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Swim! is officially out and entrepreneurs, public speakers, business leaders, and industry leaders are already eager to learn the principles they’ll learn in this book and apply it to their teams and organizations. Here are 3 things I want you to take away from this book when you get your copy:

Becoming a shark is a life-long process

I love the part in the book when Scotty asks his mentor if he’s finally adopted a shark mindset, and is surprised and a little offended when Drew tells him no. Drew explains that although he now knows and understands The Sacred Six, he’s going to spend the rest of his life practicing them and incorporating them into every decision he makes. Scotty was a little disappointed in this answer, but it is a good reminder that we are always a work in progress. We are always learning, growing, and getting better. There is always more to learn, and if we ever get to the point where we think we’ve “made it,” and stop our journey to self-improvement, we are doing ourselves and those around us a significant disservice. 

“Facing The Fear Is Faster”

This is something Scotty learns early on in the book. He finds himself in the middle of the woods, as it is getting dark, and standing at a crossroads. Through a series of quick decisions, he learns that sometimes just facing the fear is faster. Just doing the thing you’re scared of is so much faster than all of the things you will do to try to avoid it. He could have taken a well-lit, safer path to get to his destination, but it would have taken twice as long. He went the way that made him nervous and uncomfortable and found himself at his destination much sooner than he thought. “Facing the fear is faster” is a motto he uses throughout his life to remind himself of the power of stepping out of his comfort zone.

“There’s hope for the parasite.”

This is a line Paul and Scotty say a few times during their adventure out on the boat. As they dive into the characteristics of a shark, a suckerfish, and a parasite, they begin to realize that everyone can have parasitic tendencies. There are times, in our personal lives and our careers, that we can take more than we give. There are times we focus on our own best interests instead of the interests of others. But just because we make these choices, it does not define us. There is hope for us when we act in a self-serving way, and the faster we identify this behavior and thought process, the sooner we can change and work towards adopting a shark mindset instead. 

I’m excited to hear what you think about the book and the lines or chapters that make an impact on you! 

My challenge for you this week: 

  1. Order Swim! if you haven’t already
  2. One morning this week, instead of scrolling social media when you wake up, listen to this short YouTube video and watch how it dramatically shifts your mindset and in turn, the rest of your day. 

 

One of the most important things you can do to take benefit from your mentor/mentee relationship is to ask the right questions. Having a mentor allows you to learn from someone who has more experience in a particular industry or field than you do. But how do you know what to ask? We’ve put together a list of questions that we think will help you develop a stronger relationship with your mentor and allow you to get the most out of this unique relationship.

Ask About Experiences

Ask your mentor to share experiences and wisdom from their professional journey. These could be questions like:

  1. What did you do to land your current position?
  2. Five years ago, what was your five-year plan? Are you where you thought you’d be?
  3. Have you ever had a demanding boss? How did you manage that relationship?

Ask About Self-Awareness

Impact players are self-aware. They are quick to identify how they fit in certain situations and how they react and interact with others. You mentor can help answer questions regarding self-awareness such as:

  1. Where do you see my strengths, and what should I focus on to improve?
  2. What do you see as some of my blind spots?
  3. How do you think others perceive me?
  4. How does leadership view me?

Ask About Skill-Building

The beauty of working with a mentor is the ability to learn from their mistakes. This allows you to learn the lessons that can help catapult your career without the growing pains that come with it. Make sure you are checking in with your mentor about your specific skills and weaknesses and asking what they suggest you do to build your professional skill set. Ask questions like:

  1. How do you approach risk-taking?
  2. What new skills do I need to move ahead?
  3. How can I become a more assertive negotiator?

In our new book SWIM!, Scotty asks Drew a lot of game-changing questions to help him reach his full potential. Asking the right questions is the best way to learn from your mentor and set yourself up for success. 

My challenges for you this week: 

  1. Order SWIM to be one of the first to read this dynamic book about mentorship
  2. Pick two of these questions to ask your mentor. Modify them as needed.

Talent (and hours and hours of practice) is what gets balls in hoops. However, chemistry is what puts your teammate in the exact spot that you need him, way before you know you need him there. Chemistry is the way a team works together, the way they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use both to move the team forward. But chemistry does not come with intense trainings or intense video analysis of last week’s game. Chemistry happens when a team respects and values each other, connects on a deeper level, and works together to meet a common goal.

The teams that are coming up on top aren’t necessarily the ones with the most talent. Instead, they’re the teams that focus on team chemistry and connection. Your business is the same way. If you solely focus on profit and productivity and don’t emphasize chemistry, you won’t reach the next level.

