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Paper Napkin Wisdom - Podcast and Blog for Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Difference-Makers

I've asked 1000s of the worlds top Entrepreneurs, Leaders, and Difference-Makers to share with me their most important pearl of wisdom on a simple paper napkin. Then I ask them to have a conversation about why they shared that Paper Napkin Wisdom with me and what it meant to them and for them in their life. Visit http://www.papernapkinwisdom.com for full show notes and archives. Learn their exceptional Stories of Drive, Impact, Balance and Leadership shared by CEOs, founders, authors, speakers, mentors, and teachers. They share successes and failures alike, paying forward their learning experiences to all of us.
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Now displaying: 2018
Jun 27, 2018

Best-selling author, world renowned customer service expert, founder of the DiJulius Group, business success – John DiJulius III has tapped into something special. On this podcast, John discusses applying his methodology beyond business, and why his life purpose is to “live an extraordinary life, so that others will.”

Stating your purpose isn’t enough. You have to deliver what you say and what you declare happen. “We all have seeds of potential,” John asserts, “and the seeds of potential that we don’t grow to their fullest potential...cheats all the people that are dependent on us.” Many people just say that they want to live an extraordinary life, but they don’t do the things that can get them there.

John reveals why he tells his employees, “I don’t want your best…,” while sharing inspirational tips and perspectives. “When each of us chose to be...a leader, we gave up the right to make excuses.” Their best is not needed. The only thing that is needed from an individual is to make a difference.

For John, his personal purpose statement is there “to remind me of my obligation,” in both his professional and personal life. Whether dealing with business colleagues or family and loved ones, it’s always important to remember those who work behind the scenes to help with a leader’s success, and to never run over them.

Jun 20, 2018

“Great leaders set high expectations for their teams, but even higher expectations for themselves,” says Mandy Burage, Director of Operations at Petra Coach. She explains that through the course of her childhood and early career, she encountered many personal and professional disappointments stemming from the fact that she set very high expectations for herself, while others did not set the same expectations for themselves, and as a result, team successes were adversely impacted. Later, Mandy realized that when leaders, especially entrepreneurs, set high expectations for the team, and even higher goals for themselves, it leads to success.

“When recruiting and hiring, I look for team players who possess motivation and high expectations,” says Mandy. “However, they also must be self-starters who follow through on tasks without needing to be ‘managed’ constantly. If a team member can’t fulfill their role independently, it slows the progress of every team member and hinders overall success.” Mandy also notes that collaboration is best when everyone brings something to the table.

True leaders have walked the walk. Hands on experience is a key element of being a good leader. “If I ask an employee to work late, or travel on a Saturday, they know that I also work late and travel on Saturdays.” Petra Coach succeeds because of a strong culture, with six core values that employees and candidates adhere to in the quest for success. One of the core values is Please and Thank You. Petra Coach teammates write and send thank you cards to one another. When employees are appreciated, and appreciate others, it increases morale, and fends off burnout.

DICS is also part of the Petra Coach culture. It is a big part of the way Mandy views herself professionally and personally, and how she operates as part of the Petra Coach team, as well as her home team (wife and mother). DISC stands for: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Submission (S), and Compliance (C).

Learn more about great leaders leading great teams, with Mandy Burage, on this episode of Leading Behind the Scenes.

Jun 16, 2018

How are you doing on your goals for the year? Your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you even remember what they were?

So many times we’re hard on ourselves for the early misses.

We say we’re going to eat low or no carbs, three weeks in we’ve eaten some delicious pastry, fries, or even cake and abandon ship.

We say we’re going to work out every morning, wake up earlier, go to sleep earlier, read more, watch less TV, connect more … whatever.

Whatever it is, it’s important enough to declare and make a goal around, but behavior change is harder than that. It can take HUNDREDS of days to break a habit that you’ve had for many years.

So here’s an idea – celebrate NOTICING that you’ve repeated the habit you want to change. Smile and give yourself a pat on the back for noticing that you’re repeating it and change then. Don’t beat yourself up … don’t get down on yourself.

Celebrate catching yourself doing something you wanted to change and change it.  Sometimes you have to celebrate getting it wrong so that you can create the momentum to get it right.

The best time to have caught yourself may have been before, but the second best time is right now.

Attach powerful positive feelings with the act of catching yourself and conquer new heights with your goals for this year.

