From V town to New York

I have a very good friend, Tedd Romero who grew up in Vallejo California.   Not a well know town, other than the birth place of pro athletes, rappers and high crime rates.   Affectionately called “V town”, Vallejo sits on water in the north east corner on the San Francisco Bay Area.   Tedd started his culinary career at Taco Bell.   Today he is the Executive Pastry Chef at Lucy Restaurant at the Bardessono Hotel in the Napa Valley.   Tedd’s  journey in life started as so many do, with a single mom trying to raise a son while working all the time to provide.   He wrestled in school, got into trouble, met his future wife, Alesha, and had a son all by the time he was eighteen.   When I met Tedd and Alesha and their son Daniel, Tedd was already a gifted Pastry Chef working atop the financial district in San Francisco at the famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel.   What I didn’t know was that he was sleeping on the couch and living out of a box while his wife was getting their divorce papers together.   They were introduced to me by a good friend and business partner, Victor Scargle, a very famous and very good Executive Chef, and Tedd’s former boss.

Victor wanted to work with Tedd again and Tedd saw the opportunity.   Tedd and Alesha immediately started to subscribe to the Leadership materials for personal use.   Then I got a call from Tedd asking for some counsel, “I got laid off today.   The last time this happened I got so depressed it took me nine months to get another job.   I don’t want that to happen again.   How do I fix that?”   He explained to me that in the cooking world when an Executive Chef is fired it’s standard operating procedure to lay off everyone that chef hired, due to loyalty and sabotage issues.   After explaining the difference between looking for a job and wanting work (there is always work for those that want it) we set out a two piece game plan.

First – You get whatever you focus on, so focus on creating.   If you want to be hired read good books and start with The Magic of Thinking Big, two hours everyday until hired.   Listen to audio talks & seminars, eight per day, everyday until hired.   This will guarantee you have a positive attitude and put you in action creating.

Second – People are hired because they are the most persistent, not because they are the most qualified.   Dress as if if you were going to be interviewed and go into as many places each day as you can and meet the person in charge—the owner if possible—but at minimum the person who does the hiring.   Shake their hand, look them in the eye, ask their name, how long they have been with the company, and what they are looking for in their staff.   Give them a resume (after getting help putting it together; it shocks me what people leave out that is valuable!).   Ask when they are interviewing next, tell them why you want to work there and what you bring to the table.   A work ethic, a willingness and ability to learn, and a great attitude should be the bare minimum.   Smart managers and leaders hire attitude first, because you can always teach technically ability.   It’s a waste of time to drag a negative complainer into your company.   Two days later call and talk with whoever you gave your resume and application to and ask if they have scheduled any interviews or have an idea of when they might be.   Remind them why you want to work there and thank them for the time and consideration.   Two days after that, stop in again and see the same person, this time with a letter of recommendation.   Many places will tell You they don’t take them, but leave it with them anyway, most will give you a higher ranking because of it.   Call again two days later and ask what else you can do to work for them.   Persistence and Massive Action always Win!

My Beautiful God Daughter

My Beautiful God Daughter

Tedd worked the game plan and ten days later had four job offers.   An interesting note both: he and Alesha made growing on purpose a new habit, reading and listening daily, attending seminars monthly and getting counsel regularly from then on.   Some of the byproducts of their new learning curve were promotions, a better marriage, and a new daughter, Leticia my God-Daughter.   Eighteen months later Tedd had a very different experience with that next employer.   He came into work to find the Executive Chef that hired him had been fired that day, but something very unexpected followed.   The General Manager sat down with him and explained that they would normally let him go at this point, but they were hoping he would be willing to stay on without her, his former Executive Chef, citing the reason that, “You have become such an important part of the Leadership here.”   Tedd has never been laid off since.

Pan seared salmon green garlic pea soup Creme Fraiche sherbet

Pan seared salmon green garlic pea soup Creme Fraiche sherbet

This year Tedd’s current Executive Chef and close friend Victor Scargle encouraged him to compete in a prestigious fish competition.   It is funny to me because Tedd doesn’t like to eat fish, yet he not only won the Northern California competition he also placed high enough on the West Coast to be given an all expense paid trip for him and his wife to New York for a week coming up in December.

Where does a young guy from V town become a famous Chef and win free trips to New York?   In the world of LIFE Leadership with examples of rags-to-riches stories, like Orrin & Laurie Woodward and Tim & Amy Marks.   Better information leads to better thinking and better thinking leads to better results, every time!

