My son and I just completed our annual trek to visit baseball stadiums across the country. We are on a journey to see a major league game in each of the 30 stadiums. This year we were at 24, 25and 26! With so much baseball on my mind, I thought this would be the perfect time to write about the many leadership/success lessons to be learned from the greatest sport in the world. (I’m not biased at all!) I have sourced excerpts from two different articles for the information.
Baseball and Leadership
Baseball is a game of resilience. Last night: 0 for 4. Hit into a double play, struck out, grounded out and hit to a fielder’s choice. Tomorrow, you have to dig back into the batter’s box and go after it again. Positions of leadership require the same resilience and short term memory. You may get beat up pretty good today. Customer complaint, union grievance, three people called in sick, budget cuts and useless meeting. Tomorrow, you dig back in and go after again.
Baseball is a game of adaptability. First time up the guy blasted an inside fastball 450 feet into the left field seats. Second time up, fast ball away, slider away and cutter down. When methods do not yield the desired results, baseball players adapt. Great leaders are also adaptable. When a coaching method does not provide fruit, they change the approach. When they are not connecting with a team member, they examine and modify their style. Great leaders are situational adapters based on the needs of team members and the need of the organization.
Baseball is a game of inherent unfairness. The offensive player stands alone against nine members of the opposition. The batter has no idea what is coming. Even with best effort and contact, the chances of success range from 25% to 35%. Leaders face the same long odds. Their highest objective is to achieve victory and results when they face of group of competing goals.
Baseball is a game that rewards the clever. As with adaptability, baseball games often hinge on the smallest and most ingenious plays. A pick-off at first base. A hit and run with two outs. A squeeze bunt. Leaders too will be rewarded for cleverness. Rather than simply replicating the results of predecessors or maintaining the status quo, the modern leader is required to seek different and creative methods and solutions.
Baseball is a beautiful when played well. The pivot at second base during a double play. A two hit shut-out. The towering magnificence of a three run, walk-off home run. Leadership is also a beautiful thing to behold when it is done well. All team members functioning within their roles like a symphony and the leader is the conductor. Minor adjustments are being made and the system is running on all cylinders. Performance is peak. Dysfunction is non-existent.
Leadership lessons from the Baseball Field
Some would consider the 1971 Macon Ironmen High School Baseball team as the “Hoosiers” of high school baseball. The coach, Lynn Sweet, an English teacher with no baseball experience was the last resort for a group of players on the verge of having their program eliminated. The great thing about Coach Sweet is that he did not let his ego or those that scoffed at his unconventional coaching methods get in the way. He implemented a powerful combination of collaboration and authoritative leadership, which focused on the best result for the team and left individual egos on the bench.
Sweet had a special effect on all the kids. He threw batting practice and played pickup games with the boys; other times he let them run their own practices, watching from the bench, so they’d feel empowered by the independence. He cultivated a teaching style which balanced discipline with collaboration and discussion, allowing all voices and talents to be seen and heard.
He believed that there’s a lot to be learned in defeat. And determined success by how much the kids enjoyed themselves, rather than just how much they won. He also fostered a sense of community and encouraged the boys to do things together outside of baseball, enabling them to build their relationships.
As a result of Coach Sweet’s leadership style, the baseball team of Macon High School went on to the 1971 Illinois State Championship. And even though he never measured success just by the number of games won, they beat many baseball teams. Teams from schools four times their size, with more resources, more experience and more exposure to competition. The one thing that Coach Sweet had over all of his competition was superior leadership. Through his balance between collaboration and authoritative leadership he was able to create a vision for the Macon baseball team that everyone else saw as impossible, including the players. But once he was able to have them experience success based on his unconventional coaching methods, the players started to buy into this impossible dream.
Though they did not win the State Championship, the experience for the coach and the players left a lasting leadership imprint for the rest of their lives. Coach Sweet is a great example for all of us. His actions exemplified those of a Conscious Leader™. Balancing collaboration with authoritative leadership in a purposeful and intentional manner, he allowed the individual talents to shine. Each player had the freedom to make mistakes and grow from their experiences. Furthermore, he made sure that the players were accountable to each other and played for the spirit of the team. Whether we are a coach, parent, CEO or manager it is our responsibility to understand our abilities and our team’s abilities and to create a compelling vision. True inspiration will lead the team to maximize their talent so the “team” can accomplish their vision.
Until next time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“I know how I feel about baseball. That’s the easy part. But communicating with people is what’s important.” – Terry Francona
Recently our Executive Pastor, Jared Dunn, sent this great email out to the entire staff. Jared has been with us just seven months and we are already seeing great things happen. His insights below on the importance of a healthy church are fantastic and oh so true.
Becoming a HEALTHY Church
Pursuing church health allows us to focus on the legitimate desire to see our church flourish without some of the impure motivations that might trip us up. As we pursue church health, we’ll most likely experience church growth as a by product. This paradigm shift places the priority on keeping our church healthy and trusting God to do the rest. Church health falls easily within our stewardship roles as church leaders. Church growth is God’s department and the attendance of the church will ultimately grow or decline in accordance with His will. Most would agree this makes intuitive sense and yet how many of us live each day as if both health and growth were up to us?
It can be very freeing to focus on what God has called us to do and let Him bring the people.
Keys to Lasting Health and Vitality:
If you’re looking for church growth principles, here’s one: church growth begins with church health, not the other way around. We see in nature that healthy things grow. It’s that simple! This is by no means a new concept, but it’s still true.
But how do you know if you’re a healthy church? What can you use as a measuring stick? Based on extensive field testing and research with thousands of churches and individuals, we’ve compiled these church health categories and use them regularly in helping churches measure and monitor their own church health:
› God’s Empowering Presence
› God-Exalting Worship
› Spiritual Disciplines
› Learning and Growing in Community
› A Commitment to Loving and Caring Relationships › Servant-Leadership Development › An Outward Focus › Wise Administration and Accountability › Networking with the Body of Christ › Stewardship and Generosity
I encourage you to lean toward the following attributes in pursuit of lasting health and vitality:
› Stay Humble.
Humble people listen, humble churches listen. They are open to what God has to say to them and what other people have to say to them. The day we stop listening is the day pride begins to eat away at the framework of our ministry. The key to lasting health and vitality is to stay humble and grounded.
› Be Teachable.
A life-long learner who is submitted to the will of God has nearly limitless potential. Are you open to learning new things? Do you acknowledge your mistakes or cast blame on others? Are you willing to defer to others who have specialized expertise?
› Exude Gratitude.
Stop regularly to count your blessings. Express gratitude to God for all He has done and continues to do in the life of your church. Regularly show appreciation to those around you who are faithfully serving. People rarely complain of being excessively appreciated.
› Remain Open.
Open hands. Open hearts. Open minds. Open people are pliable in God’s hands. Are you open to feedback and change? Do you let people see your humanity and imperfections or do you lead from behind a rigid, got-it-all-together exterior? Are you open to other people’s ideas or do all the good ideas have to originate with you?
In closing, I am absolutely committed to partnering with you to make South Hills a place that is absolutely healthy, a place where we all can flourish in our gifts and calling, and grow into all that God has for us. I believe in you and thank God for the privilege to serve you!
Much love, respect, and blessings,
Until next Time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“A healthy church is a congregation that increasingly reflects God’s character as his character has been revealed in his Word.” – Mark Denver
For the past two weekends our Children’s Ministry (Kidmin) has taken over our church…and it has been fantastic. Last weekend Pastor Justyn Smith and his team took over our extended campus and this weekend they took over the main campus. From the Kid’s worship team leading songs with bubbles and confetti, to Pastor Jesse and the comedic antics of Cowboy Curley Joe bringing the point home. From the story telling sound effects of Timmy to the powerful message from Justyn… it was truly amazing!
Why would we do that? Why would we allow the Children’s Ministry to take over the main service. The primary reason… Kids are important! Very important! The two secondary reasons are one, to highlight what an amazing Kidmin team we have, and to allow everyone to see what their kids get to experience every week. Second, volunteer recruitment. When people see what an amazing ministry this is, and how exciting and rewarding it is to help in that area, they are much more likely to come on board than with the typical “sign up table” or announcement in the bulletin.
I know what many of you are thinking “that’s great for you, but we don’t have those kinds of resources.” Even if you are at a smaller church, you can still have a fantastic Children’s Ministry. There are great resources available too, if you just know where to look. Join a Celera Kidmin group, check out the blogs of the Kidmin Coaches, many of them have free resources and great ideas. Kidmin should never be an after thought, it should be at the top of the list. When a Children’s Ministry is strong healthy and growing, then chances are much better that your church is strong, healthy and growing.
Until next time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
-Dwight L. Moody
I have had the privilege over the years to attend several Roundtable type events. These events have been among the most impactful training/teaching times in my life. The opportunity to sit in a room with a small number of other participants and glean knowledge and insight from great leaders is one I will continually take. I always learn so much more in these kinds of settings rather that in a room full of hundreds or thousands of participants, as you are able to look the coaches in the eye and interact with them, asking questions and getting answers.
On May 12th and 13th Celera hosted our annual Roundtable event. We had approximately thirty pastors and church leaders in attendance and two fantastic coaches. For those of you who were there, you know how amazing it was. Dave Stone and Mark Cole were phenomenal; we all (myself included) took pages of notes. Here are some comments from a few of the participants from this year’s event…
That was one of the best leadership events I have attended. Loved the openness of all three, Dave, Mark, and Chris. The most impactful part was just the atmosphere and genuineness of the time. Loved the stories of family and friends. Loved that there was no sense of “we want to impress you”, but a very genuine humility. I told my staff we are all going next year. – Brad Grams
I enjoyed the transparency and honesty from both Dave and Mark. They opened up their personal lives and shared their struggles, which made the sessions very relative. All the points of topic were great and it moved fast. I was thankful to be there and felt very uplifted when I left. Thanks again. – Johnny Hodges
All of us from our church LOVED it!! Best part was the small intimate setting with only a handful of leaders in attendance. It allowed for such incredible depth to the discussions. The coaches were both unbelievable. God really spoke to us through them and challenged us. Celera did a great job of blending the coaches. This should definitely be repeated. Mark had more of a pure leadership/organizational leadership edge to him while Dave had the ministry/pastor edge to his leadership. Great stuff! – Randy Sherwood
Thank you for all you did to put together last week’s (Roundtable) meeting. I found it very helpful. How often do those happen? I’m in for the next one! – Mark Oberbeck
I highly encourage you to seek out Roundtable type training events. Don’t get me, wrong large scale leadership/personal growth events are great, and I attend those as well. There is just something about a Roundtable environment that breads growth. Personal growth, leadership growth, organizational,church growth; all of these things and more are given mega nourishment in Roundtable environments. Continually seek to better yourself through books, audios, and coaching of various kinds, and be sure to add Roundtables to your repertoire of learning tools.
Until next time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.
My New book, Handshake – What the Great Do that others Don’t, launches this weekend, April 23rd and 24th. I truly beleive this book will help anyone who is wanting to be successful in their lives. Handshake is also set up in such a way that it works well for a group study. The book will be available at our Main Street Campus. It will also be available for the order of a hard copy and digitally at the Celera website. It will soon also be available on Kindle, NOOK, iPad, and Sony Reader. All proceeds from the book go right back into the Celera ministry.
Here is what others are saying about the book.
“Chris Sonksen’s new book, Handshake, powerfully demonstrates that success is obtainable for anyone who wants it. Through the real life stories of these inspiring individuals, Chris reveals that success is less about the talent we have and more about the choices we make. READ IT, LEARN IT, LIVE IT!”
Lead Pastor/Founder National Community Church and Best Selling Author
“This book can certainly be used as a compass to keep anyone on track to being better. I never started out to be great or even thinking I could be, but as I read Chris’ book Handshake, I began to realize that doing these same things took me from the cotton fields in Alabama, all the way to a premier in the Rose Bowl.”
Coach Bill Yoast
The man behind the hit movie, “Remember the Titans”
“This book is for all those who continue to chase after their dreams against-all-odds. Handshake, is the perfect guide for those willing to never lose sight of their quest for greatness.”
Rudy Ruettiger, The man behind the TriStar motion picture “RUDY”
“I would encourage everyone to read this inspiring book; especially those who are feeling defeated and hopeless.”
Marlene Owens Rankin, daughter of Jesse Owens,
V.P. and Managing Director
The Jesse Owens Foundation
“These 10 Daily Choices not only separate the good from great, but they are essentials in achieving great things and living life beyond mere good intentions.”
Stephen Arterburn, founder and chairman of New Life Ministries
“Inspirational stories from an inspirational leader – Chris Sonksen’s Handshake, delivers practical and uplifting insights that can help you increase the quality of your life and productivity of your career.”
Dr. Dan Reiland, Executive Pastor
12 Stone Church
“Chris Sonksen re-introduces us to some of the most influential leaders in history, and by dissecting their lives, enables them to mentor us today. You will love the stories and the practical take-aways in each chapter. This book represents your chance to sit down and be coached by the most effective people anywhere. I know you’ll enjoy them as I have.”
Dr. Tim Elmore, President of GrowingLeaders.com
& former V.P. for John Maxwell’s INJOY
“Chris lays out clear principles in this book that can help everyone achieve their full potential. These are many of the same principles that helped my teammates and I achieve excellence in the Olympic Games as we brought home the Gold. Chris reminds us that even in everyday life, accomplishing great things is a choice and we can all make it happen.”
Leah O’Brien Amico, 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist
Until next time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.”
– Ralph Marston
We are thrilled that, after a bit of a delay, my new book Handshake has gone to print and will be available in just a couple of short weeks. Here is one more sneak peek from the book…
Walt Disney and the Choice of Excellence:
Disneyland has become an icon in American culture. People from all over the world visit this place that began as a dream on a wooden bench in the 1940’s. It is the home of some of the greatest animated characters such as: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Snow White, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Nemo, Aladdin and the list continues to grow year after year. Children that are fascinated by it grow up to be adults that love it.
After all these years, Disneyland has managed to maintain it’s pursuit of excellence, even after the death of Walt Disney on December 15, 1966. It continues to be the dominating amusement park throughout the world. Go and visit any other amusement park and you will not find the same performance standards that you will find at Disneyland. The grounds are cleaner, the landscaping is manicured, the rides are better maintained and the productions are performed at a higher level. Walt’s pursuit of excellence continues throughout the Disney Empire and as usual, excellence has paid off.
Regarding excellence, the author, James Gardner once said, “Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them…they achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by ‘doing what comes naturally’ and they don’t stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose.”
In this chapter you will learn these 5 steps to pursuing excellence…
1) Create a healthy drive for excellence
2) Choose it everyday, even when the emotions aren’t there
3) Realize that you cannot be the best in everything you do
4) Create processes that enable excellence
5) Think backwards
It is a passion in my own life to strive for excellence, and I challenge you to choose the same.
Until next time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Excellence can be obtained if you:
…care more than others think is wise;
…risk more than others think is safe;
…dream more than others think is practical;
…expect more than others think is possible.” – Unknown
Here at South Hills Church kids are a very big deal. If fact we are determined to make our church “The premier place for Families” and the first step is to fully embrace the children in our community. To that end, recently we needed to hire a new children’s pastor, and so we scoured the country to find the very best we could get. We found that person in Justyn Smith. Justyn has recently been named one of “Children’s Ministry Magazine’s” Top 20 to Watch, and with his help, we are looking forward to taking our “Kidmin” to a whole new level. Here are some thoughts from Pastor Justyn on the importance of Children’s ministry.
How Important is Children’s ministry?
How important is children’s ministry? How about if you don’t reach people with the gospel by the time someone turns the age of 12 there is only a 20% chance that person will ever become a Christ follower. Yet, only 13% of senior pastors list “ministry to children” among their church’s top three priorities.
Children’s ministry is one of the most important ministries in the church. It’s important because they are our kids. They are the leaders and movement shakers of tomorrow. Children’s ministry cannot be just a babysitting service. Children’s ministry should have the church’s best and brightest teachers and leaders. We all want the best for our children, yet we grow complacent with accepting anyone with a pulse to teach our kids. It’s not a time to become self-indulgent. We have been commissioned and entrusted by God to train of the next generation.
Children’s ministry is an equipping ground; it’s a time where kids should get together to celebrate God and reinforce the teachings of Christ that they should be receiving at home. If they’re not receiving godly teaching at home, then it’s a place of hope and love where we should be reaching out and become a Christ-like figure for those kids.
The healthy, growing churches of today all have at least this one thing in common—great children’s ministries. They have invested in the next generation. They have poured resources, money and time into creating a culture where kids—our future—are valued and celebrated. These church’s understand that children’s ministry is vital to the continuation of the mission God has placed inside of them. They have chosen to look beyond themselves and today and instead look outward and what lies ahead tomorrow.
For some larger church’s who have the ability to pour major money into their children’s ministry atmospheres have seen up to a 150% increase in church attendance. That means thousands more people—not just kids—are coming to church to hear about Jesus and grow deeper in their relationship with Him.
We are already seeing exciting changes in the couple of months since Justyn has joined us. In addition to the great things Justyn is doing on our church campus, he is also helping us to put Celera Kidmin in place.
Celera Kidmin was created to equip and empower children’s leaders by sharing resources for the kingdom. We are very excited that Celera Kidmin coaches are some of the greatest leaders and innovators in children’s ministry today, and those that are part of a Celera Coaching group will have access to their knowledge and direction on a monthly basis.
In addition to the monthly coaching Celera Kidmin members will receive:
During the course of the twelve month pastors’ coaching series each participant will receive two one-on-one coaching sessions with Pastor Justyn Smith.
Annual Roundtable Discussion
Once a year you will have the opportunity to come together in a live setting with your and other network groups and one or two of the Celera Kidmin coaches for a full day of discussion and connection.
Free and discounted resources
Over the course of a twelve month subscription each participant will receive a variety of free resources from the Celera Kidmin coaches.
I strongly encourage you that if Children’s ministry is not yet a priority in your church to do so. It is our great desire to reach kids for Christ and to help Kidmin leaders better meet the need of the kids in their communities. If you would like more information on how we can help you please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us at 951-734-4833.
Until next time.,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Here at Celera it is our goal to “Raise the national average of church attendance.” We do this by equipping and resourcing pastors and churches around the country and now extending globally. Dan Reiland is one of our Celera coaches and is also the Executive Pastor at 12 Stone Church in Georgia. Dan recently wrote the below article regarding equipping churches to grow and more effectively function as a church in reaching people for Christ. He lays out great instructions, that if followed your church will grow.
“Equipping in the Smaller Church”
by Dan Reiland
“Preach and visit.” Does that sound familiar to you? That’s not only the framework of ministry in thousands of smaller churches, it is the expectation. Teaching the Word of God and shepherding the congregation is obviously a good thing. How that gets done is another thing entirely.
In many smaller church settings the pastors come and go every few years and the board and key leaders “run” the church. There is an obvious expectation for the pastor to teach on Sunday morning, visit the sick and provide pastoral care for the members. I’ve actually seen this in job descriptions, including “the board will take care of the direction and business of the church.”
I’m not writing with an edge. My reference to good volunteer leaders who love their pastor(s) and are fully dedicated to their church. They love God and work hard in their church. These are good churches, doing good things, but they remain small. Even that isn’t bad or wrong by itself, but if we are honest about it, God does intend for churches to grow.
One of the primary ways to help a church grow is to equip (train) the people to serve in the church and release the pastor to get other things done, including partnering with the board in the real “running” (leadership) of the church. This process increases the “muscle” of the church, making the church stronger and increasing its capacity to reach more people. The picture is simple. One person can pick up 50 pounds, one hundred people can pick up 5,000 pounds.
Change your thinking
Your church is on the right track if more than just the faithful few begin to serve. But here’s the big test. If you hear people say “I’m helping Pastor with his ministry” (or statements like that), the congregation doesn’t yet have the right idea and equipping will never find it’s true place in your church.
Ephesians 4:11-13 makes it clear that the Pastor is the one to help the people accomplish their work in ministry! “11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
As the pastor, your job is to build up the people and train them for meaningful ministry. It’s not about getting people to “get stuff done”. The big idea is about building up the body of Christ and developing spiritual maturity. When you, the staff, and key leaders believe this biblical principle, it can then be taught to the congregation. And more than taught, it needs to become part of the DNA of your church, meaning literally, part of who you are.
Change your approach
Don’t be the hero, be the coach. As you saw in Ephesians 4, the pastor functions more like the coach who is responsible to train his team to win, rather than being the star of the team. It’s very tempting to listen to the people tell you how good your sermon was, and tell you that they don’t know what they would have done without your presence in the last crisis they experienced. If that sounds like your experience, I’m glad you love your people, but your ministry will grow exponentially if you stop trying to do everything, and train others to serve.
Don’t ask the people to help, instead, invite them to participate in what God has planned for them. If, for example, you print in the bulletin that you are desperate for helpers in the nursery, the congregation will experience that in a negative way. (You don’t have to use the word desperate for the people to feel it that way.) Some churches force people to “work” in the nursery, if they want to use the nursery. I have a better suggestion. Invite people to participate in the big vision that God has in mind through the personal expression He has planned for each person. Ephesians 2:8-10 makes it clear. “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
When you invite people to ministry, invite big. If you see people through the eyes of God you will see more potential, believe in them and empower them for greater responsibility. It’s usually wise to give a little responsibility at a time, but don’t hold back if someone is doing well. Make the people the hero’s. Brag on them from the platform on Sundays. Tell stories of how lives are being changed because the people are rising up and serving!
Change your practice
Start with the big picture in mind. Work yourself out of a job. That’s not literal, but almost. Working yourself out of a job doesn’t mean that you surrender overall spiritual leadership, communication on Sunday mornings, responsibility for raising money in the church (stewardship), and responsibility as primary evangelist. But there are dozens of other things you can give away, and should!
You can do some of this by one on one coaching. Take people with you when you do ministry and show them how. From printing the bulletin to visiting people in the hospital, they can do it! Candidly, there is very little the people in your church can’t do. It starts with you seeing them differently. They may not all be “10” leaders. Start with what you have. This is what God has given you. Grow them up and train them! You might be surprised how well the people you have can serve and lead!
You can also do this in groups. (large and small) Help people in your congregation discover their spiritual gifts. There are many spiritual gifts tests available today. I’ve written one that you can get from injoy.com. Pick one that you like and get it in the hands of your people. Let your congregation know the opportunities available. Don’t “beg” for someone to assume the student ministry. Cast vision for someone to make a difference in the next generation! If you need several ushers, let them know how vital this role is to the preparation of a moment that God will speak to the people during a Sunday service. You get the idea!
Let people experiment with different ministries. If they know they are not locked-in for life, they are more apt to try more options and find the one they truly love. Make sure they get the training they need, encourage them much and thank them often for all they do.
This process doesn’t take place overnight, especially if your congregation 20 years old or more. It requires an intentional approach that might take you a good 12-18 months before you begin to see real change in the congregation. So, don’t look for quick and easy results. One sermon won’t do it. Stay in the game. Get the key leaders on board with you and begin the incredible ride of multiplying your leadership by equipping the church to serve.
Until Next Time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.”
– Lyndon B. Johnson
Vision is Powerful! This excerpt from my new book, Handshake, highlights the life of Bill Gate and his incredible Vision. He is a man with a highly focused,with a constant vision and an adaptable strategy… What are your thoughts about vision?
Bill Gates and the Choice of Vision
Over the past several years computers have taken the world by storm. Business people, parents, students and children are using them. We use them to store information, write letters, keep track of finances, design graphics and send information. They started out filling entire rooms, but now some can literally fit in the palm of your hand. And when you think of computers you most likely think of one individual, Bill Gates…
…With a reported fortune of $54 billion, Gates retained the top spot in 2001 Forbes magazine survey of the 400 wealthiest Americans. In 1994, he married Melinda French, a Microsoft employee, and they now reside in a 40,000 square foot home on Lake Washington. Taking after his mother, Gates claims that he will give away the majority of his fortune through charitable contributions. His largest contribution came in August of 1999 when he donated $6 billion to his charitable foundation, the largest donation ever made by a living individual. Recently, it was reported that if Bill Gates wanted to spend his fortune in the next 40 years, he would have to spend $2.74 million every day. (I sure wish I could help him!)
Bill Gates is a man with vision and the entire world has benefited. “It is the idea (vision) that unites people in the common effort, not the charisma of the leader,” writes Robert Greenleaf in The Leadership Crisis. These words could not be truer for Bill Gates. He is not a charismatic leader but his vision is big and people follow it.
In this chapter you will learn how to create a plan for your vision
Step 1 – Dream without reservation
Step 2 – Put your dreams/vision in writing
Step 3 – Make a plan for your dream/vision
Step 4 – Be committed to do whatever it takes
Your will also learn the step-by step instructions for creating your own personal vision.
Until next time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“There is something magical about vision.” – Anthony Robbins
There is a quote by Daniel H Burnham that states, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.” There is such amazing truth in that statement. The next chapter of Handshake highlights a woman who did just that. She made and continues to make big plans, and she stirs the souls of men and women around the world. In this except, we will take a look at the life of Oprah Winfrey and her choice to think big.
Oprah Winfrey and the Choice of Thinking Big
Oprah’s path that led from her grandmother’s farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi to becoming the first African-American woman billionaire is a story of unwavering focus and the ability to think beyond her circumstances. Oprah Winfrey serves as our hero in this chapter as someone who learned to think big. When education may have not happened without the hard work of earning a scholarship, she thought big. When others may have been limited by a painful past, she chose to think big. Seeing the needs of children and families, she established programs that would make a difference because she decided to think big.
William Arthur Ward claims, “Nothing limits achievements like small thinking; Nothing expands possibilities like unleashed thinking.” We are limited by our thinking. In the case of Oprah Winfrey, she was faced with multiple issues that could have limited her thinking. She once said, “Nobody had any clue that my life could be anything but working in some factory or a cotton field in Mississippi.” Others may have thought that about her, but she refused to accept that way of thinking.
That’s what thinking big will do for you; it will shape your future into an image of success. It will bring you to a place that you were meant to be.
In this chapter you will learn the rewards of Thinking Big. The benefits include…
1) Makes dreams possible
2) Opens opportunities
3) Gathers the great
4) Forces teamwork
5) Gives you influence
6) Turns circumstances into stepping stones
7) Unleashes potential
8) Promotes growth
Until next time,
QUOTE OF THE DAY: