The Barrett Leadership Blog

The Barrett Leadership Blog allows those of you who have read my books or have utilized The Barrett Center for Leadership Development, LLCâ„¢ services another means to immerse yourself in the conversation of leadership and organizational development. Therefore, I encourage you to participate in an open and honest manner so that you can continue to develop your leadership from the inside out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Financial Leadership Series (Part 2): Understanding Stocks



After having read Part 1 of this Financial Leadership Series, I hope you have chosen to play more of the role of a vendor in your life. If you have chosen to do so, you may already be finding yourself with more monetary capital to play around with. Decision time: You can choose to go back to primarily playing the role of a consumer (spending all or most of that hard earned money on unnecessary or extravagant products and/or services), or you can choose to put that money to work for you. To be fair, you should enjoy some of the money you worked so hard to earn, so take time to treat yourself, but don't over do it. Now, put the bulk..., I mean the rest of that money to work for you long-term (15-30 years out).


Where should you put that money, you ask? Why, the U.S. Stock Market of course. Now, I know some of you may be intimidated by the stock market because of horror stories that you may have heard from friends or the news, as well as the thought of losing your own money in the market, especially now that the market has taken a downturn. But the truth is that this is the best time to get in. It's always a good time to get into the market when stock prices are low, as long as you have a good grasp of how the market works and are knowledgeable about the companies from which you are purchasing stocks. Switch roles for a moment, in your role as an informed consumer wouldn't it make sense to conduct your shopping when the items you are familiar with go on sale? Well, the stock market is very similar to the supermarket or the mall in that regard.


Now, I am not endorsing investing in the stock market, but other than real estate (which is really taking a beating right now and traditionally underperforms the Dow), where else are you going to invest your hard earned money? Did you say the bank? Wrong answer, banks are one of the worst places to put your money in for long-term growth, because their interest rates (or rate of returns) tend to be very low. They barely surpass the yearly rise in inflation, if at all. And about that mattress that you were thinking about stashing your money under, there's absolutely no return on investment there, only easy access for withdrawals, so forget about that too.


If you really want to create a healthy financial picture, you need to include equities/stocks (shares of ownership in publicly traded companies) in your investment portfolio. It is true that investing in the stock market can be risky, especially if you make uninformed decisions. But, this should not be one of your issues, as the sole purpose of this Financial Leadership Series is about increasing your financial IQ as it pertains to understanding the stock market. In order to achieve this outcome, the financial whiz kids of ThrasherFunds.com, will teach you the basics about stocks and how the stock market works. So, please listen intently, keeping in mind that your end goal is to create a healthy financial picture for your life.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Financial Leadership Series.




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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Financial Leadership Series (Part I): Capitalism-Are You Primarily A Consumer Or A Vendor?


As many of you know, The Barrett Leadership Blog is committed to you developing your leadership in several areas of your life. One such area is finance, as your understanding, or lack thereof will have a tremendous impact on your quality of life and well-being. I am sure that many of you already know this. So, I won't belabor that point. Still, many of us don't understand our economic system, the role that we tend to play in it, and how that role affects our quality of life and well-being.

To begin, for those that don't already know, America is a capitalistic country, meaning that its economic system revolves around the accumulation and distribution of resources and services for profit. For example, this transactional process occurs every time you purchase (economic transaction) that new pair of sneakers, a gallon of milk, a new CD, or even get a haircut (resources=products and/or services) from a vendor. In keeping with this example, the vendors hypothetically could be Nike, Pathmark, Walmart, and your local barber (distribution), respectively.

The importance of understanding this transactional process is that you need to know what role you usually play in these transactions. Are you primarily a consumer (who diminishes his/her monetary capital by constantly purchasing products and/or services from vendors), or are you primarily a vendor (who gains monetary capital by selling his/her products and/or services for a profit to consumers)? Now let's be honest, capitalism was designed so that everyone would be a consumer to some degree, as we all require food, shelter, and clothing as basic necessities. And being that no one person owns everything, we all have to play the role of consumer from time to time. But, how often does one play the role of consumer is the key question?

