Tag Archives: motivation

Almost There

almost_there_covert psalm/one press is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the newest book by author Terry D. Newberry – Almost There.

It’s almost here!

I received the galley proof of my new book, Almost There, this week.

Pretty unbelievable.

Writing is an amazing art form. The process of seeing something in my mind’s eye and then trying to make it visible to the reader is a tricky business, filled with potholes. It involves countless hours spent thinking and researching and dreaming. It involves late nights spent hunched over a keyboard in a dark room, weaving letters into words. Those words become the tapestry of the tale in my mind. And then I have to somehow capture it all in a few hundred pages.

Words are fragile things, you know? The frailty of words can never describe the truth of where we’ve been.

Almost There contains 39,653 words. I typed every one of them, some of them more than once, my mind brimming with questions. A lot of questions.

What words should I use? How long should the sentences be? How about the paragraphs? How can I hold the interest of the reader? How can I bring the characters and lessons to life?

What can I leave with the reader in return for their investment of time, attention and money? How can these words leave them in a place that is happier, wiser, and maybe more spiritual than they were before? How can I create a tale that is entertaining, thought-provoking and inspiring?

How can I create a work that affects someone’s life in a positive way?

How indeed?

I wish I could tell you honestly that I knew all the answers to my questions. But the simple truth is that I don’t.

But with those questions as my guide, I put on paper those 39,653 words, one word at a time. And then I deleted. I backspaced. I read and reread. I crossed out and penciled in. I looked up definitions and synonyms and checked spelling. I looked for errors in grammar. I looked for those pesky run-on sentences. I gave the manuscript to a trusted friend who is a writing genius, to read and offer corrections, which she did with grace and good humor. I gave it to another friend, also a genius, and he did the same.

I made changes and updates. I put the manuscript in a drawer and let it age. I pulled it out again and started the entire process over. I read and re-read it dozens of times.

And along the way, a story began to emerge. It has its roots in a true story from when I was a kid. One day it snowed, which was a big deal in my little southern home town. I got it in my head that I needed to go see my friend Rory, a journey of a few miles by bicycle, which was my singular form of transportation.

Somewhere along the way as I pedaled the snowy streets I began to think about how cold I was, followed by how wet I was, followed by how miserable I was. Soon my thoughts turned into a focus. Soon my focus turned into an obsession. Clearly I was too cold, too wet and generally too miserable to finish my trip.

So about seven or eight miles into the journey, I turned around and headed back home. Two miles from the finish line, so to speak, I gave up, I quit, finito, kaput, done. I abandoned ship. I was too focused on the misery of my situation to complete the final two miles of the trip. Instead, I decided to turn around and ride eight miles back to my house.

Nuts, right?

It didn’t occur to me until years later how often that happened in my life. Quitting was the pattern. Quitting was the legacy, the gift bestowed, passed down from father to son over many generations. Quitting was easy.

I was defined by limitations set by others, boundaries and histories and tendencies sketched out by my father, and his father before him. But I knew those places and had no desire to be an inmate of such prisons. I wanted to be different but had no idea of how to go about the overwhelming task of becoming a different me. To paraphrase Pat Conroy, I struggled with all my might not to become the man I was destined to be.

It seemed that often I gave up just before the big break came. Time and time again I was turned away from the finish line by the ghosts of those I had met only briefly, if at all.

So I decided to try an experiment. I made a deal with myself – whenever I was tempted to give up, I would stay focused just a little bit longer to see what happened. And the result changed my world.

I was astounded at how many times I realized my goal by hanging in there “just a little bit longer.” Slowly I began to understand that my future was not preset. The past held no power over me, its shackles could not withstand the force of faith. It was a wide – open place filled with all the possibility that I could ever dream of.

One day I was teaching a seminar and shared the story of my doomed bicycle journey. The telling planted a small seed of possibility in my life.

I began to think about all the times I had quit just the tiniest bit too soon. I thought about the countless people who had shared their stories of regret and “Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda” disease. I thought about all those I had met who suffered from “If-Only” syndrome.

How many of us give up just before we are poised for amazing breakthroughs? How many of us spend our time turned around backward in the seat, looking at missed opportunities or bungled relationships or fumbled decisions and, in doing so, miss the awesome opportunity which lies before us like a field ready for harvest?

