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This Is Something You Will Regret

Life is all about the decisions that we make, as well as the decisions that we don’t make.  Unfortunately many people sit on the sidelines holding onto dreams that they have never attempted or have never even tried to put into play.

The bottom line is this, you were made for more; however you’ll never realize the more you were made to be by sitting idle.  You will not reach your potential if you don’t dream big and you simply settle for mediocrity.

The older I get and the more older, wiser and experienced people I talk to, the more I realize this statement to be true, “You will regret the things that you fail to try, way more than the things that you try and fail.”

“If you got a dream, you gotta protect it…  If you want something, go get it. Period!” ~Will Smith – Chris Gardner (Movie Pursuit of Happyness)

 Have you regretted things that you’ve failed to try?  Share your thoughts.

The Simple Science Of Leadership

Although there are thousands of leadership books and leadership gurus to learn from, leadership isn’t something you can simply read about.  It takes more than reading or trying to implement tactics derived from a leadership workshop.  Leadership is something that you have to do, it’s an experiential science. It’s not rocket science; it’s a simple science.

Leadership is just like swimming — you can’t just read about swimming, you have to get in the water, kick your feet and stroke your arms.  Leadership is the exact same way — you have to get in the leadership waters, kick your feet and stroke your arms.

The Simple Science Of Leadership Boils Down To These Simple Things:

  • Believe In Yourself
  • Believe In Others
  • Point The Direction
  • Embrace The Concept Of Team
  • Provide An Environment For Growth
  • Inspire and Motivate Others
  • Move People From Where They Are To Where The Need To Be
  • Develop, Develop, Develop, & Develop
  • dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Often times managers make leadership more difficult than it has to be, by micro-managing, trying to hard, squashing creativity and making a simple science into rocket science. Leadership is about influence and relationships.  Leadership Is Simple.

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu says it this way, “When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” Simply put, it was simple.

Is leadership that simple?  Share your thoughts and experiences with leadership being made more difficult than it had to be.

Leadership Is Like Riding a Bike

Although there are thousands of leadership books and leadership gurus, leadership isn’t something you can simply read about… you have to do it. It’s not rocket science, it’s a simple science.

Leadership is just like riding a bike — you can’t just read about riding a bike, you have to get on the bike, have someone help steady you, or maybe use training wheels, try to keep your balance and start pedaling. At first you will be a little wobbly and you may even crash a few times.

If you learn from your mistakes and stay after it, you will definitely get better. Although you may become a proficient bike rider, you must be mindful of the fact that there are plenty of new bike tricks to learn and different levels of bikes to ride.

Leadership is the exact same way, you have to get on the leadership bike, have someone help you get started, start pedaling, crash a few times, learn from your mistakes and continue to grow. Next thing you know, you will move from JoeToPro.

Leadership Is as Simple as Riding a Bike and boils down to these Simple Things:

  • Believe In Yourself
  • Believe In Others
  • Point The Direction
  • Provide An Environment For Growth
  • Inspire and Motivate Others
  • Move People From Here To There
  • dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Often times people make leadership more difficult than it has to be. Leadership is about trust, influence and relationships. Leadership Is Like Riding A Bike, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu says it this way, “When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” Simply put, it was simple.

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~Ernest Hemingway

Is leadership like riding a bike? Is leadership really that simple? Share your thoughts and experiences with leadership being made more difficult than it had to be.

A Life Changing Question

I was at a conference a couple of years ago.

Seth Godin was speaking.

I like Seth Godin.

Seth Godin asked the following question below:

Is your agenda about mediocre obedience or relentless curiosity?

I still think about this question.

Sometimes a great question is better than a great answer.

This question helps to define our current reality and our inevitable future.

What is your agenda?

Think Different #ThankYouSteve

If you have not seen this Apple commercial, it’s definitely worth your time – especially on the eve of Steve Jobs’ passing.  I have been inspired by this commercial for years, I talk about it in my book, my mantra of dream BIG. think BIGGER. has a kindred spirit.  Thinking different is where it’s at.

Steve Jobs helped us to Think Different…  he helped to move a generation to think beyond what is, to what could be.  dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Don’t Sleep!

From a very young age, we’ve always been told to make sure that we get a good nights rest, plenty of sleep and a plethora of other phrases associated with the fact that sleep is important.  Sleep seems to be even more important before a big event, big test or big day.  At least that’s what I’ve been told since elementary school and the days of number 2 pencils and standardized tests.

Sleep is definitely a necessity and biologically it does a bunch stuff that I can’t adequately explain (something to do with oxygen to the brain).

Get you some rest, sleep as you need to, but don’t fall in love with sleeping and resting and sleeping and resting and relaxing and more sleeping.  You have to get-up, wake-up and sometimes stay-up in order to get things done. Your dreams won’t come true, nor will you be successful falling in love with sleep.

The Bible says it this way, “Don’t be too fond of sleep; you’ll end up in the poorhouse.  Wake up and get up; then there’ll be food on the table.” Proverbs 20:13

You can’t feed your dreams nor your family sitting on the sidelines or laying in the bed.  Dream more, sleep less!

Don’t Sleep!  Although it’s needed, it’s sometimes overrated.

What Are You Supposed To Be Doing?

Often times we meander through life doing stuff, making stuff, building stuff, collecting stuff and don’t even know why.  We were created for so much more, we all have a God given answer to this question, “What Am I Supposed To Be Doing?”

Our answer is often times over-shadowed by the umpteen reasons why “we can’t.” It’s time to quit with all of the excuses and start working towards what you were created to do.  Some of you will need to take baby steps and others will need to take giant leaps of faith.

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. ~George Washington

Stop Making Excuses and Stop Doing Stuff.  You were made for a purpose and that purpose will be ever evolving into other purposes.

