Incredible or Credible?

What is your choice? According to Mirriam-Webster, Incredible is defined as “too extraordinary and improbable to be believed.” Credible evidence is evidence that’s likely to be believed. A credible plan is one that might actually work, and a credible excuse is one your parents might actually believe. And just as credible means “believable”, the noun credibility means “believability”. (But we no longer use incredible to mean the literal opposite of credible, just as we no longer use unbelievable as the literal opposite of believable.)

I can think of several people that I have come across that have incredible stories of their life. As I work in the Federal Government, I have come across a couple if not more supervisors that were incredible. They had stories and careers that were really not believable. In order for you to be a great leader, you have to have the total opposite of incredible, Credible.

The same Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines Credible as “offering reasonable grounds for being believed.” So if you are credible, what does that really mean? Let’s take a look at a couple of different words that evolve from the root of the word, “Cred,” as in Street Cred. Street Cred is a term used mostly by urban dwellers. People who live in the city think that they have more street cred that those of us who might live in the country. Credulous definition is “ready to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence.” In another word, Naïve. Does that mean then, that you aren’t credible? Maybe more of a story teller.

I think that with all of the definitions above we can certainly say about credible is that “I will know it when I see it.” What makes you credible? What makes you believable? I offer the keys to credibility.

Integrity – A major key element of credibility is integrity. It involves transparency, trustworthiness, and moral predictability. It is good to know someone that we can say embodies the phrase, “what you see is what you get.” In some form, we are really believing, trusting, and accepting a lot of objectivity.

Don’t underestimate the importance of honesty and integrity in the workplace.  People who have a track record of being objective and truthful are perceived as more credible than those who don’t.  Companies who open their books to union representatives are more credible than those who don’t.  Conclusions based on scientific or systematic inquiry are credible conclusions.

To boost your credibility on this element, take the following actions:

  • Invest time in clarifying your values and examining your behavior in light of them
  • Build a reputation for truthful and ethical behavior
  • If you make a mistake, be truthful about it rather than cover it up

Competence – “It’s easy to run to others. It’s so hard to stand on one’s own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can’t fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It’s easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It’s simple to seek substitutes for competence–such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.”
― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

“Leaders empower individuals by building trust and coaching competence in their job roles and networking skills.”   Kenneth H. Blanchard, Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster

So competence is knowing what you know so you can do what you have to do. At some point, if you are a leader, you will be challenged to your competency. I read somewhere that you can edit your resume to say whatever you want it to say to get the interview, but it is YOU who will get the job. That just means that you have to know what your job is first. Before you are able to graduate school, you have to prove a certain level of competence. Competence then is an outcome: it describes what someone can do. It does not describe the learning process which the individual has undergone.

To boost your credibility on this element, take the following actions:

  • Obtain a license to practice or a professional certification appropriate to your field
  • Request high-visibility projects to establish a track record
  • Ask to participate on task forces with key people in your organization so they can see your competence firsthand.

Sound Judgement – As guided by an article by Jim Downing, How do you Exercise Sound Judgement?>>

 

What makes a good leader?

  1. Definition of leader: accomplishing our objectives by utilizing the efforts of others.
  2. Leaders cannot be discerned through personality characteristics.
  3. Some followers possess the same characteristics as their leaders.
  4. Characteristics found in one situation are not found in another.
  5. Within the same situation, characteristics of leaders vary greatly.
  6. Leader’s success is based upon whether or not leader can help the group attain their goal.
  7. Leader must learn to pattern actions to the demands of the situation

Why men are not effective leaders?

  1. They are uncertain.
  2. They are unconcerned.
  3. They are over-concerned.
  4. There are two main reasons.
  5. They have an inability to analyze the situation that confronts him so that he is unable to arrive at the appropriate course of action.
  6. They have an inability to implement the appropriate action once it is identified.

Lack of sound judgment is the greatest cause of failure.

  1. Sound Judgment: the ability to weigh the evidence and come up with the right answer.
  2. Having information is the most necessary factor for exercising sound judgment.
  3. Things that can affect sound judgment:
  4. Prejudice
  5. Lack of courage
    1. This is affected by social pressure.
    2. This is affected by expediency.
    3. This is affected by legality.
  6. Sound judgment requires distinction between two ideas.
    1. Observations are products of personal experience.
    2. Inferences are decisions about the meanings of our observations.

