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How Your Mind Affects Your Environment

In my younger days I remember listening to what was a great song to me at the time by old school hip hop group The Geto Boys. Fortunately I’ve moved beyond the lyrics of The Geto Boys; however I do remember a key lyrical sentence that was at the end of every verse of one of their hit songs. The phrase or sentence is this: “My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me.”

I’m typing this post from my hotel in Nigeria, as I wrap op my time here. In my last session today, I will be speaking on the subject of using social media to change the world. I’ve had a great experience in Nigeria: presenting, speaking, learning and observing. One of many things that I’ve learned is this: if you want to grow, you must expand your view and your perspective. The more you change your perspective, the more that you realize you need to change and grow. That’s what’s happening to me, I’m realizing more and more the growth opportunities that I have.

There are some amazingly bright minds and gifted leaders throughout this area and the world for that matter. One thing that I observed here that is also true for the US, UK, China, Brazil, Russ and the world for that matter is this:

“Environment can affect your mindset… your mindset can change your environment.”

No matter what your situation or your environment is, with Faith, Focus and Follow-through you can change it. If you think it and believe it. In the words of one of the most popular Hip Hop artists ever:

“You can do anything you set your mind to.” ~Eminem

You have to stop letting your mind play tricks on you and truly embrace the fact that you can do anything you set you mind to. Your mind is the most powerful tool to change your environment, your family, your city, your state, your country and the world. Don’t be conformed to the limits of this world and what people think, rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Seek knowledge.

Expand your mind.

Grow your perspective.

Think “Yes I Can! and Yes I Will!”

You are what you think and what you think you are, you are. 

May your mind allow you to see beyond the shallowness that you once knew, to the depths you never knew possible. dream BIG. think BIGGER.

What do you think? 🙂

5 Timeless Lessons We Can Learn From The John Maxwell Brand

I love learning new things and finding little nuggets of wisdom from every industry. Speaking of wisdom and little nuggets, I’ve always appreciated the leadership wisdom of John Maxwell. John is an internationally renowned leadership expert, coach, and author who has sold over 21 million books.

For over 40 years, John Maxwell has inspired leaders around the world to answer the call of leadership. His influence, his relevance, and his principles continue to impact countless lives each year. Everything Maxwell does is timeless and has a wide net to draw in individuals from every industry.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve had several conversations with individuals where John Maxwell’s name has come up. I had a conversation with a lady who is very distinguished and high-ranking in Arbonne, which is an individual health and beauty product company. Always wanting to learn, I asked what books they are reading and whose influencing their success. Expecting her to say Tony Robbins or some new Sales Guru that I had not heard  of, she responded “John Maxwell” and went on to say why.

I was in Tampa talking with an Executive Pastor of one of my client churches and we had a very similar conversation about John Maxwell and the timeless nature of his teachings. This Executive Pastor mentioned that John Maxwell is everywhere and he recently saw his books on an end-cap at a truck stop.

I talked with another friend who was encouraging me to do more quick web videos about leadership. He said I should do something like the daily one-minute video that he gets every morning from John Maxwell.

This week I also had a conversation with a really sharp young professional guy that I try to encourage, listen to and pour into. He was talking about the serious financial investment that he made into becoming a John Maxwell certified Leadership and Life Coach. He’s actually at the beginning of the semester long training as we speak.

All of these things point to 5 Timeless Lessons We Can Learn From The John Maxwell Brand

  • 1. You are a brand – Like it or not, every individual is a brand. Know it, understand it, embrace it and make sure what your’re portraying the brand that you intend.
  • 2. Make sure your brand can outlast you – It’s important to build your brand so that it is bigger than you and will outlast you. Maxwell trains and certifies huge numbers of individuals each year, this will ensure that his brand will live on.
  • 3. Have manual or manuals – Write a book, create a manual, do a video curriculum… It’s important to put things in writing. Not only does it increase your credibility, it allows other people to promote and learn from your brand. I had this conversation with my son’s piano teacher, “You do an excellent, you should write a book about the how-to of piano lessons.” Maxwell has a book for everything.
  • 4. Cast a wide net – Although your brand or product may be specific to a particular niche’, it’s important that you expand it so that it can reach as many people as possible. Don’t devalue, simply expand. Although my company’s primary market for consulting may be the non-profit and church space, that doesn’t limit us from having fortune 100 clients in the oil and gas industry. Maxwell’s brand reaches CEO’s, non-profit leaders, sales folks, truck drivers etc. His message is consistent and his reach is broad.
  • 5. Don’t under-price and devalue your brand – I always refer to this as the Tommy Hillfiger and Ed Hardy syndrome. Brands can get so big and so popular that they begin to sell-out and you will see their brand in Wal-Mart, on notebooks, on pencils, key chains, car sun shades etc. This is a road to death. Tommy Hilfiger killed their brand from this syndrome and are still trying to recover. Ed Hardy is the new Tommy Hilfiger and what was once a cool high-end brand is now watered down and isn’t as popular. Maxwell doesn’t give his books aways, his trainings aren’t free and if you want to be certified, you will dish out $4,000 for an online certification. Maintain the integrity of your brand.
“Everything rises and falls with leadership.” ~John Maxwell
What do you think? Share your thoughts on John Maxwell and any of the above lessons.

