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6 ways your startup can make the most of your s...

Getting your new business noticed on social media can feel impossible at first, but a few key skills can get your social media up and running with ease. Since the [] [Click on the link to continue reading!] read more »

7 Tips To Maintain Your Company Culture with Ra...

All those companies having impressive employee retention rate and high employee satisfaction levels have one thing in common i.e. they totally understand the significance of having a good company culture. [] [Click on the link to continue reading!] read more »

The 9 Signs He's About to Propose (Get Ready!)

Proposalsmay be best left to a surprise. But according to Sarah Glick, proposal planner withBrilliant Event Planningin New York City, "it's sometimes helpful to know what's ahead to that you have time to prepare." For example, she says, you may want theperfect manicureto go with your newengagement ring. And if you can spot a proposal coming, you can book that appointment, stat. So if you're ready to sniff out your partner's plans, here are nine expert signs he or she is preparing to pop the question. 1... read more »

One Less Lonely Girl on the Island: A Manhattan...

Ive been meaning to share my exciting news ever since the new year began. I think my hesitance mostly stems from a desire to keep Read the rest The post One Less Lonely Girl on the Island: A Manhattan Engagement appeared first on Style Island. read more »

Do just this ONE thing and change your life in ...

The most useless words in the English language: “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Haven’t you said this when what you really meant was it will never get done? There are only a few days left in this year. The New Year is really just a mileage marker on the calendar, but it does represent a good [] read more »

From THE SENSEI LEADER book: Share Success!

Todays post is an excerpt from THE SENSEI LEADER, now available on Amazon and other major booksellers. For a limited time, save 20% when you order through this exclusive link! Success is the goal that gives our lives meaning and purpose. Of course, that depends on exactly how you define success. There is no “my [] read more »

Excellence is not for the chosen few

Weve been doing a lot of sneak previews for Jims upcoming book, THE SENSEI LEADER. Lets not forget his powerful book on personal and professional Mastery- THINK Like a BLACK BELTheres a sample: Too many people think excellence is for the chosen few. That’s just dead wrong. You might think that you’re average and that [] O read more »

SPECIAL POST: Grow A Pair with Larry Winget!

I join my dear friend and mentor, best selling author and The Pitbull of Personal Development, Larry Winget on his Grow A Pair TV show! As you can see, we’re having a great time- and you will too as we talk about discipline, perseverance and how to be a genuine leader… Click here to learn [] read more »

Share the Power

Heres another excerpt from Jims newest book, The Sensei Leader, on track for release in March! Your own power- your effectiveness as a leader, only expands through sharing. power is an expandable pie, not a fixed sum; effective leaders give power to others as a means of increasing their own power. Effective leaders do not [] read more »

Too busy to say Thank You? Bull…

I was sitting down to write a few thank you messages when I realized that the folks I wanted to thank deserved public acknowledgement. I also thought that what these remarkable people do would serve as a great lesson for all of us. Too often these days, people forget about the small gestures that can [] read more »


I had been looking forward to sharing this post with you earlier, then the New England Patriots’ “Deflate-Gate” scandal blew up… or, well, we’ve heard enough bad puns- I’ll refrain. I am a devoted Patriots fan. I have been since I was a kid. Unlike so many who climbed onto the Patriots bandwagon in the [] read more »

Customer Service and Self-Defense – Can you use...

Todays post is an adaptation from Jims manual for his customer service workshops: Samurai Service. These half and full-day workshops give you the tools to develop cutting edge customer service mindset and a culture of service excellence. Call 800-786-8502 for information on how to install the Samurai Service mindset in your business! A Black Belt [] read more »

Annual Kindle eBook Gift List! Last minute shop...

If you need a last minute gift, dont just run to the local 24 hour pharmacy and waste your money on some cheap tchotchke that will either end up in the trash or re-gifted! Give something that will really make a difference in someones life! Here are my favorite Kindle downloads for this year- all [] read more »

Never mistake my kindness for weakness…

From THINK Like a BLACK BELT “Never mistake my kindness for weakness, nor my silence for ignorance.” Quite a few years ago, a friend of mine paid me a tremendous compliment by giving me this wonderful quotation. He had noticed that in several business negotiations I was polite with adversaries, kind even when I was [] read more »

The Sensei Leader

In advance of my next book, The Sensei Leader, Ive launched a blog by the same title. Within the next few days, well also be launching The Sensei Leader Club- a special membership community dedicated to the human elements of leadership at all levels in business, family life and society. As a reader of the [] read more »

The Power of Recognition

Today’s post takes me back to the first section of THINK Like a BLACK BELT… There has been a lot of discussion lately in business social media about the power of recognition. Research shows that recognition is one of our most powerful motivations. That was certainly my experience… Something happens when you tie on your [] read more »

It’s Thanksgiving, Baby! So what is there to be...