Let’s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Subscribe to both our podcasts Paper Napkin Wisdom and to Take Action by Paper Napkin Wisdom now.

Jun 13, 2018

The goal of Carey Anne Nadeau, founder of Open Data Nation, is to “bring expertise in open data and data science to bear on the most pressing urban issues.” What compelled her to start the company was that she “wanted something to exist that just didn’t exist.” She was frustrated, dissatisfied, and complaining. The industry tended to be a “boys’ club,” and she experienced this firsthand when she was getting paid significantly less than a male peer. “The structures that already existed were not supportive to my growth,” she says. When told by a friend she should just “do it herself” she found the inspiration to start her own business. She chose to focus on using data science for societal benefit – to improve health and safety in cities – and become a female role model.

At one point, her entire company was female. This did not occur intentionally, but because it was mostly women who were motivated to do data statistics for the betterment of our society. Hence the title, “the future is female.” Carey Anne sees “a lot of opportunity for women to have a greater role. When they do, businesses see a lot of benefits.”

However, because her industry is still a “boys’ club,” Carey Anne is very aware of how she can be perceived. When she meets with new clients, talks about her value proposition, and lets her audience know she’s an MIT data scientist and city planner, they are often taken aback. Their reaction is, “What? That can’t be.” Knowing that have people have questioned or doubted a young, female entrepreneur’s standing in the industry, she suggests that one be very aware of people’s possible predispositions with respect to race, age, ethnicity, etc. – even whether a man has a beard.  

Carey Anne sees data’s role in business as helping think about, anticipate, and prepare for the future, not just as means of reviewing the past. For example, she will ask clients, “What pain points are you overwhelmed with?” to gain an understanding of how to get ahead of the problem.

Carey Anne does believe “the future is female,” but she is not saying the future is not male. It is not a zero-sum game. In her own experience, her male and female advisors offer divergent, but complementary, business-building help and insights. Where men are very focused on the current business and have opened boardroom doors, women have pushed more aggressively about how to make money. They “are really scrappy, looking for another angle, they don’t pigeonhole,” she says. At the same time, it is often a female characteristic to offer love, appreciation and support, and Carey Anne hopes that men, too, see themselves as “examples for others in the way we can all live our lives with more love and more happiness.”

Jun 9, 2018

A client is calling and they want a discount because something went wrong.

An employee is missing on targets and results are slipping, they need to be realigned.

The bank just called and a supplier took payment of a delivery early via automated transfer and there’s a cash crunch.

As a leader things come at us from all directions all the time – but how do we cope?

Well, usually we need a little help to resolve all of these … sometimes from the other party. We can’t get their help with a closed fist – with a fight. Sure, sometimes we can beat them into submission.

We can convince the customer that no – no discount that’s the way it is.

We can levy consequences on our employees and hold them accountable, force them to do better.

We can scream at the bank, or the supplier.

Or … we can do the uncommon thing and be kind. Being kind opens the door to handling challenges from a position of opportunity, with an open hand … also allows people around you to help.

Leverage is all about getting people to help you – especially in uncommon circumstances.

Be kind!

Let’s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Subscribe to both our podcasts Paper Napkin Wisdom and to Take Action by Paper Napkin Wisdom now.

Jun 6, 2018

On this episode of Paper Napkin Wisdom, entrepreneur and author Damion Lupo makes his case for the gift of errors, “Mistakes are the universe gifting us wisdom, wrapped up inside the struggles in life.”  Damion further explains that throughout our lives, we make mistakes, and as we do, we are taught that mistakes are bad. As a result, we revere people, who we believe, do not err or who are perfect at what they do. In truth, perfection is a farce, a fabrication of society. To understand the depth of knowledge, and succeed in any endeavor, mistakes must be made and overcome.

“If you want to succeed, don’t make mistakes, and don’t challenge authority; go with what you’re told to do.” Damion notes that this philosophy teaches people to become robots and puppets. Those who truly succeed are the ones think for themselves, who make mistakes, and who are willing to venture into the dark and learn from that void.

From the corporate and entrepreneur point of view, Damion further discusses that people don’t always acknowledge when they have made mistakes, so they continue to err. For example, Damion’s friend refused to accept that he’d lost a small fortune. Instead of admitting his money investing mistakes, he hid them, and the financial failures continued. Nothing was learned.

