Morning Motivator – How Dodgeball Exposed a Leader

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant."
-Max De Pree, "Leadership Is an Art"

For those that know me well, know that I cherish 3 things about my life – SPORTS, JUNIOR CHAMBER ( and LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. I am fascinated by all three and occasionally get to see them merge together harmoniously. Last night, I began a dodgeball league in Nashville with my Junior Chamber mates. Commonly, I would have stepped up and taken the "captain" role to help coordinate a smooth merging of a team. I have decided that I will not assume that role as it is time to pass the torch! I believe that TO BE A LEADER, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION IN THE MANNER YOU WISH OTHERS TO TAKE ACTION – DON'T JUST "TELL" THEM WHAT TO DO. (see above quote)

Reluctantly, Andrew, a friend in Junior Chamber, assumed the role of captain and with it the responsibilities of leading a small groups of very different personalities. I knew that initially he did not want the role and yet he assumed it. Why? The answer is: Leadership! Andrew IS a leader. He consistently steps up when the opportunity presents itself and others fail to assume that role. What I am most excited about is the idea that this young man, who can often be reserved, is a GREAT leader in the making. I am not sure he has taken OWNERSHIP of that trait yet, however, one day he will and great things will await him for his efforts. Funny how DODGEBALL can define a leader, huh? How are you demonstrating your LEADERSHIP?

As a leader – YOU have a responsibility. Whether you are a CEO, Manager or working your way up the ladder, it is YOUR job to OWN your leadership role and develop others around you. Your responsibilities are to:

* Help DEFINE the goal of your team by identifying the "critical measurement" for success – Ask yourself what is the KEY driver of our success?

* Structure an ACTION PLAN to lay out an effective process for your team to be successful - Give direction and support

* DEMONSTRATE work ethic by DOING what you say - no one respects a leader that beats people up for doing something then fails to do it the next day

* SUPPORT the actions of your team – Become the SERVANT to your team. If they need help, YOU help them. It's YOUR role to make them successful!

* REWARD their achievements – Celebrate the accomplishments of your team. Their success is directly related to YOURS!

* MOTIVATE and INSPIRE them when needed – ALWAYS pick your people up in the face of adversity. If they have a bad day, brush them off and help them get back in it. NEVER undercut their motivation with negativity!

Often, especially in business, a person is a leadership role believes that barking and being critical of others is leadership. Look in your office or around you for the GREAT leaders you know – they are FOCUSED, PERSISTENT and SUPPORTIVE of their team. They KNOW they are only successful when their TEAM is working at its best!


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Morning Motivator – How to Get What You Want

"How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you."
-Dan Reiland

Have you ever heard the phrase – "to get what you want, help someone else get what they need first?" A powerful idea when you consider that YOU are the one with most to LOSE in that situation. The amount of TRUST that is required is significant and the EXPOSURE you have to being taken advantage of if huge. Why take the risk??

Many great leaders before of us have discovered that RISK TAKING is a common attribute in building success. The risks taken are of being manipulated, taken advantage of or even flat out USED… AND… the risk of ACHIEVING your goals, HELPING others achieve theirs and CREATING lasting partnerships with other powerful leaders. Do you fear being taken advantage of? Do you think that you have the ability to achieve your DREAMS on your own? At what point will "flying solo" become a burden as opposed to a manner of self protection? Do you remember the FEELING you enjoyed the last time your TRULY helped someone? Do you remember the last time you needed help and got it without question?

When the next opportunity to provide assistance and help someone accomplish a goal arises – take it! Do not ask questions or consider whether you will ever be "paid back." Just do it! You will find that by serving others in a self less manner, the TRUST built between two people (even if not great contacts) is undeniably strong. There will always be a sense of accountability. Yes – you MAY never see that favor returned… to YOU. However, that SELFLESSNESS may in turn be passed along to someone else.

Focus on the benefit you provide the world by giving of your talents and abilities unconditionally, and what could happen if others did too.


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Morning Motivator – Getting Beyond “I Need To…”

"At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want."
-Lao Tzu

Ahhh, the beautiful bliss of being "busy." Too busy to be GREAT at any of the details, because I spend too much time DEALING with details. The idea that I could be so much MORE productive, if I just wasn't so important and needed constantly. The ability of human beings to provide "validating" excuses for their lack of desire, focus or understanding of how to BEST accomplish goals is amazing.

A great CHALLENGE that many of us face is getting beyond "I NEED TO…" and moving into "I WILL…" The idea on NEED is totally misused as is since you really only NEED – WATER, FOOD, SHELTER and LOVE. Beyond that, the things you say you "need" to do are simply tasks you have decided are beneficial to yourself, yet you have not found the proper motivation to take action. The quote above really drives home the idea of getting beyond "I NEED TO…" as you KNOW internally what ACTIONS need to be taken, you realize the BENEFITS of your sacrifices and CHOOSE whether the benefits outweigh the "WORK."

Do not allow FEAR to manage your actions. Your fears of failure, rejection and embarrassment are SOLELY in your head. EVERYONE wishes you to be successful. Speak in front of a crowd and you will find your fans. COMPLETE a project and you uplift your team moral. SUCCESS is infectious… if you have it, its easily shared with others! Now go get it!

