Never Stop Setting Goals

Grandpa B’s lesson to me around never stop learning or you might as well be dead, is a lesson I will continue to teach and I will continue to live by until the day I die.

Over the past couple of years I have now come to develop my own until death rule:

“If you don’t have goals you might as well be dead.”

For a few years I stood on the sidelines as my family ran the Rockford River Days 5k, but then something got into my head that made me want to be part of that. I set the goal and I ran my first 5k in July of 2010.

I then set my next goal to finish a 5k in under 30 minutes. October of 2010 I reached that goal with seconds to spare, wearing a Spiderman costume with your Uncle Mike running next to me pushing a stroller and wearing and poncho and sombrero.

Then came my work Christmas party of 2010 where I accepted the challenge to do a triathlon. I eventually did that triathlon and another in 2011.

I now sit less than a few days away from running my first half marathon to be followed by a triathlon a week later and before the year is out I will have finished four triathlons and two half marathons in 2012.

I’m much healthier today, but I would not be if I had not set goals to get me where I am today.

Health and wellness is only one area where goals have meant a lot to me.

Over 7 years ago, I made the goal that I wanted to have a job that had more personal meaning and fulfillment than the one I had at the time. I started by going to culinary school to become a chef and own a restaurant and eventually made my way to Mayo Clinic where I have no responsibility at all for the cafeteria or food service.

I made it to Mayo Clinic because I stayed true to my goal of having a job that had more meaning and I couldn’t imagine more meaning than being a part of what Mayo Clinic does for people. Culinary school fit in there, because I thought and still think that good food makes people happy and making people happy is pretty darn fulfilling.

Then there is you.

I set the goal when you were born that I was going to make sure you had every opportunity to be who you want to be. I also committed to making sure you understand that you don’t get anything without hard work and that you need to be polite.

You don’t have to do much these days besides behave and smile to get what you want because I am a big sucker, so my hard work lesson is still a work in progress. However, because it is a goal that I still have and am committed to I know I will not give up on it.

Goals are a way of life, as you read this I hope you know what yours are. Keep on living.

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A Top Ten List: Leadership Direction

One of the things I love about the life I have lived, the jobs I have had, the career path that I have followed and the sports that I have played is that I have been exposed to some great leaders. I have also been exposed to some not so great leaders.

This top ten list is my perspective on the ten pieces of direction that come to mind first when I think about the direction these leaders have given me.

Fail Fast, Fix Faster

  • I go back and forth on how much I buy into this. Failure is not something I really think one should pride themselves on. On the other hand being able to recognize failure and fixing that failure quickly is something I think is respectable. Then there is the fact that fear of failure holds too many people back from execution and doing nothing is not something I think anyone should be proud of or have the guts to accept a paycheck for.

He Who Hesitates, Get’s Ass Kicked

  • Every aspect of life and business seems to move at a faster pace almost every day. Hesitation is dangerous.

Be Patient

  • With everything in life moving so fast patience is becoming a valuable asset, especially when applied in the correct situations. It’s not one of my personal strengths, but something I do desire to have more of.

Execute

  • The greatest plans, ideas and intentions are worthless without execution.

Learn From Your Mistakes

  • I really do believe that this is something that you can use in all walks of life. I have made plenty of mistakes in my life and expect that you will make your own. As long as you learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them you can go a long way. I also feel that if you embrace learning from your mistakes that you will be less fearful of making mistakes in the first place and you will value your mistakes instead of regretting them.

Don’t F**k Up

  • There are levels of failure and mistakes that you just can’t recover from or fix, that would probably be defined as a f**k up. You really want to avoid those if you can.

Decomplexify

  • This concept was first known to me as and probably most commonly known as the kiss principle, keep it simple stupid. Decomplexifying is an art form that seeks to get maximum results with the least amount of effort or planning. The masters of decomplexification are the most valuable assets to any business and just good people to have around when it comes to making the best out of a less than ideal situation.

Trust Your Instincts

  • If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust.

Never Say You’re Sorry

  • ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE ADVICE!!!!! If you f**k up, make a mistake, fail or just do wrong by someone never be afraid to admit that you were wrong and never hesitate to say I am sorry. If you find yourself apologizing too much you might want to exhibit some patience and figure out why that is the case.

Focus on People

  • ABSOLUTELY THE BEST ADVICE!!!! The most complex, simple statement. Very simply I do believe there is no purpose in life without others. Even in individual sports you need to show respect for your coaches and competitors, in team sports you need to have other people. In business, people are the foundation of all organizations and customers are people.

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