Leaders Cannot Show the Way Until They Know the Way

Leaders Cannot Show the Way Until They Know the Way

John Maxwell
The longest psalm in the Bible is a song about the priority of the Word of God. For 176 verses, Psalm 119 holds high the words and wisdom of God and convinces us to treasure it more than anything else in life.

Why is this challenge so crucial for us? Leaders in our world face two realities:

    1. Change happens faster than ever, so leaders must remain adaptable.
    1. 2. We need timeless values more than ever, so leaders must remain principle-driven.

Psalm 119 provides a roadmap for getting the wisdom, values, and principles we need to lead effectively. Consider what Psalm 119 teaches about adopting God’s Word as our source for leadership principles. Our leadership will…

    • be blessed (vv. 1, 2)
    • remain pure and ethical (vv. 9–11)
    • be strengthened and revitalized (vv. 28, 149, 154–159)
    • insightfully answer criticism (v. 42)
    • enjoy liberty (v. 45)
    • gain wise counsel when needed (v. 66)
    • remain steady even when afflicted (vv. 67–72, 92)
    • display more insight than our teachers (vv. 99, 100)
    • be enlightened and intuitive (vv. 105, 130)
    • have a reliable guide even for new issues (vv. 129, 160)
    • enjoy inward peace and poise (v. 165)
    • get divine help (vv. 173–175)

 

  • ‘Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— they do no wrong but follow his ways. ‘ Psalm 119:1-3
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Habits To Increase Productivity & Creativity

Habits To Increase Productivity & Creativity

By Antonio Cappiello

Most of the times we want to save our time in order to do more things. Sometimes we waste time on useless projects or works, and other times we love so much what we are doing that we use efficiently the available time.

The question is: there exist a set of habits to follow in order to do the things we have to do as swiftly as possible?

Are there habits that will increase your productivity and your creativity? Of course, they are.

These habits will also lead you to the road to success if you implement them in a good way. Successful people try always to improve themselves and their projects, and what’s better than doing a lot of things as quickly as possible?

If you are thinking to get stuck in bad old habits, you have to understand and learn how to quit a bad habit with a working strategy.

What Are The Best Habits To Have In Order To Get More Productive?

You can now find a list of the best powerful and inspiring habits that you could have every day to increase your productivityboost your creativity and be motivated to do better things for your life or your business.

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1) Go To Bed Early And Become A Morning Person

The worst thing I could ever experience is working at night. Projects, lot of coffee at 1:00 am, unavoidably I woke up at 3 pm the day after. This is so unproductive. Working at night is one million times less productive than doing it in the morning.

In the early morning, we are more concentrated, we are ready to face different tasks and, more importantly, we are not tired. If you plan to start your productivity to raise, wake up early and become a morning person!

One of my best suggestion is to do the so-called “Holy Hour”: it is a set of activities you do in the early morning in order to feel better and start more concentrate your day. I personally do this every day, end every people I talked to about this were very exciting to try this activity.

I am actually feeling really good, and at this moment are just the 6:00 am, and I look so productive!

Maybe initially it could be difficult, but you will find this habit very powerful in just a few days, and you will pursue it with happiness! Remind that this is maybe the most important one of the habits to increase productivity and creativity!

2) Do Physical Activity

Doing physical activity is really comforting at the mental level. If you plan to go to the gym, you will be determined to do physical activity periodically and with a weekly routine.

This planning will lead you to plan in the same good way all of your activities through the week.

It is useless to discuss the efficiency and wellness of doing physical activity, everybody knows that if we want to have a high level of mental energy and a high response to all the life task, we have to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Follow a healthy lifestyle, or your brain and your skills will be damaged.

3) Plan Your Activities The Day Before

Have you ever heard about “To-Do Lists”? I hope so.

It seems to be not so useful, but using a to-do list is even more rigid and deterministic than planning a gym activity. Why? Because you set your weekly tasks and you are going to do them.

Having them written on a notebook or agenda will lead you to do these activities with more attention and faith. Now, think to plan this list not for the whole week, but particularly for the day after.

It sounds to be really efficient. Doesn’t it?

