THE RIGHT THING? THE FOUR-WAY TEST

#RotaryInternational #4WayTest #FourWayTest #DoTheRightThing
Do you always do the right thing?
Well, no one is perfect, and the “right thing” might be debatable. What you consider the “right thing,” may not be what your friend or neighbor believes is the ”right thing.”
Rotary International uses a Four-Way Test of things its members think, do or say to determine what “the right thing” is.
• First, is it the truth?
• Second, is it fair to all concerned?
• Third, will it help build good will and better friendships?
• Fourth, is it beneficial to all concerned?
If you use that test, you probably will do the right thing most of the time.
On the first test, we find that “truth” is also a matter of debate. Facts are usually not debatable, but we apparently live in an age of “fake news” and “alternative facts” that create debate of truth.
Would you change your opinion of something, or someone, if facts changed?
Would you cling to your beliefs in the face of contrary facts, or are “facts” simply what you believe them to be?
The second test involves fairness. Again, fairness is often debatable in this era of whatever happens to you is essentially your fault.
Why should someone else help you out of your jam, when you got yourself into the jam in the first place?
Rotary prides itself in helping those in a jam, because not all jams are self-created. The pursuit of fairness is never ending, and we must decide what is fair to all concerned.
The third test involves building relationships. Relationships require work, and some relationships require more work than others. Whatever relationships you try to build, be they business or personal, build them with the other people in mind. If you think of others above self, you should be well on your way toward doing the right thing.
The fourth test involves benefits. We are taught that it’s a dog-eat-dog world, with winners and losers. This test aims to achieve win-win situations in every encounter. As John Maxwell and other leadership experts advocate, try to add value to someone else every day. If you do that, you’ll be well on your way toward doing the right thing.
So, perhaps you are looking for a vehicle that will enable you to do the right thing for others, while at the same time do the right thing for you.
There are many such vehicles out there. To learn about one of the best, message me.
In short, learn to find and embrace undisputed truth, rather than the alternative. Look to do things that are fair to you and others. Work at building solid relationships. And do things that will benefit not just you, but others, too.
The right thing, truth and fairness should not be debatable concepts. They should be obvious and absolute. It’s best not to let anyone try to tell or show you otherwise.
Peter

SETBACKS WILL COME, BUT THEY SHOULD NEVER DEFEAT YOU

#setbacks #OvercomingAdversity #LoseTheVictimMentality
Life is going your way. Suddenly, a setback – an injury, death, business disaster etc.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up,” says legendary football coach Vince Lombardi.
Andy Bailey, lead entrepreneur coach with the firm Petra, quoted Lombardi in an Oct. 11, 2015, column he wrote for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
“A setback defines your company or career only if you let it keep you from trying to move forward, “Bailey writes.
In other words, no matter how well things may be going now, setbacks will come. Perhaps you will lose a job. Perhaps your biggest client bolts. Perhaps the one person you relied on the most in life dies.
They all hurt, but they shouldn’t kill you. You can recover from almost anything if you want to. You just have to use the inner strength to move on.
Bailey suggests three things: lose the victim mentality, recalibrate and do the hard work.
Let’s discuss each of those. Do you know anyone who can’t escape “woe is me?” A setback will send them right into a tailspin. They will blame everyone and everything for ruining their lives. They will believe they were meant to have something bad happen to them.
They are the victims. However, good, strong people are NEVER victims. They believe when bad things happen, they can, and will, overcome them. It may take them a bit longer to achieve what they want, but no matter. They know to press on, and they do.
Maybe you’ve done something wrong in your great life plan. Presuming you can figure out what it is, you fix it and move on. Most strong people can determine what they should have done differently, and recalibrate, or adjust.
Of course, these same, strong people know about hard work and do it. They look at problems as fixable, as long as they are willing to do what it takes.
It’s not just working hard. Some very hard-working people lose their jobs every day. Sometimes it means finding something different to work hard at.
If you are someone who has worked hard, and suddenly have what you’ve worked so hard for disappears, there are many ways to recalibrate, or adjust. You don’t have to be a victim. If your job disappears, there are many ways to make money that have nothing to do with a traditional job. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Oh, you’ll still have to work hard, but you may find life more fun and more lucrative.
It doesn’t necessarily take a village to overcome a setback. But an individual could create a village to get him past what was holding him back. Let not your circumstances define you. If things go badly, turn them around. Anyone can do it, if you have the motivation.
Another tip: hang with people who encourage you, rather than those who discourage you. Sometimes, when one combines bad circumstances with pessimistic people, the mixture is toxic to one’s psyche.
As motivational speaker, author and leadership expert John Maxwell has said, one will not necessarily be a great singer just because he believes he can. He has to have some God-given talent to get him there. But, for many other things, you can achieve what you believe.
Follow Bailey’s advice: don’t be a victim, recalibrate if necessary and do the hard work. No matter what you are trying to achieve, don’t let setbacks squash you.
Peter

