A Mountain of Courage

Giving a TEDx talk is a challenging adventure.

I enjoyed sharing some of my story and the stories of people I admire – those who have had the courage to embrace and excel in the face of difficult change. It has been rewarding and inspiring to hear from the Traverse City attendees that my talk gave them language, and a visual image, for where they are in their own journey of change. I also met some very talented people among my fellow TEDx Traverse City speakers, who I will introduce to you in the days ahead.

By watching ‘A Mountain of Courage’ you will learn more about my personal journey – the journey that led me to create Courageous Thinking Inc. Every day I am energized by the challenge of assisting adventurous leaders who seek excellence in their personal growth, and strive for success in their organizations.

Linda Youtube TEDx

Where are YOU in your life right now?

  • Are you looking for ‘what’s next’?
  • Do you have a clear vision of where you want to go?
  • Are you questioning how to get there?

Thank your for taking the time to share in this ever evolving journey with me.
I’d love to hear where you are on your ‘Mountain of Courage’ – linda@cgthink.com

Inspired by Change,

What is your Gold Standard?

Getting the best results from your team requires a consistent process that measures performance tied to a specific standard.

In a recent Fast Company article, Michael Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman has a few things to say about getting the most performance out of people. Coaching 22 gold medals from one athlete gives him a lot of authority to speak as to the level of standards that need to be set in order to achieve consistent excellence:

sochi-2014-olympic-medal_large_verge_medium_landscapeDETERMINE YOUR GOLD STANDARD.
“Each business has a gold standard,” Bowman says. It’s up to the leadership to decide what that standard is and how the organization gets there. Once the gold standard is set, everyone on the team needs to buy into it, he says. “We (the staff and athletes at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club where Bowman is CEO) try to be very process-oriented, performing up to a certain standard every day,” Bowman says, “(You can only) control what you can control.”

‘Disruption’ and ‘innovation’ are now the norm in our daily work flow. It is more critical than ever to determine what we CAN control and create process which will consistently delivery our high standards in regardless of the unforeseen yet inevitable challenges. We make our day to day business decisions based on what we perceive as standards for success. If these standards are not clearly articulated AND agreed upon by the entire organization – we will waste resources and experience failure. And if we want to achieve sustainable success, then we must create consistent process which deliver these standards or we will experience inconsistent results.

What is your organization’s standard for excellence?
and HOW do you consistently achieve this Gold Standard?

Why hire retired athletes & military leaders?

Because of these valuable reasons!

recent article in Forbes lists six reasons you should hire ‘Athletes’ in your company:
• Tenacious, strong work ethic, perseverance
• Goal oriented
• Adaptive, new skill development
• Think strategically, long term goals (entrepreneurial)
• Strive for balance/strong personal boundaries of health
• Work well in/thrive in teams and partnerships

Who wouldn’t want a company filled with these kinds of people?

It’s easy to teach your content, process and systems to good people. But try teaching people to preserver, strive for excellence, be adaptive, maintain healthy life-work balance, and be great team members – if they don’t already possess these qualities and hard wiring.This same list of success oriented qualities applies to retired military leaders. But often retired Athletes and Military leaders fail to translate their skills and value on the playing field or in the armed services – to that of the business world.Don’t overlook these talent pools of people who are all ready wired and conditioned to pursuing excellence.

The $136 Billion Tweet – Ouch!

Our digital age has equipped us with tools we do not fully know how to use and has opened up caverns of liability that we are only just getting a glimpse of as incidents like last week’s face tweet that caused the Stock Market to plummet.

• A tweet that cost the stock market $136b in one hour
• A request for crowd sourcing images which falsely identified someone as a terrorist
• Email scams that steal billions from naive elderly
• A search engine company gathers and sells private information


An excerpt from an article in the weekly ‘Institute for Global Ethics’ newsletter:
A fake message on Twitter that momentarily sent the stock market plummeting last week has raised ethics questions not only about phony messages but also about the automated trading systems that are programmed to dump stocks when search engines detect bad “news.” The New Statesman reports that a phony tweet from a hacked news agency account purported that the White House had been attacked and President Obama injured. “Within six minutes the Tweet was read by two million followers, re-tweeted 1,181 times and sent the Dow Jones Industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index tumbling 1 per cent (erasing $136 bn) and dramatically weakening the dollar. Spectators rushed to the White House to see … absolutely nothing,” writes the New Statesman. The incident, reports Bloomberg, highlights the responsibilities of social media to improve security as well as the potential for out-of-control trading programs, unsupervised by humans, to tank the economy — even if only temporarily. Notes Bloomberg: “For all the concern over cyber warfare and the need to fend off sophisticated state-sponsored hacking attacks, here’s a discomforting thought: Apparently all you need to disrupt the world’s biggest economy is a stolen Twitter password.”
[Read More]

We have unleashed a vital and critical new age of communication and information capacity. But we have not yet figured out how to regulate, protect and prosecute major abuses of these new digital tools.

As we bushwhack our way through the unknown risks and potential abuses of our new digital age – What do we need to learn in order to be safe and successful?
– as individuals
– as companies
– as countries
– as a global community?