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LuLaRoe: Will You Make It Right?

The Story…

Imagine with me, you are sitting at your desk, maybe at your dining room table, possibly even on your couch. The day has come! The biggest product launch in the company’s history. You are logged in, chatting with other team members. Your nerves are building up! The time comes and you get your lottery number. Not the best number, but you have one. You will spend the next hour waiting and wondering what product will still be available and to your surprise, NONE! This happened to my wife yesterday and many of her friends as LuLaRoe was launching the new NOIR collection (all black)! Many of these consultants had done pre-sales, had planned big launches, and nothing left! Zero! Zilch! Zip! 

I will do my best to present facts and truth in this next section. Here is what I have learned:

  • There are over 80,000+ consultants and somewhere around number 3,000, all stock was gone.
  • There were no limits put on orders, so the bigger consultant shops bought thousands of pieces, while the little shops got nothing.
  • At this point, LuLaRoe has not sent any communication out to their consultants.

So, this means that only about 3% of consultants were allowed to order anything. Some of the bigger consultants placed orders that were over $100,000 dollars.

And, the C-suite silent!

LuLaRoe Pic

What We Learned And What You Can Learn…

There are several things we have learned in this process. What I am going to share is the positive, because I refuse to give LuLaRoe anymore brain power on this.

  1. We have amazing friends, customers, and partners in this business. We have all pulled together and we will be fine!
  2. As a small business owner myself, many of these consultants are small business owners. Support small businesses whenever you can!!!
  3. No matter what you do, stay true to what you stand for. Don’t waiver. Don’t be swayed. And, never allow money to be the driving factor.
  4. If you are going to have a mission statement like the one below, be ready to make it right at all times, no matter the cost.

LuLaRoe+MISSION-STATEMENT-HORIZONTAL+(1)

What We Will Do And What You Can Do…

I am always about taking the high road and giving people second chances. So we will do that; we will give LuLaRoe the chance to make it right. If you are a consumer, send messages via social media.  Let the company know how disappointed you are in this situation. If LuLaRoe is who they say they are, they will make it right.

So, I will close with this statement:

Deanne Brady, Mark Stidham, and LuLaRoe executives will you say, sorry? And, how will you make it right? 

Sorry

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No, No, No! The POWER OF YES In Innovation Series – Part One

“The Power of Yes In Innovation” has become a mantra of mine over the past several years. Today, I will start a series on why this is so important not only in my life, but in everyone’s life. I will be sharing more about what it means, how it works and it’s power to transform both people (professionally and personally) and organizations.

To get us started, please take a minute and watch this video. I encourage you to engage in the call to actions after each one!

The journey to “THE POWER OF YES IN INNOVATION” is a continual learning process – every week, every day, and sometimes every minute! Here are a couple of my recommendations to get you started:

GET “NO” OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY! This word is stifling. It brings only negativity to teams, organizations, and into personal lives. You must begin to empower the leaders and associates around you to make decisions without fear of failure and try something new!

  • CALL TO ACTION: Take a risk and say, YES! Use the technique, Yes, And It will free you, your teams and the organization to fly to higher heights than you ever imagined possible.

CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF LEARNING! Yes, we have all heard this, but do you really do it as a leader? Do you really let your associates, teams, organizations, or leaders FAIL so they can LEARN? I’ve heard many cliche sayings over the past few years such as, “Fail Fast, Fail Forward,” “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap,” “Fail Fast, Fail Often!” What does each of these saying really mean?

I don’t know! But what I do know to be true is this: When you as a leader, as an organization, provide an engaging environment for people to learn, which sometimes includes failing, you will see your teams grow, learn, and move forward!

  • CALL TO ACTION: Find a project where you have space to learn. Do something totally different than how you would do it normally. Journal your learnings! How did it make you feel? What would you do again? What would you do differently? Then move on to your next project.

We would love to hear your thoughts on how these call to actions are helping and transforming you and your teams. Please send them to us at info@nasongroup.co!

See you next week as we continue on the journey to “THE POWER OF YES IN INNOVATION!”


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My Top 3 Reflections On “How To Outrun The DoDo!”

