Ready! Set! Action!

imgres-2Many people struggle to start and stick with a bold course of action. For some, just the thought of taking a first step and reaching for their dream is paralyzing.

Why is the first step so difficult? Why are we fearful? I believe it’s because of two things:

1. Failure is viewed as an ultimate state.
2. Society trains us to play safe.

The solution is simple. Action is the key and must be taken in order for progress to happen. Action involves looking at the unfamiliar as an opportunity, and risk as a friend not an enemy, as well as understanding that when we play it safe, we never win.

Whatever your dream is, begin by taking one small step towards it and see what happens. Who knows, you may be surprised. Remember, that the only way to ensure that you never fail is to never try.

Just Like a Craft Brew

I like beer.

I do. I like trying new kinds all the time.  Luckily, I live in the “Napa Valley of Beer” here in Northern Colorado.  There’s a new brewery doing something fun and creative around every corner. Three cold beer

But I don’t like every beer.  In fact, there are some that just don’t work for me – popular styles like IPAs and Pale Ales typically aren’t my thing.  Sour beers?  No thanks.  Beers with heavy fruit tastes are hit-and-miss.  And while I typically like hefeweizens, there are some that just don’t do it for me.

This isn’t much different than how we lead.  There are so many tools, tips, tricks, and tactics that you couldn’t read all the leadership books in a lifetime.  Everyone has a philosophy, everyone has a strategy, everyone has a set of beliefs.  But you have to find yours.

At Peak Solutions we spend our time helping people be better bosses.  We want to add to leaders’ toolboxes and challenge them to think about new ways to influence others.  But we know not everything works for everybody.

It’s why you have to try new things.  Communicate a little differently.  Handle conflict with a new approach.  Tackle tough problems with a creative process.  Approach challenges with a fresh outlook.  And find what you like.  Go find the leadership tools that work for you.

Then let’s talk about it over a nice, cold beer.

Trust can’t be earned.

I do not TRUST YOU!

How many times have you said (or wanted to say) this? You’ve been burned, you’ve been taken advantage of and you’ve given up hope in some cases. Let’s face it, we all want trust but are stingy to give it.

Trustology Book

Low trust costs businesses billions of dollars in turnover, disengagement and politics. Personal relationships suffer, organizational health is damaged and consumer confidence is bad in a low trust environment. Research shows that companies with high trust generate over 300 percent greater return than companies with low trust.

Nobody comes into the trust equation empty-handed. We all have strong feelings about trust. We all know what it feels like when it is misused, betrayed, or withheld. Your perspective is from a lifetime of personal experiences, and I believe many of the conclusions that are drawn from those experiences don’t help us. In fact, they are damaging, wrong, and can hold us hostage.

If you have ever been affected by a low-trust relationship, then perhaps it is time for a change in perspective. The best way to change your perspective is to uncover the biggest lie you may believe about trust.

The Truth on Trust: Trust can’t be earned. It can only be given.

Trust’s big lie: Trust is something that is earned

When we are deciding how much to trust people, we usually ask if they have earned our trust. That seems like the smart thing to do. Until they earn it, we withhold it. The problem with this is that none of us are smart enough to build an accurate scorecard to manage this record of “rights” and “wrongs” of trust earned. Imagine if I were able to pull up the scorecard that others are keeping on you. I don’t think any of us would like to see this. When we start keeping score there are only two types of people; winners and losers. In the game of relationships, this only leaves us with losers.

True trust keeps no record of wrongs. Once you’ve made a decision to trust someone, once you’ve decided that winning at that relationship is non-negotiable, you have to stop keeping score.

The first step to building trust is to do just that, take a step. You must surrender your score card and continually take a step to the other person. Let them know what your expectations are and don’t hold them hostage when they don’t meet them. Be willing to forgive. Don’t take things personally. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Take ownership and then… take another step.

If you are to have high trust in your relationships, it starts and ends with you.

To purchase your copy of Trustology click here

Busyness is Laziness

How are you doing? Oh, you’re super busy? Don’t have time to chat, or for your kids, or for a vacation? I get it.  I’m busy, too.

In fact, I’ve yet to meet the participant in one of our programs that says, “Hey, my boss is asking me to do less work, and he’s giving me more resources with which to do it!”  The reality is that work is hard today, there’s lots to do, and while we’ve got 18 pounds of stuff to put into a 10 pound bag, all 18 pounds look like “A1″ priority work.

To Do List

That being said, most of us are busy being busy with the stuff that doesn’t need to go in our bag.  We’re constantly getting harassed by coworkers, checking our smartphone, responding to email, answering the phone, reading the latest industry article, and posting about how busy we are on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn…and we seem proud of it, as if being the busiest person is some sort of competition or reason for martyrdom.

