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Watch Your Thoughts…

Sometimes you run across a little nugget of wisdom that makes you ponder for an extra moment or two. This is one of those nuggets:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

~Author Unknown

Why Ron Artest Will Be Suspended 10 Games For Elbow On James Harden

If you have yet to see the Ron Artest cheap shot elbow on a defenseless James Harden you can watch the video above. This video has several other links attached to it, one being some commentary from Stephen A. Smith and the other is Ron Artests post game interview. I appreciate Stephen A. Smith’s honesty and candor regarding this incident and how the league will probably respond.

I am going to start off by saying that I think Ron Artest should be suspended for at least 10 games. Why 10? Because I feel that the league should take a hard stance that it doesn’t tolerate vicious acts that could ruin someone’s career and potentially affect their life. Artest’s elbow cheap shot not a basketball move and Commissioner Stern must handle guys like Artest with a stern hand.

The NBA has such a great product and can’t tolerate thuggery from guys like Bynum & Artest. Bynum taking off his shirt and taking out JJ Barea and Artest clothes lining Barea last year, simply because Barea was lighting the Lakers up. This year’s version of the clothes line was Artest’s ferocious elbow to Harden’s head. I’m not sure that it’s a coincidence that Harden was one of the leading scorers in the game at the time of the incident.

This reminds me of back in the day in the sport of boxing when Tyson went from being one of the best boxers ever to settling for cheap shots and cheap bites. Just like there is no place for biting ears in boxing, there is no place for ridiculous cheap shots in Basketball, especially from a culprit that has a history of this type of negative behavior.

I know that Artest has come a long was and has made progress… so what; the NBA can’ set on the side aimlessly waiting for his next devastating move. If this was someone that had a history of domestic violence or any other kind of violence and they relapsed, we wouldn’t excuse it away by saying that “Ohh, but he’s done so good.”  This is professional Basketball where men get played millions to compete and entertain the fans.  It’s a great game and Artest must be handled with swift and decisive punishment for his actions.  We all must be held accountable for what we do.

There have been some great players suspended 10 games for violation of the NBA’s drug policy and I’m sorry, you can’t tell me that cheap shot elbow isn’t more detrimental to the league, players and game than violation of the NBA’s drug policy.

Ron Artest has become to basketball what Mike Tyson became to boxing and as much as I liked Iron Mike in his heyday, what he did to the sport of boxing was disgraceful and boxing has never recovered. I know some people may be thinking that what Artest did wasn’t that serious; however if that hit to Harden’s head would have connected just right and Harden had a career ending injury they would think otherwise. We still don’t know the extent of Harden’s injury.

I refuse to call someone Metta World Peace when his actions equate to Metta World Violence. Ron Artest should be suspended 10 games or more and if he has another incident like this, he should be suspended indefinitely.

Don’t get me started on Ron Artest’s post game interview claiming it was an accident. I served as a Prison Warden for many years and one thing I learned to appreciate from some of the mature self-aware inmates was their embracing of this old saying, “If you do the crime, you have to do the time.”

What do you think of the incident and do you think Ron Artest get a 10 game or more suspension? Share your thoughts!

 

How Do You Define Greatness?

“Greatness” is such a vividly descriptive word that epitomizes the height of success.  We know greatness when we see it.  We can imagine the propensity for greatness residing in someone that currently only has potential.  How does greatness happen?  How do you achieve greatness? How do you define greatness?

Greatness occurs when an individual’s inward fire of passion collides with fuel of their deep inward desire to be great.  Passion alone won’t get you there.  Deep inward desire will get you close, but it won’t get you there.

Passion + Desire = Greatness Fire!

That’s How You Achieve and Define Greatness. 

Share your thoughts on passion, desire and greatness.

7 Business and Leadership Lessons From Southwest Airlines

I have been traveling quite a bit lately, which has caused me to really assess my different flying experiences.  My conclusion is quite simple…  Southwest Airlines @southwestair “gets it” and the others don’t seem to quite “get it.”

I know that’s a relatively broad generalization, but for the most part it’s true.

If we look at purely a bottom line perspective, Southwest Airlines continues to report profits, while the rest of their competitors are struggling financially.  There is something about their unorthodox style that just makes good sense for their organization and their customers. They continue to make money and make fans (like me), for some reason fans and money seem to go hand in hand.

