The Rouse of the Rooster- Insights to Discipline in Leadership

When I get up, which often is in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun rises, I can hear the roosters in my 220px-Rooster_portrait2neighborhood doing their job of crowing.

It is interesting to me to hear them so proudly and fervently sing their rooster songs each morning. They are consistent and passionate about their crowing. It reminds me of how to continue to bring passion, commitment and consistency to everything we do as a leader.

One of the things that always impresses me when I hear them crowing in the mornings that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. Whether it’s sunny and hot or rainy and cold the same roosters, every single morning, do their job and do it with excellence.

As humans we can learn a little bit about discipline from these roosters.

The job of the rooster is to protect the flock, and he takes the lead in doing so each morning by crowing.

The rooster is often portrayed as crowing at the break of dawn (“cock-a-doodle-doo”). He can often be seen sitting on fence posts or other objects, where he crows to proclaim his territory

The role of the rooster in animal husbandry has a long and illustrious history from the guardian of the back yard flock to the fighting cocks center ring.

Aristotle called the rooster alektora and sang its praises along with the likes of Theocritus, Pliny, Varro, and Aldrovandi (Lind1963). The rooster holds a time-honored place in the small flock, protecting the hens, announcing the day, and ensuring the next generation.

As leaders, one of the ways we can learn is by paying attention to some of our surroundings. Nature inherently prepared plants, animals and humans to have an instinct for leadership roles and hierarchy.

The discipline of how these roosters crow in the morning is a great example of how we, as leaders, can be approach our role of serving others and leadership daily.

Do you rise each morning with the mindset to announce the new day, care and protect those you are responsible for, and do things to ensure the succession of your leadership when the time is right?

Leadership takes discipline. It takes commitment to one’s self to improve. It takes courage to rise up each day and take the helm of your leadership role, regardless of the weather or how you feel.

There are about 5 different roosters in my neighborhood and each has its own call, it’s own ‘voice’. Two of them nearest me have very distinct crows. For the most part, one of them has a very dominant and confident sound. Yet, there are some days where I hear him crow in the morning hours and I think he may be sleepy or a bit under the weather as his sound is not quite as crisp or commanding. However, he still follows through each day.

The other rooster I hear has a bit of a funny, ‘broken’ crow. His song is not as smooth and flowy from start to finish like the first one. He has a stutter in a couple of places. That does not matter to him – or his flock. He too, each morning calls out with his crow and takes his place as the protector of his flock.

Both of these roosters are also there to make sure that the clutch of hens are profitable and successful in producing eggs and future little leaders.  🙂

As we venture into 2013, it is the time for more leaders to take upon their shoulders the ability to be disciplined with the same type of commitment to protect and ensure the success of the people that they serve.

Remember, leadership starts with yourself, then leading your family and then leading others at work and in the community.

In this day and age, many our so-called leaders seem to be practicing more leadership by simply fluffing up their feathers- and thinking that is good enough. It’s not. Vain puffery from the outside is short lived. The true leaders will be willing to be disciplined to rise early, announce the day, declare their protection of their flock- and then do what is needed to ensure the success of those they serve now and for future generations.

When you arise tomorrow, ask yourself, do you lead with vain puffery, or are you sounding your call of leadership with actions that denote confidence, provide security and ensuring opportunities for those you lead to grow?

What action steps can you take today to be a better leader tomorrow?

Debbra Sweet

Author & Speaker of  “The Power of Leadership”

Word of the Year 2013: Discipline

Each year, I seem to identify with a specific word or a specific phrase that becomes my personal mantra Discipline2for the year.

It’s not so much that this is a mantra, it is more like a focal point that ties in with personal, business and spiritual goals I have for the year.

This year’s word is discipline.

When most people hear the word discipline the first thing that they tend to think about or recall is being disciplined or reprimanded by a parent or an authority figure.

Discipline by dictionary definition is:

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
6. to train by instruction and exercise; drill.
7. to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.
8. to punish or penalize in order to train and control; correct; chastise.
Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin disciplīna instruction, tuition, equivalent to discipul ( us ) disciple + -ina -ine2

The choice of the word discipline as my word for 2013 has to do with the discipline required to stick to commitment.