The Story…

This past week, I had the privilege of doing one of my favorite things during the year. I joined a group of health care (yes, two words – not one) innovators from the Innovation Learning Network. We traveled to the Netherlands and spent several days in the wonderful city of Nijmegen. During our time in Nijmegen, we were hosted by the REshape Center For Innovation at Radboudumc. I met the head of the center, Lucien Engelen, a couple of years ago in Toronto at one of these same events. At the same time, I met Zayna Khayat, a true innovation sherpa and my sister from another mother.  The theme they chose this week was, “How To Outrun The DoDo!”

Now the stage is set. One hundred health care innovators from the United States, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, and many other countries, tackling systematic innovation around health care vs. healthcare (the care of the human vs. a system).

Here are my three take-aways:

Patient Included – In every sense of those words, The Netherlands has figured this out. I hear every week if not every day about patient-centered or member-centered design in this space, but we have not even tapped “patient included.”  To fully understand this, ourScreenshot 2017-10-22 16.32.46 group was introduced to Anne-Miek Vroom and the Ikone foundation. This group is a non-profit organization of humans who live and support those with chronic disorders. The organization is not an outsider in the system.  They truly co-create. They are intertwined into the health system and aim to bring better health care to all patients (I could write a whole blog on that subject, but not today.)

It’s All About The “Co!” – What does this mean? It means engaging the right people. Not just in mapping or analyzing the problem, but also in action to solve the problem. Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer from the NHS shared that with the group. Very simple to say, but not simple to do.

Helen presented us with the six CO’s her team lives by:

  • Coaching
  • Co-learning
  • Collaborating
  • Co-creating
  • Co-designing
  • Connectivity

Again, a whole blog could be written about Helen’s research and the amazing work the team is going to bring this to light by creating change agents. If you want to READ more the link is included here, as well as the link to Helen’s School for Change Agents. I encourage you to register.  I will be in the school in February!

Screenshot 2017-10-22 16.05.55

Health Innovation School – Why, oh, WHY have we not done this yet? I asked myself that question several times throughout the week. We have so many innovators trying to disrupt the healthcare system, but we have never brought clinicians, patients, start-ups, hospitals, and insurers all together in one-room for an extended period of time to solve the RIGHT PROBLEMS! There will be more to come on this, so be on the look-out!

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

This is pretty simple. Keep an open mind and explore the possibilities. Surround yourself with people that will push you to new limits and help you think differently. When you go to the Health Innovation School’s website, there is a great quote:

“Innovation is now a competency necessary for everyone across health and care, no matter what role or level.”

So, who are you going to surround yourself with to change the system from being healthcare to health and care?

What I Will Do And What You Can Do…

Take 15 minutes today and find one person to “hack” away with. Whether it be your personal passion or your professional passion, just do it.

This is How You Can Outrun The DoDo!”


Click Here To Order: The Power Of Yes! In Innovation!

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The Power of Yes To Yourself! Enmeshed In Gratitude!

The Story…

This week, as for so many of us, has been one filled with a lot to get done. We wake up in the morning and go, go, go, with no down time, and before we know it, it is time for bed. I hear so many people say, “I need more time in the day!” or “There just isn’t enough hours to get everything done!” Guess what?  I am one of those!

The truth is, do we really need more time in the day or more hours? I don’t think so! It is all about priorities. 

I had to drive this week to Detroit to get a new passport expedited (sometime I’ll share GRATITUDEGwhy I had to do this). For those of you that know me, I HATE DRIVING! If I can figure a way to fly there, I am going to do it. I would even fly across town if I could. But, nonetheless, I had to drive. So, I asked a friend of mine if he wanted to go with me. I thought it would be some time for us to catch-up and just chill. Oh, was I wrong! I’m not sure what you believe in; but, I know this was meant to be and orchestrated from on high.

In the 24 hours we were gone, I learned more about him and his family, and an incredible journey they have been on together. The truly amazing thing is THIS is the same journey I have been starting out on. The journey of bio-hacking.  Yep, bio-hacking.  I will explain more about this in another blog. It was so cool to hear his story and to know the commitment I was making to myself could really be done.

