May 272013
 
Book Recommendations & Reviews

Leaders are readers.

We know this to be rock solid advice for those who aspire to leadership, which starts by being a follower, and which grows through time through the private/self achievement(s), onto public achievement(s), and into the leadership realm, where you climb the stairs from Level 1 to Level 5.

With that in mind, I make it a point to pay forward book recommendations in the blogosphere; reviews are public and I hope they provide you the value-add you need to make the decision to read/invest in the book(s) thereafter.

Here’s a link to one of my most recent reviews:

http://tmblr.co/Zk5D-xlz2WXm

Note that this social media/blogging platform requires direct links to access outside of being a user/having a profile, so the above is meant to allow anyone an opportunity to view.

Have a fantastic week to come!

May 222013
 
Austrian economics

The Austrian ‘school’ of economics is a thread of all of these: leadership, history, thought, theory, application, & wisdom. It is a school whose luminaries are many — Rothbard, Mises, Schiff, Hazlitt, Say, & Hayek, amongst others both past & present.

This post is by no means meant to be a detailed review – the brevity of it is intentional –  just meant to bring the readers’ attention to these names, and lead them to want to do their own thinking & research. It is imperative since so many in the West, especially Americans, have been fed such a steady and overwhelming dose of Keynesian school, the vast majority don’t even know that there are other schools. One huge reason to want to pursue self-directed studies?  If you feel like your dollar doesn’t go nearly as far as even 5-10 years ago.  The Austrian school clearly explains the deep root reasons for this day to day realization that impacts nearly everyone’s household budget.

A collorary to the school is the writings of one Robert Kiyosaki, he of the ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ series of purple & black books – including the best of the best, in my humble opinion, ‘Cashflow Quadrant’. Robert K’s tweets, Facebook statuses/links, and writings are a different entry point into this thread of economics which will rationalize and explain things that Keynesian thought will not be able to lock onto. In fact, much of the depth of the problems with micro ( household ) and macro (state/country/worldwide) economics result from Keynesian policies.

In sum, please do yourself a service to study, learn, and grow in this area. Economics is not hard to understand once you get your hands on the right set of information.

All the best!

May 162013
 
Planting shade trees ...

Planting shade trees is a metaphor that, when drawn out, leads to a clear understanding of the value of building and creating a legacy that will far outlast you.

When you plant something that takes time to take root, you quite likely will not be able to partake in the benefits of what you’ve done; however, if you grasp the immense value of paying something of value forward, you won’t bat an eyelash, since it was the very ACT of planting the tree(s) in the first place that gave you the leadership achievement.

In a mass media/consumerist/un-dreaming culture, those that plant the shade trees are defining success not in terms of what’s in it for them, but rather, what’s in it for the next 2-3 generations. That kind of thinking used to be far more common, and it is a mission field of mine to restore it, step by step. When you have detected your purpose, and piggyback your reality onto your vision, it clears up any and all misconceptions or desires to live in the ‘now’.

A tree that protects a future generation from a dearth of wisdom, from poor information, from a lack of dreaming and goal setting, or from become a debt serf, or any of a number of other negatives, is a tree worth buying, planting, nurturing, and watching grow.

Re-defining success in one’s life may require completely rebuilding many things, however, the payoff will be a ripple effect that will not only transform you from the inside out, as it did me, but additionally, it can and will save a marriage, create principle centered servant leaders, pull some out of debt and teach them the huge difference between investment and expense, and restore and promote the eight meanings of freedom.

Have a terrific ‘thank you’ Thursday & I look forward to many stories of those who start planting!

May 032013
 
Service > self

Service.

Self.

Two distinct words.

Yet, how often do we put them in order of what we want vs. what others could benefit by?

Far too often — especially if you live your days in the mass media/consumerist culture.

Changing this at its roots requires heart, mind, and will, all fused together. Can it be done? Absolutely; I am living proof that it can transform a life.

How did I do it?  Or, better phrased: How am I continuing to get better at it?

The answer is that I am purposeful in what I allow to enter my mind. Your thinking is the lever of your life; if you let your thinking go south, let alone take your own advice, or the advice/opinions of those who don’t have the results/success which you strive for, you’ve lost a battle. Does this mean that the war is lost too?  Not in the least!  Just go back to your “trip point“, which is the information. Information changes lives. Undoubtedly.

Service can be defined so many ways; one way that it can be framed is in the context of servant leadership. When you understand leadership as equaling influence, you know that by being a servant, and putting service ahead of self, you’ve blessed someone else. Ego must be subservient to excellence, just in the same way as service > self.

Self -focus is caused by a society/culture which glorifies success in a mis-defined manner:  By the love of money ( as money is not the root of all evil; the love of it is); by characterizing success as financial (“being rich“) only; by what the celebrities & sports stars are doing; or even by encouraging competition ahead of community/interdependent ( ‘Law of the Inner Circle‘ , ‘Level 4‘ thinking.)

Going back to the information as the root source leading to the lever going up (service) or down (self) — it does require humility/humble-ness, hone-ability, a lack of self-deception, and courage to want to take steps to change the information flow. Here in the connected/internet/info age, information is beyond plentiful; it is all encompassing!  It surrounds us like a cocoon, and if we aren’t perceptive, it can impact our thinking in mere seconds. Think of how your mood changes by listening to a negative source, such as the TV news; why would you constantly shovel snow ONTO your grass when you could use your snow blower to REMOVE it?  This is analagous to letting bad/un-edifying/uplifting info into your head when you could turn it off.

Be a blessing to others by serving them. Think of how you felt when you volunteered at a charitable event, or when you donated monies, or when you helped at your church , or when you stepped up to help a neighbor in need. That’s obviously putting service before self, and doing this consistently can be encouraged by starting at the information ‘step’, and observing the changes in your thinking over time.

Thank you for reading, and all the very best in the days ahead!