Feb 152014
 
Eight Strengths 4 Success

Please think in depth today, and every day thereafter, about the correlations between these strengths and success principles; they are intertwined & inseparable.

 

Attitude

Courage

Character

Duty

Honour

Relationships

Passion

Tenacity

 

If you’re already pursuing true success (please don’t confuse this pursuit with mere money) , this correlation may seem more clear to you than to the other readers of this post. Regardless of where you are on your journey, my hope is that this made you consider your life in a different, more significant way than before you saw it.

 

Recommended readings on this topic:

Toughen Up!

Courage: The Backbone 

Resolved: Primer

Voyage of a Viking

Character Counts

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?

Aug 242013
 
Mentorship - Heroes past & present

This terrific anecdote was part of a chapter in a book that I’m reading with tremendous interest and passion —  the topic is Mentorship & how much it truly matters.

Here it is —

‘The most unlikely of nobodies comes from a small town in the middle of nowhere. Strange circumstances take him from his home and throw him into some conflict that has the future of the world hanging in the balance. Somehow, it is up to him to save us all.’

‘He meets many friends along his path, and they each have something special to teach him about himself, life, or the world. In the end, when the conflict comes to its peak, he finds that he is uniquely qualified ( because of who he is, where he comes from, and what he’s been through ) to come up with a crazy solution that will make everything right in the universe. So, with God’s help, he does.’

” … hero stories … have been among the most influential movers of society.”

Have you been a hero in someone’s narrative?

Can you cite a hero-mentor from one of the books you’ve recently read who impacted you through his/her words, long since written down, with him/her long since gone?

There is so much knowledge in our world that lies fallow in an open field, or buried under rocks, or perhaps a level or two below the waves on the surface of the water. Go after it! Be a life student, then mentor the next generation and lead them to the same transformational lessons which shaped your life.

It is a honour and a privilege to be a mentor, and I plan to accelerate my game plan and mentor many more men & women, of all ages, in parallel as I grow myself personally.

Have a fantastic day!

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.

Nov 232012
 
Monthly Movie Recommendation for Eagles & Climbers – IV

Today’s blog post is the fourth in a monthly series that I plan to post for the rest of 2012.  I hope all the readers of this blog find as much inspiration, value, & encouragement in these as I intend there to be :)

October’s ** movie recommendation from the vault for eagles ( those who soar! ) & rascals ( those climbers who strive to be part of the 5-10% riding the success curve of LIFE ) is 1982’s  ‘Rocky III‘, written by the star of the series himself, Sylvester Stallone.

As with the previous posts, my perspective with this review/recommendation is to tie the script in with the 13 resolutions for LIFE and/or the 8 cornerstone F’s, along with a short take on the movie itself. Due to the movie having been released nearly a quarter century ago, there’s nothing original to be said in the latter 😉

In this 2nd sequel to the ground-breaking original from 1976, we find Rocky at the top of his game. He has won the Heavyweight Championship from Apollo, and he and Mickey, his original and current manager, are seen in the opening montage, along with Adrian, while Rocky is on a domestic and international tour, defending the title and remaining undefeated throughout. Survivor’s iconic song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgSMxY6asoE is playing in the background 🙂

Fast forward from here to Rocky’s first in person encounter with his nemesis in this film, Clubber Lang, played by, a debuting to the big screen/celluloid star in the making, Mr. T. Clubber is clearly the guy with hunger and passion, and his purpose is clear:  He wants the title, and he will go through whatever it takes to get it. Rocky, on the flip side, is basking in the peace and affluence of being on the peak of the mountain-top.

We see what happens when there’s a clash of hunger v. satisfaction “as is” – Rocky is pounded mercilessly, and loses – badly. Along the way, as the narrative advances, Rocky is re-introduced to his former adversary/foe, Apollo Creed, and he and Apollo build a relationship and bound together as friends with aim at common goals: to regain the title and rediscover Rocky’s hunger and original passion, his courage, and raw determination. And, with this movie being as popular and long-lasting as it is, we all know the end result:  Rocky, against all the odds having been stacked up against him by the critics, cynics, and even his own subconscious mind for a time, wins, and wins going away. The final 5-10 minutes are stand up and cheer all the way!  😀

How does Rocky’s dream, struggle, and victory storyline tie in with the 8 F’s of LIFE?   Let’s look closer:

Family – Rocky & Adrian had their first child, a boy, in the first sequel a few years hence. He is now growing up, and Rocky feels a pull on himself that did not exist before:  He now has two very important cornerstones in his life that transcend boxing, and his mentoring/coaching relationship with Mickey (and later Apollo).

