Day 12 – I Am Reflecting…

Day 12 – I am reflecting…

I used to consider reflecting the same as daydreaming. Daydreaming about the past, present and future was a waste of time. There was always enough to do in the present and no time to waste thinking about the past or things that are yet to happen. If I needed to reflect, I could do that next year.

I learned, however, that there is a better definition of reflecting than daydreaming. Reflecting is taking stock. Reflecting is assessing what is working and what is not. Reflecting is, what we call in the Military, ‘Mission Analysis’ or ‘Needs Analysis’ in the business world. In the 15 Laws of Growth, it is the Law of Awareness. You must know yourself, to grow yourself. You must see yourself daily.  

Napoleon used scouts to watch the enemy, but also to watch his own forces. His ability to influence the battlefield better than any other leader of his time, was because he knew where his forces were and what they could do. Nobody else was doing that. Napoleon’s Maxim number VIII reads: A general should ask himself frequently in the day, what should I do if the enemy appears in my front, or on my right, or on my left? If he has difficulty answering… then he should seek to remedy it.

Napoleon reflected daily and with every changing situation. We must do the same. Think into the day and harness the power to influence tomorrow. Reflection is part of my daily routine and I am no longer afraid to ‘daydream’.

I am reflecting…

Marshall Townsend II

President and CEO

Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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Day 11 – I am seeking common ground, so I can take others to higher ground.

Day 11 – I am seeking common ground, so I can take others to higher ground.

John Maxwell talks about this in several of his books. You can’t just lead people and expect them to follow. Level 1 Leaders expect people to follow because they ‘Have To’. Level 2 Leaders develop ‘Relationships’ with their teams and their teams begin to follow because they ‘Want To’. Relations are the foundation for building common ground.  That may mean taking a moment on the trip to check the map, get their input into which trail to take, and confirm that the mountain you are climbing is the mountain everybody else is climbing. That’s good, … we are all on the same mountain, the same common ground. Together, with a team that wants to grow and go… you will begin to achieve amazing ‘Results’… and the next level of Leadership.

I am seeking common ground, so I can take others to higher ground.

Marshall Townsend II

President and CEO

Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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Day 10 – I am aware that it is not the mountain, but the process of climbing…

Day 10 – I am aware that it is not the mountain, but the process of climbing…

There are days when we just want to quit because we have not made it to the top of the mountain yet. Those are the days we must remember it is not the mountain, but the process of climbing the mountain that counts. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

Sometimes we get so focused on success and failure that we don’t see that we are growing and learning everyday as we climb. We need to think into it… Climbing without reflection is wasted climbing. We’re simply out for a walk. One of things that I fight, is taking time to reflect. No, not just thinking about the journey, but really reflecting on what worked and did not work. Taking notes, and not repeating the things that did not work. When I do not do that, I find myself walking in circles.

Yes, I am expending a lot of energy, but I am not going anywhere. I think it was Roddy who said, “it takes the same amount of gravity to hold an elephant on the ground as it does an ant.” It takes the same about of energy to walk in circles as it does to go to the next level. Make the climb count by focusing on the process. Forget about the mountain and grow from the journey.

I am aware that it is not the mountain, but the process of climbing…

Day 9 – I am traveling with Uphill Stuff…

Day 9 – I am traveling with Uphill Stuff…
 
You can look at a picture and see many things. You can see a team, working together to overcome obstacles. You can see ‘power-down’ leadership in action. You can also take a whole different look…
 
A few days ago, I talked about getting stuck in basecamp and trapped by Campfire people. Paul Martinelli says, “Stuck Stinks” True; not only does “Stuck Stink”…, “Stuck Sticks.” I look at the picture and I see a group of people weighted down, in search of their next Campfire.
When we broke camp and started up the tail again, what did we bring in our backpacks? Did we bring the old ideas, habits, and beliefs that caused us to seek safety around the fire the first time? Are we simply moving from one Campfire to the next Campfire? Are we stuck in Campfire mode, with Campfire people, with Campfire dreams… and Campfire stuff?
What is in our backpack that we can drop alongside the trail that is weighing us down? I know, I know, it’s good stuff. Stuff that you want to show everybody when you get to the top. How much of it is just Campfire stories and things. Uphill people do want to hear your Campfire stories or see your Campfire stuff. Sorry…
 
Time to drop the excess baggage and travel in search of uphill stories, ideas, habits, and beliefs. Uphill stuff is something worth sharing… and it does not weight as much!
 
