Welcome back brew nation! As the “Friday Coffee Guy” I am excited each week to provide 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, and I am grateful you choose to spend a few minutes with me!
Here is your weekly sip of what I have been reading, listening to, or watching to equip me to:
- Read More – I just finished reading Uncommon Leadership – 11 Ways the Greatest Leaders Lead, by Ben Newman. I appreciated each of the leadership spotlights that made each of them Uncommon. There are so many different definitions of what it means to be Uncommon, and I don’t think there are any right or wrong definitions. Ed Mylett, who wrote the Foreword to the books, said that to be uncommon, you must be “willing to do what others will not to lead a life that others can only dream about.” I could align with that definition. Each of the leaders spotlighted in this book certainly could align with that definition. Here are just a few of the 11 profiles:
- Will Compton, NFL Player – To be Uncommon, “You must continue to believe in what you’re doing, ESPECIALLY on the days when you don’t feel like it.” Anyone have days where they don’t feel like doing what needs to be done? The author summarizes it nicely and uses it as one of his mantras in his podcast and Instagram posts, “Successful (Uncommon) people in life live to a STANDARD and not their FEELINGS.”
- Chris Klieman, Current head coach of the Kansas State University football team – Coach Klieman lived by the principles of focusing on the process and that the results (wins) would be the output. Replicating successful processes and doing the hard work to keep his team performing at the highest level was the most important thing, not wins and losses. He believed the wins and losses would come… and they did! As the Head Coach of the North Dakota State University football team, his teams won 92 percent of the time, including a perfect 15-0 season in 2018. For 14 seasons, his teams never lost two consecutive games!
- David Goggins, Retired Navy Seal – “You are either getting better or getting worse, but you are never staying the same.” – This quote is the epitome of lifelong learning as a leader. If we are standing still, then we are falling behind. Goggins defines an uncommon ‘mindset’ as: “taking your mind to a place where others aren’t willing to go. You rise above to an uncommon place, define exactly how much you’re willing to do to achieve challenging goals, and throw everything you have at your efforts – every single day.” To do some of the things he has done, he would HAVE to have this mindset. He is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.
I really enjoyed the profiles of the leaders in this book. I appreciated the author’s ‘take’ at the end of each chapter. This is a book you might want to add to your reading list, especially if you’ve set some bold fitness goals for 2023.
- Love Always – Are you letting people you know understand that you need them and appreciate them? I love having a mentor. I love the mastermind group that I am a part of and I appreciate the people that I coach and work with on a daily basis. And, I know that I have to be better at humbling myself and asking for help. In my daily reading this week I was reminder of this once again. When the vision gets bigger than me, I really only have two choices: 1) give up on the vision or 2) recruit help from others. President Woodrow Wilson said, “We should not only use all the brains WE have – but all that we can borrow.”(emphasis added my me). John Maxwell says “why stop with just their brains? Enlist people’s hands and hearts too!” John Gallagher says Amen. I have a lot to learn yet, including from you the readers. That is why I ask for your feedback each week and ask you to share the Champions Brew with others. “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” – Lyndon Johnson.
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. I really hope you are finding these helpful. For me, going back through this read for the third time has been really enlightening. This week’s law is:
Law # 15 – The Law of Victory
Leaders Find Ways for the Team to Win
So, let me start with a list of the names referenced in this chapter: Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Lou Holtz, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Cristiano Ronaldo, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, John Wooden. What a list! All these leaders practiced the Law of Victory. Many of these leaders are sports figures where ‘victory’ is measured by the scoreboard and number of championships. Churchill and Roosevelt, though? The freedom of the world we know was the burden placed upon their shoulders!! Victorious leaders possess an unwillingness to accept defeat. The alternative to winning is totally unacceptable to them. I am so grateful that those two practiced the Law of Victory. The leadership of England fell to Winston Churchill when he was 65 years old. England and the rest of Europe were under attack by the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. In his first speech after becoming prime minister, Churchill communicated his vision:
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kinds. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory – victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however, long and hard the road may be for without victory, there is no survival.”
As leaders, we are not likely to face a world war, or even lead a professional sports team, but practicing the Law of Victory in our businesses, nonprofits, and families is important. For us to practice this law, we must have these three things present:
1) Unity of Vision – No matter how much talent or potential there is, a team doesn’t win if others are working from separate agendas.
2) Variety of skills – Can you imagine a hockey team with all goalies? A business with only salespeople? Think about all the skills that are required to meet your objectives. Assess your entire team to see if you have those skills and, if you don’t, you must hire that skill or equip others in those areas!
3) A Leader dedicated to victory – Unity of vision doesn’t happen automagically. The right players with the proper variety of talent doesn’t just come together on its own. It takes a leader to provide the inspiration, empowerment, encouragement, and direction required to win.
“Never underestimate your ability to be a leader, even if it only means being a good dad, mom, sibling, grandparent, or friend. You may only impact or leader a single person. However, we are all connected on this planet, and the seed you plant could travel far, with untold impacts to bloom and affect others.” – Ben Newman
What You Need to Do:
Call to Action: Are you practicing the Law of Victory in your leadership? Have you communicated a clear vision to your team or family? Have you assessed the skills required? Are you dedicated to victory? What is one thing you can do THIS WEEK to practice the Law Of Victory?
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. BE THE FIRST TO COMMENT ON THE BLOG OR ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND I WILL SEND YOU A COPY OF UNCOMMON LEADERSHIP!
Until next time, Love Always, 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!!