Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Amateurs Wing It, Professionals Prepare...

Have you ever been to a meeting, presentation or event that you walked away saying to yourself "that was a total disaster". I'd be willing to bet that there was a serious lack of preparation on the part of the leaders involved in the event.

Many leaders believe that they can "wing it" and create a success. The best leaders don't buy into this and spend serious time preparing for meetings, presentations, and events. They subscribe to the philosophy that PROFESSIONALS PREPARE.

Preparation is not taught in college, graduate school or on the job leadership training. It is a critical leadership dimension that is often overlooked, but never forgotten once you see it not occur and lead to an unsuccessful event.

What does preparation look like?
Here are some tips to assist you, A LEADER, to prepare and increase the odds that you will be viewed as a professional,organized and "buttoned up" leader.
  1. When planning for a leadership role in an event, break the event into 15 or 30 minute intervals. For each interval, plan the work/discussion so the entire event planning does not overwhelm you. You eat an elephant one bite at a time and this interval approach can break that huge preparation into much more manageable pieces.

  2. Keep in mind the adult attention span. Most resseach I have seen states that adult attention span is 45 minutes (I know, it feels like 45 seconds sometimes...). Prepare to this attention span. Don't create 2 hour brainstorming sessions or a 4 hour conference call on one topic. You will lose people, their energy and support.

  3. In your preparation, focus on the sections that will lead to success. These include goals and objectives, processes to meet the goals and objectives, tasks, time allotted, budget, resource requirements, change management plans and monitoring/validating techniques,

  4. Buy a lunch and listen to a leader that is successful in leading events. Guarantee that leader prepares! Ask for tips and techniques on what they do to prepare for an event. You may learn something new to add to your preparation or validate what you are already doing. I am a huge proponent of setting aside the ego and asking successful people for their advice. No need to re-create the wheel. Just ask open ended questions and listen!!

  5. Use a colleague, team member, or mentor to critique your preparation and give you feedback. Again, set your ego aside and let others "poke holes" in your preparation. You will only get better if you listen and take action on the advice. Remember it's business, not personal.
Use these tips to be seen as a top notch, professional leader not an amateur. We all want to be involved in successful meetings, presentations, training and events. It takes the leader's preparation to ensure this will happen. Make it happen - spend the time preparing, consider it part of the role of a great leader.

It has been called "The Secret" on steroids. If you would like to discuss or have questions, please shoot me an email at chris@destinyahead.com

As always, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will!!!!

Your Self Image

A critical part of your self-image is your self-ideal. The self ideal is the ideal image or picture you have of yourself on a daily basis. In other words, your self-ideal is composite of the very best person you could see yourself being and living your life to the fullest.

Your self-ideal is made up of two major dimensions - your wishes, hopes, goals, and fantasies about your life and the qualities you admire most in yourself and in other leaders.

Find Positive Role Models

In a longitudinal research study conducted years ago, the researchers found many men and women who had successful and prosperous lives had been avid readers of the biographies and autobiographies of successful people. We have a natural tendency to identify with the hero in any story. People that immerse themselves in the stories of men and women who have accomplished great things, tend to absorb their values, behaviors and qualities into their personality.

Define your Life Values

The life values you choose and the way you define those values, shape and influence your personality and your achievements more than any other single factor. Take time to develop absolute clarity about the key life values and qualities you admire the most and wish to incorporate into your life. This will allow you to shape and direct your personality and determine the success you achieve in the future.


The second part of your self-concept is your self-esteem. Self-esteem is the feeling or emotional component of your personality. Your level of self-esteem determines the energy and power of your personality which drives your performance. Your self-esteem is affected by many factors. The most important is the difference between your self-image and your self-ideal. How are you versus how you want to be.Whenever you feel your current performance and behavior is consistent with the best person that you can possibly be, your self esteem goes up. You feel more exhilarated and fulfilled. You have more energy, enthusiasm and optimism.

Using this Information Activity
During this think reflect and write down the values, skills, and qualities of other people that you most admire.
What actions could you take to incorporate those characteristics into your personality?

