In this issue...
• Point to
• August can be awesome - choose to make it
• Chase your passion (not your
• Success Library
• Complimentary copies of
• Last minute notes and ideas
• You have the power to
create the life you desire... Discover how
• Thanks for reading this
Point to Ponder
One percent better!
"Excellence results from doing 100
things 1 percent better, rather than one thing 100 percent better."
One of the biggest obstacles to growth is the misguided
quest for the big idea, the big break, the big sale, or the big
change. In reality, success, sales, and growth happen one step
at a time, one improvement at a time, and often a simple, one
percent at a time.
Sure there are many stories of major breakthroughs and advances,
perhaps you've even experienced one or more yourself.
However, when you look at what led up to them, you'll often see
multiple efforts to improve, research, prepare and experiment. I
know that is often the case in my life and business. I work and
prepare in advance of the successful completion or creative
It would be so easy, if we could simply wait until the big,
million dollar idea drops into our brains or laps and then reap the
benefits. It would also be unrealistic to live that way. It would be
like buying a lotto ticket as a means of paying your monthly bills.
Leaders are never fully satisfied with where they or their teams
are; they have what many would call creative discontent in
that they can always see ways of tweaking or making it better. Many
of the ones I meet or work with sure live this way. Keeps me on my
Peters and Waterman (In Search of Excellence) wrote, "The
essence of excellence is the thousand concrete, minute-to-minute
actions performed by everyone in an organization to keep a company
on its course."
Sam Walton of Wal-Mart was famous for
looking at his competition with the eye of learning one thing
he could use to make what he and his team did a bit
better. He built a large, successful, multi-national company
from a very little one by applying this concept of continuous
improvement. Jack Welsh made some amazing and profitable changes in
GE by doing the same thing. My friends at The Brick also follow this
path to increased success in building a better business and
supporting and empowering a better team. Their goal is to create a
'company of leaders' who will each take increased personal
responsibility and creative action to improve their operations and
service to their customers.
What are your competitors doing better that you can
I've seen many people fall to the
trap of waiting for the 'big idea' - a completely novel idea
for a product, project, or service. They sit and wait for
sudden inspiration or brilliant flashes of
insight. By focusing only on big ideas, we can easily become blinded
from seeing smaller, otherwise 'good' and 'valuable'
Like the story I heard of an employee
in the GAP mailroom who noticed several packages
being couriered to the same address. He checked into it, compiled
them into one package with instructions on distribution at the
receiving end. His 'small' change in process saved his
company ten's of 1,000's of dollars each year.
While not as flashy or showy, these
smaller insights and ideas often represent very workable and
Some can even lay the foundation for
other great ideas. Encourage your team to capture or share their
ideas with you and investigate all of the options contained.
Consider that the original idea for
the $1 billion dollar a year, Levi Strauss Dockers
line came from one of their 'dock' workers in Argentina.
Take some time this month to mentally
or physically tour your company, to reflect on your career or
One percent better can be your
rallying call in the pursuit of excellence and success in your
leadership, career, or company.
© 2006 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey
Author, Create the Future!
August can be awesome - choose to make it so!
"Nobody is a real loser - until they
start blaming somebody else." Coach John
John Wooden was one of North America's greatest
basketball coaches (UCLA Bruins under his leadership set a
recordbreaking series of NCAA championships) who led and
inspired his teams to greatness and victory. He earned the respect
of players, competitors, and fans alike. One of his motivating
statements (above) admonished his players to take personal
responsibility for their actions.
August can be one of your
more productive months, if you choose to make that
commitment and side-step taking the easy way out in making
excuses for your actions. I know, in the past, I have allowed myself
to buy into the 'August is slow' fallacy. It may be slow in
some areas, but it is a great time to move ahead
strategically, to create new marketing ideas,
and creative pieces, or do some writing (of this ezine in
advance) so when I am more busy away from the office I
will continue to grow my business and serve my clients and
If you are in the greater Edmonton region here are two
very talented people you might want to know. Remember, August is a good time to work 'on'
with Mail Boxes Etc. provides more
than just mail box rentals and photocopying. He can help you with
the design and delivery of top quality promotional materials for
your business. Laird and his staff can be a valuable addition to
Irene Gaudet with Vitrak Creative
can help you harness the
creative power of your mind, to maximize your message on the
web. If you've been 'thinking
' about going online or
redesigning your web presence, Irene can help.
