A Life of Priorities

  priorities This morning as I was reading a post by Bob Rasmussen on his leadership blog, a thought popped into my head… How many people are really living a life of priorities over obligations? The thought struck me pretty hard because I realized that there were very few. What I have found to be true is that with the correct information and mentorship, someone can get themselves on track to live a life based on those priorities. Through the mentorship of Bob and Tina Rasmussen, and principle based information through the LIFE Subscriptions and the LIFE Training tools, Samantha and I have learned to start living a life focused on our priorities instead of our obligations. Many people today are too busy going home to work trying to collect a paycheck. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it what you were called to do, but today most people are so strapped, that they have nothing else on their mind other than that paycheck. Because of what we were taught growing up, many of us have forgotten that this country was founded by entrepreneurs. It was by the labor of their back and the sweat of their brow that we are here today. But most of our founding generation built businesses that provided an income that didn’t require them to be there, which then allowed them to pursue their purpose and live their life closer to their priorities. Are you pursuing something of value? something worthy? something that can produce those type of results for you?  As you read his post I want you to ask yourself: What are my priorities and am I living my life based on them?Bob and Tina

God Bless

Jeremy

Here is the post:

Priorities or Obligations?

I became excited about 10 years ago when I was first introduced to a principle that others had adapted of living a life where my priorities would come first and obligations would be handled after the priorities were satisfied. This seemed like a wonderful way to live and at the same time a very daunting principle to establish and live by. Yet successful people I was studying and associating with were doing just that and wanted to teach me and my family how to do just that!!

The first step to implementing this lifestyle is to clearly define what my priorities are and ask the hard questions of what obligations stood in the way. The tools we used to start came from our LIFE business education system. A key component to begin is to create a mission statement for you and your family and clearly define what is important to you. I found the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, instrumental for us to begin to clearly define our priorities. steven covey quoteCovey walks through a life changing process that will help change your thinking. One thing I have learned beyond a reasonable doubt is that all change and true success begins with a change in our thinking. You see my wife and I had been raised or programmed to believe that to chase the “American Dream” of material wealth and power was where true happiness or joy would be for us. That could not have been further from the truth!! It seemed every time we got that next thing or the next income increase we became further indebted to others and the short-term excitement wore off quickly and created a void which we then wanted to fill with the next material upgrade. Basically, I felt as though I had “sold my soul to the company store” and created a bondage to the bank which forced me to spend my time doing work more than any other activity. It is interesting that as we sat down to clearly define our priorities in life, that work ended up on the bottom of the list. We found that what we truly valued the most were centered around God and family, not work and wealth.

The real eye-opener for us was when we said okay these are our real priorities, how much time do we spend doing and/or living them on a daily basis? What I found for me was that my life was consumed in chasing the dollar to the point where somewhere between 70-90 physical hrs. per week were spent on the job and another 10-20 mental hrs. were consumed in running my construction business. Well assuming a 16 hr day, when not sleeping, I was spending about 100 of 112 available hours to the job and only 12 to my God and family! The LIFE business and TEAM leadership has taught me how to reverse those numbers and we feel so blessed to have experienced this change in our lifestyle.

The bottom line on learning new habits and changing our lifestyle to live out priorities instead of our obligations is learning to take a stand and lead. My mentor George Guzzardo, posted on 4/12/2013, in his blog article, “A call to stand up and Lead” , We see the philosophy of relativism becoming prevalent in our world. Cinematic, political, and journalistic influences distract us by redefining traditional values.  The classical theory of truth was held by virtually everyone until the nineteenth century. Today, post modernism and relativism rejects the theory of truth.

These influences have over time harnessed us and confused us and have torn away at the true core values that I believe most people have yet feel unable to really live. Today, I say to you take the time to evaluate the truth in your  life and stand up and lead your family to what you value as a priority for your future! Come join us in Madison WI, on April 16th, from 8-10pm, at the Alliant Energy Center to hear ORRIN WOODWARD teach us how to do just that! God Bless, Bob

Advertisements

Leadership Starts With One

I recently came across an article in a magazine that I thought was spot on to achieve true leadership. It starts with self-development. Without that someone is just managing. When someone falls into management mode things can get stressful… business doesn’t grow as fast as you would like, lack of loyalty, lack of buy-in and cooperation from constituents. The article was written by Glenn Gutek – a consultant for professional workplace improvement. I hope that you can take something from this article and use in your personal life as well as your work environment as i did.  Hope you enjoy!

Great Leadership Starts With Leading an Organization of One

All leadership begins with “self leadership.” Before a leader can aspire to lead a thriving enterprise, he must first master leading an organization of one.

