Take your Thinking to another level…35,000 feet!

November 21st, 2010 by Gallagher John No Comments

One of the disciplines I have struggled with over the years is taking the time to do intentional ‘Thinking’.  Specifically, I have not invested the  time to intentionally review my personal vision (Life Plan) and Business Plan on a regular basis. 

During BCE2010, many of the coaches and participants talked about the need to take time for thinking.  I heard things like:

– Top performers have a discipline of Thinking

– The Life Plan is only 10% writing it and 90% living it – JUST READ IT!!

– Read it, Carry it, Share it, Update it

I wanted to get better at this discipline of thinking and I looked for blocks of time that I could use to be more intentional.  Currently, I travel via air 2 to 3 times per month.  I had ‘captivated’ time on an airplane where the distractions are significantly reduced (unless I am sitting next to someone who snores!).  So, I decided to use my air time to review the life plan.  My new discipline includes:

1) Carrying the life plan with me (had to change from the BCE2010 issued binder to a flexible binder)

2) Read the life plan

3) After reading, do a check-in on how I am doing.  Working with Coach Raymond, I chose the K, S, S.  What are the things I need to Keep, Start, and Stop doing?

This new discipline has worked really well for me.  There have been specific improvements as a result of this discipline conducted while traveling.  So, whether you travel via air or not, I highly suggest blocking time off in your calendar to review your personal and business plans AND use a process like K,S,S to improve those plans.

So, when are you doing your intentional Thinking time?  What are the things that keep you from doing that on a regular basis?

BCE 2010 – Reflect, Plan, CONNECT

October 25th, 2010 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

During BCE2010 this year, the theme of the event was “Reflect, Plan, and Connect”. 

This past weekend, I had the chance to CONNECT intentionally with several key people inside my Life Plan.  The photos above are just a few of the memories created this weekend.

Left photo – This is a shot with my wife, Chris, and our friends,  the Campbell’s – Dave & Susan.  They were our best man and matron of honor at our wedding over 16 years ago.  They celebrated their 17th anniversary during this weekend visit!  We had not seen them in about 7 years and it was a fantastic chance to re-CONNECT with them and for our kids to build relationships with each other.

2 Center photos – My sons Brendan and Joseph were on this trip with us and they were able to meet one of WVU’s all-time leading rushers, Noel Devine.  The second photo is our tailgating spot directly in front of the WVU football stadium.  Both of these memorable photo opps were made possible by a connection I made at BCE2010, Tim Bolling.  A big thanks goes out to Tim. 

Right photo – A picture with my ‘little’ brother, Michael. He and his wife, Lisa, joined us during the weekend, also, and I was so happy to share this time with them.

So, as a direct result of 1) disciplines identified in my Life Plan and 2) connections made at BCE2010, we had a very memorable weekend in Morgantown, West by God Virginia.  The theme of my blog came out so many times during the weekend…”Life is Relationships…the rest is just details.”

So, what memories did YOU create this weekend? 

BCE – 2010 Reflect, Plan Connect

September 22nd, 2010 by Gallagher John 13 Comments

Recently, I attended BCE2010 in Bend, OR.  It was a great time to get some r&r and reflect on those things important in my life.  Below is a video summary of my 4 days and some of my takeways.  Be sure to turn the volume up.  This was my first attempt at video blogging and the audio is a little ‘low’.  Comments welcomed AND encouraged!

Having trouble viewing the video in your browser, click here: BCE 2010 – Takeways

Thanks to Daniel Harkavy @ Building Champions for the ‘challenge’ to step outside the comfort zone just a bit and let the palms sweat!

Leadership lessons – “It’s a rock”

August 4th, 2010 by Gallagher John No Comments

I love this scene in Bug’s Life where Flick uses a ‘prop’ (a rock) to describe a concept (seed growing into a tree), but his student (Dot) doesn’t get him. I live this regularly when I share new ideas with my best friend, leadership student, and wife of 16 years, Chris. After I share a thought and she doesn’t get me (notice I say me and not it. Generally, it is a failure on my part to communicate), she will respond with “It’s a rock.” Then, I shake my head and chuckle thinking of this scene. 

I like to use props to tell stories about leadership, but not all people learn the same way. Be flexible. Use different types of ‘props’ to get your teaching point across such as: video, props, stories about your life, books or articles you have read, or sometimes just an arm around the shoulder and a quiet lesson in their ear…  Not all of your props as a leader will work with all audiences. 

Who are you communicating with and they respond to you with the proverbial “It’s a rock”?  How are you learning from this response?

Book Review – Leadership Gold

July 24th, 2010 by Gallagher John No Comments

Recently, I completed Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading by John C Maxwell.  This book took me over a year to complete.  Not because it wasn’t a good book, quite the contrary.  This is a book that you can pick up, scan the table of contents, and go to a specific lesson without the need to complete the book front to back.  There will be times you are on your leadership journey that some of the lessons may impact you more or less, but clearly, this is a valuable resource for leaders.  As valuable as ‘Gold’?  I will let you decide!

There were a few topics of the 26 lessons that have struck a chord with me recently that I will share here: Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review – 90 Minutes in Heaven

July 20th, 2010 by Gallagher John No Comments

Recently, I completed 90 Minutes in Heaven, a true story about Death and Life by Don Piper.  This book was not on my reading stack for 2010, but was a gift from a friend…and what a gift it was.

I read this book while on vacation and it was hard to put down once I got started.  Even my mother borrowed it from me during vacation and finished it in just a couple sittings!  (She gave it back with a gift of a bookmark – Thanks, Mom!)

The title depicts the time Don Piper spent in heaven after a severe accident where he had been pronounced dead and 90 minutes later, he returned to life.  The book jumps immediately into this event and details the agonizing AND rewarding recovery process.  There were a few great takeaways for me: Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review – Put Your Dream To The Test

July 2nd, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Recently I completed Put Your Dream To The Test by John C Maxwell.  As usual with John Maxwell’s books, I was not disappointed.  The sub-title to the book was “Ten Questions That will help you See it and Seize It.”  One of the things I appreciate with the author’s books is that they are not necessarily chronological, but you can pick up and begin at nearly any chapter in the book.  This was valuable to me as it took me nearly 3 months of picking up and putting down to complete.  Not because of the book, but because of lots of ‘stuff’ happening in the life of John Gallagher over the past three months (several blog posts coming soon about the learnings here!)

In any event, I found the book to be filled with several development nuggets and timely quotes from other leaders that he ‘borrows’ to emphasize his points.

There were some specific questions for me that I went back to review a couple times:

1) Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?  While I have a Life Plan to outline the dream, my action on the strategy has been sputtering.  I need to remove some non-essentials (I identified 7 of them in writing.  I know there are more!) that keep me from reaching my dream.

2) Am I willing to pay the price for my dream? One of the prices to pay in achieving the dream is dealing with criticism.  This is not a strength of mine.  Just ask my wife, Chris!

3) Am I moving closer to my dream?  This question focused on believe in self.  Another area where I can grow.

So, I am sure that of the ten questions in this book, you can find 1,2, or 3 to trigger some thought in your mind and more importantly, action by you, to help you achieve your dream.

This book, like most of Maxwell’s books, was 225 pages.  I had 11 dog ears.  My new rating system will be on a ’20:1′ ratio of ‘total pages:dogears’.  My expectation for a good book would be a 20.  Anything from a 15-20 is a good book and worth the investment.  Above 20 – Go get it now!.  This book’s score is: 20.5.  Go get it…read it…take action from it…

So, what is keeping you from achieving your dream?