3 Ways to Set Your Mind Up for Success

Have you ever heard an athlete say this after a dismal performance? “I didn’t the have the right mindset today. I just wasn’t ready.”

When I hear that I think, “you have had all week! How could you not be ready?” And then I am reminded of my own life before a big speech or event I am leading or a presentation I am delivering and suddenly I realize how hard it is to frame our minds correctly so that our attitudes and emotions are positioned to help us be the best we can be.

Mindset means the “established set of attitudes towards something.”

If I am frustrated towards someone and have not addressed it correctly then my mindset is going to be off towards them.

If I went to bed later than expected watching ‘junk food’ television with no meaning then the chances of my mindset being off go up the next day.

If I am not recharged appropriately then I might be susceptible to a sour mood and those who are around me may suffer.

When we frame our mind correctly the chance of our success in a certain moment or event goes up. That is why skier’s spend a long period of time visualizing their routes before they ski. They begin racing in their minds before they race. Most superior athletes do this. In fact, there is a whole industry of sports psychology that help athletes frame their minds correctly.

So let me be an amateur psychologist and recommend three things that you can do each day to frame your mindset to become successful and productive:

1. A healthy mindset starts the night before. Eliminate junk TV, it adds zero value. Instead, choose to read a great biography or have a great conversation with someone you respect. Dabble in a hobby or work on a enlivened project. We set ourselves up the night before. If you want a great day tomorrow, start it tonight.

2. To be successful, you need to be fully recharged. Great leaders know how to lead themselves. It is called self-control. Do you know how you recharge? If so, spend more time there getting your batteries full. It is hard to start the day with a cell phone battery at 10%. The same is true with us. Make sure that you get 6+ hours of sleep. It is your responsibility to be recharged, so don’t undermine yourself.

3. If you want to thrive then you must deal with the negative directly. When I am writing books I have to have my inbox cleaned out so that I don’t feel the pressure of people waiting for me to respond. The same is true with mindset. If there is a negative relationship out there then go to the source and deal directly with it so that it doesn’t continue to dominate your thoughts 24/7.

One last tip that may be helpful for you to frame your mindset correctly. Say these words out loud right now, ‘Trade Up’. When you are doing something that doesn’t bring life, but simply just is, choose to Trade Up to something better.

Instead of a rubbish TV show, Trade Up to an inspiring movie.

Instead of junk food that saps you, choose a tasty treat that has protein.

Instead of wasting time, Trade Up to a project.

Instead of lingering at night, Trade Up and get the sleep your body needs.

Your mindset is directly related to your self-control. Will you say these words after work, “I didn’t have the right mindset today. I just wasn’t ready,” or will it sound like this “today was amazing! We knocked it out of the park.”

Your reality is directly tied to the consequences of your actions that came directly from your patterns and your mindset. Choose correctly and you will string together a series of wins that could alter the course of your career. Choose to not be ready and you will simply fit in with the crowd and live a normal life.

May I encourage you to Trade Up today!

Liberation, Connectivity and a Big Announcement

Leadership is a lifestyle.

It’s the intentional act of challenging and supporting others to accomplish a desired outcome. When you lead out of an intentional lifestyle then every person in your life should experience your support and challenge.

When you are supporting and challenging those you lead then your respect from others – your influence – grows considerably. These types of leaders are called Liberators and they are a special breed of secure, confident and humble people.

Now, here is where the big announcement comes in (big announcement at the end for dramatic purposes!).

For the past two years I have been working with Steve Cockram and our GiANT Worldwide team and associates to build an infrastructure, intentionally, to help leaders learn how to support and challenge, as Liberators, more effectively. Here is a glimpse of our infrastructure build out:

  • We have been producing original, fresh content – see www.giantworldwide.com
  • We’ve developed a leadership language through the use of visual tools.
  • We have introduced an apprenticeship system that is similar to a lean manufacturing for human capital.
  • We have introduced smaller groups to help organizations understand how to incorporate leadership into their companies.
  • And we have apprenticed over 50 leaders to train other leaders and organizations from Hawaii to Minnesota to Florida to London. And, we are looking for more leaders who want to build a business and serve leaders globally.
  • We have created a world-class apprenticeship program to help leaders learn how to do this themselves inside their organizations – see www.executivecore.info for more detail.

After 12 years of running leadership organizations I feel like we are finally on to something that is sticky simple with scaleable and sustainable pieces that work. In fact, we have been testing this in the big corporates, the small mom & pops, the mid-sized corporations as well as government, non-profits and churches and here are the two words that sum up our two year build out – IT WORKS.

No surprise. When you apprentice people, pass things on to others, become consistent and train up leaders who want to support and challenge others to be better leaders through a simple, scaleable system, it will work.

