JAM with Mike

Motivation to Start Your Day!


Wednesday October 1, 2014 #666

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

~Albert von Szent-Györgyi de Nagyrápolt


Today’s digital communications ensure a steady stream of great ideas and novel innovations coming our way.  We often react with, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  For many and maybe most discoveries, they happen by accident – but almost always in the sight of someone prepared to recognize it for what it is and it’s potential, and bring it forward.  So I believe the key is to become prepared so that you can be the one to recognize a new or novel idea.  How do to this?  Experience, reflect, learn, repeat.

Don’t live life with your head down and your senses muted.  Live each moment you can with eyes open, looking for what each experience brings you.  Reflect as and when you can, and always learn by asking, “What can I take away from that experience?”  And repeat, repeat, repeat.


October 7, 2014 Posted by | innovation, learning | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working for Inspiration

Tuesday August 12, 2014 #652

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

~Pablo Picasso


To thrive in today’s increasingly complex and fast-paced world, creativity and innovation become foundational competencies.  To develop these and maximize your potential, you must be actively working on learning and applying your knowledge daily.  Learning isn’t enough.  Inspiration doesn’t come readily by standing still.  Application, execution, and then reflection must occur regularly.  As you do so, and if you keep all your senses open, inspiration will strike.  Get going and get inspired!

August 24, 2014 Posted by | innovation, inspiration, learning | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stretch Your Mind!

Thursday July 3, 2014 #641

“One’s mind stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


One of the common practices of extremist religious leaders is to forbid learning or exposure to materials not prescribed by their narrow world view.  This is because they know the biggest threat to their domination over their followers is exposure to alternative thinking.  This extreme example is also true in everyday life.  Politicians and marketers try to bombard their followers with evidence that their beliefs and benefits are correct and better than their competitors’.   Even parents, with every good intent, often seek to control their children’s access to only those people and inputs they deem acceptable.  However, the incredible nature of the human mind is its capacity to learn, grow and evolve through exposure to new ideas and disruptive concepts.  Education – and ongoing exploration and learning – is the driver of our ability to progress as individuals and as a people.

If you are in a position of leadership – as a parent, a manager, or a community leader, your obligation is to ensure your and your team’s thinking is challenged regularly to keep yourself and your team competitive, enlightened, and able to successfully evolve through the changing landscape.  Expose them and yourself to new ideas, radical thinking, and unrelated thought leaders.  Stretch your mind – it will never be the same.  And that is a very good thing!

July 5, 2014 Posted by | change, innovation, leadership, learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Great Ideas Happen

Tuesday July 1, 2014 #640

“Great ideas need landing gear, as well as wings.” ~C. O. Jackson


In any team there are idea generators and there are executers.  Both talents are necessary for great ideas to become actionable and their potential to be realized. It is rare (and wonderful!) to find an individual who possesses great skills in ideation and execution – and if you find them, keep them!  Most people however, will be more skilled in one or the other.  Executers may get frustrated in brainstorming sessions, and ideators can feel trapped by the rules of effective execution.  Your job as leader is to understand your team’s individual skills and leverage them.  Use your idea generators when brainstorming is needed, decide on an idea to take forward, and give it to the executers to make it happen.

July 5, 2014 Posted by | achievement, innovation, leadership, Take Action | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking Chances

Thursday April 10, 2014 #617

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”

~Mary Tyler Moore


Both effective leadership and personal growth require the courage to move forward and take risks, despite the chances of failure and pain. Fear can be debilitating or it can be a powerful motivator to practice courage and bravery. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the ability to push through despite fear, leveraging the fear to motivate you and stimulate innovative solutions.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | courage, innovation, leadership, motivation | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Tuesday April 8, 2014 #616

 “The nature of creativity is to make space for things to happen… We can drive it out with our busyness and plans.”

 ~Iain McGilchrist


 If you are like most, you allow the busyness of life to remove almost all moments of quiet reflection, time to think, develop new ideas, dream of possibilities, and to create. Everyone possesses the power of creativity and innovation. But few give themselves the time or even the permission to do so. Don’t deprive yourself or the world your potential and abilities. Allow yourself a bit of time to free the creativity within you.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | innovation | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Your undiscovered greatness

Tuesday September 17, 2013 #559


“Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him.”


~Golo Mann

Dare to try


There is no way to know what you are capable of until you attempt what seems improbable.  Around us every day men and women are achieving successes, creating wealth, innovating, making lives better, and providing hope where there was none.  What are you capable of?  Find out.  Dare to follow your passions and put the best you to work doing something of meaning.  Surprise yourself with your undiscovered greatness.

September 28, 2013 Posted by | achievement, innovation, Passion | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Innovation vs. Carelessness

Tuesday August 27, 2013 #553


“To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it.”


~Josh Jenkins



In an age of innovation, organizations are pressing their people to take risks and even reward mistakes as long as the mistake is in pursuit of innovation.  A risk-taking culture is difficult to foster due to fears of punishment and years of top-down management but is possible to achieve over time as senior leaders champion risk taking and even failures that provide strong learning.  The trust will build over time and encourage more innovative thought processes and risk-taking.  The balance is to ensure risks are taken for organizationally beneficial reasons and not just due to carelessness.  When dealing with a careless employee, today’s quote can help explain the difference between strategic risk taking and carelessness.

August 31, 2013 Posted by | innovation | , , , , , | Leave a comment