Archives For Leadership

9-11 and Irma

 

What do you value today? Chances are this special day in America makes you reflect on all that is important to you. What is it about this date, 9-11?

Today in the Southeast many of us brace for the impact of Hurricane Irma. Most of us have remained glued to the weather updates and forecasts. Due to the wrath of this storm many are coming to terms with potentially losing their valuable possessions [or having lost items].

Thousands of families who have been forced to evacuate their homes were faced with the decision of what to take and what to leave behind. The thought of leaving some items behind meant that it could be gone forever. So, it forced the question of what do you value?

Some of our dear friends were faced with this issue of packing some items and trying to secure important items as they left their home on the beach last week. Their attitude about their “stuff” has been quite impressive to me. As Hurricane Irma changed paths putting their home squarely in the impact zone; the realization of a total loss has become substantially greater. Throughout this time of uncertainty they have remained resolute in that their family is safe and that most all “things” could be replaced. Clearly their values are placed in people and not things.

September 11, 2001 and the days following the terror of 911 also made people take pause and reflect on their own values. In the wake of 9-11 I have friends who changed jobs to move closer to family. Many people reached out to loved ones with calls or letters to mend broken relationships. Realizing the fragile nature of life either changed or reminded us about our values.

9-11-01 and 9-11-17 will likely be remembered for various and different reasons. This date of 9-11 has become even more important as a date of reflection to question our values. Hopefully, these dates may be remembered by you as a date when you realized that stuff is just stuff. Place value in your relationships and care for them more than you care for your physical possessions.

I’ll close with one of my new favorite quotes. It is from Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, together they are The Minimalists.

 

“Use things and love people, the reverse never works.”

 

 

Image Credit to Reuters/Lucas Jackson and Drive Media

For The Record!!! I haven’t lost my mind but I have lost my car; on purpose! It’s no secret that my Jackie and I have made a semi-radical shift by moving into Midtown Atlanta from the suburbs of Johns Creek. Some of the unintended consequences of a downsized super urban lifestyle may surprise you.

For example, the subject of this article, ditching my vehicle. An audacious move by most native Atlantan standards….. well at least for my suburban Atlantan friends. Atlanta is quite a car town; frankly a status symbol by which most cast some level of judgment upon you and your status in society.

 

Uber for productivity no name

 

For in-towners or as we say ITP (for Non-Atlantans, that means “Inside The Perimeter” which encompasses the city) not having a vehicle to maintain and pay to park is quite normal. This new Midtown lifestyle has made me want to follow suit. So, after a few weeks of experimenting I have completely made the shift to being “car-less”. Below are some of the details about my move into this new era of a Mass-Transit/Uber combination and increased productivity.

Utilizing Mass Transit in Atlanta means using MARTA , our light rail system that operates within the Metro Area only. A train station conveniently located just behind our building means being able to hop on a train and avoid traffic all the way to the perimeter of the city or slightly beyond. From there, I simply request an Uber or Lyft service to carry me through the remainder of my journeys. Have you tried Uber? Give it a try for Free by using my Invite Code: n9sns

This combination allows someone else to do the driving and navigating while I safely return calls, e-mails, texts, social media messages and more. Not to mention the absolutely freeing feeling of being unencumbered.

 

Allowing someone else to drive has literally doubled my productivity!

Time

Utilizing the travel time to enhance the service to our Drive Planning Members or Team Members is extremely valuable. Likely an hour or more is gained each day on the days that I travel to our offices located in Sandy Springs or Johns Creek; both in the northern parts of Atlanta. These tasks being completed during travel time allows me new freedom at the end of each day in not having to do them once I’ve arrived at home.

Cost

Living in town has presented itself with some additional expenses that OTP (Outside The Perimeter) friends do not have to endure. One small cost is simply Parking your vehicle. In my case, that meant $50 per month at home plus each time you go somewhere.

In addition, there is the actual cost of ownership of a vehicle. Fortunately, I did not have a car note, but there are still gasoline, maintenance and insurance costs that are always present. For me…. Not anymore.

Stress

Road Rage or any kind of rage quite frankly has never been my thing. I tend to operate at a pretty stress free level. I know who my creator is and that he loves me, I have a great wife and family; generally feeling grateful for most things. Therefore, I wasn’t a stressful driver. Moving into Midtown and opening an office here meant that I didn’t drive near as much anymore (only a couple days per week) but when I did it was usually a time where I still wanted to be productive. You can read about my drive time in a recent article, Making the Most of Traffic. Even with a stress free nature and making the most of the time it has felt good to turn the driving over to someone else.
I will conclude by saying, I will miss the occasional rush of accelerating through an open winding road, the great suspension and handling of my Infiniti G35x! The lifestyle of walking to my new Drive Planning – Midtown office, increased pace and productivity has improved me as a person. So, for now I’ll stick with this new “car-less” commuter role until it’s time for another change. Thankfully, I’ve learned that change almost always means growth and that we certainly always need growth.

 

What are your thoughts? Could you go “car-less”? Connect with me for a conversation on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Stay Tuned for more information on my upcoming book for Financial Professionals. Advisor’s Edge: The Sharp Edge of The Skilled Advisor – How to create the financial practice you’ve always desired.

Waiting

May 26, 2017 — Leave a comment

Waiting

 

Why are you waiting? What are you waiting for? These questions may be haunting to you. Haunting particularly if you aren’t one who makes decisions easily. For the indecisive person they are waiting on well….. almost everything. Indecision or the mere unsettled nature of waiting creates tension, stress and holds you back from the life you desire.

“He who knows others is wise: he who knows himself is enlightened”

                                    –  Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher

Understanding your ability or inability to make decisions is hyper-critical to one’s success in business and life.  Early in the Discovery Phase of Drive Planning’s #BeIntentional process are efforts to gain a deeper understanding of you and where your strengths lie. One method of self-discovery is understanding someone’s Kolbe A Index. This measurement seeks to find your strengths in four categories; Fact Finder, Follow Through, Quick Start and Implementer. You can learn more about this from a previous blog post, How To Find Your Superpower.

For now, let’s get back to the person who is playing the waiting game. Referencing the Kolbe A Index, I have found that most often times those who struggle with taking the step tend to score high in the Fact Finder category of the Kolbe Testing. To generalize, a high Fact Finder is always seeking more information prior to deciding. Even when intuitively they know it is a decision that is likely in their best interest.

Not surprisingly to me; the most successful people are great decision makers and do not always need all the facts to support their decision. This “Quick Start” wiring is the makeup of most of the CEO’s and business leaders in America.

The brilliant Seth Godin recently wrote, Facts are not the antidote to doubt. A brilliant blog post citing that indecision is almost always rooted in fear. He continues by stating, enrollment or engagement is the way to earn trust and ultimately move forward.

So, my encouragement to anyone who is waiting to move forward is that you begin with a deep understanding of your personal DNA or simply how you are wired. This journey in self-discovery may help you to identify areas where you are operating out of fear. It may help you to realize that there are areas where you may not have all the facts but you need to trust by engaging.

 

Maxwell Getting Started

 

My goal, along with each of the Drive Planning Team members, is to help you go further faster. If there is a decision you need to make or something that you know that you should do; allow us to encourage you to have faith or possibly assist you with understanding your best next step.