SOLUTION VS. BLAME: YOUR FIRST INSTINCT

When you, or someone close to you, runs into a problem, what’s your first instinct?
Is it to find where the fault is, or to find a solution?
Comedian Bill Cosby, in a televised routine, talked about, obviously from a male perspective, how your wife is NOT your friend. She is your wife.
Cosby cites the example of a man whose car broke down in the middle of the night, somewhere a distance from home. Whom should he call first: his wife, or his friend?
The friend, Cosby asserts, will first ask: “Are you all right?” Then, he will ask, “Where are you?” Then, he’ll say, “I’ll be right there.”
His wife, on the other hand, will first tell him, “I told you to get that car fixed.” You can imagine where the conversation goes from there.
It begs the question: when you are confronted with a problem, do you instinctively act to solve it first, or do you instinctively look for whom to blame for it first?
Some circumstances are avoidable. Some are not. Some you can prevent. Others you can’t. The point is, you identify the type of circumstance you are in AFTER you act to get out of it.
Leadership expert and author John Maxwell, and perhaps others, have said that we either succeed or learn. We should use our failures as learning experiences. But those lessons should come after we have acted to correct what is wrong.
Certainly, the Cosby routine is funny. We all have to laugh at ourselves. Many spouses are friends. But if our instinct is to blame first, and solve later, we will find more success if we can change that in ourselves.
Getting laid off from a job is likely not your fault. If it is, you probably have more things to correct. If it is not, don’t wallow in who’s to blame for your circumstances. Act to change them. What you do after the fact IS your doing. Wishing things were as they had been is wasting your energy. Just presume those days will never come again, and move on to bigger and better things.
Be a realist, but only for a second. Realize that the past is past and the future is yet to come. Then, dream about what you want your future to be.
Realists tend not to dream, so that’s why you should only be realist for short periods, when circumstances hit. You are realist when you believe the good old days are gone. Then, resume your dream about the good things yet to come.

Today, there are many vehicles that can help make dreams a reality. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may realize your dreams quickly or slowly, but your dreams are there for the taking if you want to work for them.
Getting back to Cosby’s advice: if your car breaks down in the middle of the night, call someone who will take care of the problem first, without a lecture. Then, think about what you might have done to prevent it, so you can minimize or eliminate that situation again.
In life, you can follow Cosby’s advice by, as many leadership and motivational experts urge, RESPONDING to circumstances, rather than REACTING to them. Responding is positive. Reacting is negative. Solving is positive. Blaming is negative.
Be positive. Know that whatever circumstance you are in, the best life ever could be just around the corner, if you act and think correctly.
Peter

LEADERSHIP: KNOWING WHEN TO LEAVE

A person who reaches the pinnacle of leadership not only keeps leading, he is aiming to leave a legacy so that when he steps down, a high quality leader will follow him.
In John Maxwell’s “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” the leadership pinnacle is the fifth level. Leaders reach that level not only by developing other leaders, but by creating a situation that people follow him for who he is, and what he represents.
Maxwell says that a person reaches that level by continuing to develop leaders at all the other levels. By having a team of great leaders that the Level 5 leader has developed, he knows that he can step down, and the organization will still succeed like a well-oiled machine.
One of the main mistakes a leader can make at this level is hanging around too long. A Level 5 leader, Maxwell says, leaves before he has to. Most who get to this level have matured, probably had great financial success and may be ready to take on other challenges – or just retire and do something fun.
There’s a philosophy in any job to stay until they throw you out. But really great leaders don’t wait to be thrown out. Because they are so humble, they leave BEFORE they may want to.
So, perhaps you aren’t a CEO with a great nest egg. Are you hanging around a job waiting to see whether they throw you out? Do you see the day when they just might throw you out? Do you think that you are so great at what you do, they will NEVER throw you out?
In today’s working world, EVERY job is at risk. You, as an employee, are just one bad manager, or one reorganization, away from a potential end to a career. The job you are so good at perhaps can be done by someone who would earn less than you. Perhaps technology will advance quickly enough that a machine will replace you. Today’s worker cannot wait around expecting his employer to keep him until he can retire.
You have to keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities. Those opportunities may lie in areas you may not logically gravitate to. Perhaps learning a new skill will increase your career options.
Chances are very good that someday, you’ll walk into work to a surprise – the company has reorganized and you’re being laid off. Never expect to be tipped off to this. It will come when you never expect it.
Or, that great boss you had has left the company, and his replacement is someone with whom you don’t hit it off. Perhaps this person sees you as a threat. Perhaps he just doesn’t like you. He can make your situation untenable.
Though the Level 5 leaders of which Maxwell speaks can usually control their own destinies, you may not have that luxury. But that doesn’t mean you can’t think the way they do. Perhaps you may not WANT to leave a job yet. But you may have to.
What to do to prepare for that? Have a Plan B in place to give you income if a career killer visits you. There are several good Plan Bs out there. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You could be building a legacy of your own while you work. You could work your way up to a Level 5 leader, without interfering with your career. If the end of that career comes suddenly, you can leave with a smile.
Peter

BE AND STAY POSITIVE

John Maxwell is always a positive person.
It’s his strength, but positive people, who look for the best in everyone, sometimes get burned.
Maxwell, an author and leadership expert, discusses this in his book, “The 5 Levels of Leadership.”
Maxwell believes that it’s better to be always positive, and get burned once in a while, than to be negative and skeptical, and never take risks or think big.
The world is very different today, from decades ago. Almost everything we do involves taking a risk.
Let’s say you are working at your job, and see something you think could improve the operation. Let’s say you could act on it right then. Would you do it? Or, would you wait, talk to your boss about it and let HIM decide whether it should be done.
Of course, the latter is the safe course of action. After all, it’s not your company. You just work there. You just do what you’re told. You also might think that even if your boss agrees with you, that those above him may not. Your boss, fearful of his job and career, will pass any heat down to you, even if you tell the bigger bosses that you’d discussed this ahead of time.
The more productive companies will applaud your initiative. If your boss passes the heat down to you, why not just take the risk and claim all the credit. Your boss may be angry with you that you didn’t let him in on what you were doing, but so be it. A good boss will applaud you for taking the initiative, and bask in the credit because he hired you and molded a great employee.
Focusing on the positive also requires optimism. Remember that very few pessimists really succeed. They may climb a little, but pessimism gets in the way of being creative and innovative.
How can you tell that a person is positive, or how can you learn to be positive?
When you ask the question, “how are you,” what is the typical answer? If you hear, “I’m OK,” or “I’m getting by,” or “I’m here,” or “I’m on the right side of the dirt,” chances are these folks are not positive.
Positive people will usually respond with, “I’m great, how are you?” or, “I’m blessed, how are you?” You see, positive people are grateful for every day. They are grateful for everything good in their lives. And, positive people sincerely want to know how YOU are doing.
Positive people believe that the best years of their lives are ahead of them, no matter what. They don’t long for the past. Usually, they don’t fight for the status quo, unless their lives are exactly where they want them to be. There are few positive people who don’t see even greater things in the future.
The less positive will wax nostalgic about how things used to be. They will fight losing battles, trying to get back to those days. They will work very hard to resist change. They go home after some misfortune and wonder what might have been.
All of that wastes energy and keeps them from doing what they need to do to improve their future. Whereas, a positive person will work WITH change and embrace it. He knows that no matter what happens, he will do what he needs to do to make his future bright, and fulfill his dreams.
If you are a positive person, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. See what other positive people are doing to fulfill their dreams.
Also remember the best thing that you can do to stay positive is to hang around with other positive people. Don’t let the dream stealers get you down!
Peter

A LEADER KNOWS WHEN TO FOLLOW

Good leaders follow.
Ask any Army general or Navy admiral. They would not have risen through the military ranks had they not been able to follow orders.
Business coach Andy Bailey, with the firm Petra, talked about leaders who follow in the Oct. 20, 2013, edition of The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. His column says leaders are empathetic, show vulnerability and grow other leaders.
Unless you are a dictatorial leader, who tries to advance while holding others down, good leaders can’t exist without a great team, Bailey says.
Other leadership experts, like John Maxwell, also talk about vulnerable leaders. In his “5 Levels of Leadership,” Maxwell points out that vulnerability helps make leaders genuine. A good leader doesn’t have to know everything. He has to be able to find the people on his team who know more about a given subject than he does, and allow them to lead in that area.
As we grow as people, we learn that not knowing everything about everything is OK. Did you ever have a neighbor, friend or relative who could rattle off a lot of knowledge about anything and everything? Did you like being around this person? Sometime, you may have had to borrow a cup of sugar from this person, but that turned into an hour or longer conversation. He did most of the talking.
Good leaders are humble. They admit not knowing things, and they admit when they make mistakes. It’s part of the relationship the leader is building with his team.
Remember, too, that one does not necessarily have to have a high position or high authority to be a leader. He just needs to have influence. The difference between power and influence is that influence allows you to get people to do things for you willingly, instead of by force.
Good leaders, as Maxwell points out, have great relationships with each on his team. This relationship is cultivated without having to be “soft,” and unable to make hard decisions.
We’ve all worked for dictatorial leaders at some point. You don’t dare offer suggestions, or talk about any difficulties in getting a job done with that person. He doesn’t listen, and doesn’t care how difficult things are for you. He has no empathy. He’s working for his own success, and is using you to get what he wants.
Today’s leaders engage in the messy process of developing people, as Maxwell points out. Developing good relations with people is a deliberative process. First, the leader has to be likeable, though he doesn’t expect EVERYONE to like him. For some, becoming likeable is a messy process. For others, it comes naturally.
A wise person once said that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care (about them). Good leaders care about their people first. The other things usually fall into place once that happens.
Want to be a good, empathetic leader but don’t have a team? Visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau and learn how to find, and build, a great team. You may not know who will be on your team ultimately, but if you follow the leadership guidelines that Bailey, Maxwell and others espouse, you’ll have a great time building your team, and growing as a person yourself.
Peter

SUCCESS VS. SIGNIFICANCE

Success focuses on the three Fs: fans, fame and fortune.
But most truly successful peopl e are not fulfilled unless they are also significant. Significance focuses on three other Fs: faith, family and friends.
This formula came from the book “Attitude: The Remarkable Power of Optimism,” by Nido R. Qubein, president of High Point University in North Carolina.
You wouldn’t want to be around some successful people. They are selfish, greedy and among the first to take advantage of someone, or someone’s misfortune.
You might be drawing a paycheck from some of these folks. You see, they are not interested in your success. They are only interested in what you can do to make THEM successful. They pay you as little as they believe they can get away with. They want you DEPENDENT on them, even to the point of desperation.
In short, they are successful, but not significant – at least to you.
If they were significant to you, they would want YOU to be successful. They see your success as their success. They are grateful for what you do for them, and reward you well for it. That reward may not necessarily come in the form of money, though in the process of making you successful, money may be a part of it.
If you moved on to bigger and better things, they would feel proud. The successful, but insignificant, employer will feel you are leaving him in the dust, and want to penalize you for it.
Somehow, the successful but insignifant people sleep at night. Successful and significant people could not sleep at night if they let down one of their people.
Significant people put faith and family ahead of any personal gain. They believe if your priorities are right, everything else will fall into place.
The insignificant believe that only they are the priority.
So, one can choose to be successful at any cost. Others can choose to be significant first, then successful.
For the significant person, success may have a different definition. It may not be measured by money. Instead, it may be measured by how one earns and uses his time and treasure. It may be defined by how many people he has made successful.
In John Maxwell’s “5 Levels of Leadership,” the fifth level is helping to create other leaders. When you get to that level, you are successful and significant.
The lesson here is to have the proper priorities in life: faith, family and friends. The more people to whom you are significant, the more successful you will be. As your significance grows, your impact on the world grows.
Of course, one may need a vehicle to help more people become successful. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You will see that the ONLY way for you to become successful is to help others become successful.
No matter who you are or how you define success, strive to become the most significant person you can be.
Peter