Archive - October, 2013

Explore, Dream, Discover

travelAt this moment I’m cruising at an altitude of about 36,000 feet on my way to Tampa, Florida. For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you know that I find myself at 36,000 feet quite often. Traveling is a process, a process in exploring, dreaming, thinking, going, seeing, discovering, arriving and making things happen.

As I travel today, I was reminded of a quote from Mark Twain about travel… May this be motivation for your day. Remember, life is a journey.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

When Organizations Create Robots

robots

One of the ultimate overlooked pitfalls of organizations is when they develop a culture of creating robots. Over my 20 years of organizational leadership I have been a part of and had various clients who have struggled with creating these robotic cultures. In order to further track with what I’m saying, lets start by defining robot:

ro·bot [roh-buht, – bot] noun

1. a machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine tasks on command.

2. a person who acts and responds in a mechanical, routine manner, usually subject to another’s will; automaton.

3. any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with humanlike skill. adjective

4. operating automatically:

With these clear definitions, it’s easy to see how organizations can fall into the category of developing a culture where people act and respond in a mechanical, routine and expected manner. They become a robot that resembles a human. They are expected to do this and do this in this manner (period the end). Anything outside of “this and this manner” is taboo, frowned upon and ultimately not part of the robotic expectation.

I remember having a conversation with a professional athlete that over their career had the opportunity to play under a number of different organizations. According to him, each organization had a different culture, style and expectation. One particular culture was, “very robotic… you were expected to do this and do it this way… period the end.” Ultimately this didn’t allow the freedom to create and make things happen and therefore limited the success of many players. As players began to transition to other organizations over the years, players began to find their grooves in environments where they could create, play and lead. Some people prefer to punch the clock and simply be robots, others are stiffed by robotic cultures and need the freedom to create.

If an organization wants to have ultimate success they must focus on setting clear expectations rather than programming robots. When a culture removes the opportunity to think, challenge, process, push and get outside of the box, the culture is programming robots and not developing leaders. A leader is the antithesis of a robot, if you’re creating a culture of robots, you’re not creating a culture of leaders.

Hesitation, Procrastination, Devastation

just do itHesitation can be a great tool to have in your toolbox to help you make proper decisions. Contrary to its benefits, hesitation more often than not becomes and impediment to success. It goes a little something like this – “I don’t know that I can do that (I hesitate), I will get to it one day (I procrastinate), I wish I would have done it a long time ago (I become devastated.)

Again, don’t allow your desire to discern, be calculated and make good decisions get in the way of you making things happen. Hesitation leads to a vicious cycle that the enemy can exploit and attack. That improper hesitation is generally birthed out of the sprit of fear and that’s what Satan can attack, the reason he can attack it, is because it’s not something that God gave you.

God did not give you the spirit of fear, stop being scared, stop with the hesitation, stop all of the procrastinating and avoid the devastation.

The more faith steps you take, the less reluctant you become. Every step you take towards hesitation is a step backwards from your goals, your dreams and your destiny.  You have to step out to find out.

I’ll close in the words of a famous Philosopher by the name of Nike.

“JUST DO IT!” ~Nike

The Most Important Piece Of A Winning Puzzle

winWhen people talk about success and winning, you often hear them talk about the importance of having a will and a desire to win. Although have a will to win is important, it’s not the most important ingredient in a winning recipe. Winning is more about having a will to prepare, a will to learn, a will to work and then oh yes a will to win. It’s easy to have a will to win; however a will to prepare and work hard getting there is another story.

There are a lot of stories of talented people who had a will to win, that never took the time to prepare, to work, to learn and therefore their winning never reached a level of significance. If you want to win, learn to couple your will to win, with your will to prepare.

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” ~Paul “Bear” Bryant

The “will to prepare” is the most important piece of a winning puzzle.

The Importance Of A Change Of Scenery

change sceneryI’ve seen it time and time again; where a leader, a coach, an athlete, a pastor, a teacher, a couple… move from one situation to another and their productivity and level of success increases. I was reminded of this while watching the NFL this weekend; specifically watching the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs 1st year head coach Andy Reid was fired last season after 14 years with the Philadelphia Eagles. In his debut coaching season with the Chiefs, Andy Reid has led the Chiefs to a 7-0 record and remain the only undefeated team left in the NFL. Did I mention that the Chiefs only won a total of 2 games the entire last season.

It wasn’t that Andy Reid was a bad coach or an incapable leader, it was the mere fact that he had been in Philly for 14 years and had possibly become comfortable and complacent. It’s an easy trap to fall into and it happens to the best of them. Andy Reid is just one example of thousands upon thousands of leaders and individuals who increased their capacity and raised their level of success simply by changing their scenery.

A change of scenery can heighten your senses, make you appreciate what you had and make you go back to the basics that contributed to your success. Great leaders generally look to change their scenery throughout the course of their leadership career. A change of scenery can be: a change of job, a change of duties, a change of team members around you, a change of venue, a change of approach… whatever it takes to change your view.

Sometimes that change of scenery is forced upon you due to being fired, laid off, being in an uncomfortable situation etc. It doesn’t matter how you get to that change of scenery, what’s important is the fact that you get there. Remember what may appear to be a set-back is actually a set-up for you to change your scenery.

