Posts Tagged ‘adaptable’

Profound lesson learned from Darren Lacroix. (And Jim Rohn)

August 24, 2015

Speech giver: Darren Lacroix. (Toastmasters speaker, comedian, motivational speaker and general all-round super-hero good guy).

Organization: (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

This short speech (I think I actually may have shortened it to its essence), was given by Darren Lacroix, Key note speaker at Caesar’s Palace during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A. I’m not even sure that it had a title, or if, in giving you the title, due to its depth, conciseness and clarity, would just give away the purpose of this post! He in turn, learned the lesson from Jim Rohn….

Darren is a popular motivational speaker in his own right ( and his information is at the same time profound as it is inspirational in that it allows people to move ahead due to its clarity, purpose and wisdom.

Anyhow, this is what I learned at the above venue from Darren Lacroix (think about it for a minute or two):

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.

Now that should cause you to think about who you think about, why you think the way you do, and even more importantly, why you are not achieving what you want to in life! Now that’s worth thinking about! Maybe even about those ’crabs’ in the bucket, that won’t let you out for whatever reasons, including insecurities of their own.

Maybe you should reconsider who you would like to spend most of your time with. In my view, this includes the books (‘friends’) you read, and the social media interactions (mine include Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress) that you ‘associate’ with. These can be wholly positive or detrimental to your future put in the above light.

Why not make wiser choices about how and with whom you spend your valuable time? Choose carefully!

Best wishes,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

NeilShreedhar’s Blog:


Jeffley’s “Dial it Up!” (to Life).

August 21, 2015

Speech giver: James Jeffley

Organization: (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

This speech (“Up Yours!”) was given by James Jeffley, speech contest participant at Caesar’s Palace during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Dial it up. James Jeffley. Life is like a thermostat….up yours. Dial up your thermostat. Find Peace and greater consciousness. Up yourself. There are tools to dial oneself up….

On the 18th Mar 2015, he was talking to his sister who called. What’s up? Then came the cold, hard facts….dad passed….He fell to the ground….

Even as minister, sometimes he needs help too….having learned through difficult experiences the purpose of his speech was to provide some tools. He himself was able to dial himself up…refocus, centre, and rededicate himself to life, and he continues to do so today.

What does it mean – ‘to dial oneself up,’ how do we do this? Shift your state (of consciousness) when you’ve been knocked down…and remember always…to…breathe….

2015 was an incredibly difficult year. On the 08th  Jun he received a second blast of negative information…He had been happily married for 20 years, the last four, well, let’s just say, he should have seen it coming …Even then, despite the coldness, lack of intimacy and sharing, he still wondered later….if he was going to be missed, if he jumped at the edge of the pier….as his marriage fell apart completely and divorce proceedings had begun.

His bucket list is what saved him…he’d always wanted to join Toastmasters…and somehow, miraculously at this, his lowest point, the thought… “why not join Toastmasters?” entered his mind life). In Toastmasters he found an esprit de vivre, an enthusiasm, a joy and a new way of looking at life! For these very reasons, James credits Toastmasters as saving his life!

Reach out to positive people. Yes, 2015 was a bad year, with losses that were difficult to bear – no one wants to lose a close relative, especially someone as dear as a father. And to add to this, the utter breakdown of his marriage…regardless to say, there were some pretty desperate moments in James’ life in 2015.

Counting his blessings though, he had the support of good friends, like Kiran P. and he remembered to be grateful for everything in the world – he gave thanks for every breath, being able to hear, for absolutely everything…and these thoughts turned into hope and happiness…Is there something you would like to dial up? Breathe, be grateful, join in!….Life is like a thermostat….so…Up yours….!

2014 in review – NeilShreedhar’s Blog.

January 31, 2015

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 790 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Shreedhar on Maxwell’s Leadership Key: #1 – Adaptable.

March 4, 2012

Leadership Keys: #1 – Adaptable

 (If You Won’t Change for the Team, the Team may Change You).Review of Maxwell’s 

He’s a New York Times Bestselling management-guru and in “The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player” John C. Maxwell writes about being adaptable, or, as he puts it at the preface of the chapter, quoting Michael McGriff:

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape (Maxwell, 2002, p.1).”

An Adaptable Mind

If one were ever looking for an ideal example of adaptability, then Quincy Jones’ illustrious career would truly be a worthy one.

Quincy Jones is a legend in the entertainment industry and has worked with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Cont Basie, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and many others. He can include among his many accomplishments the best-selling single of all time – “We are the World,” and the best-selling album of all time – Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” These achievements stand apart from his nominations for more Grammy awards than any other person, seventy-nine, of which he has won a total of twenty-seven, another monumental record.Quincy’s career has been marked by an ability to adapt and evolve….

