Meet with Randy!

Are You Willing to Ship?

If you want to make a difference this week, you have to be willing to “ship.”

Year’s ago, I was challenged with this concept by author Seth Godin. For leaders “shipping” is one of the most important steps in the process of influence. But beware … shipping is risky business.

Godin writes, “Every time you raise your hand, send an email, launch a product or make a suggestion, you’re exposing yourself to criticism. Not just criticism, but the negative consequences that come with wasting money, annoying someone in power or making a fool of yourself. It’s no wonder we’re afraid to ship.”

You have great ability. Unfortunately, if you are like most, you are probably held back by fear. Why not shift your thinking this week and start shipping?

It will look different for everyone, but that is okay. Your art doesn’t have to be a page out of the renaissance, it just needs to be you.

What is the place where YOU need to ship? Is it to write, paint, compose, teach, encourage, speak, create, sculpt, or lead in business?

I suspect you have huge potential to make art in some area of your life. If you will commit to shipping a little every day this week, it will make a difference in someone else’s life.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why do you think so many leaders are held back by fear?

Comment Below …

 

Are You Struggling With Lust?

Lust will shipwreck a leader. Does today find you struggling to keep your appetites in check?

Lust takes on different forms, but the end result is always the same. Emptiness.

Lust is defined as “a passionate or overmastering desire or craving.”

Are there areas in your life where you have failed to master your appetites? Maybe you have a hunger for power? A craving for cash? A desire for pleasure?

The problem with lust is that, unlike Snickers, it never satisfies. It is always an illusion of what “might” be.

The Bible refers to this illusion in Proverbs 27:20. It reads, “Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.”

Did you catch that? The eyes are never satisfied!

There will always be a newer make and model; a latest and greatest product; a sleeker and sexier person.

Don’t buy the lie. Remember, the eyes are never satisfied.

If you want to be a leader who leads with integrity, you must find your satisfaction in something other than what you see. Lust will never bring you what you want and it might eventually be your undoing.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What are some areas that you see leaders being lured by lust?

Comment Below …

 

Big Mo

Momentum is defined as, “the driving force gained by the development of a process or course of action.”

How would you like to be the kind of leader whose results are described as a driving force?

In baseball, momentum is said to be only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher. In football, Big Mo comes with a turnover or a big play. Businesses look for momentum based on the economic climate. Churches, schools, and fitness centers have certain times of the year where Mo shows up.

Want in on a little secret? Momentum is not that random. It is more available than you might think.

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins likens momentum to a “Flywheel.” He says it like this: “In building greatness, there is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant heavy flywheel in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.”

Did you get that? The power of a flywheel comes more from consistency than it does from a single spectacular act.

That means if you want to see your influence go to “driving force” levels you must stay the course.

Consistency without becoming bored can be a challenge. It is only possible if you connect your action back to your mission and your passion.

Greatness is not about a miracle idea or a special time of the year. It is about consistent integrity.

Be true to your mission. Be disciplined in your habits. Be consistent in the way you act.

Do these 3 over time and Big Mo might make you a driving force too!

i2i,

Randy

Where are you seeing momentum these days?

 

 

repost from 1.13.11

Coffee . . . Grind

Without the grinder, there is no coffee.  Beans are just beans.

Leadership works the same way.  You can spend all of your time trying to stay fresh and on the cutting edge of your area of expertise.  But at some point you have to be a strong grinder to be a great leader.

The daily grind gets a bad wrap.  Few, if any, wake up excited about the grind.  That’s because we all like taking the path of least resistance.

But what if that changed for you?  What if each day you approached the grind as an opportunity to bring value into the lives of others?  What if you equated the grind with your chance for influence?

The key to being a great grinder is to stay sharp.  You achieve that through intentional time for learning, growing, listening, and traveling.  “Sharpening the Saw,” is what Stephen Covey calls it.

If leadership has become a dull exercise that causes you to want to escape, you are missing your chance to make a difference through the grind.

The best leaders are the ones who consistently show up and discipline themselves to do the little things with excellence.

Embrace the grind, and focus on staying sharp.  Doing so will maximize your influence!

i2i,

Randy

 

What is one thing you need to do this week to keep your leadership blades sharp?

 

repost from 8.17.10

Persistence

Susanna Wesley was a remarkable woman. Giving birth to nineteen children in the span of twenty years was no small feat. Especially considering nine of the children did not make it past infancy.

