W.I.N.

maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: I Don't Understand

"To me, saying “I don’t understand, please explain.” is not a sign of weakness; it’s a demonstration of open-mindedness, intelligence, humility, and fearless leadership."

Brandon Webb, John David Mann, Total Focus: Make Better Decisions Under Pressure

Are you more concerned with looking smart and protecting your ego or with gaining insight, knowledge and understanding?

Are you willing to demonstrate humility and vulnerability and say, “I don’t understand, please explain”?

As a leader, an educator or trainer, or as a participant in a meeting or training session it takes courage to speak up, say that you don’t understand and ask for more information. In a group setting chances are high that you are not the only one who does not understand, although you may be the only one willing to speak up.

Great leaders understand they do not need to have all the answers. They know it is ok to say, “I don’t know.” or “I don’t understand.” They also appreciate that asking for clarification and explanation at that moment will likely prevent embarrassment and potential disaster down the road.

What’s Important Now? Be humble. Be vulnerable. When you don’t know or don’t understand, say so and ask for more information.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: When you screw up, and you will screw up.

You are going to screw up.

You are going to make mistakes.

It is part of being human.

When you do screw up you have two choices:

A.    Stand up. Man Up / Woman Up. Own up.

B.    Deny. Demand proof. Point fingers.

It is a choice. Choose well.

When you choose to stand up and own up you are choosing to be a person of integrity. You are choosing to be a positive role model for your children, your peers, those you lead and for your leaders.

When you choose to deny, demand proof and point the finger of blame at others you are choosing to play the victim and compromise your integrity.

It is a choice. Choose well.

Understand that people are paying attention to the choices you make.

What’s Important Now? Take responsibility for your actions. Stand Up and Own Up.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: The Power of ?

In a world where we are under pressure to always have “the answer”, we often forget to ask questions.

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers; he poses the right questions.”

Claude Levi-Strauss

There is great power in questions.

The power to discover new ways of looking at a problem, a person or at the world.

The power to gain new knowledge and insights.

The power to learn and grow.

“I never learn anything talking. I only learn when I ask questions.”

Lou Holtz

The power to connect with others at a deeper level.

The power to show you care.

The power to make others feel valued.

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Dale Carnegie

The power to develop the potential in others.

The power of humility and vulnerability.

The power to learn about yourself.

“The quality of a leader cannot be judged by the answers he gives, but by the questions he asks.”

Simon Sinek

Instead of needing to always have the answers, maybe the goal should be reveal the answers by asking great questions.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result they get better answers.”

Tony Robbins

What’s Important Now? Ask more questions. Continually learn to ask better questions.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Tell Me About Who You Changed

"Don't tell me what you invented. Tell me about who you changed."

Seth Godin

This line is from a blog post by Seth Godin. While the post was targeted at entrepreneurs the message is relevant to all of us.

Have you gotten caught up in letting everyone know how busy you are all day, every day. How many sales calls you made, how many presentations you did, how many reports you got cranked out, how many followers you have on Twitter, how many connections you have on LinkedIn and how many followers you have on Twitter.

Impressive, but what did you change today? Who did you change today? Who is better off today because they came in contact with you? Who did you influence today to do more, dream more, and learn more?

Have you gotten so caught up in the quantity of your contacts that you have forgotten about the quality of those connections?

What's Important Now? - Tell me about who you changed

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Clarifying Failure

There is a lot of talk in the areas of business, self development and leadership about the importance of failure. During my Dare to Be Great workshop and Heroes Path seminar we talk about the fear of failure and the importance of reframing failure and coming up with a new definition for failure. We discuss the value of failure if we see it as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to find a better way of doing something.

The leadership and entrepreneurial gurus talk about the importance of failure and encourage people to fail faster, and fail more often. In fact there are books that encourage us to "Fail Fast, Fail Often."

What I have noticed over the years however, is a misunderstanding around the concept of "Fail to Succeed". People think that the experts are saying, "Just go out and fail a lot and somehow you will be successful." While the message is far deeper than that, we often only hear the part about failing often. 

I recently listened to a podcast interview with Lt. Col. Garth Massey, a Marine Corps officer and leadership trainer on leadership. Massey clarified this issue during the podcast by saying that it is not about failure; it is about striving. Striving to be a better leader, trainer, spouse or parent. Striving to grow your business. Striving to grow in any aspect of your live with the understanding that when you are continually striving you will sometimes fail. When you do fail it is important to step back and ask yourself, "What did I learn from that experience?" and, "How you I use that lesson to grow and continue to strive for higher and better?" 

