Be 10X Great by Choice!

Abundance Books Growth mindset


Key Point: the values of the Character Triangle are reinforced by key teachings of the 10X model determined through extensive research by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen’s new breakthrough book, Great By Choice.

 Based on extensive research, the authors identify organizations and by extension their leaders who significantly outperform peer group competition (10X; i.e. at least 10 times greater than their industry). The core behavior traits are: fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, and productive paranoia; animated by Level 5 Ambition.

The authors’ state, “10Xers reject the idea that forces outside their control or chance events will determine their results; they accept full responsibility for their own fate.” THIS IS EXACTLY IN LINE WITH THE MESSAGE UNDERLYING THE CHARACTER TRIANGLE.

Character Move:

  1. Decide to become a 10Xer as it applies to your world.
  2. Read Great by Choice and connect the 3 key principles and research to the 3 key elements of the Character Triangle.
  3. Build your own step by step action plan to become a 10Xer in the long run! Start now. It’s the perfect time to accelerate and build on what you’ve done to date. The Character Triangle reinforces the 10X data!

Great by Choice in the Triangle,



A Really Radical Idea! Say “Thank You” to Your Boss

Authenticity Gratitude Respect


Key Point: say “thank you” to your boss. Be specific. Be genuine. Coach them on what is helpful to them and you. Don’t worry about being a big boss “suck up.” Just do it. Everyone wins. You may even give your boss a positive, cognitive wake up when you do this. Every boss qualifies …really.

Our bosses are very human and sometimes we find it hard to enjoy working for them very much. We see their shortcomings (blind spots to them?) and have to painfully work around the consequences of their weaknesses. This can make working for them very challenging in even the best of times. Why the heck should we thank them for anything when they often behave in donkey-like ways? By the way, as a CEO, I know my behavior as a boss is less than perfect.

An interesting study by UCLA professor Matthew Lieberman, one of the founders of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience field, was presented at a 2011 neurological conference regarding our ability to mentalize, or predict, other people’s emotional or intentional states. The research highlighted that people experiencing even a mild cognitive load or “stress” find their ability to think about what others are thinking or needing impaired. The trouble is that our ability to mentalize about other people’s thoughts is extremely poor even at the best of times. In today’s work environment the stress load is so darn high that bosses can be less present and aware of our needs than they should be. In fact it takes very high emotional intelligence to apply judgment and empathy in a balanced way even when we are rested and have most things “in control.” This is not an excuse as much as just the way it is.

Character Move:

  1. Become more aware of very specific behavior or actions your boss does well (and yes, even horrible bosses do a few things well).
  2. Personally look your boss in the eye and/or write a personal note and tell them specifically what you want to thank them for. Identify how their behavior positively helps you and others. Email and texting is appropriate and practical but if possible try and make it personal.
  3. Don’t expect anything specific in return or any reciprocity. Just genuinely and specifically say thank you. Don’t be disappointed if they shrug it off. Many of us have not been taught how to receive a thank you well.

Thanking your boss in The Triangle,





Bet You Don’t Know “Jack”

Books Empathy Respect


Key Point: Dr. Stephen R. Covey challenges us, “Express love and appreciation to those whom you associate with. Listen empathetically to them. Devote time to learning about them, what is important to them, what is their story.”

Dr. Covey was picked by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans of 1996. His wisdom is remarkable and he inspires and teaches us even more in his new book The 3rd Alternative.

One small but very important point of Covey’s many teachings is captured in the key point above. When I determine whether people REALLY care about the people they work with, I ask them to tell me about the closest individuals they work with and to describe their “story.” Often people have difficulty going beyond the minimum detail. They don’t know that person’s situation. They can’t name their loved ones. They have a hard time articulating what these folks are good at, what they like to do and how they bring value to those around them. If you cannot complete the following assignment then my belief is that you “don’t know jack” and you care more about people in word than in action.

Character Move:

  1. Complete the “story” of at least 10 people you most closely associate with. If you can’t name their most immediate loved ones, you can’t pass “GO.” You’re not serious and don’t tell me you’ve got a poor memory; that’s a big lame excuse.
  2. Be able to describe what each person is good at, like to do, and how they provide value.
  3. Describe how you’ve acknowledged each of these top 10 associates in the last 30 days.
  4. Then do the 1 through 3 above with the 20 of your closest associates.

Don’t think of yourself as having respect as defined in the Character Triangle if you can’t do the above.

Know Jack in the Triangle,