Communicating Your Guiding Principles

Are you communicating your guiding principles in your life and business?  Do you know what they are?

Recently I had the honor of meeting and learning from the world reknown leadership expert, best-selling author, and CEO Space faculty member, Hugh Ballou.

My biggest action item take-away from his presentation is: to be successful, we should run our businesses and lives on our own personal guiding principles.

Different from your mission statement, vision statement, business plan, your guiding principles are your values, clearly defined, that drive your work. Note the short definition from BusinessDictionary.com:

“Any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.”

Hugh Ballou shared, when you have your guiding principles in place, it’s easy for your clients to interact with you at all levels and know what you are about.

Ballou shares his own guiding principles for his personal life, and for his business on his website.

“The bottom line: leading without guiding principles is like trying to sail a boat without a rudder.” ~ Hugh Ballou

Keeping that in mind, I took the challenge from Mr. Ballou, and after spending some in-depth thought and time I found these rose to the top:
Be Myself
Be Creative
Be Grateful
Be Compassionate
Have Fun

I challenge you to seek your guiding principles and then, like I am doing,  learn how to commuicate them to your clients, co-workers, and even your family.

Felicia J. Slattery, M.A., M.Ad.Ed., is a #1 best-selling author, an internationally award-winning speaker, and has happy clients and customers in 22 countries around the world. Featured in Success MagazineInc. Magazine, on the BBC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, and CNN,
Felicia shares a powerful message on Communication, Leadership, and Speaking Skills. To hire her for your next event call us at 888-766-3155, or click here: Hire Speaker Felicia Slattery

Are Your Events Energizing Your Members and Volunteers?

Having a problem energizing your members and volunteers in your organization?

Are you taking full advantage of your events is to use them as a re-activation tool for inactive members and volunteers?

Here is an action list for making sure you have a re-activation plan for your events:

  • Make re-activation of people you haven’t seen in a while a priority goal.
  • Assign leadership roles for ensuring this undertaking is successfully implemented.
  • Have specific measurable results for your goal.
  • Identify a target list of names you want to reach out to.
  • Identify your active participants who may have a personal connection to those on your target list and get them involved with re-activation efforts.
  • Make personal contact and don’t make a big deal about previous lack of participation. My experience has been that doing so may push people further away.
  • Develop a list of tasks that can be done by those you are attempting to re-activate and ask what they would like to do. If the task list doesn’t appear to appeal to them, then ask what role they would be willing to play.
  • Involvement doesn’t have to be a major responsibility. In fact, too big a task may discourage them. The objective is to get them to participate in any way possible.
  • Get a  definite answer to your ask. Don’t settle for a noncommittal response like, “I’ll try to show up.” Get commitment for specific      involvement.
  • If the response is no, make sure reaction is positive. Asking if it’s ok to contact them about future activity opens the door for involvement later on. Follow up your visit with a note thanking for them their time.
  • Don’t delegate and forget. Provide any necessary information and instructions. Conduct supervisory follow-up as needed. Help people feel good about their participation by making sure they are successful.
  • thank you after the event will have added significance and will encourage a continued active presence.

Moving someone from inactive to involved takes effort. For desired re-activation results, persistence is critical. You get what you follow up on!

More about Hardy Smith:
With decades of experience working in the high-speed corporate world of NASCAR racing and advocating for nonprofits and associations across the country, Hardy can provide expert advice and develop effective strategies to help solve business challenges and drive the operational change needed to bring your organization to the next level. Hardy’s offerings include keynote addresses, seminars, workshops, leadership retreats and strategic planning sessions, such as, “Why Don’t Board Members Do What They’re Supposed to Do?”  To have Hardy at your next event, call today at 888-766-3155 or contact us at:   Hire Hardy Smith

 

HOW TO WARD OFF DISRUPTION!

Know how to ward off Disruption?  It takes a special kind of person to be inspired by a mandate riddled with risk and having little margin for error, such as the one issued in the early 1990s by NASA to its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California: “Take risks but don’t fail.

Meet Brian Muirhead, who at age 41 accepted the job as flight systems manager of the Mars Pathfinder project and with it the NASA challenge to land a cutting-edge, remote-controlled robotic all-terrain rover on Mars that would reliably beam back images, collect samples, and return scientific data on the red planet.

The only catch: he was given just three years and $150 million to do it.  No one in his or her right mind would want to manage the next Mars project, if indeed there was one.

Brian is a quiet, cerebral, and unassuming rocket scientist. Now chief Project Manager at JPL, he has a significantly bigger title,  less hair, and more white in his beard than when I first met him, undoubtedly as a result of his almost 42 years of intense involvement with high-profile missions in pursuit of JPL’s mission to push the outer edge of space exploration.

One of my all-time favorite stories from Brian is the one he told about the Pathfinder team’s approach to a “don’t fail” strategy. He tells how he was personally disrupted, by one of his daughter’s kindergarten projects. The teacher gave the class an assignment right up Brian’s alley: design a package that would protect a raw egg from being dropped off the school roof. It was an annual event, affectionately referred to as the Great Egg-Drop Challenge.

It was right up Brian’s alley for two reasons: not only is he an expert on momentum, but the radical solution enabling the successful landing of the rover on Mars on July 4, 1994 addressed essentially the same problem.

