Nov 182013
 
Knowing your 'Why' = mission = legacy

Why

Missions

Legacy

 

Connecting the dots between such important topics is the hallmark and core of synergistic thinking. Covey spoke about this in the early ’90s via Habit 6, and there are other authors, thinkers, and speakers who also clearly understand the value of this kind of approach to analysis. Names which come to mind: Buckminster Fuller, Peter Senge, Oliver DeMille, & Stephen Palmer.

Additionally, being in the midst of a new ‘great conversation’ adds even more impetus; it’s challenging to resolve deep seated problems while approaching them in ‘silos’.

Being about halfway into the fantastic book, ‘Start With Why‘ , and having heard an audio track of a talk by Mr. DeMille re: uncovering one’s inner genius through the tools (technology) of defining mission(s), led me to better frame the capstone resolution 13 from a world class book which I read in late 2011, ‘Resolved’.  This resolution simply calls for the reader to focus on leaving a legacy.

In a previous post, I delved further into a review of that particular talk by Mr. DeMille; this post ties it together with Mr. Sinek & Mr. Woodwards’ books. Notice how all of these overlap?  Ah, it’s that synergy word!

I challenge the reader and those who blog (if you happen to be both of these, even better!), to think about missions, what his/her ‘why’ truly is, and how defining a legacy, regardless of one’s age, is so very important. Traditional, conventional wisdom encourages day to day, week to week, and at best, quarterly thinking. Reframing this way, will expand the mindset and move you out of your familiar zone

‘What’ you’re doing, and ‘how’ you’re doing it both remain important, however, the ‘why’ makes all the difference.

Knowing what legacy you plan to leave to your friends, family, local community, church/charity, & nation will serve as a major anchor to connect your bow line to, as you move towards realizing your vision and fulfilling your life’s purpose.

Lastly, having a mission(s) gives one something to chase well behind mere money. Passion should precede income at all times. And, there are so many fundamental challenges being discussed in the ‘great conversation’ which can be framed by defining a foundational mission and putting a solutions mindset to work.

It’s been said that leadership is the highest paying profession. All of these are inputs into true leadership – will you rise to the challenge?

Oct 282013
 
Habits, Traits, & Principles of the Successful

Successful people are not lucky.

They simply follow a different ‘guidebook’ of habits, traits, and principles which Mr. & Mrs. Average do not either choose to or know about. Chances are, they are living far too much of their lives awash in the conventional wisdom, advertising/PR, and/or mass media entertainment sources to have dug far enough below the surface to hit the gold veins that would transform their lives from the inside-out.

However, let it be said that its never too late to grow into these!  I’m living proof, as it took me several decades post graduation from traditional schooling to have struck the gold. And, now that I have, the veins continue to appear: all over the place!  There is no shortage of world class information to make these veins produce additional gold; in fact, there’s so much that quite some time ago, I made it a large part of my life’s purpose to spread & share what I’ve learned with as many humble, honeable, & hungry people that I am able to build relationships with.

And, with the above mission in mind, here are ten to study, learn from, and live each & every day:

[1]  Have a Focus & a Purpose in Life.

+ Focus like a laser, and not like a flashlight.

+ Know your “Why” – this is imperative!

+ Define your purpose. Mr. Orrin Woodward thought so much of this, he used it as foundational Resolution 1 in his landmark book, ‘Resolved’  (!)

+ Keep in mind that purpose, legacy, and destiny are Level 3/highest of the high/ motivators. Once you find yours, your life will feel far more complete and fulfilling.

[2]  Always strive for Excellence

+ Self explanatory, yes?   However, one would be surprised, mildly, or perhaps more so, to find how many aren’t. Mediocrity and same-ness are prevalent in mainstream culture. “Home to work”, “home to work” …  is the mentality. And, when not working, you may find these same folks who are not living up to their potential holding their favorite sports teams to a super high standard.

+ Be the example. You’re the project. Not someone else – unless you are living intentionally for excellence in all areas of your life, you cannot in good stead point out others’ perceived imperfections or attempt to correct them.

