Thursday, July 28, 2016

7 Underrated Books All Leaders Should Read


 "Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers." (Harry S. Truman)

We must continually learn and one of the best ways is to read books.  I have previously posted some books for coaches and books for leaders.  Many of these books are by very popular authors and are on most bookshelves across the nation. 

However, I have put together a list of 7 books that you might not have heard of but can help you maximize your potential influence and increase your leadership skills.
  1. "To The Hilt:  Coaching Character for Life" (Kevin Templeton)
  2. "Quitter:  Closing the Gap Between your Day Job and your Dream Job" (Jon Acuff)
  3. "Zebras & Cheetahs:  Look Different and Stay Agile to Survive the Business Jungle" (Michael Burt)
  4. "iPOSSIBLE:  How to Achieve Success Faster in Whatever You Do: Turning Impossibilities to Possibilities"  (Benjamin Foo) 
  5. "Wisdom for the Busy Coach:  Volume 2" (Stephanie Zonars) 
  6. "How to Build and Sustain a Championship Culture" (Jeff Janssen)
  7. "The Advantage" (Patrick Lencioni)
Also, as a certified John Maxwell Team Member, I highly recommend any of John's books.  He is not underrated or unknown but some of his books may be like "Talent is Never Enough", "Thinking for a Change" and "Everyone Communicates but Few Connect".  You can get access to all of these books by clicking on the PRODUCTS link at www.JohnMaxwellGroup.com/JamyBechler

Jamy Bechler is a John Maxwell Certified Leadership Speaker, Trainer and Coach.  Contact him at CoachBechler@CoachBechler.com to find out how you or your team can be more successful.   You can also subscribe to his leadership insights & newsletter by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When Life Gives You Lemons; Make Lemonade


"A pessimist is someone who makes difficulties of his opportunities.  An optimist is one who makes opportunities out of his difficulties" 
(President Harry S. Truman)
 
It has often been said, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  Lemons by themselves are sour.  Lemons with sugar and water become delicious lemonade.

This phrase is a reminder to us about making the best of things that come our way. 

I tend to buy into this concept hook, line and sinker.  Author Charles Swindoll said “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to what happens to you.”  Things in life are not always going to go our way.  However, we always have a choice how we handle situations. 

It's the summer.  It's hot out.  We've got no pool?  No problem!

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

You Can't Please Everyone


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." 
(Dr. Seuss)

You can't please everyone! 


If you want to please everyone then go sell ice cream. 


Saturday, July 23, 2016

5 Tips for Better Communication


"Half the world is composed of people who have something to say but can't, and the other half who have nothing to say but keep on saying it."
(ROBERT FROST)

“If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.”
(MARK TWAIN)

  
Because I am married and I fly often, the following story is near and dear to my heart; 
A man and his wife had been arguing all night, and as bedtime approached neither was speaking to the other. It was not unusual for the pair to continue this war of silence for two or three days, however, on this occasion the man was concerned; he needed to be awake at 4:30am the next morning to catch an important flight, and being a very heavy sleeper he normally relied on his wife to wake him.

Cleverly, so he thought, while his wife was in the bathroom, he wrote on a piece of paper: 'Please wake me at 4:30am - I have an important flight to catch'.

He put the note on his wife's pillow, then turned over and went to sleep.

The man awoke the next morning and looked at the clock. It was 8:00am. Enraged that he'd missed his flight, he was about to go in search of his errant wife to give her a piece of his mind, when he spotted a hand-written note on his bedside cabinet.

The note said: 'It's 4:30am - get up'. 
Our communication with others may not be as dysfunctional as the couple in the previous story, but we all probably have room to improve in this area.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Enter to Win a Free John Maxwell Book

In honor of the presidential conventions going on this month, we think it is fitting to give away some copies of John Maxwell's "The Right to Lead". We will be giving away 4 FREE copies of John Maxwell's "The Right to Lead" book on Monday, August 1. We'll even take care of the shipping. 

To enter, text "Leader" to 66866. 
 
Everyone that completes the entry process will also receive a free eBook containing insights from John Maxwell Team Members.  To be eligible for the random draw and the free eBook, please enter once before midnight on July 31.  If your email is selected as one of the four winners, we will contact you in regards to shipping information.