What 3 things can you commit to
doing this month that will move your business, your leadership, or
your career profitably to the next level?
PS: This picture is of a young John Wooden. At the age
of 92 (July 23, 2003) he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiration did
not diminish with age. That is something to consider as you continue
your personal leadership path.
If you are new to our Ideas At Work! family, welcome aboard.
If you've been with us a while, I hope you'll enjoy our new expanded
format. You can jump ahead to the articles if you have already read
this introductory note.
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contact and share in the lessons we acquire along the way.
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Chase your passion (not your pension)
by Denis Waitley
Lisa, our youngest daughter, recently earned her master's degree
to start a career as a high school English teacher. I doubt she was
more excited about her graduation than her parents were. As we
entered the stadium for the commencement services, it dawned on me
that after putting seven children through college and graduate
studies, I'd finally be able to fund my retirement plan.
It was very hot in the concrete arena. A midday sun beat squarely
in our faces. I suspected that the exercises would be long and
merciless. As the graduates filed in, I was amused to see slogans
taped to their tasseled caps. "Will work for food!" "Get my room
ready, Mom!" Our daughter's read, "Thanks Mom and Pop." Some wore
bathing suits beneath their gowns. Some blew bubbles with a pipe and
soap. Most were ecstatic about finally leaving school, visibly
impatient for that night's parties and for freedom and the
opportunity to earn.
Olmos "Stood and Delivered"
As the warm-up speakers droned on about politically correct
issues, I wondered whether any time would remain for the main
speaker. In fact, his address lasted barely ten minutes,
which may have set a national record for brevity.
(Winston Churchill holds the international record: thirty seconds
to repeat "Never give up!" nine times.) That main speaker was Edward
James Olmos, the actor-activist who played Jaime Escalante in an
inspiring movie about inner-city students called Stand and
Deliver. Olmos stood up, removed his cap, and regarded the
graduates. "So we're ready to party?" he asked. "Yeah, let's party!"
they answered in unison. "I know, thank God it's Friday," he
resumed. "But commencement means to begin, not
finish. You've had a four-year sabbatical from life, and
now you're ready to go out there and earn. You're only beginning
Real World 101 in your education."
"One more thing before we leave," he continued. "Please never,
ever work for money. Please don't just get a job. A job is something
that many of you had while you worked your way through college. A
job is something you do for money. But a career is
something you do because you're inspired to do it. You
want to do it, you love doing it, you're excited when you do it. And
you'd do it even if you were paid nothing beyond food and the
basics. You'd do it because it's your life." (Editor's note:
Amen to that!)
What he was saying, which I have tried to recall and interpret in
my own words is that many of you will go out and try to get the
highest-paying job possible, regardless of the industry, regardless
of the opportunity, regardless of the service or product the company
may provide. If you chase money, it may catch you - and if it
catches you, you'll forever be its slave.
By letting money pursue you but never catch you, you'll always be
its master. By always doing what you love, loving what you do,
delivering more than you promise, you'll always be underpaid - which
is how it always should be.
For if you're paid more than you're worth, you may be
restructured, reengineered, replaced, fired, declared obsolete,
disposed of. Overpaid people are overdrawn in their knowledge bank
account. People who are underpaid for the level and quality
of the service they provide are always in demand and always ahead of
the money in their knowledge and contribution. So money and
opportunity are always chasing them. This is what I got out of the
commencement speech that day.
Olmos concluded with a charged voice and moist eyes.
"Chase your passion, not your pension! Be inspired to
learn as much as you can, to find a cause that benefits humankind -
and you'll be sought after for your quality of service and
dedication to excellence. This passion will make you
oblivious of quitting time and to the length of your workday. You'll
awake every morning with the passion of pursuit, but not the pursuit
of money ..
