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In the last month Rick Pitino the basketball coach for the Lousiville Cardinals had some explaining to do.  It just came out that he had an affair with a lady in a restaurant and then paid her to have an abortion.  This finally all came out after she tried to extort more money out of him.

I have been on both sides of the fences with this one.

Would you trust him with your son?  Would you trust your daughter with one of his players?

If Rick Pitino was not coach of a program that made tons of money off of his successes would he still have a job?

Do we have higher expectations for those in the spotlight than we do for ourselves?

Do people in the spotlight screw up as much as we do, or are we just able to hide it better because no one really digs?

These are just a few of the questions that came to my mind.

We as a society are willing to look over a multitude of bad judgments if you “JUST WIN BABY.”  Our society is that of winning is the solve all and end all. 

I was having a conversation with one of my friends about how a coach acted and his comment was “It doesn’t matter if he wins.”  I almost went ballistic!  So what you are telling me is a coach can act like a complete a-hole and totally misrepresent the school and yell and curse.  But if he winds all of the other things don’t matter?

Maybe that is what is wrong with society.  We value winning so much that we will sacrifice our morals and ethics of the long term to WIN NOW.

Got an email from Bob Negen of Whizbang Marketing on encouraging people.  He talked about putting 10 pennies in your pocket everyday.  As you start to encourage people you switch pennies from one pocket to the other. 
I got to thinking about this idea and tried it for a day.  I found it hard for myself to do.  Not because I don’t like giving encouragement, but I don’t like being duped into being nice.  I did it well for a couple of days and then I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I felt like a machine giving out my 1.25 compliments every hour.  
Why was it so hard for me?  I am a big believer in your motives for doing things.  I have a hard time telling people they did a great job on something when they are basically begging for it.  Not because they don’t deserve it but because I feel the only reason they are doing it is to get noticed by others.  I know this is a little selfish of me but it is kind of how I work.  On the other hand when I do things I make sure I am not doing them for recognition as much as possible.  Every once in awhile the selfishness in me will pop up and I will want some credit but I then ask myself why?
Instead of encouraging people I am going to work on consciously having conversation with people at work.  I want to know them not only on a work basis but on a personal basis.  If I know how they tick and what is going on in their life I find it a lot easier to encourage them.  If I know what is going on in there life I can adjust how I deal with everyone.  Everyone is different and shouldn’t just be treated as a penny.
I love the penny idea.  It just doesn’t work for me.  I am more about the motives behind it all.

From one of the blogs that is AWESOME called Zen Habits by Leo Babauta comes a great post on Getting Things Done .

Everyday comes a new challenge if you are going to start the habit of getting the right things done.  It is a conscious effort you make every day on getting the most important and right things done.  How do you go about that every day.  These are the steps I am trying to take to get the most important things done each day.

  1. Start the Night Before: Before the morning of your productive day comes the night of preparation. Write down your three things you need to do for the day and fill in the little rocks as you go.
  2. Get The Biggie Done First: Start the day with your hardest of the three challenges of the day.  Concentrate on that and only that.
  3. Email is Not Urgent: Email can wait until mid morning.  Deal with what is in front of you first and then look at the other possibilities.
  4. Look to Delegate: As you get more busy look for tasks that others could do at least 80% as effective as you.  Then you should delegate.  As a leader you need to be looking ahead.
  5. Celebrate: Take time at the end of the day to celebrate and reflect.  Start a journal or just take time to sit and think.  Too often we don’t take the time to celebrate and end up not being present.

As you look on trying to get things done.  Don’t focus on more things, focus on the right things.

How is it that Leaders can sometimes be the most lonely people.  Is that the way it has to be?

I have felt that being a leader can be one of the more lonely experiences.
Why are Leaders Lonely?

  1. Leaders Push: As a leader you are always trying to push for more.  You want to be the best you can be and you want the company to be the best also.  So you are trying not to get to content.  Some people are fine with the regular routine and resist change.
  2. Leaders Avoid: Leaders avoid the gossip and chatter that is so prevalent.  Leaders don’t talk about others behind their back.
  3. Being a Leader is Uncomfortable: Instead of talking about the people, leaders need to talk directly to them.  Which can be very uncomfortable.
  4. Leaders Love Pressure: Leaders thrive under pressure and don’t have the luxury of avoiding that.  They make the tough calls when they need to be made.

Being a leader is never easy and I have found that it can be kind of lonely.  People give you a lot of looks and feelings of “why are you doing this?”  Try to relate to those around you but take a stand that you want to bring out the most in yourself and in those around you.

Are you going to lead or blend in with the rest?  Be different and step up to the challenge today.

Push yourself out of your routine, take a different way to work, eat with your non-dominant hand.

Why are we so afraid of being uncomfortable?  Is it because we are afraid of failure?  Are we married to our routine?

Everyone around you talks about routines and making sure that you stick to your routines.  Routines are great but routines also make you not notice the things around you sometimes.  They sometimes keep you from having that conversation or noticing that thing that was different.

