Tag Archives: Business

Becoming Referable (By Tim Marks)

Tim Marks, author of Voyage of a Viking and his latest best-selling book Confidence of a Champion, gives some very practical and useful information for anyone with a desire to expand their level of influence.  By putting these practices into action over the last year, I have personally seen great results. You also can improve and add to your professional network.   Enjoy the article.

Becoming Referable

Posted on July 6, 2013 by

It’s true that success in business and in LIFE comes down in many ways to who you know.  This applies in several ways.  First, it may mean a mentorship perspective, where knowing a successful mentor can help you avoid the proverbial landmines of personal experience while figuring out the process to success alone.  It matters who you associate with.  Robert Kiyosaki teaches that our income is the average of the five people with whom we associate most often.  And, it matters when building a business community, because a new friend can connect you to their friends.

You want to make sure that people want to make that critical introduction of YOU to the people they know.  How can you help inspire them to do so?  By becoming REFERABLE.  Here are 7 key points to get you started!

1.  Always be looking for opportunities to expand your network.   If you aren’t meeting people, you won’t know anyone who WOULD refer you!  To become referable, keep making new friends.  We attract what we focus on.  If you have a goal of connecting with people, you will notice those golden opportunities when they present themselves.  Be on the lookout for clubs and associations that create opportunities to make connections, such as the local Rotary Club, Toastmasters, or various Meetup groups in your area.

2. Have character and integrity.  The minute you show yourself to be untrustworthy, no one of character will refer you.  They will point you out to their friends, but only as a warning.  “Don’t go near that guy,” they will say ominously.  “He cheated me out of a business deal.”  Some guys so crooked you could screw them in the ground.  A small business owner operates from a base of profit motive and a commitment to provide a valuable service or product. A business owner communicates truth using direct and indirect means. You reveal your commitment to honesty when you pay your company bills and employees. When you file taxes, report to your investors and make commitments to your customers, you communicate virtue. Looked at from another angle, failing to meet your corporate responsibilities establishes a climate of mistrust and potential illegality.  Don’t cook the books, cheat on your taxes, gossip about people, break your word, neglect a commitment, or speak negatively about others when they aren’t present to defend themselves.  Never let it be said of you, “Watch out for that person.”  Make sure that you carry yourself with such a high degree of integrity that people would do a business deal on a handshake with you.

3. Be interested in the other person and their job and company. We naturally tend to like people who like us.  Maybe we think they’ve got good taste!  Joking aside, if you have a meeting with someone, show your interest in them by following up in a punctual timeframe.  After you’ve made a new business contact, make sure within a week or two that you’ve called them to touch base.  If the contact is a former client or just someone you’ve talked to before, now might be the perfect time to ask for a referral. If it’s a prospect you’re calling, maybe you can set up an appointment to have coffee and find out if their plans might include using your services.  Take an interest in people and what’s going on in their lives.  For example, if a client mentioned they were working on an important project, give them a personal call to check in and see how the project is going.  If you are working with them, always ask if there is anything more you can do to serve them and their business.  If you are fortunate enough to have had business referred to you, call the person who referred the business and thank them!  Take the time to try to learn more about their current activities so you can refer business to them.  When you take an interest in helping others, kind deeds tend to circle back to us.

4.  Track who you meet.  When you meet someone for the first time, take a second to jot down any important information that they brought up in the conversation.  When I meet people, after the conversation is finished and I walk away, if I have their business card I like to pause for a second and jot notes on the back of it about our conversation.  If I caught family information, career info, personal hobbies, or even a reminder of how and where we met, it will help me to show a sincere interest in them when I phone back.  If they don’t use business cards, take a minute and jot some notes in your cellphone about them.  It’s not only valuable to do this for the follow up, but for the long-term relationship.  If they mentioned their birthday or anniversary date, make a note of that!  How amazing would it be to send them a note of congratulation on their birthday or anniversary.  It’s so rare that you will stand out from the crowd.  A good habit is to list  people to stay in touch with. Include anyone who has given you business in the last 12 monthsas well as any other prospects you’ve connected with recently. Send them cards on the next holiday.

5.  Look sharp!  If you want people to refer you to others, be presentable.  Dress in a way that would make them feel proud to introduce you to the most important people in their lives, to the people in their inner circle.  Don’t dress like your peers; dress like the people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish.  It’s amazing how simple grooming and basic hygiene can be missed, but if you want people to refer you, you had better shower, shave, brush your team, polish your shoes, and remove the dog hair!  Look sharp to become sharp.

6.  Practice excellent people skills.  Simply be courteous toward everyone whose path you cross.  Four basic principles of people skills and integrity are:  a, Show up on time.  b. Do what you say.  c. Finish what you start.  d. Say please and thank you.  While these may seem basic, I am always shocked when I meet grown men and women who literally fail at these four things on a regular basis.  You don’t have to sound like a fake news caster and sound “polished” to have people skills; you just to see the inherent value and worth in all people and treat them accordingly.

