A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy
enough people to make it worth the effort.

-Herm Albright

It’s not information overload; it’s filter failure.

Clay Shirky

People often ask me how I find time to read as much as I do. (I read at least one new book a week.) The answer is that I’m afraid not to. When I crashed in business, in 1988, I made a commitment to spend two hours a day reading, listening, praying, and meditating on positive, encouraging material. The results were so obvious that now I find that when I want to jump forward in a new venture or area of success, I increase that time commitment.

Jim Rohn, perhaps the world’s leading motivator and speaker, says you can judge a person’s bank account by the size of his or her library. The marketing guru Dan Kennedy says he’s observed that people with tiny bank accounts tend to have no libraries, but they usually have big TVs.

A Stanford University study has indicated that if you read thirty to sixty minutes each day in your field of interest, in four to five years you will be a national authority.

All leaders are readers. Studies show that those who are readers are more positive, optimistic, and excited. Those who are not readers are more negative, pessimistic, and doubtful about their future.

Two books read by virtually all successful people are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

I know of no quicker and surer way to jump to a higher level of success in your career, relationships, or bank account than to read. As Mr. Rohn says, “It isn’t what the book costs; it’s what it will cost you if you don’t read it.”

Dan Miller
No More Dreaded Mondays

Recently, I was walking through the Charlotte airport during a layover, on my way to play violin at my grandmother’s memorial service. I came upon a young man playing a grand piano in the middle of the food court.

Go play music with him,” the Holy Spirit nudged. Really? Me? Now? You want me to be that guy?

Note: It’s hard to argue with God when you are caught red-handed — I had my violin case in my hand!

Go play a few songs,” I was nudged again. I’ve been trying to pay attention to God’s promptings, since his story is always best. So…

I asked if I could play violin along with him on piano. He loved the idea, and started off with a Journey song. I tried to keep up, playing the melody. This guy was amazingly talented!

“Do you know the song How Great Thou Art?” the young man asked. My smile gave away the answer. We then played hymn after hymn, violin accompanied by piano, as he kept the chords going in between. It was lovely, and I closed my eyes to ignore everyone and focus on an audience of one.

Hundreds of people were walking by, rushed, stressed, and tired from travelling. Others were eating dinner just next to the piano. Some sat in rocking chairs across the walkway, listening. One lady put two dollars in the tip jar and said, “This is better than what we normally hear!”

After a 45-minute extended medley, we ended on a well-known hymn. He stuck out his hand and said, “My name’s Harper. Who are you?”

And this is exactly how it happened.

But wait. What was the point of this random concert, anyway? Was it for me — a practice session before playing The Old Rugged Cross in honor of my grandmother? Was it for the pianist, Harper — a chance to improvise with another musician and a welcome change of pace? No, none of those.

And then it occurred to me — those nearby needed this more than Harper or I did. It made me wonder what puzzles the Holy Spirit was unraveling in various lives while they walked past. Why did some travelers have tears in their eyes?

Or forget the hundreds… For all we know, perhaps a single person needed to hear Amazing Grace that day while walking through a crowded airport.

We may never know why, and it doesn’t matter. What’s important is to go.

Chris LoCurto:

You did a study with three different types of managers: one who focuses on team members’ strengths; one who focuses on weaknesses; and a manager who just flat-out ignores their team. What were the results?

Tom Rath:

Being ignored by a manager is the worst-case scenario. In this situation, 4 in 10 people were actively disengaged in their jobs. Actively disengaged is a “kind” label for someone who is negative, angry, scaring off colleagues and customers, and kind of tearing the place down. So the first thing a manager needs to worry about is just paying attention.

When a manager focuses on people’s weaknesses, only 2 in 10 are disengaged in their jobs. Things are going a little bit better. Let’s call it the typical performance review—80% on your gaps and 20% on what you are doing well.

The final category is really where it makes a difference. When managers spend the majority of their time focusing on strengths, only 1 in 100 employees are actively disengaged in their jobs.

