Category Archives for Leadership

The Dojo Sensei Shares Behind the Scenes : Stats, Future Projects, and Leadership Passion : DOJO 24

This is an update for y’all who are interested in the inner workings of the Leadership Dojo.

I make some announcements that hopefully get you excited 🙂

But to hear more about these projects, you should sign up with your email 😉


Hangout and Grow Rich – How to Create your Virtual Mastermind in 30 Days

Podcasting 101 : How to Create a Podcast and Launch like a Pro

BITS Bootcamp Radio

Coaching Services

How to be grateful for mundane work : Gratitude Day 7 of 30

I hate taking out the trash. That was one of my first chores as a child. I dreaded it like final exams.

I would wait until the trash piled over the top or my mom demanding I take action.

In the mundane, the purpose can be found, however easily it was lost at first.

Bringing back my thoughts to the job’s purpose (or it’s “why”) brings meaning and a new twist on the activity.

I value my wife beyond all people. She means more to me than any other person on this planet. Because I value her so much, I value her desires and dreams.

She likes a clean house. So do I. In order to keep our house tidy, I have to take out the trash.

Now, that’s fairly boring logic. What if it was applied to my everyday thinking?

Let’s face the facts, when a lousy task is given to us, we dread it, procrastinate, complain.

Instead of complaining, try to bring your mind to the why. Instead of focusing on all the reasons why your mundane job is lousy, think on the value it provides to someone else.

I tried this exercise this week. It honestly put a step in my walk.

Because this is what normally happens:

Brain: “shoot, the trash is full. I have to go outside, in the frigid air, and drag this stupid bag to the alley”
Chooses to wait til tomorrow

Next day- Brain: “This trash is really getting bad. I should take it out”
Chooses once again to wait

3 days later – Brain: “Crap. Alright. Fine. I’ll take it out”
Chooses to place in the room that leads to the outside

The next day – Brain: “Ok, enough is enough”
Finally, takes out the trash

Here’s my own story of applying this principle (last night)…

Brain: “The trash is full. Megan would be really happy if I got rid of this trash. I’ll take it out now”
Chooses to do a chore with delight

Because my why was established before doing the thankless mundane chore, I acted quickly to do this.

I call this a Dojo Productivity hack:

Redefining your purpose

I’m going to try this on doing my shownotes for podcast episodes.

You’ve probably heard me complain on previous episodes that I dislike writing shownotes.
I dislike shownotes because they are mundane tasks. I don’t see a great benefit to them,
but I need to put something on a post because without them the post would look barren.

Redefine the purpose:
These posts need to be done because they serve a purpose: Listeners follow along, find out what the show contains and decide whether they want to listen or not.
My “why” for shownotes is to serve you, my readers/listeners. You are the greatest group of individuals I know. Just thinking that way makes me want to improve
my writing ability or desire to hire someone to do a better job than I can.

What are your mundane jobs? How can you place meaning behind them and find appreciation?

Lost Cats, Funerals, and Gratitude – Gratitude Day 5 of 30

We own a cat.
It started as a deal with my wife. She wanted something to snuggle with while I was on rotations during grad school.
Luckily (sarcasm) we found a stray cat.
He has been called Gandalf ever since. Or Gandy for short.
I mostly dislike him. He costs money. He doesn’t snuggle. He poops inside the house.
But my wife loves him.
When we lived in Virginia, we lived in an apartment complex with an outside complex for our laundry.
One day, I left the door open after getting the laundry. I didn’t give it a second thought.
I returned, and the feline was gone.
A temporary victory for me. A crushing blow to my wife.
While I was secretly happy that my cat expenses went to zero, my wife was distraught. My wife missed Gandy so much, despite the fact that our cat Gandalf doesn’t snuggle or show any affection.
She missed him like I would miss a family member.

Sometimes it takes loss to truly understand what you appreciate.

