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It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top

Are you trying to go at it alone?

Have you ever felt like you’re going at it alone in your life or business? I think it’s safe to say we probably all have fallen into that mindset at one time in our lives. But what made those successful leaders figure out if you’re lonely at the top, you’re doing it wrong?

This article is going a different than most of my articles because I’m going to be sharing a little of my faith with you. So if that bothers you, then you can skip it. Just warning you.

I promise you as a leader, whether it’s self leadership, which I have learned is often the toughest person to lead or if you’re a business or organizational leader; if you find yourself lonely, it’s not a positional issue, it’s a personality issue.

You’re probably wondering, what does being lonely at the top have anything doing with leadership? It has everything do with it. I’ve heard it best answered, if you’re a leader and no one is following you, then you’re just taking a walk. Although humorous, think about it. Take a look around and ask yourself, who am I following and who is following me? I’ve always believed, you can’t be a great leader if you don’t know how to follow or even if you’re not following someone.

I recently had a close friend of mine remind me of how dangerous and lonely that pit can be. As a man of faith, I know all too well the tricks of the enemy and what sin can lead you to believe about yourself. The trick is that’s exactly where he wants you and he wants you to believe their is no escaping…no hope of change.

In the book of (1 Peter 5:8-10), Peter was writing to God’s chosen people, here he tells us to: “Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore you, secure you, strengthen you, and establish you”.

There is a warning there, did you get it? While God wants you to live a life filled with purpose, the Devil wants the opposite for you. He doesn’t want you to think or care about your thoughts, attitude, words or actions and will trick you into believing you aren’t significant and can go at this life without others, let alone without God. If he gets you to believe your life is without purpose, then you will live a life of sin, out of tune with God. But your life is so significant. God knew you before you were even born. Remember, He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

What I’ve learned and love about leadership and followership is that we need those people in our personal and professional life to follow. We need fellowship for our personal lives and followership in our professional lives. Even if you’re the “leader” at the top, you’re successful not because of yourself, you’re successful because of the people around you…your followers.

In the same aspect as a believer, I can’t fall into that mindset thinking I have to do this alone or the mindset that I’m not good enough.

Think about it, what kind of a leader would leave everyone behind and take a journey alone? A selfish one. When you’re connected to others, you’re able to connect with them versus communicate at them hoping they received the message. Taking people to the top is what good leaders do. Lifting people to a new level is a requirement for effective leadership.

Advice for Lonely Leaders (Taken from Leadership Gold by John C. Maxwell)

If you find yourself too far from your people – either by accident or by design, then you need to change. And the great thing is, you can. There will be risks and pain, and it’s not going to be easy, anything worthwhile shouldn’t be easy. You may have to draw some new stakes in the ground and put up some new borders to protect you and your growth. But if you want to be the most effective leader you can be, there is no viable alternative. Here’s how to get started.

1. Avoid Positional Thinking.

Leadership is relational as much as it is positional. An individual who takes a relational approach to leadership will never be lonely. Don’t be afraid to build new relationships.

2. Realize the Downsides of Success and Failure.

Success can be dangerous but so can failure. Anytime you think of yourself as a success, you start to separate yourself from others you view as less successful. You begin to think, I don’t need to see them, and you withdraw. Ironically, failure also leads to withdrawal, but for other reasons. If you think of yourself as a failure, you avoid others, thinking, I don’t want to see them. Or I don’t want them to get to know the real me or what I’ve done. Both extremes in thinking can create an unhealthy separation from people.

3. Understand That You Are in the People Business. 

The best leaders know that leading people requires loving them. I’ve never met a great leader who didn’t care about people. Good leaders understand that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. You must like people or you will never add value to them. And if you become indifferent to people, you may be only a few steps away from manipulating them. No leader should ever do that.

4. Buy Into the Law of Significance. 

One is too small a number to achieve greatness. No accomplishment of real value has ever been achieved by a human being working alone. I challenge you to think of one. Change your thinking from people don’t work for me, they work with me. Be involved in the process.