Relationally Sensitive –

People with high credibility know how to ask questions about our values and interests, to listen intently and with empathy, and to pull people together.  These are the people with high emotional intelligence to balance the arrogance that sometimes comes with expertise.

Jay Conger, an expert on persuasion, puts it this way:

On the relationship side, people with high credibility have demonstrated—again, usually over time—that they can be trusted to listen and to work in the best interests of others.  They have also consistently shown strong emotional character and integrity; that is, they are not known for mood extremes or inconsistent performance.

A person develops a track record in relationships in the same way he develops a track record in performance.  If he becomes known for building commitment and cooperation, for being level-headed and fair, everyone will want him on their team.

To boost your credibility on this element, take the following actions:

  •  Demonstrate willingness to learn from others and from your own mistakes
  • Demonstrate concern for others’ values, goals, and objectives
  • Take time to understand another’s point of view before refuting or rejecting it

Likeable –

Research studies consistently reveal that people respond positively to others whom they like.  They trust them, they cooperate with them, they approve their proposals, and they buy from them.  Mitch Anthony, author of Selling with Emotional Intelligence, puts it succinctly, “Likeability is as important as ability.”

Emotional intelligence guru, Daniel Goleman, and co-authors Boyatzis and McKee, remind us of the importance of optimism and a lighthearted perspective in the workplace, asserting that leaders who have the ability to express enthusiasm and upbeat emotions attract other people.

Further, the authors remind us that a smile (friendliness) is contagious, drawing others to smile in response.  A smile, however, can be faked.  Laughter is too complex for faking, and, at a deep, non-verbal level, people know this.  Accordingly, we trust (assign credibility to) people who laugh with us.

To boost your credibility on this element, take the following actions:

  • Communicate optimistically by describing challenges rather than problems
  • Go out of your way to be friendly, even if you aren’t an extravert
  • Practice finding the humor around you, especially in stressful situations

No single element described here can guarantee high perceived credibility.  After all, an expert without integrity might be a dictator.  A likeable person who lacks judgment will make stupid decisions.

People assign you a degree of credibility based on how they rate you on the interplay between the elements of credibility:  integrity, expertise, sound judgment, relationship sensitivity, and likeability.  Perceived credibility is a package deal.

Understanding the elements of credibility provides you with opportunities to boost your perceived credibility and your success.  Review the elements and action steps in this article, and choose one action to work on at a time.  With time and consistency, you can boost your credibility at work and in your community.  You need to know the definition of credibility—and you need to care!

 

  • Express gratitude privately, publicly and in writing.

From Street Kids to Soldiers

Many people in the work force complain about their job. Is it the job or is it your attitude or is it something else altogether? Let’s look at what it could be.

Maybe you do have a crappy situation. Perhaps your colleagues or supervisor are causing you grief. Maybe. Maybe Not. Maybe it is totally the way you are looking at the situation that you are in. Maybe the whole situation is your fault and not that of anyone outside of your circle of influence. Either way, if you are unhappy at your job, you have to find a way to fix it. My friend Mack Story says that most are not job hopping, they are leader hopping. What does that mean exactly? When you are leader hopping, that means you don’t have the right leader to take you to the next level. That leader may just be a manager. The manager manages things and the leader leads people. It may be someone that doesn’t even want to be in the leadership role. That person may be insecure in the position. In other words, that person is a “low-impact leader”. He does what he has to, the bare minimum to get by and doesn’t expect much in return.

