Leaders should and must look in the mirror from time to time. It’s always important to tell the truth so that you will not have to try to re-remember what you said in the first place.

Friday July 8th 2016
 
It would seem that we live in unique times. The news abounds on any given day about what our Leaders are doing or fail to be doing. Of course, it is usually the political leaders that we pay the most attention to but Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. They come from many different avenues of our society…business, political, education, military, law enforcement, religious just to name a few.
Regardless of from what venue leaders derive, one thing that must be attended to by all leaders is a “Motive Check”. Leaders Must Do the Right Thing for the Right Reason! Perhaps you were curious as to why I stated in my title that Leaders need to look in the mirror once in awhile. Well the main reason is to check themselves out. Yes, that is correct. Leaders can so easily get caught up in doing things for image sake. In case we forget, leaders are being watched by so many people and when you least expect it. But of late, I have noticed that some purported leaders seem to think that they have a force field of some kind around them and are impervious to anything and everything and how dare you question their motives. To some out there, you would think that a rendition of the Emperor’s New Clothes were in effect and that many of us refuse to recognize and acknowledge what is so obvious that even a blind person could see what is going on. I don’t say that to be rude but to show reality.
 
One of the lessons that I teach from John Maxwell’s Book “Everyone Communicates. Few Connect” is to ask leaders when does “first impression” mode cease. After some thought and discussion, the answer clearly comes forth that first impression mode never ends. I can remember being taught that you have 8-10 seconds to make a first impression and that may be true with those that you are speaking with up close but clearly we always have to remember that as Leaders we are being observed by people we don’t even know are observing us.
 
Sometimes as Leaders, we forget and get caught up in facades and hypocrisy. You remember the scripture (loosely translated) that those who fast should not show that they are fasting and that those who have title should not walk around flaunting it. We are compelled as Leaders to ensure that we do good, give to charity, prioritize what we do and ensure that our values are in order. Of course, as this is a Leadership and the Bible posting, we should also realize that prayer is of immense importance. For those who may not have prayed in a while, it couldn’t hurt to try it again for the first time.
 
You may be wondering what this might have to do with Leadership. Well suffice to say that many of us if not all of us have told a “little white one” at some point in our lives. Well you out there in the business world will run into instances where by your telling it the way it is will end up being more beneficial than your having to do other wise. Surely, you will also run into those around you who may not always be on the up and up as they try to fix that which gets worse the more they try to fix it.
 
That was a mouthful, wasn’t it? When you tell the truth, you simply are telling it like it is from your perspective. Remember that where you are is where you are! The truth you tell today will be the same truth that you tell next week, next month etc. A non-truth is not like that. You would have interjected some non-truth and when you are asked again to recount what you said a week, a month etc. you will be hard pressed to remember exactly what you said and you will probably need to interject another non-truth of some kind. It will get to the point where you end up in over your head. John Maxwell always likes to say “that when you are in over your head, it does not matter how deep the water is”. How true this is!
 
 
But the most important part of this posting is to remind Leaders of the need to establish, define and action the Core Values.
1. Do the right thing for the right reasons
2. Relationships will make or break you (Sounds like an Inner Circle statement)
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff)
4. Judge yourself before you judge others
5. If you need something…ask. If you have something…Give
6. Stay true to YOUR Convictions. Stay the path
7. **When you tell the TRUTH you will never have to remember what you said**
 
 
Just remember that the TV shows are full of Law and Order and other types of stories that put people in front of lawyers and the courts and under cross examination people convict themselves because they could not get the story straight.
In closing, how many of the Leadership Laws can you deduce from this above list? If you are a leader or looking to become a leader, there is no time like NOW to do what you need to do to become that leader. Remember the law that people first buy into the leader and then they buy into the vision
Be the Leader that you are meant to be. Stay out from getting in the water above your head. For if you always tell it like it is, you won’t have to remember what it is that you said because it will always be what it is.
 
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What are your thoughts? Send me your comments. Peace. BB 

Let us not forget to Remember July 3rd and what would help ensure the preservation of these United States of America!

We are actively celebrating the 4th of July Weekend, the remembering of the Events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the creation of the Eagle of a New Nation dedicated to the proposition that All Men are Created Equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And rightly so that we take the time to celebrate the Birth of a Nation, Our Nation, that has allowed us to be born and raised in a Country that so, so many others seek to become a part of because of what has become known as the “American Dream”.
But what many are not aware of, is that these dates of early July also depict a time of Civil Strife (The American Civil War / War Between the States) when 2 opposing Armies made up of Americans all met to fight a significant Battle in a small Pennsylvania town known as Gettysburg. While there were many battles in the years of the Civil War 1861-1865, it is well known and realized that the Battle of Gettysburg was the pivotal battle and perceived turning point to helping the Union to ultimately win. But what is even further little known is that it was due to a speech by a Union Colonel from Maine to a group of discontent soldiers that would help bring about a victory for the Union Forces at a time when the Southern Forces were about to cause a major upset.

