Monthly Archives: April, 2014

The show will go on.

The show will go on.

The question is whether it will go on with you or without you. “All the world will be a stage and we are merely players.” So be a part of the show. Welcome back to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I am here to inspire you. Today I tell you; take your place on the stage. The show will go on!

So will you be a part? I have held a few jobs in my day, which means I have worked with a few different managers. One Manger once told me that it is fine to move on to a new job. His quote to me was, “Stick your hand in a bucket of water and see how much it is missed.” I never saw eye to eye with that one. Another person told me when I was about to leave a job that “The show will go on without you.” I was pretty cool with that Manager and he was right. The show went on without me.

Anyone who has been around the entertainment industry is familiar with the phrase “The show must go on!” This is why they have people in backup role who are ready to take over if anyone gets sick or cannot perform. The show will go on. The show must go on is an attitude that must ring true to the very heart of any performer. Do you want a place on that stage? The show will go on with or without you. You have nothing to lose by trying to be a part of the show! Take your place on the stage.

Now I will also tell you to earn your place on the stage. No one is going to hand it to you without any strings attached. Beware the gifts that come too easy, there may be string attached. So earn your place on that stage and be a part of the show.

There is a movie called Bandslam where a garage rock band takes the name, “I can’t go on; I’ll go on.” So my point, be a trooper and go on. You have nothing to lose by trying. You will learn nothing if you don’t at least try. Earn your place on the stage. When I look back over my life, I failed at everything I never really tried to do. When I did what I loved, it was easy to get up and do my thing. It has always been easy for me to get in front of a crowd. I am telling you, there is nothing to fear. The show will go on. Will you be a part of it?

Just try.


Copy, Paste Leadership is not Leadership:

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  People who have been reading this blog can look at this title and say, here we go again.  They know where I am headed, for you new people let me explain.  Copy, Paste Leadership is not Leadership.  Take a minute, stay with me and see where this goes.

Leadership is a blanket term, sometimes used to cover management, sometimes used to set the best example; and sometimes used to delegate work to others.  Leadership is a topic that is studied by many and taken to heart by few.  Leadership means doing the best for others by setting the best example, or at least this is what I believe.  Sometimes others believe in leading based on the title, or by fear or some other sort of derived power like “Might makes one right; or who has the most money.”  Leadership is a topic that is often studied but it is how it is embraced that matters.  Leadership is something you have to learn based on your situation and your moral compass.  True Leadership is serving others and teaching them to how to make wise choices so they can in turn help others make good choices.

Copy, Paste Leadership is a watered down way to learn Leadership.  Copy, Paste Leadership is where you only copy what others are doing to make yourself look good.  Copy, Paste Leadership is when someone imitates a Popular Leader but does not take the teachings to heart, or does not care more about those who follow them than they care for themselves.  Have you ever seen a Manager who breaks all the rules they tell others to follow?  Have you ever heard a Manager say one thing and then do other?  Have you ever seen a Manager who is nice when their bosses are around, but not so nice when they are clearly in charge?  These are all examples of Copy, Paste Leadership.

True Leadership, Real Leadership for my nickel, dime and time is based on Servant Leadership and the teachings of the Good Sheppard.  Care more for those who follow you than your care for yourself.  Learn the truth for yourself and then teach others to learn for themselves.  Feed a man fish and you feed them for a day, teach a man how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.  The Bad management examples I set in the previous paragraph are not True Leadership.  A Hypocrite is not a Good Leader.  Copy, Paste Leadership is Not Good Leadership.  Copy, Paste Leadership is not Leadership.  To really learn to be a Leader you must embrace the teaching against your own moral compass and your inner voice.

If you are only following someone because of the money, than you could very easily fall victim to Copy, Paste Leadership.  True Leadership is based on Common Ground, Common Direction and Caring for each other beyond personal gain.  True Leaders embrace and take to heart the well-being of those around them.  Copy, Paste Leadership is selfish and does not care for others.  You will not find the truth by coping others.  You will find the truth by searching your spirit and acting for the common good of others before yourself.  Your success will be the by-product of others success.  This is why I believe that Copy, Paste Leadership is not Leadership; it is Bad Management.

I have never climbed the same mountain twice.

To be clear I have never climbed a mountain. I have been to mountains and I have seen mountains in my dreams, but I have never climbed one. I am typing this post after thinking about it for weeks. I am typing this post after learning of a tragedy on one of the world’s most famous mountains. I type this post in honor of those who guide others up mountains both real and metaphorical. I have never climbed the same mountain twice.