I like that reframe and believe that encouraging and challenging ourself and others to strive for excellence and dare to be great is a more positive message than fail fast and fail often. "What am I striving for today?" is a better question to ask yourself than "How am I going to fail today?"

What's Important Now? Continue to strive to be better tomorrow than you are today. When you do fail; reflect, learn, grow and strive on. 

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Your, not The.

In my seminars and workshops I talk about The Pursuit of Excellence being “Striving to be Your Best, not The Best.”

“The Best” always needs some external measuring stick. It means you are continually comparing yourself to someone else. In a team environment it means that you are so focused on rising to the top and being ‘The Best” that you are failing to work as a member of the team and supporting, encouraging and acknowledging the work of your peers.

In today’s world of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and all the other social media channels it is easy to get caught up believing that everyone else is happier, has a more exciting life, is a better spouse and parent, makes more money, is more productive, has more friends and is more successful than you.

Compared to the guy who wrote 80 books, the person who has 2 million loyal followers, the dude (or dudett) who built 50 schools in Africa, the business tycoon who just sold another startup for millions of dollars, the speaker who just spoke to another sold out crowd of 15,000 swooning fans, the online guru who just did another 7 figure product launch, the person won allegedly Father or Mother of the Year, the Nobel Prize winner or the athlete who signed a $100 million dollar contract it can be easy to feel like you are not living up to your potential.

You need to step back. Stop focusing on what everyone else is doing and reflect on what you are doing. What you are doing every day to become the best version of You that you can be. What you are doing to change one other person’s life for the better, not change the world. On what you are doing to be a good husband or wife, father or mother, son or daughter. What you are doing to be that friend when someone in your life is going through a rough time. The volunteer work you are doing. The new person at work you are mentoring. The 2 hours you took out of your busy day to lend an ear to someone who just needed someone to listen. The person you stood up for when it would have been easy to just be quiet or to jump on the bandwagon and bad mouth them like everyone else based on an unfounded rumour.

Striving to be your best is something you control. It is something you can work on every day and feel good about. Focus on significance not someone else’s definition of success. Focus on being worth knowing instead of worrying about who knows of you. Focus on your real friends, not just your Facebook ‘friends’.

Feel good about who you are and what you have accomplished then back get to work to make sure you are a little bit better tomorrow than you are today.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Stop the Bashing

I received an e-mail recently from someone who was frustrated by their co-worker always bashing the “new generation” and looking for my thoughts. I share their frustration as I hear the same comments around North America. In my leadership seminars I address the Millennial bashing issue and challenge people to look for the strengths of every generation, including Millennials and seek to build on those strength.

I remind people that bashing the new generation is nothing new. There are quotes that go back 2,000 years complaining about “the new generation”. I also remind people that regardless of when they started in their organization, people were complaining about them. 

The Millennials bring a variety of strengths to the workplace. According to the literature they are:

  • The most service oriented generation in history.
  • The most tolerant generation in history. (Tolerant of other races, religions, genders, sexual orientation, etc)
  • The most entrepreneurial generation in history.
  • They are not fiercely loyal to organizations but, they are fiercely loyal to good supervisors and peers. 
  • They want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

The willingness of countless Millennials to step up following the attacks of September 11, 2001, join our militaries in a time of war and serve heroically, many on numerous tours, is one of the reasons the literature and some highly decorated military vets refer to them as “The Next Greatest Generation”. 

The best explanation of the generational gap I have heard comes from retired Marine Corps Colonel Paul Callan. Paul says we perceive the gap between generations because we look at the other generation from the perspective of where we are in our lives. Meaning that when I look at a 25 year old Millennial from the perspective of a 60 year old Baby Boomer there is a big gap, as there should be. But, when I roll back the clock and compare the 25 year old version of me to the 25 year old version of them there are way more similarities than differences.

Lets stop bashing the new generation, embrace their strengths and find a way to communicate and connect with them.

Here are links to an article and a blog post I wrote on the issue. 

Tacos, Wine, Millennials and Police Leadership

http://winningmindtraining.com/enough-with-these-kids/

Take care.

Brian Willis

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Don't Mistake

Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.

Don’t mistake compassion for weakness.

