Common Ground, Common Direction and Common Moral Compass

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Common Ground, Common Direction and Common Moral Compass

What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose? Why am I here? What is the truth? How can I find happiness? What is success? Life has a lot of questions. I am not sure I can lead you to or convince you of any of life’s answers. I think I do know a few things; I am convinced that there is a way to find what you are looking for in life. Find Common Ground, Common Direction and Common Moral Compass before you give you put your faith and trust in people that you meet.

Common Ground, Common Direction and Common Moral Compass: You may have to filter out some of your family and friends; you can still love them and respect them. Don’t let your family and friends keep you from finding what you are looking for in life. You may need to search out new people and find a mentor or coach, but I think if you take a minute and let this sink in you will be just fine. One step at a time let me explain and then see if this makes sense.

Common Ground: Your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your co-workers, people who have the same likes and dislikes as you; it is easy to find common ground with people. It is the first thing used by marketing agents and politicians to get you to buy what they are selling. Common ground is a great start, but I ask you; is it enough. Should you believe and do what someone else is doing simply because they are from the same neighborhood as you are from, or attended the same school as you? Agai, common ground is a start, but it does not mean you should place your faith and trust in someone for only that reason.

Common Direction: Where do you want to go and what do you want to do with your life? Let’s use this simple example. I live and work in Metro Detroit. I go to work every day and people in my department are on the road on some days and in the office on others. Just because we all live and work in Metro Detroit does not mean we all heading in the same direction all the time. Some people are heading east and some are heading west; some are heading north and some are heading south. For this example I am literally talking about how we travel to and from home and work and when we need to go on the road for business.

Common ground does not equal common direction. Just because we all live and work in the same general area does not mean we are all heading in the same direction. Now if you use this as a metaphor, you will see we may all work in the same area but not live in the same area. Or we may live in the same area but no work in the same area.   We can also have different opinions on how to approach our family, or friends, or profession and countless other areas of our lives. Also, just because we all live and work together does not mean we all went to the same school or were born in the same city. You see common ground and common direction are also dependent on what point in time you are referencing. Not only do you need to find common ground with people, you should also try to find common direction. Your family and friends may not want to go the same places you want to go and do the same things you want to do. This should respect your wishes and not hold you back, but hey more on that later. Hopefully between you family, your friends, your coworkers and acquaintances, you can find some people where you not only have common ground, but you also have common direction.

Now common ground and common direction are a great start, two out of three ain’t bad; but it is not the complete puzzle. To really find what you are looking for in this life; you need a moral compass. There is a constant battle between good and evil, order and chaos, or right and wrong.  You may find that some people are willing to take shortcuts that go against your moral fiber. Finding common ground and common direction are important; but finding common moral compass is the most important thing. One bad move, one bad call by you or the people who are with you can change everything. A series of good deeds by a group of people can be ruined by the bad deeds by a few people in that group. You may find yourself guilty by association because of the moral compass of those around you. Is it fair? No it is not, but if everyone around has their moral compass set lower than yours; you are in danger of them dragging you down.

Common Ground and Common Direction are great, but if you are surrounded by people whose Morall Compass is lower than your yours, you are in danger of them dragging you down with them. Now, if you surround yourself with people work hard, work smart, know the difference between right and wrong and choose to the right thing, you will find they can help raise your moral compass. Isn’t this or at least should this be where we all want to be at the end of the day? Don’t we want to be successful for doing all the right things for all the right reasons? Who is to say, but I think we know the difference between right and wrong, but we may not choose to do right all the time. What if your family and friends choose to do wrong, does that mean you have to choose to do wrong also? What if your coworkers are taking shortcuts, does that mean you also need to take shortcuts? Be very careful when gaging moral compass. Stand back and watch people’s habits and patterns.

I can’t tell you what to choose. I can only hope to help you spot the patterns. Stand back and watch people before you put a lot of faith and trust in them. Watch their habits and patterns. Do they deliver or do they take shortcuts? Do they lie cheat and steal to get what they want, or are they true to their word? Common Ground and Common Direction are not enough. Your future can be made or broken by your Moral Compass and the Moral Compass of those around you. Choose Wisely.