Tom Rath, author of Strengths Finder 2.0
From an EntreLeadership podcast with Chris LoCurto
Emphasis added

The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs,
Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how
impossibly arduous were the tasks they had set themselves would have pulled
the plug before he even began.

Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable
allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her
enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off

How do we achieve this state of mind? By staying stupid. By not allowing
ourselves to think. A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor
does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and
our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.

Steven Pressfield
Do the Work

I just met a team member who will be celebrating her thirty-first wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve. Thirty-one years!

I told her how much I enjoy hearing of long, successful marriages. She then gave me some advice I won’t ever forget.

It’s the little things that make marriage last. It’s how you talk to your husband. It’s doing something small that you know he will enjoy. It’s pointing out something simple you enjoy about him.

It’s a big stack of little things that makes marriage wonderful.

In fact, just yesterday she told her husband how much she loves seeing his dimples when he smiles.

Do you think he’ll keep on smiling with a wife like that?

Today I will choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit. In the past, I have found discouragement in particular situations, until I compared the condition of my life to others less fortunate.

Just as a fresh breeze cleans smoke from the air, so does a grateful spirit remove the cloud of despair. It is impossible for the seeds of depression to take root in a thankful heart.

My God has bestowed upon me many gifts, and for these I will remember to be grateful. Too many times I have offered up the prayers of a beggar, always asking for more and forgetting my thanks. I do not wish to be seen as a greedy child, unappreciative, and disrespectful. I am grateful for sight and sound and breath. If ever in my life there is a pouring out of blessings beyond that, then I will be grateful for the miracle of abundance.

Andy Andrews
The Traveler’s Gift

Wife and I were eager to have some dessert one evening. We retrieved the key lime pie from the freezer, only to dismay at what we saw.

There was only one slice of key lime pie left!

Though we are normally incredibly generous to each other and usually give away our portion — *cough cough* — we eventually decided to share it this time. We split that last piece of key lime pie right down the center.

And you know what happened next? You may be surprised.

We enjoyed that half slice more than any whole slice we ate previously. No joke!

But why?

Knowing we only had a half slice of key lime pie goodness to enjoy, Wife and I took tiny bites with our forks. We savored every morsel as if we could not have any more for a full year. We chewed slowly and deliberately, focusing our attention on the taste and texture.

It was more scarce, so we made it last longer and tasted it better than ever before. In this case, more is not better.

We enjoyed the pie more because there was less to enjoy.

Wife and I will be splitting our slices of key lime pie from now on!

I dare you to try experiencing less of a good thing and see if you don’t enjoy it more. Please comment with your thoughts on the topic.

To be a real EntreLeader you have to realize you have great power but seldom use it. Having great power and managing it as a tool is what real EntreLeaders do. When you hold the pen over the paycheck — the right to fire a team — you have power over their lives. That is positional power, the power given to you by your position. If you lead only with positional power, you are simply a boss.

EntreLeaders understand that ultimately the only power they can use to grow a quality team is the power of persuasion. Persuasion is pulling the rope and positional leadership is pushing the rope. And we all know you can’t push a rope. If you want employees, then boss them around; if you want team members, explain why you do what you do. If they won’t do what you ask, explain it again and again. Then, if they are simply contrary, they have to work somewhere else. But don’t lead with threats and fear.

That is positional leadership, and if I resort to that with my teen or my team, I am not building to the future. I may get what I want right then, but I did not equip them to perform when my back is turned. I am older and wiser and will persuade them to perform within boundaries that accomplish all our goals. If I can persuade them, I have built into our future; we will both get to go places we could not have gone otherwise.

The weird thing is that while persuasional leadership takes longer and takes more restraint at the time, it is much more efficient over the long haul. When you teach team members or teens the why, they are more equipped to make the same decision next time without you. You don’t have to watch their every move, you don’t have to put in a time clock, and you don’t have to implant a GPS chip in their hide when they learn how to think for themselves. Positional leadership doesn’t take as long in the exchange, but you have to do it over and over and over and over. You never get to enjoy your team or your kids because they become a source of frustration rather than a source of pride.

Dave Ramsey