How Do You Describe Your Potential?

How do you describe your potential?

Do you focus on your obstacles?

So many times I have limited myself, not because of my potential, or even my obstacles, but because of my thinking. I tell myself I can’t, without even really trying. If I try and don’t succeed the first time it doesn’t mean I failed, it just means the first effort was unsuccessful. Do I give up or try again? That is a decision. That is a decision we all have the opportunity to make. Do we, or is it too hard?

My friend George Guzzardo posted this inspiring video that caused me to examine myself.

Watch this inspiring video and be honest with yourself…..do you and I really have obstacles?

I think most of us would all be embarrassed to say we did.

Rather than watch and be embarrassed, let’s watch and be inspired into ACTION.

Trystan says; “It you don’t try you will never know what could have been”

Act until we succeed or as Trystan says; “You have to try new ways to live your fullest potential. If I can do that, you can surely do that.”

Be Thankful for who we are, but strive to be all we have been created to be!

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving

The Pa Project – A Call to Action

Over the last 20 + years I have had the pleasure of watching a young quiet couple from a small town in Pennsylvania grow into one of the most dynamic and caring leaders I know. Their names to most people in Pennsylvania and across America may be unknown, but their touch and influence is profound. Their life and legacy is still in progress but has been extended through their offspring. They say an apple does not fall far from the tree, and in this case their “four apples” and their spouses have inspired an entire community of leaders at Life Leadership to action; and with that The Pa Project was born.

2016-05-16-23.14.21                                    Dean & Teresa Frey Family along with Deb and Myron Kile

Dean & Teresa Frey and their amazing children Zach, Lexi, Levi and Haley are impacting lives while creating family memories and a legacy to be proud of.

The Power of a Mentor, Good Books, Perseverance, and Toughening Up

Over the last 30+ years I have learned the power of several key principles that have molded my life. Most of what I have learned have come from the advice of good mentors. It’s interesting, that those mentors who had more than average success, had about the same advice. One was to be careful where you got your advice. The second was to read books, books from a variety of authors on a variety of subjects. The third, I learned not only from my mentors and the examples given in the books I read, but from first-hand experience around me; those who persevered… succeeded. And to persevere, I had to toughen up.

I heard a TED Talk by Tai Lopez that mirrored what I have learned. It’s interesting that the principles I learned are practiced by others in various fields of life who aspire to excellence.

Here are some excerpts from Mr. Lopez’s talk that you will find are consistent with the principles I have come to respect and apply.

Mentors
Did you know Albert Einstein had a mentor?
Every Thursday, he would have lunch with a mentor growing up.
Jay-Z, the rapper, he had a mentor.
Oprah Winfrey said she had two mentors.
Alexander, the Great, had Aristotle.
Bill Gates had Paul Allen.
Warren Buffet had Benjamin Graham.

Reading
The modern education system has turned people off from books.
You have to rewire your brain.
See a book like a friend. You read it over and over.
You come back. And just like friends, you pick a handful of them.
I recommend you find 150 books. There’s 130 million. You can’t read that many.
But 150 you can read over and over for the rest of your life.
There’s no rule, either, at how fast you have to read them.
The average American buys 17 books a year, Maybe reads one a month.
You should read at least one book a week, because remember, everybody wants the good life ,but not everybody’s willing to read to get it.
You must read more.

Perseverance
The media has tricked us.
They only show us the success at the end, but Bill Gates started at 12.
It wasn’t until 31 years old that he was a billionaire.
He said from age 20 to 30, he never took a day off. Not even one.
You must persevere,

Toughen Up
Guess what the media wants to do.
We see on average 2,000 ads a day.
They’re trying to sell you something.
Luxury comes at the cost of killing your hopes, your dreams, your ambitions.
Be humble. Persevere. Read more. Toughen up

Listen to the full TED Talk Published on Jan 15, 2015
Why I read a book a day (and why you should too): The Law of 33% – by Tai Lopez
This TED Talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.

How Much Intelligence Does it Take?

I, like many people love automobiles. They are amazing! They provide the ability to get so many different places so quickly and in comfort. And many look so good. There are so many awesome designs, engines with great horsepower, climate controlled, with sound systems that marvel, technology to the max. They are designed with style that is not only attractive but engineered with efficiency in mind.

