A colleague of mine was delivering a workshop to 80 people. During the workshop, he showed a slide with the following quote by Mike Tyson,
"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."
One of the participants was so distraught at seeing this quote that the person had to leave the room. The slide apparently triggered some deep-seated animus for Tyson.
During the next break, the organizers of the event confronted my colleague about the slide. He was confused and shocked given that the context of the quote was about business and planning.
Nevertheless, he offered to apologize to the group but the company leaders decided it would be best that he pack up his things and leave thereby ending the full-day workshop; which I estimate cost the company about $100,000.
A missed opportunity for everyone!
A real leader would've (1) allowed my colleague to resume the workshop with an apology and clarification, and (2) use the incident as a learning moment for everyone. And, who knows,...
I love watching Samurai movies; especially those that capture the mood of Japanese culture during the 16th and 17th centuries.
I'm also a fan of Akira Kurosawa (Films: RAN, Yojimbo, Seven Samurai, and Rashomon). Kurosawa has a way of exploring and revealing the bushido of the Samurai of that time period.
Bushido is a moral code of honor developed by the Japanese samurai that centers around eight principles:
These principles should be universal in any culture, more specifically, a business culture.
A real leader is one who embodies the 8 principles of bushido and is able to institutionalize them into their organization. That is the essence of a true business samurai.
Comedian Dave Chappelle said, "I actually write my jokes backward." He thinks of a random funny punchline, he writes it down on a piece of paper, puts it in a fishbowl and when inspiration strikes, he comes up with a funny story that 'lands' on that punchline.
For example, his punchline was, "And,... I Kicked Her in the Butt!" (Note: I've cleaned up the actual line)
Sometime later in the Netflix special, Chappelle ends a random story on that very punchline! Shocking the audience into laughter and demonstrating once again why he's one of the best comics today!
This got me to thinking about how we 'ask' for things; especially in selling. What if we try a Chappelle Close. Instead of trying to learn 101 clever closes, why not come up with one good 'closing line' and build a value story around it.
Time has a way of mellowing one out.
Maybe its because I've realized that life is too short to be wasting mental energy on things that won't matter 24-hours later.
Maybe it's because I've realized that life is a series of ebb and flow. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't,...sometimes it does.
Or, maybe it's because my 'empathy' tank has gotten bigger over the years. I've realized that people who are constantly pessimistic, cynical or just angry are not mad at me, they're mad at their situation.
I remember Zig Ziglar advising people to "have an attitude of gratitude". I'd like to upgrade that phrase to, "Have an attitude of gratitude and latitude".
Gratitude is self-directed; appreciate what you have.
Latitude is other-directed; learn to cut people some slack,...you never know what they might be struggling with.
The challenge we all face is business is not giving up in the face of repeated loses, inexplicable adversity or simply just bad luck. We do all the right things yet the end result is nothing or a smidgeon of progress.
In speaking to a friend today he was telling me how disappointed and dejected he felt at NOT being able to grow his business.
When our expectation of what should happen doesn’t match what is actually happening, the tendency is to immediately turn to self-doubt and cynicism which leads to giving up.
In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear called this "The Valley of Disappointment" (Disappointment Zone) where people give up.
In business, we’re ALL struggling to “figure it out” (i.e., expand market share, scale our business, create shareholder value, etc.).
Know that you’re not alone.
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So I go to the gym to get a workout in. My favorite part of the workout is the reward I give myself when I'm done; 20 minutes in the sauna.
So there I am, sitting quietly enjoying the peace and quiet when all of a sudden two young men walk in and take a seat next to me. Each with their smartphone in hand. They then began to share IG videos and talk loud.
Zen moment lost!
Five minutes later a third man comes in with headphones. He has his music cranked up so high I can hear it above the juvenile banter of the other two video watchers.
As I sat there mentally shaking my head in annoyance, I happen to look out the glass door and I see another man standing in front of a urinal handling his business with one hand while scrolling (through his smartphone) with the other.
Time to hit the showers!