Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How's Your "Teach Me" Meter??

When people start building a LIFE business powered by TEAM, each is often confronted with brand new challenges; dealing with people has its way of showing us where we are strong and where improvement is needed.
What I’ve learned along the way is that acknowledging my imperfection, and embracing the fact that I needed personal improvement, has been the most liberating experience of my life. 
Before understanding that I wasn’t supposed to know or better, wasn’t capable of knowing everything, I used to argue to the death to prove my “rightness”.  (A “Socrates” I was not.) A good many nights were wasted with my arguing about how right I was and how wrong the other person’s opinion was.  Just ask Marc, he had a front row seat for far too long.
What changed?  There isn’t blog space enough! The short version is, I allowed myself to  embrace my imperfection.  And I want to invite you to do the same.
I just finished a LIFE top 5 book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, for the fifth time.  I think it’s my new favorite top 5!  Every page of that book is filled with wisdom- golden nuggets of pure genius in relating to people.  And guess what?  Not a single page is devoted to how to prove you are right and how to prove the other person is wrong.  There isn’t a chapter saying arguing is a good way to deal with people, and there isn’t even a word about how certain people have cornered the market on “rightness” while the other poor souls out there are roughing it ignorance. Instead every page of the book boils down to serving others over self.  I think that’s what that book is really all about. 
I believe the reason I got so much out of it this time, over the other four readings, is that my “teach me” meter is at an all time high.  And that is what I wish for everyone out there striving to improve and live for excellence.  Get a “teach me” meter that is off the charts!
I remember the day my “teach me” meter appeared.  It was the day I realized, like I said before, that I wasn’t perfect.  And guess what, I survived.  I not only survived, but I truly began to THRIVE.  I set myself free to learn from everyone around me, just like Emerson said, “Every man I meet is my superior in some way.”  
I began to realize that I could learn from everyone, and it didn’t take away from my own intelligence; instead, it allowed me to add to my intelligence.  By understanding I didn’t know everything, I actually began to learn so much more.  I began to grow in my understanding of people and how to relate with them.  I started to learn how to influence others. And since Orrin Woodward says leadership is influence, I started to become a leader.
Becoming a leader.  That’s what this TEAM LIFE journey is all about isn’t it?  Becoming a leader so we can influence others in the same direction we allowed ourselves to be led: straight to the truth!  

So take heart those of you starting the journey and feeling yourself in the challenge of the personal struggles.  Take my advice and open yourself up and get an off the charts  "teach me" meter!  Trust pays really well ; )
God Bless
Kristine xo

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Looking at the Circle of LIFE

Be sure you check out the article by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, the Circle of LIFE
I love visual things.  What a great way to look at our LIFE business.

In LIFE we need to work on our basics: the 8 f's.  The visual of the circle allows me to easily identify where I need to work.  Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, Friends, Fun, Following, Freedom.

I know sometimes I get myself caught up in working on everything at once.  If you're like me, you'll be happy to know that in the Resolved book you'll find great help on how to create a plan to start working on your circle so it's round.  Remember though, a plan is only step 1; choosing to neglect the other 3 steps (do, check, adjust) is a certain recipe for failure.

It's incredible to think our profession is building a business that focuses on helping people make their circles round!  Rounder circles lead to more joyful lives, which leads to stronger families, which leads to better communities, which leads to stronger states, which leads to more united know where I'm going.....which leads to changing to world!  Remember, start with yourself and make your circle round!

Don't forget though, LIFE materials give us knowledge in how to live intentionally for excellence, but they are not designed to teach us how to build a business!  TEAM is the #1 community builder in the world, and TEAM's system is designed to teach us how to build our LIFE business.

