Learning from the greats

I have devoted my life to learning and cultivating leadership principles and practices. I am mentored by John Maxwell and his world-renowned faculty in leadership, speaking, coaching, selling, teaching, training, communication, and behavioral analysis.

My learning journey has led me to discover that every human is designed for a purpose, that purpose is discoverable, and a life spent in pursuit of that purpose leads to significance and leaves a powerful legacy.

Learn how you can leverage my skills and training to grow your impact and leave your legacy. Click here to learn more.

The 5 Facets of Human Design

Every human has a natural design and when that design is cooperated with, optimal performance can be achieved. There are 5 design facets of every person.

5FHDPhysical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. Each of these facets has unique toolsets that can be leveraged to get the best results. Additionally, all of these facets relate to one another. This means that if one area is unhealthy, the other areas will be impacted and overworked. So the first step in cooperating with your natural design is to become aware of these facets, how they relate to one another in your being and identify where you have opportunities for growth and improvement.

The 5 Facets

PHYSICAL: There are 3 main categories of your physical design that you can use to evaluate and keep track of your wellbeing in this facet.

  • Diet: The food that you put into your body and when you put it in plays a major role in your physical wellbeing. This may seem obvious but there is a lot of depth in this area and it is easy to become lost and discouraged by all the diets, plans, and systems out there that claim to be the best. Learn the principles and laws of nutrition and then listen to your body to create your dietary lifestyle to cooperate with your design and suit your goals.
  • Physical Activity: Your body needs to move to be healthy. Lack of movement results in muscle atrophy, joint stiffness, inflammation, and more. Again there are plenty of plans and systems out there to be physically fit. It boils down to this; something is better than nothing. Walking for 20 minutes daily can mean the difference between a healthy weight and obesity. Do a little. You’ll feel better and when you feel better, you’ll do a little more.
  • Sleep: Probably one of the most underrated aspects of physical wellbeing. Quality sleep regenerates many different chemicals and hormones in your system. Your circadian rhythm plays a big part in your physical energy as well as your mental and emotional wellbeing. Figure out how much sleep your body needs and make sure you get it.

MENTAL: There are several different aspects of your mental facet. Whole books can be (and have been) written about the importance of mental health. I don’t want to go into that part. I want to focus on information processing and learning. There are 3 methods by which we process information and we are all an amalgamation of all 3.

  • Visual: People with visual information processing as their primary style perceive and recall what they see. They will remember how things looked, what someone was wearing, colors, and shapes. This drives how they recount circumstances. When learning new things, their retention is highest when there is a visual element to the content.
  • Auditory: These people will be impacted the most by sounds. They learn well in lectures and seminars. Incorporating sounds and music into lessons will improve retention for them. When recalling events, their descriptions will include what people said and what they heard.
  • Kinesthetic: The kinesthetic processors are tuned into how things feel. They learn best with hands-on lessons where they can learn by doing. When you see someone close their eyes and mime the act of dialing a phone number to remember it, they are likely a kinesthetic processor.

One other key aspect of the mental facet is your thought life. Thoughts have power. Your physiological brain does not have the ability to discern the difference between something happening to you in real life or something in your imagination. You can ‘think’ your way into the exact same physiological responses. This means that what you think has an impact on you physically and emotionally. So be careful and intentional about your thought life.

EMOTIONAL: This facet of human design is built on expectations and affirmation. Every emotional response is borne out of met or unmet expectations. The vast majority of the time, these expectations are unspoken and live in your non-conscious mind. Since your non-conscious mind is incapable of discerning fact from fiction, it is very gullible. It is genetically required to accept whatever is dumped into it as truth. This is why there are so many unspoken expectations. Your inner dialog dumps all kinds of stuff into your non-conscious mind that turns into unrealistic expectations for yourself and others.

As far as affirmation goes, there are 5 ways that people receive affirmation. They are commonly referred to as “Love Languages” but they essentially are about affirmation.

  • Acts of Service: People that have this as their Love/Affirmation Language feel the most appreciated when someone does something thoughtful for them. Running an errand they don’t want to run. Doing a task that they dislike. These are acts of service.
  • Receiving Gifts: This one is not as straightforward as it sounds. The gift needs to have meaning and be thoughtful. You can’t just grab a random trinket and expect to make them feel appreciated. These people can’t be bought.
  • Quality Time: These people like to spend time with those they care about. If you want to show your appreciation for someone that values quality time, take them out to lunch and be a good listener.
  • Words of Affirmation: Once again, thoughtfulness is key. Don’t hand out platitudes. Expressing your appreciation for these people in a meaningful way will have great impact.
  • Physical Touch: This one is easy in an intimate relationship but how do you use it in a platonic sense? A handshake, pat on the back, or a hug will do here. Just make sure you are authorized to breach personal space.

RELATIONAL: How you relate to other people and your environment is called behavior. Behavioral analysis is a pretty old practice. The original practice is from Hippocrates back around 370 B.C. A more modern approach, known as DISC, came about in the late 1930s early 1940s. The DISC model groups behaviors into 4 categories.

  • D – This group is marked by dominant and decisive behavior. They are outgoing and task oriented.
  • I – This group is referred to as the Inspiring group. They are very social and usually the fun ones in a group. They are outgoing and people oriented.
  • S – The ‘S’ group is known as “the supportive group”. They care about their team and will work hard for the group. They are reserved and people oriented.
  • C – This is the cautious group. They are detailed planners and like research. This group is reserved and task oriented.

While the DISC model may seem generalized, it is a way of grouping dominant behavior patterns. We are all a mixture of all 4 types but there is generally 1 or 2 that are most prevalent in each of us.

SPIRITUAL: This will probably be the most controversial of the 5 facets of human design. I have my own spiritual beliefs and I acknowledge that my beliefs will differ from the beliefs of others. The reason spirituality is so divisive is that it drives right down to the core of our being. So, even if we do not agree on the source of spiritual truth, please just apply these concepts to your own framework. I think they will fit most if not all.

The spiritual facet of human design is important because it drives our purpose in this world. We were designed to serve and the only way to reach fulfillment and significance is through service to others. This does not necessarily mean service in a charitable sense. This can be your business. The point is that we were designed to care about a particular group of people and when we serve them, we step into our purpose. Your ideal customer that receives value from your product or service can be that group for you. So your spiritual design has to do with how you serve those people.

In the Christian faith, where I find my foundation, it is believed that God endows us with spiritual gifts. Again, if you do not agree with my faith perspective, please just read into these as tools. Essentially, these gifts indicate how we are most capable when serving others. Many of these might sound “churchy” or overly religious in their label but I will break it down practically.

  • Prophecy: This is a person who is gifted in understanding and revealing truth to others. This could be a contextual insight into the truth of the circumstance that might otherwise have been left ambiguous. It could also be a spontaneous revelation that seems out of the blue. Or somewhere in between. However it comes about, it is centered on making the truth known.
  • Serving: A person with this gift is naturally inclined toward giving of their time and energy to do things for other people. This could be the person that handles the logistics of all the office parties or events. It could be the person who runs a homeless shelter. Whatever the activity, it will be them investing in the lives of others through their time and attention by doing something for them.
  • Teaching: This one is pretty straightforward. Those with this gift not only enjoy teaching others but they are also quite good at it. This is not limited to a classroom teacher. This could be a corporate trainer, a bible study leader, a yoga instructor, or a martial arts sensei. The gift of teaching enables a person to connect others with the right content at the right time and in the right way.
  • Exhortation: Another label for this is simply to encourage or inspire. Some people are just gifted with genuine and meaningful encouragement. Other people are not. It truly is a gift.
  • Giving: This gift is about generosity. It does not require having lots of money. A person with this gift will give even when they don’t have a lot.
  • Leadership: Everyone is a leader but leadership is a gift. People with this gift are willing to take responsibility for the added accountability that comes with leadership. They understand the gravity of leadership and they own it.
  • Mercy: Everyone in the world messes up at some point in their life. When that happens, people with the gift of mercy are the ones that can show up in their life and help them get back in the game without judgment. You can find these people in the counseling fields such as rehab and divorce care. They help people through problems of their own making.

