Category Archives: Leadership

Just do it.

Start today.

One small step at a time.

Just do it.

Start today.  One small step at a time.  Take five minutes and double check the facts.

Just do it.

Take 15 minutes to practice or meditate or pray on it.

Start today.

Take five minutes to double check the facts.  Look at both sides of the story.

Just do it.

Set aside 15 minutes a day or an hour a week, but stick to it.

Start today.  One step at a time and then build on it.

Just do it.

Start today.

One small step at a time.

Take five minutes and double check the facts, look at both sides of the story.

Build on it, 15 minutes a day and then add a little at a time.

Just do it

Start today

 

It is OK to want to be great.

It is OK to want to be great.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  No one made it to the top by accident.  Sometimes people are born on top and if they are not careful, it can all be taken away.  For the rest of us, we will need to figure out how far we want to get in this life and a strategy to get there.  It is ok to want to be great.

Will you work for it?  Again, getting to the top is not an accident.  Will you do things the right way or will you look for short cuts.  Remember, it can all be taken away.  It takes an attitude, it takes focus, disciple and energy.  There a lot’s of ways to get to the top, not all good and not all bad.  Wanting to be great is not enough.  Are you ready to keep getting better until everyone else says you are great?

You can tell yourself how great you are the livelong day but that does not make you great.  Effort, disciple, focus, practice, coaching are elements that go into being great at anything.  It is OK to want to be great, if you are willing to put in the time and keep getting better.  Then when enough people say you are great; you won’t have to say how great you are, you can just say “Thank you.”

It is OK to want to be great.

Will you allow yourself to be coached?

Do you have something that you love to do and what to get better at it? Will you admit to yourself that you have something missing that you need to learn?  Will you take active steps to find a mentor?

Many years ago, I set out to become a better DJ. I was a freelance DJ doing parties and a few wedding here and there.  I was not able to grow my freelance business through word of mouth.  I did not chase gigs.  I figured if I were good, word would get out.  I was stuck in a never-ending cycle of low paying and low quality gigs.  Keeping up all the equipment was not cheap and decent paying gigs were few and far between.  I swallowed my pride after reading a few books on leadership and looked for a booking agent.

I called a bunch of DJ services and one got back to me in 24 hours; this was the place I wanted to join. The other guys, if you can’t be bothered to call me back in a timely manner, even if it is just to leave a message, well you won’t be my first choice.  After two interviews and an audition gig, I was told to upgrade my equipment.  After spending thousands of dollars on new equipment and doing a second audition gig I was handed a full calendar of bookings after my second week with the company.  Did I have to swallow my pride?  Yes!  Did I have to take notes after each gig?  Yes and that was the reason I was giving a full slate of bookings.  The owner told me pointblank; you did everything I asked you to do.

I had to learn to take coaching input and get better because of it.

Now many years later I have been getting out and doing some public speaking. Trying to motivate others and help people find jobs by volunteering and paying it forward to others.  Would I like to be a full time public speaker one day?  Well I would like the option.  Now because I have helped others find jobs, I have been very fortunate to keep my career moving forward.  Now I am in a position where I am expected to give presentations as part of my job function.  In prepping for presentations, I have been coached and mentored by others in the company.  I have had to swallow my pride yet again, and it has made me better because of it.

Sometimes being coached and mentored is not an easy process. The goal is to get better, so you may have to admit where you are weak.

Now read these lines very carefully. Do not compromise your morals, principals or ethics to be coached.  Sometimes people are put into comprising situations because of money, power or fame.  Do not be one of them.  In each case where I was being coached it was a win / win situation for both parties.  I got a better job, extra money or a better career path and not by selling myself or getting taken advantage of in the process.  Never get caught up in the hype or promise by shady characters.

Coaching and mentoring should be an open and honest process not something that is conducted in the shadows or behind closed doors. Allow yourself to be coached, allow yourself to be mentored; but do not become a target and be baited into a bad situation.

So listen to the inner voice. Allow yourself to become better at what you do.

Learn from everything but focus on the good.

Learn from everything but focus on the good.

The world is full of good and bad.  Learn from everything but focus on the good.  The world is full of darkness and light, learn from everything but spread light.  The world is full of choices, good news and bad news.  Choose to spread good news.

