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The Breakfast of (Management) Champions

By Michael DeLon, President, Paperback Expert

Growing up, I had a weekly meeting with three dear friends during breakfast. They never spoke too soon, but when the time was right, they always had a lot to say.

After filling my cereal bowl to the rim with milk my anticipation rose to an all-time high. Without fail, as the cool white 2% milk smothered those crispy rice morsels, the trio came alive into a cacophony of sound.

The TV commercials were memorable and exemplified truth in advertising (at least in regards to the chorus you would hear). But what I’ve found even more meaningful are the lessons I’ve learned from my three friends about life, business and time management. So pull up a bowl and let’s learn from these morning-time prodigies.

Snap – always leading the charge as the first to speak.

Though being first can be a good quality, it has also gotten me into trouble more times than not. Making a “snap” decision is not always the best choice. Without enough information, or experience, often these knee-jerk reactions are incorrect and cause more damage than good.

Another area my friend instructed me is in my response to others when they fail. If I “snap” and lose my temper, if I demean and demoralize them, that not only directly affects them but also sends a clear message to everyone else. I’ve worked on this character issue for years.

What I’ve learned (read that “continue to learn”) is that reacting this way is always counterproductive. No one deserves to be treated so. There is no excuse for behaving that way regardless of who I think I am or what “power” I possess.

Snap has instructed me well through the years and today, though not perfect, I respond in a more reserved fashion and take steps to ensure I’m not bringing harm to those around me. In fact, I respond more like Snap’s friend does….

Crackle – a bit slower in his response, yet he can always be counted on.

He’s not your typical “A-player” but he’s steady and reliable. As you look at your team, you’d better make sure you have a bench full of Crackle type players.

From Crackle I’ve learned that I don’t always have to be first. The limelight actually looks good on others at times. Not only do they enjoy the admiration and appreciation, I do as well. This doesn’t come naturally for me. When I affirm others, give them sincere compliments, and allow them to receive applause, we all enjoy profitable work and stronger relationships.

Strong relationships built on trust will loyally endure through thick and thin.

And on those rare occasions when you do snap, other will be quick to forgive you. Developing a Crackle attitude and atmosphere in your law firm will go a long way toward helping you achieve your objectives.

Pop – the final resonate voice that completes the composition

Though he is last in the lineup, the lesson he brings is one we can all apply.

I use his name as an acronym:

P - Procrastinate
O - On
P – Purpose

Recently my son, Caleb, sent me a TEDx Talk video by Rory Vaden on time management. It’s a great one that I recommend you watch. Just Google it or find in on YouTube. (And by using the 2X speed setting and the subtitles, it’ll only take you 7 minutes to watch! Then you can get back to your to-do list.)

In this video Rory teaches you when, what and why you should Procrastinate on Purpose. As I was watching Rory explain this, my mind drifted back to my breakfast meetings and I made the connection that through all that Pop said, this is what he was trying to communicate.

Waiting for the right time

There’s a right time for everything under the sun. For some items it is now. For many it is soon. For most it is later.

Procrastination has gotten a bad rap. It has a negative connotation. It conjures up negative emotions. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

When you Procrastinate On Purpose, you may be waiting for the right time to do something. You may be looking for more information so you don’t make a Snap decision. You may be asking the Crackle in your life to step forward and do what they have been preparing to do.

Whatever the reason, Procrastinating on Purpose can be a very effective strategy for you and your team.

These three lessons can be game changers for you and your firm if you’ll apply them:

  1. Snap decisions and reactions are not normally the most effective.
  2. Crackle type players are steady and reliable. Give them room to excel.
  3. Pop routinely to the top of your to-do list to see what you can do later.

I hope you’ll join me in re-learning some timeless lessons from my ageless friends. Grab your bowl, pour in the milk and listen to the counsel you’ll receive from this unlikely consulting trio.

/a>Michael DeLon is an author and the President of Paperback Expert. As an expert positioning firm they help clients create a book in 24 hours and employ marketing strategies to position themselves as the expert in their market to enjoy sustained business growth. You can request a free copy of Michael’s book On Marketing by visiting Contact Michael by email at

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