"All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think." - Thomas J. Watson
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Leadership Prep by Chris Widener
So you want to be a leader? Or you want to be a better leader? It can be done, you know. No matter where you are in your leadership journey, you CAN move forward. You CAN lead better. You CAN lead more people. You CAN lead your organization to higher ground. Yes, you CAN!
But let me tell you this: You won’t do it via osmosis! It won’t just “happen.” Growing in your leadership is not something that comes from the fairy godmother of leadership. You can’t touch the hem of Jack Welch’s garment and become “Super-Leader!” Oh, that it were that easy!
So what does it take?
- Hard Knocks
- A Mentor
- And a few other things
But let’s start at the very beginning. You want to be a leader. That’s good. You want to be a better leader. That’s good too. But what comes first? Preparation. Leadership Prep. What is it? What needs to happen in order to get yourself ready to become a leader? There’s never a bad time to go through a little reflection on Leadership Prep.
Before you become the leader you want to be:
Count the cost. Leadership is hard. There will be times that you say, “Leadership isn’t worth it. These people are crazy and I don’t deserve this.” It is true. You don’t deserve it. But you choose it. You choose it because you want to lead people. You want to improve their lives. You see the higher ground that they cannot see and you desire to take them there. It will take time. It will take money. It will sap your strength and energy. Count the cost, my friend. Leadership is not for the weak and timid. Yes, the rewards are great, but so are the sacrifices. Prep yourself for the cost of leadership.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Too many people dive into trying to lead and end up dying out because they were not honest with themselves about their strengths and weaknesses. They get going and realize that they should have strengthened themselves in certain areas because now it is killing their ability to lead. If you know your strengths, then you can focus yourself on them and allow yourself to be successful through them. If you are aware of your weaknesses you will be able to stay away from them, or hire to cover them, and thus allow yourself to become even more successful as a leader. So prep yourself by becoming exceedingly clear on your strengths and weaknesses.
Settle in for the marathon, not the sprint. Very few—I mean VERY few—people get big leadership assignments at early ages. And when they do, even fewer of the few see things happen fast in their leadership. No, usually things happen slowly. Why do we think they will happen fast then? Because those are the only stories we hear on TV and read about in magazines. “Twenty-five-year-old starts business that grows to $20 million a year in sales in JUST TWO YEARS,” sells a lot better than, “Forty-five-year-old works hard for 20 years and builds lasting business that makes a difference in her community.” Right? Right. So, unless you are one of the chosen few, you will need to prep for a marathon, not a sprint. This is both a mental and emotional adjustment that needs to be made. Prep for the long haul!
Develop a learning attitude. You have perhaps heard it said, “Leaders are readers.” It is true. Even more so, leaders are learners. I don’t know any leader who has attained any level of leadership who doesn’t keep himself or herself on the edge of learning. One of my mentors runs a company that you would all know by name—in fact, you probably used one of their products today, no matter where you live in the world—that does billions of dollars a year in revenue (yes, with a “b”) and he still takes time each year to go to a school of leadership! He is already a tremendously successful leader, yet he is still working on it! THAT is a learning attitude! If you want to lead, prep yourself for it by developing a learning attitude.
Acquire a love for people. In reality, we do not lead organizations or businesses. No. We lead people. We are successful if we know how to lead people. People are the name of the game. And the best way to become a leader of people is to love people. Others can tell instinctively whether or not we love them and have their best interests at heart. If they do not know that we care for them, they will not follow. Leadership is the art of directing people we care for and desire to help. In other words, we love people. If you have an issue with people, chances are you are not ready to lead them. To prep yourself for leadership, acquire a love for people. If the other things are in place, then they will want to follow you.
You CAN become a leader. I truly believe that. If you are already a leader, I know you can become better. Take a long, hard look at yourself and see if perhaps there are some areas you need to prep yourself in regard to leadership so that when you really get going you don’t have to stop and go back!