1. Are you better at the science or art of leadership?

2. Why do you want to be at the top?

3. How big is your dream and who are going to need to help get you there?

This week’s Challenge: Invite someone to lunch or coffee that you don’t know or don’t know very well within your organization and get to know them.

What does investing in others look like from your viewpoint? How have you brought others up as you’ve moved up in your business or organization? What are you learning about others or even better, what are you learning about yourself?

7 Reasons to join a mastermind group

Are you ready to reach your potential?

Mastermind groups are relatively new to most people, even though Napoleon Hill created the concept around 75 years ago with his book, Think and Grow Rich. A mastermind group is designed to help you navigate through challenges using the collective intelligence of others.
How does a mastermind work? A group of like-minded people meet regularly to tackle challenges and problems together. They lean on each other, give advice, share connections and do business with each other when appropriate. It’s very much peer-to-peer mentoring and if you are lucky enough to get invited to one, you will most likely see a marked change in yourself and your business.

Here are 7 reasons why a mastermind might be right for you:
1. You’ll be part of an exclusive community. Joining a mastermind typically involves you being invited by the members or going through an application process. The other members need you just as much as you need them, so quality of experience and knowledge is crucial to all involved.
2. Advisement. Once you are involved in a mastermind, that feeling of “being alone” while running your business or achieving a life-long dream or goal is gone. The other members of the group turn into business advisors of sorts and vice versa.
3. Collaboration is the name of the game. You may find someone in the group that is a perfect fit to work on a project with you. Or, you may be the perfect person to help another member as well. The group works together collaboratively, to achieve more together.
4. Extend your network. Joining a mastermind expands your network exponentially and rapidly. If you are in business, you know how important your network is. By joining a mastermind, you instantly add to your network and typically gain the networks of those in the group with you.
5. New learning. Everyone in the mastermind is unique in skill, experience and connections. By interacting and sharing your challenges, it’s almost certain that someone in your mastermind will have a solution for you and you may also be able to offer a solution, connection or tactic to help another in the group.
6. Cross-promotion. When you join a mastermind, you will most likely find ways to help each other by utilizing cross promotion. Finding ways to help each other through promoting to your respective networks.
7. Think BIGGER. Being in a mastermind will truly give you a Master Mind! You can’t help but think bigger and stretch beyond your boundaries when surrounded by amazing people doing amazing things.
Masterminds are incredible and can do wonders for your business as well as for you, personally. Growing in a group is not only more effective, it’s quite a bit more fun!

Are you ready to get started?
Join me April 30th for a 5-week virtual mastermind study where we will be exploring The 15 Invaluable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. John C. Maxwell says in order to reach your potential; you must be intentional about your personal growth.  In this group, you will hear directly from John Maxwell on how you can apply the time-tested and proven Laws of Growth to unleash your abilities and realize your dreams! I’m limiting the size of this group to only 15 people. You can sign up by registering below.
Eventbrite - The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth Study

This training curriculum will help you understand how personal growth really works, and how you can develop yourself to become a more effective and fulfilled individual. You will learn how to build up your sense of purpose and become more successful in every area of your life. Come alongside John in your growth journey to become the person you are destined to be!

Focus….What do you see?

Take a good look at the world…what amazing and great things do you desire to create for yourself? What do you want your life to look like, 1, 3, 5 years from now? What do you look like? How do you dress? Where do you live? What’s your schedule look like?   Maybe it’s an ideal relationship, a beautiful home, a meaningful career or business, a healthy family, to travel the world…whatever it may be, you must be able first begin to close the gap on the idea that you are separate from those things. You must see them within you. You must see that you hold all of the potential and resources necessary to create them within you. Do you see all the determination, focus, persistence, patience, and courage within you to create what you want to be, do, and have in your life? It’s all there… call them out.

“Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside yourself” – Jacob Bigelow

Vision is a wonderful thing. You can often recognize your personal vision because it creates moments where it pulls you forward towards your goal and makes all the work worthwhile. It can be said that nothing happens until there is vision. But it equally true that a vision with no underlying sense of purpose, no calling, is just a good idea – all “sound and fury” signifying nothing”.

Peter Senge, one of my favorite authors on this topic, writes “vision is multifaceted. There are material facets of our visions, such as where we want to live and how much money we want to have in the bank. There are personal facets, such as health, freedom, and being true to ourselves. There are service facets, such as helping others or contributing to the state of knowledge in a field. All are part of what we truly want.”

People often struggle talking about their vision because they are acutely aware of the gap between their vision and their current reality. But think a about it, shouldn’t there be a gap? Gaps are not necessarily a bad thing because of the energy it can produce. Senge writes there is a creative source of energy that can be found in this gap. Because if there was no gap, there would be no need for any action to take place.

The Law of the Rubber Band

Imagine a rubber band, stretched between your vision and your current reality. When stretched, the rubber band creates tension, representing the tension between vision and current reality. What does tension seek? Resolution or release. There are only two possible ways for the tension to resolve itself: pull reality toward the vision or pull the vision toward reality. Which occurs will depend on whether we hold steady to the vision.

My mentor and author, John C. Maxwell wrote the Law of the Rubber Band in the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. He writes, “Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be”.

So where are you? And how much tension are you holding between your current reality and the vision you hold for the different facets in your life?

This is an important step to make whether its individual growth and organizational growth. If you’re not sure where you’re at or you’re unsure of your vision, contact me. I would love to help you grow further.

Lean Into Your Potential

Just an Inch!!

Lean In – to – your potential

When you think of leaning in…what do you think of?

Immediately, I don’t think of what I’m leaning into as much as what I’m leaning out of.

That can be a little scary for some, I’m sure. But what I’ve learned and am continuing to learn is that most people simply don’t know what they don’t know because of their own lack of awareness or more commonly, they like their comfort zone where they can remain in control.

But if you lean in just an inch into your potential or your dreams, into your family, friends or even God?  What would happen?  What would that even look like for you to just lean into those areas in your life that will better it? That would boost your self-esteem and bring you closer to that hidden part of you that no one knows about or may even be lost right now because you haven’t given it much attention but you wish you could.

This is where I’m going to challenge you on what you don’t know and hopefully raise some awareness in this next question. What’s stopping you from leaning in?

What’s one small intentional step you could take this week to bring you closer?

It could be pain, fear, worry, etc. One of my mentors and fellow author, Kary Oberbrunner writes in his book, The Deeper Path that:

“One emotion infects us all–pain. But although pain comes naturally, dealing with it doesn’t. Many cope by masking their pain, pushing it below the surface and self-medicating it with apathy, aggression, and addictions. Unfortunately, these strategies only numb our pain and our potential, creating space between us and our purpose. Although we can’t escape pain, Oberbrunner believes that the path of recovery begins when we stop avoiding the ache and instead choose to explore, unmask, and understand our deepest wounds. The answer is not to rid our lives of pain, but to learn how to let our hurts lead us to healing”.

It’s within this discovery I’ve learned can be our greatest success and breakthrough in areas of personal growth and development.  But by continuing to avoid the places that scare you or even areas where you don’t believe in yourself for whatever the reason, only allows you to grow further away from your potential and allows those fears to win.

I hope this has inspired you to take action.  Remember nothing happens until you ACT.  If you would like to discuss this further, contact me today.  I’d love to help you think bigger and break out of yourself.  You can contact me directly by clicking here.

It’s time to A.C.T!

The A stands for ACTION.  What inspired action will you take today?

The C stands for CHANGE.  What purposeful change will you make today?

The T stands for TEACH.  What can you teach someone else today?

The 3 keys to being a more effective leader.

When you think of a great leader, what is it about them that makes them so great? How did their leadership shape your own thoughts and beliefs? How did they lead you and your team to be so effective? I’ve learned it’s often a result of such effective leaders who can forever alter the course of your life and the way you live it.

