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The air that I breathe – My 3 words for 2014

Chris Brogan started this in 2006 and I’ve been following it for a few years now. He encourages us to pick just 3 words that describe where our focus will be for the next 12 months. It’s not resolutions or goals but rather themes and words that capture your essence. Not too much work but enough that it is quite helpful, at least for me.

2014 01 01 19.23.03 187x250 The air that I breathe    My 3 words for 2014So this year I picked 3 to focus on. I’m also sharing my why, to help you understand and maybe help me be accountable for them, and for me to refer back to throughout the year or at least at year end to see how my year went.

Amplify – Over the past 40 years, I built a solid foundation. My intention for 2014 is to take everything up to a whole new level, and amplify everything I do. I’ll also do this with by partnering with some smart people. One is already in place on The Shut Up Show, my video and podcast with Berni Xiong. More on partnership soon.

Integrity – I will do what I say and say what I do. This will mean when I say yes, I need to mean it and be able to deliver on that yes. It will also mean more noes as I can’t deliver on everything. Every no means a better yes is right around the corner, or already in place.

Rhythm – I’ve always resisted habits and patterns in my life because I thought they were boring. I resisted structure and sameness for the same reason. I’m realizing now I need to get into some good rhythms so I can be ready for curve balls that come my way. You’ll see these manifested in the form of publicly declared 21 Day Challenges on the Shut Up Show Facebook page and here on my site. The rhythm of exercise changed my life for the better the last 21 days so I understand their power now and am embracing it instead of fighting against it.

Coincidentally, or maybe not, these 3 words form the acronym AIR. And if you know me, you know I don’t believe in coincidences, so I will make these 3 words the air I breathe in 2014, and my intention is to live life with this air pumping through my system every day.

YOUR TURN: What about you? How did you prepare for 2014? Do you set resolutions? Goals? Intentions? Or are you still looking for a good rhythm?

If you don’t have a good rhythm, I encourage you to think of 3 words and set your intentions, even if you don’t look back at them over the year. I’ve found they help me even when I’m not aware of their presence.

Hey Leader – Got Vision?

NOTE from Phil: Today I’m sharing a guest post from Mike Myatt, author of the fantastic new book Hacking Leadership. I’ve known and respected Mike for a very long time, so I’m glad to be able to re-introduce him to you and share his new book with you. Enjoy?!

Hey Leader – Got Vision?

Visioning for leaders is a topic that I address in my new book Hacking Leadership and I believe it is a message that is often taken far too lightly by chief executives or any leader.

vision compass Hey Leader   Got Vision?A leader’s ability to perform effectively is so closely tied to their ability to form a clearly articulated vision, evangelize the vision and then to execute on their vision, that no real discussion on executive leadership should take place without an emphasis on vision.

Put simply, I believe that leadership absent vision is a train-wreck waiting to happen. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that you simply cannot decouple the two without causing an organizational implosion. I’d like to share a few brief thoughts on visioning for leaders…

Examine any list of great leaders and you’ll find that to the one, they have a clarity and purpose of vision. The good news is that leaders without vision will take care of themselves in short order, as they simply won’t survive for long. However worse than the leader with no vision, is a leader with the wrong vision. These leaders can often go undiscovered for great lengths of time before their poorly constructed vision bubbles-up to the surface, by which time it is often too late to repair the damage. Many a good enterprise has been blown to pieces by a leader with either no vision or the wrong vision.

It’s important to understand that vision statements are design oriented. The vision is bigger picture and future oriented – it is the vision that defines the end game. Vision statements, as implied in the construction of the phraseology itself, put forth a statement of envisioned future. This vision, if successful, must be underpinned by core ideology (values) and then expressed with clarity and conviction. A non-existent, ambiguous, or ideologically weak corporate vision is nothing short of a recipe for disaster…It would be akin to the proverbial ship without a rudder adrift without any direction or control. A well articulated corporate vision should be capable of being easily understood and distributed throughout the value chain.

As magically vibrant and illustrative as a vision can be, a vision isn’t really about what can be imagined – it’s about what can be delivered. A leader’s vision must be distributed, adopted, and deeply embedded into the daily fabric of the organizational culture. A leader who doesn’t possess clarity of vision cannot expect those they lead to have clarity in thought or deed. A shared vision based on common values is the gold standard of corporate alignment.

mike myatt Hey Leader   Got Vision?About the author: Mike Myatt is America’s Top CEO Coach, recognized by Thinkers50 as a global authority on the topic of leadership, a Forbes leadership columnist, author of Leadership Matters, and CEO at N2growth. His new book, Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly, is available on Amazon.

40 Things I Learned by Age 40

I’ve learned a lot of stuff about myself the first 40 years of my life. What follows are 40 things I’ve learned about myself over the last 40 years. Maybe some of it will be useful for you too.

40 things preview 40 Things I Learned by Age 40

40 Things I Learned by Age 40

1- When I am surrounded by the people I love and that love me, I am strong and powerful and I can do anything.
2 – I am an Extrovert with a capital E, and I work best when I am surrounded by people.
3 – There’s no replacement for in person connection – but video calls are the next best thing.
4 – Social media is a great way to get back in and stay in touch with friends.
5 – Hugs equal love and love rocks!!
6 – Information is good – Action is better.
7 – I work best with someone and not by myself.
8 – It’s ok to take a break now and then.
9 – If I don’t take care of myself, nothing else matters.
10 – Social media can be a great way to start a relationship.
11 – Getting something done is better than getting something perfect.
12 – Exercising daily gives me great energy – and when I miss a day, I feel it.
13 – Being grateful for the big and little things keeps me grounded.
14 – I love to coach people to grow their business and achieve their dreams.
15 – I love to be extemporaneous and spontaneous.
16 – I like to be an active participant in life and all I do – and it’s really hard to just be somewhere.
17 – Slowing down and focusing and doing less actually means I can achieve more faster and doesn’t mean I’m lazy.
18 – Dry cleaning my dress shirts has made me money.
19 – Every relationship is a long term relationship, even the ones that aren’t.
20 – Red wine is wonderful and makes me happy.
21 – I love breakfast food.
22 – I love Mexican food.
23 – Being in the front of the room as a speaker and a trainer gives me a rush like nothing else I have ever done.
24 – Good smelling people make me smile.
25 – I am a personal hygiene fanatic and that’s a very good thing.
26 – The best purchase I have ever made was my yellow glasses.
27 – Money doesn’t mean much to me, but having no money stresses me out.
28 – I give because I choose to give to whom I choose to give when I choose to give it.
29 – Some people aren’t trustworthy (yet).
30 – Marvel comics make the best movies.
31 – Most TV shows are a complete waste of time.
32 – I love to read physical books and listen to audiobooks.
33 – I love sunshine and mountains and water.
34 – Being spiritually connected is a necessary way for me to be.
35 – I don’t always make the best decisions but I always work to make the best of the decisions I make.
36 – I’m never going to apologize for doing what makes me feel good.
37 – Traveling to see my friends is the best part of my life.
38 – Real freedom is the freedom to do what I choose, when I choose to do it.
39 – Everything I’ve ever done and everyone I’ve ever met have positioned me perfectly for everything I will ever do.
40 – My first 40 years have been amazing and my best is yet to come.
Like what I learned and want it in a pretty format? Here it is on SlideShare too, where you can download it, share it, and do whatever you want to it.

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PS If you’re in Milwaukee, WI on December 6th, 2013, consider attending my birthday party. Details on Facebook at