Tag Archives: influence

Quotes-Do they really mean anything?

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:quotemarks

Quote#1

“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

thinking questin markMy thoughts:

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.

Quote #2

“Life is about adding value to other people’s lives.” Lou Holtz

My thoughts:

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.

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A More Serious Post, Pro-Friend

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!

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The Stress to Impress

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.

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Perspiration, not Perception Leads to Inspiration

Perspiration, not Perception Leads to Inspiration

There is something energizing by listening to an inspired speaker or leader. As he or she stands at the front of the room sharing inspirational stories, presenting a new vision or providing ways to help improve our lives we listen, take notes and imagine the possibilities. We may even start to think things like “wow, they are so good”, “I wish I could inspire people like that”, “I wonder how they got to be like that”. Then as you watch that person when the lights are off and they are no longer on stage they don’t really do anything. In fact, they are not inspiring at all when it comes to their actions. It is almost as if they live two completely different worlds. When this happens, and unfortunately, it happens quite often, the impacts can not only be uninspiring, but negative and frustrating.

The truth, actions are what ultimately inspire others to action. Sure, inspiring leaders must have the ability to communicate in ways that give others chills and cause them to have a desire to do better. However, when we see our leaders taking action and doing the things they ask others to do is when true inspiration can take place. Here are ways to help ensure you are Inspiring through Perspiration not just Perception:

1. Don’t just help others set goals, help them achieve them.
2. Be sure that those you lead see you taking action, not just hear you talk about it.
3. Communicate where you need to go then roll up your sleeves and lead the way.
4. Be consistent and genuine so there is no reason to question your authenticity as an inspiring leader.

The reality is that it not only takes hard work to rise up the management and leadership ranks, it takes even more hard work when you are a manager and leader. There are have many inspiring leaders who have shown through example what it takes to achieve success. There have also been many “perceived” inspiring leaders only to come and find out that their words overshadow their actions.

Some of the best bosses I have had were the ones who could inspire through word and action. It didn’t mean that they stayed at work the longest or worked every weekend, it meant they knew what needed to be done and were humble enough to help make it happen. They would make calls, visit customers, stuff envelopes, run reports and vacuum classrooms. Through their perspiration they created inspiration and thus I had a positive perception of them.

One last thing, there is something very empowering when we are taking action. A great leader gets energized when they know what needs to be done.  An inspiring leader stays energized by actually doing the things to achieve desired outcomes. We all love the feeling of success and when we are working smart and putting in the effort necessary to achieve our goals, we feel invigorated and that is very important. It is impossible to push a boulder up a hill by simply saying it needs to be done. When you start to push, others will see your effort and put their efforts towards helping you move that boulder up the hill. Once you have reached the top, you can’t help but feel energized while at the same time feeling tired. You achieved your goal and inspired others to help along the way. I have to warn you, this type of leading is very addictive.

We can all inspire, we just need to be willing to perspire.

Go out and be a hero. Inspire through action.

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Reflection cannot be overlooked in Leadership

There are times when as a leader you need to have the ability to take a step back from all that is going on reflect. Reflection can often be the difference between good leaders and great leaders. What is so important about reflection is that it can tell you just as much about the future as it can the past. To use reflection as a leadership tool can help separate you from all the other leaders.

I can remember a time when I was going 100 mph in my career. I was trying to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible. I wanted to impress everyone as new executive. I felt that I only had a small amount of time to change the world. I would have slowed down but I felt I didn’t have the time too. I just kept on going. I would have my direct boss say, “you are moving too fast” and I would say “thank you.” I know crazy but I felt it was what others expected of me and I felt it was what I expected of myself. As I reflect now on that experience, it is actually difficult to remember what I did accomplish. I know I accomplished a number of things but because I was moving so fast I cant even think of the successes I had. I never reflected on what I was doing. Because of this, I missed opportunities to build important internal relationships with other leaders. I lost the opportunity to see the indirect impact of things I was doing. Had I taken the time to reflect on what I was doing and why I was doing it, there is no doubt in my mind I would have felt more successful and most likely accomplished even more.

As a leader or one who aspires to be a leader, don’t allow yourself to get caught up with trying to accomplish too much too fast. Build into your leadership plan time for reflection, allow yourself to take a look at what are doing, the successes you have accomplished, the mistakes you have made and use that to help shape your future. The most important reflection you will ever see is the one you see when you look into the mirror. You need to ask yourself:

What do you see in the reflection?

Do you see a leader who is so caught up in titles, salary and status that you are not actively leading but rather idly leading?

Do you a leader who is tired, worn out and feels like they can’t keep up with all the demands?

Do you see a leader who is achieving success and balance in life?

Do you see a leader who is still passionate or one who has lost all desire to give it their all?

Asking these questions to the person looking back at you in the mirror can help keep you grounded as well as honest. Don’t underestimate the importance of reflection. Keep your focus on the future while using the past as a tool to help you get better. This world needs more leaders who reflect on the past to create a better future.

Heroes reflect!

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Developing Inner Strength-Part 7

Don’t ask why but rather what.

Too often when we are faced with challenges or trials we ask why this happened to me or why now. These are natural responses but the truth is, to develop inner strength, you need to be able to ask the question what.

What can I learn from this experience?

What can I do to make it better?

What can I do for someone else?

What do I need to do get back on my feet?

These are not easy questions to answer when things are going good so asking them when you are being challenged or in the midst of trial is even more difficult. However, having the ability to ask and answer these types of questions will help you develop inner strength. One of the important things is that as you learn from these types of experiences you will be prepared for future situations that will come to your life. Another important item is that others will come to you when they encounter similar challenges and trials because they will see the inner strength you demonstrated and you will be prepared to help them.

Heroes learn how ask what and in doing so build great inner strength. When they do this, they can than influence so many others in a positive way. Through that influence, they will help others find their inner hero and the Ripple Effect becomes unstoppable.

Go be a hero TODAY!

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Developing Inner Strength-Part 5

Surround yourself with those that can be a pillar of strength

  • When you take a look at some of the old Roman structures you often see these great and beautiful Columns or Pillars. These are sign of strength while also serving an important purpose when it comes to the structure itself. As you look at the people you surround yourself with do they bring you strength or do they bring you down? It is so important that your Circle of Influence is one that will help you reach your full potential. Those that want to see you succeed can help you feel empowered. On the other hand, if you are surrounding yourself with those that gossip, are negative and do things that lead to trouble, you are holding yourself back. Make a conscious decision right now to surround yourself with those that can be a pillar of strength for you. The benefits will be both short-term and long-term.
  • There is one other reason this is important. Others are looking to you to be one of their pillars of strength. Knowing this will help you best your best you, always. When you think no one is watching, think again. You are a force for good. You are a hero, now it is time to go out get inspired and then inspire.

Who are you going to surround yourself with?

Make it happen hero!

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