Those who do more than they're paid for are always sought for
their services. Their name and work outlive them and always command
the highest price. Chase your passion, not your pension!"
The graduates were stunned. Many cried with joy. I was
speechless, which is rare indeed. Olmos was no actor speaking for an
honorarium. He was all passion, pure and simple. "Maybe we should
have taught that in a class," I heard a faculty member say.
(Editor's note: That is a statement of purpose and very much
missing in our education system.)
Motive in Action
Motivation is a contraction of motive and action.
An inner force that compels behavior, it comes from within, not from
any external circumstance. You know where you're going because you
have a compelling image inside, not a travel poster on the wall, a
financial statement with a big bonus, or a slogan in the hall. The
performance of may externally motivated individuals begins declining
as soon as they win contests of one sort or another. I've personally
witnessed this among Super Bowl champions and World Cup teams that
lost the incentive to maintain their excellence after winning the
cup, the honors, and the cash.
If you're really committed to peak performance and leadership,
you must motivate yourself from within. Studies of achievers show
that inner drives for excellence and independence are far more
powerful that desire for wealth, status or recognition.
The Inner Drive
Behavioral scientists have found that independent desire for
excellence is the most telling predictor of significant achievement.
In other words, the success of our efforts depends less on the
efforts themselves than on our motives. The most successful
companies, like the most successful men and women in almost all
fields, have achieved their greatness out of a desire to express
what they felt had to be expressed. Often it was a desire to
use their skills to their utmost in order to solve a problem. This
is not to say that many of them did not also earn a great deal of
money and prestige. William Shakespeare, Thomas Edison, Estee
Lauder, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Sam Walton and Bill Gates all
became wealthy. But far more than thoughts of profit, the key to
their success was inspiration and inner drive by creating or
providing excellence in a product or a service. All were motivated
by the desire to produce the very best that was in them.
Go for the Inner Applause
The late Ray Kroc, a former neighbor of mine who founded
McDonald's Corporation when he was in his fifties, stressed the
importance of people working for the inner satisfaction, not just
for the money. Ray said most people find it difficult to associate
applause with their work when they can't hear literal applause - but
the important applause should come from within. It is the faster
heartbeat, the pride and satisfaction of accomplishment.
Kroc told the University of Southern California's Business School
that the first thing a business executive needs is love of an idea.
If you don't love your concept, drop it. If you prostitute
yourself at an early age by taking a job where the money is, you'll
be working for money all your life. Loving their work is
particularly important for younger people. If they lose that love
early, they may never grow to anywhere near their potential for
Hire People Who Have Empowered Themselves
An inner drive for excellence motivates you always to be
the best you possible can in whatever you do. Leaders and managers
should take special note here. They must be careful in their use of
external motivators - money, perks, prestigious offices and titles -
in trying to inspire their team members and employees. Enduring
motivation must always come ultimately from within the
That's why empowerment and vision are so crucial to team
performance and quality. Their power and their vision,
not those of the leader must compel team members. Interviewing
potential members, you should look for internally motivated
individuals who hold their work important for its own sake, who love
their field or their industry, who seek the exhilaration of testing
their limits and contributing to the world. Be wary if they show
more interest in your compensation package than in their
Put Your Signature On Your Career
No one exemplifies the concepts in this article better than
Antonio Stradivari, an Italian violin maker who lived from 1644 to
1737. Stradivari died at the age of ninety-three, at a time when the
average life expectancy was a little over thirty-five years. He
taught himself his trade. His tools were primitive, and he usually
worked alone until later in life, when his sons joined him.
Stradivari had a passion. He put the best of himself into every
violin and viola. When he was finished and was certain that his
craftsmanship measured up to his personal standards, he signed his
name on the instrument.
