The Smartest Person in the Room

You don’t necessarily win by being the smartest person in the room.

You win by making everyone else the smartest people in the room.

Being skilled at helping others reach their potential is the definition of a leader.

The unlikely Philadelphia Phillies are in the playoffs after a poor start, firing a manager and appointing a person who never managed in the major leagues.

Here’s what one of his players said about how the 59-year old Rob Thomson did it:

“He’s such a people person…he can have a conversation with anybody about anything and definitely on anything baseball.  I think he just feels relatable.”

Start the day thinking of the keys  – we carry many different kinds of keys, fobs and cards – but use a different one for different situations – then look for the right key to unlock the potential of others.

Research on a Smile

Thought you’d like to see this new OnePoll research on the power of a simple smile.

28% say receiving one is worth more than getting a gift.

26% think a smile is better than a compliment at work.

60% say receiving a smile makes them feel more confident.

52% say they feel happier to receive one.

64% think getting a smile from a stranger is worth receiving up to 3 compliments in one day.

A smile is the least expensive way to improve your looks.

Start the day smiling at ten people some you know, some you don’t and see the power you have – and how it changes your mood for the positive without ever saying a word.

Giving Your Best Every Day

This is what the CEO of Target Brian Cornell does:

Sleep and eat “just like you would if you’re playing in the U.S. Open or the Super Bowl.”

But it wasn’t always that way – he used to get too little sleep, drink coffee as a substitute for eating and not prioritizing after-work exercise and relaxation.

These habits can be detrimental to careers and health as outlined in a 2016 study.

The way I take this is defer to your brain which controls your drive and motivation, fix poor sleep and don’t forget me-time and improve diet so that the result is the mind of a well-trained athlete and the improved health to go with it.


Even doing partial favors can be appreciated.

People who offer less than requested underestimate the appreciation for partial help according to a 2020 study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

In other words, even if you can’t accommodate “the big ask”, a small show of help is often significantly appreciated.

Think of what you can do, not what is too big, too time-consuming or too inconvenient to do.

Happiness Set-Point

50% of the ability to be happy comes from heredity.

The other half is on their own but with excellent options.

It’s more important to stay positive than to focus on being happy.

If you want to be happier, you have to experience occasional sadness.

Get nature time.

Buying time and using it for the money you spent.

Know your goals dreams and ambitions.

Doubling the number of friends is like increasing your income by 50% in happiness terms.

Liar, Liar

New research says the average person lies four times a day!

When I read that my reaction was, “that’s all?”

Humans are not perfect and all lies are not created equal.

A white lie could be a harmless, trivial lie told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

More severe ones are serious and can reveal a lot of negative things about a person.

Being authentic is a better goal – young people often mention authenticity as one of the characteristics they crave – reliable, accurate.

One who is being authentic is less likely to be one who lies.

Big Mo

The Phillies had the Braves on the ropes – it really should have been the other way around but the improbable Phils won their recent playoff series and moved on.


You can mention the new playoff format or luck (good and bad) but I got the feeling the team that gets the momentum wins – it’s in the head.

The Phillies had nothing to lose, they were an early season disaster and the Braves were – well, the Braves.

But with nothing to lose and all the chill that goes along with it, the Phillies could play spoiler and catch the momentum.

Once it got into their blood, they believed anything was possible.

Once the Braves started believing losing to the Phillies was possible, they lost — it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Today try banishing all negative thoughts, free yourself to cultivate a nothing to lose attitude.

From Enemy to Friend

The one way to make an enemy a friend is ask them to do you a small favor.

If they agree, they will be admitting that they like you.

Small requests for favors are a way to change the dialogue, level the playing field and perhaps get beyond differences to find common ground.

Joyless Jobs

My friend Beau Phillips writes a blog called Reverb in which he was recently positing on the wisdom of what the great innovator Steve Jobs would do 12 years after his passing.

Days before his death, Jobs who had accomplished much and earned plenty reminded us about what is even more important.

“In other people’s eyes, my life is a success. However, aside from work, I’ve had little joy. All the recognition and wealth I took so much pride in is meaningless now. Material things that are lost can be found again. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost: Life.”

Live like there is no tomorrow.

One Word

Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts says you have to believe in yourself and if you hear encouragement from just one person, it can make all the difference.

He’s been fighting the pressure of great expectations since he took over from franchise quarterback Carson Wentz and this year it is all coming together.

Be aware that even a word of encouragement to those around you is the most powerful gift you can give to motivate associates or help family members grow.

Messaging positivity builds confidence.