The patience of the woman is legendary. Once when teaching one of her kids a particular lesson, her husband Samuel overheard and counted her repeating the same information twenty times.

“I wonder at your patience,” he encouraged her. “You have told that child twenty times the same thing.”

Susanna, with a grin on her face, replied to her husband, “If I had satisfied myself by mentioning it only nineteen times I should have lost all my labour. It was the twentieth time that crowned it.”

There is a reason Susanna raised such legendary leaders as John and Charles, the founders of the Methodist Church. She understood the importance of persistence.

Susanna also embraced her opportunity to influence the next generation of leaders. Once while her husband was away from home, she wrote to him . . . “I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles.”

Every leader could learn a couple of things from Susanna.

First – Finish the job. Greatness, no matter the arena, seems to be more a matter of practice than it does a matter of talent. Repetition is the key to rising through the ranks yourself, or leading someone else to do so.

Second – Be consistent in the way you connect with your team members. For Susanna, it was with her children. For you it might be with your direct reports. Whether your leadership is exercised at work or at home, recognize the greatness in those you have been entrusted to lead and approach them with love and humility.

The dictionary defines persistence as, “Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” In other words, don’t expect persistent influence to be easy.

Is there someone who needs to be reminded one more time? If you have given up, you should reconsider. One more time . . . one more connection . . . might “crown it” to use Susanna’s words.  And imagine an environment where you saw, “Every soul under your charge as a talent committed to you under a trust.”

See others that way and lead with persistence, and your influence will go to another level.

 

i2i,

Randy

 

What role do you think persistence plays in the effectiveness of a leader?

Comments?

 

 

Army Should be Ranked #1

The past couple of Saturdays have been a case study in character at the Vanderbilt University football stadium.

My daughter, Hannah, who is a student at VU (Go Dores!) was in attendance at both games.

Two weeks ago, the game came down to the final two plays against the University of Georgia.  While the Bulldogs survived a massive scare, the story of the day was what happened on the field after the game.  Ugly would be an understatement.

Even in victory, one of the assistant coaches from Georgia came storming across the field, screaming profanities and shaking his fist at the Vandy coach.  A brawl almost broke out between the two teams.

As the UGA players left the field they gave the Vandy student section the one finger (not the index) finger salute, screaming f-bombs and taunting them over the victory.

My daughter said it made her ashamed to be from Georgia.

Fast forward one week.  Homecoming at Vandy, with Army as the opponent.

Vanderbilt won the game by more than 3 touchdowns, but the Army team, even in defeat, responded in a whole different manner.  Character would be an understatement.

After the game the Vanderbilt players came over in front of the Vandy student section and sang the schools Alma Mater.  What happened next brought tears to my eyes as Hannah described it to me.

As the Vandy students and players sang together, Hannah said the Army players stood together, at attention, as a sign of respect for the Vanderbilt community.

She said as she looked at those young men, standing respectfully, it made her feel safe that they will be the men who, five years from now, will be protecting and defending her freedom.

As the Army players left the field, she said the Vanderbilt fans began to chant “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.”  Can you say chill bumps?

UGA and Army.  Two programs.  Two different results.  Two different reactions.

I don’t know who you root for, but I have become a fan of the boys from West Point.

It is too bad there is not a B.C.S. poll for character.  If there was, Army would surely be ranked #1.

 

i2i,

Randy

 

Where have you seen character demonstrated this past week?  

 

 

Skewed

This past weekend the attendance at the church service I normally attend was up by 40%.  Amazing growth for one week if you take the number at face value.  However, if you take into account that it was Easter Sunday, it is not nearly as impressive.

Good leaders are able to twist numbers and make them say whatever they want to hear.  But doing so often leads to staying stuck in the past.

Great leaders, on the other hand, are able to recognize that numbers can be skewed.  They understand how to make accurate comparisons.

Chances are, you are not as good or as bad as your numbers indicate.  Your systems, resources, staff, mission, and culture are also worth paying attention to.  Those things will ultimately determine your growth or lack thereof.

Learn how to spot the things that are skewed and you will be on your way to sustainable growth.

i2i,

Randy

Why do you think leaders are tempted to see things in a skewed manner?

Big Mo

Momentum is defined as “the driving force gained by the development of a process or course of action.”

How would you like to be the kind of leader whose results are described as a driving force?

