Dale Earnhardt

Power of MindShift :: Emotion (Part 2)

September 8, 2020

What can NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s tragic death teach us about emotions and mindset?? Actually, a lot! His death cast a global spotlight on safety in NASCAR. Media outlets were camped outside Dale Earnhardt Inc., as well as NASCAR’s Daytona headquarters interviewing heartbroken fans and asking the question, “has NASCAR done enough to keep their drivers safe?” The late Bill France, Jr., was running NASCAR when this happened and he lost his close friend. It was a difficult time for members of the NASCAR industry as well as for the millions of fans who loyally followed the sport – and The Intimidator – Dale Earnhardt! NASCAR hired Jody Powell, a Washington heavy weight who was well-equipped to handle crisis situations. You see, Jody served as President Jimmy Carter’s Press Secretary. Jody told me the story of a meeting he attended at senior-level meeting at NASCAR headquarters in the wake of Earnhardt’s death. He told me how Mr. France was, rightfully so, very angry with how the media was portraying the sport – his sport (as Bill’s father, Bill France, started NASCAR in 1948). While being extremely angry (and voicing it clearly, as Jody recounted), Jody mentioned that none of the people in the room were making eye contact with Mr. France. It was a very tense situation, for sure. When Mr. France paused for a moment, Jody stepped in with a simple, yet powerful, statement – “Mr. France, with all due respect, being pissed off is not a strategy.” At that moment, Mr. France acknowledged that to be true and then looked to Jody and said, “you are right. So, what are we going to do about this?” How can we use the phrase, “being pissed off isn’t a strategy.” help us embrace emotion, yet still move towards action? We are experiencing a wide range of emotions these days, but we have to determine whether those emotions are moving us forward or holding us back! How we deal with our emotions and put them on display for others to see and experience also impacts our reputation. Make no mistake about that. Our consistent, daily actions influence how people see us and how they form an opinion of you and your reputation. Watch my video HERE to hear more about how emotions can keep us out of the race! Keep digging!

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Be Open Minded

Power of MindShift :: Perspective (Part 1)

August 26, 2020

We need more than a positive mindset – we need a MindShift to help us through turbulent times! It can start with PERSPECTIVE.

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The Inspiring Meaning Behind “Keep Digging!”

July 14, 2020

“Keep Digging!” “‘Keep Digging!’ You use it in your social posts and emails. What the heck does it mean, Mike?” That was how the email started and I want to share the back story of what these two words meant in my racing career and the deeply personal meaning they NOW have for me … The phrase “Keep Digging” was used very often when I was in racing and working with race teams. You could hear it over the team radio when we were in the tough-runs of a race or when we had to focus on the job at on hand and knock out a lightning fast pit stop. It was a phrase that the crew chief would often say to the driver when the racing was tough and the crew chief wanted to encourage the driver to stay in the fight! After I pivoted out of motorsports to pursue my calling to be a speaker and coach, I read a phrase that completely shifted my mindset to the phrase “Keep Digging!” The quote went like this, “I have seen the Creator move mountains. But, I still have to pick up my shovel every day and dig.” You see, if you have been called to something … if you have a dream, a desire, an opportunity, it’s not enough to wish, hope, and wait! We have to put our hands on the shovel and dig every single day! Hope this inspires you a bit today!! Check out the video on this story here And, yes, you know what I’m going to write below … Keep Digging!!

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20 Ways to Build & Protect Reputation during COVID-19