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you stand on, we can all agree that our next president needs to be a strong leader.  In the same way, positive leaders are needed in our everyday lives.  "The Right to Lead" is another in a long line of Maxwell books that help us understand that importance of leadership.  

John C. Maxwell is considered the world's top leadership expert.  GlobalGurus.org has ranked him as the world's top leadership guru for 7 years in a row.  His leadership emphasis is adding value to others and developing those around you so that everyone can achieve their potential. 

Jamy Bechler sometimes votes Democrat and sometimes votes Republican, but he always votes John C. Maxwell as the writer of the best leadership books. Besides Maxwell books, to see what books he plans on reading this summer, then click here.  When he is not reading, Jamy is a John Maxwell Certified Leadership Speaker, Trainer and Coach.  Contact him at CoachBechler@CoachBechler.com to find out how you or your team can be more successful.
 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

VIDEO: Maximize Opportunities

Whether you are part of a team, business or family, you can improve your locker room, board room or living room.  

Do you want to improve?  Do you want to maximize your opportunities?

Success is a choice.  What choice will you make today? 

Thank you to Coach Micheal Burt and Bruce Lund for graciously allowing me to make this video from Murfreesboro, Tennessee headquarters of Micheal Burt Enterprises, The Greatness Factory.

  
Jamy Bechler was a college basketball coach for nearly 20 years and is now a certified John Maxwell leadership coach, speaker and trainer.  You can contact him at Jamy@CoachBechler.com.  You can also subscribe to his leadership newsletter by clicking here.

Monday, July 18, 2016

4 Reasons Your Boss is an Idiot

"Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others."
(John C. Maxwell)

We all have a boss. Even the President of the U.S. has "We The People" that he has to answer to. Many of us complain about our boss. Unfortunately, not all bosses are top-shelf. If you happen to be a boss, you also might want to read this so that you can stop doing some of this stuff if you are guilty of it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

People Notice Integrity

"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching you." 
(C.S. Lewis)

Have you (or someone that you've known) ever said something to the effect of 'It doesn't matter if I do what's right.  Nobody notices anyway.' or 'Nice guys finish last'.  Well, I have a little story that I always think of when it comes to integrity and character.

When I was just starting out an assistant basketball coach at Anderson University in Indiana, I got to know a guy named Lani Czarniecki. I actually rented an apartment from him and worked for him on the side. The apartment I rented from him had a bed that folded out of the wall. When I needed to make the bed, I just pushed it back up into the wall and what do you know . . . I now had a living room again! But anyway, I digress because this story is not about my room that was the apartment equivalent of an El Camino, but rather about integrity. 

You see Lani was running for mayor . . . 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

3 Things You Can Do with the Past


Everyone has a past.  Often times, the things that have happened to us shape our future.  We can do three things with our past.  We can LIVE in the past, we can DWELL on the past or we can LEARN from the past.  Whichever category you fall into may go a long way toward determining your future. 

Just be careful not to end up like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Undercover Boss

What if you were a fly on the wall in the break room?  What if you were invisible and followed your subordinates around all day?  What if you were in disguise and worked side by side with your employees all day long?  Would you learn startling new revelations?  Would you like what you heard?  Would you be happy...frustrated...or sad?  

There actually is a television show that sets up these scenarios in “Undercover Boss” on CBS.  I have only seen a handful of episodes as it is not one of my regular shows that I watch.  Anyway, I saw an episode last week about the C.E.O. of Rally’s/Checker’s fast food restaurants that went undercover as a new trainee at three different restaurants.  He was very adamant about having the best customer service and fastest fast food culture possible.  He felt that his company was doing well...until he got a dose of the real world of his restaurants.  

Through his undercover work, he discovered that there really was unsatisfactory training procedures—both for managers and regular workers; insufficient incentive plans; outdated equipment; and underachieving stores.  He even shut one restaurant down for a whole day so that they could get trained properly because he didn’t want them going through the motions anymore.  Because of this overall experience, he saw many things that needed to be changed.  He also gave away about $75,000 to employees.  Even though he thought his company was doing the right things, he realized that he was out of touch with what was really going on. 

I don’t eat at these stores and I am a die-hard Chick-Fil-A guy, but I was quite impressed with this C.E.O.’s sincerity and passion to improve his product and service even though it might be painful and costly.  