Leadership Prep—that’s the place to start!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
From The Secret Daily Teachings
When you look at yourself and feel dissatisfaction about any part of you, you will continue to attract feelings of dissatisfaction, because the law mirrors back to you exactly what you are holding inside.
Be in awe and wonder at the magnificence of you!
May the joy be with you,
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Here is your Friday story,
Gliding Through Life
Jumping over huge snow mounds, then propelling down steep snow slopes at a ridiculously high speed to the bottom of the mountains--what a feeling!
Well, maybe in my dreams. However what was I going to say when the person who had asked me to give an inspirational speech in Boise, Idaho, invited me to try skiing after I concluded my talk? I had just finished my talk with the words: "Nothing is impossible." However, I am disabled after having been hurt as a teenager, AND I had never, ever, been snow skiing. I asked myself: "What am I going to do?"
Well, I did the only thing I could think of and calmly stated: "I've never skied in my life; however, I'm always looking for challenges, so I would love to go." As I returned to my hotel room I was excited for the next day's "skiing adventure."
I awoke and dressed appropriately for the slopes. Tina, who had been the one to invite me to deliver the keynote at Boise State University, came to my room with her friend. We started the 45 minute drive up the mountain. As we got out of the car Tina said, "Wait here, I need to get the instructor, John, who I hired."
Shortly afterwards, she came back with John who explained that I needed rental equipment (skis, poles, etc.). He helped me put the equipment on and said, "Mike, lets go to the slopes."
It wasn't easy getting from the locker room to the slopes, but the guide helped me (a lot!) and we finally got to the "rope tow." (For those of you who are not aware, a "rope tow" is how beginners on the "bunny hill" get from the bottom of the hill to the top. I never knew there was anything called a "rope tow" but I learned quickly.) John said, as he was ready for me to try to get on the tow, "Are you ready?" and I replied, "Yep." His response was, "One, two, three.go." I grabbed the tow, almost falling, but I did it!
John was right behind me on the tow. When we got to the top he explained how we were going to go down the hill: he would hold onto the rented pole at one end and I would hold onto the other end. He then explained that as we would be going down the hill we would put weight on one leg, then on the other, in order to descend the hill on an angle.
My excitement was mounting and finally he asked, "Ready?"
As we pushed off, a huge smile on my face could be seen by everyone.
Meanwhile, down at the base of the hill, Tina and her friend had brought "cam cord" cameras to record my "skiing experience" so I could always have a reminder. However, unfortunately, Tina's camera battery had run out; and to make matters worse, her friend's camera's battery also had run out of power.
What was she going to do? She became frantic. She wanted this experience to be videoed.
Just then, out of the corner of her eyes, she saw a news crew with a camera doing a story at the ski mountain. She ran over to them and begged, "Can I buy some video?"
Naturally, they all said, "Of course not." However, after she explained the need for the camera, the news crew became enthusiastic and they shot the film. That night, there was a story on Channel 7 News about, "a first-time skier whom the camera crew had just run into." (Actually, it was Tina who had "run into them.")
I learned many things about life that bright sunny day while skiing down the slopes in Idaho. For everyone, life is full of "bumps and not always smooth". However, with the right attitude (as well as other factors), few things in life are impossible. I proved that as I glided down to the base of the mountain.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
From The Secret Daily Teachings
Isn't it great to know that you cannot control your world from the outside? To try and control things on the outside feels impossible because it would take so much work, and in fact it is impossible according to the law of attraction.
To change your world all you have to do is manage your thoughts and feelings on the inside of you, and then your whole world changes.
May the joy be with you,
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
From The Secret Daily Teachings
Every single day, no matter who you meet in the day - friends, family, work colleagues, strangers - give joy to them. Give a smile or a compliment or kind words or kind actions, but give joy! Do your best to make sure that every single person you meet has a better day because they saw you. This might sound like it is not connected with you and your life, but believe me it is inseparably connected through cosmic law.