Last week was Super Bowl 51 and I was watching the way Tom Brady led this team back to a successful 34-28 victory. Under the leadership of Coach Bill Belichick, Brady and the entire New England Patriots have now claimed their fifth Super Bowl victory. But what makes the Patriots so successful and how did they create this winning team?

I believe it started with great leadership who strategically invested in the individual strengths of each player on the team. In a Gallup research study, findings showed three common results why they follow the most influential leader.

1. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.

Strengths Based Leadership by Rath (2016) states, when leaders focus on and invest in their employee’s strengths, the odds of each person being engaged goes up eightfold.

Why would you invest in the weaknesses of your team? I know this sounds counter intuitive, but imagine the New England Patriots offense switching sides with their defense? Or putting their running backs on the offensive line and their lineman as running backs or wide-receivers? They probably wouldn’t be that effective, would they? Or engaged with even participating because what you’re having them do isn’t their natural strengths, what they are naturally good at.

I played football in High School and always wanted to be the running back, the guy who ran the ball, making cuts and scoring the endzone. However, my moves weren’t that sharp or fast. I then started to understand what I was naturally good at as well understanding how it takes an entire team to make our running back be able to do that.

2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team.

Effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and build on each other’s strengths. As leaders, it’s your responsibility to know yourself and your people and what’s expected of your team . This starts with awareness. While the best leaders are not well-rounded, the best teams are. My mentor John C. Maxwell says teamwork makes the dream work. However, it requires you to be intentional about surrounding yourself with the right people who can make your team an effective one. Tom Brady surrounded himself with a team of players who could maximize his team and his efforts.

This also requires knowing what is needed for your team to be effective, i.e. what strengths you need. Successful leaders are strategic when putting together their teams because they know the skills needed for the team to be effective. You can’t have a bunch of quarterbacks and expect to win. The same is true in your business or organization. There are many roles and responsibilities within every organization. Be strategic in how you are building your team.

3. The most effective leaders understand their follower’s needs.

I believe this is to be a critical part of team building that often gets overlooked. Do you care about the emotional development of your people? Do you know what they need to grow and be effective? People follow leaders for very specific reasons. Think about it – when you think of a leader you would follow, what is it about their leadership? What do they provide for you? In Gallup’s study, Rath (2015) states, followers were able to answer this question with remarkable clarity.

Leaders who are successful in this know how to invest in their teams because they are aware of what they need in order to grow and be successful. They know their people and how they operate best. This really speaks to being a servant leader and putting others first before yourself.

So what are your strengths? And what are the strengths of your team? Do you know them? Would you like to? The best advice I received when I was first got into a leadership position was “you take care of your people and they’ll take care of you”. Getting to know your people can be an easy task, it requires being intentional and authentic about getting to know them and then learn how to add value to them and their strengths as you lead them. Do this and you’ll learn how to lead like the New England Patriots.

If you would like to learn more about adding value to your team or organization and would like to learn how you an work with me. Contact me today by messaging me directly. Also be sure to subscribe to my weekly leadership series by subscribing here.


Regardless of your position, title or industry, leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. I believe this to be true. However, to grow as a leader, I believe their is one important element you MUST be doing as a leader regardless where you’re at in your career or organization. This one thing is something only you can do and can’t rely on others to do it for you.

It is a question you should be regularly asking yourself and it is: Am I investing in myself? This is a question of personal growth…about your personal growth. My mentor and leadership expert, John C. Maxwell states, there are 3 main factors that determine if and how you will invest in yourself. In his book, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, Maxwell lists these factors as:

1. Your self-image: How you see yourself.
How do you view yourself? Would you be the type of leader you would want to follow? Do you serve others before serving yourself? Are you a positive person to be around or do people avoid you? This should be an easy question to answer…if you’re honest enough with yourself. If you were to describe yourself, what words would you use? What you don’t realize is how you view yourself determines how you will invest in yourself. And the way you view yourself will always match how much you invest in yourself. If you were to rate yourself as a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, this also describes your willingness to invest in yourself and this will never change. Which explains why those with low self-esteem usually don’t make great investments in themselves because they feel like they’re not worthy of. Maxwell writes, “its not what you are that keeps you from investing in yourself; it’s what you think you are or are not. You will never be able to bet on yourself unless you believe in yourself.

2. Your dream: How you see your future.
I often ask people what their dreams are and I often hear, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” or sometimes even “I don’t have one”. If you don’t know what you want in life or how you want your future to look like, how do you know you’re on the right path in life, in your career, etc? Furthermore, if you’re not dreaming, how do you know what its going to take to achieve it. Maxwell writes, “The size of your dream determines the size of your investment. If your dream is large, you will invest in yourself to achieve it”. If you have no dream, you may not invest in yourself at all. Your dreams should fuel your desire to grow. I’m reading “Chase the Lion” right now by Mark Batterson and he writes, “You are one idea, one risk, one decision away from a totally different life. Of course, it’ll probably be the toughest decision you ever make, the scariest risk you ever take. But if your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” This is where your faith and how much you believe in that dream will fuel you.

3. Your friends: How others see you.
I once took the Leadership Circle Assessment – this is a powerful 360 assessment that assesses your creative competencies and reactive tendencies as a leader. It shows how you view yourself and compares it with how others view you in those same components. I was surprised to see how others viewed me, especially in areas where I scored myself low, they saw them as some of my greatest strengths and where I thought I was strong, they showed I needed some improvement in. It can be a highly beneficial tool to your personal growth to participate in these kinds of assessments because they can unlock the realities and raise your awareness. Author and Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, Darren Hardy says,

“Picture where you are at in any area of your life, right now. Now picture where you want to be: richer, thinner, happier, you name it. Do you have it? The first step toward change is AWARENESS. If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, you have to start by becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired location. And become very conscious of every choice you make today so you can begin to make smarter choices moving forward”.

Use the people around you for the growth you need. The people around you and in your inner circle can be very valuable to your growth but you have to be ready to accept their feedback. If you can get feedback, USE IT, don’t get mad. Maxwell writes, “People need others to help them stay inspired and growing. Missionary Doctor Albert Schweitzer asserted, “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flames by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirits”. If you have friends who light your inner fire, you are very fortunate’ they will make you want to keep investing in yourself and keep growing. If you don’t, find some, because nothing is more important for your potential as a leader than your daily personal growth.

This last one can be very challenging but it’s essential to take a look at your inner circle. Your potential as a leader is determined by those closest to you. This is the Law of the Inner Circle. Those around you, have influence over you whether directly or indirectly and how they see you can inspire you or bring you down. Its important to have those around you who will add to your investment in your own personal growth.

If you enjoyed this article and it has been helpful to you as a leader, be sure to sign up for my weekly Leadership Insights by clicking here.

If you would like to learn more about investing in your personal growth including information on how you can take the Leadership Circle assessment, be sure contact me by clicking here.


What is Professional Coaching?

In order to effectively apply coaching to transformation, it would be helpful to understand what coaching is and how valuable a coach can be for your growth and success.

What is Coaching?

When I think of coaching, I think of it as a conversation that helps people think things through, it helps you think bigger because of the powerful questions the Coach is asking in order to get you to begin thinking bigger. Coaching engages people to raise their awareness of the limiting beliefs which may be holding them captive or influencing them in some way. A coach can help people explore areas they may have never gone to before as well as help them develop a plan of action to get to where they would like to go.  

A coach can be a catalyst and an important element in the process of accelerating change. Coaching is very different from consulting or counseling because the focus isn’t about the coach’s experience like that of a consultant or focused on past hurts like that of a counselor.

A Coach is: 

  • A partner for a period of time to come alongside you to help you get to where you would like to go in your life, career or business
  • Is focused on your growth and success
  • Listens and believes in you, your value, and your potential in life
  • Helps you discover your potential and helps you move forward with it
  • Helps you see your vision in life and then helps you develop a plan to move toward them.

