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!

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.

Mar 282014
 
Praise - human relations skill box - Praise

Praise is powerful food for the human soul.

Why don’t we capture the vibrancy of this truth in our dealings with others far more often?

Consider these words from Mr. Charles Fillmore:

Words of praise, gratitude, or thanksgiving expand, set free, and in every way radiate energy … You can praise a weak body into strength, a fearful heart into peace and trust; shattered nerves into poise and power; a failing business into prosperity and success; want and insufficiency into support and support.

Wow. Tell me that doesn’t hit home with you!  Then again, perhaps it doesn’t … yet. Why could that be?  Our common culture disconnects our heart and soul from our mind and actions, let alone dampens our spirit and desire to be more than average.

Fillmore went on to say:

The whole of creation responds to praise and is glad. Animal trainers pet and reward their charges with delicacies for acts of obedience; children glow with joy and gladness when they are praised. Even vegetation grows better for those who love it.

Two books that stand out on this theme that I highly recommend reading and applying their truth nuggets are here and here.

Make it a great day, evening, or week, wherever you happen to be reading this post. Thank you for investing time in doing so & God Bless.

Feb 162014
 
Leadership. Posterity. History. Education. Civilization.

These topics are all interrelated. This kind of thinking is what one learns, over time, as part of a liber education.  Here are some timeless nuggets of wisdom from some well known men & women that encompass all of the above.

From Edmund Burke’s ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France‘ …

People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.

 

Found in Cicero’s ‘Ad M. Brutum‘ …

Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever.

 

Will & Ariel Durant’s, ‘The Story of Civilization‘ included this ( sadly, true, at least until one pursues learning whether at the same time, after, or to replace schooling ) …

History is an excellent teacher with few pupils.

 

And, to sum up with a flourish, in ‘The Lessons of History,’ again from the Durants …

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted … civilization would die, and we should be savages again.

Jun 092013
 
Three Keys - will you learn from & apply them?

Just today, I had the privilege to be able to attend a book signing event at which numerous inspirational and encouraging messages were shared which served to add doses of wisdom,  education, and humility to the proceedings.

Encouragement can often take the form of truths that one may not want to hear, yet it is often the truth that one doesn’t hear that can make the difference between everlasting personal change & growth and mediocrity. Mentorship, being the highest level of service to another, puts the student (mentee) in a position of required understanding of a quote that’s been attributed to Sir Issac Newton:

What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.

So, what are some keys that are life changing truths, if understood, learned from, and applied?

There are many. No question this topic could comprise a book all by itself, let alone a thesis, or a dissertation in the credentialist world. In the creator/builder world, these keys equally apply, and in fact, hold more water as someone who owns something has more stake in growing personally in order to satisfy the demands of the free enterprise economy that he/she lives.

For the purposes of this post, thought, the subject is on point; there are 3:  The one message I heard tonight rang like a tuning fork as it applies so very well to life, to the success / significance that many would like to achieve, let alone to a leadership/coaching/education business designed around the purpose of serving others, and serving them to the utmost levels. A visiting pastor from Detroit * delivered this message and these cores are:

<1> Take 100% Responsibility for yourself

The opposite?  Making excuses, whining, complaining, pushing issues into the hands of others.

Rather, if you change your belief, your belief system can itself be completely changed. Additionally, you can achieve your dreams by putting the responsibility in your hands, and not looking outward, but rather inward, for owning your own life.

<2> Live your life on Purpose

Discover, and be doing it!  You have the responsibility to do the job right, as you have more control over your life than anyone else possibly could. The great achievers have vision and purpose, and the extraordinary have strategies to use both. Never allow your dreams to die — wrap them around your purpose.

<3> Go the EXTRA mile

Render more services than for which you are paid. Until you begin to give, you won’t get; God profits the doer, and believing in expending effort and hard work while being completely responsible and focused on one’s purpose all work in concert as keys to a growth journey.

We cannot ‘pretend’ a lot, or at all, since it effects our future directly. Be cognizant of Newton’s quote, be anchored to your vision, and be faithful. The results will astound you!

———

* With much appreciation to Pastor A.F. Adeniji for inspiring this post —

http://www.rccgwcd.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36&Itemid=70

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

 

********
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.
Jan 252013
 
Leadership = Influence

There’s nothing ground-breaking nor earth shattering about this blog post’s core theme.

Yet, I was duly inspired to share this post after coming across in my reading the below quote by Bernard Montgomery &, secondly, a corollary quote from D.E. Hoste :

 

The degree of influence will depend on the personality, theincandescenceof which the leader is capable, the flame which burns within, the magnetism which will draw the hearts of others toward him.”

 

It occurs to me that perhaps the best test of whether one is qualified to lead is to find out whether anyone is following.”

 

For the latter, we’ve heard the world’s top leadership expert, John C. Maxwell talk, write, and teach on it, however, combining these two together, is rather insightful, is it not?

Following someone requires the person to have a spark – a light that beckons you to want to take that step, or steps, to put your trust in his/her hands. Trust is not something to be taken lightly; its component parts are character & competence.

When you are reading, listening, and associating, please keep this in mind; let’s not be distracted by references to leadership from those who haven’t lit our pilot lights, nor have offered themselves by putting their interests at the bottom of the pile. Service before self, after all, is a moral imperative.

Aug 052012
 

It is necessary always to give a great deal of thought to liberty. There is no substitute for it. Nothing is quite so effective. Unless it be preserved, there is little else that is worthwhile … the protection of rights is righteous.

– President Calvin Coolidge

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://t.co/8KyHVNei   <———–  my recently posted review/recommendation of an EXCELLENT book * that discussed liberty, freedom, & how valuable it truly is.

( * you can order this book here:  http://servicebeforeselfleadership  —  and search under either ‘DeMille’ , ‘Freedom’ , or ‘1913’  )

Blessings to all & thank you for reading!