Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” was speaking before a group of people, and in the last 10 minutes or so of his speech he addressed young emerging leaders. One of the ten things he advised young leaders to do was:

“If you woke tomorrow morning and discovered you inherited $20 million and had discovered you also had terminal disease with 10 years to live, what would be on your stop-doing list?”

The next point Mr. Collins made was “Start your stop-doing list.”

Stephen Covey had written in his book “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” to begin with the end in mind. You should reflect on what you would have people say about you at your funeral and begin to live out your day working toward becoming that person.

As I am reading through the book “Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom,” one of the meditations suggested focuses on death: “I may die today.” The fact is we all face death one day, but to assume we are given tomorrow leads us to a point of delaying the good we might otherwise do today. If I live with the knowledge that I may die today, the actions I take and the things I do would be far different than if I lived with the notion that I have tomorrow.

Christianity holds the same thought. In the book of James, it says,

Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will got to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

It would seem that all these thoughts around death and the shortness of life would be discouraging. For some it would be. For those who grasp an understanding of our brevity of life on this earth, it motivates them to focus on what is truly important. We would express more gratitude, show more compassion, and live each day to its fullest.

Some might even say, “What’s the point of planning any long-term goals?”  It isn’t that we don’t plan for the future, it is that we live each day to achieve what we see ourselves becoming. If your goal is to be the CEO of a large corporation, you know that it takes daily actions to get there. You don’t put off reading that book one more day. If you goal is to be remembered as a loving spouse, you don’t put off those words of encouragement until tomorrow. If your goal is to be financially free at the age of 40, you don’t put off saving money now to buy that gadget that is the latest and greatest.

Normally, we would not associate death as being a motivator to LIVING life. Yet death’s ability to steal from us our potential for leaving a legacy is not a power I want to ignore. I choose to acknowledge my finite nature and LIVE today doing what will advance my goal of being the person I want to be remembered as.

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There are times when we get excited about a big project or big idea and we want to take that proverbial leap of faith and go for it. We take a few running steps, leap toward our goal, and splash! We land short of what we intended and end up either drowning in misery that our big idea didn’t happen or swimming back to shore to figure out how we didn’t land where we wanted to land.

This morning, a link was shared on a private Facebook group that opened my eyes to see why I am standing on the shore all soaking wet. This realization hit me: I took a leap when I should have taken a step. (Here’s the video if you’re interested.)

Brendon Buchard – Experts Academy

A few of the steps that Brendon shared in the video on how to build a buying audience from your expertise included knowing your target customer (which I do), understand their buying behavior (something I need to investigate more), and create a product or service based on your expertise (you’ll have to watch the video to get the all the steps). Even though I did create a product or service, my service is probably too big of a step for people to take as their first step in working with me. Regardless of how good the product or service is or looks, very few would be willing to make a big step until they have taken a smaller step first.

So now that I am standing on the shore letting the sun dry me out, the next STEP I need to take is creating products or services of value with little to no buy-in costs. I will be looking to add some great content to inspire young leaders to thrive and become stronger leaders tomorrow. That is a step in the right direction that won’t leave me soaking wet.

Dear Student,

I am positive that you have probably heard from from your parents, those in your community, your teachers, and so many others the importance of getting an education. You were probably told that a college degree is a must if you want to earn more money and get better positions and more pay.

“83% of college students and parents strongly agreed that higher education is an investment in the future, college is needed now more than ever (70%), and the path to earning more money (69%).”

How America Pays for College 2012 Study by Sallie Mae

Yet despite this strong sentiment toward higher education, the glaring problem of unemployment or underemployment of those holding college degrees poses a serious problem.

“A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.”

1 in 2 New Grads Jobless Or Underemployed” by Hope Yen

As a student, you are or will be spending a lot of money for a college education and taking on student loans to pay for it, only to be left with a 50/50 chance of landing a job in your chosen field of study.  Do you like those odds? What if you could do something to beat those odds and increase your chance of getting the job you want or begin building the skills necessary to creating your own business?