“If you’re gonna be in motion, you’re gonna make mistakes.” Damion describes, as a leader, one must be willing to be bold and move forward, even in the face of adversity. Learn from mistakes and move on quickly. This top-down behavior sets a corporate standard. Employees must be confident to come forward with problems and mistakes, or a firm will never succeed.

At the end of the day, mistakes are a gift, that when accepted and acknowledged, lead to wisdom, progress, and success.

Jun 2, 2018

Life and leadership is a contact sport.

You need to make contact with people every day as a leader and in life. There’s no avoiding it.

So how do you build protection for the energy vampires that surround us? They are every where now. More and more.

In the sea of all of that – remember that you need to bring protection with you. But where do you get it? How does that start?

It’s starts when you wake up in the morning. Remember your bedroom is a no-cellphone zone. No electronics and blinky shiny lights to move you to the danger zone.

Start by thinking great thoughts – better yet, write them down. But start somewhere … and thinking about the great day that could be is a good step in the right direction.

Then, think about your intention for the day. Who do you want to … need to … show up as today? What can you give to the people around you via energy and intent? Set that mindset up with visualization, repetition.

Think, write, and FEEL gratitude in the morning – let yourself feel the momentum that will create.

Use the Paper Napkin Wisdom Simple Planner (get it at www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com) … it’s free. Or write on a blank page – your goals, and one thing that you can do to move closer to your goals today. Start now.

Take Action …

Focus on the one thing that you need to do today, right now, that you can do to move yourself forward. Do you know what that is? Focus on it now.

Go do it. Make it happen.

Let's work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Subscribe to both our podcasts Paper Napkin Wisdom and to Take Action by Paper Napkin Wisdom now.

May 30, 2018

The Johari window was created by two psychologists in the mid-1950s as a tool for personal, group, and relationship development. Peter Mellen uses the Johari window as the framework for discussing how individuals and groups act, and how communication and relationships can grow.

There are four sections to the Johari window:

  1. Arena or Open: This is information we know about ourselves that’s also known to others.
  2. Façade or Hidden: This is information known to us that we do not share with others.
  3. Blind: This is information we don’t know about ourselves but others do.
  4. Unknown, or what Peter calls Generative Space: What neither we nor others know about ourselves.

Peter says it is important to expand Arena in order to achieve successful relationships. The more we get to know about the other person, the stronger our relationship would become. These relationships could lead to successful results in groups. As Peter says, “As we grow Arena, we build trust stronger and more transparent relationships.”

In the Façade area Peter asks, “What does an entrepreneur choose to keep behind the façade in the realm of the hidden and why do they do it?” It could be because of the fear that if entrepreneurs expose what’s hidden, it would lead to failure. Basically, “a fake it, until you make it” mentality. The challenge for the entrepreneur in this area is to let that fear go and seek the help that’s needed.

The next area, Blind, Peter explains how we might deny our blind spots’ existence, and they can be difficult to hear about. A first reaction might be to push it away. But a better response he says is “thank you.” He suggests that we “listen generously and be willing to try it on.” It is an area for learning and personal growth.

The last area is Generative Space. Peter explains this portion by calling it our “potential” – where all the unarticulated parts of ourselves are and “where miracles happen.” It is where creation exists.  He describes how this portion is our strengths and all those potential skills that we do not know about ourselves, but can discover by looking at ourselves from a different angle, or challenging ourselves to push the envelope. 

Growing as an entrepreneur includes the challenge of finding our strengths and working on what we do not know about ourselves every single day. With better knowledge of ourselves and others knowing us as well, barriers are opened up and organizational relationships can grow.

May 26, 2018

This has nothing to do with an ACTUAL well.

It has to do with the structure and support systems we need as leaders, as entrepreneurs.

It’s such a roller-coaster of ups and downs out there that we need support to help keep us a little more level and a little more in the zone to be in flow … to capture the momentum around us.

The challenge is that we tend not to do that when things are good – we’re so focused on the ride up that we forget about creating layers of support and structure for the way down.

What does that look like? It looks like truly transparent relationships that are nurtured with peers, people who are doing what you want to be doing in life and business. This transparency needs to happen in a rhythm, one that gets quicker when you need it (like a heartbeat). But is also there when you don’t (also like a heartbeat).