7. Have a positive attitude! Nobody wants to even be around someone who has a bad attitude, much less network with them. If you want to be referable, be pleasant and friendly.  If you light up the room when you walk out, I am talking to you right now!  Start learning to smile more often.  See the good in each person and each situation.  When problems arise, try to seek the solution to the problem rather than moaning and complaining that something isn’t going right.  Choose to laugh and shrug off the minor inconveniences of the day.  The people who might want to refer you are fighting their own battle with the day.  Aspire to be the “friction free” team mate who shows respect for everyone on the court.  If you lift people’s spirits when you are around them, you are on the fast-track to becoming referable!

Apply these seven principles every day, and the people in your business and your LIFE will refer you.  Keep learning, growing and getting referred!

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The Top 5 Factors Affecting Group Reproduction

Are you having trouble reproducing, growing or expanding your group, team or business?If you answered affirmatively then you have come to the right place.  We have all heard at one point in our lives or another about a man named Leonardo Pisano Bigollo more commonly know as Fibonacci. He is accredited as being the primary influence as to the reason we use the Arabic Numerals 0-9 and the idea of using the decimal system and Zero as a place older. Fibonacci is more well know because of his solution to a problem brought to him about rabbit reproduction.  Today we find his “Fibonacci Sequence” in everything from nature in the smallest forms to architecture and music and literally everywhere we look. The idea of exponential growth happening within a few short generations of rabbits and any other thing we can think of has long been sought after, dreamt of and planned out with melancholy detail. Many times with regard to our businesses, teams, small church groups, or organizations we find that this massive growth does not happen.  Why?  you ask…  I’m so glad you asked!

Several months ago I finished a book titledExponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement Exponential by Dave and Jon Ferguson. I highly recommend this book.  It is targeted toward church growth but I find that the principles found within can be applied to almost any group or team.  The Ferguson brothers refer to a study done by Joel Comiskey in the Book Home Cell Group Explosion in which this topic of group reproduction is tackled and explained.

First, let’s talk about 3 categories or factors that do not have any effect on the group’s reproduction.

1. The leader’s gender, social class, age, marital status, and education are not factors effecting the ability to reproduce the group.

2. The leader’s personality type was not a factor either.

3. The Leader’s Spiritual gifting also was not a factor in reproduction effectiveness.

If none of those factors affect the reproduction of the group, then what does?  According to Comiskey there are five factors that DO affect the ability of the leader to effectively reproduce a group!

1. THE LEADER’S PRAYER LIFE

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs or church background I challenge you to consider this before I continue; Research has proven over hundreds of years, on every continent, and in every culture studied that prayer does increase the likelihood or odds of something happening in favor of those who are praying.  With that being said I’ll continue.  The one factor that seemed to have the biggest impact in the study was how much time the leader spent in prayer about the group and it’s people.  in addition to prayer the study indicated that the devotional life of the leader was consistently in the top 3 most important variables. I highly suggest that you consider the importance of prayer and begin implementation immediately! Dont’ delay!

2. THE LEADER’S SETTING GOALS TO MULTIPLY

“Leaders who know their goal and know when their groups are planning to reproduce consistently reproduce their groups more often than leaders who do not know their goal.” I could not have said it better myself.  There are actually two key principles in this one and I believe if we take a closer look you will agree.  Notice that there must first be a goal set.  The other factor here I would suggest is hidden in the word “multiply”.  Notice that the word is not “addition”. SetMagic of Thinking Big Cover your goal high and lofty. As the old saying goes ” If you shoot for the moon and miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Start with a big dream. Imagine how big it could be. I would suggest another book to help you with this one. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D. It’s your turn to think big and set your goals to match!

3. THE LEADER’S RECEIVING EFFECTIVE TRAINING

Comiskey’s research further indicated that leader’s who felt they had been well-trained to reproduce did so more rapidly although this training was not as important or as effective as the prayer life of the leader.  This solidified in my mind the need for a world-class training system but more importantly the need to instill in each of the leaders under me, the importance of that prayer life. I am very thankful that the LIFE business provides that world-class training system!

4. THE GROUP’S EVANGELISTIC EFFORTS

This is a mere numbers game. The research shows that if there are more people visiting, there will be a faster reproduction.  call it a word-of-mouth campaign, advertising, door-to-door or whatever you team or business utilizes. The more people you come in contact with, the more likely you are to experience growth. If you are a small group or team trying to grow your numbers, the key will be for each person to get out and invite more people. A culture with kind of evangelistic effort must be started and developed by the leader. Leading by example goes a long way here!  Try it. I dare you!

5. THE GROUP’S OUTSIDE MEETINGS

Believe it or not but when the group starts to have meetings after the meetings outside of the daily routine, there  is a team functionality that developes for beyond what the leader can do with the normal group activities. This is what they refer to as the “Fun Factor”.  This one of the great cultures that have been developed with in the many different teams all across the LIFE business where our motto is “Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference”.   The study shows that groups who get together outside of the normal activities “just for fun” are far more likely to reproduce quickly than those groups not having “outside” meetings.

 

I will end with this quote from the book; “Small groups are the epicenter of community in life…”  Your effectiveness as a leader will depend on how good you get at reproducing small groups using the 5 tools I just gave you.  Community is key.  Go build yours today!

 

Sincerely,

Philip Brittain

 

For more great content visit my website at life-leadershift.com

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Entrepreneur as Leader (By Orrin Woodward)

Orrin woodward has such an amazing way of communicating truth.  This article from Orrin is a fantastic example of his excellence in conveying principles of success in the marketplace.  I trust you will enjoy this as much as I did.

 

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 22, 2013

An entrepreneur must be a leader. Why? Because he or she must build and lead teams of people to accomplish the task, satisfy the customer, and do so at a price that leaves profit for the team members. In other words, ineffective leaders soon prove to be ineffective entrepreneurs because the customer isn’t satisfied nor the teams paid well. Nonetheless, many would-be entrepreneurs start business while ignoring the importance of leadership to the health of their enterprise.

Entrepreneurs should enter into markets where they feel they can satisfy the customers better than their competitors. For instance, Jack Welch, in his early days, was called “Neutron Jack” because he refused to be in a business sector where he couldn’t improve to either #1 or #2. His philosophy of business led him to get out of markets where he couldn’t be the best, and move into markets where he could be the best, thus maximizing profits for the company and ensuring employment for the workers. Incidentally, few seem to understand that only a profitable company can maintain its workers. Since profit is the life-blood of any business, when a company is losing money, it’s similar to a patient losing blood.  In both instances, death results if the bleeding isn’t checked.

Accordingly, leaders are constantly studying the vital signs of their business, ensuring the business is not bleeding to death. In fact, leaders must be PDCA champions, constantly making adjustment in the areas where it can have the most impact. They don’t just change things to make change, however. Instead, they listen, study, and analyze until they determine which area of change could have the biggest impact on the bottom line. Then they do something unheard of in our modern world, namely, take massive action to drive the team and business forward.

Whenever I study a business, the first question I ask is: Who is the leader? If an effective leader is in charge, he can overcome lack of capital, lack of resources, and still beat competitors who have plenty of both. Why? Because leaders constantly are developing innovative ways to solve problems while managers focus on the same methods that worked before. I love the saying: If it isn’t broke, then break it and make it better.

When my co-founders and I started LIFE Leadership, we did so with little funds or resources, but we had a superbly talented leadership team. I knew that the leadership team would quickly build the leadership products that could compete with any leadership team anywhere. Interestingly, over the last 18 months LIFE Leadership has become a $50 million dollar conglomerate through building the highest quality personal development products in the industry.

For example, anyone serious about being an entrepreneur ought to purchase and apply the principles from the Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program. The 13 Resolutions are found in my All-Time Top 100 Leadership book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE.  If applied daily, they will radically change the leadership capabilities of any hungry student. In fact, I have hundreds of emails from satisfied customers who did just that.

In summary, if the reader wants to be a successful entrepreneur, then he must be a successful leader. Building a company without building one’s leadership is a fools way to launch a company. For no company will rise higher than the leadership within the company. America needs leaders to create the LeaderShift! What part will the reader play? Here is another segment of the article on the role of entrepreneurs.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Entrepreneur as exceptional leader

Hans Karl Emil von Mangoldt  (1824-1868) developed the notion that entrepreneurial profit is the rent of ability. He divided entrepreneurial income into three parts: (1) a premium on uninsured risks; (2) entrepreneur interest and wages, including only payments for special forms of capital or productive effort that did not admit of exploitation by anyone other than the owner; and (3) entrepreneurial rents or payments for differential abilities or assets not held by anyone else. The first part is a return on risk taking; the second part from capital use and production effort, and the third part from ability or asset specificity. Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) carried forward Mangoldt’s notion of rent-of-ability by adding the element of leadership to “entrepreneurial” responsibilities. Marshall’s entrepreneurs “must be a natural leader of men who can choose assistants wisely but also exercise a general control over everything and preserve order and unity in the main plan of business. In fulfilling this organizational function, the entrepreneur must always be “on the lookout for methods that promise to be more effective in proportion to their cost than methods currently in use”. Marshall noted that not everyone had the innate ability to perform this entrepreneurial role as these abilities are so great that very few persons can exhibit all of them in a very high degree. Accordingly, he termed the entrepreneurial rents specifically as a “quasi-rent”, which is a return for exceptional natural abilities, which are not made by human effort, and enable the entrepreneur to obtain a surplus income over what ordinary persons could expect for similar exertions following similar investments of capital and labour in their education and start in life.

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The Man Who Killed The Bank (Part 2)

Jackson slays the many-headed monster of the S...

The Man Who Killed the Bank

Part II

by Orrin Woodward

Read Part I Here

In his historic veto address, Jackson declared war on the wealthy aristocracy attempting to subvert the American Republic.

His veto address should be read by everyone concerned with freedom and equality of opportunity. Jackson, in part, stated:

“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.

“Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions.

“In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics, and laborers-who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government.

“There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.”

Jackson’s veto was a shot across the financial-elites broadside and could not remain unanswered, especially when the messenger was the sitting President of the United States of America.

Interestingly, Jackson was not a novice in his understanding of the ill-effects of paper money. In fact, he understood the debilitating effects of inflationary money (having studied at length the South Sea Bubble) better than many of the Eastern elites opposing him. He knew that paper money not backed by bullion was fraud upon the many for the benefit of the few.

Biddle, finally comprehending Jackson couldn’t be bought or bullied declared war, pulling out every political weapon in his extensive arsenal. Biddle purchased propaganda pieces in the newspapers in an attempt to refute Jackson’s charges and rally support for the Bank. For instance, he wrote to one editor,

“If you will cause the articles I have indicated and others which I may prepare to be inserted in the newspaper in question, I will at once pay to you one thousand dollars.”

A thousand dollars then is equivalent to twenty-five thousand today, certainly enough to bribe most editors into action.

Biddle’s relentless assault only strengthened Jackson’s belief that the Bank’s influence was unhealthy and detrimental to a republican government. In truth, money and power are just two sides of the same coin.

Consequently, where money gathers, power is soon to follow and where power gathers, money is soon to follow.

Daniel Webster, the famed lawyer and presidential contender from New England, championed the Bank’s cause, becoming one of the Bank’s most ardent supporters. Ironically, although Webster had originally opposed the Bank’s charter, he found Bank religion when Biddle offered him a healthy legal retainer to aid in the re-charter movement. In the midst of the Bank battle, Webster wrote the a revealing missive to Biddle,

“I believe my retainer has not been renewed or refreshed as usual. If it be wished that my relation to the Bank should be continued, it may be well to send me the usual retainers.”

Webster, along with the champion of the statists American System, Henry Clay, supported the financial-elites in their fight against Jackson as perks, power, and recognition were sure to follow with the Bank’s blessing.

Webster, in fact, launched a lengthy attack on the Jackson’s policies, blasting his veto of the Bank. Biddle, in addition, bought other influencers in Congress to oppose Jackson’s measures, dividing Jackson’s supporters into two camps.

The first group desired the President to yield on the issue, hoping to maintain government decorum. In contrast, the second, encourage the President to finish what he started and end the unholy alliance between Big Banks and Big Government.

Jackson’s popularity suffered from the stream of paid propaganda unleashed by editors congenial to Biddle’s seemingly endless financial largesse. Indeed, numerous diatribes against Jackson’s policy permeated the press on a weekly basis.

Despite the funded politicians in Congress and rabid press editors willing to do Biddle’s bidding, he still stored one more ace up his sleeve.

Fearing that Jackson would remove the Treasury deposits from his Bank, starving the bank of the lifeblood of money necessary to maintain its special power base, Biddle declared to Webster,

“They will not dare to remove them. If the deposits are withdrawn, it will be a declaration of war which cannot be recalled.”

Following through on his promise, Biddle launched a campaign of loan closures across America, causing financial panic among the state banks and business community.

They were forced to either pay back their loans or collapse into insolvency. State banks and businesses screamed for relief, appealing to Jackson end the ward and submit to the Bank’s recharter.

Misreading the President again, the numerous bank and business closings only steeled Jackson’s resolve to end Biddle’s undue influence in the American economy.

Many state leaders, awakened by the inordinate power that the Bank held over the economy, began to recognize the truth of Jackson’s veto claims.

In truth, the President believed that any power capable of causing a panic of this magnitude was not healthy for the freedoms of the American people. He denounced the Bank’s action to his cabinet,

“The Bank has by degrees obtained almost entire dominion over the circulating medium, and with it, power to increase or diminish the price of property and to levy taxes on the people in the shape of premiums and interest to an amount only limited by the quantity of paper currency it is enabled to issue.”

Jackson understood the role that money-interest can play in causing inflation and market cycles; unfortunately, this understanding seems lost on today’s politicians and our Federal Reserve System.

Biddle once boasted to an intimate,

“In half an hour I can remove all the constitutional scruples in the District of Columbia. Half a dozen presidencies’ — of bank branches — a dozen cashierships, fifty clerkships, a hundred directorships, to worthy friends who have no character and no money.”

Clearly, Biddle was playing for keeps, understanding that money buys power and power produces money. Even in the midst of the Federal Government’s withdrawal of Treasury Deposits, Biddle remained confident of his ultimate victory, writing,

“My own view of the matter is simply this…The [instigators] of this last assault on the Bank regret and are alarmed by it. But the ties of party allegiance can only be broken by the actual conviction of existing distress in the community. Nothing but the evidence of suffering abroad [that is, in the country as a whole] will produce any effect in Congress…This worthy President thinks that because he has scalped Indians and imprisoned judges, he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken.”

Biddle appears to have succumbed fully to the corrupting effects of absolute power. His dictatorial thoughts, writings, and actions are on display during this stage of the war. He shared with another confidante,

“My own course is decided, all other banks and all other merchants may break, but the Bank of the United States shall not break.”

Biddle truly believed, that by causing harm and suffering in America, he could control the political leaders of our country.

In hindsight, had it been any other President besides Jackson at this time, he would have been right. Jackson, however, stood his ground and eventually won the Bank war, despite receiving many battle scars along the way.

Re-elected in a landslide, Jackson proved that a person with conviction and character can stand his ground and win, no matter the size of the forces aligned against him.

Boldly, at one point in the battle, Jackson told his Vice-President Martin Van Buren,

“The Bank is trying to kill me. But I will kill it.”

Jackson example demonstrates a leader’s powerful effect upon others.

When a person has the courage to stand strong, he strengthens the spine of others who recognize the truthfulness of his fight between right and wrong.

Courage, just like lack of courage, is contagious. Character is courage and integrity combined. Integrity is identifying what is right and courage is the ability to stand for truth even when it hurts.

Jackson accomplished many things in his life, both militarily and politically. However, I believe his finest hours were in his courageous stand against the Second National Bank.

May today’s leaders learn similar courage in today’s fight against tyranny.

**************************

 

Orrin Woodward co-authored the New York Times bestseller  Launching a Leadership Revolution.

orrinwoodward-150x182-customHis first solo book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books List. Orrin was awarded as the 2011 IAB Leader of the Year.

Orrin has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business.

He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

He follows the sun between residences in Michigan and Florida with his lovely wife Laurie and their children. Orrin’s leadership thoughts are shared on his blog, orrinwoodwardblog.com.

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Are you ready for the LeaderShift?

Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille  have teamed up to bring us this amazing book! You can now read the first four chapters of  LeaderShift from the Hachette Book Group.  I can ask you if you are ready for the leader shift, but that question carries no real weight.  The real question I have for you is this: Will you be one of those leaders, one of the ten percent, who will finally stand up and lead?  Our country needs you now more than ever!  Partisan politics don’t work.  Both major parties are spending us into oblivion.  We need true change in direction.  This LeaderShift book gives us all a wake up call!

If you have not seen the trailer for this book please don’t waste a nother second… watch it now:  Then tell me what you think in the comment section below.

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Leading by example

The story has been told regarding an officer during the first American war who gave orders to have some trees cut down because they needed the wood to make a bridge.  The officer had a major problem on his hands though because he had too few men to do the job and the work was getting done at such a slow pace. A commanding-looking officer rode up and spoke to the officer in charge, who was urging his men to work hard but doing nothing himself. “You haven’t enough men for the job, have you?”

“No, sir. we need some help.”

“Why don’t you lend a hand yourself?” asked the man on horseback.

“Me, sir? why, I am a corporal,” replied the officer, looking rather affronted at the suggestion.

“Ah, true, ” quietly replied the other, and getting off his horse he labored with the men until the job was done. Then he mounted again, and as he rode off he said to the officer, ” Corporal, the next time you have a job to put through and too few men to do it, you had better send for the commander-in-chief, and I will come again.

That man was George Washington.

 

Regardless of the position, A leader must be willing to step down from where he sits and get his hands dirty, do the same work as the rest.   The same goes for women in leadership also. There is no gender gap when it comes to being a leader.  The principles of leadership work just the same for both sexes.

In our society today we have an interesting dichotomy where, not only do many who are in positional leadership roles have a strange aversion to actual work, but we also have a large group of people who claim to want the leadership roles but are unwilling to go out perform.

Regardless of where you might be in terms of your current leadership role or lack thereof, you can change today!  No task is too small! Even the most mundane of tasks such as picking up a scrap of paper lying on the floor or taking out the office trash should be opportunities that you are looking for.  If you are in a sales role, you must become a top performer before you will be given any sort of leadership role.

I have never been a part of an organization that had such a culture of success by performance until I met the amazing people involved in the LIFE business.  The best examples of this type of leadership can be found in men like Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady and so many others that been mentored by these two men and the other founders of LIFE.

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3 Keys to Habitual Success

In today’s information age, it is becoming more and more difficult for individuals, businesses, and even families to find that winning “edge”.  For many this may sound too simple, yet for others it may seem like too much to ask.  Regardless of your current status or position, you CAN do this and you CAN win. I can make you this one promise here and now: If you will implement this info in a consistent effort over time, you WILL succeed!

One of the most impressive things I’ve seen in the LIFE business is watching tens of thousands of people succeeding in all areas of life because they are practicing these three habits. A small sampling of results currently happening all over North America right now; friends restore broken relationships, marriages being healed from on the brink of divorce, individuals and families getting debt free, business partners learning how to work with each other again, business owners learning how to understand employees and customers better, employees at risk of unemployment rising to be superstars! Your results will be based on how well you implement these three keys into your life.

  1.  READ
  2. LISTEN
  3. ASSOCIATE

Let’s cover READING first:

I’ve heard it said many different ways, in some form or another that every great leader in history has been a great reader. The contrary to that is not all people who are great readers will be great leaders. Reading is only one piece of the puzzle.  The fact is that although you must read, you must read the right books.  I’m not talking about reading the next big novel by your favorite author or reading the supermarket tabloids or even the comics in the Sunday paper. There may be time for those, but you will want to keep that at a bare minimum if you truly want success. “Well, how do I know what books to read?” You might ask.  I’m so glad you asked. You should be reading the best books on leadership, economics, history, philosophy, and the classics. I know what you’re thinking… “How do I know which books are the best?”  That answer will come from the third key habit of association. Finding someone who has already read thousands of books who can guide you to the best ones is a really good start.  We’ll talk more about that later.

To LISTEN is to have wisdom:

I love the way Orrin Woodward puts it: “You know why we want you to listen to CD’s? It’s to get you to shut you up.”  This may be a bit harsh for some but the truth is that we all know how to talk to ourselves very negatively all the time, right? Right!  I know you know how this goes because I do it just the same as you.  Zig Ziglar and many others over the years have been big proponents of keeping a constant stream of positive information coming at you through audio form. Every bit of research done on the subject continues to prove and reinforce the idea that by listening to positive audio recordings each day will have a profound effect on your attitude by the way you start to talk to yourself.   You would be amazed at how much difference just a single cd in the morning can make on the rest of your day!

 

The right ASSOCIATION will lead you to greatness:

We do it with our children all the time but most of us are unwilling to do it for ourselves! Picture for a moment your son or daughter comes to you and makes the request to go hang out with neighbor kids or friends from school. You know about the negative influence the kids will be on your child. So you naturally say “no”.  What about yourself?  Just as negative association is bad for your child; it is bad for you as an adult. It has been said that we become the average of the five people we associate with most.  It is true for every area of life. Think about the five people you associate with most. Now average out the quality of life in several areas; finances, relationship with spouse, relationship with children, household cleanliness, and habits like smoking or being late for appointments. So let’s turn the tables on this idea. What if you were to seek out and intentionally associate with winners, movers and shakers, people who are learning, growing and improving?  By spending time with people who are better than you are will naturally put you in a position to get better.  By associating with those who are greater than you are currently you will learn what books to read and what audios you should be listening to because that person has naturally already been listening and reading and therefore, knows which are good and which are not.

And so we have come full circle.  By associating with the right group of people, you will be able to glean the most valuable information to help you grow.  If you have no idea where to start, let me offer this piece of advice: Start with yourself!  You can become the leader needed in your household, business, community group, or any circle of influence you are currently a part of.

These three habits practiced consistently over time will produce better results in your life! You can make the choice to start today!

If you need help finding a source for the best books and audios to start your journey, I am happy to help you get started on your journey of success today.  Feel free to contact me any time.

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Leaders Don’t…

Leaders “Don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t make excuses!”

These words from John Wooden quoting his father are imperative for every leader to understand and practice.  Your success as a leader will be hindered drastically by letting yourself take part in these three progressively negative attitudes.  It is important to understand the difference first.  When you read that quote did you think to yourself like I did,  “Whining and complaining are the same, why say it twice?” Let’s try to understand the progressive nature of the attitude behind each one and why they are so dangerous.

Whining. We’ve all hear it.  You’re working with or next to a person and then you hear it. It’s that low, sometimes quiet exasperated noise; that “uhhg”, “grrr” or some other raspy noise that is impossible to spell,  that resonates through your eardrums like fingernails across the chalkboard. (If you don’t know what a chalkboard is, ask someone over the age of thirty.)   whining

The attitude has taken hold! If you are the one finding yourself in this situation, It is time to STOP and take a moment to think about what you’re allowing to happen to yourself.   What is the underlying issue?  Selfishness.  You are upset because something is not going your way, your focus is 100% on yourself and how you feel in the moment.  I warn you not to let it go further.  If you find yourself whining, I can promise you this; everyone hears you, nobody is listening to you and nobody want to be around you.  this is your wake up call!  Don’t advance into the next phase of Complaining.

“There is nothing more unattractive than the sound of whining in the midst of plenty. it is not a good sign of character at any level – in individuals, families, communities, or nations as a whole.”  -William J. Bennett, Virtues of Leadership

no-complaininglThe advancement from whining to complaining can happen in a single breath. As soon as you open your mouth to say something, you have taken the next giant leap into complaining mode. You are now begging for sympathy from anyone within earshot.  I’m going to let in on a little secret here.  please take note of what I’m about to say.  NOBODY wants to hear it!  NOBODY will listen to it! You will find NO SYMPATHY in your plea!   If you are in a position of leadership, you have just lost a degree of respect and trust from your subordinates!  If you are an employee, You are no longer being looked at for a promotion and perhaps more so in today’s tough economy, you may be at risk of losing your position.

making-excuses

Making excuses is the culmination of selfishness and a bad attitude seeking pity. If you take the next step and begin making excuses, you have given away your ability to make any changes. By complaining, you have removed any personal responsibility for the problem and therefore the solution cannot come from yourself.  When Complaining, you are simply putting the responsibility for change, or solving the problem on someone else. You are essentially saying “he did it.” or “it wasn’t my fault because, …”  or “I did what I was supposed to do, but…” to name only a few common excuses. I’m sure you can insert a dozen more of your own here.  You know it when you here it.  This, unfortunately is an epidemic in our society.

As a leader, YOU can stop at any point and choose to take responsibility. Even if it was not your fault, you, as the leader are still responsible.  Let me say this a different way;  whoever takes the responsibility IS the leader (with or without a formal position) and will be the one to make the changes needed.  I challenge you today to be the person who takes responsibility!  You CAN  do it!

Remember this simple point: Your problem is not as big as you think it is and you have complete control over your own attitude towards your problems.

I want to share this great example with you to illustrate my point. It’s the story of Grumble Town. (from Virtues of Leadership by William J. Bennett)

     There was once a place called Grumble Town where everybody grumbled, grumbled, grumbled. In summer, the people grumbled that it was too hot. In winter, it was too cold. When it rained, the children whimpered because they couldn’t go outside. When the sun came out, they complained that they had nothing to do.  Neighbors griped and groaned about neighbors, Parents about children, brother about sisters, Everybody has a problem, and everyone whined that someone should come do something about it. One day a peddler trudged into town, carrying a big basket on his back. When he heard all the fussing and sighing and moaning, he put his basket down and cried: “O citizens of this town! your fields are ripe with grain, your orchards heavy with fruit. Your mountains are covered by good, thick forests, and your valleys watered by the deep, wide rivers. Never have I seen a place blessed by such opportunity and abundance. Why are you so dissatisfied? Gather around me, and will show you the way to contentment.”

     Now this peddler’s shirt was tattered and torn. His pants showed patches, his shoes had holes. The people laughed to think that someone like him could show them how to be content. But while they snickered, he pulled a long rope from his basket and strung it between two poles in the town square. Then, holding his basket before him, he cried: “People of Grumble Town! Whoever is dissatisfied, write your trouble on a piece of paper, and bring it and put it in this basket. I will exchange your problem for happiness!”

     The crowd swarmed around him. No one hesitated at the chance to get rid of his trouble. Every man, woman, and child in the village scribbled a grumble onto a scrap of paper and dropped it into the basket.

     They watched as the peddler took each grumble and hung it on the line. By the time he was through, troubles fluttered on every inch of the rope, from end to end. Then he said: “Now each one of you should take from this magic line the smallest trouble you can find.”

     They all rushed forward to examine all the troubles. They hunted and fingered and pondered, each trying to pick the very smallest trouble. After a while the magic line was empty.

     And behold! Each held in his hand the very same trouble he had put into the basket. Each had chosen his own trouble, thinking it was the smallest of all on the line.

     From that day, the people of Grumble Town stopped grumbling all the time. And whenever anyone had the urge to whimper or whine, he thought of the peddler and his magic line.

Remember, if you want to be an effective leader follow Coach Wooden’s advise…  Don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t make excuses.

Images posted from Bing image searches.

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Triple-A Formula for Attracting People

Giblin-book

More than six decades ago there was a book written by Les Giblin titled How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People. This is one of those books to read over, and over, and over again.  It never gets old. In fact, It will likely reveal more with each new time you read it. The principles found within are timeless.  This book is one of five top books I can recommend to anyone who deals with living, breathing human beings in any part of his or her life.  (Yes. That means YOU.)

I’m part of a TEAM of people building Compensated Communities. We use this information daily to improve people skills.  I hope you find this information helpfull in your own business dealings.

One of the biggest and most important takeaway’s from this book is what Les calls the “Triple-A formula for attracting people”.

The first “A” is ACCEPTANCE.

Every person on this planet craves it at the most primitive level. We literally NEED it in order to function at a normal level within any community we associate with.  Les Quotes a psychologist as saying “No one has the power to reform another person, but by liking the other person as he is, you give him the power to change himself.”  I think one could just as easily refer to the Golden Rule; do to others what you would want done to you.  Am I Right?  Lets just go back to the principle based off the words of Jesus when he was asked what the greatest law was. Jesus basically replied by saying first love God then love people. You can read that story in Matthew chapter 22, verses 34-40.

Acceptance works wonders in any relationship. As Mr. Giblin goes on to describe the husband/wife relationship, he makes it very clear that ” Of course, everything I’ve said about wives applies just as much, if not more so, to husbands.” What he is referring to in that remarks is found in part in the following words.“… a wife gives her husband acceptance not only give him a dose of self-confidence, but also gives him a good dose of human kindness, and that easy-to-get-along-with quality. for, by her acceptance, she helps him to like himself better. When he likes himself better, he is going to be easier to get along with . He is going to be more thoughtful and considerate.”

The same thing can be applied to a co-worker or some other family member or acquaintance.  The principle is the same and the results will follow, although not every relationship will see the improvement within the same length of time.  You may have to be patient… very patient sometimes!  If you also add the use of the second “A”, you may not need to wait quite so long.

The Second “A” is APPROVAL.

 Acceptance is the fist step because it’s allowing the negative traits to exist but approval takes it to the next level by finding and pointing out the positive traits in the person. This is truly magic if you are actually sincere! BE SINCERE! I cannot stress this point enough. Anybody can smell a phony compliment. Find something that you can GENUINELY approve of in the person you’re talking to. Stay away from the obvious traits, the ones that “everybody” sees.  Take the time to look deeper and get specific.  Les puts it this way: “A good rule to remember in complimenting people is this: people are more pleased at a compliment if you praise them for some virtue that is not glaringly obvious.” He follows that up with this. “But he may be good at other things, which are not so obvious. Seek these out and praise him for them, and watch him glow!”  That sure sounds like magic to me.  I challenge you to go out right now and make another person glow.  The world would be a better place if more of us did that!