If you want to be a business that defies the odds, that breaks the mold, that comes out on top even when the competition is fierce, you have to consistently work to build the culture and chemistry of your team.

Here are three ways you can do that this week:

  1. Connect team members with similar strengths, passions, and interests- When your team can connect on a personal level, it will make it easier for them to connect professionally as well.
  2. Share a meal- Sharing a meal together is a classic way to bring people together. Whether you invite everyone to have lunch together in the breakroom or you host a dinner after work, getting everyone together in a casual atmosphere with good food will help build relationships and improve team chemistry.
  3. Address things that are hurting your team chemistry- if certain people on your team seem to isolate themselves from the rest of the group, or have negative energy that brings others down, address this. Many times, this behavior is based out of fear of being excluded or misunderstood. Open the lines of communication to give everyone a chance to feel included.

You can have the most talented people on your team, but if they don’t work well together, you will limit your potential and make it harder to reach the next level.  

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How are you leading this week? What practices are you putting into place to make sure your team understands that they are doing work that matters? Your employees are much more likely to work hard, stay late, come early, and go above and beyond if they feel valued and appreciated. As their leader, are you influencing and encouraging them to use their gifts and talents? Or are you simply enforcing rules and deadlines without a personal connection?

A boss manages their employees, while a leader inspires their employees to think creatively, to give feedback, create and innovate and dream. A boss will tell you what to do, a leader will lead by example and show you how to do it. Bosses are focused on your output and basic productivity, leaders are focused on making you feel appreciate and successful. Bosses focus on the right now, while leaders focus on what is right.

This week, ask yourself this question: “Would I want to work for me?” Think critically about the way you encourage and inspire your team. Think carefully about the personal connections you’ve made with your employees and how you could strengthen them. Do you know their birthdays, their spouse’s name, or where they graduated from? The more you invest in the relationships with your employees, the more they will invest in their job.

This week, challenge yourself to learn one new fact about five people in your company. Ask questions, listen, and start showing your team that you care about them as people. Then, watch as company morale improves, productivity improves, and you grow as a visionary leader.

A strong leader is constantly self-reflecting and finding new ways to lead with purpose. How are you leading this week?

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You’d be surprised at how many entrepreneurs, business leaders, and network marketers can’t recite their company’s mission statement. That’s like an actor getting up on stage without ever seeing a script, or an individual stepping onto a train without looking at a map. It’s a recipe for disaster. A clear and compelling mission statement is the script, the map, the purpose for a company to reach the next level. But a mission statement is not something you throw together on your commute to work one day. To create a solid mission statement that will get your company inspired and re-focused, consider these 5 ways to write a mission statement that moves people.

Less Is More
This is a mission statement, not a company profile or biography. You want your mission statement to be something people can say, remember and recite easily. You want it to wrap up everything your company does into a sentence or two that packs a punch. It will be the filter in which you run every business decision, so it needs to encompass the values and goals of the company in a sentence or two. Here are some examples of powerful, yet short, mission statements:

  • JetBlue: To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
  • Life is Good: To spread the power of optimism.
  • Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
  • Hyatt: “To provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day.”

Even though they are short, you have no question about what they do or who they do it for after reading their statement.

While many companies choose to go the more detailed mission statement route, most never exceed more than 2-3 sentences. Think about the things that are critical for people to understand about your company. Use that. The other stuff can be featured in the vision, on your website or in your logo. Your mission statement is sacred and should be reserved for the values and ideas that your company holds in the highest regard.

Don’t Be Generic
When you are creating your mission statement, make sure that it’s unique to the goals and values of your specific company. If you can plug the name of any company into your mission statement, it’s too generic. Make a list of catch phrases and keywords that are unique to the culture of your business, and see how they can fit into your mission statement. Get creative. This often serves as a customer’s first impression of your company. Stand out.

Ask The Foundational Four
Your mission statement is a statement of purpose. It’s not a fluffy, feel-good sentence that people want to put on a bumper sticker. It’s a confident statement that embodies who your company is. As you create your mission statement, make sure it answers these four foundational questions:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we do?
  • For whom do we do it?
  • Why do we do it?

If your customer base can’t answer these four questions after reading your mission statement, it needs to be revised. Customers should be able to know who you are and what value you add to their lives by reading your mission statement. Interview yourself. Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers. Then play with your answers until you can get all of the answers to flow together. That is your mission statement.