The Fields Preached Me A Sermon… And I Listened

Read this passage of scripture from Proverbs 24:30-34… Share your thoughts.

The Fields Preached Me A Sermon… And I Listened

What Is Your Time Worth?

What is my time worth? What if we really took that question seriously? Things would be different, our salary negotiations would be different, what we spend our time on would be different and what we hire people to do would be different.

Your time matters and it has a price tag. You are the only one that knows the value of it. The time you spend with your family is time and ½ or double time. Maximize that family time.

“Time equals life — If you master your time, you master your life… If you waste your time, you waste your life.”

What Is Your Time Worth? Answer the question honestly and adjust your life accordingly.

Why You Will Never Finish

You will never finish is not the most encouraging of phrases to hear. It may not be encouraging, but it’s true for so many. Most don’t finish, because they don’t start.

You can actually lose a race that you never even start. I have seen it happen at my son’s track meets, where young athletes are wandering around, not paying attention, miss their scheduled heating time and never start the race. They lost the race, because they never started.

There are a races that you are supposed to be in right now – The Race of Life, The Race Of Dreams, The Race Of Success… You are losing those races because you are unwilling to start. You are meandering around, unwilling to take that step, make that decision and therefore losing the race.

Those that competed in the recent Olympics were able to do so because they made a decision to work hard many years before the Olympics was on their competitive radar. You are the sum of your choices… choose wisely.

You will never finish because you are unwilling to start.

Ladies and gentlemen… Start Your Engines!

Patrick Lencioni – Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit (Session 6)

Patrick Lencioni @patricklencioni

Session 6 – The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else

Bio: Founder and President,The Table Group; Best Selling Author

  • A leading organizational consulting firm, The Table Group advises clients with ideas, products and services to improve teamwork, clarity, employee engagement and overall organizational health
  • Author of ten business books with nearly three million copies sold, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team which, after ten years in print, continues to be a weekly fixture on national best-seller lists
  • Named by Fortune Magazine as one of “The Gurus You Should Know” and by The Wall Street Journal as one of America’s “Most Sought-After Business Speakers”
  • His new book, The Advantage, explores the significance of organizational health and why it trumps everything else in business

Snippets from Patrick’s talk… This talk was amazing, too much information to process and not enough time. You seriously should buy the DVD set for this talk alone.

  • This is the most important talk of my career… it’s also simple.
  • People needed to be reminded more than they are instructed.
  • Sharing lots of stories about @southwestair (He’s a fan and so am I)
  • Organizational health is the single most competitive advantage.
  • In addition to making our organization we have to make our organizations healthy.
  • If we want to change our organizations today, we have to make them healthy.
  • SMART Organizations – Strategy, Marketing, Finance and Technology
  • HEALTHY Organizations – Minimal Politics, Minimal Confusion, High Morale, High Productivity and Low Turnover
  • @southwestair is not better because they are smarter… They are great because they are healthy.
  • Organizations must be behaviorally cohesive.
  • Organizations must be create clarity (intellectually aligned)
  • A mission statement is not a great way to gain clarity in an organization.
  • 6 Critical Questions Organizations must ask
  •      1. Why do we exist?
  •      2. How do we behave?
  •      3. What do we do?
  •      4. How will we succeed?
  •      5. What is most important right now?
  •      6. Who must do what?
  • One of Enron’s core values was integrity… (so what) — “A Core value is something you are willing to get punished for.”
  • Told story of @southwestair and sense of humor/fun being one of their anchors and core values. Flight attendant cracked jokes during security, customer called and complained, wrote a letter to CEO and CEO responded with a nice note with 3 words on it.  Those 3 words were “Will Miss You!”  Great story of responding out of core value.
  • Other stories of southwest airlines… excellent examples.
  • Churches Struggle With The Idea Of Core Values – They confuse it with permission to play value.
  • It’s not unchristian to reject a job applicant because they are not a good fit… (It’s A Good Thing)
  • Sometimes churches struggle to use core values because they think “Well she loves Jesus!”
  • Companies are trying to be all things to all people, which means they end up being nothing to no one.
  • Organizations Must Figure Out What The 3 Strategic Anchors Are
  • If your people can’t do a good impression of you if you are not around… you are not communicating enough.
  • I wish organizational health had a standard…  There is not one, we have an opportunity to create healthy organizations and have a competitive advantage.