Funerals bring out the same feelings. A meeting of mourners express their feelings of loss and love for the one lost. Appreciation for the lost pours out.
Attendees express all the feelings they never said.
I propose that you don’t live life this way. Don’t wait until someone dies to tell him how you feel.
Life holds too many surprises, you never know who may be taken away from you.
Many of my consultanting clients will answer this question,
“What will they say about you at your funeral?”
This question helps me think about what kind of man I want to become.
Your gratitude exercise is to think about,
“What would you say at that person’s funeral?”
Share this with the friend you’re thinking of.

Grateful for the Top Generous Givers on the Internet – Gratitude 4 of 30

In my observation, Thanksgiving has become an American tradition on which families spend time together, watch TV, eat too much food, and talk about Black Friday deals.

The word “thanksgiving” implies displaying appreciation.
My family’s tradition dont match up with the “reason of the season”.

My goal this Thanksgiving is to change my family’s Legacy. I say legacy because a legacy means

A story worth being told

My story is written everyday. And my epic journey enriches every week with characters.

The Leadership Dojo is a project that has dozens of contributors.

I want to take this blog post to thank those who made me where I am today

Jared Easley, host of Starve the Doubts podcast
Jared was one of the first people who spoke with me about the dojo. He was my first online friend who believed in my dream.

Allan Dubon, most likable blogger I know
I connected with Allan on We connected to discuss a mastermind group. Ever since our meeting, we text on a regular basis. Allan believes in providing value before asking for anything, and I admire that quality.

Richard Rierson, host of Dose of Leadership and Courageous Leadership podcast
Richard is a man of opportunity. I know there are young leaders who read and listen to the show. If you have a big dream for your leadership, you need to connect with him. He is a man of fearless leadership.

Chris Edmond
Chris was on the dojo episode 10. I was so impressed with him, not because of our conversation during the interview, but after the interview he was so generous.
I am a public speaker. I want to improve my ability and get more gigs.
Here are some of the tips he gave me after our interview
1) find more experienced speakers and connect with them
2) go to as many conferences as you can
3) take notes on how expert speak, not necessarily the content

Wesley Chapman
If you meet an extremely successful entreneur who advises million dollar companies, I recommend you do everything in your power to continue the relationship, especially if the man is generous. Wesley connected with me because our podcasts (his is Entrepreneur Success Radio) launched at the same time.
Wesley is going to explode in popularity and success very soon. Now is the time to connect with him before he becomes the next business mastermind (he already is).

Scott Anthony Barlow
Scott and I connected about my Podcast Dojo (mastermind). Scott and I are working a project that will help people rock the job interview and get hired at their dream job. We are calling it Interview University.
Scott is generous career expert. He and I have traded ideas back and forth about the Dojo and his business Happen to Your Career.

Larry Poole
A man who is the generous expert! He speaks and advises churches about the subject of generosity. We spoke only for an hour over the phone about masterminds and he sent me a book!
I highly recommend connecting with him if you are in church leadership.

Dan Black
A man of everyday leadership and bold faith. Dan is the kind of guy who would stop what he’s doing just to help. He has a great book about the foundation of leadership called

Catalyst John
My unofficial business coach. John is a business model expert. I’ve bounced a few ideas off him and he always provided a helpful perspective. All business questions I refer to his expertise.

Susan Mazza
Oh, my, goodness. Most generous guest on the show yet! She spent a while with me after our interview. Susan specializes in finding speakers’ messages.

Tony J Robinson, Host of Do Really Good
I think Tony and I connected on Tony and I are doing great things together. Ever since we meet, we have been able to collaborate on blog and podcast ideas.
And here I am making the first official announcement on a project Tony and I are working on:

Launch your Podcast
Podcasting 101
On SkillShare

So pumped about this opportunity. Tony and I will release a class on the SkillShare platform. I’ll release a special code for regular dojo listeners for a discounted deal.