Your personal success is defined by your BELIEF systems – most of which have been handed to you by your parents and family. Your ability to REALIZE your success is YOUR RESPONIBILITY.

1. Understand what TYPE of learner you are – Visual, Audio, or both

2. Use the TYPE to create your SUCCESS reminders - Visual: print a picture of the item you want; Audio: download the description of it; Both; Download the promo video

3. Repeat your SUCCESS reminders daily – put them in places you will have to look or listen to them DAILY, DAILY, DAILY!

4. Stay FOCUSED on the long range IMPORTANT goals – life balance, personal relationships, self confidence, family, etc…

Over time your BELIEF system (which is nothing more than the ideas that have been ingrained in your head for years and years) will change. The Law of Attraction will prove that if you WANT it badly enough – you WILL get or do what you NEED for success!


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Morning Motivator – Are you HONEST with YOU?!

"Words to live by are just words… unless you actually live by them."
- Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura

I love being challenged! Someone asked me a few days ago… "Do you practice everything you send out?" Fair question. Answer: Yes and No. I have my BEST practices that I am committed and disciplined to which work well for me. I have used each of the methods I mention and have found varying successes within each. The discussion prompted an appreciation of the challenge that was posed as it made me wonder… How many of us KNOW what to do, SAY what we "need to do" and yet never IMPLEMENT the action to move forward?

For the longest time, I was known as the IDEA GUY. Great ideas – never does anything with them (i.e. big talker.) Now, I am actively redefining myself as the ACTION guy. ONE great idea – FOCUSED action! Which is better? Both are needed and yet I would be inclined to say that ACTION (even if the incorrect action) is ALWAYS better than standing still, waiting for someone to start the work for you. Your ability to take DECISIVE action will lead to improved results, increased productivity and valuable experience. "The best way to learn is by doing."

Would you say you are an IDEA person that has all the answers and occasionally (when really passionate) lives out your words into actions? If you asked 5 people you work with – would they say you are an ACTION oriented person? If not – why not!? Let's change that starting TODAY:

Get your plan and TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY... Your plan should develop like this:
* Get the Right People Around You – plan with many perspectives
* Write Down the Planning Information and Communicate it Widely – documenting your goals increases them 10 fold
* Develop SMART Goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound (thanks Andy!)
* Commit to Accountability - Set dates to review your actions, time line and anyone who needs to be involved
* Make Adjustments – if you get off track… don't freak out! Make slight adjustments
* Focus on Good Fits – make sure your plan suits your lifestyle/work habits and those of the people involved
* Establish an Annual Re-Planning Process – your life will change, hence your plan will change… plan for that!
* Reward Yourself – Make sure you have celebrations and rewards defined for accomplishment (it's a great motivator!)


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Morning Motivator – What’s your Monday attitude?

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same."
~Francesca Reigler

Ahhhh… another joyous Monday! Isn't it wonderful to be back on the job – making magic happen – working diligently towards our collective goals? (please cease throwing your mental daggers at me). Today, I want to ask you about your ATTITUDE. Specifically, your MONDAY attitude. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being a kick in the teeth, 10 being your best day yet) – how would you rate this morning's attitude? I hope that its one of positivity and vigor towards the challenges of the week (8-10). If not (1-4), I hope that you have a gauge on WHY you feel less than enthusiastic about Monday. Why would someone NOT be excited about Monday..? Here's a thought:

Many people fail to find value in weekly GOAL SETTING. Additionally, many are disgusted with the perpetual feeling of being BUSY without being PRODUCTIVE. How do we overcome? Let's look at travel as an example: How challenging is navigating the world by plane? Not very difficult if you have a DESTINATION (where you will finish your journey), a MAP (your tasks/goals to accomplish along the way keeping you flying in the correct direction) and a fully FUELED machine (prepared for travel prior to take off). If you do not have a DESTINATION, a MAP or FUEL to get there – it become much more challenging. So now ask yourself… are my Monday's a challenge because I have not yet clearly defined my DESTINATION (goal), MAP (action plan) or PROPERLY FUELED UP (planning/preparation)? As always… it's ok to be honest.


Your attitude is a decision that you make when you awake. It is your defense shield you set up to thwart away the "roadblocks" of the day. Your attitude begins its shape immediately upon waking… so let's start there:

* Wake up quickly – hitting the snooze bar is just hiding from the day

* Get active – do 25 sit ups, push ups or walk around your block

* Smile in the mirror – see the inner beauty and value of yourself

* Eat well – eat within the first hour so your body is fueled properly

* Rock out – crank up the music that you enjoy on the way to work (sing if you like)

* Set your daily goals – either first thing or last thing of the day and be consistent

* Stay positive – if something negative or someone negative approaches you, quickly move to a positive idea or story

* Stay focused – your day is filled with traps and pitfalls. Keep your eyes on your destination and be relentless in getting there

* Be confident – if you fall short of a goal- no worries! Work hard tomorrow to make up the slack.

* Finish strong – if you have one more task an its 10 minutes until 5pm… knock it out! You will feel TREMENDOUS afterwards.

Remember that you are a PERFECT creature in the eyes of your creator albeit your ACTIONS may not always be perfect. Trust in yourself and keep focused on the IMPROVING just 2 DEGREES Daily.


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