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Effective Leadership Skills Storytime Giveaway~Tell and Win!

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Effective Leadership Skills Storytime Giveaway

Effective Leadership SkillsI wanted to do a giveaway for the holidays but I also wanted to have it fun and educational. I think I have designed a pretty neat way for you to get something for free and at the same time teach me and others something valuable. This giveaway is for you to share effective leadership skills that you learned from someone or something that had an impact on your life. Rules are below

How Can You Win the Effective Leadership Skills Giveaway?

The rules are pretty straightforward. I want to hear YOUR story on effective leadership skills you have seen others exhibit or you have learned. If you learned them from a book, share how you personally related! I don’t want just a quote from an avatar, I want to hear your story! So here are the full rules:

– Has to be a personal story to you. It can be something you learned from a book but how did that relate to you personally?
– The Story has to be specifically about EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP SKILLS
– You have to leave your story as a comment on this blog post at the bottom
– You then have to retweet or share this blogpost on Facebook or Twitter
– It can be a video response or text reponse as long as it’s in my comments on THIS blogpost
– You have to post your comment, with your story, by Midnight PST, on Friday, December 17th, 2010

So, this is a cool thing to do anyway right? Oh, wait, this is a giveaway…you probably want to know what I am giving away! I am giving away 7, yes, 7 $25 gift certificates to Barnes and Noble to buy whatever book you want! I also will be picking my favorite story out of all the entries and will do a one on one, marketing consultation with them. You have 7 chances to win, this is your chance to share your story with me and the rest of the world!

2 Examples of how I learned Effective Leadership Skills

Effective Leadership SkillsMy first example came when I was a project manager for Collier County government. My boss, Maggie Bowles, who I love dearly, taught me one of the most effective leadership skills I could ever be taught. She said, “If you want something done, you have to be willing to give someone else the credit”. It still rings so powerfully when I think about it. It really teaches two powerful lessons. One is to know what you want and the other is focusing on what you want rather than getting credit makes you very powerful.

My second example came from Jack Welch’s book, Straight from the Gut. I also learned this when I worked for county government. He said, Across the board increases or decreases shows a company’s inability to address weakness. Interesting thing is when I read that they had just given a 12% raise to everyone in my department. So, the people that sharpened pencils all day got the same increase as people that were seriously busting their butt. You can also see the flipside in today’s economy. When the board of a major company takes a 10% across the board decrease, you can bet that not everyone deserved it. When you don’t differentiate, as Welch is suggesting, you lose your best and keep your worst.

Why am I doing this giveaway?

That’s simple, I am a student of leadership. I work with a family of marketers around the world and I am constantly striving to get better. When I have the chance to hear real stories, highlighting effective leadership skills that touched, moved or inspired you, that pumps me up and teaches me how I should better mold myself.

Thanks for reading and Good Luck! Hope you are one of the lucky 7 winners!

If you enjoy this post, please quickly do me a favor and share with others and comment below.

To Your Abundance!

Effective Leadership Skills

Ray Higdon

rayhigdon@rayhigdon.com

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116 Comments
  1. Ray I am honored to be able to share my story on your blog. I will try to make this short and sweet. At the age of 15 years old I had my son and 19 years old I had my daughter. I worked 2 jobs and went to college for a LONG time. Just last year I got my BS in Accounting. Needless to say I am not using it BUT I did it for my KIDS! Just last week I had a parent teacher conference with my sons Advisor, he goes to Denver School of Science and Technology one of THE MOST presitigious high schools in Colorado. Going over my sons grades with his advisor made my heart soar! She plain out said “I have NOTHING bad to say about Tomario”. You see my son maintains a 3.67 GPA and he has lettered in Football and Basketball as a Sophomore. I asked my son what has been his motivation in school and sports and he said “ME”, and I started to cry. He told me that if I could be a single mom of 2 kids, work 2 jobs and go to school for the majority of his life and do it all with love, then the least he could do is, do good in sports and school. The leadership qualities that I just recently realized is one of the most important for ANY leader to exemplify is “Leading by Example”. I want my kids to go to college for the experience and the connections they will make later on in their entrepreneurial lives. I want my team members to know that anything I tell them to do I HAVE ALREADY DONE! So that is just one of my stories, and I want to say Thanks Ray for being a GREAT LEADER!

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very very cool story, thanks so much for sharing

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Shaneequa, you are a success!! To get love and admiration from a child is the greatest success of all.

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  2. Ray,

    Great stuff and great idea. Look forward to reading all the stories.

    If I submit more than 1 story, can I get 2 chances to win? :-)

    When I was 19 I was working for General Electric as an intern and I was walking down the hall one day with my manager, Dave Kelley.

    Dave was a great guy and this being my first internship at General Electric, breaking into the corporate world if you will (if only I knew what I know now, anyway…), I had not seen a lot of examples of good personal development and leadership. I grew up in a small blue collar town and most of my friends parents worked in factories.

    Dave and I were walking to a meeting and he had noticed that I regularly looked down (staring at my feet as I walked). Dave said something that day that I’ve never forgot and profoundly has affected my life.

    Here’s the dialogue:

    Dave said, “Dan, do you desire to be a leader some day?”
    I said, “Yes.”
    Dave said, “then you need to look up and look ahead when you’re walking with your shoulders back and then look the person your talking to in the eye. When you’re talking to someone and looking at your feet it indicates that you don’t value the conversation with that person and you communicate to those around you that you have a poor self image. To be respected as a leader knowing where you’re going and eye contact is key”.

    Those words I have never forgot. I’ve noticed many people that look away or look down a lot. The eyes are the window to the soul and when you use them to communicate it makes a big difference.

    Make it a great day Ray!

    Dan

    [Reply]

    Shaneequa Burrell Reply:

    That is a great story Dan. The eyes don’t lie!

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    Ray Higdon Reply:

    That is great, simple and powerful

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Good lesson, look them in the eye…nothing shouts confidence like this simple communication skill.

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  3. We have been in Network Marketing for over 7 years and have struggles tremendously to succeed. We would have short term success but always end up broke, or worse, in debt. Until this last year, I don’t think we truly new what effective leadership looked like or that we ourselves were lacking it. All our up line had for us is “go out and talk to people” and we did. We tried the mall, grocery stores, even handing out almost 1500 door hangers in a nice neighborhood by foot. But nothing worked and we knew something was missing.

    So we decided to take matters into our own hands and we began researching on the internet. That is how we got connected with our current upline and enroller and in turn he introduced to an entire community of people who were….. “working and sharing what they were doing.” Wow, what a concept. Upline who were working and sharing how EXACTLY they got there list and then working with us to figure out how we needed to be marketing and working. We have learned that we need more than just a few random conversations. Having real success in this industry takes work and persistence. We didn’t have anyone to show us how to market or talk to people, or how much work it really takes.

