7 Ways to Experience True Success – # 5 Partner Well

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Partner Well
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”

Proverbs 15.22

In a few days, many of my friends will be traveling to Franklin, Tennessee to attend The Tribe Conference, 2018 hosted by Best Selling Author and Entrepreneur, Jeff Goins. This conference is somewhat unique in that it is a gathering for writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to grow their craft, share their work, and get the attention their work deserves.

Unlike a traditional writer’s conference, this outstanding gathering brings together a wide variety of people of different ages, disciplines, worldviews, and skill levels who share a shared vision of impacting the world with their message. Besides, to great speakers and helpful workshops, the Tribe Conference is an outstanding place to network, partner, share ideas, and seek wisdom.

You may be asking: Why are you telling me about this John?

I am glad you asked.

The fifth component of True Success is to partner well.

Think about this poignant thought from Andy Andrew book, The Seven Decisions.
“God moves mountains to create the opportunity of his choosing. It is up to you to move yourself.”

You and I do not have the power to change our past, but we have the grace and the ability to change our present and our future by making the necessary choice today. One of the keys ways to do this is by seeking the wisdom of others.

You see there are two ways to learn in life, the first is knowledge which comes from my own self-study like reading books, attending classes, listening to podcasts and making my own pig-headed mistakes. Wisdom, on the other hand, is learning from others who know things and have learned the lesson that I might not have discovered.

Seeking wisdom helps us craft lives of extraordinary achievement. Change is inevitable, so we might as well accept the power and responsibility for making choices and partnering well.

So, how can we do this? Apart from being a life-long learner, attending conferences, reading and all of the other things one can do in the area of self-improvement you must choose your companions carefully. In other words, you must partner effectively.

There is a powerful proverb that speaks to this, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

A partner is a wise person, advisor, or counselor (not in the traditional way) who can provide needed insight, wisdom, or any practical help to help you achieve a specific goal, successfully complete a project, or fulfill a dream.

Unfortunately, most folks only seek a counselor or input from others when there are either “up to their eyeballs” with trouble or when they have a need that they cannot handle by themselves.

By having people in our lives who can provide insight, counsel, and advice we can receive numerous benefits.

Benefit # 1
You will have a much better chance of accomplishing your dreams, plans, goals, and objectives.

Benefit # 2
By getting honest input from others, you actually lower your risk.
I personally love the way the Amplified Bible describes this principle from Proverbs 11:14

Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fail [and go off course like a ship without steering]. But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory.” While this was a passage aimed primarily for the military, its implications are much broader.

Benefit # 3
Lessons learned in the school of wisdom have a lifelong impact.

Benefit #4
When you go through tough times, and you will, then you will have someone to help you get through it. Someone will have your back.

Once again, the ancient advice from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 4, verses 9&10, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”

Benefit # 5
By having other people as counselors and advisors, you will be able to have victories and accomplish things that would otherwise be lost.

The old advice once again validates this principle. Once again from the 4th chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes verse 12, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Five pretty significant benefits of having a team of people to act as your counselors, advisors, or as your board of directors.

By a board of directors, I am talking about a small informal group of men and women who have skills, expertise, connections, and understanding that you do not have. They are out there, I promise you. Some are people that you know right now and others you will meet down the road.

On a personal note I have a great team, some I spend a lot of time with some I stay in touch with. This team is made up of family members, accountants, my publisher, who was previously an old friend, a couple of best-selling authors, a couple of minister friends, and a young friend who is a marketing master.

How about you? Do you have a board of directors, a team of people who you run ideas by? I hope you do, and if you currently do not have such a group, begin to think and pray about forming one, sooner than later.

Failure to do so has some pretty dire consequences.

Consequence # 1
Your plans and purpose could do a face plant and fail.

Consequence # 2
You have a higher risk of financial loss and possible humiliation.
Proverbs 13:18 puts it this way in the New Living Translation, “If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.”

Action Plan
If you are needing to begin building your own personal board of directors/advisors, make it your goal to seek wisdom.

Choose your partners, your advisors with care.

Right now, in your journal or on a piece of paper do these three things.

