Thoughts To Live By…

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FROM 1996 to 2007, manager Joe Torre led the New York Yankees to the playoffs every year—winning an astounding 17 series in the post-season. Over those same 12 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers did not win a single playoff series.

This past season, Torre departed New York to coach the Dodgers. The result? The Dodgers won their first post-season series in 20 years, while the Yankees missed the playoffs altogether.

Ask Yankees and Dodgers fans, and they will tell you that Joe Torre’s leadership matters. However, they may not be able to tell you exactly why Joe Torre is an excellent leader. What’s true of the fans in New York and Los Angeles is true for many of us. We experience the effects of leadership without understanding the cause.

In this article, I hope to make plain why the best leaders are the best leaders. In a nutshell, remarkable leaders give their best to their people, and get the best from their people. Let’s look at how this happens.

The best leaders give their best to their people by …

1) Growing

People naturally follow leaders they respect as being more advanced than they are. For this reason, personal growth is directly proportional to influence. If you desire to gain followers, then pay the price of getting better.

To give people your best, you have to elevate your leadership capacity. Consider the metaphor of walking up a narrow staircase—you can only go as fast as the person in front of you. When leaders stop growing, they quit climbing and impede the progress of everyone following them. However, when leaders grow, they ascend the stairs and create space for those behind them to climb higher.

Personal growth involves challenging yourself, and pushing beyond the realm of comfort. When was the last time you did something for the first time? How long has it been since you felt in over your head?

2) Serving

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
– Albert Einstein

Serving others is an attitude issue. Unfortunately, many leaders operate under a king-of-the-hill mentality. They attempt to pull down anyone above them in order to secure the top spot for themselves. In doing so, they clutch at power, grapple for control of company resources, and strive to dominate others. Seeing relationships as win-lose propositions, they ultimately burn bridges and isolate themselves.

The best leaders take an entirely different approach. Rather than dragging down anyone who threatens their position, they extend a hand to lift the performance of teammates and coworkers. They function with a mindset of abundance as opposed to an attitude of scarcity, and they wield their influence to prop others up rather than to elevate themselves. Over time, they are honored for the contributions they have made to the lives around them.

All leaders serve. Sadly, some serve only themselves. Serving is a motives issue, and the crux of the matter boils down to a simple question: “Who?” Does a politician serve the public or his pocketbook? Does a CEO serve to benefit her shareholders or to support her lifestyle? The best leaders set a tone by serving and prove they are deserving of being out in front.

3) Modeling

Growing leaders have something to share; serving leaders have something to give; modeling leaders have something to show. As VJ Featherstone said, “Leaders tell, but never teach, until they practice what they preach.” The best leaders embody their values. Their passion exudes from every pore and demands respect.

The best leaders get the best from their people by …

1) Listening

The smartest leaders realize the limitations of their wisdom, and they listen to their people in order to capture invaluable insights. However, leaders don’t just listen to gain knowledge, they also listen to give their people permission: Permission to challenge the process, permission to test assumptions; and permission to take risks. Nothing turns off an up-and-coming leader like the deaf ear of a superior. The best leaders don’t simply listen to incoming ideas; they proactively draw them out of their people. They listen actively, not passively.

2) Relating

Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand. To touch a heart, a leader has to be open to disclosing his or her identity by sharing personal stories and owning up to professional weaknesses. Mysterious or aloof leaders may be successful decision-makers, but they won’t get the heartfelt loyalty that comes from authentic relationships.

As simple as it sounds, making a person feel known correlates powerfully to their job satisfaction. In fact, Patrick Lencioni lists anonymity as one of the top indicators of a miserable job. Leaders dignify their people by studying their interests, learning about their families, and finding out their hobbies. Conscious of the power of connection, the best leaders refuse to be barricaded inside of an office, and they take responsibility for relating with others on a regular basis.

3) Teaching

Gifted teachers have a way of making students out of disinterested bystanders. The best leaders have an infectious thirst for knowledge, and they take pride in cultivating knowledge of their craft and awareness of their industry. A leader’s teaching ability depends upon ongoing personal growth. As Howard Hendricks said, “If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow.”

4) Developing

The best leaders understand the differences between training people for tasks and developing people to be better leaders.

The best leaders view their people as appreciable assets and prioritize investing in the talent on their teams.

5) Motivating

After one of my presentations, an audience member approached me who was visibly indignant about my speech. “Why is motivation last on the list?” he demanded. “Well,” I replied, “because if you listen, relate, teach, and develop your people, then they will be motivated!”

Sustained motivation comes by creating the right environment for your people and by doing the right things consistently to nurture them. Consider a flower. It cannot grow in the Arctic; it requires a climate conducive to growth. Yet, even in the right environment, the flower must be planted in hospitable soil, exposed to sunlight, watered and freed of weeds.


The best leaders give their best to their people by …
1. Growing, 2. Serving, 3. Modeling

The best leaders get the best from their people by …
1. Listening 2. Relating 3. Teaching 4. Developing 5. Motivating

Author:  John C. Maxwell
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Unless you have extraordinary genes and a super-immune system, smoking tobacco will eventually have a negative impact on your health. But it’s not just the inside of you that will be affected by every stick you puff on. The outside of your body will also sooner or later reveal the harmful influence of smoking.

