Monday, July 28, 2008

4 Steps to Help You Knock "It" Out of the Park

I’ve been thinking about excellence in performance lately, and I realized that there are 4 key things that I focus on when trying to knock it out of the park. What’s it, you ask? “It” is anything you want it to be. Maybe it’s a project, a task, a job, a duty, a proposal. It really is anything you want it to be, and you can help yourself knock it out of the park by going through these 4 steps:

1) VISION – Create a vision of what you want to accomplish, and then visualize yourself accomplishing it. It’s simple! Before you step into the batter’s box, visualize the pitch coming, visualize your perfect swing, and then visualize the trajectory of the ball as it leaves the park. That is, take time before you start in on your project/task/proposal, and visualize where your journey will take you. This will help you get to the next stage of focus.

2) FOCUS – To knock it out of the park, you have to have focus. When you step into that batter’s box, you have to focus on the task at hand. You have to see that ball flying through the air and focus on your swing as you connect with the ball. For a project/task/proposal, you have to be able to focus on the necessary parts of the job. You can’t let crowd noise (distractions) get into your head. Block everything out and just focus on what you are about to do. If your focus gets blurry, then back out of the batter’s box and take a break. Perfect focus will help you with execution.

3) EXECUTION – You’ve visualized success, and you are focusing on the task at hand, so now it’s time to execute; to perform with excellence. You’ve already visualized how you are going to perform the task, so now that the task is there, it’s time to make any necessary adjustments and execute. The ball is in flight, and you now need to take all those fundamentals that you have practiced for years, and begin your swing. The thing about this step is that it takes a lot of training and practice to be able to master it. Just as a batter takes batting practice daily for his one moment to knock it out of the park, so you have been practicing daily for your moment. The perfect execution will automatically bring about your follow through.

4) FOLLOW THROUGH – This is where it’s all at. Just as a baseball player can’t expect to knock it out of the park with a half swing, neither can you expect to knock it out of the park with a half swing. You’ve already begun your execution and are nearing completion of your project/task/proposal, so now it’s time to follow through. Finish up strong! Make sure you see it to the end, and then afterwards, follow up with everyone else involved to watch it fly out of the park! This step is critical, especially if you came up just shy of the fence. This step is where you see the mistakes you made in vision, focus, and execution, and then fix those mistakes for the next time you get up to bat!

The above are four critical steps to knocking anything out of the park, to performing with excellence and success. You have to have a vision. You have to focus on that vision. You have to execute. And, you have to follow through. I would speculate that Babe Ruth followed these when he stepped up to the plate.

note: picture courtesy of

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weekly Feature Wednesday: Confident Writing!

Today's WFW post takes us overseas to the beautiful United Kingdom. There we find an amazing writing coach, Joanna Young, and her blog, Confident Writing.

Joanna offers up a wealth of knowledge and expertise on writing. She will challenge your mind and inspire your writing with monthly group writing projects, guest posts, and fabulous quotes. Her writing tips help you dive into who you are, and why you write. Her posts really focus on how you, as the reader, can improve your writing. Joanna offers a variety of writing courses and workshops, and is focused on helping others achieve excellence in their writing.

Confident Writing is a definite must read (and must subscribe to). Joanna's work, via her blog, has already had an impact on my writing, and I know she'll have an impact on your's too. Whether you're a blogger or not, everyone will have to be able to write well sometime in their life, and Joanna's blog can help. So, go check it out, and be prepared to learn!

Final Note: You will also be able to read a sample of Joanna's writing in the upcoming book Age of Conversation: Why Don't They Get It, where she joins me and 235 others as we discuss various topics including conversation, marketing, business model evolution, and others.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Motivational Monday: Achieving Excellence Through Adversity

The following video is an amazing story of perseverance and passion. Nic Vujicic, an australian, was born without arms or legs, yet has found a way to provide hope and inspiration to millions of people around the globe. This amazing leader has achieved excellence beyond comprehension! If you can't find inspiration and motivation on this Monday, from this video, then I'm not sure what else I can do.

Nic truly is an amazing man. If you'd like more information on his passion for purpose, then visit his site Life Without Limbs. In the meantime, have an inspired and wonderful Monday!

note: the youtube video was courtesy of

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Smileless: A 24 Word Statement w/ a 1 Word Question

Will you help me? There are some things I just don't understand, and need help understanding. Like this:

Smiles are powerful expressions of warmth and kindness,
so simple and easy to share,
yet sometimes difficult to find,
in a fast paced environment.