1. List those people in your inner circle, those who have or have had a positive influenced your life, including family members, friends, colleagues, and others.

2. This next part will be tough. By each name put an arrow to indicate the direction the person is leading you. The up arrow means they challenge, encourage, energize, and set a pace for you. The down arrow means they do not challenge, inspire and drag you down, are consume too much energy, and keep you off course.

3. Do you notice any particular patterns? With whom do you spend time with, the ones who energize or the energy vampires? You will become who you hang with.

Hey, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave me a comment.

Blessings,
John

PS
I will miss my friends and partners at Tribe 2018. This week I will be headed downrange to the Florida Panhandle and to a couple of places I spent a lot of time at in my youth, namely Mexico Beach and Panama City Beach. Part of my mission, my manifesto is to equip people to manage stress in extreme environments, and I will be performing my mission as a Stress Counselor for the FEMA Staff. I covet your prayers for this deployment.

By the way, I have a special price on my book The No Fear Entrepreneur, it is available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobooks.

How to Handle Criticism – Abraham Lincoln

Statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC-Deposit Photos

During his presidency, Abraham Lincoln was greatly respected and greatly reviled. Blamed for plunging this nation into a civil war, he was the president people loved to hate. Those who opposed his views regarding the war and slavery, as well as his efforts to keep them united, were vocal and uninhibited in denouncing him.

One day during one of the darkest periods of his presidency, Lincoln was walking down a street near the Capitol in Washington when an acquaintance caught up with him. As they walked, the man brought up the subject of the growing anti-Lincoln sentiment growing in Washington and throughout the country.

With brutal honesty, the man related to Lincoln many of the stories outlining attacks on Lincoln and his policies. As the man spoke, Lincoln remained completely silent and absorbed in his own thoughts.

Then Lincoln stopped, looked directly at the man and said: “Yes, I have heard you, but let me tell you a story. You know that it is the habit of all dogs to come out at night and bark and bark and bark at the moon. This keeps on as long as the moon is clearly visible in the sky.”

Then he stopped speaking and continued his walk. Confused by Lincoln’s response, his exasperated companion persisted. “Mr. Lincoln, you haven’t finished your story. Tell me that rest of it!”

Once again Lincoln stopped walking and said, “ There is nothing more to say. The moon keeps right on shining.”President Lincoln is an excellent role model for managing criticism.

Although he was aware of his shortcomings and knew many highly respected and influential people disagreed with him, the president listened to the criticism and followed his own intuitive sense that his policies would eventually win over critics and unify the country.

One of life’s challenging realities is that there are always people around who are our fault- finders, people who seldom see the good but are quick to point out the negative. Like Abraham Lincoln, all of us need to find ways of hearing criticism without being detracted or destroyed by it.

Action Plan, sign up for my email and join me for my book launch

March 22, 2018

The  No Fear Entrepreneur, by John Thurman

Change or Die: Recalibrate or Stagnate Part 2

From Deposit Photos

 

What do Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Jamie Fox, and Viola Davis have in common?

They reinvented themselves.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, world-famous wrestler to respected film star.

Jamie Foxx started out as a standup comic, turned singer with numerous # 1 Billboard hits and Platinum selling albums not to mention the fact he is an Academy Award winner.

Taylor Swift who has made a dynamic and successful shift from being the darling of country music to a dominating pop artist.

Viola Davis who was trained at Juilliard in theart of classical theater made a successful transition from stage to television to becoming a two-time Oscar winner. One for her portrayal as a 1960’ housemaid in the comedy-drama The Help and another for her role in Fences.

Ed Sheeran who has transitioned from a Gaelic folk singer to a rock vibe, then into a very marketable alternative sound that crosses many genres.

Why do you think these individuals needed to reinvent themselves?

I believe it was to remain viable in today’s marketplace.

The explosion of social media, the Amazon effect, and other massive cultural shifts are changing the way we do everything.

What about you?

Have you ever considered reinventing yourself?

Today, using some of John Manchin’s keen insight on three type of reinvention, I am going to ask you to take a look at where you are.

