True North A COMPASSX CONSULTING PUBLICATION
Inside This Issue Celebrating My Wolf Pack 2019 Goals Page 1
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By the Numbers Holiday Reading on Gratitude Use Your Points
growth measures, and we couldn’t have done it without our people. This space is dedicated to my wolf pack and to all of our consultants who were part of this success — our best year in the 10-year history of our company. We depend on each other to deliver meaningful results and transformational changes to our customers — it’s a wolf-pack effort. The key, as the wolf study demonstrates, is cooperation. This cooperation is dependent on the pack’s cohesive thoughts, leadership, enthusiasm, and strategies to ensure the sustainability of the pack. We’ve fostered mentorship in the same manner as a pack by communicating, collaborating, and sharing knowledge among our consultants. Utilizing the psychological concept of nature versus nurture, we’ve assembled an all-star group of consultants who have excelled in both individual and client objectives this year by using their instinctive and learned knowledge to execute at a high caliber, regardless of the tasks at hand. By working with our top local talent and recognizing the natural talents our consultants bring to the table, we’ve provided innovative approaches and helped our clients face and overcome even the most daunting business challenges. As a wolf pack, we succeed. Kudos, congratulations, and acknowledgments to our entire CompassX consulting team for their stellar efforts this year. I’m looking forward to the many milestones this team will achieve in the coming year and beyond.
CELEBRATING MY WOLF PACK
“The strength of the wolf is the pack. The strength of the pack is the wolf.” –Rudyard Kipling
Cooperation isn’t something that’s only necessary in the wild. It’s necessary for the survival of any company, department, or major project. A strong wolf pack is going to perform at higher levels than a lone wolf. Leaders must orchestrate a functioning group of distributed thinkers and doers, never allowing their “packs” to become overly dependent, but rather encouraging them to follow instinctive processes, use sound judgment, innovate, and become mindful leaders that benefit the pack collectively. As the end of the year approaches, I have this study in mind because it makes me think of my outstanding CompassX team. All the great achievements we’ve made this year have hinged on each person contributing at their top level, but more than that, it’s due to our mutual cooperation.
Last year, the Wolf Science Center at the University of Vienna released a study. In it, they compared dogs’ and wolves’ performances on a behavioral test. The majority of wolf pairs completed the task researchers set out, while the majority of dogs did poorly. Very few of the dog pairs could figure out what they needed to do in order to succeed — with the exception of puppies, which performed quite well on joint tasks. The theory is that puppies have not yet become reliant on humans — certainly not as much as adult dogs.
The key to the wolves’ success? Cooperation.
Researchers hypothesize that the success of the wolves comes from the cooperation they exhibit in the wild. Their survival depends upon it.
CompassX has had a tremendous year when measured against all the standard business
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MY GOALS FOR 2019
There’s plenty of great content available that talks about actions you should take at the end of the year. The ideas tend to be very similar, but personally, I always re-read the content, as it puts me in a forward-focused mindset and reminds me why these tips have survived the test of time.
just how powerful journaling can be, and it has become one of the most popular reads of all time.
against them quarterly, things will get done. I don’t see this game plan ever going out of style in business or personal goal setting.
3. LAUGH AND SMILE, CONNECT AND FEEL, BE GRATEFUL.
6. RE-CONNECT AND STAY CONNECTED WITH FRIENDS.
My goal is to do these three things every day. Honestly, I don’t know whom to give credit to for this succinct daily summary on how to create a rich life. I’ve read a lot of research and written on these topics individually, but in practice, actively setting out to do these three things every day has been not only enjoyable but also a true difference maker. I don’t want to delegate more work, but rather, to delegate more effectively. I tend to move too quickly when delegating, so I want to consciously slow down and ensure I’m delegating correctly. Maybe the upfront transfer will take longer, but the goal is to create greater ownership and ultimately joint success for the individual who will be taking on the new task. 4. DELEGATE BETTER.
Here are a few of my personal goals for 2019.
Boy, does life just happen if you let it! I’ve spoken to quite a few people about this topic this year. Some are excellent at rallying friends for fun events, dates, or just making something happen over a weekend. I’m not naturally great at this. However, I’m committed to becoming much more active at planning events in advance. I really will put in the work — because it does take work (and sometimes a lot of it) — to make more things happen and reconnect with past colleagues, friends, and family. Maybe some of you are reading this right now — expect a call from me! I hope by sharing some of my 2019 personal goals you get inspired to create and share your own list. Have a very grateful holiday season, and I wish you the best success in 2019. Kyle J . Heppenstall Kyle J. Heppenstall Founder | Managing Director
1. KEEP READING THE ‘GREATEST OF ALL TIME’ LISTS
The problem is there are so many “greatest” lists out there. When I’m done with a book, I scan a number of “greatest” lists and purchase what interests me the most depending on my mood at the time — oftentimes fiction, history, or business. I like to change it up and keep things fresh. I’ve read around 50 books from these lists over the past three years, and it has been both inspiring and motivational. As I mentioned in our fall newsletter, journaling continues to be a great outlet for my ideas, creative thoughts, and future actions. It’s also extremely therapeutic. I’m reading “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau right now, which is mostly Thoreau’s personal journal edited over a two- year period while living spartan-like in a cabin by Walden pond in Concord, Mass. It reminds me 2. CONTINUE TO JOURNAL
