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What’s The Difference Between A Winner & A Loser?

Many of us grew up hearing the phrase, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.”  The reality is that statement isn’t totally true.  Winning does matter and we all have the deep desire to be a winner.  Everyone wants to win and everyone wants to be a winner: The business that you work for, your church, your children’s school, and even those who don’t like winners.  As much as I don’t like Kobe Bryant, I like the fact that he’s a winner.

The Difference Between A Winner & A Loser is the desire to win.  It does matter whether we win or lose and what matters are the things that we can control.  I described those two things in a previous post I had written titled, The Two Things That Leaders Can Control.

Vince Lombardi said it best when he said, “Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.”  If you want to be a winner, you have to want to win.  Larry Bird says it this way, “A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.

The Difference Between A Winner & A Loser is the habit of winning and the desire to win. Winners get in the habit of dreaming BIG, thinking BIGGER and doing what losers don’t.  If you want to be a winner… Go Win! dream BIG. think BIGGER. If you want to be a loser, sit on the sidelines, complain and make excuses why you can’t win.

What’s The Difference Between A Winner & A Loser?

You tell me… share your thoughts on winning, losing and this post.

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.

Helping Others Win

Over the years I have found that Helping Others Win is a very important duty.  As leaders, our primary goal is to help those around us win.  As followers, our primary goal is to help those that we follow win.  If those around us are winning, the organization wins and that’s a win win.

As parents it’s important to help our children win. We provide environments, teaching, structure, systems, beliefs and assistance that help create opportunities for success.  As married couples, we must be wholly committed to helping one another win.

Helping Others Win is such a simple concept, but it’s often overlooked in this self-consuming day and age.  It’s much easier for a boss to fire someone, a coach to give up on someone and a spouse to hit the road than it is to commit to winning.

Charlie Sheen may be a little off of his rocker, but the one thing he gets is Winning. He was quoted as saying, “I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-winning.”

We need to become more focused on being bi-winning…  In other-words, creating situations where everyone wins.  Help Someone Win Today!

Why are people not committed to Helping Others Win?  Share your thoughts on helping others win.

John Ortberg Interview: “The State Of The Church”

Perspectives: John Ortberg and Scott Williams from Monvee Video on Vimeo.

It was great to sit down with one of the great authors and ministry leaders John Ortberg.  John asked me some candid questions about the state of the church and the state of Church Diversity.  I have always appreciated his wisdom, leadership, writing & influence from afar…  It was an honor to sit down and hear his heart and field a few questions.

Share your thoughts about anything we discussed in the interview, or feel free to share ask any additional questions that you may have.

The Measure Of Success

Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded!

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This Story Will Change Your Perspective

I had the opportunity to hang out with my man Coach Christ Hogan from Gainesville Faith Academy (Gainesville, TX).   Last night we were both guests on TBN’s Praise The Lord Program.  I love his heart and this story.  What’s happening at Gainesville Faith Academy through his leadership is special and not just because of the video above.

Another example of how it’s the small things in life that matter.  It also poses a great question: “What are we doing to make a difference in the lives of others?”  This video was very touching to me, I used to be the Warden of a facility just like the one featured in this video.

Share your thoughts on the video, the story, the potential and examples of what we can do to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Asking New Questions

Often times our life stories and the various chapters of our life stories are written based upon the questions that we ask ourselves.  Some people may be reading this an wonder what in the world I’m talking about.

The reality for most of us, is that we participate in self-talk and ask ourselves questions all of the time.  Can I Do This?  If I do this, what will happen? Do I have what it takes? Will I ever…?

We have to change the way we think and begin to ask new questions:

Instead of asking: Where will I be in 5 years?

Ask: Where will I be next month or next quarter? The answer to those questions will pave the way for where you will be in 5 years.

Instead of asking: If I do so and so, will I make so and so happy?

Ask: If I do so and so with a great attitude, great effort and with integrity will it make God happy?

Instead of asking: What if I try to stop the sin or break the habit and I’m unsuccessful?

Ask: What if I try to stop the sin or break the habit and I succeed?

Instead of asking: How can I make myself look good?

Ask: How can I make others look good?

Instead of asking: What if I’m wrong?

Ask: What if I’m right?

Instead of asking: Why am I not getting the opportunities and promotions?

Ask: What can I do to get better?

Instead of asking: What does so and so think and say about me?

Ask: What does God think and say about me?

Instead of asking: What if I fail?

Ask: What if I don’t fail?

Do you need to ask some new questions?  Do you think the questions that we ask ourselves, affect our life stories?

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Leader, “It’s All Your Fault!”

The term “Leader” carries a great deal of responsibility.  Once a person obtains the title of Leader, they also get the bonus baggage of “The bucks stops with you!”  No matter how you slice, sugarcoat, twist, manipulate or excuse organizational outcomes; the bottom line is that “It’s All Your Fault!”

Leaders are generally comfortable carrying the “It’s All Your Fault” tag when their team, area or organization is experiencing success.  When things take a turn for the worse, wins are hard to come by and “Big Mo” has left the building; the excuses will begin to roll like Alabama.  Stop with the excuses, stop blaming your team and look in the mirror, because “It’s All Your Fault!”

Sometimes it may not seem fair for the leader to take all of the blame, as they don’t have control over each and every variable.  Leadership is not about fairness, and the responsibility nature is just part of the game.  I once had someone ask me if a particular area under my tootelege was successful because of the particular leader leading it or in spite of that particular leader.  My answer was absolutely because of that particular leader.  If things were failing it wouldn’t be in spite of that particular leader, it’s a two-way street.

