Categories
Alignment General Leadership

Advancement is a Two-Way Street

True, caring leaders know advancement is a two-way street. Phillip Kane


February 17, 2010

This week, the world of professional basketball celebrated the emergence of unlikely superstar Jeremy Lin.  Made-up words like “Linsational”, “Linsanity”, and others were used in headlines to describe the performance of the 6’3″ Taiwanese point guard of the New York Knicks.  In his debut week as a starter, Lin scored more points in his first five games than any player in recorded history, dominating Kobe Bryant in one game then draining a buzzer-beating and game-winning three-pointer in another along the way. 

No one expected this. Lin was not offered a Division 1 scholarship. Lin was passed over in the NBA draft. After being picked up by the Golden State Warriors in 2010 and sent down to D league ball, Lin was cut. He was signed by the Houston Rockets in December, 2011 then cut again at the close of the pre-season.  Lin was claimed off waivers by the Knicks a week later and sent down to D league again.  On February 3, a week before the Knicks planned to release him, Lin was sent in by Coach Mike D’Antoni to play clean-up in the closing minutes of a horrible loss to the Boston Celtics. The rest is history.

This didn’t just happen  Along his rocky road, which included sleeping on a friend’s sofa,  Jeremy Lin worked tirelessly on the gaps in his game.  Then D’Antoni chose to give him a shot. It was the grand collision of these two choices that enabled the Jeremy Lin phenomenon.  That’s how it’s supposed to be.  In any relationship, the leader and the led play a role in the advancement of the latter. 

That’s the point for the week. 



Personal development is a mutual responsibility.  Whether parent/child, teacher/student, coach/player, or leader/associate, both parties must fully participate in the process. 

Jeremy Lin didn’t just wait his turn or rely on his leaders to suddenly choose him.  He put himself in a position to be chosen.  Mike D’Antoni didn’t require Jeremy Lin to be perfect.  He took an informed chance on Lin based on his observation of the player’s recent progress. 

As associates, we must actively engage in the process of our development and advancement by sharing our interests with our leaders, then asking for help to identify and improve on the skills and behaviors that we’ll need to accomplish our goal.  Simply believing that our time will come or that advancement is a function of entitlement will leave us disappointed. 

As leaders, we can’t wait until we know beyond any doubt that an individual we’ve been given the privilege to lead is 100% ready. We’ll wait forever. 

But when associate preparedness meets enlightened leadership, magic happens. The unlikely seems suddenly possible.  Small successes beget bigger ones.  Confidence and courage bloom adding pace to the work of the team.  Associates surprise their leaders and themselves by translating built capability into delivered results ahead of plan.

Best of all, trust blossoms as associates and leaders rely on each other more, arriving together in a better place, and finally marveling, arm in arm, at the fact that what they achieved was somehow greater than themselves.

Make associate development a two-way street.   

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Categories
Belief News

Just Add Hope

True, caring leaders know hope IS a strategy. The just add hope. Phillip Kane

November 5, 2009

The other day as I flew from Charlotte to Kansas City for a meeting with YRC, my iTunes DJ spun up the hit song, Airplanes by B.o.B. 

The opening line (and chorus) from the song struck me in a way it hadn’t before.

 “Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?  I could really use a wish right now.” 

I thought first of my dad, then about a wider point on leading.

It made me think of my dad who, upon hearing my mom or one of his four sons wish for something, was fond of saying, “Spit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first.” (Except he didn’t say spit) What he was trying to say in his dry-witted way was that activity, not hope produces results. 

Some are fond of saying that, “hope is not a strategy.”

To me, both my father’s saying and the conventional wisdom of the Ken Doll leader set and their tired little “hope is not a strategy” cliché are both too limited in their thinking.  They ignore the value in hope.  They fail to recognize the value that hope plays in forming vision and that vision plays in shaping the future.

And that’s the point for the week.



