Seeing Beyond Our Blinders

Most professionals, regardless of industry, are driven by similar motivations. We want to help our clients. We want to make a nice living in a field we find rewarding. And we want to improve our employer’s bottom line. While things vary, let’s focus on these three prime motivations for a moment. As sound, solid and universal as they are, even they can create blinders that lead to not-so-positive outcomes—for our clients, for us, and for our businesses—when one of them begins to dominate our actions. Scott’s story Scott, a producing sales manager and loan officer for a large national lender, [...]

Film Room #4: Going Beyond

I hope you enjoy another installment of our Film Room series. Though we are 3 weeks into the 2014 season, this edition chronicles their 2013 championship year. Our continued thanks go out to Coach for sharing his story. Go Cougars! “Our first year in the NCAA was like being a toddler learning to walk consistently. We kept falling down, yet were eager to try again. Getting up was frustrating, but we wanted to move forward. It was harder than we imagined, in part because we didn’t yet know what we didn’t know.” (Victor Santa Cruz, head football coach, Azusa Pacific [...]

Film Room #2: The Slide Under Pressure

" When you slide back into old patterns, your overdone strengths become your weaknesses. As I discovered during the first half of the 2012 season, it’s easy to slide back. "  Victor Santa Cruz, head coach Azusa Pacific University When Azusa Pacific University (APU) took the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division II, coach Santa Cruz, his staff and his team felt prepared for continued success. After all, they’d spent the last few seasons building a winning program. Why shouldn’t success continue? (Read the previous installment for our Film Room series for a background on APU’s move from NAIA to [...]

Calming the Ripples and Waves of Conflict

Most business leaders I know are great at focusing on what I’ll call “primary” conflicts, the challenges that arise from interpersonal issues, or have to do with making unpopular, bottom-line-driven decisions. What’s interesting is that many of these same leaders act as if primary conflicts occur in vacuums. They don’t recognize the secondary ripples these conflicts create and send out across departments and companies. When left unchecked, these secondary conflicts can and will undermine an organization’s health. A closer look at the ripples I use ripples here because it makes for an apt visual. That’s how secondary conflicts often start—a [...]

Entering the Film Room

It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since I published my first article on Victor Santa Cruz, the head football coach of Azusa Pacific University (APU). My working relationship with him stretches back to 2009, and continues to this day. I watched him turn APU into an NAIA success, including back-to-back playoff runs in 2010 and 2011. More recently, I’ve been on hand as he’s guided his team through the more competitive waters of NCAA Division II. Any fan of football knows that the sport has evolved in the last few decades. With the onslaught of round-the-clock media [...]