Nearly three hundred years later, his violins sell for hundreds
of thousands and even millions of dollars, and Stradivarius is a
synonym for quality throughout the world. But far from every man or
woman with uncommon standards of excellence become celebrities. At
this very moment, thousands or tens of thousands are working unknown
and unsung in industry, the arts and the sciences. The public has
never heard of them and probably never will; yet they refuse to turn
out shoddy work. They are in the minority, but that's where they've
always been - playing for a gallery of one, for their own inner
applause. Remember, people who consistently do things well set their
own standards and make themselves measure up. In so doing, they:
· Give the best of themselves to benefit others, making their
work a source of joy and satisfaction while they experience deep
self-respect from being uncommon contributors.
· Build a kind of security that lasts a lifetime or beyond,
because respect for quality always abides and will always command
the highest price. If you accept nothing but excellence from
yourself and feel entitled to put your name on your work, both will
endure. The bitterness of poor quality lingers on long after the
sweetness of low price.
Chase your passion, not your pension!
Copyright © 2005 Denis Waitley International. All rights reserved
worldwide. Reproduced with permission from Denis Waitley's Weekly
Ezine. To subscribe to Denis Waitley's Weekly Ezine, go to www.deniswaitley.com
or send an email with Join in the subject to firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Picture is a much younger, braver me coming down on a Mexican
beach... what a ride!
Each month I have the pleasure of sharing a few suggestions for
your professional and personal development.
Add these to your success library.
Hey, it's summer. In addition to continuing to read for your
professional growth, read a few books that are non-business for the
pure enjoyment of reading something that engages your creative mind
and allows you to play.
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Last minute notes and ideas
July has been a very busy month with 'family' and
friend activities: A family reunion, a wedding, and a road trip to
Drumheller (never been there... wow).
The Brick Way! is
finished! The Brick creative team, under the leadership of
Terry Cowan, are truly amazing. It is currently
being printed and will be distributed to their 7,000 team
members next month (August). What a great experience and
opportunity to learn and grow. Client is 'very' pleased
with how it turned out and wants to share it with his counterparts
(24 of the top leaders in his industry) in the USA and
Mexico. Wow! (Wed) My copy is being
couriered to Langley Store for Friday morning. Awesome!
Brick founder, Bill Comrie just received the
Order of Canada. Very nice to see Bill acknowleged for his
contributions in business and the community. I've had the privilege
of getting to know him while working with him on a few projects, he
definitely deserves this award.
It was also a productive time at home and in the office. Finished
the creative office and writing room (actually writing
this article from there - see picture) in one of my spare rooms
on the main floor. Saving lots of time on my morning commute to the
office...lol. Freshly painted with a large u-shaped desk, it is a
great place to work and reflect. It is non-cluttered and my
commitment is to keep it that way, by 'only' bringing and
keeping reference materials and work related files up here. The rest
will continue to be kept in the downstairs main office (the one
with the hot tub) or reference library.
I can swivel and look outside at the countryside just a stone's
throw away. I can look outside and watch as the wind blows through
the trees and the grass, or the various birds gather, or the storms
pass through. Or, just daydream! I love it! Nice to be able to take
a break by walking out on one of the decks or into the yard to enjoy
the flowers my sister and a close friend have planted and I am now
learning to care for and water.
Got started on some serious work done on Quantum Success and am now poised to have it done
over the next month. I am so impressed by the quality of our
coauthors, I can hardly wait to share it with you. Currently we have
45 authors who have generously contributed their work. Take a peek
at who is helping with this project to help raise awareness and
funding for Laura's Hope. I hope to see us add a few and
provide the wisdom from 52 by the time it is released in September.
Working on advance Ideas@Work! ezines so I will
be well ahead when the fall travel hits.
My CAPS friend, Robert Manolson invited
me to an Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Speed Networking
event on the 25th. Kind of like speed dating, but for business. Lots
of fun and a great way to meet some new people, including some new
subcribers for this ezine. (Hello again!)
Haven't done much of this type of networking over the past few
years, but since I am looking for a few additional business and
presentation coaching clients and of course, opportunities to
speak closer to home it made sense. When I lived in BC, I would
speak for the local chamber and board of trade during the year and
they would give me a complimentary membership instead of a mug. This
allowed me to drop in occasionally when I was in town. Perhaps your
local chamber has something like this, or might appreciate you
making that suggestion.
