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Posted On Wednesday, 09 June 2021 00:00 Written by

During this unique period of technology-driven transformation, the education sector has so far been slow to embrace the power of digital tools that can be used to accelerate learning. Institutions spend time, energy, and money protecting and defending conventional teaching methods while casting aside new, transformative ways in which we can adequately prepare young children and even adults for the ever-evolving world in front of us.

While the stimulations of digital connectivity have certainly shortened the attention spans of the young and old alike, generating quite a challenge for educators in both K-12 and university-level teaching, there is actually something positive about this. Human beings have developed superhuman powers in multitasking and an insatiable desire to be in control and hands-on in what they seek out.

We Are Hands-On Multitaskers

A given smartphone user checking any one of our four or five screens for emails, messages, and notifications every few minutes is, in some ways, evidence of the ability for that person to use their brain exponentially. What educators and administrators need to do is look beyond the mere physical emphasis of using technology and view it instead as a tool showcasing how individuals want and need to learn in more interactive ways.

Essentially, instead of teaching students how to use a computer, of which many are already experts at, we look at the technology just as common as a carpenter views a hammer and find interactive, exponential ways to use that technology in refining an already-exponentially functioning mind. And one of the more common ways that I’ve discussed in the past is with gamification.

Why gaming? Simple: gaming is hands-on, is interactive, and further fosters critical and exponential thinking. An individual must problem solve and find a solution when challenged to do so, and after the activity is over, an educator has the ability to prompt their student to use an Anticipatory mindset in figuring out how they could solve those problems presented in the game or activity before they occur.

Soft Skills and Socialization

I recently wrote a blog about the art side of science and math, which refers to the “soft skills” that human beings can leverage to stay competitive in an ever-increasing autonomous society.

To briefly recap that concept, in Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain, human beings will need to excel at creation, innovation, and elements of socialization that machines cannot do, while machines are fast mastering the math, science, and even programming end of tasks at companies. Gamification in education can greatly improve teaching the soft skills, as using technology as a tool for gamification allows an individual to interact with said technology in human ways.

In a common real-world example, think of fitness equipment like Peloton or Mirror that generate fitness challenges for you to participate in. While you exercise, they handle the math and science of these interactive workouts. Without them, you would be counting how many reps you do yourself, having to potentially write them down in longhand, or remember them while you move on to other exercises.

Seems cumbersome for you to do it all, right? It is, which is why Peloton and Mirror handle that part of the equation, allowing you to focus on the physical element of your workout alone; the part that there is absolutely no need for a machine to do even if it could.

Gamification also facilitates a social element to education, which is desperately needed as the world becomes more virtual. There is certainly nothing wrong with the Hard Trend of remote work, which has been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for us to be virtual workers where applicable. However, we mustn’t forget that we as humans work with humans also, not just faceless computers.

When you play a game or engage in a hands-on activity, there is a social element combined with a competitive element that forces you to both engage and concentrate. That powerful combination makes education and training fun and interactive, and the competency one receives from it is an understanding of how to work together and communicate, no matter what digital device sits between us.

Anticipatory Educators

As we work the powerful concept of gamification into our curriculums, both in schools and at organizations, Anticipatory Leaders will look to new, disruptive technology and how it can be utilized as a tool and not as a replacement for a person.

Ironically, gamification in education is often viewed as a gimmick, much like how certain disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning (M.L.), and others were viewed before they upended whole industries. Gamification is certainly something that will only increase in benefit as exponential digital disruptions increase more every year.

Educators should use my Anticipatory Leader System to pay closer attention to the Hard Trends shaping the world, especially outside of the classroom, and find interactive ways to use digital technology to gamify their curriculum in innovative, interactive ways. This effort helps better teach students both how to use the technology and how they can think and work with it exponentially as a human with soft skills in the equation.

Posted On Tuesday, 08 June 2021 00:00 Written by

We need to take a minute and talk about the news we hear and the reaction there might be from it. We also must be very careful to look at the facts and the analysis by a variety of sources to be sure we have a clear view of what things actually mean and how they might impact the markets we serve.

