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The 3 “Must Have” Tools For Success – What’s In Your Toolbox?

toolbox2As a coach, speaker, trainer and author, I strive to get results for my clients.  My biggest challenge – it’s not up to me to get them.  It’s not up to me to choose the goals or achieve them.  It’s not what I want, it’s what the client wants.

My role is to provide a path to get there.  In other words, I bring the tool box and we collaboratively figure out which tools to use and how to use them.  Any project will require tools to complete.  So which tools do we need?

A conversation I had recently with a client pushed me to take a look at the toolbox I carry with me and figure out which tools are required for any effort.  A few thoughts crossed my mind.  Do I have the right tools?  Do I have too many tools?  Am I offering the right tools for the project?

After reflecting on this idea for a while, I came to the conclusion that there are 3 tools needed to achieve success in any project we take on.  I am certainly not suggesting that these are the only tools you will need but these 3 tools are the ones you better take out of the toolbox before you even look at the blueprint.

You Can Only Get Here From There!

TOOL 1 – AWARENESS

When I speak to people and ask them about their goals, I get all kinds of responses. Some are simply the “one-liner conceptual type” and others are full of detail and very specific.  I love to follow this up with a question.  Where did you come up with that idea?  This is where it get’s interesting.  “I don’t know, I just think that would be real nice to achieve that.”  Or, “Well I want more than what I have now and that is more.”

Most people set their goals upon only that which they know.  They never even consider that there might be options that they have not even thought about.  That conversation I had allowed that person to enter into the awareness of possibility she had never thought about before.  All it took was a few curious questions she had never asked herself.

Stepping To The Line Of Intention Is Only The Beginning

TOOL 2 – INTENTIONALITY

Nothing happens without setting the intention for it.  Sure, life happens but I’m not talking about life happening to you, I’m talking about “intentionally” happening to life. Peter Drucker said; “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  (Tweet This / Post to LinkedIn)

Drucker is spot on.  If you want to achieve anything of significance in life, you need to be intentional about it.  Do you think the Seattle Seahawk defense figured because they were the #1 rated defense this year, they could just show up to the Super Bowl and perform?  Not hardly.  I know enough about the game of football to know they were very intentional about everything that happened on the field in New Jersey on Sunday.

Who Are You When Someone Else “Is Watching?”

TOOL 3 – ACCOUNTABILITY

You need the awareness and you need to set the intention but without the tool of accountability you are simply rolling the dice on whether or not you will be successful.  I am not saying you can’t accomplish great things on your own but let’s be real.  If you could do it on your own, it would already be done and it wouldn’t be on your list anymore.  Make sense?

The simple fact is we perform better when someone else is watching.  If they are going to watch, they might as well call us out when we need it.  Quit fooling yourself by saying “this time will be different.”  The only way it will be different is if you make it different.

So I have a little different type of challenge for you today.  Think about these 3 tools and then think about someone that you know that carries these with them.  Go talk to that person and ask them how they use those tools to find success in their endeavors.  You never know, they just might make a pretty good accountability partner as well!

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Barry Smith  2/3/14   photo by Author   © Building What Matters 2014

 

WILTW – Doing Nothing Is Not A Result!

resultsOne of my mentors, Scott Fay, challenged me earlier this week to expand my thinking by focusing on one specific thing I learned throughout the week and take action upon it.  This was a “double-dog-dare” so backing down was not really an option.

So here is the plan … Friday’s post will be dedicated to “What I Learned This Week” (WILTW).  I hope you will join in with me on this.  Friday’s I will deliver my take-a-way for the week and give a call to action as we head into the next.

As I look back on this week, there were several times when I was involved in some type of interaction – training, webinar, coaching, conference call and so on – that brought to light the “greatest gap.”  The greatest gap is the gap between what we know and what we do.

