Push The Button

 So today i got on the elevator to go to Carols room. There were two ladies already on the elevator. I just walked on. We exchanged pleasantries and the elevator started moving. After one of the ladies got to her floor, I looked at the panel and my floor was not lit. I forgot to push a button to which floor I wanted to go. I told the second lady, I guess I better push a button so I can get where I need to go. 

How many people do you know that have not yet pushed their button?  Going someplace but not sure where.  Many people go places but really go nowhere.

In order for you to get to where you are going, you need to know where you are going. There are many ways to know how to get somewhere; a map, a button,  a compass, or perhaps a “life plan”.  Today for me, the elevator had know idea where I wanted to go until I pushed the button to my floor.

My friend Mack Story says this: “If you were betting on the best way to get from where you are to where you want to be would you bet on ‘by accident’ or ‘by design’. Most people say by design but live by accident.

Now sometimes you get on the elevator and your floor is already pushed. Although the elevator didn’t know that is where you wanted to go, it was actually someone else making the decision. This was actually by design,  but someone else’s design.  Someone else wanted to go the same place you wanted but for what purpose.  Not the same purpose as you.

Do you allow other people make the decision as to what direction you want to go? How about in your work place? Are you a leader or a follower?  It’s not a bad thing to be a follower.  The world needs followers too.  I would hope you are your own decision maker. You have to make your own choices. Go ahead and start today to push your own button, and create your own destination.

#Leadership Lessons from Hall of Fame Managers

This was right up the alley to which I was going to speak today. What I haved learned is that Leadership is Influence and Influence is Leadership. Do you think any one of these Hall of Fame Coaches had any influence in the way they handled their teams?

Jim Earle

This past week the baseball Hall of Fame welcomed three of the greatest managers in the history of baseball.  Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre were all officially inducted last Sunday.  These are the managers who rank third, fourth, and fifth in all-time victories.  According to Tim Kurkjian on ESPN.com, these three managers combined to manage for 91 years, won 7,558 games, made 45 playoff appearances, won 17 pennants and eight world series championships.

Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves

Thanks to one of my friends (and a loyal reader of my blog!), I was directed to an interview LaRussa did with NPR prior to the induction ceremony.  It was a fascinating interview and I want to paraphrase some of it here for you.  When LaRussa was asked what he, Cox, and Torre had in common he answered that all three were very relationship driven. They were very hands-on…

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Character Counts

Building Character is a process. I remember listening to the radio a while back to a short snippet that was called “character counts.” It is now the largest character education program in the nation. It dealt a lot with sports back when I knew it and I looked them up again just recently and they cover several areas now. They teach the youth of the nation important character traits. Well when we grow up, we still need to develop character traits but for the most part, they should already be ingrained through your up bringing.

 Leadership as I have come to know it know is Influence. Thanks to my friend Mack Story, he teaches that leadership is influence and influence is leadership. What about character standards? Who is responsible to influence (lead) character management in your organization? Is there supposed to be someone in charge of character? A Character Operations Officer (COO)

 When we talk about corporate organizations, the standards set by leadership should support the corporate culture. A set of values , clear expectations, and decisive action taken both to empower positive behavior and to address negative behavior. Does the organization actually have the influence to build your character? Maybe not personally but professionally, which is personal as well, Yes. The organization uses the entire outfit to integrate character and excellence into every aspect and function, and then communicate the core philosophy to the organization. This then is a form of formal authority.

One thing I learned from Mack is this: When you only have formal authority over others, they only do what they have to do. When you have formal and moral authority with others, they do what they have to do PLUS what they want to do which is a lot more than they have to do.

Wouldn’t it be easier to have both the formal and the moral authority? Having people do what they want to do is a process that happens when they choose to change. Stepping out of the box to coin an old cliché, and facing the fear of doing something new and/or challenging is just half the battle. Leading people is just a matter of getting them to a common goal. Through the value of influence, you can lead a lot more people if they understand they are not being treated as a tool, but are being treated as people in the organization. Its time to strengthen the stance on character, values and pride to empower the current workforce and inspire generations to come.

Carol and I went to Birmingham for a routine appointment. While there, we had our course of direction changed. Our plans were now heading in a new direction. The doctor told us that after reading the morning blood work, he wanted Carol to check into the ER immediately. Now what do you think would have happened if either one of us said no or through a tantrum and went home instead. (Tantrum – a sudden burst of ill temper). One value in your character building perhaps should be responsibility. Having the responsibility to do what you are supposed to do and when you do that, always do your best. Carol and I looked at each other and wondered why we had to go to the ER. We were told to call the Dr. who then told us why. We used self-control and we were accountable for our actions and attitudes. We ended up staying in the hospital for 3 days but that was fine. Going through the process of having Cancer, you learn that there is no such thing as normal or routine.

Have a positive attitude about your daily life and its tasking’s. If you find yourself around negativity and or nay-sayers, move to a different place. Do not let that negativity interfere with your positive.