What are your thoughts? Why does it seem that in so many fast paced environments (rush hour traffic, dinner rush at a restaurant, board meetings, etc), that smiles become so hard to extract?

Do you smile enough? Do you emit shining rays of happiness and gratitude when you come in contact with others? If not, please remember this: Smiling will brighten other's days! Now that's worth it!! For 3 steps to help you smile more, check this post out.

note: this post was inspired by
Liz Strauss' 25 Words of Work/Life Wisdom

Laughter's Healing Power - A 25 Words Challenge

Liz Strauss challenged me the other day to take part in her writing project: "25 Words of Work/Life Wisdom." The challenge (and it definitely has been a challenge) is to look for something you see too much or too little of, and put your thoughts into 25 words. Well, for this long winded fellow, it surely was a fun little challenge!! After considerable thought, I decided I'd touch on how I feel about humor/laughter:

Laughter's Healing Power

Laughter is a truly healing medicine,
reducing unneeded stress,
softening sometimes unbearable pain,
and brightening someone else's day.
Are you helping to heal the world?

Thanks Liz, for a wonderful exercise. There have been some great entries already. Won't all of you join in the fun?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weekly Feature Wednesday: Making Life Work For You

In my first ever Weekly Feature Wednesday post, I will be featuring the blog of April Groves, entitled "Making Life Work For You."

The title of the blog is spot on when it comes to describing April's passion for people. Her inspiring posts are geared towards how individuals can make life work for them. She makes her blog all about "you" and not about "her". She offers tips and inspiration to business success, as well as life success. She is being featured here, because she has shown that she is a humble leader that is more concerned about inspiring and improving those around her, than self promotion.

To me, it seems that one of her mottos would be "To Each, Their Own" (please realize that I never actually verified this with her, it's just my observation). She opens her blog up to anyone, and really keeps an open mind during conversations and discussions that arise through commenting. The discussions she has inspired are amazing, including this one that occurred on a post about balance.

"Making Life Work For You" is definitely worth a subscription!! Please take a minute and swing by April's blog. You won't be disappointed. In closing, I'll leave you with a a powerful excerpt from her latest inspirational piece:

"We, as individuals, have 60,000 thoughts a day, 95% of them are repeat thoughts and 80% are negative."

Isn't that scary? Doesn't that make you want to change your thought patterns? It does me! Luckily, April charges us with the following:

"The time for beating yourself down is over. Life is far too short to be your own worst critic. Time is too valuable to paralyze yourself. Your talents are too important to be trampled on by the lies in your head. You are a warrior!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Motivational Monday: Some Cowbell to the Rescue!

It's sometimes hard for me to get going on a Monday. I'm not sure what it is, but my motivation just isn't there. I've found, however, that a little laughter is all I need to get jump started! Laughter can provide the motivation I need to push on! Well, that.......and of course, a little more cowbell.....

note: I couldn't embed the video, so here's a link for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scheduled Blogging

So I've come to realize that I may just need to get more organized: in life, in work, in school, in parenting, in blogging, in so many facets of life. For that reason, I've decided that I'm going to try and schedule my blogging. Starting next Monday (July 14th), I'm going to start down my journey of scheduled blogging. I've picked three days a week that I will post on this site:

  • Mondays will be titled as "Miscellaneous Mondays", "Motivated Mondays", or "Other Rambling Mondays" - On this day, I will be posting various things. Some will be off the wall fun things to start the week. Some will be motivational pieces. And some will be just other stuff.....wherever my self-diagnosed-adult-onset-ADD brain takes me.
  • Wednesdays will be titled as "Weekly Feature Wednesdays" - On this day, I will be featuring other blogs that I find inspirational and worth featuring. It may be a post that inspired me, a whole blog site that is laid out well, anything that features another blog.
  • Fridays will be titled as "Leadership Lesson Fridays" - On this day, I'll stick to the main theme of this blog, which is to teach/learn/inspire on anything leadership related.

This is something I've wanted to try for some time now, and I sure hope you'll join me on the journey. I'll do my best to not disappoint. In the meantime, I wish you all a fabulous week!