Aliveatwork's Blog


The Problem With Loyalty …

Some leaders believe that because they hold a position or title, they deserve the undying loyalty of their people even when they treat others poorly.

That isn’t loyalty, that’s positional leadership and it is the lowest form of leader ship.

Some folks believe that because someone is “family,” they are entitled to the loyalty of the other members of the “family,” even though a member’s behavior doesn’t warrant it.

That isn’t loyalty, that’s dysfunction.

Politicians and voters believe that once you claim membership in a particular party, you must vote along party lines even if when you vehemently disagree  with a stance, position, or candidate.

That isn’t loyalty, that is submission bordering on totalitarianism.

Loyalty is not an entitlement, it is not a reward for achieving status, nor is it a reason to be guilted into doing something that you don’t want to do or saying something you don’t want to stay.

And yet people are strongly urged to vote along party lines to protect an idealism, they participate in unhealthy relationships in the name of preserving the family, and they believe that a word or letters after their name earns them respect.

As with all things … you can’t give away something that you don’t have.

In other words … you can not be loyal to something or someone else if you are first disloyal to your self!

It’s that simple …

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Oops … I Did It … Again!

Saturday I had a chance to watch my girlfriend’s 12 year old daughter Ally play club volley ball.

They won their first match pretty quickly and then moved onto the next.

It was during this second match that I watched the negative affects that poor leadership has on a team.

During the second game, the other team started making mistakes. That’s when their coach started yelling and screaming.

It was just a matter of time before they came undone and lost. Obviously the coach’s screaming had a negative effect on them. Gheez  they’re only 12 years old what did he think was going to happen?

After the game we walked out into the lobby and that’s when things got ugly.

Sitting in the center of the floor between the exits and the bathrooms for everyone to see was this same coach grandstanding in public. There he was towering over his team as they sat on the floor in front of him like indentured servants. Obviously he needed them sitting because he himself was only about 5′ 5″ tall and getting shorter by the minute.

He stood there yelling, berating, and shaming them in public for everyone to see … “and if you want me to give you names I will.” (I’m sure that will help)

People were walking by and staring, the parents stood there and didn’t say a word. One of the girls on the floor looked up at me and I smiled at her …  Okay I’ve seen enough … is anyone gonna take a stand for these kids?”

Hey wait a minute! I speak and coach on Leadership, maybe I should share a few thoughts on the topic to help him out.

WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

He finally stopped …  and then I stepped in.

I thought this would be a good time to share a few quick lessons on Leadership …

Lesson #1 – Be Polite But Speak The Truth – I asked him if he was finished and then I shared with him my truth … I told him he was a jackass, actually I called him something else that started with an A ended with an E and had 2 S’s, an H, an O, and an L in between … sometime it’s best to speak your truth right up front!

Lesson #2 – State The Facts – I explained to him exactly what kind’ve of a coach/leader I thought he was … I made sure that he knew that berating and humiliating 12 and 13 year old girls wasn’t a good example of great leadership.

Lesson #3 – Provide Solutions – I explained to him that the next time he wanted to humiliate someone  he should probably find a less public space … I recommended the men’s room   as a good alternative … BY HIMSELF!

Lesson # 4 – Clarify & Repeat – Sometimes it’s best to repeat yourself … repetition is a good way for people to learn and a good way to clarify your message. I restated what I thought about him as a leader … yes I repeated the long A word just so there wasn’t any confusion or miscommunication.

And that got me thinking about what authentic leaders do ……

Authentic Leaders: 

  1. Build people up – they don’t tear people down … especially when they’re already down (the girls already felt bad they knew they didn’t play to their potential)
  2. Care for people – they don’t use them to make themselves look bigger (taller) … especially in public!
  3. Are other-centered –  they realize that it’s about their people and not about them (the coach thought it was all about him … if he didn’t he wouldn’t have done what he did or  where he did it).

It doesn’t matter if you’re 12, 17, or 70 … never ever let someone humiliate, shame, or berate you.

You don’t deserve it and you don’t have to tolerate it … you deserve more just because you are who you are.

And who you are doesn’t change because you win or lose a game … you’re still extraordinary!

And last … the next time you see someone bullying someone else … please don’t just stand there … DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!



Are You Achieving Excellence? No But …

At different times and with different clients when I ask them if they believe they are achieving excellence, too often I hear …

No, I wouldn’t say excellence … But we’re better than we were 2 years ago!

My first thought is always … What if you were mediocre 2 years ago?

