Scott Drew & Jordan Spieth on How to Reach Your Goal No Matter the Field of Dreams or Slumps & Bumps with Your Team

The sports wire has been on fire! On the basketball court it’s due to the level of championship play. The men’s Final Four tournament lived-up to its billing. While Gonzaga didn’t come out on top, they gave the Baylor Bears everything they had. Bears Head coach Scott Drew is being hailed as a master in his lane.

Speaking of Masters, the annual pro golfing trip to Augusta won’t have Tiger Woods in the mix, who’s still recovering from his car accident. But it will have Jordan Spieth who’s coming off a recent tour win, after a 4-year winless streak. Spieth says his game has been off these past few years so he’s happy to be back.

Drew took the job of head coach almost two decades ago when Baylor’s men’s program was reeling from scandal. A player was killed by an ex-teammate. The coach at the time was cited for corruption issues around paying the tuition for a student. Drew applied for the job even though things looked bleak.

He approached the interview like he had nothing to lose. He might say that’s just one factor for him getting the job. He’d probably add that he shared a vision for the program’s turnaround. He wanted to move the culture in a new direction, as long as he had the time and support to flip the script.  

Fast forward to their recent wins and some might wonder how’d they do it? How did they get past the slumps and bumps in the road? How did they turn a period of bruising to now having the experience of cruising? They’d remember the long days and dark nights working at it with these things in mind:

  • Firsts

Spieth remembers the first time he put on the winner’s green jacket. He felt his game had hit the jackpot. But sometimes our ‘firsts’ can be beginner’s luck. So he’s been working at his game trying to recapture the grit and feeling of excitement like what Drew is feeling from winning his first national championship.  

  • Focus

Spieth took cues from the success he saw with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. During his first visit to their home stadium, he was struck by the commitment to preparation that was part of the team’s mystique. He’s been giving more attention to that not only as a player but also with his supporting golf team/staff.           

  • Faith

It’s been said that success comes with enjoying the journey just as much as the destination. For Drew it’s been quite a journey. In the early days of his tenure, athlete recruitment might have been a challenge. In trying to turn around a losing program, he ‘drew on’ something we probably all heard… to keep the faith.         

  • Family

This is Spieth’s first win as a husband, after getting married a few years ago. They both have reason to celebrate not just with their teams but also with their families. Spieth is grateful for how his wife hung in there during his game’s rough patch. For Drew it’s a generational family affair of “like father, like son.”       

In the “instant clout” world, it’s not normal for a coach to last that long with a college team, with mixed results. But Baylor gave Drew the room, space and time to deliver. Spieth says it’s true that his wife gave him the same. Now they’re riding on cloud nine and Spieth got back that smile.               

Tip: Destiny is sometimes where preparation takes you from beginner’s luck to pulling the big bucks.

Talkback: Is the Master anybody’s to win or can Spieth turn his recent win into a lucky charm?

Tracks: Rudimental Ft Major Lazer – Let Me Live – https://youtu.be/L08uxunfLi4

Katy Perry – Smile – https://youtu.be/vZA5heWazIQ

Dawn Staley and Lebron James: Fire-Brand Performers Who Push the Limits of Their Game and Help Light-up the Team Stats Frame

So where are folks headed on spring break these days? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some travelled south to the warm weather of Florida. It’s always been the spring break capital for college students. This year with folks wanting to get past Covid restrictions, things have kinda gotten out of hand.  

Same time, the NCAA March Madness frenzy has landed in Indy! Yea, on the women’s side it’s in San Antonio. March Madness is also a place people go on spring break to raise their praise for breakout performances. Of course, there’s always the Cinderella team that busts up the brackets.

For those wondering or asked the question, Where do folks go to understand greatness? Well, we see it in the play of Lebron James and the eyes of coach Dawn Staley. James has had to sit-out a few games after a high-ankle sprain injury. He’s missing the chance of the Lakers being positioned for a playoff run.

Staley recently called out the NCAA for disparities in supporting women’s teams. After pics went viral on social media showing a less-than-stellar setup for their facilities, Staley wrote an open letter calling out the diss. Her take was the NCAA message of “togetherness and equality” was just marketing jargon.

James and Staley bring focus on issues of social justice. They’re admired by peers, players and the hometown posse for using their platform to spur reform. While they get attention for putting their names to causes, it’s also how they put passion on the line, reminding us of how greatness is tied to:          

  • Gifting

A proverb says, “a man’s gift makes room for him and brings him in front of great people.” Well, think of that in universal terms and you can see why James at his age is still performing at a high level and Staley has such impactful coaching. Your gifting when tied to passion makes you do stuff that folks can’t teach.  

