Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. – Marie Lu
Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. – Marie Lu
Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.
American president Abraham Lincoln’s (born February 12, 1809) favorite childhood books included: Aesop’s Fables, Robinson Crusoe, and Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography.
According to the hacked emails from campaign chairman John Podesta, Hillary Clinton does not like to apologize.
Win or loss, in this go around, the President of the United States of America stands strong with the statements spoken, emails written, and stands taken, and they have done so without apology. In an election cycle where we heard things we never thought we would: locker room jock talk played publicly, a candidate being blamed for the death of young military men, and the threat of a physical wall around our country to keep people out.
And in a society where women apologize to our own demise, if nothing else, Hillary Clinton showed us how to climb the ranks without apology. I often say we don’t have role models of successful women, and whether Mrs. Clinton is elected the President of the United States of America – she is successful and we can learn from her. Here are three things you shouldn’t apologize for and Hillary didn’t either!
TAKING TIME TO PREPARE.
She did not apologize for preparing – privately. More than once Mr. Trump accused her of needing rest and she responded quite bluntly and frankly, she was preparing. In an era where we expect people to be available 24/7, either in person or socially, she took the time for quiet reflection and preparation.
As successful women, preparation is a key daily function. When was the last time you took private, quiet time to prepare? Do you take quiet time daily? Weekly? Annually? EVER? And what would that look like? Perhaps meditating for 10 minutes to prepare for your day, or waking up a half hour early to prepare for a sales call. You need to turn off the phones and the beeps and have some quiet time on occasion – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.
HOW YOU LOOK.
Hillary Clinton did not apologize for not “looking Presidential.” On an occasion or two she was accused of not looking the part of a President. Not once did she back down from that accusation and neither should you. If there is no role model before you that looks like you – it does not mean you don’t belong. You do.
Women, there are going to be times and situations where you are FIRST! You are the ONLY. Don’t apologize for not “looking the part.” Look at it positively, if there is no one before you – there is no precedent that you have to adhere to. Do not apologize for looking differently and presenting yourself just as you are. Hillary did not apologize and she was running for the top office in all of the world! You have your own unique look and style – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.
Hillary did not apologize for situations that were actually out of her reign, expertise, and control. When the accusations about her private server were at their peak and their highest, she didn’t apologize. If you asked most business professionals working for the government (or any midsize or enterprise level company) they generally follow the directives of the IT person. We can’t know everything.
Women, there are times when you hire people to be the experts. You hire people to do things to protect you and when they step out of line you know that ultimately the buck stops with you. But when they mess up, it is their mistake, not yours. When others fail and cause you pain, take action to course correct. We can take responsibility for the company role in a mishap, but we don’t have to take the fall for others – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.
Whatever the outcome of this election, we can take this quick lesson: Ambition can lead us down a bumpy road, but that doesn’t mean we have to apologize at every pothole. Own what’s yours and play full out.
In this election year, I have read several books written by former Presidents of the United States. Their books give some insight into their leadership style and personal path to the greatest title in all the world, President of The United States of America. Their reflections, and tiny moments revealed in the biographies and autobiographies, can reveal so much about their character and temperament.
In the book, “41, A PORTRAIT OF MY FATHER” by George W. Bush, we see the President through a very unique lens, his son’s. George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush both served our great country as President of the United States, just as John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, did nearly 200 years prior.
The one sentence in the book that spurred this blog and my personal evaluation was, “Crisis has a way of revealing character.” WOW, so true. I quickly think of a few personal crisis situations and ask – how did I respond? What character did I show when the mass exodus of revenue stream occurred, when conflict arose between two siblings, or when a business partner admitted an addiction? What was my reaction? Did I respond in a way that aligned with my character? What would my legacy be, if those moments were what defined me? In an honest reflection, I made mistakes in my responses and sometimes I allowed emotion to override character.
What does your character reveal about you when crisis occurs?
