Monthly Archives: January 2013

Before you say “I can’t”, you pass by “I can.” – Part 2

In my last blog I discussed believing in yourself and choosing “I can if,” and not “I can’t because,” when faced with struggles or doubt.

Sometimes it isn’t enough to be the only one who believes in yourself – what do you do then? 

The success of a journey often depends more on who you are with than where you are going.”
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Before you say “I can’t”, you pass by “I can.”

When I first learned this simple statement from Gay Hendricks, I have to be honest, it didn’t stick.  It seemed too easy to say, and too hard to implement.  Could I really just choose to think “I can” over “I can’t?”  I thought about that for some time.  It finally clicked for me when I added two words: because and if.  So, for me this simple statement now reads like this:

Before you say “I can’t because”, you pass by “I can if.”

This thought process has worked for me in business, and in life.

In times of struggle or doubt, turn your focus from the obstacles to success and instead focus on the means to overcome the obstacles.

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You are a mentor and are being mentored every day – Part 2

In my last post I discussed how we came to use the word mentor to mean a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.  It originated with the Greek classic The Odyssey where Mentor was a man whom the king appointed to protect and counsel his family while he was away at war.

Through that story we saw that until Mentor was filled with wisdom, he fell far short of his role as protector and counselor.

If you are a mentor to someone else, how can you be sure you are giving wise counsel?

If you have a mentor, how can you be sure you are receiving wise counsel?

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You are a mentor and are being mentored every day

What is a mentor? I looked up the word on and found a definition of a mentor that makes perfect sense: A mentor is a “wise and trusted counselor or teacher.”

I found another rather strange definition of a mentor on the Miriam Webster site: Mentor was a “friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus’ son Telemachus”

The name Mentor refers to a man from the Greek classic The Odyssey.  In this story, Mentor is described as “The close companion to whom Odysseus, when he set forth, had entrusted his family, and charged to keep all safe till his return.” The king had “set forth” to fight the Trojan War and left behind his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus.

Since we now use the name Mentor to describe “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher” you could assume that Mentor did a tremendous job in protecting and guiding young Telemachus – Let’s see.

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Lessons in Leading Change I Learned From Indoor Skydiving

Yes, that picture is me experiencing the feeling of free falling.

What could I possibly learn about Leading Change from Indoor Skydiving?

First let me explain Indoor Skydiving.  The entire experience takes place inside a vertical wind tunnel at wind speeds of 120 mph.  You wear the same gear as a skydiver, suit, helmet, goggles and ear plugs – not just for show, by the way, imagine what 120mph can do to a body in a wind tunnel if you change your body position too quick or too much.

Here are the Lessons in Leading Change I Learned From Indoor Skydiving:

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Lessons in Leading Change I Learned From Elephants

Elephants are large animals standing up to 13 feet tall and weighing up to 15,000 pounds. It’s no wonder we associate our difficultty leading change with our inability to move an elephant.

My leadership team and I are finishing a study of the book Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.  In Switch, Chip and Dan describe the process of leading change in the picture of an elephant and its rider.

In short, the rider represents rational and logical thought and the elephant represents our emotional needs.  Leaders must address both sides by addressing the head of the rider by explaining the need for change while capturing the heart of the elephant so it desires the change.

My family and I had the opportunity to visit a family-run elephant preserve.   We observed the elephants interacting, exercising, performing and even painting a picture.  The preserve owners and trainers taught us the about the elephants and their individual personality and behavior. Read More…

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