Poor Leadership is not a new concept. It has been rearing its ugly head for thousands of years. Let’s talk more about the position that you might be in. Could it be that you are in the wrong position? Could be, but what if you didn’t even need a position to be a leader. “If you can’t led without a position, you won’t lead with a position” says Mack. This is a huge concept. I have an employee now that many people follow because he has the right attitude and is a strong people person. He is not in a position of authority, but if something needed to get done while I wasn’t there, he would be the one to get it done. He has the power of influence. He also has customers that follow him. I work in a gym and customers are always asking him questions about lifting weights and nutrition. Why do you think they do that? He doesn’t have any other position that the others don’t have. He isn’t in a position of authority. He just has the right attitude. When it comes time to elevate someone to the next level, he will be my first choice. I also put him in for employee of they year. He won! He is the real deal. Why do you think he won? A person with the gift of leadership and a broad sphere of influence casts a great shadow. ~ Jimmy Collins

Jimmy Collins was the President and COO of Chick-fil-A. He retired in 2001 after 33 years of service. Working with Truett Cathy, the Chick-fil-A founder, together they brought Chick-fil-A to a $6 billion organization. In his book, “Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness”, he lays out 35 principles that would lead someone to become effective followers. Mr. Collins was the epitome of followership and knew how to follow the leader.  In order to be a great leader, you first must become a great follower. The military does this well. You start in the military at the bottom. In basic training, you are led by the best drill sergeants that could be found. They lead you to do your best. But you follow. You do everything they say. Now while doing this, they are looking for soldiers that are going to stand out. Who is going to rise above the cream of the crop. Within the followers are going to be leaders. Ones who have the natural ability to influence another person into doing what must be done to get the mission accomplished. These certain ones will now be squad leaders and other leaders. On and on training goes until everyone knows how to be a soldier. They are taken from street kids to soldiers. They make or they don’t graduate. Once you learn how to follow, you start a new phase, growth. You learn your job, you continue to learn how to soldier, and many other skills. When you are able to master these new skills, you can get promoted. Eventually if you follow as Mr. Collins did, you are given an opportunity to be a leader. This is not automatic but you are groomed into the position. Just as my employee and I were groomed in the military, we know how to lead with influence. I didn’t know till later though that it was influence that gave me the leadership trait. I thought it was because I was a Sergeant. I thought it was the position. Not so.

So now what do you do with your crappy job? You change it. In order for something to happen different, you have to do something different. Once you start to take a new path, your position changes and you are not where you were. You may not be where you want to be but you are moving forward. Is it you? Is it your colleagues? Is it your boss? The answer could be all three or none at all. What is true is that nothing will change until you change it. As mentioned at the beginning, people leave a job because of their boss, not because of the job. What will you do to change how you feel at work?

 

 

Cancer and the fight

I have to share with you an experience that I just went through. Not always when you write do you think about who is on the receiving end or who it is that is receiving.

Just a few days ago, a family friend called my mother in law. She had the most terrible news that she had colon cancer. Going through the process right now with my wife, I knew now what she will be faced with and what she will be going through.

The reason and the way that she found out was through one of my writings sharing about colon cancer and the need to get screened. She had never been screened and she was in her 70’s. She saw my post and decided that she would get screened and made the appointment. It was very quick and she found out the results of the screen. They put her into surgery. The doctor said with strong assurance that he was able to remove all of the cancer that was there.

It was because of what I wrote and shared to everyone that she took that action to have the check. As I say in my bio on the front of this page, if I am able to affect one person and make a difference, I have done something positive.

I have also received some other great news, that one of my friends’ mom who was diagnosed with cancer, now does not. Luckily is was a misdiagnosis, but I don’t with that kind of diagnosis on anyone.

God is good. Pray for my wife and her continued fight and God’s blessing and cure for her. Thanks to all who read.

How important does listening affect your influence?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

When you are overwhelmed with things that happen in your life, how do you refocus? One of the things that is the hardest things to do but yet very easy is the act of listening. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) states, “By becoming better listeners, we will improve our productivity, as well as our ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. More importantly, we’ll avoid conflict and misunderstandings in the workplace. When we engage in conversation, it is critical for us to give our undivided attention.”

I argue that by becoming better listeners, we improve every aspect of our lives: home, work and play. So how is it that this act of listening then becomes a habit? Listening is a special act of progression towards being habitual. It is only one part of communication but it may be the most important.Take time to personally refocus by listening. Listen to an audio book, audio blog, or just listen to some calm music. You have to be the one in control. What ever you listen to, stay objective, have no bias, clear your mind, your thoughts, be receptive.

