Energize Your Leadership – The Why Will Produce The How

Book CoverDo you ever feel like you just don’t have enough energy to do the things that you want to do because you are spending all of it on the things you have to do?  Finding the energy to make it through everyday is hard enough and finding the energy to pour into others as a leader is even a greater challenge.

I recently had the privilege to partner with 15 other authors, from all over the world, in producing Energize Your Leadership: Discover, Ignite, Break Through.  When we first started to explore the idea of a collaborative book project, we wanted to provide the reader with both a topic that would be relevant and content that would add value to them in their role as a leader.

We all deal with finding what it takes to find the energy, not only to fuel our own motor, but to fuel the leaders we are trying to develop around us.  In my Chapter titled “Question Yourself” I share the story of my own journey in finding that fuel.

When my job description and responsibilities changed due to a leadership restructuring at the business I had worked at for 15 years, it changed the way I was able to lead.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that my opportunity to lead was what was filling my bucket and providing the energy that led to my success.  It was the fulfillment of adding value to others and working as a team to accomplish goals that inspired me to be the leader I was capable of being.  When that changed, so did I.

So what did I learn from this experience?

  • I now understand that I had found my identity in what I did and not in who I was.  When what I did fell apart, so did I.  The “why” that once fueled me had been lost and I was literally running on empty. [Tweet Now]
  • I realized that as leaders we can sometimes become more concerned with protecting the why that fuels those around us and forget about filling up our own tank.  As my mentor John Maxwell says, “You cannot give what you do not have.”
  • I found out how empowering it is to empower others.  I think at the end of the day, we all want to add value, make a difference, and be part of something bigger than we are alone.  We need energy to do that!

I learned many things from that experience and now know that this is something that we need to keep in check and review often.  I use three questions to make sure that I protect myself from running on empty.

  • What would it take to increase my level of awareness?
  • What intention have I set to create a change?
  • Who will I ask to hold me accountable in making that change?

I encourage you to invest in yourself and invest in a copy of Energize Your Leadership.  I think you will find the insights from myself and my 15  colleagues will add to your ability to keep the tank full and have some in reserve to share with those around you.



Don’t miss a single post from Building What Matters by subscribing at the top left of this page. 

Help support us by clicking here and Liking our facebook page

Barry Smith  5/4/15   photo courtesy of Authors   © Building What Matters 2015



What I Learned From My Book Launch – It’s About More Than The Book!

Barry Smith Book Cover 3D - CopyWOW!  So many emotions over the last few months as the dream of publishing a book became a reality.  The release of Leadership by Invitation: How to RSVP and Embrace your Role as a LEADER, has provided many lessons, many of which I did not see coming during my book launch.

As I put together my launch team, I really wanted to add value to them – the people who were willing to invest in me by promoting and creating a buzz around the release of the book. I had no idea it would become so much more than that.

I recorded videos and did a couple of special calls for my team with the intention of adding value to them.  I was able to talk a few friends and associates to give away some of their content as well to add the the fun.

Hats off to my team.  They blew away my expectations in sharing through their social media circles with links, comments and graphics.  I made a pre-release version of the book available and as soon as the book went live on Amazon, I was able to get several positive reviews.  Thank you Team.  I can’t adequately express my gratitude!

But it was the unexpected that really made this effort a success and it had nothing to do with the book – well not directly anyway.

Part of what I wanted to give me team was a “behind the scenes” look at how I wrote the book and why I wrote it.  I was overwhelmed but the impact that this had.  Inspired by my story, ebooks were published during the course of the launch and commitments were made by others to start writing their own books – or as I like to put it – “their own story.”

We all have a story to tell and I believe that story can help people – YOUR story can make a difference! [Tweet This]

In one of the bonus calls I did, I shared about where I got my inspiration to write the book and part of my own journey to start embracing my role as a leader.  The comments and conversations that resulted from sharing my story and my journey blew me away.  I never thought simply sharing my own experience could have such an impact.

I often use the phrase “The goal is never about the goal, it’s about who you become in achieving that goal.”  What I learned from this experience is that it can be much bigger than that.  Our personal goals can have a greater impact than just on us.

I have always been a big “story” guy, but I am more convinced than ever that more of us need to share that story.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in a book or from the stage – tell your story!  You can make a difference.