In baseball momentum is said to be only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher.  In football big Mo comes with a turnover or a big play.  Businesses look for momentum based on the economic climate.  Churches, schools, and fitness centers have certain times of the year where Mo shows up.

Want in on a little secret?  Momentum is not that random.  It is more available than you might think.

In Good to Great, Collins likens momentum to a “Flywheel.”  He says it like this:  “In building greatness, there is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant heavy flywheel in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.”

Did you get that?  The power of a flywheel comes more from consistency than it does from a single spectacular act.

That means if you want to see your influence go to “driving force” levels you must stay the course.

Consistency without becoming bored can be a challenge.  It is only possible if you connect your action back to your mission and your passion.

Greatness is not about a miracle idea or a special time of the year.  It is about consistent integrity.

Be true to your mission.  Be disciplined in your habits.  Be consistent in the way you act.

Do these 3 over time and Big Mo might make you a driving force too!

i2i,

Randy

Where are you seeing momentum these days?

You Don’t Win on Game Day

Last Saturday, the college football world was sent spinning once again as the Wisconsin Badgers dominated the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.  I saw the fourth quarter, and trust me, Wisconsin was playing “grown man” football compared to their opponents.

After the game Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielma was interviewed.  The reporter asked him if he thought the game had been won in the fourth quarter when Wisconsin’s offensive line began controlling the line of scrimmage.

Bielma didn’t blink and promptly said, “No, the game was won in the weight room and on the practice field over the past 364 days leading up to the game.”

The reporter was just as stunned as I was with the coach’s answer.

Bielma is obviously an ‘integrous’ leader.  For he understands that victory is not earned during the contest.  It is only recognized there.  Victory comes from all the hard work and discipline that is invested, when no one is looking, leading up to the contest.

The Wisconsin football team demonstrated character on Saturday night.  They had made deposits over the last year when there were no TV cameras, media, or fans to be impressed.  When it was time to make a withdrawal, the resources were there to physically prevail.

Do you appreciate the importance of those moments when no one is looking?  I hope so.  For what you do in private will determine your level of success in public.

Make it a habit to do the right thing when there is no spot light and you will be prepared to perform when there is one.

Don’t forget, “You don’t win on game day.  It only appears that way.”

i2i,

Randy

Do you agree or disagree?

Intentional Integrity . . . “Buy” the Book

Yesterday we focused on the importance of pursuing integrity in an intentional way.  One of the reader comments was a very simple, yet great, request.  Someone wrote,

“I really don’t know how to practice it (integrity), can you write a blog on it.”

Over the next couple of days we will look at some of the ways that we can “practice” the pursuit of integrity.  But perhaps my favorite is to go by the book.  Or in my case, to go ‘buy’ the book (more on that in a moment).

When it comes to pursuing integrity there is no better book than the Bible.  I believe it is impossible to have a fully “integrated” life without learning from the Creator.  That is why I make it a daily practice to spend time reading from the Scriptures with the goal of yielding my life to His life.

But the Bible is not the only book I read from.  You could say I am a lot like Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536), who was once quoted as saying, “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

I get the shakes anytime I get near a bookstore.  When I am sick, I go to the library.  I say things like “leaders are readers” and I believe it.

I firmly believe it is difficult to be an authentic leader without a commitment to reading.

If you really want to “practice” integrity I encourage you to develop a plan for your reading.  Implement the following principles and your leadership will stay anchored to your values.

1 – Read Truth.  The Bible is the obvious choice here.  A chapter of Proverbs or a Psalm each day will keep you thinking the right way.

2 – Read in your field of expertise.  Authentic leaders are life long learners.  Never get to the point where you think you have arrived.  If you stop learning your integrity is guaranteed to erode.

3 – Read outside your field of expertise.  Leaders need to be able to participate in the conversation.  Exposing yourself to a variety of books will help broaden your message.

4 – Read old stuff.  There is a reason some books have stood the test of time and others have not.  Find some books over 100 years old and read them.

5 – Read consistently.  A minimum of 30 minutes a day is a good habit.  Between Scripture and other books I try to give an hour to this discipline.  I don’t always hit my goal, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.  Note: TV, Web-surfing, Facebook, etc . . . are the enemies of books.

Bottom line . . . You are what you read.  If you want to be a leader with integrity, maybe it’s time for you to go “buy the book.”

i2i,

Randy

What is the best book you have read in 2010?

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