Friday, December 15, 2006

Power in an Hour

by Dale Shumaker

The hit-home theme in The Power of an Hour is focus.
Author Dave Lakhani coins the concept "fearsome focus."
He shows how to be focused, productive and exceptionally effective in business and life.

As a trained kick boxer and SWAT Law enforcement officer, he learned how to execute high levels of concentration in very critical short episodes of time. When applied to our lives you can gain precise powerful focus. An hour is the best period of time to stay at one's peak in mental concentration and getting and staying in a great work flow. The rule is to organize the day in one-hour focused blocks of time. Here's his structures for doing it.

First you must discover where you need to change.
Clearly identify what you want to change.
Apply both critical and creative thinking structures for finding new solutions.
Identify the next steps and schedule change.
Take action.
Finally, you evaluate, measure and reward your success.

The process is much more powerful than appears. The power comes from following the processes precisely. The greatness of it is that it can easily be molded into our behavior to make it a functional style of work. Some see this as too simplistic. Although, if and when you do it, it works.

After you have identified what you want to change,
Lakhani gets you into the process for focus. This is his signature theme...fearsome focus.

The first four steps set the stage. This precedes the "delving into" part that gives you a fearless head start mentally.
1. Clearly define on what you'll focus your effort on.
2. Define, simple and clearly, the action steps necessary to accomplish the project.
3. Surround yourself with the tools, all the tools, materials, resources you will need while on the project. (This is so important as when you don't have them and break from your focus, you lose great amounts of mental momentum. This can break flow, which creates productivity power and helps you produce at extremely high quality levels.)
4. Do not allow distractions to divert your attention. (The 45/15 rule helps with this. Explained later.)
5. Launch into the project. When you have your plan for the project (#2) before you, you just start. You then move from step to step, dismiss distractions, and get right back to your focus.

6. Evaluate your progress by checking action steps, and instantly reengaging.
7. If you are confronted with interruptions, mental distractions, just acknowledge them. Do what you need to do to dismiss it and instantly reengage. "Instant" re-engagement is also critically important. With your plan at hand, you can do it... instantly.
8. Continue all action steps until completed.
9. Acknowledge completion and relax.

His 45/15 rule applies to all his processes, except critical thinking(where you stay engaged the full hour). Lakhani advocates working for 45 minutes on the project and then taking 15 minutes to send the email, return the phone call, get a drink, go to the restroom. He feels 45 minutes is a good momentum time, but after 45 minutes higher levels of quality effort begin to wane. So break, do a few other things, take care of the, email, or anything mental that is bugging you, or something you can handle quickly. This frees your mind for full engagement as you move into the next hour.

Now with your plan at hand, reengage again on the next project or the next part of the project you were on. Again, with your tools at hand, your next 45 minutes defined on what you plan to accomplish, you start.

Some ask about writer's block. He says with his method he doesn't get writer's block because you have prepared the brain to reengage. When you condition it to start... it starts. It gets used to just starting.

Tips for focus success:
--Schedule specific times that you focus. Try to make them the same everyday or week. Focus responds very much the same way to predictable times.
--Create an environment that supports your focus, and focus in that environment consistently.
--Expand your ability to concentrate. (This skill is learned by working through his book-- one hour at a time.)

"What specifically do I what to focus on?"
--Evaluate the areas of my company that I most want to improve and develop a complete plan with action steps to improve.
--Evaluate the information collected from previous questions and work through the answers to fully understand why I am undertaking this action.
--List the specific steps that are necessary to achieve the desired results.
--Add deadlines to each step.
--Note who will be involved in or responsible for each step if others are involved.
--Allocate and schedule the time for this action plan and associated steps to be implemented.
--How will you define success so you know that you've been successful?
--What is the one action step you can take this very moment that will initiate this action plan?

Then in the rest of the book he continues to lay the ground work for critical thinking, creative thinking, setting the stage, identify blocks, destroying blocks. He has a chapter for each of these.

He features personal areas: relationships, finances, self-improvement, mental vacation, life visioning, overcoming fear and reinvent yourself. Plus he has nine business hour chapters: business focus, time management, management, sales and marketing, customer experience, making connections, mentoring, giving back, the final hour and calling it a day.

All these areas can be assigned priorities for change. He leads you through making it an hour of power.

I have found in reading books, an hour of reading time at a sitting is the most productive, focused, mentally attaining hour I can have. It is better to split a more ambitious read in three separate hours during the day...morning, midday and late day. I can read most books in three or four days. The more you do it, the more your concentration increases to pull important information off the page. It's like anything...the more you do it, the faster and better you get at it. I overview a book, create a plan for reading and then stick to the plan. It works for me.

