Wednesday, January 1, 2014

5 Lessons Learned from Mrs. Claus

In last year’s holiday season newsletter, I wrote about the Seven Lessons I Learned From Santa Claus. It highlighted some meaningful ways to live a successful life. And, it was fun!

This year, I am gonna follow the theme but with a twist. I am going to take a look at lessons to be learned from the other North polian … err, North poleite … umm,  North poler… ah, whatever. The other lovable character we know who is always dressed in red … Mrs. Claus.

Trivia question: Anyone know the first name of Mrs. Claus? If you don’t know, I’ll tell ya at the end of the newsletter.

Santa and his team have been bringing Christmas cheer to billions of people every year for a long time. How does he make the whole thing work? And what lessons can we learn from his spousal unit, who has been by his side for hundreds of years?

Well, I think I’ve got part of their magic figured out. At least I think I do…

See, here’s the thing. Sometimes the best lessons in life come from the most unusual of circumstances. And I think we can agree that everything that surrounds the Claus clan is unusual by our mortal standards. Giving yourself permission to explore the true magical takeaways from Santa and the misses could change your life.

So let’s explore five lessons learned from Mrs. Claus at the workshop way up on top of the world.

Being in The Spotlight Isn’t Necessary. Sometimes working behind the scenes is more rewarding and effective than being the main player in the spotlight. Supporting those around you and the goals at hand can be where the real power lies. And it’s one jolly good way to build trust and confidence with all on the team, including the big guy.

Everyone Needs an Accountability Partner. No matter who you are or what your role is in business or in life, you are not successful solely because of yourself. Tiger Woods is surrounded by coaches. The astronauts in the International Space Station have the folks in Houston. And, Archie Bunker had Edith. Mrs. Claus helps Santa stay on schedule, she is in charge of managing the naughty and nice list and she ensures that St. Nick is always looking his Christmas best. He needs her and he wouldn’t be who he is without Mrs. Claus. She keeps him on track and on task.

If the Mrs. Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy. See, legend has it that Mrs. Claus is the factory manager for the elves at the North Pole. And if she is not having a good time and feeling like she makes a difference, there will be many unhappy little folks around the world when they don’t get what was requested of Santa. Mrs. Claus is a great example of what happens when a leader (Santa, in this case) ensures the team knows the plan and the expectations. A leader’s success is built on the backs of those that support them. Treat the team with respect and gratitude, and the results will be amazing.

Joy Comes From Seeing Others Succeed. She is so giving and so supportive and then sooo happy when that fat dude flies away and leaves her to enjoy some solitude for a night. Ya know, that incessant Ho Ho Ho’ing’s gotta get old after a while. Her job is done for another year and she can smile because she knows her efforts directly aided in making Santa a raving success. That feels good and in my experience it lasts a long time. Helping others to achieve their goals and your collective aspirations sometimes should be reward enough.

Ladies Dig Short Stocky Guys with Long Beards. It’s a great look if I say so myself. Not everyone can pull it off, but dang it’s a good look. Not everyone could be Mrs. Claus and the lesson to be learned here is that there is a mate out there for everyone. Whether it’s a soul mate, a business partner or a coach, staying open minded and not settling is a recipe for success. And, by the way, for those who haven’t seen me in a while, I am a short stocky guy with a long beard. LOL!!

I’ve strapped on the Santa suit dozens of times in my life for the enjoyment of thousands of children. Every time it is a special experience. And guess what, I wouldn’t be so jolly without my Mrs. Claus by my side.

Look around you this holiday season and notice the lessons to be learned. Embrace the true magic and miracles of Christmas and honor them in your life. And share those newfound joys with anyone who will listen. Santa is watching, so make him proud.

So, do you know the first name of Mrs. Claus yet? Well, if not, here it is for you. Her official full name is Mrs. Jessica Mary Claus. See, ya learned somethin’ new today. Ole Jessie Claus!

Your life becomes amazing when you do. And your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing – I dare ya!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Goal setting – what a powerful process! The process itself lets you decide where you want to go in your life. Goal setting requires clarity and motivation. 

When most people talk about clarity, they describe it as if they were writing their goals down on paper. But when you just write your goals down, you are missing an important factor – motivation! Having clarity in your goals and in your life gives you direction. Think about how that will change your life!

When setting goals with clarity, you not only have to know what you want to do but why you want to do it. Knowing why is often the most important part of the equation! And goals don’t need to be achieved in one big step.  Goal progression is often how we get there. 

