Posts Tagged ‘accountability

29
Jun
15

Are you Slacktose Intolerant?

dilbert-slackerOffer the lazy an egg, and they’ll want you to peel it for them.

– A Proverb

Slacktose intolerance, also called loser phobia and hypomalaisa, is the inability to digest poor performance, lack of initiative, and failure to accept responsibility. Slacktose-intolerant individuals have insufficient levels of desire to digest those who display repeated bouts of negativity, an inability to digest any amount of responsibility avoidance, and suffer from chronic aversion to thumb-sucking. Symptoms include disgust, irritable bowel syndrome, and, in those with a heightened sensitivity, even the primal fight-or-flight instinct

Recommended treatments include speaking to the infected individual regarding their condition. If they do not seek immediate aid they are to be removed from your world. The Centers for Disease Control should start including laziness in their list of highly-infectious diseases due to the amount of damage slackers can do to an entire organization. The good news is, once the affected area has been cut out, recovery rates are 100 percent!

I can remember hearing the late, great Zig Ziglar say, “Are you a SNIOP? Someone who is Sensitive to the Negative Influence of Others?” Why, yes I am!! That describes me to a “T”! I am a flexible, easy-going person, but when faced with lazy or indecisive individuals my righteous-indignation meter gets pegged! I am sensitive to the influence of negative and lazy people. In fact, I am so highly allergic that I suffer violent reactions. Charles Horace Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo clinic, said, “You must avoid sloth, that wicked siren.” Amen brother, even the medical field recognized that laziness is a horrible disease!

It’s a universal truth: if you are unwilling to learn to help yourself, how on earth am I going to help you? In the world of psychology, it’s called “enabling”, i.e., doing things for people that they could or should do for themselves. This can happen in both our professional and personal worlds and is a recipe for disaster. Nothing good ever comes of this, but once you accept there is no cure for the afflicted you can lay off taking guilt trips and making repetitive rationalizations. They simply must heal themselves.

An organization that is slacktose tolerant suffers from weak management. A relationship that is slacktose tolerant suffers from enabling behavior. In each case, someone provides excuses or otherwise makes it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior through indifference.

The greatest battle is the one within ourselves, so stop trying to “fix” other people’s issues by allowing their behavior to continue to manifest itself. Don’t let the fear of an angry response stop you from taking action. And be proud when they call you intolerant and self-righteous because that’s exactly what you are: slacktose intolerant with a supreme respect for the power of the individual to control its own destiny. Saint-John Perse said, “The only menace is inertia” and that’s one menace we can all take immediate action to avoid.

For more tremendous insights click here! Or you can listen here!

04
Jun
15

We’re All Doing Time Just in Different Places

the-broken-chain1Every speaker dreams of a captive audience, but this past Tuesday I got the experience of a lifetime. I spoke to a group of prison inmates who were graduating from a LIFE course which is a prison ministry started years ago by Pennsylvania Governor George Leader. And while they may not be moving anywhere physically, they desired to move spiritually, which is the only journey in life that truly matters.

When I found out that they were “lifers” I was immediately perplexed by the juxtaposition before me. Here were bright, smiling faces looking at me ready to learn and grow, yet the reality was they were sentenced to a life behind bars as a consequence of their actions.  Being a good publisher, I brought them a book as a graduation gift: It’s All About Jesus: Three Bestselling Authors, One Dynamic Savior. The lead volunteer asked me to talk a little about the book and for the next five minutes I emotionally shared the content. Now I’ve had to take a moment behind the microphone before, but this was different. There was no way I was going to regain composure nor did I want to. Composure was not what was appropriate; vulnerability was.

I assured them my tears came from a place of extreme gratitude and that I was profoundly humbled to share the book my father and I worked on just before his passing in 2008. My father had spent his life sharing with so many disadvantaged people from all walks of life that their lives truly had a purpose, that they were special and loved, and that all their past mistakes and pain could be washed away. I imagined him beside me as each of the inmates proudly came forward to accept their certificate and be recognized.