Dave Lakhani’s website is:

Life coach, Lora Newman, elaborates on how the law of attraction works the same way to bring into our lives what we focus on. It has strategic effect on us at work and at all times.

Where you focus will expand. If you think about your woes and worry about things that have not happened, you are putting energy into those things and likely to bring them about. The trick is to focus on and have faith about the things you do want. This breathes life into them and increases the probability of them happening. You find what you look for.”

Then there's the power hour to add to the list.
It's the power hour that Jesus used. It's the power that can come to you in Spirit. The power that over comes temptations, life's most cruel events. It leads you from death to live in everything. It gives you the power to live Super-naturally. A power that goes out to elicit every force available in the universe that will come jettisoning to your aid.

Jesus said, “Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Couldn't you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Mark 14: 37, 38, NLT)

Jesus asks... can't you pray just one hour.
Why is this so significant?
After His intense, highly focused hour in prayer Jesus was able to:
--overcome a beating that should have killed him... the most barbarous beating a person could face;
--carry a splintered, piece of wood on a back of raw torn flesh;
--then keeping enough composure in the most excruciating pain a person can't even imagine, asking God to forgive those who are doing this to Him.
This is just not possible in human means.
And it is not possible in a human context.

This is what the power hour can do. Jesus had the most incredulous experience ever.
What He faced and went through was unimaginably horrendous.
He even died... but more than that, remarkably... He didn't stay there.

The Spirit of God itself re-entered His body and He appeared in just three days to those who knew Him.

What's this all about?
It's about the Power Hour. Just one hour.
The same Spirit that Jesus had can enter you in the Power Hour.
The Spirit will come to you to strengthen you, and move you into a Super-natural life. This Spirit draws to you every conceivable and inconceivable force that exists and can come to you. All the forces that are available in the endless structures of the universe… come running to you.

This one hour, put in your routine of the day can mobilize the strength you need, deter distractions that may rob from you, and give you unfathomable results. This is the Power Hour in Spirit.

It is a focus on God's Great Spirit that brings you all you can imagine, plus more… more than you can even dream up. Add the Power Hour in Spirit. Tap into what Jesus tapped in to.

And no matter what you face, the seemingly unattainable achievements that loom just ahead of you, you can Super-naturally rise from the face of death to Super abundance in life. This Spirit brings love, happiness, contentment. Your day will walk in the Super-natural systems from above that control what is here on earth.

Take time for your power hour focus in Spirit
and see Jesus Spirit, death defying power
work in you!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Starbucks Experience about Knowing

by Dale Shumaker

The Starbucks Experience by Joseph Michelli...
5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary.
It is an idea that many thought would not catch on in America. Why buy European-style coffee costing $3 a cup, when you can get it faster and cheaper at your local convenience store. It has become a phenomenon of growth that is still sweeping America. Using the principles of "being" that establishes connection with the customer is the cog turning out more cups of coffee most could ever imagine.

Those who work for Starbucks are made to feel part of the company. They develop skills in people connection, respecting differences in people's tastes, and service beyond what they would normally be expected to do.They have gained loyalty with those who work for them by making them feel like they own the place. Everyone with at least 20 work hours a week gets health insurance and they can participate in the company's stock option program... which in other companies it is a special benefit only for the high level executives.

Everyone is trained in coffee fundamentals. They know coffee. According to Starbucks knowledge is power. When employees have the knowledge they make the company powerful in what it sets out to do. In light of this, the work force has grown from 100 in 1987 to 100,000 in 2006. The secret under the knowledge factor is the Green Apron Book. In this 100 page training manual, each employee masters the information and learns the art of "ways of being."

The ways of being are:
be welcoming
be genuine
be knowledgeable
be considerate
be involved

The 5 principles they brew throughout the company are:
1. Make it Your Own
2. Everything Matters
3. Surprise and Delight
4. Embrace Resistance
5. Leave your Mark

1. Make it your own. To do this they all embrace the Green Apron Book. They not only remember the names of the customer. They know them. They know about their families, their daily routine, their good and bad experiences, their loves and dislikes... The process taught is connect, discover, and respond. Do for the customer what matters to them based on what you know is important to them.

They also know their business. Starbucks teaches coffee. What it is; where they get it; why they roast it the way they do; what it is good for. The "partners" as Starbucks calls them, are taught coffee thoroughly. The anthem they sing to is "be knowledgeable, love what you do, and share it with others." This is all part of the connecting reciprocation that goes on every day with the partners and their "friends" who drink coffee.