So, I’d like you to ask yourself two things: What does this goal mean to me and how is it going to change my life? As you think of a goal in your mind, ask yourself these two questions. Clarity in your goals and in your life gives you direction. It allows you to move forward 100% towards your goals and towards leading the life you want to live. And clarity will motivate you – does that make sense to you?

But, how do you motivate yourself? When no one else can hear you, what do you say to yourself? What messages do you give yourself that no one else can hear? Are they positive, or are they negative? Only you will know. If they are negative, STOP! Make them positive.

Your unconscious mind listens intently to your internal dialogue. Is that leading you towards your goals? Is what you say to yourself something you would share with another person? Would you be motivating them if you told them the same things you’ve told yourself? You should be motivating yourself the way you would motivate another person.

Right now, define your goals. Gain your clarity. Choose a direction and lead that life you want to live. Direct yourself towards your goals. 

Your life is happening right now. Why not make it amazing. I dare ya!

Thanks and until next time, go ahead and Dare to be Amazing!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

But I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Do you remember when you were a kid and you thought you could do anything? I do. When I was a kid I wanted to be a pilot, an astronaut and a paramedic. And I was certain I was capable of being any or all of them. Why wouldn’t I be?

Kids dream big because they can, because they have never been introduced to Doctor Failure. Young people truly believe they can be and achieve anything in the world.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could be like that his or her entire life? Now that would be amazing.

Somehow adults too often lose their ability to dream (big or small) – it’s too risky! Failure sucks and who wants to be labeled a loser? Shooting for the stars is for daredevils and they can have it.

But see, here’s the thing. There are two ways to view this topic. It’s a battle of being critical versus being curious. You can either find every reason why you shouldn’t try something new or take a risk. Or you can be curious about what it would take and how it would feel to accomplish something way cool. It’s a choice … and the amazing thing is that it is your choice. Yep, your choice.

Goals and desires come in all shapes and sizes. As a society we tend to only celebrate the great and ginormous achievements. That’s not OK with me. Every achievement, if it is meaningful to you, must be celebrated. You gotta celebrate! Revel in how it feels and let everyone know!

Like Francesca Battistelli sings in her hit, “It’s your life … whatcha gonna do? The world is watching you. Everyday, the choices you make say what you are and who your heart beats for. 
This is your opportunity to let your life be one that lights the way … to live the way that you believe.”

Want proof? Think of the person that you know that is the happiest person you have ever met. Guess what? They continue to dream every day and look for opportunities to celebrate, even the smallest of things. See what I mean?

You don’t have to be a special athlete or anything to be amazing. Write a book or a letter to the editor! Call an old friend! Ask someone out on a date! Open that bottle of wine you have been saving “for a special occasion.” Go to Disney World. Learn to ballroom dance. Sign up for an IMPROV course. Take a pottery class. Rent a canoe for a day at Moraine State Park and paddle til ya puke! OK, maybe not until you puke, but you know what I mean. PEOPLE, JUST GET SOME MOTION STARTED!

So what opportunities will you go after? And just as important, why?

When you cultivate an attitude of curiosity, doors open and adventures begin; questions lead to new possibilities. It’s really very cool …

So, here is your homework. Today – yes, today – take 5 minutes and write down one goal. One goal that is intentional, purposeful and meaningful. A goal that once you achieve it, not only will it be amazing but it will also make you feel amazing! Do it – write it down and then commit to it. Hang in on your fridge or your bathroom mirror as a reminder. And … share it with anyone who will listen.

Because, guess what? YOU ARE AMAZING!

Your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing – I dare ya!

Monday, September 9, 2013

If You’re Not Sweating, You’re Not Getting

“Hi sweetie, did you have a good workout”

“Umm, ya know, I’m not really sure …”

“Whadya mean you’re not sure?”

“Well, I worked out for over an hour but I hardly broke a sweat.”

“Guess what, pal? You just wasted an hour … sucks to be you!”

Leadership and business and life are a lot like a fitness workout. The best results are achieved when you really test your limits and from pushing yourself (or your team) to take one more step towards AMAZING.

The treadmill is an incredible metaphor for how you conduct yourself. Belt speed and belt incline control how hard your workout will be on the treadmill. Moderate speed and no incline will whittle away the time, but is unlikely to make you stronger or faster. Crank up the incline and it gets harder. Add some belt speed and a walk turns into a jog or a run.

Oooh, I can smell the sweat already. The sweet aroma of progress and pushing your limits. The nectar of success!!

