Building Champions Experience 2008 – Day 1

October 14th, 2008 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

The first day at BCE 2008 was a great day. We didn’t get started until 2:00 so it gave Chris and I a chance to go to the gym, do a little shopping, and have a great lunch at the Pine Tavern in Bend, OR. Named for the knotty pine paneled walls and two HUGE pine trees growing right up through the center of the restaurant!

When we got started at the retreat, the music was energizing. CEO Daniel Harkavy opened up with a great video of the current challenges we are facing in our economy, and simply asked the room of about 175 leader, “What’s Next?” It set the stage well.

Some things that stuck with me after Day 1:

  • Key words for the week: Intentional, Disciplined, Simple, Grateful
  • Definition of Discipline – “Do WHAT you should, WHEN you should, WHETHER YOU FEEL LIKE IT OR NOT!” – Great definition
  • Work smarter , not harder, does not imply that you don’t have to continue to work hard!
  • Two of the coaches struck me with tips they gave: 1) LEARN – Come with a humble spirit and ask the question in each of your interactions “What can I learn from this interaction?” 2) LISTENING – “Don’t listen to agree or disagree. Don’t listen to like or dislike. Listen to learn. I really have to be aware on this one.
  • One of the Coaches presenting came up to me and thanked me in the hall at the end of the day. He said he focused on me visually because I was affirming and it made it easier for him to present. I was happy to help and I learned something for presenting in large groups. Look through the crowd and pick out two or three folks visually who are affirming your message. It does make it easier to present and give confidence.

Chris and I finished off the night with a nice dinner with some of the folks we have met here.

Day 2 goals for me: 1) Intentionally connect with at least two more people. 2) Listen to Learn! Be aware of when I am judging what is being said as agree/disagree.

Barber Shop Talk

October 2nd, 2008 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

Funny how I ‘feel’ when I go to Ed’s Barber shop to get my hair cut. My barber, Mazz, is over 70 and loves to talk about his grand kids (today it was more about his daughter that he “put through college over 20 years ago and it costs $26,000 (he tracked it!) and today it costs that much for one year?” He drives to Greensboro each weekend on Sunday…”about a 90-minute ride to have lunch with the family and the wife. Route 220 to Route 68, lots of nice houses on that road”). While in the chair, one patron asks Ed, the owner, “Who do you think will win the debate tonight?” As only Ed can do, he replies “Well, if you are a republican, you probably think your candidate wins and if you are a democrat, you think your candidate wins. It doesn’t really matter.” Ask him about the old piece of natural copper he has on his book shelf and your cut will take an extra 5 minutes.

In the middle chair, Dave cuts a doctor’s hair, who proceeds to give only a $1 tip on an $11 haircut! Are you kidding me?! Dave is the quiet one in the shop. He takes the most ribbing from Ed.

Of course, to ring up the haircut, the barbers have to hit $5, $5, $1 on the register and pull the handle each time. No electronic register, and certainly no debit card machine – CASH ONLY. And, you know where the register is? Out in the middle of the floor, actually closer to the customers waiting to get their hair cut than it is to the owner!!

One of the songs I heard on the radio while I was there today “Delta Dawn, what’s that flower, you have on…” Clearly, an A.M. radio only barber shop!! Dubble Bubble gum and DumDum suckers, of course.

I don’t know, call me crazy, but the simple life and talk in Ed’s barber shop is somewhat calming in these times. One of those trips I look forward to every 4 weeks. I rarely have to say a word…Just Listen & smile!!!

Leadership and the Law of Timing – The Bailout Bill goes down

September 29th, 2008 by Gallagher John No Comments

So, the bailout vote failed today and the finger pointing has started…

As I watch the news right now, I am taken back to the second Leadership book I read over 12 years ago. It was a gift from a mentor and friend of mine, Tom Carmazzi. The title was The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. In it one of the laws is the Law of Timing which states that “when to lead is important as what to do”. And, it further says that the right decision at the wrong time is met with resistance…, the wrong decision at the wrong time is disaster…and the right decision at the right time is met with support.

Now, I have never been a fan of Nancy Pelosi, and that would be an understatement on my part. However, her ‘speech’ today just before the vote bashing the Republican right is a clear sign of her lack of leadership and her total ignorance of the Law of Timing. Whether what she said was right or wrong, it was the WRONG TIME to be on her stump and go partisan politics. Would the Bill have been approved without the speech? I don’t know, but I assure you that her timing was simply atrocious.