If you know my work, you know I’m not the lollipops and puppy dogs guy. My message is Life is tough- but you’re tougher. This is not one of those mushy holiday “attitude of gratitude” platitudes. You need to give thanks- because gratitude is the best way to do a year end inventory. Success is [] read more »

Embracing the process of perfection

From THINK Like a BLACK BELT To a martial artist, a “kata” is never finished. A kata is a set of movements used to teach, learn, and practice martial arts movements. A kata is never perfect If you’re sincere as a martial artist, a kata is always in a constant process of perfection. This isn’t [] read more »

Why you should still teach your kids to do thei...

Your son comes to you and says, “Someday, I’m going to play in the NFL.” What do you tell him? According to the NCAA, about 1 out of every 17 high school players will go on to play in college. From those, 1 of 50 will be drafted to an NFL team. That means that [] read more »

Why you should do your best anyway

I’ve said it myself “Why should I even try? I’m doing the best I can and nothing is happening anyway.” Have you found yourself in any of these situations?
 You prepped for a very promising job interview. In your mind- it was the perfect job and you were the perfect candidate. You even maxed your [] read more »

Fascinating Fridays (Royal Courting and Betrothal)

Royalty, as we know, marry like everybody else albeit in very lavish and official wedding ceremonies. What leads up to these unions, just like in other lives, is the "meeting of that special someone" and a time before the wedding in this case, not called dating but courting. For Royalty, even this very private aspect of life has a very public and rather politically official side. The reason being that the principle of Royalty implies a serving of the public and setting a standard. Top set this standard o... read more »

THE SENSEI LEADER: The Reluctant Leader

Do you remember an old children’s story called The Reluctant Dragon? Disney later turned it into a cartoon. In it you have a dragon that really doesn’t want to be a dragon- at least in the classic mold of an angry, fire-breathing monster. It’s the same story with many small business operators… When you start [] read more »

Wayne’s World Moments and What You Can Do About...

No- this isn’t a fan page piece or a top 10 list of funny lines from Wayne’s World Have you ever had one of these moments? You’re about to start a new task or job…or you’re about to step in front of an audience to do a presentation or performance…or you’re up for a promotion… [] read more »

The Sensei Leader – 8 Steps to Effective Mentoring

A teacher concerned only with his own accomplishments teaches to a class of one. You become the Sensei by focusing mentoring and training others- by developing the talent and potential of the people under your responsibility. This is how the Sensei becomes an effective coach and mentor- in the dojo or in the C-Suite: #1- [] read more »

What does it take to THINK Like a BLACK BELT? J...

I  was interviewed recently for the JenningsWire World of Success podcast. This program features noted authors, speakers and thought leaders from around the world in a wide variety of topics. Some of the items we talk about… Don’t you need to kick and punch to THINK Like a BLACK BELT? Or to actually be one? [] read more »

BACK TO SCHOOL: Why I dropped out of college- a...

This article was first published in March, 2014just as important today! About 6 in 10 high school graduates go on to college. That’s good- but only 40% who go for a 4 year degree will get one and only about 25% of those who try for a 2 year degree. I dropped out twice… The [] read more »

3 Simple Keys to Become a More Effective Leader

3 Keys to Become a More Effective Leader Listen more… How many studies and reports do we need before we finally acknowledge what already exists? People want leaders who are connected, understand what’s happening on the front lines and who truly care about the people under their responsibility. They want leaders who listen! One of [] read more »

The High Cost of Disengagement and Ineffective ...

The blog recently published a very useful infographic that’s making the rounds. They aggregated much of the data associated with workplace engagement- and disengagement. In one neat package, they sum up the actual cost of ignoring the growing disengagement problem… What to do?! Well, it starts at the top. If you want engaged employees, [] read more »

The Future of Leadership – Lessons from Junior ...

One of the defining characteristics of authentic leadership I talk about most often is the willingness to do what is right… …even when it’s not easy, convenient, or expedient. Last week I tested another group of Junior Black Belt candidates. Throughout the test the instructors hand one of the candidates a page with a difficult [] read more »

Leadership is NOT just for “Leaders”

I use this metaphor a lot… Think about those old World War II movies where the grizzled sergeant has to take command of the platoon because the green lieutenant can’t command the troops. In those stories, the new lieutenant, fresh out of officer’s school, has the training and the authority, but not the experience to [] read more »

Leaders: Born or Made?

Adapted from THINK Like a BLACK BELT: Are leaders made or are they born? Psychologists and philosophers have been debating this puzzle forever and they’re no closer to a resolution today than in the days of Lao Tzu or Socrates. Some leaders do seem naturally born into the role. I’d argue that in most cases [] read more »

There Are No Stupid Mistakes?

Last week this meme was making the rounds on LinkedIn… “There are no stupid mistakes- as long as you learn from them and do not repeat them.” Really? What about mistakes made because you were: Lazy? Unprepared? Not paying attention? In this all too politically correct society, it seems we jump through hoops at times [] read more »

Sensei Leadership: Power vs. Authority

Power is your ability to act or perform effectively- an essential ingredient in effective leadership Authority is more specifically the right or privilege granted a particular individual to issue orders and commands and determine course or direction within one’s area of responsibility. In conventional thinking, there is little or no power without authority. I see [] read more »

THINK Like a BLACK BELT – What will THAT get you?

