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 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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Shed Your Skin of Survival!

May 19, 2019

Shed Your Skin of Survival! We are living in an amazing time of greater awakening and personal awareness to “what could be?” Many are waking up to question that little voice in their heads telling them all the fear-based reasons they aren’t enough … Many more are harnessing the courage, strength, and vision to drive themselves towards greater opportunities – a greater life!   A greater life is purely defined by the individual, but I can tell you that it is definitely not a life of survival! It’s not a life of sleep walking!   New habits will create a new life.   Can you catch a glimpse of a vision that you can run towards? Can you put a name to the habits that no longer serve you in this new season?   Remember, habits are also the thoughts that we give credibility, acknowledgment, and belief to … habits are also our self-talk! The way that we speak to ourselves when thinking through choices of either staying in survival mode or breaking out to thrive in new ways.   So, what are you saying to yourself?   We can’t underestimate the power of that little voice in our heads … but here’s something to remember – the more we think about and move towards breaking out of our comfort zones to do more or be more, the louder that little voice will become … know why? Because that voice is rooted in survival! It’s fearful … it knows that if you listen to another voice – the one in your heart – that you will no longer need it … and, the truth is, you don’t!   Check out this quick video HERE that brings the message to life!   Cheers to you shedding the skin of survival!

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Jussie Smollett – Empire Crumbling Around Trust & Reputation

February 24, 2019

As more explosive news reports roll out about actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged fabrication of his racial and homophobic attack in Chicago, people are left with questions such as, “Where is the truth?” “What is the truth?” “Why did he possibly do this?” Questions that are now in the hands of the Chicago court system. I’ve been asked lately how I would go about rehabbing Jussie’s reputation as this epic story of trust and reputation unfolds.  My answer is simple, “Nothing.  This is not the time to be focusing on rehabbing his reputation.” Jussie is in the crucible right now.  This is the period of time when his actions and words are vital.  How he acts, what he says, how he reacts during the court hearings will determine how he emerges and how rehabbing his reputation could be managed. As many are quick to judge and the court of public opinion sways, we should focus on one of the key issues here – trust.   If what the police allege is true, that Smollett orchestrated this attack to increase his public awareness in an effort to negotiate a raise, then this will become an epic story of betrayal of trust! “There are three things you can’t hide from – the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Confucius We are living in an age where only 30% of Americans believe that people are trustworthy. So, while the lawyers in Chicago build their cases, let’s look closer to home and reflect on how we are building or busting trust in our daily interactions! We are all responsible for trust in every interaction we have. Here are three actionable ways that we, as leaders or individuals, can build and strengthen trust today. 1. Pursue Understanding, Not Responding – How often do we listen to others and focus on what we are going to say instead of truly listening to understand their perspective and how you got to the current state? Asking more questions will allow you to better understand the situation and collaborate on action-oriented solutions. 2. Own Your Mistakes – As leaders we set the tone and expectations for our teams. It’s too easy for us to say that we are “running fast” and “have a full plate” and therefore rationalize our mistakes to others.  What example does that set for those you are leading? Remember, what they see is what they expect and, ultimately, what you get.  3. Keep Your Commitments – Following through on your commitments is critical.  Commitments are promises and whether you keep them or break them, they become an underpinning component of trust. If you find that you can’t keep your commitments, then you need stop saying, “yes” so much! Perhaps you need to delegate more? Perhaps you need to better manage your time? Keeping your commitments will always build trust! Yes, we are human and make mistakes.  So, these are also great strategies for rebuilding trust! Only you can change your situation! I’ll keep sharing reputation management insights and strategies as the Jussie Smollett case unfolds.  In the meantime, put these three strategies into play and see […]

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