Look, I don’t know what your story is, but this I know: it needs to be told.  As much as your personal journey is unique to you, other people are facing the same challenges that you have overcome and you have the opportunity to make a difference in their life. The time to do it is NOW!

QUESTION TODAY:  What goals have you set?

CHALLENGE:  Make that goal a goal that will impact more than just you!


===> LEADERSHIP by INVITATION now available on AMAZON <===

Click here to get a copy of my Kindle Book “The Manifesto Of An Influential Leader”

Don’t miss a single post from Building What Matters by subscribing at the top left of this page. 

Help support us by clicking here and Liking our facebook page

Barry Smith  6/20/14   photo courtesy of Kendra Cagle   © Building What Matters 2014

Secrets Of Dynamic Communication – The Final SCORRE

secrets commThe Platform Builders Mastermind Group invested the month of April digesting the Secrets of Dynamic Communication by Ken Davis.  Davis, a greatly sought out speaker, breaks down his SCORRE process in putting together a great presentation.

One of key concepts I include in almost everything I speak on, teach on, or write about is CLARITY.  Clarity adds power and impact to anything we attempt to do.  [Tweet This]

The SCORRE framework that Davis has broken down does exactly that.  It provides clarity and impact to any idea you might have, regardless how you will be presenting it.

Davis offers two primary functions of the SCORRE process:

  • It serves as a scope to force the speaker to focus on a single objective.
  • It serves as a logical grid forcing the speaker to make sense and lead the audience to the objective.

I believe that those two functions can serve us in any kind of presentation, written or spoken. Let’s take a closer look at the SCORRE process.


Nothing too scary or difficult here – simply pick a subject.  It can be anything, but ideally a subject that people are interested in.  Remember, the whole idea of putting a presentation together is to add value to the person watching the presentation or reading the content.


The central theme is going to be a part of the subject that allows you to build to a specific piece of content.  Your subject might be the automobile but without a central theme, such as fuel mileage, you will find it difficult to provide the clarity needed to engage your audience.


The objective is simply the purpose of the body of work.  When you have clarity on what exactly you are trying to accomplish, you will find it much easier to put together a presentation that makes sense and that the audience can follow and understand.


The rationale is the logical content of your presentation that will lead the listener to understand the purpose behind it.  In short, these are the main points that support the purpose.  This is the structure of your work.


The resources are the added “personal touches” that enhance the rest of the story. This could be through graphics, data, humor, or any number of different additions that take a framework or outline and turn it into an interesting, engaging, and value adding presentation.


As a speaker an author myself, I understand the idea of “dual purposing” everything I create.  It is my work, cradle to grave.  The evaluation part of the process allows me to take a look after each time I present it and see what I need to add, subtract or change.

This book is a highly recommended read for anyone who wishes to communicate in a dynamic way that will connect.  The SCORRE framework will allow you to put together a competent presentation or body of work that will provide a clear message and add value to the one receiving it.

Davis has done an amazing job putting what he has presented into the way he has presented it. You can see the SCORRE process throughout the book.  His wit and wisdom bring the book to life and he has clearly described what has made him a leader in his field.


===> LEADERSHIP by INVITATION now available on AMAZON <===

Click here to get a copy of my Kindle Book “The Manifesto Of An Influential Leader”

Don’t miss a single post from Building What Matters by subscribing at the top left of this page. 

Help support us by clicking here and Liking our facebook page

Barry Smith  5/31/14   photo courtesy of Amazon   © Building What Matters 2014

What The Boy Scouts Taught Me About Memorial Day

Flag PlantOne of the things I miss the most about being a Boy Scout leader is the Memorial Day Flag Plant that we participated in every year.  On Memorial Day, we would head up to Willamette National Cemetery in Portland and along with the boys, would clean off the grave markers, plant a flag and audibly say the names of those who had served our Country.

At first glance, the markers look much like those that can be found in any cemetery. Name, date of birth and the date that there life here on earth came to an end.  Then you look a little harder.  In this cemetery there are many markers that only show a life span of twenty or thirty years.

Many don’t come home.

I realize that most that serve this Country, serve for a period of time and then get discharged to civilian life.  Many, however do not.  Many don’t come home.  Many kiss their loved one’s goodbye and never make it back to say hello again.

You don’t see these stories at the cemetery but you know they exist.  It is quite a moving experience to hear the boys say the names and even for the young ones that might not fully understand what some of these great men and women went through, you can sense a certain reverence that you would not hear otherwise.

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.”  – Les Brown

Les makes a great point.  There are not only the stories of what did happen that we can only speculate upon, but also the stories that never took place.  I am a big fan of stories and I think everyone has a story that can add value to others and that story should be shared.

You have the freedom to tell your story – so tell it!

We all have a story for what has already taken place but I am more concerned about the story that has not happened yet – the story you can still write.  I know in the United States, there are men an women who have committed their lives to make sure that I maintain not only the freedom to tell my story, but the freedom to create it of my own free will.

If you want to truly honor the men and women that serve your Country, be willing to serve others by creating a story worth telling – live it and tell it.  Look back on the quote above.  What part of your story has not been written yet?  Isn’t it worth writing?

What if only 10% of the book you are reading had words in it?

It has been said that man will only reach ten percent of his potential during his lifetime. How would you feel if when digging into the last book you purchased, you found that only ten percent of the pages had words on them?

Picture your life as a book.  The past has already been written and no matter what are in those pages, everyday starts with a blank sheet of paper.  What will you write?

Today’s Challenge:  Start writing and think and dream big while you do it.  There is no greater way to give back to those that have gone before you than to make the most out of the life you have been blessed with.

Today’s Shout Out:  Thanks to all those serving their Countries, past and present.


===> LEADERSHIP by INVITATION now available on AMAZON <===

Click here to get a copy of my Kindle Book “The Manifesto Of An Influential Leader”

Don’t miss a single post from Building What Matters by subscribing at the top left of this page. 

Help support us by clicking here and Liking our facebook page

Barry Smith  5/27/14   photo by author   © Building What Matters 2014

Closing The Gap Between What You Know And What You Do

LBI BookIn the mail today, I received the author’s complimentary copy of my new book, Leadership by Invitation. I was being interviewed earlier in the week about the book and was asked the question; “What is the one thing you would tell someone who is writing a book to help them reach their goal of actually getting it published?”  Great question!

Simple answer.  START WRITING.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what I write.  I blog multiple times every week, create content on a regular basis, and am already working on my next book project. You might find this hard to believe, but do you know that until I actually start writing, nothing gets written?  I can spend all day thinking about it, I might even have a pretty good idea on what to write.  But until I start pounding the keyboard, nothing gets done.

You have to Start before you can Finish!

I think there are a lot of similarities between this thought on writing and just about anything else you might want to achieve.  We have to START.  At some point in time, we need to decide that we are done getting ready and just go for it.

There are also similarities on what happens after you start.  I have found that in writing, it is only after you start writing the words that the story really starts to come to life.  One thought leads to another and “whaddayaknow” a few months later you have a book.

It’s no different in anything else.  You want to lose 30 pounds?  Well, you have to lose one before you can lose the other twenty-nine.  You want to make a million dollars? You have to make one before you make the other … you get the picture!

The Power of Knowledge comes through Action.

The point is, you have to START.  If you are reading this, I will make the assumption that you are fairly well educated and have acquired a significant amount of knowledge over the years.  But what are you doing with that knowledge?  I used to think knowledge was power.  NOT!  The power of knowledge does not come from simply possessing it, you must act upon it.

This gap between what we know and what we do is the gap that will lead us not only to success, but to significance.  Everyday should be a day of closing that gap.  But it takes action.  Yoda said it best; “There is no try, there is only do and do not.” [Tweet This]  So which is it going to be?

In order to close the gap we need to “DO.”  The way we do anything is to START.  I have found that it is much easier to start something small as compared to something big.  It much less intimidating and much easier to achieve.  I have seen so many people take on large tasks and fail because they did not identify the small steps along the way.

Every Great Accomplishment has been Achieved One Step at a Time.

Writing is a great example.  The idea of writing a book may seem too much for you to ever accomplish.  But how about a chapter, better yet a paragraph and if you still think it’s too much, just write out a sentence.  To my knowledge, there are no books out there that were not written “one letter” at a time.

Today’s Challenge:  Choose something in your life that you want to do but have been putting off because “it’s just to big” and break it down into small steps and START. That is how you will close the gap between what you know and what you do.



