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Posted On Thursday, 26 May 2022 00:00 Written by

Walking into the gym every morning I get to play a game called: Which Machines Are Open Today?

Seriously, the earlier I get there, the crazier it is.  I have arrived at 4:55 AM only to see the same 30 people stretching in the parking lot every morning waiting for the doors to open.  These are legit psychos, and I admire all of them, but perhaps not as much as they admire themselves in the mirrors under the gym’s perfect lighting.

Most days I resort to working out on any machine that is available and camping there as long as possible, waiting for the other ones to open.  It’s a weird experience, but I actually like it, since it keeps my body guessing almost as much as my muscles.

Today I got to the gym and the benches were open!  Bars and plates, weights and machines, a free for all!  A buffet for the hungry, a kid in a candy store, that is how it feels for the guy at the gym who gets to use whatever equipment he dang well pleases!

And so I did CHEST.  Yes, my friend, you probably can’t tell that I never miss a day working out, but it is a true passion of mine despite the belly which continually interrupts the party of my admiration of progress in the gym mirror.

When you work your CHEST (and yes, I capitalize CHEST, because it is THE CHEST every man is always working out, some men do this 4 times per day between chugging protein bro shakes and crushing creatine in the mens room, and therefore, it is the main body part I rarely do with weights because it’s never an option), you focus on lifting weights that pump the CHEST, things like push ups, or laying on a bench under a heavy olympic bar (45 lbs) and then slapping weighted plates on both sides.

Some days I go heavy, but today I went for high reps, low weight.  That means, you push the weight as much as you can, past the usual 12-10-8 rep pattern of lifting heavy.  I was going for 20-20-20 reps today.

Starting out I felt good.  Pumping iron is the closest I’ve ever felt to Arnold and a true Austrian accent.  That is the voice in my head as I count reps: “Von!  Tvwo!  Thvee!  Goood jawb meinen freunden!”  (That’s my inner Arnold voice)

And then something happened within the glory of my repping, pushing, and pumping iron – I felt my neck scream! 

That’s when I realized I was no longer working out my CHEST muscles, nor allowing them to do the work, or even giving them the gift of being worked out, instead I was pushing the weight with my neck!

That’s not to say the bar was on my neck.  The weights weren’t on my neck.  I was still doing the movements that should work the CHEST, but instead, somehow, my neck was taking all of the weight!

This has happened to me before.  It actually has put me in physical therapy.  I have had trainers standing in the gym next to me, watching this happen, as I’m doing the workout perfectly, with excellent form, and we realized I’m pushing with my neck to their horror and amazement at the strength of my neck.

Same has happened while doing LEGS and then hurting my BACK.

There’s not much glory in working out the neck.  People aren’t walking into the gym looking to up their neck muscle game.  It’s hard to flex the neck.  I have a 6-pack of neck abs under this fleshy neck of mine.  (I think my friend Ryan Hamilton did a routine on this whole neck bit… either at a gig we did together or on one of his specials, I can’t remember, if you can place it for me we need to share it!) 

Yet, I didn’t STOP and throw the weight down, as if I did, someone would grab the bench and I’d be done with my workout.

I just slowed down, breathed, and focused.

All I had to do was REFOCUS on my CHEST.

And then – wallah – my CHEST began pushing the weight again.

Simple tweak, but it made all the difference.  Pretty soon I was back to counting in my Austrian accent that was veering into Australian because that’s what happens inside my brain when I work out.  Imagine Arnold and Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter having an arm wrestle – good times!

This may be the longest explanation of all-time when it comes to how we should refocus, and just like this post, I will now focus on the point!

You may be working on yourself as a parent, reading all the right books, listening to podcasts, even invested in family therapy…but not actually doing that one simple thing that will make you a better parent, such as engaging with the child who says next to nothing and listening between the words to what they’re trying to tell us with their actions.

You may be working on your business, busy every day, all day, cranking out content, rifling through emails…but it may not be the one simple thing that can move the needle, which in my case is simply getting better every time I take the stage.

You may be working on a latest project and pushing, meeting deadlines, getting closer to the finish line…but you have one simple thing you have yet to do which you know you should and just keep busy instead of hitting it head on.  As is said, “Most authors have the cleanest homes.  They’d rather dust than sit down and write.” 

REFOCUS on the thing that needs to be FOCUSED on, otherwise you’re actually working on something that can hurt you.

Such as working your neck when pushing weight meant for your CHEST!

I promise I am working diligently on the same as a husband, father, business owner, speaker, writer, and content creator, and constantly have to refocus to get into focus.

I promise myself with every workout to REFOCUS on what needs to be FOCUSED on with every rep of the CHEST to avoid breaking the neck.

How about you?

“Von!  Tvwo!  Thvee!  Goood jawb end fvocus ahn de CHEST!”

Posted On Wednesday, 25 May 2022 00:00 Written by

Decisiveness is hard to come by in today’s world. It seems to be a new trend that businesspeople, executives, and other types of team leaders stew on what the right decision in a specific circumstance is, or go back on what they have said merely weeks prior to completely change gears, much to the dismay of their employees or equals waiting for resolution.

There is an interesting phenomenon occurring that points to precisely why this trend of hitting “undo” on a supposedly final decision is taking place, and it is rather simple to figure out. When facing a crucial junction in a project, new product, or industry-altering change, executives and leaders alike simply don’t want to make a decision between two perfectly good options.

Yes, what I just wrote is true — renowned business experts and those in leadership roles actually don’t want to decide. Reading that, you may suddenly have a changed opinion about these business leaders, as if they are not true leaders because they are so utterly indecisive. However, this perceived indecisiveness is actually quite natural, and it is more beneficial than you realize.

