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Who do you choose to be?

growth leadership Apr 13, 2020

I am sure that you are not a stranger to crisis. I know I am not.

About 5 years ago I took inventory of where I was in life and I can tell you it wasn’t pretty. From the outside, everything was great.

Had a job, beautiful wife and children, I was a homeowner … but in the inside something was consuming me. But at the time I couldn’t pin point what it was.

I’m an easy-going guy, so I just went with the flow of life. Soon to realize that life was happing to me and not the other way around.

At that point I knew something had to change. I was in a self-inflicted crisis.

What happened next changed my life and now allows me to do what I was meant to do, which is to transform people to a leadership and growth conscious life so that they can achieve significance.

So what was it? It was the true understanding of ONE phrase. I reverted back to a leadership book by my mentor John Maxwell... and as I was reading it again, it gave me a new perspective on what needed to happen.

And the phrase jumped out of the page like I’ve never seen it before.

It was like this phrase was in size 100 font and in triple bold and everything else was size 6 font. This had never happened to me before.

The phrase was: YOU HAVE A CHOICE.

After I read that it was like my inner voice was constantly repeating it over and over you have a choice you have a choice you have a choice what are you gonna do what are you gonna do what are you gonna do.

It was at that point that I realized the power our choices have over our lives.

I learned that Choice will always overrule. Always.

Fast forward to today, the choice to follow my heart and depart a toxic work environment has blessed me to develop the Center for Leadership and Growth and become an Executive Director for the John Maxwell Team.

I get up every day to serve God, my family and add value to others. This is what fuels me.

In this message I want to talk you about 3 mindsets we often discuss in my leadership masterminds and then help you answer the following question: Who do you choose to be during this crisis?

Keep this question in mind as I walk you through these.

Number 1: The Fear Mindset

This mindset is the most common one.

  • This is the person that searches and shares everything that they can find about COVID-19.  They get irritated easily.
  • They are negative, they're anxious, and they love to hoard toilet paper, food and medicines that they don't need.
  • They also like to act like a victim looking who to blame.
  • Their mind wonders constantly.
  • They don't have a plan.

Do you know anybody with this mindset? I am sure you do. 60-70% of world population have this mindset.

The fear mindset is the one that deprives us from success. I call this the stuck zone.

Number 2: The Learning Mindset

The learning mindset is one that I consider to be a transition mindset.

  • It's the one that people start to let go of control.
  • They start to get rid of negative emotions.
  • They start planning their day and making good use of their time.
  • They recognized that people were doing their best while facing an extremely complicated situation.

They're more aware of their health and also look for opportunities.

I want to say that there is a good 30 to 40% of people with this mindset.

Number 3: The growth Mindset

The growth mindset is my favorite... and surprisingly I would say that only 10% of people are here.

It is sad but it's a reality.

  • This is where people live in the NOW and have a clear picture of what's next.
  • They give a lot of importance too being grateful and appreciate everything that life has to offer.
  • They are intentional with their actions.
  • They add value to people instead of expecting something from people.
  • This is where leaders live.

So I ask you again, who do you CHOOSE to be during this crisis? Do you choose to be fearful? Do you choose to be a learner? Or do you choose to have a growth mindset in this crisis.

You see, in a crisis, real leaders show up.

They show up early, the show up with clarity and they show up with hope.

They are authentic.

They turn adversity into an advantage with the right perspective.

They plant the seed in the middle of the storm and the storm is over us right now.

I challenge you to turn this bad experience into a good one.

Be intentional. I was on a call with my mentor earlier this week and we discussed 6 ways be intentional and I want to share those with you right now.

1. Be intentional with your personal time… reading a good book (like one that will make you grow), staying healthy, eating right, etc.

2. Be intentional with your family time… think about the things you are going to do with your family. Have a plan. And if you can’t think of something, I will give you one… share what you are learning in this email with them.

3. Be intentional with those old commitments that you have been ignoring for a while. Renewing your car registration, paying bills, etc.

4. Be intentional in your adding value time. This is the time you are dedicating to the person that needs it the most. This could also be your customers. Think about what is more relevant to them and do that. Maybe is adding value to the most important people in their life, like their family and kids.

5. Be intentional with your Faith time. Ask yourself: What are you going to do? Show gratitude, develop your trust muscle, Carve out more Bible reading time.

6. Be intentional with your thinking time. How would this crisis make me better? What action will I take to improve my situation?

It is very important to have a clear picture on who we are going to be on the other side when this is over. I can tell you that perhaps it will not be easy. But everything worth doing is hard.

Some people say we will go back to normal soon, but I don’t think so. I think a new normal will be in place because a crisis never leaves us the same. They either move us forward or not. Have a plan that moves you forward.

I’ll tell you a quick story.

15 years ago I was stationed in Brunswick Maine. One day I was flying back from a mission early evening, and if you know Maine, it gets dark very fast in the winter time. It was a snowing, unusually cold and misty.

I was on final approach flying my C-130 and about 1 mile from the runway all of the sudden I hear thump thump thump. And the airplane sort of shook a little. I realized that a flock of birds crashed into the airplane.

The ground was getting closer, we were not in danger, and At that point I was committed to land the airplane. This all happened in a matter of seconds. After taxing the airplane back to hangar we confirmed more than 12 red spots on the airframe.

We call that a bird strike and a bird strikes has the potential of doing significant damage to the engines, similar to what happened with the Miracle of the Hudson and their dual engine failure event.

As a pilot, I had a game plan for that situation. I had already made the decision that I needed to land the airplane instead of going around a long time ago (in my emergency training).  That was the safest decision.

The same thing applies to leaders in a crisis. They already have a plan to lead through the crisis.

Take the time now to continue to grow and to lead your team, your customers, your family out of this crisis. This is your time to be an overcomer.

It is your choice.

To your success,



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