    With that said, we now how a real passion to teach people everything we have learned and get down in the trenches with them, if they are willing to do the work, until they succeed. I don’t want anyone within our reach, team member or not, to feel lost and alone, left to just wander around stores trying to force conversations and straining good relationships. We lead by example, work with integrity, and teach people how to this business the right way. Those I think are some of the best and most effective leadership skills someone can have and I am so thankful we have found that for ourselves and pray we can turn around and offer that to everyone we have the privilege of working with.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to remind myself why we do what we do. Have a blessed holiday!

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool, thanks for sharing!

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Good job Ryan, you hare correct, the leader must work the hardest. People will do what the leader does….just watch the ducklings!!

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  4. Effective leadership skills I have learned ~

    I learned my hard core leadership skills over the past 27 years of being a Parent. That’s right, being a Parent! I know that may sound somewhat odd being that so many people feel parental skills come naturally. Well for the most part, its the love that is
    the natural part, its the LEADING by example to your Children that is a learned skill.
    It’s a tough job being a Parent, no doubt, however the rewards are priceless just like running a home based business. I remember the very first day I gave birth to our 1st Child and looked into her eyes while holding her tiny little body and thinking, this little Girl will be depending on me to show her the way through life so I had better start setting the blueprint in place and the only way to do so is simple, lead her by example. I have from day one taught each of our Daughters, to be leaders NOT followers, to stay true to their hearts and live life with true conviction.
    I have had many Parents-to-be or new Parents ask me, “What book(s) did you read that taught you how to be such a good Parent?” Actually, none, zero, zilch, plain and simple. In my opinion,
    there is no physical book that can teach you the leadership skills of this round the clock job of being a Parent and also running a business its the daily hands on consistency and commitment that has fine tuned my leadership skills.

    The correlation of learned leadership skills of being a Parent and business are quite similar, ie:

    1. set schedules – both Children and businesses need schedules

    2. commitment – you’ve committed yourself to being a Parent and to your business

    3. consistency – you MUST be consistent with how you raise your Children to be good, successful, moral human beings as well as being consistent with your daily must-do’s with your business

    4. leading – teaching my Children to be leaders as well as the many people I have helped in our industry has been successful because I have led by example showing I talk the talk and walk the walk

    I am very proud to say that my Leadership skills have served all three of our Daughters very well ! They often thank me for being the Parent I was and still am and that they will be passing on to their Children the many life skills they were taught. As far as my business, while still in the growing stages, my Leadership skills with out a doubt will bring my business and team to the next level
    with stardom greatness.

    [Reply]

    Diane Rosolen Reply:

    PS I tweeted :-)

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Good stuff Diane, thanks for sharing

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Being a parent, I found no manuals on the subject…lol. To all the parents in the world, your blessed!!

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  5. Ray, I learned a very simple, yet important communication skill from a training I attended in the mid 90’s called Journey Beyond Perception. It was put on by then network marketing trainer Bill Gouldd.

    Journey was like my “MBA” in network marketing. It was jam packed with so much valuable content. The equivalent training to it these days is “Creating a Dynasty” by Dani Johnson.

    Anyway, here’s the bit little gem I want to pass on. When communicating with a downline member, learn when to use WE instead of YOU. YOU (!!) used inappropriately can come across negatively to the person receiving the communication.

    For example, “WE need to go to work in order to help you rank advance” vs “YOU need to go to work…”

    “WE should attend the next company event to learn the skills WE need to improve our business” vs “YOU should attend the next company event…”

    “If WE apply what we just learned…”

    “WE need to hold PBR’s… vs “YOU need to hold PBR’s…”

    Get it? “We” comes across much better than “You”. It’s a small thing but has made such a difference for me when I’m talking to a new team member or sending out emails to my entire team.

    So…let’s all have a great 2011 so WE can all create the lifestyle WE deserve!!

    Eddie

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    I learned something with this one, great advice, thanks Eddie

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    I agree, its always WE, and never ME.

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  6. When your think is right,the facts in front of you do not count-A well Known-multi-millionaire

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  7. The best example of leadership I’ve witnessed in my lifetime (I’m 63) was before most people reading this were born. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy made the statement in a speech “during this decade we will put a man on the moon.” This was less than four years after the Russians had successfully launched “Sputnik” giving them the lead in the space race by putting a cosmonaut into orbit. With these words a vision was created that united our nation toward a single goal. The vision was thrown into the future, like a grappling hook, to pull our country forward. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and never lived to realize the achievement of the goal. His dream lived on after his death and July 20, 1969 Neal Armstrong declared “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he stepped down onto the lunar surface.

    [Reply]

    Alice Burns Reply:

    Dan …. Love your story

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    JFK…what would it be like if he wasn’t assasinated?

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  8. All of my working life I’ve been involved with managing other people. I learned over the years that managing people is more than just ‘managing people’. It’s about leadership. The mark of a good leader is one who can get others to accomplish things that they would not ordinarily do and give them the credit while you, the leader, remain in the background. Too many leaders are egotistic and want all the credit.

    I took a class several years ago called LILI. It stands for Leadership In Life Institute and was honored that I was chosen among my peer group of life insurance professionals to attend this course. What this course did for me was life changing. Although I felt that I had been a good leader, this course taught me how to be an even better leader. One of the exercises was really delving into one’s innermost feelings and thoughts and bring it to the surface and get any unwanted or hurt feelings out. Only then could I begin to improve myself as a better leader. (What was said stays in that group).

    One of the books we used was Good to Great by Jim Collins. It featured such companies as Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Walgreens etc. and the great leaders that had a blend of personal humility and professional will. How they became level 5 leaders that took their companies to great heights. As I think back on this course, I take some of the lessons learned and apply them to my business endeavors. It’s about having the vision and persistence; the humility and will to follow through even when the situation looks bleak. Believing in yourself. The same kind of philosophy that you, David Wood, Cedric Harris and others keep instilling in all of us.

    It’s about never quitting. I’ve been trying to effectively do internet/traditional marketing just as you and others have done. I still have a long way to go but have the will to hang in even though times, personally, are tough right now. Having faith with God also keeps me going. In the course we also watched movies pertaining to leadership. Several that I remember the most are “Radio” and “Remember The Titans”. “Remember The Titans” is about the first black coach that this football team had and all the adversities he had to go through. How he took an all white, losing, football team and integrated black players. How this team, through the leadership of the black coach and learning how to work together, had an undefeated season and went on to win the state championship. Watching this movie brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat because I knew the coach and many of the players. My wife, a teacher in the same school system, was on a bowling team with the coaches.

    Many of us today quit to quickly when things don’t go right. Having someone with leadership qualities, such as the coach, teaches them how to work together toward a common goal.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Good stuff

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    A real leader needs no credit, those that seek attention are not leaders but braggerts, full of themselves and couldn’t lead a horse to water.

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  9. One of the greatest forms of leadership I have ever seen is through my pasture. I consider him to be one of my best friends. He displays a love for all those around him, no matter who they are. He always makes someone feel wanted and needed. At church, he asks for others to help in the service. there are three preachers in the church, Him being the pasture he doesn’t have to let others preach, but he believes that allowing others to lead and help them grow, is a way to help our church. I believe this goes for business as well. He is like my upline. he allows me to preach and encouages and helps me. I believe this is one of the greatest ways to grow a business and a prime example of leadership.

