Eggers Leadership

Leadership, as defined by Merriam-Webster is:

– a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.
– the time when a person holds the position of leader
– the power or ability to lead other people

Eggers Leadership does not believe that this definition comes remotely close to defining leadership. As such, it is the purpose of Eggers Leadership to inspire others to truly think about leadership in a more proactive and productive manner. A person holding a position may be given positional power and even responsibility but that does not mean that the person possesses leadership ability or that he or she is leading anyone. Leadership is most definitely not about a period of time that a person holds a title or position. If a person walks into a forest do they suddenly become a tree? No! And unless there is a miraculous transformation, they will NEVER become a tree. This is the case with people who are given titles, positions, responsibilities and etc.. For a person to become a leader and display leadership, that person will have to continually grow and evolve into someone that others willingly follow. Thus, leadership is to a leader what apples are to an apple tree; proof of what you really are.

So, what is a leader and what does real leadership entail? That is to be fully discovered as we develop this blog together. However, in the interest of beginning the conversation, Eggers Leadership offers the following idea of where leadership begins and we hope that you, the readers, enjoy the journey!

– Leaders provide vision, inspiration, encouragement and opportunities for positive growth. Leadership is not about positional power, it is about transformational power and positive influence.

– A genuine LEADER seeks to develop themselves and others. A LEADER will always put others (their followers or team) first. Real leadership is about people and helping those people become their best selves.

– Leaders give the very best of themselves for the good of others!

MEC and Eggers Leadership: Always… Moving Forward!

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Do Not Be Your Own Hostage

 

When I was five years old I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. At that time, I knew that I wanted to help people so the answer was easy; a cop, a firefighter, or the military. I am not sure how it began but I was convinced that I was not smart enough to accomplish the things I dreamed of. One day while at a family gathering I overheard a conversation about a step-cousin who was dating a U. S. Marine and I remember thinking how awesome he must be. I also remember thinking to myself that I was tough but that Marines had to be smart and there was no way that I could be a Marine. Not realizing it at the time, I was on my way to taking myself hostage.
 Throughout my school years, I was mediocre at best. When it came to physically challenging goals or physically competitive events I had always been a “die before I quit” kind of person but when it came to learning and mentally challenging events, I often lost before I began. I was an athlete but I was no scholar. My grades for the classes that bored me were terrible while the ones I found interesting or easy were decent. A couple of my teachers seemed to share the same opinion of me that I had of myself. For instance, I had a math teacher while in my senior year of high school keep me after class one afternoon. I thought, “she is going to let me have it” but I was wrong. What she said was, “Marion, I can tell that you don’t want to be here and I don’t want you taking away from the other students so what you can do is just check in with me at the beginning of class and then leave to go do what you want to do. Since this is your last class of the day, you can leave school early and we will all be better off, what do you think?” Too easy! I was 18 years old, hated math since I felt that I was too dumb to learn it and with the teacher willing to let me slip into the, “he is going nowhere file”…. I thought, GREAT IDEA! I graduated in the lower half of my class and moved into the next phase of life.

 When I began attending the local community college (I avoided the SAT therefore denying myself an opportunity to attend a 4 year university) I was not in the mood to attend classes. What I wanted was to become a North Carolina Highway Patrol Officer but I could not attend trooper school until I was twenty years old. As my self-talk continued to say things like, “you’re too dumb for this,” “I can’t even…,” “this is impossible,” “I’ll never be able to do this,” and blah, blah, blah… I was binding myself with the chains and ropes of my inner voice. By October, I was well into failing EVERY class. The one place I enjoyed (oddly enough) was the library. I enjoyed reading things that were interesting or fun for me so I would be in the library skipping classes that I had paid to attend. (I shake my head in this moment as I think about it.) But a desperation began creeping in. I really did want to help people and I really did want to be part of something great. As I sat in the library reading a Marine Corps magazine called “Leatherneck” I could feel a burning desire grow. A thought crossed my mind, “I could not go to trooper school until I was twenty but I could go to Marine Corps boot camp now.” The inner voice finally said something different, “you will never know if you do not try!” {Pause Story}

 Before we go further, we need to clarify that statements that begin with –

 I can’t…

I could never…

That’s impossible…

I’m not able…

If only I…

 are self-imposed prison sentences. The way we begin the statements for the excuses that we believe are the reasons we are unable to attain the dream life we desire is virtually endless. In more cases than we want to count, we become our own hostage. What we tell ourselves often restrains, silences and locks away our abilities to become the successful people that we desire to be, therefore, taking ourselves hostage. What can we do about it? {Resume Story}

 With the slightest change in the way I thought and phrases of self-talk, I began a somewhat lengthy but steadily progressive change. The first step was to survey what I said to and about myself and evaluate those statements against what I was doing. The result of those evaluations was that I absolutely met my own expectations and lived up to my own statements. I said that I could not and therefore, I did not. I said that something was impossible and then lived as if that were true never trying to make the thing a possibility etc. etc.. Step two was to change the statements of my internal voice to, I am, I will, I can and I will not be defeated. Step three was the most fun…. DOING IT! Hostage no longer!!