Faith – Rocky always says a prayer in the corner before his bouts. Like with many athletes, including much more recently, Tim Tebow, this grounds him properly before he goes off to make his living in the center of the ring.

Friends – Mickey, while a tough nosed trainer, has become a trusted friend to Rocky. Rocky grew up under his tutelage, after all. Rocky also forms a concrete bond with Apollo Creed as the film moves forward after Clubber won their title bout.

Finances – Rocky started in the original movie with very little money, and by the time of this second sequel, his success in the ring had brought him riches that seemed to have no end: endorsement deals from all corners, title bout monies from promoters worldwide, and merchandise sales from his public training! ( the latter thanks to the entrepreneurial Paulie 😉 )  However, it is clear that the money took the edge off of his hunger, determination, and willingness to be a student. This cost him far more, at least for a good chunk of the film, than what he had gained.

Fitness – The training montages from the Rocky films are legendary. This sequel did not disappoint one bit!  After Adrian reached Rocky’s soul with her admonition on the beach, it was like the ‘Italian Stallion’ was reborn!  His heart (EQ) reconnected with his mind (IQ), and the will to win returned (WQ).

Fun – Rocky knows how to have fun. The initial training at the gym before his title loss was hilarious in many ways; not to Mickey, mind you, but to the fans who came to see the champ up close.

Following – Leadership is character in motion; Rocky’s character is battle tested throughout the series, and in a special way in this sequel. Having lost his original fire in the belly (hunger), not to mention his humility, he had to rediscover them both after experiencing failure. Failure is simply an event; every leader knows this. However, until Apollo came along, let alone his wife’s from the heart (to heart) talk, Rocky identified his loss to Clubber as a failure = he as a man, and as a father/husband. His success that won him the title originally was based on failure after failure, including mistakes!

Freedom – The financial windfall after defeating Apollo in the sequel gave him plenty of freedom through wealth:  wealth is composed of time and money. However, it came at a steep price – he paid it in spades, and once he found his purpose ( the convergence of potential, passion, and profits = hedgehog concept, all credit to Jim Collins ), this type of freedom was grounded not on a foundation of mud and sand, but rather on concrete.

The 13 Resolutions apply rather neatly to the narrative as well –

Purpose has been mentioned numerous times; Rocky’s character ( integrity x courage ) was put through the furnace of struggle. His attitude needed a lot of work, and his friend and wife helped him immensely to fix it at the core. He struggled with vision, due to issues that too few of us understand:  the subconscious mind is so much more powerful than the conscious, and for Rocky, the former was in a war with the latter, and when this happens, the person almost always doesn’t get what he wants. He needed to understand the immense value of PDCA’ing, including grasping that his scoreboard/card was missing some key elements.  Along the way, he built a deep seated friendship with Apollo, and grew closer to his wife, who clearly is his friend and confidante as well as his spouse. Undoubtedly, his finances improved markedly by being a champion, however, he let the affluence get to his head & heart, which whittled away at his will to win. Leadership includes so many features, inc. the willingness to change, to have priorities in line, and to be interdependent, and practicing team-work. Along the way, Rocky learned how crucial each of these are to being a winner both in and out of the ring. He also had to learn how to be a better man, which often comes by truly grasping conflict resolution skills; triangulation, avoidance, and silence are each poor substitutes for truly getting to the heart of what’s dividing one person from another. His thinking was also lacking both before his startling defeat at the hands of Clubber Lang, but also after during the initial training with Apollo. Systems thinking shows that circular reasoning, such as knowing something needs to be different (behavior/understanding) to face a new foe (a threat, competitor, et al.) and responding defensively will simply not work. Unquestionably, we saw that Rocky’s adversity quotient was lower than one might expect from having a World Championship belt around his waist; so it took a crushing defeat, a return to basics, bonding with his wife, and a new friend to bring his equation of IQ + EQ + WQ up to the standards required to again be victorious. Last of all, Rocky’s legacy was put in serious doubt due to his response-ability after winning the belt. He didn’t realize that Mickey was accommodating his protege, which dulled his passion and iron will. Of course, this led to failure and defeat, and in some measure, took Rocky back to his roots through the eyes of Creed, his new mentor. In the end game, though, his legacy was restored to its former glory, and his fans went wild after he took Clubber and pounded him into the mat 🙂