Do you panic? Do you run to everyone else to solve the problem? Are you proud and unforgiving? Do you problem solve or problem state? Do you make problems worse or better? Do you make knee jerk reactions and comments that require asking for forgiveness later? Or do you take a minute to jot down your initial thoughts, reflect, and then act in reverence and calmness, as Vice President Bush did when President Reagan was shot? If you don’t know the story, the Vice President made a few key decisions in very quick manner that calmed the nation and showed loyalty to the President in a very intense time.
Republican or Democrat, man or woman, black or white – crisis reveals character.
With so many newsworthy events revealing character, do you ever ask yourself how you would respond if your child was unfairly harmed? How would you respond? How would your character be described if your or your spouse was running for political office? It is so easy for us to point fingers and judge, but can we be so honest with our self? How would you be judged?
Not only do I want you to show upstanding character, but in this election year, I hope we choose a President who will show great character in crisis situations. I pray our future President will show strength when needed, forgiveness when requested, and a calm and clear mind in crisis. God bless the USA and don’t forget to vote!
What a crazy month it has been since the first post and the launch of this site. Incredibly, each day someone has expressed what this message means to them. Yesterday it was a seamstress, the day before it was an author, and on Monday it was a stylist. The affirmations and the personal stories are amazing – please keep them coming!
The story that ignited the greatest reflection for me was from my very own stylist in my salon. This story personally tugs at my heart strings (and my purse strings).
In my salon I have 9 stylist who do hair, and each week they pay a booth rent for their space. All of the stylists have done hair for decades and they are a great group. The salon industry in our city is very competitive and we have an amazing salon. However, stylist don’t tend to have a loyalty to me because I don’t personally cut hair. It’s okay, I don’t apologize for that. I try to provide the cleanest, most cost-effective, high end environment for them and then let them run their show. I think they like it that way.
In our salon, one particular man, Michael is infamous. To some he is infamously great with hair, infamously boisterous or just down-right interesting to watch. People like Michael. I like Michael. Michael’s big frame and loud laugh exudes confidence and strength, but each woman who sits in his chair knows his story and understands his tenderness.
Michael’s ladies love how he dotes on them and calls them sweety. I also felt welcomed by him when I became the new owner. He publicly encouraged me and thanked me (for doing my best, not necessarily for doing THE best) and I appreciated his accolades.
This week; however, his compliments were a double edged sword. Michael met with me privately and expressed his appreciation for successwithoutapology.com and my attitude of unapologetic success – and failure. He told me he had really thought about the recent post, It Can’t Be Just About You, and had discussed it with his wife. He was finally going to take a big giant step of faith and I had encouraged him to do so without the fear of failing.
You may have guessed it, but at nearly 60 years old he was inspired to go out on his own. He wanted to try and own his own salon. He quoted my blog post to me, thanked me for the hard work over the last year, and then through scared eyes he gave me his notice. (Insert ohNOOOOO here)
I am not sure if I was slightly misty-eyed or he was, but the moment was gratifying, yet painful. In a month, Michael will have his own salon. He will be my friendly “competition” in the market and he will try this thing we call small business ownership for the very first time. It is exciting for him. It is sad for my salon. #InspireLeadersDaily #ItStartsAtHome #MyPainHisFutureGain
As I told him, I believe my mission and purpose is to encourage all people to succeed at the highest level they desire and to strive to use all of their God-given potential. The salon I own is not just a brick and mortar building for earning money, it is a facade for mentorship. If I cannot be happy and supportive for one of my own, then I can’t spread this message around the country with clear conscience. I believe Michael can do great things and I know I will invite a new “michael” into our salon to mentor and encourage.
So today’s message is one for the mentors. If you are a great mentor, remember your goal is for your people to succeed as their very best self. Sometimes when they do, they may even become a competitor. #AndThatsOkay
Tom Peters, an American writer on business management practices is quoted as saying, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”
Today a new leader is born and for that I am encouraged. #GoMichaelGo Thank you and keep reading the blog. My audience will love hearing from you in a year from now. You can tell us about your success, without apology.