Someone once asked my father how he could adjust from speaking to pastors in the morning to prisons in the afternoon to sales executives at night. His reply: “It’s easy; we’re all doing time just in different places.” The truth of this was never more clear to me than it was that night. I saw with my own eyes the redemptive power of the blood of Christ. I have seen many people come to the Lord, but never those who had made such radical, life-altering decisions. I never had a group that was so confined and shackled physically yet so unrestrained and alive spiritually.

I shared with them that life on the other side of the fence was not all that rosy for many of us; that we as a nation are becoming increasingly divided and hostile towards one another; that the desire for one man to enslave another was rampant across the globe and that evil revealed itself in all nations; that so many who had every opportunity in the world chose instead to exist in the prisons of their closed minds and hardened hearts, not willing to evolve and learn and live a life of service.

The individuals before me realized they were responsible for their actions. There was no vocalization of blame or hostility. They seemed at peace with what had transpired yet strove to find meaning in their lifetime behind bars. So who’s living a richer life? The “free” man who has every opportunity in the world but sees himself as either a victim to avoid responsibility for his own path, or so entitled that he does not have to be of service to others? Or the one who made a life-altering mistake yet chose to not let it define him?

The parable of The Sheep Thief tells the story of two young men several hundred years ago who were caught stealing sheep in a small Italian Village. Justice was swift and included branding the letter “ST” on each of their foreheads so all would know that they were in the presence of a “Sheep Thief.” One young man was determined to run from his past, moving from village to village, lying, hiding from his past. He died years later, broke and alone. The second young man sought to make amends for his transgressions and stayed in the village where the crime had been committed. He worked hard and earned enough money to pay back the man whose sheep he had stolen. He lived a life of service to the community. Many years later a visitor asked the shopkeeper why the old man had “ST” tattooed on his forehead.  The shopkeeper replied, “It stands for Saint.”

dead-peopleMy father used to quip that many of us are walking around dead long before we’re buried; but thank God he made it so we don’t stink ‘til we’re put in the ground. Truer words were never spoken. Never, ever forget: life’s not about where you start; it’s about where you finish.  It’s one long journey of going from jammed to justified, from limbo to liberated, and from restrained to resurrected. Our actions may imprison us physically, but the redemptive blood of Christ can truly set us free.

31
Mar
15

x marks the spot

Why do so many people try to hold us back from moving forward in our lives? Didn’t we all learn early in life that we should celebrate the successes of others and strive to emulate them? According to Theory Y believers everyone wants to live a life of purpose and reach their greater levels of joy, peace, energy, and prosperity. Yet how can they possibly do that if their every waking moment is spent obstructing, impeding, slowing, slandering, or demotivating others? Their cup of hostility and insecurity runneth over and they work to slather and sling it on as many as people possible.

Chuck Reeves, author of Journal of a Climberhaters, stated, “Successful people do not resent successful people. Unsuccessful people do.” Boom! There it is. In today’s technologically superior yet higher-order-thinking deficient society, we are obsessed by spewing out judgments and pious pontifications. It’s always been there since the dawn of mankind, but the sheer volume and saturation of it in today’s world does not bode well for the up and coming would be leaders. By disparaging when we should be debating and turning teachable moments into bloody massacres, we are encouraging people to kill rather than to query.

We’re so busy hating the oppressor du jour that we forget life’s what we make it. Who cares who gets the credit? Miserable, thumb-sucking, complaining, griping boneheads, that’s who. As Zig Ziglar said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” So why is it so hard to see that, ipso facto, the opposite is true? “You will get nothing you want in life if you impede other people getting what they want.” Of noticeable absence is the presence of any higher-order thinking skills. Resentment, jealousy, envy; whatever you call it it’s one of the seven deadly sins. Yet somehow we feed ourselves a steady diet of it in today’s society.

Thus proveth the Theory X that people are lazy, cynical and would rather complain than attain. What to do about it? Model a more proactive approach. In all your communications, be proclamatory, not accusatory. Be an extorter, not a retorter; and finally, be a relater, not a hater. I worry about those whose existence is spent seething at the successes of others. Successful people should always inspire us to greater heights, and if that is not the response you have in your heart when others tell you of their good fortune, you might want to take a tough, long look at what’s going on inside of you. There is no suck in success!

