Lead Consistently and Constantly

If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.
-Jesus Christ

Interior Of The Barbara Church In Pochaev Lavra, The Painting On The Walls - Jesus Christ Washes The

When I first graduated I had a very simple view of leadership. I thought the leader was the person who performed at the highest level. A mentor of mine took me aside and helped me compare the difference between the star player on a team and the coach. He asked me who I thought the leader was.

Rabbi Lapin’s fifth commandment to making money is to lead consistently and constantly. Lapin believes to lead others well is to always be following. Counterintuitive at first, he goes on to instruct leaders to align themselves under a greater purpose and follow it as others follow you. This can be a boss, a board of directors, a set of principles, an ideal, but not your own self interest. Never miss an opportunity to show that you are following something greater than yourself and you will become more and more worthy of following.


-A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

 

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.

 

 

Do Not Pursue Perfection

I want you to grab hold of this principle because it will change your life — if you will simply make the most of where you are, God will do the rest.

-Tony Evans

romantic landscape

In his fourth commandment to making money Rabbi Lapin suggests that we should not pursue perfection, especially at the expense of the practical.  Do not let a fixation with a perfect future distract you from the next best thing, which is in fact, the best thing – since of course, perfection does not exist.

I remember the first time I had an idea for a company that I knew would change the world.  Looking back it was so, perfect.  Perfect in its conception and birth.  Perfect in its infancy and perfect all the way through to its maturity as I laughed my way to the bank.  Like many first time entrepreneurs, when I first had the idea my thoughts on next steps immediately turned to raising money.  A magical meeting.  The perfect pitch.  Rainbows and unicorns and little bunnies that go for afternoon tea with foxes.

In the real world bunnies that hang around foxes get eaten.  In the real world ideas that wait on a magical meetings die.  I was so naive.  When I was out looking for my magical meeting,  focusing on money I did not have, I was neglecting everything I did have.

I got my magical meeting.  The pitch was perfect.  And the result: I got my first “not right now, but lets stay in touch, ok?”  Most investors do not say ‘no’.  They say ‘not right now.’  Which I believe is their way of saying ‘no, but maybe if you actually do something good I might say yes.’  Key phrase here being ‘do something.’

Once I decided to do what I could with what I had, it worked. I had all I needed to get to the first step.  And when I got there, the things I needed to get to the next step were provided.

Sometimes I think we are too smart for our own good.  From the starting block we can see three or four steps out.  We can also see that we do not have what it will take to get past step three.  A smart person then says ‘why bother starting until I have what I need to get past step three?’  A wise person knows once you complete step one you often learn what you thought about the next steps will likely change.  What you thought you needed, how you might come to have what you need, or even what the next step is…

If you have an idea for a quicker, better, faster but the resources for the ultimate are not available right now: do not wait for them.  Hack it together.  There is always a way.  If it works at all, if it is at all useful – you will be surprised at how quickly what you need to take the idea to the next level will come.  He is faithful.

-A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

 

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.

 

 

Get to Know Yourself

So much of life is choosing between things that are good and things that are the best.  

-Arnold Lovin

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

You are in business.  You are a business.  Your Name, Inc. is in the business of marketing and using its skills to add value to the market place.  And I have come to believe that the skills you have are one of the key factors in your ability to accumulate money.  Rabbi Lapin suggests creating an inventory of your skills and how others might find them useful.  I have also come to believe that experiences are the best way to gain skills.

Experiences can come in many forms.  The best, I think, are the hands on sort.  Build something or what have you – right.  But they can also come from watching someone else.  Or being intentional in talking with people and really listening when they tell about what they have done right and wrong.  I have this saying that a smart person can learn from their experiences and a wise person can learn from others’ experiences.  I am always working to become the latter – seems faster and better and more interesting.

Shortly after I was married I had several things going.  Too many things.  To those that cared about me it was quite plain.  They all seemed to wait patiently for me to come to it.  When I did, it was of course at the counsel of my most trusted advisor.  Vice Chairman of the Board of Michael Somers, Inc.  My wife is wise and beautiful and good and strong.  In her way she helped me understand I would be more useful to others if I focused.  I am so very grateful for Jamie.  She grounds me in a powerful way.  We make a powerful team.

When the things in my life were on the chopping block one of my mentors, a sitting Board Member, Jake Davis, suggested that I put all my things in order of where I was growing the most to the least and axe the ones on the bottom until I got to a point where I had enough margin to be most impactful. What a fantastic way to approach this situation.  I love how this process ties into Your Name, Inc.  Where are you growing the most?  Where are you building the most skills?  Where are you increasing the most in your ability to service the marketplace – to serve others?

