Feb 282013
 
How much are you reading?  How much are you growing?

“The keys to life are running and reading. When you’re running, there’s a little person that talks to you and says, “Oh I’m tired. My lung’s about to pop. I’m so hurt. There’s no way I can possibly continue.” You want to quit. If you learn how to defeat that person when you’re running. You will how to not quit when things get hard in your life. For reading: there have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have–with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.

Will Smith

 

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Reading. Such an imperative activity for making one’s life better, yet why aren’t more in the West making it a habit?   There are many reasons, although I’d posit that the vast majority of them are dressed up excuses which are actually reasons to read, once unraveled and consider in depth.
So many of us know Will Smith by his many many successful movies, perhaps his old TV show, or even his time as a music mogul, rapping with DJ Jazzy Jeff 😀  However, were you aware of his love of reading, and how much he values it?   The quote is powerful in its own right, and its shines as a truth beacon.
How often have we spoken with, heard, observed, or been pulled into an unfamiliar or tense situation in any area – say with a friend, a manager, your kids, even a perfect stranger, and not been able to handle it well?  Would not having read some world class books on people skills, leadership, faith, or history have given you the tools to learn from those who had those same situations in their own lives?    Undoubtedly!
I strongly urge all readers to think about this – please don’t react; think. Self-improvement, personal change, and lifelong growth don’t just happen:  They require intentionality, determination, focus, humility, and courage. None of these are talents, though, they are skills, learnable skills. The question that you have to ask yourself tonight is:  Am I willing to make a difference in the lives of everyone I encounter, and in my own mirror, and start to read from quality books?
I hope the answer is ‘Yes!’.
May you be blessed in your days ahead.
Thank you for reading.
Feb 252013
 
The Responsibility of Leadership - Illustrated

This illustration came from a talk that Mr. Bob Burg, co-author of ‘The GoGiver‘ and other books, gave a couple years ago – I recently felt compelled to transcribe it anew from an audio track recorded that evening.

There’s a lieutenant who is getting ready to camp with his troops during World War II. He is educated ahead of time by his commanding officer, who said:

 

Lieutenant, when your men have been fed, and if there is any food left, then you will eat. And, after your troops here [ in camp ] have been bedded down, if there’s a place to lie down, then you will sleep.

 

Be very prepared for leadership. It is a calling, a mission field, and far beyond what you may have been led to believe if you have been immersed in the mass media portrayals of leaders.

Yet, if you want to grow your leadership ability, even from ground zero, it is most certainly needed & you can do it. Just get the right mindset = serve 1st; always be humble; grow daily; fail often; learn from each mistake you make (PDCA); dream & visioneer constantly. All of these tend to be contrarian in our society/Western world, however, leadership requires sacrifice, which is the production of sacred things.

I wish you nothing but the best on your journey.

Feb 162013
 
Is the entrepreneurial community the future of business?  Thoughts of the Day

Something to closely think about as 2013 moves full steam ahead:  What is the future of business in the West, let alone the world?

Could a concept melding entrepreneurship, in some ways historically considered to be someone(s) who is a lone wolf (-ves), and community, which by its very definition is plural, be the path forward, the ‘Ho Chi Minh‘ trail out towards prosperity, purpose, and to fulfill our potential as born geniuses who have been covered in ‘glaze‘ ?

My answer:  Most definitely.

Why?

Think about it. When you take the ‘edge’ off of the perceived risks of entrepreneurship as compared to its alternatives by mixing it with community, which is rightly perceived as a team who has come together to make the individuals forming it stronger ( ‘iron sharpening iron’ ), you get a potent combination, do you not?

Taking this a step further, we live in a completely new age/era – we are well past the years when people were looked at as mere hands to build widgets while not exercising independent thought; we’re also beyond the time where huge corporations and other big entities dominated the landscape, and everyone felt secure in giving up autonomy and trade it for perceived (false) security. And, are we also not well past the time when your only entrepreneurial pathway was to sign a big stack of papers, putting your entire future on the line, to get a loan to build a business from scratch?

Again, my answer is:  Most definitely.

The issues we have in order to grasp this is to replace traditional thinking, traditional sources of information, and traditional habits for what is already working well. Going back centuries into history, we find that Edmund Burke opined about entrepreneurial communities in his time & place; he called them ‘little platoons’, although he was living in a time when agriculture was still the dominant industry.  Talk about having foresight!  So, now that we live in a time when the internet connects us all, and the ‘six degrees of separation’ have been shrunk to four, is there any reason why the little platoons of yore cannot become the dominant business model of the 21st century?

These communities can & will comprise of men & women who want to learn together, grow personally by applying better quality information into their day to day lives, leverage their investment into their minds by pooling those perceived risks of being an entrepreneur, & al l the while, being the ‘glass cleaners’, the ‘candles in the dark’ for society.

What kind of non traditional, non conformist thinking, information, and habits will be an asset to those who voluntarily choose this path forward?  Let’s ponder for a few:

 

1. Putting aside that winning means someone else loses (‘zero sum’) and trade it for Level 4 thought / Habit 4 from Covey — win:win

2. Tossing aside entitlement and victimology for earned results & personal accountability

3. Understanding that big institutions/entities no longer can effectively offer security, govern society, or be on the cutting edge of thought.

4. Over time, replacing mass media sources ( satellite/cable + radio, FM/AM, newspapers, magazines, et al.) with specialized information culled from the very best in entrepreneurship & community building.  This is a branch off the crucial “Define. Learn. Do” tree that is a base law of success.

