Chester On Point

It's Work that Separates the Doers from the Dreamers

Five birds are sitting on a wire.  If two decide to fly away, how many are left sitting on the wire?


There’s a huge gap between deciding to do something and actually doing it.  And if the result of doing it is anything significant, the gap is dripping with perspiration.

Yesterday I had lunch with my good friend and colleague, Mark Sanborn. We each have authored new leadership books which are in the final printing stages, and each brought the other a galley or “ARC” (Advanced Reader Copy) of our respective books. This isn’t the first time to this particular rodeo for either of us. Mark is the author of several bestselling books such as The Fred Factor and I find his advice and experience as an author invaluable.

In our combined 50+ years as professional speakers and authors, Mark and I have encountered hundreds (if not, thousands) of wanna-be authors; people who comment on our books and then say “you know, I’m going to write a book on …”  Although I have no data to back this up, I’d wager a steak dinner that less than 1% of those birds ever flew off the wire.

That’s because the gap between talking about writing a book and holding a published copy of that book is, as Jerry Maguire said “…an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege”. Simply stated, writing a book is hard work; writing a good book is even harder. And because the majority of people tend to shy away from hard work, there’s a clear line between the dreamers and the doers.

Each year, there are approximately 300,000 books published in the U.S., so being an author doesn’t automatically grant Mark Sanborn — or me– any kind of superhero status. Writing a book just happens to be one of those commonly-mentioned aspirations that serves as fodder at business meetings and dinner parties. And, like any worthy pursuit, talking about it doesn’t make it happen. You have to get off the wire and write page one, then page two, and so forth.

I am really proud of my forthcoming book Reviving Work Ethic. After writing my last leadership book in 2005, Getting Them to Give a Damn, I sat on the wire for too many years.

If you’ve spent too much time talking about writing a book, (or running a marathon, or starting a business, or??) and you haven’t yet taken action, I challenge you to flap your wings and join me in flight.

The rush you’ll get from leaving the other birds behind is euphoric.



BTW – After reading the galley for Mark’s new book Up, Down, or Sideways, I can tell you he poured a lot of sweat into this future bestseller. And you can preorder his book today!





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Seth Godin Tackles the Often Misunderstood Term "Ethic"

I subscribe to about a dozen blogs, most of which I skim and others I rarely read.  But I never miss a day without my Seth Godin fix.

I’ve had the pleasure of spending some one-to-one time with Seth and, although I can’t say that we are friends, I can say that he’s a a brilliant thinker and marketing and management sage who has every reason to be arrogant, but isn’t. In fact, he’s a prince of a guy.

Yesterday he wrote a piece on ethics and makes a brilliant point about the difference between business ethics and personal ethics.  As usual, I love his take and couldn’t agree more.

Seth Godin and I at a conference in 2004. I had the pleasure of introducing him to an audience of 1500.

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Gen Y Admits Lack of Work Ethic Led to Early Failure

I love it when a young adult comes clean.

All too often, young workers who fail early refuse to accept responsibility for their struggles and instead blame the economy, or their company, or their boss, or…

This, of course, leads to more failure, which leads to increased bitterness that in passed on to next employer, which leads to more failure, etc.  The root of the problem is never addressed, and thus, the cycle continues.

However, in this article, a successful millennial reflects on her early job failures and owns up to having a poor work ethic. Interestingly, she cites almost very one of the 7 core work ethic values (attitude, reliability, professionalism, initiative, integrity, respect, and gratitude) when reflecting upon her former self.

I’ve never met Kate Pesich, but she has a new fan, and a new subscriber to her blog.

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Jersey Shore May as Well Be Titled Apocolypse Now

I’m completely baffled when adults approach me after a presentation to tell me that kids are the same today as they’ve always been. “They’re no different than we were back in the day.”

Oh yeah?

View one episode of Jersey Shore, the wildly popular MTV reality show, and you’ll never say that again.

Some are better, some are worse, but today’s youth are definitely different. And even the best among them have a watchful eye on their counterpart peers, who are, theoretically, having all the fun, excitement, and adventure. There are some pretty strong influences available to any one of any age at any time, and there’s no denying the strength of this gravitational pull.

Check out the trailer below for the upcoming season of Jersey Shore and ask yourself how proud you’d be if you were the parent of one of these fine young Americans.

(Employers, are you really eager to hire one of these kinds of kids?)

It’s time to quit making excuses, grasp the major shift in cultural values, and boldly do something about it. It won’t be easy, and our actions won’t be popular, but we can affect change.

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At What Age Should We Teach Young People How to Work?

A lot parents of parents have asked me if there is any specific age at which they should begin to teach their children how to work and to begin to instill core work ethic values within them.

The short answer is, it’s never too early.

To prove it, here’s a video of me teaching my own 12-day-old granddaughters, Leni and Lou, how to stand apart from all other babies who will be entering the workforce sooner or later.

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How To Remain Unemployed by Staying True to Your Authentic Self

What you’re about to see is real and has not been altered or retouched in any way. The name has been concealed to protect the ignorant.

Below is an actual cover letter submitted by a young job seeker for what he considers his ‘dream job’. Obviously this young man (who can’t spell his own name) is acting on the advice he’s received throughout his life when told, “always remain true to yourself,” to “never put on airs,” and to “be 100% authentic in everything you do so as to always represent yourself as you really are”.

Not exactly the kind of coaching that you want to give a young job seeker who may just take you at face value.

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Eric Chester, Customer Service Speaker

If you’re looking to build the customer service your people deliver, you’ve come to the right place.  Trying to run a business with employees who do not understand how to deliver amazing customer service is impossible.

Since 1998, Eric Chester has been known by millions as the premier expert on Generation Y. As an award-winning keynote  speaker and bestselling author, he was the first to explain generational differences that the millennial generation brought to the workforce, and he emerged as the go to guy when employers wanted to know how to recruit, train, manage, motivate, and retain them in the workplace.

Over the past decade, the battle lines have grown deeper and wider between employers and young workers: employers continue to demand employee productivity and performance; young workers are not demonstrating the work ethic required to meet these expectations.  As a result, teamwork has suffered, morale is plummeting, and profitability is on the decline. Neither side is winning, and our nation’s standard of living is threatened.  Make no mistake, when America forgets how to roll up her shirtsleeves and work, regardless of how entertained we are, America stops working.

How can a leader instill core work ethic values in the emerging workforce when everything they see and hear fights against it? This is the cause—and the effect—of Eric Chester’s Reviving Work Ethic.  Eric will help you build the work ethic to ensure success for them, for your business, and for America.

His tagline rings true – Eric Chester helps leaders end entitlement and restore pride in the emerging workforce.

Find out more at or check out the following links:

Eric’s book trailer –

Eric’s Preview video –

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Ignite passion and drive in your workforce. Contact us at (303) 239-9999 to bring Eric to your event.

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