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Failing Does Not = Failure

Failure is defined as – an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success. That definition is clear, however it’s not about whether or not you fail, but rather how you handle the failures.  If you name anyone who has done great things, you will find a failure resume and an understanding of how to fail.

Often times people on the outside looking in at successful people assume the success was achieved with ease, good luck and on the first try. That is rarely the case, it’s usually the result of people who know how to fail.  A couple of well known examples include: Walt Disney and Abraham Lincoln.  Both knew how to fail and experienced failures that would cause most people to close up shop and begin playing it safe.

Some of Walt Disney’s Failures and setbacks included:

  • Multiple bankruptcies.
  • Being told no for years as he tried to build a Theme Park.
  • Being laughed at when introducing a talking mouse cartoon to studio executives.

Walt Disney took those failures in stride, didn’t care what people thought and learned how to fail.  The result is one of the most successful stories in American History.  As a matter of fact, I just received an offer from Disney World in the the mail as a former guest of the amazing theme part that naysayers said wouldn’t work.

A relatively long list of Abraham Lincoln’s Failures and setbacks included:

  • 1831 – He lost his job.
  • 1832 – He was defeated in a run for Illinois State Legislature.
  • 1833 – He failed in business.
  • 1835 – His sweetheart died.
  • 1836 – He had nervous breakdown.
  • 1838 – He was defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker.
  • 1843 – He was defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress.
  • 1848 – He lost re-nomination.
  • 1849 – He was rejected for land officer position.
  • 1854 – He was defeated in run for U.S. Senate.
  • 1856 – He was defeated in run for nomination for Vice President.
  • 1858 – Again he was defeated in run for U.S. Senate.

Abraham Lincoln took these failures in stride and learned along the way.  He learned to follow his dreams and not being limited by his failures and setbacks.  Lincoln learned to dream BIG. think BIGGER.

In 1860 Lincoln was Elected President and will main one of our nations most successful Presidents.  We must learn how to fail by focusing on our dreams, learning from our mistakes, not being crippled by the naysayers and being willing to take risks.

Risks + Failure ÷ Dreams = Success

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~Michael Jordan

Are you learning how to fail?  Share your thoughts.

12 Ways To Increase Your Leadership Capacity

Don’t you just love the lists of how to do this and how to do that.  I have been saying for the last few years that those lists would become a thing of the past; however they remain popular.

The driving force behind our interest in these types of lists is an inner desire to grow and quick bites of information that will help us get there.  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 12 Ways To Increase Your Leadership Capacity

12 Ways To Increase Your Leadership Capacity

  • 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.

Do any of these 12 ways resonate with you?  What are some other ways to increase your leadership capacity.


Fake – [feyk] verb, faked, fak·ing, noun, adjective

Fake Definition – Prepare or make (something specious, deceptive, or fraudulent). To conceal the defects of or make appear more attractive, interesting, valuable, etc., usually in order to deceive. Not genuine, counterfeit, bogus… a sham.

Fake Leader–  A leader who attempts to be someone they’re not instead of simply being themselves. This leader will always have a difficult time succeeding and at some point their faking will simply catch up to them. This leader tends to have a different face, different persona, different tone and different everything when certain people are around. In other-words when the big boss comes around the fake leader puts their fake-face on. This fake-face is different than making minor adjustments when “company” comes around. This super-fake-face comes from a place of insecurity and an unwillingness to keep it real.

The Bottom Line: Fake Leaders Fail

Seth Godin on The Mindset Of A Winner

Seth Godin talks about “The Mindset Of A Winner” and the power of improving when you are already successful.

“My goal is not to have the most popular blog, my goal is to have my blog.” ~Seth Godin


The Freedom To Be Authentic

The longer I live and the more people I meet, talk to, work with, counsel, mentor and simply listen to; the more I realize people struggle and fight for authenticity. People have a deep desire to be “who they truly are” but find themselves caught up like a hamster trapped in the wheel of mimicry.

No matter the person or the level of success they have achieved, the overarching reason they feel trapped and unable to be authentic is due to fear. Fear of what people think. Fear of being chastised. Fear of being wrong. Fear of making a mistake. Fear that the authentic individual deep down inside of them might be a little more daring, caring and sharing.

The crazy thing is that God didn’t give you the spirit of fear; however He did give you an authentic spirit, an authentic you. Drop the fear, let go of the fake and pick up the authentic. Authenticity will bring about challenges, critics and mistakes… Be authentic anyway.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C. Jung

You were brought into this world as an original, please don’t leave it as a phony. You are now free to move about the cabin of life… You Have The Freedom To Be Authentic.

Why do you think it is so difficult for people to be authentic?

