Great Leaders Develop This Trait
There are many traits and skills great leaders need to develop. There are also the intangible traits that help to make leaders great. The ability to inspire, charisma, and authenticity to name a few.
But, there is one trait that can be developed and must be develoiped to lead at high levels.
The trait? Decisiveness. More importantly, it is the ability to make hard decisions.
Great leaders make decisions and own them. They develop themselves to be able to analyze decisions quickly, but throughly and do not waiver once they are made. They know that not every decision will be right and are prepared to work through or change course if needed - but they make the best decision based on the information and options at hand.
Great leaders do not shy away from the hard decisions. The decisions that they know will affect people and the future in bigger ways, good and bad. But, they must be made and someone must take charge to make them. Great leaders know this, embrace it and do not take the responsibility lightly. But, they do take the responsibility.
If you want to be a better leader, learn to be decisive, take responsibility for your decisions and be prepared to admit when you are wrong and change course if needed.
I can across a great thread the other day on Twitter talking about the technique Tony Robbins uses to design his life and teaches others. Credit to @mattschnuck for putting it together. Below you will find Matt's thread with the step by step on how this is done. What could happen in your life if you followed these steps?
10 Quotes to Inspire You Daily
Sometimes you just need a little inspiration. A good quote can provide that and more! Here are 10 great quotes to inpsire you and make you think daily.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Robert Heinlein
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
You can either experience the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The choice is yours.” - Unknown
“Impossible is just an opinion.” - Paulo Coelho
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” - Elon Musk
“No one is to blame for your future situation but yourself. If you want to be successful, then become ‘Successful.’” - Jaymin Shah
“Work hard in silence, let your success be the noise.” - Frank Ocean
“Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest. ’Til your good is better and your better is best.”
I spend a few mnutes every day reading scripture and gaining wisdom. The other day, I came across a great message that is important for anyone struggling or thinking of quitting on themselves. It came from the JK Ministries daily email and involves probably the most consequential President of the US in history, Abraham Lincoln. Below is the message. Think about how you can use Lincoln's example in your life to keep going.
When you think of Abraham Lincoln, what qualities come to your mind? Compassion? Concern for the disenfranchised? Humor? While all those characteristics apply, I think if we really knew Lincoln, we’d find that the overriding quality of his character was perseverance.
Believe it or not, Abraham Lincoln was a failure. In almost every area of his life, he experienced defeat. As a young man, Lincoln ran for the state legislature and lost overwhelmingly. He went into business and failed completely. He became engaged to a beautiful, loving girl, but she died. Lincoln then married a woman who was a continual burden to him, a thorn in his flesh. Soon thereafter he decided to run for Congress but lost decidedly. After that, he tried to get an appointment to the U.S. Land Office, but he was turned down. He then decided to run for the United States Senate, but his competition pounded him into the ground. After all these defeats, he decided to become vice president of the United States. He was, as we know, defeated once again.
Abraham Lincoln lost at nearly everything he tried until he ran for and won the presidency of the United States. He persevered despite overwhelming discouragement and defeat, and because he persisted, he became one of the greatest leaders this world has ever known. Despite all the losses he suffered, Lincoln was never a loser because he never quit.
When we hear that litany of the losses endured by such an upstanding man and respectable leader, how can we not feel just a little ashamed at the number of times we’ve thrown in the towel? What a great reminder that we need never give up, because God has already promised we will triumph if we’ve entrusted our lives to Him.
Have you experienced defeat recently? My friend, keep persevering. Never give up, but instead rely on God’s promise to achieve victory in your life.
Most people don't get what they want. It's true. And in a world where just about everything or the means of getting it is at our fingertips, you would think that this would not be the case.
Most don't people don't get what they want simply because they don't know what they want. They think they do, but when pressed, they really don't. It is surface level. Most people don't take the time to dig deep on themselves and ask the questions to know who they are and what they want - what they want from their life, work, relationships, spiritual pursuits and so on.
You have probably heard that in order to get what you want, you need to have clarity. Well, the only way to get clarity is to ask the questions of yourself and dig deeper past the surface level. And most importantly, ask yourself why you want what you want. That is the critical piece because once you understand why, it will give you the fuel and drive to go get it.
Another thing that keeps people from getting what they want is that once they know what it is they want, many times they are deterred by what it takes to get it. The work, the sacrifice, the time, etc. So many times they settle and miss out on the great things that happen when they go through the process to get what they want. When you decide to not settle and do what it takes to go after and achive your dreams, the process is transformational.
