Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Valuetainment Episode #31: James Worthy NBA Hall of Famer aka “Big Game James”, discusses what his experience was like while playing on the same team as Magic Johnson; what it took to overcome their conflict and sustain the elements that made the Lakers a championship team.

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Valuetainment Episode #30: You will come across many people in life. Some you will choose to follow and others you will lead. In this episode Patrick discusses the elements that define a leader and how we are influenced in our decision making process by the leaders in our life.

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Valuetainment Episode #29: It might start off with an older brother or sister or even a playground and the reality is that bullying is inevitable in life. The question is how do we react to it and teach others to deal with bullying appropriately?

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Valuetainment Weekly Episode 8: In a society that often tends to put leaders on a pedestal, how would John F. Kennedy be viewed in the eyes of today’s social media platforms? November 22, 2013 marks the 50th year since President John F. Kennedy assassination however, his legacy continues today.

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Some may say that independent-contractor thinking and business-owner thinking are both the same thing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

We’re living in times when society is doing its best to influence us to work less and to have fewer commitments, less responsibilities, and less accountability. After all, there is a lack of responsibility, accountability, and commitment at the top of the government; this type of “stinking thinking” has been passed down to the day-to-day American, which has in turn led us to where we’re currently at as a nation.

In stark opposition to this attitude, I want to address a certain kind of thinking that gives drastically different results. In order to see how you get to this higher level of thinking, let’s start by looking at the different categories of employment.

There are five stages of employment, which many of us have gone through:

  1. Unemployed: 8.3% of America falls into this category. As you can imagine, it’s very problematic to be unemployed when you have a life and a family to support.
  2. Underemployed: This is quite a large group of people today. The waiter at a five-star restaurant who used to be a CPA or engineer but is now having a hard time landing a good job is underemployed; rather than choosing unemployment, he chose to be a waiter and make $65,000 a year with tips.
  3. Employed: This means you have a job that you’re pleased with.
  4. Independent contractor: You get paid what you’re worth in this category without a set schedule. Freelance graphic designer, realtor, life insurance agent, actor, musician, salesman, and photographer are all examples of independent contractors.
  5. Business owner: This category is a combination of an independent contractor mixed with a tablespoon of the predictable routine or schedule of an employee.

Having been in all of the five employment stages I can tell you that I learned a great deal from each level. But despite what we can learn from all the stages, most people have a desire to own their own business one day. You want to be a partner or a part-owner of a business, in a position where you’re involved in making decisions that grow the company to the next level; this kind of investment requires a different level of commitment than the first four stages.

Now let’s focus on the level of thinking associated with the last two stages. The real question is this: What’s the difference between the level of thinking or mentality of an independent contractor and a business owner?

Most independent contractors think that they’re business owners, but they run their businesses more like an employee does than a business owner. They wait for a financial crisis before going out and working hard to build up their cash reserve again. If in real estate, for example, an independent contractor will work extremely hard to land a few sales; but after making $35,000 in a month, they’ll be somewhat casual the next ninety days, thinking that they’ve already made it big. Once the money runs out, they start panicking and start working hard again. This becomes a cycles that doesn’t stop until they make a decision to start thinking like a business owner.

Conversely, there are many actors, realtors, and salesmen who are independent contractors but comport themselves as business owners. These people represent only a small percentage of the market place, and they are usually the ones who are the high-income earners.

Here are ten points that show a business owner’s level of thinking versus the thinking of a day-to-day independent contractor:

  1. A business owner shows up for work at the same time everyday unless he’s traveling or on the road. He has a set schedule and is predictable.
  2. A business owner invests money into his business.
  3. A business owner runs her own office.
  4. A business owner has a supporting staff. A personal assistant is a must.
  5. A business owner has a system for every aspect of his business in order to minimize clutter.
  6. A business owner usually has a certain set of numbers they track—sales, activity, follow up, profit, loss, etc.
  7. A business owner is a risk taker.
  8. A business owner does everything with a purpose.
  9. A business owner is constantly studying and reading to find ways to improve himself as a leader as well as his business.
  10. A business owner sets goals and pushes to the very end to achieve them.

If you’re an independent contractor reading this, you may see a few items on this list that you currently practice as well as several you need improvement in. I want to encourage you and challenge you to commit to thinking like a business owner in all areas of your business. You’ll see a dramatic difference in your business, which will in turn drastically influence your lifestyle. This higher level of thinking will get you that much closer to living your dream life.

I’m writing this blog 30,000 feet in the air on a flight from Atlanta to Chicago. I had the honor of sitting next to a soldier who’s in the Army serving in Afghanistan and he inspired me to write this blog on leadership. We were talking about the importance of leaders setting high standards for their team or organization. That got me thinking about why some companies maintain high standards and others let it slide.

Question of the week: why do companies lower their standards?

Here are the main reasons that I see that organizations lower the bar on their expectations:

1. The leadership has lost its hunger

One of the reasons why organizations lower their standards is because management is no longer as hungry as they once were. The leadership will usually still sound driven when giving speeches at their annual conference, but you can see that their actions lack the ambition of their words. Sometimes people who reach the top forget the push for greatness that got them there. They are content with attaining a C-level title, a Mercedes and Country Club membership; they lose the fire in their belly that they once had in the hunt for greatness.

2. People at the top forget how work gets done

Once leaders are no longer in the trenches, they sometimes forget how to fight.  Sheltered behind their titles, they have become too far removed from the daily battles that must be fought in order to be victorious. In business, earning a leadership position should mean increased responsibility and courage, but it sometimes has the opposite effect, bringing detachment from the day to day work necessary to compel the organization forward.

