“No Guts, No Glory!”

“Who am I kiddin’? I ain’t even in the guy’s league…It don’t matter, ’cause I was nobody before…I was nobody. That don’t matter either, ya know…It really don’t matter if I lose this fight. It really don’t matter if this guy opens my head, either. ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed. And if I can go that distance, ya see, and that bell rings, ya know, and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, ya see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood.” 

-Rocky Balboa

Rocky is without a question one of the greatest movie series of all time.  I mean, what is there not to love about a small-town underdog competing with big league boxers, overcoming great odds, and marrying the woman of his dreams?  We all can quote the movie, we love to run upstairs and throw our hands up and start shadow boxing like the Italian Stallion, and all of us guys can quote the scenes where Rocky is trying to woo Adrianne with his savvy Italian accent and goofy little sayings.

The left-hander seemed to have it all, but what made him so great was the fact he had guts!  When you think of the Anatomy of a Leader, you cannot bypass the fact that every great leader has guts.

It is almost like this meme I seen the other day, “I was cut from a different cloth, and they don’t make my fabric anymore.”  Have you ever met people like Rocky that were cut from a different cloth?  Every generation has them, every age group has their rising star, every industry has their genius, every army has their general, and every family has their patriarch or matriarch. These stars outshines the rest of the pack, they stand head above shoulders to their peers.  They saw differently, spoke differently, acted differently, but most of all they had the guts to lead their generation.  Let me give you a few points that will hopefully inspire you to be a successful leader.

 1.) Be Willing to Start at the Bottom

Rocky Balboa is a fictional character, but gives a true representation of all the great leaders that we have come to know and love.  He was just another kid, scrapping his way around town and trying to make his mark on life.  It takes guts to step into the ring each day and battle your way to the top!

Starting at the bottom is awesome!  I see three things that gives me optimism with starting from the bottom:

  • There is room for advancement
  • There is so much knowledge to gain
  • It teaches you work ethic and perspective

My mom worked at McDonald’s, and she decided she wanted to make more money, so she got into the management program at McDonald’s. And that’s how you move up the chain. It’s not by demanding that minimum wage is raised; it’s by actually acquiring the skills. That’s the way that people get ahead in life.   -Raul Labrador

It takes guts to start at the bottom and work your tail off to rise to the top!  I do not know where I saw this from, but our generation complains about $8 an hour when our grandparents seen it as opportunity in their day.  I love that!

Rocky rose to the top!  He worked to the top!  He bled to the top!  And when you rise to the top this way, you feel humbled, yet you feel like you belong there.

2.)  Be Willing to Rise to the Top

My mind goes back thirteen years ago, as a young man starting in the preventive maintenance industry vacuuming cars and cleaning their windows.  I never thought of being anything other than that.  A few short years after starting with the company, I became the assistant manager and then a year or two later I rose to the top management position.  

Drawing from my own experience I can give you a few things that assisted me in rising to the top.

  • I worked my butt off– As a courtesy technician I worked my tail off.  We were doing to 35 to 45 cars a day and I was working 54 to 58 hrs a week.  Every position I took, I strove to be the best.  Do not wait for luck to come your way, prove yourself and create your own luck.
  • I wanted to learn–  I wasn’t satisfied with just doing courtesy.  I wanted to know every position in the building and be the best at every position.  When I became management, I made a ton of mistakes but I bought every book, watched every video to help me maximize my effectiveness.  Now, later in my life I decided to go to school for business management to rise to the next level.
  • I was never satisfied–  I am never satisfied where my team is.  I want to always drive for records.  I always want to maximize my team’s efficiency.  I want to take our team to whole new heights.

It takes guts to rise to the top.  The ascent to the top is full of obstacles and setbacks, and it means having guts of steel to make it to the highest summit.

3.)  Take Others With You

Never forget that when you climb the summit all by yourself you are only risking your own life.  That is the safest way to go.  When you get to the top by yourself, you alone get all the glory.  That is the selfish way to go.

climbers on everest

It is when you take others with you and you invest in people that you take the greatest risks.  It takes guts to invest in others.

John C. Maxwell said it best, “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

The leader trains, they communicate, they cast a vision, and they bear the load so that their team shines in the end, so when it is all said in done the leader can say, “We did it together!”

Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.

