What’s Your Reason Why?

Your ability to accomplish any worthy goal depends on your reason for doing it in the first place. The bigger the goal, the bigger your why  needs to be to get you through the trials and tribulations associated with the road toward it. As for me, I have the following reasons why.

1) My children deserve for me to be home more. I had to list this first for a number of reasons – not the least of which is I am totally in love with my children and want nothing more than for them to grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted assets to society. Once my income isn’t tied to my time, I will be able to do the things for them that my mom didn’t have time to do for us.

2) My wife deserves for me to be home more. Raising five children is hard work. She didn’t sign up to do it on her own. Don’t get me wrong, my wife is a wonderful mother, accomplished caretaker and patient teacher to all my children (some days are better than others to be sure) but she and I together can do things that neither of us can do alone. Once I have more control of my schedule, I can be the help she deserves.

3) I can accomplish more for more people with a more flexible schedule. People in my life don’t have needs that fit neatly into the “after-hours” box. Sometimes, I need to be able to go to a friend or family member in the middle of the day or night. The ability to work my business around my schedule makes it possible to be there for them in their time of need without regard to where I have to be the next day.

4) If I have more, I can give more. If I had a million dollars, how easy would it be for me to give away to ten thousand? For that matter, how easy would it be for me to give away a hundred thousand? The thought of scarcity or lack is the reason for many problems in the world. I would like to be one that is a source of plenty for others.

5) My success will be an example for others to follow. There are many people today that need to believe they can do great things. I will achieve my goals. That will show others that they can too.

These reasons keep me going when I feel like throwing in the towel. What’s your reason why? What will keep you going?

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A Janitor’s 10 Lessons in Leadership

A Janitor’s 10 Lessons in Leadership

By Colonel James Moschgat, 12th Operations Group Commander, USAF

William “Bill” Crawford certainly was an unimpressive figure, one you could easily overlook during a hectic day at the U.S. Air Force Academy.  Mr. Crawford, as most of us referred to him back in the late 1970s, was our squadron janitor. While we cadets busied ourselves preparing for academic exams, athletic events, Saturday morning parades and room inspections, or never-ending leadership classes, Bill quietly moved about the squadron mopping and buffing floors, emptying trash cans, cleaning toilets, or just tidying up the mess 100 college-age kids can leave in a dormitory.  Sadly, and for many years, few of us gave him much notice, rendering little more than a passing nod or throwing a curt, “G’morning!” in his direction as we hurried off to our daily duties.

Why?  Perhaps it was because of the way he did his job-he always kept the squadron area spotlessly clean, even the toilets and showers gleamed. Frankly, he did his job so well, none of us had to notice or get involved. After all, cleaning toilets was his job, not ours.  Maybe it was is physical appearance that made him disappear into the background.  Bill didn’t move very quickly and, in fact, you could say he even shuffled a bit, as if he suffered from some sort of injury.  His gray hair and wrinkled face made him appear ancient to a group of young cadets.  And his crooked smile, well, it looked a little funny.  Face it, Bill was an old man working in a young person’s world.  What did he have to offer us on a personal level?

Finally, maybe it was Mr. Crawford’s personality that rendered him almost invisible to the young people around him.  Bill was shy, almost painfully so.  He seldom spoke to a cadet unless they addressed him first, and that didn’t happen very often.  Our janitor always buried himself in his work, moving about with stooped shoulders, a quiet gait, and an averted gaze.  If he noticed the hustle and bustle of cadet life around him, it was hard to tell.  So, for whatever reason, Bill blended into the woodwork and became just another fixture around the squadron.  The Academy, one of our nation’s premier leadership laboratories, kept us busy from dawn till dusk.  And Mr. Crawford…well, he was just a janitor.

That changed one fall Saturday afternoon in 1976.  I was reading a book about World War II and the tough Allied ground campaign in Italy, when I stumbled across an incredible story.  On September 13, 1943, a Private William Crawford from Colorado, assigned to the 36th Infantry Division, had been involved in some bloody fighting on Hill 424 near Altavilla, Italy. The words on the page leapt out at me: “in the face of intense and overwhelming hostile fire … with no regard for personal safety …  on his own initiative, Private Crawford single-handedly attacked fortified enemy positions.” It continued, “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, the President of the United States…” “Holy cow,” I said to my roommate, “you’re not going to believe this, but I think our janitor is a Medal of Honor winner.” We all knew Mr. Crawford was a WWII Army vet, but that didn’t keep my friend from looking at me as if I was some sort of alien being.  Nonetheless, we couldn’t wait to ask Bill about the story on Monday.  We met Mr. Crawford bright and early Monday and showed him the page in question from the book, anticipation and doubt in our faces.  He starred at it for a few silent moments and then quietly uttered something like, “Yep, that’s me.”

