It’s Time to Take Charge of Your Life

All personal development is dependent upon your growth as a person. Focus your attention on becoming a much better version of who you are. No matter how much you feel your future is not bright, there is a light of success at the end of the tunnel of despair. No matter how successful you feel, there is always room to stretch out a bit more. Moving into a new year is exciting and anticipatory of what can happen. Make 2015 the year you maximize your personal growth, income and satisfaction with life.

Look at the “shop” page on the site to purchase my books. Together they are the ultimate success package. Great Christmas Gifts!

How are Employee Values Affecting Your Business?

One of the important components of success in the workplace relates to the commonality of values between workers. The closer the values, the stronger the cohesiveness. When there is a common purpose, something that common values can create, there is more energy and commitment to reach the desired outcomes.

When hiring, companies need to weigh the values individuals will bring to the workplace. Team spirit is supported by common values. Team demise can be attributed to a divide of values.

In the Human Performance Safety training I conduct, the significance of values supporting safe performance of employees is paramount to creating and sustaining a safe work environment for all. High risk values open the floodgates of incidents. Employees that will not undertake risky behaviors tend to bring stability to safety practices and low incident rates.

Every facet of organizational success has ties to values. What values are driving your company and how do the values of your employees affect outcomes—two important questions every leader must answer.

Choosing a Different Path in the Coming Year

A New Year often brings with it a renewed optimism and momentum for creating something better in the coming year. And, that’s a good thing. But the reality is that many of us lose our optimism and the momentum comes to a complete halt. What was once an exciting dream can now be called a recurring nightmare. There is no reason for one to suffer through these circumstances. While there is no “magic pill” to take, here are two key practices that can either eliminate failing or dramatically slow it down.

The first, is being disciplined. Unfortunately for humans, maintaining the necessary discipline to truly bring more success into our life is not easy. There are too many distractions that get in the way of our focus and create unwanted detours. When we begin to stray from the path of success, we must, through self-discipline, bring ourselves back on the path. Building an awareness of where we are on our success road is a great stimulus. If we know where we are at all times and we know where we should be, shifting lanes becomes much easier.

The second critical component of staying on target in 2014 is to surround yourself with people that want success as badly as do. Being around unmotivated, undisciplined and unfocused individuals is a death sentence for your vision. Choose your friends and associates wisely and run as fast as you can from those who can and will deter you. A great support team like a mastermind group is a strong stimulus to help you bring your vision into reality. Remember, it’s better to have no friends at all than to have just one of the wrong kind of friend.

So, as you look into 2014, ask yourself two questions: Do I have the necessary self-discipline to make my life better in the coming year? Do I have associates that will support me to make more success happen? If you answered “No” to either question, take a long step back and start over again because if you stay on that path, it will only lead you to the wilderness, not the Promised Land!

Three Practices No Leader Can Ignore (Part I)

In today’s business environment we see an increasing emphasis on bottom-line activities—certainly incredibly important if a business is to survive. But, I want to take the discussion a slightly different direction and talk about the element of a business that is equally critical to surviving—people.

Leaders lead people. Without the ability to gather followers, we are not leading. So the CEO, senior and middle manager and first-line supervisor all have a common thread—they lead people.

One could cite dozens of characteristics a leader can use to effectively lead people. However, there are fundamental issues that no leader can afford to ignore. Those issues are the heart of this article.

Leaders Set the Tolerance Level: A major mistake leaders make is not being clear on the expectations desired. In every facet of a business, leaders must be very clear what they want to accomplish, what the picture of the business will look like when fully in place and the behaviors needed to make all this happen.

Leaders must articulate the “box” of acceptable behaviors. They educate to expectations and hold everyone, including themselves, accountable for living those expectations. Workers are trained until understanding of job requirements occurs. It is the leader’s job to make sure there is understanding before monitoring for compliance. When deviations occur, leaders should first examine where things went astray before losing their cool. If an investigation shows a deficiency in the original training, changes are warranted and necessary. Once these deficiencies have been corrected, future monitoring will either show compliance or a lack of performance.

When behaviors don’t meet standards agreed upon, workers are then accountable for their performance. Consequences for failed accountability may vary but should be unmistakably understood from the beginning. Sometimes this hurts. But it is critically important that consequences occur. Wavering lowers the bar of expectations reducing tolerance levels. If continued, a leader will soon find a worker that exhibits behavior nowhere near what was originally expected.