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

The Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit is just around the corner. This years dates are August 9th and 10th at a location near you. The broadcast site in Barrington, IL is already sold out; however there are locations hosting events in over 200 US cities and locations all around the world. Click here to find a site with the full conference experience near you.

This year’s speaker line-up is amazing including some of my favorite speakers, authors and leaders: Bill Hybels, Craig Groeschel, Condileeza Rice, Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, John Ortberg, Geoffrey Canada and many more.

Early Bird Registration ends June 26th, so be sure to register now. If you use priority code “Williams” you can save $20… say “Cha’ Ching!”

I always look forward to The Global Leadership Summit… This year you will be inspired to “Lead Where You Are!”

Addition: I’m giving away 2 Tickets to the Leadership Summit (any location.) Except sold-out one’s of course.

Winning is as easy as 1-2-3.

  • 1. Leave a comment below stating that you would like to win the pair of tickets and why. In your own words of course.
  • 2. Re-Tweet my tweet about winning the tickets or simply copy and paste this tweet info. to your Facebook status if your aren’t on Twitter.  If you don’t have Twitter or Facebook, simply leave a comment and we will pray for you to move into the new media generation.  🙂  Seriously leave a comment and let me know that you don’t have either Facebook or Twitter.  Here is the tweet or you can simply find @scottwilliams on twitter and re-tweet it.  Win 2 Tickets to @wcagls Leadership Summit featuring Condi Rice, Craig Groeschel, Bill Hybels…
  • 3. Visit The Leadership Summit Website and check out all of the cool stuff.
  • Note: Winner will be randomly selected from the comment section below.

Risk Is How You Progress

You can only progress if you are willing to take a risk and try something new. You must be willing to put one foot forward and do something different today than you did yesterday. You must be willing to work harder tomorrow than you did today.

The world is filled with stagnant, woulda, shoulda, coulda’s that are unwilling to make real progress. You can’t steal second base unless you are willing to take your foot off of first base. Stop settling for comfort, you only need comfort when you’re sleeping. Stop playing life so safe, go ahead and step out on a limb… Remember the limb is where the fruit is.

If the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to beat the Miami Heat tonight, they must be willing to risk something, to try something new, to change it up, to give more effort and be better today than they were on Sunday.

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”  ~Seneca

Dare to risk something… Risk Is How You Progress!

Leadership Lessons From LeBron James and Kevin Durant

If we are willing to look, we can find Leadership Lessons all around us. Since we are smack dab in the middle of the NBA Finals, I thought I’d share a couple of Leadership Lessons from the key Superstars in the 2012 NBA. (They just happen to be the 2 best players in the NBA) The Best in the East and 3-Time MVP LeBron James and The Best In The West and 3-Time Scoring Champ Kevin Durant.

Let’s jump right into these Leadership Lessons:

2 Leadership Lessons From LeBron James

  • 1. Be Slow To Speak – This actually means be slow to speak, react and do. Some of the LeBron’s most memorable moments have not actually been on the court but a combination of him “taking his talents to South Beach” media frenzy coupled with the “not 1, not 2, not 3… spirit fingers” referring to the number of championships they were going to win. Those number have yet to be achieved although they are on a crash course with the #Thunder trying to get number one. Those moments and memories have created leadership perception vs reality challenges for King James. Be slow to speak, slow to act and slow to react.
  • 2. Mature From Your Mistakes – One thing that’s evident about LeBron is the fact that he is growing and maturing as a Leader on and off the court. His post game interviews demonstrate maturity. He’s not over-reacting to the highs or lows of criticism, failure and success. LeBron is maturing through his earlier mistakes and what could be deemed as immaturity of a kid coming out of high school to the NBA whose skills actually lived up to the hype. Maturity is an on-going process, remain open to the process.

2 Leadership Lessons From Kevin Durant

  • 1. Don’t Let Others Dictate Your Level Of Success – Kevin Durant was actually picked as the 2nd pick overall in the 2007 NBA draft. The experts felt that Greg Oden was going to be a better player in the NBA… Portland how is that working out for you? Some of the criticism leading up to the draft was the fact that Durant couldn’t bench press very much weight. I love what TNT NBA Analyst Charles Barkley said about that during the Western Conference Finals; “For all of those people that were worrying about how much weight Kevin Durant can bench press… that’s just silly. He doesn’t need to bench press 100 pounds the basketball doesn’t weigh that much.” Don’t let what you supervisor, the naysayers, the experts… dictate your level of success.
  • 2. Don’t Play The Blame Game – Excuses and the blame game are major leadership pitfalls. So many leaders want to blame mistakes, failures and losses on everyone else instead of looking in the mirror. It’s much easier to throw someone under the bus than it is to accept the fact that you’re the bus driver. During the NBA Finals there have been lots of questionable calls and no-calls. It’s been talked about by the experts over and over and during game 2 of the finals the no-call foul that LeBron James committed on Kevin Durant potentially made an impact on the outcome of the game. Durant’s response in post game interviews were simply, “I missed the shot… period.” After Game 3, Durantuala responded to questions of the poor officiating by saying, “The officials are human, they are going to get some calls right and they are going to miss some calls… Bottom line is I need to get better. We need to learn from this and come out better the next game.” Don’t play the blame game, look in the mirror and take responsibility. Not only will it make you better but it will make those around you better.

