Asking Why (#167)

I’ve come across different versions of this famous “pot roast” parable but regardless of the rendition, each one demonstrates the difference between people and organizations experiencing mediocrity and those achieving greatness.

A mother was preparing a pot roast for her family’s Easter meal while her young daughter helped. Knowing her daughter was very curious, the mother clarified each step. As she was preparing to put the pot roast in the oven, the mother explained, “Now we cut the ends off of each side of the meat.”

As young children often do, the daughter asked, “Why?” The mother thought for a moment and replied, “Because that’s the way it’s done. That’s how your grandma did it and that’s how I do it.”

Not satisfied with this answer, the young girl asked if she could call her grandma. The young girl called and asked, “Grandma, why do you cut the ends off the pot roast?” Her grandma thought for a moment and said, “Because that’s the way it’s done. That’s how my mom did it and that’s how I do it.”

Still not satisfied, the young girl called her great-grandma, who was now living in a nursing home. “Great-grandma,” she said, “Why do you cut the ends off the pot roast?” Her great- grandma said, “When I was a young mother, we had a very small oven. The pot roast wouldn’t fit in the oven if I didn’t cut the ends off.”

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Friday Forward started as a note that I sent to my Acceleration Partners team each Friday morning. The goal was to provide inspiration around the concept of improvement and growth. I hoped to encourage our employees to want to achieve more in all areas of their lives, challenge their self-limiting beliefs and realize their true potential.

Soon, employees started sharing these notes with colleagues, friends and family who then reached out asking to be added to the list. As that list grew, I decided to open it up to anyone who wanted to receive the message.

Today, thanks largely to word of mouth, Friday Forward reaches over 100,000 people each week in fifty countries on six continents through e-mail, company intranets and Slack channels. I love hearing the stories of how Friday Forward is motivating teams, inspiring people to take action and apply the different concepts of capacity building, motivation, resilience and gratitude in their work and life. I’d be honored to have you join the community today.

Going Dark (#166)

As a professional services firm, prospective clients often ask members of our team to provide detailed proposals, estimates and supporting materials as part of their evaluation process. While there’s no guarantee we will get the work, fulfilling these requests takes time, energy and resources, something that most prospects value and appreciate. However, over the past few years, I’ve noticed a rise in professional “ghosting.” Ghosting has…

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Seeking Understanding (#165)

Last week, I received over 100 e-mails from around the world in response to my Love and Hate Friday Forward. One of them was from the founder of TEDx Kenmore Square, Noah Siegel, who pointed me to a Ted Talk that I watched with great interest titled “Why I Have Coffee with People Who Send Me Hate Mail.” The creator of the Ted Talk, Özlem Cekic,…

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Love & Hate (#164)

In 1991, Michael Weisser, along with his wife Julie and three of their five children, moved from New York City to Lincoln, Nebraska for Weisser’s new position: Cantor and spiritual leader of South Street Temple. As they were moving in and unpacking, the phone rang. When they answered, the caller said, “You’re going to be sorry you moved in, Jew boy” and then hung up….

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Success Disease (#163)

If you’ve been following Friday Forward for a while, you had to know this post was coming… Earlier this month, the New England Patriots (a professional American football team for those of you outside of the U.S.), won their sixth Super Bowl championship, cementing them as one of the greatest professional sports dynasties in modern history. Think about a business having this level of success….

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Truth to Power (#162)

Olivia Bland, a recent university graduate, made it to the final round of Web Applications UK’s interview process: a sit-down with the company’s CEO, Craig Dean. When she met with him, Bland was surprised when Dean began scrolling through her Spotify account and mocking her music tastes. The situation grew even more bizarre when he started asking her a lot of personal questions (“are your…

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Life Hacks (#161)

These days, everyone seems to be looking for a shortcut or a “hack.” Apparently, things like “growth hacking,” “social media hacking,” “biohacking” and so on are all the rage. It appears everyone wants to find that magical shortcut that will lead them to getting more output with less effort. And, of course, hacking “experts” and gurus are on hand to help! The number of seminars,…

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Environmental Effect (#160)

We all want to believe that we have the willpower to consistently make good decisions and develop good habits. As it turns out though, research shows that willpower is a limited resource; the more we tap into it, the less we have in reserves. Because your willpower bucket tends to be at its height early in the day, this is also one of the reasons…

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Clear Habits (#159)

Last week, I wrote about the power of the domino effect in goal-setting. The truth is that, for most, it’s not willpower or desire that helps us reach our goals; it’s changing our habits and making little, seemingly minor decisions each day that contribute to the big, noticeable changes later on. That said, willpower does play an essential role in establishing new habits and reaching…

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Domino Effect (#158)

This is the time of year when many people set New Year’s resolutions. I’m personally not a big believer in setting resolutions, a perspective that is often confirmed when I compare the number of cars parked in front of the nearest gym at the beginning of January versus the end of February. Real change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of intention, small steps…

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Bursting Bubbles (#157)

I graduated college right in the middle of the internet bubble. This was a time when internet start-ups paid people to work in their offices to look bigger to impress venture capitalists and the Aeron chair was a symbol of success. I recall numerous public companies adding “.com” to their name or spinning off their .com divisions. The announcement of this act alone would elevate…

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