I have to say that Mel Parker is an impressive man. The self-proclaimed ‘farm boy’ from North Carolina is a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger. He has gone on to have a successful career in corporate America and is now working as a consultant, coach and public speaker. Mel is also someone I consider to be a friend albeit a new one.
He smiles easily and is always eager to learn new things. He’s a sponge. He’s also one heck of a leader. Mel knows leadership and his book, the Parker Principles, will teach you a great deal about leadership in the 21st Century.
For Mel, leadership is serious business. He stakes his reputation on it. His 10 principles are unlike those found in other business leadership books. I found them very interesting and vital to the solopreneur and even the individual who wants to lead a better life.
They are no-nonsense, practical skills that anyone can apply to their lives to make it better.
So, what are they?
- Leadership is learning. If you’re willing to learn, you’re able to lead. Leaders who constantly learn stay ahead of the rest and show they are coachable as well as willing to coach and guide their teams. Learning will help them optimize their leadership savvy.
- Build trust by leading with authenticity. Authenticity is my core value. It’s not an easy value to live by because it requires that you be truly genuine all the time. Some leaders have trouble being genuine, but the truth is that you have to be to earn people’s trust and their respect. People follow people they trust and like. It’s that simple.
- Courageous Leadership – Dare to Dream and Dare to Fail. Great leaders dream big. They also aim high. When they don’t meet their goals, they take ownership and responsibility for the failing, but they also move forward and learn from it. A leader can’t live in fear. You must dream and have courage. Without those three things, a leader can never succeed.
- Leadership is Relationships. So many people forget this but relationships are everything in business and in life. The more a leader gets to know the people around him or her, the better off the leader will be and the leader’s team too. A leader should care about the people they come into contact with including clients or customers, teammates or contacts, potential or otherwise. Mel gives tips on how to take notes to show people you care and to remember the big days in their lives. They will reward you for your consideration and you’ll deepen relationships personally and professionally.
- Be a Great Listener. For those of us in helping professions, we know that it can be hard work to really listen to people. However, if you show them this kindness, they will repay it tenfold with friendship or business assistance. When you show someone you care enough about them to really pay attention to them, it’s a beautiful thing. Learn to listen and listen well. It could make or break your business or career.
- Own Your Power: No Excuses. Mel wants you to take responsibility for your own actions. You shouldn’t make excuses when something goes wrong. You don’t do it when something goes right so just accept what happened, admit to any mistakes and move along. You should also realize that you have the power to make things happen and can move the goal post forward. You are enough as you are.
- Embrace Humility. Humility is a quality that we don’t often associate with leaders, but perhaps we should. A good leader can admit that they don’t know everything. They need help to run their team or business. They require assistance from their team and rely on their team to have their back. They also have their team’s backs. Humble leaders are not leaders without backbone. They are leaders with heart.
- Believe in Something. Everyone needs to believe in something. If you don’t, you’ll fall for anything. A good leader has values and sticks to them. Leaders have integrity. They are authentic and genuine. Yes, you can be a good person and a leader. You don’t check your values at the door the minute you become a leader. You bring them with you and they are a part of your success.
- Be Strong, Fit, and Confident. A leader is strong inside and out. They take care of their bodies, their minds and their spirits. Yes, physical fitness is important. It’s not that you look like a supermodel, but rather that you have enough energy and fortitude to carry out your tasks. This will help you be more confident in yourself and make better decisions and a better overall impression on others, including the members of your own team.
- Be Enthusiastic and Optimistic. You can be both. You should be both. Leaders need to be optimistic but not blind to the situation. It’s an informed optimism that you should carry in leadership. Enthusiasm is hard to hide. A leader should ooze enthusiasm for their work and their life. It should shine through in everything they do. Why? Enthusiasm is infectious and carries over into team performance. An enthusiastic and optimistic team will perform better, giving you better results overall.
In the end, The Parker Principles – 10 Leadership Force Multipliers are very no-nonsense and full of common sense just like Mel Parker himself. If you haven’t read them yet, I suggest you do. It’s a great book for anyone, not just captains of industry.
For more information on Mel Parker, visit https://takethelimitsoff.com/.
Mark Manson pulls no punches in his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I loved this book. It talks about how so many of us feel entitled to things. At times, it’s hard to take. He turns self-help on its head. Seriously – and I’m a self-help junkie. I should know.
How does Mark do it differently?
