Ivory Tower

Do You Care About Post Secondary Education? Watch This…

Ivory tower the movie

Ivory Tower is a documentary I recently watched on Netflix and I think you should watch it too. It talks about the ever increasing cost of tuition. Universities can’t balance their budgets and there’s pressure from all sides to do something about it. Government funding is decreasing, student apathy is increasing and at the end of it all some of the critics are asking, do we really need to be charging what we are for a third rate education? 

You can learn from the Ivy League school online for FREE now. No you can’t get the piece of paper along with it but is that really you end goal of school? To have a $60,000 piece of paper?

Watch the documentary, it’s enlightening.

it's-supposed-to-be-hard

Upset Because You Were Cut?

 

No successful person in history went though life without failure.

It’s not about how many times you’re knocked down, it’s about how many times you’re willing to get back up after you’ve been knocked down(I think Rocky said that). In competitive sports there’s bound to be cuts. The competition ends up being a driver, a motivator, a reason to stay after practice, a reason to show up early, a reason to go to more camps, a reason to get extra reps in every day.

Those who love competition aren’t phased by being cut.

Everyone’s been cut from something. I remember being cut from the Provincial Volleyball team, I wasn’t tall enough, well that and I had the vertical of a small Elephant. I was cut from Tier 1 hockey twice, I was cut from tier 2 hockey once. I played an entire year in the worst hockey division in Regina for my age group. The following year I played tier 1.

It doesn’t matter the hand you’re dealt in sports, it’s how you react. It’s your attitude, and yeah it matters when your teams winning but more importantly attitude matters most when things aren’t going your way. When the world seems like it’s against you. When you feel like all is lost and that failure this time may be fatal. That’s the moment when your attitude is tested, the weak usually don’t last. Giving up is easier than fighting.

Many kids give up after being cut, many people give-up when they face insurmountable odds.

Many people don’t see the beauty that comes with a hard fought battle. There’s something romantic about sports and the endless competition. When all odds are against you, and you still prevail. There’s something amazing about the upset by underdog. There is also something special about the underdog.

When you’re cut you’re the underdog. The odds are against you. No one expects you to rise up again, no one thinks you’ll do it. But the greatest stories in sports are always underdog triumphs. It happens all the time. A team or person against all common sense defies the odds and comes out victorious. That will never happen without the right attitude and the resilience to keep moving towards your goal no matter what.

 

So, are you going to complain about being cut, or are you going to start practicing more and start taking fate into your own hands?

it's-supposed-to-be-hard

What Are You Going to do With Your Time?

what are you going to do with your time?

Here’s a short video you have to watch. It’s an illustration using Jellybeans that puts into perspective how we organize our life and how much “free” time we really have.

So what are you going to do with your time on earth? 

Coaching Is Just Management Sped Up

Coaching is just management sped upWhen you coach you have to take in feedback and make decisions affecting other people in real time. You say one thing in the wrong tone and your team is turned off. Trust is lost. You have to be extremely careful in how you treat them at first, once you have trust though, it’s much easier to get them to buy-in to your system.

When you manage people in a business situation it’s very similar to a sports game with some obvious differences. The decisions you make as a manager will affect how your staff (team) view you in the future. If you’re a demanding asshole most of the time, your staff doesn’t have many reason to stick their neck out for you or really do the right thing for the company.

When you’re coaching you don’t have weeks to get things done, you have minutes. Generally you coach youth or kids much younger than you, who are less mature than you. You’re forced to abide by the nobler motive, you can’t argue, name call or act childish under any circumstance for fear of losing the trust of the team.

You see managers all the time who’ve lost the trust of their team. I like to ask managers what their staff would say about them behind their backs after several cocktails. If the answer is “not good” we have work to do. You can’t manage in a bubble, people talk, your reputation precedes you. It’s all to common these days to find disengaged staff and a leader who is completely delusional. It’s sad really.

I think the business community could learn a lot from coaches, especially management. Do you want to become a better manager? How about a better leader? Try coaching a team. You think motivation in the workplace is difficult, try convincing a bunch of 10 year olds to pay attention long enough to learn about Volleyball, that’s difficult.

