Archive - March, 2013

15 Life Lessons From Lions, Buffaloes and Crocodiles

If you have not seen this video yet, it’s definitely worth 8 minutes of your day. There are so many powerful story lines in this video…

Below are 15 Life Lessons From Lions, Buffaloes and Crocodiles

  • 1. The importance of family
  • 2. What can happen when mom and dad aren’t around
  • 3. When times get rough haters come out of the woodwork
  • 4. Sin is crouching at your door, small groups and community can help
  • 5. Don’t give up
  • 6. The crocodiles come out at the smell of blood
  • 7. If you believe you can take out a lion you can
  • 8. Do what you can with your armor
  • 9. You may not realize it but people are watching your life story
  • 10. Be careful where you walk
  • 11. A few bites and wounds won’t kill you
  • 12. Stand up and go home
  • 13. Some people are trying to drag you down and they are really dragging you to safety
  • 14. Sometimes you have to go and get your homies to help
  • 15. The King Of The Jungle is a state of mind

Those are some of my story lines… What do you think? Share your observations and story lines.

7 Leadership Lessons From Cinderella Darling Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) has went Star Trek on this whole thing we call March Madness. The Eagles have crashed the March Madness party as a 15 seed that 1st knocked off the 2 seed basketball giant Georgetown. Last night Florida Gulf Coast’s win made them the 1st 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 ever. Don’t you just love when people, teams and organizations accomplish things for the 1st time.

To be honest with you I had never heard of Florida Gulf Coast and believe me I’m not alone, hardly anyone had heard of them. As a matter of fact the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles have only been in Division I for just six years and eligible for the postseason for two. Say What? Yes, this is only the 2nd year they have been eligible to be consideration for the big dance.

Florida Gulf Coast’s success is a surprise to many, but was not a surprise to the 2 seed Miami Hurricane, as Florida Gulf Coast had beat the Canes in November. The success is also no surprise to 2nd year Head Coach Andy Enfield and the crazy group of barely recruited players… their mantra is simply give us a chance and watch us soar like Eagles. Not sure if that’s really their mantra, but it should be.

I love taking morsels of wisdom, as well as life and leadership lessons from stories like Florida Gulf Coast. Below are 7 Leadership Lessons From Cinderella Darling Florida Gulf Coast.

  • 1. Give Me A Chance – This is one of the most overlooked leadership lessons and opportunities. The only thing FGCU asked for was an opportunity to compete, they got their opportunity and they are maximizing every minute of it. Many people on your staff and team are just wanting an opportunity and a chance. Yes they may be a 15 seed, an underdog, too young, under qualified, under experienced… They are saying, if you see just a glimpse of potential, just give me a chance and watch me soar like an Eagle.
  • 2. Have Fun – If you don’t know a thing about basketball, you can look at this FGCU team and see that they are having fun. Whether it’s Senior Guard Sherwood Brown sticking his tongue out as he runs down the court, Comer’s crazy passing, managers and players from the bench doing some version of the chicken dance (The Funky Eagle), or the rest of the team’s college version of “Lob City” in their “Dunk City.”  If you want your team to do well, insert some fun and let them work, lead, act and play free. If you don’t believe me, just look at the Miami Heat (Yes, they are having fun and have won 26 in a row), or Google and it’s fun atmosphere being voted the best place to work several years in a row.
  • 3. Seize The Moment – Although give me a chance is awesome, it’s what you do with your chance that matters. Weak men and women wait for opportunities to arise, strong men and women wake them, make them and seize them.
  • 4. Believe In Your Team – Coach Andy Enfield acknowledges that his team as a bunch of “characters” and also acknowledges that he believes in every one of them. He believes in them enough to subliminally encourage them with their next big game against in-state basketball giant Florida. When asked about Florida, Enfield stated, “We know they can be beaten, but we also have an unbelievable amount of respect for them.” That’s code word for, I believe in my team and we will show you on the court what we can do.
  • 5. Be Aggressive – The Eagles love to push and be aggressive even when the game is tight and on the line. “That’s just our style of play. We want to push the ball down the court and we want to attack, attack, attack… We’re going to be in full attack mode the entire game.”” said point guard Brett Comer, who had 14 amazing assists in the Eagles victory over San Diego State University. If you want to win in whatever it is that you do, you must be smart and you must be aggressive.
  • 6. Love What You Do – The coach and leader must absolutely love what they do, that’s the only way it will carry over to the team members. Eagles Head Coach Andy Enfield, 43, is a former college ball player at Division III Johns Hopkins and was the program’s all-time scoring leader. As a coach Enfield has been known as a shooting guru landing him jobs w/ the Bucks and Celtics in the NBA. Enfield is actually a self-made guy who is married to a super model and who made tons of money on Wall Street leading a software development company. Andy and his wife both gave up their careers so he could pursue what he loves and opportunity to coach. Love what you do and what you do will love you.
  • 7. Success Leads To Success – Andy Enfield may have been an unknown before this tournament, no matter what happens during the rest of the Eagles’ season, Enfield will be at the top of everyone’s coach vacancy list. Success Leads To Success. Those unknown players may find themselves increasing their success stock in the NBA draft or playing overseas. Don’t be frustrated if people are coming after your great players, it’s part of the game. Success Leads To Success. Don’t be mad because your successful team member wants to try new things and pursue new adventures. Success Leads To Success.
Personally, I hope Florida Gulf Coast will win the entire thing…  I think Florida Gulf Coast will win the entire thing. There is just something special about all aspects of this team, it kinda reminds you of a destined Baltimore Ravens team.
What do you think? What leadership lessons have you learned? What do you think the ending will be to this Cinderella Season?

