The world needs more tree shakers and basket holders.
There are enough low fruit pickers.
Substance and sustenance come from hard to reach places.
Scarcity and lack comes from the beaten path and crowded foot space.
Pair that with committed followers that will #CatchAndCarry what is coming.
Then you'll have a culture that can #ServeAndShare.
Now you are cooking with fruit.
That last sentence didn't make sense...but somehow you still got the point.
Why are you still reading?
We have a generation of young adults,
many of whom are struggling with making good decisions.
Let's highlight one area where this happens.
Students don't have an academic problem,
they have a vision problem.
And I'm not talking about their eyesight.
So what am I talking about?
Applying themselves in the classroom starts with an ability to understand why they are there in the first place. If the primary reason is because "they have to be", that ship isn't gonna sail.
The Millennial generation fell out of love with "because I said so" a long time ago.
How do you help an at-risk student achieve the success they want, you want for them, and what the world needs from them?
Stop telling them what to do,
and start helping them discover who they are,
so that they will buy in to why they are there.
They won't care about your "because" until they know THE CAUSE.
Why am I doing it?
Who will it help?
What problem will it solve locally?
What problem will it solve globally?
How will this class help me change the world?
We either start answering these questions intentionally,
or we will continue to see them struggle academically.
So we've identified the problem...
but HOW...how does it change?
What is the solution?
THIS PROCESS IS A START.
I've watched this process change thinking.
I've watched this process change lives.
When you help them discover their vision,
they will want to follow direction.
Systems & structures aren't the enemy
of the Millennial generation.
Helping them understand why they exist,
and how their talents fit into this world?
That's the secret sauce.
Because when they know WHO they are,
they will know WHAT to do.
Or we can keep beating the drum saying everything we've been saying, changing nothing, risking even less...and expecting a completely different outcome. (AKA...rolling the dice)
I believe that's pretty close to the definition of insanity.
These 141 testimonials represent the hope that comes when we go first, change our approach, and risk more...all in the name of a generation that needs us to fight for them, not with them. (AKA...solving the problem)
How can you help?
Glad you asked.
Do you know someone in leadership at a University?
Simply share this blog with them,
and ask them to listen to the 141 voices for themselves.
Then have them call me, so I can tell them what made it happen.
(This number works best for that...716-672-9661)
Thanks for joining us in spreading the word.
You're the best!
"Are you truly alive, or just merely awake? Or, worse yet...sleep-walking through a life you should be race-running in? #Blog coming soon..."
That was a tweet I sent this past Friday. It wasn't some great inspirational moment that led to that thought. I didn't hear a speech that got me all pumped up. It was just something I felt led to share.
I want to toss a few questions at you today, to see if you can tell if you are "truly alive". If not, why not? Don't waste the impact you could be making, by sleep-walking. There are no guarantees in life. Tomorrow is a gift when, and if it comes to you.
So, with that said...
The difference between sleep-walking and race-running?
One is done when no one is looking, and no one knows the difference. Race-running is very much an out-in-front, everyone is watching, everyone can see and hear thing.
The only way we win in life is to enter the race.
Get off the sidelines.
Lace em' up.
Run your race.
Intentionality is kind of important.
Wait...that doesn't sound right.
On second thought, maybe it does.
I mean, its close enough, right?
Something is better than nothing.
At least I'm trying.
See...that's good enough.
Before you know it, we end up in a very average place, making little to no impact.
Intentionality gets it done and makes it happen.
Best of intentions means to, but never quite gets around to it.
Organizations that value intentionality put pieces in place to ensure it's existence.
One of those pieces is accountability.
One of the ways you make that happen is having a coach.
Go hire someone who's vested interest in you will never fade, whimper, or back off...
so that you don't either.
Where do you need a coach today?
Marketing and Branded Story-Telling
Building a Healthy Workplace Culture
Whatever it is, go find a coach.
Or...think about it.
Maybe for a little while.
Until something takes your mind off of it.
You'll remember it later, anyway, right?