To become a V.I.P. know your V.I.P.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. You were meant for greatness. All of us were. Politicians tell us we are all equal. The last thing most politicians want is for us to be equal. Most of them are used to a life of privilege. Most politicians as used to be treated as and catering to V.I.P.s: Very Important People. I say you can be a V.I.P. (Very Important Person) but you have to know your V.I.P. (Value. Intention and Purpose)

Your Value, Your Intention and Your Purpose will decide how you face the day. How do you value yourself? Do you know your intention? Do you know your purpose? I may have to go about this in reverse order. These may seem like the same concepts over and over. Maybe that just means they are important to me. I think they are the keys to success? Do you see yourself as a Very Important Person? You must know Your Value, Your Intention and Your Purpose.

Your Purpose: Why are you here? Let’s go back to politicians. They are supposed to be public officials and public servants. They are supposed to serve a greater good. I think all of us are supposed to serve a greater good. The question is do we? We are not all equal. We are all uniquely made. We need to understand first how we fit into the greater good. It is hard if not impossible to do anything great without a sense of purpose. So understanding your purpose and how you fit into the greater good should be the first thing you figure out or at least the first thing you seek out. It may take a long time to really come to grips with your purpose, or it can take a day. What did you always want to do with your life, long ago when you were a kid, when you were innocent and did not know how hard life can be on people? What did you want to do? You were born with a purpose; you just need to reconnect with it.

You Intention: How do you go about what you do? Again, let’s go back to politicians. Their purpose is to serve the public and the greater good, but how many of them dress up their self service as public service? Why do we spend so much time and money electing people that we do not trust? Left vs. Right, Democrat vs. Republican; are they there to serve each other or the public that elected them in the first place? What is their intention? What is your intention? To many people believe to be successful they have to be deceitful. I do not believe this way. I think you should be honest and true about your intention and get around people who think the same way. Your purpose and your intention should be to the greater good. Maybe this is why I am not the most popular guy in the room at sometimes. That is ok, I would much rather be honest with you. What is my point? Take your purpose and intention seriously.

Your Value: How do you value yourself? Do you see yourself as nothing more than someone who makes minimum wage? Do you see yourself as nothing more than someone who receives welfare or social security? How I see you cannot override how you see yourself. The way that I value you cannot override how you value yourself. To be seen as an Important Person you have to Value yourself, your purpose, your intention and your talents. You see, the way you see yourself begins with being able to understand your purpose and your intention. Your story and your talents must mean more to you than accepting a life of minimum wage or welfare or any entitlement program that tells us we are all equal and only worth a fixed amount each month. Your own sense of value needs to be justified by your purpose and your intention. Your intention has to be greater than thinking that one day you will win the lottery. Your intention needs to drive you to hone your talents. Your sense of value needs to drive you to want to make a positive difference in pursuit of the greater good.

Now I know that I cannot force you to see it my way. I cannot force you to believe that you are worth more than minimum wage. I cannot force you to believe you are worth more than any government program will tell you to stand in line to receive. Take a moment and decide for yourself. Do you know your purpose? Find it first, or at least get on the path of looking for it. What is your intention? Is it for greater good or does it serve only yourself and a small circle of your friends at the cost of everyone else? How do you value yourself? I cannot convince you of these things, I can only hope to get you to stop and reflect on these things.

To be seen as a V.I.P. (Very Important Person) you need to see yourself as a V.I.P. and know your V.I.P: Know your Value, your Intention and your Purpose! Do you place a Value on yourself as just the bare minimum or something more? Do you know your Purpose and Intention? If your Intention and Purpose align with the greater good, why would you allow yourself to believe we are all equal and you should only receive the minimum amount of anything? I cannot override how you value yourself. I can only hope to get you to stop and reflect on how you value yourself.

Do you see yourself as a Very Important Person? You must know Your Value, Your Intention and Your Purpose.

God moves in the echo.

He wasn’t in the fire He wasn’t in the quake He wasn’t in the wind He’s in a whisper – “Life’s Noise” by Bluetree

There was a drum set that sat on the corner of a stage. I was asked to play that drum set. I was honored and I sat down behind the drums. I remember clearly playing that drum set in a Big Empty Room. I could clearly hear the Boom when I hit the Bass Drum. I also heard the echo of the Bass Drum off the back wall. I would play the basic drum beats. The Snap of the Snare Drum, the Chink of the Hi-Hat. Boom – Chink – Snap – Chink – Boom – Chink – Snap – Chink: I could hear the basic beat and I could the echo of each sound of the back wall. Each Drum and Each Cymbal had their own unique sound, but it was the echo that fascinated me.

