Batten down the hatches…

Batten down the hatches!

Weathering the storm is the norm right now.  Battening down the hatches is necessary to help ships keep water out and stay afloat in stormy waters.  In days long gone, the key elements “to batten” include the wooden grates over the hatches in the ships deck, the tarps thrown over the hatches, and furring strips nailed around the edges or ropes to hold the tarps in place.

Four key business elements that help batten down the hatches during troubled times include:

  1. Map out your marketing strategy – having this in place and effective implementation are critical always but especially during the storm.  Keeping your marketing active versus cost cutting approaches makes all the difference between businesses that survive and those that thrive.
  2. Diversify your customer base and service offerings – As a part of 1. above, diversity helps to keep your business off the revenue rollercoaster through tough times as well as any usual seasonal effects.
  3. Plan worst case…sound strategic planning includes what if worst case scenarios most of which won’t ever happen.  But if they did, you are more likely to have a contingency plan ready to go and even if you don’t have just the right plan, working through scenarios is good practice and helps to ensure you and your team can meet the challenge when the need arises.
  4. Set aside a rainy day fund – Every cent counts and even a small rainy day fund sets the right tone for your team from core values to daily cash flow management.

“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.”
Benjamin Franklin

If you didn’t have these four key business elements in place before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, you might be feeling the pain.  If so, triage your business and get through as best you can.  When you get a moment and catch your breath, schedule a time for you and your team to take a look at the four key elements above so when the next storm comes, you can batten down the hatches!



“Motivation is simple.  You eliminate those who are not motivated.”
                                                – Lou Holtz

It’s called…
Real, honest, practical, necessary
Personal accountability
Tough love

What does it mean to you?

When People Miss the Mark…

Lift people up!
Lift people up!

When people miss the mark, screw up, under perform or just seem to not get it, it’s good to keep in mind:

They may be looking at a different target – My idea of “clean” is probably not the same as your idea of “clean.”

It may be the system – There may be things outside of their control that introduces variation in results, i.e. change in wind speed, different equipment, poor communication…

It could be the consequences – Very often the best employees get “stuck” doing what no one else will and their reward for doing their best is actually a punishment.


Start at home first – It’s our job as leaders to do everything we can to help them do the best job they can.  Make sure you are doing that and…

  • Get on the same page
  • Improve the system
  • Focus on and reward the right behaviors
  • Be a people builder!

the greatest good…

tis the season for good deeds and the greatest good starts at home

first within
then six degrees
to change the world


Do the work. Do the analysis. But feel your run…

kara_goucherDo the work. Do the analysis. But feel your run. Feel your race. Feel the joy that is running.” – Kara Goucher, 2008 Olympian, Runner’s World Quote of the Day

This is how we ran as kids…less analysis but with joy
This is how we should run every day
Anything else is restricted, restrained, self-limiting

Joy is the key
Find your passion…persevere…to live your greatest journey
– Look deep
– Own it
– Live it
– Use it to look deeper
– Unleash it

In running, business, family, faith…in life
Feel the joy!


Awareness is the birthplace of possibility. Everything you want to
do, everything you want to be, starts here. To be a successful visionary, you
must be as aware as possible. At every moment, many paths lead forward.
Awareness tells you which is the right one to take.” – Deepak Chopra

It’s key to…
– good leadership
– good followership
– your team
– your customers
– your work
– your future
– your legacy.

Coaching with Heart

“Giving high-quality feedback doesn’t have to do with a skill or technique; it has to do with caring enough about people to tell it like it is.” 

-Robert Hargrove, Masterful Coaching

The best coaching comes from the heart.1280_Family%20Of%20Penguins

As does the best sales technique…ask from the heart and the sale will be right.

As does the best leadership…lead from the heart and others will follow.

As does the best relationship…trust your heart to find the one.

As does the best art…

As does a good belly laugh.   :-)

Leadership and the Platinum Principle

Effective leadership by way of the Platinum Principle…

Way back in 1995, I heard management guru Dennis Waitley speak about the following principle that still rings true today:  The Platinum Principle – Treat everyone the way they need to be treated to accomplish what they need to do.

As managers, leaders, and business owners we must be stewards for our employees, organizations, and even our customers to make sure they have everything they need to do the best job they can.

The question we must constantly ask ourselves is, “Am I being a good steward?”

The Pace of Leadership

As a marathoner, I’ve learned a little about the importance of pace.  To run the 26.2 miles of a marathon well, maintaining the right pace is critical.  Your pace needs to be steady and it needs to be one your body and your mind can handle for the entire distance.  Go too fast and you’ll tire early and maybe even end up walking to the finish line.  Go too slow even, with the hope of saving your strength and speeding up later, and you may miscalculate and still miss your finish time goal.

Pace is just as important for shorter races.  Whether 5K races – 3.1 miles, or 8K’s or 10K’s or half-marathons, runners need to keep the right pace.  Each race is different and requires a different pace and pace strategy.  It can take years for a runner to get to a point where they are proficient at pacing.

I remember my first few years of marathoning.  I ran a marathon a year for three years and it wasn’t until that third marathon that it started to click how important it was to keep the right pace.  Walking much of the last few miles to the finish line was a little embarrassing.  It took a couple more years before I could hold a steady pace and the correct pace for the race I was running.

I’ve found leadership is the same.  There is no one best leadership style or one best way to be a leader.  Every situation is different and each one requires the proper leadership style or in essence, the proper leadership pace.  Go too fast and you’ll “hit the wall.”  Go to slow and you’ll miss your finish time goal.  Early in my career, I held leadership positions with little experience, and sadly, little training.  I learned the hard way and made mistakes just like in my first few marathons.  Over time, often through trial by fire, I learned.

Some situations require leadership to be more fast paced or direct, “Please get this done asap,” or, “Fire! Evacuate the building immediately!”  Other situations require leadership to be a bit slower paced or supportive, “Let’s talk this through,” or, “Why don’t you sleep on that and get back to me.”  Knowing which leadership style to bring to a situation is critical to being an effective leader.  Go too fast with a new employee and you may overwhelm them or leave them without the proper knowledge, tools, or training to do a good job.  Go too slow with an experienced employee and they may feel micromanaged.

Just like training for a marathon or some other race, it takes a willingness to learn, practice, and persevere, to get to a point where you can confidently provide the correct leadership style for a given situation.  Your first few tries may not turn out quite the way you intended, but over time, maybe even over the course of a few years, you’ll learn which pace is best for each race and which leadership style is best for each situation.  Lead on!

If you would like to learn more about pacing either for a marathon or for leadership, contact me at:

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