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July 2007

Be the best YOU

Warren Buffet once said: "there will never be a better you than you." Powerful insight from a brilliant guy.

There will never be a better me, than me. And there will never be a better you than you. Some might try to copy the way you think, speak and do. But - no matter how hard they try, they will only be a second best you. Because you are unique. Only one of you alive today. Amongst the billions of us. Makes you stop and think, doesn't it. Makes you realize you are pretty special. And that there really isn't any competition.

And so today, what will you do with you as you march out into a world that needs people playing boldly with their lives more than ever before? Will you exert more of your hidden potential? Will you liberate more of your natural creativity? Will you uncover more of your authenticity? And will you be more of the you that you are meant to be? Just wondering. Because today's the day.


Ctrl+Alt+Del: Restart yourself

Why is that so many of us put off change and improvement? Why is that we wait to make our lives better? Have you ever noticed that? We wait until our birthday, a holiday or New Year's day to make a change.

We seem to need "markers" on our choices to make anew. I would like to propose a new idea... why can't we change today. Right now, there can be chance to do something new, as my associates would know, a chance to increase or improve by 1%.

It may be better to set yourself a date for a completion rather then a starting date. If you only make a date for starting a new habit or dropping an old one, then you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself.

It is better to make small measurable steps towards your goals and dreams! Start today, what can you do today to make a difference in YOUR life.

Make a list, open the journal and write down all of the stuff you can do today to make a small measurable change. Make today your New Year... the only thing that I know for sure is that each day is a day to grow and live an entirely new life for those hours you are awake! Get to it!


Integrity

I love reading John C Maxwell's books and articles about leadership. One common characteristic of any successful leader... any long term leader. Can you guess what is it?

Integrity... the ability to be honest and sincere. To have the ability to follow through and stand up for your beliefs.... integrity.

Earlier in the day I was listening to radio (for a change) and they were discussing a recently released study that said the average person will lie 3 times every ten minutes. That is 18 times and hour, that is 252 times per day (based on being awake for 14 hours), that is an alarming 91,980 times a year... almost 100,000 times per year we are dishonest, we lack integrity. Here is the most alarming number... if you live for 80 years and we take out the first five years of your life, you will lie... are you sitting down... 8,898,500 times. That is almost NINE MILLION times in our life.

Now you might say... not me, I don't lie... ever! Really? Are you sure? This study included those little white lies, lies to "save" people's feelings, lies to get ahead, lies to look better at an interview or on an application. Lies that may "impress" a girl or a guy, lies to embellish accomplishments or simply to "fit in". That doesn't even include blatant hurtful lies.

Take one day... someday soon and make a list of every time you may have lied... even the little tiny ones. Can you stop? Did you really need to? Let's all try and lead with integrity!

My dad always used to quote Mark Twain's saying on integrity:

"If you are always honest, you have nothing to remember."


Obstacles or Opportunities..You choose.

We all face challenges. It's the human condition. Everyone, on this very day, is dealing with something they wish they weren't dealing with. Some have lost a loved one. Others are facing an illness. For others, it's a money issue or a frustration at work. Yes, it's no fun. But just maybe every problem you encounter is an opportunity in disguise. And if you're wise to that, you can leverage the challenge for even greater success.

In some ways, leadership is a mind game. Positive thinking is a lot more important than the cynics would suggest. The founders of Google used positive thinking to overcome their early setbacks and to stay true to their vision. Sam Walton used positive thinking to build an empire. And the best managers use positive thinking to help their teams see that what ordinary people view as stumbling blocks, the best amongst us see as stepping stones.

Because problems are servants. And they truly can serve you well. If you choose to let them.


Continuous Learning

I never cease to wonder how some people think they know it all. I certainly know that I do not! I am constantly learning, I am always seeking new ideas and ways of looking at situations. The second you assume you are perfect or know everything you start to lose.

