Is it not true that everyone wants to be acknowledged in this world? I mean, who doesn’t like being acknowledged? Even animals like feeling welcome around.

Think about this for a second. If you walked into a party and no one noticed, welcomed you, or even acknowledged your being, how would that make you feel? How about small, not wanted, and insecure? This is at least how I would feel.

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Do your weeks ever just feel out of whack? Things keep popping up, people are asking to meet with you, and you feel like you can’t get anything done? Don’t feel bad if this is you, lots of people suffer from this. I like to call these weeks “dysfunctional weeks” – weeks where things aren’t operating as they should.

How should your weeks be operating? How about smooth, productive, and healthy? Think of it like a car, if your car is not operating as it should what do you do? You take the time to bring it into the shop to get fixed right? Now if your “week” is not operating as it should, shouldn’t you take the time to bring that into the shop to get fixed as well?

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You know what I love about video games? They have a reset button. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in the game, or what you’ve done, all you have to do push that little button on the controller and whalla! The game resets and you are off to a whole new start. Now how cool is that?

I’m not a big gamer or anything, but I do love Super Mario Brothers. A few years ago when one of the new versions came out, I literally sat there and played until I beat the whole game. I had blisters on my hands, and my eyes were bulging out of my head!

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Last week I decided that I would start putting together a weekly blogging plan. After struggling to execute, prioritize, and balance my life, I committed to building a plan. There were a few things I was really looking for out of this plan.

  1. I wanted better balance in my life. I felt that God, my family, and I all deserved it. I didn’t want to make blogging a priority over any of these things. It’s important to me, but not more important than God, my family, or my own well being.
  2. I wanted to make sure that all my thoughts, ideas, and everything else got executed and not lost in the thick of my journal and notes. Do you know what I’m talking about? You jot all your ideas and such down, but then it gets lost and never executed. Why do you think this happens? Is it because there isn’t planned time to go through it all? Now I have a weekly time. I go through all my notes and ideas and build them into my weekly plan. This way everything gets done or pitched.
  3. I wanted to better prioritize and plan out my weeks. Do you ever feel like your week gets the best of you, instead of you getting the best of your week. This happens to everyone, so don’t feel bad. I was not going to let this happen with my blogging. So I made it a priority and built it into my weeks.

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This week, as I was traveling and running all over the country I thought, “What would it look like if I took time every week to take my random thoughts, ideas, notes, prayers, and everything else I write down in my journal every week, and build a weekly blogging plan?” Would this help put some structure and balance into my life? Would this help when I was struggling to come up with something to write about?

I was already filling my journal with stuff all week, why not put that stuff to good use? I didn’t want to lose the realness and get to agenda like. But, I did want to make sure all the stuff I was journaling was getting applied and used. A battle went on in my head. Should I build a plan? Should I not build a plan? It went on and on for hours. Then, I thought, “Lets let the journal decide”.

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Think about the last time you had anxiety about something. Did it help the situation or hurt the situation? I would assume that it didn’t help the situation, but only made it worse. Then afterwards, you were probably either thinking, “what just happened to me” or you were thinking, “that wasn’t so bad, why was I even anxious.”


The answer to this self reflecting question is that anxiety is something we all face and we must start to develop tactics and strategies for overcoming it – or it wil always beat us.

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Leaders Cannot Afford to Neglect Planning

Leaders Cannot Afford to Neglect

“Good planning always costs less than good reacting.” ~ Wayne Schmidt

In October 2010 the most expensive public works project in America, ARC, officially met its demise. The project would have constructed two tunnels beneath the Hudson River to add much-needed railways between New Jersey and Manhattan. However, poor planning led to wasteful spending and put the project on pace to exceed its budget by at least $1 billion.

A federal audit of the project brought to light an embarrassing lack of planning. The audit charged NJ Transit with failing to draw up plans to combat fraud and waste in its financial practices. The same audit chastised the FTA for authorizing NJ Transit to spend $1.35 billion without having seen a project management plan, master schedule, or financial plan from the agency. On account of ARC’s runaway costs and inadequate strategic plans, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decided to cancel the project.

The Appeal of Planning Ahead

As a leader, you may be tempted to initiate action without taking the time to map out plans. After all, it feels unproductive to think about how to do something when you could simply roll up your sleeves and start making things happen. However, it’s far less of an investment to prepare for a project in advance than to repair a project after it has gone awry.

In leadership, all is well that begins well. Leaders who carefully craft strategies enjoy success, while those who haphazardly race forward experience heartache. Strategy functions as a leader’s blueprint, playbook, or script. It aligns action and focuses energy toward a goal, preventing costly delays and wasted resources. By following a coherent strategy, leaders arrive at a predetermined destination instead of wandering in an uncertain direction.

These nine simple steps outline the leadership planning process. I trust they will be beneficial to you as you make plans for a successful 2011.

Predetermine Your Course of Action

Lay Out Your Goals

Adjust Your Priorities

Notify Key Personnel

Allow Time for Acceptance

Head into Action

Expect Problems

Always Point to Your Successes

Daily Review Your Progress


John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 19 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries worldwide. Each year he speaks to the leaders of diverse organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, the National Football League, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books that have sold more than a million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His blog can be read at He can be followed at