Today our country turns 236, which got me thinking about its beginning, specifically the Declaration of Independence. Its 56 signers represented all walks of life—doctors, lawyers, farmers, even an indentured servant. Still, each had something in common: a willingness to put his life on the line for a cause that would make a better future.
Their document, declaring independence for the 13 colonies, was not just a statement. It was a declaration of freedom from the tyranny of King George III, and it was considered an act of treason punishable by death. These men had the most powerful army in the world after them. Declaring their identities with their signatures put their very lives in danger.
When John Hancock signed his name in a large, sweeping script, he was not merely being bold. He was being brave. He knew the risk, and he was all in.
Everything in life that’s worth it comes at great risk and sometimes at a price. Think of everything you have achieved, and I’m confident you won’t be able to think of anything worth it that was easy.
Just as these signers stated that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, I ask you to look at what drives you. What starts a fire inside of you? What are you that committed to?
You may not beget a new nation. What you do may not come to affect hundreds of millions of people. No matter what walk of life you come from, you can do something that will affect you and those around you. And you will know that what you did was worthwhile.
What will you put your name to?
Have you ever parked your car on a lot or in a garage and realized your parking would be free if you got your ticket validated? Then you’re suddenly motivated to patronize a restaurant or a business. You’re excited for your free parking.
It has that same motivating power in relationships. Just as the parking validation makes your visit legally valid, validating another person makes that person feel valued. This is a clue to good leadership: remembering that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Not the way they adorn a pizza or make a tasty paste, but the way they stick together, work together, and protect each other. It’s a great outlook to have in business. Being a fearless mentor is a way to guarantee that your business will perpetuate.
When a school of anchovies senses danger, it swims together in a tight ball, with the fish on the inside more protected and those on the outside facing greater chances of being consumed. (more…)
Benjamin Franklin was the only man who signed all four documents connected with the beginning of our nation; the Declaration of Independence, the Alliance with France, the Treaty with England, and the Constitution of the United States of America. When he was just 22 years old he wrote down 13 virtues he wanted to acquire.
Those qualities he listed were:
1. Temperance – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. (more…)
I am sure you have noticed the question, “How’s My Driving?” plus a telephone number on the rear bumpers of large trucks, buses or even commercial pickup trucks and vans. I’ve wondered if maybe the drivers of those rigs really need to know they’re doing a good job.
Once I actually called one of those numbers and left this message: “I just wanted to call and tell you how your driving was. You were fantastic. You stayed completely focused and clearly knew exactly where you were going. As a suggestion, you might consider not riding so close behind us smaller cars – it can be a little intimidating. Keep up the good work and have a safe and successful day!” I hope the message got to him. (more…)
A good leader knows how to spot those who will sprint and doesn’t waste effort on those that need to be poked and prodded along. It can be hard to do, especially when you care personally about every member of your team. But there’s a true principle that, if you embrace it, will help you hone your leadership skills and get the most productivity out of your team. (more…)
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