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10 Variables To Achieve Maximum Success

10 Variables To Achieve Maximum Success

For those of you that follow me, my blog and my social media streams; you know I like to share lessons that I learn from everywhere. Often times that everywhere consists of what I’m learning from my wife and two sons. Recently my 10 year old son Jayden won that (USATF) USA Track and Field National Championship. (See the video above.)

It wasn’t an easy task for Jayden to do and there were many variables that contributed to his success. I have Identified these variables as something I’m calling 10 Variables To Achieve Maximum Success.

1. Teachability- Jayden was always eager to learn. He listens (most of the time), he watches YouTube videos of shot-puters, he’s always watching and looking at successful athletes, he embraces new techniques & he learns. All of his coaches praise his teachable spirit. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must have a teachable spirit)

2. Adaptability- Jayden has a number of different coaches that provide instruction for him. He has the track coach for sprinters, he has several basketball coaches, several football coaches, mom and dad and 3 different shot put coaches. With shot put he has learned to listen to what all of the coaches are saying and really try to put those lessons through the lens of his personal shot put coach. He has learned to adapt, eat the meat, be adaptable and spit out some of the bones. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must be adaptable)

3. Practice- Jayden works hard and gives 110% almost every practice. He always asks to run w/ the sprinters, even during times he was supposed to be just working on the shot-put. He is always open to extra practices. He goes to track practice, works out with a trainer, goes to individual workouts and rarely complains. As a matter of fact he is the one that requests the additional workouts. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must practice)

4. Resilience- Jayden always learns from his mistakes. When his teammate began throwing farther than him in a couple of meets, he simply worked harder and got better and next thing Jayden began throwing farther than his teammate. As a matte of fact, he beat his teammate on the biggest stage at the national championship. Earlier in the season Jayden had some challenges with scratching by going out of the ring or throwing out of bounds. He didn’t let it get him down, he pushed through, made corrections and got better. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must be resilient) 

5. Growth- Throughout this season, Jayden has gotten better and better and better and better. He has pretty much increased his distance and has thrown a personal best almost each and every track meet. He understands the importance of growth, the importance of getting better and the importance of improving. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must be willing to grow)

6. Heart- Jayden has the heart and desire of a winner. He told us he was going to win, get 1st place and be the National Champion… and he did. Although he has not gotten 1st place in every track meet; he has always had the heart, desire and a will to win. The will to win and the desire to succeed are the key ingredients to tapping into maximum success. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must possess heart)

7. Commitment- Jayden has been committed to both track & field events. When I was laughing and making fun of the possibility of Jayden throwing the shot-put a couple of years ago… Jayden made me eat my laughter. He has remained focused & has stayed committed to this new sporting event. His commitment continues to pay off! (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must be committed)

8. Performance- Jayden always performs well when everything is on the line. During the peak of this season, He performed, he threw his best and he got 1st place. He likes to see where his competition, rise to the occasion and beat them. He loves competition. He likes to compete against the best, even if he really doesn’t have a chance. He’s not the fastest kid on the track team, but he loves competing against the fastest. Competition drives performance and performance leads to success. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must perform)

9. Belief- Jayden always believes he has a chance to compete and a chance to win. Self belief is a critical component of real success. Jayden is generally the smallest shot puter in the competition that actually competes at the highest level (see video above to see the size of his competition), it’s a big mans sport. He works on getting stronger, works on technique and believes that he can compete with the bigger, stronger competitors. Self belief is contagious, the ore you believe in yourself, the more success you will have. (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must believe)

10. Have Fun- Jayden always competes and he always has fun. He’s serious when he needs to be serious, he works hard and plays hard in practice. He smiles the majority of the time. Competing is fun and have success is just a nice bonus. We always make sure we provide opportunities for fun activities, because having fun is a must. Jayden knows that at the point it’s not fun, we will shift gears. We adjusted the number of practices and meets we went to this year, all in the spirit of keeping the fun. We keep fun little competitions, we have fun in the cities that we travel to, we have fun re-capping our experiences. If you are not having fun and enjoying what you do, it’s time to do something different… Period The End!!! (If you want to achieve maximum success, you must have fun)

What do you think? How have you seen these variables contribute to success? How have you seen the lack of these variables led to failure. 

The Most Important Leadership Quality Is Self-Awareness

self-awarenessOften times leaders are looking for ways to improve their overall leadership. They try different styles, different approaches and try to mimic certain qualities. The most over-looked and The Most Important Leadership Quality Is Self-Awareness. If a leader wants to improve and become more effective, the best thing they can do is improve in the area of self-awareness. Self-awareness is the most important and most crucial component in becoming a more effective leader.

Self-awareness can help a leader to not only understand their decision making, it will allow them to understand what motivates those around them. Self-awareness allows leaders to effectively balance the tension tension of humility and boldness, fun environment and professionalism, flexibility and control, receiving advice and giving advice and the list goes on and on.