So I picked up my pen and began to write.

Shortly into the process, the book took on a life of its own. I found myself, as I often do, scrambling to keep up with the story that was busily unfolding of its own accord. It played on the screen of my mind at its own frenetic pace and cared little that I was struggling to keep up. My fingers did their best to translate the images I saw into letters and words and punctuation – word pictures – that would somehow help you, dear reader, to see the images I saw, just as they revealed themselves to me.

I have tried to share their stories in the pages of Almost There; how they overcame tremendous obstacles, setbacks, disappointments and even tragedy. But unlike me, they didn’t give up too soon. Somehow they kept going in spite of the skinned knees and the bumped noses and the bruised hearts and the loneliness of failure. They kept going despite the jeers, catcalls and abuse heaped on them by DreamStealers.

They just kept on. They refused to be locked in the outpost of failure. Because somewhere in their heart and soul, in a place that is lit only by the sometimes meager light of I-think-I-can, they knew that certain success lay just around the bend, just over the next hill, just beyond the next sunrise.

They knew they were almost there.

The story begins when Dean awakes one winter morning to a magical snow-covered landscape and sets out to visit his friend, Rory. But little does he know that he has embarked on a journey that is not of this world; it is an odyssey that will change his life.

On a day filled with magic, he encounters those who have experienced everything life has to offer and have found themselves face-to-face with the ultimate decision – will they allow fear, disappointment, and set-backs to destroy their dreams? Or will they find within themselves the strength and courage to press on, to embrace a life beyond anything they ever imagined?

Travel with Dean on this tale of unforgettable experiences and characters; a wandering filled with the unknown and the inexplicable as he discovers the ultimate price each of us must pay for our dreams.

——————————————————————————————-

Here is an excerpt from Almost There:

“Dean-san,” he said softly, “we are who we are because of the path we walk. Along the way, there are twists and turns that we cannot foresee. Sometimes we walk along a smooth path, sometimes we stumble on a path filled with obstacles and hidden snares. And at other times, tragedy befalls us.” His voice trailed away softly as he turned his face slightly, presenting to Dean the grisly reminder of such a tragedy.

“Sometimes we follow the footpath of our choosing, at other times we are carried down a road that we did not choose. No matter, either way the path is ours to navigate.

“And there are times when we do not follow the path at all but instead forge our own passage. We cut a way through a wilderness where none existed before, and leave a trail that others may follow.

“That is where you are now. The way before you has not yet been traveled, thus there are no easy answers or clear directions. You must follow your heart and choose the way whispered to you by your dreams and the Spirit within you. This is your path, it belongs to no other.”

Advance orders are now being accepted for an April 1 release date! Go to terrynewberry.com and click the page for Almost There. Available in softcover, hardcover and audiobook!

Order your copy today! terrynewberry.com

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Am I Taking Care of Me?

Am I Taking Care of Me?

An Art of the Question Blog

Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.

                                                                                                      –  Solomon

Imagine being nine feet in the air, standing on a flimsy board stuck in a slot that was cut into a tree trunk. Got that picture in your mind?

Great. Now imagine that you are trying to set a new world record for chopping. By chopping, I mean that you are trying to chop through a 12-inch diameter aspen log – using a hand-held ax.

So there you are up in the air on a rickety board that behaves pretty much like a diving board. It moves with every swing of your ax, threatening to dump your sweaty backside to the ground. Pretty tricky, right?

Now, imagine that you are trying to set this new world record using a dull ax.

I know, I know, not very smart. But that is what many of us do, every day of our life. We go out and attack the day, the project, the goal, the sale, whatever we have in our sights to accomplish that day. And we do it with a dull ax.

By the way, there really is a competition event exactly like the one described above. It is called the Springboard Chop. In the real world of logging, this technique allows a working lumberjack to reach the softer wood often found above the base of the tree. The wood of the base is generally tougher and filled with more knots. So the lumberjack climbs above the tough wood, cuts a slot in the tree, inserts a base board, and starts chopping.

In competition, the World Record for the Springboard Chop is held by Dave Bolstead. In 2003, he chopped through a 12-inch log in 41.15 seconds. That’s right. 12 inches in less than three-quarters of one minute.

