4 Factors In Pursuing Your Dreams

1. God Factor – Your dream needs to be bigger than you – Are you praying for winners? My potential should be the floor of my dream and the rest of the room should be filled with the God factor. This is a journey of significance in which other people will be used. 
2. We are better the third time – Consistency compounds your return. You learn from each experience. You learn from movement – if you are not moving you are not learning or even in the game. Keep trying! Do you improve with evaluated experience?
3. Leadership Matters – Who you give stewardship of your dream to someone else matters.
4. Don’t get distracted – Have an unwavering focus! Keep chasing your dream and do not let others hold you down.

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #153

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Luke 2 – The Message (MSG)

The Birth of Jesus  

1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

An Event for Everyone

8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

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Make Your Life A Master Piece

7 Ingredients for 2018

2018 is waiting for the fullest expression of how God made you! Don’t keep us waiting to see the results!

Here are seven ingredients for making 2018 a huge success!

1. Peace of Mind. This is the first and ultimate ingredient. Peace of mind. It comes from living in integrity with our highest values, choosing our path, and confidently walking it. This needs to be our highest priority.

2. Health and Energy. We’re going to have a hard time maximizing our achievement if we have a hard time getting out of bed. Optimizing our health and energy is key.

3. Loving Relationships. A key attribute of an optimally functioning human is our ability to create and maintain great relationships. A key indicator of how we’re doing on that front? Laughter!

4. Financial Freedom. We don’t need to be set forever to be financially free, but we do need to get to a place where we have enough money so that we’re not constantly worried about it. Therefore, prioritizing this is wise.

5. Worthy Goals and Ideals. We’re not going to be happy without a clear sense of direction. “You need a commitment to something bigger and more important than yourself. You need to feel that your life stands for something, that you are somehow making a valuable contribution to your world.”

6. Self-Knowledge and Self-Awareness. Who are you? What’re your strengths, your weaknesses? What triggers you? What do you do when you’re on? When you’re off? Know thyself in order to grow thyself!

7. Personal Fulfillment. Our seventh ingredient is a sense that we’re actualizing our full potential—that we are becoming all that we are capable of becoming.

 

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #152

Toughest Person To Lead

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If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that the toughest person to lead is ourselves. Many times it is not our competition that concerns us, we disqualify ourselves. We are our own worst enemies! Consider these two truths about judging yourself.

We Don’t See Ourselves As We See Others – The first person that we need to examine is ourselves. If we do not take a realistic look at ourselves, we will never see our own personal difficulties. If you do not see them, then how can you lead effectively.

We Are Harder on Others Than We Are on Ourselves – Most people use two different sets of criteria for judging themselves versus others. We tend to judge others according to their actions – it is cut and dry! However, we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions. Even if we do the wrong thing, if we believe our motives were good, we let ourselves off the hook. We repeatedly do this before we hit a crisis moment that requires change.

To be successful in any endeavor, we need to learn how to get out of our own way. There some key steps of action in knowing how to do that. Here are four action steps.

Learn Followership

Bishop Fulton Sheen stated once; “Civilization is always in danger when those who have never learned to obey are given the right to command.” Good leadership becomes possible when you take the time to walk in other people’s shoes. You learn what it is like to be under authority and in turn have a better understanding of how authority should be used. In turn leaders who have never followed well tend to be prideful, unrealistic, rigid, and autocratic.

Develop Self-Discipline

We are all Kings and Queens over a significant Kingdom – Ourselves! To make consistently good decisions, to take the right actions when needed, and refrain from making the wrong action requires character and self-discipline. Essayist John Foster writes, “A man without decision of character can never be said to belong to himself. He belongs to whatever can make a captive of him.” When we are foolish we want to conquer the world. When we become wise, we want to conquer ourselves.

Practice Patience

The great leaders that I know tend to be impatient. They look ahead, think ahead, and want to move ahead. That can be good. Being a step ahead is what makes you a leader. However, it can be bad. If you are fifty steps ahead that may make you a martyr. Few things in life come quickly. There is no such thing as instant greatness or instant maturity. Leadership takes time, the end product is worth the investment.

