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Archive for November, 2013

There is value in learning from others. Today, let’s get to know someone else a bit better!

Choose two people you know well enough to have a semi-intimate conversation with and ask if you can interview them about their self-beliefs. Here are a few questions to get you started…be sure to write the answers down and go through them, again, later. You just might gain some new insights that will help you move forward.

Name — First Person

Q1: What is the area of your greatest strength, talents, or gifts?

Q2: If you could accomplish anything in one of those areas, what would it be?

Q3: What is keeping you from accomplishing it?

Q4: What could you do to move past whatever is blocking you?

Q5: Will you do it?

Name — Second Person

Q1: What is the area of your greatest strength, talents, or gifts?

Q2: If you could accomplish anything in one of those areas, what would it be?

Q3: What is keeping you from accomplishing it?

Q4: What could you do to move past whatever is blocking you?

Q5: Will you do it?

Review — what can you learn from their experiences and self-beliefs?

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Time to spend more time in self-awareness. Get out your journal and spend some time with yourself…

Here are some thought starters:

Who am I? Can you describe yourself with just three key words?

What are my strengths and talents?

What experiences (just a couple) have shaped me in a positive way?

What experiences (just a couple) have set me back?

What key things would I like to accomplish (just two or three)?

What characteristics will enable me to succeed?

Who can I count on to support and encourage me on my journey?

Now that you’ve given this some thought, write a couple of paragraphs describing yourself and what you believe to be true about you.

I’ve gone through a similar exercise, and if you’re interested in seeing the outcome, leave a comment or send an email and I’ll share with you!

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For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible. ~Stuart Chase

Over the past couple of years, I have significantly accelerated my personal growth, first by joining the John Maxwell Team, then by investing in the Mentorship program, then by enrolling in the Deeper Path Coaching Cohort, then a number of other investments, workshops, gaining access to mentors and coaches, studying books, and other lessons that have all seemed to roll out of and into each other…and one key point keeps rolling through my mind, day in and day out, with each new challenge and opportunity, and it is this:

Belief determines your potential

It’s another one of those things that is so simple, yet so profound, and so true.

You see, when I have believed in myself, I have been successful. When I have allowed doubt and fear to take charge, I have fallen behind. I see it in others, as well. You see it daily, also; although as you read the stories in the news, magazines, and in books, or hear them on the radio, you don’t always have the benefit of hearing the words explicitly stated.

I don’t watch American Idol, but I understand that it is Simon Cowell’s habit to ask each contestant why they think they can be the next winner; what he’s looking for is the person who unhesitatingly states something along the lines of: “This is what I was born for.” “I know this is my destiny.” “Because I believe I am the best at what I do, and I’m going to win!” The people who cannot state something close to these statements of confidence usually do not do as well. I suggest that in some of these cases, there is a lack of confidence, a lack of belief, or perhaps some self-limiting beliefs in action, holding these folks back from living into their full potential.

The point is to get you thinking about how your beliefs have impacted your potential.

Get out your journal and spend some time reflecting on these questions today:

Write a brief description of a time when you believed in yourself and your potential, and stepped forward into success.

What beliefs did you hold that made it possible?

What choices did you make to achieve your potential?

What can you carry forward, from this experience, that would serve you well in other situations?

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Well faithful readers, we are on the home stretch, as they say. Tomorrow we will begin the 12th, and final, month of our Intentional Leadership* journey. Over the next four weeks, we will focus on, think about, and take action in the area of Belief! It’s a fitting time of year for that — with the holidays coming up — don’t you think?

I believe each and every one of us is born with tremendous potential, and all the resources we need to reach it.

I believe each and every one of us can do all that we dream of and more.

I believe each and every one of us needs the support, insight, encouragement, and objectivity that is available to us only through a close friend or confidante…they see us as we cannot, and can provide us with new perspectives around how we interact in the world.

I also believe that too many of us fall short of our potential because our belief in ourself is not strong enough, and, as a result, we languish in our comfort zone, shackled with fear and doubt, and when we fail to live into our potential, we diminish others because we fail to share what we were meant to share with the world.

As Henry Ford said,

Whether you think (believe) you can or can’t, you are right.

Think of belief this way: It is the ignition switch that will launch you off the pad, if only you will hit the button!

Before we jump into the next four weeks, spend some time with your journal today and answer these questions:

What do I believe to be true about myself?

What do I believe is my potential as a leader?

What do I believe I am here to accomplish on earth?

What beliefs about myself do I need to accomplish my vision?

How have my beliefs about myself limited my ability to achieve what I have set out to do in the past?

What results can I attribute to my current self-beliefs?

*From the Intentional Leadership booklet by Giant Impact.

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If there’s one thing we must have learned so far through this intentional leadership journey it’s that leaders are active, not passive. They get things started; they take initiative. When others hesitate or do not know which way to go, Leaders know the way and show the way. Leaders do not succumb to doubt and fear, rather, they demonstrate courage and step forward  to move their teams/organizations ahead.

We’ve also been reminded that leadership is a process, a journey, and whatever we learn on our journey will have no lasting value until we apply it.

I encourage you to step forward today, to take initiative on something you’ve been thinking of for a while, but have hesitated on taking action. Send doubt and fear to the back of the bus, as they say, and step forward in strength, courage, boldness, and assurance that you are growing as a leader and making a difference for your team, your organization, and yourself.

If you never start, you’ll never get to where you long to be.

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And so, we have reached the end of week four of our eleventh month on this Intentional Leadership* journey! It’s time, again, for our Friday ritual; if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know where I’m headed; if you’re relatively new, jump in, you might find this useful!

As you head into the weekend, I ask you to consider how you approach your weekends. Many people rush into it with a need for rest, maybe some idea of what they would like to do or get done over the weekend, but often just move through it haphazardly, seeing where the days and hours take them.

As we are focused on becoming more intentional, I encourage you to consider a different approach to weekends (or whatever days are your typical days off!).

How might your life be different if you took a more intentional approach to your time off? What might that impact? Energy levels, relationships, projects?

How might your Monday be different if you took the time over the weekend to prepare for it, in whatever way makes sense for you?

To get you started, here are some questions to ponder:

What do those close to you need from you this weekend?

What do you need from this weekend?

How much time and attention will you allot to rest, projects, fun, relationships, future preparation?

How do you want to feel on Monday? What can you do to prepare for that?

What do you have going on in the coming weeks or months? What can you do now to prepare for that?

I’ve been traveling a bit more than usual the past few weeks, which means I’ve not had as much time to devote to some administrative tasks; that’s caught up with me, so I will spend some time on those tasks this weekend, along with organizing my home office space (purchased a new desk recently, which resulted in a lot of rearranging and reorganizing…not quite done, but making progress and it feels good!).

In addition, I am working my way through a significant, life-changing transition, so have some thinking to do in this area, and some planning, as well — for the coming weeks and for many weeks into the future. I also have some speaking engagements on my calendar, so need to prepare for those audiences.

As usual, family time, exercise time, rest, and reading.

However you decide to spend your weekend, I hope it’s intentional!

“See” you Monday! We will start our twelfth and final month on our Intentional Leadership journey on Monday; watch for Month 11 wrap-up and Month 12 preview over the weekend.

*From the Intentional Leadership booklet by Giant Impact.

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As we come near the end of our month of focus on “initiative,” how could your life and the lives of others be different if you master the art of taking initiative?

What might that do for your career?

What might that do for your personal life?

I challenge you, today, to make taking initiative a core facet of your leadership journey.

If you don’t, what affect will it have on yourself, others, your organization?

In other words…what do you have to lose? What do you have to gain?

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