greatest-generation

Leveraging The Gifts Of The Greatest Generation.

I work with companies to enhance individual employee performance and create alignment company wide for higher levels of success. One of the tools I utilize is how to understand and leverage the various characteristics of the different generations. In all the years of studying generational differences and teaching effective ways of working together, I have found that it’s absolutely imperative that people master the values of one specific generation if they want to attain super high levels of success. If you are interested in “more than the norm” in your business, keep reading!

The Greatest Generation Truly is “The Greatest Generation”

Of all the generations (Greatest, Boomers, Generation X & Millennials), the Greatest generation possesses a distinct advantage over all the others when it comes to creating success and it’s present in every aspect of their being. Their way of doing things is often laughed about as it’s seen as ridiculous, unnecessary or a waste of time. However, when you look deeper at how this generation did things and then look at people that created high levels of success, you can see serious similarities and understand the tremendous value in learning from this generation and applying what they do.

What Makes Them So “Great?”

These people came from a simpler but challenging time (1925 – 1945). They were greatly influenced by events like the roaring 20’s, the great depression, world war one and two and the Korean war. As a result they became dedicated, respectful, patriotic and extremely loyal. They learned to not waste, to save for the future, to put their responsibilities before themselves and to sacrifice to create what they want. They don’t procrastinate, break their word or use excuses. These people suck it up, work hard for what they want, put in the time it takes to create it, don’t shirk their responsibilities and are grateful for the opportunities afforded them. They highly regard the satisfaction of a job well done.

Why Is It Important To Model This Generation?

I support people in creating higher levels of success everyday, it’s my career. From my experience of working with people for over 20 years, it’s not ability or talent that keeps people from being highly successful. There are lots of people out there with huge POTENTIAL. What keeps people from huge levels of success is a lack of ethics, values and morals that are critical to success. You may be one of those people that doesn’t want to face this but the truth is NO ONE OWES ANYONE ANYTHING and no one is going to show up and give you something. I don’t care what people say it’s very simple, if you want more, you are going to have to work for it! The Greatest Generation understands this concept and let’s face it, that concept seems to be dying off. For some reason, it’s become common for people to believe they DESERVE more for doing less but, if you can adopt and apply the ethics, values and morals of the Greatest Generation, you have a serious advantage.

How Do I Do What They Did?

Most of these people learned the hard way or were raised by people that learned the hard way. Life has a way of getting our attention sometimes and that’s one of the biggest challenges companies face. In our society, there’s a trend for people to be comfortable and we go out of our way to accommodate that. In doing this, we shelter people from hardship and along with that, the opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t like pain either but the truth is some of our greatest learning comes from pain (you didn’t touch the stove today, did you?). Creating the space for people to learn from their mistakes and then apply what they learned empowers people to grow and become more effective. It also removes the frustration and time wasted attempting to shelter or protect the company and increases individual accountability.

Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable/Challenge Yourself

Success is going to be work, hard work so just get used to it. You and your people are going to fail and if your vision and goals are huge, it will happen a lot. Get used to that as well. I highly suggest you learn to embrace it and learn from it. Make it ok for your employees to fail and find solutions. We are not our results so if someone tanks it big, it’s ok. It doesn’t mean anything, except you are working on something really big and that’s exciting! Stop seeking comfort (and I’m not saying to seek discomfort either). What I mean is that most people aren’t uncomfortable sitting on the couch eating ice cream because that’s not challenging. We aren’t growing when we lay around (except in the waist). When we push harder and go bigger it will be uncomfortable, the success comes when we use that discomfort as an indicator to weather we are challenging ourselves or not. Be patient and stay the course.

Be Grateful And Humble

I believe this is a lost art. I have worked with companies where I had to explain to employees that they were given the gift of a job. It’s weird to me that people believe their employer owes them more than a paycheck for the work they do and if you ask them to work late or do more, they act like you just hooked them up to a car battery! Being grateful is a great way to advance your position in a company and make more money (I’m not talking about being a brown noser). If you own your own company, you can apply this by working harder for your clients and expressing your gratitude often. Clients and employers provide the opportunity for us to pay our bills and put food on the table. That in itself in my opinion is a gift. If you want more in life, be humble, work harder, learn more, apply yourself and for God’s sake, QUIT WHINING!

Do The Right Thing

My father is a “greatest” and he and my mother recently put their home up for sale. Even though the realtor told him he didn’t have to, he has been patching holes from pictures, replacing sprinkler heads in the backyard, painting and doing repairs to the house. He could leave it alone for the next owner but he is adamant about leaving it in excellent condition. He believes that he is selling something to a person and he wants it to be right for them. The crazy part is people laugh and shake their heads when I tell them about it. They think he is crazy. Why do we laugh and think someone is crazy when they want to do the right thing? I am eternally grateful for the numerous lessons I received from my father and I think we can all take a page from his playbook.

I could write a ton more on this topic, there is so much to it  and in wrapping up I think it’s fair to acknowledge that our world has changed and I understand that we have to adapt but sometimes it pays to look back. Just because there is a new trend or a new way of doing things doesn’t always mean that it’s better or that the old ways are outdated. The fashion and design industries revive old styles all the time so why not look at the gifts of generations in the same way? You might think it’s old school but maybe it’s time to take out the old ways and dust them off to generate some serious success.

Looking to help your employees improve individual performance and align with company vision, click here http://www.brainstormsuccess.com/corporate-training-programs to get more information about our corporate programs.

For over 20 years Jeff Rogers has supported companies to obtain much bigger results that have previously eluded them. His no BS, no fluff approach helps companies quickly uncover a true direction to elevated results and provides simple to apply tools to obtain them.

 

Achieving-Excellence

Achieving Excellence in 4 Simple Steps

Over 111 million people watched the Super Bowl this weekend. I’m sure you are one of them. But let me ask you this, other than the plays of the game, the pricey commercials and the halftime show entertainment, did you really pay attention to what was going on? You’re probably asking yourself right now, WTF is Jeff talking about, what else was there? I’m talking about the level of excellence represented during this once in a lifetime event.

Now follow me for a second, there are 32 teams in the NFL. Each team can maintain a roster of 53 players however, only 46 of those players can actually be available to play during a game. That means that there are only 1,696 people on the planet at a given time, that have the opportunity to play the game at this level. When you consider that only 2 teams make it to the final game, only 92 players stood on the sidelines representing their respective teams. That’s only 5.4% of all the eligible players in the entire league. The numbers shrink even more when you consider that a lot of those 46 players never set foot on the field.

To make it to this level, you have to be the best of the best. The cool part is, this level of excellence doesn’t just apply to football or sports. My parents just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. How many couples do you know of that hit that mark these days? In business, how many Steve Jobs’ or Mark Zuckerberg’s do you encounter? Pretty small numbers. So the question is, how do you get to this level of excellence? If you want to achieve the kind of success these superstars of our era have, it’s simple, do what they do, right? Easier said than done. So to get you started, I’ve compiled some some simple steps to help you out;

Be Different.

A mentor once told me that if I wanted to be successful, I should “watch what everyone else was doing and don’t do that.” In this world I see so many people trying to fit in. They buy the same clothes, eat the same food, listen to the same music, drive the same cars, and talk the same talk. When you consider that the majority of the world lives in mediocrity, it seems pretty silly to model your behavior after “most people.” I say look at those few highly successful people and do what they are doing. Stop trying to fit in, be successfully unique.

Dream Big.

By the time most people get to the age where they are on their own, they have pretty much decided what is possible for them and what is not. They have developed a self limiting dialogue and behavior patterns to support it. The sad part is, they have surrendered to living smaller and having less. You don’t have to be one of the people that accepts less for yourself. Dreaming bigger is a foundational concept of my work and I support people everyday in getting clear in a big way and finding solutions to make those dreams come true. The biggest reality I consistently see constantly is most people don’t dream big enough.

Make Big Decisions & Apply Action.

Everything starts with a decision. Believe it or not, there is actually a part of your brain that has to make a decision for your heart to beat. If that decision doesn’t get made, it doesn’t happen. The cool part is, that everything that happens in your life is based on the decisions you make. The really cool part is, that if you want something different to happen for you, you have to make a different decision than what hasn’t worked in the past and then, apply the actions necessary support that decision. Making big decisions about your life requires a huge amount of individual accountability and a deep, burning desire for things to be different. You have to give up the stories and the justifications that keep you stuck where you are and then be willing to take some huge steps. Anyone who created something huge had to dream bigger and then surrender to the decisions and actions that supported that dream.

Up Your Game.