  • Branding

James doesn’t only marvel us on the court, he also has his hands in biz ventures and social projects. His career track might have started out with basketball, but his branding has reached new heights in media, fashion, entertainment and sports. He recently became part owner in the Boston Red Sox franchise.          

  • Networking

A recent story on Staley shared how much her success has inspired other women to consider coaching. Plus, there’s a whole eco system of black women in particular who’re plugged-in to what Staley has done throughout her career as a player, recruiter and U.S. head coach for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.       

  • Collaborating

After events of social protest prompted by the George Floyd killing, James rallied an investment group to purchase the WNBA Atlanta Dream. While he’s not the main figure in the new ownership structure, he’s the main player that helped bring together a collaboration of interested parties to secure the deal.   

The “Cinderella Team” stories will get told throughout March Madness. You might even hear some players being described as ‘supernova athletes.’ There’s room to do something special on the court or in one’s career for those whose performance push the limits of their game and light-up the team stats frame.               

Tip: You create your own “Cinderella Story” by how you bring passion to the table in ways that maximize your gifting, branding, networking and collaborating.

Talkback: Did the NCAA miss the mark or drop the ball on the women’s facilities in March Madness?

Tracks: Usher – No Limit – https://youtu.be/3w0yqAdJ1iY

Khalid – Disclosure (Know Your Worth) – https://youtu.be/aEDULPGIwcg

Oprah and Tim Cook: Two Master Leaders Working with Others to Turn Personal Crossroads or Career Setbacks into Life Skills for the Ages

This isn’t a sequel, but it might as well be now that the Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan has landed. The much-anticipated sit-down with them had its share of ‘ooh and ahh’ moments. Oprah is known to celebrate aha moments too, but those will come later as she reads the media tea leaves.

Then there’s the story of Malala Yousafzai who is now a college graduate and working her way into the biz world. She’s teamed-up with AppleTV+ and CEO Tim Cook in developing human-interest stories that bring hope and connects with hearts. Malala sees him as a mentor and he sees her as a walking miracle.

The Orpah interview attracted 17 million viewers. That’s just for starters as folks who missed it are likely to stream it. The ‘tea spills and bombshell kills’ from them has royal watchers gasping for air. But there’s a growing divide between those who think they were brave and those who think it was attention crave.

In Malala, Cook sees someone who has already created a shift in her home country. It’s the kind thing where “if people can see it then they can believe it even more.” That’s what Malala represents to girls in her recovery for near human tragedy. If was a kind of personal crossroads that she had to face head on.

With Harry and Meghan, it’s confusing if they left the Palace or the Palace left them. He gave up his military role and lost his royal title. She gave up her partnership with his many causes. But once folks get pass the Palace intrigue and tabloid drama, their life skills lessons for the ages include what they:  

  • Learn

How they got here isn’t just about what happened to them, but also what happened in them. For Harry it’s probably what he learned watching how his mother was treated when he was a child. For Malala it’s in how she found strength, courage and wisdom during recovery, even with the threat of further harm.  

  • Share

Meghan tried to dance a delicate balance in what she shared and how she dropped some nuggets. Those nuggets provided insight but might even bring some foresight for how she plans to make a difference from the experience. Sometimes what we share is invaluable, especially for others in the same boat.        

  • Plant

Everyone understands the idea of “you reap what you sow.” But the pain of loneliness that Meghan mentioned isn’t something she brought on herself. Nor were the multiple surgeries that Malala had to go through. They’re turning those personal crossroads and career setbacks into a bigger field of dreams.    

  • Sell

At the top of the interview, Oprah made clear that they weren’t getting paid for the ‘tell-all.’ But that’s not where the story ends. She asked Meghan how she plans to apply lessons learned to the company they formed. Her answer of “using the company to capture stories” wasn’t only a tell but also a sell.  

The total footage of the interview was three hours plus. They had to pare it down to around 80 minutes. There’s probably other stuff that didn’t make it to the highlight reel but might be important life lessons on how to heal. How they get there is as much about feelings of melancholy and not to sweat the technique.              

Tip: How we move past personal crossroads and career setbacks might mean handling feelings of melancholy and working through things but not sweat the small stuff.

Talkback: What was the most surprising bombshell from the Meghan & Harry interview?

