The above audio is a 7min. excerpt from my MLK Keynote Address at Darton College.
I recently gave a MLK Celebration Lecture at Darton College. The overall theme for the celebration was “What are you doing for others?” My talk was focused on one of the things that enabled Dr. King to be such a powerful servant leader—his skill set. His fight for truth and justice and his selfless service have left us many priceless lessons. I believe, however, that we can also gain wisdom by exploring his skill set.
MLK had a skill set that allowed him to:
— Communicate at an exceptional level
— Build powerful relationships
— Get people to believe in his values and vision
— Deal with an unimaginable amount of pressure, stress, and adversity
— Become a master of influence
A skill set that helps a person to embody those attributes is worth of study. Based on all that he accomplished, it’s easy to see that Dr. King mastered many soft skills such as leadership, public speaking, collaboration, teamwork, and teambuilding to name a few. For right now I would like to focus on 3 of the many soft skills that MLK mastered:
- Topics: 3. BROWSE BY TOPICSAudioCommunication SkillsGrit, Perseverance, DiligenceProfessionalSoft SkillsTeenYoung Adult
It’s Thanksgiving and I’m running around asking people if they remember the “Five Fat Turkeys” song. Nobody remembers. They’re just looking at me like I’m crazy. Lol.
Do you remember the song?
Five fat turkeys are we.[break]We spent all night in a tree.[break]When the butcher came ’round,[break]We couldn’t be found[break]And that’s why we’re here, you see!
In the face of great adversity, when life is trying to butcher you, if you can hold out and be as resourceful as five turkeys climbing a tree then you will definitely be alright. You’ll be singing, “That’s why I’m here, you see!”
Are you as resourceful as a turkey?
- Topics: Character DevelopmentDuncan Nuggets®Grit, Perseverance, DiligencePersonal DevelopmentProfessionalTeenVideosYoung Adult
A few years ago, I caught a glimpse of a talk show and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I started talking to myself. (Don’t act like you’ve never talked to yourself.)
Did I just see what I think I saw?!
Yeah, I did. I saw a two-legged dog walking upright like a human!
Now, I don’t know how you would’ve reacted, but it tripped me out. I was flabbergasted. The dog, named Faith, was born with two-back legs, but only one, severely deformed front leg. Because of atrophy, that leg was eventually removed.
- Topics: ArticlesCharacter DevelopmentGrit, Perseverance, DiligencePersonal DevelopmentProfessionalTeenYoung Adult
Before a recent speaking engagement, a superintendent of schools and I had a conversation.
“We’re glad you’re here. These students need some motivation.”
“I’m here to help, but I don’t really motivate people.”
“What do you mean? You get students motivated. That’s why we hired you.”
“Don’t worry. They’ll be motivated. I’ll do what I do best—give them tools to motivate themselves.”
“Oohhh… Well…I guess that’s even better!”
Yup. That is better because the person who is waiting for someone or something else to motivate him will be left behind.
It’s your life. Get motivated. From within. Self-motivation, also known as intrinsic motivation, is a valuable asset on your path to success.
Being self-motivated is one of the top characteristics that employers want in their employees. They want self-starters—people with initiative.
Self-motivation could be part of your competitive advantage.
Are you sitting around waiting for
somebody else to motivate you?
- Topics: Duncan Nuggets®Goals & ProductivityGrit, Perseverance, DiligenceProfessionalSoft SkillsTeenVideosYoung Adult
Here’s a cool little story about blame. Maybe you’ve heard it before.
“This is the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody knew that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
Consequently, it wound up that Nobody told Anybody, so Everybody blamed Somebody. And nothing got done.”
Unfortunately, there was a time in my life when I blamed anything and anyone else, except for myself, for my lack of success. Not cool.
You cannot blame your way to success.
Personal responsibility is required. Blame is the arch enemy of personal responsibility. Therefore, blame is lame.
Do you choose blame or personal responsibility?
- Topics: ActivitiesCharacter DevelopmentDuncan Nuggets®Grit, Perseverance, DiligencePersonal DevelopmentProfessionalTeenVideosYoung Adult
A professor once asked me, “Al, in your opinion, why do students cheat?”
“Because they have an ineffective strategy for dealing with failure.”
Think about that. When people don’t know how to deal with failure they’ll do anything to avoid it.
Nobody wants to fail, but exceptional people aren’t afraid to fail. They develop a strategy.
1. Forgive yourself. The Duncan Nugget® that I probably quote the most is #21: Failure is only permanent if you quit. I might get sad. I might get mad. But I refuse to beat myself up about it.
2. Master the lesson. Analyze what went wrong and don’t do it again. Duh!
3. Work hard to get better. Learn and practice what you learned. If you don’t know how to improve then ask someone who knows what s/he is talking about.
That’s my strategy.
Million Dollar Question:
What is your strategy for dealing with failure?
Q: Hi Al, I have a 20 y/o daughter who has gone through two semesters at school. Two different schools. She doesn’t believe school is for her so she wanted to join the marines but her test score wasn’t high enough. We live in [a very small town] and jobs are hard to come by here. I realize she’s not alone in her quest for employment but I don’t know how to help her. I am worried and scared for her. Anything you can suggest will be greatly appreciated. —Phyllis F.
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