The speech that rekindled loyalty and arguably won the US Civil War… Was not the Gettysburg address, it was the speech that Colonel Chamberlain gave to a large group of deserters that had been given to him the day before the biggest battle of the entire war. He desperately needed them to join his Northern Maine regiment for the upcoming battle.

…in that battle many historians agree that it was Colonel Chamberlain’s holding of Little Round Top that won the day, and was the turning point in the whole war, in favour of the North.

As you read his speech, made entirely off the cuff, note his skills at using the word “we”, his constant linking of the overall aim of the war with the present choice the men face, and most of all his repeated use of three points together, as he spoke, one of the most powerful techniques in presentations. I am including that monumental, momentous and yet simple down home speech.
So as we do indeed celebrate the Birthday of the United States of America, we also need to celebrate the preservation of the Union that 240 years later still holds and gives hope to all who live within these shores.

Colonel Chamberlain approached all of the deserters just after they arrived, and spoke to them together, as a group:

“I’ve been ordered to take you men with me, I’m told that if you (laughs quietly) don’t come I can shoot you. Well, you know I won’t do that. Maybe somebody else will, but I won’t, so that’s that. Here’s the situation, the Whole Reb army is up that road aways waiting for us, so this is no time for an argument like this, I tell you. We could surely use you fellahs, we’re now well below half strength.

Whether you fight or not, that’s up to you, whether you come along is… well, your coming.
You know who we are and what we are doing here, but if you are going to fight alongside us there are a few things I want you to know.
This regiment was formed last summer, in Maine.
There were a thousand of us then, there are less than 300 of us now.
All of us volunteered to fight for the Union, just as you have
Some came mainly because we were bored at home, thought this looked like it might be fun
Some came because we were ashamed not to
Many of came because it was the right thing to do
And all of us have seen men die
This is a different kind of army
If you look back through history you will see men fighting for pay, for women, for some other kind of loot
They fight for land, power, because a king leads them, or just because they like killing
But we are here for something new, this has not happened much, in the history of the world
We are an army out to set other men free
America should be free ground, all of it, not divided by a line between slave states and free – all the way from here to the Pacific Ocean
No man has to bow. No man born to royalty
Here we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was
Here you can be something
Here is the place to build a home
But it’s not the land, there’s always more land
It’s the idea that we all have value – you and me
What we are fighting for, in the end, we’re fighting for each other
Sorry, I didn’t mean to preach
You go ahead and you talk for awhile
If you choose to join us and you want your muskets back you can have them – nothing more will be said by anyone anywhere
If you choose not to join us well then you can come along under guard and when this is all over I will do what I can to ensure you get a fair trial, but for now we’re moving out
Gentlemen, I think if we lose this fight we lose the war, so if you choose to join us I will be personally very grateful.”
114 out of 120 deserters joined with the regiment immediately, with another 4 joined up later.

Is your Phoenix built and ready to fly”? And most important, “Are you ready to fly”?

Friday April 22, 2016

This week’s Blog post is entitled “Is your Phoenix built and ready to fly”? And most important, “Are you ready to fly it”?
I guess the first and best place to start with this posting is to go back to the classic film released in 1965 and later the remake of the same name “The Flight of the Phoenix”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie and the plot, let me take a few moments to briefly describe it for you. The story describes several men struggling to survive their plane crash in the formidable  Sahara Desert. The crew and surviving passengers come from all walks of life as well as nationalities. Naturally, the radio does not work and while they have an abundant supply of dates (yes, those dried pieces of fruit) water on the other hand will only last about 10-15 days. The story clearly covers all aspects of whether to give up and die or to attempt to overcome their obstacles and survive. It is a story that matches “wit” against “braun” and “pride” against “logic”.  They set out to build an airplane from what was left of their crashed airplane and they name it the “Phenix” after the mythical bird that arose from the fire and ashes. I guess you will need to see the movie to find out the outcome. The Story and ‘our’ everyday lives clearly have  much in common and it is through the fundamentals and implementation of John Maxwells 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership that today’s posting applies.
I write this from my perspective and look forward to your feedback on agreement or differing point of view. In life, we will experience many instances whereby things may not be going as well as one would like. To the point of failure, distain, disillusionment, grief, down right just not caring anymore and defeatism. We have a choice. We can either roll over and give up the ghost or we can learn and grow from the experience(s) and rise anew better and more able to take it to the next level. Quite frankly, from a religious point of view, I have come to believe and understand that my God (Grand Overall Designer) has and is putting certain obstacles in my path to test me and prepare me for the greater things that He has planned for me. How I handle my challenges, failures and defeats will determine if I am prepared and ready for the greater that awaits.
Every once in awhile, I play the song whose lyrics refer to “I get knocked down, but I get up again. Nothing’s ever gonna keep me down” (enjoy the link below on this)  I am also reminded of the classic scene, not to mention the entire movie “Spartacus” (2nd link below). That classic scene where the Slave army under Spartacus was defeated and when the Roman General offered to spare the life to anyone who would turn Spartacus over to him instead chose to the man to stand up and say, “I’m Spartacus”! You see, they had chosen to all rise from the ashes in the quest for their freedom. You have a choice. Are you going to rise from the ashes no matter how many times it takes and fulfill YOUR destiny? Or are you going to allow others to knock you down and try to keep you down so that they can rise up at YOUR expense? The choice is yours. That is why Leadership training is so important. That is why you must continue to grow.
So what are your comments, feelings, thoughts on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Which of the 21 Laws did you find?
Not only am I a Phoenix but I am an Eagle. How about you?
Peace. Bermuda Bob