This is one of the best habits to have to increase your productivity. But, why? Because when you’re planning to do something tomorrow, you think you will certainly do it. Moreover, if you realize that you could do this task, or at least just a part of it, today, then you will do it more easily tomorrow, or you will not do it at all because you already did Today!

This is one of my favorite in the list of habits to increase productivity!

4) Practice Meditation

As I already suggested in the “Holy Hour“, doing meditation in the early morning is really important. But if you plan to do meditation in the afternoon or when you have a bit of free time, this will outcome as really productive for you. Simply because Meditation will lead you to be more relaxed in that 15-20 minutes session, will make your mind at ease with itself and will make you more focused on what are the best approach you can practice to do everything you have to do.  Then you can restart stronger than before to do your tasks.

If you have not ever tried meditation, or if you do not know precisely what kind of actions you have to prosecute, try to learn How To Start Meditation Properly And Deeply.

5) Remember To Eat

Do not forget to eat. Meals are really important for your brain, and you will be nothing if you do not eat regularly or if you forget to do it. Snack frequently and remember to eat the right kind of healthy, nourishing food you need to have energy all day.

Try to avoid foods that may damage or negatively affect your brain.

If you are too busy to cook, try to call a fast delivery restaurant or bar, but remind to take the time to eat for yourself.

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6) Disconnect From Your Activity When You Finish Them

When you finish your task, your work, your activity, your thing-to-do, completely disconnect from it. Do not think about it even after your time. Take breaks and enjoy your moments of life.

This can be less important when you are young, but it becomes to be more relevant when you have a partner or a family. Enjoy the time you have with people you love or with hobby you want to pursue!

 

The Definition of Success According to Zig Ziglar

Excerpted from Zig Ziglar’s ‘Born to Win!’
April 29, 2014

In Born to Win! Find Your Success Code, his last book before his passing, iconic motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar shares his winning philosophy—that you have to plan and prepare to win, to succeed—and the strategies to go with it.

In this excerpt, he shares a short list of the characteristics that he believes comprise success:

What Success Is:

1. Success is knowing that you did a great job when you close the door to your office at the end of each workday and head for home.

2. Success is having a home and people to love who love you in return.

3. Success is having the financial security to meet your obligations each month and the knowledge that you have provided that security for your family in the event of your demise.

4. Success is having the kind of faith that lets you know where to turn when there seems to be no place to turn.

5. Success is having an interest or hobby that gives you joy and peace.

6. Success is knowing who you are, and Whose you are.

7. Success is taking good care of you and waking up healthy each day.

8. Success is slipping under the covers at the end of the day and realizing with gratitude that, “It just doesn’t get much better than this!”

You see from this list that success is defined by more than one sentence. Success involves the whole person, and if you skimp on one area, you will limit your success. Now, let’s take a look at what success isn’t:

What Success Isn’t:

1. Success isn’t missing dinner with the family several times a week because of working excessively.

2. Success isn’t rushing home from work and hiding out with the TV thinking, “After the day I’ve had, I need my space!”

3. Success isn’t about how to make more money when you already have more money than you can spend.

4. Success isn’t about going to church and ignoring everything you hear.

5. Success isn’t all work and no play.

6. Success isn’t about being so busy that you live on unhealthy fast food, served to you through little windows.

7. Success isn’t spending mental energy worrying about late projects, being home on time, your health, missing your child’s school play, being able to pay your bills, or finding joy in your life.

8. Success isn’t texting while you drive to catch up on your overloaded schedule.

John C. Maxwell: 5 Employee Perks That Should Be Standard in Every Company

John C. Maxwell: 5 Employee Perks That Should Be Standard in Every Company

John C. Maxwell

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Everyone likes a perk. Being part of a special group and receiving the small benefits attached to it make us light up. Maybe that’s why we share our phone numbers or scan a membership card with nearly every transaction we make these days.

Perks have become a major part of corporate strategy, too. Some companies offer free lunches; a few pamper employees with office massages; others liven up the workday with Ping-Pong tables or volleyball courts. I love the idea of these workplace bonuses. They affirm management’s intent on being more than crack-the-whip bosses, and they can differentiate an organization from the pack.

