Leadership Thought #428 – There Will Always Be Naysayers; Move Forward Anyway!

If I had a $100 for every time sometime told me something couldn’t be done by me or others, I’d be a rich man at this point in my life. The cold reality of life is that most people are followers and more comfortable with the status quo than the prospect of changing anything. There is also a big difference between rhetoric and action. I’d be equally wealthy if I had a $100 for everyone I met who talked a good game but then failed to follow-up with any real action. It seems as if a majority of people are content to sit on the sidelines of the game that is their own life and leave their fate to the actions of others and then complain about it. Like most fans, people have strong opinions about what should or should not be happening, but then they don’t have the courage, talent or fortitude to play the game themselves. It is a vicious circle and misery does love company.

Leadership Thought #420 – 7 Common Traits Of A Winner

I always like this time of year. After a great football weekend, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and watch the inauguration of our President. It is a very proud time to be an American. As I was reflecting on this experience it dawned on me that there are several characteristics of winners whether they are football teams, civil rights leaders or presidents. Several common traits emerge:

Leadership Thought #398 – You Need To Run The Race To Win It

There is a great song by the band Psychedelic Furs called “Love My Way.” One of the lines goes, “you can never win or lose if you don’t run the race…” Grammatical problems aside, it is a great thought. One of the things I admire most about Olympic athletes is that they are committed to being the best in the world at something and then go about doing the hard work to make it happen. They literally run the race or compete in the event that will define their athletic existence. Most of us prefer to stay on the sidelines and watch others excel why we rationalize our own inability to do the same thing in our own lives. So many people dream big but act small.

Leadership Thought #395 – First, You Have to Believe in Yourself

I’ve met many talented people through the years who struggle with self-confidence and low self-esteem. I don’t know if it is how they were raised by their parents or other environmental factors in their lives growing up, but it is often surprising to see and also a bit sad. Unfortunately, leadership roles aren’t always assumed by the most capable or well intentioned people. I’ve seen the flip side of this issue where people with too much self-confidence put themselves in positions they have no business being in. The leadership void will get filled one way or another.

Leadership Thought #359 – Believe in Yourself

You have to believe in what it is you are doing before you can fully believe in yourself. Life is a constant search for meaning and understanding. The tragedy of many people’s lives is that they are unwilling to put themselves out there because they won’t put forth the required effort, are afraid of public scrutiny and lack the courage of their convictions. Being the hero of your own life isn’t easy.

Leadership Thought #329 – Never Settle for Mediocrity

Never settle for mediocrity in others or yourself. Greatness is a choice although sometimes it can also choose you. Far too many businesses limp along or merely survive rather than thrive. Far too many people are dissatisfied with the outcomes in their life. To achieve anything of significance requires passion, diligence, hard work, commitment and raising your expectations of what’s possible. As I watched Bruce Springsteen perform last night in front of a packed house for nearly 3 hours at age 62, I couldn’t help but think that besides his obvious talent, what still makes him great is that he cares so much, loves what he is doing and gives it everything he’s got.

Leadership Thought #324 – Never Give Up!

I attended a youth soccer game and a professional hockey game this weekend and it was interesting to watch how both groups handled frustration and adversity. As would be expected the kids had a much more difficult time with it. With a few exceptions, they were quick to get down on themselves and hang their heads. After a couple of unlucky plays they started to unravel and forget their training. It became increasingly obvious that many of them just gave up on winning well before this should have been the case. The pros on the other hand kept plugging away and fighting through their unlucky breaks. Their hard work and resilience paid off. Eventually things turned around for them and they won the game.

I’m not saying this just to state the obvious that professional athletes have more mental toughness than children, but instead to point out the importance of never giving up.

Leadership Thought #253 – Fight The “Black Cloud” Mentality

Henry Ford has a famous quote, ‘if you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t do a thing, your right.” I believe this sums up most of life quite nicely. Self-confidence and self-belief do matter. So much about success and happiness is related to your mental attitude and emotional resilience. Some of us may have a harder time than others or start out with more baggage, but the history of civilization proves that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things and overcome great obstacles in the process. While it may seem easier at times to give up or give in, you must fight these feelings, forge ahead and persevere. Never embrace failure and unhappiness as your default reality.

Daily Leadership Thought #185 – Have Faith In Yourself

You have to believe in yourself if you want to accomplish anything of significance in life. Self doubt is like a cancer that slowly spreads and eventually incapacitates your ability to act. This doesn’t mean you become foolhardy or act with too much hubris but it does mean you have to trust in your own abilities and forge ahead. Many obstacles will be strewn in your path including the words and actions of people close to you. However, don’t get distracted or sidetracked by others who consciously or subconsciously want to hold you back and/or define you in ways you don’t want to be defined.