It Takes Results To Get Results

Earlier today I was on a call with Paul Martinelli, President of the John Maxwell Team, and he made the comment “Doing Nothing Is Not A Result” and proceeded to explain, in detail, how we can’t expect any kind of result without taking action.

I made similar comments to two groups of John Maxwell Team members that I am leading through a 90 Day Success Program.  We will finish this 90 Day journey next week and I told them all that after we attend one of the bi-annual Maxwell Certification events next month, I want to reconnect and discuss their “action plan” in moving forward.  You know … that accountability thing!

Are You Still Getting Ready To Get Ready!

All too often, we get hung up on the “getting ready” piece of accomplishing goals and when you think about it – getting ready has everything to do with what we know and nothing to do with actually doing it.  Don’t get me wrong here, preparation is a huge part of success, but you could be the most prepared person on the planet and if you don’t execute your plan, it’s all for not.

Here is where I think a lot of people get stuck in this.  They set a date to accomplish something knowing that they need to prepare.  The problem is that we assume that just because preparation comes before execution, the chronological order of things will take care of itself.  The net result is that we hover in the “getting ready” phase and the deadline slips by because we are still getting ready.

Quit Doing Something That Get’s You Nothing!

So what did I learn this week?  I learned that somewhere between knowing and doing there is an point where preparation stops and execution starts.  Yes, I realize that most things in life continue to evolve and that we will always need to be preparing for what’s next, but that CAN’T be a reason to live in get ready world.  I know that doing something that get’s you nothing is not the result you are looking for.

So here is what you need to do.  There is something you are working on right now that has you getting ready and you probably have some idea of when you need to actually do it.  Break up this omelette of activity into it’s original ingredients and put a date on each step.  Write this down ==> On (fill in the date), no matter what state of readiness I am in, I am going to start.  And them make any necessary course corrections needed along the way.

If nothing is what you are getting from your something, it’s time to make a change. (Tweet This / Share on Facebook / Post to LinkedIn)

C’mon people – It’s time to close the gap and start getting results!

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

Join me on the STOP CHALLENGE CHOOSE 12 week health transformation

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Barry Smith  1/31/14   photo by author   © Building What Matters 2014

 

The Men Who Built America – Henry Ford

men built americaWell here we are, a new year and a new plan, right?  I know this –  the Platform Builders have some new plans for 2014 and this year we are starting our Mastermind study with a little twist.

This month we are masterminding through The Men Who Built America, a DVD produced by the History Channel along with Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill to compliment the mini-series built around some of the great early leaders and entrepreneurs that help build the United States into a world power at the end of the 19th Century.

If you don’t know the back story on how these two connect together, Napoleon Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to study the most successful people and find out what resulted in their success.  The men who built America were among many of the 20,000+ that Hill interviewed over the twenty year period it took him to write the book.

This month we are going take a look at Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, JP Morgan and Henry Ford.  In this, the final of four posts, we will take a look at Henry Ford.

Ford set himself apart from the other men who built America buy focusing his efforts on the people.  He paid twice the average wage and wanted the average working man to be able to afford an automobile.  Amazed at how machines worked, Ford used his vision to transform the auto industry.

So how did a man that began his business career under the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance become “one of the men who built America?”

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

AUTOSUGGESTION

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right!” – Henry Ford

Ford Motor Company was actually Ford’s third automobile venture.  The first two failed miserably yet Ford refused to give up.  He continued to believe that he could successfully manufacture automobiles at a profit and at the same time, do what no one else had done, make them affordable.  His vision was strong enough to become reality.  He refused to give in to negative talk and literally convinced himself that it could be done through the power of autosuggestion.

1+1=3 … Sometimes More

POWER OF THE MASTERMIND

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” – Henry Ford

Ford’s most outstanding achievements began when he formed acquaintances with Harvey Firestone, John Burroughs, and Luther Burbank, well known thought leaders at that time.  Ford realized that not only could he gain knowledge from spending time with big thinkers but the interaction in itself, was increasing his ability to retain information and think better himself.