Simple logic dictates that the vendor (the individual who's primary role in this economic transaction is to sells his/her products and/or services for a profit more than he/she purchases) will naturally accumulate more monetary capital over a lifetime than the consumer (the individual who's primary role in this economic transaction is to spend his/her monetary capital on products and/or services sold by the vendor more than he/she sells). As you can see with this analysis, if one wants to accumulate monetary capital and maintain a healthy financial picture, it behoves him/her to take on the primary role of the vendor. Therefore, it is essential that you carefully and honestly assess and acknowledge which role you tend to play in this exchange. Be clear, neither role is right or wrong. But, if you are unhappy with your financial picture, chances are you are primarily playing the role of a consumer in this transaction, and need to alter your thinking and behavior.

With this in mind, you need to ask yourself some very important questions in order to assess which role you tend to play as well as its impact on your life?

  • Do I tend to play the role of consumer in these economic transactions? If so, why?
  • How often am I a vendor in these economic transactions? If rarely, why?
  • Which of these roles do I tend to play in my life?
  • Am I comfortable primarily playing this role in my life? If not, why?
  • How does primarily playing this role in my life impact my finances, happiness, and well-being?
  • If negatively, am I willing to alter my tendency to play this particular role in future economic transactions? If not, why?

Again, I am not here to judge how anyone spends his/her money, but do understand that if you are not aware of your role in this transactional process, you will be at its mercy. Therefore, assessing and understanding your tendency to play a particular role in these transactions is essential to developing your financial leadership and turning your financial outlook around.

In order to develop our financial leadership, we must understand how the economic system that we live by works. With this in mind, I am inviting you to join me in a 5-part Financial Leadership Series. This essay (Part 1) served the purpose of waking you up to the fact that America operates in a capitalistic economic system that feeds off of one type of individual (the consumer) and rewards another (the vendor). As you assess and acknowledge the role that you tend to play in this economic system, I hope you choose to alter it and empower yourself financially if you deem it beneficial to do so. Any positive shift in your financial leadership will naturally give way to the rest of this series, which will focus on educating you on the bedrock of this capitalistic system (The U.S. Stock Market). As we move through the rest of this series you will be given key information that will hopefully instill in you a greater sense of understanding and confidence when it comes to investing in the U.S. stock market. The goal of this series is to get you from simply being a consumer to being a vendor in all aspects of economic trade.

Most of us want to be happy. And by now, I am sure that life has taught most of us that having a bright financial picture has a lot to do with that. With the increasing numbers of billionaires around the world, there is more than enough monetary capital to go around for most of us to live a quality life, but for most of us a change in thinking and behavior in regards to our finances is necessary if we are to get any part of it. I know, I know, some of you are saying finance talk, how boring. But not so fast, guided by my commentary, much of the information that will be delivered to you will be facilitated by ThrasherFunds.com (a fund management group geared toward the generation Y and X consumer base, with a MTV delivery appeal). So, trust me, you wont be bored. But, before you go any further, evaluate your current financial situation. And be brutally honest with yourself:

  • Is your financial situation where you want it to be? If not, why?
  • Is it on track to be where you want it to be? If not, why?
  • If your financial situation is off track, do you want to get it back on track?
  • Are you willing to make the necessary changes to get your finances back on track?
If this conversation depresses you, don't let it. You can always fix your finances, but it will require that you first assess and acknowledge the role you tend to play in our economic system, and then alter your thinking and behavior in such a way that it is beneficial to your financial picture. A little hint-Cut back on being a consumer, and increase your role as a vendor. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Financial Leadership Series.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Engage And Educate The Future Leaders Of The World To Address Its Many Challenges: All Of Our Children Can Be Global Leaders With The Proper Guidance


