8 Questions for Gary Ryan Blair

8 questions for Gary Ryan Blair, all around great guy and friend, strategic planner, speaker, author of Everything Counts, President of The Goals Guy and consultant to countless leading companies:

1. How did you become a time/priority/goals expert?

The Goals Guy was a self-ordained crown that I chose to use as a positioning statement. My belief is that highly respected authorities in every category are singularly focused. FOCUS means to Follow One Course Until Successful, and goal execution and acquisition is a subject which I've studied and implemented for over 25 years.

2. Setting goals and priorities doesn’t sound hard – why do you think so few people do it effectively?

It's more beneficial if we focus on the other end of that question; as setting goals is easy, achieving them is an entirely different beast. Low levels of accountability, not adjusting to feedback from key metrics, and poor execution habits are the primary reasons why people fail.

3. What are three main goals of your life?

Raising my kids to have character, courage, compassion and self-reliance. Having a great marriage. Maintaining excellent physical condition. I'd prefer to be around a while and figure good health tips the scale in my favor.

4. What does “everything counts” mean?

Everything Counts! offers a philosophy for running a great business and for enjoying a great quality of life. Its meaning is simple, yet powerful: Everything you say, every thought you entertain, and everything you do has a direction, which serves as an advance or a retreat in respect to your pursuit of excellence. Everything, regardless of size or intent, has bottom-line consequences; therefore, everything counts — this is the golden rule of excellence.

5. Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

I admire and am inspired by a number of different people. What turns me on is when I see excellence being displayed in any capacity. Right now, I am working on a series studying the interviewing and preparation skills of James Lipton, the Dean of the Actors Studio. His skill set deserves to be described in all caps...SUPERB!

6. Is it ever time to “abandon” a goal? Surely one goal could stand in the way of another? How can you tell where to put your energy?

Yes, however what most people are negligent in doing is determining the acquistion and possession cost of a goal in advance. As far as acquistion, every new goal carries with it a cost, risk, investment, and sacrifice. Therefore, you must determine BEFORE committing if the reward exceeds the cost. If the cost is too high, do not pass go, do not collect $200. As far as possession cost is concerned, you must also determine this upfront as the ongoing maintenance cost of a goal can also be unfavorable. An example may help: Let's say your goal has to do with buying a million dollar home, or a high priced automobile. You must consider taxes, upkeep, heating, yard work, snowplowing...and with that high priced car, a simple brake job could run you $2,000 along with sky high annual insurance. Both acquisition and possession costs must become part of the goal setting conversation. I see a predictable recurring pattern in many people when they come to the realization that keeping things simple is a virtue worth pursuing and protecting.

7. You’ve talked about the lessons of failure. Is failure more productive than success? Why or why not?

A proactive response to failure is impossible as long as you see failure only in negative terms. Failure, which spends much of its life in the gulag of public perception, is, by all measures, essential to success. Success depends on a constant stream of small and occasionally large failures; unfortunately, failure gets a bum rap. Once you experience failure and setback, immediately stop and identify the root cause and work to correct the flaws in your performance. Give failure the intellectual shakedown it deserves, keep your emotions in check and apply your newfound knowledge immediately.

8.  Can you name a fictitious movie or book that well encapsulated your life philosophies?

Endurance by Alfred Lansing. In my opinion, this is the greatest leadership book of all time. Ernest Shackleton displayed a level of leadership, character, and responsibility that is profoundly lacking in today's society.


You can follow Gary on Twitter.

1 comment

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