A Leader Needs to Grow! Whether You Are a C-Suite Executive, an Entrepreneur or Even in Middle Management, There is a Constant...a Common Ground. We Must All Continue to Grow...You Are In Your Position of Leadership Because You ARE "LUCKY"--That's What the World Says Right? You Must Have Worked Your Magic, "Brown-Nosed" the Right People, or My Favorite--"Been In the Perfect Place at the Perfect Time." It Would Be Wise for the World to Remember the Amazing Roman Philosopher Lucious Seneca: "LUCK is What Happens When PREPARATION Meets Opportunity." Every One of You Prepared for Your Current Leadership Position--Now, It is Your Responsibility to Continue to Grow! The People YOU Have the Pleasure of Leading NEED You More Than Ever!
I Kind of Stumbled Into Professional Speaking--I Was Content with Just Having Wrote and Published My First Book: "Stealth Elevate," Flying for My Major Airline and Building My Company; but Last November, I Was "Randomly" Paired Up to Fly with a Great Guy Who Turned Out to Be a CSP...A Certified Speaking Professional...Which of Course, I Had No Clue About at the Time...I Had Never Thought About Speaking, Much Like I Had Never Thought About Becoming an Author, but Isn't it "Funny" How Life Throws You Little Clues as To What You Should Be Doing? We Just Have to Be Perceptive About Our Surroundings...The Late, Great Earl Nightengale Used to Say: "Treat Everyone You Meet as If They Are The Most Important Person in the World, Because at That Moment--They Are." Such an AMAZING Lesson in Leadership--If Someone Comes and Speaks to You--They Are Doing it for a Reason...You Better Pay Attention and Hear them Out, Because that Conversation May Literally Be Life, or Death Important...
I Mentioned "Randomly" Paired Up, Because I'm Sure That's How the Airline Scheduled It, But If You Have Read Anything I Have Ever Written...I Certainly Don't Believe in Random...I Take the Seneca Point of View...Create Your Own Luck....Prepare (Always Learn, Always Grow) and "Out of the Blue" an Opportunity Presents Itself--It Is Then Your Choice to Take it, or Leave It...There are No "Random" Events...When You View the World as a New Day to Conquer, Rather Than One to Survive--I'm Telling You, Your Life Changes!
So this "Random" Captain and I Start this Trip From LA to Cancun--Layover in Cancun and then Fly Cancun to Denver--That's All the Time I Will Have with Mark. Once at Cruising Altitude for Those Two Legs, It's Pretty Quiet on the Radios and We Keep On-Top of the Various Tasks We Have to Do To Keep the Airplane Safe, but There's Time for Conversation. Usually this is Very Superficial Conversation--Not These Two Days. Mark and I Talked Deep About the Process of Writing My Book "Stealth Elevate," Life, Leadership, Speaking and He Became One Of My Mentors Right There...He Probably Told Me I Needed to Get Into Speaking 30 Times On Our Journey, but I Pretty Much Brushed it Off--"Maybe in the Future..." I said.
Sometimes We Don't Recognize the Way We Should Go Right? We ALL Have These Crossroads From Time-to-Time, But it Wasn't Until Nearly 6 Months Later That Speaking Came Up Again...I Made a Great Connection on LinkedIn and After a Fantastic Conversation, Josh Immediately Asked Me: "Have You Thought About Speaking? We Could Really Use The Concepts You Wrote About in Your Book at Our Entrepreneur Event!" I Accepted, but Was Instantly Nervous--He Wanted Me to Speak for an Hour! I Had Given Plenty of Instruction Lessons Over the Years of Mentoring and Teaching the World's Most ELITE Aviators, but I Knew this Was a Different Task Altogether--I Needed to Connect with the Audience on Their Level--Not through Aviation...I Was Going to Have to Grow a Lot to Have People I Don't Know Come Up with Great Concepts Based Off of the Information I Presented...for Their Own Various Ventures...I Was No Longer a Teacher--More of a Mentor and I Had to Deliver! It's Like Everything I Had Been Thrown Into as An Air Force Officer--It's the Unknown and I Love that Feeling! You Know this Feeling Well if You are a Leader--Constantly Pushing the Boundaries of the Unknown, but that's What Makes it EXCITING!
I Wrote Out this Talk and Then I Practiced it About a Dozen Times. As the Day Arrived, I Delivered a Connected Talk With No Notes to an Audience Who Was Attentive and Engaged--They Took the Concepts Home With them and It Was Tremendously Fulfilling! Right There--I Fell In Love with Speaking and I Realized Why Months Earlier...Mark was so Adamant with Getting ME to Embrace Speaking--I Just Needed an Opportunity and the Pressure Associated with It. As Leaders, There are Always Deadlines and Different Directions We Can Go--Your Job as the "Lucky," Prepared Leader is to Deliver! WE Need You to See Through the Grey Areas and Put Some Black and White On It...Make a Concrete Decision...Do Something that Stretches You! If Things Come Up, Especially More than Once, as was the Case with Me and Speaking...You Have to Grab Onto That and RUN Down that Road! Mark Planted the Seed, and it Took me 6 Months to Water, but When I Was Finally Ready--Prepared...the Opportunity to Excel Presented Itself as You Can See Below. I Performed Well During that Talk...I Also Realized I Had a Lot of Work to Do If I Was Going to be Invited for More. Subsequently, I Joined the National Speakers Association In Order to Develop this New Craft and Now I Have Added Another Professional Skill Through Numerous Speaking Events...The Point is...Don't Forget Your Responsibility to Pursue Continuous Learning and Evolution as a Leader...Preparation Has Allotted You the Opportunity to LEAD, but Always Remember--It is the Starting Point, NOT the Finish Line! Enjoy the Journey, Always Elevate and Evolve---The More You Learn...the More Skills You Develop, the Better You Will Be in Sorting Out the Grey Matter and Making Better Decisions! You Got this! Let's Go!