Monthly Archives: November 2015

GRATITUDE AND THANKSGIVING

Last Thursday life slowed a bit when family and friends gathered around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was a day for us to express our gratefulness, corporately as a family. As a matter of fact, everyone around our table answered two questions that I posed to each person before we enjoyed our meal together…

  1. What has been your greatest joy in life that you are grateful for?

2.   What has been the greatest lesson you have learned…or are currently learning?

The Thanksgiving holiday can be traced all the way back to 1621 and the famous gathering at Plymouth Plantation. It had deep religious roots as those present remembered God and thanked Him for His provision and blessings.

Sadly, I am hearing less and less gratefulness these days. Many in our society have a sense of entitlement. You would think that would mean more people are happier than ever before. If someone has it all under control they should be happy, right?

Not so fast! It has been said; “Without gratitude, happiness is rare.” 

Thanksgiving is a great day and a great idea. However I suspect it is a lot more enjoyable for those who are in the habit of being grateful all year long.

So, if you find yourself less than happy, the answer to your problems is gratefulness.

Don’t wait. Start today!

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

What are you most grateful for? 

Comments? 

REFUSE TO COMPLAIN – DON’T BE AN “E.G.R.” LEADER

Last week I was around an individual who constantly complained. To be honest, it drove me nuts. By nature, I enjoy being around people who are encouraging, uplifting and bring positive energy. I don’t like being around people who are constant complainers or who give off negative energy whenever around them. They are what I refer to as “E.G.R.” people…

Extra – Grace – Required  🙂

One of the biggest threats to building a great team and organization is complaining. When we complain we focus on everything else but being our best. Not being the best, but being our best. I recently read an article which stated that complaining actually costs our economy billions of dollars in lost productivity and it will sabotage the morale, engagement and culture of your team if you let it.

To help you break out of a “complaining” rut, below are “four action steps” you can implement instead of complaining. These suggestions will help you realize you are not powerless. You have the power to choose your beliefs and actions.

While you focus on the positives instead of the negatives, you’ll find the faith, strength and confidence to take on life’s challenges and identify the solutions to your complaints.

Practice Gratitude: An ole saying my dad use to say growing up was – “Count your Blessings.” I try to identify 2-3 specifics blessings a day. I’ve learned, and continue learning that it’s physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. If you are focusing on gratitude, you can’t be negative. You can also energize, encourage and engage your co-workers, friends and family members by letting them know you are genuinely grateful for them.

Praise Others: Instead of complaining about what others are doing wrong, start focusing on what they are doing right. Praise them and watch as they create more success as a result. Of course, identify their mistakes so they can learn and grow from them, but make sure you give three times as much praise as criticism.

Let Go: Focus on the things that you have the power to change, and let go of the things that are beyond your control. You’ll be amazed that when you stop trying to control everything, it all somehow works out. This is a continual learning process for me. I am certain I’m not the only one who is learning this principle. If you’re a strong decisive take charge leader, its easy to say and even harder to do; however, surrender is the answer.

Pray: Research shows that daily prayer reduces stress; boosts positive energy; and promotes health, vitality, and longevity. When you are faced with the urge to complain or you are feeling stressed to the max; stop, be still, plug-in to the ultimate power (God), and recharge. He is big enough to handle anything and everything you talk to Him about.

Practice Gratitude, Praise Others, Let Go and Pray – Four actions steps you can take to be the best leader you can be for your team.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

In your opinion, what do you think causes people to constantly complain? 

Comments?

 

BE A LEADER AT HOME AND ABANDON THE SCRIPT

This week, I was listening to an actress on TV talk with excitement about her upcoming play on Broadway in NYC. She spoke about how she is looking forward to seeing and reading the script. I have not done any professional acting in my day, but I know people who have. As a matter of fact, my next door neighbor is an actor and played a significant role in a big screen movie called “Stand Your Ground.”

Whenever there is a musical, play or movie on the horizon, there is always a pile of scripts to learn and memorize. If you want to know what is going to happen ahead of time, all you have to do is read the script. Every scene is perfectly mapped out. The actors are expected to memorize the scripts. No deviation is allowed. Deviation is referred to in theater circles as ad-lib, and from what I’ve read is frowned upon by a director. They generally say things like “Stick to the script and avoid conflict.”

When it comes to leading at home, perhaps some of us would do well to tear up our scripts. Most of the people I talk to about family life seem to have conflict over the same old scripts. Especially when it comes to marriage. There is the money script, the communication script, the children script, the schedule script, and let’s not leave out the sex script. nearly every argument falls into one of these categories.

Many times we see conflict as an opportunity to win an argument or to make our point. We forget that the goal of conflict in a marriage is not victory, but unity. Let’s face it – if your goal is to win every argument with your spouse, you’re sleeping with a loser. What would happen if you and your spouse recognized there are scripts in your marriage? Would you be able to see conflict coming ahead of time? Would you able to avoid confrontation altogether?

For all 5 of the scripts mentioned above, may I suggest you turn your focus away from yourself and instead seek to build up your spouse. Perhaps the following verses of Scripture will help you the next time one of your scripts pops up. ”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, do not look to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of the others…

Could you imagine a marriage where both people lived by those words? Many are great leaders at work or in their profession, and that is a good thing. However, don’t neglect your leadership and influence at home. As you seek to lead at home, pay attention to your scripts. In fact, why not be bold and deviate from them? The same old fights – about the same old things – will only lead to the same old hurt feelings.

