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Why I Told The Monk Not To (Rude Word) With Mickey

Monks are generally gentle and peace loving people. So why was my heart beating so fast and why was I paralyzed with fear when I looked the monk in the eyes and said: “OK- I will start very slowly – but beware- whatever you do, don’t (rude word) with Mickey.”?

The story begins a few years earlier when a Walt Disney CEO, who when advised by a consultant to refresh the Disney logo, very bluntly said: “Don’t (rude word) with Mickey.” The Mickey logo was sacrosanct – a proven winner and well-loved symbol of everything the company stood for – and was never to be tampered with.

And that was equally true with what the monk wanted to do to me that day, and I just wasn’t having any of it. This is what he wanted to do to me.

Do this Every Day and Die Happy

Do You Have The Courage To Take One Simple, Life-Changing Action Every Day?

I am weak. I promised myself three years ago I would do this, every day. It’s so simple and powerful. So incredibly valuable to living a fulfilling, evolving and exciting life. But I have failed (so far). I have not had the guts to do it. Can you do any better? Here it is.

Peter Cullinane, founder and CEO of STW New Zealand-based business, Assignment, and one of our industry’s genuine leaders, suggested I read “Fun While It Lasted” by Barnaby Conrad- an incredible, true story of how an American in the 1940s trained and became a matador in Spain. One of Barnaby’s hobbies was collecting great ‘last words’… notable death bed last utterings of the famous and the ordinary. He ends his book with such a line, from a woman whose last words were: “Well, it’s all been very interesting.”

On reading this, I realized I was cruising. That a part of my life was an opportunity missed. To be able to say last words of: “Well, it’s all been very interesting”, I simply had to do one thing every day. And this is it.

The just-invented new four letter word that will save you

There has been more change in the past 5 years than the previous 50. Change will never be this slow again. To survive, we have to embrace a brand new four letter word. Without it, our careers and businesses will soon be history.

At the Cannes Creativity Festival in June 2011, I learnt a just-invented four letter word which I now use ten times a day: at work, when coaching myself, even with my children.

It’s a word that captures an attitude which is critical if we are to keep ahead of and thrive through the avalanche of change happening in business, and in our lives.

The word is Ebne…. And this is what it means.

Why putting yourself out of business is smart

The most dangerous threat to the success of our businesses and careers is a great last result. It breeds complacency. FATAL! We have to relentlessly work to improve: or we will be overtaken and will soon fade into history. Here’s why, and how to do it.

Never rest on your laurels. John Chambers, a great Cisco CEO, famously said: “Stay paranoid.” David Ogilvy talked about “Divine discontent.”

Remember this- we are only as good as our next result.

To grow successful, thriving and sustainable careers and businesses, we have to remain ‘divinely discontent’ and ‘paranoid’ about our capabilities, our edge, and our competitors. Here’s two great ways to do it.

The most important lesson from the life of Steve Jobs (why we need nutters, pirates and positive deviants to succeed)

The most important lesson from the life of Steve Jobs for those of us in professional services and consulting worlds is not what you’d expect. Yet for me, it is what I’ll always remember Jobs for, more than anything else. Here it is.

University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann wrote: “The challenge of leadership is not to fit in. It’s to have combined passion with purpose, and the most inspiring and successful leaders, I think, don’t fit in.”

Steve Jobs did not fit in. His legacy endorses my recent guest post for Firebrand Talent’s blogs entitled:” Why We Need Nutters, Pirates, and Positive Deviants To Succeed.”

As a tribute to Steve Jobs-and with apologies to dual Possums/Firebrand Talent subscribers, here is that story. It’s my favourite.

Eat this and you will be a true champion

In Andre Agassi’s fridge lies the answer to the type of diet we need to feast on if we want to be the best we can be. I find it hard to swallow. Do you?

A friend once asked the guy next to him on a plane what he did for a living.
“I’m one of tennis player Andre Agassi’s three backhand coaches,” the man replied.

WOW! Three backhand coaches! Agassi was clearly a guy who feasted on feedback. And they say feedback is the food of champions. The lesson is clear. We need to become feedback gluttons if we are to reach our full potential. Just as Agassi did, over many years. And here’s a simple and proven way to do it.