Diligence brings about the discipline to be able to focus and to ignore or remove distractions when needing to stay on purpose and on point.

In this case the discipline is not a harsh word.

In fact, discipline is one of the key things you will find that is a personal core value or personal attribute  in most successful people.

And by successful people –I am not talking just about financially successful people. I am referencing people who have often overcome hardships in the life, as well as people who have decided to stick to the commitments they made-whether big or small.

As we kick off 2013-I ask you: What resolutions, commitments or goals have you made?

What do you need to do or change to give yourself the space, time, effort and energy to be disciplined and follow through on those things?

For me, this is a year of Quantum Growth. The foundations have been laid for many years. Now we build and launch. 🙂

Here’s to discipline– and seeing new big growth goals come to pass!

Debbra Sweet 

Life Beneath the Brim- the Tip of Respect

This summer I had to start wearing hats is part of my daily wardrobe. I’ve enjoyed many observations from beneath the Brim. Beneath the Brim  Today’s post is part one of my sharing.

When I was younger I used to wear hats from time to time by choice. I had different styles and most of them were elegant ladies hats that you would wear for special occasions.

I never really looked quite right in a baseball cap when I was younger due to the style and haircut I had. My ears would stick out a bit so I never really wore them. The ladies hats with wider brims tended to look better.

I recall that I always had fun when I wore those hats.  There was something about covering up like that made you walk a little different.  Being one who never really was concerned about ‘fitting in’ it didn’t really bother me that when I wore those hats I often was the only person in town wearing them.  My purpose in adding them to my wardrobe at that time was purely for fun and to add a polished look to the ensemble I was wearing.

My favorite hat was a cobalt blue, wide brimmed, felt hat that had a scarf attached underneath. The scarf would gracefully hang around the face and tie under the chin.  This part of the hat was made at the same cobalt blue material. It was very elegant and every time I donned this hat,  it was almost like a throwback to the 1940s when women would take the time to attentively dress for their daily activities.

Currently my reason for wearing hats is not just fashion related. I am dealing with a slight personal medical condition where my eyes are not excepting light the way they normally would. 

I have not actually owned a real hat collection in many years, but lately I’ve had to develop a small one.  Most of the hats I am wearing are definitely wide brimmed as I need extra coverage to protect the light from hitting my eyes.

My hairstyle has changed since I was younger so I actually own a couple of female style baseball caps. I can wear these from time to time if it’s not too bright out.

What has been interesting about wearing hats every day for the last few months is the observations I have had when other people see me when I am in public.

Here in the San Diego area it’s a pretty big deal for ladies to wear amazing hats – especially in the summer. There is a tradition at the Delmar racetrack where on opening day of the races- it’s hat day. Women adorn themselves with the most outrageous hats in hopes of garnering recognition for the best hat.

We are not too far south of Los Angeles- where many stars are currently sporting a variety of hats. Most of those hats are fedora style – trading a bit more of a ‘boyfriend casual look’ instead of the wide brimmed hats you see at the races. Both females and males can be seen in fedora style hats.  It is rare to see others wearing wide brim hats after the Delmar race season is over.

I however, still am.

The conversations that start because of my hats and the looks I receive and can see from under the brim are very interesting.

Most of the time, what I observe from underneath the Brim, are surprisingly pleasant smiles.  In fact, it is very interesting how many people genuinely will smile and even engage in a conversation when they see somebody wearing a wide brimmed hat.

(I do not believe that their pleasantries are because I’m smiling- because quite often when I’m wearing these hats and I’m out and about- I am experiencing a very uncomfortable physical state so I’m not smiling all the time.)

When I first started wearing these hats in front of people who have known me for years- the reactions were incredible and very intriguing. Since I do not live to receive attention from drama, I have been very private about my situation so most of my colleagues have bee unaware of my physical condition. 

Their reaction was always the same though. There’s quite a wow factor in their voice with many comments about how awesome the hat and the ensemble is.  ( I have chosen to add a few colorful and fun wide brim hats to my wardrobe so that when I am out in public, and in a professional setting, that the hat does appear to be a fashion statement- and not a coping mechanism for my eyes.) 