-Chris Hadfield

Conclusion

This is no doubt my most important blog yet.   Do you have the guts it takes to be a true leader?  To train harder, work harder, risk more, shine less, and be the leader that you need to be to make a difference.  Never be satisfied and get the guts it takes to make it!

Advertisements

Not For The Faint of Heart

Do you have the heart to be an effective leader? Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart!

Nearly 735,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack each year. The rise of heart problems has opened doors for Americans to seek out healthier lifestyles, such as better eating habits, exercise programs, and taking up stress management.

Likewise, our leaders are suffering from “heart disease.”  Unhealthy habits have skyrocketed, causing a host of bad practices to prevail in the our leaders. Being a true inspirational leader is not for the faint of heart.  I believe one of the main difference between true leaders and those that have the “position,” is that the true leader has heart!

Let me give you a few healthy practices for you to begin creating a healthy heart and to get you back in shape again as a leader.

1.  Fast Food, Fried Food, and Fake Food

“Dunlap” disease and “dad bod,” has been my lot in life lately. LOL!  Fast food, fried food, and fake food has been the contributor to my “beautiful physique” these last couple years.  As I get older I become more cautious about what I eat.  I’m finding out that heart disease runs in my family.  You see, it is a big deal what food we put into our mouths.

What the leader ingests makes a big difference in how they lead.  We find that bad leaders are bad because of what they learned from other bad leaders.  Making positive “meals” each and everyday can develop us into healthy, happy, and high performing leaders.

When I say meals, what I mean is the type of information you receive and process.  Here are a few poisons that will clog your leadership arteries:

  • Negativity– Is definitely the single most poisonous substance.  It spreads and is contagious.  Negativity will drive effective leadership in the ground.
  • Micro-leading- This is the same as micro-managing, but not everyone is a working manager.  But leaders feel they have to control every aspect of everyone’s, every move.  Micro- leading will lead your team to not being efficient and never making a decision on their own.  They will wilt away and never shine their true personality and skills.
  • Bullying–  Many leaders fall in this death trap.  They become bullies and treat their followers like dirt.  Leading by fear is their M.O.  Belittling and berating your crew is the death knell to any high performing team and stunts any growth that you may have gained.

These poisons are brought on by past experiences, past mentors, and personalities that aren’t willing to change.  Lay down the “potato chips” and “sodas” that seek to destroy ability to be effective, but rather choose healthy alternatives to grow you, and promote you as a leader.

2.  “You Are Just Not Working Out”

In more way than one!  Leaders do not work out because they fail to build upon a positive foundation and develop the skills needed to be an effective leader.  These individuals are faint in heart and weak because they stopped  growing and learning.

This world needs strong leadership.  Leaders with no morals, no motivation, and no mental strength are weak.

There’s a few exercises you can do to develop the heart of leadership:

  • Resistance Training- According to sharecare.com, ” Resistance training is any exercise that causes your muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increasing muscle mass, strength and/or endurance.” As a leader we are going to face resistance and push back.  Resistance can be people, even giants we face with ourselves, or any external force for that matter.  Our ability to workout will determine our ability to “workout” as leaders.
  • Cardio Training- This is the one I hate!  Running, sweating, and that overwhelming desire to throw up!  Don’t you love it?  What does cardio do for you?  It builds endurance.  Leaders need endurance to keep them in the race. Those that lack endurance, burn out quick, get tired easily, and tend to quit           prematurely.  They are faint in heart and fall at the first sign of fatigue.  Where’s our leaders that have no quit in them?  They keep going in face of all odd.  Where are they?
  • Strength Training- If we want our heart to truly be in it we must add strength training to our repertoire.  Strength training is lifting heavy weights in hopes that our muscles get bigger and grow stronger.  Many many times as leaders we are called upon to lift heavy weights.  Quite a few leaders flake out because they aren’t strong enough to carry the load.   You do not become an effective leader overnight just like you do not look like Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight.

You must train and train hard.  Yeah, you will have days where you don’t feel like working out.  But may I encourage you to press on and develop those skills necessary to get your heart into leadership so that you will work out in the end.

3.  Courage to Change

Last, of all you need courage to change.  People with heart disease must change their whole lives to reverse the years of damage they have done to their hearts.  Change is necessary for leaders to remain relevant and respected.

People aren’t happy with the way they look physically or happy with their health.  Yet, they aren’t willing to make the changes needed to fix the problem.

I heard this a long time ago and it makes so much sense, “Keep doing the same things and you will keep getting the same results.”

