Archives For priorities


Believe while others are doubting.

Plan while others are playing.

Study while others are sleeping.

Decide while others are delaying.

Prepare while others are daydreaming.

Begin while others are procrastinating.

Work while others are wishing.

Save while others are wasting.

Listen while others are talking.

Smile while others are frowning.

Commend while others are criticizing.

Persist while others are quitting.

~ William Arthur Ward

Leaders are “Profit Mechanics” (Type III Leadership)

A Friend of mine runs a $200 million business. He’s as thoughtful as hell, a real people guy. And his presence, if not charismatic, is certainly energetic and reassuring. But that’s not the vital secret to his stunning success as a CEO over a 15-year period.

My pal majored in mathematics. He loves the New York Times Sunday Crossword. And … more to the point … he loves the Puzzle-Called-Business.

The hair stands up on the back of his neck when he examines a P&L or a balance sheet. (Or so I imagine.) He loves to tease the most extraordinary conclusions from the biggest, most obscure data sets. It makes him chortle. He hums … no baloney … when he plays with numbers. (I’ve observed it.)

I’ve come to call this type of leader the IPM: Inspired Profit Mechanic.

An IPM, by himself, would quite possibly be … a total disaster. On the other hand, the other two leadership types – the Talent Developer and the Visionary – might also end up being disasters unless our friend the IPM is on duty … humming over those numbers.

~ Tom Peters, Leadership (Tom Peters Essential)

Extraordinary Achievers are Masters of Self.

The woman or man who becomes excellent and sustains that excellence throughout his or her life is first and foremost a master of self. She knows that nobody else can do for her what only she can do for herself. The motivated person takes responsibility for decisions, actions and motivation.

Beyond taking responsibility, the best become failure-proof. That doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes or miss their goals from time to time. It does mean that they don’t allow setbacks to prevent them from trying again. They often use their setbacks to leap ahead. They learn from their mistakes and adjust their efforts accordingly. They are paragons of perseverance.

Equipping and preparing yourself to win requires five things:

  • You need the right knowledge to win.
  • You must continually raise your personal performance bar.
  • You must acquire tools that help you work better and faster.
  • You have to practice your skills.
  • You have to surround yourself with positive influences and people.

In summary, you have to train yourself to become a twenty-four-hour champion. Winning involves planning and preparing. Both are a constant-improvement, never-ending process. When you stop planning and preparing … you stop winning. Twenty-four hour champions continually equip themselves to win!

~ Zig Ziglar, Born to Win


Mahatma-Gandhi-GandhijiI was in 8th grade, when I had first heard of Mahatma Gandhi. As the closing of the school year drew near our class was tasked, as all graduating 8th graders were, with the responsibility to choose an inspirational quote that we would adopt as our years slogan. Earlier that year we had studied India and its history. Of course, one can’t go living let alone reading a history book about India, without becoming familiar with Mahatma Gandhi. Though fascinating he was, I wonder if any of our class understood then just who this man was, and what he had accomplished. Nonetheless he became one of the more interesting subjects we had covered and his quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” became our slogan.

Quite the interesting message for a gang of 13 and 14 year-olds whose primary concerns are puberty and allowance money. However even at that age that quote sparked a plethora of questions and ideas that have lead me to where I am today; sitting in my office writing this Quotesense piece, learning and living.

Originally this segment was to be connected with Napoleon Hill’s next chapter, The Mystery of Sex Transmutation, which I know you all were excited to dive into, but something came up. October 6th commemorates the release of John C. Maxwell’s new book, Intentional Living, and fortunately I have been able to get a sneak peek into the books first three chapters. And that’s where I ran across Mr. Gandhi’s words, or so I thought.

While ginned up on the book, my dad and I began to discuss the content and the quote in particular. Such simple words for such a simple message that should be simply understood but is tremendously difficult for some to follow. After mentioning my difficulty finding a quote that would stick in correlation to Mr. Hill’s chapter, he suggested that I keep it simple and explore Gandhi’s words. Yet in doing so, I came across an interesting discovery that both pleased and disappointed me.

Now, let me say, my pleasure in writing these Quotesense pieces is the learning I get out of what lay behind the words that make the quote. What emotion, what circumstance prompted these words that so many look to for influence? And though in looking into the history of these words, sometimes I don’t find what I expect.

