Thursday, December 3, 2015

Leadership Fuel (Part 1)

It is hard to lead when you are tired, sick or overweight. The Standard American Diet (SAD), that is now spreading across the globe is the perfect diet if you wish to create less than optimal health. It is the diet of the non-leader (The couch potato). This series of posts is designed to eliminate all the misinformation about the SAD and provide the best of the best insights that we have discovered at CMC to make you more antifragile.

Although there has been a lot of press about nutrition and its effects on overall health and longevity, very little has been said about the connection between what you eat and the quality of your leadership and decision making. Of your ability to lead your life and lead your team.

With that said, we will explore a few easy things that anyone can research to see if it makes sense for them to begin doing. In the spirit of Kaizen, one small step is all we are after at this point.

One of the biggest areas and maybe the least obvious when it comes to nutrition is fat. This has become a three letter word that people try to avoid at all costs. Yet, we do so at our own peril. What we need to do is make the distinction between healthy fats and toxic fats.

Toxic fats
A toxic fat is something we definitely want to avoid putting in our bodies at all costs. Hydrogenated oils (could be considered a plastic) are not helpful. Soybean oil, canola oil, vegetable oil are all on the list. Just about any oil used in any fast food restaurant is in this category of oils to avoid. Avoid rancid oils (if the bottle is in clear glass or plastic, there is a high probability that it is rancid).

Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are those fats that fuel the body and fuel the brain. They are what we not only crave but need to function at optimal levels of performance. Here are my personal favorite healthy fats. They can be used every day to maximize your nutritional profile.

From the oldest known texts in the world, the Rig Veda: “Ghee is the first and most essential of all foods.” It took me years to learn to like the taste of Ghee. Now I love it and use it every day. You can cook with it (it has a high smoke point), add it to anything where you would use butter or use it to make Bulletproof® Whole Bean Coffee 12 oz. in the morning (highly recommended). The best ghee comes from grass fed, pastured cow milk. The best ghee on the market is: 100% Organic Ghee from Grass-fed Cows, 32oz

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be used for everything including skin care and hair treatment. It can be used as toothpaste and used for oil pulling to detox the mouth. Like ghee, it has a high smoke point and is perfect for cooking. You can had it straight to smoothies and use it for bulletproof coffee.  Here is a good one: Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce

Olive Oil
This is an Italian staple. There is nothing like a tomato salad with fresh basil and high quality olive oil and a little salt and pepper. The key word is high quality. Olive oil has a low smoke point and it should not to be used for cooking (drizzle it on after the dish is already cooked). There are a lot of olive oils on the market that are less than stellar (many are cut with other oils). Here is one from California that you will love: Acropolis Organic Olive Oil (500ml) Brand: Acropolis

Krill and/or fish oil
Lots of research points to the need we have for Omega 3 fatty acids. It is curiously missing from the Western diet. That means supplements are required. One of the best sources is:  New Chapter Wholemega, Whole Fish Oil with Omegas and Vitamin D3 - 120 ct

Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon
This is the best fish ever. Get is fresh at Whole Foods or get it canned from Wild Planet. This is one fish that is low on pollutants and high on nutrition. Avoid all farm raised fish and especially avoid genetically modified salmon which was recently approved (ill advisedly) by the FDA.  Here is a good canned version: Wild Planet Wild Alaska Pink Salmon, Boneless & Skinless, 6 Ounce Can (Pack of 12)

Just like there is a lot of fake olive oil on the market, there is a lot of fake sardines being sold under the label of sardines. The real thing is a little known nutritional gem that fuels brain power. One brand we know that checks out is: Bela Olhao Sardines Lightly Smoked Sardine in Tomato Sauce, 4.25 Ounce -- 12 per case.

Nuts pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. Get nuts sourced from reputable organic growers. Pistachios, Macadamia, Almonds, and Walnuts are all excellent sources. Yes, they have a lot of healthy fat and that’s a good thing. 

One of the best foods ever!  Loaded with healthy fats and other goodies.

Is this the end of the story? No. But you have to begin somewhere. From our experience, toxic oils can have the most devastating impact on health while healthy oils can have the most positive impact. We will look at another area of leadership fuel in the next post.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Saying Thank You

Part of thanksgiving is feeling gratitude. It is about being grateful for what we have. Focusing on that is a game changer. For the readers of this blog, we have a lot to be grateful for (for starters, you have eyesight and are able to read, you have a computer, electricity, and some form of shelter, you are on the path of growth and development, etc.).

Yet. There is another side to Thanksgiving. That is saying 'thank you' to those who have specifically contributed in a positive way to our lives. It could be something small or it could be big. Either way, we have some obligation to recognize the other person. To say thank you. It is amazing how few people actually do this.

Let's start a trend and begin appreciating those who contribute to the quality of our lives with a heartfelt thank you (throughout the next 12 months). Other people will appreciate the recognition and we will feel good at the same time.

If you are in a leadership role, consider adding this practice to your performance objectives for the coming year. It is a kaizen practice (something small that will have a huge impact).  You will thank me later.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Part 4: Field Notes on the How to Create Your Dream Job Now Intensive

The 2015 Dream Job Intensive is now complete. This live-remote workshop is for those who seek to have a career they absolutely love. In this latest session we had students ranging in age from 24 to 45. They came from non-profits, business, and freelance careers.

The Dream Job Intensive is based upon a coaching program created in 2012 by Conscious Management Consulting for one-on-one clients. We expanded it to a 10 week program and now to a four week Intensive.

The Dream Job Intensive uses tools like Maestro Conference, LinkedIn, triadic support and real-life coaches to engage students in an intense 30 day process. Each session of the workshop is led by certified coaches, who engage with students in individual and group work.

