Your Champions Brew for Friday, June 2, 2023

When making a decision, what is the ONE question leaders should always ask?

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:

  • Build faith – When I am not traveling for work, I am able to attend a gathering on Thursday mornings with some guys from church.  We ‘check in’ with each other on a weekly basis to see how we did over the past week.  We call it our “5 for 5”.  It’s a simple process where we go around the tables and each respond what our ‘score’ was the previous week by answering these five questions:
    • Did you attend church last week?
    • Did you serve?
    • Did you stay in the Word by reading your Bible each day?
    • Did you tithe?
    • Did you share your faith story with anyone?

The answers to those simple questions help to keep us accountable, but also provide us the opportunity to provide support for those who ‘score’ low.  For example, one of our members had three of four consecutive weeks of a ‘4 out of 5’ and they were missing the discipline of reading the Bible each day.  I was able to ask him what was getting in his way of completing his daily reading and call him forth to change something in his daily routine in the next week to get back on track. 

There is nothing magical about these questions and it can often feel like we are checking the box if we aren’t careful, but it is our daily habits that will change our outcomes.  And, it is the accountability within the group that helps change our thoughts that impede our habits.  So, regardless of where you are on your faith, leadership development, or health journey, or maybe it’s a relationship you are trying to improve, there are daily and weekly habits that you must accomplish to reach the outcomes that you want. 

Do you have a list of the 5 habits/disciplines that you need to achieve to reach the outcomes that you desire?  How are you doing in completing those habits?  Do you have someone to hold you accountable for those habits and for challenging you to change?

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  • Think Positively – Great leaders ask great questions.  In a recent podcast I listened to titled “The Question Great Leaders Ask”, Andy Stanley states that great questions accomplish three things:  1) They reveal our values, 2) They reinforce our values and 3) They reinforce behaviors.  OK, Andy, so what is THE question that every leader should ask when facing a decision?

“What would a GREAT Leader Do?”

That’s it?  THAT’s the question?  Is it really that simple? Andy’s explanation is summarized in four points:

  1. It raises the standard of our leadership above the circumstances of our leadership – The question attempts to remove the emotion that often makes us defensive.
  2. Reveals motive – The question pushes me away from a selfish answer of what I think and creates a new focus on what may be best for others.
  3. Reveals weakness – The answer to this question may reveal a blind spot in our own leadership style that we need to address.
  4. Inspires you to reach beyond the limits of your personality and styleTHIS point is the one where I find the most value in the question.  This question forces me to think outside of my comfort zone just a bit and may bring me to an answer of which I may not always be comfortable!

Next time you are faced with a tough decision, try to ask the question “What would a GREAT leader do?”  At a minimum, it will force you to pause and think before acting. 

  • Read More –We are over halfway through The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication – Apply Them and Make the Most of Your Message.  Each week, I travel with you through a chapter of this book.  This week we review Law # 9 of 16:

Law # 9 – The Law of Anticipation

When You Can’t Wait to Say It, They Can’t Wait to Hear It

“When you can’t wait to say it, they can’t wait to hear it.”  When you hear the word anticipation, what comes to mind?  Is it the famous Heinz ketchup commercial (that should reveal my age!)?  Or is it waking up on Christmas morning at 4:30 am wondering if Santa will leave the Atari game system under the Christmas tree?  When I launched the Champions Brew almost two years ago, I had a vision that you would anticipate getting the weekly email in your inbox the same way I used to anticipate the John Maxwell Maximum Impact Monthly CD (it started out as cassette tapes!) showing up in the mail each month.  I was excited to hear what wisdom John was going to drop for me and my team.  The excitement of believing something positive is going to happen is a great feeling.

When we communicate, whether it is in writing, presenting, or in a relationship, do the people you are trying to communicate with look forward to what you have to say, or do they dread it?  Let’s get right to the point.  To help you to create a sense of anticipation, you first must have the right mindset.  You must believe that you have something to say that can be of value to others and they will have anticipation.  Once you believe in yourself, you have a chance. 

Now that you believe in self, how do you create an atmosphere of anticipation for others?  In this chapter John outlines four ways you can begin to create an atmosphere of anticipation:

1) Turn the Faucet On – Fairly obvious point here, but easier said than done.  Louis L’Amour quipped: “Start writing, no matter what.  The water doesn’t flow until the faucet is turned on.”  When you have the right mindset that you do have value to offer, it will help you to overcome the procrastination that often accompanies the discipline of communicating.

2) Set the Table So People Know Good “Food” Is Coming – I loved the analogy of comparing a great presentation to a fine dinner.  “As a communicator, you are like the chef, maître d, and the server all wrapped in one.  You know the menu.  You control the service.” 

3) Be a Fountain, Not a Drain – Can I get an AMEN?!!  Please be a fountain.  You need to be someone who pours in to others.  Tim Elmore, CEO of Growing Leaders, said this: “Fountains and drains have two opposite functions:  Fountains overflow with water while drains remove the water completely.  In relationships with others, most people are either a fountain or a drain – they either flow and overflow onto others, or they just drain people of their energy.  My guess is that you’ve probably met both kinds of people.”  So, ask yourself, are you a fountain or are you a drain?

4) Live on the Other Side of Yes – Back to mindset, if you expect every answer to your opportunity to be a ‘no’, that’s what you’ll get.  If you expect ‘yes’, you are more likely to get an opportunity or the answer you want.  Once you can live on the other side of yes, the possibilities are limitless.

If your sense of anticipation is strong when you step up to communicate, it will spread to those to whom you are communicating.  That is the Law of Anticipation.

Quote of the week:

“Stop trying to add leadership moments to your calendar and instead, make leadership moments of all the things already on your calendar” – Perry Holley, Maxwell Leadership Executive Coach

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  Compile a list of the Top 5 habits or disciplines that you need to achieve the outcomes that you desire.  How are you doing in completing those habits?  Do you have someone to hold you accountable for those habits and for challenging you to change?

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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