This is just a small list of people who are extremely generous with their expertise. Please reach out to these individuals if you have any questions

How to Write a Thank You Note – Gratitude Day 3 of 30

“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
William James (1842-1910)


So many workers today face another day of thankless tasks. Mopping, sweeping, trash detail, jobs that have no name and may never be observed.

I found a Gallup poll (and shared it in the first post) that found:

65% of workers reported receiving no recognition or appreciation at work in the past 12 months
(How Full is Your Bucket by Rath & Clifton, 2004)

One would wonder what could happen to such a majority of thankless workers if someone started a Gratitude movement.

But how could you start this movement?

Keep your leadership simple. Take one small step everyday towards your goal : one thank you note per day.

Thank you notes are a lost art. Handwritten anything is a rare commodity with so much of our world gone digital.
Thus it’s value has increased.

I follow a simple template with all of my thank you cards:


Introduction – state what you are thankful for (1-2 sentences)

Middle – share details of why you are thankful (2-3 sentences)

Conclusion – restate your gratitude (1-2 sentence)


Maybe you think this is a boring format. That’s fine, spice up your notes. Everyone enjoys a purple cow.

However, I learned in my career and social life that this template never fails to inspire me when I write a Thank You Note.

Here are a few other rules when writing thank you notes:

1) Never request anything

The whole point of a thank you note is expressing your gratitude and displaying praise. A thank you note is ruined by a request because a request defeats the purpose of the note.

It’s like giving a wedding toast to the bride and groom but spending the majority of time discussing the intricate model of the quantum physic theories. It doesn’t fit in.

2) Only use the word “Thank You” twice

Stating your gratitude is great. You’re already above 99% of the population. But saying it too much is self-defeating.

“Thank you for this opportunity to be at the conference. I am so appreciative of the time we spent together. You were so generous to share your current projects with me and I thank you for this. I am extremely grateful for our meeting”

After the second sentence, the note just reads “blah, blah, blah”.

Limit yourself to no more than two “thank you’s”. Also, “appreciate” and “grateful” count as thank you’s.

3) Handwritten >>> Emails

Emails can be tossed into the digital trash bin forever, but a handwritten note means so much more.
I understand that in today’s world, we may not have a physical address, so email may be your only option.
But if you have an email, it’s easy to request a physical address.
I still have my handwritten thank you note from Jen McDonough (The Iron Jen) after I was on her show.

Here’s an example of a handwritten thank you that I wrote this morning:

 Dear XXXX,

Thank you so much for your daily hard work. 

My office would be a complete mess without you! It has been my pleasure having you in our office and I look forward to seeing you everyday.

I know our departments do not directly interact, but let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. Again, I really appreciate your service, it means a lot to my productivity. 

Sincerely, Alex Barker

photo (2)(Excuse my poor handwriting. I left out the name here and in the card for this blog)

Matt McWilliams (future guest on the Leadership Dojo podcast) has a great free ebook about the revolutionary power of Thank You Notes.

Everyone has the power to change the world in a small way. Thanking those individuals who never receive thanks for a job is an easy way for you to change someone’s life

“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone
who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

Dale Carnegie


Who is someone you can write a thank you note today and what would it say? 

Best Bro Night Ever – Gratitude Day 2 of 30

Day 2 of the 30 Days of Gratitude Experiment

I remember in school completing cheesy Thanksgiving assignments :

Write out a list of all the people, things, and places that you appreciate.

Perhaps an adequate assignment for children…

Sadly, I attended a seminar on leadership where the speaker asked us to do a similar project.

This idea is not helpful because it lacks the deeper thought of what a person truly appreciates. Instead, it is simply counting blessings and moving on.
The assignment doesn’t invoke the gratitude attitude.  

Instead of creating one list and then writing out the things that you’re grateful for,
TODAY I recommend you first write one time when you were extremely happy.

Write out why you were happy at that time.
Who was there? What was the event? What about the experience made you over-joyous?

My Story

One of the greatest “Man” moments in my life was my bachelor party. This was a night of pure joy.

My friends planned everything, and they can be summed up in three words : Steak, Arcade, and Lightsabers.