As more instruments would join me as I played the Drums; the Piano and the Guitar, I could feel their sounds merging with the Drums. It was not always easy to hear above the Boom and the Snap, but I could always tell what was too loud or too soft by the way everything blended together in the echo. Singers would join in, filling up the sound even more. I had to listen a little closer, but I could still hear that echo off the back wall. As much as I listened to what each person was doing, it was the echo that was the beacon that corrected my course.

I would work with the sound man and the other musicians, because I could tell when someone was not be heard because I could not hear them in the echo. My focus, my attention would peak whenever I knew something was missing. The more we would practice, the closer I would listen. Soon after practice we would play to an audience each Sunday Morning, Praise and Worship songs at the beginning of Church Service. I could hear how much the sound changed as people were singing along. I was so focused from the sound of the practices, just the drums, then more instruments would join in; then the singers and then the audience. Each time we ran through the songs they would change, they would get fuller and richer. Not matter what song or circumstance, I would listen for that echo; that guiding light that would bring me home. I could tell if I was too loud or too soft. I could tell if the piano or the guitar were coming through clearly, I could tell which singers were stronger and which were weaker. I could tell the mix of the songs not through the monitors, but from the echo. I could hear the crowd, though slightly delayed from the rest of the music, right between the monitors and the echo. They would sing along and I could hear them filling in the space between the Stage Monitors pointed at us and the echo that traveled past them on the return trip from the back wall.

No matter how loud or soft, no matter how many people were in the crowd, no matter how many people were playing, no matter how many singers were on stage, I could always rely on the echo. This is when I realized, that God speaks to us in that echo and in that quite space between the noises. God speaks to us with a gentle whisper. It had nothing to do with what I was doing, if I played the Drums, or the Bass, or if I helped run the sound mixing board, or if I was just in the middle of the crowd. I could tell that God was not moving on my terms but on his terms. You may think I am crazy or drunk or on something; I will tell you I am convinced. God moves in the whisper, in the quite space between the noises, God moves in the echo.

This is just my two cents. This is just my take on it. Nothing happened because of me. All of this happened regardless of me. I was just in a place to see it, to notice it, to hear it for myself. He wasn’t in the fire, He wasn’t in the quake, He wasn’t in the wind, He’s in a whisper. God moves in the echo.

Airplanes, Airports and Airlines:

Airplanes, Airports and Airlines:

Which one are you? Which one do you see yourself as? Have you thought about your Personal Brand, your Profession and your Professional Approach? It is great to see yourself as any one of these three entities; I challenge you to see why you should think about yourself as all three.

Air Travel has changed the speed of Business like no other form of travel. Do you see yourself as an Airplane, free to fly on a moment’s notice? Do you see yourself as an Airport, with an endless stream of Airplanes Coming and going to your Destination? Or do you see yourself as an Airline, sending many planes to many locations while you manage the logistics to make meet the people’s demands. Depending on where you are in your personal and professional life, I can see where it would be easy to identify with one of these items.

Airplanes are like worker bees, they carry goods and services from source to destination, from the company store or office to the hands of the customer. Depending on the size of your workload, you may see yourself as anything from a Single Propeller Plane to a Jumbo Jet Liner. Now the thing about being or having an airplane is you need a place to take off from and a place to land. Unless you just want to fly around in circles, Airplanes need Airports. The more Airports that are available to you, the more choices you have and the more chances you have to succeed.

Airports are like stores or business owners.   Good and Services come and go, and hopefully you do enough volume to keep the lights on. The more volume you want to do, the bigger the airport you need. The Bigger the Plane, the Bigger the Airport needs to be and the bigger the runway also. The more planes you want to land, the more runways you need. See how this works. Airplanes need Airports and Airports need Airplanes. Worker Bees need Stores and Offices, and Business Owners need Worker Bees. Again, where do you see yourself?

