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It does not take much time to look around and see that the world we live in is struggling. We are struggling in almost every aspect of life. It is my belief that a main reason for this revolves around a lack of understanding of our own values as well as the values of others.
We are seeing kids, youth, families and cultures being attacked in many ways and on many fronts. In order for this to change, there needs to be an acknowledgement of our own personal values. If you do not have a clear understanding of your own values, it is difficult to respect and understand the values of others.
Values are those things that define us. They are the deeply held beliefs that influence our behaviors. Thus, it is our actions that define who we are. Hopefully you can see why defining and acknowledging our values is so important.
There is no standard values that everyone must have nor should expect that. We should expect that others will watch how we act and what we say to determine what kind of person we are and what we believe.
It is easy to see what a powerful and positive impact we could have on the world we live in if we first begin with ourselves in acknowledging our values. Once we do this, we can feel more confident in understanding others. This is at least a good first step.
What can you to ensure you are acknowledging your values?
We all love a good story, especially if we can take something away from the story. When we learn through stories and experiences, we tend to utilize that knowledge more often. The more we use our knowledge, the great opportunity we have to develop our strengths.
The best leaders and public speakers are those that can share a story that illustrates what they are talking about and then create the motivation to take action. Here is one such story that I really like as there are many lessons to learn. As you read it, take some time to ponder what lessons there are to learn, write those down and find ways you might be able to improve.
Two sons work for their father on the family’s farm. The younger brother had for some years been given more responsibility and reward, and one day the older brother asks his father to explain why.
The father says, “First, go to the Kelly’s farm and see if they have any geese for sale – we need to add to our stock.”
The brother soon returns with the answer, “Yes they have five geese they can sell to us.”
That father then says, “Good, please ask them the price.”
The son returns with the answer, “The geese are £10 each.”
The father says, “Good, now ask if they can deliver the geese tomorrow.”
And duly the son returns with the answer, “Yes, they can deliver the geese them tomorrow.”
The father asks the older brother to wait and listen, and then calls to the younger brother in a nearby field, “Go to the Davidson’s Farm and see if they have any geese for sale – we need to add to our stock.”
The younger brother soon returns with the answer, “Yes, they have five geese for £10 each, or ten geese for £8 each; and they can deliver them tomorrow – I asked them to deliver the five unless they heard otherwise from us in the next hour. And I agreed t that if we want the extra five geese we could buy them at £6 each.”
The father turned to the older son, who nodded his head in appreciation – he now realized why his brother was given more responsibility and reward.
Great little story right? So what are some of the lessons that you can take away?
Instead of providing my thoughts on this one, I will leave it up to you. I would love to have you respond to this post as I always want to learn from others.
Hero Helpful Hint (H3):
Think of personal experiences or stories that you have heard that can help you teach key principals. Make a list of those so you have them ready when you need them.
The world we live in today seems to be getting more and more about the materialistic things in life. Who has the bigger house, number of vacation homes, most plastic surgery, craziest parties, most popular kids, most visible job, etc. We only need to turn on the TV to see that today’s shows, advertising and news have changed in a negative way and they have changed us as a society.
It is sad to see that so many have truly lost touch of strong, sustainable and ethical values. It seems many have been willing to compromise their beliefs and values to gain position, more money and even a physical edge. With all that said, I ask this simple question, have you lost touch of your own values? What are the things that are influencing what you stand for and why you stand for them? Are you willing to hold tight to those values when the storms of adversity come crashing in?
I may not have all the answers but my hope is that I might trigger something in you to want to bring your best values forward. As each individual, company, organization and culture does this, we can take back this great world we live in and find greater purpose, happiness and fulfillment. We will achieve exceptional results in all that we do as we focus on ensuring that our values are the foundation for all that we do.
Let me help you identify, develop and strengthen your values by being your personal Values Coach or for an organization, your Values Consultant.
Contact me today by visiting www.exceptionalcg.com or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let me add value to your values.
