What Will You Give Up To Make It

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

ToughChoices1-1Today at Performance I Create, we discuss THE most hated requirement of success, sacrifice:

…when you want success or wish it on other people we must be realistic and prepared for what comes with that territory. Success, however you define it, typically starts off uncomfortable. Reality is that the initial stages of “making it” suck. It’s down right unnatural. We must allow ourselves to be pushed … 

Click HERE for the full article and please share!

Check out my post and those of my fellow contributors for relevant, in-your-face, performance altering insight at Performance I Create!

Unlocking Your Full Potential

I look for analogies and learning opportunities in everything. And while making sure not to miss any teachable moments with my children, I often find myself over-analyzing the shows they watch on television and pointing out the life and work lessons in them. I’m actually amazed that my son is still willing to watch his shows with me.

Saying that, one of my son’s favorite toys/shows is Lego Ninjago. Short synopsis, the four main characters are young ninjas that are charged with battling evil doers trying to take over the city of Ninjago and surrounding areas. Early in their development, their Sensei (Wu) taught that each of them had special and unique powers/abilities that they must find within themselves and tap into. This process was often referred to as “Unlocking Their Full Potential”.

Throughout the season, the four ninjas competed with one another, fought alongside one another, trained and eventually believed in their abilities enough to evolve into the Ninja masters they were born to be. But just like with any team, drama and issues arose because some evolved and unlocked potential before others. So as expected, egos were bruised, jealousies arose and self-doubt set in.

Don’t we all know someone like that? People that are so talented and driven…but never quite realize and/or unlock their full potential. Is that you? Carrying so much promise inside, only to have that potential stifled by fear and uncertainty. Do we too often put our dreams on the shelf and under-perform because we’re worried about what others will or won’t say about us or how are teammates might react.

After 13 episodes, the formula for successfully unlocking one’s full potential looked something like this:

SenseiwuteaAccept Tutelage
When someone is available to teach and mentor, take advantage of it! We miss our opportunities to grow and evolve sometimes because we fail to listen to those that have been in our shoes once before. Sometimes we have to just shut up and listen. There are no new issues, just different people having them. There is wisdom out there to be obtained, we just have to be receptive enough to apply the principles that we acquire from those that have been there before.

Patience Is Still a Virtue
In seeking to unlock full potential, one must understand that just because others around them are moving up and ahead, the time still might not be right for you. Be happy that promotion is in the neighborhood and stopping at your neighbor’s home. Being happy and celebrating others for their good fortune will make your wait better and may even bring about something even bigger and better for you! We must be careful of what we ask for because we just might get it before we are ready for it. But that wait makes receiving it just that much better.

Ninjago GroupThere Is Strength In Numbers
We shouldn’t have to go through everything alone. As strong as we are, we still occasionally need support and someone to help us fight through our development difficulties. From cheerleaders…to people to bounce ideas off of…to people to emulate, we need a good team. And don’t worry about your ideas or opportunities being taken from you, as true potential can’t be stolen from you because it’s predestined to be yours. There is no need to be guarded because those around can’t take what’s rightfully yours…and celebrating your successes are a lot more fun with a great group of supporters.

Each of us has something special on the inside that is just waiting to come out and shake the world up. The only thing holding it back is us. Once we listen and learn how to tap into it, exercise patience and surround ourselves with the right influences, there’s no telling how far we can go and how much evil we can defeat.

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You’re A Leader. Quitting Is Not An Option

Happy New Year!!!

I couldn’t think of a better way to begin the New Year than posting over at Performance I Create!

Over the holiday break, I became overwhelmed by all of the things I had coming up in the 2014 and contemplated quitting a few things. Here is a glimpse into the thought process I used in working my way out of the that stressful state.

Quit“Between juggling all of your tasks, everyone else’s responsibilities and then the occasional bout with self-doubt, leadership is tough! I wish I could tell you how to make it easy, but I can’t. You DO have to deal with all of those things and it IS tough. So how do you keep from running away?”

Please click HERE to view the remainder of the article and please share!

Check out my post and those of my fellow contributors for relevant, in-your-face, performance altering insight at Performance I Create!

Professional Irrigation

According to Justin’s Labor Statistics, a lot of people get unhappy with their jobs during this time of year.  Holiday sadness and stress can make people feel as if they need a change and the cold and blahness outside affects everyone’s moods.

The-Grass-is-Greener-on-the-Other-SideBut the worst thing to do when feeling blah is to make dramatic, life-altering decisions, like leaving a job just because something looks a little greener across the street.

