Monday, January 30, 2012

How To Be A REAL Success

Success is Simply a Matter of Luck. Ask Any Failure!” ~ EARLE WILSON

Everybody wants to be a success.  I have not met a person yet who, if asked, “Do you want to be a success in life?” replied with “No, I do not.”  Everybody wants to be a success, but I have found that few people even know what success really looks like and how to achieve it.

This is why, on Saturday, February 25, I will be leading a half-day leadership workshop on How to be a REAL Success.  The principles I will teach have been tested and proven again and again.  In this fun and exciting workshop I will share four elements that are necessary to be a real success.  These elements are...

In studies of leadership in American business, it has been proven that the average executive spends three quarters of his working day dealing with people.  Stanford Research found that success is 87 percent people knowledge and 13 percent product knowledge.  To be a real success it is imperative to be able to relate well to others and to understand relational rules.

Great leaders grow their vision from “ME” to “WE.”  Great leaders understand the importance of bringing a team around them and equipping them that they may reach their maximum potential.  A well equipped team enables the whole organization to reach goals and see their vision.  In this workshop, I will teach you how to properly train and equip a team that will make a difference for your organization.

Our attitude is a choice. It determines our approach to life.  It can turn our problems into blessings.  Taking inventory of our attitude allows us to grow and foster an environment to lead, empower, and equip those around us while also nurturing our own leadership skills.

The Law of the Lid states that leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.  The Law of the Process states that leaders develop daily and not in a day.  Leadership takes time and energy to develop.  We overestimate the event and we underestimate the process.  The secret to becoming a successful leader is discovered in your daily agenda.

Register for the How to be a REAL Success workshop as soon as possible!  Seating is limited.  For more information and to register, go to

See you there!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leaders Are Learners

Years ago I learned a significant leadership principle that has helped me grow tremendously as a leader.  Not only is this leadership principle significant, it is also simple:  Leaders are Learners.

John Maxwell teaches that the moment we stop learning we stop leading; therefore it is essential that we become life-long effective learners if we desire to be life-long effective leaders.  I want to grow continually as a leader.  Last week I attended Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership Workshop.  I came away with pure gold in leadership teaching.  The principles and practices he taught will help me to be a better leader to those I lead.

In John Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership  he presents the "The Law of Process"  This is the excerpt:

"In a study of ninety top leaders from a variety of fields, leadership expert Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus made a discovery about the relationship between growth and leadership; " It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguish leaders from their followers."  Successful leaders are learners.  And the learning process is ongoing, a result of self-discipline and perseverance.  The goal each day must be to get a little better, to build on the previous day's progress."

Simply put... leaders are learners.  Leaders NEVER arrive and leaders are always interested in becoming better.  Some "leaders" want to become better for themselves...but I will argue that REAL LEADERS seek to become better because they want to impart this information to the people who follow them.  Leadership that is all about YOU is not leadership at all!  We learn so that we are better stewards of the people we have been given to lead.

If you are leading ANYTHING and you are not doing what it takes to improve, people who are following you will either fall by the wayside or the leaders following you will begin to pass you up!

What leadership lessons have you learned recently?  What are your plans to continue to learn?  It is true that the best leaders are learners.  This is easier when you are "starting out" on your leadership journey.  I find, however, that many leaders lose that hunger after a few years.  Continuing to learn over time is what separates successful leaders from unsuccessful leaders. 

Keep learning so that:
  • You can be your best in your current leadership role.
  • You can be ready for your next opportunity.
  • You can model growth for those that you lead.
  • Your leadership won't wither and die.  We are either growing and wilting.

My Leadership Plan for 2012:
    • Reading 12 Leadership Related Books
    • Listening to at least one Leadership Lesson per month
    • Attending at least one Leadership Conference or Workshop
    • Participating in at least 4 Mastermind Groups on Leadership
    • Teaching Leadership
    Growth requires intentionality.  Take some time and develop a learning plan.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Keys to Excellence

    “Don't strive to be perfect. Strive for excellence.”  Victoria Principal - Actress

    In history the word excellence has been used as a title of honor.  It derives from the word Excel which means to go beyond average.

    Eleven Keys to Excellence

    1. Value Excellence
    alue excellence in everything you do in life and it will begin to show forth in the lives of others.

    2. Don’t settle for average
    There is an obvious distinction between average and excellence.  John Hess said, “A race horse that can run a mile one second faster than others is worth many times more money.”  Just become a little bit better and you become distinguished as a winner.When we really begin to rise above average and have a desire to be a little bit better we distinguish ourselves very quickly.  Excellence can be attained if you...

                Care more than others think wise.
                Risk more than others think safe.
                Dream more than others think practical.
                Expect more than others think possible.
                Work more than others think necessary.

    John Maxwell said, “People that strive for excellence are people that are committed to a cause.  And that cause so grips them that they are determined to reach their potential.  They desire more than anything else to be all that they possibly can.”

    3. Pay Attention to Detail
    People of excellence understand the importance of everything working right.  They not only have an appreciation for the big picture but they have an appreciation for the minute details, the small things.

    4. Develop a Deep Commitment to Excellence
    Stan Leonard, owner of the world’s largest dairy store said, “First we will be the best, then we will be first.”  Too many people have a “just enough to get by” attitude.  A “just get by” attitude has never landed anyone in first place.