Imagine for a second that a Rich Man decides he wants to climb a mountain. So he trains his body and prepares his mind to climb a mountain. As he learns more and more about the equipment he will need to aid in his climb and the condition he needs to be in to endure the terrain he also learns that he should hire a guide to help in his journey. He asks for the guide who has successfully climbed the mountain the most times to help increase his chances of success. The rich man asks around and finds the most experience guide he can find.

After asking around and picking a guide, the rich man sits with him to ask him for tips. He asks the guide what is the secret to climbing a mountain so many times. The guides simple answer “I have never climbed the same mountain twice.” This answer confuses the rich man at first. You have climbed this mountain many times; everyone says you are the best. Again the guide answers “I have never climbed the same mountain twice.” “How can that be?” asks the rich man. “A mountain is a living breathing thing” the guide replies. “Each time I have climbed the mountain it has been different.” The rich man began to understand when the guide asked him about his business. “You have made many business deals have you not?” “Yes!” the rich man replied. “And where they all the same?” asked the guide. “Of course not.” answered the rich man. “It is the same with the mountain.”

I have looked at my dreams and the only time I have failed is when I only looked at the mountain and never climbed it. Each time I have climbed the mountains in my dream, each time I have tried I have learned something new; even if I have never made it to the top. Sometimes I wake up from the same dreams, of being in school and not being able to find me class room, or not being ready for a test, or not being able to run. I have these dreams over and over at night; but it is my daydreams that I really want to see come true. I dream of being a successful musician and a better leader and maybe a motivational speaker one day. I dream of growing wiser not older. I dream these dreams over and over; and each day I approach these dreams, my approach changes. The dream may seem the same, but it always slightly changes based on where I am at in life. Each time I climb the mountains in my dream I have learned I never change the same mountain twice. Each time is a new experience and a chance to learn something new and take that knowledge with you on the next attempt. Each attempt to chase the dream has an effect on the dream itself.

The only failure in chasing your dreams is to not try. Each time you try you will see, it is never the same mountain twice. I have read many books and have been told many stories on different people’s journey to fame or success. Yes there are basic common principles that stay the same, but the stories are all different. It is never the same story just like it is never the same mountain. See your dream as a living breathing thing and do not expect things to go the same way as you have planned or the same way twice.

I have tried time and time again to chase my dreams, and I am still trying. I have climbed those metaphorical mountains and learned something different every time. I have never climbed the same mountain twice. My thoughts in prayers go out to all the people who put their lives on the line so we can climb mountains and chase our dreams.

Learn through Listening and Lead through Learning.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I am trying to spread a positive message that we can all still learn to chase our dreams. I am here to spread a message that we can all make a difference. The best way for us to make that difference is to find common ground and help build a system where everyone can share in the benefits. The best way to make a difference is to unleash the Leader that is inside of you. The best way to unleash that Leader is to learn to listen and learn to lead.

In the past year, I have learned the power and importance of active listening. If you have read a few of my posts, you may know that I am a musician at heart. I have spent more than half of my life making music and entertaining people. I play the Drums and I play Bass Guitar in a Praise Band. I am not ashamed to admit it. Most of the times I end up playing the Drums because I am the only Drummer that shows up on a consistent basis; I would rather play the Bass Guitar, but I have also learned that you can have more influence if you are willing to do what is needed the most. If you are willing to show others that you will put the good of the group in front of your personal aspiration, the people in the group will respect you more. There was a time that I played the Bass Guitar without a Drummer playing in the group and it just did not sound right, it did not sound correct. I learned that I was making a bigger impact filling in on the Drums whenever we needed a Drummer than playing the Bass Guitar, the instrument I would rather play. My Submission, My Commitment and Servitude to the group has helped me in my quest to help the group grow and give it direction. People can see I am willing to do what is needed most (play the drums) rather than what I would like to do most (play the Bass Guitar) for the good of the group.

When I play the Drums, I have learned to listen very closely to the music and provide a solid foundation and accent what is being sung and what is being played by everyone else. I have learned to provide a steady beat and make space for others to shine through and accent what they are doing. I have learned that sometimes a Leader let’s others take the Lead and provides support for them. I have learned because I listen to what others are playing and not just expect them to follow what I am playing. I have learned to become a better leader by becoming a better listener.

When I play the Bass Guitar, I have to listen very closely to the Drums and Accent the Beat while also providing the Foundation of what the Guitar and Keyboards are playing. Lots of times I do not have an amp or any stage monitor when I play the Bass. I have to hear what is coming from the Main Sound System. This means I am one of the last person to hear what I am playing on the Bass. I have to listen more actively and more closely than ever when I get a chance to play the Bass Guitar. I also have to think and prepare to play whatever is needed most. Most weeks it is the Drums, Some weeks it is the Bass; I have to be ready to do both.

