Leaders, Fleas and the Glass Jar

Some organizational leaders behave like their worst threat is their employees.

One of the reasons why they believe this is because they think that their employees can steal their position from them.

That’s also why they create all sorts of obstacles to make sure this doesn’t happen. One of the most critical obstacles is that they don’t help their employees grow as leaders.

Why should I?” – they ask. “Aren’t they suppose to do what their told, do their job and go home? Isn’t that why I pay them?

The old hierarchy based on the pyramid-model makes these leaders protect what they think they own – their position. Not only their position but also the power and status of their position. The bigger issue here is that they believe that those things represent who they are. Their identity! That’s why they protect those things with their lives!

If their employees know as much as them and know how to do their jobs with them… then what’s keeping the higher hierarchy to fire these leaders (higher cost) and promote one of their employees (lower cost)?

What this organizational model creates, besides a high-turnover rate, is an environment of fear. And fear doesn’t promote growth. In fact, fear limits growth!
An organization that doesn’t grow and it’s ruled by fear will face the ultimate cost: irrelevance and soon will be out-of-business.

This model worked extremely well in the days of industrial revolution. In those days, the employees just did what they were told to do, didn’t talked to their neighbors and didn’t ask questions.

There’s just one problem: the industrial revolution is being replaced by another revolution ignited by the power of connection of the Internet.
In today’s economy, if you just waiting for orders and for someone else to tell you what you’re suppose to do, you’re in BIG trouble.

In today’s economy, if you don’t talk to your neighbor, you’ll be out of business quickly.

In today’s economy, if you don’t know how to ask questions worth answering, you’ll become irrelevant!

Training fleas

Fleas are trained by behavior conditioning

Leaders that don’t create an organizational environment and structure that promotes growth are training fleas!

Flea training is a process that was popular around 1891.

You only need a glass jar with a lid. The fleas are placed inside the jar and the lid is sealed. They are left undisturbed for 3 days.

Then when the jar is opened the fleas will not jump out. In fact, the fleas will never jumper higher than the level set by the lid.

Their behavior will now be set for the rest of their lives and these fleas will produce offspring who will automatically follow their example.

This issue goes beyond the scope of just a few organizations with some self-serving leaders. What I’m addressing with this post is how the economic revolution that we’re living in right now is making our education system obsolete and is training ourselves to FAIL!

I share Zig Ziglar’s belief that you and I were born to WIN! However, since the first day that we enter the educational systems around the World (Western World at least) we are taught to fit in, know the answers we are taught to remember and follow rules.

Today, there are no rules for you to follow in order to be successful.

Today, the answers that you were told are obsolete.

Today, if you want to fit in you’ll become invisible and irrelevant!

How HIGH will you jump?

The interesting thing about flea training is that the fleas didn’t lose the ability to jump high.

What they lost was the belief about how high they could reach.

When I told you how to raise the B.A.R., I showed you how Belief influences the amount and type of Action that you can use from ALL your potential and, by implication, how your Actions influences the Results that you get.

That’s why I believe that the latest book by Seth Godin – The Icarus Deception, is so important!

Icarus’ father told him not to fly too high and too close to the sun or his wax wings would melt. That’s the version of the myth that we know.
However, there’s a second part to it. His father also told him not to flight too low and too close to the sea or the salt would damage his wings.

The Icarus Deception from Squarespace on Vimeo.

You can’t go higher than you believe you can.

You’ve been told that you should see it before you believe it, right? The problem with this advice is that it’s based on fear. Fear of disappointment. Fear of being judged by others. Fear of not being enough.

Like Randy Cage says, “failure isn’t the opposite of success. It’s part of the process! The opposite of success is mediocrity”.

You have to believe it first before you can see it. Only when you can see it, you can do it!

It was fear of hitting the jar’s lit that kept the fleas inside the glass and it’s fear that’s keeping you from becoming magnificent.

