Archives For vision


Often when I speak, I tell of the time when I was unemployed for four months. In that short window of time, I became depressed and observed my once confident self… lack purpose and direction.

In a rare moment of clarity upon reading Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly effective People… I took his mentoring advice and crafted my first purpose statement. I still have that wrinkled sheet of paper where I first penned “my purpose.”

I simply had no idea how that purpose statement would lay the foundation for my new life ~ leadership ~ and company vision.

Your Foundational Purpose is:

  • Your core motivation for thought and action in every area of your leadership

  • Your deepest inspiration for getting great work done.

  • Your critical filter for choices… a built in accountability system.

Without a Foundation of Purpose:

  • You experience a divided mind

  • Suffer bouts of burnout

  • Are pulled in opposite directions

  • Suffer defeat by constant comparison

  • Feel hurried

  • Feel like you are missing out on life and influence

Nine Extraordinary Benefits of Having a Foundation of Purpose:

  1. Passion – enthusiasm and energy

  2. Power – motivation and self-discipline

  3. Possibility – clarity of opportunities

  4. Probability – increase in daily successes dramatic

  5. Productivity – seizing the right opportunities

  6. Predictability –  more and more consistency in your success

  7. Profitability – higher earnings

  8. Persistence – greater determination

  9. Perseverance – ability to finish strong

Determining your purpose starts with defining the word success. What does it look like for: family relationships ~ professional life ~ health and balance ~ spiritual peace ~ and lasting legacy.

*Take some time to craft your purpose or revisit it for renewal, clarity and success in 2014!

Your partner in living a purposeful life,

~Steve Gutzler

Build your purpose driven team in 2014 through team workshops in Emotional Intelligence, Sales Mastery, and Time Mastery. For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at:


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The Balloon Stomp

“I got a sinking feeling in my mid-section…”

Robert Roberts writes about a fourth grade class in which the teacher introduces the “Balloon Stomp.” A balloon is tied to every child’s leg. The signal is given then the object of the game is to pop everyone else’s balloon while protecting your own.

Balloon stomp is a zero-sum game. If I win, you lose. Everyone else’s success diminishes mine. I must regard others as someone to overcome.Survival of the fittest! Eat or be eaten!

It was a balloon brawl. Some of the shyer students tried in vain to hide on the edges only to be popped! The battle lasted only seconds. And when the final student stood proudly with their balloon intact, no one cheered. There was complete silence. He was the most secretly disliked kid in the room.

Then a worrisome thing happened. A second class emerged to play the game. A class of developmentally challenged children. They were given balloons and the same instructions. “I got a sinking feeling in my mid-section,” said one of the on lookers. How can we spare these kids from the balloon brawl?

Only this time, as the instructions were given in haste, the students only grasped that the balloons were to be popped. So, instead of fighting, they helped each other. They formed a kind of “balloon stomp co-op.” They held each other’s balloons, they assisted each other in sitting on them until they popped.

Every time they heard a pop, they all cheered and smiled and clapped their hands. And when the final balloon popped, they cheered louder and hugged each other and passed around high fives. There were big smiles!

It was a representation of a scoring system that was a little different. The second class did not score against one another, but with each other. No longer opponents, but teammates! It was a win-win situation!

How Do Leaders Keep Score?

1. Look to “team up” with like-minded win-win people. Your success will be compounded.

2. Go out of your way to acknowledge and celebrate other’s successes. You’ll build bridges and goodwill!

3. Remove envy from the heart. It is insidious and only causes you to play small.

4. Be more joyful and care-free. Be less uptight and competitive. Life is short!

5. The best way to keep score is if we can win together! It cultivates powerful emotions and energy.

Getting a new scoreboard! (And a bouquet of balloons),

Steve Gutzler


For information regarding keynotes, training, and leadership coaching call or contact Steve via his website, email (, or call him at 425 681 9871

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Susie Steiner of The Guardian recently wrote an article about an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care; she cared for patients who were in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies and put her observations in a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Bonnie Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives and how we might learn from their wisdom.

Here are the top five regrets of the dying as witnessed by Ware:

1.       I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

2.       I wish I hadn’t worked so hard

They had missed too much of their children’s lives and partner’s companionship. They spent too much time on the treadmill of their work existence.

3.       I wish I had the courage to express my feelings

Many people suppressed feelings in order to keep peace with others. They settled for a mediocre existence rather than expressing their deepest feelings.

4.       I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

Many had become so caught up in their own lives; they had let golden relationships slip away over the years.

5.       I wish I that I let myself be happier

This was a surprisingly common one. Many people did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed in old patterns and habits. The so-called “comfort of the known” overflowed into their emotions and physical life. In this comfort zone they could not find fulfillment or happiness.

Note: This insightful list has caused me to step back and examine my one and only life. As a result I have written down my Regret-Free Living Life.

1.       Live the life I dream of each day. I need to move from weak good intentions and exercise intentionality.

2.       Work Hard but love, laugh, and enjoy the moments. Be as present as I can with who I am with.

3.       Express my feelings with love and respect. Don’t withhold my love and don’t ignore courageous conversations.

4.       Reach out to my friends. They are gifts I should cherish and keep.

5.       Understand my happiness is a choice. I can choose it and don’t need to wait for someday.

What is your greatest regret so far? What will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

Here’s to living regret-free!

-Steve Gutzler


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