JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!

Failing Forward

Thursday March 23, 2017 #873

“You will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something. There is no doubt about it. … Never be discouraged. Never hold back. Give everything you’ve got. And when you fall throughout life — and maybe even tonight after a few too many glasses of champagne — fall forward.”

~Denzel Washington


This is a message I have written about several times and it is a message worth repeating:  You. Will. Fail.  When you fail, you can’t let the failure define you or defeat you.  Everyone fails.  But not everyone succeeds.  Success comes from failing forward.  Certainly allowing yourself to feel the negative emotions that come with failure, but then quickly moving to positive action. Reflecting on what occurred, what could have been done differently, what resources you would have needed, what you must change about yourself, etc.  And then take action!  Learn new skills, develop new relationships and resources, try a different angle.  If it is worth winning, failure is just another piece of the learning you need to be able to win eventually.


March 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Creating Space for Calm

Tuesday March 21, 2017 #872

“The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center. So does a person.”

~Norman Vincent Peale


Today’s insanely busy life requires more than ever our ability to carve out time for quiet reflection.  Most anxiety and even depression can be linked to the failure to create this personal space.  You have within you the power to solve problems and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  But often only if you give yourself the chance to reflect, unplug, and recharge.  Be the force of nature you are capable of being, by creating space for calm.

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Seeing the Positive

Thursday March 16, 2017 #871

“To a dull mind all of nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


It is always your choice to see things in a positive or a negative light.  There are very few things that are truly without worth.  Even the “ugly” has beauty within it if you choose to see it.  Don’t go through life either seeing the bad in everything or maybe even worse, seeing nothing of any interest at all.  Choose to seek the interesting, the beautiful, the surprising, in everyone and everything.  Allow your mind to see the possibilities.

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment


Tuesday March 14, 2017 #870

“Anxiety is nothing but fear inspired by an imagined future collapse.  It is the failure of trust.”

~Thomas Moore


It is true that most of the anxiety we feel is caused by our own distrust in ourselves and/or in others.  Knowing this, how can you change your paradigm?  Begin by “acting as if” you do have trust in yourself and you believe in others and in a positive future outcome.  Yes, it is a bit of self-hypnosis but it has been proven over and over that those who not only convince themselves of positive outcomes, but also take actions to strengthen their skills and capabilities, significantly reduce their anxiety and build optimistic, positive outlooks.  With that attitude, and strong skills, you can do almost anything!

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Knowing When to Let Go

Thursday March 9, 2017 #869

“Some people think it’s holding on that makes one strong – sometimes it’s letting go.”

~Hermann Hesse


There are times in this life when despite your best intentions and efforts, it will become clear that to continue to fight for success becomes futile and your best course is to move on.  It could be a relationship, a job, or some other worthy project.  It happens to all of us.  The realization that you can continue, but to do so even with new efforts and strategies would not change the outcome or at least not your satisfaction with the outcome.  The relationship, the job, or the project simply does not serve your personal or professional vision, or has become something that violates your values or character.  If and when this occurs, and it is likely to occur at some point for everyone, your strength may be shown in letting go vs. holding on.  Never act rashly, but with careful consideration make the choice that is true to your character.  Hold on or let go. The choice is ours.

March 12, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Authentic Appreciation

Tuesday March 7, 2017 #868

“People leave when they don’t feel appreciated. That’s why we’ve made recognition a really high value. Our business is people-capability first; then you satisfy customers; then you make money.” 

~David Novak


If you are in a position of leadership and want to drive long term success for both your organization and yourself, the most effective investment you can make is to practice authentic appreciation.  Before executing strategies on customer engagement and maximizing profits you must first have an engaged and capable workforce.  Without a high level of critical thinking and execution excellence, the business imperatives will be marginalized.

Whether or not you have the best possible people in each role, today your team is your team.  Your job as leader is to inspire and motivate them and provide them the tools they need to succeed or the means to secure them.  And the best place to start is by demonstrating your authentic appreciation for what they bring to the business and achieve today.

Most leaders focus on what is lacking and on pointing out gaps and failures.  While it is important to ensure awareness of opportunities, you get there faster by noticing what is right and expressing why it is right and encouraging more.  Your people are better and more capable that you can ever imagine, and actually far more likely to spot opportunities that you.  Start by recognizing the good and let your team thrive.

March 12, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment


Thursday March 2, 2017 #867

“Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated.” 

~Robert McNamara


One of the most needed aspects of effective leadership is simple appreciation, expressed through recognition, praise, and intentional, personalized development.  Unfortunately, this is shown in engagement surveys as one of the most commonly missing desired traits in leaders.  If you are a leader and wish to attract and retain the talent you and your organization need to compete effectively, start by being the rare leader who authentically and personally appreciates your team members.  Don’t wait – start today.

March 12, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Great Leaders

Tuesday February 28, 2017 #866

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” 

~Tom Peters


It is a common mistake of managers to think that if their team members follow their direction without question, they are providing great leadership. In fact, this is usually a sign of poor leadership.  The job of a great leader is to create more great leaders among their team.  This is sometimes referred to as “Small L leadership”.  These small L leaders speak up when direction is vague, incomplete, or dead wrong.  They offer ideas and solutions.  They don’t wait for direction; they act when they see a need, and help others on the team without being asked.  The titled, or “Big L Leader” creates this environment through clear direction, defined delegated authority, trust, course correction when necessary, and recognition and praise.  Want lots of Small L Leaders?  Provide the Big L leadership your team craves and deserves.

March 12, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment