W.I.N.

maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: Teach these to your kids.

Labour Day is over and all the kids are now back to school. Over the coming months they will be exposed to a number of challenges, lessons and problems. They will have struggles, successes and failures. 

To help your children deal with these challenges and help prepare them for the realities of life I recommend you share these 2 questions and 3 rules. I teach these same 2 questions and 3 rules in my leadership and other workshops and seminars. 

The two questions are:

  1. What's Important Now?
  2. What's the right thing to do?

The three rules come from Pete Carroll's Win Forever philosophy and they are:

  1. Always protect the team.
  2. No whining, no complaining, no excuses.
  3. Be early. 

Have a discussion with your kids about what each of the questions and the rules mean. If you have been reading these posts for any time then you already have a sense as to the broad applications for question #1 W.I.N. from homework, to chores to practicing the piano. Make sure to ask them what they think each of them mean and how they can apply them.

When you talk about question #2 What's the right thing to do?, make sure they understand that doing what is right is not always what is fast, easy or popular, but it is always what is right. It might mean standing up for the new or different kid that all their friends are picking on, or refusing to talk badly about another kid in class or spread rumours. It might mean sitting with the kid who always sits alone in the cafeteria instead of sitting with the popular kids. 

As for the three rules, #1 Always Protect the Team does not just apply to the sports teams. Their decisions and actions reflect on their family, their school and their community. If you focus on W.I.N. and doing what is right this will generally look after itself. 

Rule #2 is self explanatory and can be referred to by the parents, or the children when any family member gets caught up in whining, complaining and the blame game that is all too common today.

Be Early means be early for school, for meetings, for practice, and for games. It also means be early to adopt new ideas and new ways of thinking and embracing positive change. 

Let me know how you are implementing these 2 questions and 3 rules into your family and your life.

What's Important Now? The rules apply to you as well as your kids and they are a way for your kids to also hold you accountable. 

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:

www.experiencewinx.com

www.winningmindtraining.com

W.I.N. Wednesday: The Prodigy

Invest 6 minutes today to click on the link at the end of this post and listen to the performance at TED where 11 year old Joey Alexander performs a jazz piece on the piano.

The headline is “11 Year Old Prodigy Performs Old School Jazz”. The word prodigy bothers me. Synonyms for prodigy include: genius, phenomenon, and wonder boy. The term for many people implies that Joey has “a gift”, and that somehow he developed his talents without the work and effort that it requires mere mortals.

As you listen to Joey play consider all the hours he has spent listening to jazz music, thinking about music, dreaming of music and practicing music. Imagine the environment he grew up in where his love of jazz music was spawned and fostered; where his parents supported his love for jazz music and provided and environment where that allowed it to thrive. His efforts have resulted in him getting the opportunity to play with (and likely get coached by) some of the best jazz musicians in the world.

Think about how great he will be as he continues to practice, learn, get coached, practice more and continues to develop his skills, knowledge and passion.

Too many people assume they could never be as good as the Joeys of the world  because they do not have “the gift” and so they never put in the effort and never strive to be great at anything. Too many parents push their children to be the next “child prodigy” whether their son or daughter loves the piano, loves to play that sport or loves math.

What’s Important Now? It is important for parents to create an environment where your children develop a love of learning and a willingness to try and fail at different things until they find something they love doing and are willing to put in the time and effort to be great at. Be patient. Their “calling” will likely not be clear by the time they are 11.

Joey Alexander TED Performance

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.excellenceintrainingacademy.com

www.winningmindtraining.com

 

W.I.N. Wednesday: You have to choose.

In my Dare to Be Great leadership workshops and my conference presentations Embrace the Suck and Dare to Be Great, I talk about the reality that greatness is a choice. Every day you have to choose between Daring to Be Great and embracing mediocrity.

Mediocrity is easy - embrace the status quo and just keep doing what you have always done.

Daring to be great takes work. Hard work. It requires showing up every day with a commitment to learn, grow and put in the effort to be better than you were yesterday.

Daring to be great means you will make mistakes, you will stumble, you will fall and you will fail. Every time you fall you have to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, determine what you learned and how you will grow from the experience and then move forward a little bloodied and bruised but better off for the experience. It means that when you screw up you stand up, own up, learn from the experience and move forward better off for the experience. 