The last thing to know about getting what you want is that it is not enough to say it. You have to want it bad enough that you won't stop until you get it. If you are not willing to do everything it takes for the thing you want, then you probably are chasing the wrong thing. You'll know when you've found the things you truly want when you commit and decide that nothing will stop you from getting it.
Network Saves Legwork
If there is one thing that has paid off the most for me in my entrepreneurial journey over the years, it is building a great network of people that I can help and in turn can help me when and where I needed it.
You've probably heard that is not what you know, but who you know. Well, it is actually both. If you are an idiot, it will be hard to create lasting relationships that can make a difference over time. But, if you strive to be learned and gain wisdom, that of which you can you use to help others, you will find it much easier to build a great network.
Network saves legwork. Building a great network is simply building great relationships that you invest in and in turn, they invest back into you. Building a solid network of people happens over time and is earned. It is the epitome of playing the long game. It is taking time to know people and be there for them. It is giving of yourself before getting anything in return.
The great Zig Zglar said, "You can have everything you want in your life, if you just help enough others get what they want." It's that simple.
Think about if you cultivated 10 relationships over the next year that in turn referred you 5-10 new clients. What would that mean for you or your business? Now, let me ask you, is it easier to focus and put time and effort into 10 great relationships vs. going out and finding 100 new clients one by one? Of course it is. And it is a lot more fun and rewarding.
If you have not put much effort into building your network, now is the time. See if you can create and maintain one new relationship a month for the next year and help them. Make sure to share you goals and what you are wanting accomplish with them and ask for them help, but make sure to put them first and do the same for them. You will be amazed at where things will be for you a year from now.
Network saves legwork!
We've all been there. Those times when it feels like we just have too much to do. Our minds feel "cloudy" and are swirling with everything that needs to get done. We feel overwhelmed and struggle to keep up.
No matter who you are, you have had times when it seems like there is too much on your plate and you cannot get out from under it. With running multiple businesses and juggling family life and racing Ironman, I definitely feel overwhelmed at different times.
Many years ago, I learned how to deal with this and help myself to get back on track and the solution is really quite simple: Stop and write down what needs done.
It really is that easy. When you feel like you cannot keep up or remember everything you have to do, if you just keep trying to tackle it by "remembering as you go," you will find that it almost makes things worse.
Instead, stop and go to a quiet place with a notepad and spend 20-30 mins doing a brain dump of everything swirling around in your mind. Once you have cleared everything out, you will find you feel much better. Then you can go to work prioritizing and putting a to do list together to help you get everything done.
In doing this, you will find clarity and be much more productive. Use this simple technique to make a difference in your success!
Humans are emotional beings. We cannot escape the impact our emotions have in our lives, but we can learn to recognize when emotions are clouding our judgement or keeping us from recognizing the truth.
As entrepreneurs, it is very important for us to understand how to use emotion, but also how to recognize when it is leading us down the wrong path or to bad decisions. This is part of emotional inteliigence. Remember, emotions are always there and driving our actions and decisions - so it is best that we go to work in becoming masters at recognizing and using them to our advantage. The most important thing is not to allow our emotions drive us into making double standards or justifying things that are not right, just because we want a certain outcome.
You see a lot of examples of this, especially in places like politics. For example, as I write this, there is another political scandal going on, this time with President Joe Biden having taken classified documents and stored them in places like his garage when he was a Vice President. The law says he cannot do that. But, many people and pundits that are "on his side" are finding ways to justify it or play it down while at the same time saying Donald Trump should go to jail for the same things. Donald Trump was President when he took documents and had the power to declassify, which a VP does not, but it is not clear yet if he did. Either way, if they broke the law in handling documents, the response should be the same and they should both be prosecuted according to the law, President or not. But emotion gets in the way. When it is "your guy or gal," it is OK and people find a way to justify bad behavior. This is creating a double standard or avoiding the truth. A spade is a spade.
This happens in business all the time whether it is with how some employees are treated or when leaders justify breaking rules and principles to succeed.
So, what is the answer for entrepreneurs when we operate in a world like this?
First, we must know and understand our principles. What are yours? Have you ever really thought about them? Have you written them down? What are the lines that you will not cross for anything - not for money, power, fame, success, etc? We must know our principles and stand for them and on them.
