Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bruce Lee - How He Learned To Be Successful

Bruce Lee is arguably the greatest martial artist of all-time.  It is fairly well-known that his formal instructor in his original martial art, Wing Chun, was Yip Man.

What is lesser known, according to Bruce Lee historian Tommy Gong is that Bruce was an avid student of American success literature.  These were favorite books in his 2500 volume library.  He devoured materials by Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill.

One example of his taking action on Napoleon Hill's Laws of Success and Think and Grow Rich was writing out his own "Definite Chief Aim".  Lee achieved this, but after his untimely death.  

Successful People Learn To Be Successful - The Dale Carnegie Course

One of the smartest things I ever did was cash out a whole life insurance policy when I was 23 years old and invest it in The Dale Carnegie Course.  It was there that I began learning the craft of public speaking and communicating in front of groups.  If you can't communicate effectively to groups of people it will be difficult for you to become a leader.  And if you don't become a leader, it will be difficult for you to maximize your potential.  Many well-known people attribute The Dale Carnegie Course as a starting point on the pathway to success.  They include:

Warren Buffett (See the video below) World's top investor
Ronald Reagan - 40th President of the United States
Isabella Rosselinni - Actress and face of Lancome
Johnny Cash – one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century
Emeril Lagasse – celebrity chef, restaurateur, television personality, and cookbook author
Mary Kay Ash – founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
Dave Thomas - Founder of Wendy's
Dale Jarrett - Nascar driver
Anthony Robbins - Motivational Speaker, Author and Coach
Zig Ziglar - Motivational Speaker, Author and Trainer
Ann Landers - Advice Columnist
Lee Iacocca – CEO of Chrysler and earlier an engineer of the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto
Bill Belichick - New England Patriots Head Coach
Joe DiMaggio - New Yankee baseball great
Elliot Pete Estes - President of General Motors
Scott Adams – creator of the Dilbert comic strip 
Rosalynn Carter – former First Lady and advocate for causes including mental health 
J. Willard Marriott, Jr. - CEO of Marriott Hotels
Dr. Sanjay Gupta – CNN’s medical expert who reports stories with health implications
Chuck Norris – actor, martial artist and former member of the U.S. Air Force
Orville Redenbacher – Turned his obsession with perfect popcorn into a global brand
Lyndon B. Johnson - 36th President of the United States
Tom Monagham - Founder of Dominoes Pizza
Harvey MacKay - Business author and speaker

Successful People Learn To Be Successful - Zig Ziglar's Born to Win Course

Seth Godin is arguably the top expert on marketing and personal branding in the U.S. today.  I read his blog posts every morning and own many of the over a dozen books he's written.

But before anyone had heard of Seth Godin, who kept him inspired as he went from one failure to the next? From one of his blog posts Seth tells us:

"With his relentless generosity, corny stories and down-home wisdom, Zig Ziglar invented modern motivational speaking, and touched the world. He touched my world, that's for sure.
We have very different backgrounds, we're from different generations and we have very different styles, but I'm in his debt. In my dreams, I hope that I will help and inspire a small fraction of the millions of people that Zig has over his fifty year career.
He contributed two giant tools to those of us in business: the notion of listening, over and over, to educational and motivational tapes, and the idea of writing down your goals, committing to them, in writing.
Twenty years ago, when my business was flatlining, Zig spoke up. For hours and hours every day in the car (on cassettes that literally melted from overuse), Zig poked and prodded and encouraged and mostly called my bluff. I remember the long drive home from yet another failed sales call, an hour or two that could have been spent planning on how I was going to quit--instead, Zig was helping me plan how I was going to stick it out.
Thank you for everything, Zig."

Pat Croce started with nothing and went on to be an international karate champion, founder of Sports Physical Therapists, president of the Philadelphia 76ers Basketball Team and a motivational speaker. Much of his rise to the top can be attributed to his repeated exposure to Zig Ziglar. In his book, "I Feel Great" Pat shares:

"The first motivational book that really go my juices percolating was Zig Ziglar's "See You At The Top". I read it in the late 1970's and then began to buy and absorb his audio cassette tapes. His message reinforced my long-standing belief in approaching everything with a positive attitude... If you can load up on the positives - without losing perspective or ignoring reality - then you have a huge built-in advantage."

In "The Zig Ziglar Difference", legendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holz shares how Zig's recordings got him through one of the lowest points of his professional life. 

Basketball coach, Pat Riley went on record in a New York Times article stating that Zig Ziglar is his inspirational favorite.
I haven't had the successes that Seth Godin, Pat Croce, Lou Holtz or Pat Riley have experienced.  But Zig was the one who kept me inspired through my early failures.  I too say Thank You!

Who Taught Warren Buffett?

Do all successful people have mentors and teachers who taught them how to become successful?  

Yes, even Warren Buffett, the world's most successful investor apprenticed to a master!

As Buffett tells it, "Benjamin Graham had been my idol ever since I read his book, The Intelligent Investor."  