Tommy Sanders is a television commentator for the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series. Asked about Bolstead, Sanders said, “He trained incessantly. He studied every chop made by every competitor.” One of the analysts on the show called Bolstead “The Professor”. He was focused on learning and being the best in his field.

Dave Bolstead started chopping wood when he was five years old, and by the time he began competing, had amassed a lifetime of chopping knowledge and technique.

One of the things Dave would no doubt tell us is that perhaps the most important thing to do when you are attempting a new world record in chopping is to be sure your ax is sharp.

OK, so you are not a lumberjack, and have no interest in setting a new world record in chopping. What does any of this have to do with you? Well, we aren’t really talking about an ax made of steel and wood. We’re talking about an emotional ax, a spiritual ax, a mental ax. We’re talking about keeping ourselves in tip-top condition so that we can accomplish all our goals and dreams.

One of the problems for those of us who are Type-A-Driven personalities is that we only have one speed – full speed ahead. But any strength, overdone, becomes a weakness.  If we commit ourselves to going full-out 100% of the time and never take time to refresh ourselves, we are doomed to failure.  

Stephen Covey, in his amazing book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has a chapter called Sharpen the Saw, which he calls the 7th Habit. He wrote:

Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities:

  Physical:  Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others
Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service

 Solomon was one of the wisest men who ever lived. Here is his take on this concept:

Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.

Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist based at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. She said, “Focus, willpower, and the ability to tackle difficult projects all draw from a limited reserve of energy. When you deplete these reserves–whether through sleep deprivation, which alters how the brain and body use energy, or through pushing too hard on too many projects–the quality of your work plummets, along with the usual pleasure of working on something important, such as doing good science.” It’s biological. “No one can afford to skip rest, and anyone’s work will be refreshed and restored from some time off.”

So how do you know if your ax needs sharpening? Most of the time, we have a good inner sense of when we need some down time. Usually, we know there is a problem, but may be challenged to correct the problem. But just in case, here are some symptoms that the folks at the Mayo Clinic put together:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?

Any of these ring a bell? If so, here are some helpful thoughts for how to sharpen your ax:

  • Start the day with a little less intensity – change the alarm from that unnerving give-me-a-heart-attack blare to a more sedate wake-up sound. Have cup of coffee. Meditate, pray, commune with nature. Listen to some inspirational music or stories on the way to the office. (P.S. Would you be interested in an audio version of the Art of the Question blogs professionally recorded on CD? Send me an email at terry@terrynewberry.com and let me know!)
  • Laugh – There are hundreds of languages, but we all laugh the same. A study done in 2005 by researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center linked laughter and the healthy function of blood vessels. There are even studies showing a correlation between laughter and pain relief. Maybe the Three Stooges had it right!
  • Watch your inputs and outputs – what we put into our bodies affects us; our energy level and our stamina. What are you fueling your body with? How about rest – the machine needs time to repair and regenerate. What are you putting into your mind? Is it wholesome and uplifting, or does it cause worry and anxiety? Are you exercising? According to WebMD, experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise daily. But they also say that just 10 minutes of moderate exercise helped liven up the day.  
  • Just say no – set limits and boundaries. Know what your goals are, and be rigorous about defending your time. If it isn’t in alignment with your goals, let it go. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but it will pay big dividends by helping you be more focused on your goals and critical tasks.
  • E-mail, Schme-mail – Put it away. Turn it off. Unplug. Disconnect. Revert. Go old-school. Whatever you call it, do it. Get unlinked for a period every day – and not just when you’re sleeping!
  • Draw the line, and then draw the line – once you set boundaries, be sure to get involved in some creative outlet. This works a completely different part of your brain than is normally engaged in daily problem solving. I can usually tell when I am getting out of balance because my creativity begins to diminish. Writing, woodworking and photography are some of the creative outlets that I enjoy.

I was in New York recently doing some speaking engagements. I spent the better part of a day in Central Park trying to capture the spirit of the city through my camera lens. I came away from that experience with a renewed sense of zeal about my work.

 As a friend told me recently, there is a reason the flight attendants on airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help someone else with theirs. Take care of you first, or there won’t be enough of you left to take care of anything – or anyone – else.

Imagine the possibilities.

