Is Life Leadership a Pyramid Scheme?

Orrin Woodward has written a great article about Life leadership.  The thought that most people have about pyramids is the person at the top or the person who started first makes the most money.  I love getting that question because I have a couple that is under me, that signed up in the business after me, and they have made more money then me, almost the entire time we have been in business together.  That kills that argument.  If you want to win at something you talk to the people that have won not to the people that tried to win.

Bill Lewis

Is LIFE Leadership a Pyramid Scheme?

Figures Don’t Lie But Liars Sure Can Figure.

Corporate Pyramid

Corporate Pyramid

Every reputable network marketing organization separates itself from pyramid schemes and scams by ensuring significant sales to outside customers of its products. Impressively, LIFE Leadership has over 40% of its monthly subscriptions going to customers who are not even part of the compensation plan. This is a testament to just how good the leadership materials are from LIFE.

Sadly, some people have drawn the conclusion that network marketing is like a lottery where only a few draw the winning ticket and everyone else loses. In truth, I was one of those people until I took the time to study the numbers myself. Here is my story of how I went from a community building skeptic to building one of the largest leadership communities in North America.

I graduated from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) as a manufacturing systems engineer. I became an engineer because I have been fascinated by numbers, statistics, and proportions since I was a kid collecting baseball and football cards. In fact, one summer my brother and I developed an entire board game for baseball based upon player stats and using probabilities that I wasn’t supposed to learn until half-way through engineering school. In any event, numbers, data and the proper reading of the scoreboard has been an essential part of Laurie’s and my success over the years.

For instance, one of the first conundrums I was faced with when I first studied community building was the statistic bantered around against the profession such as the following: “Only 1 out of 100 people actually makes 50k or more per year.” At first hearing, this sounds terrible. You mean to tell me that if I get started I only have a 1 out of 100 chance of making it? But these two statements are not saying the same thing, even though on the surface they may appear to do so.

Let me explain.

The first statement (“only 1 out of 100 people make 50 k or more”) is a snapshot of the profession based upon the fact that for anyone to reach the top of the chart (15,000 points), he must build customers, members, and help them do enough volume for him to hit this level. Typically, by the time a person hits the top of the chart (whether he does it in 3 months or 3 years) he has around 100 active members. Hence, the 1 out of 100 number. In other words, even if 100% of the people made it, they would still make it by bringing in around 100 other active members and the 1% who made it at any particular time would still be true.

However, this doesn’t mean the other 100 people cannot also bring in customers and members who enjoy the life-changing products and do the exact same thing as the person who brought them in. And, when they do, the will have built a team (on average) of 100 people so the 1 out of 100 number remains.

Now to my point.

Given that the nature of community building involves building a community (how’s that for obvious?) and that a leader’s goal is to build 100 active people into his community who service customers and members, then the “1 out of 100” number tells us nothing of the success or failure of the business. Rather, it simply reports on the size of community necessary to earn a certain income, as in my example above when I threw out the hypothetical 50k.

Indeed, the model is hard-wired, or designed for a leader to service a community of 100 people in order to reach 15,000 points and thereby achieve the Leader level in LIFE Leadership to make anywhere from 20k to upwards of 50k (with the CAB program included – see the IDS and Comp Plan brochure attached at the bottom of this post). Therefore, the real question a new person should be asking is not the 1 out of 100 snapshot, which merely reports that a Leader must build 100 people communities, but rather, how fast can one build 100 people communities?

Let’s consider an example from my automotive process engineering days.

Thousands of sub-assemblies that usually consist of hundreds of parts each are required to build one car. These all come together in a complex process called a final assembly line, in which workers and machines install them, usually on a moving platform or hanger, as the work-in-process car moves down the line.  At any given moment in time, if a snapshot of the assembly line were taken, the line would have hundreds of unfinished cars frozen in mid-process. From this snapshot, no one in his right mind would argue that only 1 out of 100 cars is ever completed, or that “the chances” of that assembly line making a car would be a mere “1 out of 100!”   This would be absurd reasoning since the other cars are still “in process” and will be completed shortly, if the assembly line is given a chance to continue producing cars, as it is designed to do.

In effect, the nature of the assembly line guarantees that only one car will finish per every 100 (in the example above) on the line because this is the way the process was designed. It is hard-wired or hard-built to do it in just this way.

It is important to understand that community building is a personal development process similar to the assembly line that builds an automobile. 

