30 Posts to Read while I’m on a Short Blogging Break

break

Besides the amazing guest posts that are scheduled, I’ll be taking about 2 weeks off from posting any new content. I plan to finish and release a new free quote book titled Success Quotes: Foundational Elements for Lasting Success. I will also be working on and hopefully finishing up the first draft of my second book which is about discovering, developing, and using your personal strengths. During my break here are 30 past post you might have missed:

4 Benefits of Attending a Leadership Conference

Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life

How to be Fully Engaged in Conversations

Four Rewards of Becoming a Competent Leader

The Importance of an Inner Circle

Ineffective Traits of an Unsuccessful Leader

4 Essential Factors To Leaving A Lasting Legacy

5 Practical Methods to Increase your Energy Level

What the Best Leaders Do Before Bed

Apps Every Leader Should Have on Their Phone

Should Church Leaders Adopt Best Practice Business & Leadership Principles?

How Leaders Handle Personal Weaknesses

What Passion Does For Leaders

6 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Lifeguards

How to set up a Personal Growth Plan

Three Undeniable Dangers of Success

How Busy Leaders can Implement Personal Growth

8 Keys to Building and Having Lasting Relationships

How to Grow in Wisdom

Developing Emotional Intelligence to Better Lead

The Significance of Talents

Gazelle Leadership

Four Indispensable Elements Beside Great Leaders

The Importance of Rest

Two Principles Guaranteed to Help You Successfully Move Through a Transitional Season

The Four Seasons of Personal Growth

3 Reasons Why Leadership and Thinking are Irrefutable

The Most Important Element of Influence

The Impact of Positive Interactions

Four Practical Ways to Spark your Thinking

Success Quotes: Foundational Elements for Lasting Success (Releasing in July)

Success Quotes

I’m releasing another free quote eBook for those who subscribe to my email list. If your already subscribed you will be getting a copy before anyone else! The 20 quote topics include:

Character, Integrity, Leadership & Influence, Balanced Life, Vision, Desire, Dreams, Skill & Talent , Attitude, Support from Others, Personal Growth & Learning, Hard Work, Passion, Perseverance, Enthusiastic, Motivation, Courage, Humility, Excellence, and Action.

The quote book will inspire and motivate you toward the success you desire. The wisdom and insights from the quotes will lay a foundation for you to have lasting success. I’ll be providing more information about the book and release date in the weeks to come.

The 3 Components of Thriving

tree, plant in the hand

This is a guest post by Dave Arnold who is an author, speaker, and coach. You can connect with him on his website at www.davearnoldspeaks.com, & Twitter.


I remember the time in my life when I worked two very taxing jobs – one as a pastor of an inner city church, and the other as a case worker at a non-for-profit helping refugees adjust to America.

My days (and nights) were full of busyness and activity. Granted, my work was meaningful because I helped a lot of people; but the truth was I barely came up for air. My relationship with God suffered, and I barely had time for my wife. Even on my “so-called” day off, I usually ended up working on my sermon for Sunday.

I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t discontent. I was just…

Disappointed, felt alone, and my purpose muddled.

In a word,

I was surviving.

If we’re honest with ourselves, being a leader is hard. There’s tons of pressure, and we often feel like we’re blowing it. Can you relate?

We question if we’re making a difference, if God has a plan for us, if we’re really doing what we’re called to do. If you’ve ever had these thoughts – congratulations! It means you’re human. It means you don’t want to settle; it means you refuse to be another statistic. This is leadership.

The problem occurs when we stay muddled, disappointed, and alone… because then we coast into survival mode. True, all of us face seasons of survival (this is a part of life), but to stay in survival mode is detrimental.

So what are some things we can do to move from a posture of survival to that of thriving? I suggest it involves 3 components:

1. Identity. Identity has to do with who you are and who you are becoming. This is huge! If you don’t know who you are, you will easily sink into survival mode because you will find yourself constantly reacting.

And when you react, you’re never really free. Someone – or something – is always in control. Conversely, when you know who you are, you are able to respond to others and circumstances in a healthy way.

Could it still hurt? You bet. But it won’t send you spiraling down, and often, you will learn a valuable lesson.

To thrive you must know who you are and who you want to become – the best you, you can be.

2. Design. Design has to do with what you’re passion areas are – your unique design and wiring.

After a year or so of working crazy hours and merely surviving, my wife asked me one day, “So, if you could do three things – the three things that make you feel most alive – what would they be?”

It was a great question and something I thought about a lot. After writing in my journal, I came up with these three things:

Writing

Speaking

Coaching/Helping People

When I shared this with my wife, she affirmed it and said, “Okay, now what can you do to move toward doing these things?”

The truth is, writing, speaking, and coaching are the things I am most passionate about. It’s what I think about day and night. It’s how I’m designed.

The key is to (1) know your design – those things which make you feel alive; and (2) start taking action on it.

3. Calling. Calling has to do with how you express or live out your design so that it impacts the world around you.

Let’s face it, a calling is ineffective if it doesn’t impact people’s lives. It must be something larger than you. It must, in a sense, lift you out of yourself and into a larger story. Now that’s a true calling.

