How Far Do You Advance Others?

influence Oct 05, 2017

When I was in my teens, Ernie Gould was my hockey coach. Ernie took a true interest in all of his players. Coach made himself available whenever anyone needed a little extra help.

If I needed a ride to the rink, he’d go out of his way to pick me up and take me home.

Fifty years later, I still remember how he helped me get a summer job at the manufacturing company where he was the senior sales person. When I needed extra money, Coach hired me to paint the exterior of his house.

Now that was an eye-opener. It taught me respect for the work done by painting professionals. Coach paid me $100 for the job. And here’s the funny part. As he handed over those crisp $20 dollar bills, he encouraged me to pursue any career but painting. I thanked him, but didn’t realize until much later that he was gently letting me know that house painting was not my thing. This is what a good leader does.

I’ve had the honour of knowing several people like Coach Ernie who added great...

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The 7 Key Elements of Change

change Sep 29, 2017

Like many of you, I was taught from an early age that failure is not a good thing … and truly, it isn’t. But there is more to the story.

We are not taught the full truth about failure. As a result, we think of failure as an enemy to be feared and we work hard to avoid it.

But failure is not the enemy, and unfortunately, it is not something we can avoid.

Failure is a teacher and the biggest lesson I've learned is that failure is a process, not an isolated event.

Many years ago, I was part of the leadership team of a large non-profit with a track record of success. The decisions we made potentially impacted many employees and every one of those employees was passionate about making a difference in their community.

In the face of funding challenges, we recognized that we needed to look at the organization’s business model and ask whether it was time for a few changes. Things had gone well in the past, but it was clear that we were nearing the end of the momentum that...

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What it Takes to Reach Your Potential

potential Sep 21, 2017

What is your underlying desire in life? Do you yearn for self-fulfillment? Or is self-development more important to you?

Are your efforts designed to make you feel good? Or are they designed to help you become the best you can be? Is your goal to be successful? Or is it to achieve significance?

These are great questions to ask yourself.

Before you can help anyone else grow, you must first take care of your own growth. In "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth", John Maxwell talks about what he calls the Law of Contribution. According to this law, "Growing yourself enables you to grow others."

You may be wondering why you'd want a personal growth plan. What is the purpose of such a plan? Most of us are already growing at least a little. So why make a plan?

The purpose of a plan is that it takes your further. Intense growth does not happen by accident. Without a plan, you might grow a little, but you're unlikely to reach your true potential.

Although making a personal growth plan involves...

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Do-Over Sooner

awareness Sep 14, 2017

Jim Rohn was a successful entrepreneur, author and internationally renowned motivational speaker. His was very much a rags-to-riches story, and that story is a large part of his work which has influenced countless others in the personal development industry.

Rohn was once asked, “If you could live your life over, what would you do differently?” Always insightful and to the point, Rohn responded with this list of four things he wished he could do-over:

1. Give up the blame list sooner.
During his first few years as an adult in the workforce, Jim Rohn was not successful in many areas of his life. He had lots of people he wanted to blame. He blamed his employer for not paying him enough money, the government for taking too much in taxes, the economy for failed opportunities, the bank for not approving him to gain more debt, and his negative relatives for convincing him he would never amount to much.

Then at the age of 25, Rohn had a realization. Where he was mentally,...

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Who Do You Influence?

influence Sep 07, 2017

Have you ever thought of yourself as a person of influence? What does it take?

Do you need to be in a leadership role to have influence? Everyone has influence. We all have an impact at home, in our job, as volunteers, in everything we do.

Often, we don’t realize the impact we have on others.

Twenty-five years ago when I was a manager of a non-profit, I coached a young man who was starting a business. He was a talented designer and wanted to start a business making images that could be attached to the spokes of a wheelchair. You see he was in a wheelchair himself and he played a lot of basketball.

He thought it would be cool for the players and their fans if the spinning wheels were more eye-catching. I coached him as he set up his business and he seemed destined for success.

Five years ago, I was about to give a presentation. Before we started, I went around the room and introduced myself. When I put my hand out to a man in a wheelchair, he gave me an enormous smile and...