It's understandable, because you are so busy right now.
And round and round the frustration merry go round you'll go...
Until you say...
"I CAn't do this anymoRE".
And you CARE enough to do something about it.
Still doubting the need?
The people coming to you, deserve the best from you.
When we realize the impact our work makes on others,
we value doing what we need to so that it's done with excellence.
Have you ever heard this quote...
"Stand for something, or you will fall for anything." (-Rosa Parks)
Most of us have.
But that is usually where we leave it.
I was reminded of that this morning as I read a blog by Jessica Bealer, where she shared the rest of the quote...
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground."
And then I did a little digging of my own. (Pun not intended...but amusing nonetheless).
According to Wikipedia, this is part of the definition of an Acorn...
"It usually contains a single seed (rarely two seeds), enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1–6 cm long and 0.8–4 cm broad. Acorns take between about 6 and 24 months (depending on the species) to mature."
This is what hit me.
And then I started thinking about how this applies
to building a team with a purpose.
Look at the three items I mentioned about the acorn. Ask yourself...honestly...if you have a plan in place to get the seed of who you are to become the oak tree you want to be as a team. If you aren't focused at the highest level, you'll fail to reach your intended and desired goals as a team. That isn't meant to scare you, but it should remind you...that without a plan that is clearly articulated day in and day out by every member of your team, you aren't implementing anything...you are hoping to get lucky.
The process of turning the single seed of an acorn into a massive oak tree requires the decision to be intentional. It requires that you care for the seed regularly, including protecting it from outside forces that could take it down. All of this so that one day it will stand as a reminder of it's influence on it's surroundings.
I'd encourage you to look at where you are today with your team.
Your heart is probably in the right place.
But unfortunately, heart alone doesn't get the job done.
I can walk out the door and toss an acorn in the ground,
and wait to see an oak tree pop up.
But it doesn't work that way.
Go spend 5 minutes reading THIS ARTICLE and you'll understand the real process required to prepare an acorn to be planted and nurtured to full maturity.
It works the same way when it comes to creating a successful team.
When you are done, sit down and ask yourself a couple of questions...
Is my organization just in love with ideation (thinking about it),
or busy doing the hard work of implementation (doing something to make it happen).
We all love the idea of becoming the oak tree. BUT...are we doing what is necessary to sow the seed that gets us there?
There is no shame in asking the hard questions, and getting the help to implement an actionable vision. There is, however, regret later if we don't do it now. That's just real life. Being able to say "no regrets" after the fact, starts with knowing we did everything we could before the fact.
I'm hopeful this post was a source of encouragement to you today.
Reach out to someone who knows how to help you through this process.
Your team needs you to lead at the highest level. Sometimes...part of leading, is leaning on someone else.
It starts with the commitment to reach out.
Some people will think you are nuts for asking.
That's when you know you are about to create something of significance.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground."
The joy of "arrival".
"If I could just get there, things would get better".
Except the part where that's a lie.
Things get better when we embrace the journey for what it can teach us, rather than treat it as an inconvenience standing in our way. There are people, experiences, and yes...even obstacles, waiting to teach us who we are and why we exist. They will challenge and refine us. They will force us to choose between what we think we need, and what we actually need. They will force us, thankfully, to look beyond what we think are our limitations. And in the midst of that grand collision of change, uncertainty, joy, fear, hope, desire and the rest?
We need to slow down long enough,
to appreciate the leverage that tension provides.
It will keep us from falling over the emotional cliff of overreaction.
It will keep us moving forward fast enough,
to avoid a rest that becomes a personal pity party.
It will keep us right where we need to be today,
so that we can learn from our surroundings on the way.
I don't know what journey you are on today.
But I am sensing that if you only value arrival at a destination,
you'll be missing some pretty amazing stuff along the way.
Let today serve as a reminder that when "getting there" seems like the end game...
Being present today, in all of your faculties, is.
Enjoy the journey, my friend.
It's a gift.
