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Maintain Your Shoreline

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to each and every one of you. I am so thankful that each of you has decided to be a part of the Community of Competitors.

This past weekend, our family spent the Thanksgiving Day Holiday at the beach in Cape May, NJ. The New Jersey beach holds a special place in my family’s heart. When I was a child, we would vacation at the Jersey Shore and we are continuing this tradition as we raise our family.

This weekend included numerous days with temperatures above 60 degrees, which is absolutely unbelievable as we near the end of November. On Thanksgiving Day, we took a walk on the beach and a thought struck me as we walked, the shoreline looks much different now than when we come down over the summer. The normal gradual slope down into the water was not present, but a jagged and bumpy shoreline was. This is interesting because during the “off-season” at the shore, the beach is hardly used; there is very little traffic, so you would think it would be pristine and manicured. The reverse is true. Over the summer, when the beach can be crowded with numerous tourists and sun worshippers, the shoreline is manicured and ready for use everyday. It is ready for use every day because it is worked on every day.

 

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These are true in our lives as Competitors, in times of great use and intense focus, our minds are right and we are prepared, ready to go. However, if we look at something as an off-season and we let our guard down, the waves will destroy our shoreline. The secret for us is to maintain our routine, lead ourselves, constantly and consistently feeding our positive mindset, placing small challenges in front of us.

Rome was not built in a day, but it was worked on every day.

This is true for the Heart of a Competitor; we must work on our mindset every single day. This small commitment to fill our mind with positive and thought provoking challenges everyday builds the shoreline, builds our mindset for excellence. As we wrap up the month of November focusing on Leadership, lead yourself every day, for you are building a legacy that will last longer than the Roman Collesseum.

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Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill

“I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.”

– Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister 1940-1945 and 1951-1955

Leadership requires evaluation to determine what approach is best for a given situation; genuine leaders do not require motivation or prompting to move into action.

Leaders have learned that leadership is based on action and a continual movement forward. The continual movement forward is controlled, allowing for awareness and response to any situation that may occur. This was true of Winston Churchill during his time as Prime Minister of Great Britain. As time has passed since his two stints as Prime Minister of Great Britain, his legend grows, but it grows for good reason, he was one of the great leaders of the 20th century.   The leadership that Churchill displayed during World War II was based on his staunch belief that Great Britain would never surrender. His repetition of this belief in a variety of sayings continually marched the British people forward to soldier on through the fight of World War II.

For this belief and leadership, Churchill did have to endure his share of detractors and critics, with some claiming that he could convince himself of anything. This might be a downfall for some, but it was the basis for belief and confidence in Churchill’s mind that became his actions. These thoughts and action led Britain to be the first group to stand-up to the opposition in World War II. This leadership created the fight to endure and eventually defeat the largest attempt at extermination and oppression the world has ever seen.

In the life of a competitor, we will never face an opposition as large as Churchill and Great Britain faced in World War II, however, with the Heart of a Competitor, the leadership that Churchill demonstrated with motivation to keep moving forward with belief and confidence can be a model.

Question of the Day:

What will you do to maintain your motivation to be leading you, your team, and your organization forward?

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Lesson in Leadership: Self-Leadership

Our focus on Leadership in the month of November continues.  In our first week, we focused on Leaders being eagles, soaring high with courage, being present and prepared when adversity arises.  (Eagles as Leaders Message.)  Last week, we learned about Nelson Mandela’s message on leadership and his view as true leaders being shepherds and facilitating the movement forward of the flock, supporting others in the process of becoming a leader.  (Mandela on Leadership.)  This week, we turn our focus to leading yourself.

Many times Leadership is focused on what we are doing outwardly and leading others, but true leadership begins with leading ourselves.  This is not a selfish leadership it is about preparing ourselves to be leaders.  Leaders are always learning, trying to make the great even better and it begins with leading themselves.  Personally, when I have lost this focus, I have been a poor leader.  If you lead yourself and what is close to you, you will lead others to allow them to perform at a higher level than they currently are.  (This is Leadership!)

Self-Leadership must include a plan for growth and learning.  True leaders are developing themselves.  This development does not need to be a great epiphany, but a commitment to becoming and may include reading on a consistent basis, some form of professional development, and a close, small knit group of people who will provide honest (positive and negative) feedback on your journey.

In the area of reading, committing to read for 10 minutes a day or 10 pages a day will allow you to read a minimum of a book a month.  You can learn a lot from 12 books in a year.  A book that I just completed is a newly released piece by John Brubaker entitled, Seeds of Success.  It took me a mere five days to read Seeds of Success.  Once I picked it up, I could not put it down.  The small “seeds” that are included in this book are genuine and great reminders to appreciate the relationships we enjoy in our lives.  It is important to let you know that I appreciate and enjoy the relationship we have through the Community of Competitors weekly newsletter.  Seeds of Success is the perfect blend of lessons woven into a story.  Check out Seeds of Success by clicking here: Seeds of Success Book.

Engaging in professional development opens the doors to hearing how other successful people are learning and growing.  You will also hear of the mistakes they made, what they learned from them, and implement the lessons they learned into your life.  One great form of professional development for coaches is to attend a coaches clinic or convention.  For the Baseball and Softball Coaches out there, we would love to have you join us at the Be the Best Coaches Convention in Atlantic City, NJ.  Check out the speakers’ page and other information using the following link: Be the Best Coaches Convention.  This event includes a first class line-up of speakers and I am honored to be playing a small part in serving the coaches that come to this event.

Continue to lead yourself to new and great opportunities that are all around us.

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November is Leadership Month: Nelson Mandela’s Message

“A leader… is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

– Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa (1994-1999)

Leadership can take on many different forms. Does the situation require an in your face leader motivating them to work harder and push further? Does the situation require the leader to be in front, making individual decisions for the group? Does the situation require facilitation by the leader so a group decision can be made?

As a leader, the Heart of the Competitor must have a pulse on the situation and of those the competitor has been called to lead.

Leadership may look like an eagle, soaring above, out in front all alone with the courage to handle the situation for those that fall under their stead. This view of leadership is probably the first one to come to the mind when asked to describe what leadership looks like.

Nelson Mandela provides another view of leadership. His view of leadership is based around a shepherd. His description of the shepherd, staying behind the flock is perfect to focus on the need to develop the strengths within the group you lead. Leadership develops those strengths and does not just allow, but encourages and facilitates the growth of those strengths. The support and encouragement the Heart of the Competitor provides to others allows them to forge ahead and accomplish great things, while leading from behind. Mandela uses this description of a shepherd because a shepherd is merely facilitating the movement and control of the flock and if he moves to fast, he will lose his flock and need to use time hunting and bringing them back into the fold.

The Heart of the Competitor evaluates each situation and places systems in place for success to be a byproduct of the process. Leadership can be like an eagle soaring above, with courage to forge ahead or it can look like a shepherd encouraging and facilitating others to achieve with support and direction from behind.

Question of the Day:

How will you lead like shepherd, facilitating and pushing the flock ahead while supporting others from behind?