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The Little Engine That Could

Do you remember this story from your childhood? It is the book by Watty Piper, and I remember it as the little choo-choo Train that was running along the tracks climbing the hill.

What hills in life have you climbed?

Thinking back to when I was a kid - I wanted to be a professional football player, baseball

player, or a leader in a large organization. Big range of options, eh? A long time ago, I realized that I was not going to become a professional athlete. The athlete dream was not going to come through. However, I knew that I could help people and an organization become better.

I still had dreams.

I thoroughly enjoyed being the engineer that I was…..I was a rubber chemist. I did well. Much because I pushed myself. I have discovered that many companies do not nurture their people on the path to their utmost success - for themselves or the company. In fact, their structure inhibits growth and creativity. I was in that “organization”, more so in the final years . . . a result of changing management.

There is a common misconception that those in charge constitute leadership.

They do, but unfortunately, it is the simplest and basest form of leadership - we call those people managers, or even boss. And this term is not really a term of endearment.

Please understand that I am not trying to be a disgruntled previous employee. I understand that they “purchased” us. I tried to connect with my counterparts. However, when your thought process decides that you know best and you do not intend to learn from others, you will miss out on a valuable learning opportunity. You will miss out on building a team. And when the transition process literally takes a minimum of 3 years before the technical organization begins an authentic and significant discussion process of transition, teamwork and growth are stifled.

Management often think they understand the organization they purchased without getting to know “their” people. Reminds me of my friend John Maxwell often says, “People don’t care what you know, until they know how much you care.”

When we value people….

When we add value to people, allowing time and energy for creativity, then problems that arise can be dealt with, and often permanently solved. I’ve seen that the “leadership” often wants problems solved so fast that what really happens is that a “band-aid” is applied. Over time, the “wound” that the band-aid is covering, that isn’t appropriately re-dressed, does not continue to heal; and it eventually opens up again. They even say that they don’t want band-aids, but unless the problem is significant enough, people are not afforded the time necessary to fix problems permanently. And the problems are frequently not significant enough to warrant immediate attention, but they nevertheless persist, and as these add up, morale drops.

When people are supported, when people are believed in, when people are encouraged to believe in themselves - something amazing happens! They think they can!

They think they can solve problems. They think they can solve real challenges.

Then what else happens . . . ?

They think they can mentor others.

And they think they can lead others.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I Can.

Thinking leads to beliefs.

Thinking leads to action.

This leads to empowering others.

When people feel empowered, the rest of their world is unlocked.

Thinking! Believing! Action! Empowerment! WOW!

How would you feel if you felt empowered where you work?

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, I want you to expect more from your people. I want you to believe that they have the company’s best interests in mind. And if you did this, how would that change the way you need to do business? What needs to change in order to take the business to the next level? What would happen if you would expect your business to thrive, and if you and your team were all thinking, believing, active, and empowered?

I Think I Can - Becomes - I KNOW I CAN.

I learned some incredibly powerful statements from Dr. Robert Schuller in his book, It It’s Going to Be, It’s Up to Me. I learned four of the simplest and most thought provoking statements known to those that want to fulfill our DREAMS:

I am.

I can.

I will.

I believe.

What is your big Dream?

Maybe you think that dreams are only for kids. Maybe you have forgotten how to dream. Maybe since you feel “stuck” then dreams are a waste of time. Author James Allen said, “You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration.”

There are also times where we think our actions should be producing more results than they are. We want different results without different actions or even different thinking. “One of the reasons people don’t achieve their dreams is that they desire to change their results without changing their thinking.” says John C. Maxwell.

Karen Ford also believed, “People will never attain what they cannot see themselves doing.”

We need to constantly be working on our thinking process…

which leads to how we believe in what we want, and then the actions that will truly help us attain those outcomes.

I was at a networking luncheon recently where we were asked to introduce ourselves, and then describe our job such that a 1st grader would understand. What a great challenge - My answer was that I help people fulfill their dreams to become all they were meant to become.

Let’s ramp up your little engine!

I know you and your team can do more! It is never too late to become what you were meant to be.

If you can see the value that having a “Thinking Partner” would do for you, your dreams and your aspirations, consider a complimentary Discovery Session with a Leadership Harbor Coach today.


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