thezachwhite

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! (Proverbs 4:7 NLT)

Overcoming a Culture of Distraction

What is the average attention span of the average working adult?  I’m not sure.  I know it’s short.  You know how I know that?  I lost interest trying to find the answer because it wasn’t the first result that came up from my Google search.  Just kidding.  I actually got a text while I was looking for the answer and just never got back around to figuring it out.

Kidding again.  Sorry to cry wolf just to make a point.

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One Ingredient we Should All Use in Abundance

Some of you made your way to this blog looking for advice on how to take your life to the next level.  Awesome.  I’m in the same boat, always seeking the best knowledge and the proven techniques for leveling up.  Well, the deep insights of life are often the simplest things.  This is one of those surprises.  There is one thing we can all do that changes our results.

Be more enthusiastic about life!

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One Thought Changes Everything

If there is one quality that consistently makes a difference in performance, it is your level of self-confidence.  Leadership literature is filled with this truth cover to cover.  You may have examples in your own life where confidence was the difference maker.  As every golfer knows well, if you approach that three-foot putt with confidence, it falls right into the cup.  Walk up with anxiety you may miss…

You usually do.

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Procrastination and Indecision

What do you want to be when you grow up?  It doesn’t seem to matter how old we get, people are still trying to answer this question.  After all, there are infinite opportunities in our great big world.  How could you possibly decide?  Hey, life is a journey!  You’re only going to do this job for a “season” anyway, until something better comes along.

Be honest.  Most of us just have no idea what we want to be when we grow up.  I’ve got news for you: “I don’t know,” is sabotaging your life.

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Where Goals and Life Collide

About six years ago, I had a great plan for my life.  Lots of goals, big dreams for my work life, and everything was on track.  I thought.  What actually happened in the year that followed was nothing like what I had dreamed.  I had what seemed like an incredible vision for my future, but I learned quickly that not everything on my roadmap was under my control.  Fast forward to 2019, and I am facing a similar situation where one key goal is now completely derailed by things I could have never seen coming.

This is exactly why I should never bother setting goals in the first place!  After all, we can’t control the future.  Right?

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Goal-Setting from the Soul

There must be at least a million different goals that I could set for 2019.  I doubt that I’m patient enough to come up with all of those ideas, but with some help from everyone out there I’m sure a list that big is possible.  What an amazing, big world we live in!  How is it possible to narrow the list?  What’s the point of trying to pick just a few things out of those million possibilities?

What am I really going after?

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Food, Football, and Reflection

I love the Holidays.  Thanksgiving is the beginning of “the most wonderful time of the year!”  Everything about it makes me happy.  The food is so good.  Football games with family and friends.  Shopping and wrapping Christmas presents.  Time off work.

Then of course, one other thing.  Goals.

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Learning to Pay Attention

I read a book earlier this year that I really loved.  It’s “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.  One of the insights that really impacted me was how she described being present, fully present, in the moments of life.  The basic principle is so simple: pay attention.  It begins by paying attention to the things around us.

So in the spirit of practice, I pulled up a chair with a view of Lake Michigan this morning.  What follows is what I see.

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Fountains (or Fire Hoses) of Knowledge

Last week I had the chance to head out to the great city of Denver, CO and attend the Fall 2018 Scaling Up Growth Summit.  Hosted by Verne Harnish and the Gazelles (among other great organizations which have their roots in the Rockefeller Habits), this event attracts mid-market companies that are looking to accelerate their growth.

I expected a lot, and got more than I came for.

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An Incredible Lesson in Vocation

Most of us have jobs.  That’s a good thing.  The problem is that most of us would say our companies just don’t care about anything other than making money.  You know the answer to the age old question, “What is the purpose of a corporation?”  Return shareholder value, right?  Most workers just want to get paid.  Cogs in a machine.

What if our work was about something more?  What if that pull on your heartstrings for something that is actually fulfilling is there for a reason?  What would it look like to have meaningful work?

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Systems Drive the Winner’s Mind

What separates the winners from the losers?  Maybe there is a better question, given my belief on the importance of identity and avoiding shame (thank you Brene Brown).  What separates people who consistently win from those who consistently lose?  I recently read the book “Confidence” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, which covers this topic in extraordinary detail.  I highly recommend it.

Good news.  Everything we have been talking about, the importance of systems, is one of the most important attributes of winning streaks.

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How to Turn Strangers into High Performing Teams in 15 Minutes

I have read a lot of books on teamwork.  In my career I’ve attended many team building events and “high performing teams” training.  I’ve interviewed dozens of potential hires and asked them questions targeting their ability to work and perform in teams.  Everybody knows that teamwork is critical to success in business.  Everybody also knows that there is a LOT of room for improvement.  Being a manager would be easy if it weren’t for the people, right?

Building a great team takes time.  High performing teams are rare.  You’ll never have a world-class team until you fire the bad apples.  Right?

I think that may all be wrong.  Any skepticism I had about the ability of total strangers to become a high performing team, literally in minutes, completely changed last weekend.

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