I say this because we all know there is a significant media bias against the housing market. No matter what happens, there is always some outlets who are going to frame everything in the most negative light, even when an obvious upside is staring them in the face. The best example continues to be the complaint about inventory of homes for sale. YES, the number of homes on the market is falling, but that hasn’t stopped record numbers of home sales in 2018, 2019, & 2020. How can there be record breaking sales if there isn’t any inventory? Just yesterday there was a number of articles about falling purchase mortgage applications and a 3% drop in those mortgage applications accounting for lower home sales. Well, that may be true, but in this case, it isn’t; there were actually more contracts last week as there was a HUGE increase in the number of homes sold for CASH! Cash buyers don’t apply for mortgages!

Now, there is some pending data that will be reported tomorrow, June 4th, and next Thursday, June 10th, that you just need to be aware of. June 4th we will get the May jobs report and June 10th we will see important inflation data. These two reports could impact the interest rate markets either good or bad, depending on the news and how that news is viewed. I say this not to create fear or to say what will or won’t happen, I say this because you need to be prepared if any or all of the data puts pressure on interest rates, the possibility of wild fluctuations could be very real. So be prepared, and as always, if you like it, lock it; if the customer wants to gamble, get it in writing that they chose to float and accepts the outcome of doing so.

As always, questions or comments can be directed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 07 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Saturday, 05 June 2021 04:14 Written by

Thoroughbred racing has always been exciting to me. Perhaps because my family was involved for some 75 years — on the administrative side, not ownership or training.

I love watching those magnificent athletes run at some 40-45 MPH and compete for a victory. The Triple Crown comprised of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes (to be run next Saturday, June 5th) has always been a favorite.

The 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico race course in Baltimore on May 15th featured an upset with Rombauer ridden by jockey Flavin Plat and trained by Michael McCarthy, not the Dallas Cowboys head coach – he’s busy getting ready for the season. Rombauer came from 11th place to outrun Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit, who won the Kentucky Derby a couple of weeks earlier.

Oh yes, Medina Spirit still is this years’ Derby winner although the horse tested positive after the race. The use of betamethasone has been used to enhance a horse’s running ability, which was not found in ‘Spirit, but a medication used to treat dermatitis did show a positive drug use. Remember it’s not the horse’s fault that the use of a drug shows up in a urine sample.

This was not trainer Bob Baffert’s first “rodeo.” And this is not an accusation of his guilt. Baffert has won 7 Kentucky Derbies (a record) as well as 2 Triple Crowns (2015 and 2018). Baffert’s horses have failed drug tests for over four decades including four in 2020 and although he is in the Lone Star Park’s and the National Museum’s Halls of Fame his “leafy credibility,” as some have claimed, has caused damage to his outstanding accomplishments.

Here’s where my family enters this picture. My dad, Jim Sr., was a high school administrator in the mid-1940s when he was recruited by the California Thoroughbred Horse Racing Association to join them as a Patrol Judge and then as a Steward at their 3 California racetracks. Thoroughbred racing at that time was having problems with “fouls” being committed during the race. Mind you, dad had never ridden or even been on a horse – let alone a thoroughbred.

However, he was an outstanding sports official (football and basketball) and not only knew a foul when he saw one but had the integrity to enforce it when it occurred. He served in that capacity for 20 years until he passed away in 1965. Along with fellow stewards, his presence, experience, and integrity corrected those problems. Further, his son, Peter, served as General Manager of Golden Gate Fields in Albany, California for 30 years. His grandson, Michael, worked at the Del Mar Race Track (California) for 40 seasons.

Will you serve with integrity as your first and foremost quality?

Posted On Friday, 04 June 2021 00:00 Written by

Global lockdowns, a dangerous virus, a tumultuous election, social distancing and masks versus no masks; 2020 was an uncertain year to say the least. With the diverse set of issues we faced having lost our sense of normalcy, one that affected everyone was an unfamiliar breach of trust.

The world struggled with understanding who or what to trust when COVID-19 brought our status quo to a screeching halt. After all, how do you navigate a world where every morning feels like the first day of history?