    [Reply]

    Traivs Parker Reply:

    I posted the blog on facebook:)

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool Travis

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    The paster, man of the cloth, is a leader inspired by god…

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  10. Well Ray, I’ve got quite a few stories, but with me being a football coach and former player I’ll go back to THE one that stands out most in my mind.

    It was my Junior year, we were a .500 team playing against one of the top teams in the state. Everyone gave us entirely NO CHANCE to even be close. We practiced our butts off all week and knew that is we just played our game and didn’t turn the ball over we would be ok. My Coach (and still a father figure to me to this day) Larry Tarver, worked us harder than we had ever worked before. He told us that even though we couldn’t make the playoffs this year it would set us on course for a State Playoff run my Senior year. The entire team bought in.

    Saturday came, and boy were we ready. We knew they were bigger, stronger and faster, but we also knew they had been looking past us and we ripe for an upset.

    To make a long story short with 0:00 left on the clock the final score was 69-19!!! WE LOST!!!

    We were humiliated. We hopped on the bus and headed back to the school. No one said a word.

    When we got to the locker room, Coach Tarver called us all in and sat us down. He told us he was sorry he hadn’t prepared us properly and took full responsibility for the big fat whooping we took.

    He called us all to come in close and wrap our arms around each other. He told us that this feeling we all had within us at this moment he had felt only once before and he thought he’d never feel it again. It came when his wife of 20 some odd years at the time was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

    We felt very small after hearing his story of how he told her she could beat it but she wanted to give up, but he wouldn’t let her. He wouldn’t allow herself to just lay down and die.

    He told us, with tears in his eyes, (and keep in mind Coach Tarver was a “mans man” ) that he was never more proud of a team, because of the way we stuck together and never quit fighting. Just the same way she never quit fighting. (17 years later she is still alive to this day, by the way.)

    I say all this to preface the following season. We came in unranked and deservedly so. We went on for finish #4 in the state #2 offense and # 2 defense and losing 3 times, twice to the state runner up and one on a hail mary with no time left on the clock.

    This story of leadership is about taking responsibility for yourself and team, and never, ever, ever quitting. We may not have won the Championship, but to come from where we came from it was still a huge triumph! Such is the same in our industry Ray. So long as you don’t quit, you WIN.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    That is great bro, thanks for sharing

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Soooo right, a leader always gets the credit for success and the rath at failure.

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  11. Hey Ray, an Effective Leadership Skill I learned over the years is, getting myself out of the way. Let me explain. The very first time I called my mentor to do a 3rd party validation I kept interrupting him. I was just trying to help, as I knew the prospect better than he did. After the call was over, he called me with a teaching session. I found out that I wasn’t helping AT ALL by talking on the call. First, I took his credibility away because I called him as the authority on the subject and didn’t allow him to be that authority. Second, he was taking them down a specific road (mentally) and I hampered that by making the conversation stop at my “interjected” point. Third, it could have been perceived as “ganging up” on the prospect, as we were both speaking to him at the same time. So my mentor said, “Don’t call me for a third party validation until you have learned to get yourself out of the way”. There are many other examples of a person being in their own way, but hey, one valuable Effective Leadership Skill learned.

    NOTE: We have three rules for our team and “Learn to get yourself out of the way” is Rule #2.

    Thanks for all you do for the team, Ray. You’re a true leader.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Thanks bro and great lesson in there!

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Oh how true, we usually want to “throw up” all over our prospects…Give them a little and let them chew on it!!

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  12. Hello Ray,
    I have learned many lessons from dozens of true mlm leaders in my many years in this awesome industry. With that being said, I’m going to share with you an Effective Leadership Skill I learned from being a Ski Instructor. That Leadership Skill is learn how to do something the right way and teach it to your team. I taught all levels of skiing from Beginner to Advanced and one fundamental truth remained throughout. Learning how to ski better came from reinforcing the fundamentals and getting out on the snow to actually do it. Each time I taught a lesson, I solidified the “basics” in my own skiing. I taught the same skills so many times, over and over again, that they were engrained in my performance. Teaching skiing made me a better skier. The only way for that to happen was to get out there and do it, in other words, get in the game and make it happen. In summary, if you want to get better then share it with others, as often as possible. This will ensure you have that skill down pat, and passing it on to your team will help you and others grow, exponentially. Look forward to seeing you and Jess in Myrtle Beach soon. Be Blessed.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool, teaching certainly helps mastery!

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    No better way to learn a subject than to teach it..

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  13. Leadership Qualities — For most of my life I have been using a technique that has helped me get through some of life’s problems. I didn’t have a name(but used some Marine Corp and truck driver words) for it. Recently, Ray Higdon did put a phrase to describe it, “don’t get emotionally attached to an outcome”. The only thing a person should become emotionally attached to is their family,everything else is just “stuff”.
    Not only in life, but especially in Marketing.

    1. If a person becomes to attached to a Guru and the guru fails or switches plans, then that doesn’t mean that you fail or loose because they do. If a guru tells you are uncoachable and you are a waste of time. That just means they aren’t a good coach for your situation. Don’t get emotionally attached.

    2. If you try several recruiting techniques, such as buying leads. Then find out that the company had sold the same leads to 3 or 4 different “newbie” marketers or some attraction marketing system tells you to do everything “massively” and you find out thousands of people are doing it massively, don’t get emotionally attached.

    3. If you finally get a few leads or someone finally talks to you about your company, don’t get attached to the point that if it doesn’t work then you are emotionally drained to the point of quitting.

    Think of all these things as invisible arrows. If you don’t get attached to them they will just pass through you with no effect. But if you get emotionally attached they will affect you just as if it was a physical arrow passing through your body.

    Only your family deserves your “Emotional Attachment”. Everything else is just , stuff.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    You are powerful when you are not attached to the outcome, thanks bro

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    Tony Stewart Reply:

    How true, no need to get emotional in business…

    [Reply]

  14. About a year ago I attended my first Personal Development event, “More Heart Than Talent” which Jeffery Combs puts on every year. That weekend was transformative for me for so many reasons. However, there’s one thing that I not only share with others consistently, but that I’ve implemented in my daily life that’s changed my entire mode of operation and allowed me to create success…not only in my Network Marketing business, but everywhere in every area of my life.

    Author, Robert Shemin, in his presentation at that event, shared that he used a simple substitution of words that created massive positive change…In fact, it was so powerful to him that he created a rule in his house that outlined this principle. He told his son that the words “I can’t” were stricken from their vocabulary and that from then on, the words “How can I?” must be used instead.

    This simple concept — these three words — changed my life.

    Using this simple concept allows me to look at an obstacle, ANY obstacle and become unstoppable at overcoming it…because in saying “How can I…? it immediately gets you into solution mode instead of living in the problem. For example, instead of “I can’t build my business because I have a full-time job”, I simply say “HOW CAN I build my business although I have a full-time job?” Solution mode.

