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Check out this great article on halftime.org.  I sure love the book Halftime by Bob Buford and just last year really got into Ken Blanchard’s leadership blog and notes.  That global gathering in San D would be amazing to attend.  Not a goal this year, but that’ll have to be a lifetime thing for me.  Great article Jeff Spadafora.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY LIFE?

12/9/2013

What should I do with my life?
By Jeff Spadafora
Director of Global Coaching and Product Development

It’s not uncommon for one of our Halftime Coaches to hear someone say, “I’m willing and able to go make a positive difference in the world, but I’m not hearing God’s voice as I try to figure out His calling on my life.”

I had the same challenge. The more I think about it now, the more I realize it wasn’t an issue of hearing God. It was a matter of trusting Him. You see, God has already spoken. He already told us what we should do to experience heaven on earth and beyond:

  • Jesus started with an overarching commandment: Love God and others (Mark 12:30-31). That’s a good place for us all to start… and keep coming back to
  • Then He gave us the Great Commission: “Make disciples of all the nations” refers to (1) evangelism and (2) discipling  (Mt. 28:19). The first is about creating believers in Christ, the second is about building followers of Him. This latter field of endeavor is what we at Halftime have dedicated our lives to
  • He also said (3) feed the hungry and (4) give drink to the thirsty (Mt. 25:35)
  • (5) Give hospitality and shelter to the stranger /foreigner/refugee (Mt. 25:35)
  • (6) Clothe the naked, (7) care for the sick and (8) visit the imprisoned (Mt. 25:36)
  • (9) Help widows  and (10) orphans  (Psalms, Isaiah, Acts and especially James 1:27)
  • (11) Provide justice to the oppressed and disenfranchised (multiple references from Matthew, Mark and Luke)

There you go. God already told us what we should do. The next step is to figure out how to use our skills, resources, platform and relationships to impact one or more of those 11 areas.

So here’s the formula (if I dare suggest a formula for anything involving the Holy Spirit!):

  • apply the skills that give you energy
  • to a cause that makes you and God mad, sad, or glad
  • in an organization with the right role and culture for you
  • do it all in Jesus’ name, and;
  • you’ll be in the flow of what God wants done on earth.

Where that all intersects is where your greatest joy in life will be. It won’t come from closing another deal, buying something else, or checking off your next bucket list item.

Hopefully this offers clues about what to do with your life. Don’t overthink it. Trust that God’s love, flowing through you in one of the ways above, will lead you to the peace and joy you are craving.

Here are a few ways we can help you.

The Halftime Institute 
Join us for our January Institute 
Request a free coaching consultation 
Bob Buford and Ken Blanchard host the 2014 Global Gathering
in San Diego this February

What should I do with my life? | Halftime.

Just read this great article from strategy and business about addressing change.  I found the two points on culture change to be super poignant.  Be sure in change you’re taking a proper look at the current culture, then be sure you address it directly.  We are now working in my current change management occupation to amplify the behaviours we want to see continued.  Meaning we’re seeking ways to glorify the proper behaviours and encourage them to be replicated. Enjoy.

7. Assess the cultural landscape. Successful change programs pick up speed and intensity as they cascade down, making it critically important that leaders understand and account for culture and behaviors at each level of the organization. Companies often make the mistake of assessing culture either too late or not at all. Thorough cultural diagnostics can assess organizational readiness to change, bring major problems to the surface, identify conflicts, and define factors that can recognize and influence sources of leadership and resistance. These diagnostics identify the core values, beliefs, behaviors, and perceptions that must be taken into account for successful change to occur. They serve as the common baseline for designing essential change elements, such as the new corporate vision, and building the infrastructure and programs needed to drive change.

8. Address culture explicitly. Once the culture is understood, it should be addressed as thoroughly as any other area in a change program. Leaders should be explicit about the culture and underlying behaviors that will best support the new way of doing business, and find opportunities to model and reward those behaviors. This requires developing a baseline, defining an explicit end-state or desired culture, and devising detailed plans to make the transition.

Company culture is an amalgam of shared history, explicit values and beliefs, and common attitudes and behaviors. Change programs can involve creating a culture (in new companies or those built through multiple acquisitions), combining cultures (in mergers or acquisitions of large companies), or reinforcing cultures (in, say, long-established consumer goods or manufacturing companies). Understanding that all companies have a cultural center — the locus of thought, activity, influence, or personal identification — is often an effective way to jump-start culture change.