People who achieve great things, participate at a higher level than the majority and they are always looking for ways to be better. They do what I like to call “upping their game.” To illustrate this point, I want you to think about something you really, truly desire. What could you do today to be better at creating that result? How can you up your game to get there sooner? For example, if you want a better, more loving relationship with your spouse, maybe you could do something as simple as holding their hand more often or going on a date once a week. It may sound small or insignificant but you would be amazed how little things make a big difference. I encourage you to identify the areas in which you want more success and make a list of how you can up your game to get to those results you are seeking.

Recently, I had a friend that watched my BrainStorm Dreams Video that features people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling etc. He told me that, in his opinion, most people didn’t believe that they could accomplish such things as these people did. The point of my video is not  to put dreams out of people’s reach but rather to inspire and exhibit that all great accomplishments started with a big dream. Now, you may not want be the next NFL superstar or change the world like Martin Luther King did, but do you still have a dream? I believe that no matter what the size of your dream,  it’s important to live it. To go after it and attain it. Apply these 4 steps and lets see if you don’t get closer to it.
Watch my Dreams Video on YouTube here… and let me know your thoughts

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Finding Peace in a Crazy World

I think most people would agree, it’s pretty easy to find something that bothers them. To find something wrong and out of whack with this world, all you have to do is tune into social media, watch the news or listen to the average person in line at Starbucks to see people complaining and/or arguing about something. I have to admit that I sometimes find myself frustrated by the actions of others or things that are out of my control and it can be difficult at times to stay positive. Can you relate?

Now, it may be true that we live in a time when people just don’t care as much as they used to and have diminished values or moral standards. I won’t debate that point, AND I absolutely believe it is still possible to find peace amongst all the chaos.  Of course, it may take focus, patience and a little effort but here are some simple practices to help you bridge the gap between a life of peace and a life of stress.

Find Three Things To Be Grateful For Everyday

This is a simple practice that I start my day with and sometimes fall back on when things are getting stressful. By focusing on the positive things in my life, I find it easier to minimize the challenges. I know some people say there is nothing positive about their life, however, I think if you really take a look around you, there is an abundance of amazing things in your life to be grateful fo.  I have worked with some pretty cynical people that swore there was nothing good in their life but after a little digging, began to see that their life was actually full of things to be grateful for.

Be Good To Yourself

Typically, most people are sympathetic or tolerant of others’ behaviors and shortcomings but super critical of themselves. How can you possibly be in a positive place if you are kicking your own ass? Furthermore, what kind of stress are you putting on yourself? Like most people, you are probably doing the best you KNOW HOW right now. Is better possible? Sure, but is beating yourself up supporting the results you’re looking for? Does this motivate you to do more? Probably not. Be good to yourself and give yourself a break. This doesn’t mean to give yourself an “out” or an excuse to continue unproductive behaviors, but rather be gentle with yourself while you figure out solutions to create better results moving forward. This also doesn’t mean that you have to be Stuart Smalley (for you SNL fans!) Just be positive when you screw something up. Hell, maybe you could even laugh at yourself a little.

Keep Your Eye On What’s Important

Lets face it, most of the things that we complain about or stress over are not really big things when it comes down to it. Most people reading this article are not in need of food, shelter, clean water or decent clothing. And, keep in mind, that there are people that are. Most of what we complain about is pathetic when you consider some of the real hardships in this world. If traffic bothers you (and yes it does me too,) I think you would agree that it’s a positive thing that you have a car that gets you where you want to be. When you look at it that way, sitting in traffic is not that big a deal, right? Even if you look at what we do often consider to be a big deal, in the grand scheme of things, how big is it really? How much more energy would you have and how much more could you get done, if you didn’t allow little stuff to bother you?

Let It Go

Please resist the need to sing that Disney song right now (my wife knows I’m talking to her here…) I find it so gratifying when I just let something that bothers me go. When I make a conscious decision to not respond or give it any energy at all. This is especially gratifying when I find myself going there and then make a “U-turn” back to the positive. Not only does this save time, I get a boost of energy from the pride I take in doing what I know works. I also find that other people respond positively to this behavior. Lets face it, we’ve all been around that person that absolutely refuses to let something stupid go and how awkward it gets when they continue to rant about it. Do you really want to be THAT person?

