A Springboard for You

For a better life and a better eternity

Keeping the Main Thing People

I remember reading in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad books that the rich dad knew what business he was really in. He then used Ray Kroc as an example of remembering that he wasn’t in the restaurant business, he was in the land business. Now, I have no doubt in some sense that is true. For those wanting to be millionaires and branching into franchising, real estate is where the business lies. But I think we need to remember that even more fundamentally, we are all in the people business.

I bring this up only because I’m weak in this area and just this week I have received a strong reminder from some folks who have my best interests at heart that I need to work on this. I’m a choleric, task-oriented person. I usually focus on getting something done, moving from project to project and when I’m behaving most naturally I relate to people only as they are involved in helping complete the same tasks. When you understand that, you can understand why I can walk past 20 people, never say a word and not even realize I passed them. I’m on a mission to get a job done, to check to make sure something was done or to make sure something is going to get done. But while in that mode, I’m failing to get my most important job done. I’m failing to forge those relationships that will really help me and provide the most fulfillment for me and those around me.

Here is the major down side of this natural tendency. Folks see me as arrogant, cliquish, proud, haughty and just in general a jerk. Let me tell you, that persona does absolutely nothing for helping me accomplish the tasks I need to get done and I need to encourage others to do. That persona won’t help you a bit either.

The solution? I have to remember what business I’m really in. I have to remember to keep the main thing the main thing. I have to remember to keep the main thing people. 

Here is what you need to understand. You can produce like nobody’s business. You can have your time management down to a science and an art. You can excel at every aspect of your job. But if you don’t make people your main business, you will still lose business. If people can’t say, “I’m better because I bumped into _______ today,” you will never achieve your potential.

How about we both work on keeping people our main business. We can do it with baby steps. I’m going to take a bit of advice from John Maxwell’s Winning with People and walk slowly through the crowd. I’m going to make sure that my task stuff is done before I am with people so when I’m around them, I can keep them my main focus.

Give me some feedback on this. What have you done to help make sure you keep the main thing people?

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October 9, 2008 Posted by | A Springboard for Your Professional Life, Being human, People, Relationships, Success | , , , , , | 16 Comments

You can learn a lot from a knee brace

I guess I should have known when I opted not to wear my knee brace while playing Ultimate Frisbee on Sunday that I would be learning a life lesson on Monday.

But “Hey,” I thought, “my knee hasn’t hurt in a really long time. I’m having trouble finding that stupid knee brace and, frankly, I don’t really like wearing it. So why worry about it?” Well, today, my knee hurts. I guess I should have known, but I am an idiot. Wait a minute. No I’m not. I’m just a human that makes mistakes. But I hope I learn from them.

This is so much like the accountability measures and self-discipline habits I put in my life. I have my readings, my prayers, my accountability partners, on and on the list goes with the measures I have put into place to help me stay healthy spiritually, mentally and emotionally. The problem is after a while, I get tired of doing those things. They take too long. They aren’t all that exciting. Some of them are a bit embarrassing. Some are downright hard. Besides I’ve been doing great on whatever the issue is. Perhaps just this once I can get by without them. But every time I do, I fall. Sometimes hard.

Let me encourage you to grab your knee-brace and put it on any time you have an inkling of a thought that you might need it. Let’s think of it this way, it never hurts to wear it. But sometimes it really hurts if you don’t.

ELC

July 8, 2008 Posted by | Being human, Making Mistakes, Success | , , | 1 Comment

The U-turn Epiphany

I had an epiphany the other day and have had daily reminders ever since. I have come to realize I’m really hard on myself and on other people. I’m so full of negative self-talk it is no wonder success is an uphill climb.

Just the other day I was driving in Nashville, planning to turn on to I-65 to head back down to Franklin. I was mentally sidetracked and passed my turn.

“You idiot!” 

Surely that’s what I was. Only idiots miss turns; normal people don’t do that. Life is tough for idiots like me.

Then it hit me. I’m not an idiot. I just missed my turn. All I have to do is U-turn and then I will do it right the next time. What an epiphany. It reminded me of my favorite scene in Disney’s The Kid when Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) excitedly hollered, “I am not a loser!” I had that moment. Despite some of my friends’ repeated reminders, I am not an idiot, loser, moron or any other thing. I’m just a human who makes mistakes sometimes (sometimes frequently and repeatedly).

I can’t tell you how many times I have caught myself saying things like this since then. I publish a blog only to find a misspelled wrod and immediately castigate and berate myself. I answer a question incorrectly or fumble a sentence in a sermon and the names start internally flying. Some of you are saying, “Yeah, but Edwin, you really are an idiot.”

No, actually, I’m not. I’m just a human that makes mistakes.

Now, when I catch myself shaming myself, I remind myself. “Nope, I’m not an idiot, I just missed the turn. I’m just a human who makes mistakes. I’ll make a u-turn and just do it right on the second pass.” 

Have a great 4th of July!

ELC

July 3, 2008 Posted by | Being human, Making Mistakes, Shame | , , , | 5 Comments