A New Set Of Footprints In The Sand

A New Set Of Footprints In The Sand

One morning I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
I noticed many pieces of technology along the way.
There were lights, cruise ships and people along the beach engaging with their technology.
Some had laptops, many with smart phones, while a few clicked around on their tablets.

I also noticed footprints and the footprints were intriguing to me.
Some footprints leading here, some leading there and others seeming to lead nowhere.

Suddenly I gazed upon a special set of footprints.
They didn’t lead here nor there, they seemed to lead to off into the air.

These footprints led straight to a MacBook Air.

~Scott Williams

(inspired by “footprints in the sand” by Mary Stevenson while walking on the beach in Hawaii)

13 Ways To Increase Your Leadership Capacity In 2013

Don’t you just love the lists of how to do this and how to do that.  Well as 2012 rapidly approaches, our love for the “Top 10 Ways” types of lists only increases.  We develop a mindset that says lay out the path, show me the tools and give me some new ways to think.

The driving force behind our interest in these types of lists is an inner desire to grow.  We want to do things different, we want to think different and we want to be different, as long as the end result means growth.  Growth is a critical component of the vehicle that drives you down the road of success.

Below is a straight to the point list of how leaders can increase their leadership capacity in 2013.

13 Ways Leaders Can Increase Their Leadership Capacity In 2013

  • 1. Truly Embrace The Team Concept: There is no “I” in team and teamwork makes the dream work.
  • 2. Don’t Play It Safe: Be willing to take some risks.  Your risks can be calculated or not, either way you need to get off the shores of playing it safe.
  • 3. Give Credit & Take Blame:  Give credit where credit is due and be willing to look in the mirror and say, “My Bad” or “It’s My Fault!”
  • 4. Don’t Be A Yes Man or Yes Woman:  Be willing to step up and challenge things when they need to be challenged.  This can be the process of leading-up or leading-down.
  • 5. Don’t Lose Your Cool:  Remember the 3C’s in all situations – Cool, Calm & Collected.
  • 6. Empower Your Team:  Release your team to do their job.  Don’t be a micro-manager.
  • 7. Minimize Meetings:  Reduce the number of meetings, the length of meetings, the necessity of meetings and the list of who needs to attend the meetings.
  • 8. Get To Know Your Team Members On A Personal Level:  Know what’s going on in the lives of your team members outside of work.  Know their interests, their children’s interests… To know is to care.
  • 9. Take Time To Develop Your Team Members: Leadership development isn’t a system but rather an on-going act of moving people from where they are to where they need to be. If you want your overall leadership capacity to increase, you must increase the capacity of those around you.  Leadership development isn’t optional, it’s a necessity.
  • 10. Surround Yourself With The Best: Be willing to hire people that may be smarter, sharper, more opinionated and maybe even all around better leaders than you are. Empower and release those people to strengthen your team and compliment your leadership.
  • 11. Shh Listen For A Change:  Don’t be the person who is always talking – Shh, Be Quiet and Listen for a change.
  • 12. Ask The Difficult Questions:  This is where candid evaluation/assessment of everything will make the leader and the team better.  Ask questions like:  Are the individuals that I have on my team making me better?  Am I a my way or the highway leader?  Are we going in the right direction?  Who on my team got us here, but won’t get us there?  Am I making those around me better personally and professionally?  Am I open to receive candid feedback?  If my position, role, title or formal authority was removed would those around me still be willing to follow?  The list of questions goes on and on.  Ask the tough questions and embrace the tough answers.
  • 13. Rest: Rest, Replenish and Re-charge. All batteries need to be re-charged. Your body needs rest, your brain needs rest and you need rest. “He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Do any of these 13 ways resonate with you?  What ways are you going to increase your leadership capacity in 2013?

Don’t Take Life’s Moments For Granted

I’m sitting on the balcony of my beach front hotel located in Waikiki Beach in Honolulu Hawaii. My family and are enjoying some awesome time together on Spring Break. One thing I love about spending time with my family is the ability to share in special moments and create special memories.

To be honest with you Hawaii is a major blessing to experience with my family, what’s more awesome are Life’s Little Moments. Whether it’s the people watching that we do, the singing on my son’s iPhone via “The Voice” app, the goofy moments, the moments of sibling rivalry, the moments of rest, the moments of over-indulgence in food, the moments of experiencing nature, experiencing God’s goodness… Simple moments of laughing, living & loving.