Mark tells you that you shouldn’t care about everything. You should pick and choose your pet projects and causes. Give your fucks about things that are worth it to you and forget the rest. You don’t have to care about everything and everyone to be an ‘enlightened being.’ Basically, you have to care about the right things and stop caring about everything else. Focus and pay attention. No one can give a fuck about everything. It’s just not possible.
Guess what? You don’t have to be happy all the time.
Mark tells you in this book that happiness all the time is unrealistic. We, as a society, are constantly seeking to happiness. We’re happiness junkies and will do amazing things to avoid rejection and pain. Well, rejection and pain are a part of life and we need to embrace them and make room for them. They’re there and they’re not going anywhere. If we don’t deal with them, they’ll just keep showing up.
So, unlike most self-help authors, Mark tells you feel the pain. Be real with yourself and potentially with others, preferably people you are committed to and trust and who return the favor. The relief I felt when I read that I don’t have to pursue happiness like it was the love of my life was a great revelation. I thank Mark for this. Woo hoo!
Most people feel they are entitled to things.
We all hear about ‘entitlement’ these days. Mark has a different idea of what entitled means. He talks a lot about entitlement in the book. Basically, people feel entitled to live a certain quality of life and they go to great lengths to keep their illusions and delusions active while avoiding simple yet difficult truths about themselves. Most people will never change. That’s fine, but you can if you want to. Mark did. He recognizes that he was entitled as a youth. As an adult, he now lives a healthy and happy life with his wife and his business. This man gives plenty of fucks about things that are important and doesn’t give a fuck about things that don’t mean squat to him. He’s got it figured it out, and, no I’m not being sarcastic about it. Mark really does.
Why you should read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck?
Why the hell not? Frankly, you can learn a lot about what’s important to you and what’s not. You could afford to point the mirror at yourself and take a good long look at what you find. Sure, you may not like it all, but you don’t have to. You can feel unsettled; you can feel bad, and you can get depressed. It’s natural, normal and necessary. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is a great read for anyone who’s a bit burned out on normal self-help books. It’s a fresh take on self-help that I find very refreshing and extremely necessary. Check it out if you dare.
Marilyn Orr is my mentor coach. She’s helping me get my credentialing through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). I think she’s a hoot. She’s also a really sharp woman with a background in psychology. She had me pegged from day one. Yup! It’s annoying but also really brilliant. In her book, How Absorbent Are Your Shocks, she talks a lot about resilience.
How Well Put Together How Absorbent Are Your Shocks Is
I loved the way Marilyn put this book together. She uses the fuel tank/car metaphor throughout the book. In coaching, we often find that, by using metaphors, we can make difficult concepts more accessible to our clients. Marilyn is certainly no fool. She gets this. We all can understand that we need to put more fuel in our tanks to get the best out of ourselves in life, love and more.
There are a total of ten chapters. Each deals with a different aspect of resiliency. The first chapter is a basic overview of the process. At the end of each chapter, there are journal questions and an action plan. Marilyn does NOT let you off the hook. I had to do a chapter a day. I couldn’t really do more than that, to be honest.
Resilience is Serious Business
Marilyn shares a lot of herself in the book. You can tell this was a labor of love. She is an expert in everyday resiliency. She’s been through so much in her own life. She’s a fucking rockstar. You would do well to give her the time and attention that this book deserves. Do the exercises. Figure out the resources you have in your life and access them to live a better life during and after reading the book. Resilience can demonstrate how easily and quickly we rebound from less than desirable circumstances in our life. The more resilience we can muster, the better off we will be.
Have you ever had a bad experience in your life? Okay, you don’t have to answer. I already know. If you’re human, you’ve lived through some bad experiences. You’ve also lived through some good ones. You can bounce back from anything with a little help. Fill up your fuel tank with activities that really serve you and feed your soul as well as your body and mind.
Alright, even if Marilyn Orr was not my mentor coach, I would’ve read this book. I really think it’s helped me access some resources and insights that I didn’t know I had. I am meditating more and reading more. I am volunteering. I love to help others as a life coach and as a private person. I feel more motivated to live my life and take care of myself and others. There’s more room for others because I have more to give now. Resilience is a beautiful thing. Let Marilyn teach you how to access it for yourself. Read How Absorbent Are Your Shocks today.
In this book, You are a Badass- How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, rock star life coach, Jenn Sincero introduces you to her fun and badass way of looking at things. She helps you get out of your own way with a bulldozer. Jenn was recommended to me by my life coach, Clay Blacker. He did me a favor.
Why I really enjoyed You Are A Badass!
Jenn’s writing style is fantastic. She’s fun and not pedantic, but she teaches you a ton of shit. OMG. I learned so much from this book. I discovered that I was making my life so much harder than it needed to be. I just needed to get out of my own way.