A good start to discovering your calling is what I call the three P’s:

Prayer

People

Placement.

Prayer is vital: it’s the starting point. Pray and ask God to show you what your calling is.

People are often the affirmation piece of your calling. That is, the people around you – your spouse, friends, pastor, etc. – are typically the ones that say, “Hey, you’re really good at…”

Placement is the circumstances which forge your calling and push you out of yourself. And I have found that it often involves pain and sacrifice and struggle for this to happen. Why? Because as humans we naturally drift toward comfort and passivity. Pain pushes us out of this and helps us see what we couldn’t (or wouldn’t!) see before.

When you have all three of these components – identity, design, and calling – that is when you thrive in life.

I don’t know about you, but I am so done with survival. I want to thrive! Who’s with me?

Note: If this resonated with this at all, I would ask that you consider two things. (1) Sign up for my email list and receive my weekly content right into your inbox. Click here for that.

(2) Consider my coaching services, How To Thrive Coaching. If you’re struggling with something and it’s holding you back from thriving, or if you are plagued with doubts, or fears, or simply question if you really have what it takes to make a difference, than please contact me and set up a FREE 30 min. consultation. You can contact me at davejarnold16@gmail.com. You can also go here to learn more. http://www.davearnoldspeaks.com/services/

Question: What is one thing you do to thrive in life?

Leadership Wisdom from My Readers (Pt. 5)

Leadership wisdom

This series is about sharing the knowledge, thoughts, and wisdom of those who comment on my blog. I’d recommend checking out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Below is more leadership wisdom from my readers. I hope you enjoy:

Paul Sohn from Salt & Light

“I believe positive actions truly unleash the potential of an individual. I see so many who have grown up in an environment where they lacked mentors, coaches and people who had a direct interest in their well-being. Positive interactions give us hope that we can be great, that is in God’s eyes.”

“Character misalignment is one of the fatal aspects of leadership failures. When I see a leader who speaks one thing and acts the other, I cannot help but find nothing but distrust in him. Character like Bennis says is the bedrock of leadership, but also in life.”

“The singular benefit of being a competent leader stewarding God’s talents, resources, and opportunities to REPRODUCE. I think building competence is not an end of itself, but a means to an end. The end is to glorify God, but how? By reproducing greatness. Our job as spiritual leaders is be a faithful steward.”

Juan Cruz

“Insecure leaders are a drain on an organizations resources. First, they will lose the talent that they do have, and secondly they will not attract the talent that organizations need to be successful and productive. Personally, I’ve rid myself of insecurities. My goal is to work myself out of a job, by training people to execute independently, make the right decisions with my intervention.”

“I must agree that is important to discern what road to success as a leader one should take. With many opportunities presenting themselves we don’t have time to pursue all options. But we must work in our areas of gifting, passion, and our calling.”

“I have certainly learned throughout the years in my leadership journey that failure comes with the territory. It’s not something we should be afraid. We should give it our best and try not to fail, but when we do, we have to accept it as an opportunity to learn and grow.”

Lincoln Parks from LincolnParks.com

“I think letting other team members Lead in their own areas is also important. It’s allowing your team to support you as the Leader and grow at the same time. If you believe that you want to grow a successful team allow key stakeholders in your vision as a team to Lead an area. This not only creates a synergy on the tea. But the bond goes deep. I also think enjoying your team and knowing each personally and how they tick is important to creating a cohesive environment.”

“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. This speaks to me because God is leading me somewhere but I’ve yet to find that talent.”

“After failure I would probably break down where I went wrong. What was the trigger that caused the failure and try not to do that again. I love this story of Abraham Lincoln because I don’t think many people know how many times he failed. Most people only know him as President of the United States. And you know what that goes to show you? It really never matters how many times you fail, just how many times you get back up.”

Question: Which comment resonated with you the most?

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5 Useful Ways to Leverage Content for Personal Development Online

personal development

This is a guest post by Lawrence Namale who is an author of ’21 Commandments to Mastermind Your Comeback’, available on Amazon Kindle. He is also an upcoming author of the books, Masterminding Your Comeback (June/July 2014), Permission for Greatness (December 2014), and Self Executive Officer (June/July 2015). Lawrence is the Country head of Top Image Ghana, a consulting firm that majors in Mobile Money Trade Development. He has lived in three countries now as a Mobile Money Consultant. Lawrence is married to Beth Mugisha, a Ugandan celebrated gospel artist. They currently live in Ghana with their two children Ethan and Serah. His passion is ‘designing legacies’, and he writes a lot about that on his blog http://ww.life-signatures.com.


When I am talking or writing about success, money, leadership or legacy, I have found out that there is a common denominator that I always go back to. This constant to all these fine topics we love is one of the biggest driving forces of life.

It is Personal Development. The degree to which I conquer myself and ultimately develop my potential is proportional to the quality and quantity of my daily intake of quality and quantity content.

My definition for success is “the continuous ability to master challenges”. In other words, if I cannot outgrow my challenges, I will not succeed. Notice that there are two ways to grow:

  1. By force: After a challenge comes your way
  2. By Choice: Daily purpose-directed living

I strongly believe that the content in our ‘inside’ determines largely who we are, what we are passionate about and ultimately what we will do in terms of our legacies.

