Ep. 116 – What Are The 12 Principles That Will Change Your Life?
To all of our podcast listeners wherever you might be. This is Steve Shallenberger with Becoming Your Best welcoming you to our episode today!
This desire to become your best or the desire to become our best is something that is divinely planted within each person. We can just kind of sense this within us. As we listen carefully of a feeling of wanting to become your best.
How can I do better?
How can I be happier?
How can I have stronger relationships?
How can I reach my fullest potential?
How can I be at peace?
These are all great questions and that’s a yearning that we have. So today we’re going to talk about, it just happens to be January 15th. You may all know it’s January 15th. This is the date when 85 percent of the people that set New Year’s resolutions throw them out the door. They quit trying.
Oh my goodness, ultimately at the end of the day, the statistics show by the end of the year only 8 percent ever really hit their New Year’s resolutions. Well, we’re going to talk about, not only that but much more. How do we increase the odds of when we have a desire to do something to make it a reality. As we think about becoming your best, you’re the hero here. You might ask yourself even from time to time, “Well how do I become my best?”. And, “How do we become our best?” or, “How can I have the best year yet in my life?”. And, “What do I need to do?”.
Well you know what’s interesting the hard work’s already been done. Because as you know we have spent over 40 years of research trying to answer that question.
In the process I interviewed over 150 CEOs. People that are really successful in different areas in their lives. I studied the lives of hundreds of historical figures that have had a huge impact for good on the world and in our lives. What I’ve found is that none of these people were really perfect. I mean they all had challenges. They all had flaws. But they also consistently did 12 things and that is what I put in the book. Becoming Your Best. The 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders.
What you and I can do is trust and be able to learn and master those principles. So the answer really is fresh exhilarating and guaranteed as we master these 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders. Our lives are elevated. Positive energy and invigoration comes into hope and encouragement and a way forward.
That’s the purpose of this podcast today. We’re going to talk about these 12 principles as a whole. Then the following podcasts that we’ll have we’ll focus in on each one of those principles. Individually, in ways that we might be able to apply those better in our life.
I but I expect that many of you are familiar with the Ben Franklin story how a young man he was an apprentice and he was like around 20 years old in that range. And on a Friday his employer came up to him and he said Ben you’re the most pompous arrogant know it all that I am acquainted with he said and nobody really likes you. You’re hard to be around and you know Ben went home wounded that weekend and he thought a lot about it and he says this is not the life I want to live. And so he decided to create 13 virtues of things that he could improve on that would help his life to become the type of person that he wanted to be. And of course Benjamin Franklin is one of the all time great figures of humanity. Not only did he have a pivotal impact on the founding of the Constitution of the United States and this great document but his life in itself as an inspiration of innovation and creativity in and applying this throughout all the world. And his impact continues today in so many areas. Well he came up with these 13 virtues came up with a plan and the plan was to work on one virtue a week and then go to the next virtute virtue might be humility. It might be working on finances. And so by the time he got to number 13 then he would start over and four times 13 is 52.
And so he could go through each one of these virtues four times during the year and when he wrote his autobiography much later in his life and had been such an inspiration and continued to be an influence and a powerful force for freedom and liberty and accomplishment and becoming your best if you will a perfect example of that. He said that this process this system was the key part that helped me become the person that I am today. And so just the very same way as we introduce the 12 Principles of highly successful leaders how can we make them a part of our life. Well the very same way that Ben Franklin did the 13 virtues and that is work on one each week and then go to the next and then on the 13th week to step back and evaluate how you’re doing and then start again back with the first principle and each year.
That way you can go through each principal four times what an inspirational process and think of the impact that this can have on you. And so today let’s just take a brief look at the overview of the structure of the 12 Principles and how these 12 Principles are a comprehensive powerful foundation from which your successes will Spring blossom and grow.
The first of all the transformational nature this is so enormous the desire of what happens here as we work on these 12 is we become transformational in different areas within our life versus transactional which is just showing up checking off the boxes and going home at the end of the day. And so these are organized so that they focus in three areas in our lives. And the result is we’ve become transformational in those three areas. One is transformational leadership and there are four of the 12 principles that allow us to become more transformational as leaders and then transformational in building teams and relationships that are high performance teams that creates a high performance culture it creates conditions that allows us to thrive and our teams to thrive. And then finally transformational living from day to day in our own lives that grows our own lives solicits just look at these the first four is that the transformational leadership part. The first one is be true to character. This is so fundamental because if we can’t get this one right of being honest and respecting other people and having integrity establishing literally a foundation of Mohr’s that people can. That creates a moral authority. That’s why this one is the first one be true to character. The second one is what leaders do. And as you think about your responsibilities aside from having this foundation being true to character so people can depend upon us. It is lead with a vision.
So what is the vision that we want to create in our own lives within our teams and our organizations and this is what leaders do at every level including and as a husband or wife for a partnership. This is how we think and we’re going to the vision should be inspirational should excite us and it had should have a huge impact on our behavior. That’s how you know if it’s an effective does it inspire. Does it provide leadership in the absence of supervision. So when we wake up we look or consider that vision that inspires us and remember what we’re doing is creating thoughts that are going to produce a set of actions and these actions produce our behaviors and ultimately create our character and what our destiny is so you’re putting thoughts on this. In this vision that lead and inspire. That’s the second of the principles. The third is once we have a direction and that’s what a vision is. Now we set goals on specifically what we’re going to do this year and so manage with a plan is the third thing that I’ve observed is present in every case of those that had high achievement that made a difference. And the fourth being a transformational leader that we can bank on these things is to know how to prioritize your time around the things that matter most in our lives. So we’re prioritizing our time and scheduling our priorities versus prioritizing our schedule this endless array of things that hits us. These four together are extremely powerful in creating a new breed of leadership a winning breed a becoming your best type breed of leadership. So there you go that’s a summary of transformational leadership and these for now the next transformational teams and relationships what are the things we can do to create a culture a high performance culture.
And this is a culture by design not a culture by default that just happens. It’s deliberate that has a predictable result. Here are the four that I’ve observed that are present in any high performance team or organization and life. They create a condition that is ever present that is invigorated that is engaging employees. They want to engage. They wake up excited to come to work. Here you go.
That is when the principle of living the golden rule in business and life is present when we respect other people and we bring out the best within them and that is the type of culture in contrast where someone is harse or yelling or abusive which shuts down people it shuts down organizations they quit trying so frequently. So number the first one of these four principles in this area is live the golden rule. The second is to deliberately build and maintain trust.
So what are all of those things that you can do unilaterally that pushes the needle on the gas gauge to fall and that is a great meter if you think of it the trust meter that looks like a gas gauge that immediately tells where the trust is with anybody. Any organization a customer a client or your employees or family members you can just metaphorically look at that hold up that meter and say where’s the gauge reading and then do things that builds trust. And this is fun because you can be thoughtful about all of those things. It kindness leaving a note listening what’s your story. So many that build trust understanding which leads us to the third principle in this section in this area and that is to be an effective communicator and especially harkening back to James 119.
And this is advice it’s 2000 years old which is be swift to listen slow to wrath and swift. I call it to understand these things are extremely powerful and being a good communicator listening so that you get it. And as a leader once you have it and people feel understood. Now we can do something about it. Trust levels go up. That is a magical formula right there. Be swithe to listen slow to wrath and it actually says slow to speak. Okay well there’s a winning four and the fourth one of these is creating this condition. Now build on these others to innovate with imagination because isn’t that the purpose really of having a winning culture or a high performance culture is figuring out the solutions of how we can be among the best. How do we produce this consistent top performance year after year and solve these problems and obstacles that come down the line. Okay that’s eight out of the 12 and the last are no less exciting and that is how do we have transformational living in our own lives to keep moving it up here the four. And it’s great one is to be accountable to take responsibility. And essentially as all of these challenges come up in life to control what we can control.
If you want to have a good job if you want to feel good about your job then you control what you can control you think have gratitude be have a sense of thankfulness for your job and why are you grateful for your paycheck and all of the other things that happen the chance to grow the chance to learn the chance to contribute. That’s the starting point. So that’s being accountable so often it’s easy to slip into the bad habit of focusing on the things you cannot control and that is a death spiral doesn’t work.
All right the next one is to apply the power of knowledge. This is the one that opens our minds up during the weekend I read a terrific book by Joe Morton called positive in it. It contains five simple actions to eliminate the negative and embrace the positive for an amazing abundant and revitalized life. It was fun to read. Joe did such a great job.
One of the things he talked about is to have Pipo positive in positive out and he recommended you think of five things in five minutes every morning same five things one minute for each. Here they are have think of gratitude all the things that you’re fortunate to have in your life. But he breaks down and gratitude for the earth and the seasons and the sunrise and the sunset. Gratitude for breath and the health that we have for your job for the people in your life the experiences that you’ve had. So just take one minute and number two is love.
Let love flow in your life and feel the love.
And third is to be in the moment. Be still meditate and reflect. And the fourth one is read. And that’s the one we’re talking about. Now that is the springboard that just totally stimulates your mind new thoughts new ideas. It allows you to move ahead. And the fifth one he had that you think about every day is to dream dream about the possibilities. Well there you have it. That’s the advantage of applying the power of Knowledge first we get it through podcasts through the Internet in a positive way through reading through listening to books through going to seminars for taking classes to Ted Talks and this the exciting realm. Here is the next to the last one. Number
11 is to live in peace and balance this is where we’re determined to as we move through life to do it with a high quality of life where we do take the time to get adequate sleep to manage our health to have a good diet to exercise to meditate.
