From Neutered to Juiced Messages

From Neutered to Juiced Messages
Posted by   | January 27th, 2015 | No Comments

After listening to the book, Unbroken, on Audible, we went to see the movie. The difference in our experience of the story was striking. The emotion, passion and human triumph that left us riveted throughout ten hours of listening were missing from the movie. It’s a tragedy that such a powerful story was reduced to a plodding narrative with poor cinematography.

How often does this happen to messages? In an effort to be politically correct, the passion and emotion gets drained from most messages as they are written in “office-ese.” In our experience, more than 78% of messages are achingly dull, dry to the point of itchy and much less effective than they should be.

We encourage you to JUICE your messages!


  • Amp Up with powerful words – your word choice makes a difference. Zig Ziglar used to tell a joke about the power of words. He’d say that there is a big difference in the impact of “you broke the clock” and “you are so gorgeous, you make time stand still.” Use powerful words that capture the imagination and create explosive impact.
  • Reconnect with passion - when you create a message, you need to create context. Connect people with the reason why or the bigger picture. Passion only happens when you “get it.” People believe in causes because they understand the why behind the what.  Share context, share your heart, explain why this matters to you. Passion is the juice of life, add a little to your messages.
  • Put some personality in your messages. Relate the information to everyday items, experiences or amusements. Tell stories to explain your message.  Remember your humanity when any message is being crafted; it’s a human to human connection. Too many times humanity is replaced with crackling dry, informational statements. When you put personality into your message you juice it up!

Messages need powerful words, a passionate why and some personality. Juice your messages and make them memorable by applying today’s tip the next time you create a message.

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    Lasting Change

    Lasting Change
    Posted by   | January 20th, 2015 | No Comments

    In our Tuesday Tremendous Tip we talked about how Robert Cialdini’s six influence principles (from Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion) are useful in creating effective change. We shared how three of the six principles link to change. Here are the other three:

    • Liking – we are more likely to be influenced by people we like. When leading change you must make time to build trust and rapport with the people you are asking to change. Prior to communicating about the change, assess the level of trust and take action to reinforce the likability of the change leader.
    • Authority – there is a sense of duty or obligation to authority figures. This is why sponsorship or change leadership is absolutely essential to successful change. One of the most overlooked areas of effective change is working with managers. They have authority over their direct reports and when they are supportive of a change, their employees are more likely to support the change.
    • Scarcity – things are more attractive when we believe they are in demand or that we might lose an opportunity if we don’t act quickly. An example of this influence principle comes from a change project we supported where early adopters of the change. There was a deadline when the special coaching, benefits and rewards would end and anyone who didn’t make the change would miss out.

    Remember that forced change doesn’t last. Only when a person is in agreement with the change will you achieve change that endures. Influence creates agreement, acceptance and buy-in.


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      One More Gift

      One More Gift
      Posted by   | January 13th, 2015 | No Comments

      You deserve something special, a gift that no one has given you this holiday season.  You are the only one who can decide what it is and you are the only one who can give it!

      Here are just a few of the gifts you can give yourself:

      • Time – life gets filled with busyness, commitments, activities and doing. This is a reminder that we are human beings not human doings. You can choose how to spend your time, including giving yourself fifteen minutes of quiet, open reflection time. If you get great ideas in the shower (quiet, open time) imagine what you could accomplish if you gave yourself the gift of time and set aside a few minutes a day for YOU!
      • Relationships – the funny thing about relationships is that they require both people to be involved and they require intentionality. Relationships may start by accident but they only get deeper when you invest in them. Research shows that more than any other factor, the quality of your relationships will sustain you throughout your life. We believe that people are treasures and you build wealth through relationships with great people. Give yourself the gift of relationship by deciding who and when you will be connecting with and then build a deeper relationship.
      • Freedom – you have the ability to forgive yourself, accept yourself and decide the life you want to live. We live in a continuous improvement world where nothing is good enough. We blame, criticize and feel frustration rather than giving ourselves the gift of freedom. The past is behind you, the future is in front of you. You have the present to be free and create your life from the choices you make. Give yourself the gift of freedom.
      • Learning – one of the most profound things we learned from John Kotter’s book Leading Change was in the chapter, Leadership and Lifelong Learning. He talks about the value of learning because it compounds over time. Give yourself the gift of learning and you are making a lifelong investment that can never be taken away. No stock market plunge, Ponzi scheme swindler or financial difficulty can take this away from you. While financial investment is important, personal investment in learning will pay greater returns.

      We hope that you take a moment, pick a gift (or two or four) and give it to yourself. Here’s to the best year ever! Have a spectacular 2015.

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        Magical Meetings

        Magical Meetings
        Posted by   | January 6th, 2015 | No Comments

        As the New Year unfolds before you, you have the opportunity to make the most of the time that you spend in meetings.