Some people think a Leader should be better at everything than everyone else. That is not true. In my opinion a Leader gives others a chance to shine and supports them the best way they can. I have learned by being ready to do whatever I am called to do is the best thing for the group. Because the rest of the group knows I am willing to sacrifice for the good of the group, they listen and appreciate the suggestions I make. They also listen to music I have been sharing with them. More and more of the songs we are playing are on CD’s I have shared with others in the group. By playing the Drums and Playing the Bass, by showing I am actively listening; I have learned to become a better Leader. I have also been trying to teach others, basic lessons for people who say they want to learn the drums. I have been showing basic exercises for Guitar and Bass Players to improve their skills. I also must challenge myself to keep improving and keep getting better; to be ready to do whatever I am called to do.

I have learned to become a better listener; and while being a better listener I am learning to become a better leader! You can do the same. You can learn by listening to those around you; and you can lead by showing them you are listening to and meeting their needs. Learn to lead through active listening! Learn through listening and lead through learning.

Perception versus Reality:

Perception is not Reality. I have heard many Leaders say that Perception is Reality and I understand why they say it. But a Leader cannot afford to teach something that is not true and then fall victim to their own false teachings. So here at 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, I am forced to take that other view. I am here to shake up the status quo. Let me state it again. I understand why some Leaders say Perception is Reality, but I am here to say that Perception is False Reality. Stick around and let me explain.

Perception versus Reality:

Perception is what people think they see. It is how something appears to be even if they are not quite what they appear. Perception can be based on someone’s mood, state of mind, and prejudgment. Reality is Reality. Let’s use a Movie as an example. If you do not know a Movie was made that appeared to be a News Report; you may perceive the Movie to be true. Now imagine someone replaced your window with a Movie Screen that looked so real that you thought you were looking out a window. From your perspective, it would appear to be true until you tried to open the window and found out it was a movie screen. Reality is real, perception is a false reality. Perceptions can change, reality does not change. This is a very simple example, I know; but this is why a Leader should always challenge people to find out the reality and not make decisions based on perception.

Perception versus Reality:

Are you familiar with the term “Keeping up Appearances?” Have you know people who are really nice to you depending on who is around, and then will not give you the time of day when it is just you and them one on one? Have you ever know someone who makes it look like they are working very hard when the boss is around, but is the first one to slack off when the boss is not around? Have you ever seen some work really hard and then others take credit for their ideas? Every office and factory has the stories. Gossip, rumors and appearances are all based on Perception. Shouldn’t a Leader want to know the truth or should they play into the hands of those who are feeding their Perceptions? Have you ever been burned by the buddy system?

Perception versus Reality:

Why do we call it “Reality Television” when it should be called “Perception Television?” Let me ask you a question, “Do people behave the same when they see they are on camera?” The answer is no, some people pose for the camera and some people run from it. Some people crave attention and some people hide from attention. So imagine if you went to the mall and had two or three security guards, two cameramen, a lighting crew and a boom microphone following you around everywhere you went. To the people at the shopping mall, you would appear to be famous, even if you are not; even if it was all staged. So how much have you heard about “Perception Television” being Reality? Are you trying to “Survive” or “Keep Up?”

Perception versus Reality:

The reason a Leader should not say “Perception is Reality” is because this allows people to appear to do one thing while they really intend to do something else. A Leader should say “Live the Reality” or “Be the Reality” or “Make Reality the Perception.” I say this because we should all be striving to do our best and our best effort is what should show through. People need to find out the facts before passing judgment on any circumstance or performance. A True Leader should understand this; Perception can be based on Lies, while Reality is based on the Truth. Seek the truth and find the facts to learn the reality of any situation. Make Reality the Perception!

How to identify different types of leadership:

Managers, Supervisors, Directors and Executives are all consider Leadership by the companies and corporations where they work.  Leadership styles can vary based on the personality, history and belief system of the leader in question.  Helping you identify the style of leadership you are following can help you understand if you will be able to adapt and excel in your current situation.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  I don’t know everything, but I am convinced of what I know.  I have been in Leadership Situations and I have messed up more than once.  I tried to learn from my mistakes and my number one mistake is not being a better leader in situations from my past.  So again, I have studied different leadership topics and served under my share of management.  So let me break down the types of managers and supervisors you may encounter and maybe how you can deal with them.

I am going to do my best to explain (5) Five types of Leaders you may encounter.

1:  The “Dog Eat Dog” Leader

2:  The “Because I Said So” Leader.