Many of the people I know are in some form of customer service. Even if you aren’t in the formal form of customer service where you might be providing a direct service to the customer like bringing their dinner to the table in the form of a waiter, or taking their money in the form of a cashier, you might be in construction where you have a customer that you may never see, or a dentist who fixes teeth, or many other jobs. Everyone is a customer and most people take care of a customer. So why is it that when you are a customer at a fast food restaurant, you sometimes do not get the right order.

Maybe the person who heard your order wasn’t actually listening. So if we have the ability to influence other people just by listening, why then do we not take it more seriously? I had the opportunity to experience having the wrong order just the other night. I wanted to order a piece of chocolate cake. What did I get? Chocolate yes, but chocolate chip cookies. I got home and the cookies were there but not the cake. What am I talking about? I didn’t order the cookies.

Being positive is the first response to the negative action. I went back that evening and asked the cashier for a cake. I had already called about it and really wasn’t mad. I did however need to make sure that the management knew about the situation so that training could be done if that was the choice. Some days are more difficult than others and I had my share of difficulty that day. My attitude over the fact that the cashier wasn’t listening and wasn’t paying attention to me as a customer remained positive as I couldn’t deal with anymore negativity anyway. It’s difficult to always be positive and motivated, but when you motivate yourself. If you concentrate on making yourself better time after time, you then are the catalyst of change. Staying positive allows you to rethink many situations you encounter. You have the ability through your actions to become influential for others.

Life is . . .

It has been awhile since I have written a post. I have no excuse because those aren’t really something winners use. I hope you are well.

I don’t think there is a word that is dreaded more in the English Language than cancer. I remember the day my wife got diagnosed like it was yesterday. My life went from completely normal to panic, chaos and sadness in about 30 seconds.

Life is short. If cancer has taught me anything, it’s how short life really is. Life can change in a matter of seconds and literally flip your world upside down. My wife was diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving in 2014. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and other times if feels like a lifetime. Regardless of the stage the cancer is diagnosed, it has has this way of turning your life into complete panic mode. Every fear you have ever had is coming to light right in front of you and there is no way to stop it.

This one word that we are so afraid of, has this awful way of making you feel like death is knocking on your family’s door.

Life is unexpected. Life has this awful way of ripping the ground out from under you right when things start to feel normal and stable. Nobody goes to bed at night and thinks that they themselves or their loved one is going to be diagnosed with cancer the next day.

It’s an awful curve ball life just kind of throws at you. You get this devastating news and have to make all of these critical decisions in a short amount of time. Your life becomes entirely different than it was yesterday. Enjoy every moment, you never know what will happen tomorrow.

Life is Love. Appreciate your loved ones. I think this is one of the biggest lessons that have come from “The C word” entering my life. We get so caught up in life that without knowing it, we neglect many of the relationships with the people most important to us. We forget to call. Nowadays, cell phone usage is the way of the world. Most programs associated with the phone gives you as many minutes as you can use and the term “long distance” is almost obsolete. Even then, do we make as many calls as we should. I think not.

We forget to write. We forget to appreciate our loved ones without even realizing it. Cancer has taught me to never go a day without telling the important people in my life that I love them. It only takes a few minutes to make a phone call or send a text to “check in.” Don’t push aside the people who mean the most. Writing has also changed. Sending a letter by mail is just about obsolete. Nobody sends postcards or jots down a note, puts it in an envelope, puts a stamp on the outside, and allows it to be delivered by the post office. Nowadays, we use email, text, facebook, instagram and so many other electronic versions of writing. Yet do we make the contact to the important people in our lives?

Life is Good. Don’t forget to enjoy the good things in life. With everything hectic happening around us, it is so easy to get caught up and forget how to have fun or how to enjoy the simple, happy, moments.

So many of the great memories that we are making, we will never get to experience again. Put your phone down. Live in the moment. Enjoy every ounce of good that life has to offer you.

Influence – From a perspective of faith

I learned from my pastor that you can’t save your children. You can raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, guard them from the sinful influences and temptations of the world, and cocoon them in the fellowship of others who know and love God. But in the end, their repentance and faith cannot be inherited or manufactured—salvation is God’s work, not yours. As a parent, your influence can only go so far.