Do we have all the answers?  Do we know exactly the best way to run our office...our company...our institution...in all situations?  Would we be willing to change right away if we saw something that needed to be changed or would we wait until the next fiscal year...the next semester...the next billing cycle?  If we truly want to provide the best service possible, isn’t constant evaluation and change necessary?

Jamy Bechler was a college basketball coach for nearly 20 years before moving to Marion, Indiana to be the athletic director.  He is now a certified John Maxwell leadership coach, speaker and trainer.  You can contact him at Jamy@CoachBechler.com.  You can also subscribe to his leadership newsletter by clicking here.
 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Prepare to Win


July is here. That means one month left until the start of official practices for many athletes. How will you spend this month? Will you be prepared when October and November asks you to pay up for what you did in June and July? 

Bobby Knight used to say “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.
When I was a college basketball coach, I would say, "Basketball may be played in the winter but players are made in the summer."  The same is true for the other sports, as well. Great players don’t train because they love training. They train because they love winning.
Think back to last year? Did the last game end well? Did you have regrets? Do you wish that you had work harder or been more ready? Was the role on the team what you wanted?
Two years ago, our basketball team (of which I was the athletic director) lost in the opening round of the playoffs.  After the game, I spoke to two of the best juniors.  They were very distraught and there were even some tears shed. I commented to them “remember this game, remember this feeling…let it motivate you for next year.”  This year, they won the school's 8th State Championship. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

5 Leadership Lessons from the 2016 NBA Finals

The 2016 NBA Finals was one of the most memorable series in recent history.  It truly was historic.  In fact, last night ESPN re-aired their 30 for 30 entitled "Believeland", but this time had a new ending.  Cleveland has been the poster child for bad luck and hard times when it comes to sports having not won a championship in any sport since 1964. 

"Believeland" pointed this out, agonizly so, for Cleveland fans.  But all of that changed on Father's Day when the Lebron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers completed the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history and won the NBA Championship.  The Cavs were down 3-1 to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.  The Warriors were the overwhelming favorite with Steph Curry, the league's first-ever unanimous MVP winner (that's right...Magic, Bird, MJ, Shaq...they never were unanimous).

Watching this series unfold got me to thinking about a few lessons that we all can learn as we try to maximize our potential for success and become leaders in life. 

Here are five leadership lessons learned from the 2016 NBA Finals.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Enter to Win a John Maxwell Book

In celebrating the freedom that the 4th of July represents, we will be giving away 4 FREE copies of John Maxwell's Leadership 101 book on Monday, July 4. We'll even take care of the shipping. 

To enter, text "Leader" to 66866. 

Everyone that completes the entry process will also receive a free eBook containing insights from John Maxwell Team Members. 

John C. Maxwell is considered the world's top leadership expert.  GlobalGurus.org has ranked him as the world's top leadership guru for 7 years in a row.  His leadership emphasis is adding value to others and developing those around you so that everyone can achieve their potential.

To be eligible for the random draw and the free eBook, please enter once before July 4.  If your email is selected as one of the four winners, we will contact you in regards to shipping information.

Jamy Bechler is a habitual book buyer.  He reads many and gives some away.  To see what books he plans on reading this summer, then click here.  When he is not reading, Jamy is a John Maxwell Certified Leadership Speaker, Trainer and Coach.  Contact him at CoachBechler@CoachBechler.com to find out how you or your team can be more successful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Will You Reach for the Summitt with Your Legacy?

Today is a sad day not only in Tennessee, but across the nation.  

I first wrote those words in April of 2012, when she left coaching at the too young age of 59 after a legendary and unprecedented career and I proclaimed that she was the best ever.

This morning we lost one of the greatest leaders as Pat Summitt her battle with Alzheimer's type dementia.

There will be countless words written about her in the next few days.  She was truly a giant in the sporting world.  As a college coach, she influenced me directly and indirectly in so many ways through the years.  It was truly an honor to work at her elite camps and get to see her up close at practices and recruiting events that I would attend. John Wooden and Pat Summitt are the two coaches that influenced me the most in my career and I count it an honor to have spent time with both. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Reading Bucket List

"The education of a man is never complete until he dies" (Robert E. Lee) 

I am an avid reader of motivational, success and leadership books. I have written about some of the best leadership books and coaching books that I have read.  Each summer, I try to knock out a few new ones.  This summer, I plan on reading the following 16 books to further develop my thinking. 
  1. "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich"  (Timothy Ferris) ... I read this every summer!
  2. "Above the Line:  Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season"  (Urban Meyer)
  3. "The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy"  (Jon Gordon)