A consumer goods company with a suite of premium brands determined that business realities demanded a greater focus on profitability and bottom-line accountability. In addition to redesigning metrics and incentives, it developed a plan to systematically change the company’s culture, beginning with marketing, the company’s historical center. It brought the marketing staff into the process early to create enthusiasts for the new philosophy who adapted marketing campaigns, spending plans, and incentive programs to be more accountable. Seeing these culture leaders grab onto the new program, the rest of the company quickly fell in line.

See the other 8 Principles here

via 10 Principles of Change Management.

Just because this is a time of transformation doesn’t mean that it’s easy to sell transformational ideas. Economic uncertainty has reduced the audience for bold, grand rhetoric. Besides, even in boom times innovation is risky. Innovators often have to ease anxieties by sounding conservative while doing something radical.

We all want breakthroughs; it’s just that we can’t know exactly which of the bold new ideas will break through. For every Mustang, there’s an Edsel. For every flip phone, there’s a flop. (Apple’s track record — iPod, iTunes, iPhone — is extraordinary but atypical.) It’s is also hard to get traction for ideas that are so far ahead of their times that the infrastructure or human habits do not yet support them. For every dream of cheap renewable energy, there’s the reality of still-high costs of wind turbines or solar panels.

As many technology companies have seen to their peril, you can leap much too far into the future by seeking revolution, not evolution, leaving potential users in the dust. But steady progress — step by single step — can win internal support and the external race for share of market or share of mind. Especially if you take each step quickly.

Consider Woody Allen’s comedy routine about the first landing of UFOs on Earth and our first contact with an advanced civilization (AKA advanced competitor). Allen wrote that most worries about planetary takeovers involve aliens that are light years away and centuries ahead of us in technology, bringing devices we can’t understand or communicate with, which enables them to control everything. Not to worry, Allen said. If we can’t understand or communicate with their systems, we’ll just ignore them, doing our work the way we always do until they leave in frustration. Instead, he argued, the advanced civilization that we should really worry about is one that is just 15 minutes ahead. That way they’d always be first in line for the movies, they’d never miss a meeting with the boss… and they’d always be first in every race.

Call this the “15 minute competitive advantage”: changing in short fast bursts rather than waiting for the breakthrough that transforms everything. If every proverbial 15 minutes, you learn something and incorporate it into the next speedy step, you’ll continue to be ahead. And a few time periods later, transformation will be underway.

Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, praised the value of cheap, fast experiments at a recent CEO meeting. He recalled watching Toyota’s method of continuous improvement on the shop floor: simplifying, speeding, and taking costs out with each round. Bolt instead of weld, tape instead of bolt, hold instead of tape. Cook’s advice is to turn business concepts into hypotheses to test fast. This is the essence of rapid prototyping, and it doesn’t require total transformation.

Stay a little ahead of the competition while close enough to what customers can understand and incorporate, and the innovation idea is easier to sell. Here are some characteristics of innovations most likely to succeed at gaining support:

Trial-able: The idea or product can be demonstrated on a pilot basis. Customers can see it in action first and incorporate it on a small scale before committing to replace everything.

Divisible: It can be adopted in segments or phases. Users can ease into it, a step at a time. They can even use it in parallel with current solutions.

Reversible: If it doesn’t work, it’s possible to return to pre-innovation status. Eventually you want life to be unimaginable without it, but at least in theory, it’s possible to go back to zero.

Tangible: It offers concrete results that can be seen to make a difference in something that users need and value.

Fits prior investments: The idea builds on “sunk costs” or actions already taken, so it looks like not much change is involved.

Familiar: It feels like things that people already understand, so it is not jarring to use. It is consistent with other experiences, especially successful ones.

Congruent with future direction: It is in line with where things are heading anyway. It doesn’t require people to rethink their priorities or pathways, even though of course it changes things.

Positive publicity value: It will make everyone look good.

These principles leave plenty of room to promote revolutionary ideas under cover of evolutionary change. But to find and grow a market for anything — whether green products or new health delivery plans — means staying close to what users can adopt easily and then leading them to the next iteration.

