Greatness Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Kobe Bryant playing against a high school all-star or Jaime Hepp aka the Vanilla Mamba delivering a morning meeting versus a new leader. What’s the difference between an amateur and a professional? Better yet, how do you go from being mediocre, prospering to good, then excelling to great? We all know most people are satisfied with just being good, but the select few, the special ones, always strive to be great. Excelling at long term goals can be fickle. There are many factors that have to commence for greatness to happen, even so one thing is for sure, you can’t become great without a consistent regimen to keep you on the right path.

How many have seen the meme where the two guys are digging for the treasure and the one guy stops right before he gets to it and the other guy is still frantically digging, destined to reach the treasure. This paints the perfect analogy of getting discouraged before you become consistent. There are many trials; many versions of yourself that need to be flushed out before your final form is reached.

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Da Vinci and Michelangelo each spent 4 years painting the Mona Lisa and Sistine Chapel. Most of us are not art connoisseurs but if you ever get a chance to take a closer look at those works, you can see how meticulous each man was with their art; how much thought and focus they must have put into each brush stroke to get it right. Also, knowing they would go through several versions before finishing the priceless work we see today.

Greatness doesn’t happen overnight. With the way the media is today you may see more of the process, but you can guarantee it did not manifest in the segment that it is being shown. As well, a mantra of patience should be a constant reminder particularly because we are so impatient. We need to remember that if Da Vinci could not paint the Mona Lisa in one try, then our discouragement should pale in comparison; and rather, we find ourselves making small ‘strokes’ to reach a larger masterpiece.

10,000 Hours Rule

The question to think about is how long does it take for true mastery?  Sometimes we set unrealistic expectations of where we should be in our career or how long it really takes to be successful.

Watch for more about the 10,000 Hours Rule.

Why Millennials Keep Dumping You: An Open Letter to Management

We have always wanted to create a hip, fun work culture filled with cutting edge ideas and terrific talent.  This article paints a great picture of things to avoid when trying to attract today’s top Millennial talent.  Enjoy the read.

Original Article from  via LinkedIn

This post was cowritten with Elizabeth McLeod, a millennial and cum laude graduate of Boston University, and daughter of Lisa Earle McLeod.

Attracting and keeping top millennial talent is a burning issue for leaders. Millennials are 35% of the workforce. By 2020 they’ll be 46% of the working population.

Some of our most successful clients — organizations like G Adventures, Google, and Hootsuite — are filled with millennials who are on fire for their jobs. Yet many organizations struggle to attract, and retain, top millennial talent.

One of us, Elizabeth, wrote this letter, to share insights about what top-performing millennials want and how leaders can ignite the “energy of a thousand suns.”

An Open Letter to Management:

You hired us thinking this one might be different; this one might be in it for the long haul. We’re six months in, giving everything we have, then suddenly, we drop a bomb on you. We’re quitting.

We know the stereotypes. Millennials never settle down. We’re drowning in debt for useless degrees. We refuse to put our phone away. We are addicted to lattes even at the expense of our water bill. Our bosses are not wrong about these perceptions. But,pointing to our sometimes irresponsible spending and fear of interpersonal commitment isn’t going to solve your problem. You still need us. We’re the ones who’ve mastered social media, who have the energy of a thousand suns, and who will knock back 5-dollar macchiatos until the job is done perfectly.

I’ve worked in corporate America, administrative offices, advertising agencies, and restaurants. I’ve had bosses ranging from 24 to 64. I’ve had bosses I loved, and bosses I didn’t. I’ve seen my peers quit, and I’ve quit a few times myself. Here’s what’s really behind your millennials’ resignation letter:

1. You tolerate low-performance

It’s downright debilitating to a high achiever. I’m working my heart out and every time I look up Donna-Do-Nothing is contemplating how long is too long to take for lunch. I start wondering why leadership tolerates this.

Is that the standard here? No thanks.

Fact: Poor performers have a chilling effect on everyone.

2. ROI is not enough for me.

I spent Sunday thinking about how I can make a difference to our customers. Now it’s Monday morning, what do I hear? Stock price. Billing. ROI. Suddenly, my Monday power playlist seems useless. I’m sitting in a conference room listening to you drag on about cash flow.

