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Chris LoCurto

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September 29, 2010

Crimes Against the Berry

September 29, 2010 | By | No Comments">No Comments

I just bought a raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, muffin from Starbucks and I couldn’t help but wonder why boysenberry is gettin’ the shaft. Everyone knows it’s a far superior berry to the others. It has better flavor than cranberries, doesn’t have the seeds of raspberries, and…well…okay, blueberries are pretty cool so I’ll pull them back out from under the bus. But if you’re going with three berries in the same muffin, why not make it the muffin of the decade by adding the Lindsay Vonn of berries? Oh yes I just compared boysenberries to the skiing phenom! Like Lindsay it’s the total package; powerful, graceful, and looks fantastic in an Audi photo shoot. (If Audi were to do a photo shoot with boysenberries.) So Starbucks let’s not turn the mixers off yet. Keep workin’ and make us proud!

Chris LoCurto

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September 23, 2010

Leading by Fear

September 23, 2010 | By | No Comments">No Comments

If you’ve ever played any kind of organized sports, than you know that talking trash is an inevitable part of almost every game…except maybe in badminton. What could you possible say, “I’m gonna hit you so hard with this birdie you won’t remember your mama’s name!”

It just doesn’t have the same fear factor as say football or say Jai Alai. (I just needed an excuse to go all Jai Alai on ya!) The goal is to make your opponent feel that you are superior. The funny part is that if you actually were superior, there would be absolutely no need to make someone feel afraid.

Unfortunately, I observe these same tactics being used in leadership. Take the threat of firing someone for instance. There are basically two reason for that threat; someone has done something stupid enough that they genuinely may lose their job, or you want to make someone feel that you are in control of their destiny.

If someone respectfully challenges your processes and your first response is a threat, then you’re not actually leading. In fact, you’re rapidly losing the respect of that person as well as paralyzing them from ever acting on instinct with you again. Any good leader knows this is a highway to the danger zone. (Sorry about that.) Your goal is to foster greatness even if it causes you to take a hard look at yourself. Only then can you truly lead.

This raises the question, “What if I’ve hired an idiot maverick who won’t follow or listen and is always causing problems?” I’ve had this person and I will be following up that answer in future post.

Tell me about the times you’ve observed someone leading by fear.

Chris LoCurto

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September 11, 2010

Rationalizing Debt

September 11, 2010 | By | One Comment">One Comment

I had another one of “those” conversations with a guy last night about the difference between bad debt and “ok” debt. It’s like saying a broken femur is bad, but there are times that it actually helps. Let’s see, when could that help? I guess when you have your heart-broken for the first time, and you’re crying on the curb across from your mom’s office, (Or something like that…definitely didn’t happen to me.) If someone came up to you and hit you in the thigh with a baseball bat it would definitely distract you from the other pain, so I guess I could see how it could help.

The truth is that there is no ok debt! Nowhere in the Bible did God use debt to bless someone. Instead, every time you read about it, it’s a curse…like Aspartame. Since finances are the second most discussed topic in the Bible, my belief is that somewhere around the time God was laying the foundations of the Earth, He realized what kind of mess His kids would get in with money, so He gave us a ton of info on what NOT to do. It’s sad to me that as Christians we claim to be fully devoted followers of Christ, and agree with all of His “rules”, but when it comes to the subject of debt we somehow think we’re smarter. “It’s ok God, I got this!”

Do yourself a favor, the next time you feel like rationalizing debt that you’ve been using for a long time, find someone who’s been doing it God’s way for a long time and compare net worth’s. Don’t stop there, compare contentment…happiness…oh and giving. Am I saying that their life will be void of problems? Absolutely not. But I am certain they don’t start their day off worrying about how their family is going to make it, and they don’t drop their head on the pillow at night looking forward to spending a few hours not being focused on financial problems. Give it a try, what do you have to lose other than the debt…and collection agents…and the feeling you get each time you look in the mirror? Believe me, I remember it. The issue is that you are the problem. The greatest thing is that you are also the solution! Get out there and make the change.