3:  The “You should Know it” Leader

4:  The “Let’s Work Together” Leader

5:  The “Let’s Be the Best” Leader

Have you ever had to work for someone who did everything they could to make themselves look good or to make others look bad?  Have you ever worked with or for someone who had no problem bending and breaking the rules to win?  These are “Dog Eat Dog” Leaders.  They believe that if you are not cheating, someone is cheating you.  These are the worst Leaders and maybe the most common types of Leaders.  They are your typical movie villains, the lowest of the low.  So why do these types of Mangers seem to survive and thrive?  Money, the simple answer is greed.  You will move up and make more and more money while you are hiding your true nature.  You will cheat to win, and if you win you get rewarded; until you get caught cheating.  If you get caught cheating you will blame everyone but yourself until you lose everything.  So if you find yourself working for someone who cheats to win, do your best to stay on the straight and narrow and keep records of everything you do.  Keep proof that you are open and honest and do not be one of the ones who are cheating to win.  “Dog Eat Dog” Leaders don’t last, they move on.  Don’t be trapped in the house of cards they create for themselves.  If they are always blaming others when you meet them, sooner or later they will blame you to save themselves.

Have you ever worked for a Manager who only knew one way to do things, their way?  Regardless of what the rules say if you ask them the why and how of the instructions they give it, it comes down to “Because I Said So!”  Do this, “because I said so!”  Do it this way, “because I said so!”  This is all wrong, “because I said so!”  So how do you deal with this type of Leadership?  Always double-check the facts.  Maybe suggest another way but don’t push it.  If you do you may hear, “You fired because I said so.”  So always keep a good record of what you are doing and what you are learning.    Because I said so Leadership is not open to new ideas.  Sooner or later times will change, so be the one who can change with the times.

Have you ever asked a Manger or a Supervisor a question and their answer is “You should know that?”  They do not seem to teach you how to do things the right way, they seem to wait for you to do something wrong and then say “You should know that!”  These are Self-Starters who became very good at the things they do, but we never so good at teaching others.  They expect others to be able to dive in and learn for themselves.  “You should know that” Mangers and Leaders do not always create a learning environment.  Sometimes they are more worried about who gets that High Score than if the Team wins or loses.  Stay focused and learn as much as you can as fast as you can.  If you are a Self-Starter you will like this environment.  Be careful though, because the minute you miss something you will hear those magic words “You should have known that!”

Remember you favorite teacher in school, they one who helped you learn things for yourself?  Well not every Manager or Supervisor will be like your favorite teacher, but they are out there.  Some Leaders, the better leaders learn that it is better to work and learn as a team than to work as a collection of individuals.  Ever worked in a place where there were no Superstars, but everyone seemed to be happy?  Ever worked for a boss that was not afraid to show you how to do something and then let you go to work for yourself.  Ever worked for a boss who did not play favorites and tried to pair up everyone and let them learn together?  These are the “Let’s Work Together Leaders!”  They seem to make the best coaches and teachers.

Every now and then if you are lucky, you will get to work for someone who seems to be able to read a crowd and get everyone excited about things to come.  Every now and then you get to work for someone who seems to be able to make time speed up or slow down at their will.  If you are lucky, you will be able to work with a Leader who seems to be on a mission to bring out the best in everyone for the greater good.  These are the kind of leaders who make you believe you can find a cure for cancer or end world hunger.  These are the types of people who every politician claims to be very few people really become.  The “Let’s Be the Best” Leaders bring out the best in everyone.  They create a learning environment and they give everyone a chance to excel.  They don’t play favorites, but they are constantly coaching and mentoring.  They also seem to be surrounded by a strong network of coaches and mentors.  They rarely take credit or place blame, but seem to be constantly trying to find the best answer and new ways of doing things.  When you are lucky enough to be around this type of leader, learn as much as you possibly can learn.  This is the type of Leader you want to be one day!

Let’s recap how to identify different types of leadership:  If you are working with a “Dog Eat Dog Leader” watch your back and cover your tracks!  If you are working with a “Because I said so Leader” do the best you can but never push it.  If you are working with a “You Should Know That” Leader, keep a copy of the company standards and practices close at hand and learn as much as you can as fast as you can!  When working with a “Let’s Work Together” Leader, get involved and share as much as you can for the good of the team.  When working with a “Let’s Be the Best” Leader learn as much as you can because this is as good as it gets!

Are you working S.M.A.R.T.?

Are you Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets?  Are you working S.M.A.R.T. for short?  Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo where new Acronyms just kind of come to me.  Maybe it is all the just the same old stuff over and over.  So I hope I am picking worthwhile topics.  Are you S.M.A.R.T.?  I think all of us can be, we just have to try.  S.M.A.R.T.  – Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets!