“Leaders” are the same, they complain about their team, they complain about money flow, they complain pretty much about everything but themselves.  What you need, is to look in the mirror, see yourself for who you are, and be willing to simply change in the areas you are lacking, that is causing you to not have your heart into it.

Conclusion

This was kind of a long blog, but I find it necessary that we as leaders get a checkup on ourselves and be evaluated on the health of our ability to lead.  Most leader’s hearts aren’t in it and the ones that are trying don’t have the right training to be effective.  May you find yourself working out and training yourself and by other leaders to find your way to the top of your respected field.

Dustin L. Carr

http://www.thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com

 

The Inspired Leader

Do you struggle with inspiration? Or, just need an extra shot in the arm? This article is for you.

I have a book called The Inspirational Leader, by John Adair.  This book begins by describing the need for leaders to inspire others to maximum efficiency.  To be a leader one must rally their people around the common goals that are set forth by management.  But may I say that we have few inspirational leaders, because they aren’t inspired themselves.  I want to break away from the “Anatomy of the Leader” this once and just encourage you to be inspired.  If you lack inspiration here are few helps to get you back on track.

Look For Inspiration in Everything

I was watching a show hosted by Steve Harvey, called Little Big Shots, and this boy came out in an electric wheelchair.  He was famous on the internet for his videos of him singing and rapping.  What I loved most about this kid, though he has a bone crippling disease and has every right to have a bleak outlook on life, this young man had the most positive energy and can electrify a room.  His singing was second to none and it was awesome, but his attitude was even better.  So what does this have to do with leadership?

Leadership, many times is a frame of mind.  How we think determines our actions.  Watching a young man like that makes me wonder why I grumble and complain, and feel the “drudgery” of life.  Leaders have to dig down and find something or someone that can inspire them and help them to develop a positive mindset.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint Exupery

Oh let us lead by example, with intelligence, with confidence, but let us never fail to lead by inspiration.  What about those famous coaches that inspired teams to greatness and championships.

These coaches were hard on their men and women, they worked them to the limits, they disciplined the players that did not want to do right, but foremost they were championship coaches because they inspired their teams.

You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation.        –Homer Rice

Find something that inspires you.  Enjoy the feeling.  Relish the moment.  And share it with others.

Quotes Are Not Fixes

I love quotes and I believe they are important.  Quotes are small windows into the life of geniuses that preceded before us.  They are bursts of inspirations, that may enlighten us, lift us, brighten us, and many other emotions, but may I say the most important outcome of quotes are meant to change us.

Inspiration is great, but let us use it as a tool.  Your goal as a leader is to always be changing.  Remember this, “No leader has ever inspired people to change, that were not first themselves inspired to change.”

Leaders should wake up everyday thinking, “What steps can I take today to get me to where I want to go?”  What changes can you make?  How can you bring these quotes into reality?  In your everyday grind, when you’re sweating, when your working, when your raising your kids, living the real life, you can’t live on quotes.  But when you get tired and your vision begins to wain, you have mental block, and you face a little depression, then I say break out the quotes.  Do not let quotes give you just a good feeling, but let them be the reps that builds your strength, to help you carry on.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Inspirations

Every morning when I wake up I go into my sons bedroom and pick him up to take him to lay with his mother.  I do this for two purposes:  The first, is so my wife doesn’t have to wake up to go get him when he starts crying, so she can sleep in a little.  The second reason, is to hold him and kiss him, and to feel my inspiration.  He is my inspiration!

My wife and I could live on next to nothing cause we know how to survive.  We have eaten a lot of sandwiches and Vienna Sausages! LOL!  But when my son came along, inspiration hit me right in the heart.  I have a helpless beautiful angel that needs me to succeed and provide him the best opportunities that I possibly can.

When I need some inspiration, I unlock my phone and look at the hundred of pictures of my little man and it reminds me why I work a full time job, strive as a manager, and go to college full time to get a business management degree.  He has been to church ever since he was two days old.  I strive to be a christian and lead by example in front of my son.  Deliver messages that will hopefully get to his heart one day.

I see those pictures and it inspires me, it moves me, it changes me, it raises me, it creates hunger, drive, it’s a true deep inspiration.  Not superficial, not selfish, not temporal.  I want to leave a legacy and that’s what makes me want to be the best leader I can be.

