Posts tagged #leadership

The Biggest Failure

            January 31, 2017 marked exactly three years since I took one of the biggest leaps of faith ever in my life. With that one decision, I let go of stability, comfort, and the only career path I had known for thirteen years. I chose to walk away when many people and even myself knew that there were many more years left for me to impact the lives of students, lead teachers, and move up the educational ladder. However, in my heart, I knew there was more for me.

            Some say ambition can be lethal because it causes people to dream big, take risks, and be different from the status quo. I can agree with that assessment, but for me, ambition is more.

            Ambition is tied to a person’s passion.

            You know that desire that wakes you up in the morning ready to take on the world. Passion; that fire that can’t be quenched by mediocrity and simply living life going through the motions.

            There are many people who live life simply going through the motions, and it’s a shame, because is that truly living? Many people entered the New Year a month ago with the expectation that 2017 would be better. Why? Was it simply because we ushered in a new year and closed the book on 2016?

            A new year means nothing if you enter it with the same mentality. What is a new year going to do for you if you still think the same way and in turn act the same way? Our beliefs determine our actions. Therefore,

            If you believe your life can’t get better, it won’t.

            If you believe you can’t make a difference, you won’t.

            If you believe your students can’t learn, they won’t…and it’s not because they are incapable of doing so. Rather, it is because your negative belief in them keeps you from giving your best. You can’t control them, but you can control you. But, again, why would we give our best when nothing good is going to come out of it, right?

            I don’t want to fail, so why try?

            I don’t want to look stupid, so why give it a shot?

            I don’t want to be laughed at, so why risk?

            I must admit that I have wrestled with the same thoughts. It hasn’t been easy for me going from getting a steady paycheck to making sure I close a deal to make certain I have the necessary means to provide for my family. I don’t say that for you to feel sorry for me. I say that because I know what it is to enter a new year thinking that a new year itself is going to make things different. It doesn’t. You make things different.

            As I finished 2016, I finished it with the mindset that I will get continue to get better. I will continue to risk, dream big, work hard, and try. Why? Because my ambition, my passion drives me to make a difference. Therefore, I will continue committed to that path.

Some of the Plano Senior High School students.

Some of the Plano Senior High School students.

            See, if I had given up and not tried, I would have never had the fortune to serve the youth and youth leaders of the Western Shoshone tribe in Nevada.

            I would have never had the chance to serve the educators of Pearsall ISD and challenge them to see the greatness not only in their students, but also in themselves, because they truly matter.

            I would have never had the opportunity to serve 200 plus students at Plano High School by sharing my heart, and hearing their cries and needs for hope in a future that sometimes seems uncertain to them.

            You can make a difference today right where you are at in your job, your community, and family. Stop worrying about whether it's going to fail or not.

Do the best you with what you are given and share the light inside of you.

            If you fail, you get back up. Some would say that I’ve failed since I left my position as a school administrator because I don’t have the leadership title anymore, the income I used to have, I’m not on T.V., and social media doesn’t really know who I am yet. But that’s far from the truth because the biggest failure in life is knowing there is a longing inside of you, but never having the courage to pursue it.

The biggest failure in life is simply not trying.

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Win Their Trust

Some of you are a couple of weeks into another school year. Has the excitement of a new school year already vanished? Are you counting down the days to Thanksgiving break?

Perhaps the answer to the above questions is a resounding “Yes.” If that’s the case, is it fair for me to assume that the reason why you may be feeling a bit dejected is because the students have switched gears on you?

No longer are they the sweet, quiet kids. Now, they are testing you and your limits. Now, the lesson you worked hours and hours on during the weekend creates little to zero engagement with them. To top that off, maybe your calendar is filled with deadlines from administration of paperwork that must be completed ASAP. It’s no wonder, right about now you’re probably feeling down.

I feel your pain. I’ve been there.

Maybe you don’t work in a school environment at all, but you’re experiencing discouragement because your business isn’t taking off the way you envisioned it to.

Trust me. I understand.

Regardless of where you find yourself, allow me to offer you two pieces of advice.

1.     Don’t quit.  Yes, it sounds elementary, but perseverance is a quality we love to claim we have until we find ourselves facing a huge obstacle that reveals to us otherwise. However, any successful person succeeded not because he or she always did the right thing. Rather, it was because he or she stayed committed to their purpose. Countless times they failed, but they always rose back up.
2.     Win Their Trust.  Realize that the people you are trying to influence will not listen to you or give you the time of day, until they are able to trust you. The relationship you have with the people you are serving matters. It matters because it influences the results you are getting and will continue to receive.

In a study conducted by Mensah and Atta (2015), teachers expressed that a supportive relationship with students was one key factor that inspired the students to succeed.  So, continue to get to know your students. Value them. Not just when it’s convenient either.

For those in business, the relationships you build are also vital to your success. Get to know your potential clients. Treat them with respect. Provide them value. Build trust.

Remember, any person will work with you and for you when they trust you, and that the strongest of all relationships is always built on trust.

3 Ways to Win Trust

1.     Do what you say you are going to do.
2.    Your communication both verbal and nonverbal matter.  Choose both words and actions carefully.
3.     Value every single person you are serving, whether they treat you fairly, do the right, or not.

Here’s to you staying Mission Driven and creating a legacy that makes an impact!

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The Selfless Leader

We live in a selfish world. So it’s no surprise that nowadays selfish leaders prevail in companies, organizations, and schools.

It’s not hard to distinguish a selfish leader. You know one, when you see one. When a selfish leader talks to one of their subordinates who are in need of help, mentoring or advice, they’re canny about turning the conversation and making it about them.  A characteristic of selfish leaders is that they are self-serving. They also don’t give unless they’re certain they can get something in return.  Their leadership style is entrenched in the idea of “quid pro quo.”  

And as far as your feelings go, you’re more likely to find warmth in Alaska. Selfish leaders can hurt without remorse, and disappoint without blinking twice.  

A true and effective leader is one that is selfless. Their impact is felt across the organization, and their good will resonate with all people who come into contact with them. Their life is made extraordinary because they live to make other people’s lives great. If you’re a leader, you have a choice to make: be selfish or be selfless.  

5 Ways You Can Be a Selfless Leader Today

1.    Be present and listen.  Sometimes, all somebody needs is for you to listen. No judgment. No advice. Just be present in mind and in body, and listen.

2.   Think and seek wisdom. When you’re a leader your decisions not only affect you, they affect those following you. If an organizational decision goes bad, it will not only hurt you, it will hurt those around you too.

3.   Give unconditionally. True leaders will give expecting nothing in return. Why? Because they know when a person genuinely gives, the response they receive never matters. What matters is that they freely gave from themselves.

4.   Remember the Golden Rule.  Think about how you would feel if someone disrespected you and was inconsiderate of your feelings. Wouldn’t feel good. Therefore, if you wouldn’t want someone to treat you that way, do your best to treat them with the utmost respect…the way we all want to be treated.

5.    Honesty is key. Be direct. Leadership is not about making sure everyone praises your name and kisses the floor you walk on. You will have to make decisions that may not be popular. That’s what makes you a leader. The worst thing you could is lie and have a person believe they are doing a good job when in reality they’re not.

Remember being a leader does not mean you have the power to treat people however you want. Being a leader means you have a responsibility that will affect not only yourself, but also those you serve. Selfishness is already so prevalent in the world. However, when we truly want the best for others and not just ourselves, we must heed the call of being selfless. And as John Maxwell writes, "The heart of leadership is putting others ahead of yourself."

Originally published at eternal3.com

Posted on July 29, 2014 and filed under Blogs.