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May 2006

Quotable Quotes for today

A loser seldom lives in the present, but instead destroys the present by focusing on past memories or future expectations.”

-- Muriel James

"You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow."

-- Harriet Martineau

Your Gameplan for Success

Your goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan. One in which you fervently believe, and upon which you will vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

Having an intelligent plan is your first step to attaining success. With a plan, you know where you're going. You'll know what progress you're making. And you'll have a pretty good idea of when you can expect to arrive. Meticulous planning will enable everything you do to appear spontaneous to other people.

What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to these questions are your objectives.
How do you go about achieving your desired results? The answer to this will be your strategy.

A good plan permits you to frame your life so that at some time in the future fact and your dreams will meet. A good system shortens the road to a goal.

Put the glass down

A professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see & asked the students,' How much do you think  this glass weighs?'

'50gms!' .... '100gms!' ......'125gms' ......the students answered.

'I really don't know unless I weigh it,' said the professor, 'but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?'

'Nothing' the students said.

'Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?' the professor asked.

'Your arm would begin to ache' said one of the students.

'You're right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?'

'Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress &  paralysis &have to go to hospital for sure!' ventured another student & all the students laughed.

'Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?'  asked the professor.

'Then what caused the arm ache & the muscle stress?' The students were puzzled.

'Put the glass down!' said one of the students.

'Exactly!' said the professor.' Life's problems are something like  this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head & they seem OK. Think of them for a long time & they begin to ache. Hold it even longer & they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything. It's important to think of the challenges (problems) in your life, but  EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to 'put them down' at the end of every day before you go to   sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh & strong & can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!' Remember friend to 'PUT THE GLASS DOWN TODAY! '   

Living wisely

By Swami Sukhabodhananda

The wise way to live is to plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively and persistently pursue. Life’s heaviest burden is one’s fight with life. There are two ways to live. One is fight with life and the other is to flow with life like a wise man. To fight with life is like fighting with one’s source. Life is likened to a mother… it is the source and so fighting with it is foolish.

There may be conflicts in life. Learn to create harmony in conflict, not chaos in conflict. In aiki jujutsu, a form of marshal art, if someone attacks you, your first response is acceptance. Then flow with it. It may appear as if you are co-operating with your enemy. Unless you learn the art it is impossible for you to understand. In judo you throw off your enemy with gentleness.

One has to learn to ‘cooperate’ in the face of problems and flow with it. Instead of fighting with your problem you end up in solving it.

How does one become powerful in life? The question is a symptom of a disease called addiction to power. Society is in a mad quest for power. Power of money, power of position etc. This power seems to validate one’s identity. This is an illusory fulfilment. We want to be powerful because we feel impotent, insecure and weak. Each obstacle we face makes us feel helpless. The very desire to attain power is one of the greatest obstacles in the path to wisdom. Drop this craze to become powerful. Just be wise. You will flow with life.

One has to define one’s identity the right way. If your identity is based on name or fame, or property or position, then all this will be taken away. Your outer life may assume pleasant forms but your inner life is based on a wrong foundation. What are you based on?

Draw a distinction between mechanical effort and conscious effort. So often our effort is mechanical or based on conditioning, culture or religion.

Just because you have been born into a particular religion the effort you make is based on what is mechanical.

Your effort does has not vision or sharpness.

There is another level of effort that is called conscious effort.

Remember always to allow conscious pauses in your life, followed by conscious direction and a ‘conscious shock’. Pause for a moment.

Are you caught up in this rat race? Be conscious, let there be direction in your life … and then motivate yourself. In the process constantly give yourself a shock in order to push yourself on to the right path, the wise path.

Be a cool brand

by Robin Sharma

You are a brand. No matter what you think, when people hear your name, they conjure up some association with it. When people see you, some emotional response gets evoked. Like it or not, you (and your good name/reputation) truly are a brand. So I lovingly suggest that you manage it-well. Actually, what I really want to challenge you to do is to take the steps you need to take to become a cool brand. One that shouts “cutting-edge”, “with it”, “original” and “revolutionary.”

Cool brands that immediately come to mind for me include Starbucks, Apple, Virgin and Prada. They are fresh and hip and stylish. They get it and stand out in a world that loves conformity. They make me go “wow”. You could do the same.