Seek Accountability

People who lead themselves well know a secret: they can’t trust themselves. Good leaders know that power can be seductive and they understand their own fallibility. To deny this truth is to put yourself in danger. There is an old Chinese proverb that states; “When you see a good man, think of emulating him; when you see a bad man, examine your heart.” Accountability is not answering and accounting for your actions. It starts much sooner. It starts with getting advice from others. The willingness to seek and accept advice is a great indicator of accountability. If you seek early, you will be less likely to get off track in your leadership.

In Closing: Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself – Thomas J. Watson

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7 Questions That Will Change Your Life in 2018

What Are Your Answers?

1. What are your five most important values in life? 

2. What are your three most important goals in life, right now?

3. What would you do, how would you spend your time, if you learned that today you had only six months to live?

4. What would you do if you became a millionnaire tomorrow?

5. What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt?

6. What do you most enjoy doing? What gives you your greatest feeling of self-esteem and personal satisfaction?

7. What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?

We are approaching another year filled with maximum potential. How would you answer these questions and what difference would they make on your behavior in 2018?

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #151

Lonely At The Top

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In my early years of leadership I recall being told not to get to close to people – leaders must maintain distance from your position and those who follow. I remember a discussion with an Assistant Fire Chief in a large college town being instructed to never allow yourself to get close to the other firemen. They will take advantage of you and they will loose respect for you. Loneliness is not a leadership issue. It is however, a personality issue.

Leadership is not being alone at the top of a mountain, looking down on your subjects. If leadership is that lonely at the top, it simply means that you did not invite anyone to go on the journey with you. What kind of leader would leave everyone behind and go it alone? Answer: A selfish leader! Lifting people to new levels is a requirement for effective leading.

It is hard to be effective by separating yourself form the very people you need to be around you. You are not able to feel the hurts, needs, dreams and heartaches of those you are leading. If things are not getting better for people as a result of your leadership, they may need a new leader!

People do not quit companies – they quit people!

Truths About The Top

No one ever gets to the top alone

Few leaders are successful unless a lot of people want them to be. No leader is ever successful without a few people helping them to the top. Leadership is not a game of “King Of The Mountain”, while attempting to keep others away.

Making it to the top is essential to taking others to the top

There are a lot of people in the world that are willing to give advise on things they have never experienced. They are like bad travel agents offering destinations to places they have never visited. A leaders credibility begins with personal success. It ends with helping others achieve personal success. Consider this:

Initiative: You have to get up to go up

Sacrifice: You have to give up to go up

Maturity: You have to grow up to go up

Taking people to the top is more fulfilling that arriving alone

Jim Whittaker, the first America to climb Mount Everest was asked; “What has given you the most fulfillment as a mountain climber? His answer is amazing; I have helped more people get to the top of Mount Everest than any other person. Taking people to the top who could never get there without my assistance is my greatest accomplishment.” A boss says, “GO.” A leader says, “LET’S GO!”

Much of the time leaders are not at the top

Leaders rarely remain stationary. Jules Ormont said, “A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities.” Good leaders who remain connected with their people stoop – that is the only way to reach down and pull others up. If you truly want to be a great leader never allow pettiness, jealousy, and insecurity keep you from reaching out to others

Advise To Lonely Leaders

Avoid Positional Thinking – Leadership is relational as mush as it is positional. An individual who takes a relational approach to leadership will never be lonely. Positional leaders are often lonely. Every time they use their title and permission to persuade their people, they put distance between themselves and others. Essentially what is unspoken is “I am up here, you are down there – do what I say!” This makes people feel small and does nothing but drive wedges.

Realize The Downsides of Success and Failure – Anytime you think of yourself as a success you start to separate yourself from others you view as less successful. If you see yourself as a failure, you tend to avoid others because you do not want them to see your failures. The end result is the same – Separation!