I love the new Tesla S! It is an amazing car. No engine, no transmission, no need for gasoline, a full 17 inch computer screen to handle the functions of your automobile. And even with no engine or transmission it is still a car with great acceleration, 0-60mph in just over 4 seconds. It had to require a different thought process, a paradigm shift to believe you could create an automobile that is fast as most any sports car on the market and not have an engine. It had to have challenged the intelligent automotive minds of today to think and design such an automobile.

2012-tesla-model-s_100365754_m

WHERE’S THE ENGINE?

TESLA S Trunk

Then look at the smart phones of today. Small, with so much technology and apps it staggers the imagination. These people who design these things are intelligent, I mean really really smart.

To have the vision to think these concepts in the mind and the smarts to create these technologies from mind to reality took some major intelligence. Likewise I cannot imagine that to create our world it took any less intelligence or any less design. None of us will deny the fact that the products we live our lives with today, from something as simple as a fork and spoon, to complexity of the automobile or smart phone didn’t happen by accident. Someone had to think and design the fork and spoon just as they had to have the intelligence to think and create the automobile and smart phone.  How can we possibly think that complexity of the earth, with its water, oxygen, plants, animals, insects, humans, etc. all of which play an integral role in each other’s existence, happened without that same intelligence or with any sense of design that our circle of life and ecosystem would all work together.

As a person who studied the sciences we were taught to propose a hypotheses or theory and then prove or disprove it. Many theories that could not be proved were by default considered disproved….until new knowledge became available. Just because we cannot explain something and it is beyond our current level of understanding doesn’t mean it is not possible or didn’t happen. I am not the smartest person in the world, but even the most intelligent minds could not possibly design and create our planet and the life on. I also find it intellectually very hard to believe that like the fork, spoon, automobile and smart phone that they were created by the big bang theory and then evolved into the ordered life systems we know. Many things we are still learning and trying to understand, but how much intelligence would it take to design and create the universe, the planet, all living things and the human race? Could we propose that perhaps a mind much greater than a single human mind, or perhaps even greater than the mind of all of our experts combined?

So……… as an intelligent person reading this blog I want to challenge you to watch this 38 minute video. Listen intently to the questions being asked and the responses to those questions. Ask yourself some of those same questions.

Now think about this. How much time and energy did most of us spend researching our last automobile to make sure it was safe or fuel efficient? An automobile that we might keep for 3-5 years? Would it be worth spending 38 minutes watching this video and then do some research to make a decision where you and your children may spend eternity? It might require a Paradigm Shift, but be smart and do your homework. One thing for sure, the cost is greater and you will be there longer than you will keep your car.

Write Your Eulogy, Then Live the Life You Want

Here is great article shared with me from a friend and fellow fly fisherman Pete Dodds. Pete found this article by Geoff Yang a Partner of Red Point Ventures on LinkedIn. Given the fact it is graduation for so many young people starting their careers and the fact there are so many still looking to make changes in their lives do to lay offs, dead end jobs or people unsatisfied with their current career path I felt this was so appropriate to share. Mr Yang explains so well what I tell others when speaking about the LIFE community and the opportunity to pursue significance and a meaningful life.

Take the time to read and think on where you are in your current journey. Breathe and give yourself a chance tolive the life you’ve always wanted”.   

There’s always so much encouragement for graduating classes. “You are the generation.” “You will change the world.” I’m sure you are and you will, but how? How will you make a difference? I’m not going to tell you how to change the world; that’s up to you.

What I am going to give you is my advice on what will help guide you to make that difference. In my 30-year post-grad career, these are the words of wisdom that helped guide me—both personally and professionally:

Life is short. As you embark on the rest of your life, consider what you want it to be like and what you want to accomplish. Pretend for a moment that rather than graduating, starting your career, and moving on toward the rest of your life, you are at the end of it. How would people remember you, as both a person and a professional? Write your eulogy now. Think about how you want to be remembered by your family, friends, and colleagues. Let this shape you.

Do something you’d do even if you didn’t get paid to do it. If you don’t, then life will end up a chore. My dad was a chemical engineer who designed large-scale process plants. I remember seeing him get up every morning and go to work, and I don’t think he passionately loved what he did. He did it because he felt it was his responsibility. Life will be more fulfilling if you do what you love.

When I was finishing my MBA, the highest paid jobs were in investment banking and consulting. They were also the jobs with the highest prestige because they tended to attract the best and the brightest. Because of this, they were alluring for many graduates—when you have been out of the job market for a couple of years racking up student loans, working for a top-tier company with a solid paycheck made sense. I knew that neither of these routes was right for me. My choice to go a different direction ended up serving me well in the long run. I’m lucky enough to have found something I love doing. Not to say that it’s not work and it’s not tiring. It is. However, I constantly think about how lucky I am to do what I do—and get paid to do it.

