Blog Archives

Step Back to Move Forward

Step back growth

Step back, Re-focus, Move on

On the Australian coat of arms is a picture of an emu and a kangaroo. These animals were chosen because they share a characteristic that appealed to our forefathers. Both the emu and kangaroo can move only forward, not back. The emu’s three-toed foot causes it to fall if it tries to go backwards, and the kangaroo is prevented from moving in reverse by its large tail.

I love this illustration; I am all about moving forward, keeping your eyes on the goal, never give up, but I have learned that sometimes you have to take a step to move forward. Everyone, whether it be in business, your personal life, church growth, will hit a slump or get a curve ball. When that happens we get the opportunity to pause and reevaluate. The article below is a great illustration of someone stepping back to move forward.

Efrain Escudero Looking back to move forward
By Jordan Newmark April 08, 2012

When a professional athlete rebounds from a slump or a setback, the easiest conclusion to jump to is that they added something “new”. A change in routine, mindset, workout, technique or anything that has been recently tweaked by the world’s latest and greatest ideas.

For many, this is the case, but for others, like UFC lightweight Efrain Escudero, rediscovering what they did in the past is how they progressed in the future. For “Hecho en Mexico”, the journey back to the Octagon was accomplished by fighting for the reason that originally drew Escudero to the sport: because it was fun. … “I went back and saw my old tapes, my old highlight videos, and what I did in them – I had fun,” states Escudero. “Every time I went to the cage I was having fun. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t nervous, I was ready to have fun. Getting called back up to the UFC, I had fun having to bust my butt again to get back where I belong.” 

Recently, we had a couple of key staff members move on for very positive, personal reasons. When this happened we knew we would have to make some major changes, so we took this opportunity to step back, not to dwell in a pity party, but in keeping our eyes on our goals, to pause, redirect and move forward again. We are truly excited about our new structure and direction. We are expecting great things to happen!

So while we may at times pause and step back our constant direction over time is forward.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Plan backwards as well as forward. Set objectives and trace back to see how to achieve them. You may find that no path can get you there. Plan forward to see where your steps will take you, which may not be clear or intuitive. – Donald Rumsfeld

Advertisements

Dream Again

Dream again

Your Never Too Young or Too Old

Recently, I have had the opportunity to speak frequently on the topic of  “Dream Again.” In these talks I remind people that no dream is too big or too small. I also tell people that, “you are never too young or too old to pursue your dreams.” I have sighted such people as Joan of Arc, Bill Gates and Mark  Zuckerberg on the “too young” side of the spectrum and Harlan (Colonel) Sanders, Mary Kay and Julia Child on the “too old” side of the spectrum.

A couple weeks ago this concept was brought to life in a very real way. I was a guest speaker a great church, that is about two hours from my home church. After speaking on “Dream Again” many people approached me after each service to tell me about their dreams (either unfulfilled or fulfilled). One particular gentlemen really stood out to me.  This gentleman was in his 60’s and spoke with a profuse stutter.  It took him at least three times as long to tell his story as a non-stuttering person would have. His story was this… He had always wanted to sing in the choir because when he sings he doesn’t stutter. He had, had this dream his whole life. he had hung on to it and not let anyone take it from him.  Well last year he was invited to join the church choir, and recently he had the privilege of singing a solo.

As he told his story his face told the story of profound joy. The joy of a passion realized, and a dream fulfilled. What dreams are laying dormant in you? What dreams are you still chasing?  I encourage you to keep going; keep chasing that thing that God has placed in your heart. I encourage you to DREAM AGAIN!

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“For of All Sad Words of Tongue and Pen, the Saddest are These, It Might Have Been…..” – John Greenleaf Whittier

The Choice of Excellence

Walt Disney excellence

Walt Disney Strove for Excelence

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,

Chris Sonsken,

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

Handshake excerpt – Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens focus

Jesse Owens chose to be focused

Following is an excerpt from chapter 2 of Handshake.  This chapter is based on the life of Jesse Owens, and his unwavering choice to remain focused on his dreams despite the obstacles thrown in his path.  I am looking forward to your feedback.

Jesse Owens: The Choice of Focus

Three world records shattered.  One tied.  The world was introduced to “Jesse” with the megaphone of monumental focus.  It seemed that making a way to win when there was a world of odds against him became his signature.  Perhaps it was a complex metaphor of his own life; winning against all odds because of a determination birthed from focus.

News of Jesse’s unbelievable performance spread through the country and with the Olympics only a year away, Americans began to pin their hopes on the star from Ohio State.  Jesse continued to train, overcoming obstacles, and defeating odds that would cause most people to quit.

He believed in himself.
He believed in his dream.
He never lost focus.

… Jesse Owens was different.  Jesse chose to be focused and it served him well in his career as an athlete.

People cannot become great in the future if they are not willing to practice focus in the present.  Owens didn’t wake up one day in his mid-twenties and say “I’m going to be a Gold Medalist.”  He decided early on in life that he would use his God-given talent and mix it with self discipline.  This was his edge.

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT FOCUS THAT YOU WILL LEARN FROM JESSE OWENS:

  • Know and Choose What You Want
  • Determine What It Will Take To Get There
  • Think “Can” not “Cannot”
  • Find a Focus Coach
  • When Knocked Down, Get Up


Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.
– Tony Robbins

Life Lessons for All Higher Ground Seekers

Higher ground statue

Keep climbing to higher ground.

Exerts from: In Search of Higher Ground

Regardless of what mountain you are setting out to climb, you are going to be faced with challenges. Marriage has its challenges, but it’s a great experience. Parenting has its difficulties, but there’s nothing like the love from a child. Standing in front of a crowd and receiving a degree is wonderful, but it is preceded by hard work and a variety of challenges. The freedom that comes from owning your own successful business is terrific, but it does not come without its share of problems. Any Higher Ground goal you have for your life will have its share of problems.

I have been privileged to be a part of wonderful projects in my life. Some have failed, some have succeeded, but all have had their challenges. The climb has never been perfect for me or for anyone I know. The problem is that many individuals start off with good intentions of reachiing their goals, but the give up too quickly. Hershey Walker, the famous NFL runningback, said, “My God given talent is my ability to stick with something longer that anyone else.”  That’s what it takes to achieve your desires. You must be willing to work hard and stick it out. It is not necessarily your talent or ability that gets you to the top, it is your tenacious spirit that never gives up. I have found that people tend to give up early in the climb for one of two reasons:

1. FEAR

I have talked about this before, but it bears repeating that fear keeps us from climbing. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and/or fear of what others may say or think. Fear of not having enough talent, ability or education. Fear attacks our minds, grips our heart, and chokes potential from our life. Fear is a funny thing. It’s being afraid of something that has not happened and has not been proven. It’s like a child being afraid of the dark. When my little girl was a toddler, she didn’t want me to shut the lights off. I sat down beside her and said, “Close your eyes.” She closed them tightly and then I asked, “What do you see?” “Nothing,” she said. Then I said, “Open your eyes,” she did and then I asked her, “Now how can you be afraid of nothing.” In search of higher ground Now that sounds like a logical point, unfortunately it didn’t work, the light stayed on. As adults, we fear what we cannot see or cannot predict, but we allow this fear to control us like helpless children. Next time you are overcome by fear, remember the words of John L. Mason, “Tell fear to go jump in the lake.”

2. FAILURE

Another reason people give up on the climb to the top is because of failure. Something didn’t go right, a plan fell through, and rather than pick ourselves up and continue climbing, we throw in the towel and let failure get the best
of us. Charles Goodyear purchased an Indian rubber life preserver out of curiosity. He began to experiment with the idea of making a weatherproof type of rubber. It was a known fact that the rubber would become hard as stone in the cold weather or melt in the hot weather.

Mr. Goodyear sank all his money into experimenting with this rubber. For five years he worked at this project. In fact, his family sacrificed their standard of living because of Mr. Goodyear’s obsession with his experiment. Finally, after thousands of dollars and countless hours, his experiment worked. He figured out a way to make a weatherproof rubber. Out of humiliation, hardship and defeat, Charles Goodyear won. He turned failure into success and defeat into victory all because he wouldn’t allow failure to be the final answer in his life.

Your climbing companions may let you down

There is nothing like the joy of having people climb with you on your way to the top. I have dedicated an entire chapter to this concept, and I have dedicated my life to help others succeed and to be climbing companions with me. There is such a joy to journey with others, to experience the ups and downs of life with people who share a common purpose with you. Over the years I have been honored to partner with incredible people. I have brought out the best in them and they have brought out the best in me. I love working with my staff, being their friends, partners in purpose, and being each others’ greatest fans. However, the reality is that along the way people are going to hurt you. There are people that you will pour your life into and they will, in the end, bring pain to your heart.

Realizing that people will let you down, you must determine before you ever journey to the top, that your faith in the human spirit will not be shaken. You cannot allow yourself to ever become isolated, because part of the joy in your journey is partnership, and sharing the experience with others! You cannot determine that because people let you down, that you must do it all yourself. When someone attempts to do it all themselves, they limit their effectiveness. You cannot accomplish more work with less people, and in addition you will rob yourself of the joy that’s found in helping others succeed. Finally, because people will let you down, you will be tempted to doubt others. You will begin to feel that people cannot be trusted. The result will be that your relationships with other climbing companions will always be limited because the shadow of doubt in the human spirit will be lingering in your heart. People will let you down…but never stop believing in others and never determine that your journey will be better if traveled alone.

Enjoy the scenery

My good friend Wes Beavis once said to me, “Chris, remember that the path you are on is a marathon not a sprint, it is a journey not a destination.” He was encouraging me at a time in my life where I was so focused on tomorrow that I was not enjoying today. I must admit that I fall into this trap quite often. I will find myself so focused on the future, and as soon as the future becomes the present, I focus on the future again. It is a trap that robs me of the joy of life. I must constantly be reminded by those closest to me to keep reaching forward in the race, but don’t forget to enjoy it.

Remember, that although we want to obtain our goals to see our dreams become reality and to be known as a Higher Ground climber, we must never become so busy with our futures that we forget the present. There are marriages that need to be nurtured and children who desperately need our attention. There are friendships that need to be cultivated, love that needs to grow, and joy that needs to blossom. Our Creator did not make us to be so over burdened by life that it robs us of the joy of living.

I am thankful for my wife and two children, who have a perfect way of lifting me to Higher Ground while keeping my feet on Solid Ground. My wife wants me to succeed, but never allows me to forget what really matters in life. She helps me remember what I always say to others, “No one on their death bed wishes they had spent more time at the office.” Let me encourage you to keep reaching for Higher Ground, but never forget to water your own ground -the ground you call home, family, and friends. Water them with your love and affection, and your journey to the top will never lack the joy your life was meant to have.

If you keep climbing, eventually you’ll make it

Life has a way of clearing a path for the Higher Ground seeker. For those who want to be more, do more, see more, and become more, life holds a special door open that leads them to the top. Every person who has accomplished something great or has seen their dreams lived out, has faced their challenges, but has found the timeless truth that if you keep climbing, eventually you’ll make it to the top.

Throughout the course of my life I have seen this truth lived out in me. I have watched with my own eyes how a path seems to open up whenever I become determined to reach Higher Ground. The key however is in the phrase “keep climbing.” It’s the ability to move forward and upward and never ever stop reaching. There is an old Christmas cartoon where the characters sing a song that says, “Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out that door.” You can change the words for your own inspiration and say, “If I put one foot in front of the other, eventually I’ll make it to the top.” Cosider this, if you don’t out one foot in frount of the other, it’s a garentee that you won’t get anywhere. If you’re a Higher Ground seeker, your only choice is to march forward and upward…so keep marching!

ONE FINAL THOUGHT

Set your course towards the top of the mountain where your dreams have been waiting for you. Brush away the dust of insecurity and fear and wipe away the filth of a failed past and begin to see clearly all that you once thought impossible. It is only then that you can breathe life into your dreams! Destiny awaits you, so embrace it with all your might! Stay focused, march forward and never settle. Our personal paths may never cross, but if we set our sights at the top I am confident that we will see each other on Higher Ground.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach.”

– John Muir

Staying Motivated on the Mountain

Don't fall off

Maintain motivation so that you don't fall off your mountain

Exerpts from In Search of Higher Ground

As you search for Higher Ground in your life, there will be times when you feel like giving up. Times when you feel like it’s pointless and you just don’t want to try anymore. You’ll feel like it’s too hard to keep climbing and you’ll simply want to quit. The question is not whether you are going to feel like this at various times in your life, the real question is, “What will be your response to these feelings?” Will you stay motivated enough to climb the mountain and finish the journey or will you find yourself lacking the motivation to continue upward?

I’m reminded of a story my friend told me about a young boy whom the schoolyard bully was picking on everyday. Each day this bully would steal this young boy’s lunch money and the little boy was tired of being picked on. One day on his way home from school he noticed a sign advertising free karate lessons. He inquired within and began taking his lessons immediately. After about a week of taking lessons, the instructor informed him that the free lessons were only good for a week and that each lesson would now cost $5 per session. The little boy didn’t have the money and he figured it would be harder to come up with the money for the lessons than it would be to pay the schoolyard bully so, he quit.

The moral of the story is obvious. This little boy lacked the motivation and found it easier to take the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, many people do that. They start off with great intentions, but lose their motivation. “I’m going to start a new business, change careers, improve my relationships, establish a stronger faith, develop a non-profit organization, or make a dream become reality.” Maybe you’ve said this or something like this, maybe you have even started taking some steps toward these objectives. But in the case of thousands of people, their good intentions weren’t good enough.

Everyone has some type of motivation. They have something that drives them and serves as a passion in their heart… Find your motivation, find the thing that thrills your heart more than anything else. You will find that it will be easier to stay motivated with something you like rather than something you dislike. You will notice that you do not tend to burn out on your strength, but you burn out on your weaknesses.

Stanford University did a study and concluded that only 5% of people that set out to implement something into their lives ever do it.2 The reason 95% of people never finish the task is that they simply lack the resources to stay motivated long enough to accomplish their goals. That is why I am a firm believer in consistently feeding yourself for personal growth. Many people have said to me, “Chris you are going to teach another motivational topic, don’t you know that after awhile the people will go back to normal?” My response to that is, “Of course I know that people will eventually go back to the way they were, but that is why they need constant motivation. You don’t take a shower once and say, ‘That’s it.’ You make an effort to stay physically clean, as you do to stay highly motivated.”

Here’s a list of things I recommend to you to stay on a path of personal growth:

• READ BOOKS – Find books that motivate you and keep you growing and read them.
• LISTEN TO TAPES – Purchase tapes from your favorite speakers and listen to them over and over until they get down into your spirit.
• ATTEND SEMINARS – Make it a habit to attend at least 3-4 seminars per year. These events will help to charge you up and keep you going.
• ASSOCIATE WITH MOTIVATED PEOPLE – I’ve mentioned this before, but it bares repeating. You become like those you associate with. If you want to stay
motivated, associate with motivated people.
• SPIRITUAL RENEWAL – For me personally, one of the greatest forms of motivation comes from my deep faith in God, who is my #1 source for motivation. If God isn’t part of your life, you should deeply consider it…He can do far more in your life than you ever imagined.

Until Next Time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turn about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow.
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worse,
That you must not quit.”

-Unknown

Inspiring Creativity from Your Team

Throwing Ideas

Get your team together and throw some creative ideas around!

Your team is a lot more creative than you give them credit for.  As a matter of fact, you are probably a lot more creative than you give “yourself” credit for.  Most of the time we do not realize our creative potential because we never take the time to truly be creative.  We rarely set aside a few hours with our staff, key leaders or team and simply “create.”  Stand in an empty room with a white board and say “what could we do that we are not doing now?”

One of the greatest joys I have is when I get to create with my staff.  When we begin to brainstorm and let ideas flow.  The process is thrilling as I watch my team begin to create, think differently and come up with ideas that have never been exercised in our organization.  A free flowing environment is a joy to be in and to lead. One of the greatest things you can do is to begin hosting monthly creative meetings, where you and your team are allowed to create in a non-threatening strategy session.  But if you are going to have these kinds of meetings you will need to have the following “rules of engagement” in order.  These rules are adapted by Craig Wilson from his talk on “Recapturing your creative spirit.”

1)  No blocking
When your team is having a creative strategy session there can be “no blocking.”  This simply means that you cannot continually put up roadblocks for the other person’s idea.  For instance if someone says “Lets do this or that.”  You don’t say “Where will we get the money or we don’t have the personnel.”  That is critical thinking and that is a step you take later.  Let people flow with ideas and don’t block them with reasons “why” it won’t work.

2)  Yes and…
When someone is flowing with ideas help the idea to grow by saying “yes and…”  In other words if you were working on putting together a banquet and someone had an idea, instead of blocking their idea say “yes and…we could also do this.”  When you use the principle of “yes and…”it helps to initiate creative momentum.

3)  More ideas
Take your ideas and have your team write them down on small post-its and put them all over the walls.  This will allow people to see the ideas that are flowing.  But once you have begun working on ideas, don’t stop; come up with even more ideas.  Often people get into a box and they begin to think only in beige.  The people on your team need to think in color.  As I said earlier, “your team is a lot more creative then you think.”

4)  Wild ideas
These are the kind of ideas that are almost embarrassing to speak out loud.  But they may be the ideas that your team needs to hear.  Encourage the people in the meeting that everyone has to be open about every wild idea.  You need the kind of ideas that others have thought before but were too afraid to voice.  Help your team to see the value of these crazy and wild ideas.

5)  Critical thinking
This is where you begin to take all the ideas that have been voiced by the team and begin to work them out into a plan of action.  The thing you will notice is that you don’t need to say “this idea won’t work,” or “that was a dumb idea.”  You won’t need to say this, because the team will just naturally begin to discuss the ideas that resonate in each of their hearts.  The process of elimination will happen without you having to push for it.

Why don’t you schedule a time with your team right now.  Set aside a couple of hours and work on a project together or some goals for the future.  Have a big white board to write on and a pad of post-its for everyone.  Let them begin to write ideas out, place them on the wall and let the creative session get big and wild.  You will have a blast and your team will begin to realize their creative potential.  The end result will be that the floor of beige will open up in your organization and loud, vibrant colors of creativity will come bursting through.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:

“Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility. Effective leaders are able to shake up their thinking as though their brains are kaleidoscopes, permitting an array of different patterns out of the same bits of reality.” –  Rosabeth Moss Kanter

What is Higher Ground?

The view is better from the top

Excerpt from: In Search of Higher Ground

What is Higher Ground? It is anything good and positive that you desire for your life. It may mean financial freedom, early retirement or the ownership of personal property. It could mean the beginning of a business, that up to this point, has only been a dream. Higher Ground may be the corporate ladder that is waiting for you to climb, the book that is waiting to be written, the idea that is waiting to become reality. It could mean a better way of life, a healthier marriage or successful parenting. It may be freedom from an addiction or an overcoming of a past hurt that continues to damage the future. Simply put, Higher Ground is the place where you live out your dreams. Higher Ground is different for everyone…its path is different, the obstacles vary, and the surroundings rarely look the same. Although it varies in size, shape and color, what it takes to get to Higher Ground is most often the same. Dreams, goals, taking risks, letting go of fear and insecurity, good character and mental attitude, the right motives, and accountability, are all things you must place in your backpack as you journey up the mountain to this place called Higher Ground.

