Monthly Archives: September 2016

ARE YOU LIVING LIFE IN AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY OR ISOLATION?

There are many things I love about life. Near the top are people I do life with in my inner circle. I cannot imagine how hard life and leadership would be without a handful of trusted friends.

We were not created to live in isolation, alone. We were created to live in community with others. To fellowship with others and do life with others. To have a relationship with the people we work with, go to church with, play ball with, scout with and those we live with.

Below is a great picture of this very concept. It’s called community. It is a picture of a group of fellow professional baseball scouts I work side by side with while scouting my area of Georgia and South Carolina. Yes, we are competitors, but more importantly, we are friends as well. We laugh, share stories about our families and kids, eat together, encourage and help one another in time of a physical, emotional or spiritual need.

scouts-pic

Sadly, everywhere I go I meet leaders who feel lonely. I’m guessing, like me, you never want to feel that way. What good is achieving any level of success without someone to share it with?

As a leader the most important thing you have is your people. Please don’t neglect their worth. Make time for them, listen to their stories, value their opinions, and encourage their dreams. Always remember, people don’t leave organizations, they leave leaders.

Don’t be like the banana. The banana says “I only get skinned when I get away from the bunch.”

Always remember, it is people that really matter. Live in authentic community, and refuse to isolate yourself. If you do, your life will be full of authentic friends and your impact on others will someday out live you.

s2s,

Kevin

How important is it to you to live in authentic community with others? 

Comments?

PAYING THE RENT FOR SUCCESS

This week, I read a quote by Duke University Head Basketball Coach, Mike Krzyzewski. He said…

“Success is never owned … It’s rented, and the rent is due every day.” 

So the question is; Have you paid the rent today?

As a leader, I’m guessing you have achieved some level or measure of success? Regardless if you’re a leader at home, on the playing field or in the draft room. The temptation is to be satisfied and take for granted you will always be successful.

Don’t assume yesterday’s work will get you where you want to go. It won’t, yesterday’s work got you where you are today. If you intend to increase your impact and influence and remain successful, the rent is due everyday.

Laziness will drain your dreams. Procrastination is a ruthless enemy. Being half-hearted in what you do will land you with the masses of mediocrity.

Make the decision all successful people make. Pull out the “discipline checkbook” and pay the rent. Show up early. Be prepared. Work hard. Go the extra mile. Say no to some good things, so you can say yes to the best things.

Define what you want to accomplish and create actions steps to get there. Communicate with clarity to your family or team. Challenge mediocrity. Pursue excellence and continually raise the bar. As always, remember, the goal is progress NOT perfection.

Why? Because success is never owned. It’s rented … and the rent is due every day. Pay the rent so you don’t get evicted.

s2s,

Kevin

What action steps would you include in order to pay the daily rent?

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WORDS VS ACTIONS: THE BASEBALL PRESIDENT & THE FIREFIGHTER

Recently, I read a story about former Los Angeles DodgerLou Johnson and NYFD Firefighter, Stephen Siller. Possibly, like you, I had no idea who both were or what they accomplished in their life as a baseball player and a firefighter. Today you will.

You see, on Sept 11, 2001 Stephen Siller, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift at the fire station, and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers over his scanner. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. He turned around, returning to Squad 1 to get his turnout gear.

Stephen drove his personal truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, even though his shift was completed, he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.

Stephen had everything to live for; a great wife, five wonderful children, and devoted family and friends. Gratefully, his actions took precedence over his words.

Lou Johnson, was a 1965 World Series hero for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he tried for 30 years to recover the championship ring he lost to drug dealers in 1971. Drug and alcohol abuse cost him everything from that magical season, including his uniform, glove and the bat he used to hit the winning home run in the deciding game.

When then, Dodger president, Bob Graziano learned that Johnson’s World Series ring was about to be auctioned on the internet, he immediately wrote a check for $3,457 and bought the ring before any bids were posted. He did for Johnson what the former Dodger outfielder had been unable to do for himself.

Johnson, 66 at the time, and who has been drug free for years and a Dodger community relations employee, wept when he was given back the World Championship ring. He said, “It felt like a piece of me had been reborn.”

Like the self-less actions of Bob Graziano and Stephen Siller; this week I encourage you and challenge you to demonstrate an act of kindness for someone who can’t do for themselves. Be self-less, not self-ish.

The word “love” is an action verb. Will it cost you something? Yes, indeed it will. It will cost you time and action. It may cost you money … or even your life. However, in the end, it will be worth it.

Remember … “Actions Prove Who Someone Is – Words Just Prove Who They Want To Be.” 

Be the difference and change in someone’s life this week!

s2s,

Kevin

Comments? 

 

ARE YOU AN ENCOURAGING LEADER?

In certain situations we all understand and value the importance of encouragement. Personally, I find great pleasure encouraging others. We all have life and death in the power of our tongue.

Take kids in little league for example.  When they are learning to throw the ball, hit off a tee or coach pitch for the first time, there is tons of encouragement from every adult around, parents included. We know that if they keep at it they will eventually succeed.

Take our friends as a second example.  When our closest friends are down, struggling or in pain, we provide encouragement and support, knowing that our encouragement could help them through a difficult time. I personally experienced this just a few days ago. It was great getting to encourage a close friend who was down and hurting.

Take a brand new baseball scout as a third example. They are learning the in’s and outs of of scouting. Systems, organizational philosophy, structures, how to scout an area or region, who to trust or not to trust, getting to know the coaches, writing detailed accurate reports. the list could be endless and the task can be overwhelming for a young scout. What a great time to pull them off to the side and share a word of encouragement.

In all three of these situations we realize the other person needs greater “courage” – either to take another try at swinging the bat, move past the pain or disappointment they might be feeling, or to just slow down and get a word of advise from a veteran scout. To encourage literally means “to cause or create courage.”

Courage is lacking in our society. People lack the courage to try something new. Often times people lack the courage to do the right thing. People lack the courage to change the process. People lack the courage to share a new idea. Need I go on?

I talk with leaders all the time that want their team members to “be proactive” and “keep growing.”  All too often the biggest barrier in people’s way is fear (of failure, of chastisement of ridicule, or of being wrong, just to name a few).

As we intuitively know, one of the best antidotes for fear is the strong, vibrant, continual and authentic encouragement of others. If you want people to do more, take on more and grow; encourage them. If you want people to try new things, encourage them.

With all your leading and coaching competencies, fancy styles or models, remember one of the most powerful tools you have…Encouragement!

The greatest leaders encourage and empower others. Ask yourself, who can I encourage today? This week? A co-worker, family member, friend, coach or scout. You’ll be surprised what comes your way.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

Do you have any other advise or ways to offer encouragement to others?

Comments?