The difference between a successful and unsuccessful automotive assembly line is not the 1 out of 100, but rather the rate at which autos move from beginning to completion. If one assembly line moves through the process in one hour while another takes one year, with all other variables being the same, which would you choose? They both have a snapshot of 1 complete car per 100 in-process, but one is moving the process along much more efficiently. Engineers cannot improve the 1 out of 100 on an existing line, but they can improve the throughput by increasing the speed at which the automobiles advance through the process.

In the same way, this is exactly what a leader does in his community building organization. He cannot improve the 1 out of 100, because that structure is as locked into the design of the pay plan as is the assembly line process for cars, but he can improve the effectiveness of the systematic process to help people achieve top levels faster.

Since everything rises and falls on leadership, LIFE Leadership focuses on helping leaders serve 100 people communities to be rewarded accordingly. The objective is to speed up the leadership growth process by providing world-class events to attend, audios and books to study, and personal mentoring from which to grow.

In most conventional businesses, it takes years and years for a person to achieve an income above 50k, after expenses. With the new CAB compensation and simple Next Step Program, LIFE Leadership is empowering those who work hard and consistently to achieve these levels in shorter and shorter amounts of time. True, not everyone is willing to work that hard, nor will they go that fast, but the leadership of LIFE is committed to creating a process wherein someone can if they are willing to do what it takes. The question for you is: are you ready, willing, and able?

I am thankful for my engineering background because it helped me sort through the data to understand what was relevant and what was not. Sadly, many people miss the big picture because they think of community building as a lottery with “odds” rather than a process with results similar to an automobile assembly line. But for those who will enter into the process and stay long enough to complete their leadership journey, their success can become just as predictable as a finished car rolling off the end of an assembly line.

I have said many times, LIFE Leadership does not promise “easy,” only “worth it.” As the Chairman of the Board and one of the principal owners of LIFE, I wish you all the success you are willing earn!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

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Forgiveness

Have you ever struggled with forgiveness?  If you are a human then you have struggled with it.  The main reason most of us struggle with it is because we are thinking of it in the wrong context.  My goal is to try to give you a different way of looking at forgiveness.  One of the worst outcomes of being unforgiving  is the effect it has on the person who is unwilling to forgive.    Forgiveness is an act of the will and if you understand it, you will be able to free yourself from the negative emotions of being unforgiving.  If you are of the Christian faith then it is as simple as Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Well, since forgiving like the Lord is impossible let’s at least try our best.

Unforgiveness is like carrying a burlap bag on your back, and every time you don’t forgive someone you add a rock to your bag.  You can imagine over time how difficult it would be to move and how tiring life would become if you continued to carry all of those rocks.  When you forgive it is like taking one of the rocks out of the bag.   You can then move through life lighter, quicker, easier.  It is very refreshing to be around someone who isn’t weighed down by feelings or the guilt of being unforgiving.  As a human you cannot be totally in charge of forgiveness.  If you haven’t experienced the ultimate in forgiveness, then as a sinful human it is difficult to continuously forgive other sinful people, because we are seeing the world through a messed up lens.  Once you understand what Jesus has done for us then you at least have an absolute standard to compare to.

What forgiveness is not

1. Forgiveness is not a natural response but rather super natural.  If you don’t have the example of what God has done for us, then you won’t have the strength to forgive everyone who does something wrong to you.  It is very hard to say “I can’t forgive them” when we violate God’s laws everyday.  Not only does He forgive us but He sent His only Son to die for us.

2.  Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.  Forgiveness is a one way street and reconciliation is a two-way street.  Forgiveness is a choice by you and reconciliation is something you work on with the other person.  Reconciliation is a change in the offenders behavior.

3.  Forgiveness is not a feeling.  Forgiving is a choice.  We can forgive even if we don’t feel like it because ultimately they are a sinful person and SO ARE WE.  Do you expect humans to be perfect or know better?  If we do, then why don’t you do it.

4.  Forgiveness is not excusing the wrong or letting the guilty get away with it. If someone wrongs you it’s not that they are getting  away with it because you forgave them.  Every day parents forgive their children, but they also let them know that what happened is not okay.

5.  Forgiveness is not letting the guilty off the hook.  WE are selfish so we naturally only look at what the offense has done to us.  We don’t see how it affected them or other people involved.  The other angle is we are moving the guilt from our hook to Gods hook.

6.  Forgiveness is not being a doormat or a weak martyr.  Actually, being able to forgive is strength not weakness.  There is a saying that you can tell the size of the person by the size of the things that make them upset.  I don’t think of God as being weak or feeble, which is what He would be if forgiveness were weakness.