(As I type this blog I am on my porch, sitting in overcast, gloomy weather. As I typed that last sentence...I'm finding it more than a coincidence that the sun burst through the clouds, made me have to squint just to see my screen, and offered a warm reminder that all of this is true.)
Have you ever been in a situation where something is said
that feels like a personal attack?
It's possible it's not about you,
but rather a reflection of something someone else is going through.
You can dig your heels in and prepare to win the argument,
or soften your tone with a presence that deflates the tension.
We've all been there.
The next time you are, try this approach...
Don't take it personally, think through it critically.
Solve the problem, don't attack the person.
Offer a solution, instead of defending your position.
And above all...
honor the person in front of you the entire time.
Deflating the tension starts with proper perspective.
Value the person in front of you,
over the position in the argument.
The ride was go pretty well. I had made it up some hills without feeling like I was going to have a coronary. The breeze as I rode cut the humidity, making it feel like I could go for hours. And then it happened...
I turned a corner and met a headwind.
A 90 degree turn, and the circumstances of my ride changed drastically.
Have you ever been there?
One second everything is going great, and the next...
you are being force-fed an obstacle of epic proportions?
Here is what I did...
I changed gears.
I adjusted to my surroundings, so I could keep moving forward.
Life is like that too.
At some point we are going to hit a headwind.
How we respond is everything.
Shifting allows us to adjust so that we can continue to pursue our destination.
Taking the same approach when something isn't working is obstination.
Shift when you hit the headwind...
(and notice I said when, not if, since we all will.)
You'll be back up to cruising speed before you know it.
And let me be clear.
Shifting is about making an adjustment that keeps you on course to your original destination. It's not about an abandonment of the plan just because it got hard. Your original vision (who you are and why you exist) doesn't change because the winds do. It doesn't even change what you believe. It simply means it's time to think on your feet and alter how you are doing what you are doing.
Shift how you do what you do if you need to,
so that you can arrive where you are called to.
If you are leading the way, you are the one out in front. The very nature of being out in front means you won't have someone to follow. Learning how to be comfortably uncomfortable in this space is a must if you plan on longevity as a leader.
You'll see things others don't see, and get told they doesn't exist. Not because they don't, but because they can't see it...yet. If you are going to stop going after it, based on their doubt in it, you are giving up your ability to lead.
If you are wrestling with whether or not to move forward with something,
perhaps the best thing you can do is ask yourself this question.
Is the work you are doing worth the criticism doubt brings,
until the rest of the world see's the value in it?
If it is, carry on.
Go all in.
If it isn't, move on.
Find something that is.
We get one go around in this race called life.
The permanent impact of our work has to matter more
than the temporary discomfort of criticism.
There is tremendous power in not caring what you look like to a few,
so that you can lead at the highest level for many.
Embrace being comfortably uncomfortable.
The world needs more of you!
The expectant life.
We have the expectation part down cold.
We don't have to be taught to want more.
That's effortless for all of us.
But we are missing something when all we do is expect more,
without doing something that will make it happen.
Where is it found?
An expectant life starts with embracing a sacrificial lifestyle.
We can't expect more, expect change, expect progress...
without embracing a sacrificial lifestyle.
Until we've given something up for it,
we haven't really committed to it.
I'll go first.
Since my college soccer playing days, I haven't taken care of my body.
I'm not overweight, but I'm out of shape.
I have back pain on a daily basis.
And it's correctable.
For the past couple of weeks I started doing something about it.
I've seen progress.
And to see more, I'm going to have to sacrifice more.
I want to today. It's a good day.
I might not want to tomorrow. I might be sore.
But I'm all in.
I can't expect to feel better about myself, if I keep giving in to what's easy.
What do you need to sacrifice so that you can realize the expectations you have?
The expectation that comes from a sacrificial lifestyle,
creates a contentment that is undeniably incredible.
Because it's not just about us.
It's about others.
It puts us in the position to care for,
and pour into other people's lives.
And that, my friends, is a life clicking on all cylinders.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.