Adapted from THINK Like a BLACK BELT What’s the pay-off? Ultimately, I suppose there needs to be some reason to THINK Like a BLACK BELT. What are the take-aways? I can’t tell you that Black Belt Mindset is the key to your success I can’t tell you that even if you sincerely integrate the philosophy [] read more »

Tired of Engagement? Try Power

I get sick of these semantic arguments and believe me, I’m not trying to complicate the issue further by introducing one more term… …I’m trying to bring some clarity. Many experts debate the difference between “motivation” and “engagement.” I understand the problem. Engagement is usually described as an internal or “intrinsic” driver and refers to [] read more »

Leadership Conundrum – Protecting Your Turf

This quote from Tom Peters is making the rounds on LinkedIn today “Leaders don’t create followers- they create more leaders.” There’s a lot of power in that simple statement! The Sensei Leader is someone who is only satisfied with bringing people up to his level. His satisfaction comes when he develops people who exceed his [] read more »

Stop Worrying About Millennials, Gen X, Y or Z ...

We are hopelessly addicted to statistics, labels, trends and generalizations. Don’t get me wrong- research is important and it’s helpful to identify trends… …it’s just stupid to treat any one person as part of demographic group. I’m guilty of the same thing from time to time. In my martial arts career I’ve often said that [] read more »

Power – Simple, Not Easy

POWER: Your ability or capacity to act or perform effectively Developing power is not easy. It is simple I’ve found in my career as a martial artist that simple techniques are usually the most difficult to master. The mechanics of a kick are relatively simple; but it takes buckets of blood, sweat and tears- and [] read more »

100,000 Readers! THANK YOU!

Today at 2:22 PM ET, the THINK Like a BLACK BELT blog surpassed 100,000 readers! Blogs Directory Blog Folders Blog Directory Promote blog aFiled under: Business Life, Inspiration Motivation, Leadership, Mastery, Mindset, Personal Power Tagged: achievement, Black Belt Mindset, book, books, business, conference speaker, engagement, entrepreneurship, Jim Bouchard, management, Mastery, motivational speaker, personal development, [] read more »

The Confidence of The Loser

Today is a special day at Black Belt Mindset Productions. Today we anticipate exceeding 100,000 readers on the THINK Like a BLACK BELT blog. To celebrate this milestone, I’m returning to the issue that inspired me to start my quest for a Black Belt, and later my desire to share this philosophy with others… …it [] read more »

Problems the Experts have with Me

Monday I talked about my problems with experts who possess academic credentials, but little, if any, practical experience. In the interest of fair play, here are some of the issues experts have had with me over the past few years… “Simple, not easy.” The expert will often raise some form of this concern: “But Jim, [] read more »

My Problem with Engagement and Leadership Experts

Based on the title of this post, you probably think I’m trying to pick a fight. I’m not. I’m very glad that leading academics and highly credentialed business experts are shining a light on the importance of interpersonal skills and fundamental human interaction as the most important factors in developing effective leaders and engaged employees. [] read more »

What happens if you invest in developing your p...

I found this on my LinkedIn home feed- thanks James Sale CFO asks CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”  ~Peter Baeklund

 BAM! If and when some people leave your organization- does that mean you wasted your training [] read more »

Work/Life Balance? Seriously?

TODAY: A mash-up of my posts on Work/Life Balance What do Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, ET and work/life balance all have in common? Lot’s of people believe in them- but so far, nobody has provided any credible evidence that any of them exist! The first problem with work/life balance is the idea that it [] read more »

How Eating Hot Dogs Will Make You More Productive

It’s Memorial Day Weekend. Many of you will spend time with family and friends around the grill eating, among other delicacies, the good old American hot dog. That hot dog could just teach you a thing or two! One of my favorite YouTube subscriptions is Big Think. They feature a collection of videos and articles [] read more »

Does Dan Pink Really Know What the Hell He’s Ta...

Does Dan Pink really know what the hell hes talking about? Well… …yes. He does. I was soaking in the tub watching one of Dan Pink’s TED Talks on “The Puzzle of Motivation.” Ya- that’s how I spend my tub time…YouTube University! Anyway- Mr. Pink was talking about the three major factors that motivate us: [] read more »

How I’ll Save You $2,000 a Year per Employee an...

I’ll save you AT LEAST $2,000 per year per employee… …and this is NOT a commercial! (Just the facts!) OK- what gives me the brass clanging ones to make a claim like that? It’s not that complicated. First… The average American worker is wasting 2.09 hours per day What is it worth to you if [] read more »

National Small Business Week: Personal Developm...

This meme is viral all over social media: “Hire character Train skills.” This is especially true in a small business where youll be working shoulder to shoulder with the people you hire. Skills are important, but there’s a deep truth in this statement. Good people can learn to do just about anything- and they’re [] read more »

National Small Business Week: You may be wastin...

An oft quoted Gallup report shows that 70% of the American workforce is disengaged. That’s a very expensive problem. No business can afford that level of waste- and small businesses are especially vulnerable. Who’s to blame? You are. Seriously! If you’re an employee, it’s time to get yourself engaged in your job. Your performance today [] read more »

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