Airlines are like large companies operating on a national or international level. They need lots of Airplanes (worker bees) and lots of Airports (stores and offices) to keep their business alive. Most Airlines do business with many Airports and Airplanes. Just like most Airports do business with more than one Airline and many Airplanes, Large companies have many stores, many vendors and also have many workers. Now the thing that some people do not realize, is that an Airplane can be in partnership with only one Airline, or may provide support services to Multiple Airlines.

Again, how do you see yourself? Each of us may aspire to different things and different levels of freedom. I say to be a success do not limit your point of view. See how you could fit in to each role, and maybe try each role on for size in a limited basis. Do you want to be an Airplane or worker bee? Do you want to be an Airport i.e. a Store Owner or A Manager in an Office? Do you want to be an Airline or Executive at a Large Company? Can you see yourself in each role? What goods and services would you provide? Will you Intern, or Volunteer or work nights and weekends? What path will you choose to build your Brand or your Business?

Can you see yourself as an Airplane? Can you see yourself as an Airport? Can you see yourself as an Airline? Each one needs the other to be successful. Where do you fit in? What good or service do you provide? Where are your customers? Where are your vendors? How do you bring you goods or services to market? Can you provide the best possible service at the best possible price and still be on time?    Spread your wings and fly! Airplanes, Airports and Airlines: Which one are you?

Attitude, Ability and Altitude all work hand in hand for your success.

Do you want to change you Altitude? Do you want to fly higher than you ever have before? Than you need to focus on your attitude and your ability. Stick with me on this one.

Attitude: I am not talking about some false set of behavior where you think you are better than you really are, or better than everyone else. I am talking about having a “Can Do” Attitude when you are faced with challenges. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something and don’t let people tell you that you are better than you really are; don’t tell yourself either. Take a “Can Do” Attitude into every situation that you face. This will help you honestly do your best.

Ability; you can always improve on something. Let’s say I want to be known as the Best Bass Player on the Planet. It always seems to go back to music with me. Let’s face it, not a lot of people know Bass players for just playing the Bass Guitar or the Upright Bass, most people will know the singer, the song writer or some other musician. But for me to be a better Bass Player, I need to practice. I need to believe I can get better or I will not put the time in. I need the right attitude to help me increase my ability. Maybe I will realize that I should also help out writing and arranging songs, or I should learn to sing, or maybe I will get hired to play the bass because I can fix the minivan that a group is touring in and their Bass Player quit. Sounds crazy, but I am sure stranger things have happened. I cannot reach the next level of ability if I do not have an open and honest attitude about what it takes to get better.

Keep a “Can Do” Attitude and Increase your Ability. Then you will see in increase in your Altitude. You will see an increase in your ability to rise to the occasion when the Stakes are high or make good decisions when the Risks are high. When I say Altitude I am not taking about getting High on Drink or Drugs or Yourself or Life in General. I am taking about your ability to fly high with open eyes and an open mind and make the best of any situation. This is the level that will bring you success.

Do you feel like a winner? Did you do anything to justify that feeling? Did you do the work? Did you put your time in? Your Attitude will go a long way in pulling you through tough times. Keep the right Attitude and increasing your Ability will come easy. This increased ability, through checking the facts and putting in honest effort will give you that chance to fly high. This increased Altitude will lead to success. You will be visible because you can rise to the occasion and risk above risk. You will be in demand.

So maybe you don’t want to play the Bass Guitar, maybe you want to write software programs and apps or you want to be a top stock advisor. Do you have the correct attitude and ability so that people are drawn to you and see you as an expert? If you see yourself as an expert, are you reflective enough to go about against the very best without rubbing people the wrong way? Keep a “Can Do” Attitude, Seek to increase your Ability, and watch you Altitude Rise as a result. Attitude, Ability and Altitude all work hand in hand for your success.

Don’t let short term pain block your healing.

Life happens. Sickness happens. Injury Happens. These things are a part of life. I have a new stance. I do not have sickness or injury; I have the power to recover from sickness or injury. This can be a painful process; I am not trying to ignore that fact. I am trying to give you the courage to face this process and win. I am saying; do not let short-term pain block your long-term recovery. Do not let short-term pain block your healing.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I am here to tell you that life is not fair. Life can be cruel. I am here to tell you that you have a part in your outcome. You can share in the outcome of your destiny. You can be a part in shaping your future.  How you choose to face each day will start to add up, one way or another.   Life can be painful. Your health and vitality can ebb and flow, but you can make up your mind to put your best foot forward every day or just accept what life throws at you.

