It Couldn’t be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done

But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one ever has done it;”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing

That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

An inspiring poem by Edgar Albert Guest.

Love Your Irritations

The things that drive you crazy are actually giant opportunities. The people who press your buttons are actually your greatest teachers. The things that make you angry are actually your greatest gifts. Bless them. 

irritiation

The people or circumstances that take you out of your power have extraordinary value: They reveal your limiting beliefs, fears and false assumptions. How much would you pay someone who promised they could pinpoint exactly what is holding you back from your greatest life? How much would it be worth to get intimate information on why you are not exactly at the place where you’ve always dreamed of being?

 

Here’s the powerful idea:  The things that irritate and annoy and anger you are entry points into your evolution and elevation as a human being. They are signposts for what you need to work on and the fears you need to face. They are gifts of growth. You can blame the people who trigger you and make it all about them. Or you can do the courageous thing and look deeply into yourself to discover the reason for your negative reaction. The fears you don’t own become your prison bars.

 

And as you begin to shed light on your personal weaknesses and take responsibility for them, you actually begin the process of shedding them. You become stronger. More powerful. More of who you were meant to be.

 

So the next time a co-worker sets you off or the next time your teenager gets you going, walk over to them, give them a hug and thank them for the gift they just gave you. Because they did. 

Reproduced with kind permission from Robin Sharma 

Character is Your Masterpiece to Build

character buildingCould creating your character be likened to an artist creating a sculpture? I believe that character is not something that just happens by itself, any more than a chisel can create a work of art without the hand of an artist guiding it. In both instances, a conscious decision for a specific outcome has been made. A conscious process is at work. Character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you make that gradually turn who you are, at any given moment, into who you want to be. If that decision-making process is not present, you will still be somebody. You will still be alive but may have a personality rather than a character.

Character is not something you were born with and can’t change. In fact, because you weren’t born with it, it is something that you must take responsibility for creating. I don’t believe that adversity by itself builds character, and I certainly don’t think that success erodes it. Character is built by how you respond to what happens in your life—whether it’s winning every game, losing every game, getting rich or dealing with hard times. You build character out of certain qualities that you must create and diligently nurture within yourself—just like you would plant and water a seed, or gather wood and build a campfire. You’ve got to look for those things in your heart and in your gut. You’ve got to chisel away in order to find them, just like chiseling away the rock to create the sculpture that previously only existed in your imagination.

But do you want to know the really amazing thing about character? If you are sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you’ll not only create those qualities, but you’ll continually strengthen them. And you will recreate them in abundance even as you are drawing on them every day of your life. Character sustains itself and nurtures itself as it is being put to work, tested and challenged. Once it is formed, character will serve as a solid, lasting foundation upon which to build the life you desire.

 Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

9 Ways to be a Great Team Leader

team leader  While watching the Oscars I noticed that almost every award winner said they couldn’t have done it without their team, family, and the support of others. The fact is no one achieves success alone. We all need a great team to accomplish great things. We are at our best when we are surrounded by those who want the best for us and when we are bringing out the best in others. In this spirit I want to share 9 ways to be a great team member.

