Seeking Excellence: Leadership Insights for Personal Success in 2024 – Your Champions Brew

Excellence only happens on purpose.

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:

  • Uncommon Leader Insights – I’ve enjoyed this new segment in the Champions Brew newsletter that brings you key takeaways from the remarkable guests featured on the Uncommon Leader Podcast!  I believe I will continue it into 2024.

In Episode 94 of The Uncommon Leader Podcast, Mary Grothe, a dynamic corporate leader and person of deep faith, shared invaluable insights. Here are my three key takeaways that can influence our leadership and personal growth:

There is a gift in the challenges – In going through tough times, there is a tendency to ask ‘why me’?  However, when we face challenge and hardship with the right mindset, we ask ‘ what am I learning from this?’.  Mary’s journey is marked by perseverance. From facing financial hardship and supporting herself at a young age, she cultivated resilience and fearlessness. Her ability to persist despite adversity reminds us that toughness in tough times is not optional for leaders—it’s essential. It shapes our character and prepares us for greater responsibilities.

The Power of Mentorship – A catalyst for Mary’s was a caring manager who recognized her potential and guided her, altering Mary’s life path. Having a mentor and, sometimes more importantly, being a mentor is an incredible vehicle for growth. Invest in relationships where you can be both a mentee and mentor. These connections can redefine your trajectory and help you navigate the complexities of  life.

Core Values Play – Write and philosopher Ayan Rand said, “Happiness is the state of consciousness that proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.”  Have you documented your core values?  It may be a great process for you to go through.  When we are living our core values, hanging around with people who share our core values, and work at a place whose core values are aligned with ours, we have a better chance to be more at peace and choose happiness.  Mary’s integration of faith into her work life is a beacon for leaders seeking to live out their core values. Her strategies for dealing with old habits and embodying love, patience, and kindness demonstrate that leadership flourishes when rooted in strong values.

Reflecting on these takeaways, we’re encouraged to evaluate our resilience, seek transformative relationships, and embed our deepest values into our leadership beliefs.  

  • Work Hard – Check out this intriguing ‘Naughty List’ I stumbled upon, which serves as a playful reminder as we transition into 2024. It’s time to commit to letting go of these six beliefs:
  1. EXCUSES – Rise to the occasion or make way for those who will.
  2. BLAMING – Take responsibility and actively work on finding solutions.
  3. WHINING – If you desire something, put in the effort required to earn it.
  4. GOOD – Aim for uncommon greatness, as being merely “good” falls short.
  5. MOTIVATION – Take action regardless of how you feel; discipline leads the way.
  6. TALENT – Recognize that talent alone isn’t enough; training and preparation are essential.

In 2024, consciously choose to break free from these limiting beliefs. Choose Limitless! Allow those closest to you to hold you accountable and call out any instances where you fall into these patterns. By removing these habits from your repertoire, you’ll find yourself edging closer to the realm of the uncommon!

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!
  • Read More – We are working our way through The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, another John Maxwell classic sure to equip you and inspire you to uncommon leadership! I look forward to walking through it with you, Brew Nation!  This week, I will dive into Chapter 6.  I hope you have gotten a copy and are reading along with me.

Quality #7 – Discernment

Put an End to Unsolved Mysteries

Refining your discernment skills is an ongoing journey, one that requires a delicate balance of intuition and rational thinking. While it may seem elusive at times, discernment holds the key to making sound decisions that benefit both your team and organization.

In chapter 7, Maxwell discusses the leadership quality of discernment and outlines three ways to improve the skill:

  1. Learn How Others Think -One of my Top 5 reads in 2023 was  “American Icon – Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company,”.  I appreciate learning from other’s journeys I gained valuable insights from his leadership and problem-solving methodologies.   And there are stories of BAD discernment we can learn from as well!  You would do well to remember the cautionary tale of Swiss watchmaking. Despite their dominance in the market, their failure to discern the potential of a new type of watch presented in the 1960s led to missed opportunities. As a result, a Japanese company, Seiko, altered the course of the industry.  When was the last time you heard of a Swiss watch in a positive context?  As I step into 2024, this method of discernment deserves more attention from me.
  2. Trusting your gut – Trusting your gut instinct plays a vital role as well. While I express caution in relying on my gut feel, remember that it can provide valuable insights and guide you towards the best options for your team and organization.
  3. Analyze past successes & failures – At the end of a large project or activity, take the time to evaluate your ‘Lessons Learned’.  What went well? What could have gone better?  And how can we incorporate these learnings into our next task or project so as to capitalize on the things that succeeded and implement new systems or processes to avoid or mitigate the challenges?

In 2024, let’s embrace the journey of sharpening our discernment skills. By combining the power of intuition, learning from others, and analyzing past successes, we can make better-informed decisions that pave the way for success and growth.

Next week: Focus

Quote of the week:    “Smart leaders believe only half of what they hear.  Discerning leaders know which half to believe.” – John Maxwell

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  In 2024, make a commitment to eliminate excuses, stop blaming, squash whining, and avoid settling for mediocrity. Embrace a growth mindset and strive for uncommon excellence in all that you do.

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!!


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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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