Don’t mistake empathy for weakness.

Don’t mistake vulnerability for weakness.

Don’t mistake selflessness for weakness.

Don’t mistake needing help for weakness.

Don’t mistake asking for help for weakness.

What's Important Now? Don’t mistake being human for being weak.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: There is a Big difference

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

Leonardo da Vinci

There is a big difference between knowing and doing. There is also a big difference between "willing to”, and actually doing.

Most of us who want to lose weight and be healthier know what to do. We just don’t do it.

Most of us who don’t have as much money in savings and investments as we would like know what to do. We just don’t do it.

Most of us who want to have a better relationship with certain people in our lives know what to do to improve those relationships. We just don’t do it.

Most of us who have too much credit card debt know what to do to fix the problem. We just don’t do it.

Most of us who want to read more and spend less time surfing the Internet and watching television know what we need to do. We just don’t do it.

When we are in a position to choose between the right thing to do, and what is popular, easy or expedient, we know what to do. We just don’t always do it.

There is a big difference between knowing and doing. For many people there is also a big difference between being willing, and taking action.

Taking action requires accepting responsibility and accountability for your choices and your actions. Whining, complaining, excuses and blaming are usually what get in the way of moving from knowing and willing to doing.

What’s Important Now? No whining. No complaining. No excuses. Be a ‘Doer’.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: The Suck Factor and the Rule of 3

It sucks when you have a job that you hate. I get that. I have had some pretty crappy jobs in my life.

It sucks when your boss is an ass. I get that too. I have had some bad bosses.

It sucks when you work in a negative and emotionally toxic environment. Been there and done that too.

If you checked off any, or all of the above boxes as your life right now that sucks. The reality however, is that you only have three choices when the Suck Factor strikes:

  1. Change your Job.
  2. Change your Attitude - Embrace the Suck, Look for the Good and Dare to Be Great.
  3. Choose to be Miserable. (Yes it is a choice.)

Right now some of you are thinking (or screaming out loud), “Brian. You don’t understand.”

I get that a lot and, yes I do understand.

Remember Simple versus Easy. Simple is lack of complexity. Easy is lack of effort. Your choices are Simple, not Easy.

As nice as it would be for everyone in the world to, “Find a job you love so you never have to work another day in your life.”, that is not the reality for most people. Until you find a job that you love, try finding things to love about your job. Stop bitching, moaning and complaining and look for the good in the job, the pay, the benefits, the people you work with or the people you serve. Look for how you can contribute to the organization or to some part of the world through what you do. The job exists for a reason. You provide some type of service or benefit to someone. What is that? Find a way to contribute and make a difference in the organization. If you cannot do that, go back and decide on option #1 or #3.

You cannot change your boss. If your boss is an ass, that sucks. Find a way to Embrace the Suck. Start by reading The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton. Take time to reflect on what you love about your job and your work. Choose not to let the boss take that from you. Instead of battling your boss, try asking what you can do to help him or her. Let them know that you understand he or she is under a lot of pressure and has a lot of demands that you are likely unaware of and ask what you can do to help them and better serve them. If you cannot do that, go back and decide on option #1 or #3.

It is tough working with energy vampires, dream stealers and whining, snivelling, malcontents.  It can suck the life out of you, if you let it. Start by stepping back and asking, “What piece of this do I own? How am I contributing to the negativity in the workplace? Am I someone whose attitude others complain about?”  Go on the offensive and work to change the culture. Start to talk about what’s right with the workplace and the world instead of what’s wrong. Start looking for the good in others and acknowledge what they do well. Praise for effort and process, not outcome. Focus on shifting from being problem identifiers to problem solvers. Find one other positive person and start going for coffee or lunch with them. Then recruit a 3rd for your coffee / lunch group and build from there. Go for a walk on your breaks or go find a quiet place to read a good book.  If you cannot do that, go back and decide on option #1 or #3.

Life is not fair. You are going to run into the suck factor. Find a way to Embrace the Suck, Look for the Good and Dare to Be Great.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: No Enemies - No Character

"A man with no enemies is a man with no character."

Paul Newman

I had to read this quote from Paul Newman a few times. As I read it I reflected on the W.I.N. and the Dare to Be Great philosophies I teach.

It struck me that if you are a man or woman of character then you understand W.I.N. and you are very clear on your values. You are a person who is committed to those values and to doing what is right.