Focus on building meaningful relationships with people you aspire to be like, and show up with transparency – show up with challenges, opportunities, and problems that you haven’t figured out yet.

Ask them for help – build a well.

Let`s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Subscribe to both our podcasts Paper Napkin Wisdom and to Take Action by Paper Napkin Wisdom now.

May 23, 2018

Small business marketing expert and entrepreneur Jim Palmer’s fifth book is entitled, “Stop waiting for it to get easier, create your dream business now!” The sentence explains itself. “There is no perfect time,” Jim says as he recounts his own experience: broke and heavily in debt, on unemployment for 15 months, suffering from a serious health issue. Jim started in a very low place, and he knows you should not wait for the time to be perfect to start your dream business.

“It’s bigger than yourself,” Jim says about the importance of creating your business. If you have an idea and the resources, you should go for what you believe you can do. Now. He makes the analogy of sand in the hourglass. Time is running out, so stop waiting and act!

Jim realizes that people are hungry for success, but you really can’t make your business successful immediately. It’s a time-consuming process, “like a pearl or stained glass, it doesn’t happen instantly,” he says. Everyone starts small and eventually they can reach their dream level. Nothing comes that easy. You have to strive to work hard to make your business a dream business.

He talks about ‘perfectionism’ - how people have the idea of having everything in a perfect way and doing everything at the perfect time. The idea of perfectionism Jim says, is a business killer: it kills momentum. Since you can’t always have the ideal time and the ideal business or the ideal workplace, this will always stop you from moving forward if you think things need to be perfect from the outset.  Get over being a perfectionist, Jim advises. “Choose to be judged on the value of the content, information or service and not on the imperfect way you do it.”

Another factor to be successful at what you do? You consciously commit to stretching where you don’t want to go. “The top 1% learns to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Do the hard work others don’t do,” Jim says.

Swift decision-making is critical for success as well. Trusting your gut is one of the most important strategies that you need in your business. The main thing that you have to do is make a decision right when you are faced with a question or a problem. There is no maybe; there is no in between. What an entrepreneur needs to do is to decide with a firm yes or no. Jim explains that the ability to make decisions is like a muscle. The more you make decisions be they big or little, the more you strengthen your muscle. You are training yourself and getting better at deciding and acting effectively. And if the decision isn’t right, you can course correct.

Delegating is also something entrepreneurs or leaders have to learn to be successful. In a chapter entitled, “Delegate or stay small forever,” he explains that you need to hire smart, and train people into your culture. Then empower them to act. If you micromanage, your business can’t grow.

So act. Start that business. Make mistakes. Grow. Push yourself to realize your entrepreneurial dream.

May 19, 2018

It’s so important to build transparency in the life of the entrepreneur, leader, and difference maker.

Too often we don’t hold space for our most important relationships, the ones with our spouses, life partner, and families. We need to save space for them, and us, to share our dreams, our challenges, our hopes.

Structure time in the evening to debrief on the day, and more importantly to brief on the day before you start. This is not an opportunity to vent, this is an opportunity to share a vision for the day.

At the end of the day, it gives you an opportunity to share what you’ve learned, what you won, and what you’re grateful for. Think of it as a night time huddle with your most important partner – the one you wake with and end with each night.

Give each-other a safe and soft place to land after another busy day and support each other to remember and restate your family, personal, and even business dreams.

There is nothing more intimate than those moments of peace before and after falling asleep. If you happen to be on the road, or away from loved ones, then turn to a journal …

If you have made your bedroom a no cell phone zone, then this becomes even easier.

Have more pillow talk and give your self a soft place to land each day, and a great place to start in the morning.

This transparency will have you end and start each day with support at a level that will help you create momentum and take action on your dreams and goals.

Let`s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Subscribe to both our podcasts Paper Napkin Wisdom and to Take Action by Paper Napkin Wisdom now.

May 16, 2018

Being second in command is tricky terrain to navigate; just ask Adventure Links COO Adam Trautenberg.  Co-host, Miranda Barrett joins Govindh Jayaraman to get the inside scoop on how this COO takes charge of a demanding job that’s constantly in flux.

“The role is defined by the relationship with the CEO,” explains Adam. That relationship isn’t something that simply grew overnight. For him, “it was an organic experience…it built over time.” Trust is the most essential result of that developmental period. The two key components of their symbiosis involve him understanding his CEO’s vision, and, “her having the trust in me that I’ll get there.”

