JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Take Time to Live

Thursday July 24, 2008 #55

“Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

 ~John Wooden

This quote captures the essence of a meaningful life.  Too often, we miss opportunities to learn new skills, ideas, philosophies, ways of improving our lives and the lives of those around us.  And, we miss out too often on chances to take risks, meet new people, experience art, theater, music, etc.  Our lives are so hectic we find and sometimes create excuses as to why we can’t take the time to learn; why we can’t take the time to live.

Today’s assignment:  Take Coach Wooden’s advice to heart.  Learn something new today.  Take a risk.  You may live for decades (almost forever!), or you may die tomorrow.  Either way, don’t cheat yourself or those around you.  It’s time to JAM!


July 30, 2008 Posted by | Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Vision + Action = Success!

Tuesday July 22, 2008 #54

Quoted in Dr. Susan Biali’s Blog:

 “Vision without action is a dream.  Action without Vision is simply passing the time.  Action with vision is making a positive difference.”

 ~Joel Barker

Thank you to New York JAMmer, BE, for today’s quote which inspires us to combine two elements sorely lacking in most individuals and organizations:  vision and action. 

On one hand, we lament the lack of vision – that ability to picture a new reality better than today and to articulate it to others in a way that sparks enthusiasm and desire to take action to move toward that better tomorrow.  On the other hand, even when enthused and filled with desire, people and organizations too often fail to take that action.  Why?  Sometimes it is laziness, fatigue and/or burnout.  Other times it is competing priorities and demands from employees, bosses and other constituencies that conspire to keep us from pursuing desired outcomes. Whatever the reason, it is tragic when we think of the lost opportunities caused by lack of vision, lack of action, or both.  What to do?

Today’s assignment:  If you are a leader, spend time today articulating your vision to your direct reports.  Fill them with enthusiasm and then ensure no barriers to the initial actions they might take to move toward your vision of a better tomorrow.  If you are not a leader by title, remember that leadership comes not from titles but from vision and action.  What do you envision to improve things around you?  What action can you take, today, to start moving toward that vision?

July 30, 2008 Posted by | leadership, Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

Amp it Up!

Thursday July 17, 2008 #53

 “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers.  But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”

 ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

My good friend and self-described “possibilities chick” Kim Marcille shares this gem from Mike Dooley’s terrific “Notes from the Universe”:

“Think not of how, whether in terms of logistics, people, or inspiration, but of the end results you dream of. The end, in thought, combined with action, in its general direction, will always create the necessary circumstances, serendipities, epiphanies, ideas, and discoveries necessary to bring about the desired manifestation. The hard part is done for you. Your part is the easy part: Think and let go. Knock on every door and turn over every stone. Do not insist upon the path, but upon the overall change you wish to experience, and never take no for an answer.” ~Mike Dooley

Whether you believe in that idea completely or not, I consider it undeniable that focus on a desired outcome plus sustained action results in a goal attainment the vast majority of the time.  The key is the commitment to stick with your goal long enough to allow the principal to work.

If you’d like more ideas and/or help in this area, I strongly recommend you check out Kim’s website where you’ll be introduced to her consultancy “Possibilities Amplified”, which focuses on facilitating executives’ and companies’ goal achievement. 

As Kim says, “Life is short.  Amp it up!”

Check it out NOW!

Kim Marcille
Possibilities Amplified, Inc.
WEB: www.PossibilitiesAmplified.com

BLOG: http://AmpItUp.vox.com

Also check out “Notes from the Universe” at www.tut.com

July 30, 2008 Posted by | intention, Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

National Tapioca Pudding Day

Tuesday July 15, 2008 #52

 “Food is so primal, so essential a part of our lives, often the mere sharing of recipes with strangers turns them into good friends.” 

 ~Jasmine Heiler

Let’s take a break from the heavy lifting of our lives and enjoy one of my favorite food holidays.  Today is National Tapioca Pudding Day.  Funny food, tapioca.  What are those weird little squishy pebbles anyway?  Of course I had to check it out and it turns out tapioca is, according to Wikipedia: 

Purchased tapioca comprises many small white spheres each about 2 mm in diameter (although larger grain sizes are available). These are not seeds, but rather reconstituted processed root. The processing concept is akin to the way that wheat is turned into pasta. These tapioca pearls are made mostly of tapioca starch, which comes from the tapioca, or bitter-cassava plant.

Most people have strong feelings about tapioca pudding – love it or hate it, right?  I happen to love it.  Tapioca was a treat my mom shared with me and my siblings when I was a kid and I enjoy it to this day.  I love the combination of the light creamy sweetness, with the interesting sensation of the tapioca beads.

What food brings this kind of reaction for you?  Go on – get some tapioca (or your preferred item) and take a ‘you’ break, or better yet, share it with someone you care about.

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Igniting Excellence

Thursday July 10, 2008 #51

 “There is only abundance for the person who focuses on helping and enriching the lives of others with their talents and products in the spirit of love.”

 ~Michelle K Rios

Today’s quote comes from friend and management coach/consultant Michelle K Rios.  Michelle’s thoughts echo my philosophy of the power of love & passion in the business world.  Her practice and research clearly show that long term success for leaders and companies come from a clear focus on servant leadership:  producing remarkable results by facilitating the success of others: peers, subordinates and business partners.  Your own wins provide short-term immediate personal results, but may not provide long-term success for yourself or your organization if you fail to help those around you succeed as well.  Facilitating others’ wins provides exponential personal results over the long term.  Which will you choose?

Note:  Check out Michelle’s excellent website for information about her coaching and consulting practice and to get valuable tips on improving your own leadership abilities.  www.ignitingexcellence.com.

