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If you could add one personality trait to improve yourself, what would you choose? Courage? Wisdom? Enthusiasm? Confidence? We could go on and on and still probably miss the one you might choose. I heard a speaker say it was important to be inspired but still more important to have the desire, the will to want to. I most heartily agree with him. I also like Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s six-point success formula: 1) work, 2) work, 3) work, 4) forget self, 5) set goals, and 6) get along with others. We’ve all heard many, many formulas, and they all will work if we will.
Most are ready to accept these success formulas but for some reason never get them into high gear. You’ve noticed many who have great potential and every reason to be tremendously successful, but nothing seems to happen. What is it that chains so many of us to the pit of mediocrity? What is it that dampens the fires of greatness that are lit so many times in our hearts?
Perhaps my findings are not the only solution, but with all my heart I believe the fires of greatness in our hearts can be kept aglow only after we develop a sense of urgency and importance for what we are doing. By that, I mean a sense of urgency to the extent that we feel it is a matter of life and death; and it is a matter of life and death. For in growing, we are alive; and in quitting, we are dying in a sense. If you don’t believe this, talk to anyone who has lost the sense of urgency of getting things done and has been drifting in complacency, mediocrity and failure. If you are without a sense of urgency in your work, you know what I mean.
A sense of urgency is that feeling that lets you know yesterday is gone forever, tomorrow never comes. TODAY is in your hands. It lets you know that shirking today’s task will add to wasted yesterdays and postponing today’s work will add to tomorrow’s burden. The sense of urgency causes you to accomplish what today sets before you. Thank God for the sense of urgency that can change a dull, shabby job into a sparkling career. While this may not be the complete solution, I think we can all agree this will be a tremendous step in the right direction. Right now, ask God to give you a sense of urgency in your work. Believe that he did, and then act accordingly.
To help our sense of urgency help us, let’s look at seven “tremendous” laws of leadership and follow that up with an examination of two important qualities – discipline and loyalty.
Seven “Tremendous” Laws of Leadership
1) Learning to put excitement in your work.
Why is it that some people work and work, and never have anything to show for it? And others do less and accomplish more? The secret is learning to put excitement in your work.
If I’m not learning to get excited about what I don’t like, I’ll never get much to be excited about that I do like. Everybody looks for “the right job.” Sometimes, you’ll hear “I’m looking for a job that fits me.” I say, “I hope you get something better than that.” We need to be learning that no job can make you, but anyone that can put excitement into their work can make a job.
2) Use or lose.
There’s a law that says we all have certain attributes, characteristics and talents. If you use what you have, you’ll get more; but if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
One night, as I was coming out of a seminar, a person asked, “Do you think it’s possible to be excited about your business, be thrilled and successful, and then, three years later, be sick and sorry you ever heard of the whole business?” Here’s a perfect example of one who doesn’t know the law of Use or Lose. Once he was in his glory, using all the talents he had. As a result, he was successful. But one morning, because he wasn’t using what he had, he began losing it. And one morning he woke up and asked, “What went wrong? Who let me down?”
The answer is that nobody let him down. Nothing went wrong. Because he wasn’t using what he had, he was losing it. And the people who lose it always blame somebody else. Remember, nobody is ever a failure until they blame someone else.
3) Give to get.
Leadership is learning to give whether or not you get anything in return. If you ever give to get something, you’re not giving; you’re trading. And there’s a big difference between giving and trading.
If a person gives whether or not they get anything in return, then they are learning to give. If you give whether or not you get anything, you get a greater capacity to give more, whether or not you get anything in return. And out of this begins to develop a reservoir of reserve and readiness that becomes a tremendous asset. You can lose your reputation, you can lose your home, you can even lose your family, but you can’t lose your capacity to give once you’ve begun to live this law.
4) Production to perfection.
Someone will say, “I’m a perfectionist. I believe in doing everything perfectly. And if I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it.” That’s the person who never does anything.
There’s a law that says if you’re not learning to make something happen today, you’ll never know more than your own whimsical, shallow dreams. Production will teach you a little about perfection, but perfection will never be more than your own fantasy.
5) Exposure to experience.
In the beginning of life, God gives everybody an imaginary key ring. Every time a person exposes himself or herself to another situation, they get another key of experience for their key ring. Soon, the key ring begins to fill with thousands and millions of keys of experience.
As a person gets exposure and experience, they get to use the same keys over and over again. The law of exposure to experience gets better with the years. Finally, a person gets to know which keys unlock which doors, while the inexperienced don’t know if they have a key. All they can do is fumble around and hope to add another key of experience to their key ring.
6) Flexible planning.
This is the age of the planner. Everybody’s planning, planning, planning. Don’t ever tell anyone that planning will do it. I believe you have to have a plan to exist, but the real law is not planning; it’s flexible planning. Flexible planning says, “Plan on it going wrong.” You say, what if it goes right? We will just have to work it in. Growing is learning that nothing ever goes wrong except to make you more right.
7) Motivated to motivating.
Which would you rather be: a miserable motivator or a happy motivated flop? I would rather be a happy, motivated flop, because if I can be motivated long enough, I’ll get to be motivating, and if I can be motivated long enough, I’ll eventually become a motivator. And, I’ll get to enjoy what I get. That’s not the case with the person who has learned to motivate everybody but themselves. Our problem isn’t motivating them, but keeping them from de-motivating me. The motivation will flow when you are totally committed and involved.
Discipline and loyalty
We live in a world where these two great words – discipline and loyalty are becoming meaningless. Does this mean that they are worthless? On the contrary, they are becoming priceless qualities because they are so hard to develop in the first place. And should you be one of the fortunate few who by God’s grace have caught the vision, your battle has just begun because the greatest battle is to keep what you’ve learned through these two priceless qualities.
Discipline is that great quality that few people use that enables them to be constructively busy all the time. Even in discouragement and defeat, discipline will rescue you and usher you to a new place to keep constructively busy while you forget about doubt, worry and self-pity. Oh, that more men and women in this day would realize the absolute necessity of discipline and the degree of growth and happiness to be attained from it.
Most people think that loyalty is to a thing or to a person when actually it is really to one’s own self. Some think that it is to a goal or an objective, but again it is to one’s own convictions. If loyalty has to be earned, then it is deserved and is hardly more than devoted emotion based on a temporary feeling. No, loyalty is the character of a person who has given himself to the task before him and he will always realize that out of a loyal heart will spring all the other virtues that make life one of depth and growth.
About the author:
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones is an author, publisher and humorist. His book, “Life is Tremendous” is in 12 languages and has sold three million copies. For more information, e-mail him at Tremendous@ExecutiveBooks.com or call 717-691-0400.