In response to last week’s blog post, a woman encouraged me to continue this message of unapologetic success and shared her experiences of battling against media and society along her professional journey. Additionally, I was encouraged by the number of responses and comments I received through each of the social media platforms. For that – I thank you. Your comments and feedback remind me this message is greater than me, and it is needed. So we will take this taboo subject and make it streamline – together!
On the home page tag line of SuccessWithoutApology you, “I don’t apologize for success or failure,” This is an intentional statement, and I mean it. More importantly I want you to adopt the tagline in your life. It may seem radical for me, a believer, to tout a refusal to apologize. This is not a rude, snotty statement, but a radically honest and pointed attitude I am hoping more women will adopt. While there are many reasons for this personal statement, a video I recently watched reminded me of the biggest reason of all…. it isn’t just about me.
Just as the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I believe today’s failure may very well be tomorrow’s foundation for success. As a small business owner I have had failures. As an athlete I did not always win. As an employer, sometimes I make bad managerial decisions. I have entered into bad partnerships, spent too much outsourcing services, tried to do too much on my own, and even lost money to a point where bankruptcy was an option (that I did not take). But I believe each of those hurdles, challenges, and failures have built the foundation for the business professional I am becoming each day.
I am so thankful for the foundation others have laid before me so I have the right to make mistakes. I have the right to be a female business owner. I have the right to succeed and fail. For their sacrifices and their hard work, I am able to do so without apology. From the 300 activists who gathered in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 to call for equal treatment of women and men and voting rights for women, to my Mom who has balanced motherhood with being a ranchers wife and successful business owner over the years, to the teenage girls who have dreams bigger than Texas, I am thankful.
As a tribute to the women who came before me, I choose not to apologize for my success or failure. Imagine being one of the 300 activists, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, who signed the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions in 1848, hoping to one day vote and be treated equally, yet never to see their dream come to fruition. Seventy-two years after the Seneca Falls Convention, the 19th Amendment, which gives women the right to vote, is ratified. Only one person who had signed the convention’s Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Charlotte Woodward, was alive and able to exercise her right to vote. #ItCantBjustAboutYou
It is my hope to see the fruits of my labor, as I try to improve society’s view of successful women. It is my plea for you to stop apologizing when you earn a higher degree, raise healthy and successful children whom you are proud of, and own possessions you have earned through hard work. When you have something bigger than yourself to drive you – there is no excuse. There is no pain you cannot overcome and no criticism or judgement you cannot withstand. #StayFocused #SuccessWithoutApology
Sometimes my thoughts come out in Beyonce’s songs and I am not sure how that happens. Most recently, her song Flawless, brashly and aggressively paints the picture of our twisted support of successful women. Here are a few of the lyrics that were PG enough for me to post.
We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
With the actions of Kanye and other male chauvinist men aside, why are women, like me and you, not taking credit for our day-to-day accomplishments? Why do women not receive the necessary credit for their own success? In a single word: Judgement. We want the success, but the judgement is real and it hurts. So we deflect the success and the credit to avoid the judgement.
I was sitting around visiting with friends when a woman shared with me that she does not ever mention the fact that she earned a law degree around her work peers because in her experience if she has mentioned it, she felt judged and almost shunned her for her higher education. #ItsRealPeople #WomenJudgeWomen
How do we stop the judgement? It starts with us! We must stop judging each other. Here are two scenarios and I want you to see yourself listening in each conversation.
Scenario 1: You are in town for a couple days and decide to catch up with an old college girlfriend. When she talks about her career and the travel required for her job, how do you respond? What questions come to mind to ask her or to further the conversation? Admit it, you want to ask if she ever sees her children, or how her husband handles being home alone so much. You may even ask, how do possibly get any rest?
Scenario 2: Have you ever sat across from a man who talked of his success and thought to ask him how his wife felt about having to be the sole parent while he traveled? No, more likely, you thought, wow he must make great money. I bet his wife and kids are set and don’t have to work. That’s more “normal.”
I have been guilty of this for decades, and I am committed to stop judging. I know women can succeed and they can accept the credit for their hard work, without feeling guilty. Can you accept the credit for your accomplishments, degrees or salary?
When your children show great respect, take credit for great parenting! When you are told what a great teacher you are, say thank you. When you lead a team through the execution of a project that earns the company millions of dollars, accept the accolades. When you earn a huge bonus – gloat. 🙂 Do not shrink yourself.
For our children and for all women who want to succeed after you, please take credit for your success. Little girls and young women need to see women who receive credit for their accomplishments. Accept the credit, and the judgement for the evolution of our society.
Do it now. Change begins with you and your time is now. Steve Jobs has a quote I’d like to use to encourage an urgency. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Follow your heart. Expect the judgement. Accept the credit. Create a legacy. #successwithoutapology
“I think putting labels on people is just an easy way of marketing something you don’t understand.” Adam Jones
Speaking of marketing, check out Pantene’s commercial about labels on men and women. Pantene brings to life the quote of Mr. Jones by demonstrating how quickly we label women unfairly. We are guilty of unfairly labeling women in leadership roles because we are ignorant of the complexity of their work, emotions, and vulnerability. Have you ever been mislabeled bossy, when only being a stern boss? I have for sure!
The best thing I have learned over the years is to be honest with yourself about your personality quirks and other peoples’ perceptions/labels of you, even if you feel they are incorrect. Recognize how others label you and more importantly be able to communicate how you would like to be described. If you can label yourself properly, it will often help others understand you better. For example, in brainstorming sessions I remind stakeholders in the room, “Hey I am in sales – sometimes I don’t know how to have a conversation without selling my ideas or thoughts. It doesn’t mean I am right or that I am absolutely sold on my own idea, I just can’t help but sell you when it comes out of my mouth.” So the next thing I tell them is, “Don’t let me SELL you on a policy or an idea if you know I am wrong.” And I mean it. By stating this up front, I may not appear as pushy or dominant as we contemplate the various ideas.
This video is a reminder to me that some labels are accurate and some just wrong! So regardless of the label, be aware of the fact that you are being labeled. Don’t hide from the labels, but rather face them and choose to own them, correct them, or live up to them.
I used to be labeled as bossy, but over the years I have learned to change people’s perception to think of me more as a delegator. 🙂 No really it is true, friends say I delegate better than anyone they know. I figured out how to change what I say from: “Mike – go get the rental car for our trip” to something like “Mike, since you are arriving earlier would you mind picking up the rental car for us?” Ahhhh – all in the delivery ladies, all in the delivery.
So let me encourage you to make note of the labels people have on you. Decide whether you like those labels or want to change them; decide if they are within your control to change or not. I didn’t like being bossy, so I worked on my delivery. I own the fact that I am salesy, so I educate those around me to not let that get us in trouble.
How do you handle the labels? Please – take the time to tell me about a label that has been placed on you. Tell me – how did you handle it? Did you own it, fight it, or work to change it? I truly want to know!
“Always do the right thing. Then hope the right person is watching you at the right time when you are doing the right thing.” This is something I tell people who are hoping to be noticed or promoted. It is great business advice, and I coined this phrase in my officiating profession, but use most often in the business arena. Throughout my posts I will share business lessons and mentoring take-aways gained both on the basketball court and in my businesses. Today’s illustration highlights why you should always assume someone is watching you.
A few summers ago I was at an officiating camp, working too many games in too few days. During a full time-out, I was standing midway up the lane line. According to our CCA Manual, that’s not where I should have been standing, and I knew this. My partner was an older woman who was not a great official, but I had heard she continued to come to camp each year to learn. This year I was at camp to be hired, but I missed an opportunity because I was not doing the right thing during a time out.
After the time out, a clinician informed me the older official went to her end of the court during the time-out and then she kind of stalled and waited to see where I stood along the lane line and then she stood at the exact same place on her end of the court. (DangItJim!) Now we had a game of Monkey-see Monkey-do and this monkey was in the wrong stinkin’ spot!!
I was so disappointed in myself. Not for being caught, but because I was not doing what I knew to be right! Thomas Jefferson is quoted for saying, “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” As if the World were watching, WOW! For those who don’t know, in the world of officiating I have learned that someone is ALWAYS watching and they may very well TELL THE WORLD if they feel it will effect your career. In this camp scenario my positioning didn’t hurt anything, but I still got caught taking a short cut and not being a model official.
As I was reflecting on this, I read a blog written for high school athletes, coaches, players, and fans. He wrote a blog after sitting with several college coaches as they evaluated talent at a very good high school baseball tournament. He ended his post with this:
If you think that college coaches and professional scouts do not notice the “little things” you are mistaken. As one coach told me …. “We have to pay attention to each of the intangibles, it is the only real separator between some of these guys.” He went on to explain that each recruiting year they will have several players on their board that are essentially equal in athletic skills and ability. What then makes the difference is the “Little Things.”
So the next time you think that it doesn’t matter how you hustle or present yourself maybe you should revisit that part of your game. As another coach told me … “A player can hustle and give his maximum effort even on a day when he and/or his team is not playing their best game. It doesn’t take any athletic ability to hustle.”
As the time comes at the end of the year we may be doing personnel reviews or we may be spending our holiday time and we must remember there is always someone watching! It will be the little things that separate us from the average. Go ahead commit to do the right thing – ALL THE TIME.
I am going to referee every game with the attitude “as if all the world were watching.” And as I mentor my young business partner, I don’t want to let him down. If you are caught doing one of the “little things” this year, post it. Tell me about it. I will be proud of you.
This summer I was asked to present on leadership qualities and the qualities of great crew chiefs. As I prepared, I found the topic to be challenging because I feel like it is the area I struggle with the most. There are certain crew chiefs I admire greatly, and I covet some of their skills. Some people are so good, they have you leaving the game thinking about their leadership.
A few who come to mind for me are Troy Winders from Kentucky, Dawn Marsh of Georgia, Penny Davis of Washington, or Bryan Enterline of Indiana. I believe they have the “it” factor of being a crew chief. Their styles are different. Their personalities and training as diverse as it gets, yet they have “it.”
Though each crew chief is different, many share certain characteristics. I have come up with eight crew chief qualities I have witnessed over the years and strive to attain and improve in myself.
Great crew chiefs:
1.Create a safe environment
2.Inspire and motivate
3.Display integrity and honesty
4.Manage People : Manage Situations
6.Have subject matter expertise
7.Give information freely
8.Prepare for the worst, expect the best
I will expand on each of these qualities in separate posts, but today let’s focus on the first of the eight qualities, creating a safe environment.
Have you ever had the feeling your games just go so much smoother than anyone else’s games? Have you ever felt you are ready for the next level because your season goes without controversy? If so, thank your crew chief(s). What I have found as I advanced from high school to small college and small college to Div II and from entry DI to being a crew chief, is that the last year I was at each level, my games were C-R-A-Z-Y, crazy!
It is true. The last year I officiated high school I had ejections, T’s, crew issues, etc. I was on the phone with the boss more than I was on the floor, it seemed. The next year, as the U1 or U2 at higher levels, I didn’t give a single technical foul. hmmm, coincidence? I believe it’s more than that. I believe the last year I was a high school crew chief, I had been given increased responsibility by my assignors. It was my duty to create a safe environment for my U1 and U2 and to “protect” them from the drama. It was my job as the crew chief to T the coach who was out of line with my partners. It was my job to help my young partners earn credibility with coaches by putting them in the safest situations possible. And I was being trusted to do so, without big-timing them. (key to success)
I believe so many crew chiefs have done that for me along the way. At the high school level people like Jeff C, Rick D, Robert J, and Robert S protected me without me even knowing. These guys are all still officiating and I am certain they still protect many young referees like they did me back in the day. They are the top rated officials year after year, and commissioners and assignors love them because of how they treat those passing through the league, either on the way up or the way down. They are class acts who can be a leader on the crew as the R, U1, or U2. Without a doubt they handle the game and create a safe environment for people like me working to be a better crew chief.
Two reflection questions:
Our next post we will explore how great crew chiefs inspire and motivate and display integrity and honesty.