With trust, comes candor: “Mistakes are open and discussed.”  For Adam and his CEO, it’s about finding solutions, not pointing fingers. “She’s not going to scream and yell, or fire me, or threaten to fire me…It’s a really honest and open communication line.” However, that doesn’t protect him from political pitfalls. 

COOs often find themselves, for better or for worse, as the liaison between the CEO and the rest of the company. “If you cover too much for the CEO…you can lose a little bit of the trust of the team.” It’s a fine line that only a few have the balance to walk. 

So, what does it take to make a great COO? Adam quickly asserts, “Adaptability.” Apparently, there simply isn’t a normal day for him, which explains why, “there’s no job description for COO.”

May 12, 2018

As leaders we discuss holding space for our team. We all recognize that we need to give them time and space to succeed, for their mindset.  How clear are you, as a leader, however, that you too need time and space?

Former Paper Napkin Wisdom guest and Big Data Expert John Johnson says that we are bombarded by more than 30 tractor-trailer loads of information each day. With all that noise (and most of it bad news) we need to hold space for ourselves and for our loved ones. The people we share our homes with …

Cell phones in our hands when we are talking to each other send the very clear message that the person in front of us is less important than whatever could be going on in the digital world around us. Protect the time and space for yourself and make your bedroom a no-cell phone zone. Yes, this might mean that you need to get a $7 alarm clock. So go get one.

You can extend this policy to work. No cell phones in meetings – or in boardrooms.

Or you can go even further and make your home a no-cell phone zone. Create a charging space in the foyer, mudroom, or entrance of your home or apartment where phones can charge (on silent). Of course this might mean getting a $5 a month home phone so that people can call you (yes and speak with you not just text) when there is an emergency.

Creating no cell-phone zones protect your ability to preserve your mindset and develop more meaningful relationships with those around you. You owe it to yourself to create space for yourself to think, to dream, to connect, to refresh.

 

Let`s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

May 9, 2018

The title says it all: Think Big, Start Small. This is the philosophy behind many accomplishments and dreams that individuals and entrepreneurs bring to fruition.

Every big endeavor requires a step-by-step process of achievement. Innovative ideas are the big picture, each step turns that idea into reality is the small. Thinking big keeps eyes focused on the prize. Small achievements along the way are their own mini-prizes.

Andrew Davis shares his big dream story in today’s interview. From the time he was a child, Andrew wanted to work for the Jim Henson Company, with their famous characters, the Muppets. He began by doing magic tricks; he worked his way up to performing little puppet shows. Andrew dedicated three years to skills practice, and wrote thirty-six job query letters to the Jim Henson Company, letters he sent every month. He finally received notice. With no contacts and no formal idea how to achieve his dream, Andrew managed to land an interview. This is a real example of how to think big and start small!

As Andrew explains, success is achieved by breaking down goals. The big plan may seem impossible to others, but if each small step is clear and consistent, support increases. As Andrew notes, “Consistency is important to achieving big ideas.” That’s what he did. He stayed consistent and kept the rhythm.

Breville is another dream big, start small and achieve company. Breville sells kitchen appliances and juicers. Their dream was to sell more juicers. They did so by targeting overweight 40-year-old men via a 90-minute documentary film called, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” They partnered with food companies and movie theaters and sold so many juicers that Breville ran out of juicers to sell!

As Andrew says, “A rising tide lifts off ships.” It’s a clear depiction of how small steps can give rise to think BIG dreams and ambitions.

May 5, 2018

Are you looking for uncommon results in your company? Or maybe just for yourself? There’s a structure to build the uncommon results you crave for yourself and your team and it starts with transparency.

I’m not just talking about 2% or 5% growth from year to year. I’m talking about double digit year-over-year growth. Even triple digit growth!

This comes from taking your SMART2 goals to another level by combining Process and Volunteered Accountability. What does that mean? It means having your Team opt into sharing progress on Priorities openly with others on a regular schedule.

On top of that, they have to agree on how far someone can go with no progress and no problems. If there is no progress and no problems over a prolonged period of time, that should be a problem!

Take your growth to the next level by implementing The Structure of Transparency and earn yourself some Uncommon Results!

