Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dealing With Egos


Based On:

Eleven Rings

By Phil Jackson 
I have never heard of anyone who knows how to handle personalities and egos like Phil Jackson. He is one of the best examples of leadership that I have ever seen.  How can anyone be a leader to NBA legends like MJ, Dennis Rodman, or Shaq & Kobe? As a NBA fan and a student of life, this book is very inspiring to me.

The Jackson 11

“With leadership, as with most things in life, the best approach is always the simplest.”

-Phil Jackson

Dialing back, one’s ego is crucial in leading other egos. Unlike most leaders that have control issues, Jackson learned to distribute power yet maintain final authority.

He led without forcing his will on people. He chose to motivate and challenge them instead.

“If you give a cow a large pasture to roam around in, it will be more content and less likely to break loose.”

Hearing the Unheard

When Jackson became the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, he had an established superstar in Michael Jordan as one of his players. What Jackson was able to do was state what he wanted to Jordan by making him think. Jackson challenged Jordan. He treated him like a partner rather than a subordinate.

Scottie Pippen was a different personality and a different skillset than Jordan. Phil Jackson was aware that Scottie played point guard in college and played more like Magic Johnson than Jordan. So, Jackson created a position for Scottie “point forward.” Putting Scottie at point guard gave him a leadership role which also helped the team because Scottie was the leader that the players came to for guidance. Jordan was the tough leader that they feared.

Jackson learned how important it is to relate to each one of his players as individuals. An example is the ’91 finals. Jordan wasn’t passing the ball. Jackson simply said, “Who’s open, M.J.?”

“Paxson.” Jordan said.

“Okay, so find him.”

Without yelling or insulting. Phil Jackson new how to get through to his superstar.

Phil Jackson was able to point out mistakes to players and have them identify that they’ve done wrong.

Basketball Poetry

When Dennis Rodman joined the bulls, Jackson saw beyond his antics. He saw the generous heart and the work ethic within Rodman.

Instead of losing his temper when Rodman was late or kept his jewelry on at practice, Jackson would give him a silly fine or joke about how Rodman looked. Jackson showed Rodman that he was not interested in his rebellions and the problem disappeared.

When other coaches treated Rodman like a child, Jackson was able to relate to him and also hold him accountable for his actions just like everyone else on the team.

One Breath, One Mind

While most coaches come to a new team with an intent to impose their dominance over their players, Phil Jackson came to the Los Angeles Lakers, the players could see that he came in observing them, seeing how they handled stress, and never panicked or overanalyzed.

When dealing with Kobe Bryant, Jackson realized that he had to be direct and straight to the point. When they players needed a kick in the ass to motivate them, he’d say,

“If you don’t win this one, then you don’t deserve to move onto the next round. You’ve got to play to win, not play to avoid losing.”


Being a great leader is not bossing people around or being popular. Phil Jackson showed that leadership is letting your people bloom and grow without being forced to bend to his will. Everyone reacts and responds differently and Jackson was able to observe his players and deal with each ego and personality.

Jackson taught his players to stay focused on the task at hand rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

I have been around too many superiors that only care about promotions, status, and power. It’s hard to find leaders like Phil Jackson.

 R. Schulz

Friday, October 21, 2016

Kaizen: Constant and Gradual Improvement


By Kai Musashi

Kai Zen: “Assess how you can improve things, act on them, and then continue the improvement process constantly.”

Set New Standards

Constant revision and upgrade. Only key elements should be focused on.

Japanese society prefers the gradual improvement. Americans on the other hand prefer giant leaps forward. It’s like constantly trying to hit home runs but striking out as a result.

We think that working to exhaustion is a virtue. All that does is burn you out and make you miserable.

Perform work better rather than performing more work. In other words, quality over quantity.

Kaizen in Personal Life

“Little grains of sand make the mighty desert.”

Since humans are naturally resistant to change, it’s more beneficial to us to make gradual steps instead of giant leaps.

This includes, maintaining, hanging in there, not giving up when things aren’t going your way.

Learn to master your craft rather than running on to something new whenever things don’t go your way.

Improve your Personal Workflow

Take on easy tasks first. This goes against what we are taught because knocking out easy tasks firsts puts you in a rhythm. Small wins create a mindset where you are ready to advance to harder tasks.

Look for better ways to work rather than continuing something just because it’s familiar.

Goals Through Kaizen

Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bounded

Set goals in increments. For example, set an annual goal by pointing out what you hope to accomplish in 3 months. Establish simple goals with the big goal in mind.

When people try to quit something “cold turkey” they have the unrealistic belief that their willpower is strong enough. They have the mindset that they are giving up something.

Breaking down goals makes it easier to change. Gradually improve, gradually make changes, and gradually cut out unhealthy activities

Improve Health Habits

Radical changes activate the fear response in us, while kaizen is so gradual that the fear of change is not triggered.