7. Forgiveness has nothing to do with fairness.  My kids say it everyday,” That’s not fair!” and I respond everyday,”That’s right and life never will be.”  I am not sure where this concept came from but most of us know that life will never be fair.  It’s not fair that God had to send His Son to earth to die for us.

I hope you see how without God as the absolute example, that the subject of forgiveness would be hard.  What would be the standard?  What your neighbor thinks?  What your cousin thinks?   No, everyone would have a different standard and then any of the excuses  listed would be valid.  Most of the time someone didn’t even mean to offend us, yet we carry the offense around with us.  “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Joyce Meyer.  Drop the stones in your bag and experience the freedom of forgiveness.

Bill Lewis

 

Setting the Bar

I wasn’t sure what to title this article, but “Setting the Bar” seemed the simplest.  I also thought “Set a Bar” and then I started thinking, “For Goodness Sake Please Set Any Bar!” would be good.   In other words, as I was thinking about the title, my blood pressure started to rise because it seems that the “new thing to do” is to set no bar at all.   Say this next statement in your best Billy Madison voice.  That way everyone will be happy.   That is stupidity on steroids!  I know what you’re thinking.   Tell us how you really feel.   Let me try to explain what I mean.

Some of the new age thought process is, let’s not keep score because we want everybody to feel like a winner.  That’s genius…..not!  There was a movie that starred Bill Crystal in which he played a grandfather.  One day he goes to his grandsons baseball game.  The grandson was pitching and proceeded to throw three strikes but the kid in the batters box stayed where he was standing.  He stayed standing there because in these baseball games you get to swing until you get a hit.  I sure am glad real life is like that.  You’re single, asking a girl out on a date and you just stand there and keep asking because she has to say yes.  Every sales call you go on, you don’t have to worry because you know they eventually will have to tell you yes.   In the NBA you get to keep shooting free throws until you make both of them ( Shaq would have loved that).  In school you get to keep taking the test until you get an A.  The bar isn’t set to make people feel bad;  it is set to let you know how you are doing!  If you don’t have a real standard to compare yourself to, then everyone gets worse because everyone is faked out into thinking that they are doing okay.

Some people say that people who set the bar are doing it wrong or not making it fair.  Even if that is the case, then the issue is the people who are setting the bar, not the bar itself.  This is the problem with today’s society.  We try to fix things by the easiest way possible.  We don’t try to fix the real issue.  We just want the quickest, simplest way of fixing it, even if  we are attacking the wrong thing.  If my children try something and are horrible at it they can either decide to work hard, study, and practice to get better or they can decide that it’s just not for them.  We have fallen into the trap that everything is supposed to feel good.  If you feel good about everything then you won’t get better at anything.  Some sort of pain is always required to get better.  Without that emotion there is no drive to push yourself.  “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”  Most of my success comes from the fact that I always felt inadequate and felt like people were better than me.  When I finally decided that it was time to do something, I used that pain to drive me to get better at my craft.  We must have bars to jump over or we will all lose in the end.  That is what I love about Life Leadership.  It doesn’t matter where you came from, what color your skin is, how tall, how big, or who your daddy was.  The bar is the same for everyone and everyone can develop themselves to jump over the bar.

Bill Lewis

Everything begins with your thoughts

This video was sent to me and although I don’t agree with everything he says I do agree with the theme of what he is saying.  I am not against school or education.  I am for people chasing their dreams.

 

 

 

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words;

Be careful of your words, for your words become your deeds;

Be careful of your deeds, for your deeds become your habits;

Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character;

Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

 

Everything we are and everything we do begins with the thoughts that go into our head.  The statement goes “From the neck down we are all worth minimum wage and from the neck up we have a multimillion dollar business.  Which one do you feed the most?”  The sad part is not only are we feeding the minimum wage part more, but we don’t protect what goes into the multimillion dollar part.  If we had a 458 Italia Ferrari, we would do everything we could to protect it.  We would valet park it so it wouldn’t get dinged, costing us extra money.  We would park farther away from others cars causing us extra work, to protect it. We would have it detailed regularly, costing us more money, to protect it.  We would do many extra things to make sure it was protected but we almost let anything go into the vehicle, the brain, that has the capability of getting us that Ferrari, and we don’t think twice about it.  Everyday we are receiving messages into our brain and the majority of them are taking us farther away from success then closer to it.  The first thing we have to do is start protecting the million dollar machine.  Stop watching stupid television shows, stop listening to negative radio programs, stop listening to co-workers that are no farther ahead then you, even stop listening to the majority of your relatives (that one should be easy :)  If someone or something does not have the results you want then why let there door ding your beautiful vehicle.  I’m not saying 100% isolate yourself.  That would be just as silly as people who buy Ferraris and never drive them.  Just be careful where you park.

