Monthly Archives: November 2011

Music to my ears.

“…._______ is music to my ears.”

The most important part in the previous sentence is the “blank“________. The goal of every leader, husband, and dad is to determine what that “blank” is and provide a means to fill it. Fill in the blank and music enters the recipient’s ears.

The first commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” God asks for the blank to be filled with us loving with heart, soul, mind, and strength – THAT is music to His ears.

This leads to an interesting take on the second commandment, The Golden Rule. When you love your neighbor as yourself, you leave your shoes, enter your neighbors shoes, and ask “would that, fill in the blank, be music these shoes would dance to?”

A husband that loves his wife like he loves himself, a dad that loves his daughter like he loves himself, and a leader that loves his customer like he loves himself composes music that his wife, daughter, and client have no choice but to moonwalk to.

The scriptures claim “There is no commandment greater than these.” Focus on these two commandments and the music will play.

He who fills in the blank is bestowed the title of maestro – and any business, parenting, and relationship plan that follows this blueprint wins.

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Do you want to color?

“Do you want to color?”

No other question stops a child in their tracks like this question. In fact, I saw it in person yesterday.

Scenario:

Mom is alone with three young girls and trying to maintain order.

The youngest of the girls is deep in play mode with a fresh new toy…she’s content.

The middle sister is crying because her older sister won’t share the mom’s iPhone…she’s jealous.

The oldest sister couldn’t care less about the middle sister crying, and a game of Angry Birds has her happy…oxymoronic, but par for the course – she’s the queen bee.

After the middle child cries uncontrollably for a while, the mom asks, “do you want to color?”

In a moment – time froze, the tears dried, and the middle child was enamored with colored pencils and drawing on a sheet of white paper. Jealous was given a creative outlet and found contentment.

Within sixty seconds the oldest sister drops the iPhone, grabs another sheet of paper, takes a colored pencil from pile, and begins to draw.

In another sixty seconds the youngest sister leaves the Happy Meal souvenir, takes her own sheet of paper, and joins the creative movement with her sisters.

The mom in this story was leading her children. What started as mass chaos, ended in orderly color creation.

This story casts a shadow that covers us all at some point. There is something hidden deep in our humanity that longs to draw, create, add color, and paint on the blank canvas. We all long to produce something out of the nothing.

As leaders we need to offer more boxes of Crayons and blank-white sheets of paper to those we are looking to lead. Sure, it’s OK to offer vision and direction – we have to – we are the leader. But first, we must offer an invitation to art class. Gifting our followers with trinkets (toys and iPhones) is not near as valuable as gifting our followers with freedom (paint and canvas).

We will begin to dent the world as leaders when our proverbial refrigerators are covered in the daily art of those we long to lead.

PS – Be sure to stockpile magnets to post their art on your refrigerator. Your followers love knowing you are proud of them and their work.

Information: The Commodity that Changes the World

In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Typically, we think of things like oil, wheat, or corn – the things that we fill our stomachs and cars with.

But what about information? This may take a mind-shift, but what if information was looked at as a commodity?

Go back to the definition of a commodity. Not only can it satisfy, but it can also be produced and marketed. Or put it another, create and find great information (content), share it with your customers (marketing), and they will be raving fans (satisfaction).

Here’s a quick glimpse into the historical portals that information has been pushed in. First, information was passed down from grandfather to father to son and so on. Then information was written on the cave walls. Then information was moved by the Pony Express. Then information was printed in the newspaper. Then information was ported through the telegraph.  Then information was shared on the radio. Then information was pushed through the television. Then the Internet, then blogs, and now Twitter. Each step the status quo was tsunami-struck and the landscape looked nothing like it did in the previous hour.

Information is the most valuable commodity, and the markets can never trade it because you and I already own it. Push with this commodity and you will pull the wants and needs of others.

Websites win when this commodity owns the splash page. Only then can you ask, “may I have your information?”

Relationships flourish when this commodity abounds. The more we know about each other, the better we can serve one another.

Fill your mind and stomach with this commodity and only then will you know how to change the world. Give the world this commodity and it will change with you and your crusade. Of course the challenge here is finding and giving the right information, but that’s a conversation we can’t wrap our hands around until we’ve first had this conversation.

Tortoise and the Hare

The story never changes – the tortoise always wins.

The tortoise is not shiny, sexy, or loud – and he’s often overlooked. Until the day comes when he breaks through the finish line and world calls him an overnight success.

The tortoise walks in work ethic, speaks in leadership, feels in logic, and sees in focus.

Creativity = Buzz

It’s more about doing what you think, not doing what you’re told.
It’s more about exposing what your mind has seen, not repeating what your eyes have seen or ears have heard.

True creativity creates “have you heard about???” vs. “been there done that”.
Music, art, and business that lead with creativity always own the market buzz.

So give the eyes and ears of the world something to hear and look at that your mind created – the Muse has flashed it there for that reason.

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