For example, this post comes from deep within me. It is flowing from out of the abundance of my passion and belief system. It is a mixture of what I have both learnt by force and by choice.

In our day and age, with every twinkling of an eye, hoards of information are pushed to our mails and social media handles by the droves. Everyone seems to be talking about something…and then of course there are multiplied millions who are simply regurgitating what has already been said. Do you remember those days of receiving 50 or so forwarded emails in a day?

On the other hand, some of us crave for information so much that we also end up hoarding it. Your inbox is full of mails, videos, podcasts and other audio materials from January…some most of which you have never opened or gleaned from.

And so, this is the biggest paradox of our information age: Lot’s of information, little or no growth.

I am a great stickler of learning by choice, especially while you are still obscure. That is why we need to know how best we can leverage the content online for our personal growth. The following five points should help us:

1. Know What You Need:

Even in your own niche, you do not need ALL the information you can gather about it RIGHT NOW. You need to identify the stage, season or phase that you are in. This will determine your information needs for now. The biggest mistake we make is to hoard everything about everything we will need both now and in the future. Let’s exhaust (if we can) what we need for our current phase before we can gather more content.

2. Clean up Your Free Subscriptions:

I think we waste much time daily just going through our mails. There are several subscriptions that we really do not need. At the time of sign up, we thought we would gain from the content that was peddled then. Increasingly as you open your mail, you find that the content being shared is not helping you anymore and there is no indication of benefits in the future.

It is time to go through your mail and unsubscribe from all this ‘free content’. It makes sense to me that many a great thought leader would have hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of followers, yet they just follow ten people themselves.

3. Eliminate All Contents for ‘shortcuts to success’:

If you signed up to any ‘free content’ that peddles shortcuts to success, finances, acclaim and all that, just un-follow them. You will waste two things with these: Time and money. Nothing can replace the traditional W word, WORK. None of the successful people around you made it through shortcuts.

4. Pay for Content:

This, I believe is the master key to leverage on content online. We will always cherish something that cost us money. A certain peasant offered his King his land so the King could use it to set up a sacrificial altar to their God. The King’s reply was phenomenal. He said, “I will never offer anything to my God that cost me nothing!” You see, where your treasure is, there your heart will be too.  

Nearly all the bloggers I know (including myself) are offering ‘free e-book downloads’ these days. I must say that I have a bone to pick with several of them. The ‘free content’ is normally of cheap quality in terms of content and presentation. I think the best free content we offer should cost us something…it should be something that we could sell in its current format.

If you pay for content online, chances are that you will purchase only the very best content. Chances are that you will also take time to read/listen/watch it since your ‘heart is there’. More self help content has become ‘shelf help’ because it’s free and cheap in quality.

5. Schedule daily PD:

Personally I have a daily schedule that includes the following: Reading other people’s blogs and commenting (within my niche), reading a featured book, updating/refining my blog content, watching something inspirational, listening to something inspirational and writing. All these things are scheduled. In our day and age, if we do something just 15 minutes a day daily, we reap a lot.

If you do not have a daily schedule for personal development, you will not leverage the very best from online content. You will find yourself having gazillions of mail to sift through daily, lots of nonsensical content from your ‘friends’ on social media and ultimately no focus at all in terms of your personal development.

We live in exciting times. Remember, to whom much is given, much will be required.

Question: What is your best practice in utilizing content for personal development?

 

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Unusual Places to Develop your Leadership Skills

Improve your skills

Do you want to excel your leadership development? I think we all would say yes to that question. One irrefutable element to seeing your leadership skills increase is to be intentional about learning in your everyday life.

Your everyday life offers the opportunity to learn how to become a great leader and also how to avoid being a bad leader. Leadership lessons can come anyplace and at any time. Below are some of those unusual places you can learn and in the process develop your leadership skills:

While you are watching a movie-

Rich life and leadership lessons can be learned or relearned from almost any movie. This is done when you watch the movie with a learning lens. A learning lens is when you watch a film with the intent to takeaway something that you can apply into your leadership. This requires being open and aware of what you are watching and looking for key lessons you can grasp onto. You can still relax and enjoy the movie but be intentional about watching the film with a learning lens.

When you are around town-

You can learn while you are around your town or neighborhood. Whether it’s at a grocery store, park, community event, restaurant, clothing store, etc. Other people’s behaviors, business functions, and your surroundings can provide unlimited learning lessons. This can help you to learn about human behavior. Leaders have to master human behavior; how to influence, get along, work with, and deal with other people. Learning while you are around town can increase your people skills and allow you to become a better leader. Become aware of your surroundings and the other people around you.

While you are traveling-

Along with learning around your town, traveling can also offer learning opportunities. One key element of traveling is that it has the potential to break you out of your normal routine and move you outside your comfort zone. This is because it can position you to see and learn different things you might otherwise not have seen or learned. Being open to new experiences while traveling can offer you fresh learning lessons.

Questions: What are some other unusual places you can develop your leadership skills? What has been the most unusual or unlikely place you have learned something new?   

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