In a blog post last year Seth Godin wrote about: The four horsemen of mediocrity:

1  Deniability - "They decided, created, commanded or blocked. Not my fault."

2  Helplessness - "My boss won't let me."

3  Contempt - "They don't pay me enough to put up with the likes of these customers."

4  Fear - "It's good enough, it's not worth the risk, people will talk, this might not work..."

Daring to be great requires that you are aware of "The Four Horsemen" and keep yourself from sliding into that victim mentality. 

What's Important Now? Choose to do the work. Choose greatness over mediocrity. Remember that every day is a new chance to choose. 

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: Two Virtues

In his book The Road to Character, David Brooks talks about two kinds of virtues - Resume Virtues and Eulogy Virtues. He defines them this way:

The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being—whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed.

If someone were to ask you which of these two types of virtues is most important to you most of us would probably say Eulogy Virtues.  If however, you were to honestly examine your life what would you see? Would you see that you living your life in such a way as to build those Eulogy Virtuess or are you truly focused on building the resume.

The Resume Virtues are what tend to get the hype and the attention. They are usually what get you the job and the promotion. They are what you write about in your description on your LinkedIn page. They are likely what you talk about over a Starbucks coffee of a glass of Argentinian Malbec with a coworker.

Ask yourself if it is Eulogy Virtues or Resume Virtues that:

  • Drive the decisions you make about how to spend your time and your energy.
  • Determine the people in your life whom you choose to hang out with.
  • Influence what you read.
  • Dictate what courses and conferences you attend and whom you hang out with at those conferences.

Resume Virtues are often easier for us to focus on. They seem more tangible. They can be listed on your Resume or your Curriculum Vitae. They are easier to talk about. They are used to introduce you at a business meeting, prior to your big speech and even at a party. In the end however, it is not those virtues people will remember and speak about when you retire from your job and from life.

What’s Important Now? You do not just have to choose one or the other. They are both necessary. The question becomes one of focus and energy. On which of these two virtues do you put your greatest energy and focus? Over the years I have come to figure out that if your focus and energy is on the Eulogy Virtues, those virtues will have a significant positive impact on your resume.

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: What are you fixing?

There is a Japanese proverb I have been using in my seminars for years which says, “Fix the problem, not the blame.”

Fixing the blame is easy. You just point the finger of blame in any direction and say, “It is your fault.” “It is their fault.”

You can point the finger of blame at your parents, your spouse, your boss, your co-workers, your company, all levels of government, or a different race or group in society. It is pretty easy to find someone to blame.

You can blame them for your failures, the quality of your education or your lack of education, your financial situation, your happiness, your health issues, your weight, your lack of advancement, and the economy. You can even blame them for the conscious choices and decisions to make. If there is something in your life, or in the world that you are unhappy about, you can find someone else to blame.

Or, you can seek to fix the problem. Being a problem identifier is easy. Being a problem solver, a problem fixer, is harder. It is harder because it starts with you standing up and accepting responsibility. It starts with admitting you own a piece of this and therefore, you can help fix it. It starts with stepping away from pointing the finger of blame at others and stepping in front of the mirror of responsibility. It starts with changing the conversation from blame to solutions.

Fixing the problem is not about trying to change changing the world overnight. It is about changing your attitude and starting to think and act like a problem solver. It is about asking, “Where can the smallest change make the biggest difference.” The change starts with your attitude, your thoughts and your beliefs.

When you think, act and believe you can make a difference, you start to take small steps, small actions. Those small actions have a ripple effect. They influence the people close to you and inspire them to take action. Their new thoughts, beliefs and actions influence the people closest to them and the ripple continues.

We live in a world right now where the focus is on playing the Blame Game. It makes for great press coverage. It inflames people’s emotions. It results in a lot of screaming, yelling, backstabbing and a lack of productivity and opportunity. At the extremes it results in rioting, burning, looting, attacking and killing. All of which leads to more finger pointing and more blaming.

What’s Important Now? Get out of the blame game. Become a problem solver. Fix the problem, not the blame. Commit to small, right actions every day. Become an agent of change.

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.

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www.experiencewinx.com 

www.winningmindtraining.com

W.I.N. Wednesday: It’s Just Easier

It is easier to make excuses than it is to stand up, man up / woman up and own up when you screw up.

It is easier point the finger of blame than it is to look in the mirror and ask, “What piece of this do I own?”

It is easier to take the credit and give away the blame than it is to take the blame and give away the credit.

It is easier to be a problem identifier than it is to be a problem solver.

It is easier to find fault in others than it is to look for the good in them.

It is easier to complain about what is wrong than it is to take action to make things better.

It is easier to hate than it is to see others as people who have hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations.

It is easier to step back into comfort than it is to step forward into growth.

It is easier to remain silent than it is to stand up and speak up when others are professing messages of hate or providing false or inaccurate information.

It is easier to ignore inappropriate behavior in friends, coworkers and those you lead than it is to have a courageous conversation and address the behavior.

It is just easier to blame, complain, deflect, hate, do nothing, stay silent and stay stuck than it is to take responsibility, embrace accountability and take action to make things better.

What’s Important Now? You have a choice. You can choose easy or you can choose to do what is right. Doing what’s right is not always what is easy, expedient or popular but it is always what is right. 

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: Thank You For Your Service

“Thank you for your service.” is a phrase we hear in airports, coffee shops and other public places when people see men and women of our military in uniform and want to show their appreciation. We should thank them for their sacrifice and service.

My dream is that we will get to the same point in our communities with the men and women of law enforcement as we have with our military. My dream is that it will become common for members of the community to approach law enforcement professionals on the street, in a restaurant, in a coffee shop (and after receiving that traffic ticket) and thank them for their service.

Law enforcement is a complex, challenging and demanding profession. It is a profession of service. A profession of men and women who have chosen to serve their communities by taking an oath to Serve and Protect. It is a unique profession in that you wear a bullet resistant vest, carry a gun, Taser, pepper spray, handcuffs, tourniquet and usually wear a uniform every day.  You drive a highly visible vehicle equipped with lights, a siren, a computer, a shotgun or a rifle or both. 

Few professions are like law enforcement where every day when you go work your parents, your spouse and your children worry that you may get killed on the job and never come home. It is a profession where you work nights, weekends and holidays and will not always be home for Christmas morning or Thanksgiving dinner and you may be at a domestic, a homicide scene or a traffic fatality instead of your son or daughter’s soccer game or piano recital.

Law enforcement is a profession where some people will hate you simply because of what you do. It is a profession where people will try to hurt or kill you simply because of your profession. It is a profession when people call you at their worst and where you see and experience things repeatedly that few people will ever experience once in their lifetime. It is a profession where you may have to take a life to save a life.

Law enforcement is a profession of human beings. They are men and women who have hopes, dreams, fears, aspiration, strengths and weaknesses. As human beings they will make mistakes sometimes. They are not Superman or Super Woman. Are there people in law enforcement that should not be in that profession? Yes, just like every other profession in our society. The majority of the almost one million law enforcement professionals in North America however, are dedicated men and women who want to serve and want to do a great job. They are not thugs, bullies, racists and murderers. They also want to go home to their families at the end of every shift.

Despite all the challenges and obstacles there are still men and women who choose to serve their communities as law enforcement professionals. They deserve your thanks.

What’s Important Now? - Make it your mission to thank a law enforcement officer for their service every time you get the opportunity. Make it your mission to inspire your friends and family to do the same.  This is a very difficult and very challenging time for the men and women of law enforcement. Your thanks and support will go along way in helping them understand that their communities do care about them, believe in them, need them and support them. The silent majority needs to break the silence.

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: What piece of this do I own?

"I am not a product of my circumstances.  I am a product of my decisions."

Stephen R. Covey

It is easy to blame circumstances when things do not turn out the way you wanted. It is easy to blame your boss, the economy, your co-workers, your genes, your teachers, your parents, your spouse and anyone else you can think of.

Grow is not about blame. It is about responsibility. Who is responsible? You are. Stand up, and own up. Ask yourself, “What piece of this do I own?”

"I can be changed by what happens to me.  But I refuse to be reduced by it."

Maya Angelou

Change is inevitable; growth is optional. It is only when you accept responsibility for your circumstance and the choices and decisions you make that you can learn, grow and move forward.

We all get caught up in the blame game once in a while. They key is to recognize it and get out of it.

