The Power of CHARACTER!

By Jernavis Draughn

Heraclitus is quoted for saying, “A man’s character is his FATE.” Our character is connected to who we believe we are or trying to become. Character is built through adolescence, family, teachers, environment, coaches, mentors, friends, and our ethnic culture. Good character, or moral force, is like a personal security system for your LIFE. Charles Horton once said, “I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think YOU think I AM.” Self-reflection is the only vehicle to self-growth. Typically, the person we believe we are internally, reflects how we respond externally. We have to be continually repainting our life canvas. Ensuring that we are constantly improving and growing in all areas of life.

We lead our lives by our beliefs. If a person wants to change his belief system, he has to change his ideas about himself or his ideas about the world. A value is a belief. Values are behaviors or standards that govern our daily actions. In the book, “The power of character in leadership”, by Dr. Myles Monroe, discusses how our values lead our lives. Here are four areas Monroe shows the influence our personal values have on us.

  1. Values grow out of personal or corporate philosophy.
  2. Values are more important than rules.
  3. Values outlive GOALS.
  4. A person values will be revealed by the way we conduct ourselves.

Character is who we are when no one else is watching. Character is your BRAND. It is what everyone says about you when you are not present. Monroe says, “a person with character “policies” himself. Exercising self-control in accordance with their belief.” In his book, Monroe gives a few examples of what “Character Means”:

-Character means having a commitment to a set of values without compromise.

-Character means being dedicated to a set of standards without warning.

Character means making sacrifices in support of your principles.

Character means making a continual effort to integrate your thoughts, words, and actions.

We live in a world where our entire life is public. Any personal downfall can be exploited on every social media platform out there. Our character is the only thing we have to protect us from being influenced or persuaded into committing an action that can or will be regretted in the future. It is a daily job to continually renew and feed our mind with positive, uplifting, and progressive information. Growth is intentional. Character is manifested when our values, principles, morals, and standards are tested. Discover who you want to become first and define the values, standards, and principles you have to live by in order to become that person. We all will be tested in some way in life, remember your character is what people will say about you at your funeral.

Quote of the Day: “The currency of leadership is TRUST!”- Dr. Myles Monroe

Seven habits to learn FASTER and STUDY BETTER!

By Jernavis Draughn

Learning is the beginning to creating intrinsic value and wealth. They say the more you learn, the more you EARN. In the world today with everything changing at a rapid pace, the faster you learn, the faster you earn. All learning is state and self- dependent. Being emotionally present and focused is one of the keys to remembering what you learn. School does not teach us how to learn, which is another reason why I think people do not enjoy the process of learning. The VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic) learning system model, is a methodology that we have implemented into our year-round leadership development academy. Depending on your learning style, you will use one of these methods more often. The goal is to discover which style helps you to learn at a faster pace and more efficient. This process is called meta learning, which means learning how to learn.

In the book “Limitless, by Jim Kwik, he discusses the three-step limitless model: Mindset, “The What”, deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions we create about who we are, how the world works, what we deserve, etc. Motivation, “The Why”, the purpose someone has for taking action. Lastly, Method, “The How”, a specific process for accomplishing something especially an orderly, logical, or systematic way of instructions. One of the key takeaways from the book that provided me great value was, the seven habits to learn faster and study better.

  1. Employ Active Recall. Process which you review the material you read and then immediately check to see how much you remembered.
  2. Employ Spaced Repetition. Review in morning and night. Test yourself on what you remembered.
  3. Manage the state your in. All learning is state dependent.
  4. Use your sense of smell. Light rosemary, peppermint, or lemon while reading, studying or learning anything.
  5. Music for the mind. Try listening to Baroque music.
  6. Listen with your whole BRAIN. Be present and focus completely on the task at hand.
  7. Take note of taking notes. Be clear on the “why”, regarding the notes your taking.

Brian Herbert is coined for saying, “the capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice. We live in the information age, where the more you know in your field of work is tangible value.

Becoming a lifelong learner is the start of you taking control of your life’s destiny. We are  all prisoners to our choices. Try for one week to implement learning, reading, or watching something educational into your daily routine. Remember progress equals happiness and life is GROWTH.

