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Blame, Blame Go Away

never_give_up Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, recently showed his sense of humor before a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. He said that one of his predecessors gave him three envelopes when he took the office. He was to open the first when things got bad, the second when the situation got even worse, and the third if they ever got critical.

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So a while back, he opened the first one. It said, “Blame your predecessor.” Obviously Tony Blair wasn’t the person who gave him these envelopes!

Before long, the situation worsened. So he opened the second envelope. It said, “Blame the statistics.”

Recently, as things continued to get worse, he finally succumbed and opened the third one. It said, “Start writing three envelopes to your successor.”

Fortunately, he was joking. But it raises a serious point – the way in which a lot of people respond in crisis. First, fix the blame. If that doesn’t work, run!

Bigg winners respond differently.

Bigg winners say blame, blame go away. They focus on fixing the problem, not the blame. So much energy is spent trying to find out who’s responsible. Leaders focus on what the problem is. Fix that. Then worry about who should be held accountable.

Also, when faced with a serious problem, bigg winners don’t worry about what happened yesterday. We get so focused on who did what to whom. Today is what matters. What are you doing today … right now … to find a solution to your problem? That solution lies in the present, not the past.

But finding a solution is just the beginning. Don’t stop there. You have to act to make your solution work – the sooner the better. But be prepared … you may not have found the right solution yet. That’s okay. Test your solution. See what happens. If it doesn’t work, test another one.

Which brings us to perhaps the most important thing bigg winners do when faced with a problem – they don’t ever give up. As long as you’re still trying, you’re not a failure. Press on! See that wall that lies before you? Climb over it, dig under it, go around it, or plow right through it!

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We really appreciate that you took time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with us. Join us next time when we discuss how to be a career renegade. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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What Makes a Hero a Hero?

hero You’ve probably seen the photos and the news stories of the “miracle on the Hudson” Captain Chesley Sullenberger was able to save over 150 passengers by making an emergency landing on the Hudson River after both engines of his plane failed.

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He’s received accolades from across the country, including Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York and two Presidents – President Bush who was the President at the time this happened and now President Obama who invited Sully, as his friends call him, to the Inaugural Ceremony.

The story is fascinating. We heard over and over again how calm and collected he was. His coolness kept the passengers calm and collected too.

What makes someone a hero?

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission defines a hero as “a civilian who voluntarily risks his or her own life to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the life of another person.”

That definition fits the mission of their organization, but is it expansive enough?

We turned to Merriam Webster. Two of their definitions of a hero stand out:

  • a person admired for his or her noble achievements
  • someone who shows great courage

We crafted our own definition:

A hero is an ordinary person who does something
extraordinary for the good of someone else.

It is a gift, not a sacrifice (although it may involve sacrifice) in the mind of the hero. It is the opposite of narcissism, but it is definitely not martyrdom.

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3 steps to heroism

Do you want to be a hero? We thought about this and it seems to us that becoming a hero is a three-step process:

Heroism starts with an attitude
Almost all of us think we have a duty to prevent harm to others as long as it doesn’t cost us too much. A hero expands upon that attitude. They feel a duty to serve others – to do good – whether or not it costs them something. 

It continues with preparation
This sense of a bigger duty drives them to preparation. They have a drive to be ready when the time comes.

Going back to Sully … as the pilot of a plane, he knew at some point there might be a crisis. So he gave a great deal of his free time studying everything situation he might encounter. It was his duty to be as fully prepared as possible should a crisis arise.

It completes itself with an action
The act of a hero is the manifestation of an underlying attitude. The success of that act depends on the preparation for it.

Sully had to respond because it was his duty. But his response didn’t start when the birds knocked both engines out of his plane. It began years earlier when he began studying flying.

So when the situation arose, he was ready because he felt a sense of duty and he had prepared.

Heroes, heroes everywhere

Heroism doesn’t always show itself in actions that make the news. There are heroes all around us. That’s what we’re going to talk about in our next two posts. Next time, we’ll discuss the hero behind the hero.

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00313-012109.mp3

Related posts

Crisis Creates Opportunity for Great Leaders

Think Want, Need, Must About Your Time

pyramids We can place our spending into three categories – wants, needs, and musts. Last time, we applied these categories to money. Today we want to apply them to spending our time.

There’s a trap that’s easy to fall into when it comes to spending our time. We spend time how we want to, instead of how we need to. Then we end up with a must do.

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If you think of a pyramid, with wants at the base, needs in the middle, and musts at the top, we tend to focus too much energy at the bottom of the pyramid at the expense of the top.

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marylynnI may have a lot of things on my “must list” but I’ll zip over to Facebook to see what my friends are up to!

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georgeWhile we need to do quite a bit of research for Bigg Success, I can just get lost in it. I’ve already learned what I need to know, but I’m still interested so I just keep going.

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Why do we work on wants? Without a doubt, there are many reasons. The task at hand is difficult. It’s easier to work on something else. We may prefer to work on something else. It may be more fun to do something else. These are just a few of the reasons.

Start by defining

With our money, our musts are easy to determine – food, clothing, shelter and transportation. They’re a constant. With our time, our musts are much more flexible. They are things that are deadline-driven or crisis-related.

Our needs involve personal growth and interpersonal relations as well as activities that get us ahead of that deadline or prevent the crisis. Our wants then are everything else – generally activities that we like to do.

The time paradox

So why does this happen …

on those days when we have a full schedule, we get a lot done, but …

on days when we don’t have so much to do, we don’t seem to accomplish much?

When we’re required to really focus, we can get it done. When the pressure is off, we’re more likely to drift. We do what we want. If we’re not careful, if we don’t do the things we need to do, the needs move up to musts in the form of a pressing deadline or a crisis that could have been prevented.

Daily starter

So start each day with a blank piece of paper. Write “Musts” at the top, “Needs” in the middle, and “Wants” toward the bottom. Then, map out your day by making your list under each item. When you get done with your “Musts”, you can work on “Needs” and once they’re complete, you get to work on your “Wants”. It’s like a reward!

Musts, Wants, Needs – keeping these three categories in mind helps you best allocate your time!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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We really appreciate you reading our post today. You’ve heard of stepping stones … join us next time when we’ll discuss overstepping stones. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00287-121608.mp3

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(Image by Ahmed Rabea, CC 2.0)