    When you pose that question to yourself, your mind starts firing on all cylinders working on solving the problem (even when you’re not conscious of it) and coming up with solutions and BAM, you find them.

    3 Life changing words — “HOW CAN I?” instead of “I can’t”… Implement this small change consistently and the world opens up.

    Thanks Ray, for creating this contest and inspiring so many people to share their inspiration with everyone. You rock!

    [Reply]

    Richard Duke Reply:

    If you think you can, you can.
    If you think you can’t, you can’t.

    [Reply]

    Shaneequa Burrell Reply:

    I need to share this with my 11 year old daughter “I CAN’T” plagues her vocabulary!

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Don’t even question “how can I,” JUST DO IT !! (nike)

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    Ray Higdon Reply:

    You really walk the walk too Amy, thanks so much for sharing. Robert is a friend of mine, great guy

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  15. I am glad to be a student of leadership, and so I always try to associate with people I feel have great leadership qualities.

    There is one person in particular whom I respect. She recently got divorced and had to take up a job as a school teacher. Every morning, without fail, she gets up at 4am to read, exercise, and prepare lunch for her kids. She then goes on Facebook and shares something about what she read that day. Then she goes to school, comes back, and then studies for her weekend class. On weekends, she attends two 7-hour class sessions in order to get her degree and get a better job in the future.

    That may seem like many other people in America, but she’s been following that routine for years even before she got divorced. I can’t find many people who are willing to wake up early (4am, at that!) to exercise and read. Most people would wake up to the alarm, look at the clock, and then do a mental weighing: “sleep, or bust my ass exercising?” Most people would choose the easier decision. This woman does not even have an alarm clock!

    The thing about her is that she makes the decision beforehand, so she no longer has the option to go back to sleep once she gets up. She has already decided to get up and exercise, so when she wakes up, she gets up and exercises. She makes her decisions beforehand, which I think is something every leader should do. Especially in MLM. Make the decision to call 5, 10 people tomorrow. Then tomorrow, call 5, 10 people. There’s no longer an option, the decision is made.

    Another thing is that she sticks to the routine every day. She has a DMO and she sticks with it. She has developed her habits and sticks with them daily without fail. Applied to a home based business, it’s pretty much common knowledge that in order to succeed, you must work at your business every day. I know you’ve written about that Ray, and I totally agree. And I will also agree that it is very difficult to work every day! Some days I get lazy, some days I lack motivation, some days I get caught up in schoolwork (which may or may not be my fault at times, lol), but no matter what the reason, it is damn HARD! Having a DMO is very essential to success in anything. Tiger Woods probably did something every day to increase his golfing skills, whether it was actually playing golf, or working out, or reading about swings… every successful person has some sort of DMO that they had that made them successful.

    The saying goes, “It takes 21 days to make a habit.” And then it takes a single day to break that habit. Once you get out of the “flow,” you’re out of the flow. Gotta find the next wave to ride.

    Nevertheless, this woman has her DMO, and makes the decision to follow the DMO every day without fail. Sure, some days she gets lazy, but the next day she’s definitely up.

    One more quality she possesses is the ability to sort her priorities. Even though she doesn’t make much as a school teacher, every month, her budget includes sending money to her mother overseas. Even though she makes the least amount of money between her siblings, who actually LIVE near her mother (and make tons of money too), she’s the one who supports their mother. Forget about the irony, I can’t see anyone who will take money out of their already-tight budget to support their mother. Hell, many Americans would probably throw their ailing parents into a nursing home, just because it’s easier. A leader doesn’t do what is easy. They don’t do what is popular. They do what is right, no matter how hard it is. She puts her mom as a priority, and as a result, she budgets her time and money to reflect her priority. She doesn’t spend on herself until she knows her mother is comfortable.

    There is no one I respect more in this world than this woman, my dearly beloved mother. She expresses leadership qualities that many people should follow, and I know that she will succeed in whatever she puts her mind to. She tells me that too :P

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very, very cool, and a wise son to recognize this

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Plan your work and work your plan!!

    [Reply]

  16. I feel leadership is a process by which various actions by certain individuals cause others to act in either a positive or negative way. They set a pace that others are inclined to follow. Most leaders hope for their actions to be duplicated in a way that is beneficial for both the follower and the leader. They hope to create others who will become leaders themselves.

    My personal story of leading was when I was in the Air Force. I led a group of subordinates in a mission where each individual was responsible to pack F-16 aircraft ejection seat parachutes. Because of their willingness to follow my guidance in the mission, we were able to save the life of one pilot whose aircraft malfunctioned and his ejection seat successfully opened bringing him safely to the ground. Effective leadership is accomplished when others also take action because of your actions.
    Mike in Phoenix,AZ

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool, thanks for serving our country

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Your right, people follow leaders..

    [Reply]

  17. As I was pondering my response to this question, it occured to me that I had many instances where leadership was displayed throughout my life.

    The person I consider my best leader was my father. Growing up, we never really had much money, but you could never really tell by talking to my dad. To him, he had the greatest riches any man could hope for. He worked very hard, you see he quit school in seventh grade to take care of his only brother. He tought me how to be honest, respectful, diligent, responsible, and gave me the intestinal fortitude to drive on when the going got tough. I will always be grateful that I was blessed with a father like mine, for he tought me that the best things in life are free.

    As I left home to serve with the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, I was again blessed to be lead by a very professional 1st Sergeant, he tought me to do things I never imagined I could. His discipline and character was beyond approach. He was a master at getting his troops to look in the eye of death and laugh. Sometimes I think he was just crazy!
    He was a living testimony to the patch he wore on his sleeve “follow me.”
    As I am writing today, I sit in a squad car and reflect on the leadership that brought me from a patrolman to a supervisor. These fine men and women put their lives on the line every day, to protect and serve the citizens of our great nation and never receive any accolades, recognition, ovations, or thanks. I hold these people dear to my heart, and see the sacrifice and horror they witness daily. All of them are leaders, may god bless them all!

    To sum it up, I reflect on a quote that I stumbled across early in my Army days. It was written by John Kotter and it goes like this. ” Leaders establish the vision of the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else sacrifice to get there.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very powerful story Tony, thank you so much for sharing

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    I think this one should win the prize, lol.

    [Reply]

  18. Ok Ray, here goes…

    Early on in my career I starting working in the financial industry, specifically in mortgages. After I had success at a major lending institution selling mortgages, I was approached with an opportunity to manage a team. Although this was very exciting I was very apprehensive because this was my first management opportunity, and frankly I was scared to be responsible for a team. I didn’t know if I would fail, what I couldn’t do it,… all these things where going through my mind.

    I turned to my good friend and mentor, Chris. He was my first boss and he taught me a lot about business, life, and mindset. I told him my situation and asked him for advice. Right off the bat he smiled and asked me does your team know you’re scared? I said no of course not. He laughed and said well you have nothing to worry about then.