It is simple really, change your focus.  It will not change the world over night, but it will change what you are learning.  What you are learning can change what you are doing.  What you are doing can change your circumstances.  What you are doing and what you are teaching others can lead to success or failure.  If you are successful you may not change the whole world, but it can change your world.

It starts with leaning and where your focus lies.  What you focus on affects what you will learn, what you will say, what you hear, what you do.  Learn from everything but focus on the good.  Spread good news, spread truth, spread light and teach others from what you have learned.  Focus on success and not failure.  Be the person you want others to be like.  Be like the person you want to be.  You are not your circumstance, you are what you learn and what you do and what you teach others.  Learn from everything but focus on the good.

Spread good news.  Spread truth.  Spread light.  Focus on the good and teach others from what you have learned.

54 Weeks from now

54 Weeks from now.

Happy New Year.  Happy Holidays.  Merry Christmas.  All of those things.  As I sit here on New Year’s Day, I am reminded of my state of mind for the last few weeks.  As much as people like to celebrate where they have been and start a new, I find myself thinking 54 weeks ahead.  When Christmas and New Years roll around I as much as I am grateful for all that I have been through in the past year, I am also looking ahead to where I want to be next Christmas and Next New Years.

I am very thankful for all the oppourtunites I have been given and all the people I have met.  I am thnkful that I am able to keep learning and growing and pushing myself to get better at the things I enjoy doing.  I am more enthused and more optimistic than ever.  I wake up everyday knowing that the sky is the limit.  Thank God for good news, so I choose to spread good news.

Where do I want to be next year?  I want to keep moving forward.  I want to have produced 4 motivational workshops that are also fundraisers and volunteer drives for local charities.  I also hope to help others encourge and motivate and reach as many people as possible together.  I think that if we can learn to work together we can move mountains.  But it will be one brick at a time, so I reach out to people one at a time to spread good news and help others through coaching and mentoring.

Every Christmas and New Years I want to be one step closer to my goals, but I also find myself thinking 54 weeks ahead to the next Christmas and the next New Years.  Where do you want to be next year?  What goals have you set for yourself.  Dream big!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

2017 is a blank page. It is a clear slate.  It is a New Year, a New Hope, and another New Beginning for those who are willing to let it. Let it be new.  Treat every day as a New Beginning.

Everyday of 2017 I wish for you to have hope. Everyday.  Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve, start today.

Tell someone you love them and mean it. Call someone up and listen to them.  Encourage someone.  Teach a kid something new.  Do no harm.  Be honest and set a good example.

We can all start new in 2017 and we can start new every day. We do not have to wait for the New Year, start now.

David vs Goliath

David vs Goliath

We all have heard the story haven’t we? David and Goliath!  The famous story of how a shepherd boy took on a giant and won.  The story of the underdog winning against all odds.  This story has inspired countless people to face their fears.

Now I do not want to take one ounce away from this story, I would love to see people face their fears; this post is for me as much as for anyone. However, before David defeated Goliath, David had the courage to face a Lion and a Bear on separate occasions.  Before David was brave in battle, David was brave while tending sheep.  Now many of us want to be known as mighty conquerors; but will we put that same faith and bravery in the small jobs?  Before David could protect his fellow citizens, David was protecting his Fathers flock.

Will you be brave in the little things that will prepare you for the big things? How many of us would go out of way to save one sheep from a Lion or a Bear?  How many of us will put our trust in God to train us up for the big job (facing Goliath) while doing the little job that no one wants (tending to sheep?)  How many of us will even acknowledge that we believe in God and need God to show us the way?

Yeah, we all want to be known as giant killers, but will we listen to the inner voice that tries to guide us day in and out to get ready for battle? David said no to the armor and advice of the “Brave” warriors who would not face Goliath.  David relied on the skill and knowledge that God gave him while tending sheep.  Will you be loyal in the small things so you can be ready to face the big things when the times comes?

Will you be ready to face your Goliath? Do not rush it.  Spend your time being brave while tending to the sheep!

Things we take for granted.

Things we take for granted.

Lately my eyes have been opened to all the little miracles that happen that we seem to take for granted. Bear with me a minute.  Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.