        Tips to Manage Your Meetings:

        • Trim the attendee list – meeting productivity precipitously drops the more people you add to the mix. When you have more than five people in a meeting you might as well light your money on fire.
        • Have a point – the objective of a meeting isn’t to plan the next meeting (we were facilitating a group of extroverts who wanted to get together to figure out what a meeting was going to be about.) Be clear about WHY you are having the meeting and what you want to accomplish. A meeting should never be held for informational purposes.
        • Minimize the time – try scheduling 30 minute meetings. Who said you need to put 60 minutes on the calendar for every meeting? Alternatively you can start meetings at five minutes after and end them five or ten minutes before the hour. This is most appreciated (although confusing at first) for attendees.
        • Come topless (no laptops) and no electronics – devices distract. So eliminate them, get your business done and move on.
        • Be prepared - meetings are maximally productive when everyone is prepared. Send out any materials and an agenda at least a day in advance. If attendees are not prepared, you have the right to cancel the meeting in the middle of the meeting. Better to release the attendees to spend the time more productively. Find another time to meet and stop the madness. Meeting attendees who read the materials during the meeting are not adding value.
        • Frame the meeting before you begin – everyone is busy. Take a minute or two to remind everyone why they are there, what needs to get done and what the outcomes will be. Then at the conclusion of the meeting, review what you committed to do and show that you accomplished your intended outcomes. Everyone will benefit from a squirt of mental happy juice.
        • Just say no – when something comes up that is not part of the agenda, is not included in the objectives or doesn’t support the meeting outcomes…just say no. Table the discussion and move on. Too much time is wasted on tangents during meetings. Stay focused and get the job done.

        Magical Meetings happen when you are responsible for people’s time by being clear on what needs accomplished, who needs to be there and you maintain focus on the outcomes.

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          Fresh Start

          Fresh Start
          Posted by   | December 30th, 2014 | No Comments



          The start of 2015 is an opportunity for you to evaluate where you are, where you want to go and the actions you need to take to get there.

          The life you have is a result of the decisions you are making.

          2015 is an opportunity to make a fresh start with some different decisions.

          Step One – Where are you? In consulting terms this is the “current state.” You cannot make any progress unless you know where you are. Start by drawing a circle and putting your name inside of the circle. Then connect your circle to other circles, like orbiting planets, with all the things going on in your world. You may be surprised by the size of your universe once you write everything down.

          Step Two – What do you NOT want? Sometimes it’s challenging to get clear about what you do want until you spend some time thinking about what you don’t want.

          Step Three – What do you want? Be specific and define this in as much detail as possible.  This is known as the “future state.” That’s a helpful frame because it’s more than just a goal. Think of this like a movie script that shows in lush, living color what you really want.

          Step Four – What are the actions needed (new decisions) to move you in that direction?

          Powerful change words that can accelerate a Fresh Start include:

          Decision - while change may be a process, every change begins with a decision. You can’t change your life without making different decisions.

          Determination - when you are clear about where you are and where you are going, you can have, “firmness of purpose.” This is about resolve; the promise you make to yourself that you will never give up.

          never give up


          Desire - this is the deep down personal hope or longing for something. Your desire must be greater than the obstacles you will face.

          May your decisions be wise and lead you in the direction that fulfills your life purpose. Here’s to a Fresh Start!

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            Presence not Presents

            Presence not Presents
            Posted by   | December 23rd, 2014 | No Comments



            Give the gift of your presence this holiday season. Bless yourself and everyone around you with this one-of-a-kind gift. The gift of presence is about giving your time and being who you are where you are.

            Remember that you are a human being not a human doing. All the activities, action items and to-do’s keep you busy doing instead of spending time being with the people who are your real priority. Intentionally invest your time being with someone who matters to you. Then be present through focus:

            • Focus your thinking – your thoughts have three possible dimensions. You can think about the past, the future or the present. Intentionally focus your thoughts on what’s around you in the present. Observe what’s happening right now. You may discover something amazing you’ve been overlooking.
            • Focus your conversation – during conversations listen intently and be fully present with the person talking. Enjoy the interaction, the present moment and let things flow naturally without planning your next response.
            • Focus on your breath – take deep belly breaths and focus on feeling them fill up your lungs. Focusing on your breath is a quick way to bring you back to the present.

            When you are present there is certain stillness and centeredness inside that enriches you and everyone around you. Be a present through your presence, it’s the gift only you can give!

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              White Space

              White Space
              Posted by   | December 16th, 2014 | No Comments

              white space

              Do you feeling like your life is perpetually on fast forward? If your life is overloaded with activities, changes, commitments, competition, debts, decisions, expectations, information, media, people, problems, technology, traffic or work; you may have run out of white space!

              White space is the margin you leave in your life for the unexpected. White space acts as a safety zone between you and burn out. Be careful, if you live too close to the edge of overload you might fall off and then what? What project fails? What do you forget to do? What relationship gets destroyed? What happens to your health?

