vision, goals and action plans to adjust to the ever-changing external economic and political environment. In other words, their core values and purpose are etched in stone; their vision, goals and action plans are molded of clay.

The process, done right, draws from the collective wisdom of the leaders and employees throughout the different levels of the organization. The result is widespread involvement, buy-in and accountability for the success of the organization. The strategic planning process will illuminate your path toward a bright, prosperous future.

2. Plant Your Seeds

Once your strategic plan is established and you have decided which seeds to plant, it is time for a reality check to assure that the seeds you plant will grow. Ask yourself, “What in our present situation aligns with our strategic plan? What does not?” Similar to weeding a garden, continue doing what aligns with your plan. Stop doing what does not.

Having the right people doing the right things in the right way will assure success. All policies, procedures, systems and processes should assist your employees to achieve what you have defined in the strategic plan. If there are employees who do not support your organization’s direction, they are like weeds that choke the life out of what you desire to grow. These people are probably your unhappy employees. Chances are they are also your least productive employees who demand a lot of your time and energy.

Great leaders do not manage people, they manage agreements with people. Consider having the leaders in your organization create with each employee they supervise a Declaration of Understanding that clearly spells out mutual desires and expectations. Employees will choose to live their agreements or not. As a result, leaders can simply manage the agreement without a clash of personalities. Employees who choose not to live by their agreements, even after extensive coaching, will probably be happier someplace else where they feel better alignment with their values.

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3 Things Customers Value Most

Understanding your customers’ needs and desires is vital to improving your bottom line.

All customers assess the value of your products and services (the stuff you provide) before making a buying decision by weighing the delicate balance of price, quality and service—3-legs of the stool. You must learn how to masterfully build and balance these three components.

Let’s look at all the components of the 3-legged stool as shown in the accompanying graphic:

  • Your products and services represent what’s placed on the seat
  • Price, quality and service are the three legs
  • The legs are supported and stabilized by a clearly defined strategic plan (i.e., core purpose, core values, mission, vision, goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and action plan).

In this article, we will focus on exploring the delicate balance of the three legs of the stool. At the bottom of this article, you will find links to other articles that I have written about the other components of the stool. Read more

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Jordan Spieth Reveals How Great Leaders Handle Defeat

Photo by Kevin C. Cox-Getty images

Photo by Kevin C. Cox-Getty images

Did you watch the final round of the Masters golf tournament yesterday? If you were like me you were shell-shocked and heart-broken to see Jordan Spieth’s  record-setting performance and 5-point lead disappear within a matter of minutes—bogey, bogey, quadruple bogey. A devastating blow for Jordan.

However, I continued to watch Jordan grapple with his demons on the remaining holes, even tallying one more birdie. He didn’t win but did finish tied for second behind Danny Willett who shot a phenomenal 67, tied for the low round of the day—shooting the right score at the right time.

I gained more respect for Jordan Spieth yesterday than during any of his amazing feats thus far. There were no temper tantrums. No cussing. No blaming. No clubs thrown. He handled his defeat with poise and grace.

Even though I’m sure he was dying inside, he stayed in the game; he allowed himself to be interviewed on the world stage, candidly talking about what happened; and he fulfilled his past champion’s duties by draping his worthy opponent in his first green jacket.

Will Jordan recover from such a devastating personal setback? A resounding, yes! From what I have witnessed of Jordan’s 22-year-old maturity and character, this will strengthen him as a human being and a leader in his industry.

So as leaders, what can we all learn from Jordan Spieth?

  1. Setbacks happen. Deal with it.
  2. When you fall, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, be humbled, but carry on.
  3. Blame no one but yourself for your defeats.
  4. When you face disappointment respond with good character as though the world’s watching.
  5. Continue performing your duties even though you would rather run and hide. Your team is counting on you.
  6. Praise the person who beats you.
  7. Treat everyone with respect, no matter what happens.

Much success and fulfillment,