Brian had an answer in a snap, and coached his daughter in a rather conspiratorial way in order for her to arrive at the same solution, which involved a milk carton stuffed with newspaper.

Together they cut up newspaper, wadded it in the carton, put the uncooked egg in a plastic bag and set it on top of the loose packing. They tested it several times of their home’s high balcony to find just the right amount of padding to allow the egg to land safely.

The whole school gathered for the event. But it was not the teacher who did the testing. It was the school principal, who tested the designs not by dropping them straight down, but by throwing them in what Brian described as a “big, high, looping arc.” Get the visual?

Needless to say, Brian’s daughter’s egg was crushed, as was his daughter’s morale. Brian himself was devastated: here he was building a spacecraft to travel 300 million miles to land safely on another planet and he couldn’t even help his daughter design a landing device to protect an egg.

Brian realized a valuable lesson from the kindergarten experience, and applied it to the Pathfinder project: inevitable, unforeseen and disruptive forces could be the ruin of the project, so there had to be a way to mitigate their potential impact.

Enter what I call the “Gremlin” strategy. Interestingly, the Pathfinder team had just lost their fault systems engineer, so Brian asked another team member to fill the spot. His name was Dave Gruel, but he eventually was nicknamed “Cruel Gruel,” because he was the ultimate Gremlin.

The term “Gremlin” was popularized during World War II, and referred to an imaginary creature that creates problems in normally reliable hardware.

With the kindergarten experience fresh in his memory, Brian tasked Dave with duties beyond fault protection: he asked him to dream up all sorts of challenges to throw at the team. It turned out that Dave Gruel had a real flair for the role, and spent his days and nights devising ways to disrupt the project.

Brian urged them to be cautious, to think things well through, and to make sure they were making the right move. His words of warning went unheeded, though…the team was certain they had analyzed the situation thoroughly, and were ready to roll.

Except…the Gremlin had come in during the night.

As Brian tells it in High Velocity Leadership:

Running a couple of available calibration checks had shown something wasn’t right. Yet the attitude of some of the rover people, so cocky, so certain of their judgment, kept them from stepping back and questioning their decision.

I see this attitude all the time in speaking and doing consulting work with leaders and companies!

In the end, the Gremlin strategy was extremely effective in enabling the Pathfinder team to learn how to deal with uncertainties in a way that positively neutralized disruptive forces. It allowed the team to build robustness, speed, and flexibility into their implementation.

The application to business is clear. If you have a successful business, the chances are very good that somewhere someone is dreaming up strategies that may just throw you for a loop.

So why not beat them to the punch?

Take a page from the Mars Pathfinder story and set up a Gremlin group in your company. Charge them with putting you out of business in new and innovative ways.  Done right, it will not only ward off disruption, it will do more to build innovation capability into your organization than any highfalutin innovation program some big name firm sold you on. Mars Pathfinder didn’t need such a program, and neither do you.

What’s amazing to me is the level of passion, verve and vigor I see inside the Gremlin teams. The level of engagement is a full click above their engagement in their “real job.” Early indications are that this may be a wonderful new wrinkle to the trend toward internal innovation and startup mechanisms like incubators and accelerators, which have replaced the older “skunkworks” approaches.

As for Brian Muirhead, an individual fond of dramatic destinations, I have no doubt that he’s hard at work on his favorite answer to the “what’s next?” question he was often asked: “I’m working on a project that will attempt to land a spacecraft on an active comet and analyze it.”

So, if the word “disruption” is being uttered in the halls of your company (as it seems to be in almost every one I visit),  gather ye Gremlins, and go to work!

(Warning: brave heart, strong will, and intestinal fortitude required!)

More about Matthew E May:

Matt is one of those rare finds on the speaker circuit!  His innovative and creative interaction keeps his audiences engaged
and spell bound. He is the author of 5 New York Times Best-sellers, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Strategy+Business, The Rotman Magazine, Success, Inc. Forbes, and Harvard Business Review blogs.  He has appeared on MSNBC,  Microsoft Small Biz Academy, and Business Rock Stars. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from Johns Hopkins University, but he counts winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest as one of his most creative achievements. Matt has a deep passion for ideas that solve a difficult problem in an elegant way. He defines an elegant solution as one that is both uncommonly simple and surprisingly powerful, and that achieves the maximum effect with minimum means. To hire Matt for your next event contact us at 888-766-3155 today or
go to Matthew E May

 

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

Give yourself permission to fail!

What if someone says No? Do you crumble into a pillar of salt? Not at all.  Working to please everybody doesn’t serve anybody. A good clear NO is empowering. You know where you stand and it saves everyone’s time.  And, a clear YES gives you a huge opportunity to help someone grow and have great success.  It’s the space of miracles. It is such a privilege when someone wholeheartedly says YES and trusts you to help them. Thank you to all who have given me this privilege.

We’re all human. We all have areas of brilliance and areas less “illuminated.” And, even where we are brilliant the flame will flicker. So what? I’ve “failed” AND I’ve kicked ass and created miracles.  And, the more you want to grow and achieve, the more you will “fail.”  Hell if we had to learn to walk as adults we’d never walk because we’d just give up after falling so much. Really?  Come on!  Crap on that!

I am a recovering thinkaholic.  For decades trying for perfection.  How it sucked!  I was a prisoner of my own mind. Constantly trying to figure out how to do things right, how to be perfect.  I would hardly take action I was so worried about a NO or had such a fear of looking bad.