What Are You Supposed To Be Doing? Go Do It!

The Best Leaders Surround Themselves With The Best

I’ve always been intrigued by leaders, coaches and teams that use the phrase “Surrounded By The Best!” You would think this would be an obvious or natural response for all leaders “I Want To Be Surrounded By The Best!”  The reality is that many leaders desire to be the best and surround themselves with mediocrity.

The word best is an illusive term; however it’s defined as — being of the highest quality, excellence, the best work, desirable etc. With that definition in mind, a leader should always strive for the best. It’s also important for leaders to understand that they are ultimately responsible for developing their team to be the best.

If you look at sports teams that have a tradition of winning and being the best, you will find a head coach that surrounds himself with the best assistant coaches in the business.  You will also find a program where everyone in the country is trying to recruit and hire those assistant coaches.  Why? It’s simple, just as the definition states: they are high quality, desirable and the best.

I remember visiting with an executive level leader of an organization and he was talking about his senior leader’s philosophy as it relates to their leadership team.  His senior leader has a desire to be surrounded by the best and said it this way, “I want guys on my team who are high capacity, high quality, I want the best.  I want guys on my team whose phone rings from people outside of our organization.  I want the guys that other guys want.”

I shared a post early this over a year ago titled — The Best Leader that outlines OU Head Football Coach Bob Stoops’ leadership and the sending out of 7 head coaches in the last 7 years.  As I look at the current College Football AP Poll, I notice that Bob Stoops has 1 Coach that was under his leadership tutelage in the top 10 and himself: Bo Pelini (#10 Nebraska) and Bob Stoops himself (#1 Oklahoma).

If you want to be Surrounded By The Best, you must embrace these three things:

  • 1. It’s your responsibility to develop your team and give them opportunities to be the best. (Even though Oklahoma doesn’t win every national championship, Stoops has had them in a position to win it, year after year.  The best leaders maximize the potential of those they lead…  they put their people in the best position to win.)
  • 2. You have to give those that are “The Best” room to fly, dream big and try new things. (Learn from Google (The Best Search Engine allows employees to spend twenty percent of their time to work on their own project, independent of their workgroup. Google believes that no one should leave in order to pursue their personal passions. Letting employees do this results in over twenty percent of Google’s new product launches has stemmed from these personal projects.  There can and should be a marriage between “High Capacity” talent and great organizations; they are not mutually exclusive.)
  • 3. You must openly embrace that best will not only be sought after, but sometimes the best will leave and take those best practices other places. (7 Division-1 Head Coaches in 7 years & don’t forget about the ESPN All Access to the Sooner program that aired a couple days ago and part 2 tonight.)

Anyone can be the best with hard work, commitment, dedication, learning, leading and having the willingness to be Surrounded By The Best.  dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Share your thoughts on Surrounded By The Best.

Are You Living Out Your Dreams?

Are You Living Out Your Dreams? I know that sounds like one of those feel good pie in the sky type of questions.  I really think it’s a rather simple question.  First, you must start by asking a couple of more practical questions before you can get to the former.

What are my dreams? and Can my dreams really happen?

When we talk about dreams, we have to put them into what I’ve identified as the 2 categories of dreams.

2 Categories of Dreams

  • 1. Not Gonna Happen- These are the dreams that sound good, but the reality is that no matter what you do, it’s probably not gonna happen.  A dream in this category, would be for a 38yo guy like myself, in average shape wanting to play NFL running back for the Minnesota Vikings ahead of Adrian Peterson.  No matter how hard I work…  It’s Not Gonna Happen.
  • 2. Can Happen- These are the dreams that require lots of risk and lots of hard work in order to obtain.  With risks, dedication, commitment, focus, determination and hard work these dreams can be fulfilled.   The stories of these dreams often begin with, “I remember when I made the decision to give up so and so, work hard at so and so and you know what I’m living out so and so.”  If you are willing to do the hard work…  Your dreams Can Happen.

dream BIG. think BIGGER. Thinking involves the action steps necessary to make your dreams a reality.  If you aren’t dreaming and thinking, you are merely settling.  If you don’t start something, you are guaranteed not to finish it.  Every successful journey and fulfilled dreams begin with the decision to take a step.

Are You Living Out Your Dream?    Some of your dreams are Not Gonna Happen, but remember most Can Happen.

Why are so many people failing to live out their dreams?

Don’t Suffocate Your Staff

It always surprises me to see managers who suffocate their staff.   By suffocating their staff, I’m referring to leaders who are unwilling to let their employees out of their grips for fear of losing the employee or losing control.  These types of leaders are actually doing the exact opposite of what they are trying to do.  This tight grip and suffocating behavior will reduce performance, squash creativity and inevitably cause employees to leave.

When I was a young Warden, my mentor and boss would frequently tell me this regarding my staff members. “Scott, hold onto your team loosely, because ultimately they are not yours to hold onto.” That statement has always stuck with me!

If we hold onto our employees loosely, they feel the freedom of the open hands which ultimately increases productivity and develops more leaders.  This philosophy of encouraging your employees to “grow and go” will result in you losing some great ones from time to time.  The great thing about leading with the open-handed mentality, is the fact that those you loose will always be quickly replenished.

On the other hand, the employer who plants a suffocating scarcity seed, won’t reap a scarce harvest.  I have led several teams in which we lost key players to some higher impact roles; however every time they were replenished with some equally amazing team members without the team missing a beat.

Scarcity Mentality – Not enough good to go around vs. Abundance Mentality – There is more than enough great to go around.

If you are in an suffocating staff situation, encourage the leader to open their hands. If that doesn’t work, it may be time “to go and grow.”

Let Go! dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the suffocating approach.

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