I am traveling with Uphill Stuff…

Marshall Townsend II

President and CEO

Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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Day 8 – I am a leader that is not afraid to let others lead.

Day 8 – I am a leader that is not afraid to let others lead.
 
Here we are, deep on a 5-day trek into the Idaho wilderness. A journey to get to the base of Trinity Peak, so we could climb it. Nobody in the group has been there before. This is all new. I am the Scoutmaster of this group of Scouts. The parents would later ask when they saw this picture, ‘If I am the leader, why am I not out front leading?”
 
First, I have a 45 lb. pack on my back and it is a little tough keeping up with these teenagers… so… ah… umm… I am hanging back, so I can take these great picture… Yea – that it.
 
Second, that morning I sat down with the all the Scouts, and a map, and they chose the trail they were going to take and the location of where they were going to camp that night. I turned to the Senior Patrol Leader (age 15), handed him the map, and gave simple guidance. “Keep them together, don’t leave anyone behind. Now, ‘head-um-up’ and ‘move-um-out.’  I will see you at the next stop.” For the next 5 hour or so, the other adults and I worked hard to keep up.
 
Some might think that was dangerous or irresponsible as a leader.  But I disagree. You need to empower your leaders to lead.  John C. Maxwell says, “The best leaders are humble enough to realize their victories depend upon their people.”
 
You must be willing to take a “Learning Risk” and let your team develop through discovery learning. Give them a chance and your team will take you to new heights. I am a leader that is not afraid to let others lead.  

Marshall Townsend II

President and CEO

Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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Day 7 – I Am Not Alone in My Journey

Day 7 – I am not alone in my journey.

When you start a journey of discovery, lots of people will be against you. Well… they’re not really against you, they’re just not for you. You get this feeling that “I am in this alone… this is my fight… only I can find the path, only I can carry the weight.”

The truth is, there are a lot of people on this journey of discovery. Many are in the wilderness, looking for a trail, a gang to join, a guide to lead them. You will never find them by looking for them. They hide in plain sight. You need to open your ears and your heart to find your fellow travelers and together you will build the bonds that takes you to the top. I found a great ‘gang’ of travelers in the John Maxwell Team and at the Turning Point Seminars over the last few years. A great team does not walk-the-walk for you, they do not carry your bag for you, they do not tell you what to do. They simply build a bond that lets you know that “I am not alone in my journey.”

I love this picture… as I sat down to capture my thoughts, this picture recalled so many possibilities for “I Am’s” and lessons learned that I had to laugh. This was a Scout trip to Trinity Peak, Idaho (9500 ft.) back in 2010. Trinity Peak is the mountain in the pictures the last couple of days. I am going to stay with this picture for a few more days and think into it.

Day 6 – I am aware that my progress is watched from above

Day 6 – I am aware that my progress is watched from above.

When you are climbing, and things get really tough, really steep, really ugly, it is calming to know that your progress is watched from above… Not many words today… but in the big picture, the fact that I know my progress is watched from above, says a lot…

Marshall Townsend II

President and CEO

Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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Day 5 – I am visualizing the view from the top.

Day 5 – I am visualizing the view from the top.

I am visualizing my success. What is it going to look like when I get there? What does the view from the top see? From down here, we see the mountain, we see the trail, and we could see more of the forest if those darn trees were not in the way… and that is about all right now. (We can’t see the way home now either – that’s a good thing.)

This is the exciting part. Two points –

One – What it looks like when we get to the top is what we want it to be. We can design that, visualize it, own it. But, my vision and my possibilities will increase as I grow. So, what I think it will look like now, will be infinitely greater when I get there…

Two – Everything that is in front of me, is exactly what I need to overcome to achieve my success. I can’t visualize the obstacle, but by owning the vision at the top… I will find a way to overcome.

Hold your vision, hold your passion, and be willing to add amazing things to your dream as you grow… I am visualizing the view from the top.