To become more self-aware individuals should consider taking various tests, such as: personality inventories, attribute indicators, spiritual gift analysis, style of influence inventories etc. These tests can become great tools to accelerate the self-awareness process. You can definitely become self-aware without them; however these tests can expedite the process. Similar to a car manual, you can find out all of the intricacies of what a car does, how it functions, the nuances of the technology etc. by simply fumbling and finding. If you read the manual it gets you to an understanding a great deal quicker and with less error.

Another way to improve self-awareness is to solicit feedback. Not the “Oh everything is great feedback” but rather the authentic, candid, this is how it is, this is what you are doing that’s not working feedback. Feedback meetings, 360° evaluations and other regular feedback methods are always helpful. Create a feedback culture of seeking feedback often and receiving feedback well. I repeat “Receiving Feedback Well.” If you don’t receive feedback well, people won’t give feedback at all.

The bottom line is self-awareness drives success. The self-aware leader will understand their limitations and hire compliments to reach ultimate success. The self-aware leader will look in the mirror in times of limitation and failure instead of always pointing the blame at others. The self-aware leader will make an effort to make those around them better, because they understand the value of a successful team. The self-aware leader knows when to defer, when to take risks, when to make changes, when to charge the hill and when to quit.

There is nothing worse than a well read, smart, articulate leader who can’t lead themselves out of a paper bag simply because they lack self-awareness. They always find themselves swimming up stream, fighting uphill battles and struggling to gain momentum. These struggles are facilitated from their inability have proper self-awareness, limited understanding of how to maximize their giftings and no clue how to truly get the most out of those around them.

If you want to be a good leader read the books, study the trends, look at the research… If you want to be a great leader read yourself, study yourself and look at what the research says about yourself. An organization or team will never rise above the self-awareness level of the leader.

The Most Important Leadership Quality Is Self-Awareness.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences with self-awareness or the lack there of.

Andy Stanley Interviews Rick Warren About Leadership and Ministry

Catalyst West 2009: Rick Warren Interview Part 1 from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Catalyst West 2009: Rick Warren Interview Part 2 from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Oldie but goodie… Andy Stanley interviews Rick Warren in 2009 at Catalyst West Coast.

Key Thoughts:
*A Crowd is not a church
*Pace, Schedule and Doing ministry for the long haul
*The importance of Diverting Daily, Withdrawing Weekly and Abandoning Annually

Everyone Is Thinking The Same Thing, but No One Is Saying Anything

speakHave you ever found yourself in a group, on a team, in an organization or in a situation where you knew that: “Everyone Is Thinking The Same Thing, but No One Is Saying Anything?”  We have all been in those situations and sometimes there’s even a little internal chuckling that goes along with the thought. The internal chuckling is generally a less serious matter; however there are other situations where Everyone Is Thinking The Same Thing, but No One Is Saying Anything and those internal thoughts are leading to serious bitterness and frustration.

I get the opportunity to do consulting for individuals and organizations in many different arenas from all around the world. My primary focus is organizational growth, both internally and externally. What I have seen and have personally experienced over the years is this: “When Everyone Is Thinking The Same Thing, but No One Is Say Anything” there is definitely a culture that’s impeding organizational and individual growth.

Some of the most thriving organizations in the world have cultures where everyone is thinking and saying the same thing. The creating of this culture always begins and ends with the CEO, Senior Leader and or Executive Leadership Team.

If you find yourself in a culture where “Everyone Is Thinking The Same Thing, but No One Is Saying Anything“,  It’s time to speak up, lead up and be a catalyst for fostering a culture of mutual thinking and speaking — a culture of success. If you are a senior executive or part of the leadership team, work hard to ask the right questions, to create an environment of openness and to create culture where your team and your organizations are thinking and saying the same thing.

When the situation of necessity taps you on the shoulder, the bold turn around and respond — they speak up, they act.

Be Bold – Think It, Say It and Live It.

What has been your experience with a culture where “Everyone Is Thinking The Same Thing, but No One Is Saying Anything?”  Share your thoughts!

A True Example Of Southwest Airlines Award-Winning Culture

This is an older video of the Southwest Airlines Rapping Flight Attendant. This video shares not only what happened on the airplane, but how this fun and friendly culture is embraced throughout the organization all the way up to the CEO.

Culture Matters!

A thought to ponder: Time and time again people are talking negatively about airline fees, baggage fees, poor customer service, falling over seats… On the other hand people are tweeting, blogging, writing, featuring, Jay Leno’ing and talking about great experiences from Southwest Airlines.

Culture Matters!

Share your thoughts and experiences about great work and team cultures.

Avoid The Path Of Least Resistance

If you want to be successful, you must learn to create resistance. Not only do you need to learn to create resistance, but you must develop thick enough skin to weather the storms of resistance.

