Category Archives: life

Connection, Clarity and Congratulations


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My friend and mentor Scott Fay uses the words Purpose, Passion, and Plan as part of his mission statement. They paint a strong picture of the principles that Scott and his business stand for. Using words all starting with the same letter is a great way to make a point that stick with an audience.

In the past when speaking, I have used:

  • Three  Es Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
  • Three  Fs Faith, Family, and Friends
  • Three  Ls Live, Love, and Laugh

Today I want to share my Three Cs for leaders (and sales people) to illustrate that all influence and success begins with serving others.

Connection – To lead or influence others leaders (and sales people) must make personal connections with those they hope to influence. People do business with and follow people that they “Know Like and Trust”. It is the leader’s (and sales person’s) job to make that happen.  John Maxwell said it best in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. “Leaders must touch a heart before asking for a hand.”

Clarity: Leaders (and sales people) must communicate a clear picture. They must cast a strong vision that includes all parties involved. They must set proper expectations and provide the tools that are needed to accomplish them. If followers understand the organization’s goals, how important they are to the mission they will accomplish amazing things. Remember that excellence begins with expectations. (I need another E to go with those two.)

 Congratulations: Great leaders are never stingy with recognition. They do it publicly and often. They give people an excellent reputation and expect that people live up to that reputation. Praise must be specific and tied back to the goal or mission. Three of the most important word that a leader can use are “I appreciate you.” They must be followed with what was done and how it affected the mission or goal.

 Have you ever had a leader who lived up to these Three Cs?  Please share your comments. I would love to hear more.

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers.
He is an experienced leader who brings a passionate, positive approach to developing people, driving sales through delivering outstanding customer service.
Phil can bring training on leadership, service and personal growth to your organization.

 

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The Most Dangerous Lies (are the ones we tell ourselves)


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If we all really listen to the voice deep down inside us, we know what we should be doing. We know our purpose in life.

Maybe you have a book to write or a song to sing.  Maybe you are body builder, runner or swimmer, trapped in the body of a couch potato. Perhaps it is a list of little things such as, forgive someone, volunteer or take a trip. Perhaps you dare not tell anyone else, but you know there are things that you are here on this earth to do.

What is holding you back?  What keeps you from accomplishing the things that you know deep down that you were born to do?  Is it circumstances? Money? Time? The economy? Your family?

The only thing holding you back is……you.

 

“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn
to turn on his or her own light.”

Earl Nightingale

Perhaps it is time to hug your monster, face your gremlins and take a little more control. You know. Do the things that you fear, but you know you want/need to accomplish. In life, unless we’re prepared to take chances, we’re just fans in the bleachers. We never truly get in the game.

Paul Martinelli, one of my mentors often says that sometimes we have to jump off cliffs and build our wings on the way down.

What stops us? The fear of failure? The uncertainty? I believe that what holds us back is that part of our brain that we have no control over. That reflexive “fight or flight” system served our ancestors well by keeping them from danger keeps us from moving forward.

Our fear is 99% illusion. We concoct scary stories about the worst possible outcomes. In an effort to protect ourselves, we lay the template of the worst outcomes that we ever heard of, but if we are intellectually honest with ourselves, we know that those outcomes are not very likely.

“If you take risks, you may still fail. However, if you do not take risks, you will surely fail.

The greatest risk of all is to do nothing.”
Roberto C. Goizuet

We always have the option to create new stories filled with positive outcomes and results. Stop the pattern of irrational fear and do what is in our best interest. 

In our modern life we need to learn to use a more the part of our brain that we have more control over. When we face our fears, we either succeed or we do not succeed, but regardless we will learn and gain confidence in our abilities. When you turn and face your gremlins, they can no longer chase you. Now that is freedom.

 

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers.

 Phil works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.

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Life Lessons that my mom taught me


This weekend we will celebrate our mothers and thank them for all they have done. If you are a mom I salute you and all you do for your children.

Mothers serve by loving unconditionally, putting the needs of others ahead of their own. They lead, by teaching, influencing and coaching every step of the way. They see true success as the success of their children.

To a good mother the goal is not to be a great mother. It is to raise great kids.

I hope I have made mine a little bit proud.