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will...


Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Golden Rule Principle…

The third ingredient in the recipe for tremendous success is to have a philosophy of servant leadership. I am a big fan of Zig Ziglar’s statement – “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”.

Some practical behaviors we can put in place in our lives to be role models of the Golden Rule philosophy include:

• Asking others their opinion on decisions that impact them
• Using other opinions and feedback to make decisions
Sincere recognition for extra effort – “thank you” or other encouraging words go along way
• Genuinely listening to other people. Be in the moment with that person and give them 100% attention
• Do not promise or commit unless you will honor the commitment
Share the credit and acknowledge the contribution of others
• Don’t hide information, if appropriate. Give complete answers to a question if possible
• Offer to help people
• Learn about others by asking them about their interests and goals

We have many different facets in our life – business, family, social, physical, spiritual and so on. They are all interwoven into our life and have an impact on our overall success. Making the philosophy of the Golden Rule principle will lead to your success as well as the success of others. Definitely a win/win outcome.

Next week, I’ll discuss the fourth and final ingredient in the recipe for success.

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will...http://www.destinyahead.com/

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In last week’s post, I discussed the first ingredient in the recipe for success. The “right” mental attitude focuses on a “can do” attitude, a problem solving mindset and an optimistic view of situations. This is the foundation for success and allows us to accomplish some amazing things.

The second ingredient in the recipe for success is having the right skills and knowledge needed in your profession. For example, sales people may be highly enthusiastic and positive but they may not know their products and services and are unable to answer questions from prospective customers. With the ever changing world of technology, many of us must stay up to date on new social media and technological advances to maintain an edge in our profession.

We must constantly develop our skills and knowledge along with maintaining the “right” attitude in order to succeed. Think about what skills and knowledge are required in your profession. Write down your strengths and areas of development. Make it a personal challenge to set daily goals and action in place to increase the skill and knowledge in your areas of development and watch your success skyrocket.

Next week, I’ll discuss the third ingredient in the recipe for success.

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will...http://www.destinyahead.com/

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lessons Learned as a New Entrepeneur

As Americans, we are experiencing a significant economic slowdown. With unemployment at close to 10%, currently over 10 million Americans have started their own home-based business and many more are considering it.
There are many distinct advantages associated with a home based business such as freedom, flexibility, working from home, direct control of your income and being your own boss. Being a home based business owner also means, you are closer to your family on a daily basis and other responsibilities. The most successful home based business owners are organized, disciplined and action oriented.

Here are some tips I have learned about being successful as your own boss:

1. Determine your priorities: Write down your tasks in the order of importance, and focus on the urgent ones first thing in the morning. By following your list of priorities, and assigning a time frame to complete, you can ensure that you do no miss out on any income generating task that is important.

2. Plan your day the night before: Plan your day the evening before so that you are ready to act as soon as breakfast is done. Set goals to be accomplished, calls to make to prospects, marketing to complete. During the day, keep updating your plan as you achieve each goal.

3. Help your family understand: Family pressure can be one of the major reasons that many home-based businesses fail to succeed. You need to help your family understand that you are at work, even though at home. Make sure you set aside quality time for the family. Remember, this is your business and not a hobby.

4. Go the Extra Mile: You will have to work harder and longer in the beginning with your business. This effort will help your business build a strong foundation to help it grow and stabilize.

5. Reduce distractions: Try to avoid television and radio. Create a peaceful and quiet atmosphere in your home so that you can focus on work.

6. Set aside time for YOU: You can improve your productivity by spending a few minutes to refresh yourself. Get some exercise, go outside and enjoy the sun, or take a walk. It will do wonders for your focus.

7. Focus on Personal Excellence: Raise your standards by having high expectations of yourself. Hustle and do not let yourself become idle for too long. The best entrepreneurs are always hustling and putting in the effort to take massive action.

These tips will ensure you get off on the right foot in your home based business. In my opinion, being a successful Entrepreneur is 90% discipline, organization and action.