March 14, 2020

20 Ways to Build & Protect Reputation during COVID-19 As we face the localized impact of COVID-19’s global public health crisis, it is vital that leaders recognize that these are times that can either build up or tear down your and your brand’s reputation. It’s your choice and will be dictated by whether a proactive or reactive strategy is implemented. For some leaders, this may be the first major crisis you have faced in your executive post.  For others, this may be another notch on your crisis management belt.  Regardless of what camp you are in, I can assure you from my more than two decades of crisis management work, that every crisis is its own beast – and must be planned for and addressed in that manner. I have helped many organizations and leaders find reputational opportunity in the face of adversity – and to be clear, that does not mean being opportunistic and taking advantage of people! What I mean is that these are times when leaders have the opportunity to draw closer to their customers and employees.  There are opportunities to become more than a service provider, an association organization, or an entertainment destination.  These are times when you can become more than the product or service you deliver or provide.  You can become a resource of comfort, understanding, healing, inspiration, and solutions, that will deliver huge reputational dividends both during and after a crisis. Many of you have already begun to implement customer and employee Social Distancing protocols.  For those that do not have internal systems in place, it’s easy for this to become a follow-the-leader scenario. But remember, your organization is not a follow-the-leader brand, is it?  Of course not. Below is a 20-point crisis resource for you and your team to review and use.  I’d urge you to consider how you can implement this in your own way to build, protect, and strengthen your reputation and, ultimately, your business. I broke this resource into two key buckets as the majority of crisis work falls within these two areas of work – communication and customer service – and encompass a large percentage of key audiences to address. Communication Never speculate during a crisis situation to your employees or customers; it is acceptable, when questioned, to say that you/your team are gathering information to ensure it is accurate. Then, you must deliver on this as soon as you can. Media training for one, designated representative must be done to ensure that key messages are effectively delivered and best represent the brand and its values. Those messages could include your company’s safety protocols, customer service channels, working with local health authorities, etc. Regular internal employee communication is absolutely critical to snuff out rumors. Remember that speculation breeds in the absence of information.  Senior leadership should set up and use internal communications channels and alert your employees that leadership will be providing updates, perhaps daily or weekly. Social Media is a vital channel for communication and should be used to deliver updates for customers or other key stakeholders. Ensure that you have a senior executive reviewing all corporate […]

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How To Drive More Opportunities in 2020

January 13, 2020

How To Drive More Opportunities in 2020 Looking for a way to create more opportunities in your life in 2020? Building and strengthening your reputation is a simple secret to doing that! If you aren’t, you are missing out on one of THE best opportunity drivers in your life! Relationships are a foundational piece of building your reputation (and opportunities)!  But are we being intentional with how we are authentically building and nurturing those relationships? Or, do we tell ourselves that we, or they, are busy and we’ll get to it soon? Here’s my challenge to you for 2020 – I challenge you to make 156 reconnects in your network this year! Sound impossible? It’s not.  I promise! Here are the simple steps: 1. Carve out 90 minutes a week – whether that’s 90 minutes in one day or 30 minutes three times a week. 2. Make a list of the people in your network that you haven’t connected with in a while. 3. Make the calls!! Make three phone calls to people in your network each week and you will have made 156 reconnects over a 52-week period. This is your chance to ‘check-in’ and ‘catch up’ with those people in your life to see how they are doing? What are they up to? How is work?  Maybe you even offer help or encouragement. Don’t think that will drive opportunities? Don’t think that will strengthen your reputation? If you own a business, this is also an opportunity for you.  I have a very dear friend who shuts down his office at Noon every Friday. Now, his team doesn’t leave.  They actually spend the balance of the day making calls to people in their network – old colleagues, old clients, old friends. Over time, he started tracking when he was generating the most new business for his agency.  When do you think that was? You guessed it – on Fridays between 12-5! So give it a try and see how this enriches your life and blows open the doors of opportunity! Want to watch this message? Click here to watch a short video on my YouTube channel. Be intentional … be deliberate … drive your reputation forward this year to experience opportunities you never knew existed! Cheers to 2020 and your success! Keep digging!

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How to Follow Your Passion

December 2, 2019

How to Follow Your Passion “Go follow your passion!” Such a great phrase, but how do you know to do that? Passion is a powerful word! It’s inspiring. It’s unique to you. It’s fuel to keep us moving forward. It can also be dangerous if not thought through. We often hear “follow your passion” when someone is trying to inspire young people to live a life that is truly theirs. Other times we hear “follow your passion” when someone is at a crossroads in their life and are trying to figure out what to do. But do we know how to follow our passion? You see, “follow your passion” is not a one-size-fits-all opportunity for life. The reality is that if you don’t know how to follow your passion, it could do you more harm than good! Our passion can serve multiple purposes when identified and harnessed properly! Below are two of the most common … 1 :: Passion As A Revenue Generator Your passion could become a source of income. We see this happen to those who have developed a service or product that, through significant and daily effort, becomes a thriving business. My personal story led me to this place where my passion for driving people forward through reputation management, coaching, and consulting efforts – and a $hit-ton of hard work and perseverance! 😉 – has allowed me to replace my ‘corporate gig’ salary and “follow my passion.” This was not easy. This was not a, “I woke up one day and decided to follow my passion” type of experience. This took years of preparation. This took hours of work. This took significant commitment and a level of self belief in the value I could offer this world during my brief stay. So, how did I know to follow my passion as a revenue generator? Read what the three key elements are below … On the other side, your passion can deliver supplemental income – your side hustle. You don’t have to quite your 9-5 (or, maybe it’s more like 7A-10P for you?!) in order to bring your passion to life. Following your passion does not have to be an either, or decision. It can be and … read here for more insight on how to make these types of decisions. 2 :: Passion As An Impact Generator Other times, people find that their passions are about making an impact, not necessarily making money. They know or come to realize that their passion isn’t all about making money. Your passion could be about supporting an effort or movement in which you believe. I have a friend who builds orphanages in underdeveloped countries – his passion is helping these young people have a chance at life that was not available before. However, he realized that it was his high-paying corporate job that had allowed him to generate donations and access resources to help bring his passion to life. You see, he didn’t just quit his job to follow his passion and put himself and his family at risk. Many years ago, I came across this three-prong approach to discerning […]