The path from living so-so to living great is cleared by giving yourself permission to fail.  Today, give yourself permission to fail.

Carl Loop says the most amazing thing about what he does is to help people “See the Unseen” to LEAP opportunities.  When Carl was very young, he could jump really far, and became a bit of a celebrity in schoolyard competitions. People started calling Carl “Leaping Loop” and it has stuck ever since! As a sought after keynote speaker his audiences are sharing: “Carl is an amazingly charismatic speaker. He keeps the audience engaged from the moment he hits the stage!”  To book him for your next event contact us today at
888-766-3155 or see Hire Carl Loop

Why Being a Great Speaker Isn’t Nearly Enough!

In over 30 years of training speakers from all over the world I can tell you that most people who speak as part of their business are motivated by one or more of three primary motivators.

A MESS

Maybe you have what I call a mess; a huge challenge that you have overcome. Maybe it was an injury, an illness, abuse, an amputated limb…something that has shaped your world in a traumatic way and has made you into who you are today.

I know speakers who have overcome massive challenges in their life and their motivation stems from the lessons they have learned along the way which they feel compelled to share with the world.

A MOMENT

Maybe you don’t have a huge mess. Maybe you’re like me; I have had a pretty easy life with no major challenge that I would call a mess. I don’t have a mess. But I do have something else, and maybe you do too.

I have, what I call, a moment. I have a moment in time when I realized what my gift is. I remember a very specific event where I found out that my gift is turning good speakers into world-class speakers and I found that out when I was 25.

Maybe you have a moment too. Maybe you have a moment in time where you realized what your purpose is. Maybe you discovered your gift or your passion and that gift or passion is what drives you. Or, maybe you don’t!

A MISSION

If you don’t have a mess or a moment, then chances are good that you have a mission; a cause that you feel driven to pursue. Perhaps there is a change in this word that you feel compelled to make; a legacy you want to leave. Your cause is to leave some part of this world in better condition than when you arrived here.

Almost every speaker I have worked with; whether they were professional speakers, coaches, financial advisors, healers or consultants; almost every one of them can identify with at least one of these three motivators. Which ones do you identify with the most?

A MESSAGE

From the mess, moment or mission comes the message. Most messages shared by speakers are motivated by one or more the the three primary motivators.

The message will share wisdom, teach technical content, tell tales of exotic travels and share lessons learned along the way.

Speakers have great stories and great content sprinkled with chuckles and emotional triggers to make us laugh and cry. They have slides with jaw-dropping visuals and powerful platform technique all designed to hold the audience’s attention.

Buried within all of that is the speaker’s solution to some issue; their four secrets to this, their five pillars of that, their new system to achieve some result, and this brings us to the problem.

The problem is this…every great speaker has a solution which they share with the audience. So when you get in front of a group of people to speak, being a great speaker and having an amazing solution to some problem makes you look and sound almost exactly the same as all the other great speakers…unless you have something that the others don’t.

THE REAL ADVANTAGE

The one thing that almost always makes one or two speakers stand out is something more than the stories, the laughs and the latest solution; it’s what I call “expert insights”.

The speaker who stands out is the speaker who provides the audience with a snap-shot of the audience’s world from a perspective they have not considered before. The speaker who brings to the audience’s attention a problem they never knew that had, demonstrates the cost of that problem and THEN shows the audience how to fix the problem…that’s the speaker who stands out and gets noticed.

As an expert in your field; whatever that field is, chances are superb that you are far more interested in your solutions than your audience is because they have been bombarded with everyone else’s solutions over and over again. I call it “solution fatigue”.

So when you get in front of an audience to speak about your business, do yourself and your audiences a favor and stop peddling your solution from the platform until and unless you have first brought to your audience’s awareness a problem they never knew they had and help them get present to the cost of having that problem and THEN position yourself as the solution by helping them solve their problem.

Send them off with a new perspective, a new awareness, a new sense of urgency or excitement and YOU will be the speaker they remember.

Steve Lowell, CSP, National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS), and sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Speakers Federation.
He is committed to Helping You Stand Out as a Speaker! Would you like to be able to speak in a way that gets you chosen by your highest-value prospects? If you’re interested in finding out more about how to define and leverage your own expert insights so that you can stand out and get noticed as the expert in your field,  go to www.MeetSteveAndJayne.com and schedule a complimentary consultation.

Do You Know Your Ideal Client?

Do you know your ideal client? Do you have a mental picture of what they look like based on intentionally identifying them? Have you written it down and is your target marketing focused on finding them?

Whether you are an Event Planner looking for the perfect professional speaker,  a speaker looking for your next gig, or a speakers bureau looking for those clients to book your speakers; none of us has time to waste on those who are not the right fit for our services and products.

The key is to define the ones we need to focus on, and and be prepared to find them!

Here are some questions we suggest you need to answer to find the “ideal client” you are looking for:
1.        Do you know who you are and what you do- in 20 seconds or less?
2.       Have you done your homework on your competitors?
3.       Do you know who needs your products and services?
4.       Are your fees set so you can quote them without blinking an eye?
5.      Do you know where your “ideals” hang out online?
6.      How do you plan to be heard and seen so you can attract them?