I am grateful for those 24 hours; but most important, I am grateful for the people over the past few weeks who have been put into my life.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

What I have learned is to make space for these moments of gratitude. This goes back to my story about time and do we need more of it. As I said above, I don’t think so.  I think what we need is a shift in priorities in our life. And believe me, I am preaching to the choir as I write this. We allow technology, activities, and this and that to fill our days. Just yesterday, I took the time to go out with my son and spend time in the grass letting him play on the trampoline. It was amazing! That 30-minutes was better spent with him than doing anything else.

What you can learn is The POWER OF YES to YOURSELF! That’s what I am challenging you to do today. It is a different mindset. It leads to a different culture. And I really believe you will be a better person and leader in your day-to-day life. Take some time and de-clutter your time! Find space to take care of yourself because you will be a better person in the end!

What I Can Do And What You Can Do…

Here is a simple game you can start today. It will not only cause you to focus on gratitude, but focus on the things that matter most in your life! Remember, put yourself first and you will be able to serve those around you in a more powerful way.

Gratitude Game


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Find Your Purpose Today! The Narrative Of Self-Care Being Selfish Is Over!

The Story…

Imagine with me, you enter a restaurant for the first time in a city you have never been. You come from behind the fire place and there are nine men sitting at a table; the table you are getting ready to sit at yourself. You sit down and introduce yourself to each of them. All are very personable and you have great conversation throughout the meal; but there is that time when you all look at each other thinking, “Who is that man? What does he do? Where is he from? Why is he here?”  

All of these guys are from different walks of life.

A Realtor.

A Restauranteur.

A Life Coach.

A Bio-Hacker.

A Wine Maker… just to name a few.

They are all entrepreneurs. Passionate about life. Passionate about family. Passionate about learning from each other. Each one of them are on a journey. All in different spots, but a journey to be a better person! 

Well, that experience is real. It is real to me! I had the honor to travel to Vancouver and stay on Bowen Island for the weekend.  I was introduced to these incredible men through an organization called ManTalks. Connor Beaton is the founder and the one I hold responsible for wrecking my life (in a good way). We spent the whole weekend digging deep into who we are called to be as men, husbands, partners, friends, and most of all; how to be true to ourselves. I had the opportunity to connect in honesty, integrity, transparency, and loyalty, in a way that I had never done before. What’s amazing is this; they are all now brothers in my life, and I get to spend the next year on an amazing journey with them.

Over the weekend, we focused a great deal of time on PURPOSE. What does purpose mean? It’s simple…

Purpose Definition

I think all of us have thought about this at one time or another, and many of us have struggled through it; possibly even lying to ourselves on why we exist or why we were created.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

Where do I begin? I learned that it is OK to focus on me. To focus on what I want as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a friend. I learned that for me to be my best in each of those roles, I need to take care of my emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

One of the exercises we did through the weekend was to create a purpose documentI am still working on my SFD (those of you who have worked with me, know what this means.) It is coming along and will be a work in progress. What it HAS done is allowed me to bring focus in the right areas in my life.

There are two things I believe that you can learn from my journey. First, stay true to yourself. Be the best you and then you can be the best for all of those around you. Second, take time to breathe. Breathe in all around you. We learned a wonderful new breathing technique. If you are interested you can go here: Wim Hof Method.

What I Will Do And What You Can Do…

I have taken time already on this journey to write out goals and objectives that will allow me to live out my purpose statement. In these goals and objectives, I will focus on things that will make me better in each area of purpose. It may not always be easy, but it is what is right.

What can you do? You can take time to slow down. Write your purpose statement. Focus on the best you and begin to live it out. Take 30 minutes today to do that.

P.S.:  Take 5 minutes today and go put your feet in the grass! It’s amazing! (Adam Hart this is for you Brother!)

Feet In The Grass

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The Power Of Your Story! When One Door Closes, A Thousand Open!

Pre-Cursor: I am writing this blog from 35k feet in the air and I will be up-front that this one is a personal story and journey. I hope you can take a nugget from it.