I have been blessed to see firsthand people battle back from all types of illness and injury. I have seen the effects of immeasurable will power. I have seen people battle strokes, cancer, diabetes and recover from car accidents. These people made up their mind that they would not be defeated and continued to face every day with a will to live. I have also seen people who are paralyzed continue to live their life to the fullest. This decision can be difficult. I am sure there is lots of pain in these processes; the process of fighting different illness’ and injury. But these people have one thing in common. They did not let short-term pain stop their long-term gain. They did not let short-term pain block their recovery. They did not let short-term pain block their healing.

Healing is a choice as much as it is a gift. I know that pain is real. I have battled back from bumps, bruises, pulled muscles and general pains of this life. My pain is nothing compared what I have seen others come through. But each time I face any pain, I face a choice. Choose to do the things that will help me recover or choose to avoid the pain. Recovery, Rehabilitation and Restoration can be a painful process, but I will trade short-term pain for long-term gain anytime.

Whenever I am recovering from injury, I need to stretch and strengthen the injured area so blood can flow and repair the damage. I have been fortunate not to have suffered from any broken bones that I know of, but I have torn some muscles, I am sure of that. I have been able to recover because I am stubborn enough to believe in healing over and through the pain.

Now let me state for the record, some suffering is avoidable. Sometime people force others to suffer for their own personal pleasure or amusement. I think this is wrong. I can only hope and pray that people can endure and escape from these kinds of people. We have to be aware of this, so we can help change this; we all benefit from a world with less suffering. I hope and pray for only the best for my fellow inhabitants of this earth.

I am trying to focus on the fact that our will power and our gift of healing is something we need to hold on to: We need to have the courage to face short-term pain instead of trying to avoid it or lessen it for the long-term. Would you trade a little pain for the rest of your life, instead of a lot of pain today and then a pain-free life? When I put it that way it is an easy choice. Well the choice is not that easy, what about a month of pain for a year of pain-free life? You must be convinced that things will get better. Do the work, recover, rehabilitate, restore and endure. Every time I had to recovery from injury or illness has been a painful process, but I refuse to avoid the pain which really only prolongs the pain. I would rather face the pain, conquer the pain and recover than to avoid it and never recover. This only will lead to an endless parade of pain killers and pain management, not a life at my fullest potential.

I would like to see all of us living to our fullest potential. Do not let injury or illness keep you from being the best you that you can be: Do not trade the pain of recovery for pain avoidance and prolonged suffering. Choose to be free of pain, by conquering and recovery from illness or injury. Do not let short-term pain block your healing!

We are a Beautiful Mess.

We are a Beautiful Mess.

Each one of us is a mess. We are a mess and yet we are a flawless design. We may try to cover it up; we may try to look perfect even when we don’t feel so good inside. Welcome to 60 Seconds Of Motivational Mojo, where I am here to tell you it is ok to be a mess. You are a Beautiful Mess. We are a Beautiful Mess.

I believe we are part of a Grand Design. Many will argue that we are just one of millions of chances on millions of worlds circling millions of stars. And yet those same people will deny that any of those millions of chances from millions of worlds circling millions of stars has been successful in contacting us. I do not believe we are an intergalactic accident any more than I believe we are the only living breathing intelligent life forms. I believe that we were perfectly made, and then we made a mess of ourselves. We are a Beautiful Mess.

The more I see little kids, toddlers and babies; the more I see innocence. The more I see little kids, I see what we were meant to be; we were meant to laugh and play and share and be curious about each other in an innocent and loving way. We were meant to shine, but instead we dull our brightness. We dim the lights that are inside of us. We grow older and we learn to hate, and be afraid of each other and take advantage of each other. Live is a mess and we made a mess of our lives. We try to hide it; we try to cover it up. We all want to appear perfect no matter how messed up we feel inside. We are a mess.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just start over? I say that we can. I think we can, but we are just too afraid. I think it is easy, you just watch little kids play. Just watch little kids who are sharing with each other. Just watch little kids who have not yet learned to be mean and greedy and jealous for anything. We just need to let the little kid in our hearts out to play. We should clean up the mess that we are on the inside, and not try to cover it up on our outside. You are not the clothes you wear or the house you live in. You are not how much money you make or the possessions you have. You are how you treat others. You are how your treat the less fortunate, not how you cozy up to your boss.