    5. Possess Ethics and Integrity
    our personal quest for excellence can be another way of saying, “My character is showing.”  “The quest for excellence gives dignity to a person and character to a business.  It gives satisfaction to customers.  It’s the surest way to greatness, the unfailing road to success.” (unknown)

    6. Show Genuine Respect for Others
    Excellence becomes a lifestyle only when we practice the Golden Rule without giving it a second thought.  That’s possible when we elevate the worth of others to the same level we hold for ourselves.  Les Giblin, an authority on human relations, said that our actions must be genuine.  “You can’t make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secretly feel that he is a nobody.”

    7. Go the Second Mile
    Dale Carngie said, “Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.”  Zig Ziglar said, “There is no traffic jam on the extra mile.”

    8. Be Consistent
    “People say what people do.  And what they say they do are entirely different things.”  Margaret Meade  People forget how fast you did a job - but they remember how well you did it.

    9. Never stop improving
    Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.”  (Pat Riley)

    10. Always give 110%

    11. Make Excellence a life style.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Change Your Thinking – Change Your Life

    If you could change one thing in your life -- right now -- what would you change?

    For Tina in New York it was stress at work.  In her own words:

    One of the habitual thoughts I had was I never had enough time to get any of my paperwork done at work....I gotta tell you that this is the first week in a long time that I actually got everything done and I'm actually ahead of my work schedule so it was fantastic!

    What changed in Tina’s life that made her more productive and experience less stress?  She changed her thinking.  Back to the question; “If you could change one thing in your life – right now – what would you change?”  This is probably not the first time you've thought about your own answer. So what's keeping you from making the change?

    Have you considered that there's only ONE thing you really need to do and everything else would fall in line and you'd see the change take place.

    It sounds too simple, but that one thing you need to change is - your thinking!

    As James Allen writes in As A Man Thinketh, "Let a person radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the conditions of his life."  The apostle Paul of the Bible said it like this;
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).  Paul lists six objects of a wholesome thought life.  He then concludes by saying that these six objects of thought are excellent and praiseworthy.

    From my experience, I have found that there is a correlation between a person’s level of success and his or her thought-life.  In his book Thinking for a Change, John Maxwell writes,

    Why are some people successful and others not?  You’ll hear many answers.  Consider some of the popular ones;

    ·         Successful people get better opportunities.

    ·         People who do not succeed have bad backgrounds.

    ·         Education makes all the difference.

    ·         Failure results from bad breaks.

    ·         Some people are smart; others aren’t.

    ·         Lazy people don’t succeed.

    Here’s John’s conclusion: Successful people think differently than unsuccessful people.

    So, do you want to change your life?  Maybe the first thing you need to change is the way you think.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Do You Have A Plan For Personal Growth?

    I am a high believer in continual learning.  Learning equals growth.  The day we stop learning is the day we stop growing.  One common trait of all successful leaders is that they are continual learners. 

    Personal growth does not occur by accident.  If you want to be sure to grow, you need a personal growth plan.  Earl Nightingale said, “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.”  Isn’t that incredible?  It shows how far we are able to go when we have the discipline to make growth our daily practice. 

    A Personal Growth Plan begins with . . . 

    Identify two to three areas in which you would like to grow.  Obviously this will be different for each person reading this article.  I have identified three areas that I want to focus my learning on in 2012; New Testament theology, leadership, and speaking. 

    Start accumulating useful resources – books, e-books, journals, online articles, videos, CD’s, etc.  I purchase books and magazines on theology and leadership regularly.  I watch videos of different preachers and speakers. 

    If you don’t schedule time for personal growth, you will allow everything else to get in the way.  I recommend that you schedule: 

    • Reading everyday
    • Listening to one audio or video lesson per week
    •  Participating in 1 Mastermind Group per quarter.
    • Attending at least 1 conference/workshop per year. 

    Your goal, therefore, is to schedule learning time every day.  Give this the same priority that you would an important appointment.  Here is a daily plan that I have found works for me.

    • Read one book per month. (Here is a tip.  When you buy a book, immediately see how many pages it has.  Divide the number of pages by 30.  This will tell you the minimum number of pages you will need to read each day to complete the book in a month.  Set this as a daily reading goal).
    • An article or audio lesson per week
    • An online video per day (I do this to study the speaking styles and techniques of preachers and professional speakers). 

    You can multitask.  For example I watch the preaching or speaking video while I am exercising on the elliptical.  This not only makes time go by faster but I’m exercising my body and mind. 

    Here is an example of my weekly learning schedule that I have planned for 2012.  I recommend at least 1 hour per day, five days a week (Monday through Friday). 

    Monday through Friday: Spend 20 to 30 minutes each morning with a devotional to develop my spiritual life. 

    Four Mornings per week spend at least 45 minutes on the elliptical watching a video of a preacher or speaker. 

    Monday: Spend one hour reading a book. 

    Tuesday: Spend one hour listening to an audio lesson. 

    Wednesday: Spend one hour reading articles from magazines or journals. 

    Thursday: Spend one hour reading a book. 

    Friday: Spend half of the hour reading the book and the other half filing and reflecting what I  have learned. 

    Make sure you schedule time during the week for filing quotes and reflecting on the contents of the material you’ve read or heard. 

    The average American adult watches close to 30 hours of television per week, with little positive return.  What do you think would happen if you devoted just five of those hours to personal growth?  Here is how I limit my television watching.  I determine at the beginning of each new television season which shows interest me.  I usually choose about 4 shows.  I set my DVR to record those for viewing later.  This way I can view the show at my most convenient time, and I can skip the commercials, which saves a significant amount of time. 

    Do you want to grow?  Take a few minutes today to put your personal growth plan together.  Plan your growth, then follow your plan.