Mouths agape, my roommate and I looked at one another, then at the book, and quickly back at our janitor.  Almost at once we both stuttered, “Why didn’t you ever tell us about it?”  He slowly replied after some thought,   “That was one day in my life and it happened a long time ago.” I guess we were all at a loss for words after that.  We had to hurry off to class and Bill, well, he had chores to attend to.  However, after that brief exchange, things were never again the same around our squadron.  Word spread like wildfire among the cadets that we had a hero in our midst-Mr. Crawford, our janitor, had won the Medal!  Cadets who had once passed by Bill with hardly a glance, now greeted him with a smile and a respectful, “Good morning, Mr. Crawford.”  Those who had before left a mess for the “janitor” to clean up started taking it upon themselves to put things in order.  Most cadets routinely stopped to talk to Bill throughout the day and we even began inviting him to our formal squadron functions.  He’d show up dressed in a conservative dark suit and quietly talk to those who approached him, the only sign of his heroics being a simple blue, star-spangled lapel pin.

Almost overnight, Bill went from being a simple fixture in our squadron to one of our teammates.  Mr. Crawford changed too, but you had to look closely to notice the difference.  After that fall day in 1976, he seemed to move with more purpose, his shoulders didn’t seem to be as stooped, he met our greetings with a direct gaze and a stronger “good morning” in return, and he flashed his crooked smile more often.  The squadron gleamed as always, but everyone now seemed to notice it more.  Bill even got to know most of us by our first names, something that didn’t happen often at the Academy.  While no one ever formally acknowledged the change, I think we became Bill’s cadets and his squadron.  As often happens in life, events sweep us away from those in our past. The last time I saw Bill was on graduation day in June 1977.  As I walked out of the squadron for the last time, he shook my hand and simply said, “Good luck, young man.”  With that, I embarked on a career that has been truly lucky and blessed.  Mr. Crawford continued to work at the Academy and eventually retired in his native Colorado where he resides today, one of four Medal of Honor winners living in a small town. A wise person once said, “It’s not life that’s important, but those you meet along the way that make the difference.” Bill was one who made a difference for me.  While I haven’t seen Mr. Crawford in over twenty years, he’d probably be surprised to know I think of him often.  Bill Crawford, our janitor, taught me many valuable, unforgettable leadership lessons.  Here are ten I’d like to share with you:

1.  Be Cautious of Labels.  Labels you place on people may define your relationship to them and bound their potential.  Sadly, and for a long time, we labeled Bill as just a janitor, but he was so much more.  Therefore, be cautious of a leader who callously says, “Hey, he’s just an Airman.” Likewise, don’t tolerate the O-1, who says, “I can’t do that, I’m just a lieutenant.”

2.  Everyone Deserves Respect.  Because we hung the “janitor” label on Mr. Crawford, we often wrongly treated him with less respect than others around us.  He deserved much more, and not just because he was a Medal of Honor winner.  Bill deserved respect because he was a janitor, walked among us, and was a part of our team. 

3.  Courtesy Makes a Difference.  Be courteous to all around you, regardless of rank or position.  Military customs, as well as common courtesies, help bond a team.  When our daily words to Mr. Crawford turned from perfunctory “hellos” to heartfelt greetings, his demeanor and personality outwardly changed.  It made a difference for all of us. 

4.  Take Time to Know Your People.  Life in the military is hectic, but that’s no excuse for not knowing the people you work for and with.  For years a hero walked among us at the Academy and we never knew it.  Who are the heroes that walk in your midst?

5.  Anyone Can Be a Hero.  Mr. Crawford certainly didn’t fit anyone’s standard definition of a hero.  Moreover, he was just a private on the day he won his Medal.  Don’t sell your people short, for any one of them may be the hero who rises to the occasion when duty calls.  On the other hand, it’s easy to turn to your proven performers when the chips are down, but don’t ignore the rest of the team.  Today’s rookie could and should be tomorrow’s superstar. 

6.  Leaders Should Be Humble.  Most modern day heroes and some leaders are anything but humble, especially if you calibrate your “hero meter” on today’s athletic fields.  End zone celebrations and self-aggrandizement are what we’ve come to expect from sports greats.  Not Mr. Crawford-he was too busy working to celebrate his past heroics. Leaders would be well served to do the same. 

