Thursday, September 8, 2011

Be Led & Be Willing to Lead

A few years back I was given a book to read that really changed my outlook on mentoring others. It was a book called "A Hand to Guide Me." It is by written by Denzel Washington and it is a bunch of stories by celebrities and high level business professionals about how they were able to become successful in life. What was the theme of their success? That no one does it alone. There is no such thing as a self-made person.

You see in our efforts to climb ladders of professional and personal success we must remember that each of us owes our success to someone who believed in us with all of their heart. I know for me I have had several mentors who have made my life so much better. My mother and my father are first on that list along with my brother. Additionally, one of my college professors, Dr. Challace McMillin really helped to mold me into the person I am today.

The guidance of others who believe in you serves as great fuel for your present and future successes. However, even with mentorship there needs to be an element of tremendous work ethic to raise your game to the next level. One of the other great commentaries in Denzel Washington's book is the work ethic and drive of those who are successful and their understanding of the responsibility their success brings. In essence, you can guide someone, but if they don't want to put in the work then it won't matter.

I've had my fair share of time with people where they have reached great levels of success because they were willing to be coached and they had a roaring fire to work harder than the next person. The number one question people come to me for is "how can I grow my business?" I tell everyone the same answer and it is not magic or something very profound. It is very simple. What is it? You have to be willing to learn from others who are more successful than you and you must be willing to do things other people are not willing to do. Period.

When your colleagues are not making time for important events to go to then be the one person who doesn't make excuses and goes to the those events. When your colleagues are out for business for themselves, make it your priority to work hard to make business for others. When your colleagues don't follow through with you, always follow through with them and anyone you meet. When your colleagues are trying to do everything by themselves, go out and find someone to mentor you.

You must be a BEAST in your profession. You must have an insatiable desire to completely dominate in terms of your work ethic. There's no other way of getting around it. Success is not a lazy man's game. Excuses are for those who are not serious about reaching the pinnacle of their profession. If you want to be great and experience a high level of success then you must be willing to be mentored and you must be willing to out perform your colleagues.

I'll leave you with this...after losing the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics a few year back, there was a story running that Kobe Bryant was so upset that he immediately practiced after the finals for the next season because he couldn't stand losing and he wanted to get back to win the NBA Championship. He also enlisted the guidance of legendary NBA player Hakeem Olajuwon, one of the greatest centers in the history of the game, so that he could work on some post up moves.

That's how bad Koby Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players of our time, wanted to be successful in his profession. He couldn't wait to improve his game by working hard and being led. Settling for second has never been in his vocabulary and it shouldn't be in your vocabulary either.

Be Led and Be willing to lead.

Until next time...

Dr. D
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