EPIC Leadership. Live Your Life With Purpose

Good morning, and happy Monday. I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. For the couple of you that are living for these daily, I should have made a disclaimer that if there’s ever a reason Facebook live doesn’t work, then I will record a video on my phone and post it.

It’s beast mode Monday! Do you need to get into that mode today? Let me send you some of that energy because I am full of it today for a lot of reasons. I mentioned that at the beginning of this year before the virus, I had written all this incredible content for all my clients.

If you don’t know they’re from a range of industries. I work with the military, I work with hospitality, I work with dental practices, I have some car dealerships that I work with from a distance just on a consulting basis kind of coaching thing.

Anyway, the point is that I always want whatever I’m sharing to be relevant to you no matter what it is that you do for a living. So, when I wrote the content for 2020, I had in my mind what a year this was going to be.

Halftime Adjustments

So, March 12th, I turned 50, the virus obviously hit all of us in March the same exact time. And going into this year I was turning 50, I knew this was going to be pivotal because for me it was about my second half. It was like a basketball game. You know you play this first half and you think you know your opponents. Especially when that opponent is life, the journey we start out on doesn’t necessarily go as planned.

If you asked me, what my life looked like over the last 20-30 years, there’s some things that were perfect and absolutely happened the way that I really hoped they would but there were other things that just took turns I didn’t expect.

The point being, I’ve done the first half now and I turned 50.  I want to make some serious halftime adjustments because I fully intend to come out on the field this year and come stronger than ever. Maybe you do too, I’d love to hear your story.

Anyway, that was the premise behind the training that I wrote for this year to share with my teams, and it was called E.P.I.C. 2020 was to be an epic year and I had no idea just how epic it would be or what it would mean for all of us. But with that context now, E was for extraordinary and it was about embracing your extraordinary.

You are remarkable you have gifts that are unique to you, only you have them and you know this because you hear this from a million different sources. But I am serious about this. You truly are and if you’re feeling down, trodden, or beat down, maybe you’re like that lobster that was growing and outgrew the shell and you had to go under the rocks to crack it and become exposed to figure yourself out over this last six months. That’s kind of what I did. I had to make a lot of adjustments with everything I do. What would no traveling mean for me? Someone who makes their living everywhere else, but where I live. So, the E was about extraordinary. Don’t be afraid to be great today and bring your game for real.

Why is greater than What

The P, I want to talk to you stands for purpose. So, embrace your extraordinary but then you got to get real clarity about your purpose. I want you to live your life on purpose with purpose. Does that make sense?

Have you read “The Purpose Driven Life”?  You know, I have them all, I’m a learner so I’m always studying. When the book came out, I was kind of exploring my faith and I was trying to deepen my spiritual relationship. So, it didn’t become as actionable for me at that time as some resources later did but what I learned is there are so many resources and tools out there that will help you find your purpose. There’s not one exact thing that’s the right thing for you. I literally explored them all and found one that really hit and help me bring action. It was just an actionable process.

I’ve done a million team buildings on creating mission statements whether it’s a personal mission statement, a team statement, a business trying to create a new mission statement or refresh one that’s old, I’ve done that a ton. I was having clarity, really getting my feet on solid ground with where I was supposed to show up in the world and really come with come with strength.

Simon Sinek has been that coach for me over the last five years. He is just a beast. He’s a beast in this space. I like things really simplified and I want to be able to understand them and then do something with them right away. He has so many resources, YouTube videos, and amazing TED talks, but here’s the principle that helped me find my purpose. He talks about this idea of three concentric circles. The most outside circle is your what. The circle inside that is your how and the circle inside that is your why. This is like our Bullseye. The point is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it?

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Your ability to influence people has less to do with what you do and even how you do what you do. There’s this in the middle, this purpose. This is the why I’m talking about when I talk about purpose. I am talking about what Simon Sinek talks about when he says start with why.

Core Values

When I started with Marriott hotels in 1992, we did a little team-building kind of orientation thing. In 1992 is when I really wrote down for the first time what my mission in life was and what my purpose was. This might sound kind of kind of dark, but Marriott made us write out what we wanted on our Tombstone. If you’ve ever had your company make you do that, I’d probably stay away from that these days, it’s a little heavy and I thought it was heavy too at 22 years old. But they really wanted you to hone in on what you wanted to be remembered for? So, I remember writing that and when I first read start with why and started paying attention to what Simon was saying, that’s when it clicked for me.

So, I went back to my old handbook and wrote down my mission or what I wanted on my Tombstone. I wanted it to say she contributed positively to the lives of other people. You know what, that’s my why, that’s my purpose. It was then, it still is now 28 years later.

It’s taken me till 50 to be able to easily answer Simon’s questions. “Why do you do what you do?” I don’t mean just at work. I mean in general. The cool thing is when you can align your why to your business’s why.

My purpose is to contribute positively to the lives of other people. Now, how do I do that? Your how is your competitive advantage.

“How am I going to do that?”

I try to live within my core values and finding out, figuring out, and getting clarity around what your core values are is what will help you figure out how to put words on how you do what you do?

My core values are authenticity, love, and faith. Period. I want to be authentic. I want to operate in love not faith. I want to do everything with love. So that’s how I do what I do.

“What do I do?”

I coach people teams, I speak, I facilitate, I mediate, I do a whole lot of things and these are really tactical. This is what I do, but who cares?  A lot of people do those things, a lot of people coach, a lot of people train, a lot of people consult. Now that people have had to go home and work from home, there are a lot of experts talking about, “Hey do it this way and you’ll win.”

I don’t know what the right way is for you. I just want to tell you the process, the options, and resources that are out there to help you figure out yours because once you do man, it becomes the litmus test every day every hour. If you’re in a situation where you have to make a choice on what you’re going to do, think about your core values and what your purpose in life is and that gives you a pretty easy answer.

Remember, I like to simplify things. If you just focus on what you do, you’re going to leave joy on the table and you’re going to leave money on the table. If you are operating in alignment with your purpose and hear me on this, are you ready? You got a pen? Write this down.

Other people, circumstances, and life will distract you from your purpose.

I want to make sure you hear me when I say I am not perfect. There have been many days in the first half century that I’ve lived where I didn’t operate within my core values and things distracted me. I made choices that were out of alignment, right? It happens. We’re human. That’s not the point.  The point isn’t to be perfect.

The point isn’t to be able to say, “Hey, here’s what I do. I coach people in teams and I hope that I’m in strengthening purpose-driven teams. I do this with authenticity, love, and faith and my hope is that I’m contributing positively the lives of other people.” But you know that’s what people say. Maybe that’s your five-minute elevator speech or whatever. I can nail that and then make a choice to flip somebody off if they run me off the road today.

I hope I don’t but just recognize that your brain and your humanity, the way we’re wired as human beings, emotions, feelings, our choices, and other people’s…all that stuff is in there. I’m just saying if you get real clarity on what your target is, if you get off it can pull you right back. It can redirect you and get you back to living a life that I feel like is on purpose and with your purpose. Not someone else’s.

I’ll get off my soapbox right now because I want you to get on with your day, then we’ll get into the next letter of E.P.I.C. So, E, you are already extraordinary. Let’s figure out how to bring that forward. Know your strengths and know yourself. Let’s figure out what your unique gifting is. P, we have to operate, we have to get clarity around your purpose.

I’ll talk about what the I stands for next and I can’t wait to see you then. Thank you all, send me a message if you have thoughts or things to add, join the conversation. There are a lot of people struggling with what their purpose in life is right now, so I felt like I needed your time on the P today, but I will keep going.

Look forward to seeing you every day in August take care of y’all.

Have a great Monday.