Break through vs. Break you moments – what to do?

path I am on an email newsletter that comes out somewhat infrequently, but when it does, rarely does it not grab my attention. My friend, Ben, is a dreamer and innovator who I am glad my life has crossed paths with. It is an opt-in newsletter and I have no idea how many people receive it. Ben helps people follow their dream and turn it into what they do for their life. He recently wrote a book called "Dream Year" and is having a great impact on many people. So, back to this newsletter. Ben talked through an interesting situation for one of his projects and how he was close to shutting it down. There were many factors, but he was not seeing a way through to continue this project. Then, he received a text message from a friend and everything changed. There was a way forward, maybe even better than before.  He experienced a 'break you' moment before he had a 'break through moment." Ben is always encouraging people to follow their dream. Not unlike how I try and encourage people to use their strengths in a passion area for their life. Ben does this in spades. He is his own boss. He writes his own ticket. But, Ben works his tail off to make things happen. Even in his own area of strength and passion, he works hard. There is no shortcut to his success. As some of you know, I left a successful career in higher education to pursue what had been a smaller platform in my life - doing strengths based organizational consulting.  Helping people understand their StrengthsFinder results and how they fit in their organizations, etc. Our aim at Leadership Vision Consulting is help empower strong people in strong teams to become strong cultures. Cultures based on what is right about them and not focused on their weaknesses. I love doing this work. It has been completely gratifying to make this leap and start on a new journey. Has every moment of leaving the perceived 'safe' job at a big organization been rosy? No. Have the positives completely outweighed the negatives? Yes. Last week I had one of those 'break you' moments. We had a client say no to a proposal and I started to focus on when people have said no over the past 10 months. I started...
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What are you good at? Do you use it to help other people?

What are you good at? Better yet, what are you great at? Can you answer either of those questions? Ok, if you can answer either or both, move on. If not?  You have some work to do. If so?  Read on. If you know what you are good at, and hopefully great at, how are you helping other people with your talent? IMG_1494 That is a picture of my friend Trevor.  Trevor and I went skiing last July at the top of the Beartooth Pass in Montana, at Beartooth Basin summer ski area.  It was a great day where we were able to ski in the middle of summer.  Trevor is a great skier.  He is a ski instructor and is a great person to ski with. Trevor is gifted at being great at many things.  That is not the best part about Trevor though, what I really appreciate about him is the fact that he is generous.  He is always looking for ways to help other people out.  Ailing neighbor who has to go to the hospital in the middle of the night?  Trevor helps her out.  We need help installing a new microwave?  Trevor right there to help us out.  Our son needs someone to help him find a great hiding spot to fight the invasion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  Trevor is there.  Trevor gives away what he is good at to help other people out. Do you know what I notice about Trevor besides that he is always giving away what he is good at?  He is a happy person. Is there a correlation between being generous and being happy?  Yes.  The most generous people I know are some of the happiest people I know. I would take it one step further and say people are even more happy when they give away what they are talented in. So, what are you good at? What are you great at? I am a connector. I am a connector of people, and people to things. My whole life whatever I have been excited about I have tried to get other people interested in.  I did not know my strengthsfinder results growing up, but this was my Woo and Activator working together.  I am wired to do this connecting.  When I do it, it makes me feel good.  When I do it and it helps other people it makes me feel fantastic. This is...
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Tempus Fugit: Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