The Recipe For Success

Success has as many different definitions as there are people. We each have different responses to what success means to us. Success involves every facet of your life from your relationships, career, health/wellness, spiritual life and peace of mind.

In this article, I’d like to hit the first of my four ingredients into the recipe of success.

First Ingredient in the Recipe for Success

The "right" mental attitude is critical to the recipe for success. A positive mental attitude is the beginning to your success. We have all met people that have a great “can do” attitude and I bet others view them as pretty successful. The “can do” attitude helps people achieve their goals and build relationships with friends and business associates. We all enjoy being around positive people that are problem solvers and are "good finders" (look for good instead of bad in every situation).

Things to keep in mind about attitude:

  • Keep an attitude of acceptance, forgiveness, respect, and consideration in your relationships. It goes a long way in your success.

  • An open mind toward new experiences in your life will help you adapt to change. The world is ever-changing and unless you change with it, you will be destined to be mediocre.
    Be self aware of your own abilities and yourself. Be positive and realistic. Through your lifelong personal development journey, you will have a strong grasp of your possibilities in life. I doubt very seriously that I could be a PGA Golf Pro having not played in ten years. Keep it all in perspective with reality and stay positive on the goals that are challenging and realistic in your life.

  • Consider a mentor to help you set realistic goals, provide encouragement and motivation to help you achieve your goals. Mentors can also be great to learn from, share lessons learned along the way, and be a role model of success.

A positive attitude sprinkled with realism, and an open mind is the first ingredient in success. This ingredient will allow you to use your own abilities, see the future vision of your life, and develop the skills and abilities to have what you deserve in life.

Stay tuned for the next 3 ingredients to the recipe of success!

I'd love to hear your comments on the first ingredient for success. Please feel to subscribe to our blog on the right hand side of this page and pass along to friends/co-workers that may have an interest in success.

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hello, my name is Chris and I Love Leadership

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by LEADERSHIP. I enjoy reading biographies about great leaders and the characteristics that make them successful. Also, I have kept a personal journal for the last 10 years of observations of behaviors that I have seen in outstanding and "not so" outstanding leadership. My readings and personal journal will be the foundations of a book that I have planned to complete within the next 5-10 years.

If I were to sort and categorize those characteristics and behaviors I believe that make successul leaders, there are several that would be a common theme across a high percentage of successful leaders. Here's a brief snapshot of the dimensions of successful leadership from my observations and readings:

  1. Integrity - #1 characteristic. Without this, a leader is not a leader because they have no followers. In my opinion, this is the cornerstone of outstanding leadership.

  2. Desire - Outstanding leaders have a strong and burning desire to be leaders and to succeed. Almost an obsession-like focus. Most people are looking for leaders, these people want and know they are leaders.

  3. Results Orientation - Leaders are in leadership roles primarily to make things happen through other people - get results. They are very goal oriented, planful, organized and focused when it comes to achieving challenging results.

  4. Focused on People - I have met and worked with many good leaders that talk the talk on people focus but don't show the behaviors. They may be 3s on a 5 point scale. The best leaders ( the 4.5s and 5s on a 5 points scale) deeply care about their team and each individual. Outstanding leaders take the approach that their team is their #1 customer and the #1 customer needs to be treated as such. They realize that nothing happens without their team and the development of their team is crucial to the success of the mission.

  5. Vision - Vision can be an "overused" word in leadership. I view vision as the ability to innovate and create the needs and plans for the future while the team is focused on the current mission. Without vision, the organization becomes stale and complacent. Complacency is a tragic flaw in leadership. Outstanding leaders have the "pedal to the metal" 95% of the time, if not a 100%.

  6. For my sixth and final dimension, I will select passion. The "cream of the crop" leaders have a burning within them about their expertise, people and business. They gather as much knowledge as they can about their business on a daily basis. They enjoy what they do and thrive on teaching their team and others. Their work ethic is second to none because they are so passionate about what they do. Outstanding leaders can get others "fired up" about their business because they can transfer their passion to the audience.