 Here is what happened: (Note: I have had wonderful support from family, friends and mentors coupled with more grace from God that I could ever deserve during ALL of this.)

– I became a Marine.

– I married the love of my life.

– We had kids and have a beautiful, motivated and goal oriented family.

– I graduated one of the most demanding schools in the Department of Defense to become an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician.

– I have been led by some of the world’s finest and I have been able to lead some of the world’s finest.

– I have attained the rank of Master Sergeant as a Marine.

– I completed my bachelor’s degree (all math included) and graduated “Cum Laude” from Wayland Baptist University.

– I am taking graduate courses on my way to completing my master’s degree.

– and so much more than I ever thought possible when I was holding myself hostage.

 The reality is that I accomplished none of these things on my own. I do not believe anyone is “self-made” because everyone has teachers, friends, supporters, encouragers or something driving them but no one gets to the mountain top alone. However, there is one monumental truth that many fail to realize. If you are to succeed and reach your goals, YOU have to want it, YOU have to believe it and YOU have to tell yourself that YOU can, YOU will, that ALL things are possible; then, GO GET IT! If you listen to the internal negative voice or those voices of negative people, YOU will fail.

There were many trials for me and there will be for you too. There will be good days, there will be bad days. There will be days you feel you have no idea how to keep going, days where you are on top of the world and days that are so difficult that you cannot describe them. The trick is, NEVER QUIT!      NEVER LET THE NEGATIVE TAKE CONTROL. You are the captain of your ship and this life is meant to be lived to the fullest. From today forward…. No Hostage!

 M. Eggers

Always… Moving Forward!

Blind Leading the Blind?

Leaders who lack vision cannot be trusted. If a leader cannot produce direction to the destination or is unsure of the way forward, the cliffs of chaos are always just around the corner. 

Do Differently…

Disconnected Connections

In this self-serving, instant gratification period of time, we are losing the best of ourselves by not looking out for and reaching out to those we can serve.

At no other time in the history of the world have civilizations been more connected yet so far removed from others. We are disconnected from our connections.

EVERYTIME I have been to a restaurant in the last year, the overwhelming majority of couples, families, and groups sit largely silent while looking at some device in their hands and not connecting to the person/people who are sitting in front of them. Why?!

When you sit down to dinner with someone, that is a choice you have made. A choice to spend time with that person, to spend your time with that person. Be where you are. The person that you have chosen to spend your time with needs you. That person needs your listening ears, your smiling face, and your gaze of intrigue as they tell you about their day, their life, and their dreams. You chose to give your time to someone and that is time that you will never get back. Make wise use of your time and give generously to those who need you. If someone is not worthy of your attention, your full attention, they are not worth your time…. or, is it you who are not worthy of their time and presence?

People and time, in that order, are our most precious resources. If you misuse, abuse or ignore your time and people, you will soon be out of both.

Is it time to reconnect with your connections?

Always… Moving Forward!
M. Eggers

All right reserved (c) 2017 Marion Eggers.

Success Is Not An Accident!

“No one is successful on accident. Success requires deliberate action over and over again.” M. Eggers

Success has as many definitions as there are people. Having said that, success will never be able to be wrapped in a “one size fits all” box to be attained by everyone. As a matter of fact, it seems that many people do not achieve “success” because they have either created the wrong definition for themselves or have accepted someone else’s definition for success. For some, success means becoming rich and famous or owning a mansion and driving fast cars. For others, success is having a steady job and enjoying the same routine each day for 30 – 40 years and then having a retirement party. But the one thing that you can count on is that virtually everyone will have their own definition of success and no one can achieve that success without deliberate action over and over again.

Most everyone will have a moment of success or accomplishment but that is not what we are discussing. We are looking at what an individual must do to be a success in their own mind. When looking at our lives and evaluating whether we are successful or not, we must look at periods of time. Perhaps we look at the majority of our lives or even the entirety but we must realize that we have moments of failure, happiness, frustration, joy, anger, love, hate, lapses in judgement and an infinite amount of other terms that make up what we call life but we cannot simply look at one or two instances to determine if we are successful or not. In the evaluation of these time blocks we must conclude that we are doing well or not so well and then adjust what we have been doing according to what we hope to achieve.

The decisions we make determine the actions we take and the actions we take determine our destination. Mediocrity and success are both determined by decisions. One can decide to make no decision and take no action or one can choose to make decisions on taking deliberate action toward a particular outcome.  Either way, EVERYONE makes decisions that lead to their success or failure in achieving their definition of success. Of course there will be those that will make excuses. However, that is exactly what they are, excuses. Those who have been dealt some of the most difficult situations in life have overcome to become remarkable.