So, when you are looking to reinvent yourself, you need to realize you only have two options, change or die. Maybe not physical death, but the death of a vision, death of hope, end of a dream.

I recently read an exceptional article by John Manshi, an attorney, entrepreneur, and actor who I follow on Medium..com His words connected profoundly and profoundly, and mirrored my own experience. In the interest of full disclosure, the balance of this post is an intermingling of his article with my story.

Manshi reveals the three types of reinvention people go through in their lives, strategic moves which people can choose to make or not.

The Three Basic Structures of Reinvention

Is there a distinction between change and reinvention? Yes, all reinvention required change, but not all change is reinvention.

The Reactive Reinvention

This type of reinvention is usually sudden and immediately impactful.

  • You experience a job loss
  • You suffer an injury
  • You make a colossal misjudgment or mistake
  • Your spouse, or significant other cheats on you
  • Your company’s business model undergoes an abrupt change

Each of these events can lead to a reactive reinvention.

Reactive Reinvention comes about when an external event occurs and compels you to make changes. In this type of activity, you must change to advance your life and those things you hold dear. You cannot go back because the activating event that caused this is irreversible.

I experienced this twice with my work as a ministry professional. The first being when I moved to New Mexico, the second when the Senior Pastor left the church I was serving in New Mexico.

At that point, I had an epiphany. I needed to go back to school, obtain my counseling degree, and become a licensed professional counselor.

While the event shook me to the core, it caused me to take an intense and serious looking into my vocational call as a people helper. The lesson gleaned from this experience is you core calling will not change, but the way you live it out may be radically different from what you thought it would be.

The beauty of this type of reactive reinventions is even though it can and most likely will be an arduous task to start, the person you become will often be better and stronger than before.

The Proactive Reinvention

  • You want a new job or a promotion
  • You want to start a new business, write a book, or share your art
  • You want to improve your health or finances
  • You want to develop a new skill
  • You want to have a new adventure or experience
  • America is the land of dreamers and entrepreneurs who believe there is a better way to live

I have traveled the world in the past several years, and I can tell you from up close and personal experience, there is no other country in the world today which gives its citizens the freedom to fully pursue your dreams.

Proactive Reinvention is when you purposefully and intentionally change to take advantage or a trend or an opportunity that is in front of you.

On a personal note, one of my proactive reinventions was to become a Crisis Response Specialist.

As an ordained minister, chaplain and mental health professional I have been involved in helping people with events ranging from automobile accidents, natural disasters, acts of terrorism for some years. Also, I have served as a Stress Management Consultant Team for international agencies.

Early on I was keenly aware of how people respond to natural disasters; human-made disasters, mass casualty events and other disruptive events. Intrigues by my observations and reading, I began some independent studies in the field of Psychotraumatology, humans resilience, stress reactivity, and post-traumatic growth.

This proactive reinvention has opened the doors for me too as a specialist in both Disaster Mental Health and Employee Assistance Consultant who helps companies with Disruptive Workplace Events.

The crazy things about proactive reinvention are the power to condense an incredible amount of training into a relatively small, intense amount of time if you desire to transform is strong enough.

The third type is a by-product of failure. As mentioned before, I experienced this when I failed to be accepted into the counseling program all those many years ago. Also, the job loss in Albuquerque and the intense financial struggles for the next short season intensely confronted me on the need to rise out of the ashes of what I perceived as some of my miserable failures

The Reflective Reinvention

Reflective Reinvention occurs when you fail at something, but you still have a strong desire to continue on a particular path.

You may have failed numerous times. You may feel like a complete loser because of the number of times you have eaten the bitter tastes of failure. Nevertheless, something deep inside you will not go away.

The key to reinvention and transformation at this point in the game is to change something about yourself.

The only way to change yourself is to reflect on your situation. A simple way to do this without going into a negative spiral is to ask yourself three questions. What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? What can I do better or differently? After spending some time of honest reflection and counting the cost to make the changes, you will have clarity as you make the necessary adjustment and changes in your life.

Manshi proposed a question: Why do I care if there are three varieties on the theme of reinvention?

