Preparing For 2012: 8 Step Plan For Growth

Prepare For 2012

2012 is on it’s way whether you prepare or NOT! Why not prepare and get on the path for a successful year? I will be sharing some things that I’m doing to prepare for a great 2012!

Part 1 of my plan is: Developing a plan for personal growth! I want to get better in my time management, communication & poise. To accomplish these goals, I have to have a plan! My plan for growth is adopting John C. Maxwell’s “8 Step Plan For Personal Growth.” I am committing myself to the process…read it & join me? I hope so…

Remember, this plan DOESN’T work if YOU don’t!

8 Steps Plan For Growth by John C. Maxwell

  1. Choose a Life of Growth
  • It’s said that when Spanish composer-cellist Pablo Casals was in the final years of his life, a young reporter asked him, “Mr. Casals, you are ninety-five years old and the greatest cellist that ever lived. Why do you still practice six hours a day?” What was Casals answer? “Because I think I’m making progress.” That’s the kind of dedication to continual growth that you should have.
  • You need to have an attitude like that of General George Patton. It’s said that he told his troops, “There is one thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying we are holding our position. We are advancing constantly.” Patton’s motto was, “Always take the offensive. Never dig in.”

2.  Start Growing Today

  • Napoleon Hill said, “It’s not what you are going to do, but it’s what you are doing now that counts.”
  • Why do you need to determine to start growing today? There are several reasons:

i.     Growth is not automatic.

ii.     Growth today will provide a better tomorrow.

iii.     Growth is your responsibility!

3.  Focus on Self-Development, not Self-Fulfillment

  • Rabbi Samuel M. Silver taught that “the greatest of all miracles is that we need not be tomorrow what we are today, but we can improve if we make use of the potential implanted in us by God.”

4.  Never Stay Satisfied with Current Accomplishments

  • My friend Rick Warren says, “The greatest enemy of tomorrow’s success is today’s success.”
  • It’s another characteristic of destination disease. But successful people don’t sit back and rest on their laurels.
  • Sydney Harris insisted that “a winner knows how much he still had to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; a loser wants to be considered an expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows.”

5.  Be a Continual Learner

  • The best way to keep from becoming satisfied with your current achievements is to make yourself a continual learner. That kind of commitment may be rarer than you realize. For example, a study performed by the University of Michigan several years ago found that one-third of all physicians in the United States are so busy working that they’re two years behind the breakthroughs in their own fields.
  • Henry Ford said, “It’s been my observation that most successful people get ahead during the time other people waste.”
  • Frank A. Clark stated, “Most of us must learn a great deal every day in order to keep ahead of what we forget.”

6.  Develop a Plan for Growth

  • The key to a life of continual learning and improvement lies in developing a specific plan for growth and following through with it.
  • Earl Nightingale, which says, “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.

7.  Pay the Price

  • President Theodore Roosevelt boldly stated, “There has not yet been a person in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”

8.  Find a Way to Apply What You Learn

  • Jim Rohn urged, “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.”
  • Successful people develop positive daily habits that help them to grow and learn.
  • “Something in human nature tempts us to stay where we’re comfortable. We try to find a plateau, a resting place, where we have comfortable associations with people, without the intimidation of meeting new people and entering strange situations.” (author and leadership expert Fred Smith)

Heart of A Leader: Handling Success & Failure


Don Shula, Hall of Fame football coach

Note from Coach O: More nuggets from Ken Blanchard’s book, “The Heart of A Leader”. Great stuff on handling success and failure. Enjoy!

“Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal” ~ Ken Blanchard & Don Shula, from “Everyone’s A Coach”

This was Don Shula’s favorite quote when he was head coach of the Miami Dolphins. It drove a great deal of his behavior during his long and distinguished career as the “winningest” coach in the history of the NFL.

Don had a 24 hour rule. He allowed himself, his coaches and his players a maximum of 24 hours after a football game to celebrate a victory or bemoan a defeat. During that time they were encouraged to enjoy the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat as deeply as possible. Once the 24 hour deadline had passed, they put it behind them and focused their energies on preparing for the next opponent. This is a principle well worth noting.

Don’t get a big head when you win or get too down in the dumps when you lose. Keep things in perspective. Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.

Coach O’s “3 Pointers” | Three things for us to consider:

1. Have you been a “big headed winner” or “down in the dumpster” loser? Think of 3 ways you can handle the highs and lows better.

2. Leaders/Coaches: Do you have a “24 hour rule” (love this concept) for your team? If not, you should consider implementing one, no?