The Whole Family

The Whole Family

Significance vs Importance

Truly few people ever change lives so radically and with good purpose as a Tim Marks, Chris Brady or an Orrin Woodward.

Many people tell me they want to make a big difference in the world, but very few actually leave a legacy.   There seems to be some sort of disconnect between wanting to change lives and a willingness to actually roll up your sleeves and jump in the muck and help somebody through it.   What I mean is we have to care enough about someone to help them through struggles, by loving them unconditionally until they are ready to face truth and then when they are, lead them to it.

There are huge differences between writing an opinion online in a blog, being a motivational speaker and seeing somebody one time, coaching or therapizing someone by telling them what they are doing wrong and what they should be doing, versus actually caring enough to be somebody’s friend and to walk them through the steps over time to change their life for the better, on purpose.   As well there are big differences between telling someone your opinion or a theory that you learned that you haven’t lived out in your own life successfully, coaching someone to do something you’ve seen work in others lives, maybe without being privy to all the details versus helping someone through something you have personally overcome.

The difference it would seem between wanting to be important and actually making a significant impact in someone’s life for the better is, intention.   Are we doing it to feel good about ourselves or because we care more about them than we do about what we get out of it?   Am I trying to be a “Big Shot” or serve them?

I’m always excited when someone wants to make a difference, when he or she wants to make a real impact.   The confusion comes in understanding the dangers of coaching or mentoring someone when you don’t have a result in your own life that they can see as an example and not having developed the humility to get our own pride out of the way.

So how do we discern whether we should be someone’s encourager and sounding board or their counselor, offering truly correct advise?

1st – We must judge our own intentions!

Am I willing to be rejected while serving this person?   Will I still be their friend if they don’t return friendship to me or listen to my advice?   If they don’t change quickly enough will I become frustrated with them or give up on the process?   Do I refer them to other people for counsel, encouragement and support?   Am I reading, getting mentoring and trying to be better, so that I can serve them more effectively?   Do I point out their gifts and abilities that exceed my own?

- Negative responses to any of these questions would tell me my intention (my heart) is not in the right place.

I’ve heard Orrin Woodward, world ranked leadership guru, say “if you don’t love someone, you can’t mentor them.”   We cannot in good conscience counsel another if we don’t care about them and their future.   This would be pretending we are God.   It would be like experimenting on someone you don’t care about and if they died saying, “oh well, next.”   And yet I’ve seen trained professionals do just that.   We have to remember we are dealing with people’s live, relationships, livelihoods and futures.   What we say to them can change everything.   Will it be for the better or worse?   Even well meaning is not enough.

2nd – We must ask ourselves what am I getting out of it and what do I have to offer?

Do I care about this person and their future?   Do I hurt for them in what they are struggling with?   Do I have results in the area that are working on?   Do I have resources I can expose and refer them too?   Can I give them grace for the things they have done to others or to me?   Am I willing to learn, be wrong and apologize in this process.

- Negative answers to these questions would make me aware, I am not equipped to help them navigate through this struggle.

In DNA of Relationships, Gary Smalley talks about the difference between wanting to help someone and actually being their friend when they can’t return that same level of friendship.   This is work, it’s many times messy and usually takes time.

3rd – Do I access a Mentor for outside perspective and insights?

If I’m not being mentored how can I really mentor someone else?   I’ve heard best selling author Tim Marks say, “Judge a tree by the fruit it bears, not the fruit it talks about.”   Meaning learn from someone with results.   Without proven results to teach from it is easy to give advise without being able to give the correct thinking that goes with the actions.   Everyone has opinions, that doesn’t make them correct.   Learn to look for results in those you surround yourself with.

When I worked in the psych world I was amazed how many people confuse having a degree being licensed or even board-certified with competence.   It doesn’t take a formal education to lead people, it takes a caring heart, a valuing of people, unconditional love and the courage to lead them to truth.   Many people want to Learn, then teach, or just Teach what they think they know.

We Learn, then Do, then we can Teach!

There is no such thing as “efficient” in relationships.   Care enough to pay the “Full Price” to have Great Relationships.

Invest Wisely – Chris Mattis

Replacement Driven Leadership

I’ve been asked, “What is the specific genius of Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and Tim Marks?”   Based on what I’ve learned from them, I would say it has to be their abilities to replace themselves at will.   Let me elaborate.