Friday, June 24, 2016

45 Motivational Quotes to Change Your Life



We all need a little motivation once in a while.  We all need to re-focus at one time or another.  I am a long-time fan of quotes or inspirational sayings that do just that and help me be more successful.  Here are some of my favorite quotes that have also been re-tweeted often by those on twitter. 
  1. “One coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.” (Billy Graham)
  2. "Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better." (John Wooden)
  3. "I will prepare and someday my chance will come." (Abraham Lincoln)
  4. "Don't complain about not getting a chance and then be unprepared when you finally do." (Joe Montana)
  5. "It has to happen on the inside before it can happen on the outside." (Jon Gordon)
  6. “Don't be a wheelbarrow ... only useful when pushed.” (Jamy Bechler)
  7. "There is no such thing as a 'small thing'. How we do SMALL things is how we do ALL things." (Brian Cain)
  8. "Don't focus on winning a championship. Focus on becoming a champion." (Jon Gordon)
  9. "The culture you create permeates everything you touch." (Tony Dungy)
  10. “If you want to make everyone happy don’t be a leader. Go Sell Ice Cream.” (Eric Geiger)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

College Recruiting & Social Media

It seems that every high school and college student-athlete is using some form of social media almost constantly.  With the advent of smart phones, it is easier now than ever before to communicate and share opinions and thoughts.  With this greater opportunity comes a greater responsibility to be wise.  

If a high school athlete desires to have as many good scholarship options as possible, then it is important that they are wise in their social media use.  For college athletes, if they want to have as many good employment options as possible, then they need to be responsible when they post to their social media accounts.  

I recently presented at the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s Student-Athlete Leadership Conference.  My topic was social media and college recruiting.  The bottom line is that the choices we make today will shape our tomorrows.  What do we want our tomorrow to look like.  We each have a brand.  We each have a story to tell about ourselves.  What are we going to tell the world?

Here is the power point presentation that we used at the conference…

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stop Being a 'BUT'

I heard an interview with MVP Steph Curry the other night after Game 6 of the NBA Finals, in which he made a comment that got me thinking about my pre-maritial counseling.  

Wait, what?!?  

You mean it's not natural to associate Steph Curry getting ejected and throwing mouth-pieces with pre-maritial counseling?  

Our pastor said to never follow up an apology with the word "but".  It devalues the apology.  It minimizes that sentiment after you say sorry.  How many times have we said something like the following statement?  "Babe, I am sorry that I yelled at you, but if only you _________, then I wouldn't have had to set you straight."

Friday, June 10, 2016

It Is What You Make It



"I am not what happened to me. 
I am what I choose to become."
(Carl Gustav Jung)

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.” (Theodore Roosevelt) 




 Are you going through a mid-life crisis?  "IT IS WHAT IT IS"  
Have you been passed over for a promotion?  "IT IS WHAT IT IS"
Is your girlfriend is a nag?  "IT IS WHAT IT IS"
Your parents don't understand you?   "IT IS WHAT IT IS"
You say your husband doesn't listen to you?   "IT IS WHAT IT IS"
Are the people around you are idiots?   "IT IS WHAT IT IS"

Hearing "It is what it is" makes me want to punch someone.  And then when they'd complain, I'd just say, "Sorry, but it is what it is"

Friday, June 3, 2016

Change the World Without Spending a Dime

"Be the change you want to see in the world." Gandhi

How often are you or someone around you negative about society, other people, or the world in general?  If only you had the power to change things.  If only you had money like Bill Gates, you could make a difference in life.  Well, the truth is that you can make a difference in this world...and it doesn't have to cost a thing.

First of all, you have to understand that change happens daily, not in a day.  It might not seem like you can make a difference but you can.  Every great fire starts with a single spark.  I encourage you to be the spark in your workplace, your family, on your team, in your community or in your school.  Mother Teresa once said, 
"I alone cannot change the world by myself, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples."
Here are 4 ways that you can make a difference in the world today ... and they don't even have to cost you any money.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Southwest Airlines Puts Employees First

All of us have jobs that we have to wake up for each day.  Do you like this job?  Is it a good place to work with a fun environment?  For one company, a CHAMPIONSHIP CULTURE has been built upon doing things a little different than the norm.