When Buffett learned that Graham was teaching at Columbia University he enrolled and studied under Graham.  After graduating, He tried to go to work for Graham's investment firm.  He reportedly even offered to work for free.  After repeated rejections, he finally agreed to hire him and Buffett spent a couple of years there as an apprentice.  

Buffett returned to his home in Omaha, Nebraska at age 25 and started his own investment company with an original stake of $100.00 and seven investors.  Within about five years, Buffett was a multimillionaire.

Millionaire to Billionaire - Marc Benioff

Maybe you think you're already successful.  Can the right success trainers and coaches put you on the path to even greater success?

Marc Benioff was already uber-successful.  He launched his first company at age 15.  He worked his way through college as a programmer for Apple.  And he went on to become Oracles youngest vice-president pulling down a million dollar a year salary at age 25.  But Marc was looking for a different kind of success.

As Marc tells it: "I first met Tony Robbins inside a cassette tape.  After watching an infomercial on late-night TV, I took the plunge and bought his 30-day self-improvement program Personal Power.  I listened to his tapes every day during my one-hour commute to and from Oracle Corporation, back and forth between my home in San Francisco and our office in Redwood Shores.  I was so moved by Tony's words that one weekend I stayed home and did nothing else but listen again to all 30 days in just two days, and I quickly understood that Tony was truly an amazing person, and his ideas were unlike anything I had ever experienced before.  Tony transformed me.  

Tony helped me bring awareness to where I was, and helped me start defining where I really wanted to go and the deeper meaning of what I wanted my life to be about.  It wasn't long before I went to Tony's special intensive weekend program called Unleash the Power Within.  That's where I really refined my vision my vision and committed to a new level of massive action.  With that, I dove deeper into Tony's work and launched full-force on my journey to create and build

I applied Tony's insights and strategies and built an amazing tool called V2MOM, which stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles and Measurement.  I used it to focus my work, and ultimately my life, on what I really wanted.  The V2MOM program took five of Tony's questions:

1.  What do I really want?  (Vision)
2.  What is important about it? (Values)
3.  How will I get it? (Methods)
4.  What is preventing me from having it? (Obstacles)
5.  How will I know I am successful? (Measurements)

Tony said to me that the quality of my life was the quality of my questions.  I soon began to model everything in my life, my work, and my future simply by asking these basic questions and recording my answers.  What happened was amazing.

On March 8, 1999, there first day we started, we wrote a V2MOM, and today all of our 15,000 employees are required to do the same thing.  It creates alignment, awareness, and communication, and it's all based on what Tony has taught me over the last two decades.  Tony says that repetition is the mother of skill - that's where mastery comes from - and so we keep writing and improving our V2MOMs.  It's one of the reasons Forbes magazine just named the "World's Most Innovative Company" for the fourth year in a row, an Fortune magazine says we are the "World's Most Admired" software company, as well as the seventh "Best Place to Work" in 2014.  Today we produce $5 billion a year in revenue, and continue to grow.  

I can truly say that there would be no without Tony Robbins and his teachings."

I've benefited from the teachings of Tony Robbins and also benefitted from Marc Benioff and his company  I used the cloud ware for many years.  I attended the Benioff's "Dreamforce" event in San Francisco and was massively inspired.  

If you'd like build your own V2MOM here is the one Benioff and his employees crafted when they first started

Successless In Seattle - Writer, Jeff Arch

Actually, 35-year-old Karate school instructor Jeff Arch was living in Virginia, had a four-year- old daughter, a one-month-old son and a terrific marriage.  But he wasn't following his dreams anymore. Jeff had always dreamed of a career in screen writing and play writing.  His initial efforts at a writing career didn't work out, so he returned to doing what he knew best in order to provide for his family.

At 4am one morning in 1989, Jeff found himself in front of the television watching an advertisement for Tony Robbins Personal Power Success Program.   He grabbed the phone and placed his order.  At first, he listened to the recordings secretly because he was self-conscious, maybe even a little embarrassed.

But Jeff recalls, "Tony was the first person - the first voice I ever heard - that didn't say you're dreaming too big.  He didn't say, 'come on, your asking for too much.'  What he said was, 'You've got to think bigger than you ever thought you could think!'  It was the first time in my life somebody gave me permission and encouragement to dream bigger than I was already dreaming."

Jeff started writing screen plays again.  The first one he wrote was well received, but the Cold War Story fell victim to bad timing when the Berlin Wall came down.  He decided he would make the next project timeless so he wrote a love story.  The story, which Jeff wrote in less than a month, and sold for $250,000.00 in less than three months, would go on to become the blockbuster movie Sleepless In Seattle.

Successful people study success.  They learn from teachers who communicate timeless principles and contemporary pathways to success.

Success Secret - Tiger Woods

At the age of 21, Tiger Woods entered the arena of professional golf.  He put up 40 tour wins including 8 majors to build the fastest start in golf history.  His world-wide earnings were the largest in the sports history.

How do you get to be the number one golfer in the world?  At the age of 6, Tiger's father introduced him to success teachers and trainers in the form of motivational and inspirational recordings.  Tiger listened to them over and over again while practicing his golf swing.  He wrote down the messages and put them up on his bedroom wall.  He studied them repeatedly.  He applied them as he imagined himself in all types of golf situations.

