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Remembering An Inspirational CEO

It was with surprise and sadness that I learned yesterday of the passing of Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos, after a house fire in late November in Connecticut in the US. He was only 46.

Zappos revolutionised online shopping and was one of the pioneers in the model of allowing free returns for any shoes bought through their website. They were also revolutionary in the premium they placed on excellent customer service.

Doing More…

“Do more than belong: participate.

Do more than care: help.

Do more than believe: practice.

Do more than be fair: be kind.

Do more than forgive: forget.

Do more than dream: work.”

William Arthur Ward – 1921-1994, Writer

Instead of me writing more words about this, I think it’s worth reflecting on the above words and considering this question:

Which one do I want to embrace this coming week?

If You’re Frustrated, Consider This

“I guess I can do something.”

This is a phrase I heard earlier this year from a smart business owner (and it comes up with most people at some point).

It was an answer in relation to me asking what they thought was impossible but if they could do it, it would be amazing.

As it turned out, it wasn’t impossible – because they’re particular goal has been achieved by many other people. It’s just that it was impossible to them because they couldn’t see how to do it based on their circumstances.

It’s a very subtle mindset that can creep in on the best of the best.

Changing From Mr. Down In The Dumps To Mr. Up And Coming.

“I’m fed up.”

This was the opener from a client a few years ago, and not an unusual one I might add.

They were a leader in a large tech company who was very capable but an interesting side to them was that they would raise their eyes and smile any time I brought up the mental side of business.

The smile was a little bit like one you might get from an experienced business head talking to a more junior one.

This guy was American and in his words:

“Shane, we invented mindset and the inner game.”

Now while that could easily be challenged, I understood his point, and so we primarily focused on what I call the ‘outer game’ challenges and made great progress on his top goals.

I’m Right, You’re Wrong, The US Election And A Challenge

One of the biggest blocks to innovation in business and personal reinvention is what is called ‘perspective blindness’.

This is where you’re so ingrained in your own paradigm, your own perspective and point of view that you don’t have a willingness to listen to anyone else’s opinion or viewpoint.

Sean Connery’s Nerves

I remember the first time I saw a James Bond movie.

It was watching Dr. No on TV at home in Kilkenny as a child and myself and my brother Mark became immediate fans – subsequently tormenting my parents with our antics in the home to ‘save the world’.

A key part of us buying into Ian Fleming’s world was of course Sean Connery.

Avoid Dying Slowly

Every now and then I let my ‘inner lazy guy’ out.

And today is one such day. It’s a bank holiday in Ireland and I’m feeling like limiting my writing. I watch out for poems that strike a chord and this one below by Brazilian writer, Martha Medeiros, hits the mark on many levels.

A surprising amount of leaders I know enjoy poetry and for 1 minute of your time, this particular one has a high return on investment, if you’re open.

Awareness On Its Own Is Over-rated (And Not Really Awareness…)

In my experience, when you try to achieve something great or important to you, there is something inside you that rises up.

I call it the ‘Inner Procrastinator’, and it’s usually a deadly quiet assassin of great results and a better life. It’s also incredibly clever and subtle, presenting you with super excuses to avoid what you know, deep down, you want to do.

The Puppy Perspective In Business And Life

There are lots of challenges in business and life. Maybe even more now because of the pandemic.

But perhaps the biggest problem of all is this: taking ourselves too seriously.

We may not have everything the way ‘we want’ right now but if we step back and look with fresh eyes, we have a lot that’s right. Our family puppy has reminded me to keep that point in perspective.