My closest group of college friends planned one night to rule them all.

Between lasertag, go carts, stupid arcade games, and all you can eat steak, best bro night ever.

The final piece that made the night perfect was the lightsaber battles.

My friends ingeniously created this idea, and I’ll forever love them for it. Everyone bought lightsabers before heading out, specifically to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

After eating our fill of steak, we headed out into the town. Our first destination was the heart of downtown, the ice arena.

A friend brought a boombox designed for playing music at a construction site and played “Dual of Fates“. We split into two groups and fought a Jedi battle like Grand Rapids had never seen before. Then we proceeded to have battles in front of all the fancy downtown restaurants.

by theoriginalamandatastic

by theoriginalamandatastic


Some crowds clapped, others looked on with disdain and confusion.

It may seem strange to you, but this is one of my most memorable moments of Graduate school.

I am thankful for those who put it together: Dave Kruh, Andy Rausch, Cameron Hartman, Blake Robitaille, Jason Merkle, Billy Reichhardt, Matt Everitt, Luke Berger (the list is too long). You guys made one of the best nights of my bachelordom. 

Join with me in my 30 Days of Gratitude Experiment by thinking of those moments in life when you were the happiest. Then, share it with others.

[Tweet “Today I am thankful for    #leadershipdojo”]

Let me know your gratitude story and I may enter it in the 30 Days of Gratitude free audio book give-away: “How Full is Your Bucket” by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton.

What was one of your life’s happiest moment and who was you with?


Inspiring Millions with John Lee Dumas : DOJO 015

In this episode I speak with John Lee Dumas. John is the Founder and Host of EntrepreneurOnFire, a 7-days-a-week podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs. EntrepreneurOnFire is a top ranked business podcast generating over 250,000 unique downloads a month in over 145 countries. His lineup includes Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, and hundreds more.

Wisdom that defines this interview:

[Tweet “A good decision now is better than a great decision later @johnleedumas”]

What would you tell your younger self?

[Tweet “Your passions must overlap with a viable business model if you want to succeed @johnleedumas”]

Items Mentioned in this Episode:

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Outwitting the Devil – Napoleon Hill
Pat Flynn
Amy Porterfield

Other questions John and I address:

  • I gave our dojo listeners a brief intro, but could you tell us a little more about who you are?
  • Could you share with us a senzu bean of wisdom?
  • What limitations did you encounter at the start of your journey toward excellence?
  • Has the weight of leadership responsibility ever had a negative effect on other areas of your life?
  • What is the biggest challenge you faced as a leader and how did you overcome it?
  • Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
  • They say “its lonely at the top.” With that in mind, what does friendship look like for a leader?

Leave a  review on iTunes! Pretty Please!

Send John a Thank You Tweet!

Discovering Your WHY to Create Success

aj_jump_profile_tallAlan Jackson is our Success Secret provider this week. Adam is the Action Evangelist and leader of Six Month Jump. He helps people achieve their goals in Six Months.





I’m an advocate for utilizing the Power of WHY to achieve success. Understanding your personal “why” isn’t achieved overnight. However, the process can be accelerated by implementing a three-phase approach.

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11 Leadership Principles for Business from the US Marines

Welcome to an excerpt from One Bold Move, a blog created by Frank Gustafsonwritten to encourage you towards becoming an entrepreneur & making that OneBoldMove to make it happen.

leadershipLeadership is critical to any business and if you have, or hope to one day have a team…  these 11 principles borrowed from the US Marines will serve you well. These principles are instilled in every Marine officer and they are put to use everyday by Marines in the field and by Marines in business.  I trust that they will help in your organization too.
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How to Start a Mastermind Group

“Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher. Life is already filled with those who want to bring you down” -Unknown

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my mastermind group. Not just on my blog, but in my life too. Some of my co-workers think my groups are crazy. Others ask me how I started them.

So here’s a step by step guide on how to create your Mastermind Group.

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