Are you a procrastinator, always putting things off until the very last second? Most of us are fairly good at procrastination. It is part of our nature.

As human beings we have the unique talent of being able to procrastinate. We put things off, things we know we should be doing, to first handle those things that are squeaking the loudest. The proverbial squeaky-wheel makes it easy to avoid those quiet and sometimes dreaded tasks that await our attention elsewhere! We procrastinate from a place of: “I don’t know if I can do that”; “I don’t want to do that”; “I don’t like doing that”; or “I’ll get to it.” And, because it is a part of who we are as human beings, we have to put systems in place that manage our unique ability to put things off.

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It is the eleventh hour and time is running out on a project/proposal deadline. The project, in the works for several weeks, has been plagued by setbacks. With a few days left to hammer away, your team is worn down. They have prematurely surrendered to the notion that making the deadline is impossible, and what energy they do have is going into figuring out how to skate past the established by-when, without burying themselves, and participating in a bit of "buck passing". Does this sound familiar?

Each of us has been there at some point before. So what is there to learn from these experiences, and how can you avoid having a totally stopped team in the future?

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Great Things Never Came From Comfort Zones sign with a desert baHuman beings have the very unique talent of being able to procrastinate. We put things off, things we know we should be doing, to first handle those things that are squeaking the loudest; making it really easy to avoid those quiet and sometimes dreaded tasks that await our attention elsewhere!

Our procrastination comes from a place of: “I don’t know if I can do that”; “I don’t want to do that”; “I don’t like doing that”; or “I’ll get to it.” And because procrastination is a part of who we are as human beings (we like being in our comfort zones), we have to put systems of accountability in place to help manage our procrastinating ways.

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"Failing to plan is planning to fail."

—Anonymous

Every time someone tells me they want something or encounter a challenge, I ask, “Where’s your plan?” I ask this not just to bug people—really, it isn’t. It’s because having a plan WORKS. We all will be much more successful in what we do if we have a roadmap of sorts that tells us how we are going to get to where we want to go, and NOW is the time to get your plan for getting what you say you want underway!

Plan… plan… plan. Let’s look at reminders of how important it is to have a plan—reminders that are contained in the word P-L-A-N itself.

P is for PAPER.
You must write your plan down on PAPER. That is the first step in turning dreams into reality. Involve your team. Team members’ ideas will be helpful and creative, and when you involve the team, the team has ownership and interest in the plan. Start by writing down everything you “know” about where you are going and where you want to be. What you write down at first doesn’t have to have a logical order. Just get it down on paper. When everything you “know” is on paper, what you don’t know about your plan will show up! Then you can plan for how to deal with what you don’t know. Where is marketing missing? Where is team missing? Where are you operating on hope instead of being a visionary?

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Letter from the Editor

Getting New Year’s Resolution Back on TrackWe’ve only reached the mid-point of the first month of the year, and many people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. How about you – have you gotten off track? If so, get back on track and stop making yourself wrong for what you haven’t done. Beating yourself up has no value in getting you mentally, and even physically, back online with your goals. Standing there, you can get present to what it is you say you want to achieve and be unstoppable in getting there!

If your plan is already buried under days of paperwork, get it out! Keep your plan visible and review it regularly too, taking particular note of who is on your team. If you don’t have a team of people around you that you allow to hold you accountable and support you in your request to make whatever changes you desire, keeping your resolutions and reaching your goals is going to be much, much harder than it needs to be.

To get what you say you want in 2015 you must be unstoppable no matter what comes your way! Those who are most successful and happy in life are unstoppable in their own behalf. They get things done when others say they can’t; they move people when others say they can’t be moved; they see what other people don’t see; they do what others can’t or won’t do!

In the end, getting any New Year’s resolution back on track is about forgiveness (of yourself and your team too), staying present to what you want and the plan you have for getting there, and being unstoppably committed! Don’t allow yourself to be stopped and question: “Why me?” CHOOSE to get back on track, be determined, and never ever give up on getting what you say you want in 2015.

Remember: You are the only person who has a say in how your life turns out!

Clay S. Nelson

Clay S. Nelson

10 Must-Do Tips for Reaching Your “Replacing You” Goal in 2015

Reaching your 2015 goal of “Replacing You”Editor's Note: Please see the first entry in this series in the December 2014 issue of More Than Just a Thought.

Reaching your 2015 goal of “Replacing You” is all about creating room for you to grow and follow your vision for what’s next, and to do that, you must have a team of leaders capable of standing beside you. It is an ongoing process. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes commitment. Yes, it takes an unstoppable mind-set in order to keep the old feeling of, “I can get this done faster if I do it myself just this one time,” out of the way. However, if you will stick with it—not ever giving up—you will create a team of phenomenal leaders capable of seeing your vision through!

Here are 10 musts for reach your “Replacing You” goal in 2015:

#1: Teach What You Know - Teach your team/your replacement(s) all of the things you do to keep your business moving forward and the best way to get clear about what those things are is to write your job description. Write down everything you do for two solid weeks... except for eating, sleeping, and personal time. This will give you a clear picture of what you need to include in your written job description and what you need to teach to your replacement(s).

#2: Be an Effective Teacher - When a team member comes to you with a question, you need to be the question instead of the answer! Ask your team member what they think; ask what they would do if you weren’t there. This provides your team—and replacement(s)—with the benefit of thinking through issues and developing their problem solving skills, and it provides you with the opportunity to see what your team knows and what they don’t know, who has natural abilities in what domain, and who’s choosing to grow and who isn’t.

#3: Have a plan - Without a written plan you don’t know where you are going and you have nothing to teach your team from. Have a clear written plan for who is responsible for what, which will provide your team and your replacement(s) clarity around where they are going and what they are responsible for accomplishing and by when they are to accomplish it.

#4: Be in Full and Complete Communication - Leaving your team out of the proverbial “loop” or expecting them to do things under the guise of “... because I told you so!” is no way to build a team of leaders around you. If you want your replacement(s) to stand tall beside you and take on more responsibility, always communicate fully and completely. Start with communicating the plan for putting your vision into action! Your team needs to know what is expected of them, by-when, and what part they play in fulfilling your vision for the company.

#5: Delegate - Replacing you requires you to not only teach your replacement(s) how to do what you do, but you also have to let them do it. Be clear about what you are giving up and delegate those responsibilities/tasks to your replacement(s).

#6: Create an Accountability System - You are responsible for doing what you say you are going to do and by-when you say you will do it, and your team members have to be clear that they also are accountable for producing the results you agree will be produced. When you have a clear system of accountability in place, there is no room for “I could have...” or “I should have...” or “I just plain don’t want to...” With accountability, we either are our word or we aren’t.

#7: Stay out of the way - Give up being a control monster, and allow your team to put your vision/plan into action. Your team members learn the most when you allow them to stand on their own two feet and learn, not only from the their successes, but also from their mistakes.

#8: Allow your team to contribute to the team and to you - Trust the training and instincts that you are building in your team by allowing your team members to contribute to not only the company, but to you directly. By doing so you empower your team to be 100% engaged in accomplishing the goals and vision you create.

#9: Be open to learning and doing things a new (and possibly even better) way - Listen to what your team members have to say about what they see and what they believe could or should be done in any given circumstance.

#10: Do not make your team members wrong when they make a mistake - We all learn the most when we make a mistake. So, turn mistakes into teachable moments asking, “What is a better way to do it next time?”

When you put those 10 must-dos into action, replacing you becomes infinitely easier. Will it be a perfect, trouble-free process? No, but even with a few bumps in the road, the following benefits make it all worthwhile!

Replacing you means:

  • Having a team empowered to accomplish your vision.
  • Your team thinking not just in terms of checking off tasks from a list, but in terms of asking, “How can we do this better and more efficiently? How can I contribute to the success of the company?” Your business becomes more efficient and profitable!
  • Your business working without you having to be there 24/7.
  • Having time for yourself and your family!
  • You create room to BE the visionary, the creator of new ideas and goals, rather than doing all of the work.

Tell me: Does the end goal justify the things you have to take on and do differently? I think so, but I want to hear from you! Chime in the comment section below. Let’s get the conversation started... share your own thoughts on “Replacing You”... let’s make a difference together!

Make Replacing YOU your #1 goal for 2015 and as both you and your team grow and move forward to what’s next... you will see that anything is possible!

Leadership Essential: Forgiveness

Leadership Essential: Forgiveness[Forgiveness is] a deliberate act on our part. Revenge evens the score; forgiveness wins the game."
—Family Walk

One of the secrets of effective leadership is the ability to forgive on your feet—forgive someone in the moment when that person does or says something that offends or hurts you; forgive when someone fails to be their word or messes up on the job. Forgiving on your feet means not wasting precious time or energy being resentful or resisting the urge to not trust and do it all yourself, again.

Forgiveness is about regaining your power. That’s right! As long as you are resentful, the person or circumstance that you are resentful of has power over you. When you forgive, you reestablish control over your life and reclaim your personal power. You give up the stress that carrying resentment or hurt creates, and you give yourself an immediate benefit of stress relief.

Leadership is a choice not to let your important life decisions be run by your feelings. Forgiveness is a choice we can make, even in the face of our feelings, including our fears. Forgiveness means we are willing to be vulnerable again... to take the risk. Forgiveness means choosing to give up being a victim and give up being right.

Forgiving on your feet takes practice. It may seem difficult at first, but the way to improve your ability to forgive is to practice, practice, and practice some more! You’ve probably noticed that life gives you several opportunities every day to forgive on your feet—the banker cutting off your line of credit, being cut off on the freeway, the restaurant server taking too long to bring your check to the table, your son spilling a gallon of juice on the carpet, a member of your executive team loosing a major account... you get the idea! So, every time you recognize a new hurt or anger, practice choosing in that moment to let go of it quickly. You simply have to practice choosing a forgiving attitude. Leaders forgive quickly. Leaders know that giving over their energy to resentment or a grudge robs them of their ability to lead effectively. They have to forgive and move on in order to stay the course and get what they say they want, by-when they say they want it.

Leaders know forgiveness is 100% their responsibility. The power of forgiveness lies in the fact that it has NOTHING to do with the other person. Forgiveness is for, and all about, YOU! It's about you giving up hurt and your judgments about others. It's a precious gift you give to yourself, your self-esteem, and to your relationships with everyone. Forgiveness is 100% your responsibility because you are 100% in control of your behavior and choices. So, how about choosing to be a forgive-on-your-feet leader right now?


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