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Management Training Program

Where Have the Professionals Gone?

Three things in my early days shaped me most: my parents, the Christian faith, and my first year at Bank of America back in 1980. I was twenty years old, still in college but was selected and hired for the bank’s Management Training Program. It was a year of intense training. Here’s a snapshot of the subjects: How to dress (professionally, according to your height, body type, and occasion) How to dress (professionally, according to your height, body type, and occasion) How to write a letter (style, grammar, and editing) How to shake hands, smile, and make eye contact How to have hard conversations and dealing with conflict How to tell the truth while honoring the person How to behave at formal gatherings including the use of utensils, napkins, etc. How to listen to others and say back what you heard How to identify suspicious behavior inside and outside of

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Good Habits - Read, Pray, Write

Reading + Prayer + Writing

“If you start doing what you’re supposed to do, you won’t have time to do what you shouldn’t be doing.” Jonathan Moore These three good habits create an advantage. They fill you. They empower you. They make you better. When you get better as a leader, EVERYONE benefits. Reading. If you didn’t read last week’s Monday Moment, go back and read it. It’s important. If you can’t find it, let us know and we will resend it to you. Prayer. I have identified “Pray” as one of my five professional core values. What is a professional core value? It is something I commit myself to practice once I walk out the door of my home (virtually or physically). My definition of this value is as follows: “I partner with God in every moment of life enjoying his presence, help, and guidance.” I believe a relationship with my creator does not start nor

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If You Want to Change the World, Go Home and Love Your Family - Priorities

If You Want to Change the World, Go Home and Love Your Family. – Mother Teresa

I have a weird habit. After every day is done, I go back to my calendar and make sure it is an accurate accounting of what actually happened. I delete appointments and time blocks that didn’t happen, increase or decrease time to the appointments that lasted longer or shorter, add appointments that were not planned, etc. I do this to better evaluate the effectiveness of my week and even more importantly, my discipline to follow through on my plans. It does no good to plan your best day and then allow it to be hijacked. Most of us talk about priorities. We say we have them but our calendar often points to a different conclusion. Many leaders can articulate their chief aim – their big goal for the season or the year yet their calendar seems to suggest something different. I get it. Life at work and home is filled with

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The Self Destructive Reality: INSECURITY

The Self Destructive Reality: INSECURITY

“Insecurity,” that was the answer Johnny Sirpilla gave me during one of my recent podcasts. I was asking questions about conflict. Unnecessary conflict. Why do so many leadership teams struggle to work together? To get things done? Insecurity (noun) Uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence: she had a deep sense of insecurity | he’s plagued with insecurities. The state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection: growing job insecurity | the insecurity of wireless networks. Both definitions help us examine ourselves and our leadership skills. I don’t think insecurity by itself is our greatest threat, it’s the lack of conscious awareness of its presence. When we operate from unconscious insecurity we: Sense a threat that most often does not exist We speak too quickly or not at all We are slow to take responsibility We blame Anxiety increases along with our heart rate We are not

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Mow the lawn

Mow the Lawn

The first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines. Proverbs 18:17 There is a principle taught by some business and financial coaches. The principle goes something like this: Forsake any work activity you can pay someone else to do that costs less per hour than your wage. If you make $50 an hour and pay someone $25 an hour to mow your lawn, you’re smart because you just netted $25 assuming you earned $50 during that hour. Using this logic, if you mowed the lawn yourself, you would lose $25. The coaching goes on repeating this principle anywhere and everywhere you can. Do what you do best and pay others to do what they do as long as it costs less than your earnings for the same effort. Sounds aristocratic and smart. But is it? My concern is not if you SCALE every inch out of your life so

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Sing Louder - Psalm 46:10

Sing Louder

You see it everywhere. You see it at home. You see it at work. You see it at church. You see it in athletics. Heads are down. Their spirit is down. They lack confidence. Quitting is their convenient friend. In every single situation, it’s because they are believing what they are hearing. They are listening to the destructive voices from a noisy and negative world allowing those vibrations to echo deep inside the chambers of their being. To make matters worse, we tend to be hardest on ourselves. March 9, 1987 was an earthquake of a day. I had made a big decision months prior. A gigantic decision. It was the first day of the rest of my life. I was distraught. My head was down. I was defeated. I made a big mistake. That’s how I felt. How could I feel this way? Afterall, I made a conscious, thought-out, deliberate

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Find the Good - Positivity

Find the Good

Some say they have to go to work. Others say they get to go to work. Some meet a problem with fear and angst. While others meet a problem like David faced Goliath. How can two people facing the same situation respond so differently? Some of it is a predisposition but most of it comes from the cultivation of gratitude and a sense of mission. Finding the good in your life is a daily commitment. It’s what achievers do. Achievers are training every day. Moreover, they are training their whole person – body and soul. Cultivating gratitude or mining for Good is a daily habit that promotes health and generates positive and purposeful energy. However, if you don’t know the value of positivity, joy, direction, and energy, start mining for the good in life. Many run out of steam. More often than not, they run out of hope. Know the