Why did I take up the “Badass Banner”?
Jenn also gave me the courage to take up the badass banner. I am a badass and I own it. Jenn talks about her own journey in an honest and authentic way. I appreciate that and try to emulate her approach. She doesn’t sugar coat anything and expects you to do the work. Each chapter has exercises. I will admit I didn’t do them all, but I got so much out of this book that I highly recommend it to anyone.
In fact, I’ve given it as a gift to friends I feel need a good kick in the pants. I’m happy to let Jenn do it. She does it so well. I really don’t know what else to say about the book other than it inspired me and gave me the courage to move forward in my life and in this career. I was stuck. I was in a place of extreme self-doubt and negativity. Jenn’s book helped snap me back into reality.
You’ve got to want your life – Go for it!
I’ve learned that no one is going to hand anything to me. You shouldn’t expect it either. You have to go for the brass ring. You deserve it. You’re badass like that. If I can do it, you can.
If you get a chance, please read it. It could really change your life. If you’re not ready, wait until you are. You’ll get so much more out of the book if you’re ready.
R. Belldon Colme is an acquaintance of mine. He will be appearing on my Bariatric Badass podcast, which will air soon. I will have more information for you shortly. He’s a pioneer in the coaching industry. He’s a health and fitness coach who works with you on nutrition. I believe he knows more about nutrition than most nutritionists do and I know he knows more than most doctors or surgeons do.
He, however, is not a big fan of bariatric surgery. I plan to ask him why when he comes on my podcast. Basically, he seems that it doesn’t do the trick or help us to eat as well as we could. Belldon believes in a whole foods diet, a return to the eating we used to do intuitively before obesity became the epidemic it is.
He is also an opponent of “Big Food”. It’s like “Big Pharma” and it tries to keep us sick and addicted. Most junk foods are just that, junk. We shouldn’t be filling our bodies up with the stuff. It’s not to our best benefit.
Belldon tells us about how calories aren’t really a unit of measurement and we should stop counting them. They are a fabrication and a fallacy sold to us by nutritionists and big food to help keep us fat. He advocates a return to balanced eating. There are four food groups in Belldon’s Shiwu Zen. They are greens, vegetables, proteins and carbs.
You will learn all about getting adequate water and nutrition in his book. You will also find the best and most complete explanation of metabolism that I have yet to find. I find this book to be very interesting and engaging from the get go. Belldon doesn’t shy away from his own story. In fact, he presents it to you in such a way that you can’t help but realize that he walks the walk. As a coach, I admire that.
If you’re ready to read this life-changing book, go ahead. I encourage you. If you want to hear the podcast first, I’ll post links when they’re live.
Changing for Good is a textbook that we used at Rhodes Wellness College in my life coaching class. It outlines six stages of change. We were taught to meet clients at whatever stage they are at. The stages are:
In the precontemplation stage, people are not yet ready to make a change. They may not even be aware that one is necessary. As a coach, you must be gentle with people in this stage and encourage them to educate themselves on the possibilities of change. However, you must remind them that this is their decision.
In the contemplation stage, people may be thinking of making a change in the next six months. They are thinking about it and are open to learning more about what change would look like. You must reinforce that it is their decision and help them explore the concept in greater detail.
Preparation stage is when people are about to make a change. They are preparing for it. They may even have been making small changes to dip their toes in the water so to speak. You must help people in this stage to find decisional balance. This is when the pros outweigh the cons. You should also encourage potential change makers to tell their friends and family so that they can have support. People are worried about failing here and by helping them get support and have a strong emotional attachment to making the change, you can help them do it.
In the action stage, a person is taking actions to make positive changes. You must encourage them in their efforts and help them to reward their successes, even the smallest of the small. You must also encourage them to be gentle with themselves if they have mild slip ups. You don’t want them to get in a punishment mode. That is detrimental. Be supportive.
In the maintenance phase, a person has made the change and its fairly consistent. They have either stopped smoking for over a year or lost all their weight. (These are just two examples). To help the person in maintenance, you want to keep reminding them of how good their life is now that they’ve made the change and minimize the feelings of loss from making the change. Don’t let them idealize life before the change.
If someone relapses, you should encourage them not to punish themselves. They should pick themselves up and look at the incident. Ask them to be curious about what the triggers were that caused it to happen and help them brainstorm ways to act in the future should those same triggers or different triggers arise.
This book is a real life saver for anyone. I highly recommend it to my clients.