I love a good coffee bar as much as the next person, but I also know that top talents will see right through the latte foam if they don’t find underneath an employee-centric culture that satisfies what they really crave. Certain perks should be standard in every company. Here are five that all organizations should offer to show they value their people.2

  1. Caring Leaders

Not surprisingly, skilled, empathetic leaders top my list because everything rises and falls on leadership. I’ve spent decades teaching organizations about the benefits of engaged and effective leaders, but many still miss the mark.

Caring leaders demonstrate these habits:

  • They know their people on an individual basis.
  • They recognize and reward effective workers.
  • They empower team members to do their jobs.
  • They put people in positions to succeed.
  • They are encouraging.
  • They have an abundance mindset that expresses itself as generosity.

Talented people won’t stick around if their leaders are subpar. The old saying is true: People leave managers, not companies. If you are serious about building a top-notch organization, you must begin with the leadership4—and that begins with you.

  1. Significant Work

The second must-have perk is the opportunity to do work that matters. While saving the world isn’t the mission of every organization, each should still have a vision that goes beyond making money or completing tasks.

Once you share the big picture, you’ve got to detail how every job contributes to it. And if you can’t answer why or how that position matters, then you need to go back to your organizational chart and job descriptions. I remember a few years ago the federal government made a big deal about cutting nonessential personnel during a budget crunch. I thought to myself, if they’re nonessential, then why do they have jobs? Every person should know that he or she is a vital part of a greater whole.

Furthermore, you should work on matching the right people with the right jobs. I call this the “sweet spot,” where a person’s talent and passion meet the organization’s need. When people excel at what they do, they’ll find the work more meaningful. This process starts with onboarding employees whose personal purpose aligns with the organizational purpose. If you have people on the team who don’t share your values, you will always run into trouble—unhappy employees (and the management challenges that go along with them), high turnover and less-than-stellar work from those whose hearts aren’t in the game.

  1. Appropriate Compensation

This is the most obvious way that organizations take care of their people. Any organization that skimps on salaries will struggle to attract and retain top talent. At too many organizations, the highest levels hoard the wealth. Sure, executives should be well-compensated, but no company is made up entirely of chiefs! You need to share the wealth. As a leader, you should sacrifice some of your share for your people, which will go a long way toward instilling good faith, loyalty and longevity among your team.

Salary isn’t the only type of compensation, however. Provide the best benefits you can afford: health insurance plans with generous coverage; retirement funds that will sustain your employees; scholarship programs that advance your team members or their kids; and so forth. When possible, offer flexible schedules or work-from-home opportunities. It’s smart to assess what your people need and offer them attractive options for doing their best work.

  1. Growth Environment

Of all the perks an organization can offer, this is the one I’m most passionate about. I tell all employees who come to work for my companies that they are entering a growth environment and that I expect them to develop and expand their skills over time. We even meet twice a month with the specific purpose of nurturing growth.

Leaders have a responsibility in this process. We’ve got to offer avenues for growth; if we demand that people grow but don’t actively support their efforts to do so, we’ll frustrate everyone. Following are key areas and ways for you to provide the potential for growth:

  • Advancement within the company.
  • Continuing education, whether formal or job-specific.
  • Encouragement to stretch beyond expectations.
  • New challenges that spur growth.

This perk will be absorbed companywide. Not only will your employees appreciate the investment in them, but also the organization will benefit from happier, sharper people. It’s a win-win.

  1. Dream Opportunities

All companies should offer employees a chance to chase their dreams. That may seem far-fetched, but it’s actually practical and requires an abundance mindset and knowing your people.

You might consider allowing sabbaticals so people can take extended time off to pursue a personal goal. You can network for them, introducing them to leaders who can advance them in their industries or assist them in their passion projects. Provide opportunities that inspire employees to dream bigger and reach further within the organization’s overall vision, such as tapping an aspiring writer to helm the company blog or asking a photography buff to shoot pictures to document a project.

There’s nothing wrong with a Ping-Pong table or an in-house massage therapist, but when it comes to the perks your people really need, nothing beats the five I’ve listed here. When you take care of your people, they will deliver a significant return on your investment. As I often say, “If you’ll add value to your people, they’ll add value to you.”