Each morning I wake up and on most days I am up between 5:30 and 6:30 AM. My 5:30 alarm is my get a jump on the day alarm.  6:00 AM is if I feel like sleeping in a little, and 6:30 is the get up now or you will be late alarm.  I get cleaned up and get dressed and grab my to-go breakfast combo and drive into work.  Usually I am settled in at work with a cup of coffee between 7:30 AM and 8:30 depending on when I leave and how traffic treats me.  I may have to follow-up on a few e-mails, open up a conference call or visit a customer or two as I settle in at my new day job.  It was on a day very similar to the start of the day I just described that I realized how many things I take for granted every day.  I think I am not alone in being guilty of taking little miracles for granted.

Things we take for granted.

When I settle in with a cup of coffee at work I take for granted all the people who work in dangerous conditions, or who are not treated fairly or who do not have a job to go to at all. So now, each day I try to be thankful that my future is bright and a way has been made for me.  I also pray that others find a job, career or business opportunity they enjoy and do what I can to help.

When I arrive safely at work in the morning or at home at night, I take for granted all the people who sometimes don’t make it to where they are going. All those traffic jams and traffic accidents that annoy us, sometimes we forget it is a minor miracle that we have safe passage.  Now I am thankful for and pray that everyone has safe travels.

When I grab that to-go combo for my ride to work, sometimes I take for granted that some people have to go hungry or skip meals to make ends meet. So I am thankful for the harvest and the fruits there in and I try to pay it forward by donating to charities and volunteering when I get a chance.  I also invite and encourage others to do the same.

When I get dressed and I take an extra minute to pick out a tie, vest and or jacket I take for granted that not everyone has clean clothes to wear or work a job in a nice office environment. Some people have to dress for combat, others may have to dress for very harsh environments.  As I am chasing my dreams I hope and pray that everyone has a chance to live their dream one day.

And when I get up and hit that snooze button or cancel my early alarm for my later alarm, sometimes I take for granted that I woke up with another chance at a new day. I am thankful for everyday because every day is a new day and a new chance to not only take my shot in this life, but be thankful for life itself.

We live in the present, our lives are a present. Each day is a gift.  We need to learn to be thankful.  Do not take the day for granted.  It only takes a minute to stop and reflect on the little miracles that happen every day.

What does your career path look like?

Stop for a minute. Think about this for just a minute.

What if I told you to run for your local school board? What if you ran and won? What if you then ran for City Council two year later and won that race also? What if you then ran for Mayor and won that after two years on City Council. Then what if you ran for State Senate, then Congress, then Governor, then Senator and then maybe after President? What if you kept winning every two years you moved higher and higher up in politics? Would your family and friends be proud of you? Would they be happy for you? Or would they criticize everything you do?

Stay with me for a minute, just another minute. What if you went to college and took business classes and then started working after graduation. You get a shot at a fast track program where you work for Six Months in Four Separate Areas of the Company. Then after Two Years they make you an Assistant Manager and then after a year or two you are managing your own Department. Every couple of years they move you into a new Department with Manger Level responsibilities. Then after 6 or 8 years of moving from one department to another you become a Director? Again would your family and friends be proud of you? Would they be happy for you? Or would they criticize everything you do?

So know, what if every year or two you switch jobs? How will your family and friends treat you? Will they tell you that you can’t keep a job? Would recruiters call you a job hopper? Will people even ask you the circumstances? If you are getting closer and closer to the job you always dreamed of, every time you switch jobs; you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. What does your career path look like?

Listen, there are only three types of jobs out there. The job you have, the job you need and the job you want. If you don’t have a job, find a job. If you have a job and it is not what you want, find the job you need to bridge the gap and get you closer to the job you want.

Job hoppers do not always just hop around because they are not working out, sometimes they are getting closer and closer to the job they want. It may be for any number of reason that someone switches jobs. I have heard that 70% of people switch jobs because of their boss. This does not speak to highly of Leadership, I can honestly say the number one reason for my job searches has been to find a better fit for my combined personal and professional life.