Tracks: Nailah Blackman  – Melancholy – https://youtu.be/qsu1rYipDOU

Eric B & Rakim  – Don’t Sweat the Technique – https://youtu.be/6Y1Emb7Jyks

Queen Latifah and Naomi Osaka Might Not Have Royalty in their Veins But They Have Star Power in Their Gains

The first big celeb interview of the year is set! As Oprah plans to do a sit-down with Harry and Meghan, word is their royal titles and privileges will no longer go with them. They’ll be on their own in how they’re seen in the eyes of celebrity, aristocracy and world diplomacy. But that’s not slowing them down.

Meanwhile, the comeback stories of Queen Latifah and Naomi Osaka have also got folks buzzing. Latifah who’s seen her career go through twists and turns is now back on TV, with 20+ million who watched her debut on The Equalizer. It’s a first to have a woman as the lead for that showbiz franchise.

Not sure how many eyeballs watched the Australian Open in tennis, but Osaka put on a show in winning her fourth grand slam championship. The win moved her up to the #2 spot in the rankings. It also put her in the company of a handful of tennis pros who’ve won at least that many majors.

Latifah’s career has spanned entertainment from music to sitcoms to her talk show to the big screen. She’s gone full circle in now starring in her latest project. Osaka has gone through some circles of her own where she showed signs of being a rising star and then had a few “crash and burn” moments.

They credit bounceback-ability to having folks in their corner who keep them lifted but at the same time grounded. They seem to have a similar fierceness where even while they don’t have royalty in their veins, they have star power in their gains. They wrap their magic on the screen or on the court around their:             

  • First love

Latifah says she gets to do some of the stunts in the show. But when it gets to the really crazy stuff she leaves that to the experts. What she’s excited about is how the role draws on her skillset and experience over the years. She gets to ride a motorcycle which is one of those ‘first loves’ she had in younger days.

  • Comfort zone

Osaka shared how she’s seen able to maintain poise under pressure. At the young age of 23, she’s got a lot in her view and expectations on her shoulder. She’s gotten to a point of being comfortable in what she can do on the court while stepping outside of her comfort zone in how she sheds light on social issues.          

  • Drive lane

In sports, athletes have a way of figuring out their ‘drive lane.’ It’s where they can make a move to change the game or dominate the moment. It’s a special effort or effect that puts their passion on full display. Well, when Osaka can up her game with big serves and powerful groundstrokes, she’s in her drive lane.   

  • Inner Strength

Both can give you that bright smile on the outside with turnt-up firepower on the inside. It’s a kinda yin and yang that they seem to balance in their work, play and around the way. They have an easy-going personality but when the game’s on the line they can turn off the charm and deliver the swarm.

Latifah says one of the things that helps her in those kick-butt scenes is the music playing in the background. She gets into a rhythm and tries to step to the groove as she connects the blows. They’re both enjoying the roles they play in being seen as bad to the bone but like royalty on the throne.           

Tip: How you wrap your magic around your passion and purpose will help determine your rise & shine and your claim to fame.

Talkback: Will Harry and Meghan be able to move on from royalty without a penalty?

Tracks: Protoje Ft Popcaan  – Like Royalty – https://youtu.be/WFxyPB_LcBA

George Thorogood  – Bad to the Bone – https://youtu.be/MAb81olgCNs

Russell Wilson is on Brand, Amanda Gorman is on Point and Their Passion is on Game!

Well, lots of ground to cover, buzz to breakdown and chatter to scatter after the Superbowl. Alright, not everybody was happy about how things went lopsided in a hurry. Some think the refs were off their game, but that The Weeknd as halftime performer made up for all the things that were missing due to Covid.

Some frontline workers and health professionals were honored to see the game in person. But after the post-game interviews fans at home were glued to see Queen Latifa as ‘The Equalizer’. She was kicking butt, taking names and getting high praise for her new breakout show.  

Leading up to the big game was word that Russell Wilson won the Walter Payton Man-of-the-Year Award. That’s something many in the game aspire to get because of who Payton was to sports fans. When you think of Payton (aka “sweetness”) there’s a similar suave and swag that Wilson brings to the party.

We saw Amanda Gorman give another world stage performance. She’s the youngest poet laureate to speak at a Presidential Inauguration. It’s as if she’s poised to be like a Maya Angelou of our time, having recently made the cover of Time Magazine. She combines words with delivery into an inspiring story.

Folks say the TV commercials had some of the old and more of the new, with lots of celeb cameos. What we might get from watching the Superbowl is like what we get from watching Wilson and Gorman. He’s on brand, she’s on point and their passion is on game. They show how folks can get there too by how they:

1. Work

Wilson shared a few tips on how he gets ready for each season. He’s big on putting in the time, not for the crime but for the climb. It’s the things he does in mind, body and spirit that carry over to the things he does in pass, run and score. If his body is his temple, then the field is his place for getting fan praise.