On top of that many more people approach me to say hello-and it at a the smiles are always very genuine.

In San Diego, the cultures of our locals are not typically like that.  People out here often avoid looking at others straight in the eye during their daily activities. There’s so much hustle and bustle that you take the time to genuinely engage in even a brief conversation while looking at the other person straight in the eye, is not often encountered.

Many locals in San Diego present themselves in a guarded way and they’re very self centric in their thoughts and actions with even the most simple things. They don’t seem to mind being amongst a larger population, but to slow down and engage in social graces – a most people will not take the time to do that.

I know from my travels but in smaller towns around our country, it is still common to have ‘everyone know everyone’ so their mindset and interactions are a little bit different. People in smaller towns will still take the time to say hello.

This consistent observation of how people have been treating me and being on the receiving end of the smiles- made me want to research a bit about how the protocol of hat wearing by ladies and gentlemen of yesteryear came to be. I was curious to find out social mindsets and reactions were the same back then as what I’ve been experiencing now.

I was curious to find out why the wearing of a hat like this would cause more people to smile, approach you and say hello. 

My research didn’t answer that question- but it did give me a lot of insight as to the how, the what, the why or the when of hat wearing.  In today’s more casual world, our recent generations seems to have never been taught the protocols and almost ‘language’ conveyed towards one another when wearing hats amongst peers.

Without going into the whole history here, the one thing I will share, regardless of what style hat you wore and whether you were a male or female- was that wearing a hat – and how you interacted with your hat – clearly communicated your respect (or lack thereof) towards another person.

Part of how this was communicated was tied to an action of tipping the hat. When a hat was tipped,  the style of hat, whether you were indoors or outside, in a public place or a private home, and whether the person you encountered was an established relationship or a stranger- how you tipped your hat, (or if you did not) was a way of delivering  respect (or lack thereof).

Giving respect to others is a core value attribute that many people today have forgotten.

Unfortunately, many people who live in the United States have come to adopt a mindset in an attitude of entitlement.

They have a ‘takers take’ attitude which is delivered with a lack of respect towards others- yet they expect to receive social graces and respect.  This clearly is a breakdown in our system of human interaction.  Teaching core values begins with observing and living by them individually, and then carrying on the tradition of good core values and ethics within the family unit. 

Leaders today and leaders of tomorrow- would see better results in their efforts if they were to start speaking with more respect towards others.   It is time for us as individuals to start walking more transparently- with respect as of the hats we wear.

Respect should be part of our daily wardrobe, and method of communication.  

If you don a hat of respect each and every day because you choose to- and then approach others with a genuine smile, because you choose to, think about the change you might see and experience in your day to day inter actions of others.

To have had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of unexpected genuine smiles – has been refreshing. It lets me know that there is still a human element out there were people do care about others. 

If more of us took the time and made an honest effort of giving out respect to others- without any expectation of return- more people would walk with genuine leadership. They would be the one giving respect, and then inspire others to do the same.

I encourage you today to gracefully cover yourself with the hat of respect, and tip it towards those around you that you interact with and see how what you give out brings back to you.

Debbra Sweet

Money Motivated or Financially Focused?

This summer I took my boys on a cross country train trip to visit family for a while. It was an interesting trip. Over the years I have had the chance to travel a decent amount however this was my first long distance train trip.

Many people ask me how the trip was and my answer is always introflective (yes this is a Deb word: introspective and reflective).  It was very interesting and worth doing one more time.

Part of my decision to take the train was based upon a budget I had set aside for the whole trip.  At the time one way tickets for each of us were about $1000k each.  I was going to need between 6-8 of them by the time this trip was done.  When you are used to paying  up to $200-300 for round trip tickets, those one ways, with all the airplane travel delays and distractions, was more than I was willing to invest.

Knowing that I would have to cover costs on transportation to our destination, car rental while there, gas, food, transport back home- I set an appropriate budget from the get go.

When realizing that my initial plan to get us there was going to be more than 4 times my whole trip budget, I decided to get creative and think outside the box.

In fact, I made it a game with myself to see what other options we could work out to stay in my budget- yet have a fantastic time.