As new rules, regulations and restrictions came to fruition via government mandates, businesses’ operating procedures became uncertain, employees had to be let go from their jobs, and customer confusion ran rampant. Seemingly out of our control, trust was breached like never before.

Understanding Broken Trust

A couple months into the pandemic, the general public grew upset unlike ever before as their normal had been dismantled. The many regulations of the “New Normal” didn’t help, transforming many once-joyous customers and loyal employees into an angry demographic of displeased and untrusting people.

If you are a business leader or C-suite executive, it must be understood that in good times and bad, your employees put a lot of trust in your business operation. They and their families’ livelihood rely on your organization for sustenance. I know many in a position of power who know this but don’t fully appreciate what that means.

On the customer side of things, they trust more than just the product or service you offer. As witnessed in a disruption like COVID-19, they trust their “normal,” whatever that is. More frequently, trust is breached accidentally by a change in menu items or prices at a customer’s favorite clothing store; however, this time around, trust was breached by a deadly invisible force.

What many businesses struggled with was rebuilding or fostering their employees’ and customers’ trust in them, even in the face of complete uncertainty. Because several are still piecing together the rubble, how is it possible to elevate trust going forward?

Anticipatory Thinking and Elevating Trust

I have stressed the importance of implementing both agility and anticipation, or a good offense and defense, when dealing with disruptions in our ever-transformative world. The global pandemic was the perfect storm for these two; no one knew that the world would shut down from COVID-19, so they had to be agile, but a future certainty we did know was that eventually it would end.

We have now lived through a time where new rules and regulations swept the nation, so going forward, it is safe to say that a Hard Trend is that there will always be new rules, regulations and even restrictions in the world. Some may give their customers and employees a regained sense of trust in them, while others may turn customers away and cause quality employees to seek new employment.

Going forward, you must consider the level of trust you have with the people who stand to be affected by these changes, using my Anticipatory Leader System and Hard Trend Methodology to pre-solve problems that come with new regulations before they become major issues. This allows you to consider the ramifications on trust like never before—will the trust level be enhanced by that change, will it be compromised, or will it remain roughly the same?

Customers and employees who trust in your organization more because of new regulations will be unaffected, but how about those who greatly dislike or even become disadvantaged due to these changes? You may not be able to outrun regulations, but you can certainly find ways to make a newly regulated environment more welcoming to those dreading it.

Where Do We Go From Here?

It is important to note that you cannot please everyone, but making a conscious effort to regain the trust of everyone through changes both good and bad is wise.

Here are three ways that you as an Anticipatory Leader can better elevate trust in customers and employees alike:

Transparency. Understand what employees and customers need to know and keep them informed. Trust is undermined when you are impacted by a change that you didn’t see coming, such as mask mandates. Use my Hard Trend Methodology to better anticipate how to communicate the “why” of change rather than just unknowingly implementing it.

Consistency. Rebuilt trust that’s here today and gone tomorrow isn’t trust. Know what trust means to your organization as a leader and act on it as consistently as possible every day. Remember, your employees look to your organization as a foundation to their sustenance; be a strong one!

Owning mistakes. You will make mistakes as a business leader and organization, so rather than backpedaling and covering them up, accept them as a constructive part of business processes. This illustrates to customers that an organization’s leadership trusts its people to learn from those mistakes and continue to move forward.

Trust has three cross-cultural components: honesty, integrity and delivering on promises. Trust has to be earned; it does not exist in a vacuum, which means conscious, ongoing attention to those three components. Regardless of your geographical location or the culture in which you’re immersed, people hold those three values at an equally high level.

An anticipatory mindset can make all the difference, so be sure to explore my Anticipatory Leader Membership and learn how you can implement the principles from this interactive training to better rebuild and foster trust in your organization going forward!

Posted On Tuesday, 01 June 2021 00:00 Written by

We are nearing the halfway point of 2021.

It is highly likely a few of those New Years resolutions are either accomplished and filed away as a part of your History of Awesome, or they are long forgotten and will be reset next January.

It doesn’t matter the time of year, or the phase of life, I wonder where you’re at in terms of pushing yourself.