2. Sacrifice

Gorman stays on point by remembering the part that sacrifice plays in one’s journey. To us it might seem like she came out of nowhere. But to her it’s been a slow and steady march towards a brighter day. Sacrifice for her in a sense means giving up something without giving up on yourself.        

3. Step

Ever watched the foot work of a quarterback while in the pocket? It’s a kinda dance with a backstep here or a leap step there. Every QB probably has a certain rhythm and flow to how they step to their game. He’s in the socket and in the pocket before passing like a rocket. That’s how you step to your game.

4. Represent

How does she at such a young age have the calm and composure of a seasoned veteran? How does he go from amazing on the field to a servant in the community? It’s how they pull it together to represent their brand, their talents and their love for what they do. To represent is to know how to rep your presence.      

So history was made in all kinda ways at the game. There was the first female on a referee crew in a Superbowl. The first team to play in the game as a home team. But even when you’re not in it to be making history, there’s still the chance to work, sacrifice, step and represent in giving it your best.        

Tip: In order to represent your best, you have to rep your presence in a way that is like sunshine of your essence.

Talkback: Who’s ready for more Queen Latifah or Amanda Gorman?

Tracks: Shalamar  – Right In The Socket – https://youtu.be/sNGyMe3bu1E

Fat Joe ft Amorphous – Sunshine – https://youtu.be/kuO9OC2H9Qs

Time to Check-in With Patrick Mahomes and Kevin Hart About Putting the Dream to Work in the Huddle or Around Your Hustle

The Superbowl matchup is set! For the first time in NFL history, the host venue will have the home team in the big game. That’s where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers comes in. Led by someone seen as the G.O.A.T., the Bucs and Tom Brady are going up against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mahomes is the franchise face for the NFL as a young quarterback in the game. After signing a mega contract for lifetime-years, he’s also trying to do something that’s not easy to come by: win back-to-back Superbowl games. The Chiefs bring a high-scoring offense with lots of receiving weapons on the roster.

Another franchise face (but in the comedy game) is Kevin Hart, who’s been laying low since Covid. Yet, he’s always looking for ways to build market appeal and keep it real. So Hart has teamed-up with a brand that’s focused on helping folks manage the emotional highs, lows and bouts with depression.

Not that he’s dealing with these struggles, but he’s mindful of how close he came to losing it all after a car wreck. That, coupled with quarantine rules nowadays kept him home for periods much longer than he’s used to. Maybe this helped tamper down his ‘wild side’ and put a spotlight on the family by his side.

Hart says he’s the hardest working dude in showbiz (let him tell it). Some sport junkies might see Mahomes as the ‘rising star’ who’s not just about scoring in the game but also adding social impact to his name. They’ve got a track record for going from huddle to hustle to giving hope by how they:  

1. Align

For Hart being able to align means getting to a decision point for “turning today’s BS into tomorrow’s success.” Not just the everyday BS but for him also going from big setback to major comeback. It’s all about how you align passion with purpose, effort with expectation, goal with role and calling with destiny.

2. Bond

Over the past year Hart has found new ways to bond with his kids now that he’s kinda always home. The bonds we share allow us to care and as the saying goes, “people don’t care how much you know but how much you care.” Like with his kids, it’s in how we bond that can be a source for feeling empowered.       

3. Grind

When Mahomes suffered a concussion in a recent playoff game, things seemed bleak for him playing the next week. But after passing the medical protocol he was back at practice. The grind isn’t just about what you do every so often. It’s about how you ‘bring it’ especially when you just want to say, ‘forget it’.     

4. Flow

One reason the grind is important is that it gets you closer to being in flow. This is when things just fire on all cylinders. It’s when things feel effortless or seem weightless. After a few snaps, just watch Mahomes as he goes to work making side-arm passes in ways the defense didn’t see coming or couldn’t stop.      

So will history be made at the Superbowl? It might be with the commercials as some regular sponsors are spending their ad dollars in new ways. Companies have had to adjust from taking a hit to their bottom line. But Mahomes and Hart remind us that dreams come thru when we align, bond, grind & flow.        

Tip: Just ‘do it’ by putting the dream to work around the clock or block to block and make it ‘do what it do’.

Talkback: Kevin Hart wants to know, “What’s your game, what’s your grind?”