Innovators who take risks must reduce the risk for others. Think long-term trends but short-term steps —15 minutes at a time.

More blog posts by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

More on: Change management, Innovation, Managing uncertainty

ROSABETH MOSS KANTER

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a professor at Harvard Business School and the

author of Confidence and SuperCorp. Her 2011 HBR article, “How Great Companies Think Differently,” won a McKinsey Award for best article. Connect with her

on Facebook or at Twitter.com/RosabethKanter.

via Find the 15-Minute Competitive Advantage – Rosabeth Moss Kanter – Harvard Business Review.

Love me some graduation speeches.  This one in particular struck my fancy, more due to the message and simplicity since I’ve been asking myself the question much in the last five years – How can I be kinder?  How can I be more gentle? How can I let my gentleness be evident to all.  Check out this sweet article from the NYTimes and Joel Lovell.

George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates

It’s long past graduation season, but we recently learned that George Saunders delivered the convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013, and George was kind enough to send it our way and allow us to reprint it here. The speech touches on some of the moments in his life and larger themes (in his life and work) that George spoke about in the profile we ran back in January — the need for kindness and all the things working against our actually achieving it, the risk in focusing too much on “success,” the trouble with swimming in a river full of monkey feces.

George SaundersDamon Winter/The New York TimesGeorge Saunders

The entire speech, graduation season or not, is well worth reading, and is included below.

Down through the ages, a traditional form has evolved for this type of speech, which is: Some old fart, his best years behind him, who, over the course of his life, has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people, with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you).

And I intend to respect that tradition.

Now, one useful thing you can do with an old person, in addition to borrowing money from them, or asking them to do one of their old-time “dances,” so you can watch, while laughing, is ask: “Looking back, what do you regret?”  And they’ll tell you.  Sometimes, as you know, they’ll tell you even if you haven’t asked.  Sometimes, even when you’ve specifically requested they not tell you, they’ll tell you.

So: What do I regret?  Being poor from time to time?  Not really.  Working terrible jobs, like “knuckle-puller in a slaughterhouse?”  (And don’t even ASK what that entails.)  No.  I don’t regret that.  Skinny-dipping in a river in Sumatra, a little buzzed, and looking up and seeing like 300 monkeys sitting on a pipeline, pooping down into the river, the river in which I was swimming, with my mouth open, naked?  And getting deathly ill afterwards, and staying sick for the next seven months?  Not so much.  Do I regret the occasional humiliation?  Like once, playing hockey in front of a big crowd, including this girl I really liked, I somehow managed, while falling and emitting this weird whooping noise, to score on my own goalie, while also sending my stick flying into the crowd, nearly hitting that girl?  No.  I don’t even regret that.

But here’s something I do regret:

In seventh grade, this new kid joined our class.  In the interest of confidentiality, her Convocation Speech name will be “ELLEN.”  ELLEN was small, shy.  She wore these blue cat’s-eye glasses that, at the time, only old ladies wore.  When nervous, which was pretty much always, she had a habit of taking a strand of hair into her mouth and chewing on it.

So she came to our school and our neighborhood, and was mostly ignored, occasionally teased (“Your hair taste good?” – that sort of thing).  I could see this hurt her.  I still remember the way she’d look after such an insult: eyes cast down, a little gut-kicked, as if, having just been reminded of her place in things, she was trying, as much as possible, to disappear.  After awhile she’d drift away, hair-strand still in her mouth.  At home, I imagined, after school, her mother would say, you know: “How was your day, sweetie?” and she’d say, “Oh, fine.”  And her mother would say, “Making any friends?” and she’d go, “Sure, lots.”

Sometimes I’d see her hanging around alone in her front yard, as if afraid to leave it.

And then – they moved.  That was it.  No tragedy, no big final hazing.

One day she was there, next day she wasn’t.

End of story.

Now, why do I regret that?  Why, forty-two years later, am I still thinking about it?  Relative to most of the other kids, I was actually pretty nice to her.  I never said an unkind word to her.  In fact, I sometimes even (mildly) defended her.

But still.  It bothers me.

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. 

Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly.  Reservedly.  Mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope:  Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.

Now, the million-dollar question:  What’s our problem?  Why aren’t we kinder?