I realize that I have not mentioned dozens of characteristics and behaviors such as communication, interpersonal, social, technical and financial/business skills. This list is my top 6 and ones I have observed in my career.

I would love to hear your comments on this list and other views of leadership. That's what makes leadership such a great topic - we could discuss and debate for hours. If you are ever interested in doing that, give me a call I'd love to participate.

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will...


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Give Yourself To Others - Inspire Someone

We all have known a person in our lives that inspired us to set challenging goals, provided advice and wisdom along the way and celebrated the victories in life that we achieved. Many times these people are teachers, parents, supervisors, church members or sports coaches.

What if you could become one of these people or even enhance your ability to inspire others? How would that make you feel? How would that make the other person feel? In my opinion, it’s a win/win situation for everyone involved.

I like the list Michael Angier developed on ten simple ways you can inspire people (family, friends, co-workers) to be their best:
  • Be a good example. People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Be someone worth emulating.

  • Care about others. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Ask questions. Take a genuine interest in people.

  • Encouragement. Everyone goes through tough times. When you support people and encourage them through these times, you’ll be inspiring them to see the best in themselves and in the situation.

  • Be inspired yourself. Look for people, ideas, environments and knowledge that you find inspiring and motivating.

  • Share from your own experience. You have more to share than you realize. Mine the rich experiences of your life and share your wisdom from your unique point of view. You may be the only one who can touch someone with your inspiring message.

  • Be vulnerable. Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you. They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.

  • Tell stories. Facts tell and stories sell. They inspire, too. We learn best from parables and we all need to develop our own inspiring stories.

  • Be a good communicator. Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire others. Watch how you speak and what you say. Invest in your communication skills.

  • Challenge people. Many of us have had teachers who at times seemed more like tormentors than mentors. They challenged us to do our best, and we were better for it. Practice "carefrontation"—the careful and caring confrontation of others.

  • Read. It may not follow that all readers are leaders, but certainly all leaders are readers. Stay informed. Share what you read with others. Tell people about books that have inspired you. Share the knowledge.
Inspirational people can spread cheer, hope and optimism wherever they go and make others feel good about themselves. That's a guaranteed way to make friends, influence others and put a smile on peoples' faces.

Until next time, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Developing Ourselves...Just Do It!

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
- Aristotle

I think we would all agree that our world has become a very fast paced and ever-changing environment. It will only get faster as technologies and ability to communicate with anyone in the world increases. I truly believe that developing ourselves personally and professionally is critical, and not an option, in our new world if you want to be a true success. Personal development requires a serious commitment to your daily habits, on-going learning, networking and relationship building.

I’d like to share some practical tips that I learned along the way in my personal and professional life. Some may work for you, some may not. Pick the ones that may work for you to increase your focus and results around your personal development.

Put your action step for your development goal in your daily to do list and make it a top priority. For example, to listen to 20 minutes of an audiotape on Effective Selling Techniques may be a daily personal development goal.

Visualization is a technique that athletes use quite often and I have found to be effective in keeping the motivation strong. Visualize your goals so you see a crystal clear picture of what success looks like.

Learn from others. Our spouses, family and co-workers have knowledge. People love to share their wisdom with others. Just ask for advice or lessons learned. I remember before having children asking parents what advice they had for us as new parents and got a lot of great feedback.

Consistency. Do just one thing every day to move toward your personal development goals. In working with leaders in my past jobs, the top 5% percentile of successful ones said they spent at least 5-20 minutes a day on their personal development, whether that was reading a magazine or journal focused on a topic they wanted to become more knowledgeable in, or having lunch to seek advice from a mentor. They weren’t too busy to invest in themselves because they knew the investment would create positive results.
Limit your focus – Progress on 2-3 most important goals is more meaningful than having a laundry list of 10-15 things you want to focus on. Keep your focus tight and get laser focused on 2-3 things. Once you knock those out, move on to 2-3 more.