Anyone who tries to search for the history behind the words, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” might be in for a surprise when they discover that not only does anyone know when those words were spoken, there is no documentation that those words ever came from Gandhi himself. At least not like that. Instead, the closest attribution in relation to Gandhi is found in a segment of a chapter in volume 13 of Gandhi’s Complete Works. Chapter 153 – GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HEALTH [-XXXII]; 12. ACCIDENTS: SNAKE-BITE:

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

So how did that other abridged, reworded phrase come from this? Well, the excerpt from the volume probably couldn’t fit on a bumper sticker as easily, which is where the only known origin of that shortened quote. Though it is still a good message, it is unfortunate that many, including myself, are unaware of the full message.

The chapter this passage is found in starts out with Gandhi breaking down the reasoning behind man’s fear of snakes and how some cultures value these creatures over others. In true Gandhi fashion the entry becomes very poignant as what starts as a brief history lesson turns to a teaching moment that will have the reader doing a double take at the true meaning of the instructions to avoiding poisonous bites from snakes.

“It has also been demonstrated through experiments that if any poison gets into the system of one who is nervous or in a rage, the effect is instantaneous and more potent. Everyone can discover for himself that, when frightened or angered, the pulse is faster and the heart-beats increase. Whenever the blood circulates at a greater speed, it becomes hot. Heat generated by anger, etc., is unnatural and, therefore, deleterious. There is no reason to doubt that rage is a kind of fever.”

With over 90 volumes of wisdom, anyone should check out a slice of the pie that is The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. I feel fortunate to have found this little treasure of information and plan to share it. However it was not the only valuable jewel I found this week.

As I mentioned earlier, I have been lucky enough to get a look inside John C. Maxwell’s new book, Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters, and am truly excited to explore the rest of the text! In just three chapters I have been enlightened to what John is calling a worldwide movement, involving those who live intentionally by adding value not to just everyone, but mostly to yourself by making a difference. Being a part of the difference not because you want to but because you have to. It’s amazing how common sense is so easily shadowed in the part of us that is afraid to not only find it but believe in it. But something we all need reminding of is, it can be easy to do something.

I encourage anyone to follow along with John while he shares stories of others who have started small but believed big. This book isn’t just another self-help text, or leadership guide. Though it is easily guised as such, this book is a call to action. A summoning of the common good we all have in us to think before we speak and avoid the poisonous snakes.

Intentional Living, Choosing a Life That Matters

Though religion is a driving force and catalyst behind John’s message, he encourages those who do not share the same views to skip any sections he proceeds to speak on behalf of his beliefs because this isn’t about what religion you believe in. It doesn’t matter what your nationality, or sexuality or political stance is. It’s about the bigger picture. The one that includes everyone and doesn’t crop out anyone who wants to be part of it.

If you’re interested in how someone like Carrie Rich turned a $100 cash gift to $6000 and then to $2,000,000 in the blink of an eye, or how a teenager by the name of Celine is changing the lives of others her age by supplying them with education, then you need to read this book.

Begin creating your own story, and ensure you’re on the path to greatness. Make your life significant.

-David Joseph Leingang

Organized planning is when your desires start to take shape to become a reality. At this stage people take their desire seriously and start to pursue it by developing a plan to do so. One of the keys to doing this, as Napoleon Hill stresses, is to build your mastermind alliance. You cannot accomplish your ultimate desire by yourself. True success always involves other people and a structured way to do this is by forming a mastermind group.

Everyone will agree that two heads are better than one. Well, most people would agree, I know a few that wouldn’t but that’s their loss, you don’t want folks like that in your mastermind group. The group won’t reach its full potential unless there is harmony where everyone can freely share their thoughts and ideas.

I believe that it takes strong leadership skills to accomplish your desires. Skills that bring people together to work towards a single objective are the skills that help leaders achieve their desires.

Mr. Hill dissects leadership in this chapter and breaks down the 11 attributes of leadership that are necessary to effectively organize your mastermind group and make plans to achieve your desires (goals).

11 Major Attributes of Leadership – Napoleon Hill

1. UNWAVERING COURAGE based upon knowledge of self, and of one’s occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.

2. SELF-CONTROL. The man who cannot control himself, can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.

3. A KEEN SENSE OF JUSTICE. Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.

4. DEFINITENESS OF DECISION. The man who wavers in his decisions, shows that he is not sure of himself. He cannot lead others successfully.

5. DEFINITENESS OF PLANS. The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks.

6. THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR. One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.

7. A PLEASING PERSONALITY. No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a Pleasing Personality.

8. SYMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING. The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems.

9. MASTERY OF DETAIL. Successful leadership calls for mastery of details of the leader’s position.

10. WILLINGNESS TO ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY. The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.

11. COOPERATION. The successful leader must understand, and apply the principle of cooperative effort and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for POWER, and power calls for COOPERATION.

