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Practical SuccessNet Principle #5: Leaders Are Readers

Now that doesn’t mean that ALL readers are leaders. It’s just that in this day and age, all leaders are readers.

This principle is closely related to PSP#2 “You Can’t Learn Less”.

Reading a book a month may keep you in the game. Reading a book a day will put you out front.

Reading is a catalyst for great thinking. Consistently build your print and electronic library.

Read regularly. Journal and talk about what you’re reading.

In doing so, your knowledge, your clarity, your thinking and your success will surely grow.

Horace Mann wrote:  “A house without books is like a room without windows.”

Related Resources:
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Staying Afloat or Sailing to Your Next Port

You could make a lot of analogies about how life is like sailing a ship. And today, allow me to make some comparisons about how we need to take care of our ship (stay afloat) and also move toward our intended destination.

Taking care of your ship is critical to your mission. Without your ship in good condition, you won’t be able to weather the storms, and you’ll be unable to make safe and steady progress to your objectives.

But some people seem to get stuck in maintenance—fixing problems, making things look and work better. That’s good, but if that’s ALL you do, then you won’t be able to get to your next port of call. You’ll be stuck in home port getting ready to go.

It’s a balancing game for sure. And lots of things can keep us caught up in the staying afloat mode. Fear of the unknown, perfectionism, being too busy, not being clear on which port or why you want to go can easily keep you motionless.

You will never have a perfect ship. You can always make it better, safer and more attractive. But ships are made for sailing. They rust in port.

Fix leaks? You bet. Test the equipment? Sure. Take on reserve supplies of food, fuel and water? Good idea.

But at some point you have to set sail. You can’t only do maintenance and make improvements. And you have to continue making forward progress and all the while work at staying afloat.

There are risks upon the sea. There always will be. And challenges can be painful even though they make us better and stronger. But the pain of regret is greater than the pain of discipline.

You may not have the safest ship in the world. It may be smaller or it may not look as good as others. But if you wait for the perfect vessel, the ideal winds or the optimum tide, you may never get under way.

Your dreams lie in distant ports. Cast off, weigh anchor and set sail.

And continue to maintain and improve your ship as you go. Train your crew, maintain the boat, improve your skills and enjoy the adventure as you steadily make progress to your next destination.

Look at your goals, your projects and your task list. Are you just working at staying afloat or are you also making good forward progress?

Make it a great one.

Related Resources . . .

Step Up to Success Course
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BizPad
A project, and task list on steroids. It’s what we use and recommend.

The New CEO

Editor’s Note: We received this story from a friend, and just had to share it. We’ve been unable to determine the author, but if you know who wrote it we would be glad to give proper credit.

Growing Your BusinessA successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

He called all the young executives in his company together and said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.

I am going to give each one of you a SEED today—one very special SEED.

I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you.

I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.

Everyday, Jim would water the seed and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by—still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing.

Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues. However, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened.

Jim felt sick to his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.

When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful—in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed; a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed—Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!

His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead—it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.

Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

  • If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
  • If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
  • If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
  • If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
  • If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
  • If you plant hard work, you will reap success
  • If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

So, consider what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later!