Now, that’s what drives me, what drives you?  What inspires you?  Take a picture of it hang it up and let it raise you to new heights and burn  a blazing fire inside you!

So, when you wake up in the mornings and you feel the need to lay out of work, to not do your best, to relax or let up, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!  BE THE INSPIRED LEADER.

Is Your Dream a “Tangled” Mess?

Do you dream and are your dreams a “Tangled” mess?

Everyone has seen that awesome Disney movie, Tangled.  This film is about a long (very long) blond-haired, ditsy, and curious princess (at this point she’s clueless to being royal.    Rapunzel meets an unsuccessful thief named Flynn Rider, who is running from the king’s guards for stealing. Meanwhile, Rapunzel has a dream to finding the meaning of the lanterns released every year on her birthday.  These two team together, both with different motives, to create a funny and silly comedy that my family and I love watching every so often.

The scene that I love, is when Rider guides Rapunzel into a tavern full of “ruffians” in order to scare her to run back to her evil mother. But instead of scaring her it turns into about 15 minutes of all these rough necks singing and describing their dreams.  At one point Flynn lays out his dream, and it wreaks with selfishness and hunger for money.  As they try to escape from Flynn’s captors, one of the “ruffians” tells Flynn that his dream “stinks!”

What dreams do you have?  Every leader should have a dream or a vision for their company, their family, their church, or just themselves.  Dreams do a few things:

  • Dreams Motivate– Dreams should be made of things that inspire you to new heights and depths.
  • Dreams Stretch- Dreams should stretch you and bring you out of your comfort zone.
  • Dreams are Detailed– Are you the kind of person that remembers every detail of every dream?  I am and it drives me crazy, but at the same time our dreams and visions should be as detailed as possible, so those around us knows exactly what we dreamed and should be able to see the vision that projects us forward
  • Dreams aren’t too Realistic– How’s crazy are your dreams?  Your dreams shouldn’t be so realistic that it can only be accomplished by simple means. Dreams have an element of fantasy in them. They ought to make you try new things, learn new ways, accomplish what you thought was once impossible.

No one dreams any more.  I read a really cool story in the book Thinking For A Change, by John C. Maxwell.

He says, “A few years ago in Leadership journal, Lynn Anderson described an incident from American history to illustrate limited thinking.  More than three centuries ago, the Pilgrims landed on the shores of the American continent with great courage and vision.  In their first year, a small group of settlers established a town.  The next year, they established a town council.  In their third year, that council proposed building a road five miles into the wilderness for westward expansion.  But the following year the people criticized the proposal as a waste of public funds.  Evidently they couldn’t see the big picture.  As Anderson pointed out, the Pilgrims had once been able to see across the oceans; they now could not look five miles into the wilderness.” (1)

Let me give you three quick things to encourage you to dream:

You may have to overcome big obstacles

The big obstacle in Rapunzel’s life was her evil “mother!”  Her mother held her captive, isolated, and fed her a bunch of lies.  And that’s how our obstacles do us.  Your obstacle may not be a person, but rather a physical or mental problem.  It may be a set of ideas that you have had all your life.  Or it could be the greatest enemy in the world, yourself!  But either way we have to find ways to break free from these crippling obstacles so that we can move forward in our dreams.

You’re mad, bonkers, off your head…but I’ll tell you a secret…all of the best people are. Alice in Wonderland

You must always have your dreams before you

Everywhere you looked in Rapunzel’s tower loft was the same emblem of those lanterns she saw every year.  She painted and posted them everywhere.  It was something she was passionate about and hungry for.  We need to make us a dream board and hang our dreams on it and look at it everyday.

You should develop a plan to reaching those far out stars that seem to dazzle at the edge of the universe.  Dustin L. Carr

Be encouraged and inspire yourself with an insatiable desire for whatever your dream may be.

Team up with others with skills that you need 

Rapunzel realized she couldn’t do it on her own.  Flynn had the skills necessary to help her on her journey.  He had the knowledge of what she was looking for and where to get it.  She had help from a horse at one time, and the size, muscle, and courage of all the “ruffians” that fell in love with her personality.  Life’s a journey and dreams are amazing, but going at it on your on is a futile mission.

Do you dream big? Or are your dreams a “Tangled” mess?  Let me know what your dreams are?  Send back feed back and comments

(1) John C. Maxwell, Thinking For a Change, pgg. 65, 66