+ Rise above the crowd. The crowd has fallen prey to a little known (yet becoming more clear) factor called ‘Sturgeon’s Law’ –  One has to read NYT Best Seller, ‘LeaderShift’ to be educated in depth on this law, however, in short form, it means that the crowd, defined as the 90%, will be average at best.

[3]  Always leave people better off than before you met them.

+ Every interaction you have with someone else can be scoreboard’ed on a scale of 1-5. Keep yours at 4 or 5 always.

+ Study books like ‘The Great Connection’, ‘Personality Plus’, ‘The Five Love Languages’, & ‘Positive Personality Profiles’

+ Be an encourager & a cheerleader. The world has too many discouragers, cynics, unhealthy skeptics, & correctors.

[4]  Take Responsibility

+ Look in the mirror. You are always the final responsible party. If you have/own a ‘victim card’, toss it in the trash, never to be played again.

+ Sometimes, taking responsibility means you accept fault when something is out of your control. However, leadership entails such high levels of ownership of situations, people/followers, and the resulting circumstances.

[5]  Always take on new challenges.

+ Living in one’s familiar zone won’t result in the success that is earned by those who are in the pool and moving against the current. The current will be given new life by those who stretch and grow in all areas. A challenge is an open opportunity; don’t pull down a shade over it.

+ The mindset of a winner and a climber is that of someone who takes things on with ambition and determination. Create the new reality by tapping into your vision. Overcome the goliaths and achieve the private/personal, public, and leadership victories that are yours for the taking.

[6]  Produce, regardless of the situation you’re in

+ Excuses are useless. Don’t ever make them. Find reasons to produce something remarkable.

+ Never whine. Never complain. Never make excuses.  Wooden’s set of three’s is just as applicable today, a few years after his passing at age 99, as it was when he was growing up.

[7]  Have a strong work ethic

+ You’re entitled to nothing except life, liberty (freedom), and the pursuit of happiness. Natural laws, as so brilliantly espoused by Patrick Henry in his 7 Resolves { 1765 } , are the governing ‘rules of the road’ for true leaders.

+ Laws that encourage anything remotely resembling entitlement are those which successful people repel. Earn your stripes by what you do to make yourself better, and then, thereafter, to go out and serve others.

[8]  Invest in yourself.

+ The monies one earns should be paid to ‘You, Inc.” first ahead of anything else. No one can take away wisdom, knowledge, and learned truth(s) from you unlike they can a house, a car, electronics, or sports gear.

+ The poor have big TV’s; the wealthy have big libraries. A generalization? Sure. Are there exceptions? Sure. However, for the clear majority of cases, this holds true. Study spending & investment trends to find out.

[9]  Persevere.

+ Jack Canfield & Colonel Sanders come to mind – both were extremely successful. Yet, each man found rejection after rejection until someone said ‘yes’

+ Adversity quotient is incredibly valuable; in the aforementioned book, ‘Resolved’, it ranks as number 12. What is your IQ x EQ x WQ = AQ ?

+ Failure is simply an event, and not an individual. Failure is a huge part of success. Be sure you know how to reframe & how to learn from each setback.

[10]  Ability to prioritize.

+ Stephen R. Covey taught this crucial success principle the best in his Habit 3.

+ Have you drawn out your entire life and segmented into ‘priorities’, ‘obligations’, and ‘urgencies’?   Or, at least, done this by the day, week, month, quarter, or year?

+ Priorities should align with your mission(s), purpose, and your dreams. They will get you from “A” to “B” fastest of all, while your obligations and the urgencies will act as anchors.

___________________________________________________

Hope this post, like all others, has added value to you. Comment if you’ve been especially impacted – always welcome feedback at all times.

And … a huge & heartfelt …

… Thank you to Mr. Alex Nickerson for inspiring this content!  Having met him once in person & seen him another time, his credibility in putting forth this kind of content is clearly reflected in the successes he has realized thus far in his life.

Sep 162013
 
Trail riders

Educate the ignorant.

Spread prosperity.

Heal families.

Promote freedom.

What do these have in common?  They are all defined missions. And, I’ve been blessed to have begun to build the rest of my years around each of them – additionally, they are purpose driven ways to lead and live a significant life.

