action helps you produce results

The One Word That Helps You Produce Results

How many times in your life have you thought about it, considered it, or saw it? How many times has it produced the reward associated with effort? How many times have you known it was required and you didn’t initiate? When has it been required and yet people stood still? When have you taken it and produced the results you intended?

In the making of a film, this one word precipitates the movement of an actor, actress or cast. In the running of a business, this one word generates the starting point that leads to a continuation that drives to completion. If you’re a gambler, this one word beckons you to the table. In manufacturing, this one word is what determines how something operates.

By now, you’re likely asking what “it” is. What is this singular word?

It is ACTION—action requires you to go beyond intent and is the prime agent connected to producing results.

One word with so many meanings. Action may very well be what differentiates success from failure, profitability from a lack of profitability, life from death. Dramatic? Not if you’re having a heart attack and the paramedics arrive. Not if you’re on the brink of bankruptcy and define the immediate steps needing to be taken before the bank and creditors define them for you. Not if you’re the sales professional who repeatedly exceeds your targets and finds yourself continually earning more money than your peers. Not if you’re the pilot of a plane in the midst of an emergency landing and you save the lives of everyone on board.

Action is by definition a production-oriented word.

Think about it...

  • Without action nothing happens, and nothing happens without the required action.
  • Thought without action is an idea. Action added to an idea generates outcomes.
  • Action doesn’t guarantee success. A lack of action can certainly guarantee failure.

Each of us has the ability to identify and define problems or challenges. They exist in large numbers. Leaders that differentiate themselves are the ones that go beyond defining the problem. They recognize the importance of initiating, sourcing, communicating and engaging the ideas and actions needed to transform problems into opportunities and opportunities into results. Without the component of action, a person can be a great intellect but they will likely lack a component needed to be an intentional leader.

#Thoughtstarters to help you take action to produce results

Take Action
Identify one item that needs to move from your to-do list to your it’s done list. Make it happen.

Initiate Action
Identify one item that you have been procrastinating on and take one step in moving it forward. Make it happen.

Influence Action
What is one item you have asked someone to complete for you and they have delayed the deadline or are constantly adjusting the timeline? Talk to them about why their action is required and come to a firm deadline that isn’t negotiable. Make it happen.

You have the ability to impact your outcomes by adding the ingredient of action to your ideas.

Make it Happen,

P.S. I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

7 Questions to Help You Eliminate Mediocrity

This week I want to welcome our new team member, Laura Gallaher. Apart from the skillset she's bringing to our office, Laura has also earned her black belt--a fun fact I learned during a conversation about standards and a shared mutual expectation for excellence. She shared that part of her journey to earning her black belt included having to memorize the following essay by Stewart Emery called Mastery. It's a powerful essay on the power of excellence in our lives, and it got me thinking...

Written by Stewart Emery

"Mastery in our career and consciousness simply requires that we constantly produce results beyond the ordinary. Mastery is the result of consistently going beyond our limits. For most people, it starts with technical excellence in a chosen field and a commitment to that excellence. If you are willing to make a commitment to excellence and surround yourself with things that represent excellence and pursue events and experiences that become miracles, your life will change. (When we speak of miracles, we speak of events and experiences in the real world that are beyond the ordinary).

It is remarkable how much mediocrity we live with, surrounding ourselves with daily reminders that the average is acceptable. Our world suffers from terminal mediocrity. Take a moment to assess all the things around you that encourage you to remain average. These things keep you powerless, unable to go beyond the limits that you have arbitrarily set for yourself. Take you first steps towards mastery by removing everything in your environment the represents mediocrity, removing your arbitrary limits. Try surrounding yourself with friends that expect more of you than you do. Didn't some of your best teachers, your coaches, your parents expect more of you?

On the path to mastery, erase any resentment towards masters. Develop compassion for yourself so that you can be in the presence of masters and grow from the experience. Rather than comparing yourself and resenting people who are masters, remain open and receptive; a let the experience be like planting a seed within you - with nourishment, it will grow into your own individual mastery.

Correction is essential in power and mastery. You see, we are all ordinary. But a master, rather in condemning himself for his ordinariness, he embraces his ordinariness and uses it as a foundation to build the extraordinary. Instead of giving up, like ordinary people do, a master uses his ordinariness to correct his errors, which is essential in the process towards attaining mastery. You must be able to correct yourself without condemning or invalidating yourself, accept the results and improve upon them.

Correct, don't protect."

...I can’t stand mediocrity. That’s not harsh, it’s the truth. To be clear, I’m not claiming perfection as my standard. I’ve made too many mistakes and learned from several failures that consistency and excellence are works in progress.

It’s as simple as this… The quality of not being very good doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest and I never want to be known as a person who doesn’t have the special ability to do something well. So says Webster about mediocrity.