Share your thoughts on these Leadership Lessons from LeBron James and Kevin Durant. What other leadership lessons have you seen from these two or other high profile athletes?

7 Life and Leadership Lessons From Men In Black 3

Yesterday was the Williams’ family Sunday afternoon movie day. We do this at least once a month and we rotate who decides the movie. Yesterday’s movie was selected by our 13 year-old son Wesley – his selection Men In Black 3. It was a great selection I might add. We had all seen the prior two Men In Black Movies; however it’s not totally necessary to have seen the Men In Black 1 and 2 to enjoy Men In Black 3.

I always take notes of quotes and thoughts during movies and I wanted to share these 7 Life and Leadership Lessons From Men In Black 3:

  • 1. “Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to.” Agent K. || Think about this quote, lots to ponder here.
  • 2. “Do you know what the most destructive force in the Universe is? Regret!” ~Agent K. || Sentences beginning with “If I had only” “What if I” “I should have…” Regret eats people alive, it forces people to live in past.
  • 3. “A miracle is what appears impossible, but happens anyway.” ~Griffin || Miracles do happen, nothing is impossible, believe, believe, believe.
  • 4. “The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie.” ~Griffin || This is something that we learn as a very young child… Always tell the truth.
  • 5. “We’re running out of time, we’re running out of clues, and there’s an invasion coming, so really we need to go right now!” ~Agent J. || I’ll allow you to get creative with tis one. Think, Think, Think.
  • 6. “Where there is death, there will always be death.” || There is lots of metaphoric truth here… where there is darkness, there will always be darkness.
  • 7. “There are things out there you don’t need to know about.” Agent K. || Truth for all ages.

Share your thoughts on this movie or these quotes.

15 Ways Twitter Can Make You A Better Leader

Here are 15 Simple Ways That Twitter Can Make You A Better Leader, all in 140 or less.

  • 1. I Want Access– You have access to the thoughts, lives, principles & activities of some of the best leaders and leadership authors in the world.
  • 2. Let’s Be Open- Allowing those that U work for, w/ or may potentially work with in the future to take a more open look at your life. The Other Side Of You!
  • 3. Think Before You Act– Forces U 2 think before U tweet realizing that everything U tweet is permanent; all leadership decision R permanent at least 4 that moment.
  • 4. Keep It Pithy- U have 2 get straight 2 the point, 140 or less. Streamline yr thoughts, say what’s necessary, make it meaningful & Realize yr words matter!
  • 5. What’s The 411- There is an abundance of relevant information at your fingertips, current events, tech., trends, culture, scripture, product, research…
  • 6. You’re Not My Boss–  You have to learn how to lead and connect in an environment where people are not forced to follow or connect… Why should I listen to you?
  • 7. Don’t Be A Phony- Authenticity is critical for a leader! People smell a phony a mile away. Be Real, Be yourself. “Do You, It’s a Statement… Not a Question!”
  • 8. Development is about others- You have the ability to encourage, inspire, help, shape, lead & develop others. Make your tweets leadership matter.
  • 9. Influence is Earned-  You must earn your influence on Twitter & leadership is the same way. It’s about what you get, it’s about what you give.
  • 10. Two Way Street- Open comm. & feedback between leaders & followers is must for gr8 leaders. Be open to feedback, comm. & criticism frm Twitter followers.
  • 11. Style Matters- Watching, listening & learning from individual’s communication style & tone is key. Do u come off as a jerk, cool, nice, respectable…
  • 12. Understanding Influence- You quickly understand that influence isn;t simply about a position or role but rather what you offer your tribe.
  • 13. Change Is Important- You are able to see how things are changing daily, twitter went from being a “fad” to everyone using a twitter handle.
  • 14. Information Is King- You see the importance of information, twitter is so popular because it’s an information source. Do you have info?
  • 15. Relationship Matter- Relationships Mater, Connections Matter, Leadership is All About Relationships…

Share your thoughts on this list of 15 or add additional to the list… in 140 or less!

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