A ‘trail rider’ can be defined as one who may sometimes have to follow, as Frost taught us, the ‘road less traveled’. He (she) may have to invest time and sacrifice some events in the here and now for far greater reward later.  Another definition is that of a leader who is willing to serve, and serve, and serve …. and to help with shifting the dialogue from that of a problems to a solutions based mindset.

Yet, with the state of Western civilization, North America, and the U.S. itself in decline, there’s no doubt whatsoever that more trail riders are very much in demand so the supply will increase to meet the deep challenges that face us. It won’t be the politicians of either the red, blue, or any other color/shade that will meet these head on: it will be the regular citizenry that joins the ranks of the trail riders.

How can someone make this crucial decision and have it not be a ‘try’?  There are some hurdles to jump over, however, with the stakes as high as they are, these are worth far more than their weight in gold when weighed on a scale against the alternative. What is the alternative? A nation, let alone a continent, or numerous countries across the globe, that is/are far less free, or entirely un-free. [ * By the by,  this entire post is inspired from a live talk (and a subsequent audio recording of it) by freedom, Constitution, and leadership education expert, Oliver DeMille. ]

The hurdles – what are they?  Each of them simply require a shift of priorities. Everyone has plenty of time to focus on these, however, it will be a far smaller percentage who do each. Let’s review them on a high level, and at some point in the future, there’ll be a new blog post or two to revisit this critical topic.

First / 1st /  A

Spread Entrepreneurship

THE most important.

Mr. DeMille has studied historical cycles going all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, and in the peak civilizations from early antiquity to the present information/connected age, many citizens were owners; they were building assets, and did not depend on a third party for their livelihood.

And, think about it: Why depend on a single stream of revenue (income) in such a turbulent time as the present?

Second / 2nd / B

Read like the American Founders

Also very very important.

The Founders were highly educated ( not trained, not schooled; educated. ) — they were far from perfect men, and their signature document, The Constitution, had about 3-4 loopholes, however, one thing that cannot be disputed by even their most vocarious critics? How much they read. They were well studied in the great conversation:  ideas in all genres, from history, economics, science, faith/The Bible, literature, and far more.

is 2013 a far different era than 1764-1789?  Of course. However, listen to Mr. DeMille’s amazing recording ‘The Four Lost American Ideals” to put the rest that citizens from today can ( and will ) make the difference.

Third / 3rd / C

Know the fine print – from laws, bills/legislation, court cases, budgets, treaties.

Very valuable — lest you ‘outsource’ your gov’t to faux experts who do this for you, and NOT in your best interests.

The founding generations treated their youth far different – they held them to high standards which created succeeding generations that were prepared for citizen leadership from a very early age. In the book, ‘LeaderShift’, page 110, read of Samuel Williams from 1794, and compare it to the stories in the mass media and culture of 2013.  What a difference, and not for the better.

Also, keep in mind that budgets are not just for ‘green eyeshaders’ – they are moral documents, since the currency we spend on our government’s every agency/dept/program should reflect what we, the people, deem to be valuable. If we let those aforementioned ‘faux’ experts determine what’s right, what’s valuable, et al., are we not abdicating our solemn responsibility as a citizen?

Mr. DeMille summed up his walk throughout history by documenting which of the above 3 fall first, as freedom retreats from a society, and the number of trail riders doesn’t grow.  Which one?  Fine print. Then, being a voracious reader, then lastly, entrepreneurship and the values & principles that go along with it.

We can’t let that happen. Putting service before self can be summed up in many different ways, one of which is to promote freedom; another is to educate the ignorant on topics like this ( think: were you taught this in any of your years of schooling? ); still another is to heal families by offering them the education and the tools of financial fitness which show them that having multiple streams of income, esp. those from owning something, can regenerate family life. And, each of the above will lead to sustained prosperity when each organically grow and encompass more households.

Will you accept this challenge?

I have. It’s been one of the very best decisions I’ve ever made & I look forward to helping write the story of how this ends with the pen in my hand. Freedom needs trail riders, just as fish need water. Thank you for reading, and as always, comments are welcomed.  Best of the best!