-A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.

 

 

Extend the Network of Your Connectedness to Many People

God wants you to love other people.  You do so through service.  And He rewards you for it.  

-Rabbi Daniel Lapin

big tree root

 Rabbi Lapin explains that the Jewish word for love is, Ahav, which literally means: to give.  God wants us to love people by serving them and He rewards us for it.  So what does this have to do with networking?  Networking is meeting and learning how to serve people.

When I was going through my undergraduate studies networking fell into the bucket of ‘so overused it was beginning to lose its meaning’.  Or at least that was the case for me.  It seemed like it was in every top ten list to being the next king of the moon or whatever equally capable success article I was reading.  Luckily, one of my entrepreneurship professors cleared it up for me.  Dr. Noel told our class that networking is connecting with someone else so that you know what value they bring to the market and they know what value you bring.  In other words, you know how to help them and they know how to help you.

Once I had this understanding of networking, the advice I kept reading in business articles to ‘work your network’ finally made sense.  Help people.  Zig Ziglar says “You can get whatever you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”  I think he is right.

In his book, Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Lapin says that reward will follow in proportion to the lack of self interest we project while forming relationships.  In other words, are you here to help me get what I want or to have me help you get what you want?  One of those is a lot more attractive.  I will let you decide which one is which.

A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.

 

 

Believe in the Dignity and Morality of Business

“Take out a dollar bill and look at it.  Now pat yourself on your back because you are looking at a certificate of performance. If you did not rob or steal from anyone to obtain that dollar, if you neither defrauded anyone nor persuaded your government to seize it from a fellow citizen and give it to you, then you could only have obtained that dollar in one other way—you must have pleased someone else.”

-Walter Williams

The sun on dramatic sky over sea. Natural background. Forces of nature concept.

The setting is an elementary school classroom.  The teacher asks the children what they want to be when they grow up.  The first to answer, a little girl named Suzie, says ‘I want to be a nurse.’ – the class nods and smiles as if to approve her choice.  ‘What a nice little girl,’ the teacher thinks.  The second to answer, a little boy named Tommy, jumps up and shouts as if he can not hold it in any longer, “I want to be a fireman!” – the class thinks “good for him”.  And then there is the third child to answer.  Little Billy, feeling a sort of lumming pressure of an anticipated pending response timidly proclaims, “I want to be a businessman.”  The class is taken back, aghast.  What evil is this child conjuring?

Ok, perhaps, just maybe… I went a little too far.  Yet still the point I am trying to make, through the subtle art of exaggeration, is that I have come to believe and perhaps most will admit, that more would question little Billy’s morals than little Suzie’s or Tommy’s.  Why is that?

In Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Daniel Lapin draws from accumulated Jewish learnings to lay out his Ten Commandments for Making Money.  Rabbi Lapin believes the first and most important commandment is to believe in the dignity and morality of business.  His point: if you believe business is evil, you will have a hard time acquiring money.

Thinking about the classroom scene above and how subtlly the immorality of money and business is woven into our world – I wonder if it is worth considering why more of our youngsters do not aspire to go into business?  How come business is not viewed as a means to serve others?  To earn certificates of performance?  How come each dollar is not viewed as a testament of our ability to please others and make their lives better?

A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

 

What are your thoughts on the dignity and morality of business?

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.

 

Love

I have been doing marriage counseling for about 15 years and I realized that what makes one person feel loved, doesn’t make another person feel loved.

-Gary Chapman

Love sport concept - running couple kissing. Closeup of running

Seems like it makes sense.  Men are from Mars and all that stuff.  I know Jamie and I are different.  In The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman argues that people need different things to feel loved.  He presents five categories of ways to love and be loved.

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

The biggest takeaway for me from this book was that you and your significant other may be missing eachother with all the best intentions.  For example, if your love language is acts of service and theirs is receiving gifts, your natural tendency might be to do things for them and their natural tendency might be to give you things, because that is what either of you would like in return – but you would both be missing the mark.  Instead recognize that people appreciate different things, be intentional about learning those things, and do them even though it is not natural.

Jamie and I took the quiz in the book and we found it helpful – mostly I would say due to the conversation.  Here is an online version of the quiz.  We came out of it with a better understanding of what things the other appreciated.  This made it special when Jamie did so and so that I said was important to me and the other way round.  It made it easier to notice and appreciate.  To know what was required to love well.

 

a takeaway from The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

 

Any helpful books, takeaways, stories, lessons learned on this topic?