If at all possible: REMAIN CALM!

Parking Gararge   A few weeks ago I was running right on time for a client engagement at the University of Minnesota and drove up to this parking garage.  Parking garages more and more are moving away from cash and are only taking credit cards.  So as I rolled up to this parking garage I realized I had neither - cash or credit.  My margin for being on time was low and I immediately felt my anxiety start to raise as I did not want to be late.  What was I going to do?  How would I park?  Would I be on time?  How could I remain calm and solve the problem? This could have gone a lot of ways.  In my youth for sure I would have blown my top and just gotten really mad and been blinded by pure emotion in a way that would not have helped me solve the problem at hand.  At any time in my life my anxiety over stress could have pushed me in a direction that might not have been helpful to solve this real problem.  Thankfully the last couple of years I have really pressed into the concept of emotional intelligence, or 'EQ.' All of us are familiar with the concept of 'IQ,' intelligence quotient.  What is your 'IQ?'  IQ is interesting to talk about, but many studies have shown that your IQ has little to do with how successful you might be in life.  What does have much more to do with how successful you will be in life?  EQ What is EQ, or emotional intelligence? "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically." Do your emotions control you?  Or, do you control your emotions?  When I realized I had no way of paying for parking that story could have gone a lot of ways.  Getting mad or anxious would not have solved my problem, it only would have left me with the problem and no solution.  On top of that I would have ended up late to my client engagement - something we just do not do. If you are not controlling your emotions it will have an effect on your interpersonal relationships.  This has happened to me more times than I would like to admit in my own life.  These are lessons I can only learn...
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Announcing My New Project: MSPBiking.com

I am excited to announce a new project. Earlier this week I registered and launched MSPbiking.com - A few years ago I began biking more regularly and absolutely love it. It is something I can do by myself or with friends and family.  Just amazing, and helps my legs after 15 years of running. The site is not much to speak of right now, and the Twitter is just getting going @mspbiking Why did I do this? Biking in  the Twin Cities is exploding. Biking in the Twin Cities is among the best in the United States because of amazing trails and a bike culture. There are many good resources for biking, but they fall into smaller niches and there is space in a growing bike culture for another good resource. What have I learned? I learned starting this website and other things associated with it are much easier than when I relaunched this website.  Things like setting up MailChimp, designing the site, etc come more naturally now. I have also been inspired by my coworker Nathan Freeburg who started MinneapolisRunning.com which is becoming the spot for information on running in Minneapolis. You are who you hang around?  I guess so :) This new project will hopefully help other people who love biking in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This new project will teach me what works and what does not work in that space. It may work. It may not. In the end I will learn either way, and maybe help a few people out. Sounds like a great formula. Hope to see you online, or on the trail. photo (4)...
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7 Books I have read in the past few months: Reading List Alert

[caption id="attachment_297" align="alignleft" width="640"]A group of 7 books I have been reading A group of 7 books I have been reading[/caption]   During the past few months I have been reading a lot, some for my master's program, and some for my own enjoyment.  Thought I would share these books as you may find some of them interesting for your journey. 1.  Zapp!, the Lightning of Empowerment - William C. Byham A fun fable of a book highlighting why empowering your employees is so critical to employee engagement.  Great book for leaders, managers, and staff.  I learned so much from this book I bought copies for all my direct reports. 2.  The Education of Millionaires - Michael Ellsberg The title may sound gimmicky, but there is so much good stuff in this book.  The main learning I received from this book is how much more proactive I need to be with networking.  I also think this book has many valid critiques of higher education that need to be addressed by leaders in higher education.  I continue to watch as both faculty and administrators in higher education continue to refuse to implement real change that will set institutions up for success into the future.  I truly believe that in less than 10 years many colleges and universities will go bankrupt if they do not change how they do what they do and make school affordable to more people.  The answer is not to abandon college, although many now are, it is to make college even better for the right students. 3.  Reframing Organizations, Artistry, Choice, and Leadership - Lee Bolman & Terrence Deal I have read this book a few times.  If you are a leader, or you are someone who wants to bring change where you are - this book is a must to read and understand.  You will never look at change the same way again, and have a four dimensional view of how change happens, or does not happen and why.  I am so grateful my mentor, Dr. Greg Bourgond, introduced me to this book years ago.  It is so vital! 4.  How to Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie I cannot believe it took me so many years to get to this book.  Dale nailed the concept of networking and paying it forward and if you want to succeed in your career, any career, this book will...
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How to Make a Million Dollars Mining Gold in Alaska: Three Leadership Lessons from a Teenager