The next step is, when you have a Ferrari, you don’t use regular gas or oil.  You use the best.  Funny story:  The first really nice car I bought was a four door Maserati.  After the sale I asked the guy where I should take it to get the oil changed.  He looked at me funny, kind of chuckled and said you HAVE to bring it here.  I immediately understood why, and also immediately felt like a fool.  So since you have a million dollar vehicle strapped to your neck, you should probably follow the same process.  Don’t have it serviced where someone else will mess it up.  Take it to professionals that have the same type of vehicle.  Find the best way to read, listen, and associate with the best and most successful minds.  The scary part is, our vehicles have already been filled with junk for many years, and so we not only have to fill it with good stuff but we have to fill it with enough good stuff to overcome all the years of neglect.  This is the part that I see get people off track.  They may have more garbage to shovel out before the good stuff starts to take affect, but they are not patient enough to let that process happen.  There is also a consistency component here.  If you start the process and then stop and then start the process and then stop and then start the process and then stop……. you lose the compounding affect; the same compounding affect that we allowed with negative information.

The last step is to be focused.  When I take my car in for a regular service they don’t take the entire vehicle apart and then put it back together again.  That’s how I used to attack my improvement.  I would try to work on everything instead of just a few things.  By working on everything I was really working on nothing.  Once I started working on a few things, being very focused, I started to see results.  What are the top three things that are limiting you right now?  Not smiling, sarcasm, yelling, white lies, negative, doubt, no goals, waking up, eating addiction, being rude, a budget.  Whatever it is, just pick a few and then get laser focused on eliminating it or replacing it with something positive.  Allow yourself the time to become great.

Bill Lewis

Lessons from Basketball

2013 basketballMy mentor Orrin Woodward was home for the summer and he sent me a text asking if I wanted to play basketball.  As some of you who follow my blog know,  I had given up playing because I can’t stand to be bad at something and when I am bad I will want to practice a lot and, aint nobody got time for that!   Needless to say, if your mentor wants to play basketball then basketball it is.  Now I used to play a lo,t but as I said I had stopped playing but it sounded like a good workout if nothing else.  My thoughts were,  I will die on the court if we play one on one or even two on two, so I tried to find four other guys who would be willing to come and torture themselves for a few days before Orrin heads back to Florida.  Through building their Life Leadership Business’s we happen to have a lot of people who are free from their jobs that could play.  FYI:  I highly recommend getting yourself free so you can really enjoy life and all the beautiful days of summer in Michigan.  I rounded up Steve Morgan, Kirk Birtles, Holger Spiewak, and Aron Radosa.  Now Orrin,Steve,Kirk and myself used to play but Aron and Holger have not played much, so we decided to have the Policy Council,  me, Orrin, and Holger, who are also the three oldest players on the court, versus the Band of Brothers, Steve, Kirk, and Aron.  For people who don’t get sarcasm that would be a friendly jab at our competitors :).  We were older but we also had a little bit of a height advantage,  with me obviously bringing down our average height. IMG_1182          IMG_1183 So the stage was set for what might be some of the ugliest basketball you could watch, but you never know what’s going to happen when a group of people who love to win and hate to lose play each other.  The first game was on Thursday morning and it was supposed to be just a fun pick up game.  The PC team came out well and won all three games.  We would then go sit with Orrin for a while to get some good nuggets to help build our business.  That was the main reason we were there anyways.  If you ever have a chance to hang out with someone who has more success then you,  it’s a good idea to take advantage of that.  We did get our good nuggets but we didn’t know what was about to happen.  We asked the guys if they wanted to switch up teams for our Thursday contest but they said,”No way!”  That was when I knew this might become a war.  Sure enough on Thursday the BoB came out in force.  They had come up with a great PDCA and won two of the three games that day.  Well, as you know the PC does not like losing either, and we had two days to come up with our next PDCA.  The funny part about this, we had a very important business meeting Tuesday, after this last defeat, and as soon as I walked in the room Orrin said, “You know what we need to do…..” My response was, “That is exactly what I was thinking and what if we did…..”  Neither one of us was talking about this huge business roll out that we were about to explain.  The next match we won two straight and the match after that they won two consecutive games.  It was interesting that the team that lost would make the PDCA’s and then go on to win the next round.  The stage was set, the PC had a three to two series lead and we could close the door or the BoB would force a seventh day match.  The BoB came out on fire, intense, and determined.  They won the first game 11-2.  We couldn’t wait until the day after to make a PDCA, so we made some adjustments right on the spot.   Our main adjustment was our focus and intensity and that allowed us to win the next game 11-2.  That last game was the best of all the games we played.  The BoB pulled out into an early lead but the PC ( old guys ) came back to within one point of victory.  At that moment Kirk’s calf muscle totally gave out, and he couldn’t even walk.  Needless to say we had to stop the match and wait until next summer.         See Orrin Woodward’s blog for more detail on what happened in the matches. This may have been one of the funnest sporting events I have been involved in.  So many lessons and so much fun is to be had when you associate with champions.  Let me give you a few of the key things I noticed and how you can apply them to life.   1.  PDCA -It was awesome to see this process unfold and how effective it can be.  We all have done it before even if it was unconsciously, but we need to learn how to force it into our business thoughts.  I think that is the main issue with PDCA, not that people don’t know how but they don’t take the time to stop and think.  We are so programmed to be in motion instead of effective motion.  Abraham Lincoln said he would spend more time sharpening the axe and then get to work so he would be more effective.   2.  How winners respond – Neither team ever came across like they just stunk, they couldn’t win, or be mad at the other team.  They were upset at the loss, but they didn’t take it personal.  They just thought through what they needed to do to adjust.  So many people don’t move forward because they compare their loss to someone else who just PDCA’d and had a victory.  Are you whining or winning?  Winners may feel down but they don’t stay down.  The saying is you can’t drown in one foot of water unless you stay face down in it.  3.  Importance of associating with champions – I have had a good amount of success, success training, and get to associate with some top notch winners, but being part of these matches has made me feel better and want to go win in other areas also.  If it can make me feel that way, what can it do for you?  Any time you have a chance to associate with someone who is farther in life then you, don’t just say yes; be the first one there and the last one to leave.  Orrin said it best today, “Most success nuggets are caught not taught.”  That means you will always learn something when you are associating with winners.  4. The score board never lies – If we lost a match it didn’t matter how well we thought we played.  The score said we lost and that means we need to adjust something.  In sports we are forced to recognize the score board, but in life it is easy to not pay attention to it.  Figure out a way to measure what you want to improve and then fight to make those improvements.   I want to end by saying thank you to Orrin and how blessed I am to be associated with all the winners that I had a chance to experience this with.  You all will go down as some of the best leaders in the history of business.  Life Leadership is going to impact society. Bill Lewis

 

A Recent Lesson on Credibility

As most of you who follow my blog know, I just did a post on credibility. Fortunately for all of us there are always critics, haters, or simply people who have nothing else to do with their life except watch other people’s lives.  With all that said they also play a very important role in the process of success because without them there wouldn’t be a……..check and balance is a good term, I think.  Ok that was sarcasm but in actuality we all need people in our lives that will point out our flaws and mistakes (some will do it in a positive way, others will do it in a negative way).  Without them we would never have the chance to prove our credibility. Well it has come to my attention that “a group” has identified that I hadn’t paid my property tax on the house that I bought from Orrin.  Why someone would be trying to find that information I am not quite sure, but yes it is true.  Let me say this so this doesn’t get twisted.  I FORGOT TO PAY MY PROPERTY TAX.  Haven’t we all forgotten to do something or messed something up?  So here IS what happened.

- Moved into the house at the end of the 2011

- Tax bills come in twice a year, so about 6 months later I received the first one

- Threw it in my bill drawer because it wasn’t due yet

- Missed the deadline but mailed in the check anyway

- A while later the check came back and said I was past the deadline

- Either I missed it or it didn’t say it but once you miss the deadline you have to mail it to a different address

- I mailed it to the same address again ( stupid of me, yes, never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer )

- By this time it was well into 2012 maybe even 2013

- Mailed another check in but stopped payment on it because the new 2013 taxes came in and it had a different address then the previous one ( which I now know as the “late payment” address )

- Was made aware that people were “very excited” to see that I am human and made a mistake :)

- Went to the office and finally figured everything out and stroked 2 checks to pay for all of the taxes. Done

Now unfortunately for some of you out there we were not trying to avoid paying them. We are not struggling financially and neither Orrin or Chris “bailed us out” …..sorry.  As a matter of fact because of the smart financial principles that The Life Leadership has taught us I was able to write the $28,000 checks and take care of it.  So yes it is correct. Even Policy Council members make mistakes. However we don’t try to hide from them when confronted. Instead we do own up to them and we do try our best to make things right.  I just wonder if the people who are throwing stones do the same.  I am guessing not, otherwise they would be too busy with something else instead of worrying about me paying my property taxes.  I grew up with so many people who hated on other people or blamed other people and it always fueled me to become better and continue to prove them wrong.  The sad part about this case is some of them are people I use to call friends and as far as I know I never personally did anything to them except be nice and edify them.   As I have said in many of my talks…..HUMAN.  I have always tried to live my life around the fact that people are messed up and are going to make mistakes.  I just did and so does everyone else.  As my article says it’s not about IF or WHEN you make a mistake, it’s what you do about it after you make it.  What are you doing about the mistakes you have made?  I guess I should probably hand over my taxes to my accountant because I am sure she is perfect haha.