Thinking Exponentially With a Both/And Mindset

The primary reason for this phenomenon, which appears to be a lack of decision-making skills, is because we live in a both/and world. Both/and is a situation where there are benefits to all options surrounding a product, process, service, or method.

Generalized views of leadership frequently point to a higher-pressure either/or situation, where an executive selects the route to go in any decision, and the other route is quickly abandoned. Society has painted this process as being the true litmus test of a quality, decisive leader, almost as if each decision is life or death, with only one correct choice.

In a both/and world, you do not cast aside one option for another — you find ways to use both to your advantage. Not only does this open all the right doors for a product, process, or service, but it aids in exponential innovation by helping a team and industry be open to an array of solutions to problems.

Case Studies: Either/Or and the Shift to Both/And

The Both/And Principle in my Anticipatory Leader System is not new — I have been teaching it for decades. Yet every year, I consult with companies and business leaders who either have never heard of it or are falling to the pressures of an either/or paradigm cast upon them by the corporate world.

Having explored it above, let’s look at two industry case studies that have long held to an either/or mentality and how a shift to a both/and mindset would transform their products, processes, or services.

Higher Education

Long before the pandemic, higher education institutions faced constant tough decisions regarding their staff, student body, and how they can better train and educate future generations for the workforce. Whether they were a privately funded university or a state school, a common goal of all has been to make higher education accessible and affordable to all.

For many students, especially those looking to further their skills while working full-time and having a family, online offerings are their best bet. The pandemic quickly forced all types of entities to switch to virtual working or teaching, and higher education institutions were right at the forefront of those changes.

  • Either/Or: Unfortunately, this was met with contention by many older staff members of all different fields, given the circumstances of how quickly this switch needed to be made. Even the administrators of many universities and private colleges spoke of how this would be a short-term shift, and they would do away with the virtual classroom as soon as possible.
  • Both/And: Getting rid of online education as an option at a higher education institute alienates a whole potential student body — students who do not live near the college, and others who are too busy to make the commute, but want to further their education. Utilizing Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet in conjunction with in-person options gives those students opportunity to better themselves, but also allows professors to build a huge, institution-specific database of past recordings that, if leveraged as such, act as a virtual textbook for future students.

Web Design

Perhaps you were born before the existence of the internet. But even if not, the multiple generations of individuals all know what a website is, and they recognize the functionalities it brings to a business or organization in any industry. Learning to build a website, or hiring someone to do it for you, was pure gold in the 1990s, and continued on in content management system (CMS) form into the new millennium.

But when social media burst onto the scene, many companies leveraged these platforms as “the new internet,” where their social pages functioned similar to a website. For instance, a Facebook (now called Meta) page allows you to upload an infinite amount of photos to albums, interact directly with customers on the platform, and even schedule events from the page.

  • Either/Or: In the shift to an era dominated by social media, companies often decided to forgo a traditional website entirely for a social page, purely because of its easy setup and user-friendly ability to perform those aforementioned tasks. However, when strictly keeping an online presence on social media, an organization’s search engine optimization (SEO) suffers as it is at the mercy of the metadata of the platform itself. This means these companies are completely reliant on running paid advertising on their platform to generate new leads, as opposed to a natural discovery via Google search.
  • Both/And: Instead, having both a social presence and a website doubles down on SEO strategy and unlocks online freedoms that cannot be utilized on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms. For instance, a business can completely customize a website to reflect their brand design; post engaging, informative content on it for consumer consumption; and even create unique login opportunities for those customers, keeping them uniquely engaged.

How Is Both/And Integral in an Anticipatory Mindset?

As I mentioned earlier in this blog, a both/and mindset is a telltale characteristic of a decisive, anticipatory leader. If you are an executive or business leader who feels frozen in an either/or mentality, how exactly can shifting to a both/and mindset play an integral role in helping you become more anticipatory?

The biggest connection of the both/and principle and an anticipatory mindset is by way of exponential thinking. When you consider all options as opposed to omitting one, you instantly unlock the ability to offer more to your clients and customers.

And second, a both/and mindset gives leaders the ability to leverage all options to pre-solve problems brought by Hard and Soft Trends. College students using virtual technology for school is a Hard Trend that will not go away anytime soon, whereas how institutions leverage those technologies both in-person and online is open to influence to improve the student experience.

Embracing all options and making calculated decisions that do not eliminate the possibility of exploring all avenues to transform the industry your business or organization is in is a true sign of a decisive, anticipatory leader.

Posted On Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00 Written by
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Are they facts, or are they excuses? Are the reasons people are not getting what they want, or even afraid to TRY and get what they want, based on the facts, or are they fiction?

I just wanted to pose three questions today and have you just think about them and maybe do a little of your own investigation and start asking some questions.

1. The reason we aren’t selling more houses is due to the lack of inventory! If that were true, why did we have more than six million home sales last year, highest total since 2006?

2. Higher interest rates are killing the market. If that were true, we wouldn’t be on track to sell more than 5.7 million homes this year, which would be the second-best total since 2006.

3. They are losing business to all cash buyers. Yes, all cash buyers are higher than average for sure. We are seeing about 30% nationwide, but the average of the last 21 years is 26.4%. So, is that increase really causing all this pressure?

Why is it people choose to believe what they do? Are some of these facts really leading to the conclusions people are jumping too? Are there reasons to panic? Is the information harmful, or just an excuse people use for NOT engaging and accomplishing what they want?

What could be the benefit to anyone to recoil and react on these types of stories? 

How is it, despite it all, we see demand for homes, multiple offers, prices still rising, and those winning offers and closing on homes every day?

Maybe the focus needs to be on a successful outcome, not in an excuse not to try?

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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