Understand That You Are In The People Business

The best leaders know that leading people requires that you love people! I have never met a successful leader who did not genuinely care for people. Bad leaders say, I love mankind! Good leaders know that people do not care about your knowledge until they know you care for them. Be careful – if you become indifferent to people, you move closer to manipulation of people!

Buy Into The Law of Significance

The Law of Significance says that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” No accomplishment of lasting value was ever made by one person working alone. Honestly, if on your own you can accomplish the vision for your life and work, then you are aiming too low!

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Got Excusits?

Is This Gland Inflamed?

Marcus Aurelius was reflecting over 2,000 years ago and stated: “Because a thing is difficult for you, do not therefore suppose it beyond mortal power. On the contrary, if anything is possible and proper for a man to do, assume that it must fall within your own capacity.” The Apostle Paul would add to this discussion by stating, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Is there anyone, anywhere with my problem or limitation who has succeeded in spite of it? If the answer is YES, then your excuses are invalid! When one person overcomes their circumstances, others can overcome as well. Our problem at times is that our “EXCUSITIS GLAND gets inflamed and causes all sorts of problems for us. What? You have never heard about this gland? Let me look it up in my medical dictionary, yes, her it is…….. Excusitis is an inflammation of your excuse-making gland. WARNING: Fatal to success!

That should put a smile on your face! I did say that it was my medical dictionary! Remember, if it has been done, you can get it done! Stop making excuses as you prepare to enter 2018.

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #150

P.L.A.N. A.H.E.A.D.

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This podcast will focus of the title “Plan Ahead” by developing an acronym that will give us insight and action steps on making the upcoming year our best ever.

Pre-determine your objectives.

The Law of Design: to maximize growth, develop strategies and think on the front end.

Ask: What do I want to accomplish? Make it simple.

Glance back to plan forward. Consider where you’ve been and what you know. Then, plan forward.

“Thinking on the front end is essential to success.”

Thinking on the front-end, you’re preparing. Thinking on the back-end, you’re repairing.

Lay out your goals.

The Law of Awareness: you must know yourself to grow yourself.

You can’t lay out goals if you don’t know who you are. Define reality.

The facts of “goal-awareness”: We can’t arrive at a place we haven’t decided to travel to.

As humans, we are easily diverted.

Our goals are stepping stones to our objectives. Objective is the big picture.

When we see our goals as stepping stones we’re more likely to reach them.

4 Facts on Goal Awareness

You cannot arrive where you have not decided to travel too

As humans we are easily diverted

Our goals are stepping stones to our objective

When we see our goals as stepping stones we are more likely to keep moving   instead of stopping

Adjust your priorities.

The steps you need to take are going to be in conflict with the habits you have to get there. There is a tension between what you desire and the habits you have presently and will keep you from the primary objective

Ask: Are all my priorities in line with the steps I’m going to take to reach my objectives?

“Priorities not adjusted overtime become wrong priorities.”

The Law of Trade-offs: you have to give up to go up.

Look at what you have, what you want, and what you’re willing to give up to get it.

Example: Create a table and put in the pluses and minuses of a decision.

Don’t make a decision based on the number of pluses or minuses. ASK: Where is my passion? Your passion will skew the weight of your decision.

Notify key personnel.

The Law of Modeling: it’s hard to improve when you have no one but yourself to follow.

Bring people around you and set expectations on the front end, then model behavior on the back end.

Who do I need to notify when I’m going through a big project or change? Family, team, friends.

Personalize it. Let them know how it will impact them.

Equip them. Give them the information and tools they need to succeed.

Bring accountability into the situation to ensure we get it done.

“There always has to be accountability with empowerment.”

Allow time for acceptance.

The Law of Reflection: learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.

Big changes must be given time. Big changes must value the past.

Let people ask questions, be heard, hear and process.

Head into action.

The Law of Intentionality: growth doesn’t just happen.

Don’t wait for fear to subside or problems to disappear. Take action.

Momentum is your best friend. Seize the moment.

Fight fear with action.

We never eliminate negative emotion, but we can feed positive emotion.

Feed your faith and starve your doubts.”