Change the words “I like to” to ‘I will.” Consume healthy and positive thoughts. This is not being unrealistic. Rather optimism is realism. This positive self-talk will gradually cause your sub-conscious to believe in your own personal greatness.


Creating lasting change cannot be done by leaping into something because the human brain simply cannot adjust that way. Our Western mentality of instant gratification makes it difficult to comprehend Gradual Improvement.

 But lasting change comes from taking small steps. Working your ass off is not the way to improve yourself. Work gradually, consistently, and improve daily. And when it’s too tough for them. It’ll be JUST RIGHT FOR YOU.

“Focus on the bullseye and not the trophy.”

-Chin Ning Chu

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Cool

Based On:

Calvin Coolidge

By David Greenberg 

“Coolidge’s muteness is especially striking because he chose an extrovert’s profession.”


As a soft-spoken, nonchalant person, It’s easy to think that my type B personality makes me a “sub-par” person amongst extroverts. With loud mouth politicians, braggadocious pop culture icons, and flamboyant characters in western culture some of us may feel like we are weak or unworthy of success.

But from 1923-1929, the most powerful man in the United States was Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge.

Doing by Non-Doing

Cal believed that problems would solve themselves over time.

“If you see ten troubles coming you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you, and you have to battle with only one of them.”


Instead of panicking or taking on too many projects alone, Cal took a hands off approach. He felt that there were enough laws and regulations. This country didn’t need anymore.


Coming from Vermont he grew up in a family that believed in thrift and hard work, Cal grew up in a quiet and hardworking mentality. He was raised to look down at no one except those who “assumed superior airs.”

He was deliberate in his decisions, conservative in his temperament and ideology, and restrained in his personal style

When he campaigned he didn’t denounce opponents. Instead, he stuck with his principles.


Even though politics disgust me, every once in a while, you will find a leader who is genuine. When I’m tempted to think that jerks and  d-bags are the only influential people. I just think to myself, “Be presidential, like Silent-Cal.”

Sometimes less is more. Inaction is often more powerful than action. Cal was president in the most prosperous decade in American history. He is proof that having a cool calm demeanor is a type of leadership that others will secretly admire.

 “A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done his aim is fulfilled.”

-Lao Tzu

Monday, October 3, 2016

Are You a Victim or an Adventurer?

Based On:

The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho

“I wanted to write about my quest to find my treasure. I wanted to follow the omens, because I knew even then that the omens are the language of God.”

-Paulo Coelho

I’m don’t typically review fiction; however, the Alchemist is so inspiring because it represents the potential for greatness within a shepherd boy. That destiny lies dormant in everyone, but only a few are determined to go after their dreams and give up comfort. The average person settles for what is comfortable and then lives with regret. This story explains how the universe conspires  to give you whatever you desire only if you are determined. Don’t settle for mediocre.

Steps to A Personal Legend

Everything leads you to your personal legend. Santiago, the shepherd boy in the story, became a shepherd because he wanted to travel. At that point life, life was good and comfortable. Yet instead of staying in his comfort zone, he learned that his time as a shepherd was simply a step towards his Personal Legend.

The shepherd boy meets a king who tells him of a treasure at the pyramids. The king tells him that what we mistake for beginner’s luck is actually the principle of favorability. There is a force that wets one’s appetite for success. The boy decides to seek out his treasure.

Not a Victim, But an Adventurer

 The boy sells his sheep in order to travel from his home in Andalusia to North Africa. Upon arrival, and young thief steals his money. Most people would take that opportunity to go home feeling sorry for themselves. Instead, the boy had to choose between being a victim or an adventurer.

“I’m an adventurer looking for treasure.”

The boy began working for a crystal merchant who struggled to make sales for thirty years. Over a year, the boy increased business for the merchant and earned enough to buy his flock back. The boy inspired the crystal merchant who dreamed of traveling to Mecca, the holy city.

“You dream about your sheep and the Pyramids, but you’re different from me, because you want to realize your dreams.”

Unattached Love

After the boy left the merchant, he met an Englishman who told him of an alchemist that live in a desert oasis. They traveled with a caravan to the oasis where he met a girl named Fatima. He felt tempted to give up on his search and settle down with her. Fatima told him that she wanted him to keep going towards his goal.

“If I’m really part of your dream, you’ll come back one day”

Later on, the boy met the alchemist who showed him the way to the pyramids. Once again the boy wanted to return to Fatima a give up on his search. The alchemist told him that:

If he returned without going after his personal legend, he’d walk around night after night. And Fatima would be unhappy because she’ll feel that she had interrupted his quest.

“Love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love.”


Santiago the shepherd made the decision to push past the desire to remain comfortable. As a result, he kept pushing until he found his treasure. Family and friends will tell you to find a steady job with mediocre pay. As you make money you will feel that you are making progress, but deep down you will feel regret every day. You gave up on your Personal Legend because you feared the unknown.

Live like you’re going to die next year. Keep f*cking going and find your Personal Legend.

-R. Schulz
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

-Paulo Coelho