10 Thoughts to Begin A New Year

sunrise with man

Character – “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”Coach John Wooden
Self-Discipline – “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves; self-discipline with all of them came first.” – Harry S. Truman
Commitment – “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”— Mario Andretti 
Positive Attitude – “Change your thoughts and you change the world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

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How Pulling Weeds Will Lead to a Life of Significance

root-288x300Scott Fay says he hates weeds and really, who doesn’t? All the flowers in your garden will be wilting in the hot sun and the weeds continue to grow right up through the cracks in your driveway. You spray them with weed killer and two days later some of them are still staring at you as if to say; “really, that’s all you got?”

Scott knows about weeds because he is a landscaper. He knows that if he is going to create something beautiful for a customer he first has to get rid of the weeds. As he says in his book, Discover Your Sweet Spot, “tear out then build up.” 

I recently had the privilege of listening to Scott Fay tell his story. Despite his repeated declaration that he was “just a landscaper,” his words revealed that he was a lot, lot more. The lessons he has learned in his life by pulling weeds has led him to a career as successful author, leadership coach, trainer and speaker.

Scott says that the weeds in our lives are excuses that get in the way of our dreams. So if we are to live a life of significance we have to: 
  • Identify our weeds – they can be hidden, look to people who will truthfully help you identify them
  • Own our weeds – once discovered deal with them. It will take courage
  • Eradicate the weeds – this will be hard work but if we don’t they will steal our energy

If you need a practical, life-proven method for creating and living a life of success and significance you need to read this book. Sweet Spot Thumbnail

Thank you Scott for being more than “just a landscaper!”
Have a Great Blahless Day!

Leader, Will You Stand by Me?

Part of being a leader is supporting your team members, especially when difficulties arise. The support can take on various forms from just simple encouragement to jumping in to remove significant obstacles that are impeding the progress of a project. As a leader you also must create a team with team members who are willing to support one another.Robert Wadlow

Standing by your team members is difficult if you have done a poor job of selecting them in the first place. Jim Collins says you need to get the right people on the bus.

Here are some things to think about when building a team:

    1. Does the potential team member understand the organization’s mission?
    2. Is he passionate about the mission?
    3. Does he have a plan for his own leadership growth and is he following it?
    4. Do the skills he possesses compliment the other members of the team?
    5. Will he make sacrifices for the benefit of the team?

Once you have your team in place you must create an atmosphere that allows the team to function as a unit.

Here are some basics:

    1. Everyone on the team must trust one another without question.
    2. Team discussions must be able to take place without team members withholding information.
    3. Team members must hold each other accountable for promises made to the team.
    4. Team members must be able to share their failures as well as their successes.
    5. Everyone must forego their individual egos and be willing to call individual successes team successes.

One of my favorite articles about teams was written by Warren Bennis. He said this:

In short, despite their differences in style, the leaders of Great Groups share four behavioral traits. Without exception, the leaders of Great Groups:

    1. Provide direction and meaning. They remind people of what’s important and why their work makes a difference.
    2. Generate and sustain trust. The group’s trust in itself — and its leadership — allows members to accept dissent and ride through the turbulence of the group process.
    3. Display a bias toward action, risk taking, and curiosity. A sense of urgency — and a willingness to risk failure to achieve results — is at the heart of every Great Group.
    4. Are purveyors of hope. Effective team leaders find both tangible and symbolic ways to demonstrate that the group can overcome the odds.
Standing by your team members is essential if you want to be an effective leader. 
Have a Great Blahless Day!

Selling your Soul to the Devil

crossroads

 

The junction of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi is designated as the famous crossroads where, according to legend, Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for mastery of the blues. He didn’t receive much success during his life but he is now considered to be a blues legend. Obviously he was willing to give up everything, including his soul, to become a great blues player.

Leaders must understand that sacrifice is a part of being a successful leader. John Maxwell says that leaders must give up to go up. If you are unwilling to make sacrifices you should think about your original reasons for becoming a leader.

If you find yourself at a crossroads, think about why you became a leader, what difference do I want to make, what are my passions and then what am I willing to give up to get where I want to go.

There is no success without sacrifice. You don’t have to sell your soul to the Devil but at times the going will be rough; great leaders understand and continue.

Have a Great Blahless Day!

Selling your Soul to the Devil

The junction of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi is designated as the famous crossroads where, according to legend, Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for mastery of the blues. He didn’t receive much success during his life but he is now considered to be a blues legend. Obviously he was willing to give up everything, including his soul, to become a great blues player.

Leaders must understand that sacrifice is a part of being a successful leader. John Maxwell says that leaders must give up to go up. If you are unwilling to make sacrifices you should think about your original reasons for becoming a leader.

If you find yourself at a crossroads, think about why you became a leader, what difference do I want to make, what are my passions and then what am I willing to give up to get where I want to go.

There is no success without sacrifice. You don’t have to sell your soul to the Devil but at times it may seem you have to.

Here is Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood at the Crossroads

Have a Great Masonic Day!