One important thing about the spiritual gifts is that while we may be more gifted in some over others, we are capable to some degree in all of them. Do not rule any out because you are not naturally gifted in that area.


“You cannot get consistent results from something without cooperating with its natural design.”

–Joshua Lee


Let me wrap this up and put a bow on it for you. Understanding and cooperating with your own natural design is the ONLY way to get the results that you want on purpose and consistently. There is no other way. Take what I have to say here and use it. It’s gold. If you don’t agree with my understanding of human design, that’s fine. Expand on it. Change it. But know that there is a design and if you want to get results, you have to acknowledge, understand and cooperate with it. End of story.

If you aren’t getting the results that you want in your life, I can help. Reach out to me and together we can build your impact.

I’m talking to you

Yeah, you. If you are reading this post right now, then you have been brought to this moment through your choices and mine. Out of 7 billion people in the world, you and I have made it to right here, right now…for a reason. That reason will be one or more of the following three things:

  1. For you to be encouraged by bumping into some truth that you already know but needed affirmation that someone out there shares your belief
  2. For you to be encouraged by learning a truth that you needed to know
  3. For me to be encouraged by you showing up in whatever way you are intended

I believe that, through this post, I will serve many. I hope that I will have the opportunity to connect with each of you to learn how I served you. The third one is fulfilled just by you reading this and I hope to also connect with you.

This morning, I watched this video by John Maxwell. This is a daily practice. I watch “Minute with Maxwell” every day because I want to learn from the most influential teacher of leadership principles in the world. In this video, he asks the question, “What is the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received and who was it from?”

I pondered, and here is my answer. Just like John, my advice, or lesson is probably more accurate, comes from my dad. When you are overwhelmed, stop and review everything you know. Stay with me here. The state of being overwhelmed is such that we begin questioning everything. We doubt. We are unsure. We wonder if anything we ever knew was right. So when I say, “Review everything you know,” that list is significantly shorter during overwhelm than it would be otherwise. So this is not such a large task as it might sound.

Depending on the degree of overwhelm that you are experiencing, you will start at different places. I have been SO overwhelmed at times that I had to start with, “I know that I am alive.” Other times it wasn’t so bad and I can begin with what I know about a particular situation as opposed to an existential list. Either way, it works. So let me share with you some things that I know and maybe this can be a list that you use when you are overwhelmed.  In no particular order:

  • There is an intelligent designer (I call him God) and he designed you for a purpose. According to that design;
    • There are things that you love to do (probably a short list)
    • There are things that you are good at doing (probably a longer list than you realize)
    • There are people in this world that you care about deeply (very short list – if not, you are being too specific)
    • Those people have a need that you can meet (same as previous)
    • The purpose for which you were designed can be found where the preceding four things intersect
  • You have thoughts. Day in and day out, those thoughts shape who you are. This is a fact and true for every human. You are what you do repeatedly, and this includes thinking!
    • If your ever-present thoughts are shaping who you are, it stands to reason that if you choose which thoughts you have, you can choose who you are shaping yourself to become.
  • Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Some people use it productively and wisely. Some people don’t. I assure you that successful people are more intentional about how they spend their 24 hours than unsuccessful people are.
    • Since you have the same 24 hours as the Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerbergs of the world, you can choose to make the most of every hour in the pursuit of your goals.
  • The food that you put in your body affects the size, shape, and well-being of your body and how you feel physically.
    • You eat every day. You have to. Every food choice you make is either going to improve how you look and feel or diminish how you look and feel. If you’re unhappy with your weight or your health or both, change your food choices
  • Exercise improves your health, stamina, endurance, and mental acuity.
    • If any of those things are not where you want them to be, exercise
  • Truth must be reckoned with
    • If you encounter something that is fundamentally true, you must either adopt it and modify your life accordingly or reject it outright and modify your life accordingly.
  • You endorse your own behavior. Everywhere you go, everything you do, you are an example to others. Especially if you are a parent.
    • Since you are always being an example, you have the opportunity of ensuring that you are a good one.
  • Kindness always feels better than unkindness; both for the giver and the receiver.
  • Gratitude alone can change your entire life for the better.
  • You will always wish that you would have started that thing when you first thought of it a month ago, six months ago, a year ago. Just start it.
  • No one is perfect.
    • When you don’t follow through on something, don’t give up. Just pick up where you left off.
    • Failing is not found in the falling down. It is found in the not getting back up
  • When it comes to personal growth, doing something poorly is better than doing nothing at all.
  • Your brain is wired to notice and pick up on things that you have deemed important.
    • This seems simple but has enormous implications. When you repeat things to yourself over and over, your brain thinks they’re important and starts noticing and picking up on things that align with those thoughts…no matter what they are. Sometimes your brain will even misinterpret things that it’s perceiving to cause it to align with what you’ve deemed important.
    • This goes back to the thoughts you are having every day. Are they good? Are they helpful?
  • Very few successes ever taught important lessons. The lessons come from the unsuccessful. The nuances of success can only be understood and appreciated after they have been discovered through trial and error. If you succeed on your first try, there’s no way to be sure why or whether it is repeatable.
  • You can’t export what you don’t own
    • Things need to happen IN you before they can happen THROUGH you
  • We, as humans, are more alike than we are different
    • Our similarities bring us together and create connection and community.
    • Our differences provide the opportunity to serve one another in wonderful and unique ways