While some see this movie as simply a sports flick, there is so much more below the surface. As usual, a sensus plenior / metaphorical perspective produces so much more lessons than a sensus solum / surface level one.  Thank you so very much for reading, and as always, shares & comments are most especially welcomed.  Namaste!  🙂

Jul 252012
 

Today’s blog post is the first in a monthly series that I plan to post for the rest of 2012.  I hope all the readers of this blog find as much inspiration, value, & encouragement in these as I plan there to be 🙂

July’s movie recommendation from the vault for eagles ( eagles soar = leaders ) & rascals ( those climbers who strive to be part of the 5-10% riding the success curve of LIFE ) is 2006’s 6th & final movie in the series which in the mid ’70s, ‘Rocky Balboa

There are many other detailed reviews of this inspirational, heart warming, & edifying movie out there online, so my review is limited in scope to discussing how Stallone’s script ties in with growing personally, proactive change, service to others, dreaming big, and turning rejection into energy (fuel from critics & skeptics).

Stallone’s Rocky is in his mid to late 50’s, with the movie set 15+ years after ‘Rocky V‘ & 20+ years after ‘Rocky IV‘ –  it seems clear that there was expectation that Balboa would ever again fight in the ring, show raw courage & determination, or chase down any more dreams.  However, in a chance encounter with a lady, Marie, whom he hadn’t seen since they were kids, her son (Steps), and through his restaurant’s community, his life would end up taking an unexpected turn towards being a leader once again.

While at the restaurant, Paulie, his brother-in-law, came in one night & said that he wanted to watch a “cartoon” fight before going into his job for the night. Turns out, this fight was between Mason ‘the Line’ Dixon, current heavyweight champion, and a younger version of Rocky from his championship prime when Mickey was still alive/his manager. Rocky wins the simulated fight!

This leads to a real fight, a “glorified sparring session/exhibition”, eventually being scheduled in Las Vegas. Before he agreed to do so, his passionate speech to the PA State Athletic Commission + a talk with Marie, convinced him that it was his passion rekindled & his legacy reborn, to get back in the ring one final time.

What does this movie teach us about positive/self growth, personal development, dreaming, & servant leadership?  Plenty!   Let us count the ways …

 

1. Positive change begins with your own personal example. Rocky modeled this to his son, who had gotten ‘lost’ in the mass media/consumerist world of living for the weekend and not for something greater than oneself.

2. Self growth and personal development do not move in direct proportion to age. As Marie said in a memorable line, ‘The last thing to age on somebody is their heart.’ –  if you change your thinking, you can change your life.

3.  Dreaming big is crucially important and has priceless value regardless of your age, gender, economic background/history, geography, or any other measure.

4. The ‘American way’ and the ‘American dream’ are completely divergent paths. Rocky’s son, Robert, was on the former, and Rocky, having re-discovered his passion, began to again live the latter, as he had in his past.

5. Servant leadership is putting others ahead of yourself, excellence before ego, & service before self. Rocky served his son by challenging him head on with that gold medal talk in the street; he served Marie’s son, Steps, by becoming his mentor; he served Marie by offering her a better life through his job offer to come work for him; he served his customers/community in his restaurant; and, he served Spider by giving back to him years & years after their fight by offering him food and shelter.

In short, without spoiling this excellent movie by saying any more about the plot, script details, or its well rounded characters, I post this blog in the hopes that this movie’s sterling example will inspire even one person in the blogosphere to watch/re-watch it, and be inspired to step out, detect their purpose/passion, build a legacy that outlives him/her, and dreams great dreams.

Blessings!