Are You Suffering From This Deadly Disease?

Atherosclerosis is the progressive build up of plaque, fatty deposits, and other cells in the walls of your arteries causing them to harden. This horrible disease is the leading cause of coronary heart disease and stroke, which were responsible for 602,000 deaths in 2004 — more than 25% of all deaths in the United States. Each year about 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with coronary heart disease and about 700,000 people suffer a stroke.   As staggering as these statistics are, I believe that an even greater percentage of people around the world suffer from a cousin disease called Psychosclerosis. Psychosclerosis is the hardening of the attitude, which causes a person to cease dreaming, seeing, thinking, and leading. It is the hardening of the mind so that we become unteachable: we stop learning and we stop growing. It is the hardening of the heart, which takes away our ability to
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Be An Optimist

As I have studied successful people, one of the common traits I find is optimism. Not naive or overdone – just a positive approach to life, leadership, challenges, and what is possible. Those who believe in positive results think the world looks bright.  They see the good in things and not just the bad. They carry a smile on their face instead of a frown. Author John Maxwell said, “A pessimist is a person who regardless of the present is disappointed in the future.” An optimist then is a person who regardless of the present is excited about the future. The world is full of pessimists. We are conditioned to be negative and cynical. I find it interesting that very few people would admit to being negative. They use the excuse that they are “realists” not “pessimists”. The problem with that is reality is based on perception. We create our
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Investments Lead To Stories

Investments in people lead to stories. And the stories that are told invariably build the influence and reputation of the one doing the investing.   Think about it: -When you have exceptional service at a restaurant, what do you do? You tell the story. -When your boss does something extra special for you, what do you do? You tell the story. -When a friend goes out of their way to help you, what do you do? You tell the story. We love it when someone invests in us by providing exceptional attention and service, and because it is so unexpected or unusual, we almost always share.   One of my clients is Subway. I speak to their franchisees and managers quite often and when I do I always share a simple experience to illustrate this point. I was eating in a subway once in the middle of the afternoon and
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Core Values Make You Valuable

Last week I spoke for Delta Airlines. I am a frequent flier of DELTA and so maybe I am biased but they truly are one of the most admired companies in the world. I spoke to 1000 of their leaders and the average tenure of the leaders in the room was 20 years – they must be doing something right. As I dove into the culture of the company to prepare for my speech I was impressed with their core values – what they call the Rules of The Road. Delta’s Core Values (Rules of the Road) o  Always tell the truth HONESTY o  Always keep your deals INTEGRITY o  Don’t hurt anyone RESPECT o  Try harder than all our competitors—never give up PERSEVERANCE o  Care for our customers, our community and each other SERVANT LEADERSHIP The thing that impressed me is how well these values have permeated the organization and it struck me how few
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Elephant Mindset

When I was 19 years old I had a mentor who taught me a lot about the importance of correct thinking. He told me that anything was possible if we had the right thinking. What Henry Ford said is true: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” One way my mentor helped me to understand the power of your thoughts was through the example of elephants. He said, “When a baby elephant is born in captivity, the captors will use a large, heavy chain to tie the elephant’s leg to a solid post, driven deep into the ground. The baby elephant will pull and pull with all its might, but will not be able to break the grip of the chain. After enough pulling, the elephant learns that it can’t escape and begins to think, “What is the use in trying. I’ll never break free.”
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Litmus Test

Below are 12 questions you can ask yourself. They will help you to see whether your thinking is inward or outward, selfish or selfless. They are not designed to make you feel bad. Rather, they should help you stop and really analyze your thinking and your motives. Be honest with yourself. We can all improve our thinking. These questions will help you accurately assess where you are and in what areas you can improve.  In sales do you A) care more about the commission you make or B) more about the customer?  In leadership do you A) place blame or B) praise your people?  Do you A) feel threatened by the success of others or B) celebrate their triumphs?  In relationships do you A) try and change others or B) try to make yourself better?  In relationships do you A) want to win or B) do you want win-win?  When
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It’s Not About You

It’s not about you – it’s about them! The focus of an influencer is always on the audience. If you are a speaker – it’s about the people listening to you. If you are in sales – it’s about your customer or prospect. If you are a leader – it’s about the people you are leading. If you are a teacher – it’s about your students. If you are a parent – it’s about your children Almost everyone has this backwards. They think being influential means they need to become polished or powerful. Influence, though, is all about the audience. Be it an audience of one or one thousand. When it’s about them, they get it, and we grow in their eyes. By thinking out instead of in, by concentrating on others instead of on us, a tremendous transformation takes place. We go from inner directed to outer directed, from
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People Do Business With People They Know, Like, Trust and Value

There’s a fundamental rule of business that states: “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” We’ve all heard that, and even repeated it, but ultimately it is wrong. Ok, maybe wrong is not the right word. But the rule is incomplete. The truth is, people do business with people they know, like, trust and VALUE. Honesty and likeability are important, but if people don’t see you as valuable, they will never do business with you. If you don’t come across as professional, knowledgeable, and credible with the right skill set to get the job done, you will never be as influential and successful as you would like. So what do we do about it? How do we make ourselves more valuable? By constantly developing our knowledge, our skills and continually striving to get better. The fundamental rule of Business should read: “People do business with people they
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Give 100%, 100% of The Time

Do you give 100% at work, at school, and at home? Some people probably think of giving 100% this way: 12% for Monday, 23% for Tuesday, 40% for Wednesday, 20% for Thursday, 5% for Friday = 100%. Too many people coast through life, only doing what is required to get by. Giving 100%, 100% of the time is the effort required to stop getting by and start getting ahead. It is the difference between playing not to lose and playing to win. Living by design and not default. Giving 100% will separate you from the rest. It will build your integrity and your results. John Wooden was one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach. John used to tell his players, “Give 100% today, because you can’t make up
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Build People Up, Don’t Tear People Down

People with integrity focus their attention on building up others as opposed to tearing them down. They avoid criticism, complaining and gossip and instead they celebrate the successes and praise the strengths of those around them. It is easy to get caught in the trap of gossip or negative speaking, but I love what Will Durrant said when he stated, “To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.” Do you build people up or tear people down? To illustrate this point further, let me tell you about an interesting study. Friends Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad wrote about a study conducted with a group of monkeys. Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas. One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to
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