One's education or knowledge base is the foundation from which everything emanates. Contrary to our country's capitalistic ideals, an education is not simply a sheepskin in hand to get a good paying job, but rather a training of the mind that one can utilize to address the many challenges of the world. You see, our intellect (facilitated by our education/knowledge base) is humanity's competitive advantage. We are nowhere near the strongest, fastest, or biggest specie on the planet, yet we enjoy dominance. If not for our intellect (ability to learn, create, and address life's challenges) we would be at the mercy of the lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! If not for our ability to learn, we would not be able to recognize oncoming weather patterns from past storms, leaving us at the mercy of mother nature's wrath. If not for our ability to create, we would still be living in caves, instead of building modern civilizations with ever-improving conveniences. Without the use of our intellect to address life's challenges, our curiosity and concern alone would not have been enough to stamp out diseases like polio that once plagued humanity.

It is our ability to learn, create, and solve problems through the attainment of knowledge that sets human beings apart from other species (that tend to rely on natural physical attributes and instinct). Sadly, many of us do not develop our intellect enough to address many of the challenges that the world faces (such as hunger, disease, violence, inequality, and poverty). Luckily, there are pockets of forward-thinking adults around the world feverishly engaging and educating the young minds of today so that they can be the leaders of tomorrow that will address challenges such as these. Still, there are questions that arise.

  • In what state are the young minds of today in?
  • Are they even aware of the challenges of the world? If not, is anything being done to make them aware?
  • Do they understand the impact that these challenges have on humanity's well-being? If not, what is being done to help them understand?
  • Are they willing to take on the challenges of the world?
  • What are young people of today doing to prepare themselves to be this world's next set of leaders?
  • And what are the leaders and teachers of today doing to prepare our young people for the challenges they will face?
The video below will introduce you to one of these pockets of adults who are training the future leaders of the world. This is just one program of many that is trying to inform and educate tomorrow's leaders by stressing the importance of continuous learning and communicating openly and honestly across racial, gender, religious, and national barriers so that humanity can come together to address global issues. So please take a seat, and yes, invite your leaders of tomorrow to join you. Afterward, discuss what you have watched with them to get their grasp of the challenges that the world faces, as well as their views on them. Keep questions such as these in mind during your discussion:


  • What are some of the challenges they believe the world faces?
  • Are these issues being talked about at their schools? If not, can anything be done to introduce these issues in their schools?
  • Are they talking about these issues with friends? If not, why?
  • Do they feel powerless to do anything about these challenges? If so, why?
  • Do they have any ideas that could be further developed to possibly address any of these issues?

After discussing with your future leaders' their views, insights, and facility with the challenges facing the world, assess whether they are sufficiently aware and understand these challenges' impact on humanity's well-being. Then determine what kind of, if any intervention is needed on your part to get them up to speed. It is our job as parents, uncles, aunts, teachers, and adults to inspire that light bulb of ideas that exists in all of our children. Remember, knowledge is power, but without an awareness and understanding of the challenges the world faces, our children will be at the mercy of them (reacting, not being proactive).

However, of utmost importance are the questions that we have to ask of ourselves.
  • What do we want for our children and their future?
  • And are we willing to do what is necessary to prepare them for it?
If the light switch is not turned on already, it's time to hit the switch.



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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Friday Morning Radio Interview



Hello readers:

I would like to encourage you to tune in to 90.3FM WHCR NYC (http://www.whcr.org/) on your way to work this coming Friday, 7/25/08 at 7:00AM, as I will be discussing my new book Leading from the Inside-Out on The Chat Box. If you are not within range of 90.3FM WHCR NYC's radio signal, you can click on Listen to WHCR Live located atop their website to hear the interview in real-time.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

The World Is Changing, Which Is Why We Have To Change Our Thinking And Behavior: A Call For A New Type Of Leader


Everyday we hear that the world around us is changing. However, I wonder do we really understand how drastic and profound these changes really are, as well as how they will impact our lives? Do we realize how the changing world will affect our political, economic, educational systems, as well as our societal structure? Can we truly grasp the magnitude of how our lives will be changed by the evolution of people/nations half a globe away?

