Greatness.. Leaves a Legacy

Greatness.. Leaves a Legacy

Today one of the greatest and most inspiring men of our history passed. Zig Ziglar at the 86 went home.  His Legacy of inspiring books nd quotes will live forever thanks to technology such as the internet. The lives he changed by reminding us all that the choice of greatness is ours and that God has already given us all the tools to reach our greatness, we just have to start, will be part of his legacy forever.

As he leaves us today it is now time that we all stand up and take Zig’s lead and inspire those around us, by showing an example of using positive attitude, Stubborn Persistence and unyielding compassion daily in our lives.

Zig Ziglar… A gift to our generation from God… His Legacy is now our responsibility.

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Leadership is a Verb…

John C. Maxwell, Author, Speaks to 4600 TN Con...

Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

I love the magazine Success. One of my favorite features is a monthly motivational/educational CD they include in each issue. This very unique feature is something I look forward to listening to each month. Today I had the pleasure of listening to an interview with John Maxwell, one of my favorite motivational speakers. He provided me with today’s topic… Leadership is a Verb not a noun.

How often in your life have heard some one say I am the Leader of XXXX. Like it is a position of possession, they own it, you want it, but I am not giving it to you attitude.  John shared today that leadership is an action that people choose to follow it is not a noun or position to be looked at, and admired. Leaders often struggle with this I would imagine in todays corporate structure. See in the late 90’s Leadership in our country began to change from the traditional do as I say because I am the leader corporate structure to a structure where people decided internally which leader they wanted to follow based on actions and convictions of that individual.

Leaders over the last decade had to adapt and change, from ones that simply dictated direction to leaders which actually shared knowledge, know how and motivation to get it done from the front of the line. Think about it, how did we get out first Black President, Obama is a natural leader whose vision and actions inspired a mass of people to not only come along side his movement but also develop their own leadership style and direction and helped build his movement in to the largest nationwide campaign trail most of us had ever seen.

My wife is a former English teacher, yes she is very critical of my writing style as well, and I know that she would have just loved the thought of leadership being taught as a verb.  Here short tenure as a teacher was under the direction of a “leader” which was more about the Noun than the Verb if you know what I mean.

I recently left a career of 17 years in Newspapers for very similar reasons, here is an industry filled with Leadership that has little action. When I left I decide to start my own business and follow the only leader I knew I wanted to trust at the time, me. ( www.1to1valet.com ) For newspapers survival they will hopefully find Leadership with action in the near future.

I was thinking today at what drove me out of the sales field and into management in that industry, it was the people who I worked with. They were the reason I thought being a manager was going to  make me a great leader, but I wonder if at times I forgot why they made me feel that way in the first place. I was just a hot-shot sales person for the first five years of my career, but I started to realize that my knowledge base and willingness to help others in the paper was making me very popular. I started to believe that I could be a better leader than my boss and started to really step out of line to develop my own voice in leadership.

The Key that I think most leaders miss there even if they are a leader of action is knowledge base. The willingness to share knowledge and develop future leaders.

John Maxwell is right, Leadership is a verb, it is a symptom of action, but action without knowledge is not leadership, it is foolishness.

If you are a leader and you are wondering where all the followers are going, look around for the person which is displaying confidence in actions and knowledge in the work force and you will identify the leader of the group.

How do you develop more leaders:

1) Become a person of action and start to lead your company from the front lines.

2) Share your knowledge, and empower others to lead the way.

3) Encourage group dynamics in the organization and let leaders develop in the  group.

4) Help team discover leadership qualities and styles they already posses

5) Step back and become a follower of strong leaders in your own organization, when it is called for. Let others knowledge base that is superior to yours not stop you from growing and learning.

A blizzard in marketing information

The message received by Neo

Image via Wikipedia

I just got back from a business trip in which I had to drive through a complete white out from the snow fall that was falling.

As I caught up this morning on the hundreds of e-mails from the week that I had not been able to review and the variety of marketing messages and sales pitches people are sending me to help me launch my business I started to feel like I was back in that blizzard.

Thousands of ideas each unique in its own right just flying at me in the headlights, most not really intended for me but just any random eyeball that would give it the courtesy of paying attention.  Is that what marketing a business has become? Just staring out into the future at the thousands of options, none particularly meant for you but willing to stick to you if you want to listen?

