Stop Losing Start Winning

The greatest enemy many Next Level Leaders face is themselves. Every leader experiences hardships. Hardships develop a leader. There are situational hardships, relational hardships, cultural hardships, environmental hardships, and personal hardships. The job of a Next Level Leader is leading through each of these. It is a tragic moment to learn that the hardship faced is completely of our design.

In the early days of marriage, Kristy and I were both working. We had no children, rented a small apartment, and our expenses were low. They were low enough that my small income could cover all our bills as well as provide both clothing and food. This left Kristy’s entire paycheck available for saving or spending.

I wish I could say we developed a huge savings account and paid for our first house in cash, but that would be a lie. We could have saved, but we spent. We went places, did things, and enjoyed life.

The odd reality is that we never had enough money. When our car needed repair, we used a credit card. We outspent our income for years. Our reward was a large amount of credit card debt and no savings.

When we finally realized the cost of our actions, we were living in the wilderness called debt. No matter where we looked, there seemed to be no end to the vast wasteland. More devastating still was the understanding that we did not have to be there! We choose that way of living. We had arrived exactly where planned to be. This was a wilderness of our design.

We were losing, but we wanted to win! The day revelation dawned was the day we changed our plan.

The price of change is high, but it’s the only offer that has the possibility of a better outcome.

You created the wilderness you are living in. You walked there step by step through the choices you made. You carved the path with every decision made about money. You set its boundaries by determining which relationships you developed or let slip away. It’s time to change your plan!

Here are a few keys that allowed Kristy and I to revolutionize our life and lead a great team into success.

Key 1: Be willing to change your plan.

Many leaders see the problem they face but that the cost of change is high. The old phrase is, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” You are going to pay a price somewhere. You get to choose what price you pay!

The price of staying the same will increase the problem and offer no exit plan. It will maintain the status quo for a time, but it will all unravel.

The price of change is high, but it is the only offer that has the possibility of a better outcome.

Key 2: Make the commitment to work together.

Usually changing the plan means changing a lifestyle. Changing things that teams have become accustomed to is hard work. Changing the lifestyle of your team requires complete buy-in.

Be open about the situation. Don’t hide the issue, the plan, the cost, or the vision for victory. Your team cannot buy into a cause they don’t understand. Your team will not buy into a vision without a victory.

Key 3: Be bold enough to say, “NO!”

A leader will never progress without developing the ability to say, “NO!”. A plan will not change until you stop moving in the direction that is hurting your team.

Saying “no” to yourself first is the best way to lead your team into this new reality. Saying “no” to the team after personal sacrifice minimizes the negative impact. Their buy-in will mirror yours.

Key 4: Develop the strategic “Yes.”

You need wisdom for the strategic “yes”. Learning to say “no” will close the wrong doors. “Yes” takes advantage of the opportunities that are beneficial. Each “yes” must move the team toward the final goal of the organization. This means each must be specific in it’s intention.

Your life and leadership will go to the next level when you live with intention. The instant Kristy and I made the shift in our thinking life got better. Developing these four keys in your life will do the same for you!