So the first thing we need is a Target, a Goal, a Dream or a Vision.  What is your Vision?  What is your Dream?  What are your Goals to help you reach your Target?  Some people have a simple goal to keep learning.  That makes them appear smart.  You have to define your own target.  You have to be in touch with your own dream.  We all have dreams; some of us just stop listening.  Start listening to your dreams again and set some goals no matter how small they may seem, to help you reach your target.

S.M.A.R.T.  – Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets!

Now if you have a Target, you need a Strategy to help hit you target.  Your Strategy is your Big Picture Plan.  It is the Executive Overview.  It is the view from the Airplane as you fly over a city.  Imagine you are a Hotshot who has a chance to pitch investors on your plan.  Can you convince them from the time you get on the elevator on the ground floor before the elevator reaches the top floor where they will go into a meeting and decide if they will give you a shot?  This is your elevator pitch.  What is your plan and simple Strategy that will make your vision a reality?

S.M.A.R.T.  – Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets!

Now if you have a Target and a Strategy, your next step is to break down the Methods needed to fit all the pieces together.  Let’s say your Strategy is to field the Biggest, Strongest and Fastest Football Team to Win as many games as possible and make the proverbial playoffs.  What methods will you use to make the Big, Bigger?  What methods will you use to make the Strong, Stronger?  What methods will you use to make the Fast, Faster?  See your Strategy is your Plan.  Your Methods are the Plans within the Plan.  It is all the little steps that will make the big steps possible.   Will you make the Big Stronger and the Strong Faster?  How will you do these things?  What methods will you use and teach others so that the Big Plan comes together?

S.M.A.R.T.  – Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets!

As you are putting you methods in place to align with you overall strategy, you must stay alert of the ever change conditions of your surroundings.  What if your star players get hurt?  What if your competition tries to foil your plans?  Can the blind lead the blind?  No, you must stay alert to your surroundings and change and alter your methods so that your overall strategy still works.  You target may not change, but you path to the target may change based on ever-changing conditions.  I should say most of the time the path to the target will change.  This is why it is very important to stay alert.  What worked yesterday, may not work today.  What works today, may not work tomorrow.   Stay Alert.

S.M.A.R.T.  – Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets!

Of all the topics I am have discussed this far, Reaching is maybe the most important.  If you are not reaching for your target, what good is having a target?  If you are not reaching for your target, what good is having a Strategy?  If you are not reaching for your target, why invest so much time breaking down your methods?  If you are not reaching for your target, why are you staying so alert?  Reaching for your Target is what brings it all together.  The effort you put in will directly affect the results you get out.  Smart work is still work.  There is no reason to work hard if you will not stay on target, but being on target is still work.  It still takes effort, you must, must, must reach for your goals.

S.M.A.R.T.  – Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets!

Are you S.M.A.R.T.?  Anyone can do it really.  If you have to boil it down to the simplest example, stay alert and keep reaching for your dreams.  That is basically all it takes.  Everyone can do it.  You can do it.  Work S.M.A.R.T. Strategically, Methodically, Alertly Reaching Targets!

Saying is easy but doing is where it is at.

No this is not proper English; No this is not grammatically correct.  It is easy for people to say what needs to be done.  It is harder to do what needs to be done, but that is where it is at.  Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  Bear with me, let me explain.  Saying is easy but doing is where it is at.

Where it is at; what is it?  To understand it, you must understand Mojo, Moxy, the power of the cool factor.  Sometimes I wonder if I have it, sometimes I am sure I have it.  Sometimes I wonder if I am miss-understood.  Other times I am convinced I am on the right track.  My track is to get people to stand up for what they believe in and take action.  My track is to inspire people to do what they believe needs to be done.  Doing is where it is at.

How many times have you heard someone say that someone should do this, that or the other?  Someone says that someone should do.  How come people are always waiting for someone else to do the things they say they believe in?  Saying is not where it is at.  Pushing it off on others is a cop-out.  Saying someone else should do it is basically just complaining.  Doing is harder, it takes guts and it takes faith.  Doing is where it is at.  If you believe in something, take action.  Get involved.  Find out the truth for yourself.

So all of us have a choice, I think the choice is obvious.  Learn to do for yourself and then teach others to do for themselves.  Doing is where it is at.  So again, I say learn the truth and learn to do for yourself.

Do I know the truth?  That is a subject for another day.  Today I declare that saying is easy but doing is where it is at.  Be a doer.  Be a person who puts their words into action.  Doing is where it is at!