 

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

May 2, 2018

Being a good manager and effective leader is not just about making decisions on your own, but about understanding how much decision-making depends on the customer’s behavior.

In this podcast, we talk with Chris McGoff, founder and chairman of The Clearing, who has been helping big brands and the federal government drive change and find success for 30 years. Chris provides a simple visualization of how managers divide their time: customers to the east, peers to the west, boss to the north, and staff and employees to the south.

“Spending your time in each of the four places is not equal. Some places are much more important than the others,” Chris tells us. As a typical manager, we are taught to keep focus on all the aspects, which isn’t wrong, but some areas need more focus than others.

What Chris focuses on is the importance of customers. When you spend time with your peers, boss and staff, without first and foremost spending time getting to understand your customers, you aren’t generating much power, Chris says. The manager who first goes to the customers, communicates with them, understands their problems, and then brings that voice to their boss, staff, and peers creates more powerful conversations.

When you “surrender your own voice, you take on the voice of the customer,” and you can go to your boss, peers, and staff knowing what your customers need, and approach solutions from that space.

Chris states, “Everything is created through value distribution to the East,” so your focus should be on communicating with customers first and regularly, then bringing that knowledge to the other groups in your circle.

The sole reason a business exists is because of the customers, so communication is critical but doesn’t have to be overwhelming. As Chris points out, “The coolest part about this is: it’s easy! It’s ancient. There’s nothing new here. You simply go and have a good conversation with people.”

Apr 28, 2018

Ever wonder how there are some small teams that just get it done time and time again? They are tight and nothing comes through the cracks in their communication, organization, service, or delivery? How do they do it?

I call this the X Org Chart – or the Exponential Org Chart. It’s the way that teams (small and large) can create more dynamic and important communication, collaboration and accountability.

It starts with the leader creating a strong sense of focus, aligning the team with it in a structure that promotes communication and collaboration, and finally momentum. You need to create action for The X Org Chart to come to life.

Organizations that operate here, in this form, beat large competitors who are 10 or even 100 times their size because they have each-other’s backs.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success … get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Apr 25, 2018

Tom Bilyeu, the co-founder of Quest Nutrition and life-long entrepreneur, chooses to focus on “everything being in my control.” While most people would agree in principle, they don’t often put it into true practice. Once you start working on the things that you believe in, it will not only be a motivating process, but will bring promising results.

Much like the movie The Matrix, Tom’s philosophy is that “everything around us is a construct,” so by believing that everything is under our control, the choices we make towards the things we want to and can do become much more powerful and effective. Conversely, creating a web of lies in front of your eyes by not doing what you believe in leads to ineffective results.

Tom also explains the usefulness of knowing when you are wrong and being open to other’s point of views. Even though it is good to have strong beliefs, sometimes what you are doing might not be as right as you think it is. Knowing that you might, at times, be wrong about certain things allows you to open up to what others are saying and reconsider and refocus your goals and beliefs.  

Those goals need to be crystal clear, because “everything is reverse engineering from that.” Once you figure out what you want, then you can figure out what’s needed to get you there. If you don’t know what you want, then you’ll be pulled in too many directions, and getting what you want will be “really hard.”

Moving toward your goal and can be scary, but Tom believes it’s important it is to do the things that you’re most scared of, in order to become the person you want to be. Doing things that you know are right and are what will get you to your goal may be painful, but also bring great reward in getting where you want to be. 

Apr 21, 2018

It’s vitally important for leaders to feel like that they can trust their teams. Trust them to complete their tasks, to be strong for the team, complete tasks well, execute on the priorities we have set individually and collectively.

If we do this well, we are delegating tasks to them and they are getting them done. If that is going REALLY well – the team has a sense of ownership and they feel empowered.

There’s another level to this though that is even more important, and that is Trust 2.0.  This sort of trust involves our team feeling like we won’t change how we feel about them, even if they get it wrong. In fact, we should wonder the opposite.

We should be highly suspicious of the people on our teams that effortlessly get all their stuff done without any questions, or issues. In growing organizations we are always doing things for the first time – new things, that’s the hallmark of growth.

So if we’re doing new things and not facing any, we’re either lying or hiding, or not trying hard enough. Leaders need Trust 2.0 to cut through this and truly support the progress of our teams to places we’ve never been before.