Momentum Breakers vs. Momentum Makers past focused vs. future focused

critical view vs. constructive view, traditional thinking vs. creative thinking,

indecision vs. action

Expect problems.

The Law of Pain: good management of bad experiences leads to great growth.

Every day we will experience pain and disappointment.

Motion causes friction.

Fact of Life vs. Problem: A fact of life is something I can’t change.

A problem can be fixed or worked on.

If you can’t change a fact of life, change your attitude about the fact of life.

Problems are an opportunity for creativity.

Always point to the successes.

The Law of Mirror: must see value in self to add value to self and others.

When people are pointing to failures, who’s going to point to your successes?

The price tag you put on self is the price tag others put on you.

The price tag you put on others is the price tag they put on themselves.

Once you’ve had a success, celebrate that success.

You’ve got to be your own champion.

Daily review your progress.

The Law of Consistency: motivation gets you going, but disciple keeps you growing.

Consistency compounds. It doesn’t show up in the beginning, but it does in the end.

“Occasional” doesn’t work in life. “Sometimes” doesn’t work in life.

The only way you can plan ahead and do well is to daily review your progress.

To get bigger in the future, you’ve got to be bigger in the present.

“Getting ready” is the secret of success. It will give you the highest return.

It’s not making the big decision for the future. It’s making

LINKS

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SA Leadership Podcast Episode #149

Responsibility Capacity - Your Choice to Take Charge of Your Life

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You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today! – Abraham Lincoln

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious, choice, and discipline – Jim Collins

Donald S. Drusky, in a law suit against God, Presidents Ronald Regan & George Bush, television networks, all 50 states, every single American, the FCC, all Federal Judges, and the 100th-105th Congress. He alleged that that his life had been ruined first by God and everyone named were willing accomplices in this plan of destruction.

His desired outcome was to have God to return his youth, grant him guitar playing skills of the greats, resurrecting his mother and his pet pigeon. If God fails to show up in court then God loses by default.

It is easy to laugh at such an outrageous abdication of responsibility in Mr. Drusky. Responsibility may not be the most exciting subject to review, but it is the most impacting. Here are six reasons why you and I should improve our responsibility which impacts our success.

Responsibility Creates the Foundation for Your Success

Novelist Michael Korda stated, “Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility. In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take responsibility.” Winston Churchill stated that the price of greatness is responsibility. Here are three key insights:

The size of the opportunity requires the same amount of responsibility.

Opportunity is lost when responsibility is neglected.

Tomorrow’s opportunity is determined by yesterday’s responsibility.

Responsibility Puts You In Control of Your Life

Many people think about their lives as something that just happens to them instead of something they can control themselves. They drift through life reacting to the actions of others instead of taking steps on their own behalf. Such people are like rudderless boats on the ocean, completely at the mercies of the tides to take them where they will. You can choose control the things that are within your control.

Responsibility Builds Your Self Esteem

The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs – Joan Didion. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt stated, In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

Responsibility Makes You Ready For Action

Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated, “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” Author Korrapati in his book 108 Pearls of Wisdom for Every College Student writes, “It is often said that your thoughts become your actions. But without taking responsibility for your life, those thoughts often just stay on the mental stage and aren’t translated into action. Taking responsibility for your life is that extra ingredient that makes taking action more of a natural thing. You get stuck in just thinking and wishing so much. You become proactive instead of passive.

Responsibility Makes Your Habits Serve You

Positive habits are decisions that we make once and then take responsibility to manage daily. When you make a good decision and then manage that decision day-to-day, we see positive results through the development of those positive habits. Without management, a good decision dies. Lou Holtz stated that the person who complains the way the ball is dropped is likely the one who dropped it.

Responsibility Earns You Respect and Authority

Respect is gained on difficult ground and it is not given or granted to us if unearned. Stephen Covey, author of The Speed of Trust states, “Say what is on your mind. Don’t hide your agenda. When we talk straight, we tell the truth and leave the right impression. Most employees don’t think their bosses communicate honestly. This creates a trust tax. This causes speed to go down and costs to go up. We spend entirely too much time trying to decipher truth from spin.” Author Eric Greitens in the book Resilience writes, “The more responsibility people take, the more resilient they are likely to be. The less responsibility people take for their actions, lives, and happiness, the more likely it is that life will crush them. At the root of resilience is the willingness to take responsibility for results.