Sep 082013
 
Education v. Training -- many differences

As it becomes clearer & clearer how much of a difference there is between schooling and education, this particular page and a half in the most recent book that I’m reading (‘On Becoming a Leader’) really stood out to me, and will form the core of this evening’s post.

This conclusion is nothing original, as Twain, Einstein, and others have spoken of it in past  ages, and in the present day, more are making the seminal choice to focus more on education in lieu of schooling. This is a crucial choice, in my view, as what has been described so often as a ‘recession’ (in some cases with the word ‘Great’ added to amplify) wasn’t one — the past 4-6 years have been another of several waves that have been washing away the remnants of the agricultural, industrial, and corporate industrial ages, which is being replaced by the digital/internet/tribal/information age.

Therefore, this is a paradigm change, a ‘tectonic plate’ shift which is completely taking our economy in directions which, if you’re not prepared for them, will make life more challenging. The challenge, though, can be overcome and mastered by focusing on changing the information and the thinking on the front edges; once you work on your honeability, hunger, and humility, you are well on your way to flipping the switch from being reactive to this shift to being proactive.

Mr. Bennis did a terrific job with laying out the differences between education and what he  refers to as training, and which I’d contend is equivalent to schooling, as it is not a revelation that the past 3 eras of schooling tends to be heavily focused on career/vocation/job training in lieu of education. With all credit to him (see pages 42-43), here’s his table with my comments added in >

 

Education

Inductive, tentative, dynamic, understanding, ideas, broad, deep, experiential, active, questions, process, strategy, alternatives, exploration, discovery, active, initiative, whole brain, life, long-term, change, content, flexible, risk, synthesis, open, & imagination.

Training ( *what I’ve made = to schooling as a synonym for this post )

Deductive, firm, static, memorizing, facts, narrow, surface, rote, passive, answers, content, tactics, goal, prediction, dogma, reactive, direction, left brain, job, short-term, stability, form, rigid, rules, thesis, closed, common sense.

 

Bennis caps off his table with these words: “If the list [under education] seems strange to you, it’s because that isn’t the way we are usually taught. Our educational system is really better at training than educating. And that’s unfortunate.”

How true this is. I’d only swap out the word ‘educational’ for ‘schooling’. I, like many, many others have come to realize this when reflecting back, especially after beginning self-directed/liber education.  There’s a reason why past generations were more prepared for the previous shifts that took hold in America and elsewhere in the West:  They were well educated instead of being trained.

Another way ( see previous posts ) that this can be summed up is to look at it through the lens of the Latin language; ‘sensus solum’ would be equal to the latter, and ‘sensus plenior’ to the former. When you are focused on memorizing facts, rote learning, with rules and directions taking the place of ideas ( the “great conversation” ), learning to discover, synthesizing multiple genres at the same time, and retaining imagination and creativity to bring out inner genius, you turn out people into the world who are often unprepared for the shifts that come to the macro economy.

This is NOT an unsolvable problem. It is a challenge that I’ve embraced by walking the pathway I’ve chosen, and which I am privileged to share with others through the vehicle of being an owner with a business wrapped around Resolution 13 missions & Resolution 1 purpose.

May your days this week be filled with exploration, questions which lead you to look up answers in your library of books, and deep, metaphorical thinking which brings a hop to your step.  All the best, always!

Jul 242013
 
The Three Most Important Q's you will ever ask yourself

Who am I?

+ Do you know what drives your economic engine?  Your faith/spiritual walk?  Do you embrace liberty & know the meanings of freedom?  Do you have a family that means the world to you?  What is your WHY? +

Where did I come from?

+ What are your roots & even more to the point, do you know WHY you believe WHAT you believe?  Be an independent thinker at all times; let no media, PR/advertising, or other outside influence sway you without heart, spirit, and mind being engaged through your own research. +

Where am I going?