2. Everything matters.They pay close attention to detail by design. Everything in the environment matters...napkins, open space, floors, how they do it, what is served...skim, whole, half and half, soy milk. The details matter. Everything matters. The culture is fun... that matters. Details on customer's lives… that matters. Recognition for small things well done… that matters. Be playful and being profitable all in one... that matters. Starbucks looks at it all and it all matters.

3. Surprise and delight. Whoops! Showed up an hour before the Starbucks is scheduled to open. "Shucks, no coffee now." But wait. A partner opening that day sees you at the door, runs to the door, opens it and asks, "Want some coffee?" When you don't expect it, they want to surprise you. Give you a card on your birthday, a free shot and say "have a happy birthday"... now how did they know that.

The partners, in getting to know you, look for the little things to do that absolutely delight you. Just came back from a big exam, "hey how about some tranquil tea today to calm you down." Now was I acting a little stressed today?

The partners are trained to observe behavior and respond accordingly that will surprise you. Be attentive, see how you can help and anticipate surprises the customer will enjoy is a theme line. Be spontaneous and a delight for the customer. When there is a need...BAM... the partners see it and immediately fill it.

4. Embrace Resistance Motto: "Never try to beat them; Always try to join them."
Regardless of a customer's attitude, consider if a complaint is valid. If it is, respond in a resolving way. If a customer is unreasonable, try to be as reasonable as you can, and realize there is more to the complaint than maybe the complaint itself. Help them through it.

Complaints may be your best friend because they may let you know when you are slacking. These experiences can make you better, when responding to make things better from them, and they will bring you back more customers when the ways you handled it so courteously gets around. Make friends with potential enemies and make them your ally. Correct mistakes quickly.

5. Leave your mark. Starbucks has a social conscience. They are involved in the community, and encourage their partners to be too. "Corporate social responsibility should not be a fad, but in way global business is done. "

More on the author Joseph Michelli:

When you read Paul the Apostle,
it looks like Starbucks took some things out of Paul's play book:
“Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” (Romans 12: 15-18 NLT)

Relating to people is being happy when they are happy, consoling when they are sad and doing all things to live in harmony with them. The foundations for building great relationships come out of these principles. The issue is about knowing people, listening to them and responding to their likes and dislikes.

Quite simple actually, but it seems we get so much in the way in doing this. When in Spirit, dealing with people is easy. When we stay in love, the love of God with us, we respond lovingly to all things. The key area is "knowing."

Everybody wants to be known for who they are,
be known about,
and have someone care about what they know.

Jesus made a very stern comment on God's feelings about "knowing."
"Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, 'Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!' "But he called back, 'Believe me, I don't know you!' (Matt. 25: 11, 12, NLT)
"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it...."
"On judgment day many will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.' (Matt. 7: 13, 14, 22, 23 NLT)

Knowing is important in relationship and God is saying that if you don't have a relationship knowing Him for who He is, that He then doesn't know you. He knows us for who we are but "knowing" here is more than that.

Knowing is about having a close, intimate, interactive relationship.
Knowing God and God knowing you is an interactive intimacy. He is saying that if you are intimate with Me, I am intimate with you. He comes to us, but then we must come close to him. Those who seek Him with all their hearts will find Him the Scriptures say. Our Heavenly Father knows all our concerns (Matt 6:32).

All He asks is we enter in His Presence with Him. To really Know Him, just like people want us to know them for who they are. He wants us to know Him for who He is. He asks us to talk to Him and listen to His Divine thoughts of unlimited wisdom. He will share them with us if we just take time to get to know Him too.

The reasons people want us to know them are the same reasons God wants us to know Him. He is a personal person and wants to be known personally too.

Jesus did what the Father told Him to do. So Jesus explained, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. (John5:19, NLT)

Jesus’ desire was to know the Father and do exactly what He said. Again, we see the picture of intimate relationship… a knowing and understanding of each other, an appreciation for each other.

He wants to show us too and He wants us to see what He is up to. We can see this when we go into His inner presence and intimately interact with Him. It happens, WHEN you spend time there.

This Spirit brings the very Spirit of God close into our working, everyday activity of our lives. This is the Spirit Jesus had in all He did. Read all of John 5 and you see how He lived in the Father, and the Father lived in Him and He only lived to please the Father.
" I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me."
" Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life."

Being loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, understanding are part of Spirit virtues
and since it IS Spirit, when we allow Spirit in us,
we Are that too.