While pondering this today I thought why not offer up a few sensible points for business people to follow as they stare straight out at the blizzard of information that is attacking them like a snow storm on a black Nevada night.

How do you filter and learn what is right for your business in this new information age?

Five tips:

1) Know what your goals and targets are for your company. A friend of mine reminded me of this while we shared a dinner and few beers. Focus, is the key to growth. If you have a clear vision of your goal and desired direction or outcome the storm of information will magically start to filter itself and you will key in on only the relevant news and information.  Remember the movie The Matrix? When Neo could all of a sudden see all the code that was around him, and was able to focus in on the bullet heading straight for him? He had Focus, the focus we will all need in this new age of information sharing and information pushing.

2) Remember why your core customers buy from you, and how that relates to your marketing efforts. It is very easy in todays information surge to just ride the wave and get caught up in the direction you are being  pushed, but often we need to realize that our current core customer is not on that wave, and is watching us move on without them. If you currently have a customer base that is 45+ in age and that core is still engaged with you are your current practices, then moving suddenly to a media platform which is predominately used by those under 35 may not be the smartest move a this point.  Not that you can ignore the future marketplace and the new tools but you don’t have to change dramatically and shift focus when the world is screaming that change is a must. Example is this Blog, I started it knowing that it was helping build a future base of business and followers, but I still go out and meet clients face to face and sell traditional products  to my clients the same way I have for years.

3)Control your time –  Don’t be afraid to hit delete. How ridiculous is it that you open your e-mail in the morning and their hundreds of e-mails that are calling for your attention.  I tried something new this week while away on business, I opened my e-mail and deleted all e-mails that were from companies,that traditionally are just offering to sell me something, all linked in group reports and any e-mails that were not from contacts that I routinely have conversations with, before opening them. I found that about 12% of my e-mails had any relevance to my days work.  Funny thing is I received just as many e-mails the next day, many form the same people I deleted the day before, I was not even behind.

4) Find Guidance – During that snow storm and virtual white out along hwy 395 last night I had to find the simplest guidance possible so that I could continue n my trip, I used the groves on the road that usually tell you that you are crossing the line and going off the road. What made them so trust worthy , is that I could not see them but I could always feel them and hear them.  In a storm sometimes our eyes will deceive us, and our minds will play tricks on us.  In Business we have to find our guides, mentors or groups of  colleagues which help us see through the information surge, and we have to listen to that internal voice that tells us to be cautious. In todays information surge too good to be true is getting harder and harder to tell, your colleagues and groups can be a great source of helping see value, and find references to all these offers.

5) Keep moving forward – At times the information will seem unbearable,  but if you stop it will only bury you. Keep you r goals in front of you and your mission steadfast.  Remember in todays of information surge, that it is always available when you actually need it.  I love the e-mail offers from companies now a days that promise you that this is only available for the next few days and will be gone forever. It is called the internet, nothing is ever gone, a quick search and all the information you want on a subject is right there, or of course they will just send it to you again in four days….

So if you are driving your business through this information surge and feel a little  over whelmed at what you see in front of you remember to just focus in, keep moving, find a guide and control your speed,  you will be through this in no time and cruising in the right direction before you know it.

Inventor of Social Marketing… Jesus Christ?

Ok so I am sitting in church today and the thought of Jesus walking among the people popped into my head. Not just walking among us but serving each of us, helping where we needed help most, providing information and guidance to all who asked. Yes he came to save us from our sins… let me not trivialize what the New Testament is meant for in our society, but have you ever stopped to think of the example he left for us in business and how we use social media.

We have been told that in Social Media and Social Marketing it is about what you give to a relationship that matters.  “Stop Selling” Bret L. Simmons says, social media is about giving information, giving assistance to those who need it, helping all that ask and are willing to communicate with you. It is about answering your critics with truth and knowledge. Imagine if Jesus would have had the internet 2000 years ago where we would be today with his message.

Is it that much of a stretch to think that Jesus Christ was the originator of what the makers of Facebook, My space and LinkedIn made so attractive to us all. The ability to communicate, listen, help and share to all that will listen and ask. 

This week as you twitter, Facebook, text, and link, remember the basic principles that we learn from Jesus:  Be truthful, be helpful, be a great listener, face your critics with integrity and truth and share all that you have in love.

Have a great week!