One day we will learn that we were supposed to treat each other, better than we would treat ourselves. One day we will learn that we are supposed to help each other and not take advantage of each other. One day we will learn that we were not supposed to take anyone for granted, or make anyone feel second best. Until then we will remain a mess. Not matter how beautiful the mess is on the outside, we will still all just be a mess. Be beautiful on the inside no matter how messy it is on the outside. To truly be a beautiful mess, you got to be doing the best you can with no strings attached. It is ok to be a mess. Remember you have what it takes to be a beautiful mess.

Don’t cover up the things you do wrong, learn from them. Treat others better than you want to be treated. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything. Work together to learn together and to grow together. Let the kid inside of you out to play. Share with others. Be nice to each other. Basically stop all the madness of this messed up life and be beautiful again. I know my life is a mess. I can’t fix it without help. But I can do the best I can to be the best that I can be from this day forward. I would rather looked messed up on the outside and be beautiful inside than to look like I have it made on the outside and be ugly inside.

Be a Beautiful Mess!

Rehabilitation, Recovery and Restoration:

Rehabilitation, Recovery and Restoration:

These topics are basically one in the same. Rehabilitation, Recovery and Restoration, they are essentially what life boils down to. Stick with me a minute and let me explain.

Rehabilitation: to restore to a condition of good health, ability to work, or the like.

Recovery: the regaining of or possibility of regaining something lost or taken away.

Restoration: a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition.

I find myself in a constant state of recovery from something. The work week, over doing it at the gym, trying to repair or restore relationships from the past. It seems like life turns into a series of trying to maintain what we once had and build on where we are now.

We all have to get better at something. A lot of times the things that will make us better are the same tools used in Rehabilitation, Recovery and Restoration. I am not here to sell you on a 12-Step or 7-Step guru program. I am going to break it down to One Step. We all need to face the facts. We are where we are and who we are; the only choice we have is what are we going to do about it? One Step at a time, face the facts.

Do you need to lose 10 pounds? What are you doing to lose those 10 pounds? Will you Diet, Exercise or some combination of the two? If you choose to diet; which diet? If you choose to exercise; which exercise? You see, I cannot tell you your exact situation so I cannot tell you some One Size fits all Diet or Set of Exercises to help you reach your goals. I will tell you, face the facts and adjust accordingly.

My knees hurt, I need to exercise more, I need to lose some weight, I am stressed out by life because life happens. So how do I change it? I have to look at my life step by step and face the facts one day at a time. I constantly feel like I am recovering from something. So it is just what life becomes.

I hope and pray that all of us, who have been damaged in any way will find a way to recover and be restored. We each have a role in our own restoration, rehabilitation and recovery. We have to take it one step at a time regardless of what program you choose. You have to believe you can see it through. The will to live, the will to succeed, the will to help others; these are hard to measure but easy to spot.

I am amazed at some of the people in my life who have bounced back from incredible things; health issues, financial issues, emotional issues. Life is full of stories of success and failure; which stories are you choosing to listen too? Choose to listen to the ones where people refused to give up and give in. Take them deep inside yourself and learn to recover! You have what it takes, you do not have to give away your own personal success story, you have to face the facts one day and one step at a time.

Rehabilitation, Recovery and Restoration: Find a way:

So much to teach, so much to learn:

So I have been on a mission.  I am on a mission to learn to become a better leader.  I am also on a mission to become a better teacher.  I am on a mission to become a better servant.  Yes, I want to become a good coach, mentor, and instructor.  I basically want to learn.  I want to learn to become better at everything I do.  I have learned that teaching is learning.  I have also learned that you can learn Mastery which involves Teaching, Coaching and Mentoring.  So I am trying to do those things so I can master the things I want to be very good at doing.

People can learn by doing, and you can learn more be listening to experts and you can learn even more by coaching and sharing.  So I have done all I can to help others.  I have spent a lot of time on stage performing.  I have learned a lot about mixing sound, but I never took the time to be a sound man for someone else.  So for the past month, I have asked myself, can I set aside my ego and make sure everyone else can be heard?  Can I make sure the best possible sound is coming out of the sound system?  Can I help make everyone else and learn in the process?