The skin of smokers can look prematurely older than that of non-smokers. This is not just anti-smoking propaganda but scientific observation based on several research studies.

For example, a 2002 South Korean study found that smokers between the ages of 20 and 69 had more facial wrinkles than non-smokers and ex-smokers of the same age.

A 1991 study found that heavy smokers (one to two packs a day) had five times more premature wrinkling than non-smokers. Smokers who sunned themselves one hour a day for many years had twelve times more wrinkled skin.

Smoker’s face
Dr. Douglas Model who observed that people who had smoked for more ten years shared common facial characteristics coined the term “smoker’s face” in 1985. The picture is not a pretty one (Source: Stop Smoking Today)

  • Prominent lines and wrinkles are usually noticeable emanating from the corners of the eyes (“crow’s feet”), even extending on to the cheek. The cheeks themselves may appear sunken.
  • Other wrinkle lines become etched perpendicular to the lips, with shallow lines forming on the cheeks and lower jaw.
  • Some male smokers may also develop a distinctive feature referred to as “cobblestone wrinkles”, which are wrinkles that run down the back of the neck.
  • The underlying bone structure of the face becomes more visible under drawn, taunt skin that has lost its elasticity.
  • The skin may take on a dry, tough and leathery appearance.
  • A mottled, slightly reddened, orange and purple complexion may occur. The smoker’s complexion may develop a grey, unnatural pallor because it is more atrophied than a non-smoker’s skin.

If you are in your twenties or thirties and think that your skin still looks good compared to your non-smoking friends, you are not quite in the clear. Research has found that the difference between the skin wrinkling of smokers and non-smokers becomes most apparent after the age of 40.

Skin damage
Smoking is believed to damage the skin in several ways. The heat of the tobacco smoke that surrounds a smoker’s face has a dehydrating effect. Long-term facial movements like squinting and puckering of the mouth may form premature wrinkles.

Anything that restricts circulation will affect the health of your skin. Nicotine constricts blood vessels by reducing their inner diameter so blood flow is restricted. Oxygen and other nutrients cannot be delivered as fast as they should be. The carbon monoxide produced by smoking binds to 12 percent of hemoglobin, meaning there is 12 percent less oxygen that can be carried in the blood.

Smoking destroys vitamins A and C, antioxidants that protect the skin against damage from pollution and free radicals. In women, smoking interferes with estrogen production, leaving skin drier than it should be.

Research also indicates that smoking damages collagen and elastin, two substances that give your skin firmness and elasticity. Interestingly, another study found that emphysema was more severe in smokers with wrinkles. The connection is still not clear though it may be because smoking hastens the breakdown of elastin, a protein responsible for elasticity of the skin as well as lung cells.

Hair and teeth
Adding insult to injury, smoking may also affect your crowning glory. There is some evidence that nicotine and cotinine can alter the DNA of hair follicle cells. Also, small blood vessels supplying hair follicles are constricted.

The American Academy of Dentistry reports that male smokers can lose 2.9 teeth for every ten years of smoking while the female smokers can lose 1.5 teeth. This is probably due to plaque buildup, which leads to periodontal disease. Another reason could be poor circulation in the gums and facial bones.

Other unpleasant side effects of smoking are yellowish, stained teeth, darkened gums, and breath like an ashtray.

Thicker waistline.
Male and female smokers usually have a higher waist-to-hip ratio than non-smokers even if they are of the same age and weight and even if they have normal body fat percentages. One possible explanation for this is that smoking increases cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that seems to direct fat to be stored in the abdominal area.

Vanity can be a powerful motivator to quit smoking and it can literally save your face. I know someone who quit in her mid-thirties. Now in her early fifties, she has much younger looking skin than her friends and sisters who continued puffing away.


Chances are, at some time in your life, you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution — and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change, but then not following through. If your resolution is to take better care of yourself and get your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) under control, you’ll have a much better year if your resolution sticks. Here are 10 tips to help get you started.

  1. Be realistic
    The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to never eat your favorite food again because it bothers your IBD could be a bad choice. Strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.
  2. Plan ahead
    Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.
  3. Outline your plan
    Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have one more cigarette. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your bad habit affects your IBD.
  4. Make a “pro” and “con” list
    It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
  5. Talk about it
    Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best case scenario is to find yourself a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.
  6. Reward yourself
    This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution. If you’ve been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, perhaps your reward could be going to a movie with a friend.
  7. Track your progress
    Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, say, focus on losing that first 5. Keeping a food diary or a symptom journal may help you stay on track.
  8. Don’t beat yourself up
    Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take each day one at a time.
  9. Stick to it
    Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. Your new healthful habits will become second-nature in no time.
  10. Keep trying
    If your resolution has totally run out of steam by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! There’s no reason you can’t make a “New Year’s resolution” any time of year.

By Amber J. Tresca,
Updated: December 7, 2008

If you are intrested to know some of the golden “resolutions” in life, just click: New Resolutions

December 2019
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