Countries that America once deemed as third world are now developing at such a rapid and unprecedented rate that Americans are being inundated with never seen before issues such as record high oil prices (due in part to increased foreign demand), increasing job outsourcing (due in part to globalization-qualified cheap labor outside of U.S. borders), and a ever-widening digital divide (those that have access to technology such as the Internet versus those that don't). All of these issues appear to have sprung upon the average American out of nowhere, creating a sense of national uneasiness. This is why most Americans believe that the country is on the wrong course, and that a change in leadership is necessary.

With the Presidential election season upon us, Americans are asking the candidates what they can do to fix the economy and bring our troops home from Iraq. However, we need to be asking more penetrating questions, as those being posed regarding the economy and Iraq are surface level and do not go to the root of the issues. If one goes one or two levels deeper, one will find that there are complex dynamics that play on one another, which are influencing the issues I mentioned earlier.

Our current political leaders understand these dynamics to some degree, and are trying their best to address them the best way they know how. However, the problem is that they are trying to address unprecedented problems with antiquated tactics. It is very difficult to address unprecedented problems with the same old solutions, which is why it appears that America is losing its prestige around the world and its way.

America needs a new brand of leadership, informed by a new way of thinking. One that will devise new ways of viewing and interacting with an ever-changing world, so that new solutions to never before seen problems can be addressed without severely damaging America's psyche, image, and standing in the world. Issues such as the Iraq war and the lackluster economy would be better served if different questions were poised to those running for high office. And who should be posing these questions? Why, us of course. Penetrating questions such as:

  • Is America still a super power? If not, why?
  • What can we do to keep our standing in the world?
  • What will be the role of China and India in the near future?
  • How will that role impact America?
  • Will these countries surpass America as the economic engines and military might in the coming decades? And if so, what can we 'the people" do to remain competitive and not just American corporations?
  • How will America deal with the competition for natural resources spurred by these countries' emerging economies? What can we do now to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and natural resources?
  • How will the average American student compete with students from around the world that already perform at a higher scholastic level?
  • How can we restructure our school system to address our scholastic weaknesses?
  • How will all of these issues impact America's economic viability and competitiveness in the global marketplace?
With difficult questions such as these to be posed and answered, it is no wonder that Americans are a bit jittery about their future. Problem is, we are not asking these questions of our leaders or ourselves. Are we scared to ask these questions? Are we scared to get the answers? Or worse, are we scared of shifting our thinking and behavior if we get answers to these questions that require us to change? But, fear not my fellow countrymen and women, as uncertainty is a far scarier place when we are uninformed. In order to reduce our level of uncertainty with the change occurring around us, I would like you to take the time to immerse yourself in any media and literature that will facilitate your learning more about what is going on in the world around you. As you become more aware of the changes occurring around you, brainstorm by asking and trying to answer questions such as:

  • What can I do to put myself in the best position to deal with the ever-changing world?
  • How can I help my country remain relevant as other nations ascend?
  • How can I help my fellow man/woman prosper in the new age of globalism and interconnectivity amongst people, nations, and economies?
  • How can I be a new type of leader or encourage a new brand of leadership for a new type of world?
  • The world is changing-Am I ready, willing, and able to change with it in a way that I as well as my fellow citizens can be prosperous?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Best Seller's List



Great News, readers!!!!

I am glad to announce that my book Leading from the Inside-Out has gotten onto one of Tower.com's (the online retailer for Tower Records, Books, and Video) regional bestsellers lists. The book currently holds the position of #6 on the list (7/19/08). The list is updated daily, but hopefully the support of yours as well as others will help the book maintain or even surpass its current position, which will work to spread the conversation of leadership development. Again, thanks for your support.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who Am I and What Is My Purpose? Questions Of A Leader Trying To Find Him/Herself

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr



Abraham Lincoln

Mandela

Born of the human race, but I don't quite fit in just yet.
I don't seem to belong, don't have a place where I feel comfortable.

Will I ever?

I often question, my purpose on this earth.
How do I fit into the grand scheme of things?

Do you feel the same as I do?
I often ask questions such as: What purpose will my life serve?
How will I know that this purpose is what my life is supposed to serve?
Who, if anyone will my life touch for the greater good?
I get so scared sometimes, thinking to myself, will I ever discover my true purpose?
Will my life be fulfilled?

Isn't there an easier path to finding oneself and answering these questions?
I guess not, because no one seems able to show me the way or provide me with the answers that can propel me forward.
Or could it be, that no one wants to show me the way?
Nah, that couldn't be.
Worse, are we all confused, as it relates to who we are and our purpose?

Well, no matter what, I have to make something of my life.
I have to achieve some semblance of personal satisfaction, after all, I wont be on earth forever.
I have to make this world better than the one I inherited.
However, I am not sure how to do that as yet.
I guess, I will just have to try by trail and error.
Hopefully, in the process, I will find my voice, my calling, my purpose, my soul, and my identity.

Are you willing to join me in this journey?
Are you willing to venture into uncharted territory of self-discovery?
Are you willing to test yourself mentally and physically to see what you are made of, what you can endure, what you can overcome, and what you can achieve?
I am not comfortable not knowing who I am and my purpose. What about you?

Don't fret if you don't quite know where your life is going, or why you are here. All leaders, just as those pictured above go through this process. Just remain on the journey towards self-discovery and the answers to your questions will be revealed to you. True leadership is rarely sought out by those we call heroes, but the journey and self-inquiry along the way prepared them to take the reins when they were called upon.




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Monday, July 14, 2008

A Heads Up: Upcoming Television Appearance



Hello Readers:

Thanks to your continued support, my new book (Leading from the Inside-Out) is quickly gaining momentum. In order to continue my work of spreading the word of personal leadership development, I will be taping a television interview with Ms. Doroty Palmer, host of Where Are We Going... on August 6th. The program will revolve around the newly published books of another author and myself, and will focus on the relevance of our books to the betterment of society. Where Are We Going... currently airs one taping twice a week (Monday at 1PM and Wednesday at 9:30PM on NYC's public access television channel 35, which serves Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan). As soon as I get the dates that the interview will air, I will be sure to update you. By the way, you can visit http://www.sharemywisdom.com/ to learn more about Ms. Doroty Palmer.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

You Can Be A Change Agent


You know, I often hear employees make comments or pose questions such as:
  • This company sucks.

  • Management sucks.

  • Why do we do things this way?

  • This is the way we have always done it.

  • Why can't we do things differently?

  • This company is just a big bureaucracy, nothing gets done.

  • We are so inefficient.

  • If I were running this company things would be different.
Now, all of these comments and questions may seem totally valid to the individuals making them, however, I pose this question: Isn't it more beneficial to address a perceived problem with possible solutions? When we function as though the problem is unsolvable, then guess what, to you or I, it is unsolvable. But this blog is about leadership, not about succumbing to perceived problems. So, what position should we take when confronted by what we perceive as organizational problems? Could becoming a change agent be the answer?


What is a change agent, you may be asking? A change agent is someone who chooses to fight against the status quo and introduce new ways of thinking or behaving in an organizational setting (such as a company, family, country, and social network) that is beneficial to the organization's performance and/or culture. For the purpose of this discussion, we are utilizing the workplace as our organizational setting.


Now, what does it take to be a change agent in the workplace? Well, it first takes thinking outside of the box. This means that when a perceived problem arises, a change agent thinks outside of the box by looking for multiple ways to address this problem. This way, when they approach the individual(s) who can actually correct the problem, they provide them with multiple ways of doing so. Second, a change agent does not allow complaints or gripes about his/her company to preclude him/her from moving forward to make the company better even if that means going up against resistance (which usually occurs when one challenges the status quo). By moving forward against resistance, a change agent usually enlists the help and support of others who also see a different or better way of addressing the perceived problem than the one that currently exists.

  • A change agent is a champion of new ideas and new ways of being.

  • A change agent is a visionary and a problem solver.