3. What principle(s) can you proactively teach your team to prepare them for the inevitable successes and failures on and off the court?

Think on these things….and get to work!


I’m your partner in the pursuit of perfection!

14 Quotes Series: Orison Swett Marden

Mr. Orison Swett Marden, founder, Success Magazine

Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)

Note from Coach O: Orison Swett Marden, founder of Success Magazine, is also considered to be the founder of the modern success movement in America. He certainly bridged the gap between the old, narrow notions of success and the new, more comprehensive models made popular by best-selling authors such as Napoleon Hill, Clement Stone, Dale Carnegie, Og Mandino, Earl Nightingale, Norman Vincent Peale, and today’s authors Stephen R. Covey, Anthony Robbins, and Brian Tracy.

So, this week, my “14 Quotes Series” will take a different direction and highlight my 14 favorite quotes from Mr. Marden. I hope you read something that inspires you to pursue excellence!!

“A will finds a way.”

“Achievement is not always success while reputed failure often is. It is honest endeavor, persistent effort to do the best possible under any and all circumstances.”

“Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

“Obstacles will look large or small to you according to whether you are large or small. “

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”

“The Creator has not given you a longing to do what you have no ability to do.“

A strong, successful man is not the victim of his environment. He creates favorable conditions. His own inherent force and energy compel things to turn out as he desires. 

“Be larger than your task”

“Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.”

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”

“Many a man has finally succeeded only because he has failed after repeated efforts. If he had never met defeat he would never have known any great victory.”

“Unless you have prepared yourself to profit by your chance, the opportunity will only make you ridiculous. A great occasion is valuable to you just in proportion as you have educated yourself to make use of it.”

“Begin where you are; work where you are; the hour which you are now wasting, dreaming of some far off success may be crowded with grand possibilities.”

“You cannot measure a man by his failures. You must know what use he makes of them. What did they mean to him. What did he get out of them.”

The Myth Of Overnight Success


Success Comes From Hard Work & Preparation

One of my favorite books when I began my journey to improve my personal leadership development was “Diamonds In The Rough”, by Barry J Farber. I recently reviewed my notes from this book and have decided to share them with you periodically. The following are my notes from chapter 2: “The Myth of Overnight Success”:


The Myth of Overnight Success

  1. Being successful is hard in many ways; if it wasn’t hard, everybody would do it. When we look at successful people, we see the result of their blood, sweat, and tears – we don’t usually see the tremendous effort that went on before.
  2. Ordinary people expending extra ordinary effort can be whatever they want to be.
  3. There is only one sure-fire antidote for depression and that is action – meet challenges head on!
  4. Hustle + Confidence + Consistency + Competence = Success
    1. Hustle: give that extra 10% to go beyond what is expected of you.
    2. Confidence: the closer you are to your goal, the better you feel about yourself; the stronger you get and more likely to repeat successes.
    3. Consistency: practiced and repeated performance — which produces consistency of performance.
    4. Competence: confidence and consistency often lead to the discovery of abilities that we didn’t know that we had.
  5. “The secret of success is constancy to purpose” – Ben Disraeli
  6. Preparation is one of the cornerstones of any successful endeavor. Lack of preparation causes a lack of confidence
  7. Tips for getting ahead:
    1. Learn to analyze well: do research!
    2. Don’t be afraid to act!!
    3. Be a team player: give your employer allegiance & support. If you are frustrated and dissatisfied, go somewhere else.
    5. Don’t let success go to your head.
  8. Come early, stay late, work hard, play by the rules, and stay physically fit.
  9. Have the courage to stick with your goals and ideas, even if they don’t always pan out.
  10. Most people who don’t achieve as much as they want in life don’t fall short because of lack of ability; but because they gave up too soon!
  11. Give 100% all the time. Ask yourself after every endeavor: “Did I give my best?” Remember William H Danforth’s motto: “To be our own selves; at our very best at all time. Knowing you put in your best at work allows you the guilt-free pleasure of enjoying your leisure time.


  1. Improve everyday: Be yourself & at your very best in everything you do. After every task, ask yourself: “Can I do better?” Do all the little extras you’d rather not do. There’s one thing that everyone has in common: “There’s always room for improvement….”
  2. THINK: Most people don’t succeed because they don’t think. Sit down with a notepad and write down your goals & ideas. Come up with ways that you can improve the things you’re doing now, and ways you can work more efficiently in the future.

Get Started Now!

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Mark Sanchez, QB NY Jets


“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what.

Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

— Mark Victor Hansen