Book Review: Think Big, Act Bigger

think-big-preview-02In 2015, I heard Jeffrey Hazlet speak at a breakout session during  Hubspot’s Inbound conference. He discussed the concepts from his book Think Big, Act Bigger.

Admittedly, it took me several months to purchase the book and several more to start reading it.

Mr. Hazlet is opinionated. That bold stubbornness makes the book interesting and more valuable.

My Top Takeaways:

Thinking and acting big feels risky. Not thinking and acting big far riskier.  

  • The idea of acting big, pushing boundaries and stepping out of your own comfort zones feels dangerous. As business accelerates so quickly, we need to be thinking about how to go BIG, what ELSE can we do, where can we PUSH the envelope. That gives us the best chance of success.

Always be evolving.

  • In a world where “change” is the new status quo, your ability to adapt and change may be the most important indication of your ability to succeed.

This is one of the better books I’ve read this year. And it’s not too lengthy. – so, you can read it over just a few days. The book gives great, real-world examples that make the concepts tangible.

My Recommendation:

Get it. Read it. Make your team read it. And re-read it often.

If you’ve read it share your thoughts?

What book(s) have you read this year that was valuable?

Learning from being a Dad

ID-100218845Being a Dad is the most challenging and gratifying part of my life. It’s a role that requires me to constantly be learning and improving. The lessons learned as a father directly impact many other areas of my life, including being a more effective leader.

As a Dad…

You adapt to different personalities

No two kids are alike. In fact, all four of my kids are unique in their likes, desires, motivations, stresses, hobbies, and more. To be effective I have to adapt in the way I interact, encourage and occasionally chastise. A strong correlation exists between my ability to adapt to each personality and how well we connect with each other.

You make the best with what you have

Almost all Dads deal with limited means – time, money and resources. Waiting until there is a surplus of these things simply isn’t an option. So you get creative, become innovative, develop patience and just find ways to make it work.

You invest in the people

Giving my kids attention is far more valuable to them than giving them money – although my two teenagers may argue this point. In the end it’s not the house, the car, or the yard that matter. It’s the people. When you invest in people, relationships flourish, expectations are exceeded and individuals accomplish far more than you ever expected.

You have to laugh

A sense of humor might be one of the single most important characteristics a Dad can have. If you’re not careful the seriousness, stresses and pressures of life will weigh you down. Sometimes you just have to laugh it off.

You laugh to lighten the mood.

You make others laugh to brighten their day.

Sometimes you laugh to keep from crying.

-DJ

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Here’s the my amazing family!

Top photo cred

3 Tips for Managing Summer

window outsideSummer is here – warm weather, barbecues, and outdoor activities.

The beautiful thing about living in a state like Utah is the four distinct seasons. We enjoy cold snowy winters, mild springs, hot summers and cool falls. The downside, the joys of summer come and go very quickly.

Working during the summer months can prove challenging. With the kids out of school and late summer nights, there’s so much to do including swimming in pristine pools and retreating to clean mountain air (yeah, it’s a Utah thing). With so many fun things to do in the summer overworking yourself and your team seems… wrong.

So, you need to take the time to enjoy the season.

I’m not talking about personal time off (PTO) for vacations, but that’s important too. Instead I’m referring to the way to be highly productive at work, while enjoying summer.

The key then is to find the right balance between work and play. Yes, I’m still on this quest for balance.

3 Tips for Managing Summer:

  1. Accept it: Instead of fighting the situation, accept the fact that it’s summer. Life may run a little different for a few months. That’s okay – embrace it! That means not becoming frustrated. Enjoy this time of year.
  2. Take Advantage of the Weather: The allure of sunny skies and warm sunshine is tempting. Look for ways to get outside a bit. Examples include:
    • Offsite team lunches – a way to both get out of the office and get people offsite where they’re more inclined to relax a bit.
    • Visit key contacts – Jump in the car and go visit people. This may include top accounts, prospects, partners, or vendors. The extra rays will help boost your Vitamin D levels, while strengthening relationships in ways only possible through face-to-face meetings.
    • Take it Outside – A lot of heat and a little sweat will make you appreciate the refreshing A/C once back in the office. For example, eat your lunch at a park or take your 15-minute break by strolling outdoors.
  3. Switch-up Your Schedule: Instead of the normal 9-5 schedule, mix things up a bit to take advantage of summer weather.  Arrive early, stay focused, get a ton accomplished, and then leave early. You’ll get your work in and still have plenty of time for summer recreation late afternoon and evening. I find a ton can be accomplished from 7-9am, before most people have arrived at work. Another option to consider is requesting a few times during the summer to work 4-ten hour days, allowing for the occasional 3-day weekend.
    • Note: Make sure to clear it with your supervisor first – a good leader will see the wisdom in allowing you to do this, and may even decide to do the same.

Bonus Tip:

Plan for and Enjoy the Weekend: Don’t go to bed Sunday night thinking “Dang, I didn’t do anything all weekend long”. Plan ahead to spend weekends outdoors – enjoying the weather, having fun, being active and spending time with friends and family.

Maximizing summer can make it the best time for both your work life and personal time.

Now, get back to work – then feel free to take off a bit early today!

 

Photo cred: Idea go

Leaders should connect & disconnect during the holidays

This week officially kicks off the holiday season. For most of us the holidays are a busy time both personally and professionally. The next six weeks are full of distractions, albeit some good ones. This past weekend as I started making some of our holiday plans I remembered two concepts that I blogged about earlier this year: Connecting and Disconnecting.

The holidays are a great time to do both. Use your time off to disconnect from the work and stress that goes along with being a business professional. Then use that time to reconnect with family and friends. Good leaders understand the value of this concept. Great leaders put it in practice and encourage their people to do the same.