I Get Knocked Down but I GET UP Again!

I’m Spartacus

 

Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be…President?

Friday March 4th 2016

 

     I am sure that I was no different than hundreds and even thousands of other young American children back in the 1950’s/1960’s when asked the question…”What do you want to be when you grow up?” And of course, every young boy (we were years away from women’s lib) would respond from everything ranging from a jet fighter pilot, GI Joe, Buck Rogers, Superman, a doctor, a fireman all the way to that prestigious person, President of the United States.
     Yes, that’s right, my generation was taught that any boy in America could and had the right to grow up to be President. Even I thought that this was possible for me. I was a second generation American. My father’s relatives were just like thousands of other immigrants at the turn of the 20th Century “Coming to America” landing at Ellis Island in New York Harbor in search of a better life for their children and themselves.
     So what are the requirements in order to run for what has become the most important Leader of the Free World and maybe even the world itself?
According to the U.S. Constitution which is the Document that guides and governs all actions that conveys how America should be run clearly states that a person must be:
  1. A Natural Born U.S. Citizen
  2. Be at least 35 years of age
  3. And has lived in the United States for 14 years.
     Now of late, there seems to be some confusion over the letter of the law as to what a Natural  Born Citizen implies. WE were taught back in our day that you had to be physically born on US Territory. That if you were born to American parents overseas that that was not acceptable. In today’s political climate this appears to be an issue or a non issue. There are many, many reasons why someone would want to grow up to be President but unfortunately, the road to get there has become muddled. In today’s world, it seems that you need to be part of a political machine. It seems that you need to already hold a political office and running for President is a natural progression. It seems that all too often we find people who run for office with their intent is on being a professional politician. This IS NOT and WAS NOT the intent when the Founding Fathers back in the 1780’s were writing the Constitution. We are in the midst of watching as the “established” Parties are trying through the democratic process to determine who will be their choice for the candidacy to run for President of the United States. Clearly the people have a major say but the Party is running scared and doing all it can do to influence and ensure that a “political” person of their choosing is chosen. Let the games begin. I am sure by now that you have realized that I am referring to the current race for President and includes two guys by the names of Trump and Sanders. The point of running for an office is to serve the people that they represent. Emphasis on the word “Serve”.
     Oh the world of politics. We hate it and yet we can’t seem to get enough of it. Thus, it is so important to refer back to history from time to time. I say this because what is being portrayed in the press is that there is upheaval in the Republican Party. That there are major splits. There are issues with the Democrats as well. So I am going to go back in time to the mid 1860’s during the American Civil War. The current President, who by the way had more failures in his life than you can shake a stick at and who was not a professional politician knew that if an amendment to the Constitution declaring the rights and citizenship of the recently freed Black slaves was not passed before the Civil War was brought to an end who knows what would have happened to them. Well believe it or not, there was a rift within the Republican Party. 3 different points of view and each one thinking they were right. Lincoln was able to bring about a successful resolve to this matter but at great cost. Let’s now jump to the 1980’s when a man by the name of Ronald Reagan tried to become President of the United States. A former Hollywood movie star and yes, even a former governor of California but when the time came to run for President, he too had to buck the machine and the name calling that went with it. I wonder where the United States would be had Reagan not been elected? Under his watch the U.S. managed to revive the economy, managed to once again have pride and patriotism, managed to bring about an end to the Cold War.
     In a phrase that Dr. John C. Maxwell, the World’s #1 Leadership and Management Authority (and my mentor and partner) uses in his latest book “Intentional Living” states…”I want to make a difference doing something that makes a difference with people who make a difference at a time that makes a difference.” I add to this a phrase from Charles Dickens’ Classic Novel “A Tale of Two Cites”…”It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” I will add just a bit more and say that “It is the times”.  People get into politics for many reasons the most important of which is because they feel a calling to serve others. To put others first and to add value to them. To find a way to connect and not just try to communicate. Politicians need to remember that defining moments will always define your leadership and that if you find yourself getting kicked in the butt enough times, you will either get your “but” out of the way or realize that you are making a difference because you are clearly out in front.
     So as I bring this to a close, I state again that anyone born in the United States (male or female) can aspire and grow up to be President and we need to once again teach our children to dream to grow up to be the many things that await them out there that in many cases have not even been thought of yet.
So yes Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a Leader…the rest will follow.
linda b078

I too wanted to be that “First Teacher In Space”

I too wanted to be that “First Teacher In Space”
Thursday 28 January 2016 (30 years later)
It was just over 30 years ago, in the mid 1980’s, that the call went out from President Ronald Reagan that he wanted to put a Teacher in Space. As an American working in Bermuda as a teacher, that was all I needed to hear.  I immediately contacted NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to send me the application form for the newly created “Teacher In Space Program”. Well what I received was not just an application but a complete package that explained all that would be required and what would be expected. Undaunted, I began to fill out the application and write the essays explaining what I intended to do and teach while I was up “there” as well as the essays that explained why I should be the choice. You may be wondering at this point, why I would be compelled to seek out this opportunity. Well the short answer is that I had been training for just this all my life. I was an Eagle Scout in my youth. I was currently serving in the US Military and had earned many levels of achievement that included the Airborne Tab (US Paratrooper) and the Pathfinder (Airborne) Badge. I was further training to get accepted into Special Forces School. But the most important reason why I was seeking out to be the First Teacher in Space was that I was and continue to be a Proud American. I scanned the heavens and realized that I wanted to be there…It was like answering a call. Not just any call but “the call”. Calls like these only come a few times in a person’s life and I was not about to let this opportunity pass me by.
Well after what seemed like an eternity, but was a couple of months, a package from NASA arrived. In it was a Mission Patch and some other papers, the most important of which, was the letter that acknowledged and thanked me for my application and that after extensive and exhaustive research a decision had been made to choose Christa McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire who had earned a spot on the mission through NASA’s Teacher in Space Program. After undergoing months of training, she was set to become the first ordinary American citizen to travel into space., I was greatly disappointed. I continued to follow the program and awaited the day that the launch would take place.
The mission aboard the Challenger Space shuttle was due to take place on January 22nd 1986 but was delayed due to weather. Finally the new launch day of January 28th arrived and I had my class watching on TV here in Bermuda in great anticipation of the historic moment. Finally, the count down began and the roar of the rocket engines filled my classroom over the sound system I had installed. I don’t know about my students, but I was excited because after all, even though I had not been the one chosen, I felt as if I were right there in the shuttle. Finally, the great weight of the shuttle was escaping the pull of gravity and lifting off in what appeared to be a perfect launch. But a mere 73 seconds later we sat there speechless in awe, shock and disbelief as did thousands, even millions of others watching on TV’s everywhere as the Challenger exploded in a forking plume of smoke and fire. Within an instant, the spacecraft had broken apart and plunged into the ocean. There had been hope. There always is hope that some of the Crew of 7 would survive but alas this was not to be. Needless to say, this event shocked the world and motivated me to once again write to NASA and state that I was never more committed to wish to be chosen. Unfortunately, due to this disaster, all space shuttle flights would be put on hold until 1988.
I was still in Bermuda and I was given the honor at my school to sing during a special service that was held in honor of the 7 US Space explorers: Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; and astronauts Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist.
space-shuttle-chal_3560043k
Now, I always try to look at things from a leadership perspective and as such there is a bit more information to provide you with so that you can get the complete picture of what transpired leading up to this fateful event.
The morning of January 28 was unusually cold. In fact, there was ice present around the launch site. The flight engineers warned their superiors that certain components—particularly the rubber O-rings that sealed the joints of the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters—were vulnerable to failure at low temperatures and that the flight should be postponed once again. However, these warnings went unheeded, and at 11:39 a.m. Challenger lifted off. The results of ignoring the facts clearly speak for themselves. Later during a Commission convened to look into this disaster also found that the company that designed the solid rocket boosters, had ignored warnings about potential issues. NASA managers were aware of these design problems but also failed to take action. Clearly there was a leadership issue that chose to ignore the facts for the sake of not wanting the program to look bad. Clearly poor decisions outweighed the proper decision(s). This was not war time. This was not a case where life and limb should have been put in jeopardy but the sake of a Program was at stake and so the actions of a few still had a major impact on what would follow for years to come. At least 2 children (those of Christa McAuliffe) would grow up without their mother.
In closing and my call to action is that we have been taught to Dream from a very early age. For some of us, we have forgotten why we dream because we think that we will never be able to realize those dreams. If you had been in the position to postpone the flight, what would your decision have been? If you had been a member of this flight crew, would you still have wanted to go for it? Although it was not my destiny nor yours to be on that ill fated flight, there are an endless number of dreams that are waiting to be realized and fulfilled by people like you and me. We must never give up on these dreams nor on ourselves.
space-shuttle-chal_3560045k