If you want to make things happen, you must create resistance somewhere along the way. Tomorrow’s successes are planted in today’s soil of resisting, opposing, and withstanding.

If you are not experiencing resistance, chances are you’re playing it too safe.

Some of the greatest success stories are stories of individuals and organizations that embraced and created resistance.  Push through resistance with persistence.

“The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.” ~H.G. Wells

Whether it’s sin, life, leadership, sports or business: Winners and success stories are on the other side of resistance. Avoid the path of least resistance.

Share your thoughts on resistance and the other side.

#1 Way Team Members Kill Their Leaders and Organizations

Insulation –  The act of covering, lining, or separating with individuals or materials that prevents or reduces the passage, transfer, or leakage of heat. The act of insulating something.

When it comes to leadership it’s important for the CEO, Executives or Senior leaders to be insulated from many things within the organization. This insulation allows these leaders to lead at a high altitude and not get caught in the monotonous tasks and details that may hinder their leadership.

The same individuals whose purpose is to insulate a leader can be the same individuals that insulate a leader so much that it may become problematic. These individuals become so used to protecting the leader, they end up insulating them from reality and even begin to loose track with what a proper reality even is.

Have you ever seen an organization or leader who has lost track of reality and you wonder how they got there. The way they got there is their insulators provided improper insulation.

These insulators become the enablers that are unwilling to confront things that need to be confronted. These insulators are the same individuals that inadvertently allow leaders to be removed from reality, become yes men, support poor decisions and ultimately contribute to the demise of both the leader and the organization.

It’s important to always check your insulation and sometimes it’s important to get new insulation. That which was designed to protect you may actually be hurting you and your organization. Improper insulation is the #1 Way Team Members Kill Their Leaders and Organizations.

Have you seen improper insulation negatively affect a leader and an organization?

The Most Underestimated Leadership and Coaching Principle

In my opinion one of the most under-estimated leadership and coaching principles is “BELIEVING.”  That may sound like a novel concept; however the importance and implications are great. To believe in something is to have faith, confidence and trust in something. There is nothing more important for employees and teams than their supervisor or coach to have faith, confidence and trust in them.

Sometimes organizations and leaders get into the habit of focusing on the negative. They are quick to point out flaws, illustrate areas for correction and provide reason why so and so isn’t cutting the mustard. (Cutting the mustard is one idiom that doesn’t make a lot of sense.) With that being said, the lack of belief in employees or team members doesn’t make a lot of sense either.

Let’s use the recent NFL combine and ensuing draft as an illustration. Imagine an NFL organization drafting a player, bringing them to camp, giving 15 reasons why they don’t cut the mustard and then eventually releasing them. A better scenario would be to draft an individual, acknowledge they are now on your team, coach them in their areas of weakness, enhance their strengths, tell them that you believe in them and win as a team.

I don’t want to sound over-simplistic, but I truly believe that the lack of success for many team members boils down to the lack of belief from their coach. If you have a team member who is struggling, believe in them and help them to get better. The most ineffective thing a coach can do to a quarterback who is throwing interceptions is to talk about and focus on the interceptions. You coach em’ up and talk about the completions and touchdowns they’re going to throw when they get back on the field.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you are halfway there.”  I’ll take it a step further and say, “When your leader believes that you can and you start believing in yourself, you are three-quarters of the way there.” For those of you that may have struggling team members who have been throwing a bunch of interceptions, don’t be so quick to kick them off of your team or sit them on the bench. Coach em’ up and focus on the touchdowns that they are going to throw, knowing that their coach believes in them. Believe in your people and they will believe in themselves, what a novel concept.

The Most Underestimated Leadership and coaching Principle is BELIEVING.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts and experiences.

Haunted House Leadership

“Fear is the place where potential is confined.”

Those are words I’ve said for many years, actually dating back to my years of being a Prison Warden. Fear is ugly, crippling, debilitating… it’s a killer. If we want to be successful in life, we must rid ourselves of the spirit of fear. If an organization wants to be successful, they must also rid themselves of fear.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership. Those that call themselves leading with fear are actually not leading, they are controlling, dictating and telling people what to do. Fear embolden’s the dictator, weakens the strong, limits potential, stifles creativity and fosters a spirit of counterfeit behavior.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership. Some of the greatest leaders our world has ever seen, did not lead with the spirit of fear. Leadership is about stewardship, stewardship is about maximization and growth, growth is about development and development is about leadership.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership. If you or your boss is leading from a place that scares people, that’s not leadership, that’s called a haunted house.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership.

Share Your Thoughts and Experiences.

Downhill Slide Of Organizational Success

Some thoughts from my journal this morning while at the Tampa Airport.

Share your thoughts, experiences and observations of the Downhill Slide Of Organizational Success.

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