Be Crystal Clear

The greatest advantage you can have is being absolutely clear about the direction of your life and what you really want. It keeps everything else in perspective when you are very clear about things that don’t support the life you want and therefore they will have little or no influence over you or your thoughts. With that, the direction or path to create what you desire is predetermined and the stress of worrying about things that could take you off that path dissipates. With great clarity comes great freedom and peace.

If you’d like some help with creating this crystal clear, defined path for your life, be sure to check out our Magnitude Vision Course and Group Coaching Program.

Bottom line, is what’s stressing you out really that big of a deal? Think about what’s great about your life? What’s great about you? Are you clear about what you really want? How much more energy would you have and how much better would you feel if could just let things that bother you go?

Be aware, make a decision and shift. Try it for a day then a week, let me know in the comments how it works out for you.

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Get Started and Stay Moving

In my last blog post, I talked about what you need to have in place in order to achieve huge results in 2016. If you haven’t had a chance to read or need a refresher, here’s a link. How to Finally Achieve Huge Results in 2016. Once you have a clear vision, goals are set and you have identified the actions needed to achieve your goals, as I mentioned in that post, you’re ready to get started. If you haven’t done those 3 things, I highly recommend you go back and do them.  If you are already starting this process by not applying the previous tools, what makes you think you will do what it takes to have what you want moving forward. This could be why you’ve fallen short in the past or are not yet where you want to be. If you have done what I asked, let’s keep moving.

You might be surprised to learn that starting is actually the easiest part of creating huge results. I won’t say everyone, but when most people finally get tired of the same old routine or previous results, they get 100% committed, excited, and are ready to kick some serious ass…It’s like being shot out of a gun. You’re hot and ready to go. The trick is keeping it there. Big results are seldom achieved in a sprint. Really great things are achieved as a result of hard work and dedication over an extended period of time.

Getting what we truly want requires changing behaviors that don’t support the results we’re looking for. Some people can take that way too far and as a result they miss an important step. What they miss is the second part I’ll talk about below…identifying the behaviors that DO support what we want and finding ways to duplicate those behaviors. Sometimes success is not a matter of changing something but rather using something we already do well in another area. So as you start going after this awesome vision and these amazing goals take some time to…

Identify the behaviors you use that do not support what you want in your life

I want you to actually get a notebook and write them down. Take some time and go deeper. When you get blocked or can’t think of any more, take a break and come back to it. Don’t try to shortcut this process because I think you’ll find that’s just another behavior that doesn’t work for you.

Identify the behaviors you use that do support what you want in your life

Again, take your time and go deeper. This is an important list for a couple of reasons. Chances are you already do what it takes to create the results you are looking for and it’s just a matter of applying that to another area of your life. Typically, these productive behaviors can counter your non-productive behaviors. When you are stuck or off-track all you have to do is look at this list and the tool you are looking for should be there. That’s assuming that you actually did this step. If not, you might want to add that to the list of non supportive behaviors.

Take these 2 lists and post them where you can see them often

If you want to get back on track quickly when you are off your game, you’ll be able to see immediately what needs to be adjusted towards more productive behaviors. The only way I know to do that is to study. I like to write things on my whiteboard where I can see them often. This method is like listening to the radio for me. The more often I hear the song, the more familiar I am with the lyrics and the quicker I learn it. The same applies with adjusting your behavior. When I know what my non supportive behaviors are, I can catch them quickly and shift. If I don’t really know them, my chances of catching them are reduced and I spend more time being non-productive. Make sense?

Knowing and understanding these behaviors is key to your success. It assures that you stay  productive and provides the path when you are off. Most of my clients find that when they apply this tool, they produce what they want much faster simply because they are more efficient and therefore much more effective. Of course, you have to do the work and apply the tool to get that result. That behavior in and of itself requires awareness, discipline and hard work. I know that’s the last thing you want to hear but I didn’t say this was going to be easy…did I?

We are always here to help or answer questions. Reach out to us if you need support.

If you want to learn more about getting what you want be sure to sign up for my FREE WEBINAR TRAINING: “The Quit Whining No Excuses Way to Finally Build the Life you Love in Record Time.”

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The Waiting Game

Here we are again. It’s almost Thanksgiving, Christmas is coming and its just 6 weeks from the 1st of January. There are two things about this time of year that just drive me crazy.

1. The excessively perky holiday music (it’s not even Christmas yet)
2. People saying “I’ll wait until after the holidays to do this or that.”