It’s OK to be impatient, but don’t rush things. There’s a fine line between chasing your dreams and not being willing to lay a long-term foundation for success. When I finished graduate school, I saw a few people in my class who wanted a shortcut to success. They suffered from the “get rich quick” syndrome. Early on, they took risky bets with second-rate companies in hopes of accelerating success. With very few exceptions, that strategy did not work. Unfortunately, when they wanted to return to the mainstream, they didn’t have the foundation of success upon which to build.

Take risks with smart people. It’s fine to take calculated risks with your career, but when you do, make sure you understand the risks along with the reward. Make sure you take risks with the best people you can find. It will make all the difference in the end. If you want to start a company, recognize the risks you’re taking and do a gut check about how much you believe in what you’re doing. If you passionately believe in it, then do it with your eyes wide open and surround yourself with the smartest people you can find.

There is always next year, but at some point you start running out of next years. As you move forward in your career and in life, you’ll find yourself putting things off until next year. But there are only so many next years in your life. I’ve generally never passed off an opportunity to have a great life experience—be it travel, learning how to fly or play piano, or taking courses that weren’t directly relevant to the path I was on. The more you can do to round out your life outside of work, the more fulfilled you will feel in the end.

Don’t be one-dimensional. Life is more than your career. Life is about being a responsible, interesting person, and in my opinion, one of the greatest gifts in life is having close friends. As you move forward on your journey, you’ll find good friends are few and far between. I am fond of saying that I don’t need more friends, I just need more time to spend with the friends I already have.

Best of luck in your journey—and don’t forget: The journey is its own reward.

Teams, Teamwork and Teambuilding

Team is a group of people brought together to accomplish a common purpose

Wikipedia describes Teamwork as “work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole”

Teambuilding improves performance of Teams by enhancing Teamwork.

Wikipedia describes “The overall goals of team building are to increase the teams understanding of team dynamics and improve how the team works together. Unlike working as a group, working as a team incorporates group accountability rather than individual accountability and results in a collective work product.Team building encourages the team approach to working on a project.”

Being part of a Team has many benefits, just two of which is the camaraderie and the amount of fun you can have. Here is a funny video to help you enjoy the Team experience.

Since we are closing in on the end of March Madness and coming down to the Final Four, I thought I would share a few good basketball coaches (as well as football, corporate, and Life Coaches) with not only some amazing teams and records but also some sound advice for you and I to build our own Teams whether in sports, business or right at home.

A few resources to help you build your Teams can be found in the LIFE business. Here are just a few books to help you develop your teams; Team Begins at Home, The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, Good To Great, Leading with the Heart, Success is a Choice.

The Serving Leader

Serving Leader

Everyone loves a good story. Even better is a story that can be personal to you, where parts of the story are really parts of your story. Add to that story lessons that we can learn, that can move us to apply those lessons that are taught. That is what this book does, through a story of a father and son who have little it common or so it seems. How many of us have parents who we can’t seem to please, or who don’t recognize or acknowledge our efforts or accomplishments? This is a story of a father and son who are worlds apart but through tragedy come back together.

This book comes with some pretty powerful contributors with Forwards by Leadership experts Ken Blanchard and Orrin Woodward. Ken Blanchard best known for his book The One Minute Manager, and Whale Done is a legend in the leadership world. Orrin Woodward is the international best-selling author of Resolved and co-author of the NY Times Best Seller; Launching a Leadership Revolution. He is founder of The LIFE company and Independent Association of Business “Leader of the Year”.

The authors of The Serving Leader Ken Jennings Ph.D. and John Stahl-Wert, D. Min. both have extensive education, and a wealth of experience leading and teaching. Mr. Jennings is a past co-director of the Global Leadership in Healthcare Program at University of Michigan Business School, and has a Bachelors in Behavioral Science from the Air Force Academy, and was an adjunct professor at Columbia University Business School. John Stahl-Wert is President and CEO of Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation and on the faculty of Geneva College’s Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership.

“Five Powerful Actions that will Transform your Team, your Business and Your Community” That’s the tag line just below the title describing how this book, The Serving Leader, can impact us.

This book delivers. Read it, then give me your feedback.

I’d love to hear if this book impacted you the way it did me.

I’d love to hear your story.