Take the time to reflect – Examine what happens when you focus on your development and the lessons you have learned from feedback and experience. Think about how you change and adapt based on those lessons. Ask yourself everyday “What have I learned?” and keep a journal and refer to it periodically to reinforce and remind yourself of what you have learned.
Consider investing in a top-of-the line self development program - My wife, Jewell, and I just completed the premiere self development product on the market and it has significantly changed the way we view our beliefs, marriage, family life, self-confidence and business. It has also helped us to get dialed in our priorities, mission in life and vision for the future. We invested 56 consecutive days in this program and it was time and money well spent.

Think of yourself as a company, You Inc., and ask yourself how you can make this company better, a leader in their market and more prepared for the future. Personal development does take time in our busy lives along with our career, family, leisure activities, and spiritual events. Start out by trying to spend 5-10 minutes a day investing in yourself, your success and your family’s destiny. If you can do that, I guarantee you that you are in the 95th percentile of all people. You may come to enjoy spending that time on yourself and will become more effective, knowledgeable and an expert in whatever you seek to learn. A wise mentor of mine once told me “it’s good to be considered an expert in something”.

We would love to hear your comments about your experiences with Developing Ourselves… Just Do It”. Please feel free to write back on our blog site with what you experienced. Also, if you know of others that may benefit from this, please pass our blog along to them.
Until next time, Control your Destiny or Someone Else Will!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are You Open To Some Feedback?

My wife, Jewell, and I have been giving each other positive and constructive feedback for 20 years. Many people think the way we give feedback is “weird” or “strange”. It works for us. I learned this technique in corporate America and brought it into the Team Tunstall household.
Many employees and even senior leaders I have worked with in my business career view feedback as a four letter word. Bad four letter words. Most of us instantly think of being called into the boss’ office and being given “negative” feedback on our performance or style. The best leaders use positive and constructive feedback as a way to develop their employees’ careers and motivate higher work performance. We believe this philosophy can be used in relationships as well.

Jewell and I do view feedback as a four letter word. That word is GIFT. It’s a gift to have someone care enough about you to be genuine, candid and honest enough to let you know what you are doing well and what you can improve in to be a better person, spouse or parent. It is such a strong message of “I care about you and want you to do well”. It is not meant to hurt the other person, which is manipulation.

The technique that Jewell and I use is to ask the other person for permission to provide feedback by simply stating “Are you open to some feedback?” Those six simple words set the stage to eliminate all defensiveness and ensure the timing is right for a healthy dialogue. We all have had times when now is not the right time for feedback, it happens and it’s OK. Jewell and I have had many instances where we said “not right now, maybe later”.

Keep in mind this technique is for positive feedback as well as constructive feedback. When we have examples of something wonderful that the other person did, we make sure we use those magic six words. This is critical because we don’t want ‘Are you open to some feedback?” to be only for constructive feedback. Remember, it’s a gift and we do it because we care.
A couple of critical things to keep in mind when giving feedback in this style are to make sure it is immediate and specific as possible. You don’t want to wait two weeks to give someone feedback. They may not remember the situation and you lose two weeks in modifying or continuing that behavior.

Specificity is critical. Eliminate general statements like “you seemed upset”, “you were angry” or “I liked your style”. Get in the details of what you saw or heard like “I noticed you were crying”, “Your face got beet red and you raised your voice to him” or “You walked with confidence by having great posture and making eye contact”. The more specific you are the clearer the person can replay a movie in their head of what they did in the situation. The better the person can refer to the situation the more likely a dialogue will take place. You want a dialogue to happen not a monologue.

I challenge you to give this technique a shot in the next week. It will feel awkward at first but all new behaviors feel a little strange in the beginning. Try the six magic words with positive feedback first. Positive feedback is always more comfortable to give than constructive feedback. Notice how the other person reacts when you ask permission to provide them feedback. Reflect on how it made you feel.

We would love to hear your comments about your experiences with “Are You Open to Some Feedback”. Please feel free to write back on our blog site with what you experienced. Also, if you know of others that may benefit from this challenge please pass our blog along to them.

Until next time, Control your Destiny or Someone Else Will!

