• Chemical Brain Freeze

Lessons learned from a 101 year gentleman

Last month I was visiting family at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountain foothills on the east side in Colorado. On Sunday we drove 25 miles to attend the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Fellowship Church. The congregation consisted of about 50 ranch families and locals. As the service started and the pastor asked about announcements, a lady stood up and said that she had an announcement.
“Many of you know that I just turned 74 years old. Next year will be my 75th. That will be a pretty good celebration. But before then, I want to share with you that the first Sunday in June we will be celebrating my father’s 101st birthday!”
She then pointed to an elderly gentleman sitting next to her. He smiled and waved at the congregation. I actually saw him walk in prior to the service beginning.

After the service, he was standing out in the reception area and I walked over to talk to him. He was standing unassisted and was so coherent and pleasant to have an enjoyable conversation.
I asked him, “I know you get this question a lot but what’s your secret to good health?”
He said, “20 years ago I turned 80 yrs. old and figured I better start taking better care of myself so I started walking 5-7 miles a day and still do to this day. I’m not on any medications of any kind. I do take vitamins and eat well. I eat a lot fish with omega-3 oils. I also learned that there are a few key pillars to live by. Do you want to hear about them?”
I said, “You bet, I’ve love to hear your perspective.”

“Ok” he said, “Here we go:
Pillar #1 – Our body is a temple but so many times we treat it like a bowling alley instead. Exercise and eat healthy.

Pillar #2 –Enjoy the gift of relationships. Relationships are like a garden, you have to cultivate them. Once you get them growing the maintenance is pretty easy.

Pillar #3 – Be a Life-long learner. Be curious about your world, your role in it and reflect back on your lessons learned and share them.

Pillar #4 – Give back to others. I go work at the senior center and help other seniors. Most are in their 60’s and 70’s. Sometimes I work in the kitchen, other times setting up for special occasions and other times I lead conversations on specific topics.

Pillar #5 – Be Grateful. Life has a lot to offer and provide for us. Be thankful for family, friends and relationships. Keep in mind, we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. And son remember this key takeaway: Silent gratitude is useless!”

I was floored. I had just been given a very solid education on some key pillars in life. I had almost walked away with talking with the gentleman and then said to myself, “What do I have to lose? I’ll walk over and say hi and wish him all the best for his 101st birthday.
I was so glad I did.

Visualizing Our Goals

What about your goals? Can you Denzel quotevisualize them with your eyes closed? Are the goals most important to you heart felt? In my travels, I would ask people what they did for a living and get all sorts of answers. When I asked them why they did that for a living, most times I would get blank stares.

Charles Garfield in his book Peak Performance showed with his research that peak athletes and peak performers were visualizers. They see their goal, they feel it and experience it before they actually go out and try to accomplish it.
When you can see clearly where you’re going, you create a picture that can be repeated in your mind over and over. When you understand why you are clearly going in that direction it becomes a heartfelt goal that you can visualize.
When difficult situations arise, you can stay calm because you know where you are going and can make the proper decisions to get to the end result. If you don’t know where you are going, then you have no clue if you are making a good or bad decision and fear begins to creep into your decision making process. Take the time to truly understand where you are headed and why it’s important to you.
You will get comfortable with the decisions that you have to make, and the fear will not be a deciding factor in how you make decisions.
Need help working on your goals? “Nimble – How to Lead Above the Turmoil of Change” is a great book and it has an accompanying workbook. Found in the store.

Authentic Leadership

Authenticity seal

Being authentic is one of the traits used to describe someone who is considered an exceptional leader.  In the last Nimble blog we talked about transparency and what it takes for a leader to be transparent.  It is the consistency of your actions lining up with your intentions that provides the impact you want to have as a leader.  If you really focus on being consistent with your actions then the impact you have on people will be positive.  With positive impact comes trust.  When people can count on you to be consistent with your actions and decisions through daily interaction and during difficult times you develop the qualities of authentic leadership.  It is not easy by any means.  Some of the decisions we have to make are extremely tough and not everyone agrees with the decisions we make.  But if we are transparent, consistent with our actions and concentrate on the goals that need to be accomplished, authenticity will become part of the language used to describe you as a leader. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could be awarded a seal of authenticity for your leadership so people would know the type of leader you are?  Leadership and building trust isn’t quite that easy.  However, if you are consistent with your actions and decisions and have a positive impact, you build trust so you won’t need a seal.  People will be able to determine on their own, you are authentic.
Thanks for coming along!

What are you trying to create?

What are you trying to create?
A doctor wanted to transform his business into a patient-valued medical practice. In his staff meeting one day, he introduced this concept and the vision he had of creating this exquisite patient-valued center.  He kept referring to patients being treated the same way customers are treated at the legendary Four Season’s Hotels.  This hotel chain redefined luxury as service for the customer.
For the first couple of staff meetings the doctor kept talking about the service-oriented management of the Four Seasons until one lady on his staff raised her hand.
“We were talking amongst ourselves and none of us have ever experienced a Four Season hotel type of service.  We really don’t know what you are referring to in regards to that type of service.”
The doctor decided a field trip would be appropriate so he could share his vision with them.  He felt a comparison would be the best way to show the difference in service.
First he took the staff to a gourmet hamburger joint where they had really good hamburgers served on picnic tables covered with paper tablecloths and paper napkins.  Everyone loved the great hamburgers.
The next week they went to the Four Season’s restaurant for hamburgers served on white cloth tablecloths, white cloth napkins and service with an attention to the details.
The doctor then asked the group the following week,
“We went and had hamburgers at two different restaurants.  Both served good hamburgers. Did you notice a difference? “
The staff finally understood what it meant to provide value added service to your customers.
When you share your vision make sure that those coming along for the journey understand and can visualize what the end result will look like for them.  It’s not only enough to ensure they know what it looks like but they should be able to touch it, feel it, taste it, squeeze it or whatever it takes to make it tangible for them.
As in the example of the staff at the doctor’s office, they now understand what the impact of a smile will do for customer satisfaction and service. More importantly they understand what the lack of a smile can mean. Once they understand the vision then they can get enthused, can be supportive and prepare for the journey.

Thanks for coming along.