Friday, February 28, 2014

Failures are Past Tense

There may be a small handful of individuals in this world who have never experienced a failure of any kind.  Kudos to those perfect people.  

For the rest of us, I have some seriously important news and information.

Let’s start with this:

“Never carry a failure into the present tense.”
~D Waitley

You will hear this bit of philosophy stated numerous ways in this blog, and it is a statement than is worth restating.

Just because you have failed 
at something does not mean 
you are a failure.

And there are more to follow.

 Do you believe?  
   ~In you
      ~In your abilities
         ~In what you learn from your failures

Then march onward. 
Stand up
brush yourself off
and start all over again. 

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, February 24, 2014

I Am a Thief

I confess, sometimes I steal.  And so do you, if you are any good at your craft.  Allow me to explain.

Pablo Picasso said:  “Good artists borrow.  Great artists steal.”

Here is a small list of some of the things I've stolen.

Harold, my writer friend taught me some techniques in how to turn a phrase in writing, so I sole that from him.

Jim, my mentor/pastor, taught me some pretty nifty integrity principles, so I stole those for myself.

Jim, my college professor, taught me some choral directing techniques, so I stole those from him.

We watch, we listen, we try skills and techniques that we pick up from others, and if they work, we start using them more frequently until we make them our own.  We steal. 

But this is all a good kind of stealing.  It is what we use to help shape us, define us, and this borrowing of the stuff of life is what we each use to define and shape our own unique contributions in this world.

Do you know of someone in your field of expertise that is better than you?  Study them.  Learn a secret or two that makes them better and then borrow it.  Better yet.  Steal it.  Make it your own. 

I find this next statement to be so interesting.  Sometimes the young members of musical families often become the most talented. 

Consider these:
Andy, the youngest of the Bee Gees
Nick Jonas
Michael Jackson
Yo Yo Ma

Perhaps it is because they were ever the understudy.  They borrowed the best from their older siblings and made it their own.

If we have to be thieves, this is the best way to go.

Happy stealing!

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dangers of Empty Bucket People

Beware of empty bucket people.  They are on the loose everywhere.  Churches have them, retail stores have them, office buildings have them, and even coffee shops have them. 

An empty bucket person is … well empty.  Symptoms to look for:

Poisoned outlook on life
Low energy
Negative mindset
They snap back at innocent comments.
Sometimes they show a dour expression.

How do you cure an empty bucket person?

Fill their bucket.
Tell them something right with them.
Give them praise, even simple comments about how clean their shoes are.
Give them good eye contact and a smile.
Acknowledge their presence.
Esteem them as a valid human being worthy of respect.

An empty bucket person hasn’t had their fill of esteeming comments and experiences.  You will be amazed at the turn that comes when we focus on an empty-bucket person and bring them back to life.

When I worked retail I could spot the empty-bucket people when they walked in the door.  It became a challenge to me to see how quickly I could turn them into an ally.  I’ve seen it happen in two minutes, and the really hard cases sometimes took 10-20 minutes. 

All empty-bucket people really need is a bit of love and attention.  They need to feel validated.


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, February 17, 2014

Six Ways to Make People Like You

The desire to be liked and appreciated is a universal human trait.  Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends an Influence People gives us the seeds for this subject.

~Become genuinely interested in others.  The key word is genuinely.  We can spot a phony a mile away. Sincerity is the spirit in this tip.

 ~Smile! – No other comment needed.

~Remember people’s names.  Your name is the sweetest sound on earth.  When used correctly you feel recognized, esteemed and important.  Misused and misspelled names tell us that someone is not paying attention.  Names matter.

~Listen.  The essence of being a good listener is paying attention and not mentally preparing your next quip while the other person is still talking.  Listen; ask focused questions on what is being said, and above all, encourage others to talk about themselves.

~Talk in terms of the other person’s wants and needs.  It is not all about you.  It is all about your listener.  It is all about your customer, and especially it is all about your mate.  Listen, learn, and talk about what they want to talk about.  Soon enough, you’ll get your chance to speak what is on your mind.

~Make the other person feel important.  I love what Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics says: 

And there you have it – six key tips to winning with people.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, February 14, 2014

Why People Quit

We have quitters in every segment of society.
People quit …

Sports teams
Social groups

Do you know why people quit?

The number one reason given is this:

They do not feel appreciated.
~How Full Is Your Bucket
Donald O. Clifton & Tom Rath

When I lived in Waco, Texas, I frequented a certain restaurant.  One morning at breakfast the manager came over, we chatted and he gave me a complimentary meal with these words, “I notice you come in here a lot and wanted you to know that we appreciate your support.”

Guess where I want to breakfast the next weekend? 

My friend Rico in Edmonds comes by our table every time we dine in his place and we have a pleasant exchange.  He appreciates our business.

And so do Brook and Randy at their restaurant.

We all love recognition and appreciation.

I especially love the appreciation from my wife when I help her.  At the moment she is recovering from rotator cuff surgery and is unable to do much for herself.  I am her hands, feet, cook, laundress, water fetcher and pill dispenser. 

Just the other day she was singing my praises (to me) of how much she appreciated my help. 

Guess what.  I did a bit more.  I went an extra step or three.

And so will your employees, your kids, your spouse and your customers. 

Want to keep them coming back?

Appreciate them!

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, February 10, 2014

Help One - Touch Many

When we help one person, we could be touching thousands.  Let’s say that another way:  Always remember, when you help one person, you’re really impacting a lot of other people. 

I continually stand in amazement at the power of influence.  There are dozens of men and women to whom I can pause and give compliments for their immeasurable influence on my life.  And in some great ways, because of their influence on my life, their influence is felt in over 109 countries by individuals who have read my blogs.  Think about that. 

When you touch another person’s life, you are multiplying your effectiveness in ways that will never be counted. 

Here is a paraphrase of a quote:

“Your greatest contribution to this world may not be something you do but someone you influence in a positive way.”
(Paraphrase based on a quote by Andy Stanley)

I've talked about adding to someone’s bucket in some previous posts.  This is the heart of that concept.  If I dip into your bucket, I take away.  But if I add to your bucket, I add to your life in good and wholesome ways.  You feel better about self, your self-esteem rises, and you have some temporary healthful effects, like lower heart beat, slight lowering of blood pressure, and a momentary relief from stress.  And you just might catch a glimpse of seeing yourself in your mind’s eye as a “can do” person.

My mission in life is to offer hope, encouragement and inspiration one word at a time to every man, woman and child with whom I come in contact. 

My goal:  Help one person – and perhaps, just perhaps I’ll touch many.

Join me?

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Measure Courage

We measure everything these days.
  Blood pressure
 Bank accounts
 Interest rates
 Stopping distances w/brakes
 How many smokes before health deteriorates

Some even rate their Friday night dates.

The President’s ratings have decreased from a year ago.
Retail stores measure their success in comparison to last year’s data.

And now I submit there is even a measure for courage.

I want to borrow some thoughts from Brene Brown for this segment.

“Vulnerability is not weakness. 
Vulnerability is courage.”

When we dare expose ourselves to the possibility of an outcome, we demonstrate courage.  The Olympics are just getting under way in Sochi, Russia.  No one knows before the fact that they will stand on center stage and receive the coveted Gold medal.  But they will dare to win.  They will screw their courage to the sticking place, dare to become vulnerable, and “go for the gold.”

That is courage.

Brene Brown says this:  Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

We become vulnerable in a thousand ways.
  -Someone writes a book or blog
  -Someone says “I love you” after the 3rd date
  -Someone asks for more challenges at work and prove their stuff
  -A salesperson asks for the sale
  -A student tries out for the lead in the play
  -A walk-on in basketball goes against the big boys
Brene says “vulnerability is the birthplace for innovation, creativity and change.

Microsoft has appointed a new CEO.  The consensus is that they have lost market share and there is a great desire to reposition themselves once again as the market leader they were perceived to be a few years ago.

Sata Nadella, the new Microsoft CEO, is going to need to demonstrate huge amounts of courage if he fulfills his mission objectives.  The world will be watching for his mandates, his product launches and his management changes.

There is no doubt that he will be vulnerable.  And there is a high likelihood that he will demonstrate courage and win. 

Courage does not come with a guarantee.  It does come with vulnerability and passion. 

And remember the “belief” part.  We believe in our dreams and we dare to become vulnerable.

On the other side of vulnerable might lay the golden ring. 

Have courage.  You’ll never know unless you try.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Lost Leadership Principle

When we walk into any bookstore and look at the leadership shelf we see a plethora of books telling us everything we need to know to be a great leader.

Except for this …

The Lost Leadership Principle is this:

“Believe in people before they prove themselves.”

There are seeds just below the surface in the team around you.  What can you see?  Can you see those possibilities?  Can you hand off a project to an untried person and let them prove themselves?

Look what happens when we do.  We motivate them to reach their potential.  We build self-confidence in them.  We encourage them to grow in new and better directions.  We inspire them.

When I was still a wanna-be manager my friend Bob gave me a huge opportunity.  I walked into the arena eager to start, shaking knees and all.  I was as yet an unproven operator.  And Bob esteemed me.  He saw the potential that I could become.  I wasn’t there yet, but I was on my way to becoming a leader.  He just gave me a free pass on the highway and gave me gentle nudges.

I’ve never forgotten.  Often, I reflect back to Bob and the team around me in those days with remembered fondness.  His confidence in me gave me confidence in myself.

See the chain of events.  Bob started the dance.  I just stepped up and followed his example, learned, grew, and became the leader/manager he expected.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time