Once you have answered these questions, let’s get specific. Identify your price points and your clients pain points, and become the solution. The next set of questions will get you thinking of who you have in your contact list already that meets your qualifications:
•       Are they male or female?
•      What age group are they in?
•      How do they like to be contacted?
•      Are they local, regional, state wide, national, or international?
•     How do you get introduced if you do not personally know them?

Once you have them clearly in mind you are ready to begin to find them! Here are some great starts that you may have overlooked!

Have you shared with your colleagues, friends, family who you are looking for, so they can give you referrels?  Do you have testimonials from the ideal clients you have worked with before that you can use as a reference? Are you networking and connecting with those you have identified, remembering  your ideal clients are not EVERYONE!

Another idea is to check with the business center of  your local library and give them what your “ideal client” looks like, and they can provide all sorts of contact and data information for you at no charge!

Now you are ready to go on the journey of a lifetime!  Your “ideal clients” are just waiting to connect and work with you!

As Founder/CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau, Sue Falcone is dedicated to delivering outstanding professional speakers to create a memorable event and experience for her clients and their audiences. Sue and her team will find the perfect speaker for your event, from conferences and corporate meetings to trainings, banquets, dinners, and more…Contact her at 888766-3155 today.

Morning! from Thom Gossom Jr.

Morning!

The morning air is crisp, not yet cool. The sun’s rays reach through the majestic trees, an invitation to the great day ahead. The bay glistens in the background. It’s beautiful! The involuntary grin deeply creases my face. I say my prayers. I’m happy!

Some people go to therapists. Some meditate. Others search daily for that elusive inner peace. For me it’s morning’s freshness and my bicycle at 6am, cruising through the neighborhood. Morning is the gift we’re all given. The bicycle is the gift I give myself.

I’ve been riding bicycles all my life. Love it! I remember my first lessons with training wheels, my first lesson without them. I remember crying when I realized my dad was not behind me holding me up. Then I promptly fell.

Most mornings in good weather, sometimes in not so good weather, I raise the garage door and leave the house for a 75-minute ride through the neighborhood. It’s peaceful. Quiet. There are hardly any cars, dogs, or people; just me, the morning and the promising day ahead.

“The Bicycle Man” they call me. I’ve been called worse.

There are three regular riders on the circuit as I call it, in their colorful bike outfits. They ride as a group always with a bright “good morning” for me. There are some regular walkers offering big smiles while soaking up that morning promise. “Good mornings” abound! Like warm coffee on a cold morning the day flows.

Peaceful solitude only lasts so long. After the 7 o’clock hour the cars, school buses, and people start to flow. I make my way back to our home.

The newness of another day!

Thom Gossom Jr. defied all odds, and as a sought-after Keynote Speaker is on a mission to help others do the same! Thom has come full circle in life; from a walk-on determined athlete in challenging times, using the education he received to become a successful Corporate America leader, succeeding as an Award-winning Hollywood Actor, becoming a best-selling author and film producer, owning his own company-Best Gurl Inc., a Communications Firm, being a sought after Keynote Speaker, serving as the Chair of the Auburn University Foundation Board, to now inspiring, motivating, educating and entertaining audiences all over the globe. To have Thom Gossom Jr. at your next event, contact us at 888-766-3155 today.

Guaranteed to Show You How to Successfully Reinvent Yourself in 12 “Easy” Steps

Guaranteed to Show You How to Successfully Reinvent Yourself in 12 “Easy” Steps

By John Baumann

INTRODUCTION

If you have decided that you desperately and passionately commit to transform yourself no matter how much effort, time and sacrifice that it will take, keep reading, this information is for you. If you are willing, you will have to work harder than you ever have before and sacrifice more than you thought possible. It is not “easy.”

I wrote DECIDE SUCCESS: Twelve Action Steps to Achieve the Success You Truly Desire as an easy-to-understand, step-by-step process for building your own personalized success plan complete with written exercises for each action step. While pragmatic and academically sound, it was not intended to, nor does it attempt to, address the emotional (and even spiritual) foundation often necessary to succeed. I will attempt to provide that foundation here. Just as the steps in DECIDE SUCCESS are hard to stick with, the same will be said about these self-improvement “edicts.” This process or program or, better yet, set of ideals are not for the faint of heart. You got to want it bad enough to get through the pain that is transformation.

As the well-known expression goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect that you are going to get a different result.” Many of us have never learned this lesson. We hold on to familiar approaches to life issues when deep down inside we know that we will get the same result, although unhealthy, one that we are actually comfortable with. Doing something different takes either a very brave person or very desperate person. I recommend that you take the bravery route and not wait for you to become desperate, some call it “hit rock bottom.” Being exposed to someone who is brave enough to transform, or is in the process of transforming, his or herself, a mentor, makes a tremendous difference because you realize that it is possible to succeed, “If they can do it, so can I.” Seek out a mentor.

I have broken this book down into two parts using an old adage adapted to fit my needs. First, “out with the bad.” Then, “in with the good.”