Tracks: Notorious B.I.G.  – Juicy – https://youtu.be/PMM8wcQUcxE

Chloe X Halle – Do It – https://youtu.be/a9HIaGcBocc

Michael B Jordan & Tracee Ellis Ross Bring Sexy Back for Career Sake as a Signature in Showbiz

The Grammys are coming! Yet, as Awards season rolls-on there’s another casualty due to Covid-19. The Red Carpet before the live show has been quarantined. So far, that’s the case for the People’s Choice and American Music Awards; no cat walks, celeb interviews or fashion slip-ups to set social media abuzz.

With the holidays also a good time for family and friends to gather, this year it feels like 2020 can’t end fast enough. So for some, they’re happy to feast their eyes on Michael B Jordan being named as People Magazine’s sexiest man alive, or to celebrate Tracee Ellis Ross as People’s Choice Fashion Icon.

As if on cue, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson joked that he’s not ready to concede the ‘sexiest man’ title. It’s something he won a few years ago. But People magazine editors say going into each year’s final selection they give thought to what the world wants and needs at that point and who’s bringing sexy back.

Jordan and Ross add style, looks and mojo to showbiz like the king and queen they are. Their pre-Hollywood careers helped set them up for making waves today. At first, Ross worked in the fashion magazine industry and credits her mom, Diana Ross a fashion icon herself, in forging her dreams.

But maybe it’s also the way they engage the consciousness of fans that adds to their mainstream appeal. Whether it’s with the diversity rider in hiring talent at his production company, or supporting #MeToo initiatives in her off-screen roles, they inspire us to strive and arrive with:  

  • Clout

Ross has her own, even though she could have gotten some from mom. It’s a matter of how she builds-up reputation which takes time to turn into clout. In the early part of your career, reputation follows you. But in later years when reputation goes before you, that means it’s been built up with its own track record.        

  • Chops

Jordan and Ross have developed their acting chops for primetime in a way that attracts large audiences. It’s in how they bring to life a character and bring character to life. That’s also been true for their career success. It’s about bringing to work a skillset and bringing a skillset to their life’s work.        

  • Calling

Clearly, the acting and biz side of things aren’t all that they’re about. They are often very vocal when it comes to social justice issues. Calling for them is seen not as a call to self-service but to higher service. While for some Calling might have a religious feel, it’s really about connecting with humanitarian zeal.   

  • Culture

Some might drool, swoon or even lust for their presence, but their impact is in what they do for the culture. They seem to cause a wake-up, level-up, serve-up, rise-up effect on people. Some celebs might impact us in one or two of these areas. But they don’t let things go to their heads as they keep it real.     

It’s hard to imagine that the Red Carpet will be back for the Grammys. Plus, word is that the holidays are going to be much different this year with Covid-19 taking its toll on gatherings. But if we can hold on a bit longer while using time wisely, we can come out on the other side shining a little brighter.        

Tip: The ladder of success has rungs that take you from skillset to your best yet.

Talkback: For the Grammy nominations, who got snubbed and whose fans feel a little rubbed?

Tracks: Common – The Light – https://youtu.be/OjHX7jf-znA

Brand Nubian – Don’t Let it Go to Your Head – https://youtu.be/500F9W1qku8

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Turned Campaign Trail Moments Into Career Trail Magic

It’s T-minus-70 and counting towards the inauguration of the next U.S. President. The campaign season came to a halt when the projected winner was declared by media and other independent observers. As a gradual shift begins to unfold around Washington, some still hold on for dear life to a different reality.

Going from candidate to “you’re hired” has ups and downs, twists and turns, ebbs and flows. Over these months we saw political ads with their views on certain issues. We could review their professional backgrounds covering years of public service. Then it’s the people who made the hiring decision.

Along the way as candidates debated and fund raised, they hoped to win primaries like rounds in a boxing match. There were good rounds and bad rounds which helped determine who survived and who exited stage left. Biden and Harris on the campaign trail was like where the magic happens on the career trail.

A potential candidate for a job gets to respond to a company opening. They’ll send in their resumés as a professional background summary. Then the decision is made among the hiring team on who gets the call back. Plus, there’re intangibles (like an endorsement or referral) that can change the outlook in a flash.

While the campaign trail had its nasty-lie moments, we can learn what it takes to jumpstart the job search, advance career moves or rebrand a biz venture. Along the way, folks are checking the record and comparing notes. They’re watching to see who makes the grade or who’s worth getting paid based on:

  • Ambition

The difference between Biden and Harris is like old-school and new school. Biden has been in the game for many years. Harris has been rising up the charts over recent years. Their journeys came together because of shared ambition. Ambition helps in making a name for yourself and a role for your skills.      