Napoleon goes on to describe two different forms of leadership and which one should be used to gain the most followers, “The first, and by far the most effective is LEADERSHIP BY CONSENT of, and with the sympathy of the followers. The second is LEADERSHIP BY FORCE, without the consent and sympathy of the followers.” It’s hard to believe that this was written in 1937 and people today still try to lead by force.

Napoleon Hill address different failures in Think and Grow Rich and the following is what he wrote about in the 1930’s. How many of these failures do you see in the news, your organization, or within yourself?

Causes of Failure in Leadership

Any one of these faults is sufficient to induce failure. Study the list carefully if you aspire to be a leader, and make sure you are free of these faults.

1. Inability to organize details. The successful leader must be the master of all details connected with his position. That means, of course, that he must acquire the habit of relegating details to capable lieutenants.

2. Unwillingness to render humble service. “The greatest among ye shall be the servant of all” is a truth which all able leaders observe and respect.

3. Expectation of pay for what they “know” instead of what they do with what they know. The world does not pay people for what they know. It pays them for what they do.

4. Fear of competition from followers. Leaders who fear that one of their followers may take their position is practically sure to realize that fear sooner or later.

5. Lack of imagination. Without imagination, the leader is incapable of meeting emergencies.

6. Selfishness. The really great leader claims none of the honors.

7. Intemperance. Intemperance in any of its forms destroys endurance and the vitality of all who indulge in it.

8. Disloyalty. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth.

9. Emphasis on the “authority” of leadership. If a leader is a real leader, he will have no need to advertise that fact except by his conduct — his sympathy, understanding, fairness, and a demonstration that he knows his job.”

10. Emphasis of title. The people who make too much over their title generally have little else to emphasize.

If you can identify leadership failures you will start to see trends on where they are happening. Every time you turn on the news you see an example of someone failing as a leader. Napoleon Hill identified a number of areas back in 1937 that needed what he referred to as LEADERSHIP BY CONSENT.

Fertile fields in which new leadership is required (1937)

“There are a few fertile fields in which there has been a decline of leadership, and in which the new type of leader may find an abundance of opportunity.

First – In the field of politics, there is a most insistent demand for new leaders; a demand which indicates nothing less than an emergency. The majority of politicians have, seemingly, become high-grade legalized racketeers. They have increased taxes and debauched the machinery of industry and business until the people can no longer stand the burden.

Second – the Banking business is undergoing a reform. The leaders in this field have almost entirely lost the confidence of the public. Already the bankers have sensed the need of reform, and they have begun it.

Third – Industry calls for new leaders. The old type of leaders thoughts and moved in terms of dividends instead of thinking and moving in terms of human equations! The future leader in industry, to endure, must regard himself as a quasi-public official whose duty it is to manage his trust in such as a way that it will work hardship on no individual, or group of individuals. Exploitation of working men is a thing of the past. Let that man who aspires to leadership in the field of business, industry and labor remembers this.

Fourth – The religious leader of the future will be forced to give more attention to the temporal needs of his followers, in the solution of their economic and personal problems of the present, and less attention to the dead past and the yet unborn future.

Fifth – In the professions of law, medicine, and education, a new brand of leadership, and to some extent, new leaders will become a necessity. This is especially true in the field of education. The leader is that field must, in the future, find ways and means of teaching people how to apply the knowledge they receive in school. He must deal more with practice and less with theory.

Sixth – New leaders will be required in the field of Journalism. Newspapers of the future, to be conducted successfully, must be divorced from ‘special privilege’ and relieved from the subsidy of advertising. They must cease to be organs of propaganda for the interests which patronize their advertising columns. The type of newspaper which publishes scandal and lewd pictures will eventually go the way of all forces which debauch the human mind.

These are but a few of the fields in which opportunity for new leaders and a new brand of leadership are now available.”

Think and Grow Rich was published after the great depression, so we can understand that the fields which needed new leadership back then is relevant today, or at least in my opinion. This, of course, doesn’t apply to everyone in those fields, it’s usually a few that make the many look bad.

Legacy, an ideal that I think most of us don’t think about or think we’re important enough to think about. What are we actually leaving behind after we pass away.

Legacy is more than just your name on the side of a building or a trust fund to help people go to college or even a park named after you. A legacy is built around the person’s character first.

Sure, donating money is important, what else are you going to do with the excess, spend it on yourself. Then that’s what you’re legacy will be, a person who thought of themselves and their own desires before helping others who may need it.

