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The Difference Between Men and Women’s Brains

I am often asked – is there a difference between a man’s and a woman’s brain? Is the there a difference between their communication style?

So one day I found this video from Mark Gunger – A Tale of Two Brains. This explained everything about how men and women are different and it is all about how the brain works.

Now, Mark has the ability to make this touchy subject about as fun as it can be – yet, in my opinion AND my wife’s opinion it is spot on! Enjoy.

Five Methods to Reduce Your Stress Levels

As one of the lucky people of the world, I get to hang out with a number of high performers in all the functional areas of business and life. One of the interesting things I have learned is how well the real high performers in life gain control of their emotional world – thus reducing their stress levels.

As an observer and practitioner of some of these habits – yes they are habits, actually success habits used by the high performers – I have seen the different methods they use.

So here are five methods you can use to reduce the stress level in your live – what is really cool is they are simple to implement. Here are the five methods…

Your Mindset Impacts Your Performance

Quote from Frank Lloyd Wright

Recently I got this tweet from Brian Tracy and I enjoyed it for three reasons.

First, Brian Tracy is one of my mentors in life and business. I enjoyed learning about business and personal growth for Brian and his organization – Brian Tracy International (which was known as Productivity & Profit Improvement Associates during the majority of the time I was actively engaged with this group.). From Brian I learned the importance of reading and the importance of launching on your ideas. He is still a friend and a mentor today.

Eight Self-Inflicted Barriers to Your Success

While doing some self reflection and thinking about several of my coaching clients, I realized we can have self-inflicted barriers to our own success. It was kind of a “DUH or AHA” moment and I felt it was important enough to share with others.

Here are the eight self-inflicted barriers to our own success…

Voss Graham interview by Jeff Blackman – Part 2


Here’s more of my conversation with friend and fellow pro, Voss Graham. Voss is the CEO and Senior Business Advisor for the InnerActive Consulting Group in Cordova, Tennessee. He helps individuals and companies get to their “next level.”

Jeff Blackman: How does confidence impact short and long-term success?

Voss Graham: Self-confidence is the bedrock or foundational aspect for the successful athlete, businessperson or sales pro. In fact, sales people with high levels of confidence seem to make sales before they even offer a solution. Why? Because customers want to do business with confident people. They feel these people will make things happen and do whatever it takes to get the job done.

People lacking self-confidence are at a major disadvantage. Customers sense a lack of confidence, and therefore lose faith in the abilities of the sales pro or business person. Yes, that’s an emotional response by the customer.  Yet all decisions are based in emotional responses, and logic is used to justify our emotional decisions.

In sports or business, confidence breeds a winners’ attitude. Winners take control of their mental mindset and view all situations with a positive point of view. Losers tend to look for negatives and use both internal negative self-talk and external negative talk, which attracts more negative influences into their lives, and their results become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

JB: So confidence drives our self-perception and the world’s perception of who we are?

Voss Graham interview by Jeff Blackman – Part 1


The first time Voss Graham and I met, we were sitting next to each other, both doing something we love. Watching a ballgame. Nope, not the Chicago Cubs. It was actually a New York Yankees game, in famed Yankee Stadium.

We soon discovered we had a lot in common. A passion for professional sports. A rabid loyalty to our respective college alma maters and their teams’ wins and woes. For me, the University of Illinois. For Voss, Louisiana State University. A passion for our profession. A shared and valued collection of mutual friends. And an ongoing curiosity about human potential.

Voss is the CEO and Senior Business Advisor for the InnerActive Consulting Group in Cordova, Tennessee. As you’ll soon discover, he’s one smart dude. Especially, when it comes to understanding what helps people and companies succeed and get to “the next level.”

Jeff Blackman: What does it mean, “to think like a winner?”

Voss Graham: There’s only minimal skill, competencies, or attributes gaps between winners and losers. Yet, the difference in results between the two classes is very significant. Since skills, competencies, and attributes can be measured, what’s the factor that leads to such big differences in personal performance? It’s simply the attitudes people bring to the game.

Attitude has a multiplier effect on both our inborn attributes like intelligence and behavioral style and our learned attributes of skills, knowledge, and experience. Using a positive multiplier, a person can distance themselves from both peers and competition relative to the results and outcomes.

Top Five Challenges for Start Up Companies

If you are like me, then sometimes you learn new things and actually state – “I wish I had known this 5 – 10 – 20 years ago.”

This is a common theme as leaders and entrepreneurs grow in experience through the school of hard knocks and trial and error. For this reason, I have decided it is time to share information, knowledge, experience and wisdom with others – so just maybe, they will not have to ask the above question.

Now the reason it is important to understand the five non-negotiable and threatening challenges to a Start-Up organization is quite depressing. Research shows that 80% of new businesses fail in the first five years. Seems the 80/20 rule is still accurate when applied to the percentage of surviving start ups. Only 20% of the start-ups make it to their fifth year anniversary.

Some very good research into what is needed for a company to successfully grow (and remain in business) is for the leader to focus on the most important things in their business during this time period. James Fischer conducted this research and formulated guides for the leaders and CEO’s to navigate the Growth Curve for Small Businesses.

This research covers companies with 500 employees or less. – Yes, even the sole owner or one person shop is impacted by the information contained in this model.

So, let’s look at the Five Non-Negotiable Challenges a Start Up Company in Stage One of the Growth Curve must focus their time and energy on mastering.

Voss Graham Certified as a Growth Curve Strategist



EEOC and OFCCP-compliant assessment company distinguishes Voss W Graham with Growth Curve certification

Memphis, TN – February 10, 2013 – TTI Performance Systems, the world’s leading source for research-based, validated assessments has designated Voss W Graham of InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. a Certified Professional Growth Curve Strategist on February 1, 2013.

With this certification, Voss Graham is qualified to perform an X-Ray to determine a company’s current stage of growth; critically assess a company’s past, present and future to get CEOs focused on the right things at the right time; and identify the hidden agents – defined as 27 Challenges – that are impacting the company’s ability to grow, and develop a plan to solve those issues.

Story about Winning, Persistence and Lessons Learned

Sitting and musing about the past, the current and the future today. As I was thinking about how the things we do influence our outcomes in life, I was first reminded of an experience back in the late 70’s when I was first learning to snow ski.

Seems our trip coordinators offered a race course for our tour group to race. Two racers at a time and you could race as many times as you wanted within a the allotted time period. The winner with the faster time would receive their very own case of Coor’s Beer at the party that night. (This was back when Coor’s beer was truly outstanding and only available in certain states.)

While I wasn’t driven by the Beer 🙂 I was driven by the competition with my best friend. He was an Auburn guy and I was an LSU guy so we had to compete for the glory of our schools.

We went head to head at least five times during the time allotted for racing the course. And, we got faster and faster as we ran the course since neither of us wanted to come in second. And, due to the competitive nature of our racing – I scored the fastest time of the event.

And, while I enjoyed the win and actual celebrating with my buddy as we enjoyed the progress we had both made by focusing on the goal of winning, I didn’t realize at the moment the major life lesson being taught from this fun time on the ski mountain.

“It’s the Singer not the Song”

Over the weekend I was listening to music from the Great British philosopher – Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones – and listened to this phrase in one of his songs…

It’s the Singer, Not the Song!”

I realized at that moment the parallel to individuals in today’s business environment.

The fact is everyone knows the words and parrots them quickly and easily. Yet, few actually walk the talk of the leadership world. You see it takes discipline and persistence to do the right things as a leader in every situation. It’s the singer who makes the difference.