Why Practice Creates PROGRESS! (Part 2)

By Jernavis Draughn

One of Athletes Global Corporation mantras is, PROGRESS not perfection. Incremental growth is consistently praised and valued. Success in anything is a marathon that never truly ends. John Maxwell, is coined for saying, “anything worthwhile is uphill.” Growth in anything demands daily PRACTICE. We look at successful people or organizations and sometimes forget the time, learning, research, failures, passion, and commitment that was invested into becoming successful. Success is not accidental, it leaves clues. There is no growth without failure and without failure there is no SUCCESS.

Progress starts with practice. Growing up as an athlete, in high school my daily goal was to make a hundred jump shots. I believed if I committed myself to doing it daily, my jump shot would improve. Anders Ericsson created the term “deliberate practice”, which means purposeful practice with a goal in mind. What new ritual or routine are you practicing this year to help improve a facet of your life? The stories we tell ourselves leads to the actions we take. We become what we DO. If we want to change our story, we must change our actions first. In the book, “The Practice”, by Seth Godin, he explains “doing what you love is for amateurs, loving what you do is the mantra of professionals.” Persistent and consistent effort over time can yield results.

Godin goes on to explain; intentional action is design with PURPOSE. It all starts with you being honest with yourself and asking, what are you trying to change? What change are you trying to make? Lastly, how will you know if it worked? What gets measured gets accomplished. You cannot find a good reason until you know what you are trying to accomplish. Clarity is power. We have to divorce our story and marry the TRUTH. We do our best work with intention. Living with purpose and focusing on intrinsic goals leads to lasting success. When you commit yourself to improving through deliberate practice, is when growth and opportunity opens its doors. As Malcom Gladwell once said, “practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good, it is the thing you do that makes you GOOD.”

Quote of the Day: “We become what we DO.”-Seth Godin

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

The 3 things leaders should MEASURE

By Jernavis Draughn

Your culture reflects your LEADERSHIP. This pertains to everyone, because we all are leading someone in our lives. From the likes of a family member, spouse, athlete, student, employees, or a significant other. How do you measure your relationships to see if there growing or improving? You won’t accomplish what you don’t measure. Success in anything is not accidental. It’s intentional, purposeful and strategic. As the leader of Athletes Global Corporation, I’m always looking for ways to improve our services, products, customer service, customer retention, and employee satisfaction. We are growing at a rapid rate, which demands consistent systems and processes that will produce successful outcomes. People don’t leave companies; they leave the leaders that are leading them. Our company implements customer surveys, program reviews, referrals and recommendations that helps us continually grow.

Leaders must become evangelic with reinforcing the mission and vision of the organization to ensure everyone is marching in the right direction. I believe managers push; leaders inspire. What gets measured gets managed. The teams that are committed to continuous growth, learning and innovation create a blue ocean where they have outperformed, outworked, outlasted and out strategized their competition. Numbers never lie. If you’re not taking score, you’re just practicing. The only way for you to grow anything is by tracking the necessary processes you have in place that will determine if you’re incrementally improving.

In the book “Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze, he explains three vital things leaders should measure in their organization.

  1. Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty. Always conduct online and paper surveys. What is the customer thinking? How likely are you to come back and use our services or products? How likely are you to recommend us to your friends?
  2. Employee Satisfaction. Conduct employee assessments to see how committed they are and how they feel about their current position with the organization.
  3. Leading Indicators. Creating a system in place that will discern if were accomplishing our company mission and vision. Here’s some questions to ask yourself; Are we growing? Are our customers in love with our services? Are we over delivering to our customers?

Leaders are obsessed with growing in all areas of there life. Which requires successful habits and routines that lead to positive results. Business is only one component of our life that needs to be measured to continuously improve. Our health, spiritually, and relationships need the same fertilizing and treatment for growth. Remember change is inevitable, but progress is not. You must become intentional with what you want to achieve in all areas. Life doesn’t give you what you want, it gives you what you work for. The moment you stop measuring your growth in life, is the moment you die internally. Live with purpose!

