Archive - August, 2005

Pocast Interview with Andy Forbes

I had a fun and exciting interview with Andy Forbes about entrepreneurship, vision, passion and more at www.theandyforbesfiles.com/.  Please have a listen – it’s available via podcast as well as an mp3 download. It was fun to do and I hope I get to do it again.  Andy is an entrepreneur and currently engaged in a wonderful project at Nuride.  We met at linkedin.com where I’ve had tremendous success connecting with interesting people all over the world. 

Stitches On The Baseball: You Must Have Vision

Baseball close up, pitcher in background representing character quality of vision The top ten hitters in Major League Baseball today have batting averages between .310 and .345.  They also have to average about three times at bat per game.  That means that the best of the best players (at bat) of our National pastime are successful at bat around 30% of the time, AND, they get a hit slightly less than once per game, on average.  It’s also said that a great hitter can slow down the ball in his mind, sometimes able to see the stitching on the ball, and therefore, the ball’s rotation.  Wow! Now that’s great vision!

Acting out of principle day-to-day takes the vision to see the outcome before you get there.  Often the better road is the harder one. The best of the best are still “failing” at the plate most of the time they’re there.  You have to visualize and you have to get up to bat.

I have had a number of recent reminders about the importance of being able to visualize your future.  Seeing where you are going in your imagination, FIRST, creates the belief that you will get there.

It’s harder than it sounds isn’t it?  You have to force yourself to schedule time to do just that  – dream – create the picture in your mind and connect your dream to what you do.

Leadership Quality #1

Dr. John C. Maxwell is a favorite author of mine.  His philosophy that “everything rises and falls on leadership”
motivates his every endeavor to help individuals reach their highest
potential.  He has communicated his leadership principles to Fortune 500
companies, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and sports
organizations such as the NCAA, the NBA, and the NFL.

In his book, "The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader" he begins by asking if you have what it takes to be a great leader, the kind that attracts people and makes things happen.  The #1 and First Quality is Character.

The short chapter has many concrete points to ponder, study and hopefully live by…but perhaps I can provide two that resonated with me this morning.

  1.     "How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character.  Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character but it certainly does reveal it.  Adversity is a crossroads that makes a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise.  Every time he chooses character, he becomes stronger, even if that choice brings negative consequence."
  2.     "A man took his young daughter to a carnival, and she immediately ran over to a booth and asked for cotton candy.  As the attendant handed her a huge ball of it, the father asked, "Sweetheart, are you sure you can eat all that?"

    "Don’t worry Dad," she answered, "I’m a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside."

That’s what real character is – being bigger on the inside.

Principled Rant

My thoughts of successfully blogging about character and principles as a path to effectiveness in living have led me through the blogoshpere.  I have traveled and read to attempt to answer the question, "How do I make this valuable to you, the reader?"

In my search I found the research report:  Behaviors of the Blogosphere: Understanding the Scale, Composition and Activities of Weblog Audiences(pdf) that includes the current top 25 blogs.  Many of these are feeds that I subscribe to for news, fun or geeky stuff such as Free Republic, Drudge Report, Fark.com, slashdot.org, and Gizmodo.  And then, also rounding out the top 25 are the sex and trashy blogs like Fleshbot (#3), Gawker (advertising a roast of Pamela Anderson) (#4),and  Defamer to name a few. 

I’m all for fun, enjoy breaking news and won’t criticize the
People/Us/Seventeen Magazine crowd. Perhaps there’s just room for an
active discussion concerning how to be more effective by living a high
character existence. 

I’ve learned, through trial and error – mostly error – that the forces by which we overcome being less effective than we’d like to be are guided by principles, ethics and roots of high individual character.   And, based on the horrible number of American corporate executives led though courthouse doors with their heads hanging low, has there ever been a better time to find our roots in the good earth of character?

There are fundamental Principles, such as Vision, Harmony, Order and Purpose that work in opposition to the common things that get in our way (like interruptions, unclear values, lack of organization and fatigue).  Are these not worthy of our attention?  Have you seen the results of acting outside of good character in your own life?  I sure have.