– Anthony “Tony” Robbins – A tough upbringing and home life, poor, and yet, currently, a massive success.

– Jim Rohn – Once so broke he lied to a girl scout because he couldn’t afford a box of $2 cookies and DECIDED that he would not, “live like this anymore.”

– Abraham Lincoln – Failed at too much to mention and became a world changing U.S. President.

– Sylvester Stallone – So broke he sold his best-friend (a dog), wrote the movie Rocky and ultimately became a massive Hollywood Icon. (Sly’s story is great in its entirety.)  

– Mahatma Gandhi – Lived a life of service, financially poor, and yet, once of the world’s largest influencers.

-Mother Teresa – Lived a life of service, financially poor, and yet, revered by world leaders.

And the list goes on and on……

If you think that you cannot reach your success, that you cannot attain great things, you are wrong. If you are not living your own dream and enjoying your life, you can. There are people all across the land who are not known to the greater public but they are happy, they are successful in their own life. They are successful and they are fulfilled. It can be you. If you are really living the life that you desire to live, great! Now, encourage others around you who are not living well to change. 

The world is full of successful people who, “did not have a chance,” to make it and yet there they are, living their dream. All of the aforementioned people have/had different ideas on what they wanted to do with their lives and what success meant to them but they committed to their idea, their purpose and through repetitive and deliberate action were and are massively successful.

The question is; have you decided that you are ready to be a success? Not the world’s idea of success, your idea of success. Have you created a plan for creating and achieving that success? Are you taking deliberate action in executing that plan and taking deliberate action over and over again? You can! You should! And…. You should start, RIGHT, NOW!

Always… Moving Forward!

Leadership Investments

Beautiful Investments

To Develop Leadership, There Must Be Investments!

Bob had been out in the winter cold for a few hours. By the time he had decided to go inside, his feet, hands and face were numb and he wanted very much to get warm. He stood by the stove thinking about how much better he would feel once he started to warm up. After about ten minutes Bob heard a knock at the door. His friend, Frank, came inside and small talk ensued. Frank asked Bob what  he was up to and Bob began to explain that he was trying to warm up from being outside in the cold but seemed to be having little luck. Frank chuckled out loud and stated, “Bob, I believe you would have better luck in getting warm if you had a fire in your stove!”

It may seem silly but this is a clear example of someone trying to reap a reward from something that he put nothing into. Bob had an unreal expectation of warmth from a stove that had no fire. For Bob, it would have been prudent to start a fire in the stove before going out into the cold and having a plan for keeping the fire going. At a minimum, Bob should have started the fire immediately once he came back inside. It was and is very foolish for Bob to believe that simply standing by the stove he would get warm. Everyone knows that if you want to receive warmth from a stove you have to put something into it! Warmth from the stove is a product of the investment made just as leadership is a product of the investment in the leader.

So what are we really talking about here? We are talking about leadership investing; putting something in and getting something out. One consideration however is what to invest since making the wrong investment leads to a less than optimal product. Dry wood into a stove will provide  heat as long as there is a flame to burn the wood. For the leader, he or she must possess the flame of desire to be a good leader in order to make use of outside investment. CEOs, presidents and those in charge of professional training can invest in programs for members of the leadership team but if there is no desire to use the information (the investment), there will be no positive yield. This is where we discuss leadership return on investment (LROI).

Here are some keys to having and developing the hottest leaders and reaping a high LROI:

– One cannot give what one does not possess. With that in mind, if leaders are to develop others, the leader themselves must have something to offer.

– A leader must INVEST in themselves.  (Before a company/employer makes an investment into a management/leadership employee they must know that the investment is not going to waste. While not a conclusive list, some indicators that a person is making an investment into their own success is that they are seeking an education, has a professional reading plan, attends professional and personal growth seminars etc. etc..)

– No one becomes great by themselves (regardless of how much one might believe he or she is self-made). Every great leader in history has had some help along the way. Leaders must realize that they are only as good as those who have helped them along the way and once in a leadership role themselves, the leader is duty bound to invest back into others.

Everyone involved in investing wants a generous return, a generous return on investment  (ROI) and investing in leadership is no different. We must make responsible investments into ourselves and into others. Not everyone will be responsible. Some will invest in people who have no flame of desire. Some will not invest at all. Some will be invested into yet provide no production, no LROI. Our investments in leadership are as important as any and all other investments we make and even more so since leadership has an affect on others.

The bottom line is simple with regard to leadership investment; if you’re a leader, you must invest. You cannot be a Bob and simply stand by a stove to get warm, the stove must be producing heat. Leaders must be producing leadership to influence and to influence well, you must continue to grow through investing in yourself and others. We must strive for a high LROI.