Leadership Reflections / Lessons Learned

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Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it's almost always due to personal growth. ~ John C. Maxwell

Be Better Today Than Yesterday

March 10, 2018

Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it's almost always due to personal growth.  ~ John C. Maxwell

I was listening to John C. Maxwell speak one day and he made the comment, “It’s not your experience you learn from, it’s reflecting upon those experiences where the real learning takes place.”

Each day gives us the opportunity to learn and grow if we only reflect upon it with the intention to improve. 

Whether it’s growing and improving personal relationships, a business, craft, or spiritual well-being, think how impactful it would be if you were intentional, where every evening you ran through your mind the encounters you had with others, the time you spent or wasted, what you said and didn’t say, and asked yourself ‘How could have I have been better?”

When I was looking and talking to Mark, could my non-verbals have been better? Could I have said something differently? Should I NOT have said something? Was my tone of voice consistent with the message? Was I productive today? Did my activities today help my business grow? Did I add value to my family, friends and team today and help them grow?

Think about going through this process each night. Do you think you’d learn something?  Do you think if your entire team did this the communication and productivity of your team would improve? Do you think your sales would increase? Do you think your relationships would improve? Do you think your life would improve in general?

Your relationships, your spiritual well-being, your business and your life can improve daily, if you are intentional. 


The Challenges We Face

February 10, 2018

We are not limited by our challenges, we are limited by how we think about our challenges.

How we think about our challenges and goals, how we internalize our thoughts and emotions surrounding them, is often the key to overcoming / achieving them or falling short of those goals or being defeated by those challenges.   Whether those challenges are personal goals, business goals, or dealing with challenging problems with our health, finances, or relationships to name a few, a positive outcome starts with our mindset and how we think about them.  Like Henry Ford said, “Whether you can or think you can’t, you are right.”

Look at a young infant who first learns to walk.  Gets up, falls down. Gets up, falls down.  Gets up, takes a few steps, falls down.  Finally, after repeated trials the child finally learns to walk.  Did the child ever think….’This is too difficult, I’ll just sit the rest of my life.’  Does the wife say to husband after watching their child fall the first few times…. ‘Honey, I don’t think Johnny will ever learn to walk, he just may be too stupid. He must have your family’s genes.’

A child has no sense of can’t.  A child has no thoughts of difficulty.  A child’s mind isn’t corrupted by internal thoughts of inadequacy, prior failures, or being told he or she isn’t fit to be a walker.  They just keep at it and are encouraged to do so.  To get back up and try again.  The parents have all the confidence in the world.  They know it just takes falling down and getting up over and over again,  and in no time, Johnny will be running all around the grocery store.

As we face our challenges we need to be more like the child learning to walk, no thoughts of failure, just naturally staying in the process, continually improving until we master the skill or accomplish the objective.  And like the parents, as managers, leaders, teachers, and coaches,  we need to positively reinforce the efforts, encourage, build confidence, and sometimes prod others back up to help them overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. 

In the movie Balboa, Sylvester Stallone delivers a great motivational line to his son, illustrating to him how he must keep getting up, stay positive, and keep going forward.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life.”  - Sylvester Stallone, Balboa (If you haven’t seen this movie, watching it for this line is worth it. And if you don’t know about Stallone’s own story and the first Rocky movie, do a little research.)

Don’t quit on yourself or give up on others.  


We are not limited by our challenges, we are limited by how we think about our challenges.

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