During the workshop, each student creates results within the 13 assigned projects. The program has regular deadlines, group discussions, and one-on-one coaching calls. It is entirely based online, with students participating from their home or workplace.

The next course begins on Monday, January 18, 2016. There is still room if you feel called to do this work (not easy but doable). You can learn more here.

Note: This is NOT like the courses that you sign up for and never participate. This course involves real work. It is a serious undertaking. You will have other people who will be counting on you to cross the finish line together. It is all for one and one for all. If you are not ready for this level of commitment, please do not apply.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Field Notes on the How to Create Your Dream Job Now Intensive Part 3

One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you're dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you.
~ Reid Hoffman
Well, week three of the How to Create Your Dream Job Now Intensive is complete. In an effort to not sound like a broken record we will refrain from going overboard about how awesome this class is. But still, we do have to say it: They are an awesome group!

This week we shifted our focus to building their personal networks. We define the network as, "the people who want to help you, and you want to help them." We place the emphasis upon the fact that everything we do to strengthen our network is time well spent on a number of levels (now and in the future).

We are now focusing on LinkedIn. Our objective is not only to be "on" LinkedIn, but to be an active member of LinkedIn. Of course, we share the advanced techniques required to be an active LinkedIn member.

In the last group call, we talked about strong ties v. weak ties. The main idea is to build strong ties while continually creating new weak ties. We discussed Malcolm Gladwell who, in his book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, said:
"People weren't getting their jobs through their friends. They were getting them through their acquaintances. Why is this? Granovetter argues that it is because when it comes to finding out about new jobs -- or, for that matter, new information, or new ideas -- "weak ties" are always more important than strong ties. Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do. They might work with you, or live near you, and go to the same churches, schools, or parties. How much, then, would they know that you wouldn't know? Your acquaintances, on the other hand, by definition occupy a very different world than you. They are much more likely to know something that you don't. To capture this apparent paradox, Granovetter coined a marvelous phrase: the strength of weak ties. Acquaintances, in short, represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are."
Everyone in the Dream Job Intensive becomes a new member of your network. Everyone in the workshop gets connected on LinkedIn (including the coaches). We place emphasis on the idea of letting your network help you get to where you want to go.

Interested in the Dream Job Intensive starting in January 2016? You can learn more here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

…And The Alpaca You Came In On

A good friend from college recently responded to a Craig’s List posting for a Caretaker of a ranch outside of town. According to what he saw in the advertisement, it would be the perfect position. He is a true outdoors-man having spent over 20 years in the rugged mountains of Colorado. Watching over a large ranch is a perfect job for him.

On Saturday, he arose before dawn to ride out to meet the owner and check out the ranch. It was nice enough with plenty of land and large views of the countryside. There was a herd of Alpaca on the ranch. That was part of the deal. Take care of the flock and the property. But here’s the rub. When they were discussing payment, the owner talked about rent. Not a salary for being a caretaker. Not rent in exchange for watching over the property. No, she was talking rent for the "privilege" of watching over her animals and land.

My friend was of course taken aback. His choice words to the owner began with the letter “F” and then “you” and ended with the classic refrain “…and the Alpaca you came in on.”

This situation illustrates the modern phenomenon of people wanting their cake and to eat it too. Rather than find a way to create win/win/win agreements, they attempt to create win/lose agreements. They push the boundaries of common sense and common decency. It is yet another example of unconscious people trying to do business.

This is why we love conscious businesses (Trader Joe’s, Southwest Airlines, and COSTCO in the U.S.). They play by a different set of rules. They bend over backwards to make the customer happy, the employees happy, and the investor happy, all at the same time. Not a bad way to roll.

Note: An alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Time Management for Highly Creative People™ - Session 4 (Video)

We are the only species on the planet, so far as we know, to have invented a communal memory stored neither in our genes nor in our brains. The warehouse of this memory is called the library.
~ Carl Sagan
In this session, we talk about creating the most important library in the world (for you). That is, your own personal archives of your days. Each moment you live adds up to create your life. To reflect upon your days and review them periodically (as a means for moving forward), adds immensely to the depth and meaning of your life. This is what is meant by the examined life.

If you are implementing the system prescribed here (and we know hundreds of people are doing just that), then this session will be of great value to you. We are describing a way to take your daily 3x5 cards and make them available for quick access at any time and especially each year when you create your yearly plan.

We mention a technology solution--using Evernote-- that is an optional add-on. Please do not use it as a replacement for archiving your physical 3x5 cards. As much as we love technology solutions, the future is always uncertain with technology companies. Keeping your 3x5 cards in high quality archival boxes is the surest way of preserving and honoring your past.

Coaching Tip: Many people wished they had known about this system 10 years ago. We understand that sentiment. Nonetheless, you have to start where you are today. Get started and stick to it. If it is right for you, you will have your personal library started in no time. If you have kids, you might introduce this system to them. They will thank you for it later.

The resources recommended in this session can be found here:

Levenger AL7595 NM Essential Card Wallet, Black

Levenger Deluxe Card Wallet - Black

Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase - Saddle

Levenger Note Card Bleachers - Dark Cherry (AD6755 DC)

Snap-N-Store 3x5 Index Card Box, Black (SNS01573)

Oxford 01351 Plastic Index Card Flip Top File Box Holds 300 3 x 5 Cards, Matte Black (1 EA)

C-Line Index Card Case for 3 x 5 Inch Index Cards, Assorted Colors, Set of 24 Cases (58335)

VAULTZ VZ01397 Vaultz Locking 8 x 5 Two-Drawer Index Card Box, 3000-Card Capacity, Black