Monday, April 22, 2013


Title:  START

Author:  Jon Acuff

Rating:  Awesome

Reason for Reading:  I’ve read Jon’s other books, including Stuff Christians Like and Quitter.

Format:  I read this on my nook SimpleTouch

Summary:  In START, Jon walks the reader through the 5 stages of awesome, and describes how the work in the real world.  Everyone with above average success walks through them (Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, and Guiding), and it used to be tied to someone’s age.  In your 20’s, you learned, in your 40’s you mastered, etc.

Jon describes how today, it isn’t based on someone’s age; it is based on when they started doing something.  And, you can do things from multiple stages as the same time.  But, being awesome isn’t just some attitude that you wake up with some day.  Jon puts it in real life terms with examples from his own life.

Review:  I would put this book into the hands of anyone who is wanting to be more and do more.  If their day job isn’t their dream, or if they have a bigger dream with more people to connect to, more awesome to put on canvas.
Far from just being about positive affirmations or pie in the sky thinking, Jon will make you appreciate your stumbles and setbacks, and let you know you are not alone on the road to awesome.  It isn’t easy, but if you are game, Jon is inviting you to walk the path with him.


Other resources:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A simple decision making formula

A friend recently asked me what a leader should do when they are stumped.  Leadership can be complicated, so it is easy for anyone to be stuck in a confusing situation.  I consider myself stumped when there are too many options or too many possibilities.  While it often sounds good to have numerous options when faced with a choice, too many can be paralyzing.  When all the options look equally good, or equally bad, it is easy to be stumped at which to choose and which to pass on.

Try this simple formula : YA + TV = NR  (Your Action + Their Values = New Reality)

Your Actions are what you will do.  But, that’s where you are stumped, so we will move on.

Their Values is how other people view the world.  So, “they” can include your team, your boss, your clients or customers, the general public, the press, or anyone impacted by YA.

The New Reality is the future result, the eventual outcome of the combination of YA and TV.  Usually this is your goal, your desired outcome of this opportunity.  It is currently the future, someday to be the present for you and all involved.

You are stumped when you can’t define YA, so set that as the variable.  Define NR, what you want, and TV, how others think and feel.  Ask yourself, “If They Value such-and-such, what would cause them to make your desired New Reality?”  Their Values is the connection between Your Actions and some New Reality.  If you can get YA and TV in harmony, you have great influence over NR.  If they are discordant, you have little influence on NR.

Can’t figure out what do to?  Start with NR, work through TV, solve for YA.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Average is contagious. So is awesome.

Lots of people can help you be average. Not help you in the sense of explaining it to you. They can't give you a how to process like the recipe for baking a cake. They can't share with you the book they read that helped them get to average.

They can help you be average just by hanging around with you. Average is contagious. That's why it's so common.

And average is comfortable. That's why it is so dangerous.

Luckily, awesome is contagious too. Want an awesome career? An awesome marriage? Awesome kids? Awesome thoughts? Find some people that have them.

But unlike average, you can't just slip into awesome. It takes action and intention. Write it down and do it. Average just isn't acceptable to you.

Start down the path to awesome.

Coming April 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When do winners quit?

You may have answered that with the proverb, "Winners never quit, and quitters never win."

But it isn't true . . . at least not entirely.

Persistence is indeed an important element to success, and most success stories include it. A common one is Thomas Edison trying 10,000 different materials before finding the one that made his incandescent light bulb work.  Edison was determined to find one that worked and kept trying when many people would have given up.

An often overlooked lesson in the story is that Edison quit 9,999 times. Every time he found a material that didn't work, he quit trying it and started trying something else.  Edison faced 10,000 dead ends, and each time he quit trying what didn't work and moved on.  When asked how it felt to fail 10,000 times, he is reported to have responded, "I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that didn't work."

Like Thomas Edison, winners quit all the time, moving on from what doesn't work to find what does.  Edison considered it just one more step towards his goal.  If he didn't quit trying each of the ones that didn't work, he'd never have found the one that did.

When faced with this decision, ask yourself if there is more to be gained from another attempt. If yes, try it again. Even if it doesn't work, there is wisdom to be gained from the attempt. If you think you learned everything possible from the attempt, then it's time to move on.

Winners quit when they're learned from the experience, and persist on to try something else.