It's a delicate balance faced by most leaders to keep up with innovation and expectations while also keeping true to the integrity of their brand's history, culture, and heritage. We love the new Volkswagen Microbus which strikes this balance beautifully. Based on the photos, the Volkswagen Microbus is a super cool version of the historic Kombi. It's received an update as an electric vehicle, and rumour has it that production begins soon, with the new Microbus hitting the market in 2022. In our opinion, it pays clear homage to the iconic vehicle while updating for today's consumers. In an environment where everyone is after the next great idea, remember to look in the rearview mirror for just a second to remember where you originated and what made you stand out in the first place. What got you to where you are today? What do your raving fans love and admire about your brand? Glance back, before you charge ahead.
To kick-off to Roctober 2017 on The Mojo Radio Show, I interviewed co-founder of Spartan Race, Joe De Sena. To say kick-off, I mean he gave it a good kick in the guts! What an incredible guest to start Roctober. A listener wrote to me shortly after listening to the show to say, "Fantastic show. He's a guy that makes me feel inadequate." He then went on to highlight the lessons he learned from the show, and it got me thinking that how we read, see, and hear about success can make us feel in one of two ways. We can feel inadequate and compare ourselves to these successful people and say, "Oh, I would never be able to do something like that." Or we can look at their example and say, "What is my version of that? Where can I apply the same discipline, hunger, desire, and focus?" Joe would be the last person to say, "do what I do." Rather, he would encourage you to take the same attitude and discipline to see how much more you have to give in life. To apply that approach to YOUR passions, YOUR dreams, and YOUR purpose. As fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld said, "never compete, never compare." Take these learnings and create your desires and get after your life. To hear this fantastic interview with Joe De Sena, go to iTunes or click here.
So often we hear advice that tells us to get active wherever we can - in the gym, in the park, on the court - to work the body, lose weight, and get fit. It seems the most successful people in addition to working out their bodies, also work out their minds each day. Take for example Hollywood actor Will Smith who has a simple daily formula - run and read every day. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I love simplicity. This simple approach to do two things every day, something for your mind and something for your body, is sophisticated in its simplicity. Make a plan now, you don’t have to run, but you can move. You don’t even have to read; you can watch, listen or do. Each day, find something that stretches your mind into new areas and makes your brain more fit than it was yesterday. Books and education in whatever form are good for brain fitness, and we know from volumes of data that you can enhance the ability of your brain through learning, stretching, and nutrition. Is the focus of your attention adding value to your day? If not, start to run and read.
One of the greatest gifts of The Mojo Radio Show is having an opportunity to interview incredible leaders working in diverse fields across the globe. The most common attribute amongst great leaders is humility and authenticity. They don't believe that just because they've read a book on servant leadership, that they are suddenly an expert. Real leaders are living, breathing examples of their values. The opposite is the person who reads a book, then runs to give courses to their team, spruikes about the importance, and rattles off quotes. Their intent is, "I want this..., I think we should..., and here’s my strategy...” They can't wait to get in front of an audience to talk about their achievements. (Who are they serving apart from themselves?) Game recognises game, so before you claim to be an expert rattling off claims from the latest book or blog, make sure you have your game right, that you've done it, lost it, got it back again and have the experience to back it up.
Have you ever wondered what you’re capable of if you just sat and thought about the possibilities? In this chaotic world of multi-tasking and the need to keep in touch, this can impact on our levels of distraction. I am always curious to find out what someone could really do if they got rid of the distractions and sat quietly, thought, and dreamt.
It’s been said that we can see what's hidden from view with silence and stillness. Yet today it’s so hard to do. Those that make it a priority for themselves can unlock their own personal possibilities. See, when you just sit and think and extract yourself from the distractions, you suddenly get in touch with yourself, your true self, your own thoughts, and in some cases your negative voices. That can be a scary thought for many of us so we hide behind the world of distraction. So perhaps it is time to be brave!
Start the process today. Make a time in your diary for tomorrow to spend 5 or 10 minutes, maybe more, just sitting in silence quite still with your journal - thinking. Write down pondering words that interest you. We may just start to glimpse what’s hidden from view by our usual distractions, through sitting with silence and stillness. It may take some time to become comfortable with this exercise, so make it a daily ritual to commit at some point in your day the time to immerse yourself in stillness and silence.
The Stoics did it. Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and George Lucas did it. Linked In founder Reid Hoffman and chess prodigy, and author Josh Waitzkin do it. They all journal. Each has their own particular method and reason for journalling. It is a commonality in 9 out of 10 people that I interview on the Mojo Radio Show.