  • A change agent is a maverick and leader.
Instead of complaining about what is wrong in your company, become a change agent and see if you can help to shift the dialogue or behavior regarding issues that you believe you have solutions for. See if you can enlist others to join your cause. Be a leader and work to make your company more productive and a better environment to work in by helping to solve its problems. After all, what is a company, if not for the employees that comprise it? Your company needs you and your input more than you know, especially with the ever-increasing uncertainty of an evolving global marketplace.


You can be a change agent, because you have leadership in you. I encourage you to take a moment or two of your time to watch the following video. It will show you what is involved in becoming a change agent for your organization. As always, feel free to leave comments.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wow, #1 on Myspace's Top Books List

I would just like to thank all of my readers that have purchased Leading from the Inside-Out. Your support has helped to push my book to the #1 position on Myspace's Top Books List 7/12/08 (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.mostPopularItems&type=2). I am so humbled by this achievement. This just goes to show that living a life that one loves is at the heart of what it means to be human. Again, thank you for your continued support. With your help in spreading the word, hopefully we can uplift the human condition by helping more people achieve sustainable happiness by pursuing their life's vision.

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Upcoming Radio Appearance


Hello readers:

I would like to encourage you to tune in to 90.3FM WHCR NYC (http://www.whcr.org/) this coming Wednesday, 7/16/08 at 3:30PM, as I will be discussing my new book Leading from the Inside-Out. If you are not within range of 90.3FM WHCR NYC's radio signal, you can click on Listen to WHCR Live located atop their website to hear the interview in real-time.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

You Can Move Mountains

When I was as a child, I never thought that I would have the ability to lead a change effort, yet here I am imploring humanity to lead itself from the inside-out.

Back then, I didn't believe that I had the power to shift people's thinking about poverty, crime, violence, and most of all, how they viewed themselves. I never thought I had the skills, persona, or proper upbringing to lead others. Like much of humanity, I believed that a new leader would emerge and take charge. Therefore, I waited for our generation's Dr. King, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and Ghandi. Well, I waited and waited, while the problems around the world (such as poverty, hunger, racism, and genocide) that called for leadership were not getting the attention they deserved. You see, the problem with me, like with most of us is that we do not see ourselves as leaders, relegating us to waiting for the "one" who we think is. The problem is that while we wait, often times, the world's problems get worse.


So, who is the "one" you ask?
  • The "one" is that individual that we perceive to be a leader, who will step in and correct all of the world's ills and save us.
  • The "one" is that individual that we believe is larger than life and can move mountains with his/her charisma, intelligence, oratory skill, or cunning.
  • The "one" is that individual that can draw large groups of followers to support him/her in causes of concern to all of us.
  • The "one" is that individual that gets us into action, when we can't get into action on our own.

Crazy enough, it was not until recently that I realized that I am the "one," I mean, we all are. And while, we may not have all or any of the attributes that I just described, we all have a passion to take action on causes that we hold dear to our hearts. In my case, my passion for self-empowerment has led to my development of the attributes necessary for successfully leading others to addressing their causes.

  • We are all the "one," because we cannot continue to wait for the next coming of King or Ghandi.
  • We are all the "one," because the world's ills will not go away on their own.
  • We are all the "one," because if not us, then who?

The truth is that the responsibility to solve the world's ills resides in all of us. We all have the ability to lead others to take action(s) on causes that we hold dear. We all are versions of King and Ghandi, as they were versions of us. Get it through your head, we all are leaders and have the the ability to transform the world into a place that works for all of us.

With all of this in mind, when will you start moving mountains and embrace yourself as the "one"?