Tom and Susan are partners in the same firm and produce at a very high level. Over the past five years, Susan has not only outpaced Tom but also many of her senior partners. What is most surprising about Susan’s performance is that her ascent to excellence was slow in coming, and Tom was very reluctant to open the doors of partnership to Susan after her lackluster performance during her initial years in the firm.

Out of curiosity, Tom summoned the courage to investigate the root causes of Susan’s consistent growth. What Tom observed and discovered was that Susan had an incredible ability to do what needed to be done when it needed to be done. She seemed to respond appropriately to the right opportunities and dismiss the less-relevant distractions. Tom shared with his partners that Susan “leads herself with discipline and precision.”

What made an impression for Tom were the practices Susan engaged in to help her have a sense of what needed to be done. A leader engages in certain practices or disciplines to produce that result when required.  Self leadership employs intentional action in advance to ensure the right action happens when necessary.

Although some people are more naturally disciplined than others, for those who struggle with discipline, it can help to create the structures that promote greater “professional will.” To begin, consider the following five disciplines of self leadership:

1. Control Time

The most basic expression of self-discipline is controlling your time in such a way that you are focused on your “highest and best” use. Your leadership effectiveness is limited when you allow others to set too much of the agenda and spend your time on the trails of rabbits. There is a wealth of material available to assist with time management, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel; however, there are some practices you can intentionally engage in that will promote a greater ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done:

  • Time Blocking: Predetermine blocks of time allocated for your most important activities.
  • Landing the Plane: Do not allow meetings and conversations to extend beyond the appropriate time limit.
  • Time Cop: Give your assistant or colleague some authority to assist you in executing your calendar.
  • Power Sprints: Protect one-hour blocks of uninterrupted time to execute your most complex work.

2. Fuel Energy

Leadership is an energy-intensive endeavor. One of the primary reasons why leaders often sweep unsolved problems under the carpet is a lack of energy. It is imperative to sustain the appropriate levels of energy to intercept entropy at its earliest stages.

The disciplines most commonly associated with fueling energy often involve diet, exercise, and sleep habits. Beyond these practices, build into your schedule opportunities to engage in things that put wind in your sails. What are the activities that energize you and ignite your curiosity and passion? Below are some practices that you may want to be sure your calendar allows time to proactively pursue:

  • Reading, which helps you think bigger thoughts
  • Travel, which helps you see a bigger world
  • Networking, which helps you learn from other businesses

3. Temper Emotions

So much business literature will reference the all-important aspect of “passion.” There is no argument that passion is essential to effective leadership; passion is the natural reservoir of energy that propels a leader forward in the face of adversity. However, at times it is critical to practice the discipline of being “dispassionate.”

The discipline of being dispassionate allows a leader to protect the environment from becoming toxic and avoid engaging in the wrong battles. A leader should fuel his energy by investing in his passion but also keep things from running off the rails by not pouring gas on a volatile situation.  Below are few techniques that you can practice in advance to promote appropriate dispassion:

  • Ask questions.
  • Define the problem.
  • Spend more time on solutions.
  • Take deep breaths before speaking.

4. Focus Words

Just about every teenager wanting a driver’s license has most likely read a copy of the book, Rules of the Road. Unfortunately, once we graduate from grade school, there are no qualifying tests to ensure we have a license to speak. The most commonly used tool in the arsenal of a leader is his words. Far too often we lack the right words at the right time. Why wouldn’t the wise leader make time to practice the discipline of focusing his words for the greatest amount of impact?

The discipline of crafting or outlining scripts for crucial situations will assist in making sure that the words that flow from your mouth achieve the purpose of the right words at exactly the right time. Being prepared in advance with a script or outline, such as the following, is a wonderful exercise in self leadership:

  • Vision: A brief outline that calibrates key players on the vision of the organization
  • Conflict: A brief outline that defuses hostility and allow people to work the problem
  • Correction: A brief outline that identifies problem behavior and promotes improvement

5. Use Power

The fifth important discipline that must be an ongoing practice for a leader is disciplining power, particularly as it relates to knowing where the source of authority comes from. Are you building your power base from the positional role in the organization or your credibility with the people you lead?

As the industrial revolution comes to a close and we give birth to the “personal age,” it is becoming clear that the authority of a leader rests in the relationships he forms with the people he leads. The risk most often encountered when influencing people where there is a personal relationship is not maintaining the authority to exercise power. One practice that can assist in maintaining authority is identifying those with whom you need to come out from behind the desk and those with whom you must stay behind the desk:

  • Out from behind the desk: Individuals with the maturity to be clear on your authority
  • Stay behind the desk: Individuals who need you to maintain your position of authority

All leadership begins with self leadership. Practice the disciplines in each of the five areas of self leadership and you will find you possess an uncanny ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.