Some of you may or may not be familiar with the runaway hit show on Discovery called, “Gold Rush.”  I stumbled onto this show in the first season in a hotel room in Washington, DC on a business trip and since then I have been hooked.  During the fourth season of the show, which just ended, Parker Schnabel, a teenager who skipped college and went to the Klondike region of Alaska to mine for gold, recently made over a million dollars last summer mining for gold.  This is quite incredible in my view.


How did Parker do it?  How did he make over a million dollars through gold mining?

1.  Legacy & Place

Parker comes from a family where he grew up around his grandpa, John, who has mined gold in Alaska throughout his life.  You are who you hang around right?  Parker is a great example of someone who was influenced by who he was hanging around.  I am sure Parker spent many summers at his grandpa’s mine and learned much about how to mine gold in Alaska.  His grandpa, John Schnabel, is an amazing man, who, at age 90+, still helps Parker out with advice and motivation.  More on that later.  Parker was born into a great family with a legacy of hard work, and affinity for gold mining.  This is a big part of his success.

2.  Mentors & Coaching

During the second and third season of Gold Rush, Parker took over his grandpa John’s Big Nugget Mine near his hometown in Alaska.  He mined out this claim and had a big decision to make this year, whether he would go to college or find another place to mine for gold.  What did he do?  He got connected to a mining legend in the Klondike, Tony Beets.  Tony owns many plots of land that can be mined in that region.  Tony and Parker worked out a deal where Parker would give Tony a percentage of whatever gold he was able to pull out of the ground.

Parker then also received mentoring and coaching from Tony Beets throughout his time mining in the Klondike.  Tony did not pull any punches and told Parker what he needed to hear at the right time during the season in order for Parker not to settle and keep pushing towards his gold...

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Top Five Things I Have Learned In My First Few Weeks At A Startup Company

During the past few months I have made the transition between working in higher education administration and working for a small startup company.  Our company, Leadership Vision Consulting, focuses on strengths based organizational consulting and has been around for a long time.  In the past few years our President, Brian Schubring, decided to take the company from being a one-man show to incorporating a team and seeing growth happen. I think Brian has grown the company some 500% in revenue over the past few years.  That growth allowed for me to come on full-time a few weeks ago to do strengths based organizational consulting and further business development.  So, after a few weeks, what have I learned? lessons-learned           1.  In a startup environment everyone needs to be driving business development There can be no one who rides along for free.  Everyone needs to help advance the business.  When you are a small company networking is key so really there is no room for people who do not contribute to the company through their network.  I think there is a lesson here for all companies because at some point some employees stop thinking as an owner and acting like a cog in the wheel and they do not help advance the business.  We are so small we cannot afford this 'luxury.' 2.  Networking is absolutely critical - it is about who you know. Over the years I have built a good network of people.  I was fairly passive about engaging this network because of the relatively low need at my last job of engaging the people that I know.  This is very different now because my success in this new role and at a startup company demands that I engage my network in a totally new way.  This is both about people who are hugely influential, and those who are just getting there start - how can I be helpful to all people in my network? 3.  Keep your overhead as low as possible When you are a small company you can have no fat.  We office at CoCo in Minneapolis - it is a shared workspace in the old Minneapolis Grain Exchange and it is absolutely the future of workspaces, I do believe.  I have never liked going to work more, and this space has a lot to do with it....
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