Defining Moments Do Define Your Leadership Because Talent Will Never Be Enough! (Anniversaries…lest we forget)

Defining Moments Do Define Your Leadership Because Talent Will Never Be Enough!

There are things that have occurred in my lifetime that I choose to post on an annual basis. The air crash of Air Florida (January 13th 1982) is one of them. I am a Leadership Teacher and also a student of Leadership. A true leader must always be looking to improve and build upon that knowledge because quite clearly “Talent is Never Enough”.  And it is for that reason and purpose that I re post this event for there are many of you out there who probably have never heard about this event. I ask that you read this post for the Leadership aspects and pointers that you will arrive at. You won’t be disappointed and your comments are welcome.
We all have days and we all have moments but know this, that hidden talent and treasure abounds in you and is waiting for the key moment to come forth. Your purpose that you have been placed here for knowing that one day the circumstances of life will empower the Coach to say to you to come off the bench and sidelines of Life and get in the game because the outcome depends on You! It is “being in the moment” where suddenly you realize what your “map of the world” comes to fruition. To realize that our talents and hidden talents may indeed require taking it to the supernatural. And who knew that on that day that you woke up, the calling would be called? That your Masterpiece of Life was being framed for others to take note of because that moment of time for you was NOW!

On any given day and in any given year you can be assured that it is the anniversary of something to be remembered. All too often, the only ones who remember are the ones who were impacted by the event in the first place. Such is the case regarding the crash of Air Florida Flight 90. On January 12th 1982, it was snowing in Washington DC. It really wasn’t that big of a snow storm by today’s standards but falling fast enough to cause accumulation on the wings of the plane. Top that off with the fact that the temperature dropped to 2 degrees F. The snow fall finally ended around 3pm that day and Air Florida was the first in line to take off but the pilot in his haste to get underway decided NOT to go through the de-icing process a 2nd time. Clearly his belief that all would be fine as it had so many other times lifted, prepared and directed his talents. The jet roared down the runway but struggled, as the giant beast, to gain speed and altitude. A mile away the pilot lost control of his aircraft as it stalled and plowed into and plunged over the 14th Street Bridge into the Potomac River. The jet quickly broke up and sunk but a few people managed to get out and were bobbing helplessly in the frigid cold water.

It was now at this point, while a helicopter had shown up trying to rescue the survivors that Lenny Skutnik (who was Lenny Skutnik? A person just like you or me who reacted to a situation) suddenly appeared and without concern for himself jumped in the water and began effecting a rescue. One of the survivors in the water, Arland Williams, a man of 50, could have immediately been saved by the helicopter but passed the harness to others several times rather than save himself. When the helicopter finally came back for him, he had gone under for the last time. A total of 78 people perished that day because talent was not enough.

So what has this got to do with Leadership you may be asking? Well in John Maxwell’s Book, “Talent Is Never Enough”, he goes on to explain that no matter how much talent you have, it requires Courage, Practice, Passion, Focus and Belief just to name a few, that hones and sharpens that talent. The Pilot who erred in his decision to make the take off without exacting safety procedures allowed his perceived talents to by pass common sense.Talent was clearly not enough on his part. I am sure that Lenny Skutnik did not wake up that morning and say, “Today, I am going to put my life on the line and rescue some people”. And the passenger who passed up rescue so that others could be rescued first, clearly not only believed that he would be rescued but focused with passion that he would. We all bring talent(s) to the table of life. But we must remember to practice, prepare, focus, believe and have passion and when the time comes for us to act, we must seize the initiative and be courageous. If you are serious about being a Leader, I wholeheartedly recommend your picking up a copy of this book because believe you me, Talent Is Not Enough!

Dealing with your Gremlin from 20,000 Feet (or from any height for that matter).

Monday January 11, 2016
We all have them. Some of us have more than one even to the point of one in each ear. Many of us seem to want to take ours everywhere we go. If that is not enough, we have had them all our lives! Yes, that is right, we have had them so far for our entire lives to date! That is of course, unless you have figured out the solution to the dilemma.
 