For our company, our homes, our communities and our world to become all that we want them to be requires that we first envision or hope for something better for them.  It is an absolute certainty that doing the same thing tomorrow as we are doing today, even if we choose to do it twice as hard, will deliver nothing more that exactly what we have today, possibly just a tad more of it.

But hope helps create the vision for where we want to be – the point in the distance we want to achieve. Inherent in hope is the critical belief that things can be different and better.  When we exert hope upon the world it moves. We overcome the inertia of our present path and shape a new one; a road to our own promised land, the destination we envision.

And when effort is added to that vision, our world can actually become all that we hope it can be.  But effort without vision is not unlike banging one’s head off a wall.   Just as wishing without effort is like, well you know.  But hope comes first.

So, hope in all things.

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Categories
News

Fly Right

True, caring leaders fly right. Phillip Kane
Iron Mountain, MI

May 15, 2009

This week I travelled to Iron Mountain, Michigan in the state’s Upper Peninsula for the 100 year anniversary of Eureka Tire. 

One of the principal features of Iron Mountain as well as of the history of the Wedin family, owners of Eureka Tire, is the Pine Mountain Ski Jump. 

At 176 feet tall, the Pine Mountain jump is one of only a handful of K120 jumps in the United States and is among the highest jumps in the world. K120 denotes the distance of the critical landing point in meters.  Jumpers leave the end of a K120 jump at speeds in excess of 55 mph, landing more than 400 feet down the hill. 

While distance is the principal scoring factor in ski jumping, a jumper’s final score is also determined by style points. It is very possible for a jumper with the greatest distance to lose to one with less distance but better form. 

As I stood at the top of the jump contemplating the difficulty of not only flying to the bottom, but flying right, it occurred to me that life is a lot like ski jumping. 

How we conduct ourselves in our daily work is as important as what we achieve.  Put another way: how we win is just as important as winning. 

That’s the point for the week. 



Selling the most, like jumping the farthest, is important only insofar as it’s done correctly.  Exceeding our EBITDA target matters only if we do the right things to beat our number.  Excelling at anything in life, whether here, at home, or in our communities, makes a difference only if we play by the rules along the way. 

It is no coincidence that our performance management process equally weighs results and behaviors.  They are equally important. 

Achieving the wider goals of our company requires that each of us is aligned not only around our numerical objectives but also around the means of achieving them, with complete commitment to winning the right way.  I’d rather lose, than win the wrong way.

When every one of us focuses on winning the right way, we will almost assuredly win more often, because more of us will be focused on the right, same behaviors for winning and just as importantly, we’ll waste less time cleaning up the messes that always result from doing things the wrong way.

So, focus on “style” points.

Fly right. 

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Categories
Service

Be Attendant to the Needs of Others

True, caring leaders know to be attendant to the needs of others. Phillip Kane

April 2, 2009

This week, we hosted nearly 200 folks in St. Kitts for our Champion level Spirit of Goodyear trip. 

We brought 89 of our participants on a charter plane from Miami. 

During the three-hour flight, Doug Whittington and I had an opportunity to act as flight attendants – stewards if you will.  We served food and drinks to our customers and otherwise attended to their every need. We were even briefed on the safety aspects of the plane and were there for the security of our pax as well. 

In almost no time, it seemed, we had arrived in St. Kitts. The flight was a barrel of fun.  Except for take-off and landing, Doug and I never sat down – scuttling back and forth along the aisle offering this, fetching that, or answering questions about the flight or our arrival procedure. We spent all of our time assisting others and had more fun than anyone. 

Life is like that. The greatest enjoyment comes not from serving ourselves, but in serving others. 

That’s the point for the week. 



Whether in our job – selling tires or leading people – or away from work –  raising children or building community – the end result is almost always enhanced when we first care for and serve others. 

Think back over a year, or five, or ten of your life and consider your most fulfilling achievements or experiences. I expect that many, if not all, included something you did for someone else. 

