Robin Sharma

Take action now to get a chance to succeed big later.

Don’t wait for the big opportunity before you give it your all. Instead grow where you’re planted; when you outgrow that you can be replanted somewhere else. Every professional was once an amateur who took action where they were to get where they got. Bob Proctor once said, “One difference between successful people and all the rest is that successful people take action.”

The action that successful people take isn’t just any action. For it to be impactful that action must be taken timely, early, and fully. Timely – do it now. Early – do it first. Fully – do it best.

Timely. What are you waiting for? You don’t know every answer and every turn you should take, but you do know where you want to go. Start from where you are, doing what you can do, and start today. I’ve heard it said that there are seven days in the week, and someday is not one of them.

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”– Napoleon Hill

Early. Starting today happens every day. You have a choice when you start your action on each day. Start early and do what’s important first. Read, reflect, and rejuvenate through daily exercise to fill yourself up before you give of yourself.

“Get up early. Show up fully. Serve massively. Make history.”– Robin Sharma

Fully. Go big or go home. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing great. Your daily actions, no matter how small the task, should be your best. Make a difference with what you do.

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”– Og Mandino

 

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Are you ready for success?

ready for successWill you be ready when the perfect opportunity to have the success you always wanted comes along?

Johnny Carson was the host of the Tonight Show for thirty years where he interviewed thousands of talented people, many who received their big break on his show. Carson himself received a big break when Red Skelton asked him to be a comedy writer on his show. Not long after he joined, Skelton was unable to host one of his live shows and Carson successfully filled in for him. How did Carson get ready for this perfect opportunity?   His college major was speech and drama as he wanted to become a radio performer. His college thesis was titled “How to Write Comedian Jokes” where he analyzed and explained the comedic techniques from popular radio shows of the day.

Johnny Carson talked about becoming successful when he said, “Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: ‘Are you ready?’”

The first step in being ready for success is to define success. What is success? That is personal to you. Each of us defines success in our own way. In order to be ready for success, you must start with a clear picture of what success means to you. This is the light that will guide the choices that you make. It’s why you do what you do.

You should recognize that you are always working for a purpose, so you should make it a good one. As author and speaker Tony Gaskin says, “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.”

The second step in being ready for success is to start getting ready. The best way to start is to start. Build a plan that includes what you need to know, who you need to know, and how you will obtain both then start with the first activity. Your path will become clearer as you move forward and you can and will adjust your plan.

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not.”– Napoleon Hill

The last step in being ready for success is to take the opportunities. Now that you have defined success and are getting ready for it, you must be on the lookout for and willing to grab hold of opportunities when they arrive. When you make a point of measuring each event against your plan for success you will find that there are more chances than you knew.

“If we are paying attention to our lives, we’ll recognize those defining moments…that if jumped on would get our careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow.” – Robin S. Sharma

Want to be generous? Get more to give more.

generous with your giftsA generous person must first be a successful person who is focused on what they have before they can think about how to use it. Understanding what you have and getting more of it is half of the equation – the other half is how you use what you have. Success only comes from finding a way to bring these two pieces together – the having, and the giving. Zig Ziglar put these two concepts together when he said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

Understand what you have. When we talk about being generous, money is the obvious first place we go to. But money is only the beginning and in the long run the lessor of what we have to give. We are all endowed with gifts that we can be generous with – Time, Knowledge, Encouragement – to name a few.

We don’t really know what others are looking for so as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

Getting more of what you have. There are many books and conferences dedicated to getting more money, so let’s look at the how we can be dedicated to get more of the other gifts we can give.

Time – There is a finite amount of time so in reality we can’t get more, but if we want to give more of our time we can prioritize how we are using the time we have. Start by deciding what activities are the most important then align your time to accomplishing those.

Knowledge – We all know something, and most people know a lot. If you want to be generous with your knowledge, then the path to getting more is fairly simple – read more, study more, discuss more – strive to learn more each day, a little at a time.

Encouragement – Lifting others up requires much more passive skills than we think. The key activity of encouragement is listening. This requires that we strive to gain more patience to search for just the right moment to ask the right question, or perhaps point out a new direction for someone to consider.

Robin Sharma talks about creating Perfect Moments in our lives and in the lives of others. All of these perfect moments revolve around experiences with those that we are closest to. He says, “Living a gorgeous life doesn’t require a lot of money. Just a lot of dedication.”

Using what you have. In his book The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino writes about achieving a life of abundance. The main character in this book learns the full measure of success when he is told, “Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving.”

Understanding what we have and how to get more of it only leads to success when we are generous in sharing. Find ways to be in situations to use what you have for the benefit of others. Measure your opportunities against the yardstick of generosity and you will find success will be yours to receive and to give.

Leaders: Does your team really know you?

getting to know youHow can your team get to know you? Is it through emails, team talks, and presentations? It’s all of those and more. Is it by observing you in action? Yes, that too. How about from the results you drive? That’s an important one. If you had to pick the most important way for your team to get to know you what would it be? The answer is all three together.

Your team needs to feel connected to you. Your team needs to see that you are consistent. And your team needs to be convinced that if they follow you they will be successful.

Connected. Are you available and approachable? Your team should hear you and see you on a regular basis; and not just on stage – although that’s a good start. How about meeting with them in person. Of course you are in meetings with people on projects, but are you talking with them about them? The best interactions are the regular, “How’s it going?” talks where you ask questions and they ask questions and you keep your connection strong.

“The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection.” – Robin Sharma

Consistent. Does what you say match what you do? Your team needs to know they can count on you to back up what you say. Remember even though you are the leader, you are still part of the team. Only commit to what you can deliver, and deliver what you commit to. People will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold – but so does a hard-boiled egg.

“In any team sport, the best teams have consistency.” – Roger Staubach

Convincing. Does what you say and do lead to success? What you say and what you do will lead to some result – make sure it’s a good one. This is the ultimate expression of getting to know you. Some might say you are what you celebrate.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

 

Lead with no distractions

No distractions robin sharmaSuccessful leaders know that their toughest leadership assignment is themselves. They are keenly focused on the needs of their teams, their company, and their customers. What do successful leaders need to focus on to lead themselves?   They need to eliminate distractions – if they want to remain successful.

Distractions that are the most difficult to conquer are subtle and internally driven. Anything that keeps us from focusing on the ultimate goals and the path that leads there is a distraction. Distractions can derail our ability to grow and be the best we can be if we let them.

Robin Sharma said, “We are so deep into daily distractions and ‘being busy’ that we miss out on those moments that – if jumped on – would get our careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow.”

Three internal distractions that leaders need to eliminate take place in their thinking, speaking and doing.

Distractions in thinking, speaking, and doing

Thinking. All leaders have to think; they key is what you think about. The easiest way to be distracted in your thinking is to focus on things other than that which will help you achieve your goals. Don’t think about the great assignments, or titles, or anything else that other people have. You may want to achieve the same stature someday, but you won’t get there by thinking about what they have; you get there by focusing on what you have – your goals.

“If you think the grass is greener on the other side then water your lawn.”– John Maxwell

Speaking. Verbal communication is very important in leadership. Don’t let your conversations become a distraction. Choose your words, think before you speak, and speak succinctly. Don’t over explain or under explain. Don’t over talk or under talk. Look for a balance in your speaking.

“The conversation should be about what you say, not how you say it.” – Denis G. McLaughlin

Doing. Make it real, this is where it all comes together. If you lead without distractions you will think about your goals, talk about your goals and execute your goals.

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus

Lead with integrity

toungue in mouth and shoeYour example is the best teacher of integrity for those who are watching – and believe me, your followers are watching.  They may hear every word of advice you give, but unless they see you living out your own advice it won’t stick. 

“Make sure the tongue in your shoes goes the same direction as the tongue in your mouth.” – Ken Whitten

Your example is also the best teacher for yourself.  Unless you keep the bar of success high; you will never know what you are capable of achieving.

“Remember that the bigger the goal, the stronger a person you must become to achieve that goal.”  – Robin Sharma

What does it mean then to lead with integrity – even when you don’t want to, have to, or need to?

What if I don’t want to lead with integrity? It will be difficult. You will face challenges.  Isn’t there anyone else who can do this?

There are times in our careers and our lives, when we wish someone else would step up and lead.  “Don’t I deserve to just sit this one out?” We say. You’re in charge for a reason my friend – you are good at it.  You are gifted in your ability to lead.  If you are the leader, then you have to lead. 

“Leadership – it’s not about rights, it’s about responsibility.”  – Denis G. McLaughlin

What if I don’t have to lead with integrity? No one will know. It’s only once and you will do it next time.

Vince Lombardi said, “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” Brian Alden learned how to lead by studying great leaders like Lombardi.  He found that “Leaders with a history of success have developed a habit of working hard to achieve their success.” Don’t make choices based on other’s knowledge of your choices; make them based on your habit of hard work.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

What if I don’t need to lead with integrity? Everyone will understand. No one expects you to be perfect.

It’s true that no one really expects anyone to be perfect, you included.  Will everyone understand if I make a mistake? For the most part, yes.  But you want your legacy to be more than “He wasn’t perfect.”  I would rather my epitaph be something like, “He always gave his best effort.”  If I let someone down, it won’t be because I didn’t try to do my best. That is the example I want to set for my team.

“The proof of your character comes through in the lives of those on whom you have an impact.”– Denis G. McLaughlin

Lead with integrity, even when you don’t want to, have to, or need to.

integrity-quotesYour example of integrity is the best teacher for those who are watching – and believe me, your followers are watching.  They may hear every word of advice you give, but unless they see you living out your own advice it won’t stick.

“Make sure the tongue in your shoes goes the same direction as the tongue in your mouth.”  – Ken Whitten

As a leader, your team members seek your approval.  Whether it’s intentional or not, they will imitate your actions in an effort to align with your expectations.  In my first book, The Leadership GPS, Brian Alden learned from his mentor that “Imitation is preferred when you are following success.”

Your example of integrity is also the best teacher for yourself.  Unless you keep the bar of success high; you will never know what you are capable of achieving.

“Remember that the bigger the goal, the stronger a person you must become to achieve that goal.”  – Robin Sharma

Brian Alden’s mentor taught him early in life that “The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”

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