In all cases, patience and understanding make the process smoother. Blend all this with a caring attitude intended to maximize the success of every worker and you build a mechanism for success at every level.

Setting a proper and sensible tolerance level is probably one of the most critical processes that need implementation. Failing to do this can only lead to chaos, loss of profits and disgruntled and confused workers.

Billy’s Success Principles

  1. Life may be a banquet but we must understand that there is no free lunch.
  2. There is no need to develop goals unless we wish to greatly underachieve our potential.
  3. Become a disciplined manager of your time use always focusing on the highest priority in your life at that moment.
  4. No statue was ever erected to a critic. Think long and hard before you speak harsh words about someone.
  5. Don’t try to change everyone around you. Try changing yourself!
  6. Study every aspect on leadership that you can because life is about either leading yourself or leading others.
  7. What to learn about success? Try hanging around successful people and implementing what they teach you.
  8. Jobs have a limited future. A career is an open-ended opportunity.
  9. Make it a rule to learn something new every day.

10. Winners understand that they must avoid doing the things that failures do.

11. Being disciplined opens doors to the greater opportunities of life. Not being disciplined closes these same doors trapping us in the world of unfulfilled opportunities.

12. A lack of adequate planning often results in a “less than” achievement.

13. Inertia grounds our momentum. Taking action is how we start momentum.

14. Never underestimate the vastness of your experiences. Use them to help you grasp new opportunities in your career. Experience can be the great equalizer in a very competitive world.

15. Don’t spend time worrying about what you don’t have. Instead, focus on what you want life to bring you and work like hell to make that your reality.

16. Goals create a foundation upon which to build your house of success.

17. Make saving a part of every dollar you earn an integral part of your life. Make giving a portion of every dollar you earn to worthy causes an integral part of your life.

18. The biggest internal struggle many have is to keep their “darkest secrets” out of the light of day. Instead, we must forgive ourselves as God is willing to forgive us and turn our darkness into glowing rays of light.

19. Most of life’s fears are a needless waste of energy.

20. Learn to see possibilities, not liabilities by dwelling on what can be rather than on what cannot be.

21. Keep the right priorities of life in this order: (1) God, (2) Family (3) Career.

Use Failures as a Stepping Stone To Greater Things

As you move through life, expect to experience failure. What can happen with such events confront our lives? We freeze with fear and never overcome the stigma of having failed. If this describes your reaction, why not implement these ideas to forever remove the fear of failing.

(1) Understand that to fail does not make you a failure. A failure is but a temporary inconvenience in the path of life. Put failures in perspective and don’t cast a dark shadow over your life because of a small obstacle. Life is made up of many years. Failures are only a heart beat by comparison.

(2) Learn from your failures; then forget them. Dwelling forever on your mistakes will not change what was. All we can do is commit ourselves to avoid repeating the mistake. Forgive and forget is good advice. Life is not a boxing match. You don’t have to walk away with scars and bruises to show you’ve lived.

(3) You are never a failure as long as you keep on trying. Persistence has a way of neutralizing obstacles and diminishing the impact of failures. Never give up and failures will become history. There is nothing in your life you cannot overcome if you persist long enough.

(4) Failure is never final unless you let it. Our attitude is the single most important factor for effectively dealing with failures. Remind yourself that recovery is always potentially possible. Giving up is for losers. Make adjustments and move on. Life is too valuable to give up enjoying it.

Plan your life. Work your plan. When faced with obstacles, view them as temporary inconveniences; forgive yourself; use tenacity to bulldoze obstacles and always remember that tomorrow is another day when you can begin anew. Learn your lessons well. Happy failures!

Are You Ready for the Journey?

In my book Journeying on Holy Ground, you will learn how to set priorities to help you gain personal happiness and the achievement of your dreams.

The Journey with God helps you:
 Create the ultimate relationship that will bring peace into your life
 Discover the power of prayer and choice
 Learn how to share your time, talents and treasures with God and the world

The Journey with family helps you:
 Strengthen your marital bond and relationship skills with your spouse
 Develop the right parental relationship with your children
 Discover how to keep God in your family life

The Journey in your career helps you:
 Grow your skills and find satisfaction with your work
 Develop techniques that make you a stronger leader
 Discover how to successfully use the “spiritual dimension” of work

The Journey with your personal development helps you:
 Discover coping skills to ease the tensions of life
 Apply key success principles to use in every facet of your life
 Complete the “Success Challenge” questions to bring personal insights to fruition

Check out www.JourneyingOnHolyGround.com to order your copy.