9 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Success

9 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Success

It’s a good time to reflect on your business’ progress and plan how you want to grow your business in the new year.

 

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Image credit: Helman Gomez

Kimberly de Silva•Guest Writer

This story originally appeared on Bizness Apps
When people hear new year’s resolutions, they often think of “exercising more,” “spending more time with the family” or “traveling more.” Besides these personal resolutions, you can also create impactful resolutions for your small business. A resolution, after all, is a decision to do something differently to bring about positive change. It’s a good time to reflect on your business’ progress and plan how you want to grow your business in the new year.

  1. I will learn how to delegate and do more of it. 

As a small business owner, your to-do list probably doesn’t even fit on one page. There are so many things to do, and it’s easy to delude ourselves that we need to do all of them ourselves. You can only work so many hours in a day. As a result, you’re probably exhausted, stressed and don’t have any free time outside of your business. Delegation is the key to a healthy work-life balance. However, people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of upfront effort and requires a loss of control. So how do you let someone else do certain tasks, while making sure it’s done correctly? The answer is simple: communication and training. Make sure your employees are trained enough, to the point where they can take over some of your tasks. The next step is to clearly communicate the objectives and deadlines, so that you don’t end up micromanaging.

  1. I will learn how to manage my cash flow more effectively.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. In fact, a prominent study from the financial services company U.S. Bank found that 82 percent of startups and small businesses fail due to poor cash flow management. According to The Balance, “This is a great resolution for small business owners who have drastic ebbs and flows in their cash flow, have been unable to create enough capital to invest back into the business or those who don’t really understand the day-to-day finances of the business.”

  1. I will take steps to improve my digital presence.

If it’s been more than a year since your site has been updated, if you haven’t taken action to make your online presence mobile-friendly, if you still haven’t created an email marketing list or if digital isn’t part of your marketing strategy at all, it’s time to add this to your new year’s resolutions. You could even take a step further than mobile-friendly and use a mobile-first approach to your digital presence.

  1. I will charge what I’m worth.

Do you feel that your product or service is undervalued? If so, then it might be time to raise your rates to correspond with the value you bring to the table. You might be thinking that raising your prices will alienate certain people from becoming a customer. That could be the case, but you can’t be all things to all people. “Your target market will pay what the marketplace has proved it will pay”, says Entrepreneur. How can you implement this? Depending on your business, you can shift to a “packaged value” approach. This is where you provide tiered packages that give potential customers choices, so they can focus on the value you offer rather than the amount of time you spent. Your prices can then reflect this value.

  1. I will learn something new.

New year, new skill. Choose something new to learn in 2018 — it may be directly related to your business or completely unrelated. Learning a new skill will add a dimension of interest to your life that will help to maintain that work-life balance. It will also help you to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people, if you decide to take marketing classes or learn a new language.

  1. I will make business strategizing a weekly event. 

Planning is vital if you want to foster a growing business. But running a small business can be chaotic and it’s easy to get sucked into the day-to-day operations. Business strategizing allows you to take a step back and highlight what worked and what didn’t, while adjusting old goals and setting new ones. So why do it just once a quarter or once a year? Set aside time each week to review your strategies. This will help you stay on track and allow you to have a clear hold on your business.

  1. I will drop what’s not working and move on.

After all that business strategizing, you will know exactly what’s not working for your small business. Maybe your sales method isn’t performing well, one of your products isn’t selling or a specific partnership isn’t working out… If this is the case, it’s time to drop it. As The Balance states, “If a technique or a product or a business relationship isn’t working for you, stop using it. Don’t invest a lot of energy into trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on. Something better will turn up.”

  1. I will promote my business regularly and consistently.

Since small business owners wear a lot of hats, you might not always have “marketing” at the top of your to-do list. While you should definitely focus on delivering that amazing small business experience, you shouldn’t forget to market that amazing experience to to the outside world. To attract new customers, you have to make promotion a priority. Take the time to create a marketing plan or, even your funds allow it, hire a marketing expert to help you set it up. To get started, try some of these ways to get press coverage for your small business.

