People Support What They Help Create

One of the key lessons I teach leaders is that – People Support What They Help Create. Our world has changed, and rapidly. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted your voice to be heard, you pretty much only believed it was heard if you held a position of leadership. Social media has changed all that and I don’t mean just because people have Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn where they can go and voice their opinion. It has changed the psyche of our world. It has caused everyone to feel like his or her voice should be heard. Regardless of where people are in your organization, they mentally believe that their voice and their opinion matters. As a result, our top-down directives don’t work the same way they used to. We can’t just throw things at people and expect them to jump on it, to run with it, and go for
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One of My Favorite Stories For The Lesson It Teaches

One of my favorite stories illustrates the dramatic effect increased confidence will have in your life. It is story written in 1914 by Harry Leon Wilson, called Bunker Bean. Bunker Bean’s parents died when he was a child leaving him to grow up on the street. As an adult Bunker Bean struggled to survive. He was weak and timid as he lived in fear, struggling from job to job just to make ends meet. Then one day as he was living in a boarding house he met a man who was a spiritual medium. The man convinced Bunker Bean that he had special powers and he taught him about reincarnation. The medium taught him that people had lived before as other people, and that for enough money, he would tell Bunker Bean about his previous life. Bunker Bean scraped together the money after a couple of weeks and upon paying
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What is your major goal for 2017?

As you approach the new year & set Goals/New Years Resolutions for 2017 I want you to think about your primary goal. What is your main goal for 2017? What is the one goal, that if achieved, will make the whole year a success? What will your contribution to the world be in 2017? Most people, when they set goals, focus on balance. They set several goals for every area of their life. I’m not against that, but years ago I learned that the word for balance in Hungarian is the word egyensúly. It actually translates to mean “one weighted focus” That understanding has changed my approach to setting goals and I’ve found that if I have one major objective it actually allows me to balance & prioritize my life around it. I also believe it has allowed me to make a bigger impact because I focus on major contributions &
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Service Makes You Happier

One of the reasons that I love the Holiday Season is because of all of the good that is done in the world. We focus on others, serve those around us and look for ways to help. When I was in high school, I decided that our DECA club needed to do something that brought us together and provided service. As we discussed it, one of the girls suggested we provide Christmas for a family who needed it. We all got on board, soliciting donations, money, and food. With a monumental effort, we showed up Christmas Eve at the front door of a tiny home in downtown Denver with three SUV’s packed full of Christmas. We had toys, candy and clothes for the four kids, food to fill their pantry, and some money for the parents. As we brought in the first presents I set them down next to a
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What is Your Word For 2017?

Every year I choose a word: one single word that I focus on throughout the year. It becomes the subject of my study, the focus of my thoughts, and it defines the traits I wish to gain in that year. Like Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues, my word becomes part of me in that year. The first year I started this I chose the word communication. I always felt like I was a natural communicator but I wanted to turn a raw talent into a strength. At the time I wanted to become a professional speaker and was speaking regularly in building our business. I read books on communication, presenting, public speaking and story telling. I worked very hard to eliminate any filler words from my speech, such as um, or ah. I recorded myself every time I presented, either in audio or video, and analyzed what worked, what didn’t work, and
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Confidence Will Change Your World

The word confidence means to go forward with faith. Self-confidence causes you to act. It is bold but not overbearing. It dispels doubt and fear. It is personal power. Ralph Ellison said, “Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.”  When you have confidence in yourself, you gain confidence in others. Great leaders have great confidence. It is attractive, focused and contagious. Many military leaders were known for their supreme confidence on the battlefield. One of those was Napoleon Bonaparte. The Duke of Wellington said,  “In my opinion Napoleon’s presence on the field of battle was the equivalent of 100,000 additional troops. His very name acquired a mythical power and his supreme confidence of himself was transferred as if by magic to those serving under his command.” No wonder so many people followed him! Confidence
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Leaders Keep Learning

It was John F. Kennedy who said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Ego inhibits learning, growth, and progress. Humility, however, encourages it. The word Humility comes from the word humus, which is the rich, organic part of the soil that allows for growth. Ask yourself if you are sufficiently humble? Do you allow yourself to learn and grow? Do you allow others to grow and develop? Humility is what Jim Collins (in Good to Great) says separates good leaders from great leaders. The leadership capacity of someone with true humility is absolutely immense, because you cannot contain or restrain his or her personal growth and development. There is a story of a boy who was walking through the garden with his father. His dad was one of the best gardeners in the town and proud of his work. As they finished the father asked the boy if
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Limitations Are Mental and Self-Imposed

What holds you back?  What really stops you from achieving? My first foray on stage was as a magician. You can laugh now but when I was 12 years old I was a magician at birthday parties, community events and even a state fair.  I loved magicians and of all the magicians I think the greatest in the world was Harry Houdini. If you’ve ever seen anything, read any books, or seen any TV shows on Harry Houdini you know he was a master magician, but more importantly he was probably the greatest escape artist in history.  He escaped from everything, it didn’t matter – chains, ropes, locks, underwater, he could escape from anything. And at one point in his career, he kind of issued a challenge.  He told the world that he could escape from any jail cell in the world within an hour and he did it on several occasions.
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Pura Vida

Last week my wife & I vacationed in Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country & we had fun adventures but I was most impressed by the happiness of the people. The Costa Rican people have a saying – Pura Vida. They use it as a greeting or in response to a question. It means life is good. Everything is awesome.  It’s an emotion, it’s an attitude, it’s happiness, and it’s a way of life. It’s like hakuna matata from the movie The Lion King. As native Costa Rican, Nuria Villalobos , said “Happiness, well-being, conformity and satisfaction is what “Pura vida” reflects; it identifies a Costa Rican wherever he or she may be. When you say, hear or see “Pura vida”, the facial expression of the person changes and a smile is drawn on his face. It is a very meaningful word for us “ticos” (Costa Ricans) because it
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Prove Them Wrong

Last week my six-year-old son Drew invented a new game. The board was a torn piece of cardboard with marker & the pieces where taken from an old box full of mismatched toys. He said he wanted to sell it to someone. His older sister mocked him and said, “Who would buy that?” Drew didn’t seem to hear her and went out to go door to door to sell his new invention (I apologize to my neighbors). Within five minutes he walked in with a huge smile on his face and a shiny dollar in his hand. He immediately went into his sisters room and said, “Remember you said that no one would buy my game? Then how do you explain this?” & he held up his dollar & walked out. I have to admit I might have teared up a little because I have lived that experience. If you
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