“The people inside the talent hotbeds are engaged in an activity that seems, on the face of it, strange and surprising. They are seeking out the slippery hills… they are purposely operating at the edges of their ability, so they will screw up. And somehow screwing up is making them better.” – Daniel Coyle
Peter has a set of rules that guide his life. His 28 Peter’s Laws have been collected over decades. Here are some favorites:
Law 2: When given a choice…take both.
Law 3: Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
Law 6: When forced to compromise, ask for more.
Law 7: If you can’t win, change the rules.
Law 8: If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.
Law 11: “No” simply means begin again at one level higher.
Law 13: When in doubt: THINK
Law 16: The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.
Law 17: The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself. (Adopted from Alan Kay)
Law 19: You get what you incentivize.
Law 22: The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.
Law 26: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
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“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”
– Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud High-way: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967
“My confidence came from my vision… I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier. Because you always know why you are training 5 hours a day, you always know why you are pushing and going through the pain barrier, and why you have to eat more, and why you have to struggle more, and why you have to be more disciplined… I felt that I could win it, and that was what I was there for. I wasn’t there to compete. I was there to win.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Whatever your brand stands for, you have to deliver on the promise. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and deliver everything you promise. That’s the only way you’ll ever control your brand. And beware: brands always mean something. If you don’t define what the brand means, a competitor will.
- Avoid taking on someone else’s legacy
- If you are in the mood to buy a new business – wait. It can take a long time to change a business culture. Are you sure you wouldn’t be better off starting one from scratch?
- In business, someone who can stay cool and calm under pressure is an asset.
- There’s no rule book. the past is the past. We can’t preserve it
- small, compact companies are, generally better run
- Put people together in a way that will have them bouncing ideas off each other, befriending each other, and taking care of each other, and suddenly they are coming to you, not with gripes and problems, but with solutions and great ideas.
- Given the right conditions, exceptional people will reveal themselves
- There’s another thing about teams: they don’t last forever
- When the business lets you, shake things up a little
- The best manager is someone who cares about people and who is genuinely interested and wants to bring out the best in them
- A manager should basically be a considerate person who is as interested in the switchboard operator and the person who cleans the lavatories as he or she is in the fellow managers
- A self-disciplined employee will have the patience to conduct routine business routinely, the talent to respond exceptionally to exceptional circumstances, and the wisdom to know the difference between the two
- you can’t dictate attitudes from on high. All you can do is hire the right people and empower them to sort things out as they happen.
- If someone has paid you for something, and it goes wrong, being cagey or defensive will kill you stone dead
- If someone has a lousy experience at your hands, they will warn people
- If you are able to sort out your customers’ problems better than they expected, then they will be your loyal friend for life
- Befriending one’s enemy is a good rule for business – and life
- A brand always means something, and ultimately you can control the meaning of your brand only through what you deliver to customers
- Turnover can be huge, but it is the profit margin that matters
- I learned another key fact about running a business: try to have a plan B
- Publicity is absolutely critical. You have to get your brand out and about
- A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a full-page ad, and a damn sight cheaper
- it is sometimes better to follow a pioneer than be a pioneer
- Maintaining a consistent tone in the face of rapid growth was a key requirement
- You can’t restructure culture. If you’ve burnt people, if you’ve killed their enthusiasm or commitment, then changing office space or putting a few more dollars in their pocket will not unduly affect the culture that exists
- Whatever your brand stands for, you have to deliver on the promise. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and deliver everything you promise. That’s the only way you’ll ever control your brand. And beware: brands always mean something. If you don’t define what the brand means, a competitor will.
- Don’t waste your precious time. Phone calls and emails can eat your day. Don’t let them. No one will think less of you for getting to the point.
- I advise every owner of a company to keep a notebook and jot down the things that need doing
- You must never forget that every change ushers in unforeseen consequences
- Success one day does not give you a free lunch every day thereafter
- We’ve started, so we’ll finish
- Never imagine that you are immune from big events. Make your small decisions in the light of the bigger picture, and you are at least pointing your craft in the right direction to ride out any storm
- One business mantra remains embedded in my brain – protect the downside
- Remember to communicate, and pay attention to detail
- Don’t be afraid of changing your bank if they are unreasonable. Banks are not for life. But don’t put it off till the last minute
- Out of recession, new ideas and new business often grow
- If you are a late entrant to the market, you need to be radically different to win over customers.
- If you rip off the customer, then you will destroy the integrity of the brand
- When you’re first thinking through an idea, it’s important not to get bogged down in complexity
- You can never go too far wrong by thinking like a customer who’s new to the business
- It’s easy – too easy, in fact – to relinquish your responsibility for your idea to experts. This is almost always a mistake, because experts are only experts in their field. They’re not experts in your idea. At this stage, the only person qualified to assess your idea is you
- You need to flesh out your own ideas. You need to do your own research. You need to take responsibility for how you plan to turn an idea into action
- Keep a cool head. You’re in business to deliver change, and if you succeed, the chances that no one will get hurt are virtually zero. This is the rough and tumble of business. Be sportsmanlike, play to win, and stay friends with people wherever possible. If you do fall out with someone, ring them a year later and take them out to dinner. Befriend your enemies.