For me one year ago this week I was PUSHING everything to the limit – my virtual office capabilities to deliver content in an entertaining way on a ZOOM call, my body to stay up long enough to do the work required, my credit card to see how long we could last while the money slowly began to trickle in again.

The effects of such a push means other things are neglected: My Family knew I was pressed, and time together was scheduled and not as frequent, my weight went up as I stopped walking and working out as usual, my reading of books temporarily stopped as I focused all efforts on learning my craft through YouTube.

I finally pulled back at the end of last summer and took a minute to breathe.

Refocused to Family, Health, and love of reading entire books.  Having a little more Self-Care after releasing “The Promise To The One” was important, as I had gotten to a place of realizing I was breaking promises to myself in some areas, and really keeping them in a huge way in others.

By October I was ready to begin another push, and without sacrificing what is important to me, such as family time, daily walks, and consistent learning.  So I formed the plan: The Push will be forming a TEAM.

In November I was meeting with business owners whom I admire so much we decided to form a power alliance and create The Promise Institute, which is off to an incredible start, and the new PUSH was on!

We are accountable to one another for keeping The Promise in our businesses, families, and doing what we know the other should be doing.  We have our Signature Moves that make us great, and remind one another if we notice someone isn’t working in their “Zone of Genius” as Gay Hendricks calls it in his landmark book, “The BIG Leap”.

2021 has been a push so far in terms of setting up the business, getting products rolling out, and our processes in place.  It has been a push, but also the right kind of push where we have our family time, reclaiming our health, and keeping things that can often get away from us in check.

But then there is another kind of push that really shoves me into another level of overdrive:

The PUSH of Accepting Speaking Opportunities of Every Capacity!

I consider all of these opportunities to grow, expand, and really PUSH to a new level a part of my PROMISE to never stop growing.

If they were all The Promise Keynote then it would be less noteworthy, other than to just be thrilled I’m so busy!

Instead, they are ALL unique, customized, require much time to prepare, create, reinvent, strategize with the client, and focus.

This type of schedule being so varied is very rare, and not recommended as “the usual”.  If it were, I’d burn out quickly.  Instead, it is pinpointed to this one time of the year on purpose, and helps me move to a new level of teaching, speaking, presenting to various types of groups, listeners, and thinkers.

And then we have a Summer to do all the fun things with the kids!

Your Promise Prompt This Week

What is your definition of A PUSH for yourself right now? 

If you feel you are in a cycle of never-ending PUSH, then is there a way to step out of that for a moment and evaluate what is out of alignment?

I know when I’m in mine, because the most important personal aspects of my life start to get out of control (weight gain, family time at dinner table, burning out).

If you are experiencing that, can you pull back in some area, in order to reclaim what is lost to any degree?  It might even mean asking a client if they don’t mind forgoing the usual Zoom meeting, and instead join you on the phone while you walk around the neighborhood on your conference phone call.  Something simple, but it works!  And they will admire you for asking.  Trust me, I’ve done it!

If you are READY to make a PUSH, whether in business, health, or other, here are some tips:

1. Notify your Family, Team, and Anyone Else Who Should Know – your relationships could be affected for a brief time, and your availability to connect, so they need to understand what you’re doing and going through
2. Create Space for Yourself to Focus – Turning off notifications on phone, email, social media will make a huge difference in your focus, as will funneling all meetings, interviews, team discussions, to one part of one day of the week (if possible).  This gives you ample focus time to create while moving to the next event.
3. Prepare The Heaviest Burdens First – Get the toughest ones off of your plate.  Brian Tracy calls it “Eat That Frog”.  It’s the same as doing math homework first if that’s what your kid says is the one they struggle with the most.  The quicker you can rid your mind of the heaviest weight the quicker you can fly through creating the easier presentations.

If you aren’t a Speaker, how can this help you? 

Well, think of it in terms of Sales and making that big push through your CRM to drum up business; Perhaps you’re the HR Manager and rolling out a new accountability procedure, this is a formula for getting everything ready to go; Leaders: Use this as focused time to crank out all of the stuff from your never-ending To-Do List!

If doing a Health program, writing a Book, building a Garden, getting that Scrapbook done, or fixing a Relationship with a loved one, it works the same.