I worked out many ‘mini plans’ in my head and on paper- and in one of those was the consideration of the train.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how affordable travel by train was to be. My real motivation though behind this decision, was the opportunity to spend a few days with my boys being able to experience parts of our country that we would never see if we would have chosen to fly by plane or to drive on the highway.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout most of the United States. As an adult I am so appreciative to have had those experiences. Now, I want to give to my children an opportunity to create memories of their own that they one day too, can look back upon and enjoy.

We spent 36 hours on the train with a coach full of Boy Scouts and frequent Amtrak travelers across the country.  One of my goals that was set forth for this trip was truly achieved. We saw some amazing countryside and met some really interesting people.

Once we were at our destination I stayed with my boys and my parents for about another 10 days.  It was during this leg of our journey that my youngest son came to me with the declaration that Grandma said to him that I was “Money Motivated”.

That surprised me- and caught me off guard a bit, because the least thing I am is money motivated.   I definitely am financially focused. There is a difference.

My Personal Motivation:

My understanding of someone being money motivated, is that all they think about is money- and everything they do is about making money.  Money that they will keep for themselves for the purpose of materialistic gain.

For people who take the time to get to know me- they will quickly discover my true motivation. It is to help others who wish to help themselves. The motivation for me, that is the deepest part of me,  is the desire to encourage people to grow- and then to be there for them in order to help them achieve their own personal growth. 

People who look at me from the outside will see that trait, as well as I have publicly declared it many times over. 

I do not hide the fact that I have big vision to accomplish things that in fact, should make a lot of money. However- the purpose that those finances will serve- is to give right back to others in order to create opportunities for those individuals to personally grow.

It is interesting at times to hear some feedback from people who have a limited perspective of understanding about why I do speak of money and building a solid business.   Part of what I do as a marketing and business consultant is to help businesses make money.  If we don’t have those conversations, and we are not able to talk about money, how is the business is supposed to make money?

My business motivation:

In running my own businesses, as the CEO- I have to have  conversations that are financially focused . They’re tied directly to how the business will be running for the next quarter, the next year- and even for many years down the road.  Having a solid business and marketing plan that you execute and implement has to be measured.  One area to measure of businesses successes or shortcomings has to do with making money.

Today our world is filled with an upcoming generation – and even current generations that operate businesses- who never received the benefit of solid financial training. Often these are the very clients who hire me to help them build, cleaned up, turn around, and consistently market and promote their business so they can make money!  

Being financially focused is very important today- more so now than ever.  After the last economic side turn I would think that more people would be interested in learning how to have financial focus that allows them to grow professionally and personally.

I know not everybody is comfortable with that statement. However, if I can at least teach my children how to be financially responsible then I know I have done my part in this area to prepare them into adulthood .  On our trip, that is part of what we did. 

My children have become pretty understanding of the value of money. They know how to save, to to tithe, how to invest, how to budget, and how to steward that which they have received.  They also have learned about taxes and how to determine if what they choose to spend money on (or invest in) is a good value. (Cheap is not always cost effective. Frugality and sound money management requires knowing when to spend more and when you can go with a less expensive option.)

Although my children are now 10 and 12, they both have businesses that have been making them money. 

They both have done business plans, marketing plans and have tested their plans with focus groups.  They go out and find their own customers, they fulfill the orders- and then they reap the benefit of learning about human interaction, work ethic, communication, sales, marketing, time management, and yes- Money management and financial responsibility.

Financial_Focus

My encouragement to you is this: the next time you see somebody who is in business talking about making money- before you assume they are soley money motivated, take the time to ask a few more questions. Take the time to get to know them.

When you see the mom or dad in the grocery store who was shopping on a budget, living frugally, and doing the best of what they have, smile at them. It is not always easy to adjust our thinking and our habits to live within our means-and still maintain the vision for growth and prosperity.   However- it is doable. If more people took the time to understand the difference between being money motivated and being financially focused for fiscal fitness- we all would be in a better place.

I encourage you to ask yourself what is your motivation in life and in business?  The ‘Aha’ moment you discover may suprise you!