Often times we see people share quotes. It seems to be all the craze with Social Media right now and I am one who has made a regular part of communication and touch points with different audiences. So what do these quotes really mean? Well, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes and why I like them so much. Let’s get started:
“The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at the best, know the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
To me there is so much within these profound words of the great president Theodore Roosevelt. I guess one main reason I like this quote so much is that it can be applied in almost every situation. I know that having spent quite a bit of time in leadership roles professionally, religiously and in other areas of my life, this quote has always come to my mind. At the end of the day, the credit truly does need to go to those who are making great things happen every day. Whether you are a parent, teacher, leader, professor, whatever role you want to list, think about how this quote might change the way you see others. For parents, your teenagers are in a serious battle, every day, they are in the arena trying their hardest to do good, are you giving them the credit for their efforts or are you always looking for what’s wrong? Just something to think about. I know as a parent I can lose sight of just how blessed I am to have teenagers who strive every day to do good. This quote helps me remember that and do all I can to be there should the slip and fall.
“Life is about adding value to other people’s lives.” Lou Holtz
I love these short but sweet quotes. There is a ton of meaning in these few words. I was actually attending an event where Coach Holtz was speaking and heard him share this and it pierced my heart. I can remember the feelings I had about how this had been my goal throughout my life but he stated it in such an effective way. I can honestly say that this quote was truly a turning point for me. It has helped me to push forward in trying to set myself up to truly add value to other people’s lives. So what do you think about his quote? It is important that this not be applied just to one’s professional life. Think about what your life is made up of, now how does this quote relate to you? The last thing that made such a profound impact on me was that these words of a college football player who truly believed and lives these words. He wanted to add value to the young men he coached. He walked the talk. I am trying every day to do the same.
So there are just two examples of how quotes can be used for more than just nice Tweets, Intsagram pics, Facebook Status, etc. I will share more of these in the future as I liked the exercise of reflecting upon these words.
Time to go add value.
Given current economic conditions, it’s no surprise that many people are considering returning to college or a change in careers. As some who has spent the past 13 plus years in higher education, I naturally endorse this strategy of looking to return to school or wanting to go into a career you are passionate about. The issue becomes the inability to focus on the right things to achieve ones ultimate goals, doing what they are passionate about. Here are some steps to take to help ensure you chase your Passion not just a Paycheck.
- The first thing to do is spend more time thinking about your interests than you do thinking about money. That sounds counter-intuitive but returning to college or changing your job has to be about more than chasing a paycheck. It’s been said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. So finding and following your passion is time well spent.
- If you are not sure where your passion would take you let alone what it may be, then sit down with pen and paper and make a list: things you like to do in your free time, different talents or skills that come easily to you, people whom you admire, subject areas and classes you enjoyed while growing up, topics you relish reading about and people you prefer to be around. The answers you provide to these questions will sharpen your focus.
- After you have identified a career path that not only uses some of your strengths but one that also engages you in the type of activity and thinking that you most enjoy, meet and interview people currently working in that field. In some cases, they may let you shadow someone in their office. As you evaluate your options, consider both the positive and the less attractive aspects of the desired industry. For instance, if you like helping people, you might be inclined toward healthcare; but think about how you will respond to sick or sad people on a daily basis.
- It’s important to determine what you are willing to sacrifice in order to do what you are passionate about. So ask yourself: can I devote the time and energy necessary to be a successful? Will I set priorities, budget my time and money and impose discipline in my life? Once you have decided what you are willing to sacrifice, time to create your plan.
- Don’t let any opportunity slip away where you don’t set goals for yourself. This is especially true as you are looking to make changes in your career future. Your goals should lead you down a path where you are following your passion. The longer you chase a paycheck, the less time you have to do what you really want. Money is important and needs to always be a apart of your formula for success but don’t to get caught up making it the only focus.
As you stay focused and determined, you will achieve the success you truly dream of. It will not be easy and the reality is, it shouldn’t be. You want to feel rewarded and accomplished. This can happen with greater peace, happiness and joy as you are allowing yourself to do what you feel you can do best and are most passionate about.
Now, go make something great happen!
This may be a pretty big assumption but I will make it anyway, we will have times where we will face major adversity in our lives. This adversity will come as a result of losing ones job, death of a family member, financial shortfalls, marriage problems and thousands of others ways. We have also probably all heard that we need to be strong during those times. Well guess what? It’s true.
To make a quick analogy I will put it this way because I am one who actually makes this statement quite often, “if it’s good for you it probably doesn’t test good.” Now, I know this is not 100% true but stay with me on this. Let’s say it does not taste good but it does make you healthier, it does give you energy to exercise, it does provide the right nutrients to help your muscles recover and so on. So what is actually happening is while I am “forcing” myself to eat this healthy food (adversity), I am actually providing much needed strength to my body.
So it finding strength in times of adversity is so critical, how does one go about doing it? Here are some quick ways that have helped me:
- Take a step back and see the bigger picture. Too many times when a challenge or trial enters our life we react in ways that can often make things worse. It is crucial to be able to try and see the challenge within a larger picture. This will help provide perspective and can even help you to see that maybe things are not as bad as they have initially appeared.
- Be positive. There is a difference between being positive and happy. Being positive means you are focused on seeing the good in things and pushing forward. Being positive means you refuse to sit and talk about all the bad things that led to this specific trial or adversity. Being positive means you put into action a plan to make things better.
- Find a go to partner. You will need to talk with someone. This person maybe different based on the type of challenge but be sure you have a trusted person you can speak with. It maybe your wife, a close friend, a past boss, a sibling or your church leaders. The key is, you need to find someone so you do not feel so alone.
- Note the lessons learned. Be sure and grab a pen and paper and write down your feelings. Within those writings, be sure and note what you have learned about the adversity you are facing. This can be so helpful as there will be times in the future where you will face a similar challenge or someone you know will. These writings can be key in helping you or them through the situation.
I will be the first to admit that finding strength during times of adversity is actually a lot easier to say than do. However, I have found that there is so much peace, comfort and joy that comes as I apply the four points above. There is nothing wrong when we are faced with adversity, in fact it is a sign we are normal.
As crazy as this may sound, I am thankful for those times in my life when I struggle as it brings me to my knees and reminds me that I am human. It reminds me to swallow my pride and look to others for support. I will always be thankful for those who have been there for me and hope I am someone that others can lean in their times of need. Leaders find way to turn times of challenge into learning and teaching opportunities. Most likely because this is an area where more people can relate unfortunately.
One last thought, as you learn to find strength in times of adversity, you will feel more empowered When you feel empowered, there are no limits to what you can achieve so do all you can to find that strength so you can feel empowered.
Now, it is time to pump some adversity.
I am going to take the liberty to share my feelings about something that has taken up quite a bit of my thinking time lately. You may or may not know that October is Bully Prevention Month. The goal is bring more and more attention to a growing problem in our world today, bullying.
Instead of focusing on the actual topic of bullying or anti-bullying, I want to share what happens when we take a different approach. I will start by asking this question, what if we were more proactive in befriending others than reactive in bullying them?
Take sometime and really ponder this question, let it sink into your mind and heart. When you have done this, come back to finish reading the rest of this post.
We all want acceptance; we all want to know that there are others who care about us. We all need someone to talk too, someone who will listen without judging. In short, we all need a good friend or friends. It is important to understand that if this is what you want, then you need to be a good friend. This means that you will most likely need to be proactive in building relationships with others. This may not be normal or easy but it is necessary. If you sit back and wait, you will most likely be in a more reactive situation. When we are reactive, we tend to find ourselves in situations that are less than pleasant; this can be especially true when it comes to friends. I have to say; I do like that they use the word Bully Prevention rather than Anti-Bully for as it shows a more proactive approach.
I am truly heartbroken every time I hear, see or read about someone being bullied and the impacts that it has on them. On the flip side, I am overpowered with emotions of pride, joy and hope when I hear, see or read about someone who has overcome the torment of bullying. The truth is, bullying is devastating, for everyone involved.
I have been bullied, my siblings have been bullied, my friends have been bullied, there were times in my past where I actually bullied others, to be in with the popular kids. The impacts have painful to say the least. There has been heartbreak, sadness, loneliness, anger, frustration and even revenge. However, what I have come to realize is that the more proactive I have been in establishing friendships, the less bullying situations I have seen. See there is something that that happens when you extend a friendship, it eliminates the need to find fault, make fun of or hurt the other person. You can’t help but feel good as you become a friend to someone or you gain a new friend. Friends don’t let friends bully, or at least they shouldn’t.
I asked at the beginning of this post for you to ponder the question, what if we were more proactive in befriending others than reactive in bullying them? If our youth could really take this question to heart, we could see real change. We would begin to see situations where teenagers are no longer feeling like the only way out is to end their own life or rebel to the point of injuring others. We would see respect become a more dominant characteristic with our youth and adults. We would see situations of people extended their hand in genuine friendship and in turn, we would see a better world. The real challenge here is that talk is cheap. Actions truly do speak louder than words. There is no better time than right now for parents to encourage their teenagers to be more kind and loving towards others. There is no better time for youth to find ways to build friendships rather than judge what she is wearing or how overweight he is. This life is short and if we all cared enough about how others felt, we would then know a better, more productive world.
Since this blog is about leadership and finding the hero within us, I will close by saying that leaders don’t bully. Leaders find ways to be proactive in ensuring others feel included, that they do not feel left out. Leaders don’t find fault in ways that are going to hurt others. Leaders give strength, leaders help others feel empowered, leaders show courage, leaders stand up for others. To put it simply, leaders end up being heroes and heroes end up being leaders. Thus, this world needs more heroes.
I invite you to make it a priority this week to find some new friends. This does not mean you lose your current ones, it means you are adding new friends. I also invite you to become a friend to others. Be courageous and say hi to the new girl in your school or invite that boy that you noticed never talks with anyone to the football game. The rewards that come from you finding your inner hero are too numerous. What is the worst thing that can happen, you become a better person? Sounds like a risk worth taking.
Be A Hero!
The Stress to Impress
If you haven’t noticed, we live in a stressful world. No matter what your current situation might be, stress is no doubt something that influences you in some way. The world continues to try and control so much of what we do, who we are and where we go. Because of that we find ourselves trying to impress others. Maybe its your friends, family, teachers, neighbors, community, co-workers or boss.
As a leader, you cannot afford to lead with the only goal in mind of impressing. If you do, you will create unnecessary stress that can often lead to failure. I am not saying that you don’t want to impress your boss or your team but you have to understand how and why you want to impress them. The problem is that there is often a selfish type of feel that comes when one is trying to impress. Although we try hard to convince ourselves we are trying to impress the other person, at the end of the day we are really just trying to impress ourselves because we are looking for acceptance and validation.
It is important that we find ways to have others see that we are of value and that we can achieve results. This will often lead to impressing others but we need to be sure we are properly defining what our goals are. A good leader has the ability to know how to define these goals and what will happen when they achieve their goals. If your boss is impressed, what a great added benefit. If your team is impressed and it leads them to wanting to work harder to achieve their goals, nice. The key is that you are leading for the right reasons. Selfish leaders have a very short shelf life.
It is important to remember this concept of stressing to impress outside of the office as well. There is a statement I have heard many times and it goes like this, “trying to keep with the Jones’s.” The significance of this statement is saying that people often see their neighbor come home with a new boat so they go buy a boat. Then that same neighbor comes home with new snowmobiles so they go buy snowmobiles. They are not really concerned if they can afford this stuff, they are just trying to keep so they can continue to impress others. We see this phenomenon with teenagers and the pressures they endure daily at school. We see this with our family, friends almost any part of our life. What ultimately happens is that the stress of trying to impress leads to some unpleasant outcomes. I have seen this happen many times to people who I am close with. One thing I do know, it never has a happy ending.
As a leader you should not try and keep up with others just to try and impress others, including your boss. It is just too stressful to keep up and you will become very ineffective. What you need to do is be sure you continue to build your strengths and control your weaknesses, leaders that can do that are impressive in my eyes.
Learn to manage your stress to impress and you will achieve great things, inside and outside the office.
Heroes don’t stress but often impress.