Nice to see a few CAPS friends there as well, including
Pam Robertson and
Graeme Burns. Saw my friend Kristen
Cholak (cousin to my brother-in-deed Jerry) who
works for Wayne Lee. She is doing some work for an interesting event
in August (17-20th) called the Earth Festival in Athabasca. If you're around, why
not check it out. Even met Elizabeth Taylor
(ok, not the famous actress, but a good addition to the Chamber
I'm looking forward to spending the day (Aug. 2nd) with my NSA friend Doug Stevenson participating in his Story Theater workshop in Vancouver. Also, a
chance to visit family, friends, and professional colleagues on the
coast. (Note from Vancouver: Just
finished the day with Douglas... he is even better... and so I am
for the experience! But that is a different
Mid month, I will be working with a great client and friend to
tweak and prepare for his upcoming presentation on leadership for
the Advantage Board in Calgary on the 25th.
Redesigning the success materials we plan to give each of the
CEO's and their emerging leaders who attend.
Have a couple of personal writing projects on the go
which will be available in our new referral rewards program. This will be a work in
progress as we evolve and experiment with ways to say thanks for
those of you who pass along our name and recommend our services.
I am setting aside some time to rewrite and expand 'Beyond the FIRST Sale!" and revisiting the sales
training program it supports to tweak and make it more effective for
those who invest the time with me. I did an earlier version of this
book for a seminar company a few years back (licensed to them for
that period). My plan is to make it a part of my fall efforts to
help my clients and their sales teams make more money and sell more
services and products by building solid long-term mutually
beneficial relationships. The plan is to make it available in both
an e-book and a print version.
I will be working on completion of "Attitude Counts" over the next few months in
my 'filler' times. This is a motivational e-book based on
many of my favorite quotes, stories, and experiences and what
they have meant or mean to me and where they can help you and your
team succeed. Time permitting it will be available for Christmas
Also, investigating adding a merchant component to our websites
so you can actually order some of our publications online.
Have been given the privilege of being a part of a very special
event in September called the Speaker's Gift Box.
More about that and how you can benefit in our September issue.
You have the power to create the life you desire...
I don't often pass along offers from other people, but my friend
Wayne Lee is amazing! I've had the opportunity to
work with him on several occasions and walk away inspired and awed
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So... check this out!
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« Reduce stress and increase relaxation.
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Thanks for reading this issue...
Expand your world - grow!
I remember the first time I visited Hawaii (back
in the mid 70's) seeing the Koi (Japanese Carp) in a pool and
being amazed at these 'giant goldfish'. Someone later told
me that when Koi are kept in a small bowl, they will only grow
to be 2 or 3 inches long. Put that same Koi in a larger tank or pond
and it can easily grow to 6-10 inches in length. Put that same Koi
in a huge lake and you would certainly see it grow to several feet
Perhaps this is a good idea or analogy for our own
growth as leaders, in our careers, or in our various business
adventures. Our growth is often determined by the size of
'our' world and how we perceive it and embrace it. The
dimenisons to be considered are not the 'world's' but our
own. It is how we perceive the mental, emotional, spiritual and
physical opportunities we enounter and how we expand in dealing with
them that count.
I've seen this proven with leaders I've worked with in
presentation skills or strategic development, in companies growing
through to the next level, and inviduals who stetch and grow under
adverse conditions to succeed.
Make a commitment to expand your world, your
abilities and your skills - to grow!
Thank you for reading this issue of 'Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success'. We
know your time is valuable and our commitment is to make sure each
issue has some solid value for you and your team. We are committed
to helping you and your team profitably move to the next level.
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a
part of your success team and to work with you for your conference,
meeting or training event. For more information about customized
keynotes, professional/personal leadership training and coaching,
seminars/retreats, please visit www.ideaman.net or call our Creative Office
at: (780) 736-0009
Ask about a customized conference, coaching or training package to suit your specific leadership, career, sales team, company, or organizational needs.
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