Terry

 Terry’s new book, The Boss, is available now in hardback, softcover, audiobook or kindle versions. Go to terrynewberry.com/theboss to place your order. Also available through Amazon.com.

Terry D. Newberry is a motivational teacher and certified lifecoach.  His client list includes BellSouth, AT&T, Auburn University, Children’s Hospital, UAB, and others. Contact Terry for bookings or appointments at terry@terrynewberry.com

terrynewberry.com


I’m Their Leader – Which Way Did They Go?

I’m Their Leader – Which Way Did They Go?

How can I insure my team is fully engaged?

An Art of the Question Blog

At our company picnic one year, we got together to buy our boss a new hat. It was a spiffy thing, a brilliant white baseball cap with deep blue accents and a matching bill – actually two bills. One pointed one way, the other pointed a different way. And engraved on the front was the humorous legend reading  I’m Their Boss – Which Way Did They Go?

I say humorous, because our boss was a great leader and we followed his vision and direction willingly. But that experience is seemingly rare for many workers.

I have received so many responses from readers who have finished The Boss.  Along with the wonderfully kind words and encouragement, there have been comments like, “I can understand why you wrote this book about him – what an amazing man!” and “Wow! I never knew a manager like that even existed!”

But perhaps the most telling comment of all was this one: “I wish I could have known The Boss”.

There seems to be a deep sense of longing within many of us to connect with our leadership. We want them to see us, know us, believe in us, support us, and help us grow.  Most of us would love to work for someone like The Boss.

But there are not many like him around, which is part of the problem. Research tells us that many people don’t quit their jobs – they quit their boss! Poor people management is at the core of a significant portion of employee turnover.  Poor communication, staffing issues, lack of challenge, lack of empowerment, feeling as though they aren’t cared for… the list for why we leave our job is long and ugly, and to a degree, debatable.

But there is one thing that is not debatable – the cost of turnover. NFI Research reports that 81% of senior executives say it is more difficult to recruit new employees than to retain valued existing employees. The Wall Street Journal reported that it can cost upwards of two times an employee’s annual salary to find, interview, hire and train a new team member.  Wow!

Those are the direct costs. Add to that the indirect impact of employee churn such as morale of those left behind, workload spread, slippage on projects, and customer service issues and the impact to the business really mounts up.

So, enough of the experts and the research – most of us know all that stuff. But between those findings, and the plaintive “I wish I had known The Boss” we find a bit of magic. It is the best kind of magic – the win/win kind. The company wins, the team member wins – everyone wins. So what is the secret behind the magic?

Glad you asked. It can be summed up in one sentence. The Boss cared.

He cared about the business. He cared about the customer and the customer experience. He cared about the profitability of the enterprise. But running through all that, like a thread stitching the entire thing together, was how much he cared for his team.

He showed it in many ways. Here are a few:

He was engaged – he practiced management by walking around – “earning his MBWA” is how he put it. And his wanderings yielded a lot of good information about how the business was performing, how the customers were reacting, and how his team was doing.

The Boss’s Life Lesson: Every good manager has to earn his or her MBWA

He listened – he found out what was important to his team, personally and professionally. He was able to coach and help them because he had a good understanding of where they were on the learning curve as well as in their personal lives.

The Boss’s Life Lesson: The benefit of helping others outweighs the cost every time

He cared – I know, it sounds trite. But this is arguably the most critical factor in any manager’s success, the most valuable tool in the toolbox.  The Boss understood this. When he noticed Dean’s lack of shoes, and took the time to buy him a new pair, he left an impression that can never be erased.  Here is the principle – when we take the time to know our team members and their life outside the cubicle, they reward our investment with an investment of their own.  We tap into their hearts, not just into their brain.

The Boss’s Life Lesson: Treat Your Team Like Family

He asked questions – The Art of the Question is a powerful way to learn and instruct at the same time. The Boss understood by asking the right questions, he could find out where the gap was in his team’s knowledge and lead them to the right answer. By asking questions instead of barking orders, he created an atmosphere of interest and engagement within the team.

The Boss’s Life Lesson: A good manager can lead someone to the right answer by asking the right question

He challenged – Most employees want to feel challenged in their work. The Boss kept the team challenged through subtle competition within the team.

The Boss’s Life Lesson: When you generate healthy, good-natured competition, everyone wins.       

