What Are Your Life Lessons?

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Little Brother Sees Big Sister off to first day of school

Dominic says Goodbye to Big Sister Hope, First Day of School 2012

Some questions are simply better than others for learning about people.

The most basic:  Where are you from?

Where you grew up probably matters a ton to you, so it’s also important to understand your teammate, boss, customer, neighbor or friend.  It’s a great question that reveals a ton if you listen.

Want to dig deeper?

Find out what the person’sLIFE LESSONS” are.  I think of life lessons as….

  • Bedrock principles you won’t shake the person from.  They are the foundation to their hard-wiring
  • Big moments and memories that shaped their life.  Good and bad.  Defining moments.
  • Who their mentors are and why
  • Who had a MAJOR influence on who they are today.  In other words, if that person was NOT around, they would not be the same person they are.

You would be surprised at how many people could NOT rattle off their colleague’s life lessons, and sometimes they have known each other for over 10 years!  There’s a reason the majority of people never make the far right section of the performance bell curve.

Skill in communication and relationship building are major components for great performance.

Sometimes “big important questions” come off as an interrogation if you are not 100% genuine about trying to learn about the person.  It goes without saying, that you actually need to be sincere!  Timing is also everything in life.  Don’t ask a “Type A personality” who’s having a stress induced day and late for a meeting a deep question, if you want to get a deep answer.  Environment certainly plays a role in relationship building.

Most concepts of performance are pretty easy, and don’t take big explanations.

Like tools from the Old School (flashcards) the essence can be reduced to a very small space.  Watch the video and see if you agree with Rocky’s Life Lessons below.

Rocky Life Lessons 

Rocky’s Life Lesson’s & Bedrock Principles

  • Hustle:  “I didn’t hear no bell!”
  • Attitude Matters:  “You see yourself do right, and you do right.  Nature is smarter than people think.”
  • Motivization & Gratitude:  “Your ready aren’t you?  If you were here, I wouldn’t be here either, I got no reason to go on.  But with you kid, I will stay alive.”
  • Commitment:  “I’ll never leave you.  You’ll be able to take care of yourself outside the ring when I’m gone.”
  • This little angel on your shoulder….

Ask yourself, if you were dealing with Rocky (substitute person X) and you knew his life lessons, wouldn’t your relationship be SIGNIFICANTLY better?  Of course it would.

It takes work, (HUSTLE!) to get to this place with people.  There is no substitute for caring.

The people side of business is a contact sport.

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“There are no outs in this game….they hit until they get on base.” What?

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Parental guidance

I happened to love Parental Guidance, for a couple of reasons.

  1. First, my family is probably smack in the middle of the target audience, with 2 young kids and parents with many classical “new school” demands (dual career, hectic, “normal” life).  So in short, to say that we can relate is an understatement.
  2. Second, it bills itself as “It’s Old School vs New School,” which is a central theme to Hustle Or Bust!  I can’t take credit for their script however!

Obviously I find generational and philosophical differences fascinating.  They happen in business, and in parenting as well.

The movie had a remarkable example where these differences are highlighted at the :50 mark in the official trailer below.  In particular, the baseball scene.  “There are no outs in this game….”

At this point in the post I will go AGAINST my New School demographic (defined by my age) and clearly jump over to the Old School side of the fence.  My mentality, hard wiring and emotion clearly sits on the side of the Old School Mr. Crystal.

No outs?  No striking out?  I see this more and more each year with how young kids are handled, both in sports and in general.  Give me a break!  I guess the argument is for “self-esteem” purposes and kids have an entire life to learn about competition, failure, etc.

I simply don’t buy it.  Creating a false set of outcomes/reality just doesn’t make sense to me.  Guess what?  The world is tough and failure that comes through competition is part of it.  I want my kids to have great self-esteem as well.  It hurts when they don’t succeed and they get frustrated, so I can sympathize with the “no outs” mentality.

But how are you supposed to know what winning (or success) looks like if there is no experience of losing (or failure)?

There are countless examples where New School approaches in life are clearly better than Old School.  I’ll take my excel spreadsheet over my father’s calculator and green columnar paper any day.

But in baseball, (sometimes life if you are lucky), you get 3 strikes to get on base, or you sit down.  

To see a Marketing case study of Parental Guidance, check out this post.


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