water the bamboo

The Simple Truth of Mastering a Skill

The Simple Truth of Mastering a Skill

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.

The Battle of the Books: Which One Wins?

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.

Watch the What's Going Well Video

And if you are not familiar with the Water The Bamboo keynote and workshop here is a video to help you gain an understanding.

Stay More Engaged at Work

A lot of my work with leaders and teams is centered around how to increase and sustain employee engagement. When people first begin their jobs, they are typically fully engaged, but this initial enthusiasm eventually fades into "what's next?" or thinking the bamboo grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

Make a Plan for the 16th Minute

Now that the hype has died down, the Olympics (and Paralympics) seem like a distant memory. Imagine making the medal podium and a few weeks later hardly anyone remembers your name. Was the 15 minutes of fame worth it? Most Olympians have trained from a very young age to reach that pinnacle in their sport — talk about Watering The Bamboo!

Mind Your Own Bamboo

When a person or a team sets a goal to do something extraordinary (aka your Bamboo Dream), whether that goal is to go to the moon, win a gold medal, or change an entire industry, critics, killjoys, and naysayers come out of the woodwork saying things such as: You are crazy. That will never work. Why are you wasting your time? What makes you think you are so special?

Finish What You Start

How many bricks does it take to complete a patio? The same amount it takes to start building a patio. Answer: ONE! This is the approach I took when I wrote my book Water The Bamboo — "one page at a time" — besides, you can only water one bucket at a time. You must focus on one brick at a time to finish. However, if you are like most people, you start more patios than you finish. I think it's okay to not finish from time to time but one should address this if it becomes a pattern.

Laugh More in 2016

In speaking engagements I use humor to inspire and engage my audiences. (Little known fact, I have performed stand-up comedy shows.) However, lately I have noticed there are days I am not laughing enough. Research shows kids laugh up to 415 times a day while adults laugh only 15 times. This year one of my goals is to laugh more. Besides, why should the kids have all the fun?

What if your team improved 1%?

I spend a lot of time reading books and articles on leadership, peak performance, and innovation to help my clients reach their strategic goals. In my book Water The Bamboo® I encourage leaders and teams to identify their Bamboo Dream (vision) and to faithfully water it for five years before it grows 90 feet in 60 days. The watering (effort) is essential to success.

Lessons from a Legend

As a former Division I college basketball player, I'm always excited this time of year as practices get under way. It is like the holiday season: new shoes, new teammates, and a new season. Even though it has been years since I have played in a competitive basketball game, it gets me fired up about the season of my current life and business. In honor of the season I think it is only appropriate to make a special tribute to one of the game's all-time greatest coaches, the late John Wooden.

Can you and your team survive a punch in the face?

As the great American “philosopher” Mike Tyson once said after he was told that a boxing challenger had a plan to defeat him, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” I am not a Mike Tyson fan but no matter what you think about him, he had at least one moment of genius.