Tag Archives: committment

Odin On…Traits of Success

As anyone who knew Odin will attest, he was intense.  Intense in absolutely everything he did, but especially when it came to play.  There is a term that is used in assessing dogs called “play factor”.  Odin did not have a high play factor, he had an insanely high play factor.  Off the charts to use a cliché.  He was all play, all the time.  He loved to play; he had to play.  And we always joked, if only we could teach people to have his level of intensity, focus and passion, business would boom.

What we realized over time is that Odin’s ability to focus, to have such a relentless intensity on play was just him being him.  Play was his passion.  He loved everything about it.  Frisbee, footballs, sticks, twigs, pine needles, bark chips, other dogs, and of course the classics of running, jumping, chasing, and just plain old “doing dog things” was what he was all about all the time, and he was relentless in his pursuit of it.

Being told “no”, to “go lay down”, or an occassional “Odin damn it” was crushing to him; he hated to be told no.  But that emotional loss and defeat was very short-lived.  He would quite literally shake it off and be back in the pursuit of play within minutes.  A “no” was nothing more than a temporary roadblock, a brief bump on the journey to the ultimate goal.  He never lost sight of that goal to play – ever.

But above all else, Odin loved to play with others.  Yes, I think maybe he liked me best, but truth be told he loved everyone with an opposable thumb who could throw things.   Then of course other dogs were without question great to share time with, as were cats, rabbits, and really anything else with a pulse.  He was a social boy who loved the company of others.

What was a joke to use early on became a great lesson on what truly makes a successful person.  It was all about his particular passion – passion to play, to pursue play, to be with others, and an ability to allow the passion to trump the “no’s”.  He was intensely focused on play because he loved it and all that it entailed.  Truly successful people are absolutely passionate about what they do and whom they do it with.  They never lose focus and they never let the “no” keep them down for too long.

Not a bad lesson from a dog.  Doubt the CPA will let us take all our dog expenses as a write off, but we will share the lessons for business anyway.  Who knows, maybe it will become an entire series, “Odin On…”, but for now it was one great case study on the traits of successful people.

The one downside of such focus – he could stare a hole into a wall

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Filed under Business, Coaching

Committed? – The G N’ R Test

As shocking as it might seem, out of that crucible of debauchery known as Guns N’ Roses emerged not just one talented writer, but also a great lesson.  Okay, let’s call it safe that there were several lessons to be learned from the Guns N’ Roses saga.  Megalomania, addiction, personality conflicts, management issues and other classic issues of rock stardom aside, there lies one amazing story of committment, focus and dedication.

It’s So Easy: and other lies by Duff McKagan is actually a really good read.  It is not some self-centered, money grabbing tale of another washed up rock and roller (or politician, executive, sports hero, or whatever) that is out to pad or rebuild their bank account. Of course it is a lot of stories, but what lingered is one incredible story about the conviction and vision it takes to make it to the very pinnacle of your field.  Duff McKagan is more than just the former bass player and current columnist for ESPN, he is also the one that realized and drove home the point that if the band was to really make it, they had to be committed.  Every member had to put the band above everything.  And he relays a great tale of how early on they determined who really had that level of committment.

Now granted, we are talking about a group of guys in the mid 80’s with absolutely nothing to lose.  They were in their early 20’s, living a life without responsibilities, and frankly enjoying all that a city like LA would have to offer someone who embraced the “rock and roll lifestyle”.  But what is interesting is that even in that environment, they had members who were hesitant, who were not willing to take the chance.  When the idea was floated that the band should go on the road for a totally shoe-string, seat of the pants, pile 5 guys in a car west coast tour, 2 of the 5 members hesitated.  The level of risk, the level of committment required was just too much.  2 guys baulked.  Actually 2 guys walked out; they quit rather than stick it out.  2 other guys stepped forward to fill the void…a guy named Steven and a guy named Slash.  And the rest as they say is history.

Amazing really – even with literally everything to gain and nothing to lose, some folks still cannot commit.  It is not a bad thing, everyone has their reasons.  However, when you are putting together a team with the intention of winning, of being the best, of rising to the top of your field, you need folks who share the vision.  You need folks who are committed.  It is not about having folks say they are committed, it is about finding folks who have demonstrated real committment.  Use the G N’ R test – call the verbal bluff and see who will go on the road with you.  Just try to keep all the other rock star issues out of it!

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Filed under Business, Interviewing, Sports

Thanks to Occupy Wall Street for the Smile

Never been the protesting type. It is not a political or cause thing, it is just a DNA thing I guess. The courage of the Civil Rights marchers, of those in Tiananmen Square, and all who have stood up when they knew what was coming has always been inspiring to me on a very core level.  The courage, conviction and committment of those who literally toe the line without a means of self-defense regardless of the cause amazes me.  Then there are the classic “neo-pro” protester – they crack me up.

As an unabased fan of irony and hypocrisy, the entire Occupy Wall Street “movement” has left me smiling more than once over the last month. From the never-ending stream of “wealthy but acceptable” entertainers whom the protestors embrace, to the willingness to heckle and interrupt the very solidly middle class who are just trying to go about their lives, there has been a steady stream of ironic moments that have come out over the last several months. However, the latest story just made my morning.

Reading in today’s NY Post about the latest bit of reality to settle on Zuccotti Park is priceless…the opening paragraph is brilliant:

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

Seriously – the entire “movement” about the “other 99%” does not like to be mooched off of and taken advantage of – hilarious.  All day they squawk about equality and redistribution, about deserving more, about giving to those less fortunate, and above all about taking from the “wealthy”, yet now they are upset about feeding the “professional homeless” and “ex-cons”.  Thanks for making my day – they irony and hypocrisy is absolutely amazing.

Again, it is not a political issue, it is a credibility issue.  You want an example of conviction and committment, of someone who did not differentiate who would or would not get fed…

Tank man, whomever he is, or rather was, was no hypocrite.

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Filed under Current affairs, Politics