Quote of the Day: “Most people will to win is for sale.”-Ed Mylet

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

Quality speaks, without saying a word. Your product or service solves a customer problem the moment it’s used or purchased. Quality builds credibility. It either creates or destroys your brand. Jeff Besos once said, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Quality is a direct reflection of your culture you’ve created for your organization. Your teammates must believe providing quality is the foundation to their personal success. I’ve learned some people innately hold themselves to a higher standard, so teaching them the level of excellence we want to provide our customers comes second nature. It’s part of there character. It’s who they are. They’ve seen it, experienced the success from providing quality products or services, and now it’s a habitual behavior.

The largest organizations don’t always provide the best quality products, but they have created an efficient system that has allowed them to scale exponentially. For example, McDonalds doesn’t have the best burger or the healthiest meals in the fast food industry. Here’s how Mcdonalds provides great quality for their customers. First, McDonalds now has over 36,000 restaurants and the second largest chain in the world. Some of their restaurants are open 24hours. Sauce on the side is FREE. Breakfast is available all day. They serve almost any type of food you have a taste to eat; burgers, fries, chicken, coffee, cookies, ice cream, salads and ribs, to name a few. They offer a play area for kids to enjoy. All of these products and services add value to the customer. The largest organizations today provide array of services or products for their customers to choose from. It’s a buffet business model. It’s one of the reasons Amazon, Starbucks and Walmart are dominating their markets. They have cornered the market by selling a slew of products, while keeping their price point feasible and providing quality customer service.

In the book, People over profit by Dale Partridge, he explains 4 key aspects that create quality products and services for you’re organization.

  1. Physical Quality. Anything a customer or team member can touch should be excellence.
  2. Experiential Quality. Customers don’t only purchase products; they also buy experience.
  3. Visual Quality. Your design must be a core value of your organization.
  4. Personal Quality. It must tell a story that your customers want to be a part of. Stay innovative. Give out surveys. Ask for feedback. Respond quickly to any issues and constantly improve your services and products.

Providing greatness must be your foundation when creating any service or product for your organization. Consistency must be a core value if you want to sustain lasting success. Focus on the few and experiment to see what product or service provides the most value. Quality is birthed by a decision to only create moments that your customers will always remember. Disney World is the most visited theme park in the world, based off the quality of the services they provide and the memorable moments the families create by visiting their park. If you do decide to embark on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, create quality products and services that make your customers heart sing.

Quote of the Day: “Quality creates credibility!”

The ONLY TWO things you don’t have control of in your LIFE…?

We all are in a personal battle against TIME and CHANGE. How we value our time will produce the change we want in our lives. They both are symbiotic with each other, from the standpoint that we don’t have any control over the speed or impact on how they will affect us. Change is inevitable, but progress is not. We know time never stops for no one. You can plan how to use time effectively and manage change. Most people don’t plan to fail but fail to plan. Without a plan, time and change will ruining you. The only defense against change is planning what we want our lives to look like. Don’t wait for change to happen. Don’t be a victim of change. The key is to change before your force too. People often say, “I don’t have the time to do it”, or “There’s not enough hours in the day”. We all have victimized ourselves to believe we don’t have enough time to complete something. In the world we live in today, our time is freely being stolen from us. Time is the one of the most valuable assets we have. By the grace of God if you woke up today, your blessed with the opportunity to maximize your time to the best of your ability.

You can’t save time, but you can invest it wisely. What are you investing your time in daily? Do you have a plan for your life? Do you have daily, monthly or yearly goals? Are you afraid of change? What have you changed about yourself, habits or character lately? How do you define change? I believe real change is a change in behavior. Meaning your actions, mindsets, and decisions are different. When was last time someone has complimented you about a positive change you’ve made in your life? Your life is your karma. It’s a direct reflection on how you have used your time.

Here’s 3 easy ways to manage time and change:

  1. Monitor daily where your investing your time in the most. Where your focused goes, your energy flows. Keep track of your daily activities and accomplishments
  2. Plan your day the night before. What gets measured gets done. I’ve learned what gets written down gets accomplished.
  3. Change before your READY! This is something I’m working on DAILY. As a leader, in business, life, and relationships. Focus on improving daily in every facet of your life. Commit to “CANI”, constant and never-ending improvement.

Robin Sharma, once said, “what you do daily is your life in miniature.” We all are given the same 24 hours daily. What we do with our time will essentially determine our future. Make change your daily vitamin. Look at change in a positive light and yearn to make it habit. Les Brown once said, “the graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” Learn to maximize your time, while accepting change with an open mind to continually grow.

