Moment of Clarity (#172)

Last year I attended a conference session titled, “Getting Clarity,” led by world-renowned clarity coach, Philip McKernan.

Sitting in a circle, our group discussion began with a participant sharing that he’d been struggling with the decision about whether or not to sell his business.  When McKernan asked him if he liked his business, his response was that he hadn’t enjoyed coming to work for years. When asked what he would do next if he sold his business, he replied, “I don’t know,” to which McKernan responded, “But if you did know, what would that be?”.

Right away, the indecisive business owner answered that he’d like to start a new career in a new industry. Within minutes, he’d committed to the entire group to start the process of selling his business and move toward getting established in his desired career. The emotional relief on his face was visible.

Over the next few days, many similar conversations with McKernan took place, including my own. The reality for most of us is that while we know what we want, we are often afraid to even acknowledge it, much less pursue it.

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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.

Unlocking Potential (#171)

Last week, I wrote about my incredible experience visiting a maximum-security prison with a group of business leaders. I also shared three lessons that I took away from it. I was touched by the notes I received from people around the world who vulnerably shared their reactions to that post and their personal stories related to incarceration – either through a similar program or with a…

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Inside Out (#170)

“We don’t fire warning shots, so if you hear gunfire, get down and against the wall.” Up until the Warden at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, CA spoke these words, I had been feeling relatively comfortable about my visit to the maximum-security prison. His statements, however, quickly snapped me and the 50 or so other entrepreneurs in my group back to reality. Our group…

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Trough & Peak (#169)

I often joke with my kids that most of the challenges they face are “First World problems,” and they’ve learned to remind me of the same thing. This phrase is a healthy reminder to be grateful for all the things we have and can do in our lives. It’s also about understanding that, in the grand scheme of things, what we identify as “problems” often…

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Wanting Better (#168)

As a Junior and Senior in college, I really wanted a job in management consulting. Many of my friends who were also seeking employment in this field benefited from plump internships, courtesy of their parents’ connections. As neither of my parents had contacts in that industry, I did not have that same luxury. At the time, it was frustrating. To get my foot in the…

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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…

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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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