Monthly Archives: November 2014


We live in an era that is fast moving and waits for no one. Teams to build, budgets to develop, projects to complete, staff’s to lead. Move to fast and you’re early, move to slow and you’re late. There doesn’t seem like there is enough time in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. Or is there?


We all have 24 hours in a day. How we manage and steward those hours is the question that faces every person. Time is no respecter of persons. Whether you are a student, athlete, coach, administrator, corporate CEO, or POTUS; time stands still for no one. So how do I effectively manage the time I have?

Below are a few suggestions that will help you manage your day…

1) Don’t Procrastinate: Do not wait until the day before or the night before to complete a project that is due. Don’t wing it. When you are not prepared it shows. Consequences are just around the corner when you procrastinate. Power down the phone. Turn of the TV. Put up the computer (unless it’s needed for your project). Let others know you will be out of pocket and not available for a certain amount of time. Lean into your project. Start early. Think ahead. It will be easier on you emotionally and physically.

2) Use a Planner: Using a planner is a great way to deal with time management challenges. If you don’t have one, invest in one as soon as possible. As soon as it’s in your hand write down or type everything you need to accomplish; when to start it, and when it needs to be completed. With all your activities and deadlines mapped out, you will know precisely when your appointments take place. Remember, if you fail to plan…then plan to fail!

3) Understand How To Prioritize: It can be difficult to critique yourself. That’s human nature. You might not believe there is anything wrong with your systems or methods, or you may honestly not see where the problem exists. Seek out an accountability partner. Someone who will tell you what you need to hear – not what you want to hear. Someone who is strong in balancing time management skills. Someone who is focused, disciplined and organized. Then allow that person to teach you how to prioritize. Check your ego at the door and allow that individual permission to mentor you. Remember, the people you surround yourself with will determine the quality and direction of your life.

Don’t Procrastinate, Use a Planner, and Understand How To Prioritize. Three keys that will help you develop effective time management.



What system do you use for time management?



“Time waits for no man.” You’ve probably heard that saying. It’s true; time marches on, and it’s up to us to keep up with it. We need to be conscious of the clock, or we’ll never make any progress toward our goals.

However I believe there’s more to success than reaching career goals and personal goals. True success comes from significance: doing things that matter…things that last after we’re long gone.

Earlier this week while driving, I began thinking about two gauges on my dashboard. The clock and the compass. I began thinking; as a leader, how do we know if what we’re doing really makes a difference? I concluded that we can’t just look at the clock. We need to be conscious of our compass.

clock and compass

For many people, the first half of life is consumed by the clock. As young adults, we’re very conscious of time. We’re impatient, eager to “get started” with life. Later, as we start achieving goals, we’re still watching the clock: We want to measure how much we’re accomplishing.

However for most of us, usually sometime in our forties, we become aware of the compass. We begin to wonder why we’re doing what we’re doing. We question the value of what we’ve achieved. We examine whether we’re fulfilled. And then we worry that we’re not making a difference in this world.

Ideally, as we get older, we start trying to achieve balance between the Clock and the Compass. We try to be conscious of both, which makes us more strategic. We ask, “What can I do that will make the most difference in the time that I have?” We start talking about leaving a legacy.

Ultimately, I believe that no matter what age we are, we all need to seek a balance – between the Clock and the Compass. In other words, we need to integrate a daily focus with a long-term sense of direction. This will give us a better perspective.

Here are some thoughts on the Clock and the Compass:

The Clock: The clock is always ticking in this life. Time passes, and we either take advantage of opportunities, or we miss them. So it’s important to keep the clock in mind. However it’s not the only thing if you want to live a life of significance.

The Compass: The compass is what we steer life by. It remains constant, and we’re wise when we align ourselves with the direction we know we should be going. But just lining up with the compass doesn’t get us anywhere if we don’t start moving.

The clock equals daily things: what we are doing. The compass equals destiny things: where we are going. The clock deals with appointments and activities. The compass points toward vision, values, and mission. Together the clock and the compass provide us with both motivation and direction. Finding a balance between them means that we’re able to compound our efforts and add the most value that we can to our world.

So the next time you plan your day, week, or year, be conscious of both the Clock and the Compass, and see how far it takes you.



How do you stay balanced between the Clock and the Compass? 



I have a partner who often reminds me that “Discipline is remembering what you want.”

Often times I forget what I want and discipline leaks in my life. I’m guessing the same might be true for you?  Has it been a while since you reviewed your goals and thought through what you want to accomplish in you personal life, leadership life, and work responsibilities?

If so, I challenge you to set aside some time in the coming days and weeks ahead and evaluate your life and leadership from a discipline standpoint.

2015 is rapidly approaching and it’s a great time to do some inventory. Remember, if you aim for nothing you will hit it every time!

I hope the following suggestions will be helpful:

Write down what you want: Every week, spend an hour reviewing what you write down and identify the objectives and action steps that will get you to where you want to go. Careful planning is the first step to ending up in a great place.

Do what you wrote down: This is the discipline part. Things will seem hard at times, however just do what you’re supposed to do. Every time you want to quit, remember you are moving toward what you want. Make progress NOT perfection.

Evaluate your progress:  Just as a navigator in an aircraft constantly adjusts the aircraft to keep it on course with the set coordinates of a flight – a leader must also make adjustments along the way. Over the course of a year expect to drift. It’s human nature. However, when you find yourself failing to make progress, or headed in the wrong direction, don’t beat yourself up, just make the necessary changes and get back on course.

Identify some accountability:  You will have a lot more success if you have to look someone in the eye from time to time and give an account of how you are doing. They should not be someone who beats you over the head, threatens you, or scolds you when you get off track. They should exist to encourage you, build you up, challenge you, and be your biggest fan when you accomplish your goals. A lot more is caught than taught!

Write it down, do what you wrote down, evaluate your progress, and identify some accountability. That will keep you hungry, focused, and disciplined.



What is your top goal for 2015? 



This past week the world watched two teams playing in the World Series that were full of players, managers, coaches and trainers who embraced the grind. The desire and will to win superseded egos, status and agendas. Regardless if it’s a boardroom, scouting staff, coaches room, or playing field; without grinders on the team you will have very limited success. Don’t believe me; just ask Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost!

World Series - San Francisco Giants v Kansas City Royals - Game One

Leadership works the same way. You can spend all of your time trying to stay fresh and on the cutting edge of your area of expertise, but at some point you have to be a strong grinder to be a great leader.

The daily grind gets a bad wrap. Few, if any, wake up excited about the grind. That’s because most like taking the path of least resistance. Doing just enough to get by.

But what if that changed for you? What if each day you approached the grind as an opportunity to bring value into the lives of others? What if you equated the grind with your chance for influence?

The key to being a great grinder is to stay sharp. You achieve that through intentional time for learning, growing, and listening, The leader, coach, and athlete who feels they have arrived or thinks they know it all is not a grinder – they are a failure.

As a professional baseball scout I remind myself often to remain open to new methods of getting my job done more effectively. Everyday I’m seeking to learn more, grow more, and do more listening and less talking.

If leadership has become a dull exercise that causes you to want to escape, you are missing your chance to make a difference through the grind.

Like athletes, managers and coaches, the best leaders are the ones who consistently show up, stay focused, and discipline themselves to do the little things with excellence. Not perfection – but excellence!

Embrace the grind and focus on staying sharp. Doing so will maximize your influence!



What is one thing you need to do this week to keep your leadership blades sharp?