Part I: OUT WITH THE BAD

Out with the bad. I am not proposing that the proverbial baby be thrown out with the bathwater. Quite the opposite. A complete and honest review of your life is necessary from all angles to decide what unhealthy things (including people) need to be removed and who and what have the privilege and honor of remaining in your life. It is “your” life after all. You only get one chance at life and for a very limited time at that. One of the first things you need to do is to stop watching or listening to the news. You may be thinking, “Is this guy kidding?” or “Is this guy for real?” Bad or negative stories are the lifeblood of the media. Uplifting or positive stories are an afterthought or allowed on the air after, I believe, much arm-twisting. Turn off mainstream television and watch documentaries instead. Learn something. Get in touch with the energy emitted by people. In particular, whether the comments made have a negative bent or a positive one.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when I was 41 years old. We, in the Parkinson’s community, use the example of a snowflake when describing how the disease affects each individual differently. Just like every snowflake is unique unto itself, every person with Parkinsons has their disease progress at a different rate. Since there is no test to determine how long one will maintain their quality of life, moments become precious. As with any life-changing medical condition, a sense of urgency develops. We may not have the time to wait to transform our lives. Thus, the following fall under the category, “Out with the Bad.”

Chapter One: BURN THE TICKS OFF

This may be a little bit gross, but ticks will embed themselves into a human body by inserting its head below the surface of the skin. If you pull the tick off, the head will remain. The way to remove the tick completely is to apply a flame to its body or use an alcohol swab. In this way, the head comes out and the whole tick can be disposed of.
There are ticks in your life that have embedded themselves into you. You may have grown accustomed to having them attached to you and feeding off you. It may seem ordinary and usual to have them connected to you. You feel like they belong. You may even feel a sense of superiority to have these people dependent upon you. What you need to realize is that they are slowly, but surely, sucking the life out of you.

You need to properly and honestly determine who are your ticks and “burn” them off. Ask yourself, “Am I better off with this person in my life or without this person in my life?” Do they add to my healthy enjoyment of life or detract from it? Do the things they say tilt toward the positive or the negative. What energy do you feel? A clear signal is, if after spending some time with someone, you feel like you need to take a long, hot shower to wash the muck off, you might want to rethink the amount of time you spend with that individual, if any. Burning the ticks off is not easy. Ticks have a vested interest is remaining embedded in you. There will be resistance. Serious resistance. It takes courage. It takes guts. It takes resilience. Most of all, it takes discipline. You have to stick to your decision even when doubt creeps into your head. Burn, baby, burn.

Chapter Two: STOP TELLING YOUR SOB STORY

Everyone has a sob story. Some have a whole book of them. Some have enough to fill a small library. Just stop. No one really wants to hear the tragedies that have befallen you in your lifetime. Don’t wear them like some kind of badge or medal. Realize that no one has a perfect life. I don’t mean to belittle or minimize the horrific things that we, as humans, have been forced to endure: death of a child, sexual assault, disease, disasters, concentration camps, addiction, etc. However, you need to look at yourself as a survivor and move on. I am not saying forget, but, by telling your “story” over and over just for the sake of eliciting sympathy, you become the story. It becomes who you are. It becomes your identity. You stop growing. You get lost in the “woe is me” syndrome and your life, for all intents and purposes, is over.

Just as with all the others, this will not be easy. Some people have held on to their sob story for decades and don’t want to move on. Nothing worth anything is easy. But isn’t getting “your” life back worth it? As my wife, Bernadette, says, “Send the Boo-Hoos Bye-Bye.”

Chapter Three: GET OVER IT
Glenda, a wise friend coined the expression, “STOP or I can’t help you.” Any time anyone is involved in some way in a “Life-changing Event” a flood of emotions come with it. For me and my Parkinson’s, what I call the “emotional rollercoaster” started with disbelief, moved to shock, then to denial, isolation, embarrassment, sadness, depression, and finally accepting and even embracing my Parkinson’s.

Its at these times that Glenda’s words of “Stop” or otherwise remain present, regroup and I’ll help you move forward is all my wife needed to realize that she had to shift her thoughts toward a place of “I can” and begin a renewal process. She did. There are positive people around you that are in your life for all the right reasons, might not be forever, but they can just show up and carry you when you need to be carried. This is the support of love and compassion that strengthens a person and pulls them out of the hole, helps you fight. It’s the team, the brigade, the peers, the mentors in your life and your faith that you need to move forward. Then, and only then, can you be lifted. Stop or they can’t help you.

Interestingly, I have not felt angry about having Parkinson’s, who am I going to be angry with? God? Not smart. A pretty powerful force to be mad at. In reality, no one was to blame for my Parkinson, at least not that I know of.
But often someone is to blame, and anger becomes a major blocking emotion. Very justified. Also poison to the soul. You allow the perpetrator to dictate sometimes the remainder of your life. I’m not saying that you, me or anyone else would be able to get over someone taking the life of someone you love or any other evil act. And I am not oblivious to the time necessary to heal. But, I think you would agree that the faster we move through these emotions, the better.
So, I term this simply, “Get over it.” There is no standard for the time it should take, but there comes a time that you need to just “get over it.” Sooner rather than later. Any way that is right for you (and legal, of course) works. Spiritual. Exercise. Primal scream. Yoga. Fitness Boxing. See a therapist or a doctor. Or, as bold and simplistic as it sounds, just make the decision “to get over it.”

By now you know what I am going to say next: It will not be easy, in fact, depending upon the severity of the incident, it may very well be the most difficult thing that you ever do. But you have got to do it. Getting stuck on any negative emotion takes a tremendous amount of energy and blocks you from moving forward. In fact, when people truly “get over” an emotion, whether it be denial, anger, sadness, depression or any other, they typically report some sort of feeling that a weight has been lifted off of them (usually their shoulders). Why wait? Why not control your own circumstances?

