How To Be Simply Effective

simplyeffectiveRon Ashkenas, author of Simply Effective joins Robert Thompson and Mike Neiss this week to share how to cut through complexity in your organization and get things done. Is it really possible to eliminate complexity or even reduce it in organizations today? If so, what are some strategies for kicking complexity to the curb? Are all managers capable of this task? Should removing complexity be a part of the manager’s job? Learn the answers to these and many other questions in today’s Thought Grenades show. Listen live on Mondays at 10 a.m., catch it here or subscribe on iTunes and listen when convenient.



Turning Crisis Into Opportunity: The Toyota Way

Jeffrey K. Liker, author of Toyota Under Fire, joins Robert Thompson and Mike Neiss to share how Toyota faced the challenges of the recall and the recession to come out stronger. Listen and learn a few lessons on how to turn crisis into opportunity. Subscribe to Thought Grenades on iTunes.

Robert Thompson’s Thought Grenades, October 3, 2011

How To Innovate And Succeed Like Steve Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and innovation are almost synonymous these days, so what makes Jobs so creative? How does Jobs, the CEO of the decade, and head of what has been called the most innovative company of the past century, do it? What inspires his creative energy? And more importantly, what can the rest of us learn from him? This week Robert Thompson and Mike Neiss talk with best-selling author Carmine Gallo. Carmine, the author of The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success, tells all as he reveals what he believes are the seven principles behind Jobs success. Listen and learn.

Robert Thompson’s Thought Grenades November 8, 2010

Blasts From The Past…Second In A Series

The Civil War in Our Minds.

Listen to Blasts From The Past…The Civil War In Our Minds

In April’s Blast from the Past, we grappled with the idea that our thoughts create our actions, which create our lives. We left the conversation at success or failure being a state of mind and, of course, our choice.

I urged you (and myself) not to cower under the covers, but to recognize that we create each and every moment of the day…and each day of our life is precious. If 25 year-olds realized how quick the road is to 75, they would not waste a moment in hesitation or retreat.

In Chapter Nine of The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable, readers meet George, a very large and unkempt young man. George was an electrical engineer and had brought a prototype of his newest handheld gadget to a seminar on personal responsibility.

The story (true) relates that George, before the session began, seemed alive and flowing with joy as he shared his invention with the other participants who were mingling at the coffee table in the back of the room.

But as the session began, and people were asked to introduce themselves, George began to shrink. He curled up into a ball, as if trying to melt into the leather. When it was time for George to introduce himself, he whispered, “I am George…and the world is crushing me.”

What George was dealing with that day is what I call the Civil War in the Mind. How’s your battle going? Do you have two factions fighting for supremacy and leaving you a slave to the past?

“Failure is the path of least persistence,” someone once said. And Henry Ford has been quoted thousands of times with “Whether you think you can or can’t…you’re right.”

Author Kay Porter says, “We create our own reality with our mental images, that is, how we see ourselves and our abilities, whether positively or negatively. These images affect our performance now and in the future.”

From my personal experience, I know that the quotes above are true.

If you haven’t read Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think and Grow Rich, I urge you to pick up a copy. The message I received from that tome still echoes in my mind whenever I stumble…”Whatever The Mind Can Conceive and Believe It Can Achieve.”

George wouldn’t have been able to share his gadget and you wouldn’t be using a smart phone of some type, if that weren’t true. (And, you would never have been able to read my book either.)

History shows victories of any type are always preceded by a mental victory. Silicon Valley is ripe with examples. Moreover, you can find numerous stories in the sports world as well.

One of my favorites, and one of the most famous, is the Roger Bannister story. In their 1979 25th anniversary issue, Sports Illustrated ran a cover shot of Bannister and called his feat truly a game changer.

Bannister was the first athlete to break the, previously unthinkable, record of the Four Minute Mile. It was 1954 and Bannister was not even the record holder at the time. Check out the full story.

That cold, windy day in May, Bannister decided “There comes a time in life when you must accept the circumstances and give life all you’ve got: and I decided today was the day.”

Even on a rainy morning with a wet track, Bannister broke the record and paved the way for others to do it within months. It was a mental barrier that “experts” at the time said was impossible. Everyone believed the experts. Their words allowed a mental barrier to become a physical wall.

Once Bannister broke through the tape, those who had routinely beat him in prior races suddenly could see that it was possible for them as well. And the blockade vanished.

“There is really no insurmountable barrier save your own inherent weakness of purpose,” says Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Have you constructed a mental barrier in your world that keeps you living a limited life?  If yes, begin today to create a new picture and begin to take action to manifest it. (Use my Never Ending Story process shared in The Offsite as a template.)

As Abby Bancroft says in The Offsite, “allow your focused thoughts to lead you towards a dynamic destiny. Your mind is your most valuable ally. Yet, It can be your most ardent adversary. Take charge of your mind, take charge of your life!”

Or, you could curl up into a ball and let your life dissolve into a puddle of procrastination and paralysis.

Next Up: The ABC’s of How Your Mind Functions

Robert H. Thompson is the author of The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable.  Subscribe to his leadership newsletter at and follow him on Twitter @RobertHThompson