It comes down to your PROMISE to finally go for it!

I wish you the best with your Promise to Push Yourself! 

And let me know what you did, that always makes us feel like we did something pretty amazing in the amount of time accomplished, when we have the chance to share about it.

Posted On Wednesday, 02 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 02 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 01 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 31 May 2021 00:00 Written by

“One of these days, you are going to wish you paid more attention to me. Sincerely, Terms & Conditions”  someecards

Real estate sales are still running hot in May of 2021, pushing the national median home price to $372,400, up over 16%  from $310,100 a year ago.  Low inventory of homes for sale continues to cause buyers to compete with other buyers for the same house.  Buyers have to think fast and make their highest and best offer. The saying goes, “if you have to sleep on it, someone else will be sleeping in it.”

On one end of the see-saw, you see rising home prices. On the other end of the see-saw are low mortgage rates and high wages attempting to keep everything balanced. New homes hitting the market help maintain a balance between homes for sale vs. high demand from homebuyers.  

Watch out for rising mortgage rates, though.  Rising mortgage rates along with higher home prices could cause a correction in the rate of increasing home prices, even though prices are expected to continue to rise over the next year or two. 

Other costly mistakes to avoid on the home purchase contract:

1. Carson and Casey thought they knew the neighborhood and made a competitive offer to pay $10,000 over the appraised value. They thought the house would appraise for $175,000, but it appraised for $225,000.  Oops!  The unexpected higher price took Carson and Casey way past their budget, and they did not have enough money to close without pulling money from a retirement account. Expensive!

2. Stay clear of clauses like, “seller to pay a $10,000 decorator allowance to buyer at closing.”  Traditional mortgages prohibit the buyer from getting cashback from the seller in this manner.  There are other solutions to appease both parties without giving cashback to the buyer.

Real estate and mortgage professionals bring value to home buyers and home sellers when they can apply their knowledge to avoid costly traps to these customers.   When you save a customer from a bad experience, they reward you richly with referrals for years to come. 

Posted On Monday, 31 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Memorial Day weekend has always held special meaning to me. As a young boy it was about parades, ballgames, and barbeques. Times when friends and families would gather and share stories. Mine was a generation of boomers, born in the 50’s, fresh out of the Korean War, WWII, and with plenty of those still around from WWI. As I grew up, the country faced Vietnam and as an adult, a number of conflicts around the globe in which brave men and women risked their all for their country. For this, we must take the time to remember those who gave their all.

I think it only fair to share that my belief is many will enjoy parades, games, barbeques, and family gatherings, but so many of the stories are either gone or will not be shared; some stories will not be heard. It is important to acknowledge the events of the past, not as if they were right or wrong; but that they were entered, people were called to duty and responded.

This weekend is about remembering and reminding us that we have the ability or disagree, get along, do what we please when we please, all because for 245 years, brave patriots have responded to the call freely and were willing to give their all for us to do as we do.

Have a safe and sound holiday weekend, be sure you take some time to remember those who have come before us and gave the last full measure of devotion. God bless the United States of America!

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

Posted On Monday, 31 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 27 May 2021 10:58 Written by

You could hear Jimmy Duggan, played by Tom Hanks the manager of the Racine Belles, the All-American Girls Professional Softball T*E*A*M (AAGPBL) as he yelled at Evelyn when she threw to the wrong base that cost the Belles that game. “Are you crying?” Duggan repeated. Then he followed with “There’s no crying in baseball!” I disagree!

Wouldn’t you think that there was a tear or two in Mickey Mantle’s eyes as he circled the bases after hitting #536 in his last home game against Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg on September 20, 1968 – one month shy of his 37th birthday. Or how about on October 8, 1956, when Don Larsen pitched that perfect game retiring all 27 batters in that World Series game? Larsen said afterward, “When it was over, I was so happy. I felt like crying.” My guess is he did!

