Thursday, July 31, 2014

Make Yourself Unforgettable

Originally posted by Life Leadership member and an exemplary Leader himself Mr. Steve Leurquin.

God bless, Scott Johnson


In living out my purpose in life helping others, I meet hundreds if not thousands of people for the first time every month.  When I first began this journey I was so self conscious that I would try to impress them as fast as possible with the words that came out of my mouth. After reading many books and many hours of experience, without a doubt I know the best way to be unforgettable to someone is to become a great listener.

The Dale Carnegie Training book: Make Yourself Unforgettable, teaches how to make a lasting impression through class. In a world where everyone is talking but nobody is being heard, becoming unforgettable is as simple as becoming a good listener.

Some common mistakes when listening to others:

*Rehearsing – Thinking of what you will say and not hearing what they are saying.

*Evaluating or Prejudging.

*Story Topping.

*Truth Telling – You are fixer so you “tell them how it is” as they are telling you a stressor in their life.

*Fault Finding – Disagreeing with them for the fun of it.

*Placating – Not listing but saying things like “Really” to appear that you are listening.

*Derailing – Taking over the conversation.

Now, we are all guilty of doing each of these mistakes at some point in our lives. The idea is to not beat yourself up about it rather know what they are so we can identify them in the future. This would be the defense of good listening. The offense of good listening is taking a proactive approach and not focus just on what bad listening is, but also focus on what good listeners do.

What good listening is:

*Make listening a conscious choice – make a decision to become a good listener.

*Put your expectations aside – Hear what they are saying and not what you think they are saying through your filter.

*Ask Questions

*Maintain eye contact

*Pay attention – focus Danielson! Don’t check out!

It is funny that when my influence was smaller, I did most of the talking. Now I found that most places I go, I do most of the listening and yet now I lead much larger groups of people. I find that people are so hungry to be heard in a world that does not listen, you become a person of class when you will truly listen to them to inspire them to reach the the life they have always wanted to live.

Hope this helps! It has helped me immensely!

Steve Leurquin

The Journey of an Idea

Originally posted by Life Founder and Best Selling Author Chris Brady.

God bless, Scott Johnson


Ideas are funny things, and everyone seems to have some sort of idea about ideas.

For instance, one famous quote (usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but which is actually a misquote of an earlier statement by him) goes like this:

"Build a better mousetrap and people will beat a path to your door."

But a more accurate quote, which I'm sure all of you who've had good ideas can agree with, goes like this:

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." --Howard Aiken

Take wheels on suitcases, for instance. Now there's an idea so good, as soon as you see it you can't imagine how anyone ever got along without it. But would you believe that we put a man on the moon a full two years before we put wheels on suitcases? Probably because we didn't have an American President making speeches and compelling a nation to pull together and fulfill the grand vision of figuring out a way to "make our baggage more mobile within a decade! Ask not what your country can do for you . . . ."

But one man, Bernard Sadow, had the idea for wheeled luggage, and (would you believe it?) he actually had trouble selling his idea! You can read about him here.

In studying this topic and giving some talks about it recently (watch for my soon-to-be-released CD from Life Leadership's Launching a Leadership Revolution series, entitled "Jared and the Journey of an Idea"), I have decided to add to the already enormous body of thought on the subject. It might not be a good idea to do so, but hey, good ideas are hard to launch. So a not-so-good idea? I figure I may as well give it a try. So here goes:

An idea goes through many stages on its journey to fruition:

1. Realization - you see the problem to be fixed, clearly, and perhaps for the first time

2. Mechanization - the method by which you "think it up." It may be a brainstorming session, a conversation with someone, or an accidental occurrence (the invention of Post-It notes comes to mind)

3. Assimilation - the combining of previous ideas into a new one

4. Inspiration - the catalystic spark or insight that puts it together for the first time, and the desire to change the status quo that pushes the process along

5.Germination - most ideas are not hatched fully formed, instead, they need to grow and blossom under more thought and consideration (and even discussion)

6. Elation - the passion that arises when pursuing a real improvement or breakthrough

7. Confirmation - when you first begin to realize you've got it, and evidence suggests that it really will work.

8. Dissemination - the act of forcing your good idea down other people's throats!

Of course, there are many additional "ation" words we could throw at this, but, um, that wouldn't be a good idea.

What's helpful in this is to realize there's a process by which most good ideas come to life, and by considering these steps, we can put ourselves in a position to be more creative and better at problem solving. Let's look at the 8 steps again with an eye to how to apply them:

1. Make sure you have invested the thought time to clearly identify and classify the problem, truly understanding it as thoroughly as possible. Be sure to work toward the root cause and avoid being misled by the symptoms.

2. Take steps to actively generate possible solutions. This may involve gathering with others, making sketches, having a brainstorming session, benchmarking the competition, or just playing around with things.