So here is the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. We just signed a two-book deal with Wiley Publishers in New York. I am thrilled to begin writing again. As of today I am 4 chapters in to a powerful book that will help people in general learn how to be present, connect more effectively with others and learn how to implement rest with work/life balance. For those who have experienced and implemented the Gears, you know how effective it is.

The due date for the first one is March 1, which will be out then in the fall. The second book, which I can’t wait to share, has the chance to reset the team structure of organizations, is due August 15. That said, I am going to have a busy year of writing and our team is busy serving.

So, if anyone wants to book speaking, it is probably best to do it now in the early days. You can email amy.norton@giantworldwide.com to get details on speaking.

If anyone wants to follow along with our mission of helping leaders become leaders worth following, build a team of leaders worth following and lead organizations that everyone wants to work with then you can do that at www.giantworldwide.com/blog. It is a pure leadership blog and real meaty.

My blog will be a bit light as I have a lot of writing to do, but no fretting, I will add life when appropriate.

Thanks to all of you for your friendship and partnership in raising up Liberators that change leadership culture in every sector and city of the world. Let’s do that together!


The Start of a week.

The norm of your desk. Meetings. Calls.

Emergencies and missed deadlines mix with successes and doing the right thing at the right time.

Trying to help a teammate out even when they don’t realize it.

Dealing with the drama of an impetuous client.

Going to lunch with some colleagues you like and respect.

Getting caught in the hall of some colleagues you don’t really like nor respect.

Appreciating the intentionality of a boss and their leading of you.

Leaving a meeting with your boss trying not to roll your eyes.

Stopping to receive a call from your spouse. Responding with a carefree, encouraging text.

Making plans.

Knocking things off of your to-do list.

Sending that last email (from your desk anyway).

Driving home. Trying to decompress.

Making it home. Trying to connect.

Managing your home to-do list around dinner and kids and…

Maybe getting some down time – some personal recharge.



The start of a new day.

Live your life to the fullest today. Make the most of what we all share – time.

For you!


Review Your Calendar For Your Benefit

Every year I look back at calendar, every week of every month. I make a simple list based on these three columns.

Good Meeting                   ?                    Not Good Investment of Time



I then list every person in Evernote or on Excel and ask myself:

1. Why did I choose to meet with them?

2. How can I honor them no matter what?

3. How should I schedule more of the right meetings and less of others?

4. Can I delegate any future meetings to more appropriate people?

Your time is crucial. Make the most of it by not wasting it.

A Prayer for Those Who Worry

Friends, this is for some of you who have an issue with worry. It is a simple prayer to pray in those times when your internal anxiety is screaming out of control.

This is either a prayer for the morning or a prayer at night. Either way, it is meant to be a source of help as you remove worry from the center of your life.

“God, you are the God of peace. Bring peace to me right now, please.

I need you.

Please trump my feelings of worry with hope for the future. Give me a new trust in you that would overwhelm my anxiety instead of being overwhelmed by the list in front of me.

Give me the strength I need right now to believe that you want the best for me. Take my stress away, I give it to you.

Please bring me peace right now. Thank you. Amen.”

*This is for a good friend and any other friends that need it today.

For you!

3 Ideas for Today from Your Past

I spent New Year’s day cleaning out my old files and looking through my old journals as I prepared for the new year. (Kudo’s to my wife for being patient with my stacks of files, piles of journals and the mess that came with that).

While looking at these important old notes and dates of my history I tried to get into my head again of those historical moments. What was I thinking at the time? What didn’t I know and what would I change if I could go back and relive those dates, acquisitions or big events?

In all of this nostalgia there were a few items that struck me. Hopefully they will encourage you in the start of your new year.

1. Your history is in the past, literally. Your future is ahead. It is how you manage your mind, will and emotions in the present that affects both your future and your future history. On many occasions I didn’t lead myself well.

Each day is crucial. Start them well. End them well. While Carpe Diem may sound a bit cheesy, I truly believe it is crucial – seize the day!

2. Don’t despise the process. I am so impatient. As I look back on my journals I see my impatience in the way I scheduled my days or wrote out my frustrations. When you plant projects or prospects or ideas then you need to nurture them and grow them and all of that takes time.

3. Think wisely about each big decision. As I reviewed my notes I realized that I should have done this or that, which makes me wonder about the big decisions in front of me. Each decision leads to positive or negative consequences. Pray, ask, and observe. Make good decisions through wisdom.

Look back to look forward. Review your past for your benefit.

Think about today as you think about tomorrow.

Use wisdom and perspective to help you make the decisions that lead to success, influence and impact.

Let’s have a great new years friends!