Also, like his predecessor Jack Nicklaus, Tiger has always had a golf coach.  Think about that.  The best players in the world had golf coaches.

Sarah Blakely - Youngest Female Billionaire

In this interview with Diane Sawyer, the world's youngest female billionaire reveals several secrets to her success. She talks about the encouragement from her dad and a best friend. But she also talked about something else, a success teacher, in the form of an audio series. It was How To Be A No-Limit Person by Wayne Dyer. Blakely recounts, "I always had it on. I listened to that series so much I actually memorized it." All successful people learned to be successful. They learned a set of success skills, that over time, led them to the success they enjoy. This is a foundational principle for anyone wanting to be more successful in any area of life.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


You shouldn't just "follow your dreams", you must "CHASE YOUR DREAMS".

In this TED Talk and in his award winning documentary, Dying To Do Letterman, comedian Steve Mazan talks about his lifelong dream and how a cancer diagnosis motivated him to start the chase. Funny and motivating!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Acorn Principle - Jim Cathcart

In this short TED Talk, Jim Cathcart talks about The Acorn Principle.  This is based on one of the best SUCCESSPATH or STRENGHTSPATH books I could recommend.

13 Things Successful People Don't Do

Amy Morin has written a terrific new book titled 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do.  I would argue, mental strength is either synonymous with success or at least a critical component. 

Amy shares an overview from her book here:

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.
1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.
2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power
They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.
3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change
Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.
4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.
5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.
6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks
They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.
7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past
Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.
8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
They accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.
9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success
Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.
10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure
They don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.
11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time
Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.
12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything
They don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.
13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results
Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

"SUCCESSFUL" Definition - John Maxwell

I'm convinced that one secret of getting on your own SUCCESSPATH is to regularly evaluate and re-evaluate you're own definition of success.  Your definition, individually and organizationally should be unique.  It should be based on your passion, talent, skills, knowledge, personality, values, character, mission and goals.  

How do you define success?

Live with that question for a week or a month.  Come back to it.  Write your answer on a 3x5 card.  Stick up in your office.  Put it in your wallet.  Memorize it.  Re-work it. Adjust it.

Then live it.

Counterpoint - BFO - Blinding Flash of the Obvious - Tom Peters

I've been a voracious reader, listener and follower of Tom Peters since In Search of Excellence was published in 1982.  He has consistently said that most of what he teaches on how individuals and organizations can be more successful are just Blinding Flashes of the Obvious.  Peter's believes that most of us know what to do but we don't do it.  

In one post he lists 27 BFO's.  

Here's a handful of examples:

BFO #1: If you (RELIGIOUSLY) help people—EVERY SINGLE PERSON, JUNIOR OR SENIOR, LIFER OR TEMP—grow and reach/exceed their perceived potential, then they in turn will bust their individual and collective butts to create great experiences for Clients—and the "bottom line" will get fatter and fatter and fatter. (ANYBODY LISTENING?) (PEOPLE FIRST = MAXIMIZED PROFITABILITY. PERIOD.) 

BFO 4: OUT-READ 'EM. AGE 17. AGE 77.
2014: READ & GROW ... or wilt.
(One financial services superstar pegs CEO prob #1: "They don't read enough.") STUDENTHOOD (OBSESSION THEREWITH) (for ALL of us) FOR LIFE!

BFO 5: Organizations exist for ONE reason ... TO BE OF SERVICE. PERIOD. (And effective leaders in turn are ... SERVANT LEADERS. PERIOD.)

BFO 7: WTTMSW. (Whoever Tries The Most Stuff Wins.)
WTTMSASTMSUTFW. (Whoever Tries The Most Stuff And Screws The Most Stuff Up The Fastest Wins.)
"A Bias For Action": #1 Success Requisite in 1982.
"A Bias For Action": #1 Success Requisite in 2014.

BFO 11: Excellence is NOT an "aspiration." Excellence IS the next 5 minutes. (Or not.)

BFO 18: The two most powerful words in the English language are?
No contest: "THANK YOU."

BFO 21: What is the individual's/organization's #1 enduring strategic asset? Easy:
(Listening can be ... TAUGHT. Listening PER SE is a ... PROFESSION. Are YOU a "stellar professional listener"? THINK ABOUT IT. PLEASE.)

BFO 24: EVERY DAY PROVIDES A DOZEN (LITERALLY) LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVERY ONE OF US. (Every = EVERY. From the most junior—and even the 3-day temp—to the Big Dudes.)

BFO 26: Most of us/most organizations discount ... INTROVERTS. THAT IS A ... FIRST-ORDER STRATEGIC BLUNDER. (Please read Susan Cain's book QUIET. It was a no-bull lifechanger for me.)

Why The Path To Success Is Not Obvious - Eben Pagan

Why aren't more people successful?  

Why are most people unsuccessful?  

And to make it more personal... If you're not successful... Why Not?

Eben Pagan suggests that the path to success is not obvious.  In most cases it's counter-intuitive or at least counter-cultural.  That is, it's not what most people are doing.