Category: Business

What Tetons and Babies Can Teach You About Success

Tetons, Baby Steps, and Business Success

Building a successful business, non-profit, or ministry can be about as imposing as staring up at the highest of mountains. Small steps of faith, however, are the catalytic moments that allow us to accomplish more than we could ever imagine.

Snow-Capped Intimidation

About 7 years ago, my unit went on a “secret mission” to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting his vacation home and we were there to secure the airspace while he was in town. As glamorous as that sounds, I promise you that it wasn’t.

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The Entrepreneur You Won't Read about on TechCrunch

Conexion Americas California Fashion

I want to tell you about Maria.

Where She Came From

Maria grew up very poor in a small town in Mexico. She married young. Her husband died much too early and she was left to support 3 children. After years of poverty and scraping a living, Maria moved to be with some family in California.

Maria spent several years in California, continuing to scrape by. She worked 7 days a week in order to provide for her 3 growing children. Eventually, she made her way out to Nashville, TN, where she would continue to work 7 days a week cleaning houses in up-scale Brentwood.

One day, Maria was so broken down that she physically could not get out of her car after a long day of work. Her son looked her in the eye and told her that something needed to change. He had saved some money and said she had to stop breaking her back (literally.)

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It All Starts With Who

leadership identity

We’ve all been believing a lie. This lie is sneaky. It seems to be an obvious truth, but is really an insidious deception. I believed it for years. You probably believe it too.

Here’s the lie:

You are what you do.

Here are some things that this lie would have us believe:

  • I marry a lovely person, therefore I am lovely.
  • I get a promotion, therefore I am successful.
  • I build a thriving company, therefore I am a great leader.

Those connections are all somewhat logical, but they lead us down the wrong road. As we head down that road, we continually define ourselves by the stuff that we’re able to produce. Our identity is mistakenly identified by the activity of our lives.

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5 Steps to Giving Great Advice

Giving Great Advice

As leaders, we get to fill the role of counselor in a lot of people’s lives. For good or bad, we have the honor and responsibility of providing these people with advice.

This is by no means an all-inclusive methodology, but its the process I use. I would love to hear all about how you approach these situations in the comments below.

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Developing Leadership Skills One Step at a Time

Developing Leadership Skills

You want to develop better leadership skills, but there’s so much that goes into building that skill set. Guys like me don’t help by overloading your plate with new ideas every day.

You’ve got to work on things like…

It can all be so overwhelming.

Today I want to give you a break by asking you to focus on just one aspect. Here’s a simple process for picking that one thing to work on.

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Relevance is Not Enough

Relevance and PassionIt only gets people in the door.

It’s like having a high school kid spin a ‘50% off everything’ sign in front of a run-down store. You like to save money, so you decide to stop. Then, you find out that the store is mangled and the inventory is weak. The owner clearly doesn’t give a hoot. Will you buy anything?

That’s what its like when a leader without passion invites you to his or her world. You’re attracted by the idea of ‘saving the baby seals’ or ‘conquering the world of widgets.’ The vision is relevant to you in some way, so you give it a shot.

Then you get in, realize that the operation is a mess, and bail.

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Why Should I Listen to You?

Relevance and the question WhyIf you’re a leader, you’ve got something to say…

  • “You should follow me.”
  • “You should do what I tell you to do.”
  • “You should buy my company’s product.”
  • “You should care about my cause.”
  • “You should read my book.”

My immediate response is, “Why?

I’m busy. I have a business to run, friends to spend time with, and other things to do. Why should I drop what I’m doing and listen to you? Why should I abandon my previous opinion and adopt yours? Why should I do anything that you tell me to do? Why should I care?

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