The Story…

This week I have been on three flights.  I have driven several hours and have visited six different states. WOW! That sounds like a lot! I was able to reflect on the great things in my life as well as spend some time listening to my heart. I started the week off with a great team finding their way to tell their story. We wrote break-up letters to current situations and love letters to the future (I know is sounds weird, but it was truly a IMG_8922transformational time.  Besides that, we got to listen to 80’s and 90’s love songs). During this time, my colleague and I got to see passion, excitement, and a burning desire to change the world. As the week progressed, I met more of our team and got to see the progress one of our partners had made in pushing to transform their organization. It was truly powerful and I know they are going to move mountains with their work.

 

Through this week, I had spent time praying and meditating to find answers to a couple of key situations in my life, career, and business. There were some decisions that were not going to be easy to make.  I needed guidance and asked for specific direction. Guess what? It happened! A door closed, but a thousand more have opened in the process! I am so grateful for that door. It taught me so much about myself, about the leader I want to be, the business owner I need to be, and the person I am! That door was powerful in my life. I am grateful for it, but it was time for it to close.

“When One Door Closes, Another Opens; But We Often Look So Long And So Regretfully Upon The Closed Door That We Do Not See The One Which Has Opened For Us.”  ~ Alexander Graham Bell

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

Now, I am looking at some new doors and I am excited!  It is part of my story, our story, and your story! Those doors make us who we are and who we want to be. They form us, transform us, and guide us into the next chapters in our life. This is how we learn and this is how we grow.

My greatest learning in this is this:  it is alright to not always know what doors to close.  Just trust they will get closed. Also, do not force doors to open but, let the right ones fly open for you.

What I Can Do And What You Can Do…

What am I going to do? I am going to live life to the fullest. Recently, I read a three-part article series by Jonathon J. Doll titled Open Doors. I encourage you to go read them. I also you encourage each one of you to look at all the doors in your life. Ask yourself, are they the right ones? Are these the best for me? Close the ones that need closed, and run with open arms to the ones that are opening.

I hope this speaks to at least one person. If not, that is OK! It may have just been for me. As I stated, I am 35k feet in the air, and that is what I feel like in my soul right now.

GO FLY and BE FREE!

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Always Take The High Road! The Road To MBE Certification…

The Story…

Earlier this year I wrote part one of this post with “Owning Your Story! Sharing Your Story! The Power Of Your Story!  Here I shared, my personal journey and story about being a Native American and the rich heritage it brings to my life. At the end of the blog I stated:

“Personally, I will stay true to myself. I will love all of those that I come into contact with just as I love myself. I will respect all for who they are no matter where they come from. Professionally, I will embrace my heritage. I will say I am proud to be a minority owned business. And I will seek to help all of us on this journey!”

I have learned so much more since writing that post and I will address that later – but I have exciting news to share about the Nason Group. Two weeks ago, I was notified  Nason Group completed the certification process and were approved as a Certified Minority Business Enterprise with the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council. This has been a great experience. We are very excited to see the benefits that this certification will offer as we continue our work.

What We Learned and What You Can Learn…

So, although the certification journey took a bit longer than expected, during this process I did a great deal of self-reflection and realized what I value most in life, and what we as a company value with our friends, partners, families, and team. It is pretty simple! Four Words.

2017MBE

Honesty!

Integrity!

Transparency!

Loyalty!

These words ring true to what the Nason Group has been built on. It will continue to be built on this mantra as our team grows, as we work with new partners, but most important; as we evolve personally.

Why these four words? Why not different ones? I don’t know exactly. However, as I have attended meetings, talked with people, and heard stories all across this nation and globe; these are the words that resonate in my inner being.

Honesty! Stay true to your self. Be honest with who you are, and be honest with those around you. Even if, sometimes, it is not the easy way. Honesty will always keep you on the right journey and headed in the right direction.

Integrity! This ties right in with honesty. Be a person of your word. Go above and beyond. Always Take The High Road! Integrity will always lead you to the right place and the right people.

Transparency! When working with partners, we ask for transparency. Not only asking transparency from them but making sure that we give transparency equally. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This is the only way you are going to make progress on your journey. This rings true in relationships as well.

