Are You a Leader?

Leaders see a vision and make it their north start.
Leaders persuade others to follow that vision.
Leaders put in the work…the hard work.
Leaders lift and serve.
Leaders inspire action.
Leaders inspire greatness.
Leaders fight the inner battles to get the external results.
Leaders play bold and big.
Leaders create deadlines and are accountable.
Leaders listen and learn.

Are you a leader? How can you be a better leader?

Races Don’t Have Ties

At the end of the day, a winner is always selected.

Whether it be a presidential candidate, a sport, or even a job opening at the office, there will never be a tie.

When ten or twenty teams play for a championship only one team wins. When dozens of job applicants are interviewed for one job position only one candidate is selected.

Sometimes you win, many times you lose. In fact, most of the time you lose.

Even if you lose, you can still win, if you choose to win.

You can see pain at a catalyst for growth. You can see setback as perspective. You can see obstacles as the raw materials for growth.

When you play to win, you grow, even when you lose.

When you set a goal to lose twenty pounds and you lose only seventeen you still win. When you start a business you may not succeed but you’ll learn, be stretched, and become stronger.

When you run a marathon, you’ll most likely not take first but you’ll still win.

Challenge yourself, think big and bold, and take risks. That’s how you’ll succeed.

Failure Isn’t Who You Are, It’s an Experience You Have

Failure Isn’t Who You Are, It’s an Experience You Have

Over a decade ago, the company I was working with was in trouble. The marketing funnel and large marketing budget that had driven successful leads to the sales team was struggling and bleeding money.

The sales team had just experienced massive turnover and in an effort to stop the death spiral, a new sales manager was hired. The new sales team that was hired by the new sales manager was inexperienced and very ineffective.

The feeling of losing ground and of collapse was in the air. You could feel the tension. It was a sickening feeling.

The ship sunk.

Sometimes things just don’t work. Sometimes our plans and dreams fall apart.

That doesn’t mean we should give up.

Failure is a part of life but it isn’t life. When you’re in the midst of failure (the pain, the hurt, the anguish, and the shame) it feels like it is all consuming, almost like your life is ending.

But it passes. Sometimes only with time.

Failure isn’t who you are, it’s an experience you have.

Failure won’t define you unless you let it define you.

Some people won’t ever get back up on the horse once they get knocked off. They simply say, “I’m done” or “I’ll never do that again”.

This errant thinking dams opportunity and potential.

You just have to try again. You may need to try a different horse but you have to get back on.

As you push forward to your next venture, it’s very possible that your brain will remind you of your previous failures. Part of your brain is built to protect you and keep you safe.

It’s natural to feel this way but greater happiness is on the other side of this FALSE safety alarm. You have to work through the noise and push through the false alarm.

If you listen to this part of your brain too often, you will become a shell of the person you once were. You’ll never achieve what you really want or who you are meant to be.

Take action. Be bold. Face the fear of failure.

The life you really want is waiting for you.

The Waves of Resistance

The Waves of Resistance

It was warm summer afternoon and my family and I were enjoying a wonderful day on a warm California beach just outside Oceanside. The waves were perfect for surfing and body boarding, and the locals were out in droves.

My two oldest teenage sons and I had grabbed a wet suit and a body board from a local rental shop and decided to join the party. I headed for the water with hesitancy, as my swimming abilities are severely lacking.

I’m convinced I was built to sink rather than to swim.

With hopeful thoughts of buoyancy, we headed out towards waves. I had watched the experienced locals go out with ease as they ducked down through the seemingly small waves and make it out just beyond where the waves were forming.

I saw how they rested effortlessly beyond where the waves were forming in the calm and peaceful water. I wanted that same result, to sit in that calm water and watch for the perfect wave.

A massive wave hit me in the face and pushed me back. My arms and legs were tired and throbbing. I was out of gas and my fears about not being a great swimmer were being realized.

The first few waves weren’t that difficult once I had learned how to duck just at the right time. As soon I came up on the other side of each wave I would take a deep breath and paddle hard.  I did this over and over again.

Exhausted and tired I pushed on until suddenly I broke through and there were no more waves.

I joined the other surfers and body boarders in the calm water beyond the break. After resting, I caught my first wave and then repeated the process several times. We created some great memories that day.