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What do technology and grandparents have in common?

servant leadership Aug 24, 2017

Last week I asked several young leaders a simple question: What are the two most essential values you've learned from your grandparents?  

Everyone responded quickly and most people gave more than two values. But as I listened to their answers, a theme emerged.

The values that the young people learned from their grandparents that they cherished the most were based on two things: forming strong connections and showing leadership.

One young person told me that his grandparents attended 43 of the 45 hockey games he played while growing up. By being in the audience, his grandparents connected with him in a way that goes beyond support. They participated in his life and that's what connecting is all about.People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.


Connecting increases your influence in every situation. This is crucial whether you're trying to lead a child or a nation. In his book, “Everyone Communicates and Few Connect”, John...

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6 Tips to Keep Your Vision Alive

potential Aug 16, 2017

Flanked by a number of small boats carrying team members watching for sharks and to stand-by in case she got tired or injured, Florence Chadwick began her swim. 

This was not a normal swim or swimmer.  The swim was to navigate the dangerous channel waters between Catalina Island the California coast.   The swimmer was a 34-year-old open-water, long distance swimmer in pursuit of her vision to complete this difficult swim.

After swimming 15 hours, a thick fog set in.  Exhausted and without ability to see the shoreline, self- doubt started to take over.  After another hour, exhausted and fog hiding her destination; Chadwick quit.   

Soon after entering a rescue boat, she learned she had stopped her swim only a short distance from shore. 

Persistent, she tried again two months later. 

 Despite the equally thick coastal fog, this time she succeeded.  When asked what made the difference this second time, Chadwick said she kept...

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To Lead is to Serve

servant leadership Aug 08, 2017

“If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you.” - Unknown

Forty years ago, I was hired for my first management position at the commercial bank I'd joined two years earlier. I worked hard in that position and considered myself an effective leader. The bank promoted me to Branch Manager a few years later and soon I was part of the Western Regional Office.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized the positions I'd held did not make me a leader.

There's nothing like a struggle to open your eyes. I found myself in a leadership position, working with staff who had many years of experience and were reluctant to trust my leadership.

That's when I realized I did not understand what leadership is. I'd been assuming that my job title made me a leader and I discovered it did not.

To earn the trust of my team, I rolled up my sleeves and joined them, putting in effort and time, showing that I understood the value of the work we did together. Gradually, the way I connected...

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What Defines You?

awareness Aug 01, 2017

Have you ever wondered what enables a leader to emerge and meet the challenge of the hour? Or what would enable you to step forward and successfully meet the challenges in your life?

"Leaders develop daily, not in a day," says John C. Maxwell in his book "Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading". John also says that the choices we make in critical moments help to not only form us, but to also inform others about who we are.

I believe that statement to be true.

Most days come and go. But a few days are unlike the others, and those are the days we remember. Many defining moments come as a surprise, often arising during times of crisis.

Why do these days stand out more than others? The reason is simple. On those particular days, we stopped, thought about our life, and took action.

Maybe we saw an alternative we didn't recognize before. Maybe we faced a difficult moment. Or maybe we accomplished something new. Whatever the reason on that particular day, we...

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Does Today Matter?

awareness Jul 27, 2017

Have you ever wondered if what you do today really affects your success tomorrow? If you have a good day, does that make it more likely that the next day will also be good? And anyway, what makes one day good while another is not?

Everyone wants to have a good day, but according to John Maxwell, few of us know what a good day looks like. In his book, "Today Matters", he explains that very few people understand how the way they live today will impact what happens to them tomorrow. Why is that?

Well, there are a lot of misconceptions that can lead us astray. Here are few of the common misconceptions that are outlined in John Maxwell's book:

  • We believe success is impossible, so we criticize it.
  • We believe successes is mystical, so we search for it.
  • We believe success comes from luck, so we hope for it.
  • We believe success is productivity, so we work for it.
  • We believe success comes from opportunity, so we wait for it.
  • We believe success comes from leverage, so we power up for it.
  • We...
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