Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Pinocchio's nose is about to go through your computer screen after telling you the following, "You deserve it."

This week's MMM is short and sweet but has a strong point all of us need to understand.
Our society has taught us that life is supposed to be easy. It's given us a false perception of prosperity. That we, because we are citizens of the United States of America, are entitled to having the things in life we want.

We are lied to on a daily basis. From the fat loss pill, to the get rich quick scheme, to the lottery. We are consistently lied to. We consistently told that life is supposed to be easy.

Don't ever, ever, ever, let that lie poison your mind. Life is hard...if you do not believe it, just give it some time. The affliction of life will eventually find you, there's no escaping it. Your unprepared mind will leave you blind-sided wondering why life is so unfair.

Instead of buying into the "easy" life style, invite the trying times in your life. Don't shy away. Move towards the path of least resistance. In trying times, search for the catalyst within. Search within the trial that which builds your character.

This is why I created the Liberation Tour. This tour has everything to do with how you will deal with physical adversity, or the "30 Ways to Make You Quit." It chooses 30 challenges that most people will look at and walk the other way. But for those people who choose to challenge themselves, if they are able to push themselves through it, they will walk out of the other side of that 100 days a new person.

And this new person will then understand just how much they have been holding themselves back. How much they have been buying into this lie that life is easy. That life is about attaining comfort.

No, my friends. Life is about the story. And there was never a good story written about someone who lived 'fat and happy,' comfortable, and adversity free. These are usually the villains in the story. Their greed and arrogance usually gets them killed.

It's time to stop buying into the lie. It's time to start making things happen. It's time we start showing up at adversities door step instead of hoping it doesn't show up on ours.

To paraphrase a favorite quote of mine. Fear not those who challenge, fear only those who dodge.

You don't deserve it. You have to go and get it.

Lets go...

Friday, April 16, 2010


I have had some serious writers block for the past two weeks. Monday Morning Motivation has been non-existent because of it.

Fortunately, my friend, Coach Hunter Wood, helped crack the block when he asked me if I have seen an article written in the New York Times named Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much.

I found this article to be one of the most intriguing pieces of writing I have read on teamwork in a long time. Spending a lot of my personal growth time on studying high level teams and organizations, I have yet to run across a concept quite so simple, true, and powerful regarding teamwork and success.

The basis of this article states this:
"....in recent years some researchers have begun to focus on a different, often more subtle kinds of wordless communication: physical contact. Momentary touches, they say...can communicate an even wider range of emotion than gestures or expressions, and sometimes do so more quickly and accurately than words."

The author gives these research examples of evidence that supports this theory:

-"Students who received a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher were nearly twice as likely to volunteer in class as those who did not.

-"A sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long, compared with estimates from people who were untouched."

-"A massage from a loved one can not only ease pain but also soothe depression and strengthen a relationship."

Taking this thought in context makes perfect sense. If you think about it, different degrees of touching mean different degrees of comfort. Different degrees in comfort will show the degree of how much you, like, trust, and care for someone. There is a big difference in comfort from greeting someone with a firm hand shake and greeting someone with a big hug. And wouldn't it make sense that the best teams and organizations are the most comfortable around each other? Wouldn't it make sense that the best teams and organizations like, trust, and care for one another?

The article went on to say, the observations and thoughts of this concept led researchers to do a study on, what is said to be, "one of the most physically expressive arenas on earth: professional basketball."

During the study, researches recorded every single, touch, hi-five, butt-slap, chest bump, fist bump, every bit of expressed physical contact that teams had with one another. The most interesting thing was that while the study was being conducted the two teams who were at the top, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, were the two teams who accumulated the most touches. At the bottom of the touching scale were two teams who were, at the time, the bottom of the NBA, the Sacramento Kings and Charolette Bob Cats.

The study concluded, "Players who made contact with teammates most consistently and longest tended to rate highest on measures of performance, and the teams with those players seemed to get the most out of their talent."