3. Realize that most new ideas are just combinations of previous ones, and ask questions such as, "What could we combine that has never been combined before?" and "What do we already have available or have already done that could be synthesized into something new here?"

4. Provide motivation to yourself and your team by visualizing and vision-casting success and a new, desired reality that will be brought about by the solving of this problem or the creation of a breakthrough idea.

5. Provide healthy nurturing and incubation for your ideas, allowing them to be considered openly without having to survive the negative attacks of "It'll never work" and "Not my idea." Keep egos and reality tests away from your new ideas when they are young and give them time to morph into something real.

6. Enjoy the process and refuse to become frustrated, which often shuts down creative channels. Instead, foster the enthusiasm of a treasure hunter nearing the red X on a map.

7. Carefully test your new ideas to verify their validity, and have an open process for analyzing how effective they might actually be in the real world.

8. Have a process for sharing your idea outward into your organization (or the world)  that allows it to first be received by those who stand the most to gain by it, thereby gaining momentum and strength before it attracts critics and detractors.

But the most important thing to know is this: the future can be whatever you want it to be, you merely have to think it up!

At least that's the idea.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

Forum

Friday, July 25, 2014

LIFE Leadership: Wisdom For Families

Originally posted by Life Leadership Founder and Best selling Author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson


My good friend Michael Hartmann sent me the best message on how he applied some of the LIFE Leadership principles within his family.  This is another example of why I believe the true successes in LIFE Leadership are not just the people who reach LIFE Coach levels. Rather, the true successes in LIFE and life, are those who seek wisdom everyday to improve themselves personally and professionally. For when a person improves themselves, he/she makes life better for everyone around them.
In the early days, Chris Brady, Terri Brady, Laurie Woodward, and I, once we realized what an impact the leadership training was having within our small community, made a commitment to never stop learning and growing. Regardless of the size compensated community, we believed becoming a person of character was job one. Imagine the national transformations if everyone sought to gain wisdom like Mike and Tonya Hartmann have to become better leaders in all areas of life.
Do you have a story to share how LIFE Leadership products helped you respond with more wisdom than the scripts you learned? If you do please share them with me. Who knows, you might be the next story featured on my blog. This is Part 1 and I will post Part 2 later this week. What an inspiring story!
Sincerely,
Orrin Woodward

The Mission

I have a hero in my life. His name is Kyle. He’s 14 years old stands 5’ 7” and weighs 115 pounds. Oh, by the way, he’s also my son.
Three weeks ago, Kyle was supposed to go on a mission’s trip to Copper Hills, Tennessee, through Keystone Community Church with the youth group and youth pastor. In a period of three months, Kyle raised over $300 in donations to cover his cost of his trip.
It was awesome to have Kyle find it in his heart to want to be part of a mission of higher purpose than I ever participated in when I was 14 years old. The opportunity to learn an incredible life lesson presented itself before the trip even began and is the inspiration for this blog. My profound respect for Kyle really comes from what happened the night before he left and how Kyle stood up to his greatest fear and how he learned a very valuable lesson that I’m sure he will carry rest of his life.

The Attack

I was out of town and leadership convention in Columbus, Ohio. My wife Tonya was with me but, due to an unforeseen circumstance, needed to leave early and was home Saturday night. I’m thankful that she was home because without her presence I don’t know how things might have turned out.
I called home at a break and talked with Kyle to see how he was doing. Tonya told me Kyle was really upset. He no longer felt excited about the trip. On the contrary, he was unsure of himself, trepid and anxious of the coming week.
I asked Kyle what was on his mind and out poured the unfiltered, emotion-filled dissonance:
“I’m quiet. I’m shy. No one talks to me. I have no friends. Please let me stay home. Please don’t make me go on this trip.”
Think back to time when you were 14 years old. That’s the onset of ninth-grade and, for all of us who survived those trying times of high school, you can probably empathize with how my son felt at this moment in time.
When feeling stressed, my natural reaction is one that was modeled to me from my father when I was an adolescent. Strict, straightforward, and blunt. There wasn’t much negotiation in the house in which I grew up. Maybe, some of the readers can relate to the“Because I said so” upbringing. This was my instant reaction:
“Kyle! You have been raising money for the last three months. We have been preparing for this very trip that entire time! The entire youth team and church leaders are expecting you to be there tomorrow morning. You need to suck it up, get a grip, and stop this doubt because you are going tomorrow. Make no mistake about it.”
Well, that went over as well as you can probably imagine. Kyle shouted back in the phone, “You don’t understand and you don’t care! I’m hanging up!”
And then he really did hang up.