Loyalty! I have found out on several of my journeys in life, that this is more important to me than anything else. I will look pass many things in a relationship/partnership, but I have a hard time looking past those who have broken loyalty. A broken cup is not easily repaired and if it is; it doesn’t hold liquid the same. 

What We Can Do and What You Can Do…

Going through the certification process over the last six months has allowed me and our group to become more focused. It allowed us to spend time searching, refining, and building a strong foundation for Nason Group. The MBE certification is an honor.  Who we are now and in the future needs to live up to this honor.

So, with that said; we will try every day to live up to the four words I shared. I ask that you find what is true to you, your friends, your family, and your organization – and put a stake in the ground. Don’t waiver! Be True To Who You Are! And remember:

Always Take The High Road!


 

 

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When The Consumer Comes In Ready for Battle

Guest Blog by Steve Junion:

The Story…

We needed a new vehicle and I had been seriously dreading the anticipated negotiation combat that always accompanied the purchase of a new car. I knew what I wanted and I had armed myself with the nuclear codes, aka consumer & market research.

After speaking with six dealerships, I was getting close to my price mark but was already battle fatigued and I had yet to set foot on a lot. Then, as I was on my way to a dealership where I was locked in a tenacious struggle on price, I decided on a whim to stop at a different dealership along the way.

I walked in ready for battle – protected with my mental body armor. The salesman, who we will call Zach, greeted me enthusiastically.  I explained I had offers on the same model they had in the lot and asked if he could get to a specific price range.

The first salvo was launched. He tried to smile but I knew it was going to hurt. He left to speak with his GM. When he came back he presented me with MY number. The battle zone in my head went silent. This clever salesman had not only assessed me and my armor within the first moments of meeting, he had listened. He knew if he met me where I stood, I could only say yes. A broad grin came across his face. That was the start of a very transformational car purchase experience.

As Zach started filling out the finance paperwork, I still felt a bit edgy. The initial battle was over, but where was the impending surge of finance upsells –  offering options I didn’t need or want?

Zach explained they did business differently. He said his GM invested in sales people to also become Finance Managers “because you never get handed off – unlike most dealerships where you might interact with up to 5 people during the sale. Here you only interact with one person through the entire process.” As he spoke, I felt my remaining armor falling away.

Zach’s GM stopped over – let’s call him Jim. I asked Jim what his primary focus was in building the business. Jim, a former marine, said thoughtfully “culture.” He went on to say, “Having the right culture means that I can do things that other dealerships won’t. If I do those things, my team and the customer wins.

The war was over and I had strong feelings of esprit de corps.

Battle Lessons: What I Learned

  1. Simplicity is important in winning the experience battle. Working only with Zach made my experience easy and we became battle buddies.
  2. If culture is the end point, leadership and mindset pave the way. Jim the GM is a leader, disruptor, and has instilled and invested in versatility on the ‘battlefield’.
  3. Jim’s culture values knowing their customer and building unit cohesion amongst his team and with the consumer.

What You and I Can Ask

  1. Is our mission clear to colleagues and consumers?
  2. How can we make it easy for our consumers/customers to say Yes! to anticipate and avoid resource wasting battles?
  3. How does our organization’s leadership example impact our culture?

When someone says they are looking for a new vehicle, I will know where to point them to an experience, not just another dealership.

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Members At The Center! – The Journey To The Consumer

The Story…

This past week was a fantastic week for the Nason Group and one of our partners, Health Partners Plans. Just over three months ago, a group of Consumer Experience Pioneers embarked on a journey to improve member communication for their organization. After six iterations and many healthy discussions of the “how might we” statement, the group moved forward with this focus: “How might we optimize, streamline and humanize communications for care managed Medicaid members with diabetes.

Let’s take a step back and look at the process this group of pioneers navigated. We created a 12-week process that is broken-up into six two-week sprints (if you would like to learn more about the sprint process, please reach out to us).