    Puzzled I asked him to explain. He said all you have to do is “act as if”. Act as if this no big deal and you have done this many times before. No one will know but you. So if you act as if you’re a confident, strong leader and to your team you are! He then said something that made so much sense, it truly changed the way I viewed everything in life.

    He said “don’t give your power away so easily”. Asked him what he meant. He explained the only people who have any power in your life are those who you give your power too. In other words, do not allow others to rob you of your potential because you’re concerned about what they may think. He said when you’re selling mortgages and your prospect tells you NO do give up and quit trying for the day? I said No, I just call the next prospect. He said of course, you wouldn’t allow that one person to stop you from making a sale all day. That’s keeping your power.

    After that he said, besides you’re in best position possible to lead. You will be leading other to do exactly what you did to become the manager in the first place. People naturally follow leaders who have gone before them. That knows how to get it done even when it’s particularly challenging. If you where lost would ask a person who was also lost wondering around or would ask the person walking with purpose who knew where they were headed? I get your point I said.

    A few weeks later I was discussing my progress with Chris and he said okay, you’re ready for phase two. He explained, now that you have established yourself as a strong competent leader you’ll want to help your people reach their potential. Split your team into two. I was really curious where he was going with this. He said, people will always work harder when their own ego is at stake. Have daily and weekly contests and if necessary rearrange the teams to minimize any unbalanced advantages. No one likes to lose and that will drive production naturally without you having to push them.

    Finally he said Neil don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, you should “fail forward fast”. You will make mistakes. When you do don’t dwell on them. learn from them and keep moving forward. Do not attempt to avoid failing by avoiding risks. The greatest rewards go to those who are not afraid to fail, to succeed.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    This is excellent

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    No failure, equals no success !!

    [Reply]

  19. I am SO amazed, and blessed, by the many responses before me. I am learning TONS from THEIR stories, of the people who inspired them.

    Two quick stories of inspiration?/leadership? that have stayed with me over the years: a new friend, many years ago, when she first met me, said that I seemed like I’d be a great person for her to know! How amazing and honoring that was for me to hear! And a challenge for me to live up to that first impression.

    2nd story: As I visited my kids’ school, I said hi to one of the teachers and asked her how she was. She didn’t respond, “fine”, she said, “I’m Blessed!” with a big smile and joy on her face. I’d NEVER heard that response to the casual greeting, and her words started opening my eyes to the daily blessings around us, in any situation.

    Thank YOU for your training(s), and for creating this contest, so that many of us can read the incredible stories–and leadership examples–of the people who’ve already answered. Your time, to the winner, will certainly be appreciated by that person, and the gift certificate is a fun icing, but the REAL winner(s) in all of this are the people who read these responses, as we all have, and are both stunned and enabled by, these stories of hope, empowerment and life achievement(s). Business things will take care of themselves if these marvelous stories can be enacted in people’s daily lives.

    Merry Christmas!

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Thanks Susi!

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Yes, we are all blessed…

    [Reply]

  20. FANTASTIC WISDOM!!! I’ve learned so much but I’m going to get in a quiet place and really put some thought into this and be sure to add my Leadership Lesson prior to the cut-off date and time.

    There’s a lot to take in here. Another phenomenal idea Ray!

    Success Through Contribution

    Mike

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Thoughtful….another leadership trait.

    [Reply]

  21. Hello Ray,

    I want to share my leadership story on what has helped me to become a better leader as well as a better person.

    I have been in the restaurant business pretty much all my life. I’d say about 20 yrs altogether. 15 of those years were in management.

    At the beggining of my experience alot of the management style was pretty much this was the direction that we are going and that was it.

    I have always seemed to have a problem with that but hey if that’s what we have to do then lets do it.

    Well until this past year my company started working with the OZ principles and pretty much that change my perspective on how leadership should be and how I invisioned it to be as well.

    One of the lessons I learned was to listen more efectively.

    If we take the time to actually listen of what is being said then we could effectively address the course of action that we need to take.

    Once I started to efectively listen to what was important to my staff our relationships got better, they started to see how I truly cared about their concerns, and I was able to address what they were saying in a more productive way instead of just telling them how it should be end of story.

    This in turned build a lot of trust, communication, and credibility within our 4 walls.

    Now this can be so powerful in personal relationship, friendships, families, and so on.

    Just taking the time to listen and truly take in the information that is being delivered is a tremendous skill for anyone that is looking to improve their leadership and lives.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Listening is free and easy but so often overlooked, thanks for sharing

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Listening intently shows you care and that is definitly a leadership trait.

    [Reply]

  22. I’ve been reading all these stories WISHING I had some emotion-filled connection with someone pivotal in my life that left me with some lasting words on which to reflect. Sadly, that is not the case. The lessons I’ve learned in leadership have not come from a fabulous mentor, but more from a series of not-so-great leadership moments.

    At age 9-ish, I told my dad I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up – to which he replied ‘No dear. You have too much mouth, and that is not a good thing’. – I learned to never steal a child’s dream, or anyone else’s for that matter.

    At age 12, I was told by a great-aunt in my family that my mother should have never had children, and that I wouldn’t amount to anything. – I learned that it’s not your beginning, it’s your ending, and more importantly the journey itself (that part was later in life).

    At age 16, I got my first job. My mom was angry, and wouldn’t help me with transportation. – I learned that you can’t always depend on the ones you love and who love you.

    At age 20, I lost a child to SIDS. I was told ‘Get over it’. ‘Be strong’. I learned to help people ‘go through’, not ‘get over’. And that showing your vulnerabilities is not a sign of weakness, but of ultimate strength.

    At age 24, I moved away from home. I made mistakes, and learned from them. – I learned that I could do it, and whatever I screwed up, I had the capacity to fix it.

    I used those harsh moments to remind me of how to serve people I meet, and those coming behind me.

    I’m still learning. – I learned that leaders NEVER stop learning. Leaders are willing to lead and be led. Leaders inspire, encourage, and develop. Leaders NEVER quit.

    Be blessed.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Wow, very powerful, I am sure people have gone through less than you and cling to the negative more

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Nothing knocks us down more than hearing negatives from our parents. Good job in picking yourself up.

    [Reply]

  23. Leadership skill I have learned ~

    Many times you are in situations that leadership knowledge has to be learned while you go. As chef on an Alaska fishing trawler you really need a super plan of leadership for to get four meals on the table day and night at the right time for 120 hungry people.

    I found over time that often by stepping down to the rest of the working team and flipping some burgers, peeling some potatoes or cleaning a dish or two while talking and having fun, gave the best and quickest result for the galley to run smooth.

    I believe that as a leader it’s a must to put yourself in the shoes of others. You get a better connection of how they are doing in their working situation, and a feeling we are the best team ever riding the big waves in Alaska. Some times it could be ruff weather and the boat was rocking and rolling in all directions, that could lead to eggs and other stuff flying over the galley floor. A good leader just has to pitch in when needed like when others are bending over the railing feeding the seagulls and are not able to work.