  1. I will enhance my technology footprint.

Few things frustrate employees — and customers — more than working with outdated technology. Slow internet speeds, clunky operating systems and inadequate tools can eat up valuable time. Make an inventory list of all your company supplies to see what needs replacing. Maybe it’s time to implement that online food ordering system, or maybe your employees could use new computers. Start the year off right by upgrading your technology footprint.

 

The Law of Navigation

The Law of navigation simply says: “Anyone Can Steer the Ship, but It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course”

First-rate navigators always have in mind that other people are depending on them and their ability to chart a good course. Before good leaders take their people on a journey, they go through a process in order to give the trip the best chance of being a success:

  •  Navigators Draw on Past Experience – every past success and failure you’ve experienced can be a valuable source of information and wisdom. Success teaches you what you’re capable of doing and gives you confidence. However, your failures can often teach greater lessons, if you allow them to. If you fail to learn from your mistakes, you’re going to fail again and again.
  •  Navigators Examine the Conditions Before Making Commitments – No good leader plans a course of action without paying attention to current conditions. Good navigators count the cost before making commitments for themselves and others.
  •  Navigators Listen To What Others Have to Say – Navigating leaders get ideas from many sources. They listen to members of their leadership team. They spend time with leaders of other organizations who can mentor them. They always think in terms of relying on a team, not just themselves.
  • Navigators Make Sure Their Conclusions Represent Both Faith and Fact – A leader has to possess a positive attitude. If you can’t confidently make the trip in your mind, you’re not going to be able to take it in real life. On the other hand, you also have to be able to see the facts realistically. If you don’t go in with your eyes wide open, you’re going to get blindsided. Balancing optimism and realism, faith and fact can be very difficult. ƒ

 

Charting A Course with A Navigation Strategy – here’s an acrostic that the author used repeatedly in his leadership.

  • Predetermine a course of action.
  • Lay out your goals. Adjust your priorities.
  • Notify key personnel.
  • Allow time for acceptance.
  • Head into action.
  • Expect problems.
  • Always point to the successes.
  • Daily review your plan. ƒ

The secret to the Law of Navigation is preparation. When you prepare well, you convey confidence and trust to people. Leaders who are good navigators are capable of taking their people just about anywhere.

THE LAW OF PROCESS

Leadership is learned over time. Leaders are always learners.
“Becoming a leader is a lot like investing successfully in the stock market. If your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you’re not going to be successful. There are no successful “day traders” in leadership development. What matters most is what you do day by day over the long haul.”
A. – “What is your plan for personal growth?” and “What are you doing to promote your professional growth?”
 Do your plans encourage development and continued growth from the previous day’s progress?
B. …if you want lasting improvement, if you want power, then rely on a process.”
 Discuss with your team what you can do day to day to create a new process of reaching your goal of becoming an effective leader.
 Take a personal inventory and write down some steps discussed that will allow you to begin your process of personal growth.
The Phases of Leadership Growth

 Phase 1 – I DON’T KNOW WHAT I DON’T KNOW: Name 4 people you can influence each day as a leader.
 Phase 2 – I KNOW THAT I NEED TO KNOW: Are you “in charge” of a group or are you a “leader”? Do you recognize that you may lack skills required to become an effective leader?
 Phase 3 – I KNOW WHAT I DON’T KNOW: What can you realistically do on a continual basis to bring you closer to becoming a successful leader? List and discuss what you KNOW you can do to start your process. Incorporate this into your calendars.
 Phase 4 – I KNOW AND GROW, AND IT STARTS TO SHOW: Ask yourself – “How hungry am I to learn and glean and grow?” Discuss the steps a team leader can start developing in the workplace today with fellow workers, employees, managers, etc. How can they be supported? What tools will you offer?
 Phase 5 – I SIMPLY GO BECAUSE OF WHAT I KNOW: Once you have studied and created a day–to-day process, your instincts will guide you on your journey – this is “The Law of Process”.

*What are you doing right now to build yourself into a great Leader?
*What book are you reading right now?
*What seminars are you enrolling in?
*What sacrifices are you making to reach your goal?