Here’s what I think:

Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably somehow Darwinian.  These are: (1) we’re central to the universe (that is, our personal story is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really); (2) we’re separate from the universe (there’s US and then, out there, all that other junk – dogs and swing-sets, and the State of Nebraska and low-hanging clouds and, you know, other people), and (3) we’re permanent (death is real, o.k., sure – for you, but not for me).

Now, we don’t really believe these things – intellectually we know better – but we believe them viscerally, and live by them, and they cause us to prioritize our own needs over the needs of others, even though what we really want, in our hearts, is to be less selfish, more aware of what’s actually happening in the present moment, more open, and more loving.

So, the second million-dollar question:  How might we DO this?  How might we become more loving, more open, less selfish, more present, less delusional, etc., etc?

Well, yes, good question.

Unfortunately, I only have three minutes left.

So let me just say this.  There are ways.  You already know that because, in your life, there have been High Kindness periods and Low Kindness periods, and you know what inclined you toward the former and away from the latter.  Education is good; immersing ourselves in a work of art: good; prayer is good; meditation’s good; a frank talk with a dear friend;  establishing ourselves in some kind of spiritual tradition – recognizing that there have been countless really smart people before us who have asked these same questions and left behind answers for us.

Because kindness, it turns out, is hard – it starts out all rainbows and puppy dogs, and expands to include…well,everything.

One thing in our favor:  some of this “becoming kinder” happens naturally, with age.  It might be a simple matter of attrition:  as we get older, we come to see how useless it is to be selfish – how illogical, really.  We come to love other people and are thereby counter-instructed in our own centrality.  We get our butts kicked by real life, and people come to our defense, and help us, and we learn that we’re not separate, and don’t want to be.  We see people near and dear to us dropping away, and are gradually convinced that maybe we too will drop away (someday, a long time from now).  Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving.  I think this is true.  The great Syracuse poet, Hayden Carruth, said, in a poem written near the end of his life, that he was “mostly Love, now.”

And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love.  YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE.   If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment.  You really won’t care what happens to YOU, as long as they benefit.  That’s one reason your parents are so proud and happy today.  One of their fondest dreams has come true: you have accomplished something difficult and tangible that has enlarged you as a person and will make your life better, from here on in, forever.

Congratulations, by the way.

When young, we’re anxious – understandably – to find out if we’ve got what it takes.  Can we succeed?  Can we build a viable life for ourselves?  But you – in particular you, of this generation – may have noticed a certain cyclical quality to ambition.  You do well in high-school, in hopes of getting into a good college, so you can do well in the good college, in the hopes of getting a good job, so you can do well in the good job so you can….

And this is actually O.K.  If we’re going to become kinder, that process has to include taking ourselves seriously – as doers, as accomplishers, as dreamers.  We have to do that, to be our best selves.

Still, accomplishment is unreliable.  “Succeeding,” whatever that might mean to you, is hard, and the need to do so constantly renews itself (success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it), and there’s the very real danger that “succeeding” will take up your whole life, while the big questions go untended.

So, quick, end-of-speech advice: Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up.  Speed it along.  Start right now.  There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really:selfishness.  But there’s also a cure.  So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf – seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.

Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.  That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s.  Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been.  I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful.

Congratulations, Class of 2013.

I wish you great happiness, all the luck in the world, and a beautiful summer.

George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates – NYTimes.com.

Great post by @michealhyatt with his takeaways from Chick-fil-a’s Leadercast.  

Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast literally changed my life and added aspects of leadership that I carry with me daily.  One of my favorites from him is “Do for One what you can’t do for Many.” What’s your favorite on the list of speakers?

I hope one day to attend, but until then, this will do.  check it out below:

Last Friday, I had the privilege of hosting the Chick-fil-a Leadercast in Atlanta, Georgia. Approximately five thousand people attended the live event and another 115,000 people watched via satellite in 750 locations around the world.

Michael Hyatt Speaking at 2013 Chick-fil-a Leadercast

Me Introducing John Maxwell

My primary job at the conference was to listen to the speakers and summarize two or three takeaways from each for the audience. It was challenging but exhilarating.

Over the weekend, I reviewed my notes and selected one quote or concept from each speaker to share with you. These aren’t necessarily exact quotes; they are what I wrote down.

