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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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.
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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
Continue Reading

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.”
Continue Reading