Investors lost a trillion dollars today as the Stock market fell nearly 10%. Nearly 2/3 of Americans are in the stock market, whether they own stock, mutual funds, or participate in a 401(k), or EMPLOYED by a company on the stock market! There has been a lot of talk comparing Wall Street and Main Street. Wall Street = Main Street…

This country is crying out for strong leadership. If some of our congressional leaders understood the Law of Timing, it would go a long way to influencing my vote in a few months…

'Problem Solving' – the Bailout – What Options were NOT Considered?

September 26th, 2008 by Gallagher John No Comments

To make an understatement, the ‘$700 billion bailout’ has been at the top of the headlines in newspapers, television, and blogs. ‘Do you support it?’, or ‘Do you not support it?’ and ‘Why?’ have been questions asked of politicians, consumers, and friends. It is quite a problem that our economy, and subsequently, our leadership, is facing.

We face problems on a daily basis. We face problems that are on a much smaller scale, but that seem to be as important to us as well. Family, finances, where to eat dinner, etc.!!

In any event, when I solve problems, the key is to always have alternatives. For every problem, there are always multiple solutions. Some better than others. But, the key is to have alternatives. Here is a simple process I use when evaluating a problem:

1) Define the problem in a sentence format.
2) Brainstorm at least 7 possible solutions to the problem. If you can’t think of at least 7 on your own, then ask a confidant, family member, or friend. Two heads are better than one is normally the case in problem solving. But, don’t stop until you have at least 7 options.
NOTE: Doing nothing is normally an option, but RARELY a good option!
3) Ask yourself the question “What options did I not consider?” This will normally generate a few more alternatives.
4) Rank the alternatives against your goal and your values.
5) Do a ‘gut-check’. If it doesn’t feel right, you need to understand why. You may have to go back through steps 2 through 4 again. Trust your instincts. Not your ego, but your instincts!

I am sure there are other ways to solve problems (5-Why’s, 7D, family meeting, etc.). What works for you in business and life?

So, my question for our govenment as they make a decision that ultimately could cost me and my family a lot of money is “What options did you NOT consider?” If I had the confidence that they used a process to come to the answer of a bailout, it would be easier for me to support it, even if I don’t agree with it. (This is an entirely different topic for the future. Supporting a decision even when you don’t agree with it)

Are you an 'Incomplete Leader'?

September 24th, 2008 by Gallagher John No Comments

If you answered ‘Yes’ to that question, then I say “CONGRATULATIONS”. Being an ‘incomplete’ leader does not mean you are an ‘incompetent’ leader.

I just finished listening to the Maximum Impact lesson entitled “In Praise of the Incomplete Leader” by John C. Maxwell. I clearly had a few takeaways from this:

1) As a leader, I am not strong in all areas of leadership…AND that is OK. Believe me, I have plenty of weaknesses.
2) I have to recognize that all leaders and team members are not going to be ‘like me’ and that is a good thing. I talk about this in the Building Champions interview I did about a week back. When I started a new career with my mother-in-law in real estate, I worked really hard to get her to do things my way rather than focusing on the areas of her strength and allowing our team to be more successful as a result. BIG MISTAKE on my part
3) There is a need to surround yourself with people who are stronger in areas than you are. This is how you will continue to grow, both personally and professionally.

What are the key areas for your business/life/home that are critical in your development? Are you strong in all those areas? If not, congratulations! Go out and find resources(hire, delegate, confidants) to complement the areas of your leadership weaknesses. If I can fulfill any of those resources for you, let me know.

Champions edge Interview link

September 21st, 2008 by Gallagher John No Comments

Hi friends – In a previous post, I told you I would follow up with a copy of the interview I did with Building Champions on their monthly Champions’ Edge call. Well, here ‘tis. I still haven’t listened to it myself, but I have to admit, I did have a good time with the interview. I hope you enjoy.

Click here and then click ‘Listen to Past Calls’ then click the September 2008. You can listen from the play button, or right click on it and save it.

Give me some feedback on it as well!!

Dumb commercial…or Brilliant Marketing

September 20th, 2008 by Gallagher John No Comments

Have you all seen the Microsoft commercials with Bill Gates & Jerry Seinfeld?

I don’t ‘get ’em’. But, maybe I am not supposed to get them. You see, if it were just an ordinary Microsoft commercial, it would be pretty boring and we wouldn’t be blogging about it all over (it is being blogged and chatted about by lots of folks!). So, by making a DUMB commercial, are they really generating buzz to chat about Microsoft, which makes it Brilliant Marketing? It won’t make me go out and buy a new computer with Vista!!