Having said that, I want to stress that sometimes-I should say often—parents are partly to blame for their wayward children’s rebellion. I have seen many parental groups in my tight knit circle as well as out in society that are generally more to blame for wayward kids than society, peers, or any of the other influences parents tend to blame. Is it the responsibility of our society, peers, or any of the other outside influences to raise our children? Now I don’t have children so this coming from me might sound a bit phony, but I implore you to listen to the rest. One doesn’t need to have children to understand the principles that God has set for us. To answer the previous question, It is no one’s responsibility but that of the parents. It seems that some parents have violated nearly every biblical principle of parenting, who nonetheless come to the pastor seeking some kind of absolution from the responsibility for their children’s defiance. They want verbal assurance that they are in no way to blame; someone else is. God Himself has given the responsibility for raising children to parents—not to schoolteachers, peers, child-care workers, or other people outside the family—and therefore it is wrong for parents to attempt to unload that responsibility or shift the blame when things go wrong.

From Mack Story I learned that Influence to your children is critical. I remember a story he told in his first book about he and his son. Mack made many bad choices as a parent and he isn’t afraid to admit that. Those bad choices created negative (bad) reaction in the child. The child later did not want to be with the father. The child then went on to make his own life and own decisions. The father then lived 4 years of life without the activities of his son in his life. The father chose to control instead of influence. John Maxwell says this, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything rises and falls on Leadership.”

Some parents will no doubt cynically roll their eyes at that, and insist that it is unrealistic in this day and age to expect parents to influence their kids more than peers, the culture, television, schoolteachers, and all the other factors that vie for a controlling interest in the typical child’s life. Parents must involve themselves in their children’s lives enough to insure that no other influence takes precedence. To parents who complain that their kids’ failures are the kids’ friends’ fault, my inevitable reply is that ultimately the parents themselves must be to blame, because they were the ones who allowed peers to have more input into their kids’ lives than they have themselves.

Parents must realize that character is neither inbred by genetics nor picked up by osmosis. Children are taught to be what they become. If they have become something other than what the parents hoped for, it is usually because they have simply learned from those who were there to teach them in their parents’ absence. Whenever outside influences shape a child’s character more than the parents, the parents have failed in their duties. It is as simple as that.

For many parents, the first step toward getting back on track must be a fresh commitment to the things of God for themselves. If our own priorities in life are askew, there’s no hope of teaching our children what they need to learn.

Parents, take inventory in your own hearts. Do you thirst for God as the deer pants after the water? Or is your own life sending your children a message of hypocrisy and spiritual indifference? Is your own commitment to Christ what you hope to see in your children’s lives? Is your obedience to His Word the same kind of submission you long to see from your own kids?

Those are crucial questions each parent must face if we really want to be successful parents and good role models for our children. For parents to be derelict in their own spiritual lives is tantamount to cutting down all the shade trees for the next generation in their family.

Christian parents—be encouraged. You have a responsibility before God to use your influence with your children for His glory and their good. But the weight of their eternity is not on your shoulders—remember they’re not born morally neutral. God will use whatever means He chooses to draw His people to Himself. Pray He will use you in the lives of your children, and trust that He is faithful even through your failures.

You will Fail at some point in your Life! You will Lose!

You will Fail at some point in your Life! You will Lose! You will embarrass yourself; You will suck at something, no doubt about it.

I heard this statement from a University Graduation Speech. Many of us know that failure is a part of life. Many of us also know that Failure is not the end of your story. Let’s take a look at some notable failures.

Henry Ford – His first two companies failed. He then incorporated the Ford Motor Company and then became the first to apply assembly line manufacturing to the production of affordable automobiles.

Albert Einstein – When Einstein was young his parents thought he was mentally retarded. His grades in school were so poor that a teacher asked him to quit, saying, “Einstein, you will never amount to anything!” Also he didn’t speak until he turned 4 and didn’t read until he was 7.

We know him as the theoretical physicist widely regarded as the most important scientist of the 20th century. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and “for his services to Theoretical Physics”.

Walt Disney – Disney started his own business from his home garage and his very first cartoon production went bankrupt. During his first press conference, a newspaper editor ridiculed Walt Disney because he had no good ideas for film production.

Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator. One of the most well-known motion picture producers in the world, Disney founded a production company. The corporation, now known as ‘The Walt Disney company’, makes average revenue of US $30 billion annually.

What happens when you fail? What happens when you get fired from a job, you are a track star and you have been preparing for years to get to the Olympics and you don’t make the team? There are many steps in life to which you could fail. As you see from just the 3 people noted above, failure was just the first step. Failure is actually the beginning. But how do you turn that failure into the next step? Let’s take a look.

What are you going to do now?

You frankly have two choices. You can sit where you are and sulk, be sorry for yourself. Sit in the failure and do nothing. Give up! Or you can pull yourself from the darkness and point yourself to the new light. Everyone I think has heard of the analogy “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.” You make the decision to step out of the darkness. You see, when you are in the darkness, you want to sit there and wait for the light to come to you. It really doesn’t work that way. The above analogy about the light and the tunnel works only if you are moving forward towards the light. Sometime you do not know how far away the light is. You don’t know how far a destination will be to travel to the light. I know this, you cannot sit and wait for it to come to you. The light will ‘never’ come closer to you without you moving toward it, Never.  Step toward the light is to face your fear. When you are in the dark, you are also at a point to where you are unable to see. When you get to the light, you are able to see what you have been facing. Being in the darkness is uncomfortable, That is why the only way out may be to create your own light. If you are in a tunnel, you could use a flashlight to see. That is a temporary light. A light to use in the failure of natural light, but it is still a light.

Each of the 3 notables above failed. What did they do next? They failed forward. Albert Einstein said that “Imagination is more than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, Imagination encircles the world”. Henry Ford said this about Failure, “Failure is simply the opportunity to start again, this time more intelligently.” They took their failures, modified the processes, and/or scrapped the whole initial idea but they started again. Another notable people may know is Michael Jordan. He was so common of a person in High School that he was dismissed for his ‘lack of skill’. Michael says this about Failure: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

I would like for you to do this as a test. Right now, close your eyes. Shut them tight. What do you see? Yes, nothing. Darkness perhaps. I challenge you to dream. Dream of what you want the most. When you close your eyes, you are allowing yourself to temporarily enter into darkness. Take a moment to dream. Or this, think of a time in the day which is the best for you. Then close your eyes and dream. The very next thing you do when you are done dreaming is what? Open your eyes. How now then can you see to achieve your dream if you are still in the dark?

I have had failure in my life. I have been fired from two jobs. Jobs that I dreamed of doing. Jobs I saw myself in for a long time. The first for making a silly decision and the second for not applying the proper knowledge. I had the knowledge but I was not applying it. I wanted to think that the job was going to get done by itself. OH I was there everyday. I would call myself at that time in life as a manager. A person that sat at a desk and told people what to do. A person who fired people quicker than I could higher them. Was that a highlight of my life? I say no. Was it a teachable moment? Oh yes! I learned what not to do. I learned to fail forward. To learn from my failure and do it right the next time. I was in a dark place then. At that time I thought the distance between my dream and reality was a long way off. I was stuck. Stuck in a place I did not want to be.

What would your life be like if you decided to let your fears not stop you?

People that are hungry are “No matter what people.” They get what they want “No matter what.” Faith, hope and confidence will lead you to your dream. If you are not that hungry person, you need to change your mindset. Looking at New Years Resolutions, people do real well in January, February, March and maybe even April. But then they start losing focus. They start losing focus on their dream. They started because the had the right mindset. They knew what they wanted, a better physique, loss of weight, quit smoking, be a better person. Insert your “Resolution” in there. Did you achieve what you set out to do? What stopped you? I guarantee that you lost focus!

Remember above I asked you to close your eyes. Now open them and See. See what it is that you want to do. What do you want? What is it? Whatever it is, I say that if you do not get out of bed, if you are still in the dark, if you still feel lousy about yourself, you will not move forward. The days you feel like quitting and the only thing that is going to make you get out of the bed for the day, is what you see!!