Most of us have flown before and have had the unfortunate experience of shutting off our portable electronic devices and listen to an unhappy flight attendance go over passenger information for the millionth time.  But, if you've ever flown on a Southwest flight, you may have had a slightly different encounter with a - dare I say - happy employee ...
“No smoking is allowed, not even in the toilets. Don’t be naughty in our potty. If you do there is a $2,000 fine, and if you had that kind of money you’d be flying United instead of Southwest.”

 “Your seat cushions can be used for flotation. In the event of an emergency water landing please take them with our compliments.”

 “We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately none of them are on this flight.”

"Although we never anticipate a change in cabin pressure... because if we did, we wouldn't have come to work today.... If you're traveling with a small child, what were you thinking? Put your mask on first and then help them with theirs. If you are traveling with multiple young children, assist the one with the most potential first and then work your way down."


Friday, May 20, 2016

Everyone Communicates; Few Connect

When I read John Maxwell's book “Everyone Communicates; Few Connect”, it was a jolt of lightning in my thinking.  How many of us send memos, emails, texts, facebook messages and tweets but don’t really go beyond the surface?

My brother and I can chat for 30 minutes on the phone and when I hang up, I can’t answer any questions from my wife about my brother’s family or what’s really going on in his life.  But, boy can I tell you his opinion on Michigan football or the Detroit Tigers.   

As coaches, salespeople, teachers or executives, how often do we talk and make our pitch but don’t listen or understand what others want?  I guess there is a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth.  We are constantly communicating but are we really connecting?  Are we really developing a true relationship with others?  

Ask questions.  Be interested in the other person and what they have got to say.  Understand their point of view. If we want to truly be people of influence, then we must learn to make connections with others.  

 Jamy Bechler is a certified John Maxwell leadership coach, speaker and trainer.  You can contact him at Jamy@CoachBechler.com.  You can also subscribe to his leadership newsletter by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Change is inevitable; Growth is optional


The world is always changing.  We are always learning more and more.  Technology is ever-changing.  Athletes are getting bigger, faster, stronger.  John Maxwell says that change is inevitable but growth is optional.  


My wife and I have lived in 8 places during our marriage.  We have seen different cultures, perspectives and belief systems.  Ironically, we have found that one thing has remained the same through the years…the world is in a constant state of change.  


Your ability to adapt to situations can lead to a higher level of success.  As a coach, I was faced with hundreds of decisions each game.  Some of them I was prepared for but many of them I was not.  I had to be ready to change course if need be.  That is life.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Encouraging Leader


Five years ago I was inspired by Mike Neighbors, an assistant coach at Xavier University, to begin a newsletter on leadership entitled THE ENCOURAGING LEADER.  Neighbors was doing a newsletter for basketball coaches and I really enjoyed it.  My entire life as a coach, I studied leadership and felt that I could add value to others with the insights that I had learned.  It started as a monthly newsletter but has since become a quarterly publication.  We have had some great leaders that have contributed over the years and I am so grateful for their generosity and willingness to write articles. For three years, I worked on the newsletter consistently but then in May of 2014 I took a new job.  I left a good college coaching job to become the athletic director at a traditional high school powerhouse in Indiana. It was a very grueling job and I put the newsletter on hold.  I kept coming up with reasons why I couldn't publish another issue.  The main one was "I am too busy".   However, what is in the middle of all excuses?  "U".  It wasn't the job that kept me from publishing more issues, it was me.  I was constantly making choices to push it further down my priority list. 

It takes time to put a newsletter together but every time that I put one together, it made me sharp and helped me learn more about leadership from many different perspectives.  Essentially by choosing to not publish the newsletter, I was taking away an opportunity for me to learn.  Just like Coach Neighbors newsletter, no doubt, keeps him sharp, at the same time helping others.  He is now the head coach at the University of Washington and they advanced to the NCAA Final Four this season.  He is a head coach in the Pac-12 and yet still religiously puts out his newsletter.  How inspiring is that?  That is one of the reasons that I decided to start being an encouraging leader again through the newsletter.  Click here to read the latest edition of The Encouraging Leader.  

Jamy Bechler is the executive director of U-Leadership and a John Maxwell Certified Leadership Speaker and Coach.  Contact him at CoachBechler@CoachBechler.com to find out how you or your team can be more successful.