If you want a structure to help you do this, I want to give it to you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success … get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Apr 18, 2018

In this week’s Leading Behind the Scenes, Marlou Hermsen makes the case (without laughing) that those who wish for a better world should seek to, “CHANGE the world without being a smug twat.” If the statement makes you smile, and does not offend, it means you’re probably on the right track, because, as Marlou further explains, smugness, besides being a deterrent to team collaboration, is also a creative block. Collaboration is key to success, but when individuals are smug twats, they stifle new ideas and thwart joint ventures.

According to Marlou, there are people who work for worthy causes to personally benefit — via the acquisition of money or notoriety. These types of gains can lead to smugness. Instead of seeking profit, she says, find a purpose. But, how can one not be smug when they have been successful? Easy. Reflect. Celebrate the small steps, but don’t lose sight of the big picture. Avoid superficiality. If one remembers that work is never done, the impetus to be smug will diminish.

Despite wanting to change the world for the better, Marlou don’t consider herself to be an activist. She says, “The word ‘activist’ has a stereotypical feel, a negative connotation — it reeks of smug twat, of someone who is an individual, rather than a team contributor. Even though I have spent my whole career actively working towards change, I avoid labeling myself an activist. Instead, I prefer to be called naive.”

Naive is the opposite of smug, exactly what we need to succeed. Naive implies that one is not jaded, that one is open to new ideas. Curiosity, drive, and commitment are elements of naiveté. Once a person has become set in their ways, these traits vanish, and smugness takes hold. It’s like losing your superpower.

Everyone has a superpower — it’s comprised of what you enjoy doing, plus what you are good at. Superpowers are about balance. And balance is the key to being energy-resilient, which is so important when working towards a goal.

Marlou has learned that changing the world does not occur in a straight line. Instead, she notes, it’s two steps forward, five steps back, ten steps forward, one step back. As such, it would be easy for a smug twat to lose their balance, and energy, and forgo an opportunity to change the world.

Apr 14, 2018

This is the time of year when so many of us start to take stock of the year that passed and the one that’s coming. It’s that time that we start to think about what could be for the year ahead.

There have been studies done that show that most people only accomplish a small fraction of their goals from year to year. Yet there are others that do much much more.

There’s a simple way that you can make more of your goals happen, and more of your team’s goals happen, that requires little effort from you other than setting up an uncommon structure for them that involves transparency and dialog around progress … the ULTIMATE leading indicator.

Great teams do this way better than the rest … update your goals to SMART2 goals and make your results change like never before.

If you want a structure to help you do this, I want to give it to you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success … get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Apr 11, 2018

 

If you’re a long term Paper Napkin Wisdom listener, you may remember Christina Harbridge’s last visit EPISODE 47, when we had a lively discussion about shifting focus towards things that are enjoyable. If you’re just tuning in, Christina has a very interesting background. She has co-authored software, built a company that hit national revenue success, practiced acrobatic swing dancing, been a NASA test subject, and collaborated to design several large-scale metal sculptures currently on display in San Francisco, Austin, and Toronto. Now, she is the CEO of Allegory, a company that provides group training, one-on-one coaching, behavior change, and company culture services. In today’s podcast, she breaks down why drilling down on context is crucial to good communication.

Christina explains, “If I ask you for food and you hand me an apple, it’s because I wasn’t specific enough.” Taking it a step further, if she wanted a Granny Smith, she may find herself disappointed when you hand her a Golden Delicious for a midday treat. Recognizing levels of context has to become a habit, Christina remarks. As opposed to throwing around buzzwords, Christina recommends drilling down a bit and getting to the heart of the conversation and concerns. “Context is a deliberate practice and you must notice it everywhere in order to increase understanding. It will become more of a habit over time,” she says.

On an organizational level, becoming more contextual can pay dividends. Christina makes it a practice to ask for direct, tangible examples when a team member makes a complaint. “Getting examples can drive change and fulfill a person’s basic need to feel understood,” she believes. For example, as opposed to complaining that a Director of Finance is underperforming, Christina suggests asking team members for specific examples in order to change the complaint into a solution. “Context helps you understand if it's just a complaint or if there is a good example beyond the buzzwords,” she says.