You are going to make a lot of mistakes, but hold your head up. No matter what you do and everything goes wrong, Hold your head up! You have to have the character to hold your head up. Walk with a different type of spirit. GET UP! Les Brown also says, Hold your head up. When you are working at your dream, what you become in the process is more than the dream. Someone once said “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory”. Oh come on sweet tooth!! The kind of person you become, the character that you built, the faith that you have manifested. You get up in the morning and people see a different person. You will fail, you will lose, but get up and hold your head up and become your dream and get into the light.

The Giraffe vs. The Turtle

As a continuation from my previous post, we look at the giraffe.

A giraffe doesn’t start out looking like a giraffe. As an adult, its neck can be 9 feet long. His total height can be 16-20 feet. He is not born with a long neck. He would not be able to traverse the womb and the birth canal that way. So when he comes forth, he doesn’t really look like a giraffe, because all of his attributes have not come to fruition. The reason he is so short and stubby is so that he can pass from one world to the next. The thought that comes to mind here is this, “Don’t judge me from where I start, Judge me how I finish.”

Let’s look a little deeper. You know for sure that a turtle is much smaller that a giraffe. Do you then know that the same two can occupy the same space? The turtle can be in the same exact space as the giraffe by laying in between the legs of the giraffe. The only difference is they have different world views. The giraffe can be in the same geographical location as the turtle but the giraffe eats from the tops of the trees and the turtle eats of the grass below. Two different views. What happens to most people is we eat on the level of our vision. When you are a giraffe and you get criticism from turtles, the turtles are reporting on the level that they are on.

If you understand this, you will be moved by what they say. You see, sometimes it isn’t what they are saying isn’t true, because they know of you behavior in the past and they have defined you how you were, and they don’t necessarily understand who you are. You see, they’re understanding of who you are will incarcerate you to who you were because they will keep dragging you to your lower self instead of you evolving to your higher self.

Don’t get distracted by the comments of the turtle. I remember a story told of a writer that had a column in the Wall Street Journal. Over and over the editor would tell the writer, keep the articles coming, our readers love what you are putting out. After just a few short weeks, the writer stopped writing. He was looking through the column and was reading some of the comments. Wow, they must not like me, these are awful comments. The editor called and asked why he wasn’t writing any longer. He said, well I was looking at the comment of some of the readers and I really don’t think they like what I am writing. She said, Oh on the contrary, those that write the awful comments are not our readers, our readers are ones who hold at least a master’s degree or higher. The people writing those comments don’t even know how to spell. She said, you cannot use the comments as an indication of the audience, because our readers don’t even have time to comment. The writer thought for a moment and said, Oh my gosh, I am losing the opportunity to talk to the giraffes because I was distracted by the comments of the turtles.

In every person’s life, there are giraffes and there are turtles. Remember I said they can occupy the same space, the turtle is geographically located on the same space as the giraffe. Neither one of them is lying. The turtle is eating on the level of his vision and the giraffe is eating on the level of his vision, and whenever turtles comment on giraffes, you cannot trust the comments of the turtle because they are reporting on their own world view.

They are always gonna be in your business. They are always going to give their opinion. The turtle is right between the legs of the giraffe. Always grumbling and trying to set the tone. Don’t let the comments of the turtle get in your way of success. The giraffe eats from the tops of the trees because they can. Don’t stoop down to eat the grass.

Finally, when you look at a giraffe, how many times do you see a giraffe looking down for something to eat. Never. It eats from the tops of the trees as mentioned, because he can. It is unable to reach the ground by standing. Even at the zoo, the handler has to put the giraffes food high up so that he can eat. How are you eating. Are you eating from the tops of the trees? Are you able to say that I am stepping into my dream rather that just posting photos of your dream on the wall? Are you gaining the best information you can and being providing the best of the tops of the trees as you can? If not, it is time to make a change. Don’t be a bottom feeder.

Intellect vs. Instinct

I heard a story told about someone that went on a safari. He told that he was travelling on a jeep with a zoologist and a Zulu. As they traveled along, the zoologist was spouting out some of the greatest information ever heard. He was telling about how the teeth of some of the animals were shaped in such a way that when they bite certain branches they do so in such a way that they prune them and not kill them. He could look at the ground and tell how far or how close the animal was by looking at the feces on the ground. He was telling some amazing information. He could tell about the eagle and the breadth of it wings and how it flies. He could tell about the rhinoceros and its mating practices. He could tell about the lions and the tigers and all of the wonderful things in the wilderness. He could even tell about the elephants and how they drank water and how they conserve water and how they mate and how they do what they do. But he couldn’t find them.

