Sunday, May 15, 2011

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: Insight from one of my favorite blog writers ~ Steve Roberts @ coolmindwardheart (click)

· In the latest New Yorker magazine, there’s a cartoon that unintentionally reveals the secret of life. It’s a father caveman talking to his son saying: “When I was your age, things were exactly the way they are now.” The humor, of course, is based on the common perception that 10,000 years ago or more, things moved at a much slower clip than they do today. Any grownup in our world saying nothing has changed in his or her lifetime is likely to be viewed as a bit slow, to put it kindly. Call me molasses. For you see, I don’t think things have changed one iota since the dawn of time. I’d say the caption on that cartoon needs one more sentence. Then it would read:

“When I was your age, things were exactly the way they are now. A world of schmoes figuring out how to love.

· Given that as a theme, every once in awhile you get to see your life purpose right smack dab in front of you. It happened this week with someone who “graduated” from the XLR8 YOU!!! Leadership Excellence Process. His top passion is to be spiritually connected to God and nature with a marker not to be afraid to love. Here is what he wrote – It’s OK to love.

This experience has opened up the door to my heart. I have rediscovered myself - spiritually and physically. For the first time in a long time, I am comfortable just being me. During this process, I discovered that I’m not a bad guy. I am worth making time for. I am worth taking care of. This time and attention has ultimately helped me understand and love others at a whole new level. The more I care for and help others, the more I am rewarded. This realization has made me a better father, husband and leader. None of this progress would have been possible if I had not first focused on reconnecting with myself.

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

As I’ve come to realize in my coaching practice, I am a “heart” guy. It is the heart that bridges the body – mind connection to the spirit. Transformation from a manager to a leader begins with the heart.

For those who have worked with us, you know we are big fans of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. We have used The Leadership Challenge (click) – all four editions, as the basic text for the XLR8 YOU!!! Leadership Excellence process. It describes the necessary leadership competencies we all need to practice and master in the context of a basic change process. In 2006, they wrote A Leader's Legacy (click) which we began to give as a “graduation” gift at the end of the 18 – 24 month process.

Lastly, they wrote the third book in their trilogy The Truth About Leadership (click) in August 2010. It is actually a pre-quill, and I believe it should be required reading for anyone aspiring to be a leader. Stephen Covey has been credited with saying: “start with the end in mind” as it relates to writing your mission statement. I believe the same is true here – this is where we need to be headed in our leadership journey.

It just so happens that there are 10 truths and truth #10 is “Leadership is an Affair of the Heart”. With all due respect, I would have made it the #1 truth. As they write, “Love is the Soul of Leadership” and as our client above discovered, it starts with YOU!!! Loving YOU!!!

As a fellow schmoe, it takes a lifetime to figure out and practice.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: Insight from a recent daily quote from Abraham-Hicks Publications

“The best thing you could do for anyone that you love is be happy! And the very worst thing that you could do for anyone that you love, is be unhappy, and then ask them to try to change it, when there is nothing that anybody else can do that will make you happy. If it is your dominant intent to hold yourself in vibrational harmony with who you really are, you could never offer any action that would cause anybody else to be unhappy.”

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

We just completed another XLR8 YOU!!! Leadership Excellence kick-off week @ Bristol Harbour. We now have the distinct pleasure of working with these people for the next 18 months or so. When you talk about happy, these weeks are truly a source of joy and happiness for us all!

We start off on Monday morning with the “Lifeline” exercise, which can be found in The New Leadership Paradigm - Leading Self Booklet (click). It is such a simple exercise, but can be very powerful. If you haven’t done it, it’s very simple. If you have, find it and update it to the present. Here’s how it goes.

  • Purpose: To uncover and understand the events that have defined who you are today

  • Objective: To determine what is important to you in your life – now and into the future.


  1. Draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper (landscape), approximately one third down from the top. This line represents your life from birth to death. Mark where you are right now with your age. Leave room for the part of your life that is as yet unlived.
  2. Mark above the line, with approximate dates, the most significant life changing events that you have experienced—your successes, your moments of greatest joy.
  3. Mark below the line, with approximate dates, the most significant life changing events that you have experienced—your challenging times, your moments of sadness.
  4. Write brief notes against each event indicating how this experience impacted you, what you learned about yourself, and what strengths/qualities showed up in you. Jot down how you changed or your relationships changed as a result. Write down the values that became more important to you and the values that became less important to you after each significant experience.
  5. When you have finished, look for common “positive” and “negative” themes, qualities and values.
  6. If you have someone you can share with, take 20 - 30 minutes to tell them your life story and what you believe you have discovered from carrying out this exercise. If you are listening to the story, you may ask clarifying or probing questions, but do not speak of your own experiences. When you have finished, ask the person who has been listening to summarize what they heard and provide any comments or insights they might have.
  7. Summarize what you have learned about yourself. Based on what you learned about yourself, write down the themes/qualities/values - positive and limiting - that are consistently showing up in your life.
  8. Write down what qualities and values you think are important for you to embrace between now and the end of your life.
  9. Complete the worksheet.

We start with this because first and foremost, people who choose to follow us want to know who we are. At Leadership Week, it sets the tone for openness and honesty while beginning to clarify and focus our authentic self.