July 30, 2008 Posted by | leadership, Success | , , , , | Leave a comment

People, Not “Human Resources”

Thursday July 3, 2008 #50

 “Leadership begins with recognizing that everybody needs four things:  something to do, someone to love, something to hope for, and something to believe in. Strategic plans don’t excite anybody. Dreams excite people… And every employee, every team member, wants to know the same thing: Do you really care about me? Every successful organization shows its people they genuinely matter.”

 ~Lou Holtz

Further to my discussion on the power of love in the business world, Lou Holtz uses that idea again in his quote about leadership.  When a leader can understand that she manages people and not “talent” or “human resources”, she begins to look at leadership in a different way.  The same things that people need in their personal lives are needed in their professional lives – particularly today when the 24/7 nature of today’s workplace blurs the lines between personal and professional time. 

At work, the “love” we need is for meaningful work and co-workers and leaders we can passionately work with and for.  Your assignment today:  Think about your key team members.  Not as “talent” or “human resources” but as people.  Think about the four needs these people have, according to the Holtz quote.  How well do you provide an environment that meets their needs?  What dream do you have for them which can excite them?  What can you do to show them they really matter? 

A few things for JAMmin’ leaders to think about!

July 30, 2008 Posted by | leadership | , | Leave a comment

Love is Everywhere – Even in Business

Tuesday July 1, 2008 #49

 “Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never want to do it any other way.”

 ~Yogi Desai

This submission by Southern California JAMmer, JF, provides a wonderful introduction to my series of JAMs on Beauty, Passion & Love.

“Scratch the surface of every good thing in the world, and you’ll find love.
Generosity: Love of giving freely
Listening: Love of tuning in
Keeping promises: Love of following through
Forgiveness: Love of self
Peace: Love beyond self
Understanding: The love underneath it all
Curiosity: Love of knowledge
Justice: Love for fellow human beings”
~Addie Johnson in Life is Sweet

The point, fellow JAMmers, is that love is everywhere when we just open our minds to it.  And my business and leadership philosophy states that to be effective, we must love what we are doing and who we do it with.  Work without passion is empty and meaningless. Leadership without love is cold and calculating.  It’s time to find your passion.  And passion starts with love.

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Feel the Love

Thursday June 26, 2008 #48

 “I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy.”

 ~Leo Buscaglia

A significant part of my personal philosophy and my leadership method revolves around beauty, passion & love.  In fact, I have developed an entire program around my belief that every experience is an opportunity to find beauty, passion, and love.  I intend to spend several JAMs sharing this philosophy with you.  I hope you enjoy the journey.

The first point is about love itself.  I have always peppered my leadership vocabulary with “love” – love of people, love of products, love of brands, love of presentation and visual arts, love, love, love.  It is my choice to work for companies, with people, and engage in projects that I have passion for – that I can love.  Why?  Buscaglia’s quote above tells my story.  I believe, as he does, that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy – a far more dangerous and debilitating emotion.  I spend my professional and personal life avoiding my own apathy and apathetic people, and focus rather on passionate endeavors.

Your action plan for today:  Judge for yourself if you are falling into an apathetic mode or are allowing yourself to be influenced by one or more apathetic person.  Apathy is cancerous to a fulfilling life.  The antidote?  Do more of what you love, less of what you don’t love.  As in the last JAM, I remind you that success is best defined by small moves in the right direction each day.  Today, choose love over apathy.  Spend some time in a part of your job that you love.  It could be as simple as picking up the phone and calling that colleague who always leaves you smiling when you hang up the phone.  Do it.  NowFeel the love!

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

A Little Better Every day

Tuesday June 24, 2008 #47

 “All great work is preparing yourself for the accident to happen.”

 ~Sidney Lumet

Frequent contributor LG provides this great quote:

My father told me this one (and I’m sure he got it from someone else):

“We’re all focused on the pitch coming from straight-ahead on the mound, but sometimes the best opportunity comes out of left field.  The difference between successful people and everyone else is the ability to see the left-field opportunity and have the ability to swing at it when it comes.  Often these are the best home-run opportunities.”

LG, this is a great message for our readers.  As a group I think we are all seeking how to do more with less time and resources and every day seems to bring new challenges we may or may not have been ready for.  How can we be ready for these new challenges more often?  The solution lies in gaining just a bit more control over your day. 

This can be accomplished in many ways but today I want to focus you on creating a “break”.  This break need last no longer than 10-15 minutes but its power can be awesome.  During this break, close your eyes and think about the projects you are working on.  Think about your co-workers, your boss, and your team.  Think of the “surprise” challenges that have come your way in the last few weeks.  How could you have been more prepared when they arrived?  Imagine handling these problems with ease, or at least with a calm response.  Imagine yourself handling the next surprise challenge with that same ease and calm.  With confidence, invite the next challenge to come your way! 

Open your eyes.  Face the day, a little bit more in control.  And that’s the trick, isn’t it?  A little better every day.  Once in awhile an obvious victory occurs, but success truly is measured in the small steps forward we make every day.  It’s a good day!

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Take Time for Opportunities

Thursday June 19, 2008 #46

 “Opportunities multiply as they are seized, they die when neglected.”

 ~John Wicker

Today’s quote, submitted by New York contributor BE, is a great reminder to pay attention in today’s multi-tasking, high-pressure, sensory overload life.  By racing through each day and through life without forcing ourselves to have a few moments to stop and reflect, we lose sight of the many opportunities right there in front of us.

Today’s assignment:  Take a few minutes (schedule those minutes if necessary, Mr. & Ms. Crackberry) and think about what you’ve experienced so far today, what lessons you’ve learned, and what opportunities that learning presents.  It could be financial, it could be social, it could be self-development.  Then, most importantly, plan one action you will take to go after that opportunity.

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Take Action | , , | Leave a comment