Thursday, February 3, 2011

I enjoy a good argument but only if it gets both of us to a different place...

Books of motivation may feature different covers but there’s always a common line of connection that redelivers a life changing message.

Every once in awhile, an author gets a little gutsy; former Philadelphia 76er’s owner Pat Croce doesn’t believe in teamwork, “It creates too much room for a member to be lazy.”

Artist Way author Julia Cameron believes teachers with red pens are to blame for the low levels of confidence students have.

And now the mastermind behind Tribes; We Need You to Lead Us Seth Godin writes, “Fear of failure is actually overrated as an excuse.”

During the early chapters Carly Simon was horribly afraid of performing on stage. I cannot use a public restroom; BBS (Bashful Bladder Syndrome) affects millions of people daily creating a fear of failure which has put me in situations where dinner includes an incredibly fast drive home. Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Bob Thornton, Ronald Regan, Mohammad Ali and Aretha Franklyn fear flying. Not being able to attend an event creates a fear of failure.

Godin explains, “People aren’t afraid of failure. It’s blame. We choose not to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism.”

The radio junky in me laughs; where would my career be without program directors constantly hitting me with wants, needs, dislikes and ego crashes? I became a better black belt in Tae Kwon Do not because of a fear of failure but to physically do everything within my power to keep from being criticized. Today I face the worst fear; a fear of not being able to live up to the guy I was at 25.

How do you get around these faceless beasts?

In 2002 under the leadership of Ivan Levison, Taco Bell commanded a positive change when they toiled with the ancient phrase Think out of the Box and hit the airwaves with Think out of the Bun. Nike’s Just Do It is still a monster motivational tool. I find pleasure in watching people move; sitting at the mall slowly eating a chocolate ice cream cone teaches me a lot about what measures people put themselves through to get what they want. Bet they’d never sink that much energy into furthering their career or bettering the air surrounding their working conditions.

Godin is convinced that we are hesitant to create innovative movies, launch new human resource initiatives and design a menu forcing customers to take notice. He calls it a waste of money.

One of my favorite pastimes with Master Todd Harris was his ability to convince a martial arts class to invest in books of motivation then spend a Monday night discussing it; figuring out ways to firmly place the message onto our separate paths of leadership. His avenue of education added a curve to the straight highways we’ve sacrificed everything to drive. Nobody likes change because I believe companies no longer teach leaders. It’s the, “Here you go handle it philosophy.”

I frequent Panera Bread to study small business America. While the steamy hot cup of coffee begins its journey to cool, my ears are fixed on the multitude of conversations blessed with employers looking for a willing and able body to help them achieve what little they’ve forecasted. There are florists and photographers using the art of salesmanship to open the imagination of a potential client, realtors that still believe this nations dreams is to own a home and students that haven’t figured out how dangerously close we are to another collapse.

Seth Godin continues, “Fear of criticism is a powerful deterrent because the criticism doesn’t actually have to occur for the fear to set in.”

Julia Cameron teaches, “Display your art so you can learn to ignore criticism.”

Openly I admit I get in more trouble for trying to be different than I do if I had just bowed my head and played with the rest of the kids. Apologizing to my mind body and spirit I look at stress as being nothing more than the man behind the curtain. I’m not a quitter but at forty eight I’ve given permission to this drive to accept that I will not gain the level of success I wanted at twenty five but there’ll come a time when everything I’ve been taught will be seen in another travelers eyes.

Godin wants you to answer these questions:

If you get criticized will you suffer any measurable impact?

How can I create something critics will criticize?

I’ll always believe in you first…

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