Are you playing to WIN in LIFE, CAREER, or BUSINESS?

By Jernavis Draughn

If you are not taking score you are just PRACTICING. Life is a fight for territory. Playing the game of life to just play is meaningless, playing to win is intentional. It requires thinking, planning, preparing, and taking massive action. It starts with a strategy. Deciding what winning looks like for you in all facets of your life. What is winning? Is it earning a certain amount of income? Is it spending quality time with family and friends? Is it driving a certain type of car or living in a certain size house? Is it being able to travel the world? Is it having financial freedom? Reasons reap results. What is your “why’ behind everything you do? What will push you to take consistent and strategic action daily?

Being a retired athlete, you ultimately learn that winning is the only option. Your conditioned to compete and to leave it all on the table every time you show up. I have learned winning in anything in life starts with EFFORT, by doing the work. When you implement strategy behind effort and work ethic, more opportunity arises. Robin Sharma is coined for saying,“what you do daily is your life in miniature.” When you discover your why, you will find the WAY. Strategy is a choice. The purpose of systems is to ensure consistency. In the book, “Playing to win, how strategy works”, by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, explains how strategy is one of the major keys to consistently winning in business.

Lafely and Martin go over five questions to help you build a strategic business plan.

  1. What is your winning aspiration? What is the purpose of your company?
  2. Where will you play? Partnerships? Online? Brick and Mortar? Territories? Target audience?
  3. How will you win? How will you win on your chosen playing field?
  4. What capabilities must be in place? Who will you need? Who will you have to become? What will you need to learn?
  5. What management systems are required? What type of system do you need to create consistent results?

Here’s some key takeaways from the book, Playing to win, that can help grow your business:

-Do not try to capture all segments.

-Look for a place to play that will enable you to attack from unexpected directions.

-Winning means providing a better consumer and customer value equation than your competitors do and providing it on a sustainable basis.

-Differentiation. We offer products or services that are perceived to be distinctively more valuable to customers, with the same cost structure that competitors use.

-Measurement provides focus and feedback.

Strategy is a way to win. Having a competitive advantage helps you create consistent success. Playing to win in anything, means being more intentional, goal oriented, focus, strategic, mission and purpose driven. See strategy as a process rather than a result. Remember success has no FINISH LINE.

Quote of the Day: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” -Arie de Geus

What is your company BRAND type?

By Jernavis Draughn

Jeff Bezos once said your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re NOT in the room. Over the last year and a half, our company “Athletes Global” has become more focused on what we want our brand to stand for. We want to align our “what”, with our “why” and our “how”. So our teammates echo and behave consistently with our mission and culture. Your brand is your BUSINESS. The operations of a company will impact the culture, by shaping how people work. The culture also impacts operations by making it work effectively and efficiently. Your culture defines your leadership. It actually affects how you provide your services, even down to the packaging of your products. It also affects customer service, how you win, and how you respond to failure and conflict. All of this defines your BRAND.

In the book “Fusion”, by Denise Lee Yohn, it introduces how integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies. Here’s nine different brand types that companies are defined by.

  1. Disruptive Brands. Completely changes the entire industry. Examples: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Walmart
  2. Conscious Brands. Mission to make a positive impact on society. Examples:  American Red Cross, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, and LinkedIn
  3. Service Brands. Deliver high quality customer care and service. Examples: Chic-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and BMW
  4. Value Brands. Offer low prices for basic quality products or services. Examples: Walmart, Subway, Amazon
  5. Innovative Brands. Consistently introducing advanced and breakthrough products and services. Examples: Tesla, Disney, Apple
  6. Performance Brands. Produce and deliver superior performance and dependability. Examples: Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Cisco
  7. Luxury Brands. Higher quality at higher prices. Examples: Mercedes, Hermes, Louis Vutton
  8. Style Brands. Differentiated by the products or services look and feel. Examples: Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks
  9. Experience Brands. Differentiated by the experience they provide. Examples: Disney, AMC, Hilton, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks

What is your company brand type? What is your employee and customer experiences? How would they rate them? Your organizational culture is largely shaped by its purpose and values. Becoming clear on how you want you’re Brand to be defined, will help build a clear vision, mission and a company culture that is committed to success.

