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chris@leadlifebig.com

You Get to Choose Your Response to Circumstances

As I look out my office window at the rainy weather this morning, I am reflecting on a quote from George Bernard Shaw – “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.”

My mentor Kary Oberbrunner says that VICTIMS lie in BED (blame, excuses, denial) while VICTORS put their OAR (ownership, accountability, responsibility) in the water.

Where do you find yourself today? Are you living as a victim of your circumstances or are you living as a victor by finding or creating the best circumstances?

It’s easy to look outside and be down about the rainy day, but I’m choosing to see it as preparation for the beautiful Spring season!

You have the power to choose your attitude and place yourself in the best circumstances possible. You have the power to make the most of whatever circumstances you find yourself in. You have the power to MAKE TODAY GREAT!

I’m in your corner cheering you on.

Go BE INTENTIONALLY GREAT today!

Put the 80/20 Rule to Work for You!

Are you familiar with the Pareto Principle (aka 80/20 Rule) that says 80% of your results come from 20% of your work? This is an often overlooked and under-implemented practice.

We often stay busy without thoughtfully evaluating what is giving us the most results. This can lead to burnout and frustration in all areas of our lives. Busyness does NOT equal productivity and effectiveness!

What if you cut out 80% of your to-do list and saw the same or greater results? Think of the time, energy, and money you would save!

This week, block out some time to evaluate where your energy and focus are going.  Take the following action steps:

1 – Make a list of your daily activities

2 – Evaluate if each activity is helping you achieve your goals or if they are distractions

3 – Think through the following questions:
  • What is required of me?
  • What gives me the greatest return?
  • What gives me the greatest reward?

4 – Make a list of items to DO, DELEGATE or DUMP 

5 – Calendarize the most important activities (if it’s worth doing, it’s worth scheduling!)

My hope is for you to become the most productive and effective as possible. Maximize your time by working smarter. Put the 80/20 Rule to work and watch your results soar!

Be Intentionally Great today!

This one quality is required for any kind of success…and it’s available to ALL of us!

I’ve recently begun studying through “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill with several of my fellow John Maxwell Team colleagues. We’re being led through this study by the President of the JMT, Paul Martinelli, who has taught this material thousands of times around the world and his book is literally held together by a binder clip!

If you’re unfamiliar with this book, it is a classic that was originally published in 1937. It is a philosophy on success that resulted from a 20-year study of more than 500 affluent men and women. The late, great Andrew Carnegie challenged Napoleon Hill to accomplish this project.

I first read this book a couple of years ago and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the principles. Two years (and much growing) later, I’m seeing things much more clearly. One of our first assignments is to read the chapter on PERSISTENCE once a day for 14 days straight. And if you miss a day, you have to start your 14-day streak over!

Why would someone assign such a task? To test how persistent you are, of course!

Let me share a few quotes from Hill’s chapter on this critical principle:

“The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on despite all opposition until they attain their goal. These few are the Fords, Carnegies, Rockefellers and Edisons.”

“Without persistence, you will be defeated, even before you start. With persistence you will win.”

“Be persistent no matter how slowly you may, at first, have to move. WITH PERSISTENCE WILL COME SUCCESS.”

“THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSISTENCE! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this in the beginning and it will hearten you when the going may seem difficult and slow.”

So, why am I sharing this with you today? Because PERSISTENCE is required to be successful in ANY area. And here’s the good news – it is available to ALL of us!

PERSISTENCE is not a gift or skill that you have to be born with. It is a quality that any of us can develop and exhibit.

How? Practice it DAILY!

While it’s available to all of us, most people don’t display this quality. Why?

Because it is a discipline that we have to commit to. It is something we have to fight for. It is something that we can be easily distracted from doing.

Self-Assessment – How PERSISTENT are you? Do you keep going when things become difficult or when distractions fly your way? Or do you give up and move on to other endeavors?

Whether or not you display persistence will determine the level of success that you experience. Don’t be the person who gives up just before succeeding. Keep moving forward. One step in front of the other. Don’t worry as much about speed as you do about progress. Remember in the childhood story, the Tortoise beat the Hare. Why? PERSISTENCE!

Be Intentionally Great today by displaying PERSISTENCE!

One is Too Small of a Number to Be Great!

I’ve been thinking about what it takes to experience true success.

One thing that jumped out at me is this – ONE is too small of a number to be truly successful and lead a life of significance. To do anything of lasting value, it takes a TEAM!

You weren’t meant to do life and business alone. We’re better TOGETHER!

It’s tempting to do things on our own. It’s easy to think that we can achieve greatness by ourselves.

But what I have discovered is that I don’t know enough on my own to achieve my goals and trying to do things alone takes longer and costs me more!

Today, think about the area(s) of your life and/or business where you’re trying to be a “lone ranger.” Then, think about who you could invite into your life to help you accomplish the goals and dreams that you have.

You have the capacity to be GREAT! Don’t delay becoming great by trying to do it all yourself.

Is Your Video Matching Your Audio?

I want to challenge you to think about something today that can make or break your influence…

Are your WORDS and ACTIONS lining up?

John Maxwell said in Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 that “Leadership confusion occurs when your words and your walk do not match.” ​

As you go about your day, pay attention to the words you say and the actions you take. Are they aligned?