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Love the Daily Grind

Love the Grind

Welcome to a blog that unveils the extraordinary in the ordinary. Explore two game-changing principles embraced by goal achievers. Transitioning seamlessly between thought-provoking insights and practical advice, this blog will empower you to uncover the true essence of achievement—one that resides not in the grand finale but within the very rhythm of the daily grind and having one goal. We’ve all heard, “Keep your eye on the prize”. I think that’s good because it causes me to examine my daily habits to see if they align with my goal. After all, many of us get into ruts of behavior with our heads down, rarely looking up to see where we are heading. Visualizing where you want to go and creating a cadence of strategic steps to get there is fundamental toward goal achievement. But it is not enough. Goal achievers know and practice 2 KEY DIFFERENCE MAKERS: They Focus on

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Lead Yourself

You’re Probably Not Going to Like This

If you are not taking care of yourself, you’re not leading well. Effective leadership starts with leading your own personhood. Your first responsibility is to lead yourself – body and soul. If you do this well, it will overflow into the lives of those you love and lead. It will overflow into the places, seasons, situations, and opportunities of life. I walked past a good-looking young man the other day. He looked healthy from the inside out. He displayed a beaming white smile, a skip in his step, and boasted well-crafted shoulders, chest, and arms. He carried in one hand what looked like a carefully blended health drink. He is probably more than thirty years younger than me. Was I jealous? Maybe a little. I don’t know the young man so I cannot speak to his intellectual development nor his spiritual condition. I cannot speak to his character. But the

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Finish that book - leaders are readers

Finish that Book

To put it quite simply, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss I learn new things every day. I learn from podcasts, teachers, life, and books. I learn best from books because they deliver learning at a customized pace and place. Pace is the element of learning that can be adapted to meet your needs. It does not matter if you are a highly skilled reader with an amazing vocabulary or if you have reading challenges and need a dictionary to help you define some of the words you encounter. Either way, when you read, you feed your mind like exercise feeds your body. Place is that element of time and space where you can isolate yourself from all of the distractions and hurry of life. It provides cognitive therapy and new perspectives as

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High Performers do not Seek Direction, They Seek Alignment

High Performers do not Seek Direction, They Seek Alignment

I’ve been fooled before. Talented people are not always performers. They sparkle and shine from time to time. That’s what grabs your attention like a trout to a lure. Then you get hooked, reeled in and cooked for dinner. This is going to sound harsh yet its truth echoes throughout the marketplace like a giant drum beat. Low performers are sitting around waiting for direction even though much of the work is staring them right in the face. They are talented but also lazy. Lazy people become soft and cry like victims or children who scrape their knees. They will blame you for lack of direction. You don’t need that. You need high performers who help you advance the mission. High performers need little direction and affirmation from others. They are self-motivated learners and achievers with tons of tenacity. As they mature, they become great teammates because they work to

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Leaders Ask

Leaders Ask

Leaders expect their team to show up and do a great job. That’s normal. What leaders often forget to do is ask. When the leader is vague, the mission stalls. Leadership requires vulnerability and risk. When you ask, you must know where you want to go and brace yourself with the reality that some will choose to opt-out. Good leaders ask great questions. -John Maxwell Paycheck or no paycheck, team members need to be asked. The proposition requires a response. They must make a conscious and deliberate decision. This alone is progress. Successful leaders of non-profit organizations are well aware of the ASK principle. If they don’t ask, the mission fails. If they don’t ask donors to sacrifice for the cause, the funding will not come. If the leader does not ask for volunteers, the mission cannot advance. Leaders of nonprofits hear “no” much more than they hear “yes”. But

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Putting aside Responsiveness

Bad Coaching

There is a wave of bad coaching in our current culture promoting personal organization to the point of arrogance and isolation. Independence and autonomy has taken on a new and ugly face. It says I will respond to you when and if I want to. Mark these words: Responsiveness will make a comeback as a highly valued interpersonal quality and skill. Personal organization, time management, prioritization, goal pursuit, whatever you want to call it should never be elevated above common courtesy, respect for others, and professionalism. Moreover, one without the other makes the leader ineffective. One who elevates self-importance above service will lose respect and influence. Responsiveness is a 360-degree discipline. Your circle of influence deserves your best. Your boss, team members, and direct reports. And don’t forget your friends and family! Your cadence of response tells people where they fit in your universe. It becomes your identity. Figure it out

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Advice for young professionals

Advice for Young Leaders

I’m guessing I interview more than one hundred people every year for leadership roles around the country. If they make the short list of candidates, I talk to their references and my favorite question to ask is “If you had an opening right now, would you hire them? In other words, would you like to work with them again?” Then I listen very carefully to what is spoken and unspoken. I ask this question because of one of my core beliefs. I believe the best performers are difficult to find because they are being promoted or recruited by someone who already knows who they are and what they can do.  Regardless of the so-called best practices many HR professionals preach, the real leader (the effective leader) typically hires people they know and trust. In other words, everyone is being interviewed for a new opportunity but the best of the best rarely

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where does leadership start

Where Does Leadership Start?

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like  a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24 Where does leadership start? Leadership Starts Today. What you do today determines the leadership behaviors of tomorrow. What you think about and who you spend time with today form the foundation of your future leadership acts and decisions. Today Counts. I don’t think leadership is an instinct or a reaction by and of itself. I do not believe it is necessarily a habit either. I do believe instinctive reactions and habits are the outcomes of thoughtful or thoughtless decisions we make in our past. Confidence. It’s not all you need but you can’t get much done without it. How do you grow in confidence? By keeping the promises you make to yourself. If need be, make small promises and then keep them. What positive changes do

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