Nov 132014
 

… of results.

This post is a quick compilation of some especially powerful quotes which have come across my line of sight in recent weeks.

Study them, think about what they mean in depth, and apply. Knowledge learned and not acted upon isn’t a full equation.

During a persons’ lifetime, there are only a couple of opportunities that come your way. If you possess the courage and self confidence to grasp them, they can change your life.

– Lou Holtz

… Our actions are directly connected to our thoughts … you must begin at the level of your thoughts. Seek to isolate the thoughts that lead to the wrong way of speaking.

– Stuart Scott

Look within. Within is the foundation of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.

– Marcus Aurelius

Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

– Leonardo da Vinci

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or, you will be taught how to fly.

– Patrick Overton

Nov 082014
 

When you think of where you are in life at this present time, which of these word(s) best reflect your …

Financial life?

Business/entrepreneurial knowledge?

Your leadership ability?

Your view of what education is/should be?

Something else not already mentioned?

This concept is nothing new, mind you, however, in recent years, I’ve seen it applied not to technology ( see: here or consumer behavior, but to how folks adopt to change & thought. It’s the latter that forms the core of this post today.

For instance, when it comes to education and understanding that it is a much better investment to invest in a self directed (liber/leadership, or classical) model, much of the thinking and mindset would appear to be either housed in the late majority or laggards ‘category’. The prevalent thought is that if you’re going to be educated, you have to have a piece of paper, known as a credential, in order to show the world what you know, or should know.

Yet, when one studies the past, it’s quite clear that the best and most impactful men & women who have made the most ripples in the pages of history are those who were self-directed learners/students. They learned much of what they applied through owning books and other material which they replied upon to get them through the valleys ( loss, setbacks, hurdles, obstacles ) , as well as the peaks ( advancements, discovery, new visions, victories ).

I’d contend that you’d be an early adopter if you see clearly how valuable a leadership education is when compared to the more ingrained & ‘traditional’ model. The innovators ( such as this man or him ) already have carved out new territory and staked ground on which many others can tread.

Let’s use the above example to cap off this post.

Suggestion for all who read this? Please take what you’ve learned & as ‘homework’, apply the wording to other areas ( whether I listed them above, or its something else all together )

Thank you, as always, for reading this blog & be exceptional in all you do!

Sep 212014
 

Just yesterday, was privileged to be in attendance at an event where a dynamic talk was given by Dr. Tim Johnson. Mr. Johnson, in Dale Carnegie’s immortal words, “threw down a challenge” to all of us in attendance and helped us all define victory in a new and helpful way.

Victory is not: winning at all costs; stepping on someone to get what you want and declaring yourself the winner; doing something unethical or lacking a moral compass (‘north star’)

What is V.i.c.t.o.r.y ? Defined properly below – comments afterwards are mine.

V = Volunteering ( serve others, give w/o expectation of getting )

I = Inclusion ( include everyone who wants to be part of a solution – think tribally )

C = Communications ( ‘how’ and using ‘what’ methods )

T = Time; talent, treasure ( it takes time to be victorious, and it leads to the right kind of treasure using talents one has inside )

O = Organized ( self explanatory )

R = Respect & Responsibility ( how crucial these two are! )

Y = You ( add “, Inc.” to the end. You must be the personal example to others in order to lead them. Leadership is influence )

Create a great week ahead!

Sep 142014
 

“The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”

– Gen. Robert E. Lee

Sep 142014
 

“The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”

– Gen. Robert E. Lee

Aug 102014
 
Pursuit, Aiming, & Targeting

From the sharp mind of one Viktor Frankl comes this powerful message; it will transcend the ages, as most wisdom and principle based thinking does.

Don’t aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.  Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run — in the long run, I say! — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.

Wow.

How would you unpack this quote?   As always on this blog, insight, feedback, and comments are most welcome.

Apply what you read, learn, or hear.

And watch the magic of transformation from Levels 2 & 3 to Level 4 happen!