This brings me to 24-year-old Tom Burns who won his first major PGA Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Beach, Florida earlier this month in the Valspar Championship. What’s unusual about Burns’s victory is that this was his first time being atop the leader board after 72 – that’s right – 72 PGA tournaments! As his wife and parents poured onto the 18th green, Burns was seen wiping away a face full of tears. A championship after 18 tries! Wouldn’t you? That victory was worth $1,242,000 or about ½ million more than second-place finisher Keegan Bradley, who, incidentally, helped Burns’ victory by double-bogeying number 12 in that final round.

Two weeks later at the Byron Nelson Classic in McKinney, Texas, Burns was the leader all three rounds but shot a 70 on the final round losing out to K.H. Lee who won his first PGA event.

Tears-in-your-eyes can take many forms. It happens in victory and in defeat. I remember holding a towel to cover my face sitting on the bench as our chance at a high school basketball championship faded away. Sports are played with passion which builds emotion that is sometimes unable to control. To those in defeat or victory, tears become a release.

Tears in victory are easy to understand. When you work so long and so diligently for something and then it happens– well, you have every right to release those emotions. You deserve that.

However, don’t forget your opponents! They have the right to release their emotions as well. “Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat,” said Christopher Earle. By doing so you will display a strength of character and a level of honor.

Will you show strength and honor in your victories or defeats during your sporting life?

Posted On Friday, 28 May 2021 00:00 Written by
I have been learning lately that the knowledge mass of the human race is doubling approximately every three years. Estimates are that by 2030, the knowledge mass will be doubling every 35 days!  An elderly fellow in a recent audience said “Man, I’m sure glad I’ll be dead then!” It is indeed a formidable consideration for the future.
Today we have so many disrupters, changes, technological advances, and daily brain inputs that it's become a challenge to process it all. What have you been studying and learning lately? Have you given in-depth thought to what you need to be learning? Here is a 6-step process that will serve useful in helping you target your learning goals and objectives for maximum progress…

1. First, do a “Current Assessment” of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that exist in your chosen career path. Dr. Peter Drucker used to say “To make measurable progress you have to know where you are starting from."

2. Consider (or set) your goals for the next five years and ask yourself what you need to learn to advance yourself. Consider what the person you want to become is learning now!  This will help you target your learning goals so that you can stay on track for positive outcomes. You may want to ask your boss which topics you need to advance your learning on. They will be impressed with your focus on self-improvement.

3. Start making a list of books, periodicals, industry magazines, etc. you need to be reading and get started on them. You may want to keep a journal of what you have read with a listing of the “Key Takeaways” you gain. Another recommended activity is to think about what unproductive habits you have that you could replace with more learning time.

4. Develop some solid new habits that will help you achieve your new learning goals. Behavior change can be tough, but it is the only way to ramp up the knowledge we need to prosper in the coming times.

5. Consider other areas of education you might pursue. Have you thought about going back to school, or taking select courses that will help you become the person you want to be? Online courses are readily available on just about any topic you want to pursue.

6. Take action. Write down your new goals, stick to your plan, and make some great strides in what you learn. The depth of our knowledge becomes apparent to those around us, and we start to get blind-sided with new opportunities for career growth. I love it when that happens! 

The late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones would greet people not by saying “How are you?”, but by saying something like “What have you been learning?” or “What are you becoming these days?” It would inevitably make you stop and think!
One of my favorite stories on this front was regarding the great friendship that Henry Ford and Thomas Edison enjoyed. On occasion, they would go to their Florida homes in Ft. Myers (they were next door to each other). After not seeing each other for a few months they would agree to meet on their dock early in the morning to visit. Thomas would say to Henry “Hello Henry, what has become clear to you since we were last together?” That’s lofty thinking at its best. I can only imagine the things they talked about.
There is no standing still in the arena of competition. Ultimately, one is either progressing or regressing, and there is no status quo. If someone thinks they are "holding their own," they are really regressing because of the knowledge mass expansion referred to earlier. The competitor who is hungry for knowledge will, over time, outperform those who labor under the assumption of holding their own.

As you learn new things, you can convert them into new skill sets that will help you do what you do better or with greater efficiency. Concerning your current learning process, who are you becoming? What could you become if you knew more? Can you glean some positive actions from this newsletter to expedite your trip to the next level?  Good luck!

Posted On Friday, 28 May 2021 00:00 Written by
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