Thank you to the people who allowed me to show our teammates a live example of what you do when you mess up. I’m pretty sure mistakes will happen again because……HUMAN!

Bill Lewis

p.s.  Just so they don’t say I am trying to hide from something.  I also bought a $20,000rental property in downtown Flint 14 years ago.  I paid of the property and rented it for a while.  Eventually, we could not get anyone to rent the property.  I even called the city to try and give them the house but they said they had so many they couldn’t use the ones they had.  The city was doing a house clean up where they tear down old house.  I stopped paying the taxes and the city claimed the house and tore it down.

How to regain Credibility

Despite your best intentions, despite your quest for excellence, despite being a person of character there are going to be times where things don’t go as you planned.  Things change unexpectedly, people you are counting on don’t do what they said they would do,  or it just plain gets messed up.  It is going to happen to every one of us.  The question is what do we do when it happens?  How we respond is more important then what happened.  Many times we choose to respond with blame,  denial, avoidance ( also called head in sand ).  Why do we do that?  Our society has created a culture of being scared to make mistakes.  In some of us that fear is deep rooted that we won’t even take enough action to make a mistake.  Its amazing to watch children trying new things.  They have no thoughts about making mistakes accept, “Hey mom, did you see that?”  But it doesn’t take long for them to start picking up the fear of mistakes.  Thank goodness people like Thomas Edison didn’t feel that way.  Many sources quote different numbers, but let’s just say it took him 1,000 attempts to create the lightbulb.  If he hadn’t persisted I would be doing this blog with smoke signals.  Failure is always part of the process of success but we should learn from Edison when he said, “I have not failed.  I have just found 999 ways that won’t work.”  Luckily, most of us have a mentor, which means we don’t have to learn from trial and error, like Edison.  We can learn from other peoples experience.  With all that said, what I want to focus on is, what we do when we make a mistake that affects others.

The most important thought to begin with is you can actually gain credibility by making and owning up to a mistake.  Its amazing how counterintuitive, in todays culture,  it seems to own up to a mistake.  The book “Credibility” gives a real world example.

Pradeep Vaswani, project manager at Infosys Technologies, recalled a time when his team went off course and as a result would fail to deliver on time to the client.  His managers had advised him that he shouldn’t disclose this in advance to the client, but should merely work overtime to catch up.  However, Pradeep knew that keeping this secret would result in a breach of trust with his client if the matter went out of control.  Furthermore, he was unwilling to set such a poor example to his staff.  Consequently, Pradeep accepted the responsibility for informing the client about the projects status.  The client was upset, but Pradeep also told them how sorry and disappointed he and his team were about missing the deadline.  He had explained what had caused the delay and what the team would do.  He showed his commitment to the new deadline  by indicating what he would do himself to ensure the new deliverables were met.  The project was completed by the new deadline, and the amount of trust the client had for Pradeep actually increased tremendously.  At the same time, the respect his team members had for him was enhanced because he accepted responsibility and showed accountability for the team without pointing fingers.

I think the reason someone owning up to mistakes is such a big deal is because it so rarely happens.  The reason gold is so valuable is because it is so very rare.  The same is true with human emotions.  When we see someone display a trait that we rarely see, we naturally look at that person with more esteem.  Studies have shown that “admitting mistakes” ranks second to “tells the truth” when people were asked what behaviors best define an honest person.  So, here are the six A’s of accountability:

  1. Accept = come to recognize 
  2. Admit  = confess to be true or be the case
  3. Apologize = express regret for one has done wrong
  4. Act = take action
  5. Amend = make changes to make it correct
  6. Attend = be present, deal with it

 

“When” not “if ” you make a mistake, apply these six A’s and you will not only maintain your credibility but you will increase it.

 

Bill Lewis



Do you have a Fixed mindset or Growth mindset?