Have an amazing day,

Debbra

 

 

Overcoming Obstacles in Everyday Life

It seems like this past week was full of unusual challenges for many people.  Challenges, obstacles and stumbling blocks will always show up in our lives. The thing to ask yourself when they do is: “What do I want to focus on? The challenge… or the ways to overcome it?”

Leaders have a common focus when it comes to overcoming obstacles.  Here’s a short video I did earlier this year that is appropriate at any time. I share an insight with you to help you understand how those who lead think when times get tough.

After you watch- please share with others you know who are currently struggling with obstacles and challenges.

Thanks!

Debbra

 

Overcoming Obstacles in Everyday Life by Debbra Sweet

Leadership Development Training Expert Debbra Sweet Speaks to No. County Women’s Networking Group

On July 13 2011 Debbra Sweet, founder of Sweet Marketing Solutions and Author in the Power of Leadership Book series, taught about the Power of Leadership in Business Networking to the North County Woman’s Networking Group.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

debbra-sweet-the-power-of-leadershipDebbra Sweet The Power of LeadershipPRLog (Press Release) – Aug 28, 2011 – The most influential women in women history did not succeed merely by themselves. They had a cohort of their fellow women peers to look to for help, support and inspiration. These historical figures are teachers to womankind, just as much as mothers are teachers to their children and teachers to the rest of the world through their sharing of knowledge, experience and wisdom.

Debbra Sweet, a leadership expert, who specializes in change management in the areas of marketing, business, leadership, and wellness was invited to speak at the North County Woman’s In Networking Group (NCWIN) on the topic of the ‘Power of Leadership In Business Networking’.

 

Sweet, a successful business owner of a few different companies located in San Diego County, is also an author and speaker in the areas of leadership, business, marketing, sales and wellness.   Sweet is getting booked often now to speak on the topic of Leadership in Business Networking.

Her years of teaching and building businesses by way of integrating word of mouth marketing and networking has positioned Sweet as a leader in this area. Her track record is strong as she has helped many businesses develop ROI in the millions with her knowledge, teaching and training on this subject.

When asked about the books concept, Debbra shares “This book is not about teaching how to be a leader. This is not about how to network. The concept is how to Be a leader When networking.”   She goes on to say “The world is a different place today. It’s not enough to just talk about leadership. You have to live it.  In business, a core commonality of people is to network, to build community.”

She continues: “Unfortunately, there are many people who come to networking situations with lack of knowledge that every thing they do has a direct result on whether they will, or will not, achieve the goals they set forth with their networking.  This book, along with the leadership training program my company has, opens up eyes and awareness that one must be a leader when networking.  This subject is hot on the ears of those who want better business, better results, better relationships- whether it is in the corporate world, mom and pop businesses, amongst college  peers or even at social events.”

The NCWIN, who brought Sweet into their luncheon event on the 13th of July, is a collaboration of prestigious businesswoman and entrepreneurs in San Diego North County. The NCWIN’s goal is to promote networking with the common focus: to aid one another in owning and developing successful businesses.

Sweet was invited to speak at the July luncheon and the attendee’s were riveted to the content she shared.  Sweet’s unique delivery engages the participants and grasps their attention.  “I speak to the participants and with the participants, not at them,” she explained.  Sweet’s positive disposition and upbeat personality left her audience craving more; more information, more knowledge, more Sweet!

The response Debbra received from the women at NCWIN was overwhelmingly positive and motivational. “The women were hungry for more and eager to share what they learned with their family and friends. Leaderships transcends past the business world and into all aspects of our lives,” Sweet informed.  

Sweet speaks at national and international conferences too.  Since her expertise is not exclusive to Leadership, she often will get asked to teach and train on other subjects as well.   What she does best is help people identify those areas they need to, and want to, grow in.  She then helps them research, plan, implement and navigate through the steps needed to achieve success.

“It is inspirational and invigorating to have an esteemed businesswoman, mentor and mother as a motivator and educator speaking to our members,” proclaimed one of the NCWIN board members.  “Sweet really does have the niche for public speaking.”

It is her professional and personal experiences that validate her reputation with these women. People are looking for someone they can look up to, aspire to, someone who is easy to talk to on a personal basis. That is exactly what Sweet does. She is relatable.  She is a people’s person. She is successful and is a great mentor of success.

Summary:

Leadership Training expert, Debbra Sweet,  is called “A People Mover”. She’s an agent of change. In life, business, marketing, sales, leadership, health & wellness.

A believer that change, on a larger scale, starts first with the individual Debbra Sweet is an advocate for the power and potential of human capital. She’s a living example of the unlimited creativity of mind, the resilience in the physical body and emotional spirit- and a supporter of systems for accountability that tie it all together. As an agent of change- her focus is single; to help others produce amazing results.

For more information about the Power of Leadership Book series or to book Debbra for an event, go to http://www.DebbraSweet.com
# # #

 

 

Prayer Day for USA An Urgent Call to Prayer for our Nation in Crisis:Turning to God for Help in Saving our Nation

God’s Word First Christian Ministry will be participating in The Response prayer event by holding a National Prayerwe-the-peopleDay for USA Conference Phone Call on Saturday, August 6, 2011.

Open invite to everyone. Listen to the call and pray with us in spirit for God to save the USA.

Click Here to read the full story and get Put your first name and best email into the form on the page http://www.gods-word-first.org/national-prayer-day.html

Then click “Sign up!”to join us in prayer. We will email you the call in phone number along with date, time and other relevant info.

Read more info below for some of the reason why this day is important:

What’s Going On:

The United States of America is in trouble. That much we can all agree on. The finer details are debatable. But it doesn’t matter who’s to blame, Democrats, Republicans (or any other political party), the current President, your local government, The Fed, major corporations, Big Pharma, etc… The main source of the problem comes down to all of us, “We the People”.

The USA was founded on Christian principles. As a nation, the dominant religion has been Christianity (including all forms and denominations). God and His commandments were always at the core of our foundation and the decisions we made. And we as a nation prospered in every way because of it.

 

God’s Word, the church and strong religious beliefs used to be integral to most Americans in their personal lives. As the people in our nation have been slowly drifting away from God, their churches and away from basic Christian values, our nation as a whole has been suffering.

The best way to fix ANY problem is to
treat the cause, not the symptoms.

The problems our nation is facing today are not insurmountable to God. We can fix all our problems, both personal and national, but not by treating the symptoms. The following is a short list of symptoms due to a larger problem we as a nation are facing. Symptoms such as:

  • “the war on drugs”
  • “illegal immigration”
  • unrest in the Middle East
  • a failing economy in recession

All these and more can be solved by faith in God and by all agreeing to hold ourselves and each other accountable to good values.

The main problem we need to solve, the problem
that is at the core of all our symptoms,
is our separation from God.

When we as individuals are close to God then we personally enjoy the benefits of His blessings. When we as individuals are all close to God and come together as a group, as in a nation of people, then we collectively enjoy God’s blessings and protection.

The people in our once great nation have been slowly drifting away from God over the last 100 years. The evidence (symptoms) of this separation can be seen in the eroding of our family units, broken families, soaring divorce rates, increased abortions, increased domestic violence, crime in the streets, governmental corruption, etc.

Works of the Flesh vs. Fruit of the Spirit

As a nation we are in a financial recession heading into a full depression. A full financial collapse is imminent if we stay on the same path of disobedience to God. The people of our nation are suffering increasing instances of severe environmental conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. These are all symptoms of a much larger problem looming over us. That problem is separation from God, His blessings and his protection.

Although it’s true that individuals who remain close to God are protected. But we live in a nation among others who are not protected, who are straying from God and His righteous values. This falling away of others affects all of us.

The Old Testament is full of examples of where God’s people strayed from Him and then reaped the consequences of their actions: Famine, pestilence, drought, poverty, wars, invasion and slavery. Our nation is on the brink of disaster. We are seeing some of these very same things happening to us right now, and it’s only going to get worse unless “We the People” repent and turn our hearts back to God TODAY.

“We the People” Must Turn to God as our Founding Forefathers Once Did”

Click here to read more of the why you should pray with us on Aug 6th- why to spread the invite with others you know- and how to join in prayer Aug. 6th.

May you be humble and bold. May you be peaceful and blessed.

Thank you for spreading this invite so God can perform a mighty miracle in our day and time!

Debbra

www.GodsWordFirst.org