You may be wondering who and what I am talking about. I am talking about the infamous “GREMLIN”. I first learned about Gremlins back in my youth watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon whereby a Gremlin was trying to destroy an American Military aircraft. Of course, Bugs Bunny won the day. I further learned more about Gremlins around that same time in my life when I was watching a segment of the TV Show, “The Twilight Zone”. In this (what is now a Classic episode known by many) segment, a traveler on an aircraft imagines real or unreal, a creature that is determined to disrupt and destroy the aircraft that he is a passenger on. Unfortunately, no one believes his story because every time he gets someones attention, the Gremlin would disappear. But the damage did occur whether believed or not.
The History of Gremlins, elves, goblins or trolls, what ever you wish to call them goes back many many years. The story of Gremlins really came into their own during World War II when aircraft difficulties and undetermined problems were blamed on the infamous creatures. So where is this leading to and how does it fit into the general discussion of how Gremlins impact you and your life? Remember that by nature we all have at least one gremlin at any given time. That gremlin is there impacting you in your life. Impacting you dealing with your job or your family. Impacting decisions that would and should have been made.
So let’s get serious and come to the realization that these little fellows are impacting you in ways that are just not healthy. When I say healthy, I am referring to both your mental and physical health. To allow yourself to be put into a negative attitude. A defeatist mode.
Now who exactly is your gremlin? That is always a good question. It is a question that you must be prepared to answer. It is a question that you must be prepared to action. And it is a question that you must be prepared to face. Your gremlin can be any of a number of people in your life. Your parent or parents. Your spouse. A brother or sister. A relative. A long time friend. It may be a colleague at work or even your Boss!  We have all gone through times in our life that every time we decide we want to do something we end up going to someone and asking them “what do you think” or “how do you feel about this or that”. The worst of times we are made to feel guilty about a decision that we are about to make because it will change the status quo of a relationship. All too often you hear “why would you want to do that” or “you are not serious about doing that” it will ruin our friendship. Well how true that can be. But when you yield to that sort of pressure you are giving up on the dreams and goals that have been birthed in you. But the worst Gremlin of all, is YOU! Yes, your inner self that is always speaking to you. Generally though, the hardest of them all is when you start second guessing yourself. You are allowing your inner you to cause you to doubt your abilities. To feel anguish and guilt. Quite frankly, if you allow your inner self to gain control over you in any of the above circumstances your health both physical and mental will be over a period of time adversely affected. This is not a good thing and all too often will become the norm that controls you.
So what will my call to action be for you to do as a result of all of this? Well the first thing you need to do is to go out and find yourself a Coach. Oh, I know how you feel and I can even hear you saying “What do I need a coach for? I am not playing any sports.” No matter what you are involved in…you need a Coach. Someone who is going to help you to get the results that lie within you. You are also going to need to read positive things and also go out and hang around positive people. If you have never heard the story of the crabs in the bucket you will come to find out that a bucket of crabs never needs a cover because when one crab tries to get out the others pull him back in. You need to get out of that bucket and go find a new one. And most importantly, YOU need to tell your Gremlin where to go!
So today, you have a choice…keep falling prey to the destruction of your gremlin’s wishes or go out and do something about it. You’ll be glad you did!  Happily, by your conviction and change that you will not remain isolated too much longer, and free yourself from the Twilight Zone of Gremlins and self limiting beliefs. Your new positive YOU starts now!
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Borrowed Money Can be paid back but can you say the same about Borrowed Time?

Thursday 12 November 2015 (Time Marches On)
Borrowed Money Can be paid back but can you say the same about Borrowed Time?
 
