a good brand vs a bad brand in action

5 Words That Changed Everything

WestjetI was on a Westjet flight the other day, as per usual, like most of you do, I was finishing off one last tweet before I “turned off my phone” during take off.
This is usually when the flight attendant, playing the authority card says, “sir, can you please turn off your phone” in the same tone of an elementary school teacher scolding a young child.

I’m used to it, it happens pretty much every time I fly. Until, just the other day. The lovely flight attendant says to me “sir can you turn off your phone, after you’re done that message? in such a lovely tone too!
I didn’t feel like a child, I didn’t feel reprimanded, I didn’t feel like she was trying to flex her authority muscle. She added five words which entirely changed the request. Brilliant.

The next time you have a request for a customer, what could you add that would make it that much more pleasant?

The Best Problems Are Impossible

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I love impossible problems. I love when you solve a once seemingly impossible problem and then have this realization of “wait a minute, if I was wrong about ________* what else could I be wrong about!?”.

People use the word never a lot. I could never do that. That would never work. You’ll never get there. It’s easy to say it won’t work. It’s easy to be a critic.

If only we all had the mind of a child. To children, there are no limits, no barriers, no hesitations, no red tape, no reason not to try the impossible.

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They Can’t Be More Passionate Than You

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Older people have more experience than you.
CFL linemen are stronger than you.
Accountants are more analytical than you.
Comedians are funnier than you.
Financial analysts are better with their money than you.
Religious people are more spiritual than you.
NCAA football coaches are better leaders than you.
People who work at Google are smarter than you.

The only thing they can’t be is more passionate than you.

What ever your thing is, nobody can be more passionate about it than you.

You may never be as smart, or as strong, or as fast, or as spiritual, or as rich as the next person. But you CAN be more passionate about your thing than anyone else in the world.

The quote in the picture at the top is from Sir Ken Robinson in his Ted Talk How Schools Kill Creativity

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Al D’s Four Keys To Life

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On June 26, 2013 we lost one of the good ones. One of the influencers. One of the thought leaders. He may not have been published in the Harvard Business Review regularly but he influenced the people around him and the students he taught in a way that changed their lives forever. Much, much, more of an accomplishment in my opinion.

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Management Entitlement: The Actual Problem At Your Company

Almost everyone I talk to these days who’s over the age of 50 always complains about the The Entitled Managerentitlement of young employees. Some have even gone to say that being “entitled” is the worst characteristic in a young budding employee. I’m not arguing this point, I think it’s valid. What I am seeing more and more of though is management entitlement.

You know these managers. They expect employees to work harder than they do because they’ve been around since the great depression and have more management experience that Drucker himself. The owner who thinks they can run their company in an autocratic style, fast-forward a couple years and this chap can’t figure out why none of his employees have ever invited him out for a pint and turnover is thru the roof.

You can lie to employees for a while and still make money as a business. But sooner or later the market will find out, it always does. Information travels too quickly.

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Nobody Likes a Know-It-All

Nobody Likes A Know-It-All

Nobody likes a know-it-all. -Julien Smith

1.  Stop trying to be ‘right’.

In 1936 Dale Carnegie wrote in one of the most widely read business books How to Win Friends and Influence People that you should never tell someone that “they are wrong”. When you prove someone wrong you may have convinced them of the facts but they don’t believe you. Do you like being proved wrong? The last time someone blatantly proved you wrong how did you feel? Did you feel you still had that same level of respect for them?

You may have proved them wrong but that doesn’t matter, they don’t like talking around you anymore because you’re a know-it-all who always has to be right. People don’t like associating with people who always have to be right. A willingness to be wrong makes you easy to talk to and makes the other person feel comfortable to share information with you.

I love the quote from Mark Twain:

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

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Deep practice is built on a paradox struggling in certain targeted ways operating at the edges of your ability where you make mistakes makes you smarter

The Paradox of Work

hard work, A constant up hill battleIf you want something in life you have to work your ass off for it. Anything worth having is worth working for. So to be successful, to get what you want in life, you have to do an unhealthy amount of work for as long as humanly possible. Then you might have a fighting chance.

Whether it be your sports team, your health or your career, it’s difficult to see the results of hard work in the short term. But the only way to guarantee long-term success is to work unbelievably hard in the short-term. Sometimes it’ll feel like an endless upward climb going nowhere.

The harder the squeeze the better the juice.

Here’s the paradox.

When you’re done, when you ship, when it’s all over, no one will recognize the work you put in. No one cares about the amount of hours you’ve put in, the sleepless nights, the psychological battle, nobody cares about it. All we care about is the result.

It’s going to be up to you to determine if the juice is worth the squeeze.

Begin with the end in mind. You must shy away from busy work (this won’t get you anywhere). You can’t just do work for the sake of work and expect to get somewhere.

Doing the difficult work is a recipe for success, but when you get there don’t expect people to be patting you on the back and praising you for how long you’ve been working at it. All they care about is the result.

11 Facts You Need To Know About Your Brain

Brain RulesThis blog post is based on John Medina’s book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. I loved this book, it’s a thought-provoking read. It teaches you about your brain in a way that’s actionable and easily remembered. At the end of every chapter he sums up what the important parts of the chapter were. Kind of like a coles notes of his own book. Atta boy John, good on you.

1. Exercise helps you think better.

 

Brain Rules Quotes - Alzheimer prevention

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How To Make Yourself Happy

Happy ElephantYou’re in a bad mood, you need to cheer yourself up. Some people go on a shopping spree, some people eat their feelings. If you think spending money on yourself is going to make you happier you’re wrong, kinda. The feeling you get after you spoil yourself with materialistic gifts is short lived and your long-term happiest isn’t affected at all.

So how do you make yourself happy?

It’s a remarkably easy solution.

Do something nice for someone else. Biologically we get more of a benefit from spending money on other than we do on ourselves. If you don’t believe it check out this article on how to buy happiness.

Here’s a video of me talking about how to make yourself a happier person.

If you want to learn more about the study on how to buy happiness here’s the Ted talk.

4 Ways to Get Facebook Shares (Part 2 of 2)

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As an add-on to my last post entitled “Time to Reconsider What You’re Sharing on Facebook” , here are the four reasons people share Facebook content:

1. To Make Their Life Easier
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Here are two great examples of people posting with the intent of making some aspect of their life easier. Taron needs music for a soundtrack and Laura needs a goalie to play for her team. Each post also has an element of helping others *foreshadowing*…

2. To Build Relationships
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If a nice pic of three great friends doesn’t strengthen their relationship, I don’t know what does. Seriously, though.

3. To Help Others
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A nice music suggestion makes me happy. Thanks Danny.

4. To Craft Their Identity
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We’re constantly posting pictures of things we like (maybe more so on Pinterest and Instagram these days), talking about issues that concern us, and stating our opinions on the absurd amount of people complaining about the weather these days. Originally, Facebook was all about crafting your identity when it was focused around actually listing your favourite bands and movies. Now, the ability to craft your identity lies in individual posts and the pages you like.

Now these are examples of people posting content that achieves these goals. For a business, create and post content that makes people’s lives easier, helps people forge relationships with you and others, is extremely helpful, and helps people craft their identity while identifying with you. And, of course, as illustrated below, make sure these posts fall in line with what people love about you. Discover this and get posting 2-5 times a week!

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Back to Part 1 (Time to consider what you’re sharing on Facebook)…

 

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