Remembering and Forgetting, Navigating Landmines, Life Systemness – Your Champions Brew

Have you been strategic in your approach to designing strategies and systems for your life?

Happy Friday, Brew Nation!

Grab your favorite coffee cup, sit back, relax, and get ready to sip on some enriching and thought-provoking content that will equip you to thrive in all areas of your life:

  • Be Happy – As we commemorated the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 this week, the memories of that day remain vivid in my mind. I was on a business trip in Modena, Italy, when I learned about the attack several hours later. It was my Italian colleague who, while listening to the radio, conveyed the shocking news: “The Twin Towers have disappeared. The United States is at war!” It was a moment that will forever be etched in my memory.

Every year, we are reminded of this tragic event through social media posts, t-shirts, TV specials, and various other outlets urging us to ‘never forget’. On that day, author Jeff Henderson sent out an email with an intriguing subject line: “It’s Helpful to Know What to Forget and What to Remember.” The content of the email was exceptionally thought-provoking.  It read:

In life, it’s helpful to know what to forget and what to remember:

  • Forget the mistake.  Remember the lesson.
  • Forget falling short.  Remember how far you climbed.
  • Forget the shame.  Remember you’re human.
  • Forget how you stumbled.  Remember how you kept going.
  • Forget what you can’t control.  Remember what you can.
  • Forget what the critics said.  Remember what the mentors said.
  • Don’t forget to remember.  And remember to forget.

Like the impact of 9/11, significant events in our lives are not easily forgotten. It can be challenging to transform negative experiences into valuable lessons. However, as leaders, it is essential for us to exercise our mindset muscles and persevere. In my case, there are several factors that help me focus on the positive: the support of my family, a strong inner circle, uplifting worship music, and prayer. I must admit, though, that I am not flawless. While we may never forget monumental events like 9/11, we have the power to reframe other negative occurrences into positive thoughts. We can transform the highlight reel of our lives into a story with a happy ending. Sometimes we win, and other times we learn valuable lessons along the way.

Are you aware that The Champions Brew explores various topics that I frequently coach and consult on with other leaders and organizations? If you or someone you know is seeking to elevate their business or personal life from underperforming to uncommon, I would love to connect with you and discuss 1:1 or group coaching, as well as performance consulting. In fact, click the following link to schedule a FREE CALL to explore how coaching could benefit you and your team. Let’s work together to unleash your full potential and achieve your goals!
  • Work Smart – In the past week, I had the opportunity to collaborate with a client on planning their goals for the upcoming fiscal year. During this process, I shared a valuable message I recently acquired from the Maxwell Leadership Podcast titled “Leadership Landmines.” It highlighted how many leaders, and even organizations, fail to achieve significant and sustainable growth because they are caught off guard by unforeseen problems that “blow them up.” While there are ten landmines discussed in the podcast, one in particular stood out to me this week: the potential landmine of ‘Failure to think realistically.’

It’s common for leaders to overestimate what can be accomplished in the short term, which can lead to employee burnout and falling short of customer expectations. As leaders consider stretch goals, they must remember the importance of “nailing it before scaling it.” To achieve this, the team or organization requires the following elements:

  1. Effective systems or processes (more on this below!)
  2. Comprehensive training on these systems to foster growth.
  3. A visual management system in place to identify any signs of derailment. I refer to this as ‘pulling the andon’, where team members are empowered to raise concerns and request assistance by stopping the line.
  4. A problem-solving methodology that allows teams to address and eliminate barriers as they inevitably arise.

With these tools in place, leaders, teams, and organizations can foster more effective growth. However, if one or more of these elements are missing, it may not be realistic to achieve the goals that have been set.

Law # 7 – The Law of Design

To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies

As I finished reading this chapter, the term that immediately resonated with me was ‘system-ness.’ The author asserts that life can be simplified by understanding our values, making decisions based on those values, and effectively managing them day by day. This is where the concept of system-ness becomes relevant. To ensure the proper execution of daily decisions, one must establish systems that facilitate their implementation. As you apply these personal development strategies, remember to keep them personalized (your responsibility), repeatable (within your control), and simple.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. A study involving retired executives sought to determine what they would have done differently if given the chance to relive their lives. The most common responses were as follows: 1) Taking charge of my life and setting goals earlier, 2) Prioritizing my health, 3) Managing my finances better, 4) Spending more time with my family, 5) Devoting more time to personal development, 6) Incorporating more enjoyment, 7) Planning my career more effectively, and 8) Giving back more.

I personally waited until my 30s to adopt a more intentional approach, which I articulated within my ‘Life Plan’ document back in 2003. Over time, it has evolved into the ‘Greatest Story Ever Told’ framework, which I currently utilize with many of my coaching clients. This framework offers an assessment and systematic approach to implementing a development plan across six key areas: Fitness, Finances, Fun, Friendships, Family, and ‘Fruit-ure’ (representing one’s career, serving as the sixth element and satisfying the need for a 6th F!!). Allow yourself to grow steadily, establishing deep roots. Consider the comparison between a tomato plant, which grows rapidly, produces for a few weeks, and perishes with the first frost, and a tree, which grows slowly over years, decades, or even centuries, bears fruit for decades, and withstands frost, storms, and drought if healthy.

To execute this plan effectively, we require systems. In his book “The E-Myth,” Michael Gerber asserts that “systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary (or uncommon) results predictably.” Systems are deliberate, intentional, and practical. A life without systems necessitates approaching every task and challenge from scratch.

Effective systems incorporate measurement, allowing you to assess your current position and desired destination. They enable you to identify barriers and develop habits to overcome them. Effective systems also involve reflection, enabling you to identify areas you are winning as well as areas for improvement. And these systems are subject to continuous improvement on a regular basis. These steps form the foundation of my coaching program for personal and organizational transformation.

“We don’t rise to the level of our goals.  We fall to the levels of our systems.” – James Clear.  My friend and an uncommon leader, David Campbell, recently created and shared a video in which he posed a thought-provoking challenge relating to Clear’s quote. David urged us to reflect on our goals for the year and question whether we have the appropriate systems (design) in place to achieve them. 

Check out the call to action below to see how you can get started on your journey to the Greatest Story Ever Told.

Next Week: The Law of Pain.  That ought to be juicy!!

  • Quote of the week:   “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  Have you been strategic in your approach to designing strategies and systems for your life? If not, why not?  I would love to help you.  If you have an interest in putting together your own life plan, click and set up a free  30-minute coaching call with me.  The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The next best time?  Today.

It’s an honor to be your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy”.  Each week, I’m excited to provide yet another round of curated content that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, or thinking over. The purpose of the Champions Brew is to inspire, equip and encourage you to become the uncommon leader you were designed to be. I am so grateful for your decision to invest a few moments with me! 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, Go 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!!


Get my tips directly now! Ready to start?

Pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl.

Subscribe toThe Champions Brew!

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.

You have Successfully Subscribed!