Monday, July 13, 2009


With this weekend's big Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Pay Per View Extravaganza, I thought this title might draw some attention.

This MMA is Manage My Attitude...That's my focus for the week.

Many people believe that attitude is everything. I believe attitude is extremely important in being successful, but isn't everything. Other critical areas of success include goal setting, relationships, action and reflection but this week it's all attitude for me.

Our attitude plays a key role in our relationships, career, and family life. Our attitude affects many people, whether we believe it or not. A crummy attitude can turn a great atmosphere into a "get me out of here" environment just as a positive attitude can turn a disengaged group into an inspired team. John Maxwell states, "Our attitude can be our best friend or our worst enenmy". We have that choice.

This week I have documented three "lessons learned along the way" in managing my attitude.

  • Realize that I have at least two ways to look at things. Pessimism or optimism. Do I look for difficulty or opportunity in challenges? What can I do more of, better or differently to make a situation better? This week I will focus on the opportunity and look up instead of down.

  • Use positive affirmations. When I started using this technique over 10 years ago, I thought it was "goofy" and not for me. I learned I was wrong. Zig Ziglar turned me onto this technique in his recordings. This has been a critical tool for me because I do believe the words we say to ourselves can impact our attitude. I use positive affirmations throughout the day and recently have set aside 15 minutes in the morning to focus exclusively on positive statements. I repeat statements to myself such as: "I have a vision in life for myself and my family", "I can use today to make myself a better person", "I look forward to helping someone today", "I have many things to be grateful for", "I will improve in my mind, body and spirit", "I will surround myself with positive people", and "I am a hard worker and will have balance in my life".

  • Desire and persistence. I truly believe the most successful people in the world have an excess of these two traits. I like to focus on using statements around the desire to keep to the work, keep believing, keep hoping and staying focused. I must believe I have the ability, persistently hone and develop my skills in areas of expertise and really have the confidence that what I am doing is important and significant.

I am starting to find that focusing on these three areas of my attitude first thing in the morning has helped me to start the day with the expectation that today is going to be a great day. If the expectation is right in front of you first thing in the morning, it is more likely to continue throughout the day. We get what we expect.

Thanks for taking time to read this about my attitude, and how I try to make it the most positive everyday. Doesn't work all the time but I do my best. Take a look at monitoring your attitude throughout the day and make changes if you need to. As Will Rogers said "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be".

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tomorrow is Laser Focus Friday - have goals set, and ready to roll....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Pride is a word that I have been thinking about for the last several days. Webster's defines pride as "delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship". I am always proud of my wife and children, unconditionally. One other aspect of my life that I am very proud of is my involvement with the Personal Development industry, specifically LifePath Unlimited.

I recently decided to leave Corporate America after 18 years to have more time and flexibility with my wife and 2 children. I desired more freedom, flexibility and the ability to control my destiny and income. I know that wealth and abundance is rarely realized in the corporate world by 99% of the employees. So after 2-3 months of consideration and research, my wife, Jewell, and I agreed to start our own business around our passion - personal development.

Jewell and I have been personal development "nuts" since hearing our first Zig Ziglar cassette in 1991. The cassettes that we would listen to on the way to work and on trips changed our lives. We experienced six years of infertility before we were blessed with our two children adopted from South Korea. The words, quotes and messages in the personal development cassettes and later on, compact discs, were the foundation that kept us positive on the infertility "rollercoaster" of physical and emotional stress. Looking back, I am very proud of how we handled 6 years of infertility - the doctor visits, the treatments, the shots, the medications, the monthly disappointment, the financial pressure. We believed Zig, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Colin Powell, and many others were speaking directly to us. We would quote the messages and remind each other of positive affirmations when one of us was down.

Our life has drastically changed since those years. We have two beautiful and loving children that God has truly blessed us with. Payne and Kate were our destiny, we are sure of that. Our life has changed also in that we own our own business. We are so excited about this opportunity and new chapter in our lives. We have had naysayers say "how could you leave a good job in this economy?" and "what are you doing?". We also have had people congratulate us and express their admiration for our decision. We expected both types of responses. My pride comes in the fact that we took a risk, a big risk that we truly believe is the best journey we can take in life now. The key factor in our decision to start our own business was our passion in personal development and the belief that we can be successful in whatever we apply our persistence and discipline to.