The stakes are enormous. CNN Money warns businesses, “Your employees can’t wait to quit”. The article goes on to say that according to ManPower, 84% of employees planned to look for a new position last year. The number of employees who planned to look for a new job grew 40% in one year!

Think about the impact of losing a key member of your team. Consider the costs – financial and otherwise. And ask yourself this question: What can I learn from The Boss?

_________________________________________________

The Boss is available in softcover, hardback, and audiobook. For more information on The Boss, go to terrynewberry.com.


What Do I See?

What Do I See?

An Art of the Question Blog

The most important thing a captain can do is to see the ship from the eyes of the crew.

         Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

It has been called the “Best Ship in the Navy”. But that wasn’t always the case.

The USS Benfold is one of the most technologically advanced ships on the deep.  Her crew had amazing potential. But as one leader pointed out, “potential” sometimes just means you haven’t done anything yet. Once crisp and focused, the crew had fallen into a quagmire of low morale and even lower performance. The Benfold’s scores routinely missed the expectations set by the Navy.

Captain D. Michael Abrashoff was placed in command of this substandard vessel. From the outset, he focused his efforts on molding the ship and her crew into the team of warriors that he knew they could be.

He was driven by the belief that there is always a better way to do things. He understood his crew knew better than anyone else the answers to the questions and issues that plagued the Benfold, crippling her performance. She was designed to be one of the fastest and most lethal warships ever to set sail, but instead she languished in mediocrity. Abrashoff was convinced the key to unlocking the ultimate performance lay in the hearts and minds of his team.

Captain Abrashoff believes that the best thing a leader can do is see the organization through the eyes of his team members. So that is what he did.

He wanted to make sure the crew knew that they were important to him, to the members of their team, and to the Navy.  He began by making it a point to meet every crew member of the USS Benfold and find out what was on their mind. What he heard was not encouraging.  Many of them couldn’t wait to finish their time and get the heck out of the Navy.

They felt that no one listened to them. They felt that they couldn’t have a positive impact on their environment. They wanted to do more, they wanted to be more. They wanted to be warriors, but they felt as though no one respected them.

He asked for their feedback. He listened.

His response was immediate and fully engaged. He began a systematic review of the things that needed to be fixed, and began to address them. From installing stainless steel rivets (instead of painting over rusted ones) to cross training the sailors, he made changes.  He focused on broadening the individual’s experience, value to the Navy, and sense of importance. He even sent the ship’s cooks to culinary school!

He created an environment in which his crew knew they mattered and were critical to the success of the team and the mission. He created an environment in which the crew could take pride in their work, their ship – and themselves.

Captain Abrashoff understood that the old model of “do what I say because I say so” would not work. Instead, his focus on listening, seeing, and recognition paid off. The USS Benfold went from being a marginal performer to being one of the top performing vessels in the fleet.

“The more I thanked them for their hard work, the harder they worked,” he reported.  In place of the traditional command hierarchy and approach, Abrashoff put into place an empowerment mentality.

He put his experiences on paper in It’s Your Ship, sharing his approach to leadership in areas of Communication, Trust, Listening, and Leading by Example. This is an excellent book that I highly recommend.

Captain Abrashoff has spent the last few years working with business, corporations, and individual leaders. His insight into the Business world is sharp and engaging.

From his work with corporate leaders, he has written an amazing follow-up book, It’s Our Ship. It is an insightful, no-nonsense discussion about some of the most critical issues facing companies and leaders today. Trust, Ethics, acceptance of personal responsibility, support and recognition are foundational to the success of any organization, and this book does a masterful job of sharing how these touchstones can create success in our business and our life.

Do I see what my customers see?

Do I see what my team sees?

Do I see what my competition sees?

Do I see the future?

Do I see the plan to address what I find as I look through the eyes of my customer, my team and my competition?

What do I see?

 


The Card or the Gum?

The Card or the Gum?

An Art of the Question Blog

What do I value?

Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does – the truth – don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.                                                                                                                        – Aesop

It is roughly four square inches in size.  It’s a piece of cardboard with a couple of different color inks on it. The image is of a person that many of us have never heard of.

It sold for $2.35 million dollars.

