We Must Pay Our Way

We’ve created a society that includes those who are looking for a handout rather than a hand up. This is not a criticism. It’s just a part of our current culture. I was reminded of this thought as I was listening to a black retired airline pilot articulate this phrase while being interviewed in a talk radio show. He said that his parents taught him that he needed to work and “Pay” for the privilege of succeeding at his dreams. I’m very concerned that this lesson is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as far too large a percentage of people in this country either don’t know the message or simply don’t want to hear the message.

Why not go back in time and exam the many messages you received from your mother and/or father? Did you have a conversation with them about how one must earn their way to bigger and better things? Not doing so places you at the feet of those who feed you tiny bits of benefits you’ve not earned or, in some cases, don’t deserve.

Take the recent case of the young women that won $1,000,000 in the lottery. She was on welfare at the time but never reported the financial windfall. And, she was of the opinion that her benefits should continue even after having a large quantity of cash available. Her excuse? She owned two homes and had bills to pay. How does someone worthy of welfare own two homes? And, don’t we all have to pay bills?

There is no free lunch! And those who think this is true will soon come to a rude awakening that life or the world for that matter, owes us nothing. There is no rule of the universe that states we are entitled to a guaranteed income; a home; money in the bank or anything else. Yes, there are laws that help one in need. That’s a good thing. But no handout should extend for years or even into more than one generation. Such a condition is really a form of modern-day political slavery!

The greatest thing about America is that we are offered a multitude of possibilities. The requirement from us—to pay our own way. It boils down to our ability and willingness to work at our dream. And doesn’t it make sense that we should strive to live our dream rather than the dream of others?

I have no envy for those who work hard and accumulate great wealth. This is what America allows us to do. We should not be envious of the success of others. If they earned their wealth legitimately, be happy for them. If earned otherwise, there will be a price to pay for unethical practices either now or when they begin their entrance into eternity.

Whenever I examine the success of others, my reference point is to determine how they did it and how I might apply their strategy in my life. That’s a legitimate way to grow our skills and knowledge base. It is also a clear path to reach our potential and bring the successes we want to bring into our world. Want to be more successful? Hang around successful people.

We must pay our own way—harsh words for some, a reality check for others. My wish is for all of you to understand the significance and importance of this statement. However, I’m confident most, if not all of you, have such an understanding.

Don’t settle for less when you can have more. Life is the real thing. We don’t get to recycle ourselves but it is never too late to change the course of our life.


The Impact of Leadership

Everything that happens within an organization is impacted by the type of leadership present.

This is a powerful concept that sometimes escapes the mindset of many leaders. Some leaders feel they are operating in their own little domain of responsibility and what they do does not have a great impact on the overall effectiveness of the organization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every leadership decision made impacts the overall effectiveness of the organization in some way. Some decisions have a great impact, others are a lesser factor. But, in the end, every decision made by leaders has some ramification—good or bad.

Take-away Idea: Leaders must constantly assume a 360 degree view as they make decisions. Failure to do so can result in being blindsided with an unexpected consequence.

I’m currently interviewing leaders within the organization of one of my clients to help me highly customize the content I’ll create for an upcoming training session. As I’ve talked to everyone, the quality and effectiveness of each leader becomes evident. How they talk about their employees, how they view their job, how they view their management team, and how they choose to interact with their customers are all factors that reflect on their leadership style. If one or any combination of these factors is negative, leadership effectiveness will be impacted negatively. Likewise, if the power of positive thinking is present, these leaders will experience a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness as they carry out their responsibilities.

Take-away Idea: Leaders don’t work in a vacuum. Their attitude and approach to their job directly impacts results. How do you view your employees, your job responsibilities, your boss and your customers? Never forget it’s your attitude and your thinking that play the greatest role in your accomplishments.