Settling is stopping short.
To settle in is being content.
In either case, where you are may not be where you thought you'd be by now. It may not be where you want to be right now. And it may not be where you know you could be by now.
All of that can either paralyze you, or propel you. It can hold you back, or launch you forward. It can frustrate you or remind you.
Wait...remind you? Of what?
Your past may have played a part in your present, but it doesn't have to determine your future.
There isn't one of us, myself included, that doesn't need to hear this from time to time.
There is value in a little self-reflection, to provide new direction.
It's at those moments that we have to decide if we are going to feel sorry for ourselves, and start settling for less than our full potential. Or...take a deep breath, settle in, and see things from a fresh perspective.
Be fully present where you are, who you are with, with what you have.
And when you start moving forward, bring contentment along for the ride.
Stop settling today for what your past is lying to you about. Stop settling today for who others say you are. Stop settling because the obstacles in front of you seem like they are too big to take on.
To believe your past is your launching pad, because it was your learning ground. To believe who you are isn't determined by the the insecurities of others. To believe your future is what you make of the opportunities you leverage today.
And when you do...
Enjoy the contentment you find when you settle in, because you've committed to stop settling.
Sacrifice pride to a process, and you'll experience progress.
Every time your team takes the field, the boardroom, or the stage of whatever it is you do, ask yourself this question.
Are you rolling the dice on personal preference or a vision-driven process?
Leadership requires the willingness to take risks. The problem with that statement is that immediately we associate risk with craziness. We think that means doing something irresponsible.
The harsh reality for some is that what they are doing isn't working, and they keep doing it because they've convinced themselves it's the responsible thing to do.
I'd argue that for some teams...the risk they need to take requires a commitment to a structured process. If everything you've tried flying by the seat of your pants isn't working, there is a common denominator in all of your decisions.
Personal preference breeds predictable chaos.
No matter what kind of team you have...
_____________. (fill in the blank with any team of people)
The risk you may need to take is trusting a process. Trusting a vision. Trusting that the person on either side of you will do the same. Because trusting in preference has gotten you nowhere.
And any team that turns a corner is always led there by someone who was willing to go first. Not because they had a guarantee of success, but because they had the guts to stand up and admit what currently is, stands in the way of what should be.
Teams full of them finish first.
Roll the dice.
Take the risk.
On a process, not preference.
#Preference stunts #progress.
It's true individually.
It's true for teams of any kind.
And...it's completely avoidable.
It's very likely that what we each want pales in comparison to what someone else needs.
See your current situation from a different angle.
See it from the position of the people around you.
See it from the position of those who lead you.
See it from the position of those you lead.
When you see it differently, you'll be able to react accordingly.
We will lead at a higher level, when we serve at a deeper level.
But what does it mean to serve?
You could probably think of a bunch more to add to that list.
For now, let's agree that leadership isn't something we arrive at,
rather it's a lifestyle of service to others that we commit to.
When we look at our feet in the mirror,
are we leading in a way that leaves a clear path worth following?
How to have engaging conversations that connect you, not uncomfortable confrontations that divide you.
They all share the same commonality.
It's a daily struggle for all of us to communicate with those closest to us, avoiding the collision of emotions that causes those people to feel far from us.
Try this little exercise to reset your perspective...
You have two ears and one mouth,
so listen twice as much as you speak.
You have two eyes and one mouth,
see things from someone else's perspective before sharing your own.
You have two feet and one mouth,
walk in someone else's shoes before telling them why your way is better.
You have two hands and one mouth,
serve someone with them before you serve yourself by speaking.
You have two knees and one mouth,
your posture to kneel in the presence of God matters more than
posturing yourself as someone who knows it all by speaking too quickly.
As the old saying goes…
I'd rather be wrong and keep my mouth shut ,
than open it...act like a fool, and remove all doubt.
As you navigate all of your relationships today look for the opportunity to do almost anything first, and speaking second. You'll connect better with people around you. They'll sense you care for them.
Together you will gain access to a level of trust in your relationship that previously went untapped.
That's how we end up having engaging conversations that connect our relationships,
rather than uncomfortable conversations that place a division between us.
The first is about the value we place on the people around us,
the latter when we make it all about us.
That's a perspective that will bring joy.
That's an opportunity to live a life of purpose, on purpose.
That's a reminder I need., everyday.
I hope it's a reminder that is an encouragement to you today, wherever you may be…
to help you get to wherever you may be going.
Have a GREAT day!
Thank you for stopping by the blog.
It's an honor you chose to spend some of your valuable time here.
You've been asked to do something incredibly important,
but fear it won't work out in the end?
You've been incredibly inconvenienced,
because this moment wasn't something you had planned for?
You've been confronted with an easy way out,
knowing full well it won't end well?
There will come a time in your life when you will come face to face with something of great importance. But that won't be the challenge. That is found in the fact that it will be inconvenient, unknown, and have a built in escape hatch if you want out.
You'll come face to face with a life altering decision.
And here is the rub…
It will likely not have as much to do with you as you think.
It will very likely have to do with your ability to effect positive change in the lives of others.
Are you ready for that?
Have you decided ahead of time how you will respond to that moment?
We will all face a "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN?" moment in our lives.
Maybe more than one.
So the next time you are feeling the weight of great importance and inconvenience,
think twice before you take the easy way out.
It's very likely a legacy moment for you.
It's very likely a game changer for those around you.
Don't say no to the challenge, because you don't know what will happen.
Perhaps it's time to double down,
and beat "logic"…
Eventually your team is going to face difficult moments.
And as crazy as this may sound, it could even be an indicator you are about to accomplish something incredible as a result.
There is a fine line between that being the case, and chaos being the result instead.
Here is another way to look at it...
When something gets hard, our nature is to do these 5 things.
1. Look for the excuse
Give up because you didn't have a vision guiding you.
Giving up for the vision so that hard moments energize you.
2. We make the excuse
Give up because it's just too hard to do.
Giving up our personal preference to honor what we do.
3. Act like it’s no big deal
Give up because our approach didn't work.
Giving up our resources to double down on building stronger relationships.
4. Make it all about ourselves
Give up because of pride.
Giving up so humility could take root.
5. Lash out at others
Give up and walk away because we think we know better.
Giving up our wants to create an environment that takes care of others needs.
Have you seen the difference yet?
When we GIVE UP it's all about excuses, whining, comfort, stuff, and pride.
When we change our posture to GIVING UP it's all about decisions, sacrifice, relationships, humility and service.
The next time your team faces a challenge,
look at these 5 things, and ask yourself one question…
Are we about to GIVE UP,
or are we willing to start GIVING UP?
It's the difference between quitting and conquering,
stopping and doubling-down,
throwing in the towel and going all-in.
Systems & Structures.
What in the world do they have to do with wheat?
In order for any organization to grow, each part of it must have a distinct purpose. And the number one thing that prevents that from happening is our struggle to hold on to personal preference.
That piece you see in the picture looks nice. It appears to be growing, as does more around it. The ONLY way that happened was the fact that at some point, someone let go.
Someone intentionally planted a kernel of it so it could grow. Someone decided to give up "their right" to hold onto their way. Someone chose structure over wishful thinking.
It's the same exact way in our teams.
It's the same exact way with our vision.
It's the same exact way for our potential moving forward.
The moment we "die to personal preference" and submit to systems and structure, we begin to realize the real possibility of multiplication moving forward.
The moment we stop holding onto, "just as it is", is when we will experience the growth we've been looking for.
The moment our hands are free again, is when we'll be able to truly serve again. And that is really the point anyway. Any great team is always serving first, so that they are prepared to bring in the harvest later.
That is what it means to have systems and structure in place. That is what it means to experience order instead of chaos.
That is what it means to let go, so you can grow.
Anything less is just selfish.
Anything less is a set-up for frustration.
Anything less is walking away from your greatest potential.
Don't mail in your future, let go of your wheat.
That is how you multiply your progress,
in a healthy environment.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Part 4 is coming to a blog near you soon (this one).
Here is what we'll tackle in it...
4. You've got to be able to measure your progress. You must do this so that you know if where you are at this point will help you get to where you are called to go.
One of our greatest assets can also bring on some of our most unwanted setbacks.
It all starts with one word.
When what we think becomes the single most important element in our world, we've essentially stepped into our very own…
We "grab the microphone" and proceed to share (aka…preach) why we are right, and others are wrong. We've convinced ourselves that the other side of the issue is out of touch, uneducated and detached from reality.
And somewhere along the line it happens.
A team that was clicking on all cylinders starts to feel unsettled. Tension replaces calm. Drama shows up early and stays late. Gossip, infighting and rumors are standard issue.
Now…I'm not saying that just because you have an opinion that you shouldn't share it. But here is one way you can safeguard against your opinion becoming a stick of emotional dynamite.
Be willing to share your opinion freely while letting everyone know you aren't married to it if it affects your team's ability to stay focused on the organization's vision.
Stop preaching preference.
Preaching personal preference can destroy your team's performance.
Share your thoughts. Just be careful it isn't at the expense of your team's progress. Be passionate about what you bring to the table. Just be ready to let your view hit the cutting room floor if it needs to.
Tune in. Listening twice as often as you speak will allow you to hear with clarity what your team is sharing, while still bringing the incredible value inside your heart to the journey.
Enjoy the journey.
Enjoy your team.
There is no better feeling than arriving at the destination you were trying to get to, with the people you care the most about with you. And that only happens when you share the stage, not hog the pulpit.
Seeing yourself for the first time all over again.
It's likely something you've thought about. It's also likely that you dismissed that thought just as fast as it came, thinking it's not really possible.
If we are honest we just want the cash register to ring. We want to pick up a ringing phone and hear a donor on the other end pledging money to our cause. We want to check our online orders in the morning and see that "HUGE" order that happened over night from half way around the world.
That's all so very normal.
My encouragement to you today is to suspend the desire to see what we call "destination points" (transactions, donations and orders)…long enough to experience your brand for the first time all over again.
Look at the image in this post.
Slowly. Really take it in. How many people do you think actually line up two coffee mugs in a cafe and peer through them like they are a pair of retro frames of clarity? Probably not too many, right?
But the analogy hits home, doesn't it?
It's the perspective. It's seeing you, your organization, and your team through the lens of someone experiencing you for the first time.
Here are 5 ways you can do that right now…
1. Find one thing you've "meant to change" near your entrance and change it. Bring a visual appeal and experience that causes someone to pause, brings a smile to their face, and makes them want to reach for your door handle to see what else might be behind that one simple expression of joy.
2. Be intentional about affirming every team member you interact with. Don't mean to. Don't just think it. Don't wonder how they will respond to it. Be specific and intentional about letting them know how much they mean to your team. Say it!
3. Instead of asking someone "can I help you find something?" when they walk in, simply let them know how excited you are that they made the time to visit. They are after all a person, not a wallet. Treat them as such. Honor them for the relationship you hope to develop over time rather than just an order today.
4. Find a way to pick up some slack for a team member. Look early, often and consistently. It won't be hard to spot. Someone is likely having a hard day and you are the one that can relieve some of that pressure. You've got to fight to make sure your place of work is somewhere a team member WANTS to go to everyday…not HAS to go to.
5. As a leader it is going to be incredibly tempting to just "delegate" orders. Don't do it. Create opportunities that will be a reason to celebrate as a team when they are done. Be a leader of influence that excites and empowers, rather than a "boss" that tells them what to do.
If you'll embrace those 5 things,
you'll see your experience completely different than you ever have.
What happens if you don't?
If you ignore them? This is what you sound, look and feel like to your team and any customer/client that interacts with you…
You make excuses. I mean, you have the best of intentions…it's just stuff needed to get done because we needed more transactions, more orders. At the end of the day it's about you and your team knows it. They see you as an authoritative figure head that needs to tell others what to do.
It could look like this.
You are a decision maker. You are intentional about doing whatever you can to build relationships with your team and the potential customers/clients you have the honor of interacting with. Your efforts are outward facing because you'd sacrifice anything to make sure your team matters more than your personal preference. And as a result? Everyone sees you as a leader of influence that has created an incredible experience people want to be a part of.
It'll feel like the first day again. The joy. The butterflies. The expectation of incredible moments. Both for your team and for those coming to see you.
Every. Single. Day.
That is how you'll be able to…
see yourself for the first time again.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.