By way of example, why wait for the justice system to procure (or worse, not procure) a guilty verdict in the situation where you or a loved one was harmed by another to take your life back? You have the power to move forward through the natural emotions that you experience in as quickly a fashion as possible.
Shock. I had every right to be in shock. I was 41 with Parkinson’s. I needed to “get over it” and did. Denial. Anyone would understand why I would be justified in being in denial. I was so young to have an “old person’s disease.” But I needed to “get over it” and did. Sadness. Interestingly, most of my sadness appeared when I disclosed my illness to others. I had to deal with the emotions experienced by family especially my mother and father. I had to actually help them “get over it.”

Depression. I experienced depression both because I could see my future in other people that I meet with Parkinson’s (wheelchair, uncontrolled movements, inability to swallow, etc.), but also the chemical reaction in the brain to loss of dopamine that is the pleasure center of the brain. Although I do take medication to combat my depression, I don’t rely solely upon the medication. I still do what I can to “get over” my depression. Eat healthy, exercise, stay mentally active, pursue my life’s purpose, etc.

This “get over it” philosophy is necessary to move forward from wallowing in a negative emotion and applies to more than just being diagnosed with Parkinson’s or any other incurable disease. It applies to emotions associated with becoming a caregiver for someone with such an illness. The loss of a parent. The loss of a sibling. God forbid, the loss of a child. Injury of you or a loved one. Divorce. Being cheated upon by a spouse. Loss of a job. I could go on and on. The response stays the same, “Get over it.”

Addictions produce very complex issues. Addictions from drugs to eating disorders, etc. are not likely something that one can just will oneself to just “get over.” Intervention, medical personnel, counselors are necessary. But there is still a critical element of the person, somewhere deep inside themselves, making the affirmative decision to “get over” the addiction.

Chapter Four: QUIT BEING MEAN

After discussing such sensitive areas thus far, it may seem trite to provide an edict called, “Quit being mean.” The significance of this statement should not be trivialized. People provide ample opportunity to be criticized, made fun of, teased, bashed, bullied, abused, etc. You need to resist the temptation to somehow build yourself up by tearing someone else down, whether to his or her face or behind his or her back. I’m just saying. It’s exciting to be mean. We get a rush from it. In fact, watch most of the shows on television. Meanness abounds. You must, on some level, be affected by watching people being mean on these shows. The meaner the host, the better the ratings. Stop the insanity and choose different programs to watch.

Chapter Five: FORGIVE

I’ll end the “out with the bad” section with the most significant edict. Forgiveness. What a powerful word. Who do you need to forgive? Everyone. That includes YOU. Though we should always strive to be, no one is perfect. Sometimes we come down hardest on ourselves. I am not saying forget, but give yourself a break. Learn from mistakes. Learn from failure. As I state on the first page of my website, JohnBaumann.com, “It’s through the pain and fear that builds a warrior.”

You absolutely can, and must, forgive even if it is something that you will never forget. We need to learn from our experiences, but that does not mean that we cannot forgive. It is totally within your power and control to forgive anyone. The other person does not have to ask for your forgiveness or say that they are sorry for you to forgive them.
Your forgiveness does not entitle them to avoid the consequences of their actions, that is their issue. But you don’t have to carry around the anger or other baggage associated with the situation. You have the option of simply forgiving them in your heart. Think back to the people who have wronged you over your lifetime and, one-by-one, forgive them.

I know I sound like a broken record, but, as simple as it sounds, truly forgiving someone, let alone everyone, is also a very difficult thing to do. It takes strength. It takes all kinds of strength, including spiritual strength. “To err is human, to forgive divine.” You may question whether you can forgive. What if you were molested? Lost the ability to walk due to the intentional act of another? Had a loved one brutally murdered by someone? Yes. Yes. Yes. And there are many more circumstances, too many to be able to include in this publication. As monumental as the task, you cannot improve until you have relinquished the anger and pain of your unique past.

Part II: IN WITH THE GOOD

Now that we have removed the bad, we have created a void. We need to fill that void. It is just human nature. What do we fill it with: Good. In with the good. After all, this is self-improvement. It is time to discuss the improvement part.

Chapter Six: PICK A CONCRETE DAY

Many, if not most, people naturally procrastinate, especially when it comes to doing things that are hard or difficult. So, you need to, as my friend Terri says, “Just pick a day to start and stick with it.” If you don’t decide upon a day to begin, you never will get going.

I recommend that you jump right into your transformation, but some people need to start slowly and build up steam. Whatever works for you is fine so long as you are moving forward and not backtracking. It can be a random date or a date that has some significance. Just don’t make it too far into the future or leave it flexible. Focus hard on the date and set it in concrete. Tell people that are important to you the date. Gain ownership in the date.

Chapter Seven: SEEK OUT POSITIVE

There are positive people out there. You just have to keep your eyes open. Look for them. Join a gym. Take up a hobby. Something you really enjoy. Get involved with a charity. Go to a place of worship. Meet new people. Make the time to do what you truly love to do. Surround yourself with the most positive, upbeat, fun-loving people that you can find wherever you go.

Seeking out positive goes well beyond people. Create a positive environment in your world. Open the shades and let in the light. Build a fire in the fireplace on a cold, winter’s night. Feel the warmth. Schedule time to just do nothing.

Go for a walk in the park.

Have real conversations with people. Discuss things that matter. You don’t have to discuss politics or religion to have a real conversation. If in a group, a good rule of thumb is to speak no more than one quarter of the time and listen intently to what others are saying the remainder of the time. Are they confrontational? Are they conciliatory? Are they really listening to what others are saying? Are their comments of a sexist or racist nature? Then, pick out the ones that you want to consider a friendship relationship. Slowly at first, but remain in touch and engaged with them.

Chapter Eight: BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU HAVE

Although I recognize that there are many, many people with no material possessions, there are also many people who have shelter and food to eat on a daily basis. We get so caught up in adding to our “stuff” that we forget what we have. You need to constantly remind yourself to maintain perspective.
When you wake up in the morning, practice making your first thoughts be a relationship that you cherish, could be your relationship with a parent, a sibling, a close friend, a higher power, etc. Or maybe the comfortable bed that you just woke in, the roof over your head that is protecting you from the elements, the ingredients necessary to make your breakfast, etc.

Chapter Nine: BE HEALTHY

Being healthy covers a range of topics. First, eat “clean” (healthy food). Make sure that you put fuel into your body that will aid in living a quality life, make you healthier. You need to eat organic foods to minimize the ingestion of pesticides and other damaging products used in non-organic and processed foods. It would be best to grow your own vegetables and fruits in order to make sure that the soil is not depleted and has the necessary nutrients. If that is not possible, farmer’s markets are popping up all over. Develop a relationship with some of the producers.
In one form or another, sugar is contained in almost everything food purchased in a store. You need to read labels and wean yourself off sugar and sugar substitutes. If you choose to eat meat, focus on locating sources that don’t add steroids or other growth stimulators, treat the animal humanely during its life and the manner of its death, and handle the animal parts in a proper, sterilized and refrigerated environment. Again, start with a farmer’s market.
Drink water. Lots of water. Cut out soda and diet soda, any drink that is sweet. Go cold turkey if you have to. No discussion. No negotiation. It is that bad for you.

I found that when I started eating healthy, I could eat a lot more food, I never had that bloated full feeling, I have more energy, I can exercise more effectively and, so long as I am prepared, I almost never feel hunger pains. What I mean by prepared is to have food always ready to eat no matter where you are, just in case. For me, an Ezekiel wrap of hummus and length-wise cut cucumbers. This removes any excuse to ever be tempted to go to a fast food restaurant.

Remember, food is your body’s fuel. At first, you will struggle giving up many so-called “comfort foods.” I know that I sure did. But as your system cleanses itself, the cravings diminish and then disappear. For the first few months of your transformation, think of food as fuel for your body to operate efficiently and not a source of pleasure or reward. Sure, some of the clean food you eat will taste good, but, temporarily, don’t focus on taste, focus on nutrition.
Second, exercise on a daily basis just beyond your comfort zone. I was attending a conference on Parkinsons when one of the speakers made this statement. It shook my world. I immediately went home and started to exercise on a daily basis, no excuses allowed. I put a definite time on my schedule. I progressively moved from walking on the treadmill to spin bike, etc. Sixteen months later, I do, on alternating days, an hour of strength training in a kettlebell class called G-FIT at Core Combat Sports and 90 minutes of hot yoga at Bikram Yoga Louisville.
I, over the past sixteen months, unintentionally went from 215 pounds to my optimal weight for my height of 180 pounds. I can honestly say that I am healthier and fitter now, over ten years into my Parkinsons, than I have ever been even before I started exhibiting the symptoms of Parkinsons.

Chapter Ten: TOUCH

Make human connection. Many may scoff at this notion. I have an “old school” doctor who during my appointment is in constant contact with me whether it be my forearm, hand, wrist or shoulder. It is unusual and, I’ll admit, I was somewhat uncomfortable with it at first, but, when I got used to it, I realized how soothing it is. I have come to realize how important hugs are in appropriate circumstances. I hug my son and daughter every time I see them. My wife has to remind me sometimes to stop writing so we can hug. For us, it is a minimum of 20 seconds.

Chapter Eleven: BE KIND, COMPASSIONATE AND LOVING

Wow, what a mouthful. But doesn’t everything boil down to these five words. What is the golden rule? What are the teachings of most, if not all, religions? The message of many self-help or self-improvement gurus can be summarized to be more kind, compassionate, and especially loving.

Chapter Twelve: FIND YOUR PURPOSE

I discuss extensively in my book DECIDE SUCCESS having faith that your life has purpose. Once you have accepted the fact that your life does have purpose, the next adventure is to uncover what that purpose is. You don’t create it. Often, you don’t decide what your purpose is. You just uncover it.

For me, I thought my life’s purpose had something to do with working as an attorney. I was wrong. As it turns out, what I uncovered was that my life’s purpose has to do with inspiring people. Go figure. I found out that I have a gift. My genuineness, kindness, compassion, empathy, joy for life, optimism, love comes out whenever I am asked to inspire a group or even an individual. I can bring back hope where hope had been lost. I can help people see beyond what is apparent. I can work with people to create a more positive “End-vision.” I had to develop Parkinson’s disease to uncover my life’s purpose. I now not only accept my Parkinson’s, but actually embrace it. God does work in mysterious ways.

