Buddy LaRosa, A True Hall of Famer

Today’s post is for the Cincinnati friends and family out there.
I’ve met Buddy Larosa (https://www.larosas.com/about/history.aspx) a few times when having lunch at the Boudinot Ave location. His large personality and engaging warmth was infectious as he pulled up a chair and sat with us for 30 min and of course, offering the children with us jobs in his restaurants as soon as they become teenagers and attending high school.

But what I absolutely love about Buddy LaRosa is a quote that he had posted on his wall that sums up his personal motto in business. “Good – Better – Best. Never rest until your good is better and your better is best.” This commitment to continuous improvement has inspired Buddy to build a pizza empire in the Cincinnati and become a household name in the Queen City.

We should all strive to improve ourselves everyday with small incremental choices. These small improvements create the flywheel effect that prepares us for larger, more important decisions that will shape our minds and “edit our future” that I talk so much about.


Kenichi Ohmae on Strategy

Kenichi-OhmaeMarietta — Kenichi Ohmae has been called, “Mr. Strategy,” for his innovative writings on corporate strategy and his creation of “The 3 C’s” business concept: 1) Customer, 2) Competitors, and 3) Corporation. His 1982 book entitled, “The Mind of the Strategist,” was a game changer in the world of organizational development for its insightful wisdom on how to identify the customer’s needs, evaluate the strengths of the company, and overcome competition. His comparisons of Japanese company structure vs. US companies strategic development have improved the way we do business globally and how growth has brought cross-cultural understanding as we all evolve into a global economy through technological improvements. Mr. Ohmae has held teaching positions at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, MIT, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Stanford University, along with others. Check out his recent work here. kenichi-ohmae2

The EvE Methodology (Effort vs. Effectiveness)

Marietta — The EvE methodology is something I developed myself during a difficult and challenging project implementation for a large technology firm with a fast-growing Internet startup customer with huge hurdles to overcome.

I coined it, “Effort versus Effectiveness,” or EvE because we had over 100 tasks to accomplish in less than 48 hours! So I had the teams list the highest priority items in groups of ten. Then we took the TOP 10 and accomplished the top three first, then reshuffled the remaining seven until we were done, then moved on to the next ten items.  We got it done on time and under budget. Have you heard the age-old rhetorical question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is: “One bite at a time.” If you feel overwhelmed by lots of tasks and not enough time to complete everything, try the EvE method: Prioritize, Reshuffle, “Do It” and Move On to the next task list. efficiency-wordcloud

Connections and Weak Links

SuperconnectIn their interesting book entitled, “Superconnect,” written by Richard Koch and Gregory Lockwood, they describe three distinct networks we encounter in our lives: strong links, weak links and hubs. There are good reasons for all three types, but connections are extremely crucial in our lives, both personally and professionally. Check out this fascinating read here:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9780393079203.    #Encourage Excellence

Act As If It Were Already So

Marietta – I know this sounds sort of “ZEN” and all, but an old friend (whom we will call “Pure Energy”) gave me some great advice everyone should adopt.  When making a goal or setting an objective, act as if it has already happened.

For example, say you want to lose 20 pounds. Instead of making tons of plans and crazy exercise goals that you will probably never keep, start acting today like you have already lost the 20 pounds and let your new food choices and daily routines make you healthy.  This can be applied to almost everything.  Start living like you have already achieved your goals, which in your mind, you have.  Try it and let me know how it works out. #NcourageXcellence

“Think Like a First Generation Immigrant”

Kennesaw – “Free Food for Millionaires,” is the first novel by Min Jin Lee, a Korean, who lives in New York City.

Min-Jin-LeeHer book about the new America is so rich, diverse and insightful. She talks about the differences between first, second and even third generations of immigrants who have come to America and have put down roots. The story highlights the struggles of fitting in, staying loyal to traditions and overcoming challenges and difficulties. My suggestion to anyone wanting to become significant is to step back and walk a mile in the shoes of a recent immigrant to our country. Don’t take anything we have for granted. Embrace change and encourage excellence.

Order the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Free-Food-Millionaires-Min-Jin/dp/0446699853/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459967817&sr=8-1&keywords=free+food+for+millionaires

#Encourage Excellence

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones on Reading

Kennesaw – Charles Tremendous Jones (www.TremendousLifeBooks.com) was an American treasure. I was fortunate enough to meet him one day at a speech he gave during Matt Holman’s class at Landmark Baptist Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio. Charlie’s gift of encouragement and enthusiasm was so contagious nobody left the room that day unaffected. I got an autographed copy of his book, “The Books You Read,” that I gave away some years later. I wish I had kept it.

Charles-T-JonesWith a private library of several thousand books, reading and relationships were two themes that became the hallmark of Charles’ mission to share with the world. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MprvRSBUpXk)

“If you can’t be happy where you are, it’s a cinch you can’t be happy where you ain’t.” – Charles Tremendous Jones

#Encourage Excellence

George Rawlings and “Success”

Kennesaw – George Rawlings (www.rawlingsgroup.com) came to speak at our college and career class at Landmark Baptist Temple in 1986. George had driven from Louisville to Cincinnati to see his dad (Dr. John Rawlings) who was the senior pastor at Landmark and chancellor of Landmark Christian School. (I graduated from Landmark in 1981.)  George-Rawlings2Some of the points I remember vividly were George’s clear approach to vocation, life’s work and the value of giving back. His approach was simple and direct:

1) In America, if you want to become successful, work eight hours a day, five days a week. Then save, invest and give a portion of what you earn back to God. (Statistically, you will then be in the top 10% of the world’s income earners.)

2) If you want to become wealthy, work 10 hours a day, five days a week. Save, invest and give a portion of what you earn back to God. (You will then be in the top 5% of the world’s earners.)

3) If you want to become rich, work 12 hours a day, five days a week. Save, invest and give a portion of what you earn back to God. (You will then become one of the world’s top 1%.)

The point that George was making to us was this: If you work hard and smart, in any given occupation, you can become successful. Work in a field that you enjoy because working eight hours a day will help you take care of your family, but working 12 hours a day will make you a person of significance. Remember also the relevance of being in America where we still have the freest economy and even our poor have free groceries, cell phones, health care, education, utilities and air conditioning.

#Encourage Excellence

Immediate Gratification

Marietta – Another item for the “Can’t fix stupid” folder.  The Internet is full these days with guru’s promising to help you attract thget_it_nowe opposite sex, get lucky, have more dates than you can ever handle, how to talk to women, or men.  People actually fall for spending money on corny classes and conferences on how to have crazy sex anytime they want.  Let me let you in on a little secret that has a 100% guarantee, “if you want to want to get “lucky” with new partners every day, then have very low standards.”  That’s it.

Develop and work on having good relationships.  You become who you associate with.  #NcourageXcellence