Lessons from the Eagle

Allegories are those beautiful stories and poems that capture our imagination and open our eyes to new insight and meaning about ideas, concepts and realities. Great leaders enjoy the richness that they offer. The allegory of the eagle invites great leaders to reflect on the meaning of change.

The Eagle has the longest life span of its species. It can live up to 70 years but, to reach this age, the eagle must make a very difficult decision. In its 40th year, its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent. The feathers become old, thick and heavy. The thick and heavy feathers stick to its chest and makes it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with two options: die or go through a painful process of change. The process lasts for 150 days (5 months).

The change process requires the eagle to fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. Then, the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out. Then, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons. When the new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its heavy and thick feathers. And after this….. the eagle takes its famous flight of re-birth and lives for another 30 years. Why is the change needed? To survive and live.

The allegory is powerful and dramatic in its message fervently captured in the words of W. Edwards Deming: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” Great leaders have a deep realization of the world around them. They know and feel the weight of their own feathers and the sharpness of their beaks – their approaches, tools, beliefs and visions. They continuously reassess what is and will be needed to achieve their life’s purpose. They know that change is a choice, and also a necessity. They understand and have internalized the words of Charles Darwin“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” In their life they have chosen to be, as Mahatma Ghandi said, the change they want to see in the world.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

How Fast Is Your Recovery Time?

In his blog post, Saboteur Assessment Insights: How Fast Is Your Recovery Time?Shirzad Chamine asks great leaders the question: “What do you think is the #1 difference between a world champion and the runners up”. He responds stating the following about the critical importance of staying focused.

Hint: It’s not skill. It’s not training or fitness. It’s not even motivation and how badly they want to win.
The Answer: Recovery time. The speed in which they rebound from setbacks and mistakes.

Picture a tennis player in the game of her life. She has just hit a weak backhand and she knows it.
In the immediate moments that follow, we see her re-center physically into the “ready” position, facing the net squarely, ready for whatever type of ball comes back.

But an even more important factor is whether she re-centers mentally and gets into the ready mind position in time…
… because here’s the thing. If half her mind is still upset over her last mistake, by the time the next ball comes she will smash the ball into the net.

If you don’t recover fast enough, your small mistakes or setbacks can spiral into bigger ones.
Champions know this. They know how to recover fast—mentally.

Denis Waitley tells us: “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” It is this solution-focused mindset that speeds recovery time minimizing distraction and disruption in dealing with issues at hand.  Remember the words of  Alexander Graham Bell“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” Bring the sun’s rays into focus on your chosen life… one of being more than you ever dreamed you could be. You are a world champion!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

Be the One…

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” writes Joseph Campbell. With this privilege comes the great leaders’ beautiful and awesome responsibility to define who they are and who they will become in all their magnificent complexity and wonder. An example of these choices is wonderfully captured in the “Be the One…”message shared at a recent leadership meeting.


  • Who doesn’t blame others before gaining engagement from the team to resolve the crisis… and then asking what could have been done differently
  • Who doesn’t define success through the eyes of others
  • Who is humbled by accomplishment and understands that leaders give credit far more than take it
  • Who doesn’t accept the status quo… just because things have been done this way a long time
  • Who has the courage to ask… whatever the question should be
  • Who chooses to embrace failure to let you get better
  • Who leaves a mark on everyone you connect with and who is a catalyst for change
  • Who seeks to make a difference each and every day you walk this earth
  • Who doesn’t give up… who perseveres
  • Who always walks the truth
  • Who always encourages honesty, inspires passion and lives with integrity… 

Each day, one by one, great leaders add to their list of choices as they experience, grow and learn. As their life, relationships and career evolve, some choices are reshaped, others modified and even dropped. Each one defines who they are and who they will become.  Tony Robbins wrote: “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”  Shape your destiny with joy and caring every moment of your life. You are the one!!! Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 1 Comment

Lessons from Consistent Winners

In his article, Lessons from Consistent Winners, Philip Humbert discusses the question:  “Why do some people win time after time, while others work just as hard but never seem to ‘put it all together’?” His response to this is that while talent or aptitude play a role in success, those who continually succeed do so because they have a system that they consistently use to win.

  1. First, they get very (VERY!) clear about exactly what they want. They picture their desired outcome in precise detail. They never set out to make “more” money. Instead, they set out to “make $25,000 this month.” Some people call this visualization; others call it an affirmation. The key is that winners know what they want and they picture it in detail, all day long, every day, in advance, until it becomes their reality.
  2. Second, winners use precise “cognitive systems.” That means they have clear strategies, they think carefully, rationally and continuously about the problem and their desired solution. They research and ask experts for help.
    They invest in education, skills, tools and resources to put the odds in their favor. They are passionate and can be emotional, but when it comes to winning, they are calm, cool, and collected. They are good, clear thinkers.
  3. Third, winners use their Personal Eco-Systems™” to improve their chances for success. There’s a reason Thomas Edison virtually lived in his lab. There’s a reason Martha Stewart is so elegant, even in her garden. There’s a reason writers surround themselves with books and hang out with other writers. Winning athletes watch films, they study and memorize the stats of their heroes. Surround yourself with an environment that makes it hard to fail!
  4. Fourth, winners work harder than losers. You may not like this, but winners work very, very hard. They practice. They study. They sacrifice and make hard choices. They are the first ones to work in the morning and the last ones to leave at night. Based on their visualizations, their carefully-thought-out strategies, and supported by the environment they’ve created, they take massive ACTION.