What the heck is it?  It’s a baseball card.  Yes, you read correctly – a baseball card.  A remarkable baseball card, termed by some collectors as the holy grail.  It was issued in 1909, and features Pittsburg Pirate Homer Wagner, dubbed “The Flying Dutchman.”

One of the reasons for the card’s value is that only 50 or 60 are believed to still exist.   Think about that for a minute.  I wonder how many kids bought a pack of gum, and tore into the packaging, damaging the card in their eagerness to get to the gum.  Or how about this – how many cards were tossed into the trash, because the kid just wanted the gum? They literally threw away millions of dollars, and didn’t even know it!

Thinking about this, I began to wonder.  I wonder how many times I missed the best option available because I didn’t think through the consequences of my decision?  How many times have I inadvertently wasted an opportunity because I was in a hurry? Have I settled for less than the best because I didn’t listen to good advice or spend a little time in research? And most important of all – how many times have I wished I could have a do-over because I didn’t make a decision that was in line with my values?

Now, don’t get me wrong, we all make mistakes. We all have things in our past we wish we could change. Focusing too much or too long on things that we can’t change is a sure way to become discouraged, so let’s not go there.

But if we are wise, we owe it to ourselves to learn from the past so that we can always be improving.  We can learn from our own past, as well as the lives of others.  And that is the purpose for this question – what do I value?

It isn’t necessarily just a financial question.  Our values extend into every area of our life.  Relationships, moral views, work ethic, faith, family – the list is long and varied.  Our values are just that – things that have value to us.  A value is a belief, a philosophy, a viewpoint – something that has meaning to us.  A value influences our decisions, and guides how we spend our time and resources.  Values provide a foundation upon which we build our business, our relationships, and our life.  Do your decisions reflect your values?

Mother Teresa valued the poor and sick, those that society had mostly forgotten.  Despite personal pain, discomfort and serious health issues, she spent nearly half a century investing in them, because they had value to her.

Galileo publicly defended his scientific views on heliocentrism.  He was mocked by his peers, accused of heresy by the church, and denied the opportunity to publish his work. Ultimately, he was jailed for his views.  He spent the rest of his life under house arrest for his beliefs, because they had value to him.

On a business level, Marriott values service to its customers and communities, and encourages its team members to operate in a “spirit to serve”.

Nordstrom has based its reputation – and indeed has become  famous – for their top quality associates and their customer service reputation.  This excerpt from their handbook gives insight into how highly they value the team member and the customer.  It reads, “Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.

Starbucks core values include community service, ecological responsibility, and aid to underdeveloped nations.  

Wal-Mart has a core value of everyday low prices.

Whether a corporation, a small business, or an individual, values are fundamental to our identity and our success.  Values serve as a constant foundation.

Here are five key areas in which values benefit us and our organization:

  1. Values help us focus on what is important.
  2. Values help us communicate what is important to our family, friends, and business associates.
  3. Values drive and inspire us to achievement.
  4. Values demonstrate and help shape our character.
  5. Values demonstrate our uniqueness. (For more on your uniqueness, see my blog “Fingerprints and DNA” in the July 2011 Archives.

Your values can change the world, one decision at a time, one action at a time.

What are my values?

If you like this post, please feel free to Like It, Share It, or leave a comment!


Am I Smarter Than A Harvard Grad?

The Power of a Goal – Part Two

An Art of the Question Blog

How Can I Make More Money?

Harvard is an amazing school.  But even they don’t always get it.

There was a study done on students enrolled in the Harvard MBA program in 1979.  The results were published In What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack. It was a pretty simple study. The students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” When the answers were tallied, amazingly, only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans. 13% said they had goals, but had not written them down.

An astounding 84% reported that they had no specific goals.

The study picked up again ten years later. Here is what they found.  The 13% who had goals were earning approximately twice as much as those with no goals.

And the three-percenters? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97%!

The power of a goal.

What about you? What is your goal? Is it so clear that you can draw it with a crayon?  How do you set such a goal? Well, for openers, it helps to be S.M.A.R.T. 

 S.M.A.R.T. goals are: Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Realistic, Time-bound

So how do we go about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals? 

First, we Plan. A goal without a plan is just a wish. Set aside time to brainstorm and plan.  It is critical that you know where you are going.  What is the goal? What are the steps to get there? What resources do you need? These are but a few of the questions that go into the planning phase.

