Exploring the Law of Trade-offs, Job Loss as Education, and Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking – Your Champions Brew

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

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:

  • Worry Less – Did you know that studies consistently show that the fear of public speaking is one of the biggest fears people have? I’m sure you can recall your first experience speaking in front of a crowd. I certainly remember mine.  Although I’m not sure if reciting the Gettysburg Address in 6th grade or performing Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s on First” skit in the high school talent show count as formal speaking engagements, let’s assume they don’t.

My first “official” speaking opportunity was in front of a couple of hundred mechanical engineering students at a conference in Toledo, OH. Looking back, I can’t help but smile at how far I’ve come since then. I also vividly remember the nerves and sweaty palms when I spoke in front of over 1,000 people, leading prayer at a National Day of Prayer breakfast event in Fort Wayne, IN. I wasn’t particularly good, but that experience was humbling, yet fulfilling.  And guess what? I’m not alone in this journey. Even world-renowned speakers have had their fair share of struggles.

Take John Maxwell, for example. When he got his first chance to speak in college, he admitted he was terrible. But he didn’t let that discourage him. He committed to studying effective communicators and seized every opportunity to speak to small audiences. It took him seven years to become comfortable with public speaking. From speaking to over 1,000 people in the 1970s to addressing an auditorium of more than 10,000 in the 1980s and progressing to speaking to crowds of 68,000 in the 1990s, John Maxwell’s journey exemplifies the power of persistence and growth.

John Maxwell is now one of the most sought-after speakers on leadership in the world today. He even admits to starting with a fear of public speaking. While I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity to speak in front of tens of thousands of people, I am committed to taking steps to improve myself. Don’t let fear hold you back from trying. Set aside your fear and take that small step toward personal development. You never know what incredible growth awaits you on the other side.

  • Network Well  – Experiencing job loss is undoubtedly challenging. As someone who went through it in 2020, I understand the difficulties it presents. Recently, I came across an intriguing story about Dave Clark, the former CEO of Flexport and an ex-Amazon executive.

Instead of dwelling on his job loss, Clark took a unique approach on LinkedIn that I found fascinating. He made a bold move by removing his CEO tenure at Flexport from the “Experience” section and placed it under “Education.” Alongside his academic achievements, Clark characterized his time at Flexport as a period of learning. This unconventional response highlighted his resilience and growth mindset.

To read the full article and delve deeper into the insights offered by Dave Clark’s LinkedIn approach, click here.   And you can follow Dave Clark here to see if this approach works for him!  Good luck, Dave!

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 –This week is a review of Law #11 in  The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth – Live Them and Reach Your Potential by John Maxwell.  Each week, I am traveling with you through a new chapter of this book.  I hope that you have purchased a copy of this book and are following along with me! 

Law # 11 – The Law of Trade-offs

You Have to Give Up to Grow Up

Oh my… Life is all about trade-offs. When we say ‘yes’ to one thing, we inevitably say ‘no’ to something else. In this chapter, John Maxwell dove into the challenging concept of trade-offs and the impact they have on our journey to success.

In my consulting and coaching experiences, I often encounter leaders who aspire to emulate the success of other companies or individuals. However, I always pose a question in response: “Are you truly willing to do what they have done to do what they do?”

Success, in most cases, comes at a price. It requires giving up certain comforts or making difficult choices. This is what is called the Law of Trade-offs. When we witness successful companies or individuals, we can almost guarantee that they have had to sacrifice or let go of something significant to reach their current position.

In this chapter, the author explored  the story of Herman Cain, the former head of Godfather’s Pizza. Despite his remarkable success with Pillsbury, he yearned for more. As he shared, “I had to dream of being president of something, for somebody, somewhere.” This led him to consider an opportunity with Burger King, a division of Pillsbury. However, pursuing this new path meant he had to make challenging trade-offs: relinquishing his title, accepting a drop in salary, giving up stock options, and immersing himself in a new business. He started from scratch, attending Burger King University alongside recent college graduates, and gradually worked his way up to become a vice president again. Eventually, he was presented the opportunity of turning around a struggling company Pillsbury had acquired: Godfather’s Pizza. He had achieved his dream of becoming a president.  I wonder if he knew at the time he would also consider a different presidency.  You may recall his unsuccessful run for the presidency of the United States, which likely involved an entirely new set of trade-offs!

While not every trade-off follows the same trajectory, Herman Cain’s journey exemplifies a deep understanding of the Law of Trade-offs.

Here are some of my key takeaways from this chapter, accompanied by a few of the insightful quotes:

  1. The path from where we are to where we want to be requires changes in our lives. To attain something we’ve never had, we must be willing to do something we’ve never done.
  2. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Victor Frankl, Holocaust survivor.
  3. The impact of a trade-off is often felt before the benefits are realized.
  4. “Each success only buys a ticket to a more difficult problem.” – Henry Kissinger.
  5. “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau.
  6. Some trade-offs are simply not worth the price. Recognize that certain aspects of life, such as your marriage, family relationships, and core values, should never be on the trade-off list.

Many individuals attempt to carry a multitude of things with them on their life’s journey. They strive to accumulate without letting go. However, this approach often proves ineffective, at best. Remember, you can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want.

To truly reach your potential, you must be prepared to make trade-offs. And when you have bold aspirations, big dreams, you can expect significant trade-offs along the way. Embrace them as stepping stones on your journey to Uncommon.

  • Quote of the week:   “People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change in order to get something better for fear of getting something worse.” – Eric Hoffer

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  So, what trade-offs might be needed to reach your full potential? What might you need to give up to fulfill it?  Could allowing fear hold you back from trying be one of those things you need to give up?

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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