Steve Shallenberger: Welcome to YOU, a very warm welcome to our Becoming Your Best Podcast listeners. Today we begin this podcast show with a special tribute to Mothers! This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day in the United States and it is a great time to recognize, remember and applaud Mothers, wherever you might be.

The subject of today’s podcast is the Becoming Your Best Checklist. It is a podcast of reflection, assessment and resolve to live the 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders, just a bit better. Mothers are definitely leaders! As you think about Mothers and the 12 Principles, you can see them applied over and over! Enough credit can never be given to Mothers. All one has to do is to try to fill in for a Mother for a very short while, and you are left asking yourself, “How does she do it all?” I am sure you would all agree, that a Mother does not need to have offspring of her own to carry the title of Mother.

There have been numerous extraordinary women in our lives, definitely in my life, that I consider a “Mother” in every sense of the word. Some Mothers are stay-at-home moms, while others carry on a profession or work, while at the same time carrying out the duties of Mother. There really aren’t enough words to describe our wonderful Mothers. Here are just a few that might begin the effort: Loving, Selfless, Caring, Present, Dedicated, Ever-present, Faithful, Listener, Angel, Example, Smart, Sacrifice, Wise, Compassionate, Don’t Mess with Mom, Tolerant, Forgiving, Patient, Eternal, Fun, Sense of Humor, and Divine.

Steve Shallenberger: Thanks to the Moms in my life! Here are a few of them: Grandma Margaret Quarles; Grandma Viola Shallenberger; My amazing wife of six children, Roxanne; Our daughters: Tonya, Lara, Deanna, Michaela, Heather, and Anne. There is Dorothy, Twaila, Annette, Sandra, Margaret, Frances, Anna and Ellie. That is just a start. Thank you, ladies! How can I ever thank you? A million expressions of gratitude is not enough. So, Happy Mother’s Day!

The rest of the podcast is for all of us! However, as you go through the Becoming Your Best Checklist, which contains affirmations and questions, it will be hard not to think of Mother. May you and I be inspired by this reflection, personal assessment and resolve to continue to Become Your Best. Your light and example will bless everyone in the process. Now, for the Becoming Your Best Checklist Podcast.

Steve Shallenberger: Welcome to our Becoming your Best Podcast listeners, wherever you might be today in the world. From Ancient Greece, Socrates once declared that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This really was an invitation to be reflective and thoughtful about our own lives. We only have one life, how can you make it the BEST life lived? What does my best look like? What follows is a set of questions and affirmations that can help you to Become Your Best!

May the journey be wonderous and joyful. It will bless you and others in every way. You may adjust it to yourself with time and adjust some of the questions or affirmations so that it best supports what you want to do and becoming your best. The Principles of Highly Successful Leaders are proven, timeless, universal with a powerful predictable outcome that will produce greater happiness, health, performance, and prosperity.

Today, I invite you to just enjoy these questions, these affirmations, that it might be a time of reflection for you. How are you doing? How do you lift the bar? How are you measuring up? These are just questions that you’ll answer yourself. What we’ll do is proceed through the 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders. Of course, these are not just plucked out of thin air. These 12 Principles are based upon 40 years of research of what sets apart the highest performing individuals and leaders in the world. And really, over hundreds of years. So here we go, let’s just go through each one. The process will be, I’ll go ahead and state one of the 12 Principles, with some questions for you to reflect upon, that I will reflect upon. Hopefully, the end result is that it will cause each of us to say how are we doing, and how can we do a bit better. Here we go!

Be True to Character! That’s the principle. I am bold and courageous to do and communicate what is right, with integrity and honesty! My words match my heart and mind. I do what I say. I keep my commitments and promises. I bust my pick to get the job done. If I can’t, I communicate, so people know what I am doing, and when I will get the job done. People can rely on me! People can count on me! I am a 100% finisher. I am humble, non-judgmental of others, and I apologize when needed. I am a person of total character. I never talk about others negatively, in their absence. If I have bad feelings towards another, I apologize and I move on. If I were called home today, my life is in order.

Principle 2: Lead with A Vision! This is literally job number one of all leaders, to identify and clearly articulate the vision, in my personal life, family, professionally and in service to others. My vision represents my heart and mind. Does the vision provide leadership in the absence of supervision on my teams and my family and organization? I realize this is job number one of a leader, to point the way, to lead the team in the right direction. To be sure that the vision represents the heart, soul, passion, and capability of our organization. The vision is shared by others and we regularly discuss it and communicate it. Once I/we have a vision, we have it. You may tweak it from time to time, but once you have it, the vision is there! You’re frontloading your success.

Principle number 3 of Highly Successful Leaders: Manage with A Plan! Do I have fun and an inspiring, encouraging, written SMART goals for this year by each of my roles of life? If so, are they in a place that I can regularly see them? If not, get a sheet of paper out today and write down your goals for the year. It’s fairly simple! The cleanest sheet of paper, write your roles down the left-hand side of the paper and then sit back and use your imagination and creativity. What are the things that matter most, that are aligned with my vision, that I can do this year? Have I shared my goals with someone that inspires me (a mentor, a family member, a partner)? At the end of the year, do I report how I did and then share my goals for the next year? Having annual goals is one of my greatest tools of life and are done only once a year, while the impact of what I do lasts all year long in a grand and positive way, making me a better person.

Principle Number 4: Prioritize your Time! This is best done through Pre-Week Planning! Do I take a few minutes from Friday afternoon sometime, but definitely before Monday morning, to think about my vision, annual goals, the upcoming calendar and events and my roles to sketch out a GREAT week coming up? It is really a simple process. Be sure you have a BYB (Becoming Your Best) planner to sketch things out. This will help you put leadership first, and then how to best manage. It will help you do the things that are most effective first, and then how to do them efficiently. It is literally placing, determining what the compass is, what matters most, and then, what is the clock? How do I do them well? Write your roles across the top in the planner on the weekly focus. This only takes 20 seconds, especially when you build this muscle up from week to week. And then, reflect right under each role, in the white space, what actions matter most. What can I do that really makes a difference, to really make this a great week? This only usually takes about 10 minutes. And then, in the body of the planner, on the weekly view, organize yourself and prepare for a GREAT week. This might take 10 minutes. This 1% of your time, that’s how long it is, in the terms of the overall how many hours we have in a week, will impact the other 99% in an extraordinary way. This practice brings confidence, peace, focus, balance, joy, and happiness. For those that use an electronic planner, then once this leadership exercise has taken place, this focus, this discipline, simply transfer your things in your electronic planner and you are locked and loaded. You’ve actually built on these first four principles together to create a Transformational Leadership.

Principle Number 5: Live the Golden Rule in Business and in Life. Do I treat people with respect, kindness, consideration, and patience? Do I inspire the best in other people by living the 12 Principles of Becoming Your Best? Do I recognize the good in others? Do I complement the good? Do I unilaterally do good to others? Do I continually lift, build and inspire others to become their best? Do I bite my tongue if I feel impatient or might want to say something that might hurt another? Do I regularly and genuinely compliment others? These all are a practice of living the Golden Rule. It’s lifting and building the world for good.

Principle 6: Build and Maintain Trust! Do I use the “Trust Meter” to gauge whether the trust tank is full, half full or empty in my relationships? Do I take genuine, unilateral action not to pin it upon another’s person? Not to pin it upon the weather outside, but being determined to direct my actions from the inside? And so, do I take unilateral action to move the trust meter to “full”? We asses the trust meter, we can hold it up, it’s this metaphorical gauge, it’s active within our chest and heart and as we look at another, the gauge moves one way or the other, so we know how we’re doing. So, once we see how it’s doing, do I make independent choices to move it to “full”? That builds trust, that strengthens trust? I cannot control others, but I can control my own actions. I continually work to build warm, caring, happy, and strong relationships? I realize that this type of a relationship pays the highest dividends of life over and over again. Trust is the glue that keeps things together and creates high-performance cultures and families.

Number 7: Be an Effective Communicator. I realize that to be a Highly Successful Leader, I must first listen to and understand others! I listen fully with my eyes, ears, heart, and mind. I confirm to the other person’s satisfaction that I understand them and their point of view, or the issue that they may be concerned about. When I do this, I understand it changes the world for good! If I have a message or a point of view that may be helpful, I communicate it with clarity, accuracy, thoughtfulness, and consideration of others. I work to communicate well in writing, speech, and appearance.

Principle Number 8: Innovate with Imagination! I understand that the mind is among the most powerful set of tools in the entire world. I realize that I can put that mind to work right now, to develop opportunities, to solve problems, and to become my best. I have many tools to get me started: The 6-step process of planning and execution; mind-mapping and brainstorming. These are rain-makers, game-changers, and when a challenge or opportunity comes up, I am excited to go to work, spring into action and get to a better place. I do not shy away from problems or opportunities. I attack opportunities now and realize that my gift of imagination is a portal to success. These, number 5,6,7 and 8 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders create a transformational team and relationship and puts them into a whole other category of high performance. And now, the Principles of Transformational Living.

Number 9: Be Accountable! I am responsible for my actions. I take responsibility for the outcome. I don’t blame, criticize or condemn! I understand that this principle and habit liberates me to become my best! I understand that for every 60 seconds of anger or blaming that I might harbor, robs my happiness and positive frame of mind! I refuse to be negative in any way, but only positive! Being accountable opens the highway to success!

Principle 10: Apply the Power of Knowledge! I love to learn, to read, to gain new insights! I work to read a book a month. I listen to podcasts, Ted-talks, read magazines and other articles to gain new ideas and thoughts. One of my greatest hopes of the future is to always be learning and applying knowledge to my personal and professional life. I am always working on learning about every field of knowledge I can and ask, how does this apply to what I am doing and how can I improve?

Principle Number 11: Live in Peace and Balance! I understand that my body, heart, mind, and spirit are the greatest assets that I possess on Earth. I protect, guard and care for my body. I exercise, maintain a healthy diet, meditate, learn, and take time to be at peace. I manage stress and a challenging full life by being well organized, having a clear vision, annual goals, doing pre-week planning, so that I can prioritize my time and good health habits. I periodically take the circle of peace and balance assessment to check in and to be sure that I am living a balanced life and those things that are important to me are given appropriate attention. I realize that this assessment can be found through the becomingyourbest.com. It’s also in the Becoming Your Best book. All you have to do is just request it, we’ll be happy to send that along to you, free of charge. It’s becomingyourbest.com. That’s a fun assessment.

Principle Number 12: Never Give Up! I realize that the great glory in life is not how many times I fall, but how many times I get back up. Although there are many challenges, and some of those are serious, very significant challenges, I see them as opportunities to grow, learn and get to a better place. Failures are my stairway to success! I may fail many times in order to succeed greatly only once. And then I will succeed again and again. I understand that my greatest success may come after my greatest trial and set of challenges. I will never give up! I understand the refiner’s fire will ultimately bring out my greatest qualities. I will keep moving forward, one step in front of the other. I will never give up! I will succeed and become my best!

It has been such a delight to think about these 12 Principles together today. May they be a guidepost to each one, to lead us to a happier, more successful, and more prosperous place. Remember, you are making a difference, every single day! This is Steve Shallenberger, with Becoming Your Best!

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