I’m going to tell you right now – I’m not fearless. Like you, I also have fears. But get this – I’m more afraid of what my Life would look like if I don’t follow my purpose, than all my other fears combined.

I live with this belief God gave me my dreams and skills to so I could fulfill a worthwhile purpose with my Life. That’s why my ultimate goal is to honor each breath I take by living fully aligned with that mission!

That’s also why I included the Belief module on the “Leading Life Beyond Goals” – to help you master your Beliefs by destroying limiting beliefs and replacing them with empowering ones!

So the question isn’t if you can jump of the glass jar.

The question is…

How HIGH will you jump?

A beautiful manta flying

Raise the BAR in your Life!

Skip to video!
Play recommended soundtrack

If you really want to stop being a slave of someone else’s dream and start living a life worth dying for, the one thing you must do right now is to raise the BAR (and be part of our Dream List)!

This strategy is so profoundly simple that it can be easy for most people to discard it as worthless. But not so with you!
I kid you not, the impact of raising the BAR is simply profound and has been proven in human history, over and over again.

Every single human being that turned his dreams into reality, did this.

Every successful athlete that reached higher than anyone else before, did this.

Every dreamer that did what everybody else thought was impossible, did this.

And so can you! Here’s how.

It starts with the Heart

I hear you: “The Heart? What are you talking about? Just tell me what to do right now so I can get the results I need today. Today? No! YESTERDAY!”

I know that’s what you feel you want… but unfortunately that’s not what you need.
But don’t take my word for it. Life – the greatest and toughest teacher of all, will keep repeating the tests you’re facing right now until you learn the lesson.
You can choose to leave now or you can choose to allow me to make sure you get an A on that test, so you can move on to get what you really want!

Ready? Let’s do this!

Your Heart is where your Dreams are and, I don’t care about what others might told you: YOUR DREAMS ARE A BIG DEAL!

The reason why your Dreams are so important is because they hold the clues to what your Purpose is.

“Sure Bruno! I get it. My dream is to have 1.000.000$ in my bank account! Can you help me?”


That’s not a Dream – it’s a wish your Head made. A Dream is a wish your Heart makes! [Tweet this]

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that money isn’t important. It is. In the tough times we’re living, it’s really close to oxygen. But would you say that oxygen is the meaning of life? Would you say that breathing is the purpose of your Life? I hope not!

The same thing applies to money! Making money is NOT the meaning or purpose of Life. In fact, you can’t even make money unless you’re a bank printing dollar bills.

I learned this from Bob Burg: You earn money by how many and how well you serve others with your products and services. [Tweet this]

That’s why on your Heart there’s an answer to this important question: “Are you here to serve or be served?”

I also learned this about money from Ken Blanchard: “There’s nothing wrong about making money unless you believe that’s who you are.” [Tweet this]

“Ok Bruno… But why is so important to know my purpose? Can’t I just live?”

Sure you can. If that’s what you want from Life.

I heard this first from Tony Robbins, and it’s so true: “Life will pay you what you ask from her”. [Tweet this]

“Wow! So you’re saying that I can have anything I want from Life?”

Yes. But that sentence tells you only half of the story.

You CAN have anything you want from Life IF…

“I knew that it had to be an if in there somewhere…”

If you give back something of equal or greater value to her.

“Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed.” – Antoine Lavoisier [Tweet this]

Another thing you must know about what you ask from Life is what I learned from Alice Chan:

“The more customized your request to the Universe is, the longer it will take to come to you.” [Tweet this]

Everything in the entire vast Universe tends for balance. You can’t take anything without replacing it with something of equal or greater value.

If you’re still reading this, I know that you want more from Life than to just exist… you want to start living a life worth dying for, don’t you?

One of the most powerful ways you can do that, is to discover your Purpose in Life and then start living in alignment with that Purpose.
That’s where your Talents play a critical role because they’re the keys, God gave you, for you to fulfill your purpose!

Dreams are God’s way of reminding us of our Purpose. Our Talents are the keys to fulfill it. [Tweet this]

“How does this relates to living a life worth dying for?”