There is no better place to value someone else above yourself than at home. You can do that by listening, understanding, sharing, prioritizing, sacrificing and saying…I’m sorry.

A great marriage is available, but only if you are willing to abandon your scripts. You’re job at home is to love your family and lead them effectively. You don’t have to act the part anymore.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

Are there any other scripts that affect a leaders home life? 

Comments? 

YOUR PROCESS DETERMINES YOUR CULTURE

As a fellow coach or scout, I think we would all agree that NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA sports teams are all focused on winning. Not only winning, but sustained winning – as in multiple championships.

Many teams and organizations often focus solely on talent, not team. However the great teams reverse that mind-set. They focus on team first, not just talent. Last week, I was speaking to a friend of mine who is a scouting director in the NFL. He shared with me how he is seeking to create a winning culture on his scouting staff.

Great teams and organizations stay focused on the process to build the culture they are seeking to create. They have one focused goal; and that is to build a culture throughout the organization where everyone is seeing and saying the same thing regardless of what you do or what role you hold in the organization.

Therefore, this begs the question. How do you create your desired culture?  Well, below are four action steps than can help you build the desired culture you are seeking for your team and organization…

Build: Build your culture up and down the organization. From the boardroom to the locker room. From the coaching staff to the scouting staff. Everyone creates your culture. So make sure you engage and encourage every team member in your organization to be involved in the process without fear of rejection or ridicule. Everyone must have buy in and accountability. Creating a culture where people are afraid to fail will lead to failure. Allowing people to fail and learn from failure will ultimately lead to success.

Communicate: Communicate your vision, purpose and beliefs. As I’ve communicated time and time again, vision leaks – so you must keep casting it! Make sure that your actions as the leader are in line with those beliefs and attitudes, Communicate it over and over and over to those you are leading. There is no such thing as to much communication.

Identify: Identify what you and your team stand for. What are those core values that are non-negotiables. They are rock solid and will not be compromised at any cost. Once you know what you stand for, then your decisions will be much easier to make.

Remember: Remember that in order to build a great culture you have to live it, value it, reinforce it, protect it, and fight for it. Do not compromise the process. if you do, it will get you side tracked and failure is right around the corner. Again, above all else, stay committed to the process first and foremost in order to build the desired culture you are seeking to implement. Because remember, your process will always determine your culture! 

Culture is like a tree. It takes years to cultivate and grow and yet it can be chopped down in a minute. Above all else, protect your culture.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

Are there any other suggestions you would add to help build and create a winning culture?

Comments? 

FOUR CHARACTERISTICS OF “INSPIRATIONAL LEADERS”

Being a part of professional baseball for nearly 35 years of my life, I have been a around numerous coaches and staff members who hold leadership positions. Some did a better job than others at actually leading. But few were what I would call “inspirational leaders.” By inspirational, I simply mean that they had the ability and skill to motivate others to accomplish something significant, perhaps even to make an impact with their life.

If you are going to accomplish something significant, you need help. You can’t do it alone. You can’t pay your staff or players enough money to give you their hearts. Nor can you frighten or intimidate them into it. Instead, you and I must become inspirational leaders – leaders who can inspire and challenge others to give their best efforts for the sake of a great cause.

Below are four characteristics that inspirational leaders have in common…

Inspirational leaders set the pace: True leaders don’t ask their people to do anything they are unwilling to do. They lead by example. They model the behavior they want others to manifest. They serve others before being served. Regardless of how bleak the circumstances at hand looks – inspirational leaders keep challenging, keep focused, keep encouraging, keep serving and keep believing. They set the pace for their team.

Inspirational leaders believe in the future: They are able to paint a vivid picture of a different, or better reality. They make it concrete, so people can see it, touch it, smell it, and taste it. They give people hope that things can be better, will be better, and they have a plan for making it come to life.

Inspirational leaders connect people to the larger vision: Vision leaks! People want to know that their lives have meaning. They want to know that they are more than a cog in a machine. They want to know that they matter and that their work matters. Inspirational leaders connect them to a larger vision – something big and significant. As leaders, our job is to help those we lead understand that what they do, not only matters in this life, but that it will “echo into eternity.”  Vision leaks, so you must keep casting it!

Inspirational leaders help people believe in themselves: We all get bumped and bruised as we go through life. Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug. Circumstances constantly conspire to undermine our esteem. It’s easy to lose heart – to begin doubting our ability to handle the challenges we face. That’s why it’s refreshing to meet someone who believes in us and is willing to verbalize it. It gives us confidence that maybe we do have what it takes. Inspirational leaders help others not only believe in the process, but to believe in themselves.

Yes, great leaders help people believe in themselves. They look for opportunities to catch people doing something right. Because a lot more is caught than taught. They focus on their people’s strengths, not their weaknesses. And, they have a knack for offering encouragement at strategic moments – when the team or person needs it most. People don’t care how much YOU know – until they know how much YOU care.

Not everyone holds a position of leadership. However, as it’s been said so many times before; Leadership IS Influence. And that is something all of us have. Don’t just choose to be a leader, choose to be an inspirational leader.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

Are you an inspirational leader? What is the most important thing you can do today to become one?

Comments?