  • Vision

Biden’s vision is about unity of purpose in saving the soul of the nation. Since Harris isn’t at the top of the ticket, her vision lines-up with Biden. But from a history-making standpoint, she probably shares that broader vision of women breaking the glass ceiling in their careers.      

  • Reinvention

Biden has run for President three times. He had a chance to reinvent himself the last two times. He says it was the events of Charlottesville that got him into the race the third time. Sometimes when career goals seem hard to come by, we have to find ways to reinvent ourselves to better meet the moment.  

  • Connection

Beyond qualifications, it’s also connection that helped things come together as running-mates. Harris first knew Biden when she was Attorney General of California and his son Beau was AG of Delaware. What she probably was reminded of was that people don’t care how much you know, but how much you care.   

Biden and Harris might ask what’s your reality? Is it stuck on past miss-steps or geared to future step-ups? When people see how much you know your stuff, they say you’re good. But when they sense how much you care, they can tell you’re good for the part. That’s how they bring magic to what they do.        

Tip: Your ‘happy’ is in bringing magic to what you do by how much you know and how much you care.

Talkback: What’s it like seeing “you’re hired” and “you’re fired” getting played out right before our eyes?

Tracks: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic – https://youtu.be/UqyT8IEBkvY

Pharrell Williams – Happy – https://youtu.be/ZbZSe6N_BXs

Beyoncé and Lizzo, ‘Two Peas in a Social Change Pod’ Who Aren’t Just About the Brand but Also Being at Their Best and Taking a Stand

Remember when Lizzo melted after finding out that Beyoncé sang happy birthday greetings to her? She didn’t think one of her idols would have her on mind. It’s the kind of thing Beyhive fans knew all along. She tries to look beyond herself just like when she called out public officials in the Breonna Taylor case.

These days it’s almost as if Beyoncé and Lizzo are like two peas in a social change pod. They’re looking at the issues and making it plain. They’re connecting with fans letting them know they feel their pain. Over the past few weeks, they’ve been clear about one thing: it’s time to do our civic duty.

The music biz as with everything else has seen shutdown due to Covid-19. Concerts on pause, album drops have slowed. The usual hype before project releases are low-key. That hasn’t stopped these ladies in their tracks. As artists, they aren’t just about the brand, but about being at their best and taking a stand.

With her latest fashion line statement about to drop, Beyoncé is still turning it out. She’s building on the ‘Ivy Park’ brand she started and teamed-up with Adidas. It’s a kind of throwback to an 80s vibe, while the promo says to find your ‘beast bode.’ It’s as if the subtext could also be to flaunt your ‘beauty streak.’

For Lizzo, she’s brought much attention to being ‘body positive’, or as she prefers to say, ‘body normative’. For the ‘big girls club’, she has become proof positive about feeling good in your skin. But what they both bring beyond fashion statement or plus-size placement is how to find your flow when you:

  • Be Still

The impact of Covid-19 on essential workers has been seen over these past months. They tend to be more out-front and vulnerable. The impact to others has been things coming to a grinding halt. For Beyoncé, “It was the first time in my life I’ve been so still.” Sometimes that’s where your flow starts.       

  • Be Creative

After releasing the first edition of the clothing line, Bey’s looking to make waves with the updated looks. During the downtime of her music she’s been busy in the uptime of her fashion. When you flow your gifts, talents and skills, there’s always room to be creative. You might even surprise yourself sometimes.   

  • Be Ready

During the early stages of her music Lizzo wasn’t sure how she’d incorporate her classic side with her pop side. Her classic side comes with the flute. Her pop side comes with the lyrics. But her creative process flows from musical sound to breakout rhythm in turning out the hits with crossover appeal.  

  • Be Real

They both do their best to keep it real. For Lizzo, her ‘real’ flows from not acting like more than who she is, while being ‘bold & fearless’. For Beyoncé her ‘real’ flows from being even bigger than who we think she is, while showing ‘calm & coolness’.  Flow makes you ‘be real’ and when you’re real you find flow.  

As musical artists they might have different ways in how they flow. But as music stars they’re about being at their best and taking a stand on social issues. Their love for the game is just as strong as their love for their fans. And at their best, they make us fell good about ourselves in doing what it takes to level-up.       

Tip: Find your ‘beast mode’ or at least find your flow when you be still, be creative, be ready and be real.

Talkback: Which is it, ‘bold & fearless’ or ‘calm & coolness’ that brings out your best?