In my Dare to Be Great programs I share two guiding questions:

1.    W.I.N. - What’s Important Now?

2.    What’s the right thing to do?

During the workshops we talk about the fact that doing what’s right is not always what’s popular, expedient or easy, but it is always what is right. Doing what’s right will piss some people off and make you some enemies. It is still what’s right.

As a man or woman of character, you are also a man or woman of integrity. In Dare to be Great I share Dr. Brene Brown’s three elements of integrity:

1.    Choosing Courage over comfort.

2.    Choosing What’s Right over what’s fun, fast or easy.

3.    Practicing your values, not just preaching your values.

Leadership experts James Kouzes and Barry Posner talk about having character as a leader is, “Do what you say you will do.”

Remember Simple versus Easy. Simple is a lack of complexity and easy is a lack of effort.

Being a man or woman of character is simple:

·      Focus on W.I.N,

·      Do What’s Right,

·      Do what you say you will do,

·      Choose courage over comfort, and

·      Practice your Values.

Simple - not easy.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Take the 'U' out.

In his book Failing Forward John Maxwell recommends that you take the ‘U’ out of Failure. Just because you failed to achieve a goal or accomplish a task does not mean that you are a failure.

It is the difference between “I have” and “I am”.

  • “I have failed.” versus “I am a failure.”
  • “I have screwed up.” versus “I am a screw up.”

You will screw up and you will fail. That is part of life and part of being human. So, allow yourself to be human, acknowledge that you will screw up and that you will fail and start moving forward.

Now that you have that out of the way, make a plan to use failure as an opportunity to grow. When you fail ask yourself:

  • What did I learn from that experience?
  • How have I grown from this experience?
  • What’s the next action step I need to take to move forward?
  • Then take action to move forward better off for the experience.

When you make a mistake and screw up:

  1. Stand up, man up / woman up and own up.
  2. Ask yourself, “What did I learn from that experience?”
  3. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do to ensure I do not make that same mistake again.”
  4. Take action to move forward better off for the experience.

Many of the leading experts on success suggest that in order to succeed you need to “fail fast and fail often”. They tell you that if you want more success, you need to fail more often.

What I take from all the books and articles I have read, and the podcasts and interviews I have listened to on this topic is that you need to be willing to take action, take some risks and push yourself in order to grow. You need to be willing to try something new and get out of your comfort zone understanding that you may fail, and that is ok, as long as you learn from the experience and grow as a result. It is the doing, the reflecting, the questioning, the feedback, the learning that brings the value, not the failure itself.

If it was the failure itself that was important you could simply go out and try a bunch of things you know you could never accomplish, fail at all of them and come out the other side a success.

What the experts are really suggesting is that in order to grow and succeed, and then move from success to significance, you have to put yourself out there, take action and take some chances. Playing it safe all the time will not allow you to grow and maximize your potential.

What’s Important Now? - Failure is an opportunity to learn and to grow. It is up to you to take advantage of that opportunity.

Important Note: On Monday of this week we released the first video from WINx Chicago 2016. In that video Roy Bethge, my friend and co-founder of WINx, gives a great talk on Failure and Courage. I would recommend that you invest 18 minutes and watch the video. What makes the talk even more impressive is that right before Roy was to start his talk we lost partial power in the venue. This affected the lighting and caused us to do some major scrambling. About ¾ of the way through his talk we lost all the power in the venue briefly (leaving only two battery powered lights). Roy had to deal with these challenges and obstacles in real time as he delivered his presentation.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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Also check out:

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W.I.N. Wednesday: The ‘No TV’ experiment.

This past spring my wife agreed to allow me to cancel the cable at our condo. We still have a TV, we just have no cable so we do not watch TV. No, we don’t have Netflix either.

My rationale was that it was too easy to get drawn into watching TV in the evenings or on weekends, especially when we were tired, and even if there was nothing really good on.

Do I miss it? I can’t speak for my wife, but my answer is no. There are times when there is a football game on that I would like to watch but the reality is that I can check the scores on my phone and spend my time doing something more productive.

What has been the result? I have read more books this year than ever before. Most of my reading in the past has been non-fiction. I would read 5 or 6 fiction books a year (usually binge reading at the end of the year). This past year I read 31 non-fiction books and 34 fiction books.  I also listened to the audio version of 6 non-fiction books and listened to numerous podcasts while riding the exercise bike or walking on the treadmill (I refuse to wear headphones or ear buds while walking outside).