What would it take for you to become a cool brand? So that when people think of you, words like “innovative” or “world-class” or “unique” or “fresh” infuse their minds. What would it take for you to become the Starbucks of your team or the Apple of your workplace? How could you become so strikingly great at what you do and who you are and what you stand for that everyone around you adores everything about you? Something to think about. Something to act on.

Decide to be successful

You can have anything on earth that you want, once you mentally accept the fact that you can have it.

If you want to be successful, begin thinking of yourself as successful. The feeling of being successful has to come first. If you have a deep inner conviction that you will always have all that you need,
if you actually feel prosperous, it will be so.

The only thing that stands between you and what you want from life is simply the will to pursue it
and the faith to believe that it is possible. Only your mind sets your limits.

Identifying Potential Leaders

By Dr. John C. Maxwell

The Law of the Inner Circle: Those who are closest to me will determine the level of my success.

The year was 1864. The battle for America's future had been raging for over two and a half years. Brother fought brother and neighbor fought neighbor to determine the destiny of a nation.

Despite having a superior economy, an enormous edge in resources, and a far greater population, the North had been unable to gain the upper hand in the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln was frustrated at the North's inability to achieve victory.

Lincoln was forced to confront the reality of the Law of the Inner Circle. Although a brilliant leader, Lincoln was not a military man. As such, his success overseeing the Civil War depended upon finding a skillful field general to translate material advantages into actual victories.

Lincoln's two prior military commanders, George McClellan and Henry Halleck, had failed miserably. Each had repeatedly squandered opportunities to crush the Southern Army. With the war's outcome hanging in the balance, Lincoln's next selection would be one of the biggest decisions of his Presidency.

Noting the indecisiveness of previous army generals, Lincoln chose tough-minded Ulysses S. Grant to lead the army. Grant's willingness to pay the price of a total war depleted the South's scant resources, and led to the North's eventual victory.

Identifying Potential Leaders

Good leaders realize the significance of surrounding themselves with talented people. That's why leaders repeatedly ask me, "How can I be sure to hire the right person?"

I have never discovered a foolproof hiring practice, but I do know finding a great hire goes hand in hand with identifying potential leaders.

In this edition, I'll explore eleven questions I use to spot a potential leader. Before I begin, I'd like to give credit to my mentor and friend Fred Smith. Several of these questions were developed from my conversations with him.

1. When looking for a leader, do I see a constructive spirit of discontent?

Constructive discontent is a leader's unscratchable itch. It's the trait making a leader averse to average and opposed to the status quo.

Potential leaders possessing constructive discontent will question existing systems and push for improvements. They perceive problems and come up with solutions.

As Kouzes and Posner say, leaders have a pioneering instinct. They are not afraid to step out into the unknown. They are willing to take risks, innovate, and experiment in order to find new and better ways to operate.

2. Do they offer practical ideas?

Highly original thinkers can have problems leading when they are unable to judge their ideas realistically. Brainstorming is not a helpful practice in leadership unless useful ideas are generated.

In the words of John Galsworthy, "Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem." Potential leaders have the rare ability to translate idealistic goals into realistic and workable actions. Leaders are not frozen when obstacles disrupt the perfect plan. They have the flexibility and fortitude to account for resistance to the ideal.

3. When they speak, who listens?

Potential leaders have a "holding court" quality about them. Their words carry weight. What they say is valuable and inspires action.

When watching groups of people interact, in a matter of five minutes, I can pick the leader every time. When it comes time for the group to make a decision, all eyes focus upon the person with the greatest influence.

The extent of a person's influence speaks volumes about their potential in leadership. Here are seven key areas to evaluate the level of influence in a possible hire:

Character — who they are.
Relationships — who they know.
Knowledge — what they know.
Passion — how strongly they feel.
Experience — where they've been.
Past successes — what they've done.
Ability — what they can do.

4. Do others respect them?

Respect is vital for leadership, yet it can be difficult to discern in young leaders who have not fully developed. Peer respect doesn't reveal ability, but it shows character. I'll conclude this edition with the following acronym on respect. I have found it to be a helpful device to evaluate the respectability of emerging leaders.

R — Respects their coworkers and exhibits self-respect. Instead of asking for respect, they give it and earn it.

E — Exceeds the expectations of others. Naturally sets the bar higher than anybody else sets it for them.

S — Stands firm on convictions and values.