time-flies I think I first heard the saying 'time flies when you are having fun' early on in life.  I do not think I gave it much thought at the time. It was something we all said, but did we really even think much about it? The origin of this phrase comes from the Latin, Tempus Fugit. Wikipedia says this about it:  Tempus fugit is a Latin phrase, usually translated into English as "time flies". The expression comes from line 284 of book 3 of Virgil'sGeorgics,[1] where it appears as fvgit inreparabile tempvs: "it escapes, irretrievable time". The phrase is used in both its Latin and English forms as a proverb that "time's a-wasting". Tempus fugit, however, is typically employed as an admonition against sloth and procrastination (cf. carpe diem) rather than a motto in favor of licentiousness (cf. "gather ye rosebuds while ye may"); the English form is often merely descriptive: "time flies like the wind", "time flies when you're having fun". So, for a long time people have thought about this concept. Which means a few things to me. 1) Find something you love doing and do it. It is more fun than the opposite. 2) When you are doing an activity that is not in your passion area it will not be much fun at all and time will not fly by. Often I meet with people who are considering a career or job change one of the things I often ask them to do is to think about when time flies by vs. when time goes slow. If a majority of their day time is going slow, it is a sign they are probably not in their sweet spot. Recently I read a widely circulated blog by Mike Rowe who was chastising people not to pursue their passion but just to get a job and work hard. While I did not disagree with the fact there are times when you just need to work and get a job, I think people should aim for using their passions and talents in their role, If they do this, time will usually fly by. Tempus fugit! Time has flown by for me the past three months. During the past few months I serve as an assistant volleyball coach at Bethel University and during the season I work my normal job at Leadership Vision Consulting during the day and then at...
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Monday Rundown – 5 Things I Am Learning Lately

Tetons at Dusk During the past few years I have done a lot of self-examination to continue to push into the question of how can I most effectively use my gifts and talents in every area of my life. This is not an easy or fast question to answer and has taken years to get at. Am I there 100% with an answer to this question? No Am I closer? Yes. Everyone is busy. We all need to be picky about where and how we spend our time. During the past year I left one work context and expanded another. Outside of time with family and friends, this is how I spend my time on a regular basis: 1)  Senior Consultant at Leadership Vision Consulting (LVC) In this context I consult around the Clifton StrengthsFinder personality test and help organizations become strengths based. I also help develop business for our company and help with internal processes to help our business sustain the growth we are experiencing. 2)  Assistant Volleyball Coach at Bethel University This is my 11th season of coaching women’s college volleyball. This year is my second year back at Bethel University and it has been an exciting start to the season. In this context I help the head coach in any way that I can, work with our serve receive and team defense. I also took our team through an introductory experience around the Clifton StrengthsFinder during preseason. 3)  Lead Content Curator and Webmaster at and Both my personal website and new project, MSP Biking, push me to understand how the social media world works, and doesn’t work. In this new economy you need to know how to present yourself in a professional and credible way, and navigate social media, blogs, etc. This part of my life is where I am constantly learning new things. All of these contexts combine my talents and passions for a majority of the time I am engaged in those activities. Today is a perfect example, I will spend most of my day here at LVC working on things for the business, and eventually will go home, have dinner and then be off to practice at Bethel University for volleyball. What am I learning lately?   1)  It takes work to make sure you are living and breathing in contexts where your talents and passions align for the majority of your day. This almost...
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The Secret to Success (at least one that I know)

Do you want to be successful?  Here is a huge secret key that is so obvious many people overlook it:

You have to work harder than anybody else.

Let me repeat:

You have to work harder than anybody else. Last year I read a quick tweet from Rory McIlroy, the former #1 golfer in the world talking about how he was on the range practicing for a playoff golf tournament this week in Indiana.  Rory mentioned something about being the early bird on the range and that the range was not crowded.

Who is on that range at some early crack of dawn time?  Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.  Two of the best golfers in the world.  Does that surprise me?  No, not at all.  The best work harder than everybody else.  Period.

Do they have talent?  Yes.

Do they use their strengths to their advantage?  For sure.

Does talent win?  Not without hard work.

Are they in the right fit?  Yes.

Does fit matter?  Absolutely.  If you are not in the right fit, you may never get a chance to do what you do best.

Rory and Tiger work harder than other golfers who may have similar talent levels.  Tiger also is a victim of his own success because now young up and coming golfers also saw what he did and worked harder, practiced longer and now the whole level of golf on the PGA tour is better than it was years ago.

If you are in the right fit, and you are not working as hard as you can, do not complain about having less than excellent results.  Work hard, be the early bird.

Once you are in the right fit, it is not complicated....
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