Quote of the Day: “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”-Walter Landor

Why the FUTURE is faster than you THINK


By Jernavis Draughn

The future is closer than what you think! We have been living in the future for years now. The moment Steve Jobs introduced us to the iPhone in 2007, technology in all industries has grown rapidly. From the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook, the increase of implementing algorithms to help anticipate and respond to our needs, has scaled these companies to new heights. If you’re in business today, you must be thinking about your future customers and how your industry will be changing this decade with artificial intelligence on the way. As Peter Drucker once said, “if you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” Where will your industry be in five to ten years? Will it be taken over by artificial intelligence? Have you started to prepare? Pivot? Innovate for what the future holds for your job industry or business?

Are you adapting to what’s coming? All great change is preceded by chaos. Technology is disrupting all industries. How do you embrace change? These are the questions you must continue asking yourself to stay ahead of competition, not only with companies, but with artificial intelligence. In the book “The future is faster than you think”, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kother, they discuss the seven forces of innovation.

  1. Saved Time. Google searches daily, 3.5 billion queries a day processed. Google alone saves us 52.4 billion minutes daily.

-Amazon Prime. Innovation demands free time.

-Trains- A normal trip is four days.

-Airplane- a normal trip is two to four hours.

-Hyper Loop- a normal Trip is thirty minutes.

2. Availability of capital. More cash means more people experimenting, failing, and eventually succeeding.

-Easier for innovators to find funding than ever before.

-Crowd funding or Kickstarter.

3. Demonetization. Innovation demands research. Your iPhone is a SUPER-COMPUTER.

4. More Geniuses. Humans are smarter because of the access to information.

5. Communication Abundance. We have the power to network. A tool that allows minds to connect with other minds, exchange ideas and spark innovation.

6. New Business Models. Internet, Franchises, Hyper Markets, and Block Chain.

7. Longer Lives. The extended healthy human life span allows more opportunity for growth in all areas.

Here are some industries on the verge of becoming deceased: Customer Service, Cashiers, Retail, Shopping Malls, and Advertising.

Here’s what’s coming in our near FUTURE:

Uber aerial ride sharing (shared air transportation) watch the video: https://www.uber.com/us/en/elevate/  by 2023

Autonomous car rollouts (cars driving themselves) by 2020

Hyper Loop. High speed travel through low pressure tubes. You will be able to travel from Chicago to DC in 30 minutes, New York to DC in 29 minutes.

Elon Musk rockets coming soon. The rockets will be able to fly you anywhere on earth in under an hour.

Google Lens. A visual search engine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqD9i4_S87s

Virtual reality movies. Where you will be able to feel the movie while watching it.

The future is really coming faster than you think. Research the industry that you’re working in now to see where it’s going, what changes are coming in the market, in order to ensure it is going to exist in the next decade. John wooden believed,” failing to plan is planning to FAIL”. Change before you are ready and you will be prepared for what’s coming in the FUTURE.

Quote of the Day: “You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” –Albert Einstein

The six stages of the VICTIM CYCLE

By Jernavis Draughn

You’re either a victor or a VICTIM. You can only choose one of these paths to travel down in LIFE. The option of being a victim is effortlessly traveled. You can choose to blame others for your life choices, circumstances, beliefs, personal growth or accomplishments. Or you can take the second path of becoming a VICTOR. Where you take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life that you can control. Of course, genetics plays a part on rather we will receive certain diseases that are hereditary, or if a tragic event happens to a loved one or friend that you have no control over. Life is always happening for us not too us. We are plagued with adversity and failures in life to help us grow on all levels. If you cannot fail, you cannot SUCCEED!

Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is RESPONSIBILITY!” You are the beholder of your results, successes, and failures that you endure. Being the CEO of a company that’s currently providing services in 30 states, I could easy blame our teammates for any failure we encounter. I made the decision to take full ACCOUNTABILITY for anything that goes wrong in our company. I believe self-reflection creates self-growth. This mindset keeps me constantly learning and improving in leadership, our systems, customer service, programs, hiring and sales processes. This requires me to SHOW UP every day, committed, motivated to solving any challenge that’s negatively hurting our company.

You must be personally accountable for how you think and act. Most people only change, if they learned enough that they want to, or they hurt enough that they have to. I believe you should change before your forced to change. A person with a victim mentality, never takes accountability of their actions and how they played a role in the outcome. In the book “The Wisdom of Oz, Roger Connors and Tom Smith discuss the six stages of the victim cycle.

  1. Ignore/Deny. Don’t ignore the red flags when you see them. Change before your forced to change.
  2. It’s not my job. Take complete ownership. The people that succeed at a rapid speed in the marketplace are the ones that do more than their job description requires.
  3. Finger Pointing. Playing the blame game never brings better results. Start with the person in the mirror first.
  4. Confusion/Tell me what to do. Confusion at times is a camouflage of not wanting to do something. Ask for clarity and communicate where you don’t have understanding.
  5. Cover your tail. The easiest way to cover your tail is by using effective communication and total transparency.
  6. Wait and See. Taking action is the only way of learning from failure and Growing from success.

You get what you repeat. If you continue to be a victim in life, you will continue to reap the same results that you have received. Greater accountability is a choice. Change starts with a decision. Make the decision today to become a victor in life. We all deserve to live a life of abundance and freedom.

Quote of the Day: “Habits are the fingerprints of your character.”

The Four Wheels of Behavior Change

By Jernavis Draughn

Change is inevitable, but progress is not. The new year is here, and most people are focusing on their new year resolutions. I believe change starts with one simple DECISION. Do I truly want to change? Is what I’m looking to change important enough for me to change my lifestyle, mindset, routine or ritual? Has my behavior caused me enough pain that I NEED to change? Am I too comfortable with my current situation that change is not a MUST? We change in a moment. Change doesn’t’ take long, it happens instantly when we make a commitment to our commitments. Here’s what I’ve learned about behavior “change”. Meaningful behavior change is very hard to do, and no one can make us change unless we truly want to CHANGE.

Our environment drives our behavior. Learn to control and create a healthy environment. Who we associate with, eat, learn from, grow into, religious and limiting beliefs are created by our environment. There’s an adage that says, show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. We become who we consistently hang out with and do daily. In the book Triggers by Marshal Goldsmith, he explains that we all have behavior triggers. He explains, it’s any stimulus that impacts our behavior. To avoid undesirable behavior, we must remove ourselves from hanging with people that live that lifestyle and then change those environments where it is most likely to occur. Goldsmith discusses we have four options in pursuing any type of behavior change.

  1. Creating. Represents the positive elements that we want to create in our future.
  2. Preserving. Represents the positive elements that we want to eliminate in our future.
  3. Eliminating. Represents the elements that we want to eliminate in the future.
  4. Accepting. Represents the negative elements that we need to accept in the future.

Asking yourself what you need to create, preserve, eliminate, and accept in your life is the first step to changing your behavior. Psychologist Carol Dweck once said, “Becoming is better than being.” Whoever you want to become, improve in or accomplished will require some type of change in your life. The questions that will start your journey of change will be, are you ready to make a real decision and are you committed to not quitting on YOURSELF.  

Word of the Day: “Changing your words, will change your WORLD.”

Seven Habits of a Successful LEADER

By Jernavis Draughn

Leadership is not a title; it is a choice. You make the decision to become a leader. I believe everyone has leadership qualities, even if they don’t hold the title of a leader. The best leaders have mastered the art of doing these two things, inspiring and impacting people lives. We live in a world with over 7 billion people and we are consistently meeting, listening, and conversating with people daily. The impact or how we inspire people with our words and actions leave a lasting impression on them. Maya Angelou once said, people don’t remember what you say, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them FEEL.” Leadership is influence. You must lead with your life. Your words must match your actions. The reason why Leadership is a lifestyle.