Fixed mindset versus growth mindset

The growth mindset says your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.   That people become leaders and are not born leaders.  The fixed mindset believes that your qualities are carved in stone.   Fixed mindset people believe that people are born leaders, so why even try.   If you are newer to personal development or leadership you probably lean more towards the fixed mindset.   That is because we have been conditioned to believe that that mindset is correct.   It is proven everyday because people are not growing and changing.   People  are not accomplishing their goals and dreams.   On the other hand, if you have associated with growth communities then you know that the growth mindset is completely true.   You have seen people that showed very little leadership ability but through effort and studying, they have developed themselves into leaders.   So you might be asking yourself, “What happened?”  As a society wouldn’t we want more of the population to have a growth mindset?

 

Fixed mindset or growth mindset, what happened?

Let me give you an example.   Five monkeys were put into a cage.   At the center of the cage was a ladder with a hand of bananas.  Of course, one of the monkeys leaves the corner, and climbs the ladder to get a banana.  As he is about to grab the banana, the scientist spray all the other monkeys  with  cold water.   Undeterred, the next monkey goes to the ladder and climbs to get a banana.   As soon as he gets on the ladder the scientist spray the other monkeys again.   When the next monkey goes to get a banana the rest of the monkeys attack him.   Now it gets interesting.   The scientist replace one of the old monkeys with a new monkey.   Guess what the new monkey thinks?   I don’t know why no one else is getting a banana but I’m hungry.   He goes to climb the ladder and gets attacked by his fellow monkeys.   He is probably thinking, “Man I won’t try that again.”   They replace another monkey and the same thing happens.   The scientist take out the rest of the original monkeys and now no monkey in the cage has ever been sprayed with cold water, yet no monkey will ever get one of those bananas.   They have been conditioned to believe that if they try, something bad will happen.   Sound familiar?   In a country that was FOUNDED ON TAKING A CHANCE, BEING COURAGEOUS, AND RISKING IT ALL, we are starting to become safe, fearful, and spineless.   Why?   Because someone tried something, was sprayed with cold water, or worse yet they HEARD that people were getting sprayed with cold water,  and now it’s their duty to protect you.

The death rate for people who play it safe and for those who live boldly is the same.  Patti Digh

 

Fixed mindset, how do you go from a fixed mindset to a fix-ed mindset?

 

You will become like the five people you hang around the most and the books you read.   As I write this  I think about what I did before I was involved with growth communities.   My friends were great guys and I love them but you need someone that is much farther down the road.   I think I had read two books from cover to cover over a twenty year time frame.  WOW!   I was proving this theory to be totally correct because my life was a mess.   Most of us have been around negative or limited thinking for so long we begin to think it’s normal.   Heck, the government and television tell you not to think at all!   I can do an entire article about that later.   Fixed mindsets have been scientifically proven to be inaccurate.   A group of scientists were studying the brain when they accidentally discovered what they now call, brain elasticity.   They discovered that the brain is ever changing.   They found that patterns in your brain can be re-wired, but the longer one subject has been grooved in that area, the harder it is to overcome.   Example:  young children have no problem learning multiple languages at the same time.   Ask an adult to learn multiple languages and they may break down and cry.   The reason is the area of the brain for language is being conditioned for multiple languages, when younger, but the longer we go with only one language we condition that area for one language.   So as an adult, you almost have to totally immerse yourself in the new language because you have to overcome the years of one language being grooved into that area.   The same is true with a fixed mindset and we just have to overrun that area of your brain with growth mindset.   Here’s what you do.

1.  Find a group of growth mindset people and associate with them as much as you can.

2.  Listen to positive audio recordings daily

3.  Read books from people that are teaching or have experienced a growth mindset.

4.  Try to eliminate as many fixed mindset activities as you can

  • negative people
  • limited thinking people
  • television that isn’t positive
  • magazines or movies that tear down instead of building up

5.  Do these over and over and over  and over and over and over and over …………………

Remember we have to overrun the areas that have been grooved with fixed thinking and try to get our brain re-wired for growth mindset.   You ever notice that fixed mindset people think that everything is hard or undoable.   Growth mindset people think that anything is possible.   The best thing about that is most growth mindset people started off with a very fixed mindset.   We know this works because the results are all around us.   Everything we use in our life was developed from a growth mindset person and they all have written books about what and how they did it.   Acquiring a growth mindset  is hard, it is annoying, it takes time, it takes persistence, but man, is it worth it.  You don’t know how great you can be until you get around people that see your greatness.