He continues, being able to identify the one you find yourself in is the key to determining the strategies you will need to move forward.

Why?

First, each style of reinvention calls for distinct, calculated strategies actually to make the necessary changes.

Second, when you utilize the correct strategy to the type of reinvention you are going through you immediately accelerate the desired outcome.

Third, if you fail to implement the suitable strategy/s, you will, no doubt, waste precious time and might not reach your desired outcome nor reach your full potential.

Here are some of very insightful thoughts Manshi shares about reinvention strategies.

The Reactive Reinvention Strategy

When you are trying to reinvent yourself reactively, you have an enormous amount of energy and motivation. Not all of this is positive, edifying energy, much of it can become detrimental, life-sucking energy, destructive power.

That negative energy comes from self-doubt, self-loathing, anxiety, depression, loss, and possibly physical pain.

Here are a couple of “must do’s” to make this transition go forward:

  • Learn to manage the energy, both internally and externally. By doing this, you can use the positive, kinetic energy to propel you forward. If you fail to do this, there is a possibility the negatively could consume you.
  • To reinvent, it is imperative you use this burst of energy and transform it into your burning purpose.

The Proactive Reinvention Strategy

If you are going to reinvent yourself proactively, you must spend some time reviewing and analyzing trends. You must become opportunistic in the art of seeing what others cannot or will not see. You need preparation, education, and focused learning.

You will have to create margin in your life so you will have free, unencumbered time to prepare, learn and move towards the new opportunity to trend.

Finding time in the nooks and crannies is the most critical aspect of proactive reinvention.

For me, it meant working on my second Master’s degree while working full-time and being deployed for Desert Storm.

The Reflective Reinvention Strategy

When you engage in reflective reinvention, you have experienced multiple failures of something. As for myself, I had this crazy idea I should write. I attended some small writer’s conferences and workshops and began to submit to various magazines, online journals, as well as local outlets.  I received many more rejections than acceptances, while these dismissals slowed me down, they did reveal I had something to say.

If your best effort and knowledge does not result in success, then the problem is easy to diagnose; you need information and input from a source outside of yourself. This might come through a mentor, a friend, a personal business coach or consultant.

This step can be a difficult one for many people because it may involve swallowing some pride to realize you are having trouble figuring things out. Being prideful will not allow you to see the back of your head. You need a mirror, a camera or someone else.

There is no shortcut. It is the only way to succeed. You need to consider finding a mentor, coach, consultant, or some source to help you with this step. They may be able to provide a missing or overlooked piece of the puzzle that you are trying to solve.

In my own, small but growing journey as a writer I have been so workshops, seminars, writer’s groups, mastermind groups, as well as critique groups. I have submitted proposals, received multiple rejections, while at the same time, having some things published. I have had friends make helpful suggestions have helped me improve in this area of my life.

So what am I doing to help with this reflective reinvention strategy:

  • I am learning about my blind spots and am finding workarounds
  • I am lowering some of the gates of my self-pride and am allowing others to speak to me.
  • I am growing an accountability group to help increase my effectiveness as a person, spouse, and people helper.

What about you? Are you either entering into one of these reinvention phases, in the middle of it or coming out of it.

I would love to hear about your journey in the comments.

 

 

Recalibrate or Stagnate: The Choice is Yours!

How are those New Year’s resolutions going? In the interest of full disclosure, I am at about 60%, which, at least for me is not too bad.

The New Year is a time when so many of us consider making some changes in our lives; some people are looking to make some small changes others are looking to recalibrate, to reinvent themselves.

On the downside 80% of us will abandon most of those resolutions by mid-February, but what about the 20% that do keep them. So what are some ways to maintain those decisions, to recalibrate?

Resolution makers who have a measure of success move from thinking about making some changes to doing what it takes to make them hold. They intentionally move from a contemplative stage to an action stage.

Most of us have excellent ideas, ideas that will work. It might be to write a book, start a business, make some personal changes, or to suggest some changes in the workplace. The issue is that most of used a pretty lousy job of doing what it takes to execute those ideas. I know in my life, this has been an area of struggle.