He could explain away and tell about everything, but he couldn’t find what he was talking about. He couldn’t find the elephant. But all of a sudden the Zulu who has a shotgun on the edge of the jeep, first time he says anything, he’s been quite this whole time, says, “The elephant is over there”.

As I heard this story, i realized one thing. The person who was invited on this safari was sitting between two totally different people. He was sitting between Intellect and Instinct. Intellect can explain it All Day Long, but instinct can find it. This reminded me of some people I have known. Some of these people have spent 20 years explaining something but not really finding what they are talking about. These kind of people can teach it, they have degrees in it, they have classes in it, they are qualified to do it but they can’t find it. These same people get frustrated because they thought that if they went to school and got a degree, it would make them successful. But there is a difference in explaining an elephant and finding one. Thank God for the intellect that makes you explain it but dig a little deeper and get the instinct that makes you able to find it.

Just this past week, my friend Mack Story posted a story about what I will call “Competency vs Character”. He goes on to say that ” We are either growing intentionally or slowing accidentally. Not some of us, all of us.

It’s our choice, but be sure, one of the two is always happening. Why? Because the world around us is changing at an ever increasing pace whether we do or not. Consider technology as an example, if you grew and developed and were aware of everything there is to know today and stopped learning and growing, in a matter of days, weeks, months, you would be behind everyone, not ahead of everyone. We either grow and change daily to stay ahead, or we don’t, and get left behind.

This principle applies to both character and competency. Multiple studies have shown that 87% of our results come from who we truly are (character) and 13% come from what we know (competency). Unfortunately, most people that seek growth invest the majority of their time and $$$ intentionally on their competency. Just look at any college or university’s offerings. The vast majority is all related to competency development which is great if you want to make do with 13% of your potential.”

Do you think that the Zoologist in the story above might have done something different if he knew that only 13% of his knowledge would have been used in the field?

Remember, there was a gun sitting on the edge of the jeep? If something were to happen on that safari and the gun wasn’t there, would the jeep be able to outrun the animal? Using the gun as a metaphor of your life, most everything that happens in your life deals with that gun. It is intellect that knows how to load the gun, but it is instinct that pulls the trigger.

I am not saying not to get an education. I am saying to be as smart as you can be, learn as much as you can learn, be exposed to all you cam be exposed to because you are feeding your dream. You are feeding your dream. But when you get done loading the gun, you have to have the instinct to pull the trigger. When you get all the stats and all the data, you have done all the research and done all your homework, and now you have all sorts of information: “I’m so happy for you”. But it is going to take a gut instinct to show you how to take what you learned and use it in your situation.

You didn’t spend all that educational money to decorated your wall with pictures of your dream, No, you did that so you can step into your dream, but all of your attributes have not come to fruition. Lets take this one step further.

Keeping with the safari theme, let’s look at a giraffe. A giraffe doesn’t start out looking like a giraffe. As an adult, its neck can be 9 feet long. His total height can be 16-20 feet. He is not born with a long neck. He would not be able to traverse the womb and the birth canal that way. So when he comes forth, he doesn’t really look like a giraffe, because all of his attributes have not come to fruition. The reason he is so short and stubby is so that he can pass from one world to the next. The thought that comes to mind here is this, “Don’t judge me from where I start, Judge me how I finish.”

Finally, when you look at a giraffe, how many times do you see a giraffe looking down for something to eat. Never. It eats from the tops of the trees. It is unable to reach the ground by standing. How are you eating. Are you eating from the tops of the trees? Are you able to say that I am stepping into my dream rather that just posting photos of your dream on the wall? Knowledge doesn’t end when you get your degree. Knowledge is a lifetime approach. Don’t be limited by only 13% of your potential. When you do get your formal education, don’t stop changing and growing and most certainly don’t get left behind.