Think about what a "pat on the back" from a parent, friend, coach, boss, or coworker has meant to you before. It's a supportive touch, one that says, "You've done well." One that says "Your gonna be o.k." This is an expression that I am sure you appreciate from time to time. Many people can go for months with an assured pat on the back from someone whom they respect and trust.

Think about what the good ole "back side slap" has meant to you or what you've meant in giving one to a teammate. It says, "Let's Go." It say's, "I've got you." It says, "Your good," or "don't worry about it." It also an "atta boy" or "great job," or "you're the man," or "thanks for coming through." Similar to it's vertical cousin the "pat on the back," the "back side slap" shows even a higher level of comfort. Often used by sports teams, I am not sure why the "gluooty" is such coveted target. But it seems as though there's an innate fancy, especially for athletes, to slap the back side of a teammate when your showing them some love.

Think about the people you are closest too outside of your family. I would bet that the one's who you engage in the most physical contact with from hand-shakes to high-fives, to bumps, to hugs, to chest-bumps, are the ones you feel best about. These are the ones who you more than likely have the best relationships with.


1. Think about your team. Think about your company. Think about your family. How good are you as a group at showing support, appreciation, encouragement, gratitude, or affirmation in general? I can probably bet that most of you and the groups your are involved in can become better at doing these things. Start simple. Start with words, telling someone you appreciate them. Start with writing. Write something encouraging to a friend or teammate who needs it. Start with some praise. Praise a teammate in front of the entire team.

2. Think about showing your comfort at a higher level. How can you begin to take responsibility for getting your team to get involved with more touches. More hi-fives, more back side slaps, shoulder pats, hugs, bumps? And how can you do it without making it extremely uncomfortable? Obviously, it's not a good idea if you're in a big organization to give your boss a huge back-side slap after a good meeting, but there is not a problem in using the vertical cousin, giving a pat on the back, and telling him, "thanks for supporting us."

3. Understand that touching involves comfort. That's why you normally don't hug someone the first time you meet them. After you get to know them you may give them a hand shake to hug, or just go right in for the hug. But it does take time to develop this closeness. Trying to go in to soon usually creates the awkward hug dance. You know what I'm talking about.

If you are a coach or leader, here are my suggestions in creating a tighter team through a team who willingly appreciates, encourages, thanks, and affirms through not just words, but touch.

First, you must spend more time together. It's hard to become close if you don't spend anytime together. If you are the coach or the leader, you have to schedule times that bring your team together in an informal setting. A place where people can learn more about each other. A place where people can let their guard down a little and show who they are.

Second, you must create an environment that accepts failure: Scared people never give all they can. It's unfortunate but many coaches and businesses run their teams like a dictatorship, my way or the highway. All this does is create an environment of fear and eventually their followers become cautious, resentful, and secretive because they are afraid of expressing what they really think. In order for relationships to truly mature, team members cannot fear expressing who they are or what they believe.

Third, you must create a Challenge Up Environment: This along the lines of #2, says that anyone on the team, no matter who they are, has the right to express disagreements in opinions, in a respectful way, to anyone else, including you as the leader. The key is that it is done in a respectful, more-than-likely, private face to face expression. To grow together as a team, all members must believe their opinion is respected and will not be criticized for challenging the leader.

Fourth, you must lead the team in touches. If you are the leader or not, you can apply this. Obviously if the leader expresses a lot through touching the team will as well. But sometimes, you as the team member, has to be the one who leads in touches. Shake more hands, give more bumps, give more hugs, pat-more backs, grab more shoulders, chest-bump more. If this is not happening, someone has to start. Someone has to lead.

Finally, you must win! A team who wins is a back side slapping happy team. Though losing and failure can bring a team closer together, it's a lot more fun to be high-five, make up NBA style hand shakes, slap people in the back of the head, upper back, or gluooty, when you're kicking other teams butts.

PLEASE check out this hilarious clip as Michael Scott from the office being to implement this weeks MMM.