7.  Life Won’t Always Hand You What You Think You Deserve.  We in the military work hard and, dang it, we deserve recognition, right?  However, sometimes you just have to persevere, even when accolades don’t come your way. Perhaps you weren’t nominated for junior officer or airman of the quarter as you thought you should – don’t let that stop you. 

8.  Don’t Pursue Glory; Pursue Excellence.  Private Bill Crawford didn’t pursue glory; he did his duty and then swept floors for a living. No job is beneath a Leader.  If Bill Crawford, a Medal of Honor winner, could clean latrines and smile, is there a job beneath your dignity?  Think about it. 

9.  Pursue Excellence.  No matter what task life hands you, do it well.  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “If life makes you a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be.” Mr. Crawford modeled that philosophy and helped make our dormitory area a home. 

10. Life is a Leadership Laboratory.  All too often we look to some school or PME class to teach us about leadership when, in fact, life is a leadership laboratory.  Those you meet everyday will teach you enduring lessons if you just take time to stop, look and listen.  I spent four years at the Air Force Academy, took dozens of classes, read hundreds of books, and met thousands of great people.  I gleaned leadership skills from all of them, but one of the people I remember most is Mr. Bill Crawford and the lessons he unknowingly taught.  Don’t miss your opportunity to learn. 

Bill Crawford was a janitor.  However, he was also a teacher, friend, role model and one great American hero.  Thanks, Mr. Crawford, for some valuable leadership lessons. 

****************************************

And now, for the “rest of the story…”  

Private William John Crawford was a platoon scout for 3rd Platoon of Company L, 142nd Regiment, 36th Division (Texas National Guard), and won the Medal Of Honor for his actions on Hill 424, just 4 days after the invasion at Salerno. 

On Hill 424, Private Crawford took out 3 enemy machine guns before darkness fell, halting the platoon’s advance.  Private Crawford could not be found and was assumed dead.  The request for his MOH was quickly approved.  Major General Terry Allen presented the posthumous MOH to Bill Crawford’s father, George, on 11 May 1944 in Camp (now Fort) Carson, near Pueblo.  Nearly two months after that, it was learned that Private Crawford was alive in a POW camp in Germany.  During his captivity, a German guard clubbed him with his rifle.  Bill overpowered him, took the rifle away, and beat the guard unconscious.  A German doctor’s testimony saved him from severe punishment, perhaps death.  To stay ahead of the advancing Russian army, the prisoners were marched 500 miles in 52 days in the middle of the German winter, subsisting on one potato a day.  An allied tank column liberated the camp in the spring of 1945, and Private Crawford took his first hot shower in 18 months on VE Day.  Private Crawford stayed in the army before retiring as a MSG and becoming a janitor.  In 1984, President Ronald Reagan officially presented the Medal of Honor to Bill Crawford. 

MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION FOR PRIVATE WILLIAM J. CRAWFORD: 

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943. Entered service at: Pueblo, Colo. Birth: Pueblo, Colo., G.O. No.: 57, 20 July 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943. When Company I attacked an enemy-held position on Hill 424, the 3d Platoon, in which Pvt. Crawford was a squad scout, attacked as base platoon for the company. After reaching the crest of the hill, the platoon was pinned down by intense enemy machinegun and small-arms fire. Locating 1 of these guns, which was dug in on a terrace on his immediate front, Pvt. Crawford, without orders and on his own initiative, moved over the hill under enemy fire to a point within a few yards of the gun emplacement and single-handedly destroyed the machinegun and killed 3 of the crew with a hand grenade, thus enabling his platoon to continue its advance. When the platoon, after reaching the crest, was once more delayed by enemy fire, Pvt. Crawford again, in the face of intense fire, advanced directly to the front midway between 2 hostile machinegun nests located on a higher terrace and emplaced in a small ravine. Moving first to the left, with a hand grenade he destroyed 1 gun emplacement and killed the crew; he then worked his way, under continuous fire, to the other and with 1 grenade and the use of his rifle, killed 1 enemy and forced the remainder to flee. Seizing the enemy machinegun, he fired on the withdrawing Germans and facilitated his company’s advance.

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Closing the Gap

There is a gap between what is and what could be in your life. If you take a look at your life right now and evaluate your health, your wealth, your career, your mental state, your education level, you will probably agree that you haven’t “arrived” just yet. There is more to do, more to learn, more to earn before you’re done. Is that a sad thing? I don’t believe so. I believe it is the ONLY reason to get up in the morning.

So what does it mean to “close the gap?” To me, it means to take a full accounting of what is, identify what could be, develop a plan to get started and then execute. It isn’t important that you know how to get to your goal today. It is only important that you get started. As you go, you will make adjustments to get back on track. You will revise. You will reassess. The process will continue and you will grow along the way. That is closing the gap.

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There are NO Good Excuses!!!

Have you ever made an excuse? Of course you have! We all have. One of my co-workers called me on making an excuse just yesterday. It stung a little. I’ll be honest. I pride myself on my ability to call it like I see it and force others to do the same. When I said the words, “I can’t…” yesterday and the other people in the room recoiled, I had to rephrase and say, “I’m not going to…” instead. Fortunately for me, I had the ability to refuse otherwise I would have been in a pickle…but I digress.

Anyway, I’m here to say, “NO EXCUSE IS A GOOD EXCUSE.” I posted the following as my status several days ago. “When you’re a winner, no excuse is good enough. When you’re a loser, any excuse will do.” Since then, that statement has resonated with me so I felt it warranted more exploration here.

Check out this clip: http://youtu.be/3a3BuiJy2ok

As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, no matter what excuse you think to yourself or hear someone else say, you have to ask yourself the following question, “Is it true?” If you are totally honest with yourself, you have to admit that you cannot be certain that the excuse is 100% true.

The evidence of this fact is that there are people who have had the life experiences you have had, who possess the things that you have now (or less in some cases), who have learned the things that you now know that are in a better position today than you are at this very moment. They thought they didn’t have the money but somehow they found it.

They thought they weren’t smart enough but somehow they learned what they needed to know. They didn’t have the family background that they thought they needed but somehow that didn’t matter. If they were wrong, what’s to say you aren’t wrong as well?

Can you be certain that your excuses are true? NO, you can’t.

Carl Jung said, “Our most important problems cannot be solved, they must be outgrown.” What that means to YOU have to get better in order for THINGS to get better. You have to make the decision to overcome the obstacles that you would otherwise use as excuses to keep you from what you want. You have to grow taller to reach that next step. Don’t trip over that stumbling block. Grow taller so you can step over it.

So, next time you find yourself making an excuse, remind yourself that you can’t be certain that your excuse is true. That being the case, wouldn’t you rather think about the positive rather than the negative version of the statement?

Think about it!

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Great Goal Setting

Everybody knows that we should all have goals.

What many people don’t know are the 6 key features of any goal that make it powerful enough to create results. I recently learned/was reminded about what I’m going to present to you from the likes of Bill Phillips, Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield, and Zig Ziglar, four of the most successful men in business…anywhere. Below is a synthesis of their teachings on the process of goal setting and achieving. I hope you get as much from this as I have and that you begin to set and achieve the important goals in your life.

Step 1: Your goals MUST be written down.

In order for your goals to produce results, they must be written down. Just having them in your head is NOT good enough. Why? It is not good enough because it’s not real enough while it’s still just in your head. Also, chances are excellent that it’s not specific enough to be the basis of a plan. A goal that’s not specific is called a dream or a wish. Wishes only come true in fairy tales. Read what Darrin Clement, author of The Goal Triangle, has to say about written goals.

The Goal Triangle: The Power of Written Goals

Which brings me to the next step.

Step 2: Your goals MUST be specific, affirmative and quantifiable.

In order for you to achieve your goals, they must be specific. It’s not enough to say, “I want to be successful.” You have to define success and claim success. You have to say, “I will be the CEO of a distribution company…” or “I will win a marathon…” or “I will retire at the age of 35…” If you can put a will statement in front of your desired state of being or in front of a future circumstance, that makes it powerful and specific enough to work. See what Bill Phillips has to say about being specific.

Transformation: Bill Phillips on setting specific goals:

However, that’s still not all good enough. Because we are people and we almost always leave things to the last minute which is why…

Step 3: Your goals MUST have a time element attached to them.

You have to have a time limit attached to each goal. As you know, 80% of the work gets done in the last 20% of the time. Also, if you leave yourself the option to put it off, you almost always will. So, you have to say, “I will win a marathon by the end of the year…” or “by my 30th birthday…”. That way, you don’t let the procrastination bug bite you. See what Mr. Ziglar has to say on the matter.

Zig Ziglar – Setting Goals 1 of 3:

Now that you have a specific, written goal with a timeline attached…

Step 4: You MUST have a plan to reach your goals.