    You just have to step up to the plate and be the best leader you can be and it doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the job gets done. It’s all about staying connected as we do in network marketing, and helping each other through every challenge of life that makes us all grow and accomplish our goals.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool, like this a lot!

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    A leader must be willing to do the jobs of those they lead, builds trust and unity.

    [Reply]

  24. My first memory of exposure to effective leadership was when I was in junior high and I went into my fathers study and he was just sitting in his leather chair smoking a cigar listening to a record. Now you might say what is the big deal. Well the record had no music it was just this guy with a distinct southern accent talking. My Dad asked me to sit with him for what seemed like an eternity at the time. More and more frequently as I grew older he would have me listen in with him and 10th grade or so he had me start listening to things he selected on my own, which he would then ask me about later. Of course this southern speaker was non other than Zig Zigler himself, which we eventually went to see in person a few times back in the ’70’s. Eventually, I was exposed to Carnagie, Mandino and others and have continued to seek continued ways to raise the bar in my life. Now the leadership point here is not about Zig or the many other speakers I am familiar with. The leader was my father himself, who not only exposed and taught me, but practiced self improvement his entire life. I have since over the years tried to pass these skills on to my 2 sons and daughter. I have also since found countless new speakers and teachers to draw from such as Burke Hedges, Kiyosaki and Trump. But I still revisit some of the original concepts I was exposed to as a child for affirmations. My favorite still to this day is Zig, but recently am re-visiting Napolean Hill on the recommendation of a good friend and mentor. You see in my experience, if you want to lead….hang out with, and do what other leaders do. Listen to what they are saying and most importantly as my father always did….Take Action! Just as I have by writing this blog. It is small steps like this that make the differnce.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool Doc, love this story and I make my kids sit through stuff all the time, hope they have a similar story to you

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    All of todays leaders were inspired by these few great men…I am convinced.

    [Reply]

  25. Ray, Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    One summer afternoon back in 1985, I learned a valuable lesson about leadership. It came in the form a single phrase in a conversation. It was helpful at the time, however I did not know how powerful this single statement would become to me years later.

    On this sunny afternoon, I was patrolling a parking lot while working private security. I had recently been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Being a new supervisor I was encountering some challenges with a few of the Officers I was responsible for. As I was patrolling the area, the Director of Security, who I looked up to a great deal, was riding with me. I had been telling him about this person, and that person, failing to do things exactly the way I thought they should be done. This is when one of the most profound statements I have ever heard was shared with me. The Director said “Not Everybody Can Be A Dave Trilety”.

    At the time this was shared with me, it helped to put things in perspective, however the greater lessons came later. When I got involved in Network Marketing, I began learning that this industry is not sales, but leadership development. The lesson of the past returned to the surface. As I brought others into the business, those words came back in the form of “I have to teach people from where they are, and not where I am”. The second lesson was, that people will do what they are going to do, and all I can do is encourage and support them, but I can not force them to do that which they are not going to do.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very brief but powerful story, I like this a lot and agree 100%

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    I believe you do force them but they dont have a clue.

    [Reply]

  26. Some leadership lessons are learned more memorably by bludgeon than by a clever turn of phase in a book or from a podium.

    Circa 1962 B.P.C. (before political correctness) I attended a leadership course known as Army O.C.S. at 0500 foggy rain blowing in a coastal community, 100 acres of cold asphalt parade ground. In one corner 350 callow young men rigidly lined in perfect rows waiting for instructions from the “volunteer” leader standing alone in front.

    A faceless, strac, highly polished 1st lieutenant stridently approached to give counsel to the leader of the group.

    In a voice highly modulated for all to hear (sometimes known as an ear piercing scream) standing about 1 foot from the leader he gave his advice.

    “Do something idiot!!! (pause). . . Do something even if its wrong. (pause) Don’t leave these people standing out in the rain MORON. . . Move, Move, Move!!!!!!

    Of course “nowadays” these lessons may be taught with cartoon pictures in a book rather than by experience, but possibly the messages can still be conveyed.

    The direct lesson: It is always far easier and better to adjust a positive course of action than to adjust from passively doing nothing while considering all the options.

    The indirect lesson: The person standing out in front, with first hand experience got significantly more from the lesson than any one of the group standing in the rain waiting to be told to turn to their right and put their left foot in front of their right foot and then the right foot in front of the left, and to be led to a nice warm place with shelter, food and comfort.

    The moral of the story: If you are going to be a leader you will be standing alone in front — exposed.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool Jim

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    A body at rest stays at rest, and a body in motion stays in motion…

    [Reply]

  27. Ray. Here is my story.
    I have been a manager in the food service business for 20 years. I have had a lot of bosses but only one “leader”. About eight years ago I was supposed to give a training seminar to a group of other managers in my company about 150 miles away from my home office. When I got to the meeting place no one was there. See the problem was I never confirmed the meeting with the area supervisor so he never passed on the information to the managers. Well when I got back to the office the leader called me in to his office and ask me how the meeting went. I explained to him that no one showed up he asked why. I told him I wasn’t sure why. He then asked if I had emailed the area supervisor to confirm the meeting. I told him I had not. At that point I thought to myself “well John, here it comes. He is going to be real angry that I wasted company time and money to get down there only to have no one show up.” Instead he said”what would you do different next time?” I told him I would email or call before the schedualed date to confirm things. His reply “well I guess you learned something then”. WOW……..
    See Ray, manager’s train but leaders develop. Success comes from development and development takes time. When leaders develop people for success those people learn from mistakes. So great leaders create a culture where people have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Leaders are always there at the time of the mistake to make it a “growth experience”.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool, great story

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    I agree, learning something is never a waste of time..

    [Reply]

  28. Shortly after moving to California, I began working for an accounting firm. After tax season ended, and the rush was over, the owner decided to open a computer center to process client’s books, in house, rather than outsource that work. This would create a new income stream for the business, which would be year round. The computer center was so successful that some of the accounting clients began to purchase their own computers from our company. I wanted to learn the computer end of the business and began staying after work, to voluntarily run through the programs and rewrite the operational instructions, after the company programmer would make program changes. A few short weeks later, my big break came along. Linda who normally went out to a client’s office to set-up the computer and train the company’s personnel, called in sick one day. With the computer delivery scheduled that morning, the sales person who made the sale was frantic; naturally fearing the client would cancel the deal if our company could not deliver. Unbeknownst to me, he convinced my boss to send me out, in Linda’s place. Upon hearing Mr. Jones say, “Alice, get your things together, you are going with Dale and I to install this computer” panic instantly set in. After all, I barely knew anything about setting up a new computer, or even turning it on, much less how to teach someone else to operate it. On the way to the client’s office, they recognized the look of FRANTIC on my face and asked if I were nervous. My reply: “nervous no, scared to death!”. Mr Jones looked me in the eye and said, “They have no idea how little you know and the little you know is more than they know, so stop worrying, you will be fine”. The day went perfect God’s grace and the confidence instilled upon me by the boss. Two lessons I learned about leadership from Mr. Jones. First, look outside the box when it comes to creating additional income streams. Second, people do not know what they do not know, and with a little positive mental posturing, it is easy to encourage people to learn new things. All leaders want to learn all one must do is help them find their way.

