Walk a Mile – Always try to walk a mile in another man’s shoes. You’ll be a mile ahead of him. And you’ll have his shoes.
It amazes me how many individuals influence us throughout our lives. I have had the pleasure of having many mentors in my walk, I have read many books, and I have been blessed with many hours of quiet time to reflect on the incredible wisdom I have been given because l was willing to be still and listen.
The following pages are a reflection on those times in my life where my mouth was silent, and my mind was open. My hope is that my reflections will encourage you and give you a new perspective on some important truths, and that you will be inspired to add your own to the list. Enjoy!
1 Be Joyful
Joy doesn’t come from the absence of challenge, obstacles, stress or hardships! Joy is created internally, while happiness takes external forces to bring about emotion. Joy is brought about by peace. It does not mean to be in a place with no noise, trouble, or hard work; it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
2 Be committed
Commitment is demonstrated by what you are willing to put it all on the line for, Do you know what you are truly committed to? If you don’t, nobody else does either.
3 Empower Others
Tomorrow’s leaders will be made by those leaders of today who empower others to learn, grow and succeed.
4 Serve Others
There is a greater connection between leadership and service than there is between leadership and “traditional” management. The missing piece of movement into leadership is your ability to serve with humility.
5 Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
You will care less about what people think of you when you realize how little they do.
6 Resist Ranking Life’s Priorities
If you place too much emphasis on ranking the importance of things (family, work, spirituality, friends, etc.), you will always have an excuse as to why all other items but #1 failed. Priorities should be circular like the wheel of a car, each has its proper place to keep the wheel turning.
7 Love Unconditionally
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there for fear of being hurt. Unconditional love is the most beautiful of all emotions and the greatest gift to be given.
8 Be Courageous
A definition of courage is “action in the presence of fear.” Having courage means to get outside of your comfort zone. Put yourself out there; exercise that muscle to make a stand.
9 Be Creative
Everyone can create incredible things if they chose to put the energy into creation. What the mind of man can conceive and believe, man can achieve.
10 Focus Your Thinking
Thoughts are noisy and distract your attention from hearing God’s gifts to you. Focused thinking is incredibly powerful and can be more exhaustive than physical exercise. Set aside 4-8 hours every quarter in solitude – listening – to purposefully write down what you hear and discern.
11 Have Contentment
Seek to understand what contentment truly is for you: in the West, it perceived as lazy. In the East, it is something to strive for.
12 Connect People
People remember when you help them get connected and will return the favor. It is an opportunity to show people how much they mean to you. It makes you feel good, and people always remember you.
13 Speak into the Future
Conversations speaking to the create energy and excitement. Conversations based in the past are simply a regurgitation of facts that have already transpired. Most conversations are past oriented like “How was your business last year?” It’s far more interesting to speak into the future like “What can you create this year in your business that you would consider to be significant?”
14 Be last
Be the last to get your food. Be the last to enter the event. Get everyone else seated before you. Take care of yourself…last.
15 Be Persistent
Persistence is self-discipline in action. Never give up.
Look at what you’re doing in your business day right now. If you weren’t doing it, would you choose to start doing it? Can someone else do it for you?
17 Nurture Your Spouse
Make sure your spouse feels they are more important than all else. Speak their love language even when you don’t feel like speaking at all.
18 Understand Your Motives
Do you love to lead and love to teach, or do you love those you lead and love those you teach. Enough said.
19 Be Reliable
A person can be defined by their capacity to promise and their ability to produce because of their word.
20 Don’t Reveal Power
Power revealed is power sacrificed. The truly powerful exert their influence in ways unseen, unfelt. Some would say that a thing visible is a thing vulnerable. Never resort to position power to influence.
21 Overcome the Urge to Quit
Pain is temporary, but quitting is forever. Quitting creates cyclical behavior and will be easy to repeat. Stay the course, and will you create a cycle of accomplishment instead.
22 Use Words Wisely & Sparingly
The more words you use, the less confident you are about your material. Competent people speak in very defined, simple statements. The more you say, the less they remember.
23 Be Versatile
To lower the tension of someone else, you will probably have to do something that raises your own tension level. You need to adapt to their style, not expect them to move towards yours.
24 Have Uncommon Vision
Vision is the art of seeing the invisible. Eyes that look are common while eyes that see are rare. One of my favorite examples of vision revolves around Robert Mondavi from 1966. He built his winery, and 78% of his square footage was allocated to the visitor’s area. What’s unique about that is that there were no visitors to Napa in 1966.
Vision has nothing to do with what’s seen. On the contrary, it has everything to do with creating the unseen. Create!
25 Believe You are Worthy
What is it about your past that gives you the false realization that you are not worthy of referrals?
26 Confront Problems
Use confrontation for the sake of building others up. Learn to speak the most powerful love language. Tackle problems head on. Be willing to put your ego on the line to deal with issues quickly.
