Mental Fitness Challenge – Challenge Group

We had our first Challenge Group, Tuesday and it was incredible.  The Challenge Group discusses the information in the 90 Day Mental Fitness Challenge by Orrin Woodward, Claude Hamilton and the whole LIFE Policy Council.  We had a 14 person group that dove into the topic of “findings ones purpose” in life.  The small group was exactly what was needed to have people open up and discuss a personal topic like purpose.  It provided an environment for everyone to raise their level of leadership whether they were an experienced leader or someone new just starting their self education journey.  I recommend everyone take the Challenge!

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PDCA Cycle Post 3, Mentoring Leadership Life Coaching, Plan Do Check Adjust.

One of the advantages of developing and following a proper PDCA cycle is the ability to learn and acquire wisdom.  There is an old cliché that says, “experience is the best teacher.”  I don’t agree with that at all.  I believe “evaluated experience is the best teacher.”  It does no good to have experiences without learning.  That “old cliché” assumes that the only thing needed to have experience is age.  Sadly, most live their lives in such a way that they aren’t really learning.  They’re repeating.  How many of you know people in your own life that are getting older, but are not getting any better?  Experience doesn’t always come with age, sometimes age comes alone.  John Foster Dulles, former Secretary of State said, “The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.”

Quitters,  Campers and Climbers.  Great article by ORRIN WOODWARD, Mentor, Leadership Guru, Coach, and Author that talks about PDCA and how to use it on your journey in LIFE.

Wisdom requires that we arrange what we observe and know, and create meaning from it; it also requires that we consider what we need to unlearn as well.  American essayist Norman Cousins wrote, “Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.”  Throughout my leadership walk I have discovered that wisdom is about the thinking through of thoughts, behaviors, and actions while at the same time, being able to see their relationships.  It is seeing how things are connected.  Understanding how everything is connected is a daunting task, but it shouldn’t cause indecision. We still have to function.  Professors Pfeffer and Sutton suggest in their book “Hard Facts” that “we must travel through life with an attitude of wisdom.  That attitude is described as the ability to act with knowledge while doubting what you know.  This attitude enables people to act on what they already know while at the same time doubting what they know. It means they can do things now, as well as keep learning along the way.  It implies a certain degree of humility to make it work.  You really have to be able to get out of your own way.  The best leaders never believe they “arrive” in any area, but they always strive to improve.  We should never expect perfection, but we should continually expect better!

Lead On.

PDCA Cycle Post 2, Mentoring Leadership Life Coaching

The next step in the Plan, Do, Check, Adjust cycle is to find mentors in the areas of life where you aspire to be better. I am not suggesting that you lose your uniqueness though. Many times, what attracts us to people we would like to have as mentors, is what they have done and who they are.  In other words they are unique. Never be a cheap copy of a great original.  However, with that warning, you will never grow to your full potential without a great mentor or mentors!  If you pattern your habits and actions after people with the results you want, guess what will happen to you?  You will have achieved what they have achieved.  Their experience, insight, and wisdom provide guidance through the PDCA growth cycle.   Mentors provide missing pieces to the puzzle you probably don’t have the experience or insight to discover on your own.

For a great Video on Mentorship check out this video by ORRIN WOODWARD, Leadership Guru, Mentor, LIFE Coach.

The secret to having a great mentoring experience lies in your ability to formulate and ask great questions.  Don’t go to your mentor and expect them to give you a golden nugget unless you are mining the gold in them first.  Mining the gold, means, to come prepared.  I see people make this mistake because they expect their mentor to “read their mind” and somehow solve all their problems.  That is not mentoring, that is magic!  Remember the relationship principle of “you will get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.”  This principle applies to the people you are leading, and, applies to the people you are following. You will get the best from your mentors when you give the best of yourself first.  Giving your best means, coming prepared for a mentoring session.  Whether it is doing what your mentor told you to do at a previous session or coming prepared with detailed questions to ask, there should never be a shortage of principles or practices to discuss and learn.  One of the best ways to learn, is, to teach and do.  By pouring his or her life into you through mentoring, the mentor grows as well.  Think about it this way: if you stretch your mentor’s learning capacity, they will want to give you their best, and, have more mentoring sessions. This is a win-win relationship.  Start your session by saying, “this is what you said, this is what I did, did I do it right, and can I ask you more questions.”  Those 4 simple statements set the stage for a great PDCA learning experience.  Now find a mentor and get to work.

Lead On.

PLAN DO CHECK ADJUST Growth Cycle

As leaders, we are all constantly challenged to learn, grow, adapt, change, encourage, and lead in whatever situation life throws our way.   It is very hard to know if we are on the right track by feelings alone.  Someone once said, “You can tell when you are on the road to success because the road is uphill the entire way.”  That very statement continues to serve me well in my ongoing efforts to Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust. It helps my focus, as I strive to keep myself, and my actions, flowing in a consistent, steady direction.  With the proper “checks and balances” in place, we are like a flowing river, staying between the walls, as we flow down the stream toward our purpose.  Without the proper PDCA cycle, we may feel frustrated, and our “ river of purpose” may turn into the “rapids of chaos”!  It is imperative for any leader, whether established, or beginning, to always do a “check up from the neck up” to insure their efforts are being maximized to their greatest potential.

We all have heard the old saying, “practice makes perfect.” People, who follow proper PDCA, believe in the saying “perfect practice makes perfect.”  Just because you are practicing does not mean you will perfect your skill.  It just means that whatever you are practicing will become permanent.  Laurie Woodward has said from stage many times that, “the lesson will continue until the lesson is learned.”  Learning lessons from those negative circumstances that occur in our lives keep them from happening again.

Incorporating the proper PDCA cycle into ones daily regime is crucial to taking charge of one’s life.  However, just because you practice proper PDCA habits, does not exclude you from life’s curve balls.  Because great leaders have made a habit of following the PDCA routine, they avoid having their feelings hurt, and instead, find solutions to problems.  As Leadership Guru Orrin Woodward says, we cannot always control what happens to us, but we can control how we react.  We can either pick the side of our rights and privileges, or we can pick the side of our responsibilities and obligations.  Either way, the choice of being a victim or a victor is completely up to us!   People that use the PDCA cycle always choose to be on the side of the victor.  How do you want your life to be? Always the victim, with no control over outcomes, or, do you choose to be the victor, in control, responsible for the outcomes?

So, how do you develop and establish effective PDCA habits? First, you have to provide an answer to one very important question: What is your purpose in life?  Once you answer that honestly, you can move forward.  As the famous saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”  If you really want to accomplish the purpose for your life, you must realize change and growth will be necessary.  Max DePree, leadership expert, said, “You can’t become what you need to be by remaining what you are.”   Many think change is an insult to their individualism, instead of a catalyst to their potential.  If you want to accomplish something you have never accomplished before, you are going to have to do and learn things you have never done or learned before.  It really is that simple, but admittedly not that easy. It requires constant evaluation!

Lead On.

Coming Soon

Mr. Terry Franks will soon be posting inspired leadership knowledge.  Mr. Franks has been developing his own leadership skills and those of other men and women that he mentors for over twenty years.  Mr. Franks councils with the top leadership guru’s Claude Hamilton and number seven leadership guru Orrin Woodward.