Athletes Global is a leadership development organization. Our mission is to develop future leaders through our services we provide. We consistently preach this to our teammates to help create a clear vision and the purpose of our organization. It takes a leader to build another leader. You must lead with purpose, be open minded, understanding, calm, positive, give praise, affirm, provide clarity, reinforce, and consistently repeat the purpose and vision of our organization. I’ve failed so many times as leader, that I’ve fell in love with learning everything I can to improve my leadership skills in all facets of my life. Learning is the foundation to self-improvement. Leaders are readers. New information can change your current situation. You first must commit to growing as leader and seeing the value of doing it.

In the book The Ultimate Competitive Advantage, by Shawn D. Moon and Sue Dathe-Douglass, they discuss the seven habits of a successful leader.

  1. Proactive. They take initiative and responsibility for results.
  2. Purpose. They begin with the end in mind. By having a sense of mission and vision that is clear, compelling and infectious.
  3. Put First Things First. Focus on getting the right things done. There’s a difference between important task vs. urgent task.
  4. Think Win/Win. Provide mutual benefit by respectfully seeking to benefit others as well as yourself. Givers Gain!
  5. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Empathize in order to understand people and their perspectives before sharing your own. “You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand.”
  6. Synergize. Leverage the gifts and resources of other people. Give autonomy and allow risk taking and creativity.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Keep getting better and more capable, never standing still. Commit to lifelong learning.

Winston Churchill, once said, “Leadership is the ability to go from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm.” It’s an infinite game that you commit to improving on for life. You lead by example, learn to speak last, listen more than you speak, be transparent, support and help people grow. They say there’s no success without a successor. What leaders have you created, helped, impacted or inspired? I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou that will help summarize the purpose of this blog, which says, your legacy is every life you touch.”

Quote of the Day: ” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”-John Quincy Adams

Why CULTURE eats strategy for BREAKFAST…!

By Jernavis Draughn

We hear the term culture used often in the world of business, sports, school and the military. Studies show the best companies that provide the best services and products have a great culture that everyone believes in. Same for the sports teams that consistently make playoffs and win championships. We live in a world where many companies are selling a five-step process to losing weight, dieting, working out, and getting rich. Online marketing is prominent for selling quick fix products or services that lead to broken promises. The longest road to success is a shortcut. These quick tactics and strategies will help create success, but not sustain it. In the book Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, he defines “Culture as a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal.” A great culture creates an environment where everyone feels safe and connected.

Here’s some questions you can ask for creating a culture:

  1. Are we connected?
  2. Do we share a future?
  3. Are we safe?

Daniel Coyle, discusses five keys to creating a successful team:

  1. Name and rank your priorities. Ex: Targets, Goals, Purpose, Vision and Mission
  2. Be 10x clear about your priorities as you think you should be. Know your why for any product or service you provide in the marketplace.
  3. Figure out where your team aims for proficiency and where it aims for creativity. Give autonomy and hold people accountable for providing or creating excellence in every area.
  4. Embrace the use of catchphrases. Our organization has its own mantras that defines our purpose, vision, mission and beliefs. Ex: Make Success a routine, Good is the enemy to great, Success leaves clues.
  5. Measure what really matters. Figure out what actions, behaviors, and your ideal teammate you need to create lasting success in your organization.
  6. Use Artifacts. Use anything that can create success mindsets, behaviors and inspire your teammates to take action.
  7. Focus on bar-setting behaviors. Praise behaviors that embody your organizations culture, beliefs and core values.

Peter Drucker was the one who coined the adage that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We are in a day and time where people truly care about the mission and purpose your organization is providing. Potential employees really read your mission and vision statement to see if it aligns with their personal purpose before applying for the position. There’s no hiding what you truly stand for and your beliefs since social media has made it impossible to have any privacy. The one thing I’ve learned from reading the book “Culture Code”, is where people feel safe and connected to one another, amazing things can happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s an organization, family, sports team, school, charity, or relationship; the culture will reflect your leadership and create the positive or negative results.  

Quote of the Day: “Your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re not in the room.” -Jeff Bezos