Look around you. Every living thing you see right now… is dying. You. Me. There are no exceptions.

I told you earlier, that God created a tough teacher called Life, and that she had some tough tests you must pass to learn the lessons you need to fulfill your purpose.

Unfortunately, I’ve also told you a half truth.

God also gave Life a final exam He wishes ALL human beings must take. That exam is called Death and comes with only one question:

What did you live for?

The only SIMPLE but POWERFUL decision you can make right NOW, to get an A+ on that exam, is to decide for what will you live and die for.

That’s the only way you’ll fill the need carved deep within your soul for fulfillment. Many have tried to replaced it with achievement but realized (many times too late) that it’s like filling a glass with no bottom. You can’t drink it so it’s never enough for you.

Ready to fulfill your purpose? Let’s raise the BAR!

No… I’m not talking about the place where you drink some beers and hang-out with your friends! I’m talking about another kind of B.A.R:

  • B stands for Belief
  • A stands for Action
  • R stands for Results

The power of this strategy is based on your ability to create an overwhelming Belief directly influences the amount and type of Actions you’ll take AND by implication will affect the Results you’ll get.
And it doesn’t stop here, because now your Results will reinforce the Belief you started with. But it all starts with your Belief.

That’s it.

“Wait a minute… You’re saying that I have to believe BEFORE I can see any results?”


“Oh NO! You wish Mr! I’m a skeptic and a scientist of Life… You show me the Results first and I’ll believe you later.”

I’m not trying for you to believe me. That’s irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what you believe – especially, about yourself!

Let’s be honest now…
You’re not a skeptic nor a scientist. You’re just afraid.
In the past people have disappointed you… you believed in things that turned out to be lies and it hurt you. You’ve also disappointed yourself at times… So it’s a natural human reaction to fear and avoid things that brought us pain in the past. It’s safer…

The problem with this is that you still holding a belief. You’re just choosing (consciously or unconsciously) to believe more in your fears than in yourself!

So, how can you know that you can start living a life worth dying for, fully aligned with your purpose?
There’s no way you can know for sure because you haven’t seen any results yet.
So, if you’re a skeptic, how far do you raise the BAR? Let’s see:

1. First, you start with this Belief: “Well… maybe it will work or maybe it won’t… let’s try and find out.”

2. The previous Belief makes you move, towards where you know you’re born to be, in baby steps because “this way I can test the waters and see if I really can do this”

3. Because of your little amount of action and your fear based approach, people get it and say “wow… if this guy won’t believe in whatever he’s doing… why should I?”

What Results do you get? Little… if any. What will those Results do to your Beliefs? “See! I told you so! You’re not worth it. You don’t deserve it. Forget this guy… Rabbit Way… Yeah right…”

Now… there’s another way, if you choose to follow it.
The difference is so simple that it’s so easy to oversee it… and many do. That’s also why there’s so few people that get this right.

Start by finding your inner courage to follow your Purpose. Love yourself enough to honor the gifts God gave you, so you can use them in way to give back as gifts to Him.
The biggest challenge people face in following their Purpose is to believe they’re worth it. NOT SO WITH YOU!

Are you ready to do this with me?

1. Create an empowering Belief about yourself and your Life.

Believe with absolute certainty in yourself and in your God-given ability to fulfill your purpose. Be willing, with all your soul, to live every day for it… and also to die for it.

2. Engage in massive action

What will this do to your actions? You’ll start seeing yourself doing massive action towards where you want to be. This is what will help you become ALL that you can be!

Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person we become. – Jim Rohn.

3. Results will come

What Results will you get? People will feel a real difference in you and your confidence is contagious. Providing that you can fulfill the promise you’re sharing with them, you’ll get Results and they will get Results.

It’s just a matter of time.

What I’ve just showed you is the most important Self-Fulfilling Prophecy you can make today that will affect your destiny.

Raise what you expect from Life.

Raise what you expect from yourself.