  • Andy Stanley, pastor of NorthPoint Church and bestselling author and communicator: Level five leaders don’t feel the need to be the smartest person in the room. They are willing to be the dumbest person.

  • David Allen, best-selling author of Getting Things Done and productivity expert: There is an inverse relationship between what is on your mind and getting it done. If it’s on your mind, get it out of your mind. Write it down, so you can focus on the task at hand.

  • Sanya Rochards-Ross, 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, track and field: Before the race, I imagine myself winning. During the race, I focus on executing what I imagined previously.

  • Henry Cloud, bestselling author and leadership consultant: Sometimes, the worst thing a leader can do is hope. If you are headed to the wrong destination, perseverance won’t help you. Instead, you need to create a “necessary ending.”

  • Coach Mike Krzyzewski, head men’s basketball coach, Duke University: Don’t focus on winning. Focus on creating a culture of success. This will lead to consistent winning.

  • John C. Maxwell, bestselling author and leadership expert: Divide your weaknesses by delegating them. A leader is like a quarterback. He doesn’t get paid to run the ball. He gets paid to put the ball into the right hands.

  • Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State (2005–2009): You have to be an optimist. Nobody wants to follow a sour puss.

  • Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric: You can give a thousand speeches, but nothing has a bigger impact than the personnel decisions you make. This includes who you hire, who you fire, and who you assign to your most important projects.

  • LCDR Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL and star of the 2012 movie Act of Valor: As leaders, your people are going to mimic your behavior. (SEALS are going to amplify your behavior.) “Calm is contagious.” So is panic. So is stupidity.

This year’s Leadercast was the best ever. In fact, I would say it was one of the top five events I have ever attended.

I hope you will consider attending next year, along with your team. Tickets are on sale now for the May 9, 2014 event. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It only gets better with each passing year.

via My Takeaways from the 2013 Chick-fil-A Leadercast | Michael Hyatt.

Check out this article by The Art of Manilness on walking.  They published “11 problems that can be solved by walking.”  I think this is the best of them, I love at the end, “They take cocktails… they are beefy and ponchy, something should be done to remedy this state of affairs.”  Well, TR sure did. : 

Even if those in developed countries rarely have a need to walk to get where they’re going, keeping up one’s walking endurance seems like a good “survival” skill to have. If walking once again became the only form of transportation available, say during the apocalypse, you’d be able to push your shopping cart of supplies across the country, ala the father in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Being able to walk long distances is also essential for being prepared for military service – where a principle form of transportation is the good old-fashioned march.

theodore roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt walking to work. September 20, 1901.

Near the end of Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, he was out on one of his regular “rough cross-country walks” at DC’s Rock Creek Park with some young Army officers. He was chagrined to hear from them of the “condition of utter physical worthlessness into which certain of the elder ones [officers] had permitted themselves to lapse, and the very bad effect this would certainly have if ever the army were called into service.” When TR looked into the matter, he found that “otherwise good men proved as unable to walk as if they had been sedentary brokers.” He thus “issued directions that each officer should prove his ability to walk fifty miles, or ride one hundred, in three days.” Despite the fact that this was a test, Teddy argued, “which many a healthy middleaged woman would be able to meet,” he got a lot of pushback from older officers who worked desk jobs. TR settled the matter by performing the ride requirement himself in snow and sleet, demonstrating how easy it was.

According to a naval officer who wrote to Roosevelt, the walking test was highly effective in getting men ready for the rigors of service:

“The original test of 50 miles in three days did a very great deal of good. It decreased by thousands of dollars the money expended on street car fare, and by a much greater sum the amount expended over the bar. It eliminated a number of the wholly unfit; it taught officers to walk; it forced them to learn the care of their feet and that of their men; and it improved their general health and was rapidly forming a taste for physical exercise…

This test may have been a bit too strenuous for old hearts (of men who had never taken any exercise), but it was excellent as a matter of instruction and training of handling feet—and in an emergency (such as we soon may have in Mexico) sound hearts are not much good if the feet won’t stand.”

The officer lamented that the Navy had since changed the standard to ten miles once a month — a test which he found would not produce the same benefits as a walk that had to be carried out over at least two days. The reason? The first day of walking is easy; it’s the second day, when one’s muscles and feet are sore, that’s the real challenge. The prospect of that second day, the officer explained, is what:

“made ‘em sit up and take notice—made ‘em practice walking, made ‘em avoid street cars, buy proper shoes, show some curiosity about sox and the care of the feet in general…

The point is that whereas formerly officers had to practice walking a bit and give some attention to proper footgear, now they don’t have to, and the natural consequence is that they don’t do it.