Many years ago, I was invited to go on a long backpacking trip. Those who know me well, know that I am not much of an outdoors person. My idea of the outdoors is lying by the pool at the Marriott. To be a part of this backpacking trip, I was told I would have to attend an orientation meeting in which we would receive instruction on what to bring and how to prepare. Beyond my better judgment, I attended this meeting and received the information. The guide for the trip had divided up the list of who would bring what. Each person was assigned various tasks and duties to help make the trip a success. I purchased 21 of my assigned items, and in a few short days I found myself on a week long backpacking trip that I will never forget. We drove all night to the mountain we were to climb, until finally we arrived. With very little sleep we began to climb the mountain. For the next 8 hours all we did was climb. The guide and the few who had been on a trip like this were doing fine. Myself and the others who had never been on a backpacking adventure felt like we were dying. After hours of climbing and complaining we finally arrived at a sight where we unpacked, got cleaned up, and had an opportunity to eat. Even though it wasn’t very comfortable, we slept like babies through the night. The next morning however, the guide woke us up and told us it was time to pack up and continue the climb up the mountain! I honestly thought that we had arrived the day before, that we were not going to climb anymore. I tried to reason with the guide, I asked him what is the difference between staying here and climbing higher? The trees look the same, the ground looks the same, what could possibly be different by climbing the mountain any higher? After much pleading, complaining, whining, and anything else I could do to change his mind, we moved on. We continued to climb all day until we arrived at our final destination, just about sunset. I was so tired that after eating and getting cleaned up, I went immediately to sleep. The next morning I awoke and realized that we were at the top of the mountain.The guide was absolutely right. The trees looked different, the air was cleaner, the surroundings only something I had seen on a postcard.

I realized something that morning that I will never forget, that the view is always better at the top of the mountain. Somehow you forget all the work that it took to get you there, when you finally arrive at Higher Ground! The first characteristic to reaching Higher Ground is found in this story of my mountain top experience. You see, the difference between me and the guide, was that he had been to the top and I had not. He had a picture in his mind of what it looked like and I had never seen it. The mountain top was a place he loved, a passion he had, a dream that so captured his thoughts, that fatigue would not and could not stand in the way. You see, that’s the power of a dream. It becomes your compass, your passion, your love, your guide and your thoughts. Dreams become a sense of purpose and direction for where your life is headed. Without a dream, life becomes something to be endured, not enjoyed. Life becomes something where we get by, but not ahead. The first step towards Higher Ground is knowing your dream and being committed to it.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”

– Tom Bradley

Ten laws for every Leader – Part 1

  “Dream big,  people don’t follow small dreams.”

“Dream big, people don’t follow small dreams.”

Perhaps one of the greatest topics love to study is the subject of Leadership.  I am fascinated how the Creator has always chosen leaders to get the job done.  Every great country has had, at one time or another, a great leader.  Moments in history have usually been the result of some leader, somewhere, doing something.  Behind every great company, organization, church or institution you will find a great leader.  It has been said that “Great leaders build great things.  Average leaders build average things.  Poor leaders let things drift.”  As straight forward as this may sound it is a fact…everything rises and falls on leadership.

I have listed below the first five laws for every leader to follow.  (I will give you the remaining five next time)  Place your life and leadership up against these laws and see how you do.  Teach them to your staff and key leaders and challenge them to become the kind of leader who lives out the following laws.

1)  The leader must have a dream larger than those they lead

2)  The leader must have an attitude superior to those he or she leads
The true leader recognizes the need for a winning attitude.  Remember that you are setting the temperature for your work environment.  Make it positive and full of energy.  A positive attitude is contagious but a negative attitude is even more contagious…so be careful.

3)  The leader looks outside the window when things go right, but looks in the mirror when things go wrong
Be the first to admit if you have made a mistake.  If something goes wrong, learn from it and move on.  However, if something goes right, give away the credit.  Add value to people and they in return will add value to you!

4)  The leader is a decision maker
If the leader can’t navigate the people through rough waters, he is liable to sink the ship.  The fact is the leader must be able to make the tough decision.  People won’t follow a person who is too insecure to make a decision.

5)  The leader puts those he or she leads first
You will never go wrong as a leader when you put the other person’s needs first.  Love on the people you lead, be mindful of their needs, encourage often, be willing to put the individual before yourself.  Do this and you will gain a loyalty from them, in which you have never experienced.

Well there you have it!  The first five laws of great leadership.  Go back and read through them one more time.  Meditate on them!  Think about how you can apply these laws to your life this week and watch what they will do.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

Quote for the day

“It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from their followers…successful leaders are learners.”                                                                                                                       Warren Bennis