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Never Give Up On Pursuing Your Life's Vision

Every attempt at success is littered with numerous failures along the way. Failure is an inevitable part of success. Failure tests one's will to persevere, one's will to develop, and one's will to overcome. Sadly, too many of us stop pursing our life's vision when we run into what we perceive as a crushing failure or when we encounter one of life's seemingly insurmountable challenges. In my book Leading from the Inside-Out, I argue that the avoidance of life's challenges and succumbing to failure is what brings about heartache and despair to the human condition. However, these feelings do not occur because of the seemingly insurmountable challenges or past failures. No, these feelings surface because of our willingness to concede our life's vision to these challenges and failures. You see, many of us know that with a little retooling, improved work ethic, increased knowledge, or outside assistance we can overcome life's challenges or perceived failures enabling us to continue pursuing our life's vision. However, many of us simply give up when we reach a roadblock. The very moment that we give up, we begin a downward spiral of turning over control of our lives to the outside forces that we are too afraid, or ill-prepared to overcome.

The question is however, do you truly want to attain your life's vision and achieve sustainable happiness? If the answer is yes, then you must incorporate and maintain a never give up attitude as you pursue your life's vision. Never give up on your development, which will help you overcome past failures as well as the future challenges you will undoubtedly face. Never give up, even if it means failing nine times before finally succeeding on the tenth go round. And most importantly, never give up on yourself. Life's challenges can and will look daunting from time to time, but do realize that others have faced similar circumstances and have overcome. Others have endured even more tragic failures then you and still came out on top. If others never gave up and won, so can you. So, resume the pursuit of your life's vision with vigor, and don't let anything stop you from living the life you want.

The video below echoes much of what I have just said. As you watch it, take a moment and think about what, if anything, is stopping you from pursuing your life's vision. Then ask yourself the question, what will I do about it? I say, incorporate a never give up mindset, and everything else will take care of itself from there.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Leadership Development From The Perspective Of A True American Hero

Being that we are in the midst of celebrating America's Independence with the traditional barbecue filled weekend, it seems appropriate that we examine leadership through the eyes of one of our countries most decorated military heroes, esteemed public servants, and defenders of our sovereignty. I have been an admirer of former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell since he burst onto the world stage during the first Iraq-U.S. war (Operation Desert Storm).

Powell's insights into leadership development has been formulated through his years of military service, as well as his diplomatic role in the federal government. However, while many Americans admire Colin Powell's leadership as I do, many do not understand how his life's journey has shaped it. Many don't know that he was born to Jamaican immigrant parents of modest means, how he ran the NYC streets for a while with what some would deem as young punks, or that if it wasn't for City College's (CUNY) ROTC program grabbing his attention, Colin Powell may have never become the world renowned leader he is today. As we celebrate this patriotic holiday, let us take a look at what one of it's favorite sons thinks about leadership development. I invite you to listen to what Colin Powell has to say about leadership development, and to take away from this discussion what you find useful in developing your own leadership.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Do You Have A Financial Vision For Your Future?

In my book (Leading from the Inside-Out), I discuss the notion of having a life's vision. Your life's vision is a protracted view of what you want your life to consist of in its entirety in roughly twenty to thirty years. All aspects of your life is included in this vision. However, right now, I want you to focus on your financial future. How much money do you think you would need to support the kind of lifestyle that you envision for yourself? The process of coming up with this figure may require that you do some research into the current cost of living for the lifestyle you want, utilize the advice of experts to determine how much that lifestyle will cost in the future, as well as what you will need to start doing today to amass that amount.

Developing and taking actions towards fulfilling your life's vision is essential to understanding your future finances, as it is your future finances that will support your life's vision. To better illustrate this point, take a look at the following video. It will discuss what it takes to build a strong financial future from an inside-out approach.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What's Your Motivation?

I had a mentor ask me once-What motivates me? What makes me get up everyday and do what others wont? At the time, I believed that I did not know myself well enough to answer the question except to say that I wanted to be great and have my life mean something. Well, I have learned that the answer I provided years earlier was good enough, because those were and still are my motivations for much of what I do. Now, I know that there are things that you want for yourself out of life, but if you are stopped in their pursuit, you have to find out for yourself what motivates you.

Take a moment or two and watch the following video. It may help you get in touch with your inner self, which can lead you to answering the question-What motivates me?

We all can achieve our dreams, we just have to work towards it. However, we must remember that our motivations are the driving force behind a sustained journey towards the realization of our dreams.

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