Resources for Inspiration

Our Blogs…

You Better Watch Out!

”You better watch out You better not cry You better not pout I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town” At face value, these words sound ominous! Perhaps the “better watch out” is sage advice, because the big dude with the white beard is fixing to act like a...

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What’s Amazing About You?

Today’s essential question for you to answer: “What is amazing about you?” When we ask this question in groups, what do you think are initial reactions? You probably guessed that it makes some people uncomfortable, while others are more than willing to blow their own...

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Walking Each Other Home

"Walking each other home..." On paper, Vertical Performance Inc. is a consulting company. In reality, it is a community of individuals that recognizes we are stronger together. It is a fine and flowing network of skills, experience, and raw talent that mirrors the...

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Climbing the Corporate Ladder

From the moment I first read the passage in Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits…” I embraced his observation that “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” I have often used this quote to explain to...

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What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.

It seems there was a doctor who received a call at 2:00 AM from an elderly patient named Hank. “Doc, I am worried about my wife. She has been up for hours with abdominal pain. I think it might be her appendix.” The Doc smiled at the self-diagnosis and assured Hank...

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What I Learned About Leadership While Coaching Kids Soccer

Around age six or seven our oldest son began to play league soccer. I took him to weekly practices and hung around to watch - the only parent to do so. Naturally, when the coach wanted to run a drill that could use an extra pair of hands (feet?), he asked if I would...

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Life Lessons from Cutting Grass

In a conversation with a friend this past weekend, we got on the topic of children and their initial experiences with employment.  After sharing my approach to helping our kids understand the world of work his comment was something like, ‘Man, you were a tough Dad!’ ...

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Are You Naturally Compassionate?

I really enjoy the television show Brain Games for the information it provides to viewers, as well as the way that it is presented.  There is much that scientists are still discovering about the human mind, and as a result our understanding of the brain has changed...

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Who’s Going To Clean Up This Mess?

John Miller, author of QBQ! The Question Behind The Question, ends his book with a story about driving down a highway on a windy Sunday afternoon with his family. For brevity I’ll paraphrase his words… Driving by, they notice a man in a wheelchair along the side of...

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Dream Your Dream

In 2017 we will complete four years of Vertical Performance as a “bricks and mortar” consulting office. On the glass wall of our office you will find the two phrases of our core philosophy: “Within every person are the seeds of confidence, awareness and achievement.”...

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Is Long-Term Vision and Strategy Dead?

Several years ago the Wall Street Journal ran an article suggesting that strategic planning was losing favor. That the world was changing so rapidly in the economic downturn that many were questioning if there was any value in ‘planning’ for the future - because in...

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Controlling Employees

Previously I wrote about defining outcomes and paying your employees to accomplish those, rather than simply paying them to perform a specified list of duties and responsibilities. This suggested approach comes from the book First, Break All The Rules, by Marcus...

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What Are You Paying Your Employees To Do?

Typically, when hiring, companies and organizations provide a new employee with a job description. This list of duties and responsibilities outlines the expectations of you as the employer in very general terms… all the way down to the catch-all ‘other duties as...

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What Do You Want From Every Employee?

In the Gallop study I noted in a previous blog, researchers identified 12 questions that most differentiated the loyal and productive employees in an organization, from those who only see their work as ‘a job’. The study forms the basis of the book First, Break All...

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In The Future…

Our plan is to add to this resources page in the future with podcasts, videos, and other information, that you might find useful and helpful as you face the typical challenges of work. We hope to feature our clients as well, as they share their stories and defining moments in their lives, businesses and organizations.

Favorite Quotes

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

-Stephen R. Covey

“If you do not change your direction, you will end up exactly where you are headed.”

-Ancient Chinese proverb

“Your beliefs become your thoughts.
  Your thoughts become your words.
   Your words become your actions.
    Your actions become your habits.
     Your habits become your values.
      Your values become your destiny.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

“It’s more important than ever to define yourself in terms of what you stand for rather than what you make, because what you make is going to become outmoded faster than it has at any time in the past. …hang on to the idea of who you are as a company, and focus not on what you do, but on what you could do. By being really clear about what you stand for and why you exist, you can see what you could do with a much more open mind. You enhance your ability to adapt to change.”

-James C. Collins

“There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish.”

-Warren G. Bennis

“Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.”

-Warren G. Bennis

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born…”

-Warren G. Bennis

“Before you are a leader, success is all about yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

-Jack Welch, former CEO, GE

“As leaders we do not create growth. The best we can do is create an environment that is conducive to growth. It is like planting a garden. You do not cause the seeds to grow. To grow is their natural purpose in life.”

-James C. Hunter

“Leadership…The skills of influencing people to enthusiastically work towards goals identified as being for the common good, with character that inspires confidence.”

-James C. Hunter

“..mangers play a vital and distinct role, a role that charismatic leaders and self-directed teams are incapable of playing. The manager role is to reach inside each employee and release his unique talents into performance.”

-Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

“Positions and titles mean absolutely nothing. They’re just adornments; they don’t represent the substance of anybody. Every person and every job is worth as much as any other person and any other job.”

-Herb Kelleher, former CEO, Southwest Airlines

“If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.”

-Chinese Proverb

“You get the effort from others, not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within them.”

-James C. Hunter

“If you want to build a ship, then don’t drum up men to gather wood, give orders, and divide the work. Rather, teach them to yearn for the far and endless sea.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“There is a profound difference between information and meaning.”

-Warren G. Bennis

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

-Thomas Jefferson

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

-Buckminster Fuller

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving; to reach the port we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail and not drift or lie at anchor.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

“If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.”

-James C. Collins

“Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it time runs out.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

-Diane Ackerman

Vertical Performance, Inc.

15 N. 1st Street, Suite 202
Belleville, IL 62220
618.234.8110
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