The old Christmas cliche is true (that’s why it’s a cliche). We DO get more when we give than when we receive. 

It’s part of who we are. It’s how we’re made. 

When we do things for others we grow as individuals, those we offer help to prosper, and the end result of any endeavor we’re involved in improves. 

Serve others. 

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Categories
General Leadership Perseverance

Persevere And Win

True, caring leaders persevere and win. Phillip Kane
Matt Kenseth Wins 2012 Daytona 500 | Photo credit: Grindstone Media Group, Shutterstock.com)

February 20, 2009

Watching the Daytona 500 unfold this past weekend I couldn’t help but think of our business. 

It wasn’t a usual 500. It wasn’t a usual 500 winner. But both seemed appropriate to me. 

As the clouds gathered and it became clear that the race may not proceed as expected, things on the track changed. Many drivers began to act erratically. But a few drivers reacted positively, carefully changing their game plan, doing something about it to put themselves in a position to win. 

One of them was Matt Kenseth, who hadn’t been heard from much during the race. Matt started near the back and typically worked his way quietly and methodically through the field.

As the rain started and the final caution was thrown, Matt ran to the front. 

Then, when the red flag was waved, and the cars were brought to the grid for the rain delay Matt chose to stay at work if you will behind the wheel with the cover over his car while other drivers ducked for the dry of their trailers or the spotlight of ESPN’s cameras. 

During the off-season you won’t find Matt jetting off to Thailand, Jackson Hole, or any other exotic destination. You’ll find Matt at home in Wisconsin, not far from his family or his race shop there, preparing for the season ahead. 

Here’s the point for this week. 



That Matt Kenseth won Daytona wasn’t a fluke of weather or NASCAR timing. Matt Kenseth won Daytona because he is Matt Kenseth. 

His quiet leadership, recognition that things were changing, decision to act, and work ethic all combined to put him in victory lane. 

Our situation isn’t much different, well except for the fact that we don’t get big cardboard checks and don’t get to spray Coke on everyone when we make a sale while confetti falls from the sky. Otherwise, things are comparable. 

See, our race is not going as expected. We are behind and need to find our way to the front. Our competition is fierce and can’t be counted on to behave in ways we’ve come to expect. Storm clouds are all around us.

Let’s tear a page from the Matt Kenseth playbook. 

Winning the 2009 tire selling race will require hard work, perseverance, the courage and force to do something different as quickly as we can, and the self-confidence to go about it for all the right reasons. 

So, get out there and run to the front. And don’t worry about the rain, you can’t stop it…you can though do something about it. 

Race hard. Persevere.

And win. 

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

(Photo credit: Grindstone Media Group, Shutterstock.com)

Categories
Joy

Release Joy

Release joy. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog.
Art: Don Drumm Studios, Akron, Ohio

February 8, 2019

On my daughter Charlotte’s dresser is a small pewter plaque from a local Akron artist. On the plaque are only two words, “Release Joy.” Charlotte, who we call “Chuck,” has never needed additional encouragement in this regard. Whether from creating an entire multi-generational family from unopened soup cans and a Sharpee marker to bringing lavishly decorated cakes home for special occasions of her own invention, Charlotte naturally wrings every bit of life and happiness out of every waking moment. Charlotte releases joy.

Recently, I shared with all of you the list of “Rules” that I have for my life. I have more than once considered adding “Release Joy” to the list. It is probably only that I don’t want 13 rules that I haven’t added Release Joy. And adding two rules swells the list to 14, which isn’t as neat and tidy as 12. So, I’ve been content to leave the list alone, leaving Release Joy to suffer the fate of poor alternate, waiting for another rule to fall off the list. But Release Joy is truly as important as any of the other 12. That’s because, personal happiness matters. 

And that’s the point for the week.



Performing a task with or without joy will make the difference between a job well done or not. The presence of joy will affect the quality of human relationships; when it is absent, relationships suffer. Having joy in our hearts for each day we are given makes good news feel even better and bad news sting a little less.