Legacies start by developing your philosophy about life. I think of Benjamin Franklin’s philosophy of giving back to mankind more than he received. He never patented his inventions which in turn helped others improve upon them and make fortunes. A few are the Franklin stove, bifocals and yes a flexible urinary catheter. Not to mention being the ambassador to France during the Revolutionary War and for putting his neck in a noose by signing the Declaration of Independence.

Legacies can also be shattered, like Bill Clinton stated, “You know, it’s just one small step from legacy to lame duck.” Think of what legacy Bill has left, the incident during his Presidency tarnished his legacy, that chapter will always be in his life. But Bill continues to build his legacy, after all, his next step may be as the “First Gentleman” if that would be the opposite term for the “First Lady.”

Some Presidents like Jimmy Carter didn’t do well in office. His legacy is being built afterwards through his support of Habitat for Humanity.

Legacies are built on your daily habits, if those habits are bad then your legacy may be bad. Sure you may have given a lot of money away, but nobody really liked you, then what kind of legacy will that be.

The legacy of a person is the only thing that lives past their death. Are you known as always being late or on time, always busy or able to lend a helping hand, always moody or able to lift others moods? It’s really about how you treat others.

What are some of the things you can do to build a legacy for yourself? John Maxwell in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership outlines these four points in the chapter, “The Law of Legacy;”

  1. Know the legacy you want to leave. Are you accepting your life or just living it. Are you creating your experiences or are you just letting them happen to you. Find and live your passion.
  2. Live the legacy you want to leave. Once you find your passion, live it. Work on it every day and soon you will become it.
  3. Choose who will carry on your legacy. If you own a company, who will take it over when you’re done. If you have kids, will they reflect the life you lived?
  4. Make sure you pass the baton. If you’re really passionate about something isn’t it just natural to find someone as passionate about it as you and then encourage them to pursue it also.

I grabbed these points from one of Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tips on “How to Leave a Legacy;”

  1. Believe big. Your possibilities are only limited by your own beliefs in how great you can be.
  2. Keep your eye on the ball. Find your passion and stay the course. What are your strengths and how can you use them to follow your passion?
  3. Do something. Nothing happens until you get off your behind and do it.
  4. Use focused persistence. Focus on the top 20 percent of your priorities which should give you an 80 percent return. (Puerto’s Principle)
  5. Overcome your obstacles. Don’t let others tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t let your own fears cause you to fail before you even begin.

Some good steps to start with if you’re interested in living a legacy worth leaving.

For some people their legacy doesn’t fully develop until after their death. They’ve either left their wealth for others to enjoy or their debt for others to tend with. They’ve either left shattered relationships or loving friendships. They either kept their knowledge and experience or they’ve shared it with others.

Isn’t it a shame to see someone’s passion die when they do? All great movements in the world really start out with one person who is passionate about that idea. It stays alive because they have the ability to light that passion fire in others, I think of Mother Teresa as an example.

Not only the successful and wealthy leave a legacy, everyone does in some way or another. When you pass away will the church be full of people who cared about you or attended by those who feel obligated to go, or need a free lunch? Doesn’t it depend on how many people you’ve added value to? People take the time to remember people who took the time to remember them.

What can you do daily to live the legacy you want to leave?

“The time we enjoy wasting is usually a good indicator of our real values… The best things in life feel like we feel when we waste our time!”

~ Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt

Reading the first part of this quote,  “The time we enjoy wasting is usually a good indicator of our real values…” I think of what time I waste, and do I enjoy it?

If I feel like I’m doing something unproductive I ask myself, “What’s the value in doing this?” Is watching television to laugh, which is good for your health, to learn something new, or maybe it’s to spend time with someone.

Now the second part of the quote, “The best things in life feel like we feel when we waste our time!” So once again, what do you waste your time on?

I know when I’m doing something productive, which for me is reading, studying, writing, working on a project, anything but watching television or spending time in boring conversations. When I start to get ‘antsy’ to do something else I remind myself of the real reason to spend time doing it. It doesn’t have to be what you want to do. You connect with people by spending time with them, by doing things they like to do.

I once again have to remind myself, “It’s not always about you, Dave.” and then I can relax better to enjoy the moment and realize that;

The most important thing in life is free. Love, and you won’t find it till you put others first.

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
― Stephen R. Covey

© Michael Brown -

© Michael Brown –

Mr. Covey, the author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Productive People”  stressed that you needed to prioritize your days to.

make sure you do what’s important first and save the less important things to fill in the gaps.

What’s really frustrating to some of us is when other people push their priorities onto us thinking that they’re your priorities. Depending on the situation and the level of influence the person has on you then that may be the case, especially if they pay your salary.

