Do You Know Your Value?

I love the lesson this little story teaches A father said to his daughter “You graduated with honors, here is a car I acquired many years ago. It is several years old. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you. The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because it looks very worn out.” The father said, ”Take him to the pawnshop.” The daughter went to the pawnshop, returned to her father and said, ”The pawn shop offered $100 because it was a very old car.” The father asked his daughter to go to a car club and show them the car. The daughter took the car to the club, returned and told her father,” Some people in
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We’re All In This Together

My mind has gone back to this story several times in the last couple of weeks. Several years ago, my friend Cindy and her kids noticed that two robins had built a nest in one of their trees. As they paid attention to the robins’ activity they realized there were eggs in the nest. Those eggs soon hatched four baby birds. Cindy and her kids took ownership of the baby birds. They loved to watch them and would check on their condition regularly. Then one day as Cindy was putting clothes away in one of the kid’s rooms – she saw something she’d never seen before or since. More than a dozen birds were flying around the tree with the robin’s nest. Cindy rushed out to see what all the fuss was about and saw all different types of birds were attacking the tree. Instinctively, Cindy ran to protect the
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All Excuses Are Equal

Nearly 14 years ago we were a couple weeks away from our first child being born. I was busy growing our business and Sarah was getting everything ready at home. I started the process of recruiting a new sales rep. We had a great discussion and he seemed like this could be a good fit. The next day Sarah went into labor early and our daughter was born. The whirlwind of our first baby took over. We were at the hospital making sure mother and baby were great. Then we brought her home and were trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. It took me more than a week to get back to the sales rep I was trying to recruit. I told him that we had a baby and I was sorry for the gap in our conversations and then he very honestly said,
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Influence vs Manipulation

This week I was interviewed on a podcast where we talked about influence. One of the questions sparked a conversation around the difference between influence and manipulation. The truth is, while the connotations between these two words are extreme, the difference is subtle. There is an important warning to us as leaders when we purposely use emotions and feelings to influence.  We must check our motivations and desired outcomes.  If our motivations are selfish or our desired outcomes are self-centered, we will find ourselves manipulating not influencing. The fundamental difference between manipulation and influence is intent – intent based in principles of honesty, fairness, and benefit.  If we are honest in our intentions, fair with our expectations, and ensure that outcomes are mutually beneficial, we can be confident in our efforts to influence. I had an interesting experience following a speech that brought this distinction into clear view. After speaking
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Do You Speak Their Language?

This last week I’ve been traveling through Europe with my family. We spent 2 days in London, then 5 days in Portugal and we are in Spain currently where I had a speech for an international group.   We love to travel. I’ve personally been to nearly 40 countries. I’ve found things I love about every country I’ve been to but I noticed something during this trip.   I lived in Portugal for two years as a missionary and I speak the language fluently. The truth is you can travel virtually anywhere in the world and get by with English for the most part but our experience in Portugal was different, deeper, because I spoke their language.   I speak to leaders about this concept because it’s important that we speak the language of our people. And when we speak their language there are three primary benefits. It Deepens Your
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Leadership & Mindfulness

Have you ever received a phone call from a spouse or a child telling you they wrecked a car? How did you react? Was your first question – Are you ok? Or was your initial reaction frustration? Be honest. . Here’s the truth. It’s ok if you felt frustration or thought “why in the world”, it’s human nature, but it’s probably not best if you said it out loud. . Learning to listen to your thoughts & choose how you want to act is the practice of mindfulness. Learning to control your emotions is a skill that is developed through conscious effort. Meditation is a great practice to develop this skill. . As I see it, it is a required skill if a leader wants to be influential. A leader needs to be able to act & not react. To choose their response instead of flying off the handle. The
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What Type of a Thinker Are You?

Our mindset, the way we approach life, the way we think about the world around us dictates so much of our happiness. In the book, Supercoach, author Michael Neill outlines three different types of thinking – Acquisition-based thinking places the power outside us in the visible physical world. If we want some of that power for ourselves, we need to go out and get it. When we don’t get what we want, it’s either because the world is rigged against people like us or we just aren’t trying hard enough. Attraction-based thinking places the power outside us in the invisible metaphysical world. If we want to tap into that power, we need to align our thoughts, feelings, intentions, and desires. When we don’t get what we want, it’s either because God/the universe has a higher plan for us or we just aren’t thinking positively enough. Creation-based thinking recognizes that the
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What are your values?

Last week in my blog I mentioned my list of values and I received a lot of comments and questions about it. I have a list of values and understand their priority in order in my life. Why is it important? Because when your values are clear to you then making decisions becomes easy. Simply put – your values make you valuable. I don’t believe my values are important for everyone, they are simply important to me. I would encourage you to spend some time identifying what you value & why. It’s a very clarifying process. My values are: Faith – the defining tenant of my life is my faith. It gives me an understanding of who I am, helps me to know how I want to live & gives me confidence & purpose because of my connection to God. Family – my family is everything to me. My wife
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It’s You Vs You Not You Vs Them

On Monday I shared the stage with Rachel Hollis (author of Girl, Wash Your Face & Girl, Stop Apologizing) speaking to a group of entrepreneurs in Michigan. If you don’t know Rachel Hollis, you have probably been living under a rock, but you should check her out.   On Monday she opened the conference and shared some thoughts that I think are worth passing along.   Rachel started by saying “what got you here, will not get you there.”   You have probably heard that saying before but, because it is a trite phrase, I wonder if you have considered the implications.   In my list of values, I prioritize: Faith, Family, & Then Growth.   Growth is what this life is about. Learning, developing, becoming better and therefore adding value and benefitting the world is why we are here. (IMO)   So why don’t we push to the next
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Some Thoughts on Freedom

I love the 4th of July! I love fireworks, get togethers & barbecues. But most of all I love what the holiday stands for: Freedom.   And this year as we approach the 4th of July my thoughts keep circling back to the idea that you can’t have freedom without responsibility.   This idea was first introduced to me years ago when a friend told me about the idea for a Statue of Responsibility.   The Statue of Responsibility is a proposed structure to be built on the West Coast of The United States. The original idea of a Statue of Responsibility was the vision of Dr. Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who went on to publish Man’s Search For Meaning. In this work published in 1946, Frankl stated that: “Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose
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