I liken it to the grass in my yard. I know that during this time of year my yard looks like crap. Everything is brown and dead. But as I drive through my neighborhood, there’s this one house where the landscaping is still immaculate, despite the climate. The yard is full of color and all kinds of pretty crap (I’m a yard hater). While I never see the residents actually in the yard, it’s evident that they are doing something that I’m not. But yet I use their end result as a barometer to measure my success, not fully considering their effort and struggle to achieve the results.

If I want my grass to be green like theirs, I have two choices…take over their house or figure out what it takes to improve MY yard. Notice I didn’t say “figure out what they’re doing and replicate it at my place” because my grass might need different care than theirs.

Even if I were to kick them out and move in, I’d soon learn that if my habits and actions do not change, that once green and supple yard will begin to look just as dry and brown as the one I so eagerly ran from. Just wanting it to be a certain way isn’t enough.  It’s about the work we’re willing to put in to something that yields the results we seek.

Hate your job? Are you watering YOUR grass!?!? Are you tilling the soil, researching what it needs and caring for it properly? Are you investing enough time to make it work or are you just doing the bare minimum that just keeps it presentable? Are you spending the time to get to know it, what it reacts to, much like the relationships with co-workers and clients? Are you tackling your issues with a one-size-fits-all solution (like a mower) or are you using a variety of tools and focusing on details.

Man-watering-grass-in-desert-550x550Picking up and moving without a plan doesn’t fix the issue, you fix the issue. And if it’s deemed unmanageable after you’ve tried everything, by all means, call in the experts or relocate.

By watering your own lawn (current situation), it can be just as green and productive as the next person’s. We can’t prosper always worrying about what someone else has and always thinking that you have to find something else to be happy. The reality is that if you do something different or creative where you are, you’ll create something that others will want to emulate…and there will be no reason or time to hate on the plush greenness in someone else’s yard.

Don’t Tebow Yourself

The old saying “Pride goeth before the fall” helps remind us that we should be careful not to be too proud and overconfident.  Misplaced or ill-timed pride causes us to make mistakes that ultimately lead to our defeat or downfall. This isn’t the “take pride in what you do” kind of pride; but the “You can’t tell me anything…I got this…I’m too good for that…My stuff don’t stink” kind of pride.

New York Giants Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette StadiumRemember Tim Tebow?

  • Heisman-Winning Quarterback
  • 2-time National Champion at the University of Florida
  • Poster boy for good behavior
  • Ex-Denver Bronco
  • Ex-New York Jet
  • Ex New England Patriot.

All of these “Exes” have led him to be an Ex-employee of the National Football League. Not because there weren’t opportunities to play (offers from NFL teams at other positions, The Arena League and The Canadian Football League), but because Timmy has a pride issue.

“Past accomplishments do not guarantee future successes. We must always adapt and be flexible with our plans.”

Mr. Tebow is like many of us today that have our minds made up too early and get stubborn. We are determined to do things our way, even when our way may not be the best for the situation. If it’s not my dream job, then it’s beneath me and I’m not taking it! As a professional athlete, he clearly has talents and abilities, but he wants a position that all 32 of his potential employers don’t want him in or think he’s ready for…right now. He wants to be a quarterback, typically the highest paid, most influential, critical and high profile position on a team. Games are won and lost at this position. Owners invest in and rest the future of their entire company on the skill, decision making and leadership qualities of this one person.

3t0rvwWe want positions or jobs right now that we are not ready for…right now. It may be that we need to learn a different skill, grow to become more familiar with that particular organization and how they do things, or we may quite frankly need to take what we can for now, show our value and move up in the company! Who does that anymore? Right, that’s the problem. Everyone wants to graduate and move straight to the C-Suite. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

To help put things in perspective, as a Nashvillian, I’m a Tennessee Titans fan. On game day, our “reserve” or 3rd quarterback is Damian Williams, a Wide Receiver who has admitted that he has no interest in playing that position and hopes that he never has to! All it would take for him to assume the quarterback position during a game is 2 bad plays; one injuring Jake Locker (the starter) and another injuring Ryan Fitzpatrick (the backup). But he’s there, he’s dressed for the game (being paid) and while his chance of taking the reins on game day is minuet, he has one. And isn’t it better to have the chance of winning a shot at the position you want while being employed, than to be sitting at home (not being paid) hoping that someone will bring your name up when there’s a need or an opening.

The bad pride will cause us to be underemployed and unemployed. Everyone can’t start at the top. Somebody has to occupy the other roles on the team and those roles are critical to the team having depth in case something happens. And when that un-glamorous work is done well with the good pride, people take notice and opportunities come available. Decision makers in your building will see and recognize your character, work ethic and commitment to the company, along with your willingness to help in whatever capacity to help the team win. A position may even be created FOR you if you make the most of your opportunities, but there are NO options if you’re not even on the roster.

“Get on the roster and then we can talk about dream jobs.” – Justin Harris, 2013