5. Realizing that schooling & education are not one in the same. There is nothing at all wrong with conveyor belt & professional track schooling ( K-12 & undergrad/grad/post grad ) so long as they are supplemented by self-directed education, also known as liber/liberty/TJed.

6. Building the habits of associating positively, putting others ahead of yourself ( ‘service before self’ ), reading, and listening.

7. Studying entrepreneurship and applying the skills that these men & women use in your day to day lives within the community (while learning, studying, & growing oneself) & outside of it the rest of the time by practicing top notch people skills.

8. Being very clear on the massive difference between investment and expense.  (using the “Y-D-I-L” equation goes a long way to help make this simple. )

9. Putting mental fitness and physical fitness on the same level playing field. Both matter; a LOT. This seems so simple, yet why do so many not put money into their minds, yet spend so much money on gym memberships?  The latter is very useful, but the former is just as much.

10. Paying forward what you learn inside of the entrepreneurial community with others. Learning is best applied when you teach/coach/mentor someone else who is not yet part of the community with you. The old way would be to ‘hog’ what you know, thinking it would be a competitive advantage; this is Level 3 thought at best, and perhaps Level 2;  Only Levels 4-5 are useful in this developing model.

 

Thank you for reading today, and I hope & trust that this post made you pause, ponder, & stretch your mind. Nothing but the best to you on your journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 102013
 
Johari Window & LIFE Coaching - Define, Learn, Do -

The Johari Window is a very insightful & enlightening look into the mind, will, & heart of a person, is it not?

For me, its elegant simplicity is what stands out – one shouldn’t have to have certifications or degrees to be able to understand, learn from, and then apply needed changes into his/her/their lives using a model such as this.

Personal growth & change is something that all of us should embrace warmly, for we are imperfect people swimming daily in a world awash with data, which is not always information; what makes it through the filters to be considered information is far from always quality (wheat) info; and even if it is world class/gold medal “wheat”, it is not always communication.

I am most interested in the upper right quadrant/box for this post — since I’d break down Life (or Christian Life/Business) Coaching to a base definition of helping someone identify his/her blind spot(s), and then going forward with them, in a ‘walk a mile, see a mile‘ approach, to help them address it/them, which, over an adult time frame, will then lead to him/her living a more significant/quality life.

Blind spots are nothing that cannot be healed, addressed, or improved; what helps a Life Coach such as me to address the  is to educate the person(s) on the Define, Learn, Do model of personal growth/change.

Define => What do you want out of life?  What’s your why? Or, put even better, how can I help you live the life you’ve always wanted?

Learn => Let’s connect you with world class information: books, audio (CD, mp3’s), DVDs, You Tube vid clips, & streaming live, or in person events to help you read, listen, & positively associate with those who share your why & wants/needs. Learn from the information & them along the way. Realize that the power of compounding & a long term vision are imperative in this step.

Do => As you learn something from the association & the ‘be the example’ mentor / LIFE coach, do what he/she/they are doing or have done. They’ve blazed the trail through the forest, and given you the map to get you from your “Point A” (present) to your desired “Point Z” (future), so simply follow it and be a humble, hungry, and open minded student.

Along the way, there will likely be course corrections, stumbles, mistakes, & perhaps even some back tracking to get back on the map’s trail. Do not ever quit!  Quitting is the polar opposite of success; failure is but a teachable moment(s) and never defines you as a person. After all, your blind spot(s) quite likely did not develop in your upper right quadrant in a single day, so like stated above, have an adult time frame ( think: it takes 9 months for a new life to be born, and roughly 4 years to get a professional track under-grad degree ) & stick to the game plan!

Over the past 2+ years of my own journey, which led to wrapping a business around my purpose ( which is to serve 10,000 people over 10 years by being a messenger & a conduit to top quality/ ‘wheat’  information & being a glass cleaner/candle to light a path & serve first, always ), I’ve run into blind spots of my own, and being a student always attracts teachers who want to coach or mentor others. I’ve had this bountiful blessing in this time, and I consider it a privilege and honour to pay it forward to as many as I can.

The Johari Window, combined with Define-Learn-Do, and applied through tuning out information that is not adding value (‘noise’/’chaff’, such as much of what the mass media offers up on a daily basis) and replacing the latter with a focus on your core senses ( reading=eyes; listening=ears; association=touch) will calibrate the below equation’s inputs, and get you to “Point Z”.

 

INFORMATION -> THINKING -> HABITS / ACTIONS / RESPONSES -> RESULTS

 

Have the best day of your life ahead & be of great cheer!

Feb 082013
 
When you show a man what he wants, he'll move heaven & earth to get it ...

Great morning!

The title of this post ties back to one of the top, if not the top human relations laws in all of civilization.

It is so powerful & insightful that it has, as the (paraphrased) quote from Gladiator states, ‘echo’ed through eternity

In fact, none other than Ben Franklin, yes, he who set up an amazingly successful, win:win franchised printing business that spanned Colonial America, pre independence, let alone all of his other well known ventures as an inventor & statesman, recognized this law’s ringing truth.

Franklin recited the below prayer, tying right back to this law, for over 50 years:

‘O powerful Goodness! bountiful Father! merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolutions to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to Thy other children as the only return in my power for Thy continual favors to me.’

What can you learn from this law & this prayer?  Plenty!  The short answer is:  Get your mind & your thinking off of yourself. Be a blessing to others; pay great information forward; serve first.

Have a fantastic day & week to come!