+ Do you see your future clearly, whether over present day obstacles/challenges, or clear as the blue sky above?  Do you have a 1,3,5, 10 year vision?  Is your subconscious mind pulling your conscious mind along for the ride to your dreams?  Do not plan more for your wedding, vacation, or your ‘weekend’ more so than your life. The latter is far too important to drift through w/o focus, hard/smart work, & chasing something far bigger than your present reality. +

 

Jun 072013
 
Mission --> Submission --> Co-Mission --> Transmission

Mission.

Comission.

Submission.

Transmission.

What do these words signify for those who are pursuing, studying, or are already (servant) leaders(hip)?  They are core themes, and are much like a step-ladder on the way up from the ground floor to being truly significant. We are well past survival ( which 85-95% of the population, regrettably is doing at most/best. ) and beyond success at this point — you, yes you, are pursuing truly making a ‘dent in the universe’, like Steve Jobs talked about before his untimely passing.

Let’s start with mission. The ground floor of a 5-10%’er, so to speak. This is deep, the petri dish where genius is born, and where potential is developed. The benefit of having your mission detected ( a term coined by Viktor Frankl, when discussing mission’s cousin, purpose ) is that you are able to lasso your true potential, bless others’ lives without expectation of return, and to truly benefit society.

Here’s a list of missions – with metaphorical thought, you may be able to come up with others beyond the below:

Feed the hungry.

Clothe the naked.

Liberate the captives.

Educate the ignorant.

Spread beauty.

Heal the sick.

Spread prosperity.

Restore families.

For me, I have two: spread(ing) prosperity & educat(ing) the ignorant. What is/are yours?

From here, we go deeper — level/stage two —  submission.  Don’t mis-interpret the definition or the context; this is a healthy and effective type – it is a mark of a truly successful person striving for significance who submits to a mentor: his/her thinking, taking direction, and realizing that there is a whole lot that you don’t know.

A great mission is worth submitting to; you are developing your genius, which is inborn within you, and oft-times lies fallow due to a lack of a vehicle, or the best quality information, to bring it to fruition.

A simple question to help shape:  Who is it for?

How about taking another step up that all-important creator/builder ladder?  Stage/Phase three is comission. Mission detected; check; submission to mentorship and more; check.

Co-mission includes two cores: omission & tribes/community.

First, face up to things, events, and persons that are blocking you from the first two phases, and stopping you from moving into a 5-10% leadershift mindset. Begin to omit these from your day to day life.

Second, you’re ready to travel the roads and carve a pathway as you polish your genius, much like a diamond. Is it not far, far better to be positively associating with those who have also detected their mission and submitted? Working together in a tribe and pulling together under the banner of something like ‘restor(ing) families’ = profound and powerful, is it not?  As a sidebar, recall that Jim Collins discussed a similar concept in ‘Good to Great‘ when he explained the ‘putting the right people on the bus’ mantra. Community is a skeleton key to so much great in our ever changing internet age!

We’ve now reached the final stage: The ladder has been scaled & you’ve learned so much on this Resolution 13-themed journey!  This is now moving into transmission. How do you take a stand between where the world is, and where you want the world to/should it be?  Ah, the power of service is so very strong!

At this point, you have turbo-driven your genius; you’ve empowered it in the direction of making a difference all the while being humble. After all, turning your mission loose on the world could lead to a big ego, and other maladies of (non) leadership without the proper grounding. Leadership can be defined in the context of this final phase as changing the world regardless of whom gets the credit.

How do you transmit the most effectively? You channel all your work, efforts, successes, strengths, challenges, fun, passion, connections/relationships, and failures/mistakes. With ”force of will“, you have charged your own motor and go out to impact the world positively. As you achieve this, please don’t forget to act like a window and hand out the credit to your community, and give the glory to God. You are just here for a whisper of time, and maximizing that time on this journey will make your life so fulfilling.

Are you willing to explore, think independent & inter-dependently, and commit to these steps?   I hope you do, and will join me. Thank you ever so much for reading!

———————-

With every fiber of my gratitude, I extend gracious appreciation, thank you’s, and applause to Mr. Oliver DeMille, whose rapier sharp intellect, humble-ness, and service before self was beyond evident in the audio talk he gave that forms the entire backbone of this post.