Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert Kennedy
Are you a leader or a follower? Do you play it safe or dare to pursue excellence?  
Leaders are willing to take intentional risks. Leaders aren’t reckless; leaders are purposeful and thoughtful. Leaders form a hypothesis, skillfully tests the hypothesis, gather data and observe behavior, and then learn from the process.  
From the smallest tweak to a successful process to an entirely new approach, from improving a model to breaking the mold, leaders have a desire to achieve greatly.  
Do you skillfully hypothesize about achieving greatly? Are you willing to dare to fail greatly on the journey to elite? Be a leader . . . find your edge . . . take the path.

A year from now you will wish you had started today.

A year from now you will wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb
Our day to day life gets a little crazy. We often find ourselves in “management mode” where we simply strive to get through the current day. When our “to do” list for current obligations exceeds our ability to move forward, we find ourselves pushing new initiatives to tomorrow. When our current reality is an obstacle to our future plans we fail to live our passion for excellence.
We know that we must continue to grow, to improve, and to learn. We know that today’s status quo isn’t what will make us elite in the future. Find time, make time, to pursue your journey. Don’t allow the day-to-day to impede the path to tomorrow. You know what must be done – cultivate your skills and have the discipline to do it.

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
We learn through doing. From our earliest days learning to walk, we fell a lot. We learned to write by first scribbling, then drawing shapes, then letters . . . our learning required trying, experiencing, and improving. We give young students blocks to count . . . mistakes are made, we start again, and we learn.
With the gift of youth comes the safeguards for experiential learning – parents, teachers, and coaches are here to support and encourage children through the learning process. The enthusiasm of youth, with the guidance of loving adults, teaches students that failures are not the end but only a step in the learning journey.
As adults, we can’t safeguard our students from failure. Sure, we protect them from unsafe or unhealthy failures, but most failures in youth are learning opportunities. We must guide students on their path, but not do the work for them. Failures are natural and necessary for future conditioning and success.

The smartest thing I ever did was to hire my weakness. 

The smartest thing I ever did was to hire my weakness. – Sara Blakely
Do you know your strengths? Not in a narcissistic way, but in a humble acknowledgement of where your skills and interests are. In both your professional and personal life, can you identify what you do well?  
Do you know your weaknesses? What are those areas that cause you heartburn? These aren’t just things you don’t like to do . . . these are the things that you simply don’t have the skills to match your expectations or needs.
Popular people surround themselves with people who think and act like themselves. Successful people surround themselves with people who complement and challenge them. It is easy to be popular with “yes people” around you. You are more likely to be successful with a diverse, thoughtful team around you.
Hire people who share your core values, but not your core skills. Surround yourself with people of character and heart that will supplement your expertise and engage your passions. We are much stronger when we are aligned in our mission and diverse in our skills and processes.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. – Leo Tolstoy
Have you ever been around a person who thinks everyone else is always wrong? Do you have colleagues who criticize any decision and complains about every situation? Have you sat next to the parent at the ballgame that blames the officials for every mistake their kid makes?
It is easy to talk about changing the world. It’s easy to wait for others to make your life better. It’s more difficult to change yourself first. It’s more difficult to assess a tough situation and ask yourself, “What can I change to make the outcome better?”
You have a vision for the world in which you want to live. You have vision for where you want to be in the future. You have the power to make that vision a reality. It will take skill, work, and dedication . . . it isn’t easy . . . the journey to elite starts with you.

Leadership is your ability to hide your panic from others.

Leadership is your ability to hide your panic from others. – Lao Tuz
True leaders bring calm in a storm. True leaders are those who can bring calm to chaos, who can keep their heads when those around them lose their heads.
Why do true leaders hide their panic? What makes someone able to function at a high level under pressure?  
True leaders know their core; true leaders know what they value. When you know your core values, when your heart and your head are in alignment, acting in times of stress is natural. When you don’t question what you believe, your mind is clear when you need to act.
Are you clear about your values and purpose? Do you reflect daily on your personal alignment? Your faith and heart must be aligned with your personal and professional life. As a leader, you are able to perform in the storm, hide your panic, if you are aligned with your purpose. 

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making that impact last in your absence.

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making that impact last in your absence. – Sheryl Sandburg
Leadership isn’t about what you do; Leadership is about how you inspire excellence in others. Great leaders not only make those around them better. They make those around them better when they aren’t in the room.
Leadership starts with creating culture . . . a culture that encourages the organization to embrace a passion for growth and improvement. Leaders make failures safe; leaders empower through ownership and embrace divergent thinking.
We are all leaders. We all influence our culture. We all model the behavior that those around us experience.  
What kind of leader are you? Are people happier when you enter the room or leave the room? The best leaders bring an energy to any situation that remains once they’ve left . . . they add to a positive culture that embraces growth and creates a vision