A Coach Is Not:

A person who focuses on addressing past issues or that gives you advice. Not like a: teacher, trainer, facilitator, counselor, therapist, consultant, advisor, mentor, or a good friend. Below is a table of descriptions I’ve used to show the differences between coaching and other forms of practice.

Would you or your organization like to experience the value of a coach or does your company need leadership training? If you know someone who does or who would benefit from coaching or leadership training, would you introduce me to them? Have them contact me.

I hope you found this helpful. If you would like to experience the value of coaching, contact me for a FREE coaching session. I would love to help you grow and experience how coaching can help you make your 2017 the best year yet.

2016 Review

December 31st, 2016

It’s the final day of the year.

This has been one of my greatest years. I’ve made several accomplishments and am looking forward to what 2017 holds.

A year ago, I was preparing for my final project in my Graduate program. I remember preparing for this course months in advance. After studying several hundred leaders, authors, coaches, styles of leadership, I wanted to create something that culminated my experience and something I could use as a leadership expert. However, when I had the opportunity to travel with John C. Maxwell and over 250 other leadership coaches and speakers to Paraguay to help transform their nation by teaching them values based leadership, I saw what leadership was about. In those 5 long days, we trained over 15,000 leaders by teaching them how to facilitate round table discussions on values based leadership and intentional living. These 5 days changed my life and how I thought about leadership. It was here, I birthed not only final project but I found my calling and knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life.

The thing I love about leadership is that it is universal and leaders are needed all over the world. Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. I saw one of the poorest, yet happiest nations in South America welcome us with open arms and participate in something they didn’t know. I had never experienced a more hungry community of people who desperately wanted to transform their nation, communities, businesses, and most importantly change the way they believed in leadership.

Just like anything else. A lasting vision starts not only from the top but requires the top to join in and collectively learn alongside. I saw this in Paraguay. I met with congressmen, police and city officials, teachers and professors, healthcare professionals, bankers, and even a group of dance instructors who were getting ready for Carnival. Every person I met with had influence within their respective community and they were joining in to learn how they could help transform their nation one intentional conversation at a time. They knew it wasn’t going to happen over night, but they were willing to invest in themselves and the effort necessary to hope, dream and believe for something different.

Change can be challenging, but great leaders who lead from within can help their teams overcome obstacles that can lead to success. I saw all of this within those five days and this set my life in 2016 into an incredible year of growth.

After I returned, I remember thinking, I just tasted something significant and I can’t go back to the comfortable life I lived before. I wanted to help leaders grow and experience the kind of change I had just experienced. As a coach, that’s what I do, I help leaders gain awareness that can lead to where they and/or their companies want to go. I started sharing my story and had the opportunity to share it with a major media outlet that shared it with over 250,000 people. I immediately started creating a coaching program that would teach leaders the value of coaching and mentoring and how it could add value to their own personal and professional growth and help lead the people they had influence over in their organizations and communities. This program would teach them the skills to learn how to be ask powerful questions and be effective listeners and how each of these skills could benefit them and their people.

It took me 4 months to create this project and I was incredibly pleased with its results. From there, in May, I graduated and completed my Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership in Coaching and Mentoring. I DID IT!!! Then I took 10 days and went to the Outer Banks, NC with my family and had one of the best vacations of my life. You could say I needed it.

In June, I had been accepted into the Coast Guard’s Reserve Officer Course and accepted my commission as a Reserve Officer. This was another accomplishment I had been working on for sometime and in July had graduated and received my commission. In August, I was asked to return on Active duty for a project and move out of DC back to Virginia Beach. This was a hard decision because I was doing what I went to school for in DC, I was working with a great organization that invested in their leaders but it wasn’t the right environment for me to grow in. So I chose to accept and moved back to Virginia Beach. This move has turned out to be a great move for me as it’s given me the capacity to really do what I wanted to do. Since moving down here, I’ve reconnected with Regent University, started networking with community leaders, launched my coaching and mentoring company, started making new relationships and even hired my own business coach that’s been helping me get clear about my business plan and how I can help leaders and organizations who are ready to grow. 

If I could choose one word for 2016, it would be “Intentional”. Every opportunity I had, I took it and was very intentional about my growth, the environment I needed to be in, my inner circle and those who were influencing me and making the moves necessary for me to thrive in. I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, growth never is.

But if you want to grow, you have to be intentional about it. Anyone can wish or have good intentions, but once you commit to it, that’s when real change starts to occur.

It’s been an exciting season to be in and I’m looking forward to what 2017 has to offer and how I’m going to be used to help other leaders learn how to be intentional about their growth too.

That being said, do you need a coach or does your company need leadership training? If you know someone who does or who could benefit from coaching or leadership training, would you introduce me to them? Have them contact me.

Also, if you would like to experience the value of coaching, contact me for a free coaching session. I would love to help you grow and experience how coaching can help you make your 2017 the best year yet.

Happy New Year!!!

John Mullins

Succession Planning – 4 disciplines to develop your legacy

succession“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” – John C. Maxwell

You might be thinking, what does this have anything to do with Succession Planning? Everything!

When I worked within the government sector, we created a succession planning program within our agency after many months of trying to figure out how to do it. Just bringing up the topic made people uncomfortable because of how challenging it can be within the government. Although challenging, I think they were missing the point.

As a leader, I believe you should always be preparing for your replacement. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away, but it does mean you’re creating the type of leader your organization will need when the time does come to replace you. You do this by adding value and opportunities for their future growth and success by showing them the way.

In the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell, the Law of Legacy says, “A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession. In other words, your legacy is really only achieved if it continues after you’re gone.

As a leader, you know the way and have gone the way yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in the position you’re in. But showing the way to others, this is what your legacy will say about you after you left.

To live out this law, there are four disciplines to develop your leadership legacy.

Know the legacy you want to leave.
It’s your legacy, you get to decide what it is. When you move on, are you leaving your organization in a better state than when you started? What do you want to be remembered by? What will others say about you after you left?

Live the legacy you want to leave.
Living the legacy you want to leave is about consistently being intentional. You can’t just have good intentions about it; you have to be intentional on a daily basis. I learned a long time ago, people do what people see. Combined with influence, you can do much more than teach what you know; you can reproduce the kind of leader you are. If you’re going to grow others, you have to be intentional.

Choose who will carry on your legacy. mentoring2
Who are you adding value to? Are you mentoring others and create opportunities for them to learn, make mistakes and grow. Are you teaching others the difference between good intentions and being intentional? When given the opportunity to lead, I believe you should always be looking for those to mentor.

Make sure you pass the baton.succession-planning
This can be the hardest part for leaders to give up but when it’s time, it’s time. If you’ve done your job as a leader, you should feel confident knowing you created the leaders who will continue to be the kind of leader your organization needs to thrive and continue to succeed.

In my Coast Guard career, I’ve have some leaders who’ve added tremendous amounts of value to my success and growth as a leader and some leaders who simply liked the title of leader. Still I wouldn’t be who I am today because of them or what they taught me. But there was one leader in particular that started preparing the future leaders of the Coast Guard long before he had ever planned on retiring. If you were to ever say his name amongst those he lead, I can guarantee they would all agree that lived the law of legacy. He probably started adding value to others by his example early in his career because someone left their legacy on him. When I was a young petty officer, he pulled me into his office once and showed me how the Commanding Officer made his decisions and what he looked for. He was consistently intentional about making opportunities for those under his influence to learn, grow and develop. Most of the time, he did this without any title, position or even wanting any recognition. He did this because he knew that leadership wasn’t a title or position, it was influence. This leader demonstrated these four disciplines so much so that when he retired from the service, he had created a following of his mentees throughout the service who were all now in leadership positions carrying on the legacy he started.

Succession planning isn’t something you start at the end of your career, it’s something you start the beginning of it.