We have been blessed to have found LifePath Unlimited in our research and become a part of the organization. It is a company that puts personal development first, and developing your own business second. It's the perfect match for us. We get to learn more about ourselves, develop our skills, open our belief systems, and run our own business while helping people. LifePath is a company of high integrity that supports their team members with top of the line training, support and positive energy. It has been the best 6 weeks of my life in a long time. I have met and talked with so many positive people that have big dreams and confidence. It has inspired us to think and dream big as well.

I am very proud to be a part of the LifePath team. I know Jewell is to. My dream is to be a leader within the organization and to help as many people as I can achieve their goals and dreams as well. As a corporate leader, the greatest satisfaction I received was seeing team members do big things, flawlessly execute tough assignments, earn promotions and develop their skills.

I know that I will get that satisfaction and sense of pride with our LifePath business.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Montel Williams Show...

I recently listened to an interview from SUCCESS Magazine with Montel Williams, the former TV talk show host. Prior to this interview, I did not know much about Montel Williams. After the interview, I am very impressed and inspired by his positive attitude and desire to control his own destiny in spite of significant challenges.

For 17 years he hosted The Montel Williams Show, a daily, one-hour, nationally syndicated talk show. In addition to receiving the 1996 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show host, Montel's program was also nominated for Outstanding Talk Show in 2001, and Outstanding Talk Show Host in 2002.

Montel currently hosts a radio show and is the author of the New York Times bestselling inspirational memoirs Climbing Higher and Mountain, Get Out of My Way, and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Bodychange.

Montel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999 and tried to commit suicide on the streets of New York City. Once his TV talk show was cancelled, he saw an opportunity for impactful change in his life. He began a new journey of exercise, diet, research, knowledge and meditation to help him deal with the pain and to control his emotions to prevent depression and feeling sorry for himself.

Montel has partnered with experts to conduct research on how people can make themselves happy. He believes “Happiness comes from how you interact and what you give, not what you get.” The research has shown we are responsible for our happiness – 50% of happiness is genetics, 10% being environmental and 40% controlled by the way we think.

Montel believes there are 8 traits that happy people share:

1. Deeply enjoy relationships with friends and family
2. Are grateful for everything life offers
3. Think positively and optimistically about the future
4. Strongly commit to life goals
5. Be generous and forgiving to others
6. Be resilient and self confident
7. Savor all of life’s moments
8. Are physically active on a daily basis

As I mentioned earlier, I was not familiar with the Montel Williams story. I am now inspired by this man of great talent, discipline and tenacity. He has had career highs and lows, fought a disease, maintained an incredible physical and mental spirit and genuinely wants to give back to others.

He certainly may have found the formula for happiness.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I miss 100% of the shots....

My new friend, Michael Hamburger, from Phoenix, Arizona sent me a quote last night that I am having a hard time getting out of my head (I know, sounds a little obsessive-compulsive and I can't argue with that) from the greatest hockey player of all time, #99 Wayne Gretzky.

For those of you who are not hockey or even sports fans, Gretzky was a "man among boys" in his prime with the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings. Upon his retirement on April 18, 1999, he held forty regular-season records, fifteen playoff records, and six All- Star records. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season—a feat he accomplished four times. Simply known as "The Great One".

The quote from Gretzky is a simple 10 word statement - "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take."

No doubt that Gretzky took a lot of shots in his career, missed many, made more. The reason this quote has been on my mind the last 24 hours that it makes me think of 2 words - RISK and FEAR.

We often go about our daily lives thinking if we "should take that shot". It's a risk, one we don't know if we are prepared for because we are afraid of the possible consequences. I'd bet a paycheck that Gretzky didn't think about negative consequences or have any fear from taking a shot but rather a confident focus that a positive action (a goal) may occur. He was focused on training his mind and body to expect the best to happen and this led to his greatness on the ice.