P — Possesses maturity well beyond their years and shows self-confidence.

E — Experiences a healthy family life.

C — Contributes to the success of others.

T — Thinks ahead of others. Potential leaders are marked by their ability to outpace the thinking of those around them.

5. Can they create or catch a vision?

I have a subset of four questions I try to answer when evaluating a potential leader's ability to catch or cast a vision:

    Are they able to become a part of someone else's vision before they demand that others follow their vision?
    I watch emerging leaders to see if they can catch a vision before I determine whether or not they can create a vision. I look for potential leaders who are willing to follow before they lead. I want to see if they can serve before they empower.

    Do they add value to the vision given to them?
    In other words, do they have the creativity to take a vision and make it better? Rather than blindly implementing the vision of another leader, potential leaders are able to improve upon the vision and make enhancements to it.

    Do they show a high level of commitment to the vision?
    After they buy into the vision, I want to know if they will pay the price to make the dream a reality. Potential leaders are willing to take responsibility for the vision.

    Are they passionate about the vision?
    A person can accept a vision and take steps toward its fulfillment, but I am searching for an added dimension of excitement and energy. I want a person with a contagious passion for the vision; someone with an infectious enjoyment who spreads the vision to others.

6. Do they show a willingness to take responsibility?

In my opinion, The Statue of Liberty should have a sister-statue—The Statue of Responsibility. People are quick to defend against infringements upon their freedom, but slow to take responsibility for their actions.

Benjamin Franklin said, "I never knew a man that was good at making excuses who was good at anything else." Avoid choosing employees who are unwilling to take ownership or averse to responsibility. It's easier to go from failure to success than from excuses to success.

7. Do they finish the job?

The bookends of success are initiative and closure. If you cannot initiate, you cannot make things happen. If you cannot close, things that could happen never will.

Take notice of the projects you delegate to a potential leader. Do the jobs get completed 100%, or do they end up back at your desk demanding time and attention? The answer will tell you a lot about the leadership ability of the potential leader.

8. Are they emotionally strong?

No one can lead without being criticized or facing discouragement. A potential leader needs mental toughness. I don't want a mean leader, but I do want a tough-minded leader who confronts reality and pays the price of success.

9. Do they possess strong people skills?

Leaders with people skills will be more enjoyable to work with, and they will get more accomplished. Be wary of hiring a potential leader without friendliness, tact, or team spirit.

Observe whether the potential leader motivates or manipulates others. Motivation is moving people for mutual advantage, and it is a necessary leadership skill. Manipulation is moving people for personal advantage. Manipulation is always wrong and damaging to the health of teams and organizations.

Even without experience in a leadership position, potential leaders are already exerting influence in some capacity. Research their track record—both their achievements and their impact on the lives of those nearest them. If they can lead people without having a position, they'll do very well when they get one. If they can't lead people without a position, giving them a title will not help. The leader makes the position; the position doesn't make the leader.

10. Will they lead others with a servant's heart?

Servant-leaders never pursue a mission at the expense of their people. Rather, servant-leaders earn the loyalty and best efforts of their people by serving the interests and investing in the development of those they lead. A servant-leader leads to see others succeed.

Rabbi Kushner was right when he said, "The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you've done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid them and defeated them."

11. Can they make things happen?

Some people make things happen, and others wonder what happened. Make sure a potential leader can produce.

Kansan poet Walt Mason gives expression to the value of a results-oriented producer in his poem, The Man Who Delivers the Goods.

There is a man in the world who never gets turned down,
Wherever he chances to stray.
He gets the glad hand in the populous town,
Or out where the farmers make hay;
He is greeted with pleasure on deserts of sands,
And deep in the isles of the woods;
Wherever he goes there is a welcoming hand—
He's the man who delivers the goods.

One is too small a number to achieve greatness. To accomplish anything of significance, you must have the right people by your side. I trust these 11 questions will aid you as you pick potential leaders.

"This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at"

Quotable Quotes for today

"Just as iron rusts from disuse, even so does inaction spoil the intellect."

– Leonardo da Vinci, architect, artist

"Every year of my life, I grow more convinced that it is wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and the good and dwell as little as possible on the evil and false."

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value".

-Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German-born American Physicist

"Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control".

- Richard Kline.

"Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself."

Thomas J. Watson, IBM founder