Bill Lewis

life leadership.com

 

2013 June Major

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This weekends major was another smashing success!  We had huge numbers at the Nationwide arena and some of the best talks we have  ever had were given this weekend.  We also had some great recognition.  The Spiewaks  and Spolars were recognized for hitting a level called Policy Council and the Powers team won the Power Player top gun.  It’s so amazing to be able to watch people step up their game and get really focused on hitting a goal.  I know the Spiewaks and Powers very well and although they are great leaders they did not do something that others cannot do.  They both have strengths that you don’t have, but you also have strengths that they do not have.  These two couples have made the difficult decisions that success requires, and their lifestyles are  on the verge of becoming unexplainable to most people.  If you want to taste the sweetness of success you only have to do some very basic things.

1. Do the work

2. Grow yourself

3. Set a goal and attack it

4. Put a ten on your teammates forehead

5. Stay tough

If you consistently do these steps, maybe one day you will be on stage receiving your reward.

 

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A Culture of Serving

Story from the book “Credibility”

Once there was a village in Nigeria where the people made their living by farming.  The village lay in a large green valley that was lined with palm trees and bushes.  Surrounding the village were fields with crops of yams, corn and other vegetables.  Just beyond the fields was a deep river that the villagers called “Baba.”  In the rainy season, the river  overflowed and the people were fearful of its power.  So, at a place were the river wound beyond the fields, they built a strong dam to hold back the water.

There was a man in the village named Modupe, which means “I am grateful.”  Modupe was a shy, quiet man whose wife had died and whose children were all married, so he moved to the top of the mountain overlooking the valley and lived alone.  There he built a small hut and cleared a small piece of land to grow his vegetables.  The people rarely saw Modupe but they respected and loved him.

One year at harvest time, the rains were unusually heavy, but the crops had done well and there was much to do, so no one paid it any mind.  As Modupe stood by his house on the mountain, he noticed that the river, swollen from the rains, was straining the dam.  He knew that by the time he could run down to the village to warn the people of the flood, it would be too late and all would be lost.  Even as Modupe watched, the wall of the dam begun to break and water started to seep through.

Modupe thought of his friends in the village.  Their crops, their homes, and their very lives were in danger if he did not find a way to warn them.  Then an idea came to him: he rushed to his small hut and set it afire.  When the people of the valley saw Modupe’s house burning they said, “Our friend is in trouble.  Let’s sound the alarm and go up to help him.” Then, according to custom, men, women, and children ran up the mountain to see what they could do.  When the reached the top of the hill, they did not have time to ask what had happened – a loud crashing noise behind them made them turn and look down.  Their houses, their temple, and their crops were being destroyed by the river, which had broken the dam and was flooding the valley.

The people began to cry and moan at their loss, but Modupe comforted them.  “Don’t worry,” he said “My crops are still here.  We can share them while we build a new village.”  Then all the people began to sing and give thanks because they remembered that, in coming to help a friend, they saved themselves.

Not sure if the story is true or not but what a great example of serving your neighbor.  There are many lessons we can take from this example but I would like to focus on two:  helping friends in trouble and a culture of serving.

When Modupe saw that his friends were in trouble he didn’t think, “Man, that’s too bad, I hope they figure out something, I wish there was something I could do, what if I burn my house and they don’t come up to help?   He immediately thought I have to help my friends and then he thought of a plan.  In life we see so many people who just turn a blind eye.  We could do something or we have information that could help but we don’t.  We are afraid of what that person might think.  We are afraid of what other people will think.  We are afraid of sacrificing something of our own.   Ninety nine percent of the negative things we think could happen, usually never do.  What usually does happen is we end up making a big impact in someones life.  If you see someone that you think you can help, be the good Samaritan.

The second lesson was they had a culture of serving each other.  Modupe wasn’t worried that burning his own house wouldn’t work because Modupe’s community had a culture of serving each other.  He knew they would come to help him and by helping him they ended up helping themselves.  There is an old statement that says, “If you help enough people get what they want you will always get what you want.”  If your organization has a culture of serving the customer, you cannot lose.  Even though you may not see the return, in the immediate, you will always see it in the long term.  Set your goals around how many people you need to serve to accomplish your goal.  Doing this accomplishes two great things.  You get to your goal but more importantly you model the serving attitude.  The compounding affect of a serving organization creates amazing results.

Are you serving your God, wife, kids, business partners?  If so are you serving them the way they want to be served or the way you like to be served?  What ways can you improve your service to your team? Can you be more patient, understanding, goal focused, give time, explain thought process, help overcome obstacles, give ideas or just listen.  Whatever it is, if you model the behavior I can guarantee that others will follow your lead.

Bill Lewis

Life Leadership