Leaders Lead, Not Point Fingers

Great leaders never point fingers at others to place blame or to excuse his or her failures. Rather, they step up and take whatever action is needed to rectify the situation, regardless of who caused it to exist in the first place. On the other hand, there are those leaders whose main survival tactic is to point fingers at others. And, nowhere is this type of behavior more prevalent than in the world of politics.

Unfortunately, we have a different set of rules in play today. Elected officials are quick to blame all the ills of government on the other party or on past elected officials. And, in-between the bickering, nothing good gets done. True leaders willingly take whatever risks are necessary to get the job done and fix a situation. They choose not to fix blame but to take charge. They choose to do the tasks needed and not concern themselves with re-election. They understand that the past is over and the only moment of control is now. And, by doing so, they can help shape the future. Great leaders are secure with themselves and their major concern is to make things better on every front and they do so without fear of the consequences.

20 Guiding Principles for Building Personal Success

Here are some lessons I’ve collected over a lifetime of study of what makes some people more successful than others. Apply them to your daily routine and you greatly increase the odds of being a leader in your industry and in life.

1. To be great, associate with great people.
2. Be focused and disciplined with time.
3. Excellence is a habit.
4. Look beyond the obvious to anticipate what is going to happen.
5. Build relationships in order to ultimately build access and circles of influence.
6. Be very clear and focused with your thinking and strategies. Start with the end in mind and build towards that end.
7. Build an equity and wealth consciousness. You will never be wealthy without a mindset to become wealthy.
8. Think billable hours and the value of the hourly income desired.
9. ID what is missing in an organization. Go after that element of business or seek to create leadership in this area.
10. Use 1/3 of your time for learning; 1/3 for earning and 1/3 for serving.
11. Develop systems for all activities and, for outstanding results, execute them consistently.
12. Keep the big picture in mind and stop being task oriented. Be able to replicate success.
13. Be selectively extravagant but prudently frugal.
14. Perception is reality. Position yourself in your own eyes before you can improve your positioning with others.
15. Leverage what you do. Be congruent with leveraging and strategy building.
16. Focus on education, not training.
17. At the end of the day ask, “What did I learn today that I didn’t know yesterday?
18. Watch your thoughts and remember: garbage in garbage stays.
19. Remove any activity in your life that will not help you move towards your desired outcomes.
20. Give back.

Delegation (Part 2)

Hold everyone to whom you delegate responsibilities to the same deadlines you have. If necessary, have staff provide progress reports. Email updates are a quick and easy way to do this. You might also place a reminder on your calendar to assure the tasks remains on schedule in the early delegation stages. Don’t hesitate to intervene if, at any point, you see that the task will not get done on schedule. You don’t want to miss a deadline with your boss because a staff member missed their deadline with you. That is a lose-lose situation you don’t want to have happen.

It’s alright to have staff members ask questions to clarify issues. However, don’t let them ask for so much advice that you really end up doing the work yourself. Some staff members will do this to you if you are not careful. Make it clear that you are available to help but that completion of the task is now their responsibility. Make it clear that along with the responsibility goes accountability.

A follow-up to the previous point is to also provide the level of authority that goes with the assignment. Do they have the right to do the task without any input from you? Do they make the decision and keep you informed of what they did? Is approval from you necessary before a final decision is made? Do you simply want them to make a recommendation and you make the decision? These are the four levels of delegation and staff must know up front how much freedom you are comfortable giving. Always remember that the more freedom you can give, the more freedom you will have.

When performance is done properly, be sure to provide proper recognition. Everyone enjoys a little praise. When you’ve given away a task, let the person who does it well for you know how much you appreciate their efforts. A sincere thank you goes a long way.

What’s in it for you if you do start delegating more? Some benefits include improvement in staff morale, confidence, independence and professional growth. The workload is now more evenly distributed and you’ve started to utilize more of the talent pool you have at your disposal. You are also now free to concentrate on more important tasks.

Mother Teresa once said, “To keep a lamp burning, you’ve got to put oil in it.” To paraphrase her: “To keep a company growing, you’ve got to put delegation into it.” The final questions you should consider are, how well is your lamp burning and how much are you delegating?