The book " Who Moved My Cheese" has a wonderful question that relates to this quote. "What would you do if you were not afraid?". I think about this often. What would occur if I wasn't afraid what people would think of me, if I didn't mind looking silly, or if I didn't mind trying something I had never done before. What's the worst thing that could happen if we weren't afraid and took that shot?

So, as you live your life think about taking that shot, doing something you know may be a risk, something you may be a little afraid of. Remember two things, you won't be as successful if you don't take that shot and what's the worst thing that may happen.?

I bet you will score more than you miss.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wet Diapers

I was listening to one of my favorite leadership gurus, Ken Blanchard, on a radio show. He had a great sound byte - "The only people that like change are babies with wet diapers." It made me laugh (LOL) and the comment also made me reflect on how I react to change.

We all have examples in our life of minor and major changes (going to college, leaving the parents, new jobs, marriage, divorce, having kids, changing careers, losing jobs, etc.). Change is hard. I believe that managing change starts with having a clear picture of the future and the importance of the vision.

In our daily, monthly and yearly "changes", we all need to really seek to understand the change and how it will positively impact you in the future. Even though you may initially view the change as negative, there are positive aspects if you look hard enough and ask yourself reflection and awareness questions.

Some tips I have learned along the way to manage, accept and thrive in change are:
  1. Does this change get me passionate? Would I do it for free (well, almost free) if I won the lottery?

  2. What skills do I have that are marketable if this change is not something I am passionate about - make a list of these skills, seek feedback on your list from your spouse, children and friends

  3. Keep in mind the transitions are often harder than the actual change. Focus on the small steps within the transition rather than trying to "eat an elephant" by focusing on the end result of change.

  4. Change typically requires some sort of new behavior. Be aware of that. You may have to learn new skills, and/or take a different approach to thinking to make this a positive experience.

  5. View change as a way of life. In today's world, if you aren't changing, you are left behind. Develop an attitude of flexibility and adaptability and you will be in the top 95th percentile of people. This is valuable.

Questions to ask yourself about your ability to manage change:

  1. Do I typically look at change as a nuisance or opportunity?

  2. Do you focus on what will be lost, or the possibilities?

  3. Do you get frustrated that change doesn't seem to stop, or do you consider each as an improvement over the current situation?

  4. Do you need to gather more information about the change in order to view this as a positive thing?

I am sure something in our lives will change in the next 48 hours. Think about how you react and manage change when it happens.

Change is not just for babies with wet diapers.

Positve vs. Negative Associations

A quote that I really have come to put into play in my life is "To have quality people in your life, stop hanging around people who don't support you."

I have come to realize that not everyone we associate with is a positive person. Took me a while to figure this out. Nothing gets me fired up and enthusiastic about life as being around other positive people that see life as a wonderful journey with many great challenges along the way. Being around negative people sucks the life and energy out of me. I dread it.

I started to realize this in the corporate world within the last 2 years. I remember driving into work several days and watching the people walk from their car to the office building. It was the land of "walking zombies". No one had a "skip in their step", energy or even looked excited about being there and serving others. I started to believe the best parts of their day were their coffee and smoke breaks.

I recently did an exercise where I deleted people from my Facebook account and cell phone list that I believed to be negative people or "naysayers" in my life. It was an extreme exercise for me. I felt guilty for betraying these people by doing this.

Then I re-framed my beliefs.

  • What did these people bring to my life?
  • Was I excited or energized by communicating with them?
  • Did they add any significant value to my life?
  • Did I add any significant value to their life?

I am committed to living the rest of my life with a focus on quality, commitment, purpose, passion and a positive outlook. I have decided to associate myself with positive people. I believe positive people get positive results. I want to be associated with positive results.

Questions for You - Do you surround yourself with positive people with great outlooks on life? Do they provide you inspiration and hope?

If not, take a look at who you spend your time and energy with and make a decision on how you want to live the rest of your destiny.