I once heard a story about Einstein. He was traveling on a train, and as the conductor came through to collect tickets, he began search for his ticket. It wasn’t in his briefcase. It wasn’t in his luggage, nor his coat pocket. It was nowhere to be found.

The conductor, recognizing Einstein, said, “Don’t worry sir, I know who you are. I don’t need your ticket.” To which Einstein replied, “I too know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going!”

As Yogi Berra once said – if you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else!

Second, we Prepare. Preparation is the critical link between the planning and execution phase. It is at this stage that we gather the information, data, contacts or other information that we need. We organize our information, lay out our process, and assign milestones in our plan.  Write it down!  An unwritten goal is just a daydream.

Finally, we Proceed. It is execution time! Based on our planning and preparation, we move forward with action! Day by day, step by step, we work to accomplish the milestones that lead to the successful completion of our goal. Track your success!  Action without documentation is confusion,

Don’t quit. Understand from the very beginning, there will be tough days. You will be discouraged. You will be tired. You will be disillusioned. But understand this as well – there is deep magic in perseverance. Thomas Jefferson understood this. He said, “What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.”

Know this. Your goal, the success you are dreaming of is already out there, just waiting for you to catch up. This one step – setting a goal and sticking to your plan until you achieve it – changes everything.

For more information on goal setting, request the free SMART Goals™ worksheet, available through terrynewberry Seminars at terrydnewberry@bellsouth.net.


Investing in Others

Investing in Others

An Art of the Question Blog

How am I investing in others?

Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing others.      

                                                                                                                                                                             — John Maxwell

John has a passion. He wants you to be the very best you can possibly be.  That is the mark of a true leader.  A real leader wants others to grow into the best version of themselves. John is a master at this.

John Maxwell invests in others.  He does it by writing books (50+ and counting!).  He does it by speaking (to millions and millions).  He does it by radio, TV, the internet, DVD, CD…you get the picture.

How about you? How are you investing in others? Perhaps you haven’t yet written a book or been on TV.  Maybe you don’t have a blog or a website or even a business card. But you can invest. You can become involved in a mentoring relationship.

According to ancient Greek legend, a king named Odysseus went to war. He entrusted the care of his son to a close friend named Mentor. The word “mentor”, used to describe a wise and trusted counselor, thus became a part of our language.

Another interesting bit of trivia is related to the word “protégé”. This word comes from the an old French word which means “to protect.”

Mentoring is critical in the life of a leader. From King Arthur, whose mentor was Merlin the magician, to Timothy, who grew into a strong leader under the mentoring of the Apostle Paul, history is filled with story after story of mentors and protégés.  Former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop was mentored by a typographer!

There are two keys to every successful person. The first is that they have a mentor.  A mentor is someone who helps sort options and identifies opportunities. A mentor gives advice and perhaps most importantly – perspective.

The second key is to be a mentor.  Every one of us can mentor someone.  It doesn’t take a lot of money or even time. It basically means that you meet with them periodically and discuss what is going on in their business or family or life, and offer expertise, perspective and advice if asked.  I have the good fortune of having several mentors. I have the great fortune of having several friends that I also mentor.  And you want to know a secret?  I learn as much from those I am mentoring as I learn from those who mentor me!

There are several mentoring models. Find the one that works for you.

Traditional: In this model, there is a mentor and someone being mentored. Don’t have a mentor? Ask. You may be surprised to find that the person you most admire would be honored to work with you.

Peer – to – Peer: In this model, each participant is a co-mentor. They work together, each bringing their particular skill set to the process.  An example of this might be a sales expert in a Peer-to-Peer mentorship with an IT person. Each is in a position to help the other.

Group: In the Group Model, several people meet. One of the popular versions of this is the Group-of-Ten in which 10 people meet regularly to discuss current projects, issues, and provide insight and advice.

Pick a model, or try all three. The important thing to remember is that none of us are as smart as all of us. Investing in others is a great way to not only influence others, but we ourselves grow as a result.

Who would you like to have as your mentor?

Who are you currently mentoring? What can you do to begin a mentoring relationship within the next week?

For a free copy of Keys to Effective Mentoring, send an email to Terry at terrydnewberry@bellsouth.net.


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