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Do People Know Your Intention?

October 12, 2019

Do people know your intention? I read once that trust is comprised of two elements – character and competence.  Knowing the character of an individual will certainly determine if they are trustworthy.  Do they act with integrity or kindness? Just as well, it’s imperative to know that the person has the competence, the ability, to get the job done. That got me thinking about a third element that I don’t hear much about in leadership conversations.  How often do we focus on intention? I really believe this is one of the most fundamental elements of leadership and a building block for trust and reputation and yet, how often do we intentionally focus on intention (see what I did there?)? To be clear, I’m not speaking of being intentional in behavior or starting your day by setting your intentions – which are very important, by the way – rather, I’m speaking about your team, customers, or stakeholders knowing the true intention behind your actions. Are your intentions externally focused on your team’s mission, goals, values, and growth opportunities? Or, are they internally driven for your gain? If people don’t know your intention, it leaves them to wonder and in those spaces of speculation, trust, reputation, and results can diminish because rarely are people thinking of positive intentions.  Oh, you say that sounds so negative, Mike! According to a Harvard Business Review study, 58% of employees would trust a stranger over their boss! Think that’s a problem with intention? Jim Meehan, a British psychologist, once wrote that to gain trust with people you need to let them know two things: I mean you no harm I seek your greatest good As leaders, isn’t that our true goal with building trust, which then will lead to results? Stop leaving your intention to question! It’s a waste of everyone’s time and energy – two resources we never have enough of! So, how do you let people know your intention? It starts with how you show up and engage based upon your values.  Are you values grounded in your personal belief? The team’s mission? The company’s vision? If you are living into these values on a consistent basis, then people will know your intention by what they see.  Complement your actions by also verbally telling your team your intentions – for them, for the project, for the client. Transparency is a vital piece of trust and leadership.  If you are walking the walk, then being transparent won’t be an issue! Give it some thought.  How do you ensure people know your intention? To watch a video on this message, please visit my YouTube page here!

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How to Break Out of the ‘Either, Or’ Decision Trap

August 25, 2019

How to Break Out of the ‘Either, Or’ Decision Trap Have you ever gotten caught in the ‘Either, Or’ Trap when making a decision? I was recently talking with a friend who was trying to think through a career transition and was contemplating some pivots of things she could do.  The conversation cadence went something like this, “You know, I have a great opportunity with company x, so I could either move forward with them or pursue some speaking gigs.” “I also have interest from company y and have been asked to do some coaching and mentoring.  So, I could work with company y, or really dig into the coaching and mentoring.” It’s easy to fall into that ‘Either, Or’ trap when we are thinking through life and career options since it’s been a decision-making process we’ve been trained into for many years! Think back over your life when people would tell you that, “you can do either this, or you can do that.” Or, “you can be either this, or you can be that.” Make your choice! Yeah, I remember plenty of those throughout my life! But, does that have to be the case with our decisions? I encouraged my friend to think about her decisions through a different lens.  What if the answer you are looking for didn’t have to be ‘either, or’, but could be ‘and’? She said, “I never thought of it like that.  This completely flipped the way I can look at these decisions!” 3 Key Tips to Embrace Your AND: Look Around You: Observe others in your life who are creating multiple streams of impact.  You’ll probably notice that they have a passion for something, unique talents and skills, and there is a marketplace where people are willing to pay them for the work they are doing (we aren’t talking about you finding another hobby!).  Talk with them and learn how they went about building this multi-faceted life.  You can learn a lot from them as well as get inspired to really connect with your unique skills and talents! Capacity & Systems: Once you speak with these people, you’ll probably notice that they have identified how much they can do in each area (i.e. capacity).  It’s about understanding your capacity and having the right organizational systems in place to do great work. Start to outline the time you could allot to this work and the systems you would need to put into place. Scale & Patience: It would be foolish to believe that we could do everything 100% right out of the gates.  The reality is that we need to start methodically.  I would recommend devoting the majority of your time to the area of work that is generating and delivering significant and/or stable cashflow.  Then begin carving out time for your ‘and’ to begin working on your craft, product, or content.  As this begins to gain traction, you can use your systems (refer to point No. 2 above) to do more, create more, and scale up your work. This will take both patience and consistency! How would your life look if you used […]

