LESSON #5: Falling off a stage isn’t so bad. It was 1997. I was doing a one-day class in Harrisburg, PA, for my friend Howard Hafetz at Raylon Corporation. Early in the afternoon, my foot slipped off a step and I crashed on the floor in front of 150 people. I broke a bone in foot. I finished the class sitting in chair with an icepack on my foot. The show must go on.
LESSON #6: Books are knowledge. Author Seth Goodin says, “A book is really an author’s manifesto of what he/she believes in.” Write with passion. It takes a lot of writing to discover your written voice. I hope you like mine!
LESSON #7: The importance of balance. I guess I'm one of those road warriors who knows their way around airports as well as the back roads of my home town. For me, the glamour of travel wore off many years ago, especially in recent years. I have learned that time on the road needs to be balanced with time in the office and at home. It's also why I love riding my bike and pushing myself to do distance riding.
LESSON #8: Surround yourself with believers. Every leader needs an inner circle of believers to lean on. I am blessed to have an inner circle at Strategies to push me to be my best, lift me up when I’m down, and tell me the truth when I need to hear it.
LESSON #9: Never disconnect for too long. As a leader, you need to pay attention to what’s going on in your company. Without the proper systems, accountabilities and information flow, it’s easy for a company to wander off course. It's so easy to get caught up in new projects or work the point where you unintentionally disconnect. Have you ever said, "How was that happening right under my nose?" If yes, you were too disconnected.
LESSON #10: Focus and capitalize on your strengths. Do what you do best, and the stronger your company will become. Let your staff focus on doing what they are good at, while you focus on what you are good at—it’s what’s going to keep you capable of running a company in the future and doing the work you love.
LESSON #11: You don’t have to do it all. I have an amazing team of Certified Strategies Coaches (CSCs). Together, we share the load of delivering our training courses and coaching. There is no greater joy than sitting in the back of a classroom watching a member of my team deliver the Strategies' systems and methodologies.
LESSON #12: Rocking the boat. Don’t get too comfortable and dial back your sense of urgency or your company will get complacent. Leaders must keep their boat rocking and moving forward. Developing a sense of urgency to achieve goals, launch new projects and improve operating systems keeps a company vibrant. It starts with a leader.