 
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My mother had a unique name for a woman and Frankie Jane Vanover truly was a unique individual. She was a coal miner’s daughter, a pastor’s wife, a nurse, big sister and an outstanding mother to 3 boys.   She was Nana to her grandchildren, and a good friend to many.

I lost my mom in 1998 and a day does not go by, that I do not miss her or think of things she has taught me. I will always be grateful for the influence she had on my life and the lives of many others. These are but a few of the things I learned from her.

Have faith – The most important thing that I learned from Frankie Jane was to trust in the Lord. Her faith has positively influenced the lives of countless people.

Work hard – My mother worked hard. On the day she discovered that she had a collapsed lung, pneumonia and lung cancer she refused to go to seek treatment for herself until all of the patients in the office had been seen. I will always be grateful for her influence in this area of my life.

Love Unconditionally – No matter what we had done or messed up we could always come to her, because we knew that she would forgive us and help us learn from mistakes. She trusted us to do our best and when we didn’t she was never took it personally.

Take it all in stride – I know my mother was a worrier, but she never seemed to let her worries or frustrations get the best of her.  I don’t ever remember her speaking in anger to anyone.

Believe in others and believe in yourself –  I learned to believe in people and expect the best from them because I saw her do that for me, my dad and my younger brothers.

Be kind to everyone – My mom helped everyone that she could. She did countless small quiet acts of kindness.  My mom truly left people better off than they were when they met her.

Try new things – She pushed us to try new things. Sometimes I will eat (Well too often I eat) a certain food and my mind goes back to the memory of her convincing me that this food would be good if I would only try it.

Have a plan but remain flexible. –  I have seen my mom make plans and then be able to change and improvise without ever showing frustration.

Don’t take your self too seriously – My mom could laugh at herself and by her example we learned that we do some pretty crazy things sometimes and it is healthy to not be too serious.

The Bible says “Honor your father and your mother.” For me that has never been a hard commandment. I was blessed with mom!  Happy Mother’s Day.

Contact me to find out more about how I can work with you and your team to develop a culture of excellent service.

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My favorite Martin Luther King JR Quotes


If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, 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 streetsweeper who did his job well.

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

 

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Leadership Rules from General Norman Schwarzkopf


 

General Norman Schwarzkopf.

General Norman Schwarzkopf. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

America lost a hero and a leader today. General Norman Schwarzkopf passed away. He was a leader who epitomized serve, lead, and succeed.

Despite being known for a hot temper, “Stormin’ Norman” was known for saying, “Leaders love their troops and let them know in many ways.”

I have heard that General Schwarzkopf often shared a story of an experience he had shortly after he had begun working in the Pentagon and his superior was preparing to leave for six weeks.

As his boss was heading out the door, General Schwarzkopf asked, “What am I supposed to do? I have not been here long enough to understand the entire goings on here. How should I conduct business in your absence”?

To this his superior simply responded, “Rule 13”.  “Very good, sir. Rule 13. No problem. OK, by the way, sir, Rule 13…if it is not too much trouble, what exactly is Rule 13”?

Rule #13

When placed in command, take charge. Even if the decision is bad, you have set change in motion. It is better than being stagnant. When placed in command, take charge

General Schwarzkopf’s went on to ask, “How do I to make my decisions? Should I consider what you might do? Should I take the counsel of anyone in particular”?

To this his superior responded, “Rule 14”.  “Rule 14, sir”?

Rule #14

Do what is right. It is a sign of character.Have strength of character – a prerequisite to having the courage to do the right thing. Do the right thing – have the moral courage to do the right thing.

He was recently quoted as saying, “I may have made my reputation as a general in the Army and I’m very proud of that,” he once told the AP. “But I’ve always felt that I was more than one-dimensional. I’d like to think I’m a caring human being. … It’s nice to feel that you have a purpose.”

General Norman Schwarzkopf served his country, he served his troops and he served his fellow human beings. That gave him the right to lead and others were eager to follow. That is a successful legacy.

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers. http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/philvanover/
 
Phil works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.

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Get Everything You Want in Life……..


Even if you had never heard of the late Zig Ziglar before the world lost this treasure of a man last week, by now almost everyone knows his most famous quote.