Patrick was absolutely brilliant and left people on the edge of their seat. A great lesson for speakers that I learned from Patrick Lencioni is this: “Do a great job, dont share everything, make it practical and leave people wanting more.” Everyone wanted more, I say if you want more, buy the series and buy the book.

What do you think about Patrick Lencioni’s thoughts? Do you have any examples of healthy organizational culture?

Find Your Greatness

Is greatness reserved for a chosen few?

What stands out to you in this video? Any subliminal messages? Anything in particular that caught your eye, inspired you or touched your heart?

ht: @addisongardner

3 Easy Steps To Reach Your Goals

Everything Begins With An Idea

Ideas are thoughts, conceptions, notions, aha’s, suspicions, beliefs etc. These thoughts are the genesis of everything, because Everything begins with an idea.

The microwave began with an idea. Self-Checkout began with an idea. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest began with an idea. The iPad began with an idea. Beats by Dre began with an idea. Toms shoes began with an idea. Multi-site ministry began with an idea. Microwave popcorn began with an idea. YouTube began with an idea. Do it yourself/online publishing began with an idea. Kony 2012 began with an idea. Fried Twinkies began with an idea. Starbucks Coffee began with an idea. Versace began with an idea. NBA’s OKC Thunder began with an idea. Charity water began with an idea. Pull-ups diapers began with an idea. Pay at the pump gasoline began wit an idea. 5-hour energy drink began with an idea. Everything Seth Godin says or does began with an idea. Idea, IDEA, iDea…

All ideas are not BIG ideas; however Everything begins with an idea.

Some people have more ideas than others simply because that’s how they are naturally wired, how they think and how they interact with the world. Each and every one of us has ideas. Some of those ideas we share and others we tuck back into the part of our brain that tells us, “those ideas don’t matter, they could never become a reality and we should simply forget about them.” Some environments, bosses, supervisors, spouses and even friends are Idea Killers. There is no room for new thinking and new ideas, because all of your ideas are dead on arrival.

Your ideas matter, your ideas can make a difference, your ideas deserve to be heard. Start by sharing your ideas with yourself, then share the ideas with those closest to you and finally share them with the world.

Start asking “What If” questions and the “How To” answers will follow.

Not all ideas are good ideas; however Everything Begins With An Idea!

Do you have any ideas about this post?

Top 4 Productivity Tools

There are tons of tools to keep you and your small business productive. I’m always trying new apps and new things, but I seem to land on the same ones every time. Below are a some of my favorite productivity and organization tools for individuals, solopreneurs and small business owners. They are really for anyone that wants efficiency and organization in their daily operations.

I figured I’d just show the videos for Evernote and Neatdesk, as they can communicate the potential of these applications better than I can.

Evernote:

 

Evernote is universal and hands down one of the simplest tools out there. I am a fan of Evernote and the evernote clipper plugin tool for Google Chrome is awesome.

NeatDesk:

NeatDesk is by far the best real document organization tool ever. I don’t care whether you are organizing recipes, business cards, notes, statements, receipts… I had the original NeatReceipts and it was cool and it’s portable enough for me to carry with me. The NeatDesk for Mac takes it a whole nutha’ level… it’s ridiculous. I 100% guarantee you will appreciate it and Uncle Sam will as well.

CardMunch:

CardMunch is one of my favorite apps. It’s really simple, you take a business card, take a pic of it with your camera, submit it, it uploads all of the name, contact and title information along with a pic of the business cards to your contacts. Yes it’s that easy and yes it works. I have had this app for awhile, sometime last year LinkedIn bought it, so it’s now connected to LinkedIn. That doesn’t affect the usability of the app at all. I basically gather a bunch of cards, when I find a spare moment I scan them all in and throw them away. Easy, Breezy!

SoundNote:

I have had this SoundNote app for years, originally it was called SoundPaper; however SoundNote is probably a better descriptor. The short and skinny of this app is it allows you to take notes and record audio at the same time. Once you are finished taking notes, you can simply tap your notes and it will take you to that part of the audi recording. Great for meetings, conferences etc.

Share your thoughts and experiences with these products. What are some of your favorite productivity tools? 

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