I want you to feel really good about who you are. About all the great things that you do! Acknowledge all the great gifts and talents God has placed in your life and realize what a gift you are to the world around you.
Remember you are one of a kind, You are the only one in this world like you, cherish your uniqueness, and please make sure you are taking care of that rare soul of yours.
You have the ability to make each day special, each morning brings new gifts that we have never experienced before. The bible says in Lamentations 3:22-24 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
Responding to emails during off-work hours isn’t the only area in which you need to set boundaries. You need to make the critical distinction between what belongs to your employer and what belongs to you and you only. The items that follow are yours. If you don’t set boundaries around them and learn to say no to your boss, you’re giving away something with immeasurable value.
- Your health. It’s difficult to know when to set boundaries around your health at work because the decline is so gradual. Allowing stress to build up, losing sleep and sitting all day without exercising all add up. Before you know it, you’re rubbing your aching back with one hand and your zombie-like eyes with the other, and you’re looking down at your newly acquired belly. The key here is to not let things sneak up on you, and the way you do that is by keeping a consistent routine. Think about what you need to do to keep yourself healthy (taking walks during lunch, not working weekends, taking your vacations as scheduled, etc.), make a plan and stick to it no matter what. If you don’t, you’re allowing your work to overstep its bound
- Your family. It’s easy to let your family suffer for your work. Many of us do this because we see our jobs as a means of maintaining our families. We have thoughts such as “I need to make more money so my kids can go to college debt-free.” Though these thoughts are well-intentioned, they can burden your family with the biggest debt of all—a lack of quality time with you. When you’re on your deathbed, you won’t remember how much money you made for your spouse and kids. You’ll remember the memories you created with them.
- Your sanity. While we all have our own levels of this to begin with, you don’t owe a shred of it to your employer. A job that takes even a small portion of your sanity is taking more than it’s entitled to. Your sanity is something that’s difficult for your boss to keep track of. You have to monitor it on your own and set good limits to keep yourself healthy. Often, it’s your life outside of work that keeps you sane. When you’ve already put in a good day’s (or week’s) work and your boss wants more, the most productive thing you can do is say no, then go and enjoy your friends and hobbies. This way, you return to work refreshed and de-stressed. You certainly can work extra hours if you want to, but it’s important to be able to say no to your boss when you need time away from work.
- Your identity. While your work is an important part of your identity, it’s dangerous to allow your work to become your whole identity. You know you’ve allowed this to go too far when you reflect on what’s important to you and work is all that (or most of what) comes to mind. Having an identity outside of work is about more than just having fun. It also helps you relieve stress, grow as a person and avoid burnout.
- Your contacts. While you do owe your employer your best effort, you certainly don’t owe him or her the contacts you’ve developed over the course of your career. Your contacts are a product of your hard work and effort, and while you might share them with your company, they belong to you.
- Your integrity. Sacrificing your integrity causes you to experience massive amounts of stress. Once you realize that your actions and beliefs are no longer in alignment, it’s time to make it clear to your employer that you’re not willing to do things his or her way. If that’s a problem for your boss, it might be time to part ways.
Bringing It All Together
Success and fulfillment often depend upon your ability to set good boundaries. Once you can do this, everything else just falls into place.
MLK Day, here are some
my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.’
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
7 Effective Ways to Make Others Feel Important
1. Use their name.
2. Express sincere gratitude.
3. Do more listening than talking. Attention is at times the best gift we give to others
4. Talk more about them than about you.
5. Be authentically interested. Be present.
6. Be sincere in your praise.
7. Show you care.
I first wrote that statement in 2008, in my book, Leadership Gold. Eight years later, I still believe it. After all, I’m not a self-made man. It took a lot of people investing in me to get me where I am today.
You may wonder: Who helped you, John?
Well, I’ll tell you: Mentors.
A mentor is someone who teaches, guides and lifts you up by virtue of his or her experience and insight. They’re usually someone a little farther ahead of you on the path—though that doesn’t always mean they’re older! A mentor is someone with a head full of experience and heart full of generosity that brings those things together in your life.
One of the reasons I know that no one gets to the top alone is because I’ve had help all along my journey. I’ve been blessed with some amazing mentors who have poured wisdom and insight into my life to help me at crucial times.
I Started Close To Home
My first mentor was my father, Melvin. His investment into me as an individual was the foundation for everything I’ve achieved. My father’s encouragement, observation and advice helped shape everything from my mindset to my belief about the future. Without him, I’m not sure where I would’ve ended up.
Another mentor was my brother Larry. From our wrestling matches, I learned not to give up. From our business dealings, I learned to look at situations realistically and to prepare for the unexpected. From our friendship, I learned much about generosity and giving yourself away to other people.
From my mother, Laura I learned the value of listening. No one taught me more about that subject than she did! I also learned about unconditional love—the value of believing in another person even if they disappoint you.
But not every mentor in my life was a family member. There came a time when I had to seek mentors beyond my family tree in order to be successful. That required me to have the self-awareness necessary to choose mentors who could help me be the best version of myself possible.
So I spent some time preparing myself to be mentored—first I learned about myself, which taught me what I knew and what I didn’t know; then I went out to find the mentors who could fill in the gaps.
For me, there have been three types of mentors:
Those Who Knew Me and Knew They Made a Difference
The greatest example of this type of mentor in my life was Coach John Wooden. I intentionally sought Coach out to learn about teamwork, leadership, vision and character. I’ll never forget how much work I put into our first meeting—I came armed with pages of questions that took me hours to write! And the preparation paid off; not only did I come away from that initial meeting with a thousand ideas to consider, I also earned the right to sit down again with Coach Wooden several more times before he passed away.