What I find curious is that many people who journal to record learnings, articulate their dreams, record brainstorming notes, or jot actions from their meeting feel like they are out of the digital technology loop by using pen and paper. This post is about telling you it’s okay. It’s okay to go old school and use pen and paper to think. You don’t have to record digitally if you lean towards pencil and paper. The great didn’t, and future greats will continue to do it.
I would say that each person should use the systems or processes that they feel work best for them. Research has shown that by using a digital device to take down notes you are ‘recording’ – as opposed to ‘comprehending’ when you use a pen and paper –ie: when you write, you are understanding the learning and taking it in with context.
It is up to you to use what works best for you, but don’t be discouraged by those who think that pen or pencil and paper are archaic. There is something magical about a beautiful pen and a stylish journal that helps you dream and learn using colour, doodles, drawings and illustrations on paper. It’s OK!
If you are looking for a journal that is a bit different, check out the Mojo journal, the world’s first thought-provoking journal, beautifully illustrated and styled. It’s a combination of a book and a journal to help you unlock your great ideas.
Whilst I was in Melbourne last week, I met an intriguing lady during a creative session. During our conversation I learned that she was an Italian soprano. Naturally curious we spent some time talking about how one becomes an Italian soprano and how that skill is used. I was fascinated. It turns out that this young lady loved drama and it wasn’t until a drama teacher, who thought she may have some talent, suggested she try some singing as a soprano. Prior to this suggestion, she had never even entertained the thought. She cleverly decided to go with the opinion of her teacher and give it a go and the rest is history.
During the week I saw a paragraph written by genius Stephen Hawkings. He said "At school, I was never more than about halfway up the class. It was a very bright class. My classwork was very untidy, and my handwriting was the despair of my teachers. But my classmates gave me the nickname Einstein, so presumably they saw signs of something better. When I was twelve, one of my friends bet another friend a bag of sweets that I would never come to anything. I don't know if this bet was ever settled, and if so, which way it was decided.”
If you’re unsure about your passion in life, ask your closest friends, teachers, family members, and confidants and undoubtedly they will see something you don’t. The trick is to listen, think about it, and if something piques your interest, take action. Our immediate default is to disregard compliments, wipe them, and move on. Instead, listen, ponder, sleep on it, and if there is any interest at all, get after it. At least get out there and give it a go.
This edition of the Espresso is coming to you from the Olsen hotel in Melbourne Australia, a hotel part of the Art Series of hotels. What’s unique about the Arts Series Hotels is that each hotel is themed on a famous Australian artist. Every room, corridor, conference room, and public area is covered in art by John Olsen. Each day I read stories published by many business experts talking about having a point of difference (mind you many of them have no POD themselves). It’s become wallpaper. What’s your unique proposition, your point of difference, what will stand you apart from the rest?
Most leaders read this, acknowledge it, but then do nothing about it. 90% of the websites you visit today have no clear point of difference articulated beneath their logo or in the first part of their copy, let alone having staff who can clearly articulate what makes their company different and/or famous. Everyone talks about it, but so few can do it.
I was setting up for my speech in the conference room of the Olsen when I said to one of the staff ‘what’s the story with this hotel?’. He told me about the arts series of hotels and I believe is one of the few hotels that clearly has a point of difference to any other hotel I have visited in Australia. It’s a clear point of difference, demonstrated in every room, and articulated in both its back story and execution.
Everyone knows you need a point of difference but sadly so few companies have a brand that stands out. Audit yourself! Go to your website - check out the front page, look at your business card, email signature or the front door of your office and ask yourself ‘Am I telling my customer why I am different? Your customer needs to know why? Why you?’
After a speech I gave recently in Sydney one of the attendees approached me and said, as of tomorrow I am going to approach my day with intention and consciousness, I feel like I just got through my day, but I did not really control it, I did what everyone else wanted me to do, in their time. I was not consciously focused on my day, my steps towards my dreams, my essential tasks to take me to the dreams and aspirations I have?
This is a common issue facing many of us. We roll into our days with a to-do list, only to have our day interrupted by other people and their agendas. We never really focus on the most important tasks in each area of our lives in and out of work, in order to realise our dreams.
Remember, to win the day, it starts the night before. Tonight, plan out tomorrow: What’s the one thing that I must get nailed in my health, community, business, family, and write them onto your page with the action you will take regarding each of those items. To roll into a day with a massive to-do list and no clear focus as to the one most important thing in each area of your day, is to live by other people’s agendas and not to live with true consciousness and intention.