All of us were raised with certain paradigms, ways of thinking about our world.   Some of us were raised by self-employed parents.   This was my experience.   Others were raised by parents employed by others.   Still others had parents that didn’t create or do any work, as a way to take care of their children financially.   Regardless of what example we saw growing up, that example helped shape our thinking.

By their example our parents created a legacy or pattern in our lives.   Wether purposefully or accidentally, habits, limiting beliefs, and even parts of our future got created without any thought from us.   All of this is true, right up until we recognize that we have a choice to create our own futures.

What if you didn’t have to be dependent on the value that others placed on you?   What if you could pick new examples to learn from and re-pattern your life after?   What if you discovered you could have any future you wanted?

I started out life the son of a small business owner.   My father owned and operated a packaging company.   He was very “independent” in his thinking.   He used to say, “If You want it done right, you do it yourself.”   So Dad was Pharaoh, the top of his own pyramid.   His future was based on his time, effort and thinking.   If he couldn’t show up he didn’t make money.

He wanted security for me, so he told me to go to school and learn to work for someone else.   Now, I was “dependent” on someone else’s thinking.   I was in someone else’s pyramid.   My value was being set by my new master.   Based on others’ thinking, my shifts, wages and working conditions were set permanently.   My future and many choices were made for me.   I knew where I could afford to live, the cars I could drive, what time I had to go to bed, wether my kids could have braces, what kinds of clothes I could wear.   I also knew that I could not get the best medical care or afford the time or money to care for my parents if needed, etc.

As fortunate as I’ve been, many of my friends grew up relegated to what others, with no personal interest in them, had chosen for them.   They grew up with parents that got by on welfare, that rarely or never worked to create something for their family.   As sad as this is, for reasons such as killing the human spirit or being controlled by others through dependency on the state, it is still only a starting point, not a death sentence.

Most Americans have been raised to be “independent” (top of the pyramid), “dependent” (in the a pyramid), or worst of all, “dependent on the state” (dictated to and controlled by an unrelated, uninvested third party).

Getting around best selling author Tim Marks and listening to world ranked Leadership Guru’s Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady exposed me to a new way of seeing the world.   Not through a pyramid or win/lose thinking.   For the first time I understood there were win/win realities.   That you could “invest” time and not sell it; you could create “inter-dependent” relationships.   Where, I actually need you and you need me and together we are way more than the sum of our parts.

This is called “Replacement Driven Leadership” or “Legacy Driven Leadership.”   Purposefully investing in others to create a new future and making learning a discipline in your life are key parts to this kind of leadership.   Three specific shifts in thinking must occur to create a culture that moves beyond you.

1st: Learning to see others in their gifts and not through our limitations.

2nd: Identifying what makes them great and systemizing so it is a learnable, repeatable skill.

3rd: Passing ownership in someway.

First: In my Christian world view I would call it, “casting our sins upon others” when we see others in our limiting beliefs.   It is however human nature to assume if I do trust people it’s someone else’s fault if I’m incompetent or lazy.   I better ride others because people are flakes, etc.   A common statement I hear a lot is, “I don’t have people I can trust.”   So why do others have high trust relationships and incredible results?   Because they’ve learned how to extend, develop and build trust.   That comes from growing our own character and heart change.   Once we can see the genius and potential in others the world becomes unlimited through team work.

Second: Being good at something is not enough.   We have to identify why we are good something or we can’t teach it to others and leave a legacy behind us.   It is an art to discover why we are good at something.   This is such an important issue that in Resolved Orrin Woodward has an entire chapter dedicated to “Systemized Thinking”.   Jim Collins wrote Good to Great about companies that did not know why they were good at what they did and now all those companies are gone.   How the Mighty Fall, about the collapse of those same companies, by Jim Collins was jokingly retitled, aptly, by Chris Brady “Great to Gone“.

Third: Starbucks is a company that is on the edge of this issue of not knowing what makes them great.   The key to their operation is not the systemized way of making coffee or the hope to be our third favorite place to be.   It is their financial incentives that keep managers focused on hiring, training and promoting great people.   Starbucks has, on accident, created one of the best retention programs possible.   If they ever change it they will also go by the wayside.

So much of our time in the world goes into training our competition and our replacements with no long term financial gain.   Many times the people we train leave us and even take our customers.   What if everyone you ever trained you got paid, four or five percent of their productivity forever?   That is how 95% of the worlds wealth is created.   Invest time into others, systemize what they are good at and pass ownership.   Launching a Leadership Revolution by Woodward and Brady is the best manual written on “Replacement Driven Leadership”.