I recently read an excellent article on medium.com by John Manshi titled, Only Three Ways to Reinvent Yourself.
He says, “When you are looking to reinvent yourself, you need to realize that you only have two choices, change or die. I will not be physical death, but the death of a vision, or the end of a dream.”

Manshi discusses three types of reinvention, recalibration and they are the reactive reinvention, the proactive reinvention, and the reflective reinvention.

In my personal and professional life, I have experienced all three of these. Some of these recalibration phases were very difficult resulting in job loss, a dynamic loss of income and some short-term personal challenges. Other recalibration phases have led to positive, kinetic changes in my life, business, and marriage. I hope that some of my life experience, as well as my years of working as a professional counselor, will give you some insight and tools to help you make the changes, rekindled the dreams and move forward.

In this series, I am going to show you how each of the recalibration strategies work and how you can take this information and continue to make the positive changes in your life, your business and your relationship.

So, what will you choose to do? Will you choose to stagnate or recalibrate?

Let me give you a personal invitation to join my email list to follow me in this series.

The Leadership Style of Gentleness

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I write about leadership. But today I want to focus on qualities that are not always associated with leadership. However, if you do not have these qualities no one will follow you. And if you have no followers you are not a leader. That’s pretty plain and simple.
The qualities are kindness, gentleness, humility, and graciousness. Unfortunately for the segment of society that is most often associated with leadership, the choleric, these qualities are often lacking. These qualities are often lacking in me.
Telling people what to do is not effective. It is offensive. No one wants to be told what to do. They want servant leadership, not a dictatorship.
Using strong language to make a point only turns people off and offends their sensibilities. People seek shelter from a blast. They are never drawn to it.
Accusing others who do not get it of being stupid or lazy does not motivate anyone to change, it only motivates them to stay away from you. If someone has a different opinion than you, it does not make them stupid. And if you act like they are, you have completely lost your ability to win them over. If someone doesn’t do what you think they should do, it doesn’t make them lazy. It just means that you didn’t do a good job of motivating them.
Sarcasm is never an effective motivational tool for anyone. The only point it makes is that you are a toxic person who will hurt others.
Abruptness does not promote connection or conversation. It makes people feel devalued. It makes people feel like your thoughts and feelings and presence is not important. It makes people feel used. You got what YOU needed. You are done.
People will forgive almost anything except for arrogance. No one has a problem with people who make mistakes. Everyone has a problem with people who feel like they don’t.
If you want to make people pay, teach them a lesson, put them in their place, or make them feel like they made you feel, you will not only be a miserable person because you will be eaten up with bitterness, but no one will want to entrust themselves to you. They are not willing to pay the payment you will extract if they make a mistake.
Smugness does not prove a point. It only makes people want to slap you. If you get that look, you stand a better chance of people following you if you are wearing a paper sack over your face. You can turn people off without saying a word. You cannot lead or influence a person who is turned off by you. If you don’t know what “that look” is, I’m sure your spouse does. Ask them.
No one operates better under an atmosphere of guilt than they do under an atmosphere of praise. One of the best word mantras to live life by was written by Ken Blanchard in his classic book, “The One Minute Manager.” He said to “catch someone in the act of doing something good and tell them about it.”
Being opinionated is the opposite of being teachable. Even if you are completely correct, if you say it in such a way that puts everyone else down, people are not going to take your side.
People are more drawn to the way you relate to them than by what you say to them or what you have achieved. They will only follow someone who makes them feel safe.
Power is found in gentleness. Jesus said, “The meek will inherit the earth.” Kindness is the most motivating tool in the world. Humility will cause people to follow you on many mistakes. And graciousness will create an atmosphere that people will flock to.
If people are not following your leadership it is time to look inside. And the “you” in this entire post is directed toward me, Gayle Foster. I hope you have benefited from reading the private notes I wrote for my own benefit.
I would love to hear your thoughts on leadership styles and what is motivating or demotivating. Do you see anything that can be improved upon in yourself? Do you see where you have been hurt by someone trying to lead you and how things could have turned out differently? Let’s all help each other.
Gayle Rogers Foster