Some people may not even know what is urgent and what isn’t. Worse yet, some people don’t do what’s important. Their urgency is to focus on their own personal needs, not what’s required. Now don’t get me wrong, of course it’s important to tend to your own needs, but some only do that and think it’s an inconvenience to help others.

What’s strange is when people don’t even do what’s important to help them be successful. It makes me wonder three things;

1) Are they just lazy?
2) Do they really care about themselves?
3) Do they believe that they can be more than what they are or worse yet, what someone else thinks they are?

Here’s a thought, if you focus on what’s important, will there be more urgent matters to take care of first?

What does this quote mean to you?



August 5, 2013 — 2 Comments

“I don’t have the time” = “It’s not my priority.”

© OutStyle - Fotolia

© OutStyle – Fotolia

Have you ever had more priorities than time? Well of course you have, who hasn’t? What is really frustrating is that other people don’t see them as their priorities. But isn’t leadership about being able to express your priorities and get people to make them their own, willingly?Maybe when you hear someone say, “I didn’t have the time to do that,” should say, “I’m sorry, I can’t make that a priority right now.” Is it that they have higher priorities? Or maybe your level of influence with them isn’t high enough? I would like to think it was the first reason, but it’s more than likely the second. Why, well if you’ve been a true servant leader towards someone they would believe that your priorities were also theirs. Why, because you’ve added value to them.So; “I don’t have the time” equals “It’s not my priority.” The challenge is to make it their priority, and in order to do that you have to raise your level of influence with them.  To do that you have to make THEM a priority first.

“If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.”
– Zig Ziglar

 So how do you set your priorities? In “Today Matters” John C. Maxwell writes that you need to ask yourself three questions when deciding on priorities;

1)      What is required of me?

This may take some thought, and discussion. Discussion with those you work with and those you live with. I can always think of what’s required for me to do, but I bet if you asked others what they expect from you they would come up with some different ideas.

2)     What gives me the greatest return?

If you follow the 80/20 principle then 20 percent of your priorities/work gives you a 80 percent return.  The problem is that the top 20 percent is probably the hard stuff to do and it’s easy to do the other 80 percent,  because it’s probably what’s fun and simple. When the top 20 percent of your priorities are in your strengths, then you’re in your most productive zone.

3)      What gives me the greatest reward?

What do you like to do, how do you relax? This may be one of the most important ones for some people and the most abused one for others. John says that there are two types of people in the world, winners and whiners. Winners do what needs to be done before feeling good and whiners want to feel good before they do something. The reward for me is to see something that I accomplished or finished, even if it isn’t perfect.  (You can probably tell that by the way I write, definitely not perfect)

Another tip John gives us in “Today Matters” is how to manage the disciplines of priorities in our daily activities.

1)      Evaluate Priorities Daily.

Do your priorities change daily? I would guess that they do, unless you are retired to the television, and then the priority would be which rerun to watch. But most of us have busy lives and live and work with people who have changing and conflicting priorities. How many leaders meet with their direct reports daily to see what they are required to do? How many of us that are married ask your spouse in the morning if they have anything that they require/want us to do?

2)      Plan Your Time Carefully.

Isn’t it great when you know what your priorities are at the beginning of the day? It’s said that if you plan for 15 minutes in the morning you could save yourself two hours of work in the day. And then fill those two hours in with other priorities.

3)      Follow Your Plan.

In that plan put the 20 percent of what gives you an 80 percent return. As the late Steven Covey said, start with the big tasks first and you can fit the small tasks in, but if you focus on the small tasks first you’ll struggle to even start on the big ones.

4)      Delegate Whenever Possible.

This is the best part of being a leader, to delegate what you don’t want to do, or better yet, what your weak in. Unfortunately leaders also need to delegate what they like to do, not only to train others, but to do what may be a higher priority. John says that if someone can do something 80 percent as good as you can, delegate it to them.

5)      Invest In The Right People Daily.

Leaders focus on the top employees and develop them because they see the potential for higher productivity. Managers focus on employees who struggle because they have a negative effect on productivity.

If you think about it, setting priorities may be a more important task in the morning than checking all those new emails, again. Here’s a thought, maybe we wouldn’t get so many emails if we just picked up the phone or walked over the persons office and talked to them instead of creating an email string.

Let’s think about the lack of setting priorities and stress. If you don’t focus on the right things and get them done, don’t you keep thinking about having to do it and regretting not getting started? That to me is stress, just suck it up and get it done.

Take some time to write down your priorities and think about which ones will give you the biggest return. Is it the ones you’re focusing on?

I think another great daily activity that I need to start doing again is daily planning. It’s easy and unproductive to let life just pass you by without making sure you get done what you need to get done.

How do you set priorities?