The information we need for success is at our fingertips whether it be rounder circles or big, huge businesses!  But awareness isn't life changing:  applying the information is.  Start today!  Apply the TEAM and LIFE materials into your life and make your business huge and your circle round and we may just make a difference in the biggest circle of all: Planet earth.  Wow.  Count me in!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our Children are Watching

Our daughter Kali recently had a writing assignment for her literature class.  I have decided to reprint it here, not because it's about me, rather because it's an excellent testimony for the LIFE business.

We have been in business with Orrin and Laurie Woodward since Kali was 5 years old.  Reading this proves to me building our business has been 100% worth it.

When I think of my dad the first thing that comes to mind is inspiring.  Many people, not just me, would think that. He has always been there for me and always gives good advice.

The Lord has used my father in my life in many ways.  As any father, God puts them in your life to teach you right from wrong and how to look at life.  But I think my dad takes it up a notch.  Well, first I think my dad knows more than most dads.  He doesn't just teach us how to live, he teaches us how to think, how to dream, how to make the right choices and the consequences of the wrong choices. He always knows just what to say and when to say it. He shows how a dad should be and what true love looks like with my mom.  What my dad does in his life shows me that you can do anything as long as you work hard and believe in yourself. 

I love my dad.  If I end up half of him, I'll be fine. : ) 

The next time you wonder if what you are doing is the right investment of your time, take a minute to think of the eyes that are watching your actions. We can all spout fancy words on what success is, what striving means and even what character should be.  But when all is said and done, unfortunately a lot more is said than done.  Choose today to be different.  Choose to show those watching eyes what success, striving and character is by your actions.

When Kali was 5 years old, I certainly was not the person she described above.  Over the past 9 years my daughter has witnessed her dad listening, reading and applying what he was learning.  Today, Kali sees the results of that effort and the impact it has on her life.  When I read the lessons my daughter has learned because of the effort, I realize it's priceless.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

LIFE launches!

Finally November 1st arrived, and LIFE launched successfully!  

The fact that yesterday came and went without a hitch is not a surprise for those of us who have been associated with Orrin Woodward and the rest of the LIFE founders. It's how leaders of character are: They do what they say.  Chris Brady said something last night that rung true to me.  He said that Orrin Woodward and the LIFE founders have always, to the very best of their abilities, done what was right for the newest members of the LIFE leadership TEAM.  And I couldn't agree more.

So the pre-launch and the launch are officially behind us now.....what's next?  Time to build our businesses.  Time to take our stories, our belief, our excitement to the people.  

There's no doubt that the LIFE materials have made a tremendous difference in my life: Faith- without a doubt!  Finance?  Oh yes! When my second second feels as good as my first second, I know that the Militellos are secure. Freedom?  Ask me about my 9 am wake up time!  OH YEAH.  Family? 4 amazing kids and a wife- blessed man. Friends- The BEST in the world!  And we get to build our destinies together. FUN?  Just hang out with the Revolution for  a minute!  FUN it is.  Following:  Nothing like the ROAR of the REVOLUTION REVOLUTION REVOLUTION!  Fitness....well I am working on that....thanks Bob McKenzie for inspiring me.  8 F's, all fulfilled with this one amazing profession!

As my mentor and friend, Orrin Woodward says: Success Never Goes on Sale.  While that is true, LIFE and TEAM have made the success journey one full of purpose and worthy of our best efforts. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nine Promises to Live By
One of my favorite times of the day is our family book study.  It’s a time of reading a leadership book from the TEAM LIFE Leadership system and sharing it with our kids.
We adopted book study into our family after spending time with Orrin and Laurie Woodward and sharing in the tradition with their family.  It has been a blessing in our lives since day one.
The blessing comes in watching our children as they learn to think.  After the passage is read, each child is asked to explain what he or she got out of the selection of the day with the focus of applying it to his or her life.  Oh the answers we’ve heard!  Sometimes they make our jaws drop in amazement and other times they make us bite our lip as we try to keep a straight face as the answers are, well.... creative!  It is priceless time and training.  
Presently we are reading John Wooden’s book, Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on and off The Court.   This book is packed with golden nuggets of leadership principles to live by.  I think the reason I  appreciate Wooden’s principles so much is they mirror those espoused by the leadership of TEAM LIFE.  Success principles are success principles, and Wooden is just another example of right principles achieve the right results: success!
Today’s reading was particularly good. The passage was called, Nine Promises That Can Bring Happiness.  Just the title alone makes one stop and think. Promises..... interesting choice of words.  From all I’ve read on John Wooden, I can’t imagine him as one to throw around words lightly.  That’s why the phrase: Promises that Can Bring Happiness, struck me.  After reading through them, I can see why he says that.  As I sat there this morning listening to Marc read, I let each roll around in my head.  
As I was thinking through the day, I examined my own life and asked the tough question, “How am I doing applying these in my life?”   I invite you to read them over and take time to do a little PDCA in your own life as well. I think it’s worth the time.
Nine Promises That Can Bring You Happiness, pg. 79
  1. Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.
  2. Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and that you value.
  3. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best of yourself and others.
  4. Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. 
  5. Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  6. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
  7. Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
  8. Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others. 
  9. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you


Monday, October 10, 2011

Good is the Enemy of Great

In rereading Jim Collins' book, Good to Great, I was struck by the opening chapter on that very topic and the simple difference between the two.

Good is easy.  Good is what most people do.  The path of good is paved with our intention of doing all we can for all the people we can.  It is paved with many interesting tasks to put our time into,  often doing what we enjoy or what makes us feel valued.  Being the chair of this committee and a member of that association and part of this league, which there is nothing wrong with, but when I see people get caught up in this mostly I see people who end up busy and wonder why they can't be great in anything.  Busying our lives pursuing so many different avenues often makes us feel tired and frazzled and not very intentional at all.  It  is really hard to give your all to something if you give your little to everything.

In thinking about the difference between good and great, the word intentional strikes me as the key to discovering how to move into the realm so many wish for, and what so few plan for: Greatness.  Greatness doesn't come in doing everything.  Greatness comes in doing fewer things but doing them intentionally. I have a lot of things in my life that I like to do, but I am intentional about the things I spend time on so I can continue to strive to be great.

Greatness is really about focusing on a few priorities and zoning in on the little things.  This morning, as I led my family in our daily book study of  Wooden, a Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court,  we learned about the simple value of the little things.  On page 64, Wooden tells the story of teaching grown men how to put on socks and tie shoes.  My kids thought that was funny!  Why would he teach them how to put on socks and shoes?  But what John Wooden knew, was that which was hidden in the little things is the intentional effort to be GREAT.   When you pick the priorities in your life and choose to go on a journey to be great as Wooden says, "Success is in the details."

I wasn't always aware that I was making choices that were keeping me good instead of great.  I didn't understand how being intentional about the choices I made and how I spent my time would make a difference.  It wasn't until I started in business with Orrin Woodward that it began to make sense.  The self directed education that I started on, one that included reading and listening and associating with others on the journey to greatness, was when I started to see the path was very different than I thought.

It isn't just that John Wooden cares about the little details, it's that he and the hundreds of others that have achieved greatness in their given fields care about the little details.  They care about being intentional with what they read, listen to, who they associate with and where to put their time and money.  The little details are what matter.  The little details determine the difference between good and great. 

Orrin Woodward( lives his life being intentional about the little details.  Every hour of his day is carefully crafted to be lived toward achieving his purpose.  Every book he reads is toward his purpose, who he associates with and what he allows himself to listen to all matter as I watch him intentionally pursue greatness by pursuing his purpose.   By watching and learning from him, I have begun to understand what it will take in my life to begin to live toward greatness.

I have a long way to go, but  every day I am intentional about the little things in my life.  What I read, listen to, who I associate with and what goes into every hour of my day.  Being on the  journey to greatness will always be better than being a part of the plethora of good.