To move beyond the potential for mediocrity, we are required to recognize that all of us have a capacity greater than our defined limits. For everything we do that pushes us beyond our own comfort, we experience an even greater return in our growth.

The foundation of our growth, evolution and advancement is grounded in our individual awareness. What I enjoy most about Emery’s essay is that it’s full of #Thoughtstarters designed to get us thinking about our individual awareness and how we move past the outcome of living with mediocrity and average being acceptable.

Here are questions to ask yourself when considering the relationship between mediocrity and excellence.

  • Where have you positively gone beyond your limits lately?
  • What have you done for someone that goes beyond ordinary?
  • Who or what are you surrounding yourself with that represents excellence?
  • What level of average are you tolerating that needs to move towards excellence?
  • Who are the people in your life that expect more of you than you do?
  • Where should you stop comparing yourself with others and start defining yourself with others?
  • What correction have you have made in yourself that has supported your individual mastery?

Making a commitment to excellence is exactly that…a commitment. It begins by engaging the people and things that have the potential to maximize your capacity. The masters that will require you to define your own unique and individual mastery.

Remember, if you can’t be real with yourself about who you are, then being real with others about who you are is impossible.

Make it a great week,

P.S. I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

The Vacation Equation: How I Came to Appreciate Rest

I love my work and I love to work. Don’t miss the very deliberate wording here.

At various points throughout my life, the perspective of rest and return or vacation and clarity has been seriously out of whack. If I’m being honest, there are times in my life where I’ve valued work more than the people that I love and matter the most to me.

Today, my view is different because of something I call the Vacation Equation.

Time + Fun + Space + Awareness - Routine - Norm = Renewed Perspective

Doing the same thing over and over again with no difference in view leads to a simple outcome….dullness. Your sight becomes limited when you lack interest, excitement or brightness.

If you want to achieve something great, you’ve got to create a degree of disruption. Vacation is my opportunity to interrupt the norm and make sure I don’t lose perspective on the real value of breaking the cycle of routine.

Here’s how I’m practically living out my vacation equation:

Time - I’m dedicating my most valuable and controllable resource differently than I usually do day-to-day.

Fun - My wife and I are going to ride our bikes, take long walks, play cards, visit family, share memories, find new food experiences and drink wine.

Space - As hard as it is, I’m setting aside technology, if only for a little while, to remind myself of the impact of simplicity.

Awareness - Getting away is easy. Being aware enough to recognize what being away means and requires is more challenging. Let’s consider this a work in progress.

Routine - Efficiency and effectiveness are driven by the process of routine. Vacation isn’t about efficiency or effectiveness. I’m going to wake-up when I wake-up and not follow my calendar for every hour of the day.

Norm - I never view vacation as the usual, typical or standard. Vacation is a time to do something different. To change it up. We are driving from Arizona to Texas and back. 32+ hours of driving in total. We are driving so we can connect and communicate over hours of driving and not simply get from Point A to Point B. Plus, we happen to love driving so it fits right in with our idea of a vacation.

I never want to explore the edge of being run-down, worn-out, or broken. There’s no benefit in that to me or anyone who loves or values me. The impact of vacation is found in a fresh perspective, restored energy, new vigor, clarity of the view and a sharper edge.


  • How do you live out your vacation equation?
  • What are some of your favorite vacation memories?

Here’s to Texas, family, and renewal,

3 Essential Exchanges to Have This Year

While much of the country is in the deep freeze of winter, this past week I attended and participated in the TTISI International Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. Being that I live in Arizona, I can definitely say that the Chamber of Commerce rolled out red carpet weather for my 400 colleagues from around the globe. Read more

This scares the hell out of me

As someone committed to their own growth and development, what scares you? What’s something that you’re afraid will sneak into your headspace and really create confusion for you? For me it’s complacency.

Complacency is like a great big blind spot in life and it scares the hell out of me. It should scare you too. Read more

The 5 Business Lessons I Learned From My Bike

Schwinn StingRay Advertisment

In 1973, a Schwinn Banana Seat Stingray Bike was at the top of my Christmas wishlist. I could hardly wait for Santa to show up and leave what I hoped would be my new bike. Fortunately, when my sister and I ran down the stairs Christmas morning, it was there waiting for me. I can still remember the feeling of riding it for the first time.

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Are you fueling past adversity with momentum?

We don’t need to imagine adversity. It’s all around uspresent and real. It was present 16 years ago as planes were being hijacked and our country faced unprecedented aftermath. It was present this week, last week, and the week before as millions of Americans faced the challenges of hurricanes. We also don’t need to intellectualize challenges, they exist and we have a choice to either succumb to them or overcome them. Read more

5 Reasons Why Growing Great People is Like Making Fine Wine

Have you ever considered how growing great people is like making fine wine? I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago when we took a vacation to the Napa Valley. It was, in a word…Fantastic. From the weather, to the wine tasting, to time with friends the trip exceeded my expectations in every aspect. Read more