Our World Needs More Optimists

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 world and our experiences. Optimists just tend to create better worlds. The great thing about optimism is that it is simply a choice. Let me explain with this story about my friend
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Work Like An Artisan

Earlier this month my wife and I took a trip to Israel. It was a wonderful trip full of history and culture. One of the things that stood out to me was the idea of working like an artisan. While we were in Israel we saw sculptures and carvings that were centuries old and what stood out to me is that artisans would carve their name or initials into their work. I began to wonder if everyday I would be proud enough of what I do to carve my initials into my work. What sets a true artisan apart from an everyday craftsman is an artisan makes their craft their sole purpose in life. They devote their lives to their craft, taking the time to master, perfect and produce their product.  They don’t just fabricate for mass production. There is a real pride in ownership to being an artisan. In
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Don’t Give Up On Your Dream – The Jeremy Lin Story

With the NBA Playoffs in full swing and some amazing buzzer beaters over the last week I was reminded of my favorite sports story of the last few years and wanted to share again an article I wrote three years ago. I love the sport of basketball and if you are a basketball fan like me you have probably been swept away by Linsanity! For those of you going “Huh?” – let me explain. Jeremy Lin who, at the time of my writing this has now started five games for the New York Knicks, has taken the basketball world by storm. His output has been amazing. The New York Knicks have won all five games. But Jeremy Lin’s story has inspired me and so many others to not give up on our dreams. Jeremy Lin didn’t receive a single scholarship offer to play basketball in college. Instead he walked on
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The Best in the World

  Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were a kid? Was it an astronaut, a baseball player, a fireman, chef, writer, actor, lawyer or a doctor? Regardless of what profession you chose, there is a common element to childhood dreams: Every child dreams of being “The Best in the World.” Think about it – you didn’t dream about being a casual, better than average basketball player. You dreamed about being in the NBA and winning a world championship. You didn’t dream about being a writer whose book never got published. You dreamed of writing the best-selling book of all time. Children dream big, and don’t see past their goal to envision all the work it will take to get there – they just dream. But somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we lose the “best in the world” part of our dreams and settle for the “that’s
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Today’s Leaders Need An Entrepreneurial Mindset

According to Financial Times an Entrepreneurial mindset refers to a specific state of mind, which orientates human conduct towards entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation and value creation. I recently spoke at an association conference for Food Service Leaders. The CEO of a major food company introduced me and when I finished my speech and came back stage he was there waiting for me. He thanked me for my speech and said, “I wish that my leaders would think the way you think.” I asked, “What do you mean,” and he said, “You are an entrepreneur, so you think like an entrepreneur. You take an owner’s mentality and see the big picture. Leaders need to think like entrepreneurs if they want to be successful in today’s market.” I have thought a lot about what he had to say and he is right.
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Top 15 Qualities of Leadership

Over the last couple of years as I have spoken to Leadership organizations I have taken over 100,000 leaders through an interactive session where they have shared what they believe are the top qualities or characteristics of great leaders. You can see a video of this dialogue and discuss in action by clicking here. So according to leaders in over a dozen industries from companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Avnet, Subway, Nestle, Ericsson, and many others – these are the top 15 qualities of great leaders. 1. Leaders Set The Example: Leaders understand that action speaks louder than words and they act the part. 2. Leaders Have Vision: Vision comes from the old germanic word vissen which means I know what I see. Leaders have a clear vision and know how to communicate it. 3. Leaders Care: Leaders understand that people don’t care how much you know until they
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The Easiest Choice Isn’t The Best

The easiest thing to do when the alarm clock rings would be to roll over and go back to sleep. Yet if you made that choice every day you would never get anything accomplished. —————————————- The easiest thing to do when troubles come your way would be to look for someone else to blame. Yet even if you find who is to blame, that’s not going to remedy the situation. —————————————- The easiest thing to do when faced with a challenge would be to run away and hide. Yet when you do that, the challenge becomes even more difficult the next timeyou encounter it, and eventually you’ll be unable to avoid it. —————————————- Taking the easy way out is never really easy, not in the long run. Rather than seeking the easiest choice, seek the choice that will fill your life and your world with the most value. —————————————- Rather
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Why Resolutions Don’t Work

This week for New Years Eve the whole world typically makes some sort of New Years Resolution. “I want to lose weight.” “I’m going to make more money.” “I’m going to stop smoking in 2011.” So why do over 80% of New Years Resolutions fail? I believe that when people make resolutions they do nothing more than make a wish. They determine what they want and that is it. They don’t think it through, develop a plan or follow through and it quickly is forgotten. If you want to move beyond New Years Resolutions and begin to achieve goals – you need to set True Goals. True Goals have three things: Vision, Mission & Strategy. Vision paints the picture – answering What? Mission provides the purpose – answering Why? Strategy provides the plan – answering How? A true goal is like travel plans. You have your destination determined, your estimated
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True Goals for New Years Resolutions

As New Years fast approaches I’m sure everyone has given thought to their New Years Resolutions. What do you want to be, do and have in 2010? I believe that New Years Resolutions don’t work unless you set True Goals – goals that have everything you need to be able to achieve them. I wanted to share a quick outline on how to make a True Goal with the hope that your New Years Resolutions this year will result in making 2010 the best year of your life. Here goes – A True Goal needs three things: Vision, Mission, and Strategy Vision Provides a Picture – answering What? Mission Provides Purpose – answering Why? Strategy Provides a Plan – answering How? A true goal requires that you identify what you want, feel a deep sense of why you want it and then develop a plan as to how you will
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Leadership Starts With Vision

It has been said that “We are limited not by our abilities, but by our vision.” Today I want to write about vision because as it states in Proverbs, “Without vision, the people perish.” Vision is typically thought of as physical but eyes are merely the instruments. Vision, like belief, is internal. It is in our judgment, understanding and imagination. The word “vision” comes from the old Germanic word “vissen” and it means, “I know what I see.” When you have a vision you know what you see and it doesn’t matter whether anyone else sees it or not. The saying goes hindsight is 20/20 but for those who have vision, foresight is 20/20. When I think of vision I think of Bill Gates. Over 30 years ago, Bill dropped out of school to start Microsoft, with a vision of putting a personal computer in every home. At the time,
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