attitude Business culture Competition Customer relationships Entrepreneurs Improvement Leadership Motivation Small Business The Slight Edge

Corvettes Everywhere

Ever notice that when you decide to buy a new Corvette (or a F-150, for that matter), you start to see your chosen new vehicle everywhere you go?

For me, the last month has been like that.

No matter where I turn, in person or on the Net, I’ve found myself running into people during or just after they experienced an event that brushed away all the distractions that clouded their minds.

We’re talking about life or life’s work changing moments of clarity.

If you were reading a few weeks back (if not, welcome!), I discussed the arrival of some clarity (in my work) that came to me while I was caring for Dad.

I think that’s natural and we probably all go through it when we experience a change in our lives that’s as impactful as that.

Clarity has become the Corvette that’s everywhere.

The Big Game

The challenge of the “Taking Care” post requires bringing your “A game”. Often.

But do you bring it all the time?

It’s tough because it’s pretty easy to fall off the “A game” wagon if you aren’t focused on it. You get swamped or you let yourself take a job or a client that really doesn’t fit you well and you can easily find yourself doing something you aren’t passionate about.

When that happens, maybe the second string does the work. For you, the second string may not be that bad. It might even be better than anyone else’s first string.

But it isn’t your first string.

Just like those Corvettes that seem to be everywhere, so are folks realizing that their game isn’t what it could be – even if their game is better than most.

Close Enough

Last weekend, I learned that an acquaintance in Colorado had one of those moments of clarity – a big one. It came in the aftermath of a near-death experience. Given that it was Rick, it doesn’t surprise me that he was awake for it.

Rick had this to say about his moment of clarity:

On reflection I wondered why I was so apathetic about the outcome (of the life saving health care he was receiving) and now I believe I know why. I have simply not been doing the kind of work I was capable of…

That doesn’t mean he’d been doing poor work. He doesn’t. But he knew he had more in him and that “close enough” wasn’t.


Someone recently mentioned that they appreciated that I blog so regularly. Since I don’t feel it’s “regularly” I didn’t say anything since I blogged daily for years. The current pace – driven by time and passion rather than schedule – seems a tad lazy to me.

To them, it seemed amazing to write as much as I do now.

A friend of mine has taken a photo every single day since (at least January 1st, 2010). When your game is at that level and you’re using it to energize your creative side, you can’t, you won’t…let yourself skip a day because your “A” game is at a different level than most others.

Not long ago, the Flathead Beacon won a pile of awards, including best weekly newspaper in the state – garnering a comment from one judge that the Beacon is the best “regardless of category”. Realizing that a bunch of talented, award winning professional journalists have to deal with my freelance column next to their work every week makes you realize you need to raise your game yet again.

Motivating The King?

I didn’t follow the NBA Finals too closely this year. I heard there were some great games. Let’s just say I was distracted.

Sometime between games 4 and 6, I read a quote from LeBron saying that he had to get himself up for game five (and then game six) because he didn’t bring it in game four – that’s the game where the flu-weakened guy named Dirk owned it.

If the NBA Finals don’t motivate you, what could? Call me confused.

Play like it’s The Finals. That’s how a courageous King earns the right to roar.

Competition Corporate America Creativity Customer service Management Small Business

Papa John’s isn’t a Crybaby

They could have sulked.

They could have sued.

They could have said “No comment.”

They could have done absolutely nothing, and likely would have paid the price quietly, possibly for years with some customers.

We are all witnesses.
photo credit: Sonnett

Instead Cleveland-area Papa John’s offered 23 cent pizzas as a way of making amends for the unauthorized production of a t-shirt calling Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James a crybaby. James’ uniform number is 23, thus the price of the pizzas.

The unauthorized Crybaby t-shirts with LeBron’s number were made by a Washington DC franchisee. While that franchisee might be getting grilled in private, their mistake was turned into a positive by the way that Cleveland Papa John’s handled the flap.

All Papa John’s locations in the Cleveland area, Columbus, Toledo and Youngstown will offer the discount pies today from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The lesson for small business owners: How you recover from mistakes and bad news is often more important than the bad news or mistake itself.

Update: Want to put some numbers on it? Google papa john 23 cent pizza. You’ll find 64,300 search engine results in Google on that search phrase. UPI. AP., and on and on. Most of it positive PR for how they handled the situation. Hear more on the Papa Johns LeBron Crybaby story on my May 9 Hotseat Radio show.