There are plenty of officers who do not walk any more than is necessary to reach a street car that will carry them from their residences to their offices. Some who have motors do not do so much. They take no exercise. They take cocktails instead and are getting beefy and ‘ponchy,’ and something should be done to remedy this state of affairs.”

via Solvitur Ambulando: It Is Solved By Walking | The Art of Manliness.

I love this article by Donovan Campbell about leadership and leading his daughters.  Fun being at the initiation of this stage, teaching my daughter about life, and reading lessons those who have gone before me have learned.  I pray for much grace in the raising of my daughter, but just like Donovan’s dad said, “we keep our word.”  Love it. 

Published on March 19, 2013

I have three small girls, eight, four, and two (and another on the way!), and not a week goes by that I don’t think about what I’m doing as their father, and how well or poorly I’m doing it. Am I a good dad? What does it even mean to be a good dad? What activities should I be doing with them? Where should they go to school? Who are their friends? When do I introduce them to smartphones, the internet, social media–and how? And so forth and so on.

Most fathers I know struggle with all of these questions and more. In a world where rapid change has become the new normal and technology introduces unplanned-for challenges seemingly every month (e.g. how do I use an iPad to educate my three-year-old while keeping her her from buying app upgrades I don’t want), I think that it’s easy to get lost inside a confusing maze of never-ending questions. And once you’re lost, it’s easy to make decisions that contradict each other as you bounce from issue to issue without any guidance. As bad, I’ve found that it’s easy to become completely reactive in my approach to parenting. With each issue that I handle, another two seem to take its place, and I find myself unintentionally abandoning any long-term focus or planning in favor of just dealing with the immediate problems to solve.

Unfortunately, reactivity and lack of intentionality are the bane of leadership. After all, you can’t get anyone to follow you if you don’t know where you’re going, and you certainly can’t get to where you’re going if you don’t give your final destination any thought. Moreover, you can’t stay on target if you never take a step back, calibrate where you are against where you want to be, and course correct in real-time, before it’s too late and you’ve arrived somewhere you never wanted to go.

Fortunately, being an intentional parent is simple in theory if hard in practice. Rather than answering every single question on every single issue, I’ve found that it really helps me if I stay focused on answering just one: “What type of person do I want my children to become–what character traits do I want them to have?” I think that if I can answer that well, and stay focused on achieving it, then many of the day-to-day questions answer themselves.

I had a great father who modeled the importance of focus for me, and I’ll never forget one day in ninth grade when that focus came into stark relief.  It was halfway through the school year, and I was miserable at my all-male, monk-run Catholic high school. The drive was forty-five minutes away from my home, none of my friends went there, we had to wear uniforms every day, and, worst of all, there were no girls and thus no real prospects of dating any time soon. I could almost walk to the local public high school, and it had all of my friends, no uniform requirements, and members of the opposite sex — in great quantities, even! The only trouble was that I had told the headmaster of my Catholic school that I’d finish out the year before making any decision to switch. Moreover, my father knew that I had made this commitment.

But at the end of the first semester, I was so unhappy that I decided that my promise wasn’t’ all that binding and that it would be far better to switch immediately rather than wait six interminable months until year’s end. My mother agreed, and together we approached my dad and made our arguments. She and I brought up a number of points ranging from the inconvenient commute the importance of developing social skills (mine were and are severely lacking), and my mom closed with the following argument–the clincher, she thought.

“Donny, at the end of the day, our son’s just not happy where he’s at.”

I’ll never forget the response. My father pushed his chair back from his desk, leaned back, looked at Mom, then at me, and then back at Mom:

“Honey,” he said, “I am not raising my son to be happy. I am raising him to be a man.”

He then looked at me “And a man keeps his word.”