Quincy Jones, born in 1933, grew up in a harsh neighbourhood – one of Chicago’s toughest, and both he and his brother used to get into a lot of trouble in those days. The family then moved to a new neighbourhood,Bremerton,Washington, where he flourished. He discovered a passion for music and on his own time after school he decided to try out various instruments. He tried the clarinet, violin and finally brass instruments. Exploring further into the latter selection, he discovered the baritone, French horn, sousaphone and trombone. When he discovered the trumpet, however there was no turning back – he had discovered his instrument of choice and he excelled. At age fourteen, he was already being paid to play music, becoming friends with Ray Charles and other music greats in the process.

Jones’ evolution was rapid as he began to compose, learn how to do arrangements, and was able to hear or play with the best bands and singers inSeattle. At age eighteen he was already touring with Lionel Hampton. In his career Jones’ demonstrated what he himself called an “obsessive curiosity,” and a remarkable ability to adapt: in the 1950’s he worked with many of the greatest jazz performers and in 1957, feeling he could use more education he moved toParisto study under Nadia Boulanger, who had also tutored Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.

Jones’ phenomenal growth as an individual and as a musician then allowed him to go from taking a position with Mercury Records to make ends meet, to becoming vice-president of the company. Later he wrote music for movies and television programs and eventually worked with many different musicians. He made diverse genres of music although he had spent so much of his initial time working with jazz greats. His personal growth helped him transcend music allowing him to coproduce The Colour Purple and produce several hit television shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Jones and some partners ventured into Qwest Broadcasting; he is also the founder and chairman of Vibe magazine. Broadway didn’t escape his reach either, as he wrote a Broadway show based on Sammy Davis Jr.’s life.

“Jones has never been afraid of a new idea, a new team a new industry. Challenges have been no problem to him because he is so incredibly adaptable (Maxwell, 2002, p. 5).”

Fleshing it Out

Teamwork and inflexibility won’t work if you want to work well with others. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at theHarvardBusinessSchoolremarked that “The individuals who will succeed and flourish will also be masters of change: adept at reorienting their own and others’ activities in untried directions to bring about higher levels of achievement (Maxwell, 2002, p.5).”

Maxwell emphasizes the qualities of teachability, emotional security, creativity and servicemindedness which can enhance such adaptability.

Teachability. A good learner, one that is adaptable doesn’t care about the physical discomfort that s/he may go through as long as it brings them to a new, higher level. Diana Nyad states it this way: “I am willing to put myself through anything; temporary pain or discomfort means nothing to me as long as I can see that the experience will take me to a new level. I am interested in the unknown, and the only path to the unknown is breaking barriers (Maxwell, 2002, p. 5).” Similarly, Quincy Jones always believed in working hard and becoming an expert in one area, and that these skills could be transferred to other areas.

Emotional security. If we compare the reactions of an emotionally secure individual to that of an insecure one, we will see that the reactions of the former individual are more accepting in regards to any change such as including a new team member, a change in title or position, or in the way of doing things. On the one hand a change can be viewed with rigidity and suspicion, but on the other hand it can be viewed with adaptability and flexibility – a characteristic of adaptable people is security.

Creativity. As the saying goes, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way,’ so instead of just giving up the next time you meet up with an obstacle, try or be open to trying something different such as a new suggestion or a new idea. This may make the difference between overcoming the obstacle and being stuck. Creative people don’t react with fear when they come across challenges. ““They’ll say, “Let’s go there even if we blow it (Maxwell, 2002, p. 7).””

Service-minded. Educator and college president Horace Mann explains this concept succinctly: “Doing nothing for others is the undoing of one’s self, (Maxwell, 2002, p. 7),” by which he means that if you put your needs behind those of the team’s, you will not only help your team, but by being adaptive, you will serve yourself as well.

Reflecting on it

Maxwell asks us to reflect on how adaptable we are….How do we react when a new member joins the team, are we willing to take on new roles? Do we adjust well to other changes? In short, do we adapt for the team, or do we expect the team to adapt for us? He counsels us that our expectation should be that we adjust for the team and not the other way around.

Bringing it home

(Tips on becoming an adaptive team player)

These tips include thinking get into the habit of learning, reevaluate your role, and think outside the lines.

The example that Maxwell uses in terms of getting into the habit of learning is a personal one where he shares the fact that for years he got into the habit of writing new information onto a three inch by five inch card which he carried with him and which information he then made sure that he shared with a friend or colleague.

Maxwell’s idea of reevaluating your role means examining how beneficial your role is to the team. This exercise may result in you finding a role that enables you to increase your service, or, at the very least, increase your flexibility by having gone through the mental exercise.

As for thinking outside the lines, for those who are prone to get into mental ruts, Maxwell suggests this daily mental affirmation: “Not why it can’t be done but how it can be done.” In effect he suggests that in order to increase our mental agility, we should continually challenge ourselves creatively.

Daily Take-Away

Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French warrior was described by The Duke of Wellington, one of his most formidable enemies: “I consider Napoleon’s presence in the field to equal forty thousand men in the balance.” Napoleon’s critique of an opponent was that he had drawn up the plans the day before battle, “when you do not yet know your adversary’s movements (Maxwell, 2002, p.9).”In other words, Napoleon recognized in his opponent a lack of adaptability, a weakness that he himself did not have.

– Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar.

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