Quote of the Day: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” -Charles Darwin

The 6 PURPOSES that all companies fall underneath!

Your purpose will produce your profit. When you find your why, you will find your way. Michael Hyatt, says people loose there way, when they loose there why. The reason why you do anything will always determine the outcome. Your reasons will reap the results your trying to achieve. Tony Robbins discusses we all have six core human needs that drive us to do what we do in life; Love/connection, certainty, uncertainty/variety, growth, significance and contribution. When we learn what intrinsically motivates us, only then we can continue to ignite that fire to keep going. Learning what makes you feel fulfilled and happy eternally will help discover your purpose.

Here’s a few questions to help you discover your purpose. What service would you do for free? What does your dream job look like? What would you be doing? If you could design and create your life today for what you would be doing in the next 24 months, what would it be?

In the book The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni he examines the six purposes that every company will fall underneath.

  1. Customer. This purpose is directly related to serving the needs of an organization’s customer or primary constituent.
  2. Industry. This purpose is all about being immersed in a given industry.
  3. Greater Cause. This kind of purpose is not necessarily about what the organization does, but about something connected to it.
  4. Community. This purpose is about doing something that makes a specific geographical place better.
  5. Employees. This purpose is not about serving the customer in the industry, or the region, but rather about the employees.
  6. Wealth. This purpose is about wealth for owners.

As the leader of Athletes Global, I’ve learned that your purpose will drive the team forward. Over the last year, we’ve became maniacal focus on what our mission and intent is for delivering our services and products. Our purpose is to develop future leaders through educational, sports and fitness services. We fall underneath the greater cause and providing a great customer experience. Clarity is power, and purpose trumps strategy. When everyone is clear on the organizations mission, everyone grows in the right direction.

Quote of the Day: “Your purpose defines your priorities.”

What ZONE do you live in….?

By Jernavis Draughn

Being a retired athlete, I have always had methods to get into my personal zone in the game of basketball. I had pre game rituals that I believed helped me mentally reach peak levels of focus to perform at a high level. Now being in the game of business, I’ve learned there’s not much of a difference regarding the mindset approach to high performance.

I believe our competence creates our confidence. The success in anything you do is predicated on your experience of being in the situation before, personal belief system, and ability to face fear and still take action. When I was playing the game of basketball, I would strive to get in my “2-3” zone on a consistent basis. It’s a place where you’ve seen Michael Jordan win a championship when having the flu, Tom Brady bring the Patriots back in the fourth quarter to win a super bowl or Steve Jobs reinvent the entire mobile industry by creating the “iPhone”.

Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who has coined the term “Flow”, also known colloquially as being in the zone. The mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. That is, by learning how to enter the state of flow you can increase your productivity, be more creative, and be happier, all at the same time. Personally, speaking when I have reached a flow state, I’ve played my best games and produced my best work. Now moving into the public speaking and leadership training space, I often feel myself completely immersed in that moment with the ability to give more. I think reaching a flow state, starts with preparation. Repetition is the mother of MASTERY. Tony Robins says, people are rewarded in PUBIC for the years of practice they did in PRIVATE! Great performances are connected to your personal belief that you can accomplish something monumental, because of the practice, work, and effort you invested into your passion.

I read a great book by John Maxwell called, Leadership Shift, and he discusses the four different zones we live in.

  1. The Coasting Zone. I do as little as possible.
  2. The Comfort Zone. I do what I have always done.
  3. The Challenge Zone. I attempt to do what I haven’t done before.
  4. The Creative Zone. I attempt to think what I have never thought before.

You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself. We all have greatness within us. It’s our choice to tap into that place internally to discover it. The zone state can be connected to all facets of our life. Relationships, spiritually, career, business, sports, health, fitness, or financially. Take time to honestly answer these questions. Do you do as little as possible to reach your potential in these areas? Are you still doing what you always done or are you intentionally growing in these areas of life? Lastly, are you focus on reaching your full potential in all areas of your life? Remember the only walls that confine us are the walls we have BUILT.

Quote of the Day: “Chase your Potential”-Jernavis Draughn

The 4 Keys to Self Confidence

By Jernavis Draughn

Confidence is the foundation to success in all facets of our life. How you do anything is how you do everything. We tend to believe that confidence comes and goes by choice. We live who we BELIEVE we are. So your self-confidence is connected to your personal identity. Therefore, our identity drives our behavior. Every action we take or doesn’t take is connected to the confidence that we innately have about ourselves. Our CONFIDENCE is shaped by the impact that we have on the world through the size of our goals, and the success of our personal vision for our life.

Where does our self-confidence originate? The answer is from our upbringing, family members, coaches, friends, teachers, music, movies and television. We are seriously affected by what we see. If were raised in a household that labels us as shy or an introvert, we tend to carry that identity with us as we grow older. If we are labeled by coaches as the best athlete on the team, we tend to display and hold that belief. This belief is increased as the coach gives more positive praises, and allows us to take more risk in the game than other players. In school if were labeled as the smart kid in class, we accept that label as a reflection of who we are, based off the belief of our teacher. The human race has been labeled since the beginning of mankind. As I always say, hopefully, it is the label that truly defines you.

Confidence is the corner stone to leadership. In order to keep bad influences from affecting us, we need to create a positive identity about ourselves that doesn’t connect to those negative vices that people or environments invite upon us. I finished a good read by Dean Graziosi, called “Millionaire Success Habits”. Dean discusses how success is connected to our self-confidence. Below are four keys to how I grew my self-confidence over the years. Check them out below:

  1. Courage. It’s not the absence of fear, but the ability to take action in the face of fear. Fear stunts our growth. The courage to take action is true freedom, which builds our self-confidence.

2. Commitment. There’s no lasting success without commitment. Foundations of success starts with our daily habits and rituals. You have to be committed to make success a routine. Commitment makes others believers which increases your confidence to keep going.

3. Belief/Faith (JD). Without belief or faith you won’t START. Faith starts with believing in the impossible. Success in anything is always belief driven. When you truly believe, no one can deter you from your journey.

4. Purpose (JD). I believe our purpose produces our profits. Purpose pushes you through the pain of failure and helps you become a better version of yourself. True confidence is built through enduring adversity.

 Self-Confidence inspires you to start when no one else believes. It keeps you focus, grounded, faithful, hopeful, visualizing, praying, understanding, learning and growing when times get rough. I believe these four keys to growing your self-confidence will help you reach your full potential in every aspect of life; relationships, career, business, spiritually, mentally, financially, physically and emotionally. Without confidence the journey of life will never start.

Quote of the Day: “The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you DO.”-Bill Phillips

 

 

4 methods to better DECISION MAKING!!!

By Jernavis Draughn

Our decisions dictate our destiny. The value of making the RIGHT decisions will determine the direction our life will take. We are influenced by our environment and our friends. Mathew Kelly states, “the people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards”. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves.” What was the last decision you made that turned out to be either a bad decision or a good decision? Take time to ponder or write down the decision you made and why that outcome came to life. Most of our decisions are made on autopilot. Our brain produces habitual behaviors that have been created over the course of our lives that drive our behavior. These programmed decisions create a sense of safety and comfortability that keep us from growing in most areas of life.

Looking at the “why” factor behind the DECISIONS we make, helps us discern the meaning behind them. I often ask, how will this decision I’m making affect my life in a positive or negative way. Then I weigh the pros and cons of me not making the decision to see if I’ll regret not doing it in the future. It is believed that good questions inform, and great questions transform. Consistent success is birthed in being able to make the right decisions. As you grow in your area of gifting, relationships, career, business and life, decision making should become easier to make. We should be students of life, where we are learning from the wrong decisions we made in our past.

In the book Crucial Conversations by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Patterson, Grenny, they discuss four of the best methods to making a decision in business, life and relationships.  

  1. Command Decisions. It’s not our job to decide what to do. It’s our job to decide how to make it work.
  2. Consulting Decision. A process whereby decision makers invite others to influence before they make a choice.
  3. Vote Decision. An agreed upon percentage swings to making the decision. 
  4. Consensus. Means you talk until everyone honestly agrees to one decision.

Our beliefs direct our direction in life, which plays an important role on why we make the decisions we do. If we can’t see a better future for ourselves, then we will be doomed to repeating the past. Self-confidence is directly connected to what we believe is possible in our life. Learn how to implement these styles of decision making into all aspects of your life. Remember, success is the result of decisions!

Quote of Day: “You can only have two things in life, reasons or results.”