              When you create white space, you create a buffer for whatever life throws at you. To create white space:

              • Accept responsibility – believe it or not, you control the choices you make to overload your schedule. Take control and recognize the choices you make determine the amount of white space.
              • Make time – time in your schedule gives you room to breathe, freedom to think, space to heal, opportunities to be innovative and reconnect with what matters most to you.
              • Re-evaluate and prioritize – if you don’t decide what is important and make it a priority, others will do it for you. Look at your life and think about whether you are spending it on your top priorities.
              • Create boundaries – turn it off, shut it down, say goodbye. You can decide when you will respond or interact with your electronic gadgets. You can walk away from draining situations. You can remove people from your life. Boundaries are essential to white space.

              No White Space > Frustration > Stress >
              Exhaustion > Irritability > Burn Out…

              cactus white


              There is a popular Christmas carol about wishing for a White Christmas. Our wish for you is more white space in your life.

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                Small Successes = BIG wins

                Small Successes = BIG wins
                Posted by   | December 9th, 2014 | No Comments



                “Are we there yet?” This is the number one, most frequently asked question on a road trip.
                Although we may grow older and stop asking the question, it’s buried deep within our psyche and it doesn’t go away.

                Create small successes along your life’s journeys to answer this buried question. Small successes tell the brain, “not yet, but we are getting closer.”

                How to create BIG wins from small successes:

                1. DEFINE - When you want to accomplish a personal or work related change you must begin with a clear definition of success. What does the BIG win look like?
                2. PLAN – what are the steps to the BIG win? This is where to build in the small successes. You must have a future goal bigger than the obstacles you face. However, you need milestones along the way to know that you are still on the right path. This is the secret to success. Small wins add up to the BIG win.
                3. DO – you can’t accomplish anything without action. By clearly defining success and making a plan you have a reasonably good start. Accomplish the BIG win by doing the plan!
                4. CELEBRATE – rather than wait until the BIG win, celebrate the small successes. Rejoice as each milestone on the plan is completed. Imagine reading a book that had no chapters. After reading twenty pages and then the next fifty, you’d start wondering “are we there yet?”  Milestones on your plan serve as chapters to mark the progress you’ve made.
                5. PERSEVERE – research has shown that accomplishment creates resolve and resolve gets results. Too many great ideas go unrealized because they were not fully implemented. The greatest risk of not accomplishing the BIG win is losing the will to persevere.
                6. ACCOMPLISH – congratulations, you got the BIG win.

                You can accomplish a tremendous amount if you start with one step in the right direction. Define where you want to go, create the plan to get there and then take action. Don’t let too much time pass between the milestones or you will get discouraged.

                Break down your BIG win into a series of small successes along the way and watch your motivation grow as you persevere and accomplish your BIG win.

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                  Orange You Glad

                  Orange You Glad
                  Posted by   | December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments



                  Have you ever done word association with a visual image? What does the picture above say to you? It represents a few cool thoughts to us:

                  1. Unique - whether you are making a presentation, coming up with an innovative solution or heading out for dinner be unique. Break out of your status quo. Insanity has been defined as “doing what you’ve always done and expecting something different.” You need to do different to get different.
                  1. Live Juicy – this is a life theme for Brighton Leadership Group. We value life and live each movement to the fullest. That means squeezing every drop out of life as you live it. So make your day juicy.
                  1. Bright - color grabs attention. In a black and white world, there are shades of cobalt, magenta, amethyst, ruby, aqua and even orange! This brings us to the topic of today’s tip, “Orange You Glad.” There is always a new perspective or a new way to look at things. Perspective fuels creativity, innovation and life, try it.

                  If you are an orange, be glad and be orange. Don’t try to be an apple.

                  Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland

                  At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

                  Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ~Steve Jobs

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                    Glowing With Gratitude

                    Glowing With Gratitude
                    Posted by   | November 25th, 2014 | No Comments

                    Today is American Thanksgiving. The point of this week’s tip is to pause and be more intentional about giving thanks or Thanks giving.

                    Gratitude = the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

                    Research has proven that those who are thankful receive many benefits and you’ll stand out in a crowd! The Benefits of Gratitude include better health, more happiness, career advancement, improved appearance, more fulfilling relationships and a greater glow!

                    How can you start glowing? Here are just a few suggestions:

                    1. Make a List – be specific about what you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be extraordinary (I just won the lottery.) Simple, specific thanks is perfect. This focuses your attention and as you make your list, you will elevate your mental mood.
                    2. Say Thank You – extravagantly appreciate everyone and everything around you. Be intentional about thanking people for small things, big things and in between things. The more you practice thanking others, the more your gratitude glow will grow.
                    3. Write a Letter – this is similar to a list but it’s written to a person. We recommend a weekly thank you letter to someone in your life. Whether it is a family member, a friend, a colleague or Smiling Suzie at the cleaners, writing a letter changes your focus. You don’t have to send / give the letter. The act of writing alone will get results. Why not take the extra step and share your appreciation and gratitude.
                    4. Change Your Language – do you use words like “regret, lack, need, loss or scarcity?” You are what you say.  Focus on using words like, “gift, blessing, silver lining and abundance.”

                    This is so important that the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley launched a $5.6 million, three-year project, Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude.

                    Put some gratitude practices in place. According to the research you will start seeing the benefits of your gratitude practice within three weeks. Start today and get GLOWING with gratitude!

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