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    July 2008

    Mondays with Mac: Get a Second Job

    July 28, 2008 1849 Views

    You may have heard the quote..."The speed of the leader will determine the rate of the pack." Well here's another one for you… "The attitude of the leader will determine the attitude of the pack."

    Because I'm the founder of Successories, some people think that this guy probably never has a negative thought. How wrong they would be! Like every human being, I have doubts, fears, and disappointments in my life. As a leader, however, we must manage our attitudes. Do we need to be perfect? Of course not. But, we can never underestimate the influence that our actions and our attitudes will have on our team. Churchill said, "The price of leadership is responsibility."…and part of that responsibility is to stay positive whether you feel like it or not.

    Managing your attitude is a very personal thing.

    However, for me, the most important factor is exercise. My attitude and my energy levels are directly tied to exercise. I can be doing everything else right, but without regular exercise I can feel my attitude heading south.

    I've got a friend who is 65 but looks like he's 55. I saw him the other day and said, "Tony, you look great." He said, "I feel great! I got a second job." I said, "A second job? I thought your import business was doing well." He said, "It is. My second job is on the treadmill from 6-7 every m morning. When I started looking at it as a second job, I showed up whether I wanted to or not!" He said, "The pay is lousy, but the benefits to my health and my attitude are priceless!"

    Exercise, more than anything, is a "stress buster." And, don't kid yourself, stress is a killer. In fact the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of all illnesses are directly or indirectly caused by stress. Therefore, if you're not proactive in busting stress, it's very likely to come back and bust you!

    Mondays with Mac: Learn When to Wait

    July 21, 2008 1901 Views

    I'll be the first to admit that patience has not been one of my best virtues. However, as I've grown older, and hopefully wiser, I've come to appreciate its incredible power. In hindsight, I see that some of the major mistakes I made could have been avoided had I been more patient.

    In 1984, shortly after I sold McCord Travel, we started a small publishing company called Great Quotations. Our format was simple – each of our thirty titles had eighty pages with a single quote on the page. Our primary market was to hotel and airport gift shops.

    The concept "took off" and within a year we had sold about a million books….but there was a problem. Because of the book's size and type of binding, none of the regional printing companies could do the job cost effectively. We had a choice: (1) we could source the book overseas where hand labor was inexpensive, or (2) we could purchase printing and custom collating equipment to do the work in-house.

    I was impatient and decided to buy the equipment. Well it was one of the worst business decisions I have ever made. Two years, and a million dollars later, we closed the printing operation, sold the equipment, and found an overseas source that did the job for half the price, with none of the headaches.

    Fast is not always best. Had I been more patient and done a little more homework, I would have avoided the headaches and heartaches of going through the learning curve.

    Recently, I had a speaking engagement in Hawaii. I arrived about midnight and a driver met me at the airport to take me to my hotel. He was a young man with a real passion for life. On the way to the hotel, he shared his love for surfing. I asked him if it was dangerous and he said, "Very dangerous, if you don't know what you're doing." He said many people drown when a large wave takes them under and there instincts tell them to fight to get back to the surface. The key, he said, is to do just the opposite; let your body go limp and the currents will bring you to the surface.

    This can also be a life lesson. When you face adversity, be focused but patient, and the right answers will usually surface before you know it.

    Mondays with Mac: Put First Things First

    July 14, 2008 1999 Views

    I met Charlie Cullen through his nephew during my sophomore year in college. Charlie had been ranked by his peers as the top speaker in the country, and he had addressed the leaders of many Fortune 500 companies. But on this day, as a favor to his nephew, he interrupted his schedule to address a small group of students on the Keys to Success. For almost an hour, he spoke passionately about courage, humility, perseverance, and believing in your dreams. And eh ended with a story I never forgot.

    He said that he was in the Oklahoma City airport when he saw a woman walking along with three little girls. They were skipping and singing, "Daddy's coming home on a big jet! Daddy's coming home on a big jet!" All excited! Eyes lit up like diamonds! Wild anticipation! They had never before met Daddy coming home on a jet. Their mother was so proud of them and their enthusiasm. You could see it in her eyes.

    Then the plane arrived, the door opened, and the passengers streamed in. You didn't have to ask which one was Daddy. The girls' bright eyes were glued on him. But his first look was for his wife. Spying her, he yelled, "Why didn't you bring my top coat?" and strode right past his adoring, crushed daughters.

    Here was a man who had an opportunity to be great, and he didn't recognize it.

    How many times a day, a week, a month do we have the opportunity to be great, and not even know it?

    Of all the beautiful lithographs that we've created at Successories®, everyone seems to remember one in particular. It is the photo of a small boy looking out at the ocean. The title is Priorities, and it says: "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."

    These words truly bring the meaning of "real success" into focus.

    Mondays with Mac: Embrace Change in Your Life

    July 7, 2008 2102 Views

    The Root Word for "motivation" is "move," and movement is change. Ask yourself right now…Am I moving forward or am I standing still? Do I have a career that I love? Am I pleased with the relationship I have with my spouse, my kids? Do I have a healthy lifestyle? Is my energy level, my attitude, where it should be? Is my relationship with God where it should be? Is there a hobby, an activity I want to pursue?

    Truthful answers to these and other questions will tell you whether you want, or need to change.

    Although answering such questions truthfully is critical to begin the change process, we all know the tough part comes later. According to John Murphy in his book Think Change, the key to successful change is discipline and "reprogramming beliefs." A cautionary inner voice will tell you not to rock the boat, to stay on the path of least resistance, but your heart is telling you otherwise.

    Listen to your heart. Filter out the old static and tune in something new. Challenge your assumptions, identify and study people already doing what you want to do. Read books and listen to tapes that will you motivate you to break away from the notorious "comfort zone." Confront your fears. When one unsatisfying day just blurs into the next – your life is begging for a change.

    Comfort zones put padlocks on the doors to growth, discovery, and adventure in your life, but three keys that will unlock those doors are discipline, hard work, and faith. When it comes to progress, when it comes to change…Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard. Unlock one door at a time, enjoy small successes, and soon you will have achieved your goals.

    Some key points to remember:

    1. No pain! No gain! There will be some setbacks.
    2. Fear is a human emotion. The absence of fear is not courage, it's brain damage.
    3. Give your fear a name and it becomes a problem. It's easier to solve problems than conquer fear.
    4. With each obstacle you overcome, your confidence will grow. Every time you conquer any fear…no matter how small…you are better prepared for the next challenge.

    Change can truly be a wonderful gift. It can recharge your emotional battery and nourish your soul. Just do it! Choose change and let it make a positive difference in your life.

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