My father went on to explain that I could go wherever I wanted after the year ended, but that I would fulfill the promise I had made to my headmaster and stick out the remaining six months. He really didn’t need to explain any further, though, because the argument was already over. My Dad knew what he wanted – to build a young man of character – and he knew what he was willing to trade off for it – his son’s perceived happiness. I may have argued with his method, but I couldn’t dismiss his goal. He knew it, he stayed focused on it, and he clearly communicated it to me when it really mattered. And, at the end of the day, I couldn’t disagree with him.

Now that I have three girls, I have a much better understanding of how hard that decision must have been for Dad. I hate seeing my oldest cry when she is left out of groups while her friends play on the playground. I hate hearing about how she doesn’t get invited to certain parties because she isn’t part of a more popular crowd. Not having happy children kills me.

But, like my father, I don’t want to raise my daughters with their happiness as my primary objective. Rather, I want to raise them with their moral character as my end goal so that they can make a meaningful and worthwhile impact in this world. Keeping that end in mind has helped me make decisions on everything from where to put them in school to what activities they should be involved in to what friendships we pursue. And focusing on that goal helps me take a step back when confronted with the whirlwind of daily questions and issues and re-center myself on what really matters.

After all, there’s only one man who can be a father to my daughters, and that’s me. I really don’t want to screw up the one of the very few things that ONLY I can do well. And, for all of my faults and failures, I really want to lead my little girls well, and I want them to know and see that.

How do I lead my daughters well? « The Leader’s Code | A Book by Donovan Campbell, New York Times Bestselling Author.

We are on the precipice of the major change.

On Leadership –

The way we make change is not by using money or power to lever a system, but by leading.

Three cycles:

Factory, Henry Ford. – Cheaper labor and faster machines.

Act like a King. Better Mousetrap, push marketing.  Push down, average ideas, plenty of ads.

Hypnotize everyone.

Tribes, leading and connecting people and ideas.

Find people on the fringes and go somewhere.

Tribes can change our world.

Because they want to connect.

Find something worth changing then assemble tribes, that becomes a movement.

1. Tell a story.

2. Connect a tribe.

3. Lead a movement.

4. Make a change.

Together we can get something we all want.

WE NEED YOU TO LEAD US.

– Who are you upsetting?

– Who are you connecting?

– Who are you leading?

via The tribes we lead – Seth Godin – YouTube.

 

Been studying Philippians 2:14-16, and working on “doing everything without complaining or arguing.”  Check out this great article, on the athletic mindset.

Sports Psychology is an emerging topic that is becoming more mainstream and acceptable among professional athletes. Much of what is discussed between a sport psychologist and an athlete, or team, focuses on mindfulness, performing under pressure, finding the confidence to take risks, and learning from mistakes. In the workplace, we struggle to lead ourselves and others over these hurdles. We often miss the chance to grow, when, as leaders, we fail to address moments when our direct reports are demonstrating anxiety about their tasks.

Developing leaders who adopt the mental practices athletes use not only improves their productivity, but also strengthens your ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, push yourself past apprehension into action, and increases your overall self confidence.

Put these athletic minded affirmations into practice and increase the success of your whole organization.

  • Your potential is limitless only you set boundaries on your success
  • Always assume full responsibility of your actions
  • Seek to be the best at what you do
  • Find a role-model who exemplifies the skills and character you aspire to possess
  • Nothing ever goes as planned so stay flexible
  • Stay in the present moment
  • Develop a warm-up routine that prepares you mentally and physically for any challenge ahead
  • Seize the opportunity in front of you, it may only show itself once
  • Push yourself and your team beyond what is believed to be possible
  • Listen to your teammates with an open mind but act on your final instincts
  • Wins and losses are a byproduct of the process; focus on the process
  • Learn from a loss;  do not dwell on it
  • Celebrate success and find a way to replicate it

If you believe in yourself have dedication and pride and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.
-Paul “Bear” Bryant

Interested in learning how some of leaderships top thought leaders manage to accomplish more tasks in less time? Visit www.leadershiplivecast.com to register today for The Ken Blanchard Companies next free event “Doing Still More with Less” on April 24th.

via 13 Athletic Minded Affirmations to Adapt to Your Leadership Style | Why Lead Now.

“Think differently about what winning is.” – AG Lafley

Listen to how AG describes the transition of thought around a new way to grow business, surrounding their purchase of MaxFactor and plan to take their cosmetics to a global brand.

How P&G Turned Acquisition into a Core Competency – Video – Harvard Business Review.