If Only I Would Have Known Before It Was Too Late!

SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE

“Coming together is the beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Ford had great vision but lacked the knowledge, in multiple areas, to make his vision a reality.  What Ford did know, was that by surrounding himself with the right people – the people that had that knowledge, he could achieve anything he wanted.  He continued to do this throughout his career and when faced with the issue of not knowing, simply found someone who had the specialized knowledge he was looking for and added them to his team.

Napoleon Hill said; “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” (Tweet This / Share on Facebook / Post to LinkedIn)

Hill was right, our success will come from continuous effort and struggle.  The difference comes in how we take on the struggle.  Ford found ways to reduce the struggle by bringing those to his team that could provide the “right” kind of effort.

Here is an important question:  Are you trying to do it all on your own or are you enlisting the help of others through collaborative relationships?  The answer might just predict your success or failure in that endeavor.  Who can you add to your team that will take you to the next level?

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

Join me on the STOP CHALLENGE CHOOSE 12 week health transformation

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Barry Smith  1/29/14   photo courtesy of Amazon   © Building What Matters 2014

 

Change Your Outcome When You Stop, Challenge and Choose

???????????????????????????????If you are like most people, there are one or two things that you put on your list of goals every year and every year you fall short.

I have spent much of the past two or three years studying what separates those who succeed from those that don’t.  I have come to the conclusion that it comes down to not what they are trying to do, but why they are trying to doing it.

Back to my opening statement.  For me, that lingering item has been my health.  I have never been able to figure it out.  My wife Michelle sets a great example for me.  She eats good, sleeps 8+ hours a night and runs five days a week.  Beyond that, I want to be in good health.  Even though I am 48, I feel like I am younger than that but at the same time, feel time catching up – if you know what I mean!

A couple of friends of mine, Chemae and Eric, are Take Shape For Life coaches and after years of listening to stories about success they have been having with their clients, I decided to put some of the health principles that they teach to the test.

About six months ago, I started eating smaller meals and cut way back on sugar and carbs.  Boom!  Instant results.  By early November I had hit my first benchmark.  I had dropped twenty pounds and thought I had this health thing all figured out.  After all, I am a professional coach.  Should be easy, right?  Maybe not.

A month later and no more progress.  So I did what I should have done to begin with. Reached back to Eric and Chemae and said “Help!”  Three words made a huge difference.  Here they are and why they are so important.

STOP

When things are not going the way you want.  When you just aren’t getting the results you are looking for – STOP!  I didn’t say quit, I said stop.  I know you have heard the saying “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.”  So if this is the case – stop and take a minute to figure out why things are not working out.  How do you do this?  Simple …

CHALLENGE

If you are not getting the results you were looking for, challenge the thought process that you have been using to get them.  Challenge your why.  Most of all, challenge what you know about what you want and why you want it.  (Tweet This / Share on Facebook / Post to LinkedIn) Knowledge is power and sometimes even when our why is the right one – we don’t understand it enough to make it strong enough to provide the strength to succeed.  OK, then what?

CHOOSE

Now you are a little bit smarter.  Now choose a new path.  The destination might still be the same but now you can make the needed course corrections and get back after it. Life is about choices and usually, the better informed we are, the better choices we make.  Clarity also makes the decision making process much easier.  Eliminate the things that didn’t or won’t work and then you have less to choose from.

So does this work?  Well, one week into following the Take Shape For Life program and I was down 5 more pounds and getting more sleep.  In reality, the process impressed me so much that it struck me that this would be a great addition to be able to provide the same support and resources to my own clients.  Most of them have health related issues on their list anyway so why not add a plan that actually works into the services I provide.

So I have added health coach to my resume.  I joined the Take Shape For Life team earlier this month and am looking forward to sharing a path to Optimal Health with my network of clients and colleagues.  If you are interested in finding out more about the TSFL program I would encourage to visit my TSFL page by clicking here and contact me if you think it makes sense for you and I will help you get started.