The Turn Around

I immediately called back and Tonya answered the phone. My words were exactly this, “I think that went really well…”
To which Tonya replied, “What conversation are you a part of?”
I realized how insensitive and uncaring I was at that moment in time and asked to speak to Kyle again. While she was getting Kyle back on the phone, I meditated briefly and asked for wisdom & intercession, so that I would be able to share some of the leadership principles (that I have been studying for so many years) with my son to give him a different perspective and help him in his troubled time.
I started talking to Kyle and just offering perspective on what was truly happening here. I don’t know where you, the reader, may be spiritually, but here are some of our core family beliefs:
  • There is a God.
  • That very God created and calls each of us by name.
  • That we are meant for greatness.
  • That there are forces in this world that actively and constantly attack us and tear us down in order to stop us from achieving our true life mission and purpose.
  • Those very forces come out in full fury in the moments that we are about to accomplish some of our greatest achievements.
I shared the following conversation with Kyle to enlighten him on what was exactly was happening in his life:
“Kyle, you’re 14 years old and you are about to do something great. You are specifically going out to help a family in Copper Hills who, for whatever reasons, are living a life of poverty in this great nation. They need your help and it’s been on your heart for a long time to be part of this mission trip. What’s happening at this very instant is truly spiritual warfare. And you need to recognize it for exactly what it is: nothing more than a bunch of lies masquerading as doubt, fear, and worry.
“You see Kyle, you are about to accomplish something great. Something that you will look back on the rest of your life with pride and a sense of accomplishment, and the feeling and satisfaction of knowing that by your actions you made a difference in someone’s life.
“And what’s happening to you, right now, is you are under attack! These negative forces want to stop you dead in your tracks because they know that if you falter at this moment in time they will have secured a foothold from which to attack you and remind you of your ‘failure’ for the rest of your high school career and for the rest of your life. They want to prevent you from moving forward in a positive direction tomorrow and in the other opportunities you’re going to have in your future to make a difference.
David_Goliath
“At this very moment in time, you are facing your personal Goliath. And he looks big, and scary, and mean, and he is launching his insults and doubts at you. Your Goliath is shouting his lies at you and he wants to stop you right now. And here’s the real problem:You are listening. You are listening to the voices in your head that are calling you out, that are labeling you as someone less than you really are; that are creating a distorted reality which appears intimidating and it’s creating fear. You’re listening to the voice inside your head and that voice isn’t you. That voice is tripping you up before you get your foot out the door to do something great.
“And I promise you this: You can beat him. You can go to battle you can face your Goliath. And you will win. I know because I had to do this many times in my life. And every person who walks the earth needs to do this on a regular basis if they plan on accomplishing greatness with the time they’ve been given.”
I paused to let what I was saying sink in. I asked Kyle if he wanted to learn how to turn this around. Through a quiet voice, Kyle told me he did.
“This is how you go to battle: You need to stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself. Action conquers fear. This Goliath is accusing you of being shy, of being quiet, of having no friends. He looks as if he is a giant and he’s intimidating. But I promise you this:Goliath is nothing more than a sheet of paper standing there with nothing behind his picture.

“You need to stop listening to yourself & start talking to yourself.”

“Kyle, you need to confront your Goliath. You need to be a man walk up to him and knock him over. And you do that by talking to yourself. You need to start using your mouth and your voice to silence his lies.
“Remind yourself right now that, ‘I am outgoing. I am funny. I make people laugh. People like to have me around.’
“Remind yourself how much your family loves you and that your mom and dad wouldn’t knowingly send you in an area that we knew would harm you. As a matter fact, I know only good will come out of this!”
“Kyle, start repeating those things out loud. That you are a winner. That you are a champion. That you have what it takes to go to battle and win! Kyle, you are 14 years old, a young man. You’re not a boy. And you’re not an adult yet. But God has placed you in our care so that we can help you along this battlefield and help you cross it successfully.
“I promise you this Kyle, from the bottom of my heart: If you choose to go to battle, you will defeat this Goliath and for the rest of your life you will remember tonight as the night where you learned one of the most valuable life lessons that you possibly can learn: You can battle Goliath and, when you do, you will beat him. Once you learn that lesson, your entire up-and-coming high school existence is going to be so much easier because this is so powerful.

“You can battle Goliath and, when you do, you will beat him.”

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Rule of Law in Western Civilization

Originally posted by Life Leadership Founder and best selling Author Orrin Woodward.

God bless, Scott Johnson

Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.
Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.

Winston Churchill once wrote:

There are few words which are used more loosely than the word “Civilization.” What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained. 

That is Civilization—and in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former wise or valiant men becomes a rich estate to be enjoyed and used by all.
Today, this view is becoming increasingly ignored as the State seeks to gain more power over society. In the video below I discuss some of the ramifications of the Rule of Law on liberty in Western Civilization.

Sincerely,
Orrin WoodwardLIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board