Everyone said, “You need to write a book”.
The thought that “the book just wrote itself” is a lot of malarkey.
I’m finding there’s a whole lot of prep time, content development, procrastination, and research that goes into writing a book.
I know I have never procrastinated more in my life…
I think the best thing I can do is just to go ahead and get started.
What I found in developing the material for this book is that my life as a father and an advertising salesman truly intersect.
All the teaching I’ve had on marketing, leadership, mediation, goal development, and more, will have an impact on my parenting.
That is to say that you could replace the words “parenting” or “effective fathering” over much of what we do in sales and management training and it would work in terms of them being being parallel worlds.
The tools are all the same: effective communication, relationship building, compelling goal-setting and attainment, compassionate leadership, time management, organization, and effective execution.
Business, selling, and management truly do parallel effective parenting.
The measurements and outcomes are different but the tools are very similar:
An effective leader, whether at home or work, truly does leave a legacy and a heritage.
This leader creates a positive culture which permeates that home, business, or venue.
It’s doing this with intentionality, and knowing what you want going in, that makes the difference between being a lousy leader or parent, versus an effective one.
We have a long way to go, and it’s my hope that this book will give you the tools to move the needle, to make the change, and to make a difference in your world, whether at home or at work.
At the end of the day it’s up to you as to what you’ll take action on.
My father used to say”It takes money to buy whiskey…”
I never knew what that meant until a few years ago. It has to do with being a person of action who takes the initiative and is willing to pay the price for what he really wants.
My hope is that you will be that person who perseveres, who is courageous, and who won’t stop until the dream is fulfilled.
Here’s to the dream of leaving a positive legacy…
March 23, 2008
This is designed to help you think through possible solutions to any problem you may encounter.
There are three general approaches people typically use when you desire to solve a problem…you can:
- Change something about yourself
- Change something about your environment
- Change something about someone else
The last approach is often the most used yet the least effective.
We will eliminate this one now.
First, before you begin to problem-solve, you must clearly define the problem.
Is this the real problem or simply a symptom of the real problem?
If the answer is yes, this is the real problem, then what can I change about myself to solve or move toward a solution to this problem?
What can I change about my environment to solve or move toward a solution to this problem ( consider environment, workspace, noise, etc.)?
What a person or resource can I call on to help solve this problem?
The 7 C’s of control is for control freaks in that they are areas we can actually control.
So if you have a problem with control, focus on the 7 as they will make good therapy for your controlling tendencies…
- Clock control …get up earlier by going to bed earlier. Manage your time, not the other way around.
- Concept control… have quality thoughts that engender imagination, creativity, positivity. Commit to having a quality thought life.
- Content control… seek out the best mentors, role models, reading material, and mind and spirit building media. As Zig says” garbage in, garbage out.”
- Communication control… work on listening effectively, controlling your speech, and using your words with great care.
- Commitment control… right down and live your priorities and goals daily. Time management plus intention and focused activity will mean certain accomplishment, fulfillment, and satisfaction.
- Cause control… simply living, and working on our goals objectives, strategies, and principles daily.
- Concern control… we choose, what concerns us the most. We set our priorities and deem what is most important to us. The key is then to manage our resources and lives around those priorities.
Hey control freaks!… why not focus your control in areas where you truly have it?we try so hard to control the things and people we possess no control over. I believe, as we model, a life of quality, truth, and real love we will exert their correct type of “control” which can really change the world.
Master these 12 elements/behaviors, and you will have done business…
- Mission-Defining purpose and legacy.
- Vision-Educating, sharing philosophy, pointing in the direction.
- Marketing-Planning benefits value to emphasize and showcase.
- Sales-Advertising and taking dynamic action with your marketing plan.
- Operations-Doing the work, project management and execution.
- Customer Service-earning trust, respect, and loyalty.
- Score keeping- Systemization with accountability and measurement.
- Communication-Expressing ideas and conclusions effectively.
- Finance-Managing the money, budgeting, allocating resources.
- Human Resources-Nurturing your primary asset…people.
- Legal-Complying, staying within the rules and regulations.
- Future Planning-Forecasting trends, preparing for what might come next.
Courtesy of my friend and Mentor Dr. Richard Borough (Mastermind Alliance)
This outcome model was shared by Dr. Richard Borough , my personal friend.
It’s great way to make decisions and to think through goals, objectives, and strategies.
- What do you want, and by when?
- How will you know, if you’re getting it?
- When you get it, what will be better?
- What resources can you pull together?
- What are the steps involved?
- Who will need to do what?
- What’s the step-by-step game plan?
The seven questions applied to almost any issue will yield a clearer picture and a more fine-tuned strategy in dealing with the issues at hand.
Lesson 10…” Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.”
Too often, change is stifled by people who cling to familiar turfs and job descriptions. Effective leaders create a climate where people’s worth is determined by their willingness to learn new skills and grab new responsibilities, thus perpetually reinventing their jobs. The most important question in performance evaluation becomes not,” How well did you perform your job since the last time we met”? but,” How much did you change it?”
Lesson 11…” Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”
Floating from fad to fad creates team confusion, reduces the leader’s credibility, and drains organizational coffers. Blindly following a particular fad generates rigidity in thought and action. Sometimes speed to market is more important than total quality. Colin Powell indicates that some situations require the leader to hover closely; others require long, loose leashes. Leaders honor their core values but they are flexible in how they execute them. They understand that management techniques are not magic mantras, but are simply tools to be reached for at the right times.