The common thread through most of these truths is awareness and intentionality. You have to increase your awareness of yourself, your thoughts, your choices, your actions,  your reactions, and your inactions SO THAT you can become more intentional about them. Don’t fall asleep at the wheel of life only to wake up and realize that you missed out. Worst case scenario when you fall asleep at the wheel is lasting and irreparable damage and loss of life. Best case scenario, you arrive at your destination but you completely missed the journey. It’s a big gamble. We’ve all done some sleeping. I know I have. But it’s never too late to wake up and be intentional. You can do it. I believe in you!

Which of the 3 reasons brought you here today? I hope you will connect with me so we can celebrate the accomplishment of connecting 2 out of 7 billion people for a particular reason. That’s big. That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing this moment with me.

Accountability and Awareness

Last week I talked about how truth must be reckoned with. Today, I want to expand on that some more because there are some other implications that go with it. Each of us is accountable for the truth that we become aware of.

I find myself in a period of growth. If you have ever experienced a time in your life when something just clicked and things that you had struggled with for a long time suddenly became easier, then you know what I’m talking about. For me, the thing that “clicked” was in regard to my understanding of ownership. Specifically, approaching the things in my life with an ownership mindset. Holding myself to a standard of performance that would only be expected of an owner. I had spent years with the wrong view of this concept and it tainted my ability to show up in my full potential.

Fast forward to today. It hasn’t been a very long time since this revelation occurred in my life but I am noticing some behavior patterns leaning toward the way they used to be. It would be easy to settle back into the old, familiar patterns. The problem is that I have become aware of truth that directly relates to this area of my life. As such, I am accountable for how I act on it.

Before I experienced this growth, I was already behind where I should have been in this area of my life and, while not free from blame, I can understand why I was behaving the way I was. Now I know a great deal more about what I should and should not do in this area. If I let myself slip back into the old patterns, I am no longer guilty of being immature in that area, I am guilty of willfully rejecting the truth of which I have become aware.

This is where intentionality comes into the picture. The euphoria of growth will wear off and you are left a new awareness, new expectations of yourself, and many of the same challenges as before. Create a question for yourself that you can ask in situations when you are tempted to slip back into old habits. I have started asking myself, “Is this ownership behavior?” It’s a short, simple question that helps me maintain the desired mindset and create opportunities for me to intentionally push through the moment with my desired behavior.

Be sure to acknowledge and label the truth that you are adopting and clearly identify how you want to act on it. Then you can create your control question that helps to ensure that you are intentionally acting in alignment with the truth.

Are there any truths in your life that demand action? Or are you stuck with results that are undesirable? Come check out how I can help.