Here are some of the favorites from the books I read in 2016:

Non Fiction

Books everyone should read to understand the realities and the human side of the law enforcement profession:

·      OIS: After the Trigger’s Pulled by Jim Byler

·      The Price They Pay by Karen Soloman

·      Hearts Beneath the Badge by Karen Soloman

For Trainers, Teachers and Parents:

·      Peak by Anders Ericsson (I am going to cheat and claim this for 2016 and 2017 as I read half last week and half this week)

·      Make it Stick by Peter Brown

·      Grit by Angela Duckworth

·      Brave, Strong,True by Kate Hendricks Thomas

If you want to become a better leader:

·      Turn the Ship Around by David Marquette

·      Real Leadership by John Addison

·      Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver by Ron Wallace

·      It’s My Pleasure by Dee Ann Turner

·      Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

·      Legacy by James Kerr

When it comes to Fiction I went to my standbys and read the latest books from Brad Thor, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci and Barry Eisler. I also discovered a new ‘favorite author’ Harlen Coben. I read a number of his books the last 6 months and there is always an unexpected twist at the end of every one. (His Myron Bolitar series are good but I like his stand alone books best. )

What’s in my virtual stack (I read almost exclusively on my Kindle and my iPad) that am I looking forward to reading in 2017?

·      Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz

·      Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

·      Damn Few by Rorke Denver

·      The Road to Character by David Brooks

·      Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

·      The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

·      How We Learn by Benedict Carey

·      Tribe by Sebastian Junger

·      Illuminate by Nancy Duarte

·      Chip Huth and Jack Colwell’s new book.

·      Rereading The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzken

Cancelling your cable subscription and going without TV is not for everyone but, it was a great decision for us. For me the money spent on the monthly cable bill is better spent on books.

Let me know what you are reading and what books (both fiction and non fiction) you would recommend I add to my virtual stack in 2017.

What’s Important Now? So many books, so little time. If you don’t like to read then listen to audio books or podcasts.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

Also check out:

www.experiencewinx.com

www.winningmindtraining.com

W.I.N. Wednesday: Why You Should Get Up Every Day

"The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves."

Steven Spielberg

Mentoring, like leading, is not about creating a clone of you or a “Mini Me”.  It is about helping others develop into the best version of themselves that they can be. It is challenging others, just as you challenge yourself, to always be better tomorrow than they are today. They can only fulfill that challenge by investing in themselves every day by reading or listening to books or podcasts, learning from their mistakes and failures, and asking questions.

In my Dare to Be Great leadership workshops I share the following quote from Steven Covey:

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.”

Stephen R. Covey

Think of the people in your life in whom you see the potential they cannot see in themselves. Seek to mentor those people.

Think of the people in your life who saw the potential in you that you did not see in your life. They communicated to you that they believed in you and as a result you rose to that challenge. They are your mentors. Thank them.

Mentoring and leading is not about simply telling others what to do. It is modeling for others the desired behaviours. It is asking questions to guide them to the self-discovery of the answers. It is teaching them how to think, not telling them what to think.  It is allowing them to struggle, then helping them to learn the lessons from the struggle.

Mentoring is give and take. John Wooden said, “Mentoring is why you should get up ever day; to teach and be taught.” Who are you teaching? Who are you learning from? Who are you mentoring?

What’s Important Now? The world needs more great mentors and leaders.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Show up. Do the work. Repeat.

Seth Godin wrote a blog post titled, “Hang in There” In the post he wrote, “Is there anything more difficult? Showing up day after day, week after week, sometimes for years, as your movement slowly gains steam, as your organization hits speed bumps, as the news goes from bad to worse...Showing up, it turns out, is the hardest part of making a difference.”

In Good to Great Jim Collins talks about ‘showing up’ with the Flywheel principle, “In building greatness, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough and beyond.” When you stop showing up and doing the work, the flywheel (progress and positive change) slows and stops.

Angela Duckworth writes and speaks about the importance of Grit, which is the combination of intense passion and intense perseverance toward a long-term goal that matters to you.

Anders Ericsson (the author of Peak) talks about the importance of thousands of hours of Deliberate Practice to build mastery.

What’s Important Now? Dare to Be Great. Hang in there. Show up and do the work. Then repeat tomorrow.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: Stiffening the spine of others.

"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened."