What is your life’s purpose? I know one thing, if you don’t burn the ticks off, slam the door on unfulfilling dating relationships, stop telling your sob story, get over it, stop being mean, forgive, pick a day to start, seek out positive, be aware of what you got, be healthy, touch, be kind, be compassionate and be loving; you will not be prepared or ready to uncover your life’s purpose. It takes work, hard work, to move forward, but, I can tell you, it is worth every bit of it. I hope that I have set a positive example for the people with whom I come in contact. After all, that is what being a mentor is all about.

 

Most would give in and give up when diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (or any other chronic illness) at the age of 41.  John made the decision to “Decide Success.”

He had a wonderful life and believed he was fulfilling his “purpose.” He graduated from Cornell Law School, and had practiced law for 15 successful years. Then his world was turned upside down. He had no idea how quickly the symptoms of this horrific, debilitating disease would progress. It totally changed his perspective on life.

What no one would see as a positive development, John decided to make one. He worked for seven more years as a full-time attorney. He contributed to several books and wrote one of his own aptly named, “Decide Success-You Ain’t Dead Yet.”John joined the faculty of the University of Louisville, and was honored as “Most Inspiring Professor.”

But his most important decision was to reinvent himself as an Inspiring Success Speaker and Workshop Facilitator. Now over 15 years later after that first diagnosis, John speaks on topics he knows he is an expert in, and maintains an honest, genuine, real, humorous approach.  He has truly “uncovered his purpose!” 

Develop Differently-Abled Employees: No-Excuses Leadership

Develop Differently-Abled Employees: No-Excuses Leadership

By Doug Lipp

Sandra, the factory employee I’m observing, works tirelessly and methodically at her station.

Reaching into a large cardboard box filled with hundreds of teabags, Sandra pulls out enough bags to fill tea-bag-sized indentations in a tray situated in front of her on the workbench. Once she fills each indentation—15 for this job — she carefully transfers the teabags from the tray into a smaller box destined for supermarket shelves.

Over and over during her shift, Sandra accurately fills the smaller boxes with the consistency and reliability of a computer-controlled robot … yet she is blind, cannot hear, and cannot count.

Sandra is blessed to work for an organization called Pride Industries. Founded in a church basement in 1966 in Auburn, California, Pride Industries hires and trains people with a variety of physical and mental challenges, the “differently-abled” in our society.  Using massively creative training programs, Pride Industries helps turn an often ignored group of people into purpose-driven, contributing members of society.

The overwhelming success of PRIDE has proven what its founding leadership team suspected all along: When people are nourished by the power of purpose, and set up for success via well-designed training, their spirits soar, their talents blossom … and their disabilities disappear.

So, you can only imagine how I recently responded to a complaint voiced by an owner of multiple restaurants across the United States: “These young kids today can’t count change for our customers.” Look in the mirror, buddy, your lack of leadership is where the problem resides.

Business owners, leaders, managers and supervisors need to stop playing the victim card. It’s time to move from the excuses-laden, creativity-killing position of, “No, we can’t do that because,” to the possibilities-rich mindset of “Yes, If.”

Sandra would be the first to agree.

Doug Lipp is on a crusade to help your audience strengthen their corporate culture, boost business performance, and unapologetically, have fun while doing it. As an International Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author of “Disney U”, Former Head of Disney University Training Team, and Executive Coach, Doug is one of the most trusted and respected business speakers and coaches in the world! He is sought after for his expertise in helping organizations build adaptive, world-class service cultures that fuel growth and long-term success. Doug leaves his audiences with a blueprint for creating and perpetuating a culture of significance unique to their organization.  Call 888-766-3155  today to hire Doug for your next event!

 

“You Get What You Pay For!”

How many times have you heard: “you get what you pay for?”  I can remember my Grandmother saying that over and over again.

We are not sure where the quote actually came from, but I am finding more and more people want value, a positive experience, and service. Isn’t that what everyone in business promises to provide and deliver in a cost effective, excellent and timely manner?

I encounter this at times: “Sue, I love your company and the speakers you represent, but we can’t afford you!”  Ever heard that, or said it to a someone else, maybe even me?  When I hear it, I have to first think, “what are they really saying” before I respond. I have found in my many years of sales and marketing that usually it is not about the money at all!

People and companies can always find the money when their deepest desires are met! However, when hearing that statement how many of us will take the time to ask, “tell me more about why you feel that way?” to see if we have even uncovered their deepest desire, or addressed it clearly enough? Or do we just smile, feel rejected or even say: “you get what you pay for” and walk away?

Building a business is all about relationships, knowing your target markets, and being willing and confident enough to do the best you can, provide great value, overcome objections, and handle rejections well so you can move on no matter the choice of others!

Challenge for you:  is your business model based on value or fees first?  How do you position yourself so value is the main thing that people want to come to you for,
regardless of your fee?  It’s key to your success!

As Founder/CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau Sue Falcone knows from experience how stressful finding the right speaker can be! Sue is passionate and dedicated to bringing customized and personalized services to her clients by providing experienced and accredited professional speakers, and a stress- free experience when working with her or a member of her team. Contact her at 888-766-3155 and she will help you get started to creating a Remarkable event!