Marshall Townsend II

President and CEO

Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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Day 4 – I am Leaving the Campfire Behind

Day 4 – I am leaving the campfire behind

One of the things we love to do when we set up basecamp is we build a campfire. I talked about stepping off the trail and setting up a basecamp yesterday. This creates, what appears to be, a safe zone; a place to hang out. Before long, other travelers come up the trail. They ask me, “what am I doing?” I tell them, “I am on an adventure of a life time.” I point out the mountain and I can tell them all about how to get there. Most of them thank me and head on up the mountain. I return to my campfire and relax. I helped someone today – I pointed them the way – job well done.

Other times they ask about the campfire and my basecamp. “Can I join you?” Of course, I answer. Before long, I have a gathering at my basecamp. The circle around the campfire grows and we become very comfortable in our sitting. It seems, I am now the leader of the campfire gang.

We know everything worthwhile is uphill and I want to be around ‘uphill people.’ I dream of climbing uphill. I find myself, however, around campfire people. I find myself sitting in my comfort zone and not growing. But, they’re my people… I feel responsible for them as they asked to join my campfire and I am their leader. How can I abandon them? The truth is, you can’t lead a campfire, you can only manage a campfire.

If I try and leave, they get upset and hold on to me. How dare I leave. Am I too good for them now? They complain that the only reason they are at the campfire is because I am at the campfire. It’s my fault, not theirs. When I ask them to come with me, they insist that it is cold and dark away from the campfire. It’s dangerous over the hill – Lions, Tigers, and Bears – oh my… They prefer to stay where they are – and thy prefer that I stay with them.

I did this for 18 years in my last job. I sent thousands and thousands of soldiers up a mountain that I had climbed years before. I was a trusted guide. But, I could not go up the mountain with them, so I returned to my campfire and my team and waited to show the next group the path.

I needed a new mountain, my own mountain. So, three years ago the job ended, I left the campfire and started wondering in the forest looking for my mountain. I found it with JMT but I also found another campfire here at home and, before long, I had another team of campfire people looking up to me.

But, it is time. I must leave my campfire friends behind. I must go in search of ‘uphill’ friends to share the trail with. This is hard. To turn away from up-turned faces and out reached-hands that do not want to help or be helped; they simply want to hold on. My final words. “I am leaving the Campfire behind – come with me…”

Marshall Townsend II

President and CEO

Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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Day 3 – I am going where I can’t see the way home…

Day 3 – I am going where I can’t see the way home… 

That is a very strange title for today. Let me tell you about my journey…
When we get ready to go on any big adventure in life, we pack up the car and drive to the Trailhead at the base of the mountain. We load up with our backpack, best hiking shoes, our walking stick and start out. John Maxwell says, “Everything worthwhile is uphill.” And we love uphill climbing. We feel the burn as we begin this journey.
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But, every journey is not ‘all uphill’. Sometimes, there are ‘dips’ in the trail. (See Seth Godin’s book, ‘The Dip’) When we approach the first dip, it is a critical point in our journey. You see, from the top of the first rise, we can see the mountain top; beautiful and majestic. We can also still see the car at the trailhead. That car is our way home. It is our safety net, our escape vehicle, our way out. If we take another step, we lose site of the top of the mountain and we will lose site of the way home. A great dilemma.
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You know what, this might be a great place to step off the trail and set up a base camp. You earned it. You are tired, you walked up hill. You are outdoors, and you can tell everybody you are on the adventure of a life time… you’re just taking a break where it is comfortable; safe. A warm fire, a comfortable sleeping bag and maybe some smores to eat. (We did bring the stuff to make smores – right?)
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So, here I am; safe in my basecamp, safe in my comfort zone. The best of both worlds. I can see my dream and I can see my way home.
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Except, I am running out of supplies. I am at a point where I am no longer comfortable in basecamp. No more wood, food, and that sleeping bag… It’s not that comfortable anymore. I need to go, it’s not safe to be sitting still. I need to move – abandon basecamp. I am going over the hill, I am going where I cannot see the way home. Into the dip…
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Marshall Townsend II

President Marshall Townsend 2nd Leadership

Independent Executive Director with The John Maxwell Team

208-724-9087

www.MT2Leadership.com

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