 “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

 I think that many people understand this to mean that if you help people buy a lot of stuff from you, you will make a “big ol’ pile of money” (That’s my best Zig Ziglar imitation)

 I believe that Zig was talking about something much deeper and much more spiritual than just moving products or services.  Here are a few points.

  •  Zig does not say that they have to get what they want from you, just that you have to help them get it.
  •  Zig was always careful to point out that the most important things in life cannot be measured in dollars. Faith, family, and attitude always take a higher position.
  • Zig does not say you will get what you want from the people you help. Most likely, you will get what you want from other unexpected places.

This quote is not just about sales. It is about life. It applies to all of us. People, companies, churches and other organizations all work best when serving others.   That is what capitalism is all about. Being rewarded for adding value to others.

I was visiting Christy Taylor at Express Employment Professionals in Rocky Mount NC a few days ago and was explaining my philosophy of Serve, Lead. and Succeed. I asked her about her business and her reply was that she believed that she was here to help the people who live in our area, help the people who work for her and help the businesses who are her clients.  Not a word about profit, market share or a “big ol’ pile of money”

 The next day Christy sent me this quote by Louise Hay “I truly believe that we are here to bless and prosper each other. I reflect this belief in my daily interactions.”  I replied that I felt it summed up our conversation very well.

Christy lives out that belief in not only the work she does for charity and volunteer work, but in the work that she does every day as part of her business.  

 Thanks Christy, for serving first, then leading others.

Serve Lead and Succeed!

The best way to be truly successful in life is to first serve, then lead.

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers. http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/philvanover/
 
Phil works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.

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That’s a Great Question


The end of 2012 is racing at us faster than any of us would like to admit. I know we all have our social, work and shopping calendars full, but it is time to start preparing for next year.

In his Book Thinking for a Change, my mentor John C Maxwell says “Experience alone does not add value to a life . . . it’s the insight people gain because of their experience. . . . An experience becomes valuable when it informs or equips us to meet new experiences.” “Some of the most valuable thoughts you’ve ever had may have been lost because you didn’t give yourself the reflection time you needed.”

Find some time between now and when the big ball drops in Times Square to sit down, reflect on 2012, and set up 2013 to be your best year yet.

What makes a good question?

·        They are solution oriented.

·        They are possibility oriented.

·        They do not place blame.

·        They are clear.

·        They make you think deeper or differently.

That rules out questions such as “Why do I always have bad luck?”  “Why am I so stupid?”  “Why can’t I get what I want out of life?”  These questions lead your mind to think about all the negatives that it can dream up and send you in the wrong direction.

Here are a few good questions to get you started.

  1. What did I do that made me laugh, smile and feel alive?
  2. What were my biggest accomplishments?
  3. What was I doing when I felt most alive?
  4. What would I have done differently?
  5. What did I do that I do not want to do again?
  6. What still feels undone or incomplete to me?
  7. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about?
  8. What was my greatest contribution?
  9. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?
  10. For what am I particularly grateful?
  11. What few things could I focus on each day that would move me towards my top goals faster than anything else would?

I would love to hear your favorite questions for reflection.

Zig Ziglar

I want to close the post by noting the passing of motivational speaker and trainer Zig Ziglar this week. Zig touched and will continue to touch millions of lives. I know he touched mine.  Here are some questions he often asked audiences from the stage.

  •  If I earn millions of dollars, but destroy my health in the process, is that success?
  • If I become the best in my industry, but neglect my family and friends, is that success?
  • If I acquire great wealth and notoriety, but compromise my integrity and faith to do so, is that success?

 As a coach, I can help you sit down, review your year, and help you ask the questions to move you forward on 2013.  Contact me so that we can discuss how having a coach can move your career forward.

 

Phil is one of only one thousand leaders worldwide (representing nearly 100 countries) to be trained and certified by John C. Maxwell & his team, as part of the founder’s circle of coaches, speakers and teachers. http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/philvanover/
Phil works with organizations and individuals to increase sales, productivity and profitability by helping them improve their leadership, sales and customer service skills. He offers workshops, seminars, speaking, and coaching on delivering extraordinary customer service, leadership, and personal development.

 

 

 

 

 

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