Jul 072014
 
Win:Win Networking = Covey's Habit 4

Win:Win.

A crucial input to any business relationship/transaction – community/clientele/friend to friend/within a family – whichever, or all of the above.

How does it apply to networking?

Here’s a simple sketch – if any questions from those who read this blog, please feel free to ask, and would be glad to go into more depth.

High level: Be sure you are mentally prepared to expect to give and give before you anticipate/expect a return. However, once you do receive, you’ve cemented a long lasting business connection which won’t be based on a mere transaction, but on deeper bonds of trust, service, and selflessness.

Mid level: Get out there into the public and expand your network. Your network is not simply there for you; not even close! It is there to share with others in your network whom may need a product, service, or just a friend. Think ‘Level 4’ ( Interdependence ) and eschew/abandon ‘Level 3’ ( Independent ) and Level 2 ( ‘Dependent’ ) – you’ll find that the ‘air’ in this sphere of building and bonding is far longer lasting than when you look at someone as simply a transaction, or a sale as a utility.

Finally, at the lower level ( this is mostly geared for where I live geographically – please study ( go well beyond merely “googling” ) the groups in your area to see what’s available for you)

Options where there will be a LOT of people, and connecting for win:win will be more challenging, however, definitely possible:

* CBus Business First (Breakfasts/6-8x/year, Friday mornings)

* Big Fish Networking ( periodic events, mostly evenings, and also certain mornings )

Add’t options which are in smaller settings which are free form and not structured :

** DelawareO ( every 3rd Wednesday evening , location varies )

** COBB ( every third Weds. morning )

Micro options – very small groups which can range from just 2-3, to upwards of a dozen or two. Very informal, and free form like the above

** Meetup.Com ( many many different options – can either be an organizer, or just someone who attends )

Structured Options – These are pay to join and usually have some structure/scripting and a very firm time frame for meeting starts/ends.

** BNI ( Dr. Misner, founded 1985 -groups all over the country)

( there are also several others in this same space – Goldstar, AmSpirit, & Synergy National )

** Six Degrees Networking

** TORN

____

With all of these, be sure to take the principles of win:win, as taught by Covey 20 odd years ago, bring Level 4 thinking ( Tribal Leadership ) and understand the crucial value of tribes and community building ( Godin & Block, respectively ). If you have the right mindset, you will meet so many new friends and grow your business all at the same time!

All best, always. Thank you for reading.

Jun 192014
 
The confluence of social capital, servant & replicative leadership, and systems.

Social Capital.

Servant leadership ( upside down pyramid being the most apt visual )

Replicative leadership ( Level 4 )

Systems thinking ( a la, Senge, Kiyosaki, Gerber, Woodward, Brady, & others less well known. )

They do intersect, and confluence exists in a metaphorical “river” – this spark that connected them together for me came while reading a page in a remarkable book by H.W. Crocker III.

The author is summing up the Battle of Chancellorsville, talking about Robert E. Lee & Stonewall Jackson and the aftermath of the tragedy which prematurely took the latter General’s life in a ‘friendly fire’ incident on the battlefield.

The quote is powerful :

“People matter, individuals matter; no system, however well-oiled, and no leader, however omnicompetent, can afford to ignore the importance of personnel and having the right people in the right posts.”

So so true. Major league level truth in a matter of a short paragraph!

Mr. Crocker then quotes General Lee …

(speaking to one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s chaplains) “He [ Jackson ] has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.”

To Lee, Jackson was far more than a subordinate officer. He was supremely trusted to handle the fires of war and the enormous task of leading a tired, under nourished, out-manned & gunned, and strongly individualistic group of men. Clearly, he was the right man in the right post; so to borrow a portion of the quote, “people matter, individuals matter …”

What came to be after this decisive Confederate victory quite likely would have been different if Stonewall Jackson, the “great and good” leader in his own right, had lived. Lee had replicated his impeccable leadership traits, skills, and courage in those within his inner circle – he was by definition, a mentor, a teacher, and a Level 4 leader. Yet, while the system in place within the South’s military was pulling victories from the jaws of defeat and causing President Lincoln much angst and soul searching, the system could not by itself replace Jackson. The personnel mattered too much, empowered as they were to take action and lead from the front.