I encourage everyone to not only do this for yourself, but to have your team complete it and share with each other.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: Insight from the Dalai Lama from his 2011 calendar:

  • “Meditation is the process whereby we gain control over the mind and guide it in a more virtuous direction. Meditation may be thought of as a technique by which we diminish the force of old thought habits and develop new ones.” After many years, I have begun to integrate meditation into my daily spiritual practices. This is my major 2011 marker under my #1 passion of “bringing peace and happiness to myself and those I love”.
  • Since my previous attempts have been unsuccessful, I chose a local Transcendental Meditation coach to help me. I came across TM through the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness Based Education and World Peace (click). If you go to his website, there are some remarkable results from a variety of different applications - schools, military, prisons, at-risk children, etc. Most recently, Dr. Oz came out with his views on how TM can help reduce stress which leads to numerous illnesses. See video (Click) There are many YouTube videos from very successful people who have found benefits from meditation. Quit complaining about stress and do something about it!

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

A marker that has been part of my passion to coach leaders who are passionate about personal and cultural transformation was to write a book. I actually started in earnest in mid 2010, however, I found that the physical act of writing a book did not bring me JOY!!! Soon after, my friend and colleague, Richard Barrett, of the Barrett Values Centre (Click) asked me to read/edit/add to his book: The New Leadership Paradigm: “Leading Self; Leading Others; Leading an Organization; Leading in Society.” His previous books resonated with me, so it was no surprise that this one did as well.

What I found was that Richard had written much of my book and added the richness of many other Tom Brady’s from around the world. Writing truly gives Richard joy, where coaching people using this work is what gives me joy. From this has come a revision of one of my passions to coach/mentor the future generation of holistic (spiritual) leadership coaches.

Given these two passions, I will be devoting the next several blog posts to the content of the book which was released last month and can be purchased at LuLu Books (Click). It will also be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in a month or so.

Here’s a personal Leading Self story - the foundation step of the New Leadership Paradigm. You have heard me say that we are all leaders - starting with “leading our life.” Over the last few years, I have used and coached “The Passion Test” process for people to clarity and focus on what they really, really, really, really….want.

I’ve been reminded of an early experience which made me think about this. I turned 64 on Saturday, and for the last several weeks, the Beatle’s tune When I'm 64 (Click) has been playing in my head. I didn’t remember many of the words beyond the first stanza. Here’s how it played out:

  • When I get older – I was only 20 when it was released on the Sergeant Pepper’s Album – eons from then.
  • Losing my hairI still have quite a bit, but “bald is beautiful” baby!
  • Many years from nowMen at 64 didn’t look so good in 1967; I’ve been working on it.
  • Will you still be sending me a Valentine – I am living a beautiful love story, and I never get tired of reading that special Valentine every year.
  • Birthday greetingElaine and all the kids were there.
  • Bottle of Winehas to be sparkling grape juice, but that’s just fine with me.

I honestly do remember thinking about what I wanted out of life when I first heard this song. I am grateful now that I have been able to help myself and others to be more intentional about it. We’ll Keep on Truckin’ using Leading Self to assist us. Talk to you next time!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: Insight from the Dalai Lama from his 2011 calendar:

  • “Happiness comes through taming the mind; without taming the mind there is no way to be happy.” This is demonstrated perfectly by HAPPY!!! The Movie-The Movement (Click). The limited edition DVD sale is over, but you can sign up for the newsletter where you will be informed about when it goes on sale. I have an extra copy thanks to my good friend, Joan, that I will begin circulating to all those people who comment about being interested and why in the next 10 days. Make 2011 the year you learn more about how to be happier.

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

Happy New Year to all!!! I’ve waited a couple of weeks to give you a chance to get settled in the new year before offering some suggestions about how to get off to a great start in making 2011 a year of holistic growth – body – mind – heart & spirit.

An easy way to start the New Year with a little reflection is to pick an angel card @ We use the angel cards at our Leadership Week on a daily basis and have everyone pick one as a “send off” during the closing ceremony. I have been picking an annual one for several years and adding a mentor card as well.

My 2011 angel card pick is PLAY!!! – “Maximize every moment of aliveness. Experience pleasurable involvement in all your activities and enjoy what you are doing. Have fun!” I will do so by mentoring generosity.

My 2011 started with the daily message from Abraham-Hicks on January 1st.

The idea of “success,” for most people, revolves around money or the acquisition of property or other possessions, but we consider a state of joy as the greatest achievement of success. And while the attainment of money and wonderful possessions certainly can enhance your state of joy, the achievement of a good-feeling physical body is by far the greatest factor for maintaining a continuing state of joy and Well-Being. And so, there are few things of greater value than the achievement of a good-feeling body.

For many of us, a good-feeling body would be a worthwhile pursuit for 2011. My pursuit began in October 2008 for at least the 10th time in my life. I started with the XLR8 Your Fitness – Breakthrough Goal Process, which I’d love to share with you through my Google group – XLR8!!! Your Fitness. I have maintained my targeted weight and enhanced my overall fitness over the last 2½ years – my personal best!!!

In order to keep my record going, I’d like to help you, which would help me. Go to the blog itself and comment or e-mail me and I’ll get you started. There is no charge for this - just your commitment.

If it’s not fitness you are interested in but would like to accomplish something significant in 2011, then join my Google group - XLR8!!! Your Passions. Come play with me. Let me show you how this can be fun!