Victim or Owner…. Your Choice!

As we all watch the daily onslaught of “news” these days I can’t help but think back to the fundamentals of all the great coaches that I have had over the many years, and still do today.

With every event, every action, every challenge is thrown our way, we as thinking beings, have a choice of how we react or view our perspective.  It can be broken down in many ways, and the one that I appreciate more than any is the choice between being a victim or an owner.

A victim views every bump in the road as a car swallowing pothole.  Now sometimes, in fact, that might be the reality.  I suggest you swerve!  But in the course of a normal day when we get thrown a really big curve, a victim, at that moment, will view that issue as a personally centered assault on their complete humanity. Not totally all that simple, but for this short piece that is as far as I will take it.  Fear sets in, we freeze rather than act, and we lose perspective with a sole focus on the “issue in front of us.

An owner, however, realizes that the strike that they were just thrown, in fact, shows them what to look for next and establishes what actions they can take to counter any of the negatives that might have arisen otherwise. There is a ton of great writing on the concept of hard-nosed optimism (I suggest Hard Optimism by Price Pritchett) that will help you frame a response to these challenges.  Again, to keep this blog short and applicable I will leave the details up for your further exploration.

My ask of you this week is to take ownership of just one challenge that you have on your plate today that is causing you to “study” it and that creates tension in your thinking and your “insides”.  Take ownership, form a response, move it to ACTION!  That simple move will empower you in more ways than you might expect!

You’ve got this.. you are an OWNER!

Ok, Let’s Roll!


In the beginning, there was paper…. And we actually used it to manage our schedules and keep track of stuff. The product that we used then still exists today…. a Day-Timer. In the early days, we actually held classes on how to use your Day-Timer planner to more effectively manage your days. They were things of beauty. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly sections in which you very neatly and concisely made notes of appointments and kept track of everything you ever needed to know. A very critical element in the use of the Day-Timer was the concept of “time activating” something. That meant that you went to the page that had the targeted date and time for what you wanted to set up, such as a meeting, and you made a well-documented little note to that effect. You “time activated” that meeting. Everyone knows what you meant when you said you would “time activate” it.

So why does this matter? Let's move from the past to the pandemic-driven situation of today. Today we are all deskbound video meeting driven communication gurus all working from home while trying to ALSO manage life at home, kids at home, pets at home, interruptions at home, AND remain relevant to all of those around our world. No pressure! Yeah right!

One answer that I have to keep a bit of sanity in our externally driven day is to “time activate” 3 distinct breaks in the day. Pick 15 minutes in the morning, “time activate” a short break to get up, move, do something distinctly different from what you have been doing. The movement part is critical. Our WFH mode is not giving us the “steps” that we need in a day unless you REALLY work at it. The second break can be lunch with the family, again moving away from the other workspace. Let them know that you would love to have lunch with them and actually schedule it with all. Then in the afternoon do another 15-minute “time activated” break. Gotta move!

Your ‘calendar” is YOURs, step up and control it a bit.

So just thought about how to be a bit more in control of our days, that turn into weeks, that slide into months… all working from home.

Just consider this as a possibility for this week and see how it goes…

OK, Lets Roll!

- Mitch

Let’s bring some humanity into it all!

We are all involved in an amazing amount of new video conference time. What had once been something that we used occasionally has become the de facto standard for almost every conversation and meeting. It has shown us a lot of good and I hope that this new mode of excellence does not fade a bit. We plan better when we know this is about to happen. We get focused on outcomes better, and we simply get more done in this mode than ever. It is amazing, and it is a bit flat.

What I find is that it does bring a higher level of personalization vs cold, faceless, boring emails. We are spending time face to face, not keyboard to keyboard. Much better for true complex conversations. And yet it has a certain limited 2 dimension nature to it. I believe that is because we don’t start these gatherings with any of the social interactions that we would normally do. No idle chit-chat or “how are you’s”. So I have a proposal for those of you brave enough to step up a bit.

In a conversation that I was having with my colleague Ken Pye the other day, we invented a new move to start every video before you dive into all of the “agenda”. And we labeled it the….. VIRTUAL FIST BUMP!

So, as you get everyone online… ask them all to do a Virtual Fist Bump to their camera…. Start the conversation with the smile that is generated from that little activity and then move into an even more personalized form of “chatting”.

You know the move… Know where your camera is at, give yourself a bit of room to see others, and do a VIRTUAL FIST BUMP!

Let’s start a global movement… VIRTUAL FIST BUMPs transcend language and culture. No room to shake hands, bow, or otherwise salute, but this new media form works perfectly in VIRTUAL FIST BUMP mode.

Try it!

And then Ken and I ended the meeting the same way…. A goodbye VIRTUAL FIST BUMP… Very cool! Double bumps!

VIRTUAL FIST BUMPs may not change the world, but it just might bring a few smiles into this video conferencing world.

Ok, LETS ROLL… and have a bit of fun!

- Mitch

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