  1. Set the Example – Instead of worrying about the lack of performance, productivity and commitment of others you simply decide to set the example and show your team members what hard work, passion and commitment looks like. Focus on being your best every day. When you do this you’ll raise the standards and performance of everyone around you.
  2. Use Your Strengths to Help the Team – The most powerful way you can contribute to your team is to use your gifts and talents to contribute to the team’s vision and goals. Without your effort, focus, talent and growth the team won’t accomplish its mission. This means you have an obligation to improve so you can improve your team. You are meant to develop your strengths to make a stronger team. Be selfish by developing you and unselfish by making sure your strengths serve the team.
  3. Share Positive Contagious Energy – Research shows emotions are contagious and each day you are infecting your team with either positive energy or negative energy. You can be a germ or a big dose a Vitamin C. When you share positive energy you infectiously enhance the mood, morale and performance of your team. Remember, negativity is toxic. Energy Vampires sabotage teams and complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.
  4. Know and Live the Magic Ratio – High performing teams have more positive interactions than negative interactions. 3:1 is the ratio to remember. Teams that experience interactions at a ratio equal or greater than 3:1 are more productive and higher performing than those with a ratio of less than 3:1. Teams that have a ratio of 2:1, 1:1 or more negative interactions than positive interactions become stagnant and unproductive. This means you can be a great team member by being a 3 to 1’er. Create more positive interactions. Praise more. Encourage more. Appreciate more. Smile more. High-five more. Recognize more. 
  5. Put the Team First – Great team players always put the team first. They work hard for the team. They develop themselves for the team. They serve the team. Their motto is whatever it takes to make the team better. They don’t take credit. They give credit to the team. To be a great team member your ego must be subservient to the mission and purpose of the team. It’s a challenge to keep our ego in check. It’s something most of us struggle with because we have our own goals and desires. But if we monitor our ego and put the team first we’ll make the team better and our servant approach will make us better.
  6. Build Relationships – Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams are built and great team members take the time to connect, communicate and care to build strong bonds and relationships with all their team members. You can be the smartest person in the room but if you don’t connect with others you will fail as a team member. (Tweet This) It’s important to take the time to get to know your team members. Listen to them. Eat with them. Learn about them. Know what inspires them and show them you care about them.
  7. Trust and Be Trusted – You can’t have a strong team without strong relationships. And you can’t have strong relationships without trust. Great team members trust their teammates and most of all their team members trust them. Trust is earned through integrity, consistency, honesty, transparency, vulnerability and dependability. If you can’t be trusted you can’t be a great team member. Trust is everything.
  8. Hold Them Accountable – Sometimes our team members fall short of the team’s expectations. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they need a little tough love. Great team members hold each other accountable. They push, challenge and stretch each other to be their best. Don’t be afraid to hold your team members accountable. But remember to be effective you must built trust and a relationship with your team members. If they know you care about them, they will allow you to challenge them and hold them accountable. Tough love works when love comes first. Love tough.
  9. Be Humble – Great team members are humble. They are willing to learn, improve and get better. They are open to their team member’s feedback and suggestions and don’t let their ego get in the way of their growth or the team’s growth. I learned the power of being humble in my marriage. My wife had some criticism for me one day and instead of being defensive and prideful, I simply said, “Make me better. I’m open. Tell me how I can improve.” Saying this diffused the tension and the conversation was a game changer. If we’re not humble we won’t allow ourselves to be held accountable. We won’t grow. We won’t build strong relationships and we won’t put the team first. There’s tremendous power in humility that makes us and our team better.
Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon

Lead With Your Strengths

logo with the best in the business Vince Lombardi once hosted a four day football clinic for coaches and devoted two full days to just one play, the Power Sweep. If you know football history Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers won five league championships, including the first two Super Bowls because of that one play. 

The Utah Jazz only ran eight plays during the years they were an NBA powerhouse in the 90’s. Carl Malone and John Stockton ran the pick and roll so well they were almost unstoppable. The Utah Jazz had a culture of execution. 

I recently met one of Canada’s top military strategist and historian, Dr. Angelo Caravaggio who told me that Alexander the Great won his three major battles because of one maneuver; a right flank. 

In-N-Out Burger has become wildly successful and created a huge cult following with just a few menu items that they do amazingly well. 

Apple has made billions of dollars with just a few products that are wonderfully designed and easy to use. 

In a world that says you have to provide more choices, create more products, run hundreds of plays and be everything to everyone if you want to be successful, there is something very powerful about simplicity, clarity and leading with your strengths. 

There are a million things you can choose to do each day. There are many of the latest and greatest fads that you can partake in. You possess many weaknesses that you can choose to focus on. But I want you to know that you and your team will be at your best when you develop and lead with your strengths. 

Everyone including Green Bay’s competition knew the Power Sweep was coming and yet they still couldn’t stop it. Coach Lombardi and his team developed a strength that became an unstoppable force of positive momentum and so will you when you identify, develop and lead with your strengths. 

What are your strengths? What do you do best? What are your best selling products?

Where can you be the strongest? What do you want to become known for? 

Once you know the answers to these questions then you’ll want to spend your time, energy, focus, practice and effort simplifying, mastering the fundamentals, developing your strengths and creating a culture of execution. 

The more time you spend developing and leading with your strengths the more you will become known for them. The stronger your strengths become the greater impact you will have.

The world doesn’t need another average business. The world doesn’t need an average you. The world needs your BEST YOU. And when you lead with your strengths you can share YOUR BEST with the world. 

Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon

Why You Need to Feed Your Mind

Pity the man who has a favourite restaurant, but not feed your minda favourite author. He’s picked out a favourite place to feed his body, but he doesn’t have a favourite place to feed his mind! 

Why would this be? Have you heard about the accelerated learning curve? From birth, up until the time we are about 18, our learning curve is dramatic, and our capacity to learn during this period is just staggering. We learn a tremendous amount very fast. We learn language, culture, history, science, mathematics… everything.

For some people, the accelerated learning process will continue on. But for most, it levels off when they get their first job. If there are no more exams to take, if there’s no demand to get out paper and pencil, why read any more books? Of course, you will learn some things through experience. Just getting out there—sometimes doing it wrong and sometimes doing it right—you will learn.

But can you imagine what would happen if you kept up an accelerated learning curve all the rest of your life? Can you imagine what you could learn to do, the skills you could develop, the capacities you could have? Here’s what I’m asking you to do: Be that unusual person who keeps up his learning curve and develops an appetite for always trying to find good ideas.

One way to feed your mind and educate your philosophy is through the writings of influential people. Maybe you can’t meet the person, but you can read his or her books. Churchill is gone, but we still have his books. Aristotle is gone, but we still have his ideas. Search libraries for books and programs. Search magazines. Search documentaries. Search the Internet. Each resource is full of opportunities for intellectual feasting.

In addition to reading and listening, you also need a chance to do some talking and sharing. I have some people in my life who help me with important life questions, who assist me in refining my own philosophy, weighing my values and pondering questions about success and lifestyle.

We all need association with people of substance to provide influence concerning major issues like society, money, enterprise, family, government, love, friendship, culture, taste, opportunity and community. Philosophy is mostly influenced by ideas, ideas are mostly influenced by education and education is mostly influenced by the people with whom we associate.

I’m asking that you feed your mind just as you do your body. Feed it with good ideas, wherever they can be found. Always be on the lookout for a good idea— a business idea, a product idea, a service idea, an idea for personal improvement. Every new idea will help to refine your philosophy. Your philosophy will guide your life, and your life will unfold with distinction and pleasure.

 Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

Think Like a Rookie

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I know I’m getting older when I step on a regional jet and the pilot looks like he just graduated from high school. Truth is, I want a pilot with experience not someone who learned to fly on the Sony PlayStation. : ) 

Yet, while I desire a pilot with experience it occurred to me that experience is not always a good thing.

In fact sometimes experience can be a curse. Such as when your experience in business causes you to focus on the good old days; when everyone was making money; when everyone was successful; when life was easier; when you didn’t have to go after business, it came to you.

I’ve noticed that in this economy a lot of people are inflicted with the curse of experience. They complain about the way things are, long for the way things were and dream about what could have been….if the economy didn’t crash.

The good news is that there is a simple antidote to the curse of experience and it is to Think Like a Rookie.
Rookies don’t have experience. They don’t know about the way things were. They have no knowledge of the good old days. Instead rookies create their good old days right now.

Rookies put their head down, work hard, stay positive, live fearlessly and are naïve enough to be successful.

I recently spoke at a national sales meeting for a Fortune 500 company. The President, while speaking on stage, recognized a rookie sales person for winning a big account. The President said about the rookie, “He didn’t know that what he asked for to win the account doesn’t usually happen. He didn’t know that you just don’t ask for it. If he was a veteran he would have just assumed the answer would be no. But he did ask and the answer was yes.”

Rookies aren’t tainted by rejection, negative assumptions or past experiences. Rookies don’t focus on what everyone says is impossible. Instead, with wide eyes they believe anything is possible. They bring an idealism, optimism and passion to their work and because they believe in the future they take the necessary actions to create it.

So, regardless of how much experience you have in your industry and profession I want to encourage you to let your experience be a blessing not a curse. Let your experience provide you with expertise and let your rookie mindset fuel you with optimism and passion.

Mentor the rookies because, for all their effort and energy they do make mistakes. And yet, let them teach you how to see the world through their eyes.

Think Like a Rookie, forget the past, and create your good old days right now.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon

4 Steps to Visualizing-and Living-Your Dreams

4 steps handsOne of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life and the ability to establish the goals to live out those dreams. This is powerful because it means we have been given the ability to not only dream but to pursue those dreams and not only to pursue them but the cognitive ability to actually lay out a plan to achieve them.