There is also a great opportunity that you can sign up for through March 1st.  If you are interested in finding your own path to Optimal Health, join along with thousands of others and sign up for the STOP CHALLENGE CHOOSE (sound familiar) 12 Week Health Transformation.  No cost.  No strings.  Simply an email a day full of great content and tools that can really make a difference for you in your journey to getting healthier.

Just click here and you will be redirected to the Stop Challenge Choose webpage. Click on the I Know / Have a Coach button and put in my name “Barry Smith” and that’s it. Starting on the next Monday, you will receive a daily email full of great value related to improving your health.  If you have any questions along the way, just let me know.

A question today that you may have never asked yourself before – What does Optimal Health look like to you?

You might have already guessed my challenge – Sign up for the STOP CHALLENGE CHOOSE 12 Week Health Transformation and find out what Optimal Health might look like for you. 

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Barry Smith    1/27/14   photo by author   © Building What Matters 2014

Deposits and Withdrawals – What’s On Your Leadership Balance Sheet?

balanceIt’s funny how life has a way of balancing itself out.  I have found that the time when I feel the best and am the most productive are when my life is in balance.  I also have noticed that when my friends and clients are in that same zone they experience similar results.

In my new book coming out later this spring, Leadership by Invitation, I explore the concept of answering the call to lead.  What will it take to answer that invitation?  A new commitment to investing in yourself and in others to create the impact and influence needed to lead.

So if we need to make new investments, we need to be prepared to make the necessary deposits that will result in a positive return on that investment.  As I was balancing the checkbook the other day it struck me that our Leadership balance sheet is much a checkbook.  You make deposits and you make withdrawals and what you have to work with is represented on the bottom line.

Credit Cards Don’t Work When It Comes To Leadership

I know you understand that if you want to take a withdrawal, at some point in time, you needed to make a deposit in order to make that withdrawal.  Let’s take a look at a few things that leaders need to keep in balance to lead.

Look, the day is going to come, if it hasn’t already, that you need to make a withdrawal from your leadership bank and if you don’t have the funds to cash that check, you will lose the opportunity to make a difference is someone else’s life.  Credit cards don’t work when it comes to leadership and we can’t ask life to take a time out until we build back up our account.

I have heard more than once that if you want to see where someone is committed, look at their calendar and look at their checkbook.  Those two things will show you where you deposits are being made.  The question is whether or not they are in something that will allow you to make a withdrawal down the road.

Life Has No “Time Back” Guarantee!

TIME

If there is never enough time, and there never is, how can we expect to make the necessary withdrawals to invest time in others.  Leadership is influence, right?  Most leaders are consumed by the needs of the people they lead.  It’s not intentionally set up that way, but those in authority, the leaders, are typically expected to solve the problems.

So how does a leader make those time deposits?  They can start by EMPOWERING others to make their own decisions.  Part of being a leader is casting vision, and communicating that vision will allow others to understand the desired outcome and make decisions, on their own or within their team, that will produce that same outcome.

Another great way is to DELEGATE.  I love what my mentor John Maxwell told me.  If someone else can do something 80% as well as you, let them do it.  You don’t have to do it all yourself!

You Can Wear Your Running Shoes In The Boardroom

HEALTH

Most of us live in a culture that is simply moving faster than we like.  If you want to live in the age of technology, you need to be prepared to move at light speed like the rest of the world.

I love the quote “Lead, follow, or get left behind.”  If we don’t take the lead on leading ourselves to take the necessary steps to show up with physical energy, mental clarity and emotional stability, (Tweet This / Share on Facebook / Post to LinkedInhow can we be expected to instill that in others?

As a leader, what deposits are you making to allow for those withdrawals?  Are your eating, exercising and sleeping habits providing the deposits necessary for you to make those withdrawals when a twelve hour day is needed?  I have said it before.  The toughest person to lead is me.

