Tag Archives: initiative

You Don’t Have to Get Good to Get Started, You Have to Get Started to Get Good!

“You don’t have to get good to get started, you have to get started to get good.” I love that quote.  I’m not sure who said it first but I heard it first from Leadership expert Orrin Woodward (Listed at #20 in Inc. Magazine’s Top 50 Leadership and management Experts) The truth of this statement rings louder the more people I talk to.

Orrin Woodward’s story alone should be enough to prove the statement true. But let’s not stop there. Chris Brady (inc.com’s #39 expert) who was mentored by Oriin Woodward has an equally impressive story. Having heard their story by them on audio or in person, I can only describe what they have said. Each of them started with a dream of a better life, an idea that drove them and many others to accomplish massive success. That success did not come easy however, Because neither Orrin or Chris had any decent people skills to talk about. Both were quintessential engineers with pocket protectors and color coordinated pens. Orrin quotes what someone wrote in his high school yearbook “arguing, arguing, early and late. If a line were crooked, he’d argue it straight.” Does that sound like a man born to lead thousands of people? No way!

When I hear men like Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Dan Hawkins, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton (and of course their amazing wives) and so many other incredible leaders within the Life Leadership organization tell their stories of dream and struggle toward victory, I see hope. I see hope like thousands of other leaders across the country and across the world because I know that I can achieve my goals and dreams just like they have. So can you. As the old saying goes “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”


The more I learn, the more I realize I need to learn. I don’t have all the answers, for that matter I may not have any answers. The one thing I do know is that we all have the ability to learn. We can and we do every single day! The real question for you is this: Are you going to make a decision to get started doing whatever you know in your heart you should be starting or are you going to complain about not being smart enough or talented enough or whatever else, enough? The choice is yours!

You can live in fear or you can decide to get started and learn what you need to learn along the way. Think about the first time you did anything. -Swing a bat at a baseball -Tie your shoes -crack an egg -read, write or spell How many things did you ever do perfectly the first time and every time thereafter? None! You have to learn, You have to practice, You have to seek help from others who have done it before. DON’T LET FEAR HOLD YOU BACK! Get into action today. You can do it! You can do it because you can learn. GO! DO! BECOME! Achieve your dreams! Follow your passions! Don’t forget to ask for help along the way.

You have to get started to get good!

So DECIDE to START today!

Philip Brittain


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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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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 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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