DeaLeaders, if your organization is failing, people are leaving, people are not being developed, people are unhappy, leaders are not rising to the top, momentum is long gone and you can’t seem to spell suczcess… “It’s All Your Fault!” If things are great and success is happening, enjoy the season because “It’s All Your Fault!”

There is no need to complain about the outcomes, just embrace the reality.  Next time your boss starts complaining and making excuses, simply look them in the eyes and say “It’s All Your Fault!” Remember, just because it’s their fault doesn’t you mean they won’t pull a Donald Trump on you and look you in the eyes and say, “You’re Fired!”

The person who complains about the way the ball bounces, is likely the one who dropped it. ~Lou Holtz

What do you think?

Get Your Priorities Straight

I went back and forth on the title of this post, I was deciding between “Get Your Priorities Straight” and “Your Family Is More Important Than Your Desire To Take Care Of Your Family.”  Either way, I’m thinking, feeling and writing the same thing.

It seems like I have been a part of at least 4-5 conversations in the last couple of months with individuals who are struggling with getting their priorities straight and somewhat of a “Where do I go from here?” dilemma.  Each and every time the conversations centers around what they are doing professionally, what God has called them to do, the amount of time they are spending with their family, putting people and success over family, putting their job over their marriage and putting their drive for success over their kids etc.

There is always tension in the area of “Getting Our Priorities Straight.”  This past weekend while my wife and I were at our son’s track meet in Texas, I received a short e-mail from someone that I don’t know, that made me think about priorities.  I’m sure the e-mail is a result of me sharing my kids/family business via social media.  The e-mail simply read, “Scott, your care for your children is the bomb! I don’t often see folks so willing to tote their children so many places when they’re involved in in so many extra curricular activities.  You’re a great example.”

The crazy thing is I receive random Twitter, Facebook & email notes from people all of the time with some mention of mine or Lakendria’s interaction with our sons.  It can be the simplest things, even our weekly barbershop and Sonic run that people make mention of.  Those notes always remind me of the simple fact that we have to get our priorities straight.  I’m not saying our priorities involve weekly Sonic runs or being involved in lots of extra curricular activities.  I am saying that our priorities are this simple:

  • 1. God – Love God, Seek God, Worship God, Study God’s Word, Give,  Spend Time, Pray, Serve, Seek, Listen, Love, Read, Striving for our God Potential…
  • 2. Family – Invest in your family, invest in your marriage, invest in your kids, put family above everything else besides God.  Your family is more important than your image, work, status etc.  Your family is more important than your desire to take care of your family.  Don’t put the latter before the former.
  • 3. Everything Else – Work, Works, Will, Wants…  Don’t ever let whatever falls in this category to trump God & Family.  Yes you have to work to take care of your family, but there must be a balance, we must get our priorities straight.  In case you are wondering if your priorities are straight, simply ask your wife, ask your children and ask those who love you dearly.  Make adjustments as necessary.

Everyone has different priorities, it’s important to sit down as a family and figure out what those priorities are.  Some people may think our priorities are jacked up, because we spend so much time toting our kids around as the e-mail read.  I thank God for the freedom to choose and the freedom to prioritize.  My current reality consists of quite a bit of traveling; however those events always run through my priority grid.  My 8yo’s piano recital, family vacation, track meets, date nights etc. are more important to me than speaking to thousands of people at a conference.

Sometimes scheduling conflicts will occur; however when I have the ability to choose…  I will choose to get my priorities straight.

Share Your Thoughts on Getting Our Priorities Straight?

When Organizations Bury “High Capacity” Talent

Most organizations and leaders would love to have “High Capacity” leaders to fill the slots within their organizations. The sometimes overlooked challenge is the fact that with “High Capacity” leaders, comes the need for those leaders to lead at uhh… a “High Capacity” in addition to releasing their creativity.

This will sometimes leave organizations scratching their head and asking the question what do I do with so and so?  They are knocking it out of the park, they have an entrepreneurial spirit, their potential is off the charts and they actually have the leadership margin to spread their wings.

Spreading their wings means different things for different leaders, but it boils down to how can I steward their talent/potential and continue to allow them to make a positive impact within the organization. Many times organizations make the decision to do one of two things: 1. Bury that talent and therefore putting a lid on the height of that “High Capacity Leader.” 2. Get rid of that team member because of insecurity or simply not wanting to deal with the challenges these types of leaders bring to the table.

It’s like the Parable of the talents: The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  The one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?Matthew 25:25-26

If your organization, team, staff or business has been blessed with some great talent, Don’t Bury It!  There is a new type of harvest to be sown with this “High Capacity” seed.

If you figure out a way to maximize the potential of the “High Capacity” talent that you have been blessed with, you will be rewarded.  This may require you getting creative, dreaming BIG, thinking BIGGER and setting some clear expectations; however the potential of the harvest is immeasurable.

Take a look at Google, not only are they ranked the #1 Website, they have also been ranked as fortune magazine’s best place to work.  Not only is their work environment ridiculously amazing, they do a great job of not burying their talent.  They not only do they recruit and hire “High Capacity” talent, they seek ways to release and empower the creativity.

An example of releasing “High Capacity” talent and creativity, is Google 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.

If organizations manage their talent wisely, they may get this response: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:25

Don’t Bury Your “High Capacity” Talent!

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Share your thoughts on burying “High Capacity” talent and the Google Strategy.

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