What Is Your Disaster Management Plan?

We are usually last on the list and leaders, by nature, put others first.  This is a formula for disaster.  Look at the most successful leaders.  They show up with energy, clarity and for the most part physically fit.  Any clues to be found there?  Do you think they are making the right deposits?

I have heard more than once that if you want to see where someone is committed, take a look at their calendar and their checkbook.  That’s my challenge for you today.  Take a look at those two things and see what they are producing for your bottom line.

That leads to an related question of great importance.  What adjustment do you need to make today to build up equity in your Leadership Balance Sheet?

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

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Barry Smith    1/24/14   photo by author   © Building What Matters 2014

The Men Who Built America – JP Morgan

men built americaWell here we are, a new year and a new plan, right?  I know this –  the Platform Builders have some new plans for 2014 and this year we are starting our Mastermind study with a little twist.

This month we are masterminding through The Men Who Built America, a DVD produced by the History Channel along with Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill to compliment the mini-series built around some of the great early leaders and entrepreneurs that help build the United States into a world power at the end of the 19th Century.

If you don’t know the back story on how these two connect together, Napoleon Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to study the most successful people and find out what resulted in their success.  The men who built America were among many of the 20,000+ that Hill interviewed over the twenty year period it took him to write the book.

This month we are going take a look at Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, JP Morgan and Henry Ford.  In this, the second of four posts, we will take a look at JP Morgan.

Morgan, most recognized a revolutionizing the way America deals with finance never settled for “good enough.”  He partnered with Edison and became a major player in the power industry and later became a master of consolidating organizations to create bigger profits and greater impact.

So why did a man who was born into wealth and never knew what it was like to be in need, risk it all and become “one of the men who built America?”

I Don’t Know Why, But It Just Doesn’t Feel Right.

THE SIXTH SENSE

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you will be able to see farther.” – JP Morgan

It would be hard to argue that Morgan “had it all” from day one, yet he was never satisfied.  Driven by the success of Carnegie and Rockefeller, Morgan worked off what he believed could be done.

Even through great opposition from his father, he risked the family wealth to pursue the development of electrical power.  Even when successful organizations already existed, Morgan’s sixth sense helped him to realize that by combining forces, an even greater business could be developed as seen in General Electric and US Steel.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.

DECISION

“A man typically has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason” – JP Morgan

Time and time again, Morgan was faced with difficult decisions.  His father was against much of what he did and his vision often included the success of others such as Edison.  That being said, he always stood behind his decisions and maintained a forward movement.  Why?  Because he made a decision.  Right or wrong, a decision was made to move forward.  If an adjustment needed to be made, he made it.  The point is, that Morgan never let the details or fear hold him back.  It was not a matter if it was going to be done, simply how.

Plan Your Work And Work Your Plan!

ORGANIZED PLANNING

“No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form.  The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in thinking.” – JP Morgan

No one better exemplified the art of organized planning than Morgan.  Early on, he successfully planned many activities related to the family financial business.  Some actually helped to keep America on it’s feet.  Realizing that he could be more powerful by partnering with other individuals and corporations, Morgan put together the necessary plan to take both successful and struggling businesses to new levels of success.  This was done by creating a plan that worked and then working that plan.

Tony Robbins said; “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” (Tweet This / Share on Facebook / Post to LinkedIn)

The men who build America made both good and bad decisions along their way to power and wealth.  The difference – they always made a decision.  They all realized that doing nothing would produce exactly that – nothing.

We are faced with decisions every day.  Fear has a tendency to keep us from making the difficult ones.  My challenge today – choose something you have been struggling with in making a decision and make one.  No progress will be made by standing still. There is no neutral in life – you are either moving forwards or backwards. (Tweet This)

What difficult decision will you make today?

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

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Barry Smith  1/22/14   photo courtesy of Amazon   © Building What Matters 2014