These things that put life in balance. One of the great things about pre week planning which helps us prior prioritize our time. It also helps us as we do pre week planning to think of what we’re going to do that week in terms of our roles. This to this process is a big one. And being able to live our lives in peace and balance which then allows us to extend this energy through an extended period of time and make a longer term Koncz and find happiness today. Every single day to find joy every single day. Well there you go. And the last is never give up. This is the very basis of the human willpower that there will be a brighter day and that the dark will turn bright and that they’ll be in into the load when things will all come right.
And that’s the way it is that we can have hope we can have encouragement. It’s after that defeat. It’s after that setback. It’s after that failure that we keep getting back up and that’s where the glory is.
And that is when we win ultimately as we learn from these experiences. So I hope that each one of us will take hope and encouragement Well there you go those are the twelve principles. Those are the things we work on day in and day out. One principle per week.
I hope that you’ve had a good time as you’ve reflected on this year. Coming up how do you make it the best year. And these things will help I’ve decided to do in the remaining minutes of this podcast to share something that I’ve worked on as I’ve observed inspirational thoughts in my life as I’ve seen them in literature as I’ve been sitting in a conference somewhere as I’ve been listening to a talk as I’ve been doing research I’ve come across really great quotes inspirational quotes and so I put them all together in one single file and I’ve entitled it some of Steve Schellenberger favorite thoughts and saw I’m in a wrap up this podcast today.
Sharing those. They’re in the spirit of the 12 Principles and you’ll see them as they fit in those different slots. So if you don’t mind let’s just enjoy a few of these together. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me. This first one from Jim Lovell the astronaut. There are people who make things happen. There are people who watch things happen and there are people who wonder what happened to be successful you need to be a person who makes things happen. All the things we’ve been talking about today help us make things happen. I love this next story. One day Thomas Edison came home and gave a paper to his mother.
He told her my teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to my mother. His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child. Here is what she said. Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself. After many many years after Edison’s mother died and he was now one of the greatest inventors of the century. One day he was looking through old family things and suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and he opened it up on the paper was written. Your son is mentally ill. We won’t let him come to our school anymore.
Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary.
Thomas Alva Edison was mentally ill and by a hero mother.
Not really though. And by a hero mother became the genius of the century. Here’s another one from Ann Landers which was she wrote a column every week and I love reading and it was wonderful.
This is a story about four people named everybody somebody anybody and nobody there was an important job to be done. And everybody was sure somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was everybody’s job and everybody thought anybody could do it. But nobody realized that everybody wouldn’t do it and that it ended up that everybody blames somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.
I love it. Here’s another marvelous one that I was in a meeting with the governor of our state. He quoted Margaret Mead.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Well I hope you and I will never forget that. How true it is. I love this one. Falling down is a normal but painful part of life getting back up is a courageous and glorious part of living.
That’s one that I wrote down after reading Confucius and he said something similar. A friend of mine Robert Cade Delon bah shared this thought with me. If you approach today’s business with yesterday’s practices you will be out of business tomorrow. And the question is how do you stay up with that. How do you go beyond yesterday’s practices that may be insufficient for tomorrow. The 12 Principles and the six steps the transformation Chowne helps us continue to improve. Well here’s just a few more. I’ve got 18 pages I’m not going to share all of these with you. Maybe in another podcast I’ll share a few more but here’s from George Bernard Shaw.
I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig you get dirty. And besides the pig likes it. Have you ever met somebody like that that just wants to engage and get you way off track. We’ll don’t do it. Here’s James Allen one of my very favorites.
Dream lofty dreams and as you dream so shall you become your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.
Here’s just a couple more. Listen carefully to this one at God’s footstool to confess a poor soul knelt and bowed his head. I failed. He cried. The master said Thou dis.
Died did us thy best.
That is success that is synonymous with this wonderful one from Seus. Dr. Seus, “Think left and think right. Think low and think high. All the things you can think up. If only you try. “
Well here’s what Charles Darwin said, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive. Not the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change.”
In other words realizing change has always come in and do we have a process to move through it. Well in our case we do. Don’t we built upon the 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders we can apply the Transformation Challenge the Six Steps to any type of change. It helps as true change.
I’m going to finish with this one today. “One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it if you do that you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching you will reduce the danger by half never run away from anything. “
It is such an honor. Such a delight. Such a privilege to be able to work together with you. We grow together we learn together and in turn we work to make a difference. Just never forget you are making a difference every single day of your life. We don’t give up. We keep going forward one step in front of the other if we get pushed back. Then we take another step.
This is Steve Shallenberger your host from Becoming Your Best Global Leadership. Wishing you a great day!