As you give joy to every person you meet, you bring joy to YOU. The more you can give joy to others, the more you will bring the joy back to you.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Vitamins for the Mind by Jim Rohn
There are two parts to influence: First, influence is powerful; and second, influence is subtle. You wouldn't let someone push you off course, but you might let someone nudge you off course and not even realize it.
We need a variety of input and influence and voices. You cannot get all the answers to life and business from one person or from one source.
Attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association.
Don't spend most of your time on the voices that don't count. Tune out the shallow voices so that you will have more time to tune in the valuable ones.
"No" puts distance between you and the wrong influence.
You must constantly ask yourself these questions: "Who am I around?" "What are they doing to me?" "What have they got me reading?" "What have they got me saying?" "Where do they have me going?" "What do they have me thinking?" And, most important, "What do they have me becoming?" Then ask yourself the big question: "Is that OK?"
Don't join an easy crowd; you won't grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.
Some people you can afford to spend a few minutes with, but not a few hours.
Get around people who have something of value to share with you. Their impact will continue to have a significant effect on your life long after they have departed.
Learn to Deal in Challenges by Jim Rohn
To really help people in extraordinary ways, learn to deal in challenges. That is what sports is all about: challenges. That is what music is all about. The challenge to play so well, someone is inspired. The challenge to say it so well, someone gets it. The challenge to be so gifted in language that someone sees it. Insight is unbelievable; only human beings can do this.
The man closes his eyes and puts his hands over his eyes and says, “I see it.” You say, “No, you don’t; you’ve got your eyes closed.” No. There is more than one way to see. And all someone has to do is to see an answer that they can start on immediately, and within six months, their life could start to multiply and change. Within one year, the difference will be extraordinary, and a person who was lost now becomes a person of influence - just because someone helped them to see for the moment what was wrong and the possibility to change it. And then the challenge to go do it and do it well.
Now, here is the best challenge of all: “Let’s go do it.” Don’t always say, “You go do it. You change.” But rather, “Let’s get healthy. Let’s go change the world. Let’s build an enterprise. Let’s work on this together.” See, I always respond better to “let’s.” Sometimes it is hard to lift yourself out. It’s hard to be self-inspired at first. And if someone says, “Come on, let’s start a new program.” “Come on, let’s do exercises.” “Come on, let’s get healthy.” “Come on, let’s start something. I’ll be there, you be there, and you bring a guest and I’ll bring a guest- let’s start something.” That is so inspiring to have somebody say “let’s.” “Let’s do it.” “Let’s build a team.” “Let’s win the championship.” “Let’s walk off with the trophy.”
“Let’s.” Wow, there is something about that that can keep you awake at nights. There is something about that that turns on the juices. There is something about that that reaches deep in the soul. For a person could do extraordinary things when somebody says “let’s.” “Let’s do it.” “I’ve got two with me already; if you’ll be the next one, we can conquer the world.” You say, “Whoa, together nobody is a match for us.” By yourself, you’re vulnerable; but with us, nobody is a match. You say, “Wow! I want to belong to that team.” So figure out ways to say “let’s.”
The Next Step
The first step needs action to start it,
The last requires patience to end,
So we question, which one's most important,
When we realize our dreams' our best friend.
Well, the answer is neither, they're equal,
But the one that will help you win through
And connect what you start to the finish,
Is the next step that's waiting for you.
Life's dreamers are great Goal Achievers!
Their faith and persistence just blends
Into one awesome cocktail of knowledge,
That whatever they want they can get.
You see, they never visualize failure,
It's success that they see shining through.
It's essential to start and to finish,
But the next step is what you must do.
From The Secret Daily Teachings
Look for the gifts in everything, especially when you are facing what appears to be a negative situation. Everything that we attract causes us to grow, which means that ultimately everything is for our own good.
Adjusting to a new path and a new direction will require new qualities and strengths, and these qualities are always exactly what we need to acquire in order to accomplish the great things ahead in our life.