So what I have learned.  People are more receptive to your teaching if you are receptive to learning from them.  So I began by having people teach me what they know first.  I have also learned that I have a lot to learn.  So you have to open yourself up to learning.  This may sound crazy, but you must admit that you have things you need to learn.  So simple and yet so hard; this may seem really basic, but it is still true.  I have also learned that coaching, mentoring and teaching is basically sharing.  Sharing is most effective when it is a two-way street.

Most people do not pay attention when things sound good, but they look around when things so bad.  By learning what others were doing behind the soundboard while running the sound system made it easier for me to compare notes and show the next person.  So once I learned what others were doing, I learned that some of the things I thought I knew we just not true.  It is better to know for sure than to think you know.  So always confirm what it is you think you know.  I have also learned that sometimes it is better to get out-of-the-way and let others do what they need to do than to hover over them and make things harder to get done.  This is a great big metaphor for making space for people.  This is also a lesson I was able to teach while running sound.  If everyone is fighting for the same space not everyone is getting heard.  Learning how to make space for everyone makes everything better.

Sometimes the best way to be a leader is to be a better servant.  I believe in learning by doing, by listening to experts; and then by coaching, mentoring and teaching others.  In my quest to learn to become a better leader, I have learned that I have more to learn.  For all the things we have made better, there are still lots of things we need to figure out.  I guess that is the final lesson of mastery; there is always more to learn and there is always more to teach.

Leaders Sharpen Leaders:

Leaders Sharpen Leaders:

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

So if iron sharpens iron and one person sharpens another; I say Leaders Sharpen Leaders. Leadership is more than just a title, Leadership is more than just a position. Leadership is a transfer not only of a vision, and putting people in the best place to succeed; Leadership is the building up of other Leaders. Leaders Sharpen Leaders.

Are you a fan of American College Football? In 2015 the National Championship was won by a team using their third string quarterback. Their opponents made it to the championship game replacing starter after starter who had fallen to injury. So I say to you, that this means the coaches made sure not only they had a player to lead their teams, but they had multiple players who were able to step up and not make excuses. Leaders Sharpen Leaders.

How many times have you seen it where a successful team loses a coach or a key player and quickly falls apart? How many times have you seen it where a Company or an Organization losses a key person and then seems to sink into obscurity or even go bankrupt? How many times have you seen a Great Leader turn a bad situation into a good situation, but then after they are gone things go bad again? Well, I challenge the thought of a Good Leader who leaves chaos and disorder after they depart. A Good Leader would sharpen the skills of those around them to be able to take over in their absence or after their departure.

How many times has Steve Jobs been quoted as a Visionary Leader? How about Bill Gates or Larry Ellison? They are all regarded as Great Leaders and Captains of Industry, but dare I ask; why did they fail to train their replacements? What happened to their companies after they departed? Have you read the book Good to Great? Some of those Great Companies fell flat on their faces. What happened? Leaders did not sharpen the next set of Leadership.

Listen, I am no Billionaire, I am not even a Millionaire; yet. I have tried and failed at many things, but I am still trying. I have traced the bulk of my failures back to just a few things; failure to follow through and failure to lead. I have spent a lot of time trying to correct my bad behavior. Sometimes my anger has undermined ability to lead. So I have spent a great deal of time studying coaches who seem to be able to just keep winning and teach others to win after they have gone. This is how dynasties are created. Champions are rare, dynasties are even more rare. Leaders must Sharpen Leaders.

I have been blessed to be able to say I have stood up, dusted myself off and I have regular talks with a group of people I can call my mentors. I have people I can admit my failures to and try, try again. When I am down and out, they are there to pick me up; just a I try to pay this forward and encourage others to stay at it until they find what they are looking for… Leaders Sharpen Leaders.

Have you seen people who are very much “My way or the highway?” They may find limited success, but are they developing leaders? Have you seen people take shortcuts to get results? Again, are they developing the next wave of leaders who will be capable of taking over in their wake? Leaders must Sharpen Leaders. The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks were two great examples of people being ready to step up and continue to win when people were lost to injury and other problems. This speaks volumes to their coaching staffs getting players ready to lead. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” Leaders Sharpen Leaders!

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