Ok… I’ll get over the music but this waiting thing just makes no sense to me and it never will. In my opinion, it’s the cry of the infinitely mediocre.

 Even when not in the midst of the upcoming holidays I’ll bet you’ve found yourself; waiting until Monday to start exercising or eating right. Maybe you’ve been waiting until you have more money to invest in your success or waiting for the right time to call that client or even a loved one. For you mothers out there, how about this one… “wait ‘til your father gets home!”

When did Monday or January 1st become the magic day to start something? Why the waiting game?

If you could have the relationship you’ve always wanted or the perfect clients to take your business to the next level right now, why would you wait? That’s like finding a $100 bill on the street and waiting until tomorrow to pick it up!

Sometimes taking time to pause or take a break can be a healthy choice, but a 6 week stand still comes with a serious cost. Now if you’re infinitely wealthy, have the most amazing relationships and the liberty to live your life however you want – good for you, take a break, you earned it!  But if you don’t have what you want, waiting is simply an excuse for not taking action. Everyday you don’t take actions necessary towards getting the results you’re looking for, is a day that you’re actually taking steps backwards.

Many people get stuck in a trap of “either/or.” Which means they think they can EITHER do this OR do that. I call BS! The best way out of that mediocre trap is to find what I call the “AND.”  You can do this AND that – it’s just a matter of how passionate you are about having what you want and then consciously making a decision to take action now versus “another day.”

When we wait for the perfect time to take action we are disempowered by living in a position of scarcity and become a victim to our current circumstances. How many times have you looked back with regret and said something like; “I wish I had done this a year ago” or “if only I had started sooner, I would be there by now?”

As we know from physics that an object in motion tends to stay in motion and you are no different. So even if you make a decision and take a small action, it’s better than not taking action at all. When is it ever going to be the RIGHT time?

I believe that the right time is when an opportunity is in front of you. I don’t believe in coincidences so when an opportunity arises – the time is right at that moment.
I mean, why do you think the opportunity is there? What opportunities are available to you today?

I encourage you to take action today in the direction of your dreams. Don’t wait. There are going to be those people that START on January 1st, but you could be that person who’s at a full sprint come January 1st. How much farther ahead would you be if you started now? Wouldn’t you rather look back over 2014 and say “I’m glad I did that?”

Check out an opportunity to have the extraordinary life you’ve always wanted by attending my Free Webinar Training: The Quit Whining, No Excuses Way to Finally Build the Life you Love in Record Time.
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Survive or Thrive?

The Natural Path Of Least Resistance?

As an avid outdoorsman, I often find great life lessons in nature. The path of least resistance is one of these lessons. Water flows downhill and follows the lay of the land and animals naturally follow the most accessible food and water sources to survive. Humans also take the path of least resistance in our environments and although we may survive, we certainly wouldn’t thrive by doing so.

When an animal is born, it immediately becomes prey. It must learn and adapt quickly to its environment and implement its natural instincts in order to avoid being killed or eaten. It must utilize all available resources and become efficient with its quickly learned skills in order to live. Eventually, the animals’ behaviors become routine, unconscious reactions that are naturally utilized for them to survive. With animals, natural selection happens when the strong survive and the weak die depending on how they adapt to their environments through what they have learned. Humans are no different. We learn habits, behaviors and unconscious reactions in order to survive in our environments. However, if we want to actually THRIVE in our environments, we must learn some new or unnatural habits rather than merely taking that natural path of least resistance.

Adapting To Change.

The challenge that we as humans face, is that unlike animals, our environments are always changing.  You see, most animals’ environments stay the same throughout their lives and thus there is no need to learn anything new. But as productive humans, we must adapt, learn new skills, or die. Unfortunately for us, many of our previously learned habits and skills have become so automatic or unconscious that we simply apply them to every environment we encounter without even realizing it. Just like animals do, we simply react to whatever is happening in our environments without thought to whether the outcome will be productive or not. We simply take the path of least resistance.

Lets do an experiment.

Lets say we take a lion from the plains of Africa and we drop it in Antarctica. What do you think the lion would do? Obviously it’s natural food sources would be gone, weather would be extremely different and everything it utilized to survive  and thrive in Africa would be ineffective. At the same time, I think you would agree that the skills you utilized to survive and thrive as a child (self centered communication skills, how you got your food, your work ethic, etc.) probably wouldn’t work in your adult relationships. Crying, stomping your feet, sitting around waiting for your wife to make you some lunch or being thoughtless of others probably won’t get the results you are looking for in most interpersonal relationships. Neither would taking the summer off to play if your career did not support that decision or behavior.