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3 Keys to Avoid Change Fatigue

July 3, 2019

3 Keys to Avoid Change Fatigue How many times do we hear that people WANT change, but don’t WANT TO change? I’m a believer in that, however, I believe that leadership and Change Fatigue has a lot to do with the latter! A study on change management featured in Forbes article illustrated that 70% of organizational change fails! Change is thrown around so much these days that it can cause more harm than good – for individuals and organizations. Change Fatigue can happen when people have experienced poor change managers and management – “Here we go again! What makes them think it will be different this time?”, is a refrain I’ve heard in hallways over the years (both as an employee and change agent). People have to belief that the promise of the new is worth the abandonment of the old. What can prevent Change Fatigue is change WITH leadership serving up healthy portions of vision, planning, and communication! It takes all three if you are leading change and only providing 1/3 or 2/3 of that equation (in any combination) will lead to team frustration, dissent, ambiguity, anxiety, and disenfranchisement, to name a few areas of concern! For many people change can be paralyzing. Change can leave them wondering about their value and worth within the team or organization. “Am I going to work myself out of a job?” “I’ve been known for this skill on the team, but will it still be needed? Will I still be needed?” Vision: Where are we going? Why are we going there? How will this benefit our organization, and me?? These are just a few of the questions that must be addressed, built out, and clearly defined if people are going to put forth the effort and invest the time required to bring this vision to life! Planning: How will we make this vision a reality? What is my role? What are the benchmarks that tell us we are heading in the right direction? Planning brings to light the tools and processes that will be required to bring the vision to life! Communication: The consistent cadence of updates, reminders and encouragement during challenging times of change is vital when we often don’t see the immediate results. Communication becomes a glue that will help bind teams and individuals together – or, if there is not enough well-thought-out communication, can erode trust and enthusiasm. I once read that if people on your team can’t do a good impression of you, then you aren’t communicating enough! The responsibility of change rests on the shoulders of leadership. So, if you are considering change within your organization or team, embarking on change, or in the middle of change, make sure that you are hitting the vision, planning, and communication targets to drive the change you are looking for and drive out Change Fatigue! What are your experiences with Change Fatigue?

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What’s the Difference Between Ignorance & Apathy?

June 10, 2019

What’s the Difference Between Ignorance & Apathy? I was recently at my son’s New Student Orientation day at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and one administrator was telling the parents about how she works with new students to shift their mindsets from high school to college. One way to do this, she said, was to ask the students what the difference was between ignorance and apathy.  She said she got an interesting response from a student one time that went like this, “I don’t know and I don’t care!” First off, what a priceless answer, but after the room of parents composed itself, I really started to think about that question and what came to life for me when I reflected on the answer and its mindset. For me, as I thought about the question, answer, and subsequent mindset, I began to think about the word complacency! I can’t afford to be complacent in my work as I build my practice or the value I strive to deliver to those in my life.  In order for me to create, evolve, and make an impact, I cannot be complacent.  I cannot sit back and be satisfied, nor can I just sit and wait for opportunities to just show up. Years ago, that mindset would have scared me because it meant that I was always on and couldn’t celebrate or be happy.  And, for a long period in my own life, I was that person.  I feared that if I showed any sign of happiness or contentment for my work that I would fall behind. I learned that is not a healthy way to live or work towards my goals (not for myself or the people around me!). I’ve learned that I can chill, that I can celebrate wins, and be happy – and, most importantly, that I won’t lose my edge to be competitive, to create value, and drive forward! But, getting back to complacency … I’ve written that word on an index card as a visual anchor to keep me focused on making that call … sending that email … creating that piece of content in order to keep moving towards my goals – and, yes, still celebrating along the way! I’d love to know what word pops into your head when you think about this! Please share it in the post and let’s continue to motivate each other … if you’d like to see this video message, please click here and enjoy! Cheers to you!

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