Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar

 

I really didn’t want to work out this morning. I had a very late night at the computer compiling notes from a coaching session which I thought gave me an excuse to hit the snooze a few times. After struggling to get out from under the covers, I decided there wasn’t enough time to get in both cardio and strength training. But maybe I could spend a few minutes on the elliptical machine, kind of a cross-country skiing machine that lightens the load on aging knees and ankles (that’s what old people tell me they wrestle with).

 

As I walked into the gym, the owner of Thermal Fitness, Rodrick Woods, was pushing one of his clients beyond what they thought were their limits. In between their grunting (and I think profanity), I asked Rodrick “What are YOU doing to raise the bar today?” He and I have this cool relationship, I pointed out to him that his gift was to work on body and health, I work on head and heart.

 

His response was evasive. He answered my question with a question:

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So you think you had a hard day at work? Talk to Louie…

Louis Zamperini NBC Los Angeles

Louis Zamperini, credit: NBC Los Angeles

 

I walked into the house, sighing as I drop my keys on the counter with a thud. It’s been a long day of grinding through reports, dealing with irritated customers, co-workers expounding on how management doesn’t understand the strain everyone is working under, given the prevailing atmosphere of economic uncertainty, prospective clients haven’t called back… and no one refilled the coffee pot. As I walk through the living room, my blood pressure climbs, caused by finding chewed up scraps of paper strewn across the floor. Bending down I realize that my five-pound alarm systems (also referred to as miniature Pomeranians and sometimes devil children) have found page 3 of a report that I had been searching for but apparently dropped. It has been a long, hard day.

 

Not compared to a day in the life of Louie Zamperini.

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The Power of the Pen, the Clock and the Spoken Word

 

Every now and then, someone comes along as an example of authentic leadership, whose keen insight into the hearts of others compels people to stretch the horizons of their possibilities. Every so often, someone shares a profound message that on the surface has value in business but if you allow, it can strengthen your foundation at home.

 

I was surprised when that introspective, tender-hearted, spirit filled “Yoda” turned out to be linebacker… 

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Can We Trust The Leaders Around Us?

Can We Trust The Leaders Around Us?, Mike Lejeune

 

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to coach professional athletes. Can you imagine looking around a room filled with people who are world class in their talents and capabilities? How would you ever get them to listen to you or follow your guidance?

 

Recently I interviewed Jeff Paine, former Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Redskin linebacker (who I might add had a stellar career at Texas A &M) and we discussed motivators of top tier performers. Since he spent a few years as a starter playing defensive in the NFL, I asked him which coach had the strongest influence on him. Without hesitating Jeff said, “That’s easy, Joe Gibbs with the Redskins.”

 

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