Three Words that Will Lead You to Progress

If you are going to make progress in any area of your life, you better become friends with three little words – You Are Here.

Whenever I walk into a mall (which I rarely do) I can count on one thing. The map kiosk always says the same thing … You Are Here. Once I have my bearings, I know which way to walk.

As a leader, it is good to know where you are in relation to where you want to go. The trouble is, most of us have a hard time admitting where we are. It is called denial, and it stops more progress than any single thing in business, sports, and education.

A better way to lead (borrowing a phrase from Good to Great author, Jim Collins) is to “confront the brutal facts.”

Collins says, “The management climate during a leap from good to great is like a searing scientific debate—with smart, tough-minded people examining hard facts and debating what those facts mean. The point isn’t to win the debate, but rather to come up with the best answers—and, ultimately, to lock onto a … (solution) that works.”

I have been around so many people who never achieved their goals. The problem was not a lack of talent, or even desire. It was failure to admit their reality and embrace, You Are Here.

Why not pull some tough-minded people together this coming week and ask the question, “Where are we in comparison to where we want to go?” 

Once the brutal facts are on the table and you face them head on, you will be positioned for progress.

You Are Here … three words that will lead you to progress.

Leadership Begins at Home,


Why do you think it is so hard for a leader to face the brutal facts, and what happens when they don’t?

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Improve to Impress

I’m amazed at how many leaders I meet who are focused on trying to impress their followers.

Do you fall into that category?

If you want to impress I have one word for you… Improve.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What habits do you have built into your life to improve your leadership skills?

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Staff with Eagles

While writing Chess Not Checkers, it became clear early in the process to create the type of organization that could win consistently, it would be critical for people to Act as One.

However, a new insight surfaced for Mark Miller and his team along the way – It is much easier to align the “right people.” This simple observation, witnessed time and time again, compelled them to add Staff with Eagles as one of the best practices of High Performance Organizations.

Staff With EaglesWhen Mark and I wrote the Chess Not Checkers Field Guide. we included a chapter on the importance of Staffing with Eagles. The following is our intro from that section …

When it comes to a person’s character, there is an old saying: “You can’t expect to soar with the eagles in the daytime, if you fly with the buzzards at night.” The same might be said for staffing. You can’t select buzzards and expect to build a high-flying organization.

“Talent matters.” Every coach will tell you, “Winning is not as much about the X’s and O’s as it is the Jimmy’s and Joe’s.” You can have the best plan in the world, and even communicate it in a compelling way, yet still not reach high performance. The determining factor will always be your level of talent. Winners are never satisfied with being good. They continually look to distance themselves from the competition, understanding that the team with the best talent has the best chance of winning.

One of the best practices for High Performance Organizations is to Staff with Eagles. They recruit aggressively with a focus on attracting the brightest and best. They set high standards and seek to raise performance at all levels. And when someone is no longer a cultural fit, they courageously make hard decisions and remove him or her from the team. Can the same be said for you?

What do you look for when there is an empty seat in your organization? Are you constantly on the lookout for winners? Is your team stronger than it was a year ago? Do you have people that can take you to the next level, or if a gap exists, are you willing to make a difficult decision?

If you intend to be a High Performance Organization, recruit the best, select the best, retain the best, and accept no less … Staff with Eagles.

Leadership Begins at Home,


How much time and energy do you invest in finding the right people to join  your organization?

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