    And Ray, that is what you do best.

    [Reply]

    Alice Burns Reply:

    The time clock is not correct it is 6:15pm (PST) right now.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Good story and very cool

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Good Job Alice, you identified an opportunity, prepared the best you could and did something. Thats the key, you gotta do something!!

    [Reply]

  29. posted to my facebook wall

    [Reply]

  30. My leadership lesson comes from a book written by Steve Farber called “Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership”. Through Steve’s writings he shows that the goal of true leadership is to help others become more capable, confident, and accomplished than their leaders.

    I took the principles describe in his book and selected my own Greater Than Yourself (GTY) project. I applied his principles and was able to watch a colleague grow and develop right before my eyes. She transformed from someone who was timid and lacked self-confidence to someone who was respected by her peers, stood her ground for what she believed in and showed confidence in everything she did.

    The three tenets of Greater Than Yourself are as follows:
    1)Expand Yourself – First you have to expand yourself before you can help make others great. Expand your knowledge, expand your skills, expand your network, etc.

    2)Give of Yourself – In business we are often told that knowledge is power. While this is true to a great extent, people tend to interpret this as “If I have more knowledge than you, I win” and therefore they keep their knowledge to themselves. Giving of yourself not only refers to the giving of knowledge but also the giving of all resources; knowledge, connections, insights, experience, time, etc. While knowledge is powerful, the giving of knowledge is even more powerful because it enriches the lives of both the giver and the receiver.

    3)Replicate Yourself – Teach others to do exactly what you have done for them.

    I believe my legacy as a leader will be determined by my ability to instill greatness in others and elevate them to a level greater than I will ever achieve.

    Having had success with these principles in Corporate America, I am now in search of a new GTY project as I transition from my career in the corporate world into the network marketing industry.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Greater than yourself…very cool

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Love the three tenets, good job.

    [Reply]

  31. This is a great contest idea on leadership skills, Ray…not just because of the prize lol but the value all of us can contribute from our experiences over the past year. Here is my personal leadership skill story. It is something I absolutely put into practice and has made the difference for me. Learning how to do an effective three-way call has transformed my business.

    This skill is often overlooked by many networkers as they simply think a three-way call is just getting your prospect on the phone with your Upline in hopes they’ll talk them into the opportunity. Completely cold & dry doesn’t work. Your Upline isn’t a machine. I learned how to do a proper three way call by understanding the concept of posture. And posture I learned in several positive mental attitude books but most importantly by 1) believing in what I have and 2) acting on that belief. So knowing this my objective was to effectively promote, edify and endorse my Upline to my prospect and NOT the other way around. I would say it just like this ["Prospect I have managed to get a hold of Mr. Upline, he is very successful in this business and as a result very busy but because you expressed sincere interest in what we are doing, he agreed he would take a few minute to address your questions. Prospect it's my pleasure to intriduce you to my upline] Following this pattern of posture and edification on a three way calls has totally exploded my results in personal recruiting. Why? Because the secret wasn’t in myself and self-promoting Me but it always is in what someone else (3rd party) in this case my Upline and what they can say about me and the business. I learned that proper posture leads to correct edification which always produces respect and maximum results. I’ve discovered by adhering to this science of edification inside of three way calls makes recruiting and developing new reps and good team players a whole lot easier. If you’ve never done a 3-way call, make sure you begin but do them with Posture & Edification. Get yourself and your ego out of the way and you’ll watch your business soar!
    Erwin Mcken
    Toronto, Canada

    [Reply]

    Richard Duke Reply:

    Yes Erwin, by placing your upline in a position of authority, you are raising the level of value for what ever the upline has to say about you or your business.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Erwin, what is funny is it is more about how you introduce the leader to set the posturing than actually what the leader says. From being on a whole bunch of 3 way calls, I can tell you this is true and that you are one of the best at it I have ever seen

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Erwin, you certainly got that right, most people need to just get out of their own way.

    [Reply]

  32. Hi Ray… Thanks for the opportunity.

    Most recently, I have fallen victim to one the very reasons that cause 97% of distributors to quit this industry. I let rejection affect my mind and my activity. Most naturally, every human being does what they need to do to avioid pain, even if it means doing nothing. I have known all along that rejection is part of this biz. You always hear, “Go for No” or “The more no’s you hear, the better your chances are of hearing yes.”

    I knew I had to try and change the way I was thinking to get out of this funk, so I popped in a CD I got a while back called “Needs vs. Wants” by Tom “Big Al’ Schreiter.

    He has an exceptional way of telling stories that stay in your mind for a very long time. I have learned that this is a key factor for succeeding in this industry. What do you remember? Right… Great Stories. He is humorous and can grab anyone’s attention within two seconds of opening his mouth. He changed my perspective on HOW to look at rejection. In this CD, Big Al tells beginners word for word.. what to say to their new team of distributors.

    Ultimately, he points out that the people you are looking for are the people that Need a change AND actually Want to do something about it. Big Al forces you to see it like this. It’s like you are looking for all the people in the world named Bob.

    So I walk up to you Ray and say, “He there Ray, what’s your name?” You say, “Ray.” I say, “Are you sure it’s not Bob? It would be much easier for me if your name was Bob. Are you sure you don’t want to change your name to Bob?” So Ray, you say, “No, but my little brother and cousin are named Bob….”

    Point is there are a lot of people named Bob out there; you just have to find them. You can’t force someone to be named Bob. Try to envision that in your mind the next time you hear “No.” I have found that I am laughing at “no” now…

    I did fall into my tricky mind’s trap of allowing rejection to push me way down. The important thing is to get back up. There are ways to condition your mind to think differently. It’s time to have fun with this thing! Get back up and get out there.

    Ray, I want to thank you personally for keeping me going. I couldn’t have dreamed for a better support system. You never pass judgment no matter what, and when least expected, I am pushed to a new level by something that you say or do. Thanks and happy holidays to you and Jess.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool, I have never thought of it that way but so true

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Yes we are sorting, looking for the “bobs.”

    [Reply]

  33. Hi Ray! Thanks for the opportunity. With laptop issues and all and just simply being busy here in Canada with Chris Kent in town I had not gotten around to this.

    Nevertheless, here is my 2 cents: One leadership skill that I talk about in this video is for a person to be truly and genuinely be dedicated in leading and developing the people around him/her. A leader, simply by their posture, their manner of conversation, attract you towards betterment (if that is a word) of self. A leader is willing to lead, and is accountable, and knows that given the right environment, he/she can develop leaders and create a leagacy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3MbCYBgDLE

    Thank You

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool, great testimony video for Erwin too!

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Dedication is another leadership trait.

    [Reply]

  34. Ok,

    One of the greatest examples of leadership I have ever seen is my Grandfather Delbert. The man is so solid in so many ways but his commitment to life and family has always been inspiring to me.