Vince Lombardi once said: “Winning is not a sometime thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.” Make your system your habit. Go beyond your awesome gifts of talent and aptitude. Use your system and be that beautiful, consistent winner who changes the world. Life is so very good!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Choice of Human-Being or Human-Doing

You are a human being, not a human doing.  Marianne Williamson wrote: “The highest level of creativity consists in being, not doing. When the being is intense enough, when the words are spoken enough, when the thoughts are thought enough, the doing will automatically follow.”  Great leaders recognize these words as leading from the inside out. The doing is the outer expression of their leadership. It is who the great leader is which drives what they do.

Inner leadership is the real, authentic and genuine core – the principles, values and extraordinary standards – by which great leaders have chosen to define themselves. It is this leading from the heart through which great results are achieved.  It is this inner realization and living of one’s purpose and values which sets an internal fire ablaze… a being burning brightly. To remind ourselves of the power of leading from within, remember always the wise counsel of an unknown author: “If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If an egg is broken by an inside force, then life begins. Great things happen from the inside out.” Choose to be an extraordinary human being, and all your great human doings will follow naturally.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Great Leader as Artist

Stroke by stroke the artist creates her work. Each precise movement of the brush on the canvass is part of a grander design. Images, colors, intensity and shadows bring depth and meaning to the magnificent portrait -another treasure added to the magnificent mosaic the artist creates as she joys in her life’s purpose. This work completed, the artist begins her search for her next brush stroke, perhaps the one that will be her life’s masterpiece.

The artist’s journey is a beautiful metaphor of the great leaders’ own journeys. Each word, action, thought, decision and behavior is another brush stroke to their life’s work and purpose. Wilferd Peterson powerfully describes these strokes: “There are the bold, sweeping strokes of one increasing, dynamic purpose. There are the lights and shadows that make your life deep and strong. There are the little touches that add the stamp of character and worth.”  Each day, fill your canvas with the glorious strokes creating your own awesome masterpiece, strokes filled with fire, passion and beauty that say to the world: “I live every day of my life to its fullest.” You are the artist of your life. Make it a work of art! Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 1 Comment

As a Man Thinketh…

In his Leadership E-Bulletin Greg Thompson brings poignant emphasis to Stephen Covey’s words: “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are??or, as we are conditioned to see it.” He writes of the impact of James Allen’s book, As a Man Thinketh, in which he writes of the transformative power of thinking positively and its impact on character, health and relationships.  Allen wrote: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is…. A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.” 

Recognizing the power and influence positive thinking has on leadership, Thompson invites great leaders to ask questions about what they think about various facets of their life.

Are your thoughts your ally or your enemy?

  • What are your thoughts about your organization? Do you think about it as a chaotic, messy institution or a diverse, creative community? 
  • What are your thoughts about leadership? Do you think about it as an entitlement to power, privilege and wealth or as a calling to serve others? 
  • What are your thoughts about others? Do you think of them as flawed pawns on your chessboard or as wonderfully gifted and unique partners? 
  • What do you think about your work? Do you think of it as an inescapable chore or as a way to live out your purpose and legacy? 
  • What are your thoughts about the future? Do you think about it as a road lined with countless perils and menacing enemies or as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure?

As a leader, when you change the way you think, others will change the way they act!” Thompson states. It is our garden to grow, to seed, to nourish. Thompson writes: We are the masters of our own mind… we are the authors of our day-to-day thinking patterns.” Let’s plant a magnificent garden and be awesome authors of our thinking. As Barry Kaufman tells us: “The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see.” May we choose wisely and well.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 2 Comments

On Being Remarkable

John Green asks the profound question of great leaders: “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” They understand that to do something remarkable, they need to be remarkable – daring and risk-taking, discontent with the “as is” and passionate dreamers in the relentless pursuit of “what can be.”