Coaching forces you to be a leader, you get better by default. The more you try to learn to be a better coach, the better leader you end up being.

Coaching is the one area where the athletes provide instant feedback, you can look at the faces of most athletes and tell if they are enjoying practice or loathing it. That is a skill all on it own, I’m not good at it yet, but I’m learning.

What Have I Been Up To At Strategy Lab?

Get a website that turns visitors into customers

Well I’m glad you asked! We’ve been busy working away on project like the Prairie Spruce Commons Cohousing Project (a first of it’s kind in Regina). We’ve been doing some fun work with KSP Technology that involves potlucks and Nerf gun fights.


Also made friends with a Saskatoon local grocer called SaskMade Marketplacejust another ridiculously cool story of a home grown Saskatchewan business. Born and raised in Saskatoon. They’re big supporters of supporting local, helping grow our community and sourcing many other Saskatchewan based companies. They do these amazing corporate gift baskets that include all Saskatchewan wares. Pretty sweeet!!

And we’ve had the pleasure of working on one of the coolest projects we’ve ever been a part of, it’s called “4 to 40“. Yup, 4 to 40, that’s the amount of hours you need to hire someone for to be considered an “inclusive employer”.

4 to 40 – A New Partnership from Strategy Lab on Vimeo.

It’s a project we started working on with Sasktel, the University of Regina Campus For All Program and Creative Options Regina (COR).

I am still on the Alumni Board, and have gone from just being on the Regina Volleyball Club board to President this year. I have a vision to grow Volleyball in this city and province, taking ownership is the only way I know how to create change. (actually I just complained too much and when you complain too much in a no-for-profit you end up doing the work). Brandon just put a website together for the Regina Volleyball Club. See below.

RVC's brand new website

We’ve been busy! Possibly another conference in Regina coming up soon too. We need to follow up what we did last year in #Awesome13 (How to be Awesome Online). We’re thinking How to be Awesome Offline in an Online World”. Counterintuitive I know. Deep right? That’s what we were going for.

Our province is on a growth spurt right now and it’s amazing to see. We also filmed a few new videos for our marketing page (you can thank Brandon for that).

Enough about me. how he hell have you been?!?

 

Find a bunch of Strategy Lab’s Resources here:

Remarkably amazing videos you need to watch | Strategy Lab Video’s page | Jeph’s Speaking page

Your Privacy vs Being Accessible

Eric Schmidt quote on privacy

The new world is I’m Googling you the second you email me. I’m going to find everything I can about you. Google can find almost anything these days. I should be able to search your name and contact information and find all relevant information about you. I mean it’s 2014, you have to assume everyone is going to Google you at some point, right?

Now the privacy pundits will tell you to stay as anonymous as you can, as Lloyd Christmas once said, “lot of bad drivers out there!”. But REALLY, really?  How many people do you know who have been stalked?  Is that even still a thing?  We’re too concerned about privacy that we’re losing out on business opportunity.

I had a meeting booked with an organization, the night before the meeting I search the person I was meeting with on Google (I do this with a lot of people surprisingly) the only site other than LinkedIn said she was in Swift Current not Regina. I sent an email asking about her whereabouts, I receive nothing in return. I Googled the organization to find a phone number but there’ only a Regina contact. The “Contact Us” page had a form to fill out, no numbers. Finally I search for her email because for sure her phone number would be in the salutation at the bottom of the email right?  Wrong.

It was 30 minutes till a meeting with someone in another city that I had no number for, what would you do?

I didn’t make the meeting.

The lady called, she was upset. I didn’t mention the difficult time trying to find her contact info let alone a phone number. She didn’t want to hear what I had to say, her mind was made up.

I hate offending people. I don’t like upsetting people. I really try hard never to miss a meeting. By that time I think it was for the best. To help someone with social media when they won’t as much as publish a phone number is relatively impossible.

Answer the new phone. Be accessible, especially your workplace. Nothing says we hate our customers like not being able to find a phone number to call.

Google yourself. Google your company. Google your company name and “contact info”. See what comes up. If it isn’t exactly what your customers want then change it.

Oh yeah, how your customers find information about you will change, it will always change, it’s in your best interest to ask them periodically if you’re still providing information where it is most easily accessible.