I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about the Superbowl by now. There’s always so much noise leading up to the big game. The talk seems to go on without end about the teams, the commercials, the location and (this year in particular) the history of the event. As if that weren’t enough it’s always followed up by an endless rehashing of the events of the game. I wasn’t going to write a Superbowl post this year. After all, who needs another voice adding to all that noise. But something happened at the very end of the game that I just couldn’t pass up on.
Right after the game was over a reporter asked Payton Manning about his plans for after this game. Specifically, she asked if he was going to retire. His response blew me away. Read More →
Confession Time. The last couple of weeks have been rough for me with my goals. I had been consistently making progress since about late December. My Goal Tracking app was telling me that I was just about on pace for most of my goals for the year. Then I ate a bit too much junk food on my birthday and gained a few pounds. Then I stayed out late a few too many nights. Then I got sick.Before I knew it I’d gone nearly a week without working to make any significant progress on my goals.
If that’s ever happened to you, you know that it can be pretty depressing. “What am I supposed to do now?” is often the question at this point. If I was struggling to stay on-track when I was on top of my game how am I supposed to come back after falling so far behind? The answer is pretty simple, but it isn’t easy. Read More →
In 2013 Bill Gates wrote an article about measurement for The Wall Street Journal. In it he said, “You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal.” Gates was talking about making progress for humanitarian purposes, but the principle applies beyond that realm. Measurement is important for success in any area. If you’ve read about SMART goals you know that the M is measurable. Measurement lets you know when you’ve accomplished your goals. It also lets you know whether or not you’re making progress on them.
It’s January. If you’re like most people you’ve probably got some goals for this year that you’re excited to make progress on. But, how do you measure progress on your goals? It seems like measuring our progress is something that everyone agrees is good and necessary. But it’s not something that most people do. What’s the difference between being able to measure and track progress on your goals and not? Read More →
When I was growing up my brother and I loved to play a four-part computer game series called Monkey Island. It was a comedy-adventure game where you controlled a character named Guybrush Threepwood. Threepwood’s dream was to become “a mighty pirate” but there were usually a variety of characters and puzzles standing in his way. Well, one of those characters you encounter in the game is a salesman named Stan Stanman. You encounter Stan in each of the Monkey Island games, and he’s always trying to sell you something different: used boats, coffins, life insurance, or time-shares (if I remember correctly). He is one of the most obnoxious characters in video game history, and we loved him for it.
What word comes to your mind when you think of selling? Sleazy? Slimy? Pushy? Do you picture a man in an outdated polyester coat on a used car lot? Do you think of Stan Stanman? According to a survey done by Daniel Pink, you probably do.
But, what if the way we think about sales isn’t accurate? What if the world has changed and, in the process we’ve all become salesmen of a different type? That’s the premise of Daniel Pink’s book, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. While about 1/9 people in the US work in traditional sales Pink suggests that the rest of us must engage in what he calls “non-sales selling.” What is non-sales selling? I’m glad you asked. Read More →
Have you ever watched an episode of Blue’s Clues? Andy has recently started watching old episodes of it on Amazon Prime. My teenage-self cringes at my parent-self saying it’s actually a pretty good show. At least in terms of helping young children learn skills like colors, shapes, patterns, and problem-solving.
If you’re not familiar with it, Blue’s Clues is a show about a dog named Blue and her friend Steve. “Blue’s Clues” is a game that they play to figure out what Blue wants to do. Blue leaves her paw prints on three items throughout the house and the audience “helps” Steve find these three clues. Then, once Steve finds all the clues, he sits in his thinking chair to figure out what the clues mean (with the audience’s “help” again, of course).
Well, as I was watching the show with Andy I began to notice a pattern. It takes a couple of minutes for Steve and Blue to set up the show. They establish the question they’re trying to answer with their game of “Blue’s Clues” then do an intro song and dance. After that though, the first clue is always in the next scene. Which means that it shows up in about 10-15 seconds after they start playing. The rest of the clues take their time in coming, but the first clue always comes very quickly.
This is brilliant on the part of the show’s creators! By revealing the first clue early they create a quick win for the audience. It makes the audience feel good. It feels like they’re making great progress, and piques their curiosity for what the rest of the clues may be. This combination keeps the audience engaged with the show through all the silly activities Steve gets caught up in (which, coincidentally, is where the learning happens). It’s a simple little trick, but it’s one that we can use to make lasting changes stick in our own lives. Read More →