Wishing You JOY!!! in 2013

I've had plenty of JOY!!! over the last several months, helping Andrew figure out how to take my life's work and make it his own.  While this is still very much a work in progress, we have met with many people trying to explain to them how we may serve them.  Yesterday we spent a delightful two hours with Ryan Davis @ DIGUDESIGN.  In my words, not necessarily his, they help make your soul purpose visible and marketable to the world.  My home-made efforts were enough for me, but they won't be for Andrew.  We need some help. I mentioned to Ryan a previous desire to write a book that I abandoned a couple of years ago.  As I was communicating with my soul recently during my morning meditation, the thought came to me that I should reconsider this decision.  Last Sunday I started writing the introduction.  The working title this time will be XLR8YOU!!! A Leader's Love Story:  A Father and Son's journey.  The introduction began with the question "How do you fall in love with you?"

As we were talking with Ryan, I found myself referring to my formula for joy and happiness that I hadn't mentioned in our other networking conversations.  I shared the story behind the formula in a book Wake-Up...Live the Life You Love - Empowered in 2009.  I'd like to republish it here for you with the heartfelt wish that 2013 brings you much joy and happiness.

Empowerment is probably the most overused and under utilized concept in business. The reason is the misconception that the organization empowers individuals rather than an individual empowers themselves. This is exactly what I am trying to do for myself and those I love – family, friends and coaching clients.  Since I work with Executive Leaders, I call this “Waking Up” something different – my “Formula for Business Success”: G + L + F = JOY!!!.

The finishing touches to this formula came in a series of “Wake-Up” moments during a “perfect storm” period in early 2007. At that time, my wife and I had become empty-nesters, celebrated 20 years of marriage, have been enjoying a successful business 10+ years as Executive Coaches, and lastly, I survived my obsessions over my 60th birthday.  I began by focusing my passions around making this my next best decade.

Not surprisingly, almost on cue, this shift began happening in April 2007, as I was preparing a presentation to a professional group I am involved with.  I love presenting to them every year because they are kindred spirits and always challenge me go deeper into what I’m trying to say.  (Hopefully this story is it!)  I had been playing around with a speech entitled: The “G” Word, The “L” Word and The “F” Word in Business and Leadership.

As I was editing my presentation the week prior, I revisited my personal mission statement.  I felt at that time that a “Wake Up” moment was going to happen, but I couldn’t find the words.  As I was focusing on the G, L, and F words, it hit me. The “L” word was also about self love, not just serving others lovingly. I modified my personal mission to read:  “Igniting inspiration by enthusiastically coaching people around the world to discover the simple truth that loving ourselves leads to manifesting our passions and fulfilling our need for purpose”. (I have since added and change the world)

However, the formula wasn’t complete yet. All I had was G, L, and F words. Upon signing in at the conference, I received a “goodie” bag, which included one of my favorite thought provokers, an Angel®Card.  I love these cards because they can be used to set the tone for the day, week or even the year.  Well, my Angel®Card was Joy.  Without hesitation, the G, L, and F words became the formula G + L + F = JOY!!! - Joy being “approaching life with a buoyant attitude, light heart, and unencumbered mind.  Let joy lift your spirit and fill each moment.”  Now I was more fully empowered – I put Joy as my #1 personal value as well!

By putting these words into my approach to coaching, I have the opportunity to connect on a much deeper level with executives who I know are starving for it.  One of my clients stated that his “Wake Up” moment in our coaching was “The day you told me it was okay to use the word love in my leadership style. I knew at that very moment I was talking to someone with similar beliefs about people. From that day on, I trusted you.”

That story illustrates how we continue to become more fully empowered especially when things are going great.  I’m not going to spend time telling about growing up in a dysfunctional alcoholic family, flunking out of college, doing and selling drugs, drinking and working myself out of my first marriage, and eventually getting sober in 1985. There were many people trying to get my attention during that time, but if you aren’t paying attention, it’s hard to hear the universe saying “Wake Up!”

But I started my big “Wake-Up” with the help of Earl Nightingale and the co-authors he introduced to me while driving.  He became my “Audio Dad.”  I remember him saying: “five years from now you will be the person you will become from the books you read, the people you meet and what you think about.” Earl’s “guests” became my Audio “Big Brothers”, Denis Waitley, Wayne Dyer and Ken Blanchard, whom I have had the good fortune to meet and thank.  I cried when I found out about Earl’s death in 1989 while hearing a new voice on the cassette.

Now that I was paying attention to my many teachers, I was able to hear a song that now forms the basis of my unique coaching system for focus and clarity in our business and personal lives.  After you ask the questions: “What do you really, really, really, really want?”, you can start singing: “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream”…(you know how it goes).

Having clarity (the really’s) and focus (the song) is what the “XLR8 YOU!!! Leadership Excellence” process is all about - what I do and the story I am telling. If it can work on this hard head, then there is hope for others, too!

I call it “In Search for Adventure” which details:

  • What do you Really . . .Top Five Passions today
  • Really . . .Write them down and tell someone, anyone and everyone!
  • Really . . .Actions you’ll take along the way leading to your passions.
  • Really want?  How do they connect to your personal mission? Do you have one? Is it written down?

So, now it’s time to sing again. Ready?

  •  Row, row, row your boat . . .Acting on those passions with a coach – thus “XLR8ing” (say it three times fast!!!)
  • Gently down the stream . . .Building on your strengths and unique abilities – getting in the flow
  • Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily . . .Walk the talk of your personal values (a true source of happiness)
  • Life is but a dream!Back to your personal mission – what are you dreaming about? How will you change the world.  Don’t think small!

So it all boils down to the formula (yes, finally).  The God (Greatness, Genius) manifested in you no matter how you pronounce the “Ah” in your God.  The more you are clear and focused with your God, the more you Love yourself and will constantly be “Waking Up Living the Life You Love” in service of those who Love what you do.  (Lots of “L’s” – what the world needs more of – which is what you would expect from a former crazed, long-haired motorcycle hippy).  That’s when life is Fun and it all adds up to pure JOY! Thus G + L + F = JOY.

It has lead me to a deeper appreciation and love for my imperfect self.  Yeah, that guy who wasn’t good enough - at least deep down inside.  I have grown tremendously as a coach and I’d do it for free, because not only do I love doing it, but it is my mission.  People have been kind enough to give me feedback that I have indeed been part of their “Waking Up" to their love story. . . or in my words XLR8ing!!!.