Think about this. Live it out. Build strong social capital -those wide & deep relationships which are cultivated like that of the farmer in his field. Be the example. Live for those whom you serve. Align your personnel to their strengths, and build an iron clad inner circle. Yet, never lose sight of how valuable one person can be to the whole.

Jun 152014
 
(Father's Day edition) - 'Courageous' - 2014 Rascal's Guide to + Movies Series - Two

Just in time for Father’s Day …

… it’s my privilege to post a review, and a very strong recommendation, to watch the movie ‘Courageous‘.

Courageous is a terrific movie filled to the brim with truths in it’s moving, insightful, & heartfelt script. It will tug at your metaphysical heartstrings, and make you really reconsider if you are doing all you can as a man in serving your family.

It is very much the case that not all males are men; a man is created from the crucible of living for far more than a paycheck. He is molded by his culture/society, his local community, his friends, his pastor/spiritual leader, and his family unit. Some men run from their multi-pronged duties, some blame shift, some never mature … and then, there are some that fight back the ‘FLD’ (Five Laws of Decline), and serve their families with honour, with courage, with character, and with a determination to never quit on them.

This latter group is what we see emerge as the movie eventually reaches its plateaus of raw emotion & decision point(s). Without spoilers, the four lead characters each have to come face to face with situations which test their faith (or lack thereof), and put them square in the middle of a moral battlefield. Will each of them make the right decision(s)? Will they buckle under pressure? Will they put the lure of lesser things ahead of the greatness and glory of God?

This movie earns an A+ from this reviewer for multiple reasons – it rings like a tuning fork in the quiet room, for starters. It also is very real; we know these characters don’t exist in real life, yet you can surely see them in the faces & voices of your neighbors. Additionally, the movie doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult issues that may be considered “off limits” by those who don’t understand that one should have thick skin & a soft heart, rather than the reverse.

Who would’ve thought that an independent studio could cobble together the funds to put out such a quality film, one may ask? These folks in Georgia did. This movie doesn’t cut corners and it shows in the high level of acting skill, scenery, and quality of script-writing.

As we celebrate Father’s Day in our land, this is the best way I could show support for all the men in my life who are fathers (and for those who read this blog whom I don’t know!): put up a review of a movie which is a must-see (and must own) to sharpen their saw ( Habit 7 ) and use this movie as a sterling example of what a father should be.

All best!

Apr 072014
 

Affirmers are a rare breed, yet men & women who fit into this blessed group are those who cheerlead, encourage, smile, & generally add value to our dark world. Candles are the beacon of light that we all can follow into the darkness …

Evaluation has its purposes, albeit it limited. When you evaluate, you often are doing more of the talking, far more assuming, & your heart is, as we learned from the Grinch, far too small …

From a book which will be reviewed in more detail on my other blog, I gladly share some of the wonderful nuggets of wisdom, truth, brightness, & joy that came from it.

“Real affirmers are always searching for ways to improve their hearing. Evaluators are always talking.”

“Being a true balcony person and a dedicated affirmer is vastly different. Balcony people listen and then, instead of tearing down others, they build them up.”

“We will only bring wholeness when we approach evaluating from the balcony position.”

“Once we come face to face with our own imperfections, our own limitations, and our own humanity, we have little room to talk about someone else’s.”

“In evaluators, the listening mindset is generally fixed at 100 percent something.”

“Affirmers, balcony people who love and listen from the heart, do so with much Spandex; and consequently, they hear between the words.”

“The best man in the world is the man who helps himself, and the only way to help one’s self is to help others.”

“Your care for others is the measure of your greatness.”

Wow. Sharing information can and always has much potential to be life changing. Think all of the above through, and through again, and see what impact is has in your upcoming dealings with others who cross your life’s pathways.

God Bless.