Raise the BAR in every area of your Life and you’ll raise yourself to new heights of fulfillment!

This is how you can raise the BAR! (Tweet this)

Now, it’s up to you!

The only person in the World that can raise the BAR in your life, is YOU! But that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone!

Use the comments area to share how are you raising the BAR in your Life and the results you’re getting.
Share your empowering Prophecy about your Life!

You keep doing that and (I love how Zig Ziglar finishes his talks) I will see you AT THE TOP!

Thoughts on Ziglar’s “Take a Bow”

On May 29, 2012 Zig Ziglar wrote a wonderful article called “Take a Bow”.

In this article, Zig talked about Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese teacher, who developed a method of teaching music which later was adapted to teaching other skills.
One of the unique things about this teaching method is how it all started: “the first thing Suzuki did was teach his students how to take a bow“.

For Zig the “the reason is simple: When performers take a bow, the audience will applaud”.

However, even before I read his interpretation of the meaning of the bow, I had different view that I would like to share with you today.

I believe that the reason why Suzuki started to teach his students how to take a bow was to always reminding them why they exist on that stage: their audience.

Bowing is a sign of respect and humility. Training his students in controlling their EGO, by showing that it’s not about them, is essential to reach their full potential.
When you hear a crowd applauding you after witnessing your performance is easy to fall pray of your EGO and believe that it’s all about that reward… gaining the audience approval and recognition.

Shinichi Suzuki teaching a young girl to play

However, for me true extraordinary artists don’t do it for the applause. They do it because that’s who they are. They bow because they know that without their audience they’re nothing.

Like Ken Blanchard says “people with humility don’t think less of themselves. They just think about themselves less”.

So like my friend Jen Olney said to me yesterday: “Don’t do it for the applause. Do it for the cause!”

And what about you?

Why do you do what you do?

What do you think about Shinichi Suzuki lessons?

Surviving the Waves Break

Surfer VS Wave

Photo by surfer-photographer Clark Little

In the last post (“The beach shore of Success”) from this series, I showed you how you can be successful at the beginning of your career by sharing what I did right and wrong on my journey.

Now, I’ll share with you what I’m experiencing right now.

The waves break

Wave breaking

Photo by John White

Now you left the safety of the beach shore and you’re trying to reach the open sea. There’s only one problem: the waves are breaking hard! If you’re not careful they’ll break you.

For me the open sea is having the opportunity to work on my startup full-time and help my employees and my clients achieve worthwhile goals: unleashing your potential and inspiring you to change the World! The waves represent the obstacles I need to overcome to reach that goal!

Once again, for four years since I left the other startup, that I was very lucky for having the opportunity to work with amazing people and with great leaders that helped me grow a lot! People like Alexandre Reis, Rui Querido, Rui Carvalho, Tiago Mouzinho, Rodrigo Enes, Nuno Rocha, Luis Mira, Filipe Patricio, Sara Águas, Filipe Nunes, Ângelo Reis, Alexandre Matos, Pedro Fernandes, Xavier Araújo, Miguel Oliveira, Nuno Gomes, João Almeira, Nuno Gomes and Ricardo Antunes.

They showed me that having strong technical skills isn’t enough to be successful: I needed to understand the business and who I did business with.

That’s why I enrolled in a Master’s degree in Management and I’m now working on my thesis research that will reveal how leadership influences the productivity and competitiveness of a software development team. I did all this and I still went from being a “simple” software developer to a lead developer responsible not only for my own work but also for the work of others assigned to my projects.

And if ALL this wasn’t enough for me: I’m also trying to bootstrap my business as I help my wife (http://therabbitway.com/psicodigital) and my family (http://therabbitway.com/premiuminvestments) with their businesses.

I’m not sharing this to brag “I LOVE MY SELF AND I’M THE BEST” but to, hopefully, inspire you to make your dreams come true!

What I’m learning where the waves break?

Discipline. Discipline. Discipline.