16
Oct
14

The Mystery of Self-Motivation

MOSMConsider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have of trying to change others.
My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, told me that you don’t find motivation, motivation finds you. But there are things you can do to ensure the rays of motivation shine down upon you. Motivation is attracted to positivity, kindness, humility, meekness, and selflessness. If you keep surrounding yourself with books and people that model and amplify these, you will actually begin to morph, one motivated molecule at a time.
It starts slowly, and then it explodes. The more motivation you spread, the more comes back to you. My father literally burst at the seams, so powerful was his lifelong transformation. Once motivations takes hold in you it must find an outlet, and this is where the magic happens.
This is why the person who has solved the mystery of self-motivation is unstoppable. We cannot rely on any physical presence on this planet to be there for us. That’s why I am always so repeatedly surprised when people’s hopes are devastated by a person or event. The only guarantee you have in life is your belief in yourself.
When you have matured to the point where your own motivation is built-in and self-recharging, you will begin to experience life in a way few others have. Learning the dynamics of motivating yourself far exceed that of being able to motivate others. And in actuality, you can’t have the latter without the former.

Today marks the six-year anniversary of our founder’s—and my father’s—homegoing. To celebrate, we’ve published his timeless wisdom in our latest Life-Changing Classic, The Mystery of Self-Motivation. Go online today to get your copy and enjoy a 30-percent-off sitewide celebration until the end of the day. Thank you for helping us change the world one book at a time!

09
May
14

there’s nothing I can do for you

1558402_10152246465268552_539659896_nThere really isn’t. Happiness, kindness, sacrifice—all the elements that make us good global citizens are inside jobs. They cannot be mandated or regulated by any government or religion. Human nature is as human nature does. I look at some organizations that have well-meaning strategic tag lines such as Eliminating Racism, End Hunger, and Equality for All. We will never achieve these goals. And even if you believe we evolved from cosmic dust and fast forward millions of years, the heart of man is what it is.

One man’s kindness and altruistic intentions cannot transform another. Let’s face it, human love is not that strong or pure. Change can only come from within. So why even try to help solve the problems of mankind when it is a futile cause? We do it because that’s the only thing that gives life meaning until we shuffle off of this mortal coil. And in our efforts to live an authentic life, if we can be a walking, living, breathing billboard for accountability, and help just one person realize that the secret something that they are looking for is already within them, we have changed the course of the universe.

Being in publishing, a lot of people ask me if I think they should write a book. I tell them, “I don’t know, should you?” You see, if it’s not in you, it can’t come out. And if you have to ask, it probably isn’t. We are children of wrath and until you become a child of purpose your world will never change. Once we find our purpose, the answers become clear and we cease to ask useless questions.

When people came to my father with issues, he would stop the conversation and open a book. They would read together aloud. This tactic used to confuse and irritate me. After all, people came to him for input, not to read! But as I got older, I got it. Many of us have a terrible habit of not really wanting solutions. When we seek advice, we are really just looking for an ear to listen to our whining. We just keep talking with no intention of ever shutting up instead of inviting quiet so we can reflect, think or act.

The answers are already within you and you are the only person in the universe who can get you where you need to go. No amount of government intervention, money, personal relationships, or otherworldly trappings can ever release the real you. Only you can do that. And when your heart finally comes to terms with this life-changing truth you can finally do for you what no one else can.

Recommended reading: “That Something” by William W. Woodbridge. Get to download your free copy here!!

06
May
13

the space between

OPPORTUNITIESNOWHEREThe space between your ears defines the space between the words. Do you see your present existence as “opportunities nowhere” or as “opportunities now here”?  So many times we lament our current state. Our life’s great passion is complaining about our work, our finances, our relationships. We have opportunities nowhere in sight which justifies our lack of initiative, action and positive attitude. All you have is within you so it’s up to you to define your moment and find that space between.