One Word!!!

Nice, authentic, hard-hitting spoken word piece.

3 Easy Ways To Avoid Criticism

criticism 2Criticism is a one of those words that seems to cut most people like a knife.  Although the knife doesn’t seem as sharp when we put the word “constructive” in front of the word criticism; none-the-less the word still seems to pierce.

When I was growing up my mom would always tell me: “Son, you can’t control or worry about what people say… you can only control what you say and what you do.”  Later on in life, as a young leader I had a mentor that would always say “If you’re doing something worthy of people taking shots at you… they will.  I would much rather have a leader that people don’t always understand and who are occasionally criticized, than a “leader” that no one ever talks about.”   I’ve heard my pastor say something like “If you want to find the leader, look for the one with the arrow in their back!”

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes criticism is necessary.  It’s important to have the people closest to you speak candidly into your life and seek wise counsel from those who will shoot you straight.  It’s important to view criticism as neutral… “It Is What It Is!”  This neutral mindset allows you to be comfortable with, “Eating The Meat and Spitting Out The Bones!”  If you don’t want to be criticized, follow these 3 Easy Steps To Avoid Criticism:

  • 1. Say Nothing
  • 2. Do Nothing
  • 3. Be Nothing

If you want to silence the critics, be yourself and do the right thing.

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

I don’t ever want to find myself in the place with those “Cold and Timid Souls.”

Silence The Critics!

God Of Second Chances

This is an older video that @loswhit shot. Basically he’s shooting the video for his song “God Of Second Chances” and a homeless man joins in and starts jammin’ some reggae with him. Definitely worth 5 minutes of your day. Enjoy!!!

God is truly a God of 2nd Chances and he uses a youtube video like this to communicate it to the world.

The Manipulating Leader

manipulatorOften times you find yourself under the tutelage of a Manipulating Leader. You ask yourself “How did this happen?”Initially, you were drawn in by their confidence, their persuasiveness, their interpersonal skills and their success. The traits that originally drew you to that leader are now being used to manipulate you and the rest of your organization.

Yes! Fast forward a few years, a few seasons, a few successes, a few failures and those appealing traits are now being used to manipulate and control you and every situation around you. The Manipulating Leader is cunning and the manipulation generally comes in the form of “If you don’t do it XYZ way, you are not doing in the right way; If you are not 1,00,000% bought into the organization and willing to sacrifice your family, you are not bought in; If you have a better opportunity for you, your family, your future and everything in between, if you even remotely consider it you are being disloyal; If you have a hobby outside of work it’s seen as interfering with work itself; You should take a significantly less salary than the market suggests in the name of commitment and organizational sacrifice; You should look in the mirror because you are always the problem, the leader and the problem are never the problem, you are the problem…” These are just some of subtle ways that The Manipulating Leader try’s to manipulate and control you and your organization.

One of the greatest attributes you can have as a leader is self-awareness. Leaders should recognize when their leadership has turned into me-me-me manipulation. On the flip side it’s important for individuals that are being manipulated to call out the manipulative and controlling behaviors of their leader. If the situation doesn’t change, you have a responsibility to change the situation.

The more you allow yourself to be manipulated, the more comfortable you will become with the manipulative behavior. Next thing you know, you will fall into the category of The Justifying Leader. (That’s another post for another day)

11 Simple Keys To Success

success1

I won’t make this post complicated.

I’ll get straight to the point.

11 Simple Keys To Success

This title is actually misleading, success isn’t simple. Although success isn’t simple, the keys below can help you get down the road of success Further, Farther, Faster.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

~Harriet Tubman

  • 1.) Believe that you will succeed (believing is the key to receiving)
  • 2.) Deprive yourself of sleep from time to time (stay up late and wake up early)
  • 3.) Work hard (success comes to those who work hard)
  • 4.) Remove the distractions (remove yourself from the negative people, places and things)
  • 5.) Learn from the best (do your homework, research online and face-to-face, learning is key)
  • 6.) Fail (the road of success has many mile markers of mistakes and failures)
  • 7.) Stop being scared (fear is the prison where success is confined)
  • 8.) Stay hungry (eating and having a little success is great, keep an appetite for more is greater)
  • 9.) Love what you do (if you are having success at something you don’t love, that’s not success that’s called a little win. Don’t succeed hoping that you will love what you are doing, love what you’re doing and success will come.)
  • 10.) Focus on the things that matter (if you succeed at work and fail at home, you’ve ultimately failed. There will be seasons of working a little harder, faster, later and earlier… that’s okay as long as there is a purpose and plan behind them. Success isn’t simply about you, it’s about opportunities for you and your family, as well as the opportunity to influence the world. Again, if you are succeeding in your career and failing at home, you’re ultimately failing. Success at home and work are not mutually exclusive, they can co-exist, but you must make a point to focus on the things that matter.”
  • 11.) Dream Big. Think Bigger (Everything begins with an idea, every dream has a dreamer… don’t just chase your dreams, catch your dreams and live your dreams.”

“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” ~Mark Twain

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