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.

The importance of knowing yourself

Today, I have two quotes to ponder. They go hand in hand and they both deal with the importance of self-clarity. Knowing and cooperating with your natural design is the most effective way to be successful and satisfied in your life.


“It is always easier to do right when you know, ahead of time, what you stand for.”

— Unknown


I am reminded of the airline safety presentation. During one part of the presentation, they talk about how oxygen masks will fall down in the event of a decompression. If you have ever been on a plane, you know that they tell you to ensure that you get your mask on before you help anyone else with theirs. They know that you can be of no use to anyone if you become compromised first. This is very logical and I think that given the opportunity to think it through, everyone would agree with the concept. So why include it in the safety briefing? The reason is simple. In the event of that emergency, most people will not be able to think that rationally. So when you know, ahead of time, what is important, you will be ready to make the right call in the tough moments when the pressure is on.


“No one can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.”

— James Russell Lovell


Insincerity is noticeable. When someone is putting you on or shamming their way through life, it is evident. When you are insincere with yourself, you are be unavailable to add value to others. That’s all well and good but what does that insincerity look like? It looks like negative self-talk, a lack of humility, vanity, pride, and many other things. That seems discouraging but it’s not. We all have these moments and it is just in those moments, when that insincere self-interaction is occurring, that we are unavailable.

You were designed for a purpose. Knowing that purpose is an invaluable tool to maintaining a sincere and accurate self-image, which optimizes your availability for adding value. This reminds me of another quote. I know I said there were two but this one just sprang into my mind and it is very relevant. It is generally attributed to Albert Einstein.


“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”


The fish that believes he is stupid because he can’t climb a tree has an inaccurate self-image and is not available to use his natural design to add value to others.

I think that every person should take a class in introspection and self-reflection so they can learn to recognize those moments when they are inadvertently being fish out of water pouting at the base of a tree. Unfortunately, this is not a class that you can take in school but one you must seek out and invest in for your own good and the good of those you can serve by using the genius that you were designed with. My coaching practice is that class where in I can labor along side you as you discover how to identify, articulate, cooperate with, and grow the genius that is your natural design.

If you feel like you’re flopping around at the base of a tree, reach out to me below and we can get you back in the water where you can swim strong.

How far is your impact?

How far is your impact? The truth is, you may never know.

But of one thing you can be certain…YOU ARE MAKING AN IMPACT. The more important question becomes not, “how far does it reach?” but rather, “What kind of impact is it?”

What kind of impact do you make in the world around you? Is it good? Is it bad? Does it build others up or tear them down? Does it draw more people to you or push them away?

Every day, the choices you make with your actions and reactions, leave an impression on the people with whom you share that moment. You don’t always know who is sharing the moment with you either. I was once positively impacted by witnessing a man go out of his way to chase down a rogue shopping cart to prevent it from hitting someone’s car. When I say chase, I mean it. I saw him notice the cart begin its path. I saw him start to not bother with it (I wouldn’t have blamed him because it was pretty far away) and head to his car. Then I noticed his moment of decision where he turned back around and sprinted a good hundred yards to save the car in the nick of time. He didn’t have to do it. It wasn’t his cart. It wasn’t his car. But it WAS his choice…and it encouraged me. He had no idea that he had a positive impact on me. He had no idea I was even watching.

It is worth while to do the little things, even when you think no one is watching. The cart-chasing man not only impacted me, but now he is impacting you. The ripples of our choices can be extremely far reaching sometimes and we don’t even know it. Sometimes we find out quickly that we made an impression on someone. I recently read a story about two men. Man #1 was standing on the subway when Man #2 bumped into Man #1 while moving through the car. Man #1 said, “Excuse me” even though it wasn’t his fault. Man #2 rudely cursed at Man #1 and told him what he could go do to himself. Shortly after this incident, Man #1 arrived at work where he was a hiring manager. His first interview of the day was with Man #2.

Here is another story which I found here

“I went into a construction trailer one day to look for a job. Right when I walked in, the superintendent threw a piece of trash and missed the can. I picked it up, placed it in the can, and asked for work. Come to find out that he gave my name to another owner who hired me just because of that piece of trash.

I worked for him for ten years. Now, I have my own company.”

— Ken Beckstead, Cigarette Pollution Services

The good little things are worth doing. Not to get noticed or to get something in return, but to serve others as a good example. I am reminded of Gandhi’s quote,


“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”


I have written this quote off many times as being too cliche. More recently, I have found myself leaning on it quite a bit. He definitely had a good idea.

Go out there today and do the little things.

Who or What?

This week’s quote is from a guy that everyone should know. He ran the country during the Civil War, brought about the end of slavery, and coined the phrase, “four score and seven years ago.” You guessed it, it’s good ol’ Honest Abe. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying,


“Whatever you are, be a good one.”


I like where he’s going with this quote. It falls along the same lines as, “if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Or the biblical version that says, “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”

Something that differs here, in Mr. Lincoln’s statement, is that he uses a very key word, “be.” There is a key difference between “being” and “doing”. It seems simple and obvious right? Doing is what you do and being is who you are. Simple…in theory.

If I asked you the question, “Who are you?” How would you answer? Most of us will answer by stating what we do for a living. I’m a teacher, a welder, a pilot, a pastor, a mom, a dad, an athlete, or (my personal favorite) I’m retired. These are not who you are. They are what you do. Any one of those can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. You can be fired from a job. Athletes get injured. Parents can (heaven forbid) lose their children. These are all great things to DO but they are not WHO YOU ARE.

Building off of yesterday’s post we are all made with a purpose that makes us uniquely capable of adding specific value to humanity. Identity is the label container that is used to express someone’s being. It’s a container which holds that purpose, that value, and the portion of humanity that is supposed to receive that value.

The purpose that I was made for is to instill a generational mindset into the current and future leaders of the world. I am a Generational Leader. Learn more about that here.

So, WHO are you? Do you know your purpose? Do you know whom you are to serve with that purpose? Do you know what specific value you can offer them?

I would like to note that it is never too late to discover this about yourself. And once you identify and declare this about yourself, it provides such wonderful clarity in navigating life’s many decisions. I like to use one simple question as the starting point for every decision. Will this make me more of who I am or less? If you would like help in discovering this about yourself, I would love to serve you in that capacity. Just let me know below.

Whoever you are, be great!

Who are YOU?


I’d like help declaring who I am.

 

Success or Value?

Albert Einstein said,

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

I love this quote because it forces me to put being successful and being of value on opposite ends of the spectrum. Then I evaluate why it is right to do so.

The way I see it, striving to be a success is focused on self. Do others view me as a success? This is the kind of thinking that will drive someone to become a people pleasing sycophant. It is a trap that captures people in a behavioral cycle that anchors all of their self-worth on the opinion of others. That is a very unpleasant roller coaster.

On the other end, striving to be of value is something that focuses one’s energy on serving others. When people can focus on adding value to others, it causes them to look for needs that need to be met. This thinking acknowledges the inherent value of everyone as worthy to be served. Self-worth is a byproduct serving others.

The interesting thing is that when someone strives to be of value, success will follow. Success is one of those things that the more you go after it, the harder it is to achieve. Real success is a byproduct of adding value to others.

As I think through this idea, I stop seeing the two things as opposites, but rather one is a prerequisite to the other.

What do you think?