     Having just experienced Dr. John C. Maxwell’s (my mentor and partner) latest and greatest book launching to date on “Intentional Living”, I am so encouraged and the timing of this posting could not have been better planned. Plans of Intention vs Actions of Intentionality and the sequencing of time are so closely knit. Let me explain further…
     I was watching an old movie the other day. It was one of those classics that when you see it you clearly have deep thoughts afterwards. In fact, I remember reading the novel when I was in Junior High School. Definitely quite some time ago. So you must be wondering at this point what the name of this movie / book was called. Well it was called “On Borrowed Time”. A story of how a man was able to catch Mr. Death and hold him captive and thus protect his family from the inevitable. Eventually, he was released so that time could continue to march on. Another such film was H. G. Wells “The Time Machine” but unfortunately or maybe fortunately, none of us yet has the ability to go forward or backward in time except on TV or in the Movies.
     Time is a commodity, in our existence, that has a beginning and an ending. Time in our universe, on the other hand, has a beginning but no ending. The sands of time in our hourglass are limited but the sands of time in our universe are never ending. Each and every one of us has the same 168 hours of time each week as the hour glass of our life resets itself. We have been given an opportunity by our birth to travel on a journey of life that has numerous destinations. Unfortunately, all too often, we get side tracked along the way. While we are young, we handle everything as if tomorrow is such a long way off. As if we could stretch time out as if to bring it to a stand still. As I remember the quote from Dickens’ classic novel “A Tale of Two Cities” that it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I take it a step further and say that regardless, it is the times.
     What are those distractions that can cause you to become sidetracked and off course? Well the list is virtually endless ranging from illness, fatigue, war to just plain procrastination. The “I’ll do it tomorrow” syndrome can be very contagious better known as the Scarlet O’Hara syndrome from the movie “Gone With the Wind”. The thinking that it is ok because you have plenty of time to get it done or that it won’t affect and effect you if you put it off. Well, that is all well and good if you have lots of time! The challenge is that none of us knows just how much time we have. What is most important (and sometimes it takes a life time to figure out) is to determine what your why is. To determine what the dash between your dates is to be and then go after it with all the energy and gusto that you have. I will cover that in another post which will also include the “why” of what you spend your time on. Again, I reference John Maxwell’s latest book “Intentional Living”.
     Time does and will continue to march on. And if we are not careful, it will be gone in our lives to be carried away, just as the wind comes and goes. Just as the tide rises and falls. Just as the sun sets each day and the moon rises to reveal the heavenly space that abounds above. My first call to action for you this day, yes, this very day is to take action and plan out your time. That means that you need to write down everything that you need to accomplish and to set up your plan of action to take advantage of the time allotted. There are many means available both electronic for you modern types and of course paper. I prefer paper. If you are not used to writing things down, you have two solutions: Either Change or get someone (your coach) to help you make that list and then work it as if your life depended on it! Well, it does, doesn’t it?  You need to understand that procrastination is not your friend. Decide what is urgent vs important. Urgent means now! Important while not urgent must be actioned on a timely schedule. Decide that other people’s distractions cannot become your distractions. That what they may perceive as their urgent may only be an important to you or not important at all. YOU must control YOUR time. Once time has come and gone, you cannot pay it back as if it were money that you borrowed. You cannot continue to live “On Borrowed Time”. Remember that while you are on a count up of your days on earth, you are also on a count down of your time remaining.
 
     Additional calls to action are that I  recommend you take the “7 Day Experiment” and the “30 Day Journey”. These will certainly help you on this journey through time (Those links will be found on my Leadership Facebook Page: Bermuda Bob Your Transformational Leadership Expert
     Get yourself an accountability partner who will hold you accountable to time. I hate to say this to you but your life depends upon it. As a fully certified Teacher, Trainer and Coach of the John Maxwell Team, I can help you to make the most of your time. I WILL BE and AM that Accountability Partner to you and for YOU!
Contact me today at BermudaBob@me.com The choice is yours but the results that will follow will be timeless…Peace. BB

 

There is always hope for a prophet in his own town as long as there is Faith(in yourself)

I was sitting in church today listening to the Sermon which centered around Mark’s Gospel Section 6. We have all used the phrase almost to the point of ad nausea. You know that phrase, the one that states that a prophet is never recognized in his own country. Well the actual quote of that phrase is “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Oh my, my a major light bulb went off in my head as I began to really think about this. Well, yes, I had been using that phrase often of late. I have been using this phrase almost as an excuse as to why I have not been achieving as much as I would like. As much, as I should. After listening to the sermon and then re reading the verse and text for emphasis, the clarity became crystal clear.
Well first, I probably should provide some background on my situation. To be clear, I have been allowing myself to focus on others accomplishments elsewhere and allowing quicksand to enter into my arena. John Maxwell has always stated that when you are in over your head that it matters not how deep the water is. I will insert a brief story of a local situation that I had been fighting for the last couple of years. As of the date of this writing, I am a fully certified Teacher, Trainer and Coach of the John Maxwell Team. Add to that an additional certification by Dr. Robert Rohm in Personality Insights that makes me a Human Behavior Specialist. Now with credentials such as these you would think that the organization that I have been helping and working with for the past several years would jump at the opportunity to use my services and work to raise the lids of that organization. Unfortunately, they have not. They began asking and questioning about returns on investment and why do they need Leadership Training? As sorry as that sounds, the answer is not in my abilities but rather the fact that a prophet is not…  Now my thoughts on this topic go much deeper than this and I began to ponder how many of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership were being impacted and ignored. One thing I have learned about the Laws are that the Laws are the Laws. The answer is…ALL of them!
What I have learned and realized is that I cannot waste time waiting for that organization or any organization to come around and utilize my services. I have realized that I must move forward and seek other opportunities. As a result, opportunities have already begun appearing. They have been appearing because I was not a prophet (known to them) in their organizations. And the most important point that I have learned is the importance of my collaborating and partnering with others who live in other geographic locations. This is paramount as it allows me to help and work with other members of my Team who would be looked upon as prophets in their own towns.
In conclusion and going back to Mark 6, while I may not and have not yet accomplished as many major works locally to date, there are many positive irons in the fire that will have big payoffs. My question to you is to ask how has this principle both affected and effected you in what you do? What have you done to counteract this? What options can you put into effect? Contact me at BermudaBob@me.com and let me help you put a plan together.
Peace. BB