Arrogance is a killer... it infects us and makes it harder and harder to succeed. There are so many examples of people that are talented and skilled but have no time to accept critiscim or learn a new idea. The thought that someone else may have an idea or a possible different approach is laughed at by these people.

Not me! I want it, I want to learn and grow and be told that I can do better. Why reinvent the wheel?

"I have stood on the shoulders of giants!" - Isaac Newton

I would say that Isaac knew a thing or two, but he recognized that there were people that could help and teach him. Places and people he could build off of. I think that Newton was fairly successful....

Today I got a chance to read John C. Maxwell article titled 'Velvet colored bricks...Powerful stuff about leadership.
Keep learning and keep growing... you have only yourself to benefit!


Are you good for your word?

Too many people talk too good a talk these days. Tons of empty promises. Tons of hyperbole. Tons of lofty statements that never amount to anything. Leaders are different. They talk less and do more.

I love the quiet leaders. Those silent souls who underpromise and overdeliver. The Merchants of Wow amongst us who know that a person's word is their bond. And that every promise kept builds credibility - the foundation of trust.

So make a commitment today to be impeccable with your word. And be a person of action. Someone who is all about generating results. Because getting great things done speaks for itself.


Payback time

Last week I was in Barnes and Noble, South Coast Plaza and found my new favorite 4bucks..sorry Starbucks. I love to spend time at Starbucks, always good music, good books and never a short supply of warmth.

I had set up in the corner of the store, sat down in the big comfy chairs and began reading the Secret book which Bijon had gifted me. About two hours later, I got up to get my Cappuccino when it happened.

"No charge Kar!"

"Thanks... Why?"

"The gentleman before you just had a baby. He bought a $20 gift card and told me to buy drinks until it ran out."

I smiled, felt good and returned to my chair with a renewed sense of happiness. Sometimes it's the little things we do. That man had just experienced such a surge of Joy. He has been given the opportunity to change the world with his new child. What a better way to start then to be the change you want to see in the world.

"Be the kindest person you can be and the world will come to you!" I have always maintained that. Congratulations to that mystery dad. I know that the best I can do for the team is to set the right example and doing the right thing all the time.

Here is today's question...?

How can you pay it forward today. What can you do that would give without asking for anything?


Willingness to Change

Have you ever thought about change? I mean have you ever contemplated the significance of change? I do all the time, right now I am thinking about the change all around me. Within myself, my friends, my endeavors and even the world around me. There is so much change happening and it can happen so rapidly that if you blink you can miss it. Are you in tune with the latest trends in leadership, success, health, or even your own needs and desires?

I really believe that is you want to be successful you need to be aware of change and embrace it. The great and very simple book "Who Moved the Cheese" is a great read. It demonstrates how if you resist change or if you are ignorant to it you can miss the boat. The problem is that as the world changes around us we need to be able and open to changing ourselves. Many people feel a need to spend days, weeks, and months even years preparing for change. No matter how much preparation that you take the change still happens in an instant. The ability to change is something that can be the difference between success and failure.

Are you a smoker? Is there a habit that you want to change? The choice to change is as simple as making the decision to say no to whatever it is that you want to stop. I was addicted to watching TV and decided to quit. I did that by deciding I that I am no longer going to give my prime time to idiot box. There is no in-between... you are either a busy or lazy... decide which one you are and be that.

Take a few moments to think about what it is you would, if you could change about yourself that would make a positive change in your life. What is it? Decide NOW what it is and make that change.


Popularity vs Productivity

by Dr. John C. Maxwell

Popularity and productivity sound like fraternal twins, but in reality they can look as different as Paris Hilton and Warren Buffet. If productivity is a Honda Civic, then popularity is a Lamborghini Diablo with a bad transmission. In leadership, substance trumps style—every time.

A Popular Flop

Among the litany of dotcom flameouts, Pets.com is notable for the mass popularity it achieved, and infamous for its failure to generate even a cent of profit. As a 1998 startup, Pets.com was founded upon the idea of selling pet supplies to online shoppers. The darling of venture capitalists, Pets.com raised a spectacular $82.5 million of capital during its initial public offering in 2000. Shortly thereafter, Pets.com poured $1.2 million into a Super Bowl commercial. Featuring the company mascot, a sock puppet dog, the advertisement was a smash hit and was voted the best Super Bowl ad by USA Today. The business’ catchy slogan “Because Pets Can't Drive!” announced its arrival to the American market, and consumers flocked to the company’s website. Fellow dotcom, Amazon, even bought into the craze—literally—purchasing 50% ownership of Pets.com.

Unfortunately for Pets.com (and fans of their sock puppet mascot), they never garnered enough business to offset massive startup costs sunk into warehousing and marketing. The dotcom bubble burst and financing dried up. Only nine months after going public, Pets.com went out of business. In short, Pets.com lacked a productive business model which could translate popularity into profits.

Lovable Losers

The Chicago Cubs epitomize the concept of the popular, but ineffective franchise. Nicknamed, “The Lovable Losers” by their fans, the Cubs consistently play their way to the bottom of the standings, despite having one of the higher payrolls in Major League Baseball. Although the Cubs have endeared themselves to Chicagoans, who pack Wrigley Field for every game, the team cannot seem to deliver results. With each passing year of futility, the Cubs prove how disconnected popularity can be from performance.

Leadership Application

What can leaders learn from Pets.com and the Chicago Cubs? Well, a couple of simple lessons.

First, as the proverb says, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” A prudent leader looks past appearances to discern the heart of a matter. Perhaps it’s the potential hire with the glittering resume, who, upon further review, falsified his achievements. Or maybe it’s a potential partner with the captivating sales pitch, who after being researched, turns out to have a track record of unethical behavior. Or possibly it’s a sparkling business opportunity that promises growth and brand recognition, but, after being reviewed, would clearly steer the company away from its mission.

Second, leaders build margins not image. A leader may be forced to take unpopular stands for the good of the company. Popularity isn’t bad, but decisions made solely on the basis of popular opinion can be devastating. Leaving a plush corporate campus for smaller, more functional office space doesn’t earn a leader a pat on the back, but it may protect the company from financial doom. Layoffs are agonizingly unpopular, but they may the only solution to a downturn in the economy. Leaders are willing to endure the criticism of making tough calls that fly in the face of popular opinion.


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

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Persistence

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Ask yourself what have you worked towards and persisted until you manifested your desire? Most people do not persist until they see their goals through. Most people make decisions slowly and change their minds quickly.  At the first sign of adversity they run, they get scared and quit. If you want to become successful you have to be willing to work towards it no matter how long it takes. Successful make quick decisions (not hasty) but stay steady to make it right.

You can not become successful overnight, if you could then there would be a lot more than just 3 percent millionaires in the United States. You have to be willing to fail, in order to succeed. If you are willing to do that, then I believe you can have whatever it is. I had a new associate start in opportunity about two months ago, she really didn't work it the way it's meant to be worked. She walked away before even giving it a fair chance.

People expect to fail, I believe that is why they don't give anything a fair chance. If you don't have the right mindset, you can jump from opportunity to opportunity and you will never be successful at any of them. It isn't the opportunity that is not working, it's your mindset.

Everyone who has become successful at anything persisted until they seen it through. If you truly desire something, persist regardless of obstacles trust me you will be glad you did.

Failed in Business - Bankruptcy, 1831

Defeated for Legislature, 1832

Sweetheart/Fiancée Dies, 1835

Nervous Breakdown, 1836

Defeated in Election, 1836

Defeated for U.S. Congress, 1843

Defeated again for U.S. Congress 1846

Defeated once again for U.S. Congress, 1848

Defeated for U.S. Senate, 1855

Defeated for U.S Vice President, 1856

Defeated again for U.S. Senate, 1858

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Elected President of the U.S.A., 1860

“You cannot fail…unless you quit!”

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