Thoughts on our new book - Expect to Win

-We started a new book, Expect to Win by Carla Harris this week. This book came to our attention when some of us attended a luncheon on February 22nd and Carla was the guest speaker. Her powerful speech motivated us to add this book to our list and start it in March, coinciding with Women’s History Month. As expected, this book generated great discussion on Monday and Wednesday around the first chapter topic of authenticity. Some of the themes discussed were the importance of authenticity in building trust, being authentic by acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, the difficulty in resisting trying to behave, speak or act the way you think others want you to and being silent when you need to speak up. As often happens, we shared moments in our lives where we were challenged with being authentic and moments where our authenticity influenced others. I am always enriched by our discussions.

Doug Taylor


by: Jody Cole, Wake-Up Leadership

Have you ever felt like you were just going through the motions of life? Does life seem mundane and cyclical day to day? If we are honest we all feel this way sometimes. We have so much on our plates that life can become overwhelming and all we want to do is make it through another day.  We call this accidental living, sleep walking through life. You are alive but are you living the life you always envisioned you would have? For most of us that vision has changed and continues to evolve as we move on through life. Our relationships come and go, some get married, some have kids, careers change, we get older, things are not as easy as they once were and the reality is, life generally will not get easier and as change is evident that evolving vision continues to morph either to adapt or to be left behind in successes but most importantly in significances. I don’t intend to be the bearer of bad news, the Debbie Downer if you will, but this is just the facts of life and the reality of how many of us are trudging through life today.  We are so stuck in the status quo that living becomes stagnant and we forget our purpose, we forget our identity and the uniqueness of one’s self. Sometimes we even forget to embrace the gift of life and don’t realize just how much we take for granted until it’s too late and we let the beauty of life slip by. At first it is slow and may not be as noticeable but then suddenly you get to a point in life and you are blindsided! You look back at all you missed and then you look ahead and realize how much little time you have left. The good news is that it is not too late to start living inspired and awaken anew the fire in you to be all you can be from this day forward! You can’t change your past but you can change how you live for the future. It is not about having time it is about making time!

The reason I write this blog is I want to share with you the intent of what Wake-Up Leadership is all about. Wake-Up Leadership is a call to Awaken the leader in you! Just because we are out of bed don’t mean we are fully awake. Most of us are going through the day to day motions of life with a “do I have to” attitude rather than a “I want to” attitude. We find ourselves sleep walking through life.

We are all leaders somewhere even if it is leading yourself, the question is, are you leading well, are you leading dynamically? Are you leading in a way that you should be leading to make a difference in the world, a way that influences others to want to follow you and to lead well? If you are not influencing others to want to follow and lead with an attitude of humility, love, respect, honesty, sympathy, integrity, confidence, and the list goes on and on. Then, maybe you should ask yourself am I truly a leader? Do I need to Wake-Up from accidental living and commit to start leading influentially to those around me today including myself, to be better today than I was yesterday, a better future for me, for my wife, for my children, for my co-workers, for my faith, for the community, for those that you and I touch in some way every day? If no one is following you then you are not leading! Let that sink in a moment and then look around and see if you have anyone following you. You can make a difference in the world! I love this quote by Mother Teresa, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” The ripple effect becomes compound interest when you are influencing other’s because then those you influence will also influence other’s and through those many influences, many ripples will occur. We give back what the world is craving and that is genuinely caring influential leaders looking out for the betterment of making a difference in the world one ripple at time. That is what leading influentially is all about.

The goal of WUL is to come together on common ground to inspire and encourage one another, to be the best you, that you can be, in the now!  I will say that WUL has been a true inflection point in my life.  At a pivotal moment in my life I was just going through the motions. I found myself burnt out and at a cross roads trying to decide if I was embracing my calling. I felt my career was in a bit of a rut and I was losing passion. WUL has set my life on fire to live for others, to lead others better, to serve others better, to be a better example, to be a better me and to influence others with confidence in embracing the leader that is within them and within me!  It’s time to crack open that shell and live life, right now, today!  THIS IS YOUR WAKE-UP CALL!! The choice is yours. What will you choose?

3 Questions with Willy Stewart

so many good books, so little time

so many good books, so little time

1. How do you decide on books for the club to read? Do you have a stockpile of books ready to go for future?

I suggested the first 2 books and encouraged the third, but I want other people to chime in with their experiences. There are so many great books out there, but not all of them are as deep and transformational as the one we're reading now (On Fire by John O'Leary).

2. What qualities make a book good for this type of club?

They should be not too deep into the textbook of leadership. This one has leadership but also transformative teaching. There's a good one one called Good to Great, but it's specific for people who run companies. It's more about building amazing companies so some people might think, there’s so little of this I can apply to my own life. It has to be one we can share and get a lot out of it. There’s one called The 4 Disciplines of Execution that’s more textbook, so we'd want to balance one like that with one like On Fire.

3. Do you typically read these books more than once?

There's something to be said for going back and rereading a very powerful book. Your subconscious looks at the deeper meaning of the writing. I have savored all the books on another level every time. It’s like going back to a restaurant where you had a good meal and ordering the same thing and it’s even better because you pause and enjoy every single bit because you know it’s amazing. I just say, Now let me just enjoy every page & study what was trying to be conveyed.