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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: April, 2018
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!

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