3. They turn into people pleasers instead of leaders

Think about the coach or the teacher that influenced you the most in life. Were they easy on you or did they challenge you to get the best out of you?  Odds are they were pretty
tough on you and expected more from you. They were able to see you as more than how you were performing and foster that growth within.   You didn’t necessarily like them all the time, but had to admit that they made you better.

The worst thing for leaders to do is to try to please everyone. The danger is comes when they lower expectations and standards to make everyone happy. They become weak in making the tough decisions. The business becomes socialistic in that the leaders want everyone to be happy instead of focusing on building up those who deserve it. (Yes, I did use the word socialistic.)

4. People are rewarded without earning it

The easiest way to find out if your people are driven by fabricated titles is to start giving them away to just about everyone who hasn’t earned it. The smart ones figure it out
though. Eventually they leave for a place where incentives are driven by results. It’s like the kid who is raised in a rich family whose parents gave him things without ever earning it. Those kids either grow up resenting for their parents for being too easy on them or they grow up so spoiled that they never really reach their capacity. Rewarding associates who didn’t earn it will keep some people, but are they the type of people that an organization wants to keep? The leaders will be the ones that leave because they don’t want to be recognized for something that they didn’t earn.

5. The leadership team is no longer on the same page

Have you ever been part of a team where the leaders weren’t in sync?  What happens?  Internally they can’t stand being around each other but in front of others they act like
best friends. They will say all the right things from stage but they can’t fool people for too long. Eventually, it implodes. No organization can thrive for long without united leadership. Leaders get the best results when they work together as team and rely on each other’s strengths. God gave us different talents so collectively we can do great things if we work as a team.

6.  The company’s vision was too small to begin with

If the vision of the leadership team of a company is to just make money and buy nice homes and cars, then they will eventually stop. Although there’s nothing wrong with having nice things, it won’t drive you to make history.  What’s the difference between
working for company like Microsoft, Apple, Walmart, or Google versus companies who slow down is whether the company is driven by a vision or just personal wealth for the executives.  Companies that want to change the world have visions that will continue on past the lives of its founders. That’s making a difference.

7. The leader’s heart is no longer in the business or the team

Have you ever met people who had already checked out? How does a team respond to leaders who have mentally moved on from the organization?  They eventually check out
themselves and move onto another organization with engaged leadership.

When leaders have started focusing on their next venture, their current venture will suffer. For you sports fans out there, can you think of an example of a sports team where the owner bought the team for the tax write off and was not personally invested in the players or the franchise? This happens when owning a team was a notch on someone’s belt and not a passion in their heart.  When apathy infects leadership, the organization’s decline is not far behind.

There are a few other reasons why companies and leaders lower their standards but we’re landing and my iPad battery is about to die. Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we will
dive into this topic a little bit more.

When a company declares its mission is to save America, its annual associate meeting must do more than motivate attendees or teach sales skills. I am so excited about the big event People Helping People is hosting this week, because I know that our results will not be measured in the number of sales made, but in the number of leaders that emerge.

A personal hero of mine, George Will, once said that “The most important business of one generation is the raising of the next generation.  Nothing else you do in life will be as deeply satisfying.” The PHP Bowl, taking place this Thursday through Saturday in Las Vegas will be an important step in PHP’s crusade to save America because we will be doing our part to help raise the next generation of leaders. The attendees at this year’s event may have different reasons for attending; some may come to learn how to create a profitable business, others may come to be inspired by our lineup of motivational speakers. But all will leave challenged to become heroes and role models in the quest to save America through free enterprise.

Honestly, it’s difficult to describe the affect that an event like the PHP Bowl can have on an individual.  . PHP has always been about much more than smart investments or a fantastic business opportunity. The future flag carriers of the American dream must have a clear vision of what they are fighting for. There are many ways to make money, but few are as rewarding as building a business based on helping others.

We call this year’s big event the ‘PHP Bowl’ because like the football bowl games that start this month, this is an event where winners and heroes will emerge.  And like the games, our associates will see that leaders are forged, not found, individual superstars are only as good as their team, and a team is only as good as its leadership.  And above all, a team leader is determined to win, no matter how many times he is knocked down or pushed back.

These same qualities must be forged in tomorrow’s business leaders.  PHP is nothing without successful, driven entrepreneurs. Our mission is to develop the warrior inside. These leaders will shepherd the next “greatest generation” to fight a war against mediocrity, doubt and dependence. America’s greatness has always been based on the power of the individual’s pursuit of his or her dream.

At the big event, speakers like Steve Wozniak will share how having a vision makes the impossible achievable.  Erik Wahl will challenge attendees to discover their untapped potential. Perhaps most importantly, we will recognize the everyday heroes who have built successful, profitable businesses with PHP.  These leaders will be the inspiration, example and evidence for those ready to take the challenge, do the work, and master their own financial destiny. This is the embodiment of “People Helping People.” The “winners” of the PHP bowl will be the entrepreneurs that arrive as a dreamer, but depart as a leader.

PHP Bowl quick facts:

WHAT: People Helping People’s annual conference: sales training, character building, warrior recognition, and leadership development

WHEN: Thursday, December 17 through Saturday, December 19, 2010

WHERE:  South Point Resort, Las Vegas, NV

WHO: Guest speakers include Steve Wozniak, Erik Wahl, Jeffrey Combs, Ron Essary, Patrick Bet-David and more. Attendees include PHP associates, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in becoming a warrior in training

FOR MORE INFO: email info@myphpdream.com or call (877) 788-4366