Better Information changes Thinking and Better Thinking changes Results, Every Time!

Hope this finds You Well

Chris Mattis <><

Orrin Woodward asks the Right Questions?

Best selling authors Chris Brady and Tim Marks came up with a term to describe one of Leadership Guru Orrin Woodward’s many gifts, “Question Funneling.” Mr. Woodward uses this technique to help others discover what is driving an issue or a specific result in their life. The adeptness with which Orrin uses question funneling allows for self discovery, for egos to remain unruffled, and the heart of the matter to quickly and clearly be exposed.

In my personal use of question funneling I search for answers to three parts in a specific order.
1st – What is the the principal that is at stake or being violated?
2nd – How do I connect it to their heart?
3rd – What are the questions that will lead to the biggest results for that person? The most “Ah Ha’s.”

Discovering what Principal we are dealing with: Many of us convolute, cloud, attack, vilify, shut down, walk away from, manipulate, lie or any number of other behaviors with one aim … to be “right.” Wether justified in our anger, escaping blame or accountability, running from confrontation, or just getting what we want, these are all back-stories that need to sorted and, hopefully, cut through. The Question behind the Question, Competent to Counsel and the book of Proverbs in The Bible are great resources for learning to hear what’s driving the emotion.

For example: some people become upset because they are not getting attention unless they produce results. But instead of addressing their unhappiness over the lack of attention and/or their lack of results, they bring in a third party and begin vilifying that person over something entirely unrelated. This is a common relational issue between Leaders and their people.

As a leader, there are some questions to think through in your own mind first: Why are they not producing results? Why haven’t they gone to the person they are upset with? Why did they bring in another person to complain about? What are they really upset about? What are they not taking responsibility for? Why are they complaining to me? Are they trying to create division, justify their excuses, gossip, or set up something in the future? Are they just frustrated or confused? What are their intentions?

What principals are being violated? Some to consider are: Not wanting to earn something, violating conflict resolution, creating gossip, creating division, and blaming others. In other words … Are they being a Victim?

Part of the art here is discerning another’s intention, discerning your level of trust with them and discerning the weight of the issues you are dealing with. Instrument in The Redeemers Hands, The Heart of a Leader and The Great Connection are great resources to grow this discernment. The main question to ask is: What’s in it for them?

I begin with asking myself several questions: How can I help them get down to the truth? How can I help them own what is theirs? How can I help them learn to confront or grow out of the issues? How can I help them learn conflict resolution? How can I move them to repair the relationship?

The First Step is remove the outside variables. It might look like this:
What does Mr. GuyUDon’tLike have to do with the issue between You and Mr. SuccessGuy?
Why are You upset that Mr. GuyUDon’tLike gets Mr. SuccessGuy’s time?
Has he done anything You haven’t to earn that time?
Could there be reasons he gets the time with Mr. GuyUDon’tLike we don’t know about?
So Mr. GuyUDon’tLike may have nothing to do with why You aren’t getting Mr. SuccessGuy’s time?
Wouldn’t it make sense to leave Mr. GuyUDon’tLike out of our discussion? Especial since there may be factor we don’y see.

The Second Step is to get to the root of the emotion.
Where is your frustration around not getting Mr SuccessGuy’s attention?
What do You mean by it’s “not fair?”
What do You think You would have to do to get his time?
Is that something You should be doing anyway?

The Third Step is to help them take responsibility.
What can You do to change the situation?
How could You ask Mr SuccessGuy what You need to do to earn his time?
When could You ask that question?

If we care for others then we will help them sort issues down to facts. Leaders help people take responsibility, reframe thinking, and change what they can. This requires love, patients and forgiveness. Orrin Woodward’s Resolved and Ken Sande’s – The Peacemaker are excellent resources for great leaders in this area.

In order to make a difference in the lives of others, improve outcomes, increase the speed of change, and build trust, we must first step back from a situation, learn to ask ourselves great questions, and then learn to ask questions with care of others. Become great at asking yourself questions first. Then ask God for help to grow your heart enough to ask great questions of others.