Screenshot 2017-08-15 07.58.43

This was the first time our partners had run a project like this within their organization, and the results were phenomenal, as you can see below:

Screenshot 2017-08-15 08.00.43

These pioneers worked hard to bring the four prototypes to life. This is where the story continues. We were honored to watch the team present each of these prototypes to the CEO and other key leaders within the organization – it was awesome. It was a very “proud papa” moment for me as I witnessed all of their hard work come to life. They are all ROCK STARS and it was a monumental moment for the organization. Be on the look out for the report out on their next project.

What We Learned And What You Can Learn…

Collectively, we all experienced transformational “learning” during this process. These learnings have become a pivotal part of who we, as Nason Group, will become in the future.

Many times in the consumer experience industry you will find a “know it all” attitude around the correct approach to the consumer experience. This is something we have come face to face within this journey with our partner. We, the Nason Group, arrived on the scene with our initial analysis in hand and proceeded to inform the organization of the issues with their consumer experience process – along with confidently providing them with a list of steps to take to fix this issues. As you might expect, this approach was not entirely successful.

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Throughout this journey, we learned – willingly and sometimes unwillingly – that consumer solutions are often organic. They must be allowed to evolve and transform within each unique experience. Our partners at HPP pushed us to think differently and to adjust our process to better meet the client where they stand. We listened to our consumer and we learned! 

What We Can Do And What You Can Do…

I have explained what we did and what we learned! We took time, built an open relationship with our client and most importantly, truly partnered with our client on their journey to the consumer.

So what, Shawn? The so what is what you can do:  LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN!

Take the time to listen to your customers or consumers openly and honestly so that you garner an authentic understanding of their challenges, experiences, and needs. Do not approach any situation believing you know exactly what to do for your client, customer or consumer. This learning experience has been awesome for me and our group! Not always easy, but truly transformational!


 

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The Power of Yes! – 3 Mindsets that Matter

As we continue our journey discussing how critical leadership, mindset, and culture are to success in Consumer-Centered Innovation (CCI), I was reminded of how important mindset is across all aspect of our lives. Govindarajan and Srinivas (2013) discuss innovation challenges and the importance of mindset, which they define as a way to ‘think different, act different, and achieve extraordinary success’.

The Story…

Working in Philadelphia allows us to spend time at Reading Terminal – yes, the same Reading many of us know from our Monopoly playing days. Today it is known as Reading Market, a thriving city-wide block of food vendors, farmer’s market, flower stores, and one of the best donut shops EVER!

Recently I was reminded about the Power of Yes! in achieving goals and how important mindset matters in achieving success over breakfast at the Market. Eddie was a seat down from me. We started with small talk and he mentioned that he just got off his second full-time job (3rd shift). Breakfast was a treat for him as he prepared to go to his primary full-time job. I asked, ‘why two jobs?’ He said that he was working hard to save and start his next business.

During the conversation, Eddie shared his business plan, goals and actions. I left thinking to myself that Eddie was going to win. Why? Eddie exhibited the innovation mindset qualities identified by Govindarajan and Srinivas (2013) in a second HBR article. These included the ability to see and act upon opportunities, the use of ‘And’ thinking, resourcefulness, and a focus on outcomes – not activities.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

As I considered the definition of mindset from Govindarajan and Srinivas, as well as my experience with Eddie, I now believe there are three important types of mindsets critical to success:

  1. Learning Mindset – Eddie failed in a previous business, however, he said that he now knows better and has learned. Learning is his ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card.
  2. Results Mindset – Too often, people have the right mindset yet never seize the opportunity. Eddie leveraged a key resource (his time) and committed to working two jobs to achieve his goals. Every time Eddie passes ‘Go’, he’s collecting a lot more than $200.
  3. Get S**t Done Mindset – As people and organizations say Yes! to the Power of Innovation and commit to the right mindset, it’s amazing what gets done. Organizational barriers are torn down, people challenge the way stuff has always been done. We stop accepting ‘No’, use ‘And’ thinking to deliver results for customers. To get s**t done, you have to be like Eddie and commit to rolling the dice and making the next move.

What You And I Can Do…

Like Eddie, choose every day to have the right mindset – the mindset to learn, get s**t done, and deliver results. Life may be a game; however, mindset – what you do to think and act differently to achieve extraordinary results is a choice.