Welcome back brew nation!  It’s the “Friday Coffee Guy” coming to you with The Champion’s Brew, a weekly assembly of material I am reading, listening to, watching, or thinking about that is designed to equip and call you to uncommon leadership.  I often add my own little spin based on my takeaways and would love your input as well.  Any of the points especially impact you?  Drop me a note at [email protected], or comment on the blog to keep the conversation going!  I believe you will discover that the format is not only useful, but also that you can consume it within the time it takes you to enjoy your daily ‘brew’!  Become a member of the Champions Brew Nation by subscribing here!!

Here is your weekly sip of what I have been reading, listening to or watching to equip me to:

  • Exercise Daily AND Eat Healthy AND Worry Less – According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, it is possible to stack many of these wins.  In a podcast I listened to recently, Clear talked with Alan Stein, Jr, about developing a “Keystone Habit”.  He defines a keystone habit as one that has an impact on life larger than just the habit itself.  For example, he spoke of his keystone habit which is weightlifting.  In and of itself that is a good habit, but can there be other good behaviors that can come from that habit.  His answer seemed logical.  Ultimately, when he did his weightlifting, he also ended up eating better after a workout, his focus was better, and he slept better as a result.  Thus, one habit can cause a ‘stacking’ effect for other habits.   A couple observations for me here:
    • Do I have any keystone habits?  I really had to reflect on this, but I do think that exercising  would be one of those keystone habits for me as during my workouts, I also listen to podcasts for personal growth (I was actually listening to this podcast during a workout!), I tend to stay more hydrated as I drink water during and after my workouts, and I am motivated to eat better after a workout as well. 
    • I have a sense that this works in reverse order as well.  A bad habit that can be a bad keystone for me might be checking email on my phone when I first wake up in the morning, which leads to checking social media, which then leads to lost time that impacts my reading discipline.  I have worked to overcome this habit by intentionally putting the phone across my room and committing to not checking emails until after prayer time and reading time.  Sounds like another ‘keystone’ habit!
    • Try not to miss twice – Clear also talks about this.  There will be times where you will miss your keystone habit for a multitude of reasons, but committing to not missing twice is important.  Again, so as not to allow a bad habit to take over.

Do you have any keystone habits?  Share them in the comments on the blog or whichever platform you consume the Champions Brew. 

  • Think Positively – We are coming up on the end of another year.  Time sure is going by fast.  My mom often says to me, “The days are long, but the weeks, months and years are fast!”  Its this time of year where we start to think about goal setting for the next year.  I think this is an exciting time.  When you set goals for next year for you, your team, or your business, I want you to be able to recognize that when you set those goals, you will find yourself in one of three ‘zones’.  Imagine if you will three circles nested inside one another.  Each circle represents a ‘zone’ you can be in when you set new goals
Comfort, Learning, Panic Zones

  The Three zones you can settle in are:

  • The Comfort zone – The comfort zone(the smallest circle) is a state in which your ability and skills match the degree of challenge in a situation or activity.  When you set that goal, you feel HIGHLY confident you will achieve that goal given your current level of skill.  I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone in setting goals for 2023
    • The Learning zone – Bring in the middle circle is when you are in the learning zone, the level of challenge with the goal will likely slightly exceed your ability to achieve that goal.  That zone will make you feel a little bit nervous.  I often use the analogy that being in the learning zone will cause you to reposition yourself in your seat as you think about it and get a little uncomfortable.  I challenge you to play in this zone when setting your goals for 2023.  Being in the learning zone will require you to have a different mindset.  It will necessitate you growing your current leadership skills to achieve the goal.  While you may not achieve the entire goal, you will likely finish beyond the goal you set in the comfort zone!
    • The Panic zone – Finally, the outermost circle is the panic zone.  This puts you in a situation that far exceeds your ability to achieve the goal effectively.  This is NOT a zone you want to be in.
  • Read More – I have committed to reviewing one law per week from John Maxwell’s 25th anniversary edition of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  This week’s law is another good one!

The Law Of Respect

People Naturally Follow Better Leaders Than Themselves

For nearly 25 years, I have been a student and disciple of the Toyota Production system, also known as Lean Transformation.  I don’t know if that makes me an expert, or just old.  Probably a little of both.  The two foundational principles of the Toyota Production System are 1) Continuous Improvement and 2) RESPECT for people.  I have highlighted the and for extra focus.  The reason is that you cannot have one without the other in a successful transformation.  You have to have a passion for never-ending continuous improvement while never losing sight of the need to RESPECT the people you work with on that transformation.  And that famous orator, Aretha Franklin knew the importance of that word when she belted out:

Hey, what you want

(Oo) Baby, I got

(Oo) What you need

(Oo) Do you know I got it?

(Oo) All I’m askin’

(Oo) Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)

Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home

(Just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I’m not singing that song now… you are!!

Anyway, I digress. Followers are attracted to people who are better leaders than themselves.  The author talks about seven ways that leaders can gain others’ respect:

1) Natural Leadership Ability – this can often be characterized by charisma and natural ability alone will not guarantee respect.  In fact none of these 7 ways stand on their own.

2) Respect for others – If you continually respect others and consistently lead them week, you will continue to have followers.

3) Difficulties overcome – Respect is earned on the battleground

4) Courage – a leader’s courage gives followers hope

5) Success – people want to be on a winning team.  Success helps!

6) Loyalty – People tend to have more respect for those who choose to hang with the team until the job is done

7) Value added to others – followers value leaders who add value to them.

Look at each of the qualities listed above.  Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (low)to 10 (high). What would be possible if you increased the score by only 1 point in each category?  How much more effective would you be as a leader?  Try to have one discipline you could implement to help you to improve in each of the seven areas and watch your influence grow!! 

Quote – “When people respect you as a person, they admire you.  When they respect you as a friend, they love you.  When they respect you as a leader, they follow you.”

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  There are calls to action in EACH of the three topics today!  You can do anything you want, you just can’t do everything you want.  Pick one of the three and make a chance over the next couple weeks.  Let me know how you are doing! 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.

Until next time exercise daily, eat healthy, worry less, think positively, read more and Grow Champions!

P.S. – Are you a podcast fan?  Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you.    Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast?  Do you have a story to tell?  Email me [email protected] and let’s have a chat and set something up!!

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To become Champion leader, we have to be on a continuous improvement journey for ourselves and others.  We have to be able to take advantage of the precious seconds that we have each day.  
There are things that I come across each week that help me, inspire me, relax me, motivate me, and are sometimes are just funny that I want to share with you so that you can smile more, build faith, think positively, network well, exercise often, eat healthy, and grow daily.

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