If you are going to form a routine, form a routine about doing something that is uncomfortable.  Talk to that person across the room that you would never talk to.  Try a new item on the menu at a restaurant.  For that matter try a totally different restaurant all together.

In business try go a day without internet or email.  Force yourself to talk to customers and ask them questions.  Find out more about people you work with.  Try something physical that will push you to your limits such as running, lifting, or playing sports.

There are so many other ways to try to grow yourself.  Why not make yourself a little uncomfortable today?

What are you doing when no one is around to hold you accountable or to check on you?

Try this crazy idea for a week:

Work harder when people aren’t around than when they are.

If you say you aren’t doing anything for selfish reasons, this will reveal your motives very quickly.  I know I always say I don’t do things to get recognition.  This is the litmus test for that also.

I have had many discussions lately about what is right and not right to do at work and if sometimes you are expected to do more than others.  In my opinion I want to be expected to do more than others.  I want that challenge because I know that is the only way I am going to get better.

Whatever you are doing at work you should be proud of if there was a camera spying on you somewhere.  That is the type of integrity you should try have.  Why not?  With all that’s going around us right now at least each one of us could start get the integrity rolling.

John Maxwell wrote a great article on how Leaders fall into these three categories:

1) Takers

Takers receive and never give. They are the people in life who have a me-first mentality. They try to extract as much as they can from the relationships in their lives, and they rarely, if ever, consider giving back.

2) Traders

Traders receive and then give. Traders will only send you a Christmas card, if you’ve mailed one to them. They picture relationships as an equation in need of balance. If someone helps them, they feel a debt of gratitude. If they aid another person, they expect a favor in return.

3) Investors

Investors give and then receive. These are the people who give purely for the joy of giving. They add value to others, not as part of a cold calculation, but as a habit. Although doing so may not earn them an instant return, in the long run they reap the gratitude and goodwill of those they have helped.

Which type of leader are you?  If you are a true leader, in my opinion, you need to be an investor?  Investors don’t need the instant gratification that others do.  It is not about them.

Great article on How to Express Yourself as a Leader by George Ambler at the Practice of Leadership Blog .

You need to personalize it and be authentic.  Don’t give book mumbo jumbo.  Make it your own.  Be able to express it in your own way

Many people go out of their way to try to be a great leader but they have no idea why.  They really don’t like people, all their leadership ideas are straight out of books, and they don’t know how to connect with people.

Why can’t you be more genuine as a leader?  Why can’t you take some time to think through some things and make them your own?

People do not like to follow robots.  People like to follow genuine people whose whole mind and soul goes into leading and making everyone around them better.  People want to be able to relate to their leaders and have a relationship to know they are real.

Who wants to follow a copycat?  Who wants to be a copycat?  Be someone so unique that others around you want to follow you because you are REAL.

No seriously, do it for a week.

Here are your Five Selfish Rules for the Week:

  1. Try get as much information out of everyone you know about themselves and how they think.  Try to find out everything they know about anything and everything.
  2. Don’t give them any knowledge that you have obtained throughout the years.
  3. Keep your mouth shut and don’t volunteer any information.  Why would you?  You just want to be the best you can be and don’t care about anyone else getting better.
  4. Only give advice or input when directly asked.  But responses can only be 30 words or less and must end with a question for the other person.

What would happen if we lived our life like that?  Would people view us as selfish?I actually think we would be viewed as quite the opposite.  We would be viewed as caring and selfless.  People would think we always put our own interests in front of our own.

If we wouldn’t be so busy self promoting ourselves by telling everyone how much we know and where we had learned it.  We could learn so much more.

P.S. Sorry about the first paragraph of facetiousness.  I was just trying to get my point across on how we would never be viewed as selfish if we were constantly asking others questions.

This is one of those things that still baffles me today.  We can sound so nice to people on the phone but people right in front of you get the left overs.  We will answer and talk on the phone in a whole different nicey, nice tone.  But Jane Doe in front of us gets the normal annoyed tone with the I don’t care body language.

Why is it that in business if there is a customer standing right in front of you waiting to give you money for a product we treat them awful.  We hear the phone ring, drop everything, including that customer, to talk to someone on the phone who probably isn’t going to buy anything anyway.  In a world where talk is cheap and actions say a thousand words what would it mean if the phone rang and you stayed focused on that customer in front of you.  The customer would say “Aren’t you going to get that?”  You would then reply “No, that can wait, I am helping you right now.  You came into the store and you deserve my attention and respect at this moment.”

WOW, what would that customer say?  Would they tell their friends?  I think they would tell their whole neighborhood.  Live in the moment and stay engaged with the people right in front of you.  Quit thinking your time is more important.

Lastly, don’t they always tell you to smile when talking on the phone because it makes you sound better?  Why don’t we just smile all the time?  Then we wouldn’t have to worry about sounding different on the phone and in person.  Instead we would be beaming with positivity to everyone around us on a daily basis.  People are attracted to those who smile.  So keep smiling and see what happens.

June 2018
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Learn & Lead

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