Second, we must learn to recognize when emotions are taking over and clouding our logic and stop this from happening. This is not easy, but just about everyone has had times where they know emotions got the best of them. It is at these times that we can reflect and understand how this happened and prepare ourselves not to let it happen again or at least the same way. It is a constant lifelong work in progress, but if we keep rooted in principles, it is much easier because they guide us. When you get really good, you learn to stop, ask, and choose. When you feel emotion taking over, you can stop yourself in the moment and ask yourself, "Is this the action or reaction I want to have in this situation? Does it align with my principles?" Then you can choose to move forward to change the action or reaction you were going to have to the best one for the situation.
Third and lastly, recognize those around you who do not operate with integrity and principles and remove them from your world. This will take away temptation, but also help you find the those that are true to themselves and better for your life anyway.
As stated prior, emotions will always be a part of our lives and drive us. There are times where it makes great sense to use them to help in life and business and there are times where we must keep them in check. Learning how to do this for yourself will be one of the best things you can do to help your success.
Don't Die Before You are Dead
Let's face it. A lot of people give up on life and never reach their potential. They get beaten down by adversity, failure, and even by the prisons they create in their own mind.
In short, they die before they are dead.
You've seen people like this before - they become walking shells of their former self and no longer seem to have purpose or drive in life. They seek comfort and any time they have a chance to break out or break through from the chains holding them down, they shy away from the opportunity. It truly is a vicious cycle that can drag people down to the depths of depravity. Many can never escape it.
But this state can be broken and people can once again find themselves, their purpose, meaning, and drive in life. It takes work and a willingness to understand their situation and confront it - but things can change.
The biggest place the battle is won is your mind. What happens to people when they end up in this situation is that they have created habits and subsconcious reactions that keep them in this state. For example, people will create habits of staying away from opportunities or not taking a chance to improve themselves and over time, these become habits. The subconscious mind then supports these habits by creating the reactions that keep them in force. So, for example, if someone is given an opporunity to find new meaning and purpose, their subsconcious will create a response that keeps them from taking action on it. It may be fear, worry, or doubt, but it re-enforces the thinking of not wanting to change the status quo - and thus keeps people trapped.
The only way out of this is to take back control and not let yourself be run by programming that you did not actually choose to have. And of course, it is easier said then done.
So, what does someone do to breakout?
First, they have to come to grips with where things are and decide they want to change it. From there, it is all about replacing the bad habits with good habits and retraining the subsconcious. It all comes down to recognizing those times where you have the opportunity to break out and your subsconcious tries to reel you back in and in those moments having the courage to push forward and through. This is incredibly hard the first few times, but gets easier as time goes on. Once you start to do this, you start to recognize the ways your mind is literally sabotaging you and can begin to choose the thoughts you want to have.
Racing Ironman taught me how to do this well as there are many times, especially after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, that I am deep into my marathon and my mind starts to challenge me. It wants me to quit because, especially if I am going at a faster pace than normal, it thinks I am going to hurt myself or not make it. It is in these moments where I know I must push through and in doing so, I increase my self-imposed limitation levels - until the next time I hit them where I have to do it again and so on. The first time was the hardest, but now I have seen the amazing benefits of powering through and that is what has allowed me to get better and better each race climbing the ranks to be top in the world.
We must overcome the limitations we put on ourselves and never allow ourselves to die before we are dead!
My Motto for 2023
Each year I choose a motto to live by. It is something that embodies how I want my year to go, but is short and to the point.
Each day, I read this motto as part of my perrsonal growth routine and I look at all the areas I can work it into my daily life.
This year, I wanted to get back to basics and I asked myself, "What really matters and where should I focus myself?" In thinking through this I arrived at the following:
Sound Mind, Sound Body, Do Great Work
If I do those 3 things, I know I will have the year I want, but what do they mean?
Sound mind means to grow myself in knowledge and spiritually. Sound body means to take care of myself physically, but also with how I eat and to limit or remove stressors on the body such as sugar and alcohol. Good rest and a regular schedule are also needed for both a sound mind and a sound body.
Do "great" work is a distinction. Don't just do good work. Ensure that the work you do is great and you are your best for it. It means that I will have to strive and focus to be at the top of my game in all my endeavors to achieve greatness. And it also means that I must help others that work with me to play at their best levels as well.
Have you thought of a motto for how you want your year to go? If not, take some time and do so. Write it down and start each day reading it as part of your personal growth routine. You will be surprised at how it will impact you!
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