We need to stop.

“I’m so busy,” is a horrible answer. Stop it. You don’t win an award for being busy. It’s a non-answer.  It’s a lazy answer. It’s the equivalent of “I’m fine.” Instead, start answering with how you’re creating value, or for what you are grateful, or how life is grand or not grand.  Answer with meaning.  And choose to be busy with meaning.

And this doesn’t mean we need to stop checking Facebook, or that we should ignore every email.  But let’s stop being driven by these things.  Let’s do them with purpose and intent.  Let’s ask ourselves on the front end, “What’s the value?” and then go create that value.
Just doing and then whining about it is lazy. It requires no thought or effort. It’s a way to do enough to look and sound important without making tough choices about what really is of worth. It’s the equivalent of saying, “I surrender!” to life.

Instead, we need to use our intelligence to decide what’s important, what matters, how we can make impact. We need to say no to the things that don’t bring value to our lives. We must resist the call of the urgent and seek instead to do the important.

Finally, let’s have gratitude for the things that should  keep us busy – having family, friends, work, play, and other obligations is something to be thankful for.  Let’s remember that we always have a choice about how we spend our time.
Let’s never answer, “How are you doing?” with “Oh, I’m so busy,” ever again. I’ll take the pledge with you.

So, how am I doing? I’m great. I’m on a plane headed home to my family and friends. I just had a challenging week doing great work with great people. Life is good. See you next time.

Never Forget


Twelve years ago today terrorists attacked the U.S., killing thousands at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. May we never forget those who lost their lives.

Relationship Manual?


What if every person in life came with an instruction manual? That would be a dream – right? Imagine how much healthier your relationships would be. We can’t offer you a manual but what we can tell you is that our team has been using a powerful tool called Strength Deployment Inventory, also known as SDI, that helps you understand what makes people tick both when things are going well and when they are in conflict.

This last week our team spent a week with some of the top psychologist and behavioral experts in the nation, as they presented their research based on this powerful tool. Here is a glimpse of what learned…

  • Behavior is driven by motivation to achieve self-worth
  • Motivation changes in conflict
  • Personal strengths when overdone can be perceived as weakness
  • Personal filter influence perceptions of self and others

This tool helps you recognize that you can and do choose your behavior based on your underlying values, while also being able to take into account what others value. Again, we can’t give you a manual to every person in your life but we can equip you to better understand what makes them tick. The journey with SDI has been both powerful and effective.

Richard’s New book Trustology on Shelves Now!

trust·ol·o·gy: the study and practice of trust


Trustology Book

Trust is a funny thing. We all have strong opinions about what it is, what it isn’t, how it is gained, and how it is lost.

Trust has never existed in a risk-free environment. No matter how well we know someone, given enough opportunities, everyone will fall short in some way or another. If that’s not a reality we’re willing to take risk in, then we’re not going to have high-trust relationships. However, there is a great price we pay when we don’t trust. With trust, our relationships flourish, our productivity rises, and we have high personal and professional satisfaction.

A trust-filled atmosphere in the workplace lets people take risks, allowing innovation and creativity to thrive. Your team’s collective sense of self-worth and purpose can become a beacon of light for others to follow. The healthy, dynamic atmosphere where high-trust lives is actually contagious, and will raise the bar for your entire organization.

If you are ready to have your assumptions on trust challenged, your sights raised, and your business or team shifted into high gear, Trustology was written for you.

High-trust is the currency of greatness.

Richard Fagerlin

The Leadership Myth

In today’s world the term “Leader” has a few myths associated with it. Here are just a few:

  • Leadership only exists at the top
  • Leaders are born, not made
  • Effective leaders are charismatic

Though the list goes on, these three are often the stumbling block that prevents people from leading. We often look at others in leadership and begin comparing our selves to their personality, style, and accomplishments and quickly realize we don’t fit the bill. Great leaders are not more talented than the majority of people but they do know what they want and work with all their might to see it become a reality.

It doesn’t take a certain personality, title, or even permission to begin leading. Leadership is about vision and relationships. Leaders are aware of their impact on others and seek to behave in ways that build trust, self esteem, and confidence.

New Site!

Hey Friends!

Today we couldn’t be more excited to share with you our new website! We’ve been tirelessly working on this for some time now and we hope that the finished results reflect so. The new site was designed to be minimalistic with a clean, uncluttered look, which is easier to navigate and find the information you need quickly and easily.

Also, we are excited to begin posting resources on our blog that provide valuable tips, tricks, and inspiration. We are always trying to improve and want to hear back from you. So if there is ever anything you would like to see or hear, let us know.

You can begin receiving our newsletter here, or connect with us on twitter, facebook, or linkedin.