- Being a well funded company puts you at a tremendous advantage
- Never do anything that means you can’t sleep at night
- You can’t protect yourself against the unexpected, so you need to keep your house in as good an order as you can. If disaster strikes, you don’t want to find yourself doing twelve things at once and misprioritising them in public. It’s vital, therefore, that you take control of your internal business risks – the ones you can influence.
- I think it is counterproductive to be ruthless. You’ve got to treat people as you would yourself, or better
- You definitely should get the best people around you when confronted with a serious problem. Don’t try to deal with it all by yourself. Don’t be afraid to seek help and advice.
- If you drive down the retail price fast enough when you are the dominant player, you never allow anyone else to catch up because they can’t make enough money. It requires the dominant player to be brave, because it can mean cannibalizing your existing sales by dropping the retail price. (i.e. Apple and the iPod)
- Protect your reputation. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
- If you’re hurt, lick your wounds and get up again. If you’ve given it your absolute best, it’s time to move forward.
- The best, most solid way out of a crisis in a changing market is through experiment and adaption.
- Innovation is what you get wen you capitalize on luck, when you get up from behind your desk and go and see where ideas and people lead you.
- True leadership must include the ability to distinguish between real and apparent danger.
- You need to understand the challenges to your enterprise and face up to them. Equally, you have to resist the temptation to overreact at the first sign of trouble.
- Every business plan should include: “This company will have lots and lots of parties and social get-togethers.”
- The creator’s job is to find someone with expertise who understands the vision and is prepared to follow the path.
- If you can keep the business relatively small, people will know each other within the organisation and feel like part of the team.
- Decent leadership is about explaining clearly and unemotionally why a decision has been taken.
- Failure is not giving things a go in the first place.
- Only a fool never changes his mind.
- DON’T BRING ME YOUR PROBLEMS – BRING ME THE SOLUTIONS
- It is possible to turn a profit while making the world a better place.
- What can you do to make a difference?
- One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never! – Sir Winston Churchill
- Don’t forget to listen
- It is important to look for one’s strengths – to try to excel at what you’re good at.
- What you’re bad at actually doesn’t interest people, and it certainly shouldn’t interest you.
- So don’t let your limits knock your self-confidence
- Success for me is whether you have created something that you can be really proud of.
If you’re really obsessed with success you must surround yourself with others obsessed with success.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a number of people asking me for suggested books to read. There are a lot of great books that I’ve read and there area always new great ones being published.
I refer most people to my Reading List if they are looking for a book to read. My Reading List is the list of all the books I’ve read split up into different sections. It also has my top must read and currently reading lists. If you are interested in any of the books on my list just click on the title and it will take you to the Amazon page where you can learn more about the book and order it for yourself.
But there are two books that I have suggested in the past couple weeks that I’ll point out. The first one was one that made me think a little more than normal. The reason was because of the person who asked. It was my 14 year old son who came into my office and asked if I had a book he could read. It made me sit back and think about the books that I’ve read that I would really like my son to learn something from. I’ve had him read books such as The Compound Effect and The Richest Man in Babylon. This time I thought the book that would be great for him to learn from at this time in his life was The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure. So if you are looking for a book that will help you to learn how to take massive action to achieve your goals, it’s definitely a book you need to read.
Another book that I suggested to someone yesterday was Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice. This is a true story that will grab your attention and you won’t want to put it down!
A New York Times bestseller: “[Red Notice] does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books” (Fortune).
If you are like me and travel a lot, take advantage of your travel time and listen to your books on audio. For a free trial of Audible and two free audio books, click the link below:
As I’ve always said, this blog is about my life as a father and husband and not only business. So this post is more related to the things I really love, my family and supporting them in what they do.
Our family really enjoys this time of year. The kids are back in full swing of basketball mode and we are doing our best to follow them around to get to all their events. All of my kids are attending American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek, Arizona. Daxon’s season has just got underway (8th grade) and they are 1-1. I’ll have some game tape for him that I’ll share soon.
I have the opportunity to help coach Tia’s team. She’s a junior this year and has started out strong. Her stats can be tracked on MaxPreps HERE
This past weekend we played in the Holiday Hoops women’s Basketball Tournament in Phoenix and Tia was named to the All Tournament All-Star Team. Our first game was probably her best where she had 29 points, she was 7 for 9 from behind the three point line, had 16 rebounds and 8 steals.
It’s going to be a fun year watching both Tia and Daxon, we are really looking forward to it!
A couple of weeks ago I had a friend suggest that I read the book On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O’Leary. It’s a great book that I didn’t want to put down. I was amazed and inspired by O’Leary’s story which really makes the reader think and reflect on their own lives and what drives them.
When John O’Leary was nine years old he was nearly killed in a devastating house fire that he had caused. With burns on 100% of his body he should not have survived. He tells his unimaginable story and the impact others had on him that gave him the desire to fight for his life.
We all have our challenges in life, some are a lot tougher than others. How we face those challenges and the decisions we make will direct the outcome of your life. Some just want to give up and quit rather than face their problem.
Read On Fire. O’Leary helps us to see that we can choose our path and decide the direction of our life regardless of the challenges we face.
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