Tracks: Ciara – Level Up – https://youtu.be/Dh-ULbQmmF8

James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good) – https://youtu.be/Lrv-Morm-c0

Lebron James & Dawn Staley Give us Motivating Lessons on Rising, Winning & Shining at Work, Play and Round-the-Way

There’s more to basketball, than basketball! That’s how Tracee Ellie Ross begins as the narrator of that new TV ad. It gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges that NBA players had to overcome this season. When the first player tested positive for Covid-19, the league decided to shutdown all games.

Then, a few months later, a careful restart was underway with the playoffs. The players would live in a ‘bubble’ on the grounds of the ABC Sports complex. In the case of the WNBA they also went through a similar process, but they’d restart games at another venue with similar restrictions.

Well, they made it through without a virus outbreak and crowned the champions. The Seattle Storm won their 4th trophy while the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th. Their records say a lot about the ABCs of bringing your A-game, having a B-side to life-balance and proving your value to the C-suite execs.

Lebron James still has some playing days left in him, while former WNBA player Dawn Staley has since left the game and is now a college coach. They give us lessons in rising, winning and shining at work, play and round-the-way. It’s also what the TV ad tries to do without selling their next breakout shoe.

The importance of sports to biz and culture is well known. Whether at a restaurant, bar or hometown playground, folks talk about, study and emulate their fav player. It’s more than just what they do on the court that matters. They know that with preparation, passion and practice you can go the distance with:    

  • Work Ethic

Both James and Staley have played on Olympic teams. They made it there because of talent and work ethic. It’s the things you do that no one has to tell you that you have to do. You might do it for the love of the game. But there’s a need to improve, invest or capitalize on skills because work ethic demands it. 

  • Team Dream       

When pro players started going to the Olympics, they first became known as the “Dream Team.” They were among the best of the best in the game at any level. But what James has been able to do wherever he goes in the league is to have others commit to the team dream. That’s how they step-up their game.

  • Game Changer

When league play was put on hold, James wasn’t gung-ho about playing without fans during the restart. That was a game changer for the rest of the way. Sometimes being a game changer means being comfortable with starting over. That’s what James has done in his career with every team he’s been with.  

  • Street Cred

Staley grew up on the hard side of town. She was often with her brother and his friends at the playground. She wanted to play but wasn’t sure they’d let her. She brought her own ball, which upped her chances of getting picked. In time, her street cred wasn’t just from having the ball, but from “ballin” on the court.     

These days when it comes to sports, it feels like something’s in the water on the West Coast. The Seattle Storm wins the WNBA, the Lakers win the NBA and the NFL Seattle Seahawks are on a hot streak. These players show us that even in tough times, we gotta get up and rise each day to secure the bag.    

Tip: Get your hustle on, or at least bring your A-game so that your street cred as a game changer is in using work ethic to inspire team dream.

Talkback: What’s the off-season gonna be like for the players with social issues on their minds?

Tracks: Steel Pulse – Rize – https://youtu.be/m-bVaqDm7Hs

Ace Hood – Hustle Hard – https://youtu.be/r_dh16HQkqQ

Tyler Perry & Issa Rae Took Different Paths but Have a Similar Message on Turning Fed-Up into Step-Up

There’s a kind of hazy cloud hanging over people and places these days. In some parts of the country there’s the cloud of forest fires. With millions of acres burning during this ongoing dry season, we see news reports of damage and destruction. In some parts, the whole town has been wiped out.

Then there’s the cloud hanging over people trying to take next steps. For some who’ve lost everything due to the fires it’s about figuring out where to lay their heads. For others who’ve lost their job due to the economic calamity caused by Covid-19, it’s a case of wishing and praying that things turn around.

While Tyler Perry and Issa Rae haven’t seen this kind of devastation in their lives, they have a similar message on turning despair into emergence and fed-up into step-up. Perry who was once homeless when he first started on his dreams, was the recent recipient of the Governor’s Award at the Emmys.

For Rae, it’s been a tug-of-war in emotions as she creates a path in her Hollywood career. She remembers having a meeting with an industry exec who liked what she was doing but missed the point of her work. The rub was in the exec not seeing her work for its worth but for his exerting power and control.

They know the feeling of having a hazy cloud over their heads. But they’ve also seen what can happen when things clear with peaks of sunshine. It’s those glimmers of light that have helped them build their showbiz following and business acumen as actors. They used that time of clearing to build on the:

1. Moment

Perry spoke in his acceptance speech about his grandmother’s quilt and how he realized he took it for granted. He visited an antique store and saw a similar quilt for sale. It was then he got the power of the message in grandma’s quilt. There’re moments in life when we realize the power to work our magic.  