7 Business and Leadership Lessons From Southwest Airlines:

  • 1. Change With The Times – That class system is so 1980, get rid of 1st class and get your customers in a seat.
  • 2. Consistency Matters – Southwest flies the same type jet, to the same places, by the same people all of the time.  I can’t stand those little regional jets propeller planes.
  • 3. Add Value – Seriously, who gets excited about paying $25+ dollars for a bag of luggage and don’t get me started on the no-snacks policy for Southwest Airline’s competitors.  Southwest offers free luggage, good snacks, great flying experience and great rewards program.
  • 4. Efficiency – Southwest always ranks high in the fuel efficiency of it’s aircraft’s (helps the environment for those green people).  Southwest is always at the top of the list for on-time flights and the boarding process is the most efficient.
  • 5. Discount Fares – Value and price always matter.
  • 6. Leverage Social Media – Southwest Airlines does a great job of leveraging Social Media.  They have a very active and effective twitter account with over a million followers.  That’s 10 times as many followers as their competitors.  They embrace the essence of this post.
  • 7. Customer Service – When an airline has the best discount fares, offers free snacks, has efficient check-in, doesn’t charge for luggage, treats all customers the same, adds value to customers through social media…  That’s an airlines that cares about their customers.

There seems to be a direct correlation between excellent customer service, a consistently good product and great overall value.  If you don’t believe me read my thoughts on what Chick-fil-A Can Teach us About Success.

Every business and leader can and should learn from these 7 Lessons.  The additional value for businesses like Southwest Airlines and Chick-fil-A is the fact that their customers blog about, tweet about and share their great experiences. When was the last time you read a tweet, facebook update or blogpost about someone being happy about paying $25 dollars for their luggage to fly with them.

Change with the times, listen and learn.

Share your thoughts on Southwest airlines or other businesses that get it.  Why are some businesses willing to stay behind the times and not learn from the success of others?

May I Please Borrow $25?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

  • SON: ‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’
  • DAD: ‘Yeah sure, what it is?’ replied the man.
  • SON: ‘Daddy, how much do you make an hour?’
  • DAD: ‘That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?’ the man said angrily.
  • SON: ‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?’
  • DAD: ‘If you must know, I make $50 an hour.’
  • SON: ‘Oh,’ the little boy replied, with his head down.
  • SON: ‘Daddy, may I please borrow $25?’

The father was furious, ‘If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don’t work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.’ The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down , and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. ‘Are you asleep, son?’ He asked. ‘No daddy, I’m awake,’ replied the boy. ‘I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier’ said the man ‘It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $25 you asked for.’

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. ‘Oh, thank you daddy!’ He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. ‘Why do you want more money if you already have some?’ the father grumbled. Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,’ the little boy replied. ‘Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.’

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time s lip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Thoughts?

Thx to whoever sent this little e-mail story around 4 yrs. ago.  I have held on to it.

Kevin Durant Dunks on Roy Hibbert

Durant dunks on Hibbert and his entire family…

Share your thoughts on this dunk or the announcers call.

Steve Jobs on Life, Courage & Wasting Time

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~Steve Jobs

Video – Ray Lewis Delivers Powerful Speech To Standford Basketball Team

Ray Lewis is ridiculous when it comes to inspiring, people and players to action. Ray delivered this speech to the Stanford Basketball team prior to the game during the NIT tournament.

If you want to know how good of a motivator Ray Lewis is and the power of a locker room speech take 2:22 out of your day and watch this.  Oh and BTW Stanford won the tournament.

Share your thoughts on the speech.

When Leaders Suffocate Their 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 intending 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.

Amazing Life Lesson From Derek Fisher Going To The Oklahoma City Thunder

The 5 Championship Ring NBA Veteran Point Guard Derek Fisher was traded to the Houston Rockets and worked a buyout and chose to play with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  As a Thunder fan that really excites me for the future and champion aspirations. Then Thunder will now have both Harden & Fisher who can both do some damage off of the bench.

Fisher chose to wear number 37, because as he simply states, “that’s my age.” The 16 year NBA veteran and President of the NBA Players Union has lots of life experience, knowledge and wisdom that is represented by that #37 Thunder Jersey that he now proudly wears.

Fisher’s classy persona fits well with the classy bunch of Oklahoma City Thunder players and the best fans in the NBA. In life we have lots of situations and experiences where we can learn some major life lessons if we are willing to open our eyes. I think there is major life lesson for everyone from Derek Fisher’s trade and acquisition.  Read through the life lesson in this statement that Fisher made yesterday:

“Like I stated earlier, I’m going to do my best right now to refrain from focusing too much, if at all, on what has transpired, what was said, what could have happened, what should have happened,” Fisher said. “I’m more focused on the positives of why I’m here. I’ll be able to address those things in due time…. Right now it’s about the Thunder and Oklahoma City.” ~Derek Fisher

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Stop focusing on what has transpired but rather what God has for you.

Check out this video below of Fisher’s 1st appearance in a Thunder Uniform (Standing Ovation)

 

Share your thoughts on this life lesson or your thoughts on the Derek Fisher trade and what it means for the OKC Thunder.

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