In his recent blog post, Dan Rockwell shares his thoughts on 7 Ways to Become Remarkable:

  1. Take every opportunity to connect with remarkable people. Poke and prod them. Remarkable seldom happens in isolation.
  2. Do less of what you did yesterday. Remarkable is about change, never more of the same. There is a caveat. You must never change your passion to do things that matter. You can’t simply chase the latest shiny new object and be remarkable.
  3. Reject excuses. Do the scary thing.
  4. Do what makes you happy in service to others. Serving yourself makes you forgettable. Serving others makes you remarkable.
  5. Dig in for the long haul. Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg’s attempt to fly a solar airplane around the world began 14 years ago. Bertrand has raised over 140 million dollars.
  6. Act your way into clarity. Dreaming is useful only when it inspires action.
  7. Lean into dissatisfaction with optimism, not despair.

Be remarkable! Do remarkable! Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 1 Comment

Winning Every Day – The Game Plan for Success

Lou Holtz, legendary football coach, said: “Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.”  In his book, Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success, Holtz shares his thoughts on the basic strategies lived by highly successful leaders in their quest to be extraordinary in their personal and professional life.

  1. The Power Of Attitude. The attitude you chose to assume toward life and everything it brings you will determine whether you realize your aspirations. What you are capable of achieving is determined by your talent and ability. What you attempt to do is determined by your motivation. How well you do something is determined by your attitude.
  2. Tackle Adversity. You are going to be knocked down. I have been on top and I have been at the bottom. To achieve success, you are going to have to solve problems. If you react positively to them, you’ll be stronger and better than ever. You can assume that your competitors have problems too. If you react to setback more quickly and positively, you gain a distinct advantage. I’ve never encountered a person who achieved anything that didn’t require overcoming obstacles. Expect them.
  3. Have a Sense of Purpose. Understand what you are trying to do. Stay completely focused on your original and primary purpose. Do not be sidetracked. If you own a business, help the customer get what they want. If you want a promotion, give your employers what they want, somebody who delivers a first rate performance every day.
  4. Make Sacrifice Your Ally. You can’t be successful without making sacrifices. Most losing organizations are overpopulated with people who constantly complain about life’s difficulties. They will drain your enthusiasm and energy. Take pride in making sacrifices and having self-discipline.
  5. Adapt or Die. Things are always change, so embrace the fact that your life and career are always in transition. Yes, you will achieve your goals, but don’t fall into the mistake of thinking you don’t have to do anything further. Even when you become number one, you will still need to stay focused on the fundamentals.
  6. Chase Your Dreams. All great accomplishments start with a dream. Dreams fuel your enthusiasm and vision. They give you a burning desire to get up in the morning and achieve.
  7. Nurture Your Self-Image. A positive self-image grows out of having strong character: to be trustworthy, committed to excellence, and show care for others are the underpinnings of a successful person.
  8. Foster Trust. All relationships are based on trust. I can’t begin to tell you have many people I have seen ruin tremendous opportunities because they didn’t have the discipline and decency to do what’s right. Continually ask yourself, “Is this the right thing to do?” Do what you feel is right regardless of peer pressure or personal desires; success and confidence will not be far behind.
  9. Commit to Excellence. Do everything to the best of your ability. Everybody wants to be associated with people who set and maintain high standards. When you lower standards, you only invite mediocrity.
  10. Handle with Care. Treat others as you would like to be treated – with concern and care.

Holtz’s words underline the traits of being of extraordinary leaders, the actualization of leadership from the inside out. He poignantly captures this saying: “You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself be.”  Remember always the words of William Shakespeare: “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” May we add to this the wise counsel of Dewitt Jones: “It is not trespassing to go beyond your own boundaries…. Make the subtle shift from pushing ourselves to be the best in the world to allowing ourselves to be the best for the world.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | 2 Comments

Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon

Great leaders fill their lives each day with magnificent learnings and experiences. These are among the magnificent gifts they give forward to those who will follow them. In his book, No Dream Is Too High – Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the MoonBuzz Aldrin joyously shares his along with his stories of his life as an astronaut. He writes: “These are a few of my favorite life lessons that I learned as a result of walking on the Moon and the preparation that took us there – the guiding principles that have helped keep me going since returning to Earth.”

The sky is not the limit… there are footprints on the Moon!
Keep your mind open to possibilities.
Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.
Second comes right after first. (Always push to be #1.)
Write your own epitaph.
Maintain your spirit of adventure.
Failure is always an option. (There is great learning to be found in it.)
Practice respect for all people.
Do what you believe is right even others choose otherwise.
Trust your gut… and your instruments.
Laugh… a lot!
Keep a young mind-set at every age.
Help others go beyond where you have gone.

Aldrin’s learnings tell great leaders: Your life is in your hands..  He gives his life as an example of living life to its fullest. At age 86, he tells us: “I am not afraid of dying, but what concerns me is that I may run out of time before I get everything done that I want to do. And there is so much more I want to do! There are so many things I want to accomplish and people I want to impact. I’m not done yet. I have more to contribute. As a matter of fact, keep your eyes on me; you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

These are the words of great leadership. They are yours. Tell the world: “Keep your eyes on me; you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!” Yes, for you… for all of us… the best is yet to come. Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Three Minute Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment