If you aren't #PushingTheEnvelope in your work, you are #KickingTheCan on your progress.
Yes, I said work.
Yes, I realize you are a student.
Your education is your work.
Your work will one day be your vocation.
Your vocation will either be a J-O-B, or your greatest opportunity to leave a legacy.
You don't have to settle for anything less than chasing greatness. And in order to do that, you will come face to face with moments when you have a choice to make.
Do I go with comfortable, or embrace risk?
If you always choose what you know is predictable over what could be, you'll sacrifice breakthrough moments.
Hence my tweet today...
If you aren't #PushingTheEnvelope in your work, you are #KickingTheCan on your progress.
Sing whatever little song you need to, so that you remember this...
Stop #KickingTheCan on your progress.
Are you longing to be a more effective leader?
Great leaders do this one thing REALLY well...
They lean on the wisdom of a mentor.
They lean on the accountability of a partner. (Gym, AA, spouse, etc...)
They lean on the value of anticipating the needs of their team. (SERVE)
They lean on praising progress regularly, so they can leverage small wins into huge gains.
They lean on seeing risk through their vision as a foundational asset, not a liability.
Leaning is a posture of seeking.
As you think about what you are longing for as a leader, start your week by leaning.
Because leaners learn.
That's a leader others want to follow.
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.
Have you ever found yourself stuck?
The kind of stuck that has you frustrated?
We've all been there.
Life throws us a curveball.
We were hoping to make contact, but then we swing and miss.
And after we swing, we realize the pitch wasn't as good as we first thought.
How do we respond in those moments?
The ones where it feels like there is a stadium full of people watching us strike out.
It's been said we can't hit what we don't swing at.
But I think we are missing out on some equally solid perspective.
We can't hit what isn't in the strike zone either.
If the pitch is high and tight, low and away, up and in...making contact is doubtful. And if it's a wild pitch or a pitch-out? Well, you get the point. We aren't getting on base swinging at offerings like that.
We aren't going to make progress by swinging at bad pitches.
I think sometimes we place so much value in putting our head down and pushing forward, that we miss the point. There is a more effective way to move forward. It requires more patience (that's not always easy). It requires more persistence to "foul-off" a few pitches that we aren't sure if they are strikes or not, just to keep the at-bat alive. But in the end, there is a common goal we are trying to reach.
Getting on base.
Listen...if you are finding the pitches aren't there today...stop swinging.
Stand in. Don't leave the batter's box. You can't get on if you aren't in the game.
Be patient. With a watchful eye, value the swings you don't take as important too.
And at the end of it...when enough bad pitches come?
Enjoy the moment when you can...
In the next blog, we'll talk about what to do once you're on base.
That's just as important.
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.
When we change our perspective,
we change the trajectory of our story.
That thought popped into my head today. I took off towards my office to write it down, so I wouldn't forget it. When I got there, more came to mind. I wrote, or rather scribbled...feverishly...so as not to miss any of it.
Then I pushed my chair back slowly...and stared at the words in front of me. Bits and pieces of clarity came the longer I looked. And this is what I ended up with.
3 ways we can tackle the obstacle in front of us...
With that said, I have no idea which of the three you relate to most. But I have a sense that you do. I have a feeling one of them sticks out to you, like one of them did to me. And whatever one does, it's time to act on it.
Because for you, me, and everyone else around us...it's what we are being called to do.
I'll leave you with one last thought.
If we know that progress waits for us on the other side of our obedience, why is it that we are so addicted to our preference?
Might it be that we are so comfortable in our obscurity, that we really only like the idea of change...not the implementation of it? We need to get to the point where we see our obscurity as the obstacle that is keeping us from walking into our destiny.
Whether we need to...
Look under it, move around it, or climb over it...
Just get it done.
The trajectory of our story depends on it.
And if you still need motivation to do it?
If we act, it can impact someone else's life for the better. If we stay put, we value our preference more than what someone might get as a result of our obedience.
#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.
Sometimes the interruption we weren't planning on,
is the intervention we've been waiting on.
What's it going to take to get our attention?
If the answer we thought we needed looked exactly like we thought it would all along, what exactly have we been waiting on to move forward? If, on the other hand, we've felt stuck, frustrated, or otherwise not able to pin-point the solution to our problem...perhaps what we didn't see coming is the answer to what we've been waiting on all along.
So let's start our week.
But let's also not be so driven that we miss an important exit.
Every great road trip will inevitably come with at least one detour.
The destination doesn't have to change,
but the route getting there likely will.
Be flexible to the interruption today.
It just might have the answer you've been looking for.
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.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.