Keep Your Customers In Mind
Why do your customers need your service or product? What is your audience looking for in product or service such as yours? How can you let them know, from the get-go, that you have what they need? Your mission statement is a way for your company to stay focused, but it is also the way your customers understand what they can expect from you. Put the words they want to see up close and personal so that there is no question that your company can give them what they need.

Get Expert Help
Maybe you’re a strong business leader, but the idea of sitting down to write a mission statement gives you the heebie-jeebies. Maybe you are a phenomenal public speaker but getting the right words down on paper is something you struggle with. Or maybe you’ve never created a powerful mission statement before. If this is you, don’t just wing it. Join the Next Level: Personal Development Mastermind Group and get the expert advice you need to create a powerful mission statement that will change the course of your business and your life. Seeking out expert advice could mean the difference between a mediocre mission statement and one that truly embodies your company.

Leave your mission statement in the comments below, and we’ll try to guess your business!

I am a firm believer that there is a distinct difference between vision and sight. Sight means you can see what’s in front of or around you. You may need glasses but you can still technically see and don’t require a Seeing Eye dog or a cane to get around. However, just because you can see does not mean you have vision. Very few leaders are actual visionaries. Many leaders aren’t really leaders at all, but managers masquerading as leaders. A manager’s job is to keep everything the same and merely oversee it. A leader’s job is to actually take his or her organization on a journey to another destination, a better place. When you are done leading your organization the end result should be a much better organization.

Vision is totally different than sight. In fact, you can be totally blind and still have great vision. I’m sure you know people who have sight but see things differently than you do. Some people see trouble, they disappointment, or a bad situation; they see what’s wrong with people and situations and not what’s right with people. While some people see a problem, visionaries see tremendous opportunity.

A leader’s job is to provide vision to their organization, not based on what it is today, but what it will become in the future. Visionary leadership is extremely important—no one wants to work with no real purpose. A true leader needs to provide them with that. Visionary leadership should help improve employee engagement, build momentum, and position you as an effective leader who can overcome any and all competition. You must have a great vision for your organization in order to be considered a real leader.

Executive presence is all about “it.” Do you have the “it” factor working for you? Professionals with executive presence can command a room; when they walk into a room, people notice and listen. Do people stop to listen to you?

The key to EP is being perceived as leadership material. EP is a combination of perception and reality. In other words, you look and play the part. If you have the desire or have been frustrated with your lack of advancement, you need to consider improving your executive presence. Look at it this way: about 25% of your job is to master the perception that you are executive material. Here are the 4 keys to executive presence.

1. Communication
Your speaking skills are paramount to mastering EP. Get to Toastmasters as soon as you can and practice. Speak slowly and use big words, but most importantly, speak as an expert in your field. Know your stuff.

2. Assertiveness
Leaders with executive presence know what they want. Not to be confused with being controlling or bossy, lead confidently and adapt to your team. You can’t be flaky or non-committal. You must be decisive.

3. Social Awareness
Social awareness is the ability to read an audience or situation and act accordingly. You know how to handle all types of people in a smooth and delicate manner to keep morale high and conflict low. In each interaction, people respect how you handle yourself and each situation.

4. Appearance
Look like success, look like money. Human nature is powerful; appearance contributes to a person’s perceived executive presence. If you look good, studies show you will make more money. Why? People give you the benefit of the doubt when you pass the eyeball test.


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The old style of leadership is for the king/queen to sit on his/her throne and bark out orders. Anyone that doesn’t comply—off with your head. Sounds like an episode of Games of Thrones, right? But leaders are still leading the same way: figuratively beheading people from a big chair every day. In this dog-eat-dog world, are you behaving like a dog?

The real question is this: do you still subscribe to this archaic form of leadership? If so, no wonder you have low levels of engagement, high turnover, and trust issues on your team. Nobody wants to be beheaded at the town square. Step into the modern day, and lead with a different focus. Smart leaders remove the layers from their organizations and buy in to modern leadership, where your focus will qualify or disqualify you. Do you focus on your people serving you or do you focus on serving your people? Wouldn’t you rather have high engagement, accountability, trust, effective teamwork, and employees who take pride in your company and culture? You can have all this by simply having the right focus. You should serve your most valuable commodity: your workforce. Nothing is more important than that. You must take care of your internal customers first if you want to wow your external customers.

Leaders, your biggest challenge is attracting, developing, and retaining top talent. Do you focus on serving or being served? I think we know the answer to this open-book test. You can stay on your throne and be average, or you can step down to earth and soar as a servant leader.