Outside of complaints, Christina believes there is also a benefit in applying this philosophy to positive feedback. “When praising an employee, give root level feedback. Make sure to specify an example of exactly what you liked in order to see that behavior replicated,” she mentions. Christina admits that she wasn’t always a practitioner of this belief. “I used to not specifically articulate my needs and get mad when they weren’t met. It would bubble up until the point where a missed document would take me over the edge,” she recalls. By adopting this practice, she has found that things run more smoothly in both her personal and professional life.

How can you begin to practice specificity in your day-to-day life and organization’s life? Tweet us with your thoughts!

Apr 4, 2018

In a society where people expect things to materialize instantly, many would be entrepreneurs expect the same, as it relates to success. However, in today’s podcast, founder of RYSE Media, Jay Jackson discusses how his view of entrepreneurship has evolved over the years and provides tips for the next generation of entrepreneurs. “Some people dream of success, some people wake up and work hard at it every day,” he says.

With the insurgence of social media and the desire for instant gratifications, Jay finds that many people aren’t willing to put in the work required to be successful. “When you see a successful person, aspiring entrepreneurs often don’t understand the steps it took to get them there,” Jay says. Growing up, he often idealized the wrong people and was headed down a different path until he found a mentor who changed his perspective. The process of fulfilling his dreams by founding his own magazine wasn’t easy, “Early on, I realized the importance of consistency. I try to pass that value along to my team members and people I mentor.”

Jay believes that aspiring entrepreneurs should take the responsibility for their own empowerment and build doors, if necessary. “When I speak at high school and colleges, students often tell me they don’t encounter many entrepreneurs. Through sharing my story, I believe it empowers them a bit more,” he says. While many of the students idolize basketball players, they fail to realize the work behind the glitz and the glamour. “We’re living in a generation that wants everything instantly. But I think at the core, [my company] tries to expose people to success and the process to becoming successful,” Jay remarks.

As for Jay, his key to success is consistent and authentic innovation. “My team is young; the average person is around 25 years old. I’m always tapping them for ideas on how to engage and inspire through our content.”

What are tips you’d like to pass on to the next generation of entrepreneurs? Send us a tweet @WiseNapkin with your answer!

Mar 31, 2018

Too often we get stuck.

Caught.

Stopped dead in our tracks.

Usually we end up blaming ourselves for something we did or got wrong in the past. Or because we “wish” we were doing something else right now.

Remember one thing:

You are frekkin’ unstoppable …

Remind yourself ever day, all the time. And take epic action …

Move forward, you can do it. In fact, you’re the only one who can.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success … get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Mar 28, 2018

As entrepreneurs, it’s often tough to take time to smell the flowers. Learning how to juggle endless to-do lists, a budding business and loved ones can be difficult for even the most seasoned entrepreneur. However, in this week’s podcast, Trackmaven’s CEO Allen Gannett explains why he is making it a point to take time to be appreciative.

The 25 year old helms the fifty person B2B software company and managed to raise $26M. “I met investors who immediately fell in love with the business. There was a lot of momentum,” he recalls. Early on, he gravitated towards one of his investors and they began a mentor-mentee relationship. “As a young homosexual CEO, it was a confidence builder to find someone I connected with in a world where I wasn’t really fitting in,” Allen says. However, things took a turn when his mentor died unexpectedly. Stunned by the loss, he realized that he hadn’t been as appreciative of his mentor’s support. “It made me reflect on ways to appreciate those who have invested in me emotionally and financially.”

Allen began to find simple ways to acknowledge those around him. While entrepreneurs typically care more about getting the work done as opposed to getting a pat on the back, employees and team members often need that validation in order to feel appreciated. “There is a difference between entrepreneurship and leadership,” Allen explains. Now, if he sees an employee doing a stellar job, he’ll invite them out to lunch. “That validation can really make all the difference. As a CEO, people are constantly watching you - even in ways you don’t realize. It can be taxing, but its more positive and empowering. It can be a confidence builder for them,” he says.

While appreciation is important, he also thinks it’s necessary to have some sort of balance. In cases where the team is underperforming, he urges entrepreneurs to take a look at themselves first. “We have to be willing to ask ourselves if our goals are actually attainable,” he says. He also advises entrepreneurs to marry appreciation and accountability. “Put appreciation on a pedestal and develop a meritocracy culture.”

How do you show your team members that they’re appreciated? Sound off on our Twitter @WiseNapkin or on our Facebook Page!

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