2. Motivation

In the meeting Rae had with the exec she realized that it was a moment for motivation and change. She chuckles about how “someone got fired” in that meeting, but she turned the moment into motivation to build her brand cred. Now she’s known for her own HBO series and select roles in big screen movies.

3. Journey

Perry says he looks back from time to time to appreciate from whence he came. The advice he once got from Oprah to start a journal has now been turned into a journey. Fast-forward to where he is now in receiving the Governor’s award and you’ll find stage plays, movies and TV shows in his portfolio. 

4. Story

The magic and magnetic attraction Perry and Rae bring comes from the stories they tell. Sometimes it’s a fictional story made for TV sitcoms and acting stage. Sometimes it’s a real-life story adapted to a movie role. And sometimes it’s their own story of momentary digest, passion quest and dream conquest.      

As the fall season of TV shows take shape, there’ll be retuning favorites and newbie projects. Things might be a little different where shows won’t have an audience or have to comply with social distancing. But when the haze clears there’s always a bright light or spot for those who make hay while the shines.   

Tip: Good times come when life’s moments get turned into motivation that leads to a journey for your comeback story.

Talkback: Was Schitt’s Creek really waiting in the wings over the years for this many Emmys?

Tracks: Hill St Soul – One Life – https://youtu.be/9TL3rOzxU5g

Angie Stone – No More Rain (In This Cloud) – https://youtu.be/UgG0Hu_FeiA

Serena Williams & Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Working on Getting Back in Stride to Make that Move and Secure the Bag

The back to school season is really upon us now as pretty much most students across the country open their Zoom window. With Covid-19 still an issue, school districts are working on getting students back in stride for the upcoming year. Some started off with in-person classes while others do remote learning.

The Labor Day holiday is seen as the unofficial end of the summer and the first ramping-up of normal life. Kids return to school and parents wrap-up on vacation time. As to how normal things will be in the first few weeks is still a question. Whether at work or play, some feel being in lockdown mode is getting old.

In sports and showbiz, there’s some glimmer of hope in trying to get back on the regular. There’re events happening in a bubble, or at least without fans. Serena Williams is back on the tennis court at the US Open in NY while ‘The Rock’ surprised NY-area first responders with special props (or rather ‘kicks’).

Johnson recently announced a special giveaway of his sneaker-line to members of a local firehouse for all the work they’re doing on the frontlines. During this week of 9/11, he especially wanted to shoutout those who were impacted by tragedy as many reflect on what it means to serve your community/country.

Williams and Johnson are working with different motivations. For Johnson he’s bouncing back from being Covid-19 positive. For Williams, it’s her ongoing quest to hit that 24-mark in grand slam wins. No matter where we live, whether we’re trying to make that move or secure the bag, we can get motivation by being:               

  • New York Tough

As the song reminds us, “if you can make it here (in NY), you can make it anywhere.” Many (including the Governor) might say that’s a dream confession of a ‘NY Tough’ state of mind. There’s a certain kind of ‘grit & grind’ that makes NY a place people love to live and others want to visit as a global attraction.

  • New Jersey Strong

When Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, there was loss of life as in 9/11 but there was also more widespread damage/loss in property. The strength that people showed in bouncing back became known as ‘Jersey Strong.’ No matter where things are career-wise or in life we can up our game with resilience.         

  • California Dreaming

There was a time when heading west meant reaching new lands. Plus, there was a period of ‘California Dreaming’ as seen in the Gold Rush. Well, after Labor Day might be a good time to think about reaching new heights. But to make that move and secure the bag these days is a different kind of ‘gold rush’ and life dreams.  

  • Colorado High

The CBD business has taken off across the country. One of the first places it started was in Colorado where recreational use was legalized. The State isn’t only known for the ‘mile high’ city of Denver. It also represents a kind of ‘Colorado High’ on figuring out new streams of opportunity for success.     

This week, NY Governor Cuomo gave a blistering readout on hometown rebound due to Covid-19. He thinks the Federal government has a silly vendetta against NY. Well, for the economic situation to get back in stride where folks get to secure the bag, it will take leadership that’s more than just a ‘sugar high.’      

Tip: To get back in stride and secure the bag takes adding ‘NY Tough’ to ‘California Dreaming’ from coast to coast.

Talkback: What other State slogan gets you going?

Tracks: Maze ft Frankie Beverly – Back in Stride Again – https://youtu.be/waSM0rXDLys

Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar – https://youtu.be/E07s5ZYygMg