YOUR GREATER LIFE IS BEYOND THE WAVES OF RESISTANCE

No matter what goal you set, you will experience waves. These waves will push you back, as if life is testing you to see if resolve and tenacity are part of your character.

It’s almost as if you’re being asked, “How bad do you really want this?”

Resistance comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but if you fail to recognize it you can easily get distracted, quit, or get angry.

Resistance can look like this:

  • The voice in your head that says, you don’t really want this…
  • The distraction that causes you to get lost in your social media when you hit discomfort
  • The anger and frustration you feel when things don’t go according to plan
  • The tendency to bottle up or hide when emotions get difficult
  • The desire to blame others for your situation and not make plans to make it better
  • The decision to throw in the towel instead of finish that last task

Here is the secret:

When you break free from the level at which you are playing, resistance will be a part of the game.

Dreams can be achieved, they are simply on the other side of resistance.

The World Needs Your Greatness

Every day is an opportunity to impact another life. Every day you can leverage your greatness in the service of others.

Powerful people know their greatness. Confidence is contagious and wields an unseen force.

Because greatness can be defined in so many ways, I’m going to offer you my definition.

Greatness is the tenacity and determination to discover the
best version of you and use it in the service of others

Let’s break this down.

Tenacity and Determination

Another way you could say tenacity and determination is courage. Courage is the ability to push through difficult things.  Yes, even when you don’t feel like it.  Especially when you don’t feel like it.

When you’re building a greater life, expect setbacks, problems, and challenging moments. By no means am I implying that you should focus on these setbacks and challenges but understand that they are part of the game. When you level up your life, new bad guys will appear.

The difference between an amateur and a professional is a professional knows the challenges will come.

Many of the toughest battles you will face will be within the walls of your own heart and mind. They are unseen to neighbors, friends, or colleague.

As you persevere and go after a goal, others will ask you the secret to your success and you’ll find difficulty explaining it because it’s been a process, not a tactic.

They only see the front stage performance. The real secret was the back stage personal triumphs.

Discover the Best Version of You

Self-discovery is a journey. Each of us is born with innate and unique ways that we think and respond to situations and events (some positive and some are negative). You have unique talents, skills, and abilities. I believe you even have genius.

You have ways in which your choices and experiences make you unique. I also believe that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. With that heritage you were born for a mission, if you choose to accept it. God knows your greatness, you are only discovering it.

As you embark on the quest to discover the best version of you and use your unique identity to create value in the world around you, abundance on many levels will follow.

Perspective is an interesting thing. You don’t understand your true potential. You can’t see your complete worth and value, or what you’re completely capable of.  Now is the time to pick a direction and go.  It’s time to unleash your inner greatness.

Recent brain research on the science of neuroplasticity teaches us that the brain can change, at any age. This means that we can shape our minds, thoughts, and actions in ways that make us better.

While willpower, passion, and drive may get you going, your brain can actually change and create new habits of thinking that support the newer, better, and upgraded version of yourself. This means that momentum can be sustained and systematized. It’s not just a hope or a wish.  It can become a reality.

You can constantly be reinventing yourself and your potential isn’t capped by a ceiling.

It’s amazing to me that so many desire great amounts of wealth but don’t value their own value and contribution. One of the first steps in wealth creation is discovering and then courageously believing in your own value.

In the Service of Others

Many have taken on the quest for the best-version of themselves but along the path become lost in the selfish world of self-absorption. Their world becomes about them.

Great leaders, parents, entrepreneurs, and innovators recognize that their skills, abilities, and unique experiences (good and bad) can be leveraged to lift, inspire, teach, and strengthen.

As your innate desire for growth combines with your unique skills and talents you bring can bring dynamic value to others. Value creation is frontier of limitless opportunity.

Money and economies flow through value creation. The key to financial independence and ever increasing net worth comes not from hoarding money but from ever increasing your value creation for others. And of course your value creation needs to be put into sustainable economic engines, but that’s a topic for another day.

In conclusion, greatness is within reach. The best version of you is waiting to be discovered. Others are unknowingly waiting for the value your greatness will bring to them.

Embrace your greatness. Cultivate and nurture it. Protect it and fight for it.

The world needs you.