I am reminded of this lesson from the events of the real estate crash of 2008.  When many people left their jobs to create more for themselves (money, freedom, etc) by entering the market as realtors and mortgage brokers. Lots of people were doing it and it was easy to do. When the environment changed and got tough, instead of learning new skills to thrive, in a changed environment, most of them took the path of least resistance and went back to what was comfortable or what they knew. Just like the lion would have to learn a new set of skills quickly in order to thrive in Antarctica, we must also do so in our ever changing environments. We must literally become a constant student and conscious observer of ourselves in order to thrive and create the higher levels of success we are looking for. Working on ourselves every once in a while won’t get it done.

How To Overcome The Challenges Of Natural Behavior.

So the path of least resistance, although natural, will not support us in achieving results we desire at work, in relationships or elsewhere if we are to thrive. It may feel comfortable or natural to stay where we are, but when our environment changes, what then? Culture and society attempt to make things easier, fair or equal for us but the easy path is not reality if you want to really thrive. Lets face it, we cannot make something stronger by enabling it to be weak in its environment any more than we can make a kid a winner by giving him a 5th place trophy. As individuals it is up to us to first identify the shift in our environments and then identify the behavioral changes necessary to thrive in that place.

Better yet, if we can first decide or design the environments we want to exist in, we can predict the behaviors we will need to thrive and consciously implement them as we go along. The more we see forward and plan, the more natural applying behaviors for success in those environments becomes. These pre-determined life choices help us to utilize our natural learning process to quickly ingrain productive behaviors and thus, provide a greater chance of thriving instead of just surviving. What are you doing to thrive in your environment?  Share with us in the comments. 

At BrainStorm we help individuals and business identify their path and the behaviors and habits necessary to create it. We do this by utilizing unique, engaging, fun processes that uncover an individuals’ and companies vision and engage the innate values necessary to live the amazing life of their dreams. Find out what so many of our successful customers already know. Visit www.magnitudevisioncourse.com to see how you can get on the path to living the life of your dreams today.

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Align and Conquer

I work with several corporate clients. My goal with these clients is to help them attain higher levels of success by working to align the “human assets” of their company. Often times my clients are owner-operators and have a business partner or partners. Normally, this is the start of the alignment process because, more often than not, the partners are the biggest source of misalignment in the company and the biggest source of frustration for themselves and the employees alike. This misalignment at the top of the company creates all kinds of internal turmoil and usually filters into the client base. Trust me, if you own a company and have partners that are out of alignment, your employees and clients know it. If allowed to continue, misalignment interferes with communication, work flow, productivity, customer service and will eventually kill a company.

So why do people get into partnerships to begin with?

I mean really, do you ever hear “GREAT” partner stories? It’s rare. Even the best partnerships have challenges. In my experience, (including my own journey), I have found that most companies are developed by people that have a spirit for achieving bigger things – an entrepreneurial spirit. They gained their experience in a given industry and eventually got tired of working for someone else (whatever that reason may be). Many take the leap and soon realize they may not possess all the skills needed to make the business work. They discover the workload is too much for one person or they simply desire the comfort of a confidant. Whether the need for additional capital, workload or friendship, the partner appears. Usually this person or people are acquaintances or friends that they believe they know and can trust. (God forbid the partners are family, which would take another whole series of blog posts!) Maybe they worked with them somewhere before or they were present when the idea of venturing out was conceived. Whatever the case, this is when the problems start.

Why are most partnerships doomed from the start? Quite simply, a lack of clearly defined roles for each partner, and an undefined or non-existent shared vision. Rarely do I find partners who have clearly defined their roles and mapped out how their partnership will work. Partnership agreements are loosely written or not in place at all. Although they like each other (to start), soon they find reasons and problems that interfere with the expectations they had for each other. To put it simply, they never started the company with any sense of alignment at all. They can tell me when they believe the problems started, but usually fail to see that the breakdown actually started the moment they became partners.