“The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

27
Dec
12

Are you Slacktose Intolerant?

dilbert-slackerOffer the lazy an egg, and they’ll want you to peel it for them.

– A Proverb

Slacktose intolerance, also called loser phobia and hypomalaisa, is the inability to digest poor performance, lack of initiative, and failure to accept responsibility. Slacktose-intolerant individuals have insufficient levels of desire to digest those who display repeated bouts of negativity, an inability to digest any amount of responsibility avoidance, and suffer from chronic aversion to thumb sucking. Symptoms include disgust, irritable bowel syndrome, and even the primal fight-or-flight instinct in those with a heightened sensitivity.

Recommended treatments include speaking to the infected individual regarding their condition. If they do not seek immediate aid they are to be removed from your world. The Centers for Disease Control should start including laziness in their list of highly infectious-diseases due to the amount of damage slackers can do to an entire organization. The good news is, once the affected area has been cut out, recovery rates are 100 percent!

I can remember hearing the late, great Zig Ziglar say, “Are you a SNIOP? Someone who is Sensitive to the Negative Influence of Others?” Why, yes I am!! That described me to a “T”! I am a flexible, easy going person, but when faced with lazy or indecisive individuals my righteous indignation meter gets pegged! I am sensitive to the influence of negative and lazy people! In fact, I am so highly allergic that I suffer violent reactions! Charles Horace Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo clinic said, “You must avoid sloth, that wicked siren.” Amen brother, even the medical field recognized that laziness is a horrible disease!

It’s a universal truth: if you are unwilling to learn to help yourself, how on earth am I going to help you? In the world of psychology, it’s called “enabling”, i.e., doing things for people that they could or should do for themselves. This can happen in both our professional and personal worlds and is a recipe for disaster. Nothing good ever comes of this, not in a million years. Once you accept there is no cure for the afflicted you can lay off taking guilt trips and the repetitive rationalizations. They simply must heal themselves.

An organization that is slacktose tolerant suffers from weak management. A relationship that is slacktose tolerant suffers from enabling behavior. In each case the person provides excuses or otherwise makes it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior through the sound of silence, i.e., indifference.

The greatest battle is the one within the self so stop trying to “fix” other people’s issues by allowing their type of behavior to continue to manifest itself. Don’t refuse to take action for fear of their angry response to you cutting them off and out. And be proud when they call you intolerant and self-righteous because that’s exactly what you are; slacktose intolerant with a supreme respect for the power of the individual self to control their own destiny. There is not going to be any meeting of the minds. But then again, you already knew that. Saint-John Perse said, “The only menace is inertia” and that’s one menace we can all take immediate action to avoid.

27
Nov
12

Objects in mirror are more powerful than they appear

Long ago in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the house, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often.”

In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again.”

This ancient Japanese folktale makes an important point. All the people we meet and the books we read are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see as a result of your literal and literary associations? What we project out from our inner being is what gets reflected back to us. Some call it karma, the law of attraction, or even divine justice. But whatever the case, it is an absolute universal truth in life regardless of your race, religion or reading habits.

By controlling our thoughts, we see happy reflections everywhere. By controlling who is in our lives and what goes into our minds, we continue to manifest even more positive reflections. Whatever feelings and attitudes we project will often be reflected right back at us by the people around us. And if we choose wisely, we can transform ourselves into a person who is happy within and projects happiness throughout.

11
Oct
12

When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

There are times in everyone’s life when we cannot get to the end goal we desire despite how much effort, hope, or prayer we apply. One of the keys to a successful life, not only for you but for those underneath your influence or command, is to know when to step aside. This is a great reflection of true leadership but it is too often unrecognized.

Let’s face it. We all are endowed with specific gifts and abilities that no two have alike. That means that you will do certain things better than others and others will do certain things more effectively than you. This should not threaten a leader who is focused on the end goal. It’s the old cliché, “It’s amazing what you can get done when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

On the news, I recently heard someone in a position of great authority reply, in response to a question, “We are doing the best we can.” While we certainly encourage this type of language among children to encourage them to truly do their personal best and to develop self esteem, this verbiage has no place in a leader’s vocabulary.