When we know Jesus,
live in Him, He is us, we know Him and He receives us into the kingdom.
He will say... I know you.
But we must live interactively, intimately, listening to Him and following His directions only.

What is most important is what God thinks of you. Although when dealing with men, when you live in Spirit the Character of Spirit is a very sweet aroma to every one you meet. Everyone wants that. And in Spirit, you also "know" people, are naturally caring and will do things that surprise them. ( Because you "Know" them and know how to respond to them.)

Spirit in Jesus is the higher road and the path that leads to a knowing beyond our naturally abilities as is what Jesus is saying in John 5.

God already knows you. He wants you to Know Him, to be intimate with Him, in intimate communication with Him and allow your Spirit to have intimate intercourse in Him, in Spirit.

When we know each other, we express the Spirit of God. This is also a profound mystery. But taking time to know each other, living caring, and believing in each other, within that the Power of Spirit is manifested.

When we love, care for and live in harmony, the Spirit of God goes to work on behalf of all involved.

Live in Spirit. Take time to Know God. And express His love to everyone you meet, and the Greatness of God will be around you in a most surprising way.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Failing Forward to Spiritual Heights

by Dale Shumaker

Failing Forward by John Maxwell will guide you step by step in turning mistakes into stepping stones for success. It is emerging as a business classic text for bouncing back from setbacks.

Most everyone in the world who's achieved has a failure, set back, or major obstacle story. The average entrepreneur has 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business.

The key to overcoming setbacks is not so much about changing circumstances, but very much about how you respond and how much you will change yourself. This is one of the major differences between average people and achieving people.

Failing forward is changing your perception and response to failure to what would you attempt to achieve now. Failing forward is about taking responsibility, learning from each mistake, knowing failure is part of progress, maintaining a positive attitude, challenging outdated assumptions, taking new risks, accepting something didn't work and persevering.

Maxwell has a 15-step process for failing forward. The above was the first... changing your perception.

2. Re-define failure and success. Success is more about seeds you plant than rewards you reap. Redefine failure as the price you pay for success.

3. Tell yourself, I'm not a failure, I just failed at doing something. Get "you" out of the way. A failure does not make “you” a failure. Consider the seven abilities for failing forward. Achievers reject rejection, see failure as temporary, isolate incidents, keep realistic expectations, focus on strengths, vary approaches to achievement, bounceback.

4. Get moving, build momentum, maneuver mistakes, move on. Taking action removes fear.

5. Take responsibility where it is your fault. Be real, be honest with yourself, change, get going again. Wake up, but don't give up.

6. Don't let failure form outside you. Failure is an inside job. It's a state of mind--expect the best, remain upbeat, pursue solutions, believe in yourself, stay hopeful--keep a positive attitude.

7. Your past wants to hold you hostage. List the negative events in your life, then release them. Acknowledge the pain, grieve the loss, forgive the person, release it... say goodbye to yesterday.

8. Change your mind. See yourself clearly, flaws honestly, strengths joyfully, and strengths passionately. Win the self battle "to excel, do what you do well." Let others help in what you don't do as well.

9. Get over yourself--everyone else has. We punish ourselves, over play ourselves more than anyone can remember. Put others first, find out others' needs. Start giving of yourself.

10. Treat adversity as a friend. Adversity creates resilience, develops maturity, pushes you to greater performance, provides greater opportunity, prompts innovation, brings unexpected benefits, motivates. It's life's way of making you into who you need to be for greater success... in whatever that is for you.

Grasp the positive benefits of negative experiences. We over estimate the event and under estimate the process. Every fulfilled dream occurred because of dedication to process. Find the benefit in every bad experience.

11. Take risks. We avoid risks because of potential embarrassment, over rationalization, unrealistic expectations, unfairness, waiting for perfect time or inspiration. If at first you don't succeed, try harder. "I'd rather try something great and fail, than try nothing at all."

12. Make failure your best friend. Learn from it. What caused it? Was it really a failure? What success did I have? What can I learn from this? Can I turn it to a success? Who can help me? Where can I go from here? Learning is a change of behavior. So what action can you take now?

13. The top ten reasons people fail. Poor people skills; negative attitude; bad fit; lack of focus; unwillingness to change; short-cut mind set; relying on talent alone; response to poor information; no goals. Find your weaknesses and be willing to work on them. Use a friend for accountability.

14. The little difference between failure and success makes a big difference. Purpose fuels persistence, which you must have. Find compelling passionate purpose, eliminate excuses, develop incentives that motivate you, cultivate a die-hard determination. Write down your dreams, desires with compelling reasons, consider what could go wrong and personally commit to fight through every potential battle.

15. It is what you do after you get back up that counts. Create a new focus and plan to get back up and move forward. Create a new plan. Order your plans. Risk failing and take action. Welcome mistakes and willingly learn from them and change. Advance based on your character. Re-evaluate your progress constantly.

Develop new strategies to Succeed!
Stay determined, work according to a plan and keep getting up when knocked down. Get up, get going, get over it.

Be willing to be a constant problem solver. That's how you eventually get ahead. "Now, that you know how to fail forward, you won't have to give up either. Keep dreaming, and keep failing forward."

If a person would work on one step a week from these 15 steps, team with a friend, they can become a great over comer. Failing Forward is a superior resource for making come backs. More on Maxwell at:

When things go wrong, we don't always have the answers to why. There are many things we can start doing to explain things to ourselves and others. The Hebrew writer had an interesting view on this:

"Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever." (Hebrews 10: 32-34, NLT)

And then the Apostle Peter also shares:
"Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world." (1 Peter 4:13, NLT)

He acknowledged this as sharing with Jesus and we will see a wonderful joy through it as we Partner with Jesus. When you compare what the early Christians faced and some of our problems, ours may not seem as bad. But in other cases we may be facing some terrible circumstances in our lives, and we have comfort and direction in that others understand too.

Even beyond that, God Promises His very Spirit that overcomes all things. He promises the very Powerful Spirit that created everything to be there to assist us.

In all things, we always have Jesus Spirit right with us. Jesus said He will be with us Always. I believe the reason for the Spirit is whether alone, in trials, in undesirable situations, we cannot only know He is there but sense, feel, live in Spirit that Jesus Spirit is right there.

Paul reminds us that Christ lives in us.
With that in mind, and knowing that, we in faith have an irrefutable Power for overcoming anything.

How do we make that a living reality? Look at Hebrews 10.

1. We can spend time in the very Presence of God in meditation and prayer. In His Presence we receive His Spirit. His Spirit gives us strength to stand, take beatings if necessary, and to be powerful in action. Because His Spirit will then go before us. When we receive His ideas, His Spirit goes with those ideas we then carry out.

The opportunity is beyond explanation, but the discipline for getting absolutely alone in His presence is the hard part. If we can master it, its benefits will pour into our lives.

The promise: "we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. ...let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him."
(Hebrews 10:19-22, NLT)

This is not a small thing. In the old days, man was killed in God's Presence in the Most Holy Place. Now, we have the privilege to be right there with God. This is highly significant... a powerful promise.

We can enter the very Presence of God, all of His Power for strength, ideas, peace, hope is made available to us. It is the secret to accomplishing anything, coming back from everything. But it doesn't stop there.

2. In Spirit, in the Presence of God, we get ideas for ourselves and to encourage others, and others who do this then encourage us. "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works." (Hebrews 10:24, NLT)

So what happens there is we get incredibly great ideas, God shows us exactly what to do, and we get wonderful ideas for motivating others. We get help and it doesn't stop there, we in turn help others.

3. Meet and communicate to share these. Don't stop with the ideas but get together, call, email others and share with them, inspire them with what has come to mind from being in His Presence.

In faith move on this, because you got the very power of God
working on your behalf now,
and what you say to that person(s) will have wonderful results.... beyond your imagination!

What an incredible God Inspired system for inspiring others to greatness!

"…motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another," (Hebrews 10:25, NLT)

When we meet with someone else who does this too,
we have a fireworks display of ideas, strategies, creative solutions of problems, a wise track to follow, and the Almighty Power of God the Creator at work going before us.

Jesus suffered a serious blow. He was captured and killed. But miraculously He came back from death. His mission was not defeated. He lived again and his mission was an overwhelming success. We too can come back from seemingly total defeat with a success story people can't stop talking about.

We have a miracle-performance formula for moving forward from failures, defeats, and discouragements.

Enter God's Actual Presence;
get His ideas, power and direction;
and meet, communicate with, pray with others
for a motivational and enacting force that is the most powerful force with us from anywhere.

This is the ultimate personal process for failing forward.

We do not then get discouraged or give up.
We press on in the face of anything knowing we share in the Love and Power of Jesus and we not only endure suffering, but will overcome it with great victory.... some day!

When faced in difficulty,
go into the Inner Chamber of Spirit,

and you will over come and rebound overwhelmingly!