Billy Graham

In my Dare to Be Great leadership workshops I share the insights from two of my mentors Chip Huth and Jack Colwell that we are a culture big on Bravery, but lacking in Courage. They define the two this way:

  • Bravery is to act for what is right, at risk to self, when members of one’s social group agree with the act.
  • Courage is to act for what is right, at risk to self, when members of one’s social group do not agree with the act.

The “risk to self” when displaying courage is often not a physical risk. It is the risk of being shunned by your peers for speaking up. It is the risk of being ostracized by the group or being labeled as someone who is not a team player.

We all want to be liked and to fit in. The question is are you willing to go along just to get along or, do you have the courage to do what is right, even when it is not what is popular, expedient of easy.

In Dare to Be Great I also share Dr. Brene Brown’s three elements of integrity:

  1. Choosing courage over comfort.
  2. Choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy.
  3. Practicing your values, not just preaching your values.

You need to grow the courage to do what is right. Growing courage is a phrase I borrowed from my friend and mentor Roy Bethge who has an entire seminar he teaches through The Virtus Group called Growing Courage.

What’s Important Now? - Be courageous. Be a person of integrity. Model those behaviors for your children, your peers and those you lead. Take a stand and stiffen the spines of others.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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W.I.N. Wednesday: The Bridge Between Knowing and Doing

"It's not knowing what to do, it's doing what you know."

Tony Robbins

During a recent Dare to Be Great leadership workshop one of the participants asked a great question about bridging the gap between what we know and what we do. 

Many of us are Knowers, but not Doers. We attend a seminar or workshop, listen to a podcast or watch a webinar and keep saying to ourselves, "I know that." At the end of the event we walk away thinking, there was nothing new there. 

You are right. There is nothing new because there has not been an original thought for 200 years or more. What we all know we got from someone else. As a speaker and trainer your mission is to connect the dots for people in the audience and help them understand how the thoughts, ideas, tactics and strategies you are teaching can be applied in their world. 

In his powerful book Resilience, Eric Greitens tells us to, “Approach each day as if you have something new to learn. Your task is not to begin in a noble place, but to end up in one." He then goes on to remind us, “Deciding is not doing, and wanting is not choosing. Transformation will take place not because of what you decide you want, but because of what you choose to do.”

The bridge between knowing and doing is action. Small daily actions. Acting on the commitment to always be a little better tomorrow than you are today. 

Too often we get fired up during seminars and workshops when someone challenges us to go out and change the world. It is inspiring in the moment, but daunting and often overwhelming when we reflect on it later. 

Rather than asking yourself, "How can I change the world?", ask yourself Dr. Robert Cooper's question, "What is the smallest change that can make the biggest difference." Once you answer that question take action on that small item. When you complete that action ask the question again. 

The next time you attend a training class, seminar or workshop before you leave complete these four steps:

  1. Write down your top two or three takeaways from the session.
  2. Write down one action you will commit to take based on just one of those takeaways. 
  3. Write down the name of the person you will share that action step with so they can serve as your accountability partner.
  4. Take out your phone and text or e-mail them to let them know you will be contacting them within 24 hours to share your action item. If they have not heard from you in 24 hours have them contact you. 

Without a commitment to small action steps we will remain stuck in "knower" mode and fail to do what we know. 

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

Please share this with your friends, family and co-workers and encourage them to go to www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com and subscribe so they never miss an issue of W.I.N. Wednesday.

Also check out:

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W.I.N. Wednesday: They both start with 'W'. You choose.

You can whine or you can do the work; they both start with W.

If you have time to whine then you have time to find solutions.

Dee Dee Artner

Whining is the easy route. It is basically a three-step process:

Step 1: Whine. You whine about all the problems of the world, you whine about all your problems, you whine about how hard done by you are and how life is unfair.

Step 2: Blame. Blame your parents, your teachers, your coaches, your coworkers, your boss, your spouse, your children, the economy, the government, the education system and anyone else you can think of. (The #1 Rule of Blame - Never blame yourself.)

Step 3: Repeat. Repeat steps 1 and 2.

Doing the work is hard. It takes effort. And, you have to be willing to do the work every day. That is hard. As Larry Winget says, “They call it work for a reason.”

Doing the work requires you to ask important questions such as:

·      What’s Important Now?

·      What’s the right thing to do?

·      What piece of this do I own?

·      What’s the smallest change that can make the biggest difference?