My wife and I recently had one of those moments when we realized that we only have 4 years left after this year until Wesley graduates. It was surreal, it was awesome, it was sad and exciting all at the same time. It just reinforced the importance of enjoying life’s moments and a reminder of this, “Don’t Take Life’s Moments For Granted.”

Whether you are on the beach, at church, in your backyard, at the piano recital, at school, at the dinner table, driving down the road, cooking breakfast, praying, at sporting events, having the difficult conversations, watching television, or simply participating in the life moments of your day… “Don’t Take Life’s Moments For Granted.”

That’s it for now, my family and I are getting ready to go to the gym. Talking about creating a moment, this will definitely be a moment for me, because uhh “I don’t workout.” 🙂

A True Example Of Southwest Airlines Award-Winning Culture

This is an older video of the Southwest Airlines Rapping Flight Attendant. This video shares not only what happened on the airplane, but how this fun and friendly culture is embraced throughout the organization all the way up to the CEO.

Culture Matters!

A thought to ponder: Time and time again people are talking negatively about airline fees, baggage fees, poor customer service, falling over seats… On the other hand people are tweeting, blogging, writing, featuring, Jay Leno’ing and talking about great experiences from Southwest Airlines.

Culture Matters!

Share your thoughts and experiences about great work and team cultures.

Avoid The Path Of Least Resistance

If you want to be successful, you must learn to create resistance. Not only do you need to learn to create resistance, but you must develop thick enough skin to weather the storms of resistance.

If you want to make things happen, you must create resistance somewhere along the way. Tomorrow’s successes are planted in today’s soil of resisting, opposing, and withstanding.

If you are not experiencing resistance, chances are you’re playing it too safe.

Some of the greatest success stories are stories of individuals and organizations that embraced and created resistance.  Push through resistance with persistence.

“The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.” ~H.G. Wells

Whether it’s sin, life, leadership, sports or business: Winners and success stories are on the other side of resistance. Avoid the path of least resistance.

Share your thoughts on resistance and the other side.

#1 Way Team Members Kill Their Leaders and Organizations

Insulation –  The act of covering, lining, or separating with individuals or materials that prevents or reduces the passage, transfer, or leakage of heat. The act of insulating something.

When it comes to leadership it’s important for the CEO, Executives or Senior leaders to be insulated from many things within the organization. This insulation allows these leaders to lead at a high altitude and not get caught in the monotonous tasks and details that may hinder their leadership.

The same individuals whose purpose is to insulate a leader can be the same individuals that insulate a leader so much that it may become problematic. These individuals become so used to protecting the leader, they end up insulating them from reality and even begin to loose track with what a proper reality even is.

Have you ever seen an organization or leader who has lost track of reality and you wonder how they got there. The way they got there is their insulators provided improper insulation.

These insulators become the enablers that are unwilling to confront things that need to be confronted. These insulators are the same individuals that inadvertently allow leaders to be removed from reality, become yes men, support poor decisions and ultimately contribute to the demise of both the leader and the organization.

It’s important to always check your insulation and sometimes it’s important to get new insulation. That which was designed to protect you may actually be hurting you and your organization. Improper insulation is the #1 Way Team Members Kill Their Leaders and Organizations.

Have you seen improper insulation negatively affect a leader and an organization?

Why Women Make Better Leaders

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences.

The Most Underestimated Leadership and Coaching Principle

In my opinion one of the most under-estimated leadership and coaching principles is “BELIEVING.”  That may sound like a novel concept; however the importance and implications are great. To believe in something is to have faith, confidence and trust in something. There is nothing more important for employees and teams than their supervisor or coach to have faith, confidence and trust in them.

Sometimes organizations and leaders get into the habit of focusing on the negative. They are quick to point out flaws, illustrate areas for correction and provide reason why so and so isn’t cutting the mustard. (Cutting the mustard is one idiom that doesn’t make a lot of sense.) With that being said, the lack of belief in employees or team members doesn’t make a lot of sense either.

Let’s use the recent NFL combine and ensuing draft as an illustration. Imagine an NFL organization drafting a player, bringing them to camp, giving 15 reasons why they don’t cut the mustard and then eventually releasing them. A better scenario would be to draft an individual, acknowledge they are now on your team, coach them in their areas of weakness, enhance their strengths, tell them that you believe in them and win as a team.

I don’t want to sound over-simplistic, but I truly believe that the lack of success for many team members boils down to the lack of belief from their coach. If you have a team member who is struggling, believe in them and help them to get better. The most ineffective thing a coach can do to a quarterback who is throwing interceptions is to talk about and focus on the interceptions. You coach em’ up and talk about the completions and touchdowns they’re going to throw when they get back on the field.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you are halfway there.”  I’ll take it a step further and say, “When your leader believes that you can and you start believing in yourself, you are three-quarters of the way there.” For those of you that may have struggling team members who have been throwing a bunch of interceptions, don’t be so quick to kick them off of your team or sit them on the bench. Coach em’ up and focus on the touchdowns that they are going to throw, knowing that their coach believes in them. Believe in your people and they will believe in themselves, what a novel concept.

The Most Underestimated Leadership and coaching Principle is BELIEVING.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts and experiences.

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