Your Champions Brew for Friday, March 24, 2023

Happy Friday, Brew Nation!   It’s an honor to be back as your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy” I’m thrilled 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!

Are you aware that The Champions Brew explores various topics that I frequently coach and consult on with other leaders and organizations? If you or someone you know is seeking to elevate their business or personal life from underperforming to uncommon, I would love to connect with you and discuss 1:1 or group coaching, as well as performance consulting. In fact, click the following  link to schedule a FREE CALL to explore how coaching could benefit you and your team. Let’s work together to unleash your full potential and achieve your goals! 

Now, 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:

  • Read More – Think Like a Rocket Scientist – Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life – I loved this read.  This book was a Christmas gift from a friend.  This book aims to teach readers how to approach everyday problems as a rocket scientist would, and the author’s unique perspective is truly transformative. His writing is skillful and thought-provoking, and I found myself captivated by the fascinating stories he shared throughout the book. Here are just a few of the key takeaways that will stay with me long after finishing the book:
    • Status quo is a super magnet –The author challenges readers to question the way things are and to avoid becoming complacent in their work and personal lives.
      • I was shocked to learn that even the width of the engines that powered the space shuttle was determined by a Roman road engineer over two thousand years ago.
      • The QWERTY layout of a keyboard was created specifically to slow down typing speed to prevent mechanical key blockage.  AND, the letters that make up the word ‘typewriter’ were placed on the top line to allow a salesperson to demonstrate how the machine operates!!  These are just a couple of the paradigms( you know, “we have always done it that way!) that slow progress

Key point: Only by leaving where we are can we get to where we want to go!

  • Reframe your questions to get better answers – I loved the examples the author used in this chapter.  I write about this one because it is a weakness of mine.  “Often we fall in love with our favorite solution and then define the problem as the absence of that solution.”  The author discussed the difference in strategy (a plan for achieving and objective) and a tactic (the actions you take to implement the strategy).  We often lose sight of the strategy, fixate on the tactics and the tools, and become dependent on them.  What do you mean John?  I am glad you asked.   Here is a story from the book that illustrated the difference:

The 5-dollar challenge

Tina Seelig, faculty director at Stanford, breaks students up into teams and gives them five dollars in funding.  The goal: make as much money as possible within two hours and then give a three-minute presentation to the class about what they achieved.  Typical answers included using the five dollars to buy start-up materials for a car wash or lemonade stand or buy lottery tickets.  The winning team, though?  They didn’t even USE the five dollars.  They SOLD their three-minute slot to a company interested in recruiting Stanford students and walked away with $650!!! 

Key point: Frame the problem broadly in terms of what you WANT instead of your favorite solution – it opens other possibilities.  What is the five-dollar tactic in your own life?

  • Nothing Fails Like Success – read that again… Nothing Fails Like Success “How Success Produced the Biggest Disasters in Rocket-Science History” is the name of Chapter 9.  Whew. Surviving your own success can be more difficult than surviving your own failure.  Try this on for size:

“A car racing team has its future on the line.  It has been experiencing a series (7 failures in the last 24 races) of inexplicable engine malfunctions.  The engine mechanic believes cold temperatures are to blame.  The chief mechanic disagrees and acknowledges that the drivers have their lives on the line during a race, but “you have to take risks.” Today’s race offers a lucrative sponsorship and TV exposure.  But the weather is unusually cold, and another engine failure would mean a reputational disaster.  You’re the crew chief.  Would you race or sit this one out? 

In the case study that was reviewed, 90% of students voted for proceeding, citing a form of a “no guts, no glory” argument.  Now, of course you know there is a punchline, and it was presented to students… “You have just decided to launch the space shuttle Challenger.” – Ouch

Key point: Take measures to maintain humility when celebrating success.  It can be just as dangerous to celebrate success as it is to celebrate failure.  Success can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing if we ignore the little failures and get complacent.

While it was a bit lengthy, I found myself eager to continue reading thanks to the author’s use of captivating stories and real-world examples.

  • Worry Less (said no one who has been introduced to Chat GPT or Bard)–  So, have you tried out Chat GPT?  What about Bard?  If you gave up the internet for Lent, then maybe you haven’t heard of this yet, but my guess is that the readers of the Champions Brew are somewhat aware of this new technology.  So, I decided to ask Bard this evening:  “Give me 4 reasons to use Bard” – This was the reply that I got:

 Here are 4 reasons to use Bard:

1. Creativity. Bard can generate different creative text formats of text content, like poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, email, letters, etc. I will try my best to fulfill all your requirements.

2. Knowledge. I am trained on a massive dataset of text and code, and I can access and process information from the real world through Google Search and keep my response consistent with search results.

3. Speed. I can generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way, all much faster than a human could.

4. Availability. I am available 24/7 and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Notice how Bard personalizes the response… I will try my best, I can access, I can… I am available 24/7… Have any of you seen the 1983 movie War Games with Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy?  “How about a nice game of chess?”  In the words of my clever bride, “Buckle up, buttercup!”

  • Work Hard – I have often defined discipline as “doing what you need to do when you need to do it, even when you don’t feel motivated to do it, SO THAT you can do what you want to do it when you want to do it with who you want to do it!”  There are different areas of life that we must be disciplined to be successful.  Here are at least three that good leaders must possess:
    • Disciplined Mindset – How do you talk to yourself?  For leaders to be successful, they must avoid imposter syndrome, and develop a discipline of positive self-talk.  The inner critic will stop us in our tracks before we even get started.  Understand something — you are enough!
    • Disciplined Execution – While mindset is paramount, executing on the important daily and weekly habits needed to succeed is what separates common and uncommon leaders.
    • Disciplined Emotions  – John Maxwell says that people have just two choices with their emotions:  they can master their emotions or be mastered by them.  This is a skill I have developed over the years.  Having the skill of ‘equanimity’, or the ability to remain calm in the midst of chaos, is indispensable.


“What is possible for you is dictated by your hunger, not your history.” – Brendon Burchard

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  How’s your mindset?  How are your habits?  What about your emotions?  Do some reflection this week in these three areas.  What is going well for you?  What could be better? 

Next week, I will begin reviewing the 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication by John Maxwell, which will be released on March 28. Pre-order your copy today and let’s walk together through this one!

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, Worry Less, Read More, Work Hard 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 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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