Once you have the end result specified, written down and placed on the calendar, you have to account for the white space on the calendar between today and that day. You have to schedule all the benchmarks along the way that show progress. You have to plan in times to take stock and see how things are going. As you check, you will make changes to the plan and execute again. It won’t be an easy road to be sure but in order to be successful these things are necessary. If you don’t believe me, just ask Jack Canfield.

Jack Canfield – Successful Planning:

This may be simple but it won’t be easy. So put it in your head now that you will do what it takes to succeed.

Step 5: You MUST be willing to pay a price to reach your goals.

Anyone who has ever achieved greatness will tell you…successful people do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do. As I’ve always said, you can put up with a lot of crap if you know it’s coming and can brace for it. If you know you’re going to have to pay a price (you definitely will) and you decide that you’re willing to do whatever it takes, your goals are well within your reach. Mr. Canfield talks about this below.

Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #16 – Be willing to pay the price:

Finally,

Step 6: You MUST look at your goals EVERY day.

Keep your goals in front of you. Keep them on the front burner in your mind. If you do, you will better recognize the opportunities that arise every day to get you one step closer to your goal. As they say, out of sight out of mind. Now you know. Include all of these features to your list of goals or create one that’s been rolling around in your head up to now. If you don’t know how you will do this, just look around for ideas. They are everywhere. Below you will see one of those ideas. It’s called a dream board or a vision board. It works very well for many people. If you don’t have one, you might consider making one.

Building A Dream Board

Thank you for spending some time with me today. I hope this helps you in your dreaming and goal setting processes. I look forward to hearing from you to see how things are coming in the months ahead. Until then…

Marcus Tyler

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Our Investment in Green Technology

Some people complain that the government is spending too much money on “green initiatives” or “green technology.” They say we are throwing good money after bad. They suggest that we have obviously failed and should give up. Check out the Heritage Foundation’s indictment of our President.

http://origin.blog.heritage.org/2011/08/11/the-green-jobs-story-obama-doesnt-want-you-to-hear/

I tend to disagree. Here’s why:

You have to understand the difference between cost and value. Rather, the average consumer does. I think it’s perfectly acceptable, commendable in fact that the president and his administration is putting so much emphasis on green technology and it’s application across the country. If we wait until the average consumer clamors for it, it’ll be too late.  Let’s think about this practically for a second.

Does the “global warming” phenomenon affect the average citizen in his or her daily comings and goings? No. It doesn’t. That’s why scientists and “those in the know” find it necessary to implore people to change their daily habits to help with the cause. Keep in mind that they always emphasize the fact that “it may not seem significant but together we can make a big difference” or some other such message. Why is this? It’s because if we “don’t start to change soon it’ll be too late.

So, what about green technology? The purpose of encouraging green technology is to help us continue to operate without depleting our natural resources which ARE in fact finite despite suggestions to the contrary. But, what does that mean to the average consumer. When you fill up your gas tank, do you care how much oil is left in our reserves? Probably not. All you care about is filling your gas tank so you can get to work. As long as you can afford to do that, you’re OK. But if we wait until the supply is low enough to effect prices at the pump, it’s too late to start researching new technologies that take years to develop and even longer to bring to the marketplace. The average consumer doesn’t have the foresight for use to wait for them to pull the trigger.

Now, do I want the country to spend endless amounts of money on something that is ultimately a waste of money? Of course not. But that’s when the difference between cost and value come in. It costs a significant amount of money to encourage these “green jobs” to be sure. Then again, anything worth doing costs. The question is, what’s the value? Is it valuable to be able to preserve our natural resources? Is it valuable to be ready for the eventuality when we HAVE to stop relying on fossil fuels because the supply will be so low? Is it valuable to give companies the ability to change with the technological times instead of being left behind when the rules of the game change (e.g., from petroleum to green energy)? I would say it is valuable. The president is just showing that he’s willing to pay the cost for that value. It just so happens that some people are too narrow-minded to do the same.

This is just one man’s opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.

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Dream Builder Enterprises

Welcome to Dream Builder Enterprises. This is a place where all dreamers can come to show the world what they can achieve. This is a safe place – a supportive place – a place where winners win beyond their wildest imagination.

Here are the ground rules.

  1. Check your negativity at the door.
  2. Never entertain the possibility of failure or defeat
  3. Keep an open mind.
  4. Have fun!

If we you can follow those simple rules, you can stay. If not, you’re not welcome here. Let’s get started!

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.
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