Now, as much as I appreciate the job security of these situations, lets see if I can help you avoid or work through some of the challenges of a partnership:

 1. Make sure you have a shared vision.  

Do all the partners agree on the direction of the company? Is the vision for the company clearly defined or just presumed? Are all of the aspects of the company in alignment with that vision? I cannot stress the importance of this first step enough. Without a clearly defined vision, direction and roadmap for the company – what is the point?

 2. Clearly define roles.

Make sure all partners have clearly defined, written job descriptions with specific roles and duties laid out. Having this foundational piece in place is the best reference for each partner to determine who is pulling their weight or not.

3. Communication is key. 

Many partners hold back and don’t speak their mind for fear of the repercussions or backlash from the other. They usually deal with the challenges in their own way (stuff it down, attempt to ignore it, etc.) until the frustration grows past the breaking point. What follows is disaster. They may even hold on to things until the company is gone. No matter what the challenges may be, or how uncomfortable it may feel, you have to be willing to start a respectful and responsible dialogue with your partners.

 4. Switch to solutions.  

Getting things off your chest is good, however constant complaining is just, well, bitching. Form a plan that you can agree on that you can begin to implement right away. Action from everyone is important to assure agreements are kept and solutions are followed through on.

 5. Listen.

You must be willing to listen (and hear), be open to all viewpoints and be willing to make adjustments from all perspectives in order to create an aligned outcome. You have to be willing to do something different as do your partners. This can be the most challenging because additional stress is created by one or all of the partners who may be inflexible and positioned. It is not uncommon that I am hired by a company where at least one of the partners is not in alignment with the process of change. This lack of alignment results in a lack of desired outcomes and sometimes to partnership buyouts or splits. Sometimes when you have a partner or employee that is out of alignment, your only option, after exhausting all others, may be to get them out of the company before greater damage happens.

Is your company running at peak performance? Are you and your business partners in alignment? If not and you’re already in deep, I will be glad to coach you through the process to create alignment in your company. At BrainStorm, we implement communication techniques, programs and solutions to help make this process much easier.

Visit us online at http://www.brainstormsuccess.com/corporate-training-programs/ to learn more.

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Are You Proud of You?

I’ve had several opportunities this week to study my behavior and the behavior of others. I’ve observed times this week when I’ve been extremely proud of my behavior and other times…well, lets just say, “not so much.” I’ve recently seen behaviors in others and their children that have made me cringe and suddenly find myself in a world, raising children where I am questioning the values of people in general. Are we really proud of what we are doing?

Movies, advertising messages, music, language, how we treat elders, how children treat or act around adults, how people dress, their actions towards each other, how our so called “leaders” behave, all seem to be on an extreme downward spiral. The voice of my father rings in my ears as  he spoke of a loss of values in society when I was a kid, of course I was oblivious to hear it, then. Did he see what was coming when I was too young to notice? Did he know where we were headed as a society? Why didn’t I see it? Was I too engaged in my life or participating in things that made these behaviors acceptable? Have I come to a level of maturity where my values have changed and so now I see what he saw back then?

While these are all great questions to ask myself, I think the best one for me is, “am I PROUD of what I’m doing?” Can I honestly say in my life that my behaviors and actions are something to be proud of?

Can you?

I am grateful that the answer for me is YES! I am not talking about or saying that I’m perfect, none of us are. I still do things that I want to change and I understand the need to keep working on myself and growing. However, as I take a look around my most areas of my life, I am proud. I have a 22 year relationship with my wife and I love her and respect her deeply. I raise my children to be respectful of themselves and therefore that goes out to others. I love my family and work hard to provide for them. I have great relationships with friends and clients alike (most clients become great friends). I am blessed to have great parents that are still alive and from whom I continue to learn life lessons. I do work that I believe matters and creates a positive difference in the lives of others and I love what I do. I support my friends and family and although I may complain sometimes, I am always there when they need me. I live my life from a set of values and am extremely grateful for those that instilled those values and for those that support them. People and life experiences have become more important to me than material things and I can honestly say that I make a positive difference in this world.

Can you say the same?

Are you REALLY proud or satisfied with the life you are living? I urge you to take an accounting of your life. What are the things that you would say are in alignment with the life you really want to live? What are the things that aren’t? What are the things that you do really well, where are you creating success and how are you creating those successes. Where can you duplicate those things to live a better, more fulfilled life that you are proud of?  Really proud of.

Jeff Rogers, owner of BrainStorm is an author, speaker, and professional performance coach who trains people to create a life of alignment in relationships, business and within themselves.