Click here to get a copy of my Kindle Book “The Manifesto Of An Influential Leader”

Don’t miss a single post from Building What Matters by subscribing at the top left of this page. 

Help support us by clicking here and Liking our facebook page

Barry Smith  5/23/14   photo by author   © Building What Matters 2014

Leading The Starbucks Way – Part 3; Challenge Your Legacy

starbucksWow!  This has been the longest stretch without posting here since I started this blog two years ago.  Between travelling, trying to get my book published and moving into a new office, I just had to say NO to a few things.  But now it’s back to business.  Let’s start by wrapping up our discussion on Leading The Starbucks Way.

Last month in the Platform Builders Mastermind Group, we dove into “Leading The Starbucks Way: 5 Principles for Connecting with Your Customers, Your Products, and Your People” by Joseph A. Michelli.

Sure this book is about Starbucks, but it’s much bigger than that.  Michelli shows why Starbucks has become the coffee bean superpower of the world.  And it has nothing to do with the beans.  I guess that’s not entirely true, but their success is built much more around who is serving rather than what is being served.

I will admit, I have invested my fair share in the Starbucks brand but I never gave a thought as to what goes on behind the grinder, so to speak.  Michelli explores 5 Principles that give Starbucks the advantage over their competition and I for one, will pay much more attention to what is going on behind the counter next time I visit my local Starbucks.

Definitely a great look at what has made Starbucks so successful, but at the same time, the bar has been set very high for them to continue to live up to their reputation.

In this, the final of three posts, I will recap Michelli’s exploration of Principle 4 – Mobilize The Connection and Principle 5 – Cherish And Challenge Your Legacy


Nobody knows better than Starbucks that the power in any marketing strategy is going to depend greatly on social media.  Michelli points out that Starbucks has identified 5 core elements in their digital strategy:

  1. commerce
  2. company-owned web and mobile channels
  3. loyalty/customer relationship management (CRM) targeted database
  4. social media and
  5. paid digital marketing

I have found it interesting how many ways there are to be a Starbuck’s customer while not even at the store.  You seem to see the Starbuck’s name almost everywhere you go and it has all but become a household term anymore.  I received a $5 Starbucks gift card through facebook a while back and when I used it this morning, the barista asked me where I got it.  Made for a great conversation.  Again, building relationships … the Starbucks way!

“By building social media connections through individualized experiences, unique preferences, thoughtful platform selection, and respect for the platform community, Starbucks pulls customers to its content, as opposed to pushing marketing materials to them.”

I love that quote.  Many of us think of sales as more of a “push” process and even though we see Starbucks marketing everywhere, I don’t think I have ever felt like it was being pushed on me.  Maybe I am just “pulled” to it because it’s a solid brand with great customer service.  What do you think?


The final section of the book is worth the price of admission.  Michelli takes an in-depth look at how Starbucks has considered all their decisions, both good and bad, as they move into the future.  No doubt they fully understand that without a strong client base, they will not exist.

“For our purposes, we will look specifically at behaviors leadership demonstrates in the course of setting goals, taking action, and measuring progress in the areas of environmental stewardship, ethical sourcing, community development, and job creation.”

As they look into the future, they will depend greatly on their leadership to make sure that what is important, stays important.  The bottom line is that their success is about the relationships they have built, both on the personal and corporate level.  It’s no wonder that this business model is one that is being imitated on a daily basis.  It works!

Responsibility is part of the Culture!

This is probably my favorite quote from this section of the book:

“True leadership requires a willingness to invest in the long-term health of one’s business and active collaboration with others, out of a genuine sense of responsibility.” 

There is so much information in this book but my big takeaway is that Starbucks has created a culture that extends well beyond the people drinking their coffee. [Tweet This]  Something to think about for all of us.

TODAY’S QUESTION:  How much time do you spend thinking about your legacy?  Does it end with the person right in front of you or have you considered that what you do might just impact someone you will never meet?



Click here to get a copy of my Kindle Book “The Manifesto Of An Influential Leader”

Don’t miss a single post from Building What Matters by subscribing at the top left of this page. 

Help support us by clicking here and Liking our facebook page

Barry Smith  5/19/14   photo courtesy of amazon   © Building What Matters 2014