·      What’s the first step?

·      What’s the next step?

·      How will my taking action help to benefit and serve others?

What’s Important Now? Whether you whine or do the working is a choice you have to make every day. Remember W.I.N. and choose wisely.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

Please share this with your friends, family and co-workers and encourage them subscribe so they never miss an issue of W.I.N. Wednesday.

Contact me at winningmind@mac.com to arrange for me to speak to your team, your organization or at your next conference. 

Also check out:

www.experiencewinx.com

www.winningmindtraining.com

W.I.N. Wednesday: You Choose

Life is about choices. Every day you get to choose.

You choose your attitude towards life, your work and your family.

You choose to pursue excellence and Dare to Be Great, or to embrace mediocrity.

You choose to be a little bit better today than you were yesterday, or to simply be the same.

You choose whether or not you read, listen to audio books or podcasts, watch TED talks or other educational material or whether you spend countless hours watching television or surfing the net.

You choose who you hang out with and spend time with.

You choose how you think about and treat people in your life, including yourself.

You choose to be active and healthy, or sedentary and unhealthy.

You choose whether you seek to learn and grow every day, or to embrace the status quo and just do what you did yesterday and the day before, and the day before that.

You choose whether you will be a problem solver, or simply a problem identifier.

You choose whether you learn and grow from failure, or whether you allow it to crush your spirit.

You choose whether you accept responsibility when you screw up, or whether you deny, demand proof and point the finger of blame.

You choose to fix the problem, or fix the blame.

You choose to embrace the suck and find the good, or to allow the suck to embrace you and allow yourself to become one of those whining, sniveling malcontents.

Life is full of choices.

Want to make better choices? Ask yourself these two questions:

1.    What’s Important Now?

2.    What’s the right thing to do?

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

Please share this with your friends, family and co-workers and encourage them to go to www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com and subscribe so they never miss an issue of W.I.N. Wednesday.

Also check out:

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www.winningmindtraining.com

W.I.N. Wednesday: What you up to Willis?

A number of W.I.N. Newsletter readers have asked about what I am reading these days, what upcoming seminars I am teaching as well as any training programs I would recommend.

What I am reading?

I just finished the audio version of Deep Work by Cal Newport and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and enjoyed both.  I recently finished reading Worth Dying for by Rorke Denver and Legacy by James Kerr and would highly recommend both. I am currently reading Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis by Mike Wood and Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall and am really enjoying both books. You can also check out my Recommended Reading list at www.winningmindtraining.com

What am I working on?

For the last 14 months I have been working on providing professional development training for trainers through a membership site The Excellence in Training Academy. Currently there are 53 interviews and 9 webinars posted in the Members Area of the site. There are also a number of great Member Benefits for those who have investing in joining the EIT Academy Community. Go to www.excellenceintrainingacademy.com and check out the Introductory Webinar and Featured Interview then sign up for a 30 day free trial.

Where and what am I teaching?

What is fast becoming my most in demand workshop is Dare to Be Great: The Leadership Challenge. I have three public Dare to Be Great leadership workshops scheduled in October:

October 5, Central Saanich, British Columbia

October 17, Calgary, Alberta

October 28, Spruce Grove, Alberta

I am also teaching an Excellence in Training seminar in Spruce Grove, AB on October 24.

What other training would I recommend?

WINx: Inspiring Excellence in Law Enforcement 2016. This one day dynamic TED style event was a huge success in 2015 and 2016 promises to be even better. Check out the 2015 talks and the 2016 lineup of speakers at www.experiencewinx.com. Use the code WIN2016 to get a discount when you register.  

Emotional Survival Training – October 26 to 28, 2016 in Las Vegas. This three day seminar is put on by the Dolan Consulting Group and features Kevin Gilmartin, Brian Nanavaty, and Harry Dolan. If I were not already committed to teaching all that week I would be in Vegas attending this seminar.

Dynamics of Officer / Citizen Encounters and Decision Making: The Foundation of Reasonable Force by Command Presence. Check out the Command Presence website www.commandpresence.net for dates and locations.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

Please share this with your friends, family and co-workers and encourage them to go to www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com and subscribe so they never miss an issue of W.I.N. Wednesday.

Contact me at winningmind@mac.com to arrange for me to speak to your team, your organization or at your next conference. 

Also check out:

www.experiencewinx.com

www.winningmindtraining.com

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