Just like a car needs to have the tires realigned from time to time so you can have a smoother ride, we also need to realign our words and actions occasionally so we can have a smoother life.

One of the most effective ways to build influence and trust is to match your words and actions.

One of the quickest ways to destroy it is to not have your words and actions matching up.

My hope for you is that you will Lead Life BIG, that you will Be Intentionally Great!

Focus on your “video” matching your “audio” and watch your influence and trust levels grow.

Make it a GREAT day!

Here’s a Secret to Achieving Greater Results in Your Life & Work

Over the past 2 1/2 years, I have been growing exponentially – personally and professionally. My world has opened up to wise people and resources that I never knew existed. As I’ve been on this growth journey, I’ve often found myself overwhelmed with what or who I should engage with and how to fit it all into my schedule.

Recently, I had an “aha moment” where I realized that pressing harder isn’t the answer to future success. It only wears me out. Instead, I need to relax and refresh more so that when I have to be “on” I’m more prepared. While this was insightful for me, I’ve actually experienced a level of stress as I’ve tried to slow my pace. I’ve realized I’m a “busyness addict.” Being busy has been my drug of choice for years and I’ve worn it as a badge of honor. But busy doesn’t equal effective.

Maybe you feel way too busy as well. You’re not alone. It seems the majority of people I meet are in the same boat. We’re working hard at our jobs, we’re wanting to be highly engaged and available for our families, and we don’t want to say “no” to people.

I want to encourage you this week to schedule times of rest. I’ve learned a lot from Darren Hardy over the past few years. One thing that he recently taught was that if we don’t give ourselves time to rest, we can work harder and actually produce less-than-stellar results.

If you want to produce and perform at your best, you actually need to REST, DO LESS and FOCUS MORE. 

To experience this new reality, you’re going to have to “detox” from your busyness addiction. I can’t promise it will be easy, but I do know it will be worth it!

I want you to be GREAT in your life and leadership. Are you willing to take the bold step to shift your thinking and your actions? If so, shoot me an email and let me know what you plan to do starting this week!

How to Lead with Gratitude

We are coming off of another Thanksgiving week. Each November it is common to see many people posting on social media about what they’re thankful for. It’s great to see, but it also makes me wonder how grateful we are the rest of the year. As leaders, we need to make a habit of leading with gratitude and set an example for those who are watching us.

I was convicted today through a sermon entitled “Radical Thanksgiving.” The message made me pause and I realized that I take so much for granted without showing gratitude. That’s what happens to us, isn’t it? We get used to our blessings and begin to take them for granted. I don’t want that to define me and I don’t want that to define you.

So, how can you lead with gratitude?

1 – Say “thank you” more often.

This may seem obvious and even overly simple, but how often do you say “thank you” to your team members? Expressing thanks for even the most menial tasks can foster a culture of gratitude.

2 – Serve your team.

As you elevate to higher levels in an organization it’s easy to expect others to serve you, but the best leaders are those who serve their team members first and consistently. Even if you’re not “in charge,” serving other team members will give you greater influence and impact. By serving others you are showing gratitude for what they do and for who they are.

3 – Keep a “Gratefulness Journal.”

Whether you are used to journaling or not, this is a great practice. Simply start writing things down that you are thankful for. I’m confident you’ll be surprised how many items you have written when you really stop to think about it. This has the power to lift our spirits on difficult days and to humble you when you begin to think too highly of yourself.

As you enter a new week, take a look around you. Who are the people you’re thankful for? What material possessions are you thankful for? What situations (good and bad) are you thankful for? Don’t let gratefulness be a seasonal thing that only happens once each year. Schedule regular times to reflect on what you are thankful for and begin expressing your gratitude more frequently to those you lead.

Be Intentionally Great today!

Do You Work With Purpose?

It’s Labor Day morning as I write this. I’m enjoying the cool morning and looking forward to a day with my family with no agenda. As I was recently reflecting on Labor Day, I thought of you. I began wondering if you are living to your full potential and if you’re working with purpose each day. I wondered if you wake up each morning refreshed and energized to take on the day or if you lay in bed dreading what lies ahead.

Based on my observations, I believe the vast majority of people are simply grinding it out day after day, week after week, year after year hoping for the magical day when they get to retire and enjoy life. What that means is that the majority of their lives, they are just getting by and always looking forward to better days. They aren’t living with passion and purpose TODAY. They are simply surviving.

Does this describe you?

I hope it doesn’t, but if it does, there’s good news. There is a better way to live. It starts with understanding your God-given purpose and clarifying your vision for your life. But it doesn’t stop there. You also need to develop a strategy to achieve your purpose and vision, as well as, have a way to measure your progress.

Do you have a plan like this? If not, I want to invite you to join me on a FREE training call on Sunday, September 10th at 8 pm. I’ll be teaching on “4 Critical Steps to Reaching Your Potential.” During this call, I will give an overview of the four items I mentioned above and share about an upcoming coaching cohort that I’ll be launching called “The Deeper Path.” You don’t want to miss the FREE call! This coaching program has the power to literally change the direction of your life. To register for the call, click HERE.