Joy, like any emotion, is automatically and freely shared. It can light up a room. Ignite passion in others. Heal a hurt. Elevate. Propel. Calm. Inspire.

When each one of us here spends more time releasing joy, (which is almost never found in things, by the way) and less time looking for reasons to be sad, angry or disappointed, we will accomplish more together. We will keep each other safer. We will teach each other more things. We will reach the heights we have dreamed of together. We will win, together.

And when we do, we will be happier, for we have sought the better part, the joyful art. A life better lived, where people we have the privilege to interact with smile more, laugh more, help each other more, watch out for each other more, lift each other up more, and win more. 

So, be like Charlotte. Release joy.

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Categories
Perseverance

Focus On Things You Can Control

True, caring leaders focus on things they can control. Phillip Kane

February 10, 2009

My son Will, who just turned 5, and I are fierce Lego Star Wars (video game) competitors. We’ve been known to play for 16 hours in a single weekend. 

The object is to complete 100% of the game by collecting 99 gold bricks, 18 power bricks, completing 10 Bounty Hunter missions, and achieving True Jedi status twice in each of 18 chapters. 

Recently, after about 3 or 4 weeks of play, we had completed 81 some percent of the game only to lose all of our progress to a “corrupt data card”. 

I was amazed at my son’s reaction.  Will was unfazed.  It didn’t seem to bother him that we lost it all, that we’d have to start completely over.  

This seemingly insignificant event reminded me of something I told a friend once about why I believe my daughter Caroline recovered more quickly from open heart surgery than an adult would have. She hadn’t learned to feel sorry for herself. Neither apparently has Will. That we lost our progress was simply a fact to be dealt with not an event to rustle up a heap of self pity over. 

Worrying about issues we have no control over is a waste of time, emotion and energy.

And that’s the point for the week. 



As news of the economy worsens, as our industry further recedes, as the work we have done is threatened we have a choice. 

We can choose to feel sorry for ourselves and wish it weren’t true. Or we can accept what we can’t change and go do something about it. 

We can be like Will. 

Times like these offer wonderful opportunities to trounce someone who is sitting around feeling sorry for themselves or who is pulling back somehow to compensate for the slowdown. Look for openings. If someone gives you one, drive a truck through it. 

Remember, life is a choice. 

We can either choose to participate in the malaise or we can capitalize on it.  We can either decide to take control of every moment or we can give in to the urge to let the moment control us.

Be like Will.

Focus on things you can control. Then control them.

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Categories
General Leadership Service

Stir it Up

True, caring leaders stir it up. Phillip Kane

August 27, 2004

One night a week, I volunteer as an overnight attendant at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception shelter.  The work isn’t hard.  Those of us who volunteer serve dinner, clean up, provide drinks until lights out, then sleep alongside the men until morning when we stack things up and go on about our way, usually to our jobs.  Each week, I have a chance to visit with a man I know only as Michael.  He’s middle aged, a bit older than me – but much wiser.

Recently, he looked at me and said simply, and curtly, “stir it up.”  I wasn’t certain at first if he was referring to the boring scene at the shelter, my similarly boring life as a GPC executive, or just life generally.  But as I began to think more about his words, simple as they were, it occurred to me that they were meant for all of us; and they are worth living by.

See, nothing of any great significance has ever occurred in the history of human existence without some amount of disruption to the status quo, without some stirring up of things…and people.

And that’s the point for the week.



Progress comes at the expense of the current order of things.  Letters are mixed up to make words which form ideas which are the fuel that drives collections of people forward to states that would be unrecognizable to those 2 or 3 generations before.  

In every instance, people meet others they have never seen before and without aid of the stir of progress they never would.  The state of human knowledge, love and kindness are catapulted forward. The ideas, hopes, and dreams of many are shared, mixed, and stirred.  Time and distance are compressed.  And barriers crumble to the ground.