5. OBJECTIVES AND KEY RESULTS.
See our book review on “Measure What Matters” from earlier this year. I’ll continue to use this method and ensure it is adopted across our company. By self-setting goals and measuring
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of Gratitude BOOK REVIEW 365 Days How ‘Thank You’ Changed One Man’s Life
Number of elves in Santa’s workshop (based on 2016 census data) 85,851 2.3% 2044 1% 1,177 16 2 BY THE NUMBERS Real unemployment rate in Santa’s village (lowest in three decades) Year projected in which Santa’s workshop can no longer meet pension costs of retired elves Percentage of children self-reporting naughty behavior during December Number of chimneys Santa got stuck in last year (Rudolph came to his rescue, as always.) Hours the elves work per day during their busy season Hours per day reindeers train for fitness during the offseason
As we know all too well, it’s rare that the world ever slows down. This has only become protracted by technology, enabling people to reach you in an instant and making it difficult to tune out from constant communication and tune in to ourselves. Around the holidays, though, there’s an opportunity to take a moment and acknowledge what we have to be grateful for. If you’re looking for inspiration, John Kralik might be able to give you some. In his book “A Simple Act of Gratitude,” Kralik chronicles his journey from rock-bottom to renewal and how practicing gratitude was the driving force behind that change.
At the time Kralik embarked on this journey, he was broke, going through a divorce, living in a stifling apartment, and not feeling thankful for much. As he went for a hike on New Year’s Day, Kralik says he had an epiphany: “Until you learn to be grateful for the things you have, you will not receive the things you want,” he says. Inspired, Kralik resolved to write 365 thank- you letters over the next year to focus on what he did have rather than what he didn’t have. Getting started wasn’t easy, and as Kralik describes, he almost forgot about the whole resolution a few days after his hike. Then he thought of the gifts he’d received that Christmas. He started by sending his son, whom he’d lost contact with, a thank-you letter for the coffee maker he’d given him. John describes the message the gift conveyed beyond material worth: His son knew him and knew how much he enjoyed coffee. The day after he received the letter, Kralik’s son asked him to lunch, and during it, repaid a loan his dad had given him. In sending more thank-you letters for gifts he’d received, Kralik began to notice a shift in the meaning of the gifts, binding them to his relationship with the giver. “Without the practice of writing notes, by February, one tie has blended into another, and who can remember who gave you the black one with the white dots?” Kralik writes. Kralik says throughout the 365 thank-you notes, positive interactions spurred him on. “I became grateful as I noticed the good things in my life,” Kralik says, “even when nothing external happened to me.” Through the journey of writing the thank-you notes, Kralik found a renewed sense of purpose and motivation in his life, rekindling relationships with people who had always been there for him, but who he just hadn’t been in the right mindset to notice. He emphasizes that sitting down to hand-write the thank-you letters was an important part of thinking about what he was grateful for. “It has unique benefits,” Kralik says. “I got that out of just writing the person’s address and thinking about where that person physically lives and the effort it took them to send me a gift.”
When you’re looking for inspiration (or a gift for someone) to start your own gratitude practice, turn to “A Simple Act of Gratitude” for your holiday reading.
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DID YOU KNOW?
“Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh.” It was supposed to be played in the composer’s Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. “Jingle Bells” was also the first song to be broadcast from space.
Taking Advantage of Frequent Customer Programs DON’T LOSE OUT ON POINTS
Through January 2019, Category 8 (top tier) Marriott-SPG hotels can be booked at the lower rates of Category 7 properties (60,000 points instead of 85,000) Don’t forget to call a taxi or rideshare after a holiday party! Uber and Lyft are both rolling out their loyalty programs this winter. Flying wine to family or bringing some back from your trip? Members of Alaska Airlines’ frequent flyer program get a $25 waiver off one checked case of wine for flights departing from select West Coast cities (including all major airports in CA, OR, and WA). Initiate your holiday shopping through your credit card’s online portal — they often have deals or bonuses for doing so (and it stacks on top of the vendor’s own discounts).
Finally, as a general reminder, don’t feel obligated to use points if the return is not worthwhile to you. The points themselves don’t have an expiration date (although your account does). Use the “Point Valuations Chart” from ThePointsGuy.com to understand the relative worth of each point and calculate if you’re giving up more in points than the actual cost of what you’re buying. American Express and Chase are both historically high in point value, around 2 cents per point. You may be tempted to use your points directly on merchandise for Christmas gifts, but you’ll be getting less than 1 cent per point in return. This may be worth it to some people — the key is (as it is for most things) to make an informed decision.
The holiday season is here and with it comes the stress of traveling during this hectic time of year. But there is a silver lining! Properly taking advantage of frequent customer programs from your credit cards, hotels, rental cars, and airlines gives you ample opportunities for some truly amazing benefits. With a recent boom in online resources, it’s easier than ever to maximize what you can get! ThePointsGuy.com is one of the most visited editorial sites, and FlyerTalk.com has one of the best forums to help you build a long-term strategy for earning points and status. In addition, these sites, along with other travel sites, blogs, and forums, offer timely news and analyses to help you stay on top of the latest — and often fleeting — benefits available throughout the year. As you prepare for this holiday season, here are some reminders and guidance to make life a little easier and to save a dollar or two in the process:
For example, American Express is offering $50 off $200 spent at Ray Ban, or $45 off $150 spent at Lawry’s Prime Rib.
Happy holidays and safe travels!
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