Hope this serves You Well – Chris

Orrin Woodward & Chris Brady’s MFC: “Mental Fitness Challenge”

Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady’s Mental Fitness Challengeis the single best corporate style tool I have ever seen to build unity and increase productivity in a very short period of time.   Predicated on creating life-long learning habits, it works through attacking 13 areas of our lives that fall under character, task, relationships and leadership.   Starting with a self assessment test, it provides a “You are Here” starting point.   From there accountability partners, 360 degree feedback and challenge partners (who you can invite to take it with you), can all be setup and accessed.   Feedback from people you trust can reveal blind spots that you don’t realize may be controlling the results you are getting in life.   My self assessment test looks like a smallish starfish, which means no new blind spots were revealed but there are lots of areas for improvement.

Once the study of the 1st module begins, reading, audio CDs and video emails from top leaders in their fields, highlighted by the #6 Orrin Woodward and #11 Chris Brady “Leadership Gurus” in the world, support the development of new thinking and new habits.   Exposure to purposeful, consistent and incremental learning allows the “Law of Compounding” to be applied to anyone’s life.   For many this is the first time that they choose to wage a “Media War” on the way that they think   (as opposed to the normal “Brain Washing” the average American gets from media “Programing” and control campaigns that many huge corporations and government agencies push).

Going through the “Resolutions” it occurs to me that they no longer appear as acts of the will, but as stepping stones on the way to pursuing one’s purpose.   As one of the newer Mental Fitness Challengers said, “Resolutions are Get to’s not Have to’s.”   Resolutions are tools to equip us to chase our God-given dreams, to shape us into who we can be.

What a gift this MFC is to organizations of any type, to families, communities and individuals.   I’ve started asking people I know to review the “Ad CD” and point me in the right direction to who or what I should share this with.   My favorite question to ask is from Jim Martin, a huge community builder and leader in Florida, “Have you heard of the Mental Fitness Challenge?   It’s like P90X for the brain.   I want you to take it with me.   When can we meet?”   Don’t keep life changing information a secret, share it with anyone you care about.   What a difference new information and better thinking makes! Thank you Orrin and Chris.

 - Chris Mattis

Desire – The Limiting Factor of Success

Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady in Launching a Leadership Revolution say “Hunger provides the energy to begin, the stamina to persist, and the will to finish…,”   In talking with my mentor, Tim Marks, I have heard him say, “The world doesn’t reward potential, if only he had desire, he could be one of the greats!”   What makes a man step up and focus where others quit?   Circumstance?   Attitude?   Upbringing?   No.   The desire to be more; to not be controlled by the world.

I believe all men (and women) are born with an innate drive to be free; I believe it is God-given.   “For You were called to freedom brothers.   Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 ESV)   The bestseller, The Millionaire Next Door, noted that the majority of new millionaires in the US are 1st or 2nd generation immigrants.   What would drive a person to cross an ocean, learn a new language, learn a new culture, leave everything they know behind, start over from zero to work long hours, scrimp and save?   Desire for a better life, for an opportunity, for hope!

Here is one of my favorite quotes of all time:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

- Calvin Coolidge 30th president of United States of America

So how do we develop “Desire” / “Hunger”?

One key to recognize, as Lana Hamilton says, “We are powerless to change anything we tolerate.”   We must become intolerant of our circumstances.   What are the things that we put up with that we shouldn’t?   What are the areas we “settle for?”   Where are we merely mediocre when we should be exceptional?

After a decade and a half in the psychiatric nursing field I was shocked at what I tolerated, in retrospect.   I was laid-off once, pay-cut twice, pay frozen for four years, received IOU’s, instead of checks, forced to work fur-low days, yearly cuts in benefits, huge losses in my retirement account and was injured 17 times.   Why did I put up with that?   Frankly, I hoped it would change.

No wonder I found it funny when I read this:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

A second way to grow your hunger is to develop the discipline on dreaming.   “You never get what you want out of life, you only get what you focus on!”   That is one of my favorite truisms.   So how do we create and have hope in the midst of challenging circumstances?   Do we focus on problems or solutions?   A dream must be bigger than who we are currently and big enough to make us want to grow.   Tim Marks is famous for teaching this basic principal: “Define what you out of life, figure out the cost and pay the price!”   “Define, Learn, Do” is a LIFE and TEAM basic tenant.   So what does your “ideal” life look like?   Who is it you’re supposed to be?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky

It is crucial to decide where you want to go, what you want to accomplish, and most importantly, who you wish to become in the process!   What could you do if you dedicated the next five years, the next ten years or the rest of your life to it???   Remember: You were born for a purpose and only you can do what only you can do.   Don’t waste time not doing it, Do It Now!!!

- Chris Mattis