Mastering a skill takes years, whether it is teaching, becoming a great leader, a parent or world-class speaker. Like the Bamboo Farmer that I reference in my speeches and my first book Water The Bamboo the key to mastery lies in one’s ability to be focused and disciplined for years.
This year I have noticed an interesting pattern. When clients request a keynote presentation, I ask which speech they want me to deliver--one focused on Water The Bamboo, Unleashing the Potential of Teams and Individuals or What’s Going Well? The Question that Changes Everything?
It’s been about a 50–50 split.
I developed a keynote and a half day workshop around the What’s Going Well mindset. Below is a short video that gives you a flavor of the new book and keynote.
Every year instead of setting a New Year’s resolutions, I pick a word that I use as a theme throughout the year. Last year, 2018, I chose the word “momentum.” I have to give momentum lots of credit for helping me power through and finish my new book, What’s Going Well.
Since we only have the capacity to focus on a fraction of what we encounter, our brains are constantly filtering what gets our attention. In this filtering process, our brains are easily distracted because we are wired to pay attention to any new stimulus, especially if we perceive it to be a threat to our survival. This filtering causes us to have what psychologists call a negativity bias.
Humanity on the whole has never been better off than we are now. The world is safer, we live longer, we are healthier, and many people are wealthier.
But as humans, our brains are naturally wired to cynicism. We’re more likely to focus on the negatives of a situation and not even notice the positives.
Changing our focus to What’s Going Well and rejecting negativity isn’t just about making us happier (though that’s a nice side-effect, too!). When we practice it regularly, it extends far beyond day-to-day joy and becomes a part of who we are. Eventually, we don’t have to work to practice it anymore. It comes to us naturally.
As many of you know, March Forth is a day I celebrate in honor of my late brother John. The holiday is meant to remind us to celebrate life and find things that help us move forward. I learned a long time ago that no matter who you are, life will throw you heart-crushing blows but we must keep Marching Forth.
My late grandfather once told me that if I was going to seek advice from someone who has been where I'm headed, to make sure I only ask people who have a smile on their face. This advice has led me to ask older men and women that are smiling or radiant – what's the secret to life?
Last year, I had the honor and privilege of presenting and keynoting at a number of amazing conferences and organizations. The highlight for me was giving the commencement keynote address at my alma mater, University of Oregon. For bamboo insight and inspiration, watch my 15-minute talk, even if you are not a Duck!
Over the holidays I played lots of board games with my friends and family including one of my favorites, Yahtzee.
Imagine after years of planting, tending and weeding, the bamboo is only a few inches away from breaking the surface of the soil, soon sprouting 90 feet in 60 days. The impatient farmer walks away while the Bamboo Farmer faithfully waters one more day.
No matter how skilled an individual or team is, having the self-discipline to execute on projects and ideas is the single most important skill needed in today's business environment. An individual or team with average talent and skill can outcompete a more talented team if they have mastered the art of discipline.
Everyone has "one of those days" occasionally. Since this is a normal, acceptable part of work, it's important to strategize how you manage after a challenging day at work because it can have impact on a multitude of levels both at work and at home.
In my book Water The Bamboo®: Unleashing Teams and Individuals I encourage both individuals and teams to identify and water their bamboo (vision). It takes four to five years of watering for Giant Timber Bamboo to grow over 90 feet in 60 days.
For leaders to be effective, they must work well with all types of people; it is essential to managing a successful team. To improve your relationship skills, here are 5 important principles for getting along with others.
Whether it's a failed project, a co-worker conflict, or an unexpected layoff, everyone faces a setback at some point in their career. These unfortunate events can derail your plans and hinder your morale and productivity—but only if you let them.