The time has come for a change. A change from a mindset that an education by itself is enough to get you where you want to go. You have to make a decision to do something that will make you stand out from all the rest of the graduates.

Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It’s a brown cow.”

Seth Godin, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

What is true for a business to succeed in today’s world is true for individuals who want to succeed in this world. You need to be REMARKABLE. Let’s face it:  What is remarkable about graduating from college? Yes, it is an accomplishment worthy of being proud of accomplishing; but, using Seth Godin’s words, “It’s a brown cow.”

I am offering you an opportunity to do something over the next four years of your life that will make you remarkable. We have created a mentoring program designed to make you stand out like a “purple cow” in the midst of a herd of brown cows. Take a look at the first year’s program objectives.

In the first year, you will learn a foundation of leadership principles as we study The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. We will study the laws and discover how each one of them applies in your own interactions as a leader.

You will be required to serve in a leadership role with an organization or create a project to make a positive impact on the community where you live. You will be able to take the principles we discuss and apply them directly to your experience. As you serve, you will also be making valuable contribution to your community and start building a network of people who will see you in action.

We will study Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It has been included to help you create a framework to build a life of success. The principles Napoleon shares in his work come from a study of thousands of people to find out what made some successful and so many fail. The principles in this work, if put into practice, will set you apart from the majority of people, who refuse to do what successful people do.

And the final component of the first year is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This small yet powerful book will share principles that will shape your character and give you a set of principles upon which will steer you toward “stratospheric success” in business and life.

Over the course of nine months, we will have 32 live one-hour-long sessions to discuss the material for the week via teleconference. There will be a private forum to connect and share ideas with other participants. You will have 24/7 email access to our mentoring team.

If you want to stand out as “remarkable” and accelerate your success, then consider being a part of our mentoring program. Sign-up for our newsletter to stay connected and be notified when open enrollment begins. Invest in your future, build a network of connections, and be the one people will choose first over all the rest.

LIVE your dream,

Greg “Big Z” Zander
Cultural Architect and CEO ~ EPIC Journey, Inc.
Founder ~ Catalyzing Leaders

“At its heart, business is not about formality, or winning, or ‘the bottom line,’  or profit, or trade, or commerce, or any of the things the business books tell you it’s about. Business is what concerns us. If you care about something enough to do something  about it, you’re in business…”

Richard Branson, Business Stripped Bare

Does the idea of spending your time each day doing something about the concerns you have seem almost like a dream world? I often wonder if people don’t give themselves permission to live their life doing something they care about. I wonder what holds them back from pursuing those things and being rewarded financially for making the world a better place.

At this point in my life, I have been on a journey to LIVE each day pursuing my dreams. This process has challenged me to uncover what matters the most to me, what impact do I want to have in this world, and what is holding me back. The revelations of my search have uncovered a very significant issue that I needed to be address.

The big issue I uncovered came after reading T. Harv Eker’s book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.  One of the steps in the process of having a millionaire mindset is to uncover what you have learned from your family and your environment growing up about money. Many times, what you learn growing up or from your environment is what is limiting you from acquiring wealth. While I know the influence my family had on me is a primary source, the more significant influence came from my time spent in ministry.

The following verses have probably had the most impact on shaping my mindset regarding wealth. Mind you, these verses I memorized and became a part of me very early on in my college years.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

“But you, man of God, flee from all of this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.”

I Timothy 6:6-11, TNIV

Those words are hard to erase from the etchings they made on my soul and mind. Those words have shaped my views on money and influence me on a subconscious level.

I accepted a poverty mindset of being content with just food and clothing. It has imposed upon me to look negatively at riches because look at all the evil just waiting to cause harm and destruction upon my life if I desire to have wealth. So in my time spent in ministry, I never asked for more even when I only had $20 a week for groceries, no money to pay for visits to the doctor, dentist, and optometrist, because a “godly man” was content with poverty.