I was making more money bartending in college than I am at this entry-level job. You say I’ll get a raise in a year if the company hits a certain number? So what? I need something to care about today. Talk to me about how we make a difference, not your ROI report.

Fact: Organizations with a purpose bigger than money have a growth rate triple that of their competitors.

3. Culture is more than free Panera.

Don’t confuse culture with collateral. Yes, I am a cash-strapped millennial who really appreciates free lunch. But I don’t wake up at 6AM every day to play foosball in the break room. I’m not inspired to be more innovative over a Bacon Turkey Bravo.

I need to be surrounded by people who are on fire for what we’re doing. I need a manager who is motivated to push boundaries and think differently. Working in a cool office is really awesome. So is free lunch. But a purposeful culture is more important.

Fact: A culture of purpose drives exponential sales growth 

4. It’s ok to get personal

Treat me like a number? I’ll return the favor. This job will quickly become nothing more than my rent payment. I’ll start living for Friday and counting down the minutes until 5. After a few months of that, I’ll probably have a drunken epiphany and realize I want more out of my life than this.

Then I’ll prove your assumptions right. 8 months in, I’ll quit and leave. Or worse, I’ll quit and stay, just like Donna-Do-Nothing.

That’s not good for either of us. Here’s what you need to know:

I was raised to believe I could change the world. I’m desperate for you to show me that the work we do here matters, even just a little bit. I’ll make copies, I’ll fetch coffee, I’ll do the grunt work. But I’m not doing it to help you get a new Mercedes.

I’ll give you everything I’ve got, but I need to know it makes a difference to something bigger than your bottom line.


A Millennial

The millennials are telling us what we already know in our hearts to be true. People want to make money, they also want to make a difference.   Successful leaders putpurpose before profit, and they wind up with teams who drive revenue through the roof.

Lisa Earle McLeod is the creator of the popular business concept Noble Purpose and author of the bestseller Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do work That Makes You Proud

Love what you do

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!  I’ve always looked at Labor Day like it’s “Our Day”.  As business owners, sales people, entrepreneurs, we work our asses off, we create opportunity, we are part of the solution.  It’s kind of a celebration for all of us that labor, that grind, the have a blue collar mentality.  Labor Day is one of my favorite holidays just because of the celebration of those that are responsible, hard working laborers.

I love Labor Day.

Labor Day is also a day of rejuvenating and relaxing so I hope everyone got a chance to recharge and reflect.  I had some time to think about how the role of work plays in our lives….


Henry Thoreau said, “The mass of men spend their lives in quiet desperation.” For some, work is part of that desperation. For others, it’s part of what makes life worth living. Finding the right job is as difficult as finding the right mate, but it’s just as important.  I’ve discovered through the years here at TAG Energy, you have to love what you do.

People who love their work get more out of their lives. Teddy Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” George Sand put it another way: “Work is not a punishment; it’s a reward.”  For me, the reward is to see my team here at TAG Energy, grow, develop, become successful business owners and change their family tree.

According to W.H. Auden, three things are needed if people are to be happy in their work: “They must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it, and they must have a sense of success in it.” Elbert Hubbard told his readers to “Get happiness out of your work or you may never know what happiness is.”  With that said, being in sales and being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone.  It is the growth of our team and being an influencer of that growth that brings me the most happiness.  I love seeing my team work hard and win.

In summing up his life, comedian Johnny Carson said, “Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace, and you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.”  It’s not easy being a business owner and have to weather the ups and downs of a business.  There are tough times, sacrifices to be made and a lot of hours you have to put in.  The people I have been able to surround myself with here at TAG Energy help bring that inner peace Carson is talking about.

One of the profound questions is, “where does work fit into a balanced life?” Some people live for their work. If their work is truly meaningful and gratifying, that may make sense, but Harold Kushner points out, “I’ve never met anyone on their deathbed who said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’”

Work is, of course, a common subject of cynical observations such as “Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties” (Doug Larson) or “Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.”

I hope you’re coming into fall and what’s left of the year with a renewed sense of what your work means to you.  If you love what you do, keep at it, it is your reward.  And if you don’t….