For me, it’s an incredible high to bask in the glow of having done a workout where I pushed the limits of strength and endurance. I may not have thought that while I was gutting through it, but afterwards – damn that feels good! A wet t-shirt after the workout is a signal of progress.

See, here’s the thing. If you’re not sweating – and I mean dripping, smelly, can’t stand yourself anymore wet – you’re not getting. Not getting ahead…not getting results…and not getting that oh so important motivation to achieve your goals. You’ve got to sweat to move your performance, your strength and your results to the next higher level.

It is hard. It hurts to push. You might be sore for days. But the cool thing is that every time you feel a twinge of pain you know it is the result of pushing hard to become stronger and better. No pain … no gain certainly has a meaning here.

Select the settings on the treadmill that make you comfortable and you are unlikely to sweat. And consequently becoming stronger, faster and more capable is likely out of reach.

Without giving it all you’ve got and sweatin’ it out – well, you’re just doin’ time, man. You are just doin’ time …

You’ve got to sweat to get!

Success in achieving your desired objectives will not come from being comfortable every day. Your limits of performance have to be tested.

So, it is your decision. How bad do you want to get ahead? What would you make possible for yourself or your team if you decided to sweat just a little…or just a lot more?

You are in control of the speed and incline buttons on your own personal treadmills. Reach out and push the buttons my friend. See what’s possible!

What is one thing you can do today…TODAY…to up the speed, increase the incline and seek out the limits of performance for you and/or your team?

What would make you sweat more so you can get more?

Try it – I have every confidence that you will like the results. And, I know you will feel better all day because of it. Commit to pushing yourself a little more each day and you will sweat yourself to success!

I’m going for a run – see you all later. I’m not coming back until I’ve got a mean sweat goin’!

Your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing!
If you would like to talk about how to create a more impactful business, leadership or life workout for you or your team, gimme a call or drop me an email. Let’s find ways to test the limits of performance together.
Thanks, and until next time, go ahead and Dare to be Amazing! What have you got to lose?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Honest, I Really Have To Go!

I can remember many times as a kid when I would be hanging out with my friends and it was time for a contest of some sort. It might have been a foot race or a hill climb or to see who could hit the most whiffle balls in thirty seconds. It may have even been something crazy like seeing who could hold their tongue on a set of 9-volt battery terminals the longest. Or maybe it was a bike race – my favorite!! We’d get all lined up like we were competing for an Olympic medal or something.

And it was always some guy’s job to get things started by saying: “On your marks … Get set … GO! And go we did, usually without hesitation and often with complete and utter reckless abandon.

But one thing was always for sure – we GO’ed!

Do you remember those days? You know, those days when you were daring and unafraid. That time in your life when daring to be amazing was the rule of the day rather than the exception?

And failure? No way! Who even thought about it? It was the attempt and the spoils of victory that was at the center of your focus. If you didn’t win, you made up another challenge and moved on. You with me?!

But something interesting happened on the way to adulthood. As life brought you more experiences and you matured, for some reason it started to become a bit harder to GO. Oh, it’s not because you didn’t and don’t want to. It is that something told us that being an absolute free spirit wasn’t prudent anymore.

Fear. Consequences. What if’s. Bad past experiences. All reasons why you might not GO.

Even with these limiting concerns, wouldn’t it still be amazing to achieve your goal?

It’s can be pretty easy to be on your mark. You do it every day with new thoughts. And still easy to get set. But GO – well, I gotta think about it. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t. Just gimme a minute. Umm, on second thought, I’ll get back to ya.

See, here’s the thing. Success at changing or improving your life, your job, your career, your financial position or your wellness is not the result of having good intentions. It takes action. Yep – action. Sorry to break it to you, but wishing yourself better isn’t going to make it happen. You’ve got to GO to make it real.

And as a leader, wouldn’t you rather have team members who have been courageous enough to try – to GO – and failed a few times than folks who stand on the sidelines. I would – doers trump talkers all day, every day. Don’t punish folks for failing – reward them for trying.

So, it is your decision. How bad do you want that goal? What would you make possible for yourself or your team if you decide to GO? I encourage you to:

Say GO instead of I Don’t Know
Be BOLD instead of Ice Cold
Be a TRIER as opposed to a Stand Byer


Give amazing a chance. GO GO GO! I dare ya!

Your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing!
Thanks, and until next time, go ahead and Dare to be Amazing! What have you got to lose?