    I don’t particularly agree that people have to go through adversity to become great people, I feel it’s a choice whether or not “bad” things happen to you in life. That being said, my grandfather didn’t loose his parents at 3, or walk 5 miles in the snow each way to school, or survive a war or anything really out of the ordinary…no, he decided that he was going to live an honorable life and has done so.

    He is a man of few words. Doesn’t say a lot and that’s ok because what he never said in words he said in action.

    His actions have spoken volumes to me –

    The biggest lesson I have learned from him, and I really mean this, is that the most effective leadership skill to posses is the ability to lead yourself… I know it sounds kind of spacey and basic but that is what I think of when I think of my grandfather. I have learned by observing him that if you want something done, you have to do it with determination and focus and be willing to push (lead) yourself towards whatever it is you are after. Their isn’t a specific story I really have in mind to share. It’s more a lifetime of knowing the man and watching him display real leadership. Leadership on so many levels but really on the most basic one… If you want something done, you MUST LEAD YOURSELF! Period! End of story! Their is no substitute. No one is going to do it for you. Be willing to make mistakes, fail, and have setbacks… that is ok. It’s often part of the process of learning and life.

    I mean the guy is 84 and he still works out. He can still do 5 pull ups out in his garage. He understands that know one else is going to keep him in shape for himself, he has to do it. Everything he has done, he has done without a lot of fanfare and commotion but he gets “it” done because he has learned how to discipline himself towards his goals. And for me, it all comes down to my ability to lead myself to what I want done. I can listen to the best training in the world, can go to live events, can get one on one coaching from the greatest teachers in the world… but if I don’t take action upon what I have learned or in other words, LEAD MYSELF to take action upon what I have learned… who cares? It doesn’t mean anything… I am just fooling myself –

    So here’s to Delbert Starner, the finest man I have ever known –

    Ben

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool story brother

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    I am inspired !!! I would love to meet and talk with Mr. Starner.

    [Reply]

  35. Aloha Ray,

    Thank you for running this contest. The book that helped sharpen my saw to effectively lead others was Dr. Steve Covey’s book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

    I applied the habits during my time aboard the Coast Guard Sequoia which is buoy tender in Apra Harbor Guam. In addition to being a Deck Watch Officer, one of my collateral duties was to serve the ship’s Education Service Officer.

    In this short video, I will explain how I used Dr. Covey’s Habits to help 65+ of my crew advance to their next pay grade and 10+ earn college credits and degree while we were at sea conducting the Nation’s business. As a result, I was awarded 2005 Education Service Officer of the Year for Small Afloat Units in the entire Coast Guard.

    Here are the 7 Habits for your reference

    1. Be Proactive
    2. Begin with the End in Mind
    3. Put First Things First
    4. Think Win-Win
    5. Seek First to Underdstand, Then to be Understood
    6. Synergize
    7. Sharpen The Saw

    Enjoy the video!
    Soumangue

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Where is the video?

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    Wow, thank you for serving and being a mentor to our young service members.

    [Reply]

  36. I learned significant lessons that have helped me to develop leadership skills from Robert Moss a historian, professor, author on dreams. I learned and have been able to implement Moss’ beliefs that If people want action in their life and want to break out of the bounds of the ordinary then they have to go beyond their previous limits and take leaps of faith with perspectives that are often unfamiliar or not commonplace to their standard way of thinking and that simple action alone will generate the necessary energies and forces that come to support them in whatever endeavor or venture that they have embarked upon. Dreaming is terribly important and can be a significant part of this action. Dreams can empower us and dictate our successes, they can bring to the consciousness those accomplishments and unrevealed potential that we can only envision or accept in the subconscious. I have experienced firsthand in my career that if I am able to envision my successful outcome or the goal I have set for myself then I can actually accomplish the goal by laying the groundwork and working toward that dream. We can be all that we are able to dream and we become what we see ourselves as in life. Dreams order reality beyond the physical fears, negativity, and everyday obstacles that we all come up against especially when we take a risk or do something that our friends and families disapprove of or do not understand. Dreams coupled with action create the leaders that are able to envision and then accomplish the unattainable; even the unimaginable and in turn that energy becomes the inspiration that sets the pace for others to gain confidence in and follow. Active dreaming is not necessarily what goes on during sleep but, dreaming is fundamentally about waking up and going beyond the pre-programmed, pre-conceived ideals that are other people’s expectations for our lives. I learned that as a leader I have to be willing to go beyond my comfort zone and open myself up to living in the energetic state where I can dream unlimited potential for not just myself but for the group of people that I have purposed to engage with in moving toward that common goal. Dreaming in essence is the source of tools, resources and understanding that we implement to bring about the reality of the impossible feat striving together as a formidable unit of combined energy gaining momentum to realign reality. The world changers are the powerful dreamers and visionaries that can image the impossible and engage that dream as reality. How we define our reality dictates what we encounter and will form our outcome. In any field; war politics literature, religion, economics, technology, rock music stellar characters changed the genre of the world as formidable leaders that could initiate considerable power through their visions and dreams to accomplish what many would see as utterly impossible. I learned as a leader that it takes more than just a dream or a vision. Dreams favor the prepared mind and cannot come to fruition without the diligent, consistent work that brings the dream to life.

    [Reply]

    Ray Higdon Reply:

    Very cool Debbie, dream on!

    [Reply]

    Tony Stewart Reply:

    I agree, Step out of the Box !!!

    [Reply]

  37. My dad was the inspiration for me in terms of leadership. As an uneducated man with 7 kids (his first son came when he was aged 16). During war time Vietnam he led his family of Seven and a wife from absolute hunger and horror to happy and honor.

    I watched him as he tackled many challenges in his life. One being the most important is to feed his family. We live in Indonesia for over 4 years waiting to be administered to Australia. During this time it was everyman for himself or more every family for them self. My dad was a natural leader. He Took us fishing, taught us how to set traps to catch crabs, eels, fish, snakes, anything under water. Then mum would take them to the market (Mum too, took up leadership role and was respected by her peers but wont talk about her now). He also took us hunting, teaching us how to climbing, shooting, setting traps catch pretty much everything that walks. Sometimes you wonder how does a kid in his twenties able to do all this.

    He also built a house for us all to live in (don’t know how he has the ability), but the community also insisted he helped them build their houses too. These are some of his early achievements, we haven’t talked about what he has achieve in Australia yet. I thought this was worth sharing as my father being being an uneducated man he should have been a frightened kid in his circumstance but he wasn’t.

    I have always excelled ahead of my peers because I think my dad set the example. As always I compare our situation and say “he had it tougher, he could do it why can’t I?”. In this economy where everything is abundant, I look back at my old man and his situation, and see that his situation is what helps me pushes my way to new heights!

    Tam Dang

    [Reply]

  38. I know I’m way too late for this but I liked this post so I’ll comment anyway.

    I’ve learned that to be a good leader you need to be able to make the right decisions, not just the popular ones.

    [Reply]

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