Without the stir, teams would stand still, stuck in place while others sprint past them.  Without the stir, there would be no winning.  With the stir comes progress.  The faster the stir, the faster things go.

Best of all, with prolonged stirring each part begins, more and more, to lose itself to the whole, until the prior parts are no longer recognized individually.  Soon, only the team exists, as one thing, moving forward with tremendous force, and exacting fluidity, a thing of one mind and being, able to overcome any adversity or setback.  All because of the stir.

So, stir it up.

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Categories
Caring News

Hello World!

Hello world. I'm Author and businessman, Phillip Kane
Phillip Kane

Hello world! Welcome to AndWin.net, the official blog of author and businessman, Phillip Kane. Here you will find selected postings on caring leadership plus logo merchandise offerings, news and other content all curated and compiled to help you become a better, more effective leader – the kind that people actually want to follow.



Phillip is a true steward who believes there is an alternative to the fear-based, command and control management style that is found in most U.S. corporations today. This blog can be a how-to for leaders looking for help in finding that better way.

So, hello again world, and thanks for visiting. We’re glad you stopped by.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

All material contained herein is copyrighted by Grace Ocean, LLC https://graceocean.net Grace Ocean is a registered trademark of Grace Ocean, LLC

Categories
Stewardship

Be a Stuart of Others

Be a Stuart of others. Phillip Kane

October 22, 2004

This week, I’ve been reading the story of Stuart Little to my kids.  For those not familiar with the tale, Stuart Little is a fictional mouse from a children’s book of the same name written by E.B. White.  Stuart is born into the Little family and raised as any other of their children, despite the fact that he is quite clearly a mouse.  The book tells the story of Stuart’s wild adventures, many of which center around him protecting (from a cat named Snowbell), then searching for, a bird named Margalo when she comes up missing.  In the end (spoiler alert), we are left with Stuart still on the hunt for Margalo, but hopeful, in fact quite sure, that he will find her.

As I ended the book, the girls already asleep, I began to think about Stuart in the context of real life.  First, I wondered about the etymology of his name.  Stuart, I recalled, is the French modification of Stewart, a surname which was crafted in 14th century Scotland from Steward, a designation for he who was assigned to serve a ruling monarch as the supervisor of their estate and household.  So, even today, a steward is one who serves.  And Stuart = Steward.  

And Stuart is Little.  Stuart is not a giant.  He is not even human size.  He is tiny.  But he does big things.  At one point in the book, Stuart wins a major boat race in Central Park, NYC – a big deal.  Returning home, his brother asks Stuart where he’s been.  Instead of making a show of his conquest, Stuart simply says, “knocking around town,” as if it were nothing at all.  For Stuart, it wasn’t about Stuart.  The etymology of “Steward” Little personified him as a character, always looking to serve others, including the grand search for Margalo, which consumes the entire second half of the book.  Finally, White’s leaving the search undone, was I believe, purposeful.  It was a way of saying, “The servant is never finished.”

And that’s the point for the week.



There are lessons everywhere.  Often, we find them in unlikely places, sometimes in little children’s books.  True caring stewards are like that too.  They are found in unexpected places.  That’s because they endeavor to make themselves small, or like Stuart, little.  They know that the smaller they become the larger others can get.  And they know that the work of getting small is never done.

The stewardship of others is not a part time avocation.  It’s not a boat race in the park to be run and done.  It’s a lifetime commitment, to others.  Stewardship does not take a day off.  Or, as I’m fond of saying, “every day, means every day.”

But the paradox of stewardship is this, when we make ourselves really, really small, so that others can get really, really big, that’s when very large things start happening in our own lives.  The path to achieving that which we deserve in life is through the service of others.  The greater our service, the greater will be our reward.  Best of all, like little Stuart, our greatest adventures will be found in a life devoted to others, of countless lives touched, and an endless horizon stretching beyond the limits of our human sight.

So be a stuart of others.

And win.

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.