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SA Leadership Podcast Episode #148

Leadership Capacity - You Ability To Lift and Lead Others

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In the 1970’s Earl Nightingale stated, “If a person spends one hour a day, five days a week for five years studying a single subject, he or she will become an expert on that subject.”

The truth of the matter is that the more that study the more you understand how much you do not know! There are two-sides to the Leadership Coin. Liz Wiseman former Oracle Executive and President of the Wiseman Group in Silicon Valley wrote a book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. She gave a presentation on The Five Disciplines of A Multiplier; Here are those five.

The Talent Magnet – attracts talented people and uses them at their highest point of contribution.

The Liberator – creates an intense environment that requires people’s best thinking and work.

The Challenger – defines an opportunity that causes people to stretch.

The Debate Maker – drives sound decisions through rigorous debate.

The Investor – gives other people ownership of the results and invests in their success.

However, Liz Wiseman goes on to state how that Multipliers unwittingly diminish people. Here are six thoughts.

The Idea Guy – intends his ideas to stimulate ideas in others but the results is that he overwhelms others, who often shut down.

Always on – intends to create infectious energy and share his point of view, but the result is that he consumes all of the emotional space, and other people tune him out.

The Rescuer – intends to ensure that people are successful and protect their reputation, but he makes people become dependent on him, which weakens their reputation.

The Pacesetter – intends to set a high standard for quality or pace, but people become spectators or give up when they can’t keep up.

The Rapid Responder – intends to keep the organization moving fast but the result is that the organization moves slowly because there is a traffic jam of too many decisions or changes.

The Optimist – intends to create a belief that the team can do it, but people wonder if he appreciates how difficult the journey is or acknowledges the possibility of failure.

Leadership development has a layering effect. We lead today from what we are learning today. Yesterday’s knowledge has led us to today’s opportunities. We must lead from the present and not the past. I want offer four (4) deep insights.

Ask Questions & Listen to Understand & Find Your People

Communication is the language of leadership. Author William Whyte stated that the great enemy of communication is the illusion of it. It seems that we tend to believe that as long as we are talking and giving direction that we are communicating. A leader focuses on vision and they tend to think that leadership is all about them and what they want to have happen. The truth of the matter it is more about getting to know those who labor with you and in turn they learn who you are. Leadership is a two-way street. Before we set things right as leaders – we need to see things right.

Connect With People Before Asking Them To Change

By nature leadership is about creating change. A leaders invites people to change their focus, energy, skills and sometimes direction of life. How do you get people to trust you with so many changes? The foundations of trust needs to be built on good relationships and good relationships start with good connection.

Demonstrate Transparency Before Challenging People

One of the most valuable things you can do to increase your leadership capacity is to be authentic and transparent with people. Share your story, especially before you challenge them to do something difficult. Too many leaders feel they must project a perfect image in order to have credibility. They feel they have to put their best foot forward. What they are missing is that their best foot forward is flawed. They miss the power of their imperfect story. The leaders story of struggle, growth, and improvement can inspire others and change their lives!

Put Others Ahead of Yourself

As a leader you must make the shift from ME to WE! Consider these three factors that will help you to make this change.

Reality As the Challenge Escalates, The Need For Teamwork Elevates. Are your dreams bigger than yourself? When we realize this truth, it motivates us to ask others for help. As important as it is to develop a vision – it is greater to develop others to achieve their vision and dreams. Elevate others!

Maturity With One Tiny Exception, The World is Composed of Others – Maturity is defined as unselfishness! Get over your own sense of worth and help others achieve significance!

Profitability Measure Your Success by What You Give, Not What You Gain – I want to close with these three thoughts…

Never focus on making money – focus on making people!

Never focus on starting companies – focus on starting people!

Never focus on growing production – focus on growing people!

LINKS

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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!