One of my favorite sayings is: “I’ll hear what you say, but I’ll trust what you do.” I think this is absolutely brilliant. You should use it when you want to feel real smart and savvy as a leader. I first heard it used by college football coach Jerry Kill at the University of Minnesota when he was giving a motivational talk to a room full of business leaders. He was explaining how he communicates and relates to his players. In other words, you can talk all you want about what you are about to do, what you intend to do, and what you promise to do. However, the only way to truly evaluate you as a player and a person is by watching what you actually do. How you operate tells the story about who you really are.

As you know, I am always thinking. This statement is normally used by a leader talking to a subordinate. They’re saying that they’re watching you and will let you know how you’re doing. If I don’t like something you are doing or how you are doing it, I will be sure to stop you dead in your tracks to correct you. Leaders have such a nice seat up on the mountain where everyone comes and kisses our pinky rings and we give them the lay of the land. We make the decisions and everyone waits for us to bark orders. We even get to go home and talk about them to whoever wants to listen. “My office manager just doesn’t get it. My sales manager needs to be more organized. My legal department is too technical.” Blah, blah, blah.

Let’s think about this statement again: “I’ll hear what you say, but I’ll trust what you do.” Can’t your subordinates use that toward you as well? One thing I want to impress upon any leader is that everyone is watching you with a critical eye all of the time. They will hear what you say, but they will trust what you do. Everyone you lead wants to know if you practice what you preach, so here are a few questions for you to make sure you are not the subject of pillow talk. Think about it: we have all had an idiot for a boss, right? Are you someone’s boss right now? If the answer is yes, this means you could be someone’s idiot. Here is what leaders need to be mindful of.

1.  Integrity- Employees and the people you lead pick up on your heart every time you speak. Do you do the right thing at all times? If you cut corners and cheat, you are sending a message to everyone you lead that it is ok to cheat and be unethical.

 2.  Work ethic- Are you working as hard as you expect others to work? Do you crack the whip and then sit back and drink lemonade all day? Make sure you preach hard work and also model hard work.

3.  Commit to excellence- Is average okay? If you want to build a culture of excellence, make sure you model e.xcellence. If average is okay for you, it will be okay for everyone.

4.  Look like the leader- Everyone you lead needs to have confidence in you as a leader if you want them to follow you. It helps for you to look the part to pass the eyeball test. Most people never think about personal appearance, but it is real. Studies show that the better you look and dress, the more money you make.

Why should you do all of this? Because everyone is watching you.

A July 2015 article in Business Insider studied over 500 millionaires, and it states that the one character trait all millionaires have in common is that they are decisive. They can make decisions quickly and stick to them once they are made. You can’t argue the facts, which means that your days of waffling are officially over (if you want to play with the big boys). Make decisions and move on. Being decisive does not mean being hasty; being decisive means knowing when you enough information, making the decision, and moving on. How long do you agonize over decisions?

Why is being decisive so important? Being successful requires all of us to be able to make good decisions. You can’t be successful and make a bunch of dumb decisions. I’m sure every millionaire you know has failed at some point, but they kept trying. Being decisive is not always about getting it right, it’s about your ability to make a call and move on it. We live in a world where people have paralysis by analysis. Average performers lament decisions so long that they literally make a decision through inactivity alone. “I need to do this. I should do that.” We hear people say these things all the time, which is exactly why they aren’t in the conversation. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, so make sure you end up on the right side of the tracks. Here are a few keys to being decisive.

1. Have a clear vision- Successful people are successful because they have clarity about who they are and what they do, so making important decisions can be relatively simple. A clear vision can keep you from doing things that don’t line up with what you do already. A good idea can’t distract a focused professional. It’s easy to be decisive. Successful people are protected from good ideas, which have distracted more people than sex, drugs, or alcohol. A millionaire may love an idea and still say no because they stay in their lane and stick to their vision.

2. Belief system- A strong belief system allows you to be more decisive. What do you believe? If you’re a real estate developer who believes in only buying prime real estate based on your belief system, this allows you to be decisive on investment opportunities. If you love a property but not the location, you can decisively say no because of your belief system. You won’t talk yourself into it.

3. Facts vs. Emotions- Success is not personal. I have seen so many well meaning and intelligent professionals struggle with decision-making because they are led by their emotions instead of facts. In order to be decisive, you can’t be emotional. If you stick to the facts and leave your emotions at home, you can and will become more decisive and make better decisions.