Here are some practical steps on how to dream dreams and establish goals to reach them:

1. Take time to be quiet. This is something that we don’t do enough in this busy world of ours. We rush, rush, rush, and we are constantly listening to noise all around us. The human heart was meant for times of quiet—to peer deep within. It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams. Schedule some quiet “dream time” this week. No other people. No cell phone. No computer. Just you, a pad of paper, a pen and your thoughts.

2. Think about what really thrills you. When you are quiet, think about those things that really get your blood flowing. What would you love to do, either for fun or for a living? What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy? When you answer these questions, you will be in the “dream zone.”

3. Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don’t think of any as too outlandish or foolish—remember, you’re dreaming. Let the thoughts fly and take careful record.

4. Prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them. We are always moving toward action; we are not just dreaming.

Life is short, and someday your life will near its end and all you’ll be able to do is look backwards. You can reflect with joy or regret. Those who dream—who set goals, who act on them to live out their dreams—live lives of joy and have a sense of peace when they near the end of their lives. They have finished well, for themselves and for their families.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

11 Thoughts About Teamwork

 team player

1. Teams rise and fall on culture, leadership, relationships, attitude and effort.

Great teams have a great culture driven by great leadership. Relationships are meaningful and team-mates are connected. The collective attitude is very positive and everyone on the team works hard to accomplish their mission.

 

2. It’s all about teamwork. Sometimes you are the star and sometimes you help the star.

 

3. If you want to be truly great you have to work as hard to be a great team-mate as you do to be a great player.

I tell this to athletes all the time but the same is true for any profession. When we work hard to be a great team member we make everyone around us better.

 

4. Your team doesn’t care if you are a superstar. They care if you are a super team member.

 

5. Three things you control every day are your attitude, your effort and your actions to be a great team-mate.

It doesn’t matter what is happening around you and who you think is being unfair. Every day you can focus on being positive, working hard and making others around you better. If you do that great things will happen.

 

6. One person can’t make a team but one person can break a team. Stay positive!

Make sure you don’t let energy vampires sabotage your team. Post a sign that says “No Energy Vampires” allowed and keep them off the bus. Most importantly, decide to stay positive.

 

7. Great team members hold each other accountable to the high standards and excellence their culture expects and demands.

 

8. Team beats talent when talent isn’t a team.

 

9. Great teams care more. They care more about their effort, their work and their team members.

 

10. We > me

Unity is the difference between a great team and an average team. United teams are connected and committed to each other. They are selfless instead of selfish. They put the team first and know together we accomplish more.

 

11. You and your team face a fork in the road each day. You can settle for average and choose the path of mediocrity or you can take the road less travelled and chase greatness.

 

It’s a choice you make each day. Which path will your team take?

 Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon

Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow

clock ticking

The problem with waiting until tomorrow—to do anything—is that when it finally arrives, it is called today. Today is yesterday’s tomorrow, so the question is this: What did we do with its opportunity? All too often, we will waste tomorrow as we wasted yesterday… and as we are wasting today. All that could have been accomplished can easily elude us, despite our intentions, until we inevitably discover that the things that might have been have slipped from our embrace a single, unused day at a time.

Each of us must pause frequently to remind ourselves that the clock is ticking. The same clock that began to tick from the moment we drew our first breath will also someday cease.

Time is the great equalizer of all mankind. It has taken away the best and the worst of us without regard for either. Time offers opportunity but demands a sense of urgency.

When the game of life is finally over, there is no second chance to correct our errors. The clock that is ticking away the moments of our lives does not care about winners and losers. It does not care about who succeeds or who fails. It does not care about excuses, fairness or equality. The only essential issue is how we played the game.

Regardless of a person’s age, there is a sense of urgency that should drive them into action now—this very moment. We should be constantly aware of the value of each and every moment of our lives—moments that seem so insignificant that their loss often goes unnoticed.

We still have all the time we need. We still have lots of chances, lots of opportunities, lots of years to show what we can do. There will be a tomorrow, a next week, a next month and a next year. But unless we develop a sense of urgency, those brief windows of time will be sadly wasted, as were the weeks and months and years before them. There isn’t an endless supply.

So as you think of your dreams and goals of your future “tomorrow,” take those very important first steps to making them all come to life… today.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn