Dave Mitchell


the Leadership Difference 



Laugh and Learn!

April 2014

Happy Spring from (Almost) Two Miles High!


It's April 3 and as I write this newsletter we have about 8 inches of fresh snow here in the mountains of Colorado while the Mets are playing baseball on television.  This time is always a bit unpredictable weatherwise, but it is never boring.  Not being boring is pretty important to influencing others and in this newsletter I discuss the best ways to get your message across, do some thinking about thinking and share an amazing wine from an unlikely tasting room!

Answering Three Questions is the Key to Influencing Others

April is another busy month for me with events in Las Vegas, Austin, Orlando, Billings, Orlando again and San Antonio.  The common theme for all six of these events is "influence."  A leader uses influence to coax higher levels of performance from their team; a sales professional uses influence to help their customers appreciate the value of their products and services; and an executive uses influence to gain a greater commitment to their priorities.  Even in our personal life, the ability to generate a compelling message is critical to our success.


Obviously, it is impossible to distill a three hour seminar on that topic to a newsletter article (for a more thorough exploration, I recommend this wonderful book called The Power of Understanding People), but here are some important considerations as it relates to adjusting your message to make it resonate more with the recipient.  Make sure your message addresses these three questions specific to each style:



  • "How will this make others feel better?"
  • "Does this make me feel more appreciated?"
  • "Will this unify us?"


  • "How will this make us perform better?"
  • "How will we measure the impact of this?"
  • "What is your plan for achieving the goal?"


  • "How will this change the way we do things now?"
  • "What evidence do you have that this will work?"
  • "What is wrong with the way we do it now?"


  • "How will this change the way we look in the future (in a good way)?"
  • "What makes this idea unique and/or exciting?"
  • "What will we learn from doing this no matter what happens?"
If you successfully answer these questions specific to the style of the recipient, then you will have a leg up on influencing them.   And if you are unsure of your recipient's style, see chapter four of the aforementioned book!


From Our Blog:  Thinking About Mindfulness

Yes, the irony of this blog entry isn't lost on me.  In fact, thinking has always been the biggest barrier between me and mindfulness.  I remember being on a second date with a young lady (before I met my lovely bride, Lori) who said to me, "You know, your problem is that you think too much."  I responded with, "And you don't think enough."  I don't recall a third date.  Anyway, I have always been prone to pondering.  One of my favorite past times is taking a long hike with my dog Boone and contemplating, imagining and conjuring; an experience I call "wander ponders."  Lori says that this is "active meditation."  I like that.  I think it is as close as I get to mindfulness.


I am thinking about mindfulness these days because I have been mulling around the concepts of self actualization, full cognitive development and achieving true contentment.  In Marine parlance, I have been pondering, "being all you can be."  There are a lot of renowned minds, current and past, who dedicated their life to these topics.  What does it mean to become self actualized?  What is the highest level of consciousness to which we humans can aspire?  Is it possible to be truly content?  Can we all reach the same levels of being or are some of us limited by our intellect?  Heck, what is intellect? For more, click here!

Boone and me wandering and pondering!


 To all our wonderful clients and friends (many of whom are the same folks!), thank you for enriching our lives.  


Laugh and Learn! 


Easier to Drink than to Say!


My lovely bride and I love to visit wine country.  One of our favorites is the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, just outside of Healdsburg, CA.  One of the reasons we love this area is that it is mostly populated by more modest wineries rather than the huge estates found in Napa.  Despite our love for "the small guys" we often drive past those tasting rooms that feature several wineries all in the same building or complex.  We had passed the sign for Papapietro Perry at least twenty times over the years because it was listed with about six other wineries all in the same small collection of tasting rooms.  Well, thank goodness we finally chose to stop.  
We ended up buying three bottles and just recently opened the Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2009 ($46).  A bigger style of Pinot, this is full of bold berry flavors with a bit of earthy rock that makes it slightly "Burgundian" in taste.  While I know food pairings are a deeply personal thing, I highly recommend this wine's mix of finesse and power with a medium rare filet and wild mushrooms.  Just don't try to say Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir after the first glass!






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