I have written about this before and will write about it again. The news (which I no longer watch) seems to give a lot of airtime to people who refuse to accept responsibility for the decisions and choices they make and their children make. They are always looking for someone else to blame when they should look in the mirror, as we all should. 

What’s Important Now? Stand up, own up, man up / woman up, learn, grow and move forward better off for the experience.

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: The Leadership Reading List

A couple of weeks ago I shared an insight from one of the many great leadership books I have read over the last 6 months. I promised I would share some of those books with you. This week I am making good on that promise.

Here are the 7 Favorite Leadership books I have read in the last 6 months:

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World By Stanley McCrystal

In my Dare to Be Great leadership workshops and presentations I draw on three key lessons from Team of Teams.

1.     20th Century Systems, Thinking and Processes are not effective in the 21st Century. We need to think differently.

2.     To be effective as a organization you need to push decision makingdown to the lowest possible levels. His criterion was, “If it supports our efforts and is legal and moral you can do it.”

3.     You must identify and break down the silos in your organization and create a Shared Consciousness. This is huge for organizations to understand the power of breaking down these silos and creating that shared consciousness.

Leadership Lessons From a UPS Driver: Developing a Culture of We Not Me By Ron Wallace

I had the pleasure of meeting Ron a few years ago and spending some time with him. He started with UPS as a delivery driver and retired as President of International Operations. After retiring from UPS he went through the police academy so he could serve as a reserve officer with the Alpharetta police Department. At one point he was volunteering 50 hours a week running their reserve officer program. Ron is also a contributing author for our book am I that man? How heroes, role models and mentors can shape your life.

Ron shares lessons on building a culture of excellence through strong, humble leadership and shared values.

Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders By David Marquet

Marquet talks about his journey to transforming the culture ofthe nuclear submarine USS Sante Fe to allow them to go from from the lowest ranked sub in the fleet to receiving the highest rating ever awarded in the US Navy. His key was changing the culture from the traditional Leader – Follower to one of Leader – Leader and inspiring a sense of ownership and accountability in all the crew. Like Stanley McCrystal he believes in pushing decision making down to the lowest level. Another key lesson is that success as a leader is not about the awards and accolades you receive, it is about developing your people to their highest potential and supporting their journey to greatness.

Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living With Purpose By John Addison

In 2015 Addison retired as C-CEO of Primerica. In the book he shares 9 simple (not easy) practices to becoming a great leader. I first became aware of John Addison listening to some interviews he did with Darren Hardy for Success Magazine. I was immediately drawn to his down to earth style and humility.  One of the many profound lessons from the book is the difference between ‘Weather Vane’ leaders and ‘Lighthouse’ Leaders. He says weather vanes are constantly turning and shifting in the wind and influenced by the latest storm. Lighthouses however, stand firm in the storm and serve as a beacon of strength and guidance for others to follow.

It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and A Compelling Culture By Dee Ann Turner

This is another great book about creating an enduring culture of leadership and service. Turner has spent over 30 years with Chick-fil-a and was the Vice President, Corporate Talent at the time she wrote the book. Turner shares lessons learned over her career from Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-a, and other company executives. Chick-fil-a’s hospitality policy is to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect. I love their leadership philosophy “If you are not serving chicken, you need to be serving someone who is.” A great culture needs to be developed, shared and lived over time so that it becomes part of the fabric of the organization.

Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation By Neel Ooshi and Lindsey McGregor

This is another great book on culture. The authors explore the six basic motives behind people’s work:

1.     Play,

2.     Purpose,

3.     Potential,

4.     Emotional Pressure,

5.     Economic Pressure and

6.     Inertia.

The first three strengthen performance and the last three weaken it.  The authors also explore the concept of two types of performance, both important yet mutually opposed:

1.     Tactical performance – the ability to execute a plan

2.     Adaptive Performance – the ability to diverge from a plan.

78 Important Questions Every Leader Should Ask and Answer By Chris Clark-Epstein

I am a big fan of questions, as I believe that asking questions is one of the best ways for us to learn and grow.  The book addresses questions you need to ask yourself, your customers, two levels of questions to ask your employees, questions to ask is special circumstances and questions leaders need to answer. There are a lot of great questions and gems of wisdom in this book.

I trust this list has been helpful. What about you? What great leadership books have you read in the last 6 months?

What’s Important Now? Read broadly and deeply. Move beyond collecting the dots (gems of wisdom) and seek to connect the dots.

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: You are a product of your decisions.

"I am not a product of my circumstances.  I am a product of my decisions."

Stephen R. Covey

It is easy to blame circumstances when things do not turn out the way you want them to. It is easy to blame the economy, your parents, the neighborhood you grew up in, your boss or the government.

If however, you are willing to Dare to Be Great and engage in the Pursuit of Excellence you need to accept responsibility for the decisions you make every day. Jim Collins (the author of Good to Great) says, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.”

Understand that you are human. You will have days when you make great decisions, days where you make ok decisions and days where your decisions are less desirable. Every day however, is a new chance to choose. If you make poor decisions today, you have the opportunity to reflect on those, decide what you learned and make a commitment to making better, wiser decisions as you move forward.

What’s Important Now? Accept responsibility for the decisions you make and use the two following questions as a guide to make better decision in your life.

  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.

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: Which 'E' are you focused on?

I have read some great books lately and will be sharing some of those titles with you soon. One of them is Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by U.S. Navy Captain (Retired) David Marquet. The book is about his experiences as the Captain of the USS Sante Fe, a nuclear submarine. The book provides insights on turning organizations from a culture of Leader – Follower to one of Leader – Leader.

There are many great questions, insights and ideas I took away from the book. Here are three of those questions for you to consider in relation to your organization or agency:

  • Are your people trying to achieve excellence, or just trying to avoid mistakes?
  • Has your organization become action averse to avoid errors?
  • Do you spend more time discussing errors that celebrating successes?

Here is a variation of the three questions for you to consider in relation to you personally:

  • In your work, and your life are you trying to achieve excellence, or just trying to avoid mistakes?
  • Have you become action averse to avoid errors?
  • Do you spend more time discussing your errors than celebrating your successes?

Are you focused on Errors or Excellence? Are you focused on not making mistakes or focused on making a difference? Have you embraced inaction as a strategy to avoid making mistakes?

Focusing on excellence instead of errors is not about being reckless. It is about being realistic and starts with accepting that you are human and therefore you will make mistakes, you will screw up and you will fail. Once you get that out of the way you can engage in the pursuit of excellence (excellence not perfection).

The pursuit of excellence requires that you make a commitment to be better tomorrow than you are today, just a little bit better. That means you have to do little things every day in the areas of personal growth and development. Read something new, listen to a podcast or audio book or take a course that will provide new insights and challenge you to think differently. Learn with commitment do more than collect dots (new ideas, skills and knowledge). Challenge yourself to connect the dots so you can apply those concepts in different parts of your life.

What’s Important Now? Focus on the right ‘E’ – Excellence.

Take care.

Brian Willis

www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com

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

Please take a moment and 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

W.I.N. Wednesday: Are they serving you, or holding you back?

I am a big question guy. I believe questions can be the path to self discovery, learning and growth. This blog is build on Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

I have been listening to Lewis Howes' School of Greatness podcast for the past two years. Last year he came out with The School of Greatness book. Below are four questions Howes encourages us to ask regarding the people in our life we are spending the most time with. 

From The School of Greatness book:

To find out if someone is serving you in your life or holding you back, ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Do I feel energized or stressed when I’m around or think about this person?
  2. Does this person inspire me or have a negative mindset around me?
  3. Does this person pursue greatness in their life, or are they often a victim to circumstances?
  4. Do they get excited about my success and want to see me succeed, or do they complain about their own life when I achieve my dreams?

What's Important Now? Take the time to reflect on these questions. If you don't like the answers to the questions then it may be time to start hanging out with some new people. 

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:

www.experiencewinx.com

www.winningmindtraining.com

W.I.N. Wednesday: Give wisely.

"One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of your attention."

Jim Rohn

How often have you been talking to someone and wanted to yell, “Just pay attention. Just listen.”

One of the best ways to pay attention is to listen. Really listen. Not the usual thing we do where we are thinking about what we are going to say next, but listen.

Listen to the words. Listen for the emotion. Listen for what is not being said. Ask open ended questions, then listen some more. Ask more questions and listen again. That, is one of the greatest ways you can give the gift of attention.

I have a friend who is a great person with a big heart but, frustrates the hell out of people because he does not listen. The unwillingness to listen and give people your attention not only frustrates them, and makes them feel unimportant and unheard, it hampers your effectiveness as a leader, a mentor, a friend, a parent or a spouse.

The gift of your attention requires you put away your phone, ignore the dings, beeps and vibrations. That text message can likely wait. That new Facebook post or e-mail is not as important as the person in front of you. And yes, we can hear you typing, cooking, cleaning, and doing all those other things when we are talking to you on the phone so stop doing them and pay attention.

If now is not a good time, then say so. Tell the person you really want to listen to what they have to say but now is not a good time. Then find a time that is good for both of you and when that time comes – Pay Attention to Them.

What’s Important Now? - The gift of attention is the result of giving someone the gift of your time. Both are valuable. Give 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 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

W.I.N. Wednesday: I get it. It's hard.

In my Dare to Be Great and Heroes Path seminars I talk about excellence and greatness as choices.

Every day you have the choice to show up, do the work and ask yourself:

  • What’s Important Now? and,
  • What’s the right thing to do?

Every day you have the choice embrace mediocrity or to punch mediocrity in the mouth, Embrace the Suck and Dare to Be Great.

These are not easy choices.

Mediocrity is easy – just do what you have been doing, and do it well enough to not make any waves, fly under the radar and get by. 

The pursuit of excellence and daring to be great are hard.

I often have people approach me on the breaks and start their sentence with the words, “Brian you don’t understand.” What follows is an explanation of why their situation is unique and a justification for their unwillingness to pursue excellence and dare to be great.  

Actually, I do understand. While the names and faces are different, and there are some nuances with each organization, the fundamental issues are consistent. I get it. It get that it is hard. I have the same battles in my head and in my life and sometimes I take the easy way out.

When you get to the point where you think you have no choice, then you have become a victim.  Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post about “I don’t have a choice.” Here is some of what he wrote: “More likely: There's no easy choice. No safe choice that also embraces your potential. No choice you can make that doesn't cause short-term misery in exchange for a long-term benefit.” Wow, he hit that on the head as he usually does.

Life is about choice.

What’s Important Now? - Choose well.

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: Your legacy. Your Footprints.

A legacy is not simply something you leave behind when you die; it is something you create every day that you live.

What legacy are you creating?

Are the footprints you are leaving in the sand worth following?

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.

W.I.N. Wednesday: What's new Willis?

A number of you have me asked what’s new for 2016? What are you working on? Any new seminars in 2016?

The Excellence in Training Academy is still relatively new as I launched it in August of 2015 and is a project I am very excited about. This is a professional development membership site for law enforcement trainers. Each week I post new content in the form of interviews and webinars to the Members Area of the site. This content can only be accessed by members of the Excellence in Training Academy Community. To date I have posted 27 interviews and 7 webinars to the site and have some amazing interviews to come. If you are an academy instructor, in-service trainer or FTO, and willing to invest in your own professional development, then the Academy was created for you. Join the Excellence in Training Academy now and use the code eitmonthfree to get the first month free.

As a result of requests during the last 1/4 of 2015 and so far in 2016 I am now doing more leadership training. I have developed a leadership workshop called Dare to Be Great: The Leadership Challenge. I am running open Dare to Be Great workshops in Spruce Grove, AB on April 12, in Buffalo Grove, IL on April 19 and 20 and Central Saanich, B.C. on October 5.  I am doing a Keynote on The Question of Leadership for the Illinois Assoc. of Chiefs of Police on April 21 and the Dare to Be Great workshop for the new England Chapter of the FBI NAA on June 29.  I am also doing five leadership workshops in California in May with Roy Bethge from The Virtus Group. Details for all these are on the website at www.winningmindtraining.com.

I also have a new seminar called Embrace the Suck and Dare to Be Great. I am running an open seminar for all first responders on October 3 in Central Saanich, B.C.

On November 18, 2015 Roy Bethge and I ran the first WINx: Inspiring Excellence in Law Enforcement event in Naperville, Illinois. The event featured 9 speakers each presenting a dynamic 18 minute talk. It was a huge success and we will be running the 2016 event on November 16, at the same great venue in Naperville. The videos of five of the 2015 talks are now available on the WINx website at www.experiencewinx.com and the remaining four videos will be released over the coming months. It is well worth your time to watch all of the talks as they are all very different.

This summer I will be presenting at the National Tactical Officers Association Conference. I will be doing a breakout session on Embrace the Suck and Dare to Be Great and a one day Excellence in Training workshop.

I have someone working on some updates to my Winning Mind Training website so stay tuned.

I am exploring the possibility of developing an online Performance Enhancement Imagery course later this year.

Some of my top book recommendations from my 2016 reading journey:

·      Extreme Ownership By Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

·      A More Beautiful Question By Warren Berger

·      Brave, Strong and True By Kate Hendricks Thomas

·      It’s My Pleasure By Dee Ann Turner

·      Primed to Perform By Neel Oshi and Lindsay McGregor

Thank you for your interest and support. Make sure you check out the Winning Mind Training website for full course lists, 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

W.I.N. Wednesday: Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone?

"It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."

Bill Gates

I am a big advocate for celebrating our successes however; the greatest learning opportunities in life often come from our failures.

I ask participants in my seminars what are some of the fears that hold them back and serve as roadblocks and barriers in the pursuit of excellence and greatness. The first response is almost always, “The fear of failure”.

When you think of failure as an opportunity to learn from the experience, to grow and to find new and better ways to accomplish the task, the goal or the mission you take away the power of the fear of failure.

John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward encourages us to “take the u out of failure”. Just because you fail to achieve a goal does not make you a failure.

As I reflect on my career and my life, some of my greatest learning and growth came out of failures.

You have a choice with failure. You can see it as a stumbling block that you allow to trip you up and cause you to fall. Or, you can think of failure as a stepping stone to help you reach higher and achieve more.

Take time this week to reflect on some of the failures in your life that resulted in personal or professional growth. Reflect on the lessons learned and the ways in which you are better off because of the experience. 

What’s Important Now? You get to choose how you respond to failure. Choose the stepping stone mentality. Choose to grow.

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: Do you smile, gather strength and grow brave?

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

Thomas Paine

It is not a question of whether you are going to fail, screw up or make a mistake. It is a question a when, how often and how are you going to respond.

You are going to fail. It is part of the human experience.

You are going to screw up. You are human.

You will make mistakes. None of us are perfect.

Life happens. How do you choose to respond?

Do you embrace failure as feedback? Do you see it as an opportunity to learn a better way to do things and to grow?

When you make a mistake do you man up or woman up, standup, own up to the mistake, identify the learning and move forward better off for the experience?

Do you “gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection”?

It is tempting to shrink when failure strikes. It is easy to pout and point the finger of blame. It is safer to resolve to never stretch and take a risk again.

What’s Important Now? - Chose growth over easy and safe. Seek solutions over blame.

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

W.I.N. Wednesday: What piece of this do I own?

As a manager or leader what percentage of the responsibility do you have to adapt to Generation Y employees coming into your organization?

As a Generation Y employee coming into an organization what percentage of responsibility do you have to adapt to your peers and bosses who are Gen X or Baby Boomers?

What percentage of responsibility do you have as a trainer or teacher for the learning that takes place in a training room or classroom?

As a student or participant in a training program what percentage of responsibility do you have regarding your learning?

What percentage of responsibilities do police agencies have to develop and maintain effective relationships with the communities their police?

What percentage of responsibility does the community have to ensure they have an effective relationship with their police agency?

The answer to all these questions is the same - 100%.

Now you may be asking, “How can that be? How can everyone have 100% responsibility?”

The only way any of us will get out of the blame game, stop pointing fingers and start making progress is if everyone takes 100% responsibility.

As long as you think the other part owns part of the problem you will be inclined to point the finger of blame and say, “I did my part. They just didn’t hold up their end of things.”

In his leadership classes Bill Westfall challenges leaders to ask themselves, “What piece of this do I own.” My response is All of It.

In his book The Success Principles Jack Canfield’s very first principle is Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life.

The philosophy of 100% responsibility is simple, but it is not easy. Simple is lack of complexity and Easy is lack of effort.

What’s Important Now? – Accept that you do not control other people. You only control yourself. Take 100% responsibility.

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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