When I attended the Air Force Academy in the mid-80s, first-year cadets were allowed only five basic responses when asked a question by an upperclassman. They were “Yes, sir/ma’am”; “No, sir/ma’am”; “No excuse, sir/ma’am”; “Sir/Ma’am, I do not know”; “Sir, Ma’am, I will find out”. That’s it! No more, no less. This first year of only answering with these responses stick with me to this day. It’s probably why, when someone answers me with an excuse, I feel a tremendous urge to tell them to drop and give me twenty! The service academies are first and foremost leadership academies. After all, you cannot defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic, if you are not a leader. And that is the primary job of a leader, to take care of those under their care.

Had I ever answered “I’m doing my best” as a cadet, I’m sure I would have been drummed out of the corps, and rightly so. Had I ever answered “I’m doing my best” to a Fortune 500 customer when they asked why their five-million-dollar piece of equipment wasn’t ready, I’m sure I would have been fired, and rightly so. If, when running a classified project, I replied “I’m doing my best” when asked why there were documented security violations, I’m sure I would have been escorted off base, and should have been.

If you have truly done your best and still cannot get the job done, do not let your ego sink all the good things you’ve accomplished. Realize it is time to move on to the next area requiring your particular set of talents and let the next team come in. That’s why we have succession plans and it’s why no one, no matter how smart or how powerful, is ever indispensible. Do not ever say, “I’m doing the best I can” because that is never an answer that serves any purpose other than making an excuse for yourself and alienating or infuriating the questioner.

04
Oct
12

Work ethic or wish ethic?

Two construction workers sat down to eat their lunches one day. One worker opened his lunch box, took out the sandwich, and exclaimed, “Oh no, not peanut-butter sandwiches!!” The next day the same scenario was repeated. This went on for several more days before his co-worker finally said, “Joe, if you don’t like peanut-butter sandwiches, just tell you wife not to pack them anymore!” His friend immediately fired back, “You leave my wife out of this! I pack my own lunch!!”

Which is stronger: your work ethic or your wish ethic? One of the great universal and constant truths is the role of hard work in living your life to its fullest potential. Yet somehow, despite the plethora of stories we hear about how our parents and predecessors worked so hard, many feel that it is somehow beneath them to struggle for success today. They’ll use all kinds of excuses such as the opportunities are not there (where’d they go?), life’s not fair (who said it was?), and cast stones at those who have what they do not in an attempt to tear them down (the blame game).

My grandfather had five children within five years in the heart of the Depression, but no job. That didn’t stop him from working. There are countless studies about the impact of having meaningful work and how it affects your self esteem. If you have a work ethic, you will find work because it’s in your blood. I am constantly looking for people who are able to bring a strong sense of accountability and commitment to our organization. I can and always will have a place for them.

How badly do you really want to succeed? Enough to ignite an internal revival? Or are you content to languish in the mode of survival? Life will always be one continuous, glorious pageant of struggles. That’s the nature of it. It’s like the Samuel Goldwyn quote, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. Wishing is child’s play. What do we wish upon? A falling star? A birthday candle? It’s a tradition, but it doesn’t actually mean anything.

Never forget, those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there. Even if you are born with certain privileges, if you don’t work to keep them they won’t always be there.  Money can’t buy a work ethic. It is something you develop internally.  The government can’t subsidize one for you; quite the contrary: any help received that does not help you to develop your work ethic is injurious. As my father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say, “It takes a lot of learning to figure out how to help somebody more by hindering them less. Imagine what will happen if Congress ever figures that out.”

It reminds me of the classic Blues Brothers song, “Rubber Biscuit”:

“Have you ever heard of a wish sandwich? A wish sandwich is the kind of a sandwich where you have two slices of bread and you wish you had some meat…”

So what are you packing in your lunchbox? Are you wishing for something? Or are you working to get some prime cuts into the bread box of your life?




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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