So now you’re a little better than mediocre … and you’re okay with that?

Comparing yourself to what you did 2 years keeps you trapped in the past. It prevents you from taking risks (so you can feel safe) and it keeps you chained to average or poor past performance.

But what if you were doing really well 2 years ago?

Even if you were, comparing yourself to that point in time only tells you what you might have been capable of … back then.

It still doesn’t help you achieve your optimal level of excellence NOW.

Besides, your customers don’t care what you did for them 2 years, 6 months, or 6 days ago they only care what you do for them TODAY!

Achieving excellence means you continuously push yourself beyond where you feel comfortable and into new territory.

It means that you embrace change, fear, and new ideas.

Notice I didn’t say ACCEPT change, fear, and new ideas … I said EMBRACE change … Their is a big difference.

So are you achieving excellence? If not here’s a few thoughts:

6 Thoughts on Achieving Excellence:

  1. Excellence is not a place you arrive at. If it was, you wouldn’t be there very long because as soon as you stop striving for excellence … you lose it!
  2. Excellence is a state of mind (belief) that needs to permeate every crevice of your business and your life.
  3. It takes less than a nanosecond to decide to “be” excellent (that’s step 1).
  4. Once you decide simply start acting with excellence in everything that you do (and that’s step 2).
  5. And when you get stuck (not if, but when) simply ask yourself this question … What would an excellent (leader, sales person, parent, teacher, husband, wife, etc) do in a situation like this?
  6. And then as Nike says … JUST DO IT!

One last thought … If you want to be a student of excellence …

Remember what psychologist Warren Bennis said …

“Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity.”

Now go “be” excellent!



Getting In … and Out of Bed!

We’ve all heard the cliche … “So what side of the bed did you wake up on?”

Of course it is a figure of speech and it is a reminder that we choose our attitudes.

The question reminds us that one of the most important decisions we make everyday is choosing what we make things mean.

Yes, we have a choice … we always have choices, regardless of the situation, persons involved, timing, circumstance, etc.

Yes, there are those folks who believe that other people are the cause of their pain … we call them victims.

Yes, there are those people who make it their sole purpose in life to tell everyone they meet about all of the people who are causing them pain … we call them martyrs.

Charles Swindoll once said that he was convinced that “life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”

Funny, I seem to keep bumping into people who believe the exact opposite … they believe that life is 90% what happens to them and 10% of how they react to it.

They seem to think that by complaining and whining that people are drawn to them and sympathize with them. The exact opposite is true … they actually repel people.

The only people they don’t repel are other victims.  And isn’t that a fun bunch to be around!

The beautiful thing about all of this is that I get an extraordinary gift from these folks …

The gift is that it reminds me that I am empowered to choose differently!

I can choose happiness, joy, love, grace, forgiveness, gratitude, and a mentality of abundance.

Oh sure there are times when I slip off of the path and find myself looking at what is wrong … and when I do … I find it.

And that reminds me that I can also look for what is right … and when I do … I find that too!

Here’s a great idea from my colleague and fellow Masterminder Shawna Schuh (www.shawnaschuh.com):

  1. Before you go to bed the night before set your intention for the next morning.
  2. Tell yourself that you are going to wake up energized, refreshed, alive, and joyful!
  3. Repeat the intention 3-4 times … and then just watch what unfolds in the morning!

And there you have it … it’s really all up to you!

So … on what side of the bed did you get in last night?



Are You … All Out or All In?

A while back I was presenting to a group of entrepreneurs. The topic was about turning your business around in a tough economy.

I shared my experience that at one point in my career I went from having the most successful year in my business to having one of the worst years in my business … overnight.  I also shared how I got my business back on track.

At one point I asked the group to COMMIT to a system which I call the 3-4-5 System ™ with an accountability partner.

The system is simply doing the 3 things that have the most positive impact on your business bottom line, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.

There was a gentlemen sitting in the front row who had no problem identifying the 3 things to help his business. Where he got stuck was when I asked him to commit to taking those actions and being held accountable with a partner. It was at that point he basically said “no … I won’t do it”

My first thought was this guy needs to be committed alright!

Webster define commitment as, “the act of committing or pledging, a pledge, an obligation, a promise, etc” … and then adds, “THAT RESTRICTS ONE’S FREEDOM OF ACTION.”