Job Hoppers get a bad reputation while people on the Fast Track have a Good Reputation, so how do we battle that perception. Keep your job search focused on what closely aligns with you Professional and Personal Goals. Never take a job purely because it pays a few dollars more than your current job. Look for opportunities to learn and grow professionally and look for opportunities that also fit your personal goals and your personality. If you and your bosses personalities do not mesh it does not mean that either of you are bad at your job, but there may be someone out their whom your bosses personality more closely aligns, just like there may be a Manager or Leader your may want to work with because they more closely align with your personality. What does your career path look like?

Do not worry if your family or friends understand. Some people where their length of service like a badge of honor. There is nothing wrong with finding a place you love to work and sticking to it. But that does not mean it will happen to all of us. The only thing we can count on is that times will change. Very few of us will be able to stick with One Company for life. Most industries are moving faster than ever. Will you let not looking limit your career choices?

Step one is to have some kind of goal in mind. Step two is to do a reality check. Step three is to make a plan on how you can move up inside and outside your company. Step four is to swing the bat. The last step is to realize no matter how well you have played, plans change. Change with the time. Improvise your plan not your goal. What does your career path look like?

Really honestly, what does your imagined career path look like? Can you find mentors and coaches where you are that can help you make it a reality? If so, stay where you are, if not, find them somewhere else. Sometimes if you and your boss do not fit well, it is win-win for you to move to another department or another company where there is a better fit for both parties.

Last but not least, do not let your family and friends pass judgment on you for changing jobs if they do not know or do not want to hear the details. You are the one who has to look forward to going to work every day. Find a job you look forward to going to everyday.

Again, remember; there is the job you have, the job you need and the job you want. Sometimes you may have to hop around once or twice to find not only the right job; but the right job at the right place and the right time, with the right team. What does your career path look like?

Surround yourself with people who want to be great!

I am amazed time and time again about something I have known for a long time now.  Friendly competition is what it takes to get better at what you do.  It is good to be around people who will work together to do great things.  It is good to be around people who will learn from one another and teach one another.  It is good to be in the middle of Friendly Competition.

Now there is Dog Eat Dog type of competition where people will cheat to win, and will stab each other in the back.  I do not want to look good by making other people look bad.  We are surrounded by these types of people.  Just turn on reality television shows and what do you see?  Turn on the gossip shows and what do you see?  I don’t want to live my life saying, “I am not as bad as so and so!”  So, I say; stay away from the dog eat dog type of people.  They still have to learn, and you can not teach them if they are not willing to listen.  You can not teach what you still have to learn for yourself.

Get around people who you see are doing the things that you want to do.  Scratch that, 1st pray, meditate, concentrate and study until you figure out what you want to do; then get around people who are doing the things that you want to do.  Stand back a minute and watch.  Who are the people who are helping and who are the people who are not.  Get around people who have a “Can Do”  Attitude and a teaching style that you can relate to; but make sure they are people you can trust.  Remember, stand back and watch from a distance from time to time to make sure people are who they say they are…

Friendly competition is when people compete with each other, but also learn from and mentor each other.  Chess Club may not be cool, but if you where on a Chess Team and you wanted your team to win a tournament, wouldn’t you want to win and also coach your teammates so they can win also?  Same with sports, same with business and the same with any hobby you may have.  Good coaches and teachers learn more than they teach because they keep their minds open and create an environment where everyone can excel.

It is very simple.  Learn – Teach – Learn.  If you wanted to win a track meet, wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with the best and practice with the best and learn from the best?  Wouldn’t you want to have mini-competitions before the big meet to gauge your progress?  Friendly Competition is a great way.  Create situations where it is win – win. Create environments where everyone gets better together.

We have a choice, we can lift each other up or drag each other down.  We can build each other up or we can tear each other down.  We can do our best to get better, or do our worst and get even worse.  Friendly competition is a lost art, but it is still an art.  It is worth studying and it is worth striving for.  Put yourself and those around you in a safe place where no one has anything to lose and everything to gain by working together.  Find out where some are strong and some are weak and work together so everyone can get better.  We all don’t see things the same way, and we all are good at different things.  Friendly competition makes this clear for all to understand.

When things make sense, they can start making dollars.  Some people are born on top, the rest of us have to climb are way their.  Which path will you take.  The dog eat dog path or the build each other up path?  I choose the build each other up path.  Surround yourself with people who want to be great and learn from each other.  Friendly competition lights this path.

Peace

Joseph Luellen