LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg 2020 Announces Steve Harvey Emmy Award-winning Entertainer & Corporate Visionary

Steve Harvey is an Emmy® Award-winning entertainer, radio personality, motivational speaker, New York Times best-selling author, businessman and philanthropist.

From a young age, Steve Harvey knew that he wanted to be on TV. He held fast to his dream, against all odds for a stuttering African American boy in the 1960s, and his unrelenting pursuit formed one of Mr. Harvey’s life philosophies:  “You have to dream big and believe that you will succeed.”

Mr. Harvey’s entry into comedy was a leap of faith. He was encouraged to perform at an open mic comedy night in 1985. His performance brought down the house, and the next day he quit his job to pursue his dream.

But the road to success was not an easy one. It left Mr. Harvey homeless, living in his car and traveling the country for performances.

He never relented.

Today Mr. Harvey is known as “the busiest man in Hollywood.” But in addition to his work on radio, stage and screen, he is a...

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Pick A Worthy Rival!

I’ve been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember. I played little league for a few years and thought I had real potential. I could do everything except run, hit, and catch! Well, I guess that doesn’t leave all that much does it…

My great-uncle taught me a love for the game. And since he was a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox, I was too. Even as I child, I remember recognizing just how bitter the rivalry was between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees - and that rivalry often carried over between their fans too!

Looking back on that rivalry, I always viewed it as a competition to win the American League East and hopefully even the World Series each year; both very finite goals. If you follow baseball at all, you know that the first 25 years or so that I was cheering on the Red Sox were filled with utter disappointment…

Here’s what I never recognized since I viewed that rivalry from the perspective of a fan who wanted his team to win it all: while...

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Compared to Who?

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2020

In the last post, I made a reference to learning that the harder something is to prove the harder it will be to disprove. I also shared something a mentor taught me about there being very little value in being second best. To that point, I believe it was the late Dale Earnhart that referred to second place as being the first loser… I’m not a NASCAR fan so that’s all I’ll do in stirring that pot today. With all that in mind, I also want to call your attention to the point my mentor made about the importance of authenticity in everything we do.

If you don’t get anything else from today’s message, take that to heart!

OK Wes, got it… Where are you going with this?

As I closed that last post, I mentioned the idea of approaching our respective businesses and our own personal leadership journeys as though there’s no stopping point. We’ll look at specific action steps we can each take in doing that in the next few messages. For now...

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A Fight To Be The Best!

I can vividly remember back a dozen or so years ago to a time where an absentee plant manager would send a late night email to one of his minions on the local management team demanding a to-the-minute update on the various metrics we were all required to track on a monthly basis. He always expected those numbers to be presented at the 8:45a production meeting; never mind the fact that he sent his diktat by email around 10p the night before, most of us didn’t arrive in the building to even access his emails until 7:30a, and those reports typically required several hours to complete each month even when we had the necessary data to put them together… That’s when one of the management team members taught me an interesting lesson, “the hard it is to prove something is correct, the harder it will be to disprove…” 

That was also the day I learned that the majority of my peers had learned to pay very little attention to our absentee boss’s...

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A CheckPoint or the Finish Line?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 14, 2020.

Have you heard stories of people dying soon after they retire? In many cases, that seems to serve as motivation for considering early retirement and enjoying the time we have left. But according to a study I read recently on WebMD, folks who retire at 55 are 89% more likely to die in the ten years following their retirement than their counterparts who retire at 65… Well that stinks!

What about the statistics regarding how many people stop learning once they’ve completed the formal education? Now I’m certainly not one who just loves to read, but these numbers are absolutely shocking! According to a 2003 study by The Jenkins Group, “one-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.” That study goes on to show that “42% of college graduates never read another book after college.” While I’m not suggesting that learning can only happen...

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How Do You Play the Game?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 11, 2020.

In the LinkedIn article I published yesterday, I referenced the origins of a quote I had already attributed to Vince Lombardi. We’ve likely all heard some type of reference to the idea of “it’s not whether we win or lose, but how we play the game” but I was clearly confused about where it originated. (I did find an entire web page dedicated to actual quotes by Lombardi so we’ll probably be circling back to that in this series sometime soon…) 

The actual quote I was thinking about was from Grantland Rice in 1927 but even he was paraphrasing something from a Greek historian that was written nearly 2,500 years earlier. Rice’s words were “For when the great scorer comes to write against your name, He marks not that you won or lost but how you played the game.” And that 5th century B.C. Greek historian wrote this in reference to Olympians of the time “Tis...

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Win, Lose, or Grow?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 13, 2020.

Following the theme we’ve followed over the last few days, I’m going to challenge you with a question right out of the gate: WHAT do you think or feel when someone in a similar role or field as you’re in succeeds? Are you excited for them? Is there any sense of jealousy? Do you view it as them beating you or getting ahead of you?

Let me be very transparent here; this is something I’ve struggled with at times. And quite honest, there’s a lot of systems in place throughout society to reinforce a competitive sense in us when we see someone we view as a competitor doing well. The traditional thought process is that when they do well or gain market share, then we inherently must be doing poorly and losing market share.

Are your toes OK so far? This may be stepping on them a bit but that’s not my goal!

In The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek gives a number of examples of how many businesses...

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The Name of the Game

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 12, 2020.

Before we get started, here’s a quick heads up that we now have all the up to date details on the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg events posted at www.L2L-Harrisonburg.com and we’ll be adding new details as we have them. In addition to live, private, and virtual options, we’ll be providing EVERYONE who participates in any of these options with a special bonus at no additional cost!

Now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast!

I closed the last message by asking you if you had ever stopped to consider whether or not you’ve been playing the right game… Kind of an odd question, huh… While I truly believe Bo Jackson would have been one of the best Major League Baseball players ever had he chosen just that instead pursuing his football career as well, that’s not where I was going with my question!

Another way of looking at that question could tie back to some of the...

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Champions Aren’t Made in the Ring!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on January 16, 2017.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier once said, “Champions aren’t made in the ring, they’re merely recognized there. What you cheat on in the early light of morning will show up in the ring under the bright lights.”

In chapter 3 of Leadership Gold, John Maxwell makes a similar point. I realize I’m a bit biased, but I think his may apply to a wider group of people. In this chapter on defining moments, John offers his thoughts on preparing for the ones you’ll face in the future. He says, “One of the most valuable things I’ve done in my life is to make major choices before times of crisis or decision. That has enabled me to simply manage those decisions in critical moments of my life.”

So how does that apply to you and me? I’ll take a shot at answering the second part of that question. I’ll leave answering the first part up to you…

For me, Smokin’...

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There’s a Hole in Your Bucket!

john leadership maxwell Aug 13, 2020

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on January 17, 2017.

On the way to the office this morning, John Maxwell taught me something that I’m still trying to completely process. (I’ll bet you didn’t realize that John and I carpool almost every morning and every evening!) It’s a really simple concept, but I don’t think I’ve quite digested how much impact it really has…

Before I go into anything else, John doesn’t really ride with me. I do listen to some sort of lesson from him almost every day though. This one was from 1996; about four years before I had even heard of him.

I’ve heard John teach several lessons over the last few years where he talks about how time can’t really be managed. The one I’ve been through most recently has been chapter 13 of Leadership Gold, Don’t Manage Your Time, Manage Your Life.

Hopefully we’re all growing wiser with time, not just simply growing older. (That’s...

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