Still trying to rationalize?

Chris LoCurto

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September 10, 2010

Hiring T.O.

September 10, 2010 | By | One Comment">One Comment

There are many times in a leaders life that they ask themselves the question, “what the heck was I thinking when I hired that guy?!!” After the 17th person on your team tells you how difficult the new person is to work with, you start to realize there is something way more important than hiring a “star.”

You begin to understand that it doesn’t matter how talented a person is on his own. (Unless your like a tennis coach or something.) One of the worst days for leaders is when they realize they have dropped a death metal guitar player into the middle of their 40 piece orchestra. At first it looks like a fun and exciting change, but quickly everyone understands just how badly this is going to play out.

What does this have to do with T.O.? Well, if you have watched his career at all you’ve noticed that there have been some…..”bumps” in the road. There is no doubt that he is a phenomenal athlete who, when he actually catches the ball, can make some serious plays. The problem isn’t once he has the ball, it’s everything that goes on around that moment.

All I can go by is how I’ve seen him act on the field and what his teammates have said. It’s my opinion that he has done way more damage to teams than good. And the reason is simple, it’s a TEAM sport! A buddy of mine, Ron Cook, used to manage Kenny Stabler in his post career, and Stabler always said, “You can have all the talent in the world, but you will not win if you don’t have a happy locker room!”

On the other hand, hiring the right person is one of the greatest joys of any leader’s life. Building a team of right people, is as fantastic as the first time you wake up to find out that there really is a Tooth Fairy, and she left you a quarter! (Am I showing my age there? Aren’t kids getting iPads for a tooth now?) When you have a team that works together in unity, you can accomplish absolutely anything.

God talks about this in Genesis 11:6 when He said that since the people were of one mind, together in unity, nothing would be impossible for them. Just like MacGyver with a paperclip and some rubber bands. One of the keys to hiring correctly is to hire the fantastically talented, who also are equally talented at being team players. (Key word: talented!) As Kurt Russell said in Miracle “I’m not looking for the best players…I’m looking for the right ones!”

This doesn’t mean you slack on finding someone who can do the job better than anyone else, you still need to hire someone who will leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home. They just need to play nicely with the other hunters.

Question: Have you ever been T.O.ed? 

Chris LoCurto

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September 2, 2010

Cologne – pleasure or pain

September 2, 2010 | By | 5 Comments">5 Comments

I just shook the hand of a man who apparently used that same hand to apply cologne like Julianne Moore applies sunscreen. Now, I’m not upset with a guy trying to smell better than he normally would, I’m just not so fond of using a Brillo pad to scrub the smell that is causing me to lose consciousness. Please keep that to yourself.

I do feel the same for ladies that slather perfume on in some sort of attempt to attract…well, somebody. To me trying to get that much attention is as pointless as Microsoft’s packaging. (Love this video)

I do believe in moderation…at least in this area. Go light or go home! I shouldn’t be able to smell you when our cars pass. That’s just wrong.

Done right, is the woman (ugh, I guess I have to say man also) who walks by with a scent that doesn’t slap me in the face, and it happens to actually smell like something you’d want to breathe in all day. Like Sonoma when the scent of grapes just starts to fill the air. Here’s a lesson here for you over-cologners. If you smell like my older brother when he emptied half a bottle of Jovan Musk on himself before his first junior high dance, I’m probably not going to hang around and argue with you about how the word “irregardless” is not a real word.

If, however, you emanate the aroma of Martha’s cookies when I walk into Financial Peace Plaza each morning, now you have my attention—and my appreciation. I don’t mind stopping a moment while you share with me how emotionally attached the Bachelorette gets as she wades through her prey, who, after 15 minutes of conversation with her in a testosterone-filled room, fall helplessly in love with her.