27 Use Wisdom
Wisdom is different than knowledge and intelligence. Wisdom is what you do with that knowledge and intelligence you have accumulated. Wisdom is 9/10th a matter of being wise in time. Most of us are too often wise after the fact.
28 Seek out your spiritual gifts
The greatest feeling you can have is to be doing what you should be doing with your life. Significance comes much easier when what you do is aligned with your values.
29 Use Metrics as a tool
Belief is created by hitting short-term targets. They verify you’re on the right path, aligned with your goals. Confirmation promotes belief.
30 Don’t Limit Your Potential
As long as you use the past as a guide, your future will always be minimized. Most people believe the future equals (or at least resembles) the past +/- an increment. Remove the past from your future, and there is no limit to the possibilities.
31 Remove Pessimism
There is no such thing as a pessimistic leader. The two words simply cannot go together to create a positive outcome. The result becomes discouragement instead of encouragement.
32 Don’t Expect Things to Work Unless You Do
Possibly one of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin is, “Laziness travels at such a slow pace that poverty soon overtakes him. Luck always seems to be against the man who depends on it.”
33 Eliminate Anger
He who angers you controls you. “For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness,” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
34 Practice Makes Perfect
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Our most anxious moments are created from a lack of mastery or lack of preparedness, not from personal inadequacy.
35 Love Maturely
Understand the difference between Mature Love and Immature Love:
- Mature – I am loved because I love.
- Immature – I love because I am loved.
- Mature – I need you because I love you.
- Immature – I love you because I need you.
Love is a commitment of the will for the good of the other person.
36 Utilize Comparisons
Nothing looks good or bad until it is compared. Don’t allow yourself to be a big fish in a small pond.
37 Be Loyal
Loyal Agents are won when the Agent consciously, or unconsciously, judge their partners to be capable of solving their problems and meeting their needs.
38 Be On Time
People who are consistently late are always happier than the people waiting on them. Treat others’ time with respect, as it is a precious commodity for those who know how to wield it.
39 Maximize Your Effectiveness
Many successful people work instinctively and most often unconsciously (unconscious competent). When you can take what you do intuitively and start doing it intentionally, you immediately become more effective. That’s how the path of mastery begins.
40 Control Your Attitude
Attitudes are the forerunners of conditions. Thinking will always impact our attitudes. Therefore, thinking will ultimately create our conditions.
41 Go forth and lead
There’s a big difference between meetings and training. Training is designed to instill growth and education in those you’re leading. Educate comes from the Latin word Educere (pronounced Ed U Carry): E – to go forth & Ducere – to lead
42 Grow Continuously
You are either green and growing or brown and dying. You cannot stay where you are. Make sure you constantly sharpen your axe.
43 Choose Your Words
There is no such thing as a casual comment from a leader. Your words mean something and can’t be taken back, so make sure you aren\’t going to want to return them. Make your words helpful for raising up others to be and do their best.
44 Make a Decision
I would rather make the second best choice and get it implemented then be paralyzed into inactivity seeking the perfect direction.
45 Be Unwilling to Quit
The amount of power gained from not quitting can be far more inspiring than the gains from victories. The power of a finisher is like a tidal wave. It can’t be stopped. Winning belongs to those who are unwilling to quit.
46 Punish Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts destroy what’s possible. Refuse to have a victim mentality where blame or shame is put on someone else. Instead, take charge of your own destiny. Eliminate self-doubt.
47 Embrace Life’s Challenges
The 3 stages that describe God\’s challenges for us in life are:
- First Stage – Impossible
- Second Stage – Difficult
- Third Stage – Done
Everything is possible. Peter (the disciple of Jesus) decided he was better off on the water with his Lord, then back in the safety of the boat without him. Step out of your boat!
48 Find Your Hidden Potential
You have more hidden inside you than you have had a chance to explore thus far. Create an environment removing perceived boundaries to discover the limits of your potential. In this way, you can discover what can be achieved, created, and invented.
49 Leave a Godly legacy
Leaving a Godly Legacy requires character. True character is built when we are down in the dirt having to fall to our knees, not when all is going our way. If we understand this, we get one step closer to understanding an ancient text:
“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
50 Start Each Day With a Championship Conversation
Imagine the intensity of the 7th game of the NBA finals with 3 seconds left on the clock and Boston is down by 1. In the huddle, Larry Bird starts to call out the play. How intensely focused were those players on every word Larry spoke? The crowd is in a frenzy. The camera crews are all over the huddle. The noise is deafening. Even with all the distractions, those players heard every word. Start by focusing on 1 championship conversation every day. Relationships are built from conversations such as these.
51 Be Passionate About Your Present
A powerful and inspiring future only comes from a passionate present. Don’t get caught up daydreaming about your future or what could be. Focus on giving all you have to the present… and an unbelievable future will create itself.