But there have been other mentors who saw my potential as a leader and partnered with me for a season to help me grow. Others have joined me to keep my thinking sharp and focused on growth. Like Coach Wooden, each mentor knew his or her words made a difference in my life, and also knew those words made a difference to the people I served. For that reason, they were happy to help me on my journey.
Those Who Knew Me and Didn’t Know They Made a Difference
Not everyone who knows you knows how much of a difference they make. For me, the greatest example of this in my life is Kurt Campmeier, who introduced me to the concept of having a personal growth plan way back at the beginning of my career. Kurt’s influence on my life and work is far greater than the amount of time he spent with me, but time isn’t always equal to impact. For years, I don’t think Kurt had any idea of the impression he’d made on me. But a few years ago, my team tracked him down, and I had the opportunity to see him again and thank him.
The reality is that a host of people in my life have shown me wise paths or challenged me to grow without ever knowing that I was watching their lives. In fact, if I were to name their names right now, they might respond by saying, “John, what are you talking about?” They weren’t looking to mentor me, but I was looking to be mentored by them—I was intentional in seeking out the wisdom they often weren’t even aware they were offering.
Those Who Didn’t Know Me and Yet Made a Difference
That intentionality extends even to those mentors whom I’ve never met. That may sound strange, but the truth is that all of us have access to long-distance mentors we may never meet in person! Speakers, books, magazine articles, webinars – the list of available mentors is endless.
In this age of digital experiences, there are more opportunities available for mentoring than ever before. All you have to do is search for people who are achieving in your area of interest, and you’ll have a wealth of potential mentors at your disposal. Just make sure that what they say translates into actions or principles you can follow in your real life. After all, the point of any mentor is to help you take steps to get better!
That’s why I’ve been so relentless about pursuing mentors—I need all the help I can get if I want to continue getting better. And if you want to get to the places you dream of for your life, you’ll need help too. Some mentors are in our lives for a short season, others are for longer ones; the length is determined by what you need to learn and what the mentor has to offer!
Be Intentional About Finding Your Own Mentors
I encourage everyone to begin looking for a mentor to help them. And whenever someone asks the inevitable question, How do I find a mentor? I point them in the same direction: Who can you think of who is successful in an area where you’re trying to grow? Start there and see how you can access that person’s insights—maybe it’s through a blog, maybe it’s a book or just maybe it’s just a phone call away. You won’t know until you start looking and asking.
No one gets to the top alone. We all have help. It’s why I’ve made mentoring such a crucial part of my growth—and it’s why I mentor people along the way. It’s the inspiration for my Maximum Impact Mentoring call each month, and the reason I continue to write and speak to audiences each year. I want to help as many people as possible become all they can be.
God knows your value; He sees your potential. You may not understand everything you are going through right now. But hold your head up high, knowing that God is in control and he has a great plan and purpose for your life. Your dreams may not have turned out exactly as you’d hoped, but the bible says that God’s ways are better and higher than our ways, even when everybody else rejects you, remember, God stands before you with His arms open wide. He always accepts you. He always confirms your value. God sees your two good moves! You are His prized possession. No matter what you go through in life, no matter how many disappointments you suffer, your value in God’s eyes always remains the same. You will always be the apple of His eye. He will never give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself.
- Feedback is all of the information about you.
- Feedback is how leaders get the best out of their people and how people get the best out of their leaders.
- In any exchange between the giver and receiver, the receiver is who is in charge.
- Feedback sits at two human needs: learn and grow, the need to be accepted or respected or loved the way we are now.
- Some of the most important things in life come out of our most painful conversations.
Types of feedback:
- Appreciation: this says, “I see you, you matter.” This is about noticing people and what they do, this is a high need for people. This keeps us motivated.
- Coaching: anything that helps you get better or learn something. This could be mentoring, advice or direction. This helps us get better.
- Evaluation: rates or ranks you. It tells you how you are doing and what to expect. This helps us know how we’re doing.
- 93% of workers feel under appreciated at work. It is the #1 reason people leave a job.
- You can’t mix up coaching and evaluation because you evaluation is the most emotionally charged and if you mix this up, you won’t learn and grow
Why do you reject feedback:
- It was wrong, bad advice. They don’t understand what I do.
- I didn’t respect them, like them or trust them.
- They were phony.
- Not aligned with my values.
- I was too stubborn.
- I was in love (or so I thought).
- Getting better at receiving feedback does not mean you need to take the feedback.
- Three triggered reactions: truth triggers, relationship triggers (who’s giving feedback), and identity triggers (this is the story you tell about who you are).
- The most important skill in receiving feedback is not deciding about the feedback, but trying to figure out what the giver of feedback needs.
- After you discern what they are trying to tell you, then you can decide what to do with it.
- Blind spots we have when we give feedback: facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, patterns of behavior and how you impact others.
- If feedback is holding up a mirror: there is the supportive mirror and an honest mirror. To grow you must ask for the honest mirror (is there anything right about this feedback? Is there anything I should be working on?).
- The fastest way to change the feedback culture in an organization is for the leaders to get better at receiving feedback.
- The key to getting valuable feedback is to ask: what is one thing you particularly appreciate about me (this helps you to be seen and the positive impact you are making) and what is one thing you see me doing or failing to do that you think I should change or is getting in the way of my success?