Lesson 12…” Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
The ripple effect of a leader’s enthusiasm and optimism is awesome. So is the impact of cynicism and pessimism. Leaders who whine and blame engender those same behaviors among their colleagues. Spare me the grim litany of the” realist”; give me the unrealistic aspirations of the optimist any day.
Lesson 13…” Powell’s Rules For Picking People…”-Look for intelligence and judgment and, most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high-energy drive, a balanced ego, and the drive to get things done.
How often do a recruitment and hiring processes tap into these attributes? More often than not, we ignore them in favor of length of resume, degrees, prior experience, and job titles. A string of job descriptions a potential hire held yesterday seem to be more important than what the job might require today. Good leader stack the deck in their favor right in the recruitment phase.
Lesson 14…” Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, one who can cut through an argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everyone can understand.”
Effective leaders understand the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Their visions and priorities are lean and compelling, not cluttered or buzzword-laden, their decisions are crisp and clear, not tentative and ambiguous. The result is a clarity of purpose, credibility of leadership and integrity in organization.
Lesson 15… “Once the information is in this 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.”
Powell’s advice is don’t take action if you have only enough information to give you less than a 40% chance of being right, but don’t wait to have enough facts to be 100% sure, because by then it’s always too late. Today, excessive delays result in analysis paralysis. Procrastination in the name of a risk reduction actually increases risk.
Lesson 16…” the commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.”
Too often the reverse defines corporate culture.
Lesson 17…” Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave. When you’ve earned it, spend time with your families.”
Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who play hard and work hard. Seek people who have some balance in their lives, who are fun to hang out with, who like to laugh and have some non-job and priorities, which they approach with the same passion that they do their work.
Lesson 18…” Command is lonely.”
Harry Truman was right. The buck stops here. You can encourage participative management, and bottom-up employee involvement, but ultimately, the essence of leadership is the willingness to make the tough, unambiguous choices that will have an impact on the fate of the organization. I’ve seen too many leaders flinch from this responsibility. Even as you create an informal, open, collaborative corporate culture, prepare to be lonely.
- Good habits are the key to all success… I will form good habits and become the slave of my habits.
- I will greet each day with love in my heart…I will decide to love.
- I will persist until I succeed… Each failure increases opportunity of success. I will not allow yesterday’s success to lull me into complacency.
- I am nature’s greatest miracle… there is no one like me, with unlimited potential, unique, and always improving my manners and grace.
- I will live this day as if it were my last… I will not waste a moment on yesterday’s errors, doubts, failures, or procrastination.
- Today I will be the master of my emotions… I will bring my” weather” with me, of joy and happiness. I will face my fears head-on.
- I will laugh at the world…. I will remember that mistakes are short lived, will pass, and therefore arrive at a new perspective.
- I will multiply my value 100 times… I will set daily, weekly, monthly and a yearly goals. I will aim high and surpass my own deeds.
- I will act now… Action is to food and drink that will nourish my success.
- I will pray every day for guidance… I will not seek for worldly goods, but rather a long-term perspective that values people and relationships.
My father Bob really loved this guy…. and now I understand why… he’s got a lot of cool stuff. My dad gave me the Greatest Salesman in college, but I never bothered to read it. We should learn to listen or parents and obey them.
- love, home, and family
- personal integrity
- financial security
- career advancement
- inner peace and harmony
- freedom and independence
- power and influence
- physical health
- sense of humor
- adventure and having fun
- material wealth
- significant sense of purpose
“It is not hard to make decision when you know what your values are.”
Lesson one…” Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off”.
Good leadership involves responsibility for the welfare of the group, which means some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It’s inevitable, if you’re honorable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity; you’ll avoid the tough decisions.
Lesson two…” The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
Many leaders build up so many barriers to appropriate communication that the very idea of someone lower in the hierarchy looking up to the leader for help is ludicrous. The culture they foster often defines asking for help as weakness or failure…. so people cover-up and the organization suffers.
Lesson three…” Don’t be fooled by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment.”
Real leaders are vigilant and involved in day-to-day activities and resist going to their ivory towers.
Lesson four…” Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own back yard.”
Learn from, observe, and seek out mentors and partners, but remember that even the pros may have leveled out in terms of their learning and skills. Sometimes even the pros become lazy and complacent.
Lesson five…” Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled their distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant”.
Strategy equals execution. All the great ideas and visions of the world are worthless if they can’t be implemented rapidly and effectively and efficiently. Good leaders delegate and empower others liberally, but they pay attention to the details.
Lesson six…” You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”
Good leaders don’t wait for the official blessing to try things out. They are prudent, but not reckless. You you know the expression” it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission”? Well, it’s true.
Lesson seven…” Keep looking below the surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so just because you might not like what you find”.
This is an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms. It’s a mindset that assumes or hopes that today’s realities will continue tomorrow in a tidy, linear and predictable fashion. Pure fantasy. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant, or the scared.
Lesson eight…”Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people can you accomplish great deeds.”
In a brain-based economy, your best assets are people. How many leaders immerse themselves in the goal of creating an environment where the best, the brightest, and the most creative are attracted, retained and most importantly-unleashed?
Lesson nine…” Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing”.
If people really follow organization charts, companies would collapse. In well-run organizations, titles are also pretty meaningless. At best, they advertise some authority-an official status conferring ability to give orders and induced obedience. The titles mean little in terms of real power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire. Have you ever noticed how people will personally commit to certain individuals who possess little authority, but instead possess pizzazz, drive, expertise, and genuine caring for teammates and products?