Unleashing Uncommon: From Excellence to Problem-Solving to Health for a Life of Fulfillment – Your Champions Brew

Hard work is a choice.

Attitude is a choice.

Discipline is a choice.

Excellence is a choice.

Happy Friday, Brew Nation! 

Grab your favorite coffee cup, sit back, relax, and get ready to sip on some enriching and thought-provoking content that will equip you to thrive in all areas of your life:

  • Uncommon Leader Insights – In Episode 97 of the Uncommon Leader Podcast, I was privileged to get some fabulous insights from Dr. Anthony Balduzzi.  His expertise enlightened me and shed new light on a journey I have been on since 2017 with regards to my ‘relationship’ with my health.  If you get a chance to listen to  this episode (full episode link), I know you would find it of great value.  Here are the three key takeaways that stood out to me:
  1. Know your ‘So That’: Dr. Balduzzi takes his clients on a similar journey that I go on with individuals and organizations that I coach and that is to understand the ‘why’ behind your quest to become, stay and continuously improve your performance, especially your health.  It is this personal mission statement that will keep us inspired when the motivation wears off.  It will encourage us to get out of bed in the morning, skip the snooze button and charge into a new day.
  2. It takes a village: Dr. Balduzzi has created a community of ‘Fit Fathers’ and ‘Fit Mothers’.  The power of community engagement was another prevalent theme. Dr. Balduzzi underscored the profound influence that a network of like-minded individuals can have on an individual’s health journey. As leaders, integrating peer support systems into our routine is a strategic move—the benefits of shared experiences and collective accountability stemming from this practice are significant assets to individual and organizational growth.
  3. Construct your Playbook On the health journey, Dr. Balduzzi advocates for a smart game plan, much like you’d strategize in your favorite sport. By setting up simple, solid systems – think meal prep routines or workout schedules – you’re essentially drawing your personal playbook. This isn’t about rigid rules but creating a game plan that’s easy to follow, offering you a consistent path to victory against the common opponent of distractions. Like a good coach, he reminds us that when we have our tactics identified and scheduled into our day, we play the game better, and we’re more likely to achieve victory with our health!

For more insightful guidance on your health journey, I highly recommend following Dr. Balduzzi on YouTube.  Explore his Fit Father and Fit Mother online coaching programs (I signed up in January as I was in search of a new ‘routine’), where you can access a wealth of knowledge and practical strategies to transform your health and well-being.

  • Build Faith – This year, as part of my faith journey, my son Joseph challenged me to dive deep into two books of the Bible: Daniel in the Old Testament and Ephesians in the New Testament. I complete reading each book during the first half of the month, followed by studying a reading plan during the second half. In January, I embarked on the “Ephesians on Work” Bible plan—a six-day study designed to inspire the use of work as a ministry to impact the lives of others. One of the study topics that resonated with me was Excellence. It emphasized that by doing our work with excellence, we reflect God to those we interact with daily. Scripture affirms that there are eternal rewards tied to how we approach our work. Ephesians 6:7 reminds us, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” My aspiration and prayer are to live up to this verse and exhibit excellence in all I do. Regardless of where you are on your faith journey, I challenge you on your leadership journey to embrace excellence in everything you do. Let excellence be the hallmark of your work, reflecting your commitment to making a positive impact.

  • Read More – We are continuing to work our way through The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, another John Maxwell classic sure to equip you and inspire you to uncommon leadership! Have you gotten a copy to read along with me?

Quality #14 – Problem Solving

Take This Life and Love It

In Chapter 14, Maxwell outlined the subject of Problem Solving.  As a consultant and a coach, this topic is near and dear to my heart.    Effective leaders face up to the reality of a situation.  The ability to solve problems effectively comes from experience facing and overcoming obstacles.

I have invested the last 25+ years teaching and facilitating the scientific method of the Toyota Production System (aka, Lean) that provides a framework to solve ANY problem at work, in your church, your local homeowner’s association, or wherever there are problems, which is everywhere!  The steps are simple to follow, but make no mistake they require effort and commitment:

  1. Document Reality – What problem are you trying to solve?  Where are you today and where do you want to be?
  2. Identify the wastes or the defects – What are the barriers that are keeping you from your desired state?
  3. Brainstorm countermeasures- Hypothesize ways you can overcome the barriers.  “If I set my clothes out at night, then I have a higher likelihood of going to the gym in the morning.”.  At work, this is a step that is designed to engage all of the voices on the team to help!
  4. Make changes – Then do something!  Anyone has good ideas in the shower.  It’s the individuals who get out and try something that create will inevitably succeed
  5. Verify Results – Be sure that your experiments are working and helping you to move to your goal.  If you are, proceed to the next step and if not, go back to step 3 and brainstorm some more!
  6. Make it the standard – If it is working, how do you make it part of your daily routine?  Establish a schedule and confirm you are following the standard.
  7. Do it again! – Just when you think you’re done, you’ve just begun!  Always strive for continuous improvement. 

While I have seen the impact of rigorously following these 7 steps to solve problems and achieve results, this is not the only approach.  But, having a methodology to follow is key.  If not, you will often find yourself like the Far Side cartoon that depicted a team working hard to climb to the top of the tree only to look out across the horizon and realize they were in the wrong forest!!  By embracing a methodology that suits your unique circumstances, you gain the clarity and direction necessary to navigate the complex landscape of problem-solving.

Next week:  Relationships

Quote of the week:   “Progress cannot be generated when we are satisfied with existing situations.”
― Taiichi Ohno, author of the Toyota Production System

Call to Action:  Remember, excellence only happens on purpose.  Whether it is in your work, your health, your faith, or other area of your life, you must be intentional to achieve excellence.  What is your personal development plan for achieving excellence in these areas?  What is keeping you from getting started today?  What is one thing you can do over the next week to move toward the leader you want to be?

It’s an honor to be your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy”.  Each week, I’m excited to provide yet another round of curated content that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, or thinking over. The purpose of the Champions Brew is to inspire, equip and encourage you to become the uncommon leader you were designed to be. I am so grateful for your decision to invest a few moments with me! I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.

Until next time, Go and Grow Champions!

P.S. – Are you a podcast fan?  Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you.    Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast?  Do you have a story to tell?  Email me [email protected] and let’s have a chat and set something up!!

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To become Champion leader, we have to be on a continuous improvement journey for ourselves and others.  We have to be able to take advantage of the precious seconds that we have each day.  
There are things that I come across each week that help me, inspire me, relax me, motivate me, and are sometimes are just funny that I want to share with you so that you can smile more, build faith, think positively, network well, exercise often, eat healthy, and grow daily.

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