Let’s check out the third “A” which is APPRECIATE.

Les Giblin does a marvelous job at showing us what it means to appreciate someone. He says “The word appreciate really means to raise in value, or the opposite of depreciate, which means to lower in value.  Wow! did you catch that?  By appreciating someone else, we are raising them in value!  Les Quotes Dr. Brooks with saying it this way: “When you appreciate a person, you actually make him more valuable and more successful.” If you want to increase your Social capital and have more people like being around you, then you must find a way tell other people what you like and value about them. You must treat them as an individual instead of “rubber-stamping” them in the same manner you do everyone else.

I will end with this:

Some of you need to stop being so focused on your self and start turning your focus toward increasing the value of others around you. I can promise you one thing. If you take these three A’s and put them into practice in your life, you will be amazed at how much value others will then place on you!

I sincerly appreciate each one of you who take the time to tell me what you think, like, and share this blog.  Thank-you.

~Philip

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A LeaderShift is Coming!

LeaderShift-BookOrrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille have teamed up to bring us this amazing book!

This book comes at a pivotal point in our nation’s history!  This is one of, if not THE most important book in our generation. LeaderShift  is a book written in fable form that will teach us all “how to recognize and overcome the five laws of decline”.  This book is a must read for every American and Canadian!

Overview

(From Barnes&Noble)

A most provocative business parable for our troubled times, LeaderShift is the story of how David Mersher, the successful CEO of IndyTech, sets out to discover why the United States is losing its leadership edge and what he can do to turn things around and make America truly great again.

In the process, Mersher and his team learn how the Five Laws of Decline are eroding the nation’s economy-quietly ruining businesses and big institutions-and what American executives and citizens need to do to put a stop to this.

Above all, Mersher and his colleagues discover something few business leaders or citizens of free nations have yet to realize: Our world today is on the verge of a momentous LeaderShift, one which will reframe the twenty-first century and significantly alter the way we govern, lead, and do business.

When Mersher and his team get help from a surprising source, the result is stunning and unexpected-and it’s one that concerned Americans will certainly reflect upon for decades to come.

The next LeaderShift is almost here.

Are you ready?

While we wait for the release of this incredible book on April 16th, I would like to suggest one other book that each person should read immediately!

Resolved-BookResolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE

Men like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Jonathan Edwards had virtues, maxims, or resolutions which they practiced daily, weekly, and monthly. These practices where similar to that of many people of our founding generation.  We, as Americans who enjoy the life that these men helped to provide for us, have lost such a valuable tool as practicing this thing called resolutions.  Aside from one time each year for about two weeks, we never hear the word “resolution” spoken in our every-day conversations.  When was the last time you had a conversation with even your closest friends in which either of you asked “So, how are you doing with your resolutions”?  We don’t hear that because we’ve gotten away from these habits in our overall society.  Orrin does and incredible job of laying out a roadmap for us in this book.  These 13 resolutions build upon each other from personal, to public and then into leadership achievements. These 13 resolutions have changed my life and so many others.  I invite you to join me in this journey today. There are two ways you can join me in this journey. First, you can order your copy of the book today. Second, you take the Mental Fitness Challenge!

MFC

The Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC) is a cutting-edge program developed by world-renowned leadership gurus and best-selling authors to teach success thinking that will help enable anyone and everyone to make improvements in their lives.

Try it out now for FREE or get more details.

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The 8 F’s of LIFE

We all need help in at least one, if not multiple areas of our lives.  If you were to take an honest assessment of yourself you would begin to find a need for improvement in each of the 8 F’s show in the picture below.

The 8 F’s are:life-wheel

Our current skills in these 8 areas make up and determine the quality of life we are living.  If you choose to recognise and then take action toward improving in any area, incrementally, over time you will find yourself in a new place and living a far better quality of life than perhaps you might have imagined just a short time prior.

I love what the founders of  The LIFE Business did with the design of the picture above.  The 8 F’s are the spokes of the wheel that steer the ship in a given direction.  What should be obvious to most people might certainly be overlooked by some.  Let me explain.  Have you ever heard the saying ” you can’t steer a parked car”?  In the same way, you cannot steer a ship that is still tied to the dock. You were given special gifts and talents by God to be used for and with others and not to be used or hoarded for yourself.  The goods (gifts and talents) you were given are doing no good sitting in the hull of your ship tied to the dock!

I want to challenge you today to untie your ship, push-off from the dock,  and set sail into a bright new future so that you might live the life you’ve always wanted.

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Expanding the Leadership Culture

As a starting point for this blog I thought it would be fitting to share something that Stephen R. Covey said in his book The 8th Habit

“It will be those organizations that reach a critical mass of people and teams expressing their full voice that will achieve next-level breakthrough in productivity, innovation and leadership in the marketplace and society.”

This is precisely what the LIFE Business is doing.  Thanks to Orrin Woodward and the other founders of LIFE who have paved the way for the rest of us, we now have a systematic, franchise style business that is producing the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs that will be the catalyst for restoring the values in our culture that have been ripped away and lost over the last several decades!

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