We all have 24h to invest every day. What we decide to do with that time is what makes the difference between the highly successful, the good enough and the rest.
Focus on what you want to achieve and decide which investments (time, money and effort) will take you a step further towards your goal. Those who don’t plan, plan to fail.

What makes you special?

Every idea… post… product… e-mail message… EVERYTHING YOU DO! What makes it special and why should we care?

If you think hard about the answers to these questions your persuasion will be infinitely easier. And one more thing: at the beginning the answers won’t flow as fast as you wish, but if you create the habit of answering them, it will become more easy.

Surround yourself with the right people

And by right people I mean winners! Those who don’t ever quit. Those who are realists about the challenges ahead but have a positive attitude towards the outcome.

To survive the waves break you’ll need LOTS of energy because you’re not only doing your job but you’re also bootstrapping your own business. It’s tough! But the right people will give you the energy you need to be successful. Besides the energy they’ll also share with you the knowledge and the skills to reach the open sea.

If you find a group where everyone is committed to help each other become successful, your chances of of Success will dramatically increase.

“What you do off the job will determine how well you’ll do on the job” – Zig Ziglar

One of the toughest things you’ll have to manage is to keep doing a great job at your company while launching your own business. Especially if you’re bootstrapping.

One of the best ways to do this is to use the skills and knowledge that you’re developing in launching your business and use it at your day job! Applying what you know is what enables your knowledge to turn into power.

It’s not about you

This is where your EGO could start to get in the way to remind you: “Hey… don’t listen to this Portuguese guy! What does he know about Success anyway? Don’t invest more of your precious time here because you know better…”

It’s been 6 years since every single day I’ve searched how and why some people are successful and other don’t. And by successful I mean achieving their Personal, Professional and Financial Success.

  • Personal Success is about knowing and living the meaning of Life
  • Professional Success is about doing what you love
  • Financial Success is about loving what you get

For me, true Success is reaching ALL three vectors of Success. So I researched for proven and experienced entrepreneurs lived in all kinds of economic, financial and social realities, faced a lot of adversity and after more than 70 years they mastered ALL three areas of Success. The Masters that I’m referring to are:

Ken Blanchard

  • Born in 1939 = 73 years
  • Working experience started in 1974  = 38 years
  • Started his own company in 1979 = 33 years
  • Personal SuccessYou must connect with family and friends. Anyone who only wants to achieve will lead an empty life.
  • Professional SuccessLeading at a higher level is about helping people accomplish worthwhile goals while taking into consideration the needs and concerns of all involved.
  • Financial SuccessMaking money is not a worthwhile goal. It’s a byproduct of doing good things. Profit is the applause you get for taking care of your customers, your employees and being a good citizen in your environment.

Zig Ziglar

  • Born in 1926 = 86 years
  • Working experience started in 1946 = 66 years
  • Started his own company in 1970 = 42 years
  • Personal SuccessI believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles
  • Professional SuccessWhat you do off the job will determine how far you’ll go on the job.
  • Financial SuccessIf you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.

Harvey Mackay

  • Born in 1932 = 80 years old
  • Working experience started in 1954 = 58 years
  • Started his company in 1959 = 53 years
  • Personal SuccessBelieve in yourself even when nobody else does. I never met a single successful person who was successful without facing a lot of adversity.
  • Professional Success Dig you well before you’re thirsty, prepare to win, but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t use it. Knowledge doesn’t become power until it’s used.
  • Financial SuccessFrom the first moment I meet you, right into my brain bank I think: “What can I do for you?”

Notice a common theme between the winning mindset of these Masters? It’s about what you can do for your costumers, investors and employees that will determine how successful you are.
Now you know why YOU are the reason The Rabbit Way exists. There’s nothing I LOVE more in this life than to unleash people’s potential and inspire them to achieve the Success they deserve!

To finish this post, I’ll let Mr. Ken Blanchard tell you what it leadership means:

And what about you?

How are you surviving the waves break? What did you learn so far?

I’m looking forward to see you in the comments bellow!