I Have Not Yet Begun To Lead!

Happy 239th Birthday America. Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
As I sit here writing this, those who are American like me,  are about to  celebrate Independence Day also known as the 4th of July with fireworks and BBQ’s and so much more. The original 4th of July of 1776 seems like it was so long ago and yet it was just 239 years ago. A mere minute in the total amount of time that man has been on Earth and even a mere speck in that of the total that our planet has been around. Values go hand in hand with Transformation. How the consistency and evolution of these values are paramount to the continuation and fulfillment of Transformation. And thus came about The Declaration of Independence, one of the most important documents to ever be written and loaded with a multitude of values. In fact, it was because of these values that many were inspired and compelled to face the hardships of what lay ahead on the road to what was hoped to be a better way of life. Let me also mention as an aside, that the Laws are of equal importance but whether you choose to agree with them or not, the Laws are the Laws. Thus, when cited in the document, the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God are indeed valuable. But it is the changing or adopting of specific Values that lead us down that Road less traveled by.
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” and that the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of  happiness should never be violated. A Document so profound in all of history that ended with “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor”… and so my story of Leadership and Valor continues below…
This story is posted today, as we prepare to celebrate…in our Now! My story takes place on September 23rd 1779, 236 years ago.
We have all had situations where things were not going well. I am sure that you can relate to a job situation where because of leadership or the lack thereof your boss has caused you to lose your sense of morale, support and desire to be there. I am sure that you have seen or been amongst individuals at the job who just don’t care anymore because…well quite frankly…what’s the point? What’s the use? Why bother? One of the first things that you and your peers begin to do is to talk down the situation and feed on the negativity of the situation to the point where all you live for is that negativity. In fact, rather than work to defend your organization or situation and seek to improve it, the reverse is true. It may even get to the point that you seek to be elsewhere or find a new job. Have you ever looked at the reason why you may be seeking job after job after job? Is your boat leaking or taking on water so badly that all that is left for you to do is abandon ship or face going down with her?
In September of 1779, a young  Naval Captain was in command of a ship borrowed from the French and refitted to be a warship to help out the fledging infant Continental Navy (not yet the United States) during this American Revolution. The ship was renamed the Bonhomme Richard (literally translated Poor Richard after the almanac by Ben Franklin). Her state of affairs was so deplorable that her crew took no pride in her and would really have wanted to be somewhere else. She leaked and creaked, her crew at times wondering how she stayed afloat. She had only half the fire power of the British ships she might encounter. Her speed left a lot to be desired. BUT…she was home to the crew.
On that fateful day of 23 September Jones encountered the British warship “Serapis”. The Serapis was far faster and outgunned the Bonhomme Richard but into the battle, into the fray she went. For over 4 hours the battle ensued at the cost of nearly half of Jones’ crew. The Richard was badly damaged, on fire and taking on water. Realizing the situation Captain Jones ordered the crew to move along side the British Serapis and grapple the 2 ships together. If he was going to sink, by God, he would take the British ship with him. Hand to hand fighting took place. At one point the American Flag had fallen due to a broken mast causing the British captain to call out asking if the Americans had surrendered. Jones seizing the moment was heard to yell…Surrender? Surrender? Sir!  “I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT”! The American crew rallied, rehoisted the flag and went on to win the day even though the Bonhomme Richard would eventually sink mortally wounded. I can guarantee you that not a man still living on that crew thought about the misgivings of their ship prior to the battle and that not a man was not remorseful to see THEIR ship, THEIR home sink.
I ask you in closing, no matter what country you are living in… Are you prepared to show Leadership and work for and take pride in what you are busy complaining about at work or home? Are you prepared to defend your ship or just willing to man the boats and go elsewhere? We are seeing so much today that is troubling and you wonder whether tomorrow will be any better in a country that is still the Greatest in the World no matter its shortfalls. Remember that Transformation begins in each one of us. As with Jones’ rallying cry of “I have not yet begun to fight” I challenge you to rally around Your new Motto, Your new Battle Cry….”I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO LEAD”!