As I live out my dream to inspire one million people to dream BIG and LIVE their dream, I need to overcome this barrier. I need to recognize that it is okay to earn my living that goes beyond food and clothing while helping others achieve their dreams. I need to internalize this passion within me as an honorable goal and to use my wealth to further my passion.

So I ask you, what is holding you back? What is keeping you from doing what you want to do? All I want to do is make a positive difference in the world. When that is all you want to do, its business.

Yesterday, I spent time doing what sparks my inner creative genius to flourish: mowing the grass. I don’t know why it is one of my most creative times, it just is. And yesterday was no exception. I decided I am unofficially going back to school.

Now, I am not going the route of a traditional education at a college or university, I am creating my own eight week sessions on topics I want to learn more about. I recognize the need to learn more and I have the opportunity to chisel out a full load of classes for myself.

Here is the list of classes I am creating for myself (not taking all of these at once):

  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Sales
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Economics
  • Social Media for the Small Business Owner
  • Personal Development
  • Wine/Beer Making
  • Marine Biology
  • Public Speaking
  • Writing
  • Business/Life Coaching
  • Small Group Facilitation

My initial format for my class time will consist of 30 minutes of study, 10 minutes of applying what I learn to my own business or life, and 10 minutes of sharing what I learned either by writing or video blogging (study, apply, and share).  This will be done in 8 week segments with 2 weeks break between sessions.

I may develop an interactive session with these classes where three or four other people all meet together online to share knowledge, ideas, and thoughts. If you have an interest in group learning or want to follow along this learning adventure, sign up to receive updates.

 

Kayla Cruz shares some amazing insights as a recent college graduate and her experience in the workplace. Her drive to become the best she can be is an inspiration. A great post to share with my readers.

Gen Y Girl

Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan of these Ted Talks.

I saw this one today and thought I’d share.

Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think, Inc., researches and teaches about positive psychology.

Positive psychology… It seems to be a topic of great interest lately.

There are thousands of books teaching people things like how to be happy… how to make the best out of really crappy situations… that your attitude determines your success.

Well it does, but that’s not what I want to write about at the moment.

Achor makes many great points in his talk, but the one that I really loved was his emphasis on the fact that we need to stop focusing on the average (start the video at about 4 mins).

You see, when it comes to business and success, it’s no secret that some people and some companies are…

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As I was preparing my breakfast this morning, it dawned on me how many food items we now buy with labels of what is NOT in the product.

“No High Fructose Corn Syrup,” “Unsalted butter,” “Reduced Fat milk,” “Low Sodium bacon”…what does that say about the foods we eat? Now before you go and think I am going to go on a rant about all the bad stuff we eat, just hear me out on this.

We have so far removed ourselves from raw, natural foods that we have to advertise what we are not putting into the products to convince people it is a healthier choice. We do that in our lives as well, don’t we? We put on masks to hide our true genuine self and rarely let people see the real, natural you. Leaders have a tendency to do that far too often.

Great leaders have to learn how to be genuine, to be themselves. While some leaders like to BOAST about what they have (degrees, advanced training, etc., nothing wrong with having those things) or what they have accomplished (record breaking sales, high income, company growth, etc., good track records are good things), there are others who like to boast about their own weaknesses as if that makes them more relatable. What people really want are genuine leaders who don’t have put labels on themselves to convince people of their leadership.

“In contrast to the very I-centric style of comparison leaders, we were struck by how the good-to-great leaders didn’t talk about themselves…It wasn’t just a false modesty. Those who worked with or wrote about the good-to-great leaders continually used words like quiet, humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild-mannered, self-effacing, understated, did not believe his own clippings; and so forth.”

Jim Collins, Good to Great

Jim describe great leaders as having a compelling modesty and unwavering resolve. Great leaders are recognized for who they are naturally not with labels describing what is in them or not. As you continue to grow in your leadership, learn how to be yourself. Lead in such a way as to draw the attention away from yourself to the greater cause which you have chosen to lead. Then you won’t need any labels describing what makes you more like a true leader.