So that got me thinking … 

  1. How many times have I failed to commit to doing something even though I knew it was the right thing to do (business building, working out, etc)?
  2. How many times have I chosen to NOT do what I needed TO DO to get the results I want in my business or in my personal life?
  3. How many times have I chosen NOT to commit to doing something … BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID THAT IT WOULD RESTRICT MY FREEDOM?

Bingo! Failure to commit is about freedom. It’s about the fear of losing our freedom to do what we want to do when we want to do it. It’s about feeling like were being imprisoned and we have no choice.

And The Truth Shall Set You Free:

  1. When we do commit to doing the things we need to do it actually gives us more choices and more freedom … not less!
  2. Being more focused on the things that give you more revenue gives you the opportunity to do more things … not less!
  3. Working out regularly actually gives you the freedom to eat things more things … not less!

So what about you … are you willing to commit?

Is there an area of your life where you need to go all out … and go all in?

Well … what are you waiting for?



What Does It Real-ly Take?

Last night I was traveling home from facilitating  an all day Leadership Workshop.

As I reflected back over the trip I thought: What a privilege!

I get to be a part of a process of helping group members push past their comfort zones to do the hard work of  becoming an authentic team.

Yes, I said the hard work of becoming an authentic team.

The word “team” has become an overused, greatly misunderstood word in Corporate America, in sports, and even within partnerships and marriages.

Nowadays, it seems like anytime we put 2 or more people in a room together to accomplish a task we call it a team … it’s not!

 Being an Authentic Team Requires:

  • Courage to speak your truth to each other regardless of how uncomfortable it might be.
  • Holding each other Accountable.
  • A deep seated Commitment to the process (goal, objective, etc).
  • Acknowledging the Strengths of each member (the sum is greater than its individual parts) and allowing each person to show up and contribute.
  • The willingness to put aside individual egos and agenda’s to Focus on the overall team agenda.

As I flew home that evening I realized that even though I am an individual entrepreneur, I have a team in place to support me. They hold me accountable to do all that I can to become an even better Speaker, Coach, and Consultant.

So that got me thinking …

  1. Do you have a team of people whom you trust to speak the truth to you in your business/personal life? Even when it’s hard?
  2. Do they hold you accountable?
  3. Do they acknowledge your strengths and call you to play bigger than where you might be comfortable playing?
  4. Are you committed to the process of becoming the best Salesperson, Parent, Partner, Leader, or Pastor that you can be?
  5. Do you let your pride, ego, or judgment  get in the way of taking in feedback or allowing yourself to be held accountable?

Someone once said it takes a village. Really?

My thoughts … if the people in the village aren’t an authentic team … it REALLY  doesn’t matter!

 So who’s REAL- ly on your team? 



Doing What Matters Most … It’s as Easy as 3-4-5?

Have you ever gotten to the end of your day and had this realization …

 I didn’t really accomplish a “d–n” thing today!

So you grab your to-do list and write down what you did do … 

And then check those items off your list so you felt like you actually accomplished something.

Okay let’s see …

  1. Stared at the wall for 45 minutes … check!
  2. Played Words with Friends ® for 1 hour in the morning … check!
  3. Stared at the Wall and Played Words with Friends ® for 1 more hour in the afternoon … check!

Yes, we’ve all been there, spent our precious time on tasks that don’t contribute to the results we really want. They simply keep us busy and give us a false sense of accomplishment.

So how do you stay focused on getting done what matters most?

Here’s 3 Easy Steps to Help:

  1. Get Clarity – First of all you have to be crystal clear about the results you need to get in your business. Believe it or not some folks are not clear about what they are responsible for?  Ask yourself: What is the end result that I need to produce? For example: Generating revenue, Creating websites that generate revenue, etc.)
  2. Define The Actions – Define what 3 actions will give you laser-like focus so you can accomplish those most important tasks. In my business, my 3 actions are:
    • Talk to people who need a Speaker, Coach or Consultant.
    • Talk with people who know someone who needs a Speaker, Coach, or Consultant.
    • Speak, Coach, or Consult, and be so “d–n” good that they want more or want to tell someone else about me.
  3. Apply The 3-4-5 System ™ – Commit to doing those 3 things for 4